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#1 DocIII

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:36 AM

How have other GM's handled Daemonic Pacts?

I have 1 acolyte who got cornered by an absurdly powerful unbound Daemonhost, and decided to make a pact with the Daemon instead of dying horribly. Skipping the details of how this came to pass, the acolyte agreed to both a pact for service to the daemon AND out and out selling his soul to the Daemon in exchange for a pact to ensure his survival and the might to destroy his enemies. (gave him 36 corruption points right out of the gate for pact and selling soul)

I'm still trying to work out the details, I don't want to get too broken, but on the other hand he didn't go halfway, he made the big time forfeit soul pact, so I don't want to short him either.

After looking at the examples in the Corebook, here's where I'm at:

Now I've only revealed game mechanics effects of bits of pact one at a time as they have become too apparent to just deal with w/o telling the player.

So far, on the survival side:

1) He counts as having unnatural toughness (x2) for purposes taking damage and rolls v. poison or disease.

2) He gained the Hardy talent

3) He has access to a pool of (9) specialized fate points which may only be used for the following purposes: recovering 1d5 wounds; re-rolling toughness tests to resist poisons/disease/injury effects; re-rolling dodge or parry. However each time he calls on his pact to help him in a difficult situation (i.e. uses one of these points) he is opening himself to chaos and he gains a corruption point.

Haven't figured out what to do w/ power to smite enemies and or more downside/twists.

(although, unbeknownst to him, sometimes when he sleeps the echo of the daemon implanted in his mind by the pact takes his body for a spin and does fun daemony things)

So how have other GM's handled pacts? Any ideas/suggestions for where I'm going w/ mine? Other alternate views of how to deal w/ pacts, etc. etc?



#2 Texas_Ben

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:51 AM

As to the smiting and whatnot, you could give him access to a few smite-ey psychic powers, though I'n not sure how you'd justify that on a fluff level, I don't think that sort of thing can happen, though it would sowhat you wanted.



#3 DocIII

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:34 AM

If I wanted to go that way the fluff justification would be:

Sorcery - taught by the daemon (or wielded by the semi-sentient bit of daemonic essence the daemon slipped in when he put his mark on the soul)  DotDG covers the sorcery mechanics, so that would be no problem, just not sure sorcerous/psychic might's the direction I want to take it.



#4 Jack of Tears

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:17 AM

Base the powers he recieves on the type of character he is.  If he's a stealth character, grant him an augmented stealth skill and a silent kill ability, perhaps a wall walking power which allows him to cling and move vertically or upside down. 

Perhaps he could mimic another person by killing them and wearing their skin - or just splits their chest open and climbs in, his body absorbing the excess organs. (or, if you want it to take more time, perhaps he has to eat the organs before climbing aboard)

If he is a balistics sort of guy, transform one of his arms into a biological weapon capable of firing spheres of caustic fluids, or superheated plasma. (this latter might cause him some minor damage)

If he is a melee character, perhaps you could transform one of his limbs into a deadly blade, or give him iron claws instead of fingernails.  Alternately, he might spit a blinding toxin and elongate his tongue to use as a prehensile whip/extra limb.

Perhaps grant him the ability to gain health by eating the body of a humanoid, even babies.

Or, he could slightly alter probability in a radius around himself, so mechanical objects, including weapons, fail to function. (this is constant, though, so it causes some difficulties)

Maybe he can contort his body in angles and shapes unnatural to humans. (though his joints appear deformed because of it)

For Drawbacks, mutate him.  Have his flesh transform to reflect his powers.  If he can wall walk, cause his limbs to become shriveled and spider like; if his arm transforms into a weapon, make it a large and disturbing divice, covered in discolored veins and pustules.

Perhaps his ability to consume flesh causes all his teeth to fall out and be replaced with jagged, tearing fangs.  On top of that, perhaps he has to eat his meat raw from now on and vegetables make him ill.  Maybe he is hungry for flesh, or disgusting, rotten things all the time and will eat virtually anything, in the most disturbing moment.

To reflect the daemon host idea, perhaps he can only manifest powers once he has possessed the body of another - and using the powers destroys the body in question.  Make the chance a contested Will check, but don't allow him to initiate it in combat. (so he has to choose a victim ahead of time)  Perhaps, the more innocent the victim, the greater his power.

I don't know how mature your game is ... perhaps he can infect others with taint by having sexual congress with them - either sex, willingly or otherwise.  Perhaps the act makes him stronger and he is ever suffering the need, like an addict.

I'm sure you can come up with many more ideas along these lines.

 

 



#5 Ira

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:50 AM

I think the outward drawbacks should be slim, if the rest of the acolytes are still pure they will attempt to kill him. With the powers to spite his enemies then his ability to kill them back wont be too difficult. So in one fell swoop you lose a handfull of PCs.

For the drawbacks I would have more of an interior problem. Voices in his head, the daemons voices. If hes in combat, before granting him the powers to spite his enemies, make him take a -20 willpower test or he struggles with the voice for a full round. Narrative, make him take constant tests against his willpower. I would also consiter dropping his fellowship (for example, in real life how do you respond to an unmedicated skitzo?). Against spicific enemies (say, one whom he bears an extream grudge) forgo the willpower test, give him bonuses on his BS and WS tests against him, and give him Righteous Fury when he does strike the hated foe. To top it off, halve the opponets wounds at the start of the combat to represent the daemon making the foe vunerable.

Eventually the daemons taint will take a more physical toll on his body, and then it will be the discresion of you and him on how to handle that. More then likly it will result in his collegues taking him out.

Poor guy wont last for long unless he denys the daemon.



#6 Jack of Tears

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:49 PM

If you want less dramatic drawbacks, something less visible, perhaps have the touch of his bare skin chill others to the bone - and I don't mean a cold chill, but a "someone's just walked over my grave" chill - so he has to always wear gloves. 

When he sleeps near others he causes them to have nightmares and recover exhaustion more slowly ... thus requiring him to sleep apart and alone.  (naratively this could be dependant upon the strength of the other people - other adventurers would need only be a dozen feet or so away, while common people might feel it all throughout the hotel; though they wouldn't know whom to blame.) 

Those with the power to detect daemonic presences would sense him as such - difficult to get around that one.

Milk and food spoil if he spends any ammount of time in the vicinity. (thus a dinner gathering would suddenly become a panic, people trying to determine what happened.  If you wanted to be mean, you could allow him to eat spoiled food without noticing, thus he'd be the only one at the table not to immediately react.)

Animals and children don't like/distrust him. (babies cry when he's around)

There is just something about him that scares people when they meet.

He can hear the wicked and sinful thoughts of others, most clearly when he is trying to rest. (nothing story breaking, just the kinds of wicked and sinful thoughts most people have but don't share - frightening desires, inappropriate hatreds, etc.)

He leaves sweaty stains on bedsheets, blankets, etc. though he may or may not seem to sweat the rest of the time. (thus he may only ever leave sweat stains on bedspreads, while never sweating in his clothes ... alternatively he sweats all the time, which can be most unattractive)

The touch of silver or charms cause him pain, though he can mask it with a Will check.

He has terrible nightmares and talks about vile and horrible things in his sleep. (recovers exhaustion slower because of this)

etc.

 



#7 DocIII

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:56 PM

Just to make the clear - the acolyte in question is not a daemonhost, the daemon he made a pact with was possessing/controling an unbound daemonhost at the time. 

 

 



#8 Alasseo

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 03:34 PM

 Is he asking for the power to smite any specific foes, or just his foes in general? If he's asked for (or simply implied) the power to beat specific foes (either by name, or as members of a particular group or class of being) then give him a circumstance bonus to hit them, and make his hits Tearing (or if they're already so, add a further d10, and drop the two lowest), or possibly halve their TB/AP against attacks from him only.

If his request was generic killiness then possibly do something like the above, or maybe make it nigh-impossible for him to LOSE to them: they have a massive to hit penalty against him, they always do minimum damage, he becomes immune to criticals that they directly inflict... I know, this is more in keeping with a 'survival' pact, but eventually, any foe will be worn down and defeated if it can't hurt you. Also, anything can count as a win if your definition is flexible enough, and let's face it, the daemon is going to be out to screw with him.

As to drawbacks; a Fel penalty is probably a good one (possibly make it only apply to clerics or those with 5 CP or fewer, maybe simply those whose faith in the emperor is strong- not necessarily the same as clerics), as is sacrephobia, although that could potentially be a death sentence- you refuse to go to chapel ever? you can't see the image of the holy aquila without soiling yourself and screaming in fear? Definite give away, IMHO, although I may be overplaying the general level of piety.

Having the daemon occasionally contact him may well be fun- maybe as a voice only he can hear, or a pain on his arm that, when salve is applied only to it, and not the surrounding flesh, spells out messages; actual psychostigmata as messages may be better actually- more noticeable to other characters, perhaps, but also more grimdark. In any case, WP tests to not be distracted by the daemon when it's contacting him may well be appropriate.


There is no right, and no wrong, but having the bigger stick makes it so...


#9 Jack of Tears

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:01 PM

>>Just to make the clear - the acolyte in question is not a daemonhost, the daemon he made a pact with was possessing/controling an unbound daemonhost at the time. <<

Okay, just to get this straight ... the guy did not only make a pact with a daemon while it was controlling someone else, but he outright sold his soul?  That sort of thing should not come without significant repercusions ... otherwise everyone in the party would do it. 

Let me put it this way, I guess:  Be absolutely certain that the drawbacks reflect the power of the benefits.  If he gains a significant bonus to power - which he already seems to have - then the drawback should be likewise significant.  Don't make this a way for players to get free powers with only minor side effects - to do so is doing a diservice to entire concept of daemonic corruption in your game.

(now, mind you, if you honestly believe you can lead the player into commiting even worse sins in the game by baiting him with apparent power without risk, then you can be excused for being a little leniant at first - so long as you continue along that path and remember that the deamons are going to want something in exchange eventually)

 

 



#10 Wu Ming

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:10 PM

He seems to be doing pretty well as is. If his pact the one of smiting  his enimies is general in nature, which it seems to be, then I guesse that is far diffrent than I had initially thought, which was a localised vengence against a specific group or individual. A few things come to mind imediately:

  • Have Rigteous Fury occur on a result of a 9 or a 10
  • Allow him to manifest a Fear Rating during combat perahps as per the Minor Power.
  • Imbue his attacks with some supernatral quality perhaps simmilar to a 'Warp Weapon' perhaps Havok or whatever he is using ignores Armour, or halves Armour & TB (rounding up in the defender's favour)
  • He instinctualy knows specif weaknesses and vunerablities of his foes, ranging from the esoteric (The Hrjion have an unusal aversion to silicate grandules which can cause them to combust when it contacts their flesh) to the more 'mundane' Fren the gunslinger has a faulty bionic left eye, thus attacks made from his left are more likely to land and he's unable to hit things accurately on that side.)

Insofar as drawbacks you can continue along the CP path allowing him to pay X CPs per use of any given pact power, or you could have other more naritive drawbacks. Personaly I am against penalising Fel as I find in most games and especially in Warhammer, regardless of version, the first stat players love to give up is Fel/Ld usually followed by Int, despite 'rationalsations' they see them as throw away stats anyway as they don't often figure into combat. If you really want to hit a stat I recomend leeching his WP having him take WP hits or spending a single point of WP to gain a boon, and when the clock reaches zero his soul has been devoured. (Hello Meat Puppet)

Since it appears he did not actualy go with the initial venegnce/smite against that one group as I had initially thought he had then he really is on 'borrowed time', also if you go the WP route I wouldn't tell him, (JR you better not be reading this thread!!) also keep the tally secret for purposes of WP tests and allow his normal starting WP for tests the Deamon would want him to pass and his weakened one for ones it doesn't care about or wants him to fail. I'd avoid the Sorceror route as I don't see that meshing with his concept. Also although it suites the patron to a degree I'd avoid overt mutations for as long as possible.

EDDIT:

@ Jack of Tears

This occured as a result of a VERY UNIQUE occurence and was in fact more of a PC to PC event than anything elese. A PC Psyker went Daemon host and DocIII allowed the player (who is a very good Role Player) to run the DH for the end of the session. The DH conered the other PC and when the other PC couldn't kill it he quickly started to parlay in order to save his own skin, the bemused Host excepted and viola. This is not indicative of anything that I think would be problematic in DocIII's games or cause the group to all go 'Damn let's all becaome Chaos Champions!'



#11 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 01:55 AM

One possibility, if you have another psyker, is that they may notice, out of the corner of their eye, a warp ghost of the Deamon helping the Heretic aim his weapon or guiding his hand in melee or even defending him.  At some point the Deamon notices he is being seen and decides to start "helping" the rest of the party. Over the next  few sesions the psyker notices and it will drive his paranoya, with GM help, that the whole party is tainted except him. This of course will help lead the rest of the party to think the Psyker is unstable and that he may need to be put down.



#12 Wu Ming

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 02:10 AM

While 'putting down' a/the psyker (aka the wipping boy) seems a re-occuring theme with many DH games, I don't think its one previlent in DocIII's. Also there are no current Psykers in the cell. The last one is the Deamon who the PC made the Pact with, also to reiderate the Deamon itself does not reside within the PC, nor in his vicinity, it is in fact on another planet and likely trying to subvert that world for its master. Only a vauge kind of ephemeral psychological 'taint' a psuedo deamon or an 'uber hyde', if I've understood correctly, resides in the fractured and damaged psyche of the PC which in his unconcious momments (like sleep) will come to the fore and do 'naughty' things.



#13 DocIII

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:56 AM

Wu Ming said:

While 'putting down' a/the psyker (aka the wipping boy) seems a re-occuring theme with many DH games, I don't think its one previlent in DocIII's. Also there are no current Psykers in the cell. The last one is the Deamon who the PC made the Pact with, also to reiderate the Deamon itself does not reside within the PC, nor in his vicinity, it is in fact on another planet and likely trying to subvert that world for its master. Only a vauge kind of ephemeral psychological 'taint' a psuedo deamon or an 'uber hyde', if I've understood correctly, resides in the fractured and damaged psyche of the PC which in his unconcious momments (like sleep) will come to the fore and do 'naughty' things.

That's an accurate assessment.  The daemon itself isn't there, just kind of an echo of its influence/agenda that came along with the transfer of power. 

So far the only really naughty thing its had him do were a few subtle steps to aid in the corruption of others (particullarly to push them in a direction that would eventually culminate in the worship/contacting of the daemon through the warp in order spread its influence).

Originally he was going for the power to hunt down and destroy his father's killers, but during negotiation on his price, and realizing the enormity of what he was giving over he tried (partially sucessfully) to expand the deal to "and any other enemies"

As to other people noticing things, one of the other PC's (who inadvertantly consumed a near OD of an obscura/amasec/spook cocktail) did notice there was something funny about his aura while and just about strangled him to death.  However after being tranqed and detoxed, decided to chalk it up to hallucinations while high.

Also, keep in mind that in the pacts section in the Core Rules there is a bit about daemons taking effort to hide the influence of their pacts from psychic detection (applying a -20 penalty to such things if I recall)

Also, even with the penalty, the last time a sanctioned psyker gave him the once over (using soul sight to look for hostile intent toward his master); while the psyker didn't roll well enough to scream "daemon-tainted heretic" it tainted his aura enough that he was detained and locked in a cell to await torture.  (Granted he escaped and in the process stole a hellgun and shot about 30 people to death, but his dice were just on fire that night, rolling 20 or lower on five out of every six or so skill/characteristic rolls and RF on about 1-in-4 dmg rolls, for about 5 hours of gameplay, all of which was brutal combat) So it hasn't been an entirely free ride.

Besides that, he hasn't yet come face to face with his paraniod ruthless highly-telepathic Inquisitor boss since he made the pact.  He's dreading trying to explain this one.

 



#14 DocIII

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:56 AM

Wu Ming said:

While 'putting down' a/the psyker (aka the wipping boy) seems a re-occuring theme with many DH games, I don't think its one previlent in DocIII's. Also there are no current Psykers in the cell. The last one is the Deamon who the PC made the Pact with, also to reiderate the Deamon itself does not reside within the PC, nor in his vicinity, it is in fact on another planet and likely trying to subvert that world for its master. Only a vauge kind of ephemeral psychological 'taint' a psuedo deamon or an 'uber hyde', if I've understood correctly, resides in the fractured and damaged psyche of the PC which in his unconcious momments (like sleep) will come to the fore and do 'naughty' things.

That's an accurate assessment.  The daemon itself isn't there, just kind of an echo of its influence/agenda that came along with the transfer of power. 

So far the only really naughty thing its had him do were a few subtle steps to aid in the corruption of others (particullarly to push them in a direction that would eventually culminate in the worship/contacting of the daemon through the warp in order spread its influence).

Originally he was going for the power to hunt down and destroy his father's killers, but during negotiation on his price, and realizing the enormity of what he was giving over he tried (partially sucessfully) to expand the deal to "and any other enemies"

As to other people noticing things, one of the other PC's (who inadvertantly consumed a near OD of an obscura/amasec/spook cocktail) did notice there was something funny about his aura while and just about strangled him to death.  However after being tranqed and detoxed, decided to chalk it up to hallucinations while high.

Also, keep in mind that in the pacts section in the Core Rules there is a bit about daemons taking effort to hide the influence of their pacts from psychic detection (applying a -20 penalty to such things if I recall)

Also, even with the penalty, the last time a sanctioned psyker gave him the once over (using soul sight to look for hostile intent toward his master); while the psyker didn't roll well enough to scream "daemon-tainted heretic" it tainted his aura enough that he was detained and locked in a cell to await torture.  (Granted he escaped and in the process stole a hellgun and shot about 30 people to death, but his dice were just on fire that night, rolling 20 or lower on five out of every six or so skill/characteristic rolls and RF on about 1-in-4 dmg rolls, for about 5 hours of gameplay, all of which was brutal combat) So it hasn't been an entirely free ride.

Besides that, he hasn't yet come face to face with his paraniod ruthless highly-telepathic Inquisitor boss since he made the pact.  He's dreading trying to explain this one.

 



#15 VarniusEisen

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:00 AM

Here is how I would play it.

With the loss of his soul, the character becomes emotionless, he doesn't feel fear, joy, lust, excitement, anger, happiness or anything else. Without said emotions he becomes coldly logical and has trouble relating to others in a social way. His enthusiasm also goes out the window.

Games Effect:

Lose the Frenzy Talent, if he had it.

Becomes completely fearless but to the point of not caring rather than recklessness.

Half Fellowship score.

Gains the Logic skill

BUT

All his normal feelings and stuff return IF it relates to killing his enemy.

Note: If this is not roleplayed, the daemon revokes the contract. PAINFULLY



#16 DocIII

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:28 AM

VarniusEisen said:

Here is how I would play it.

With the loss of his soul, the character becomes emotionless, he doesn't feel fear, joy, lust, excitement, anger, happiness or anything else. Without said emotions he becomes coldly logical and has trouble relating to others in a social way. His enthusiasm also goes out the window.

Games Effect:

Lose the Frenzy Talent, if he had it.

Becomes completely fearless but to the point of not caring rather than recklessness.

Half Fellowship score.

Gains the Logic skill

BUT

All his normal feelings and stuff return IF it relates to killing his enemy.

Note: If this is not roleplayed, the daemon revokes the contract. PAINFULLY

Interesting idea, I'll see if/where it fits.

(funny coincidence of the DH name tables, the character who made the pact is named Eisen and the one who noticed his tainted aura while drugged out on Spook is named Varn)



#17 VarniusEisen

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 08:50 PM

DocIII said:

VarniusEisen said:

 

Here is how I would play it.

With the loss of his soul, the character becomes emotionless, he doesn't feel fear, joy, lust, excitement, anger, happiness or anything else. Without said emotions he becomes coldly logical and has trouble relating to others in a social way. His enthusiasm also goes out the window.

Games Effect:

Lose the Frenzy Talent, if he had it.

Becomes completely fearless but to the point of not caring rather than recklessness.

Half Fellowship score.

Gains the Logic skill

BUT

All his normal feelings and stuff return IF it relates to killing his enemy.

Note: If this is not roleplayed, the daemon revokes the contract. PAINFULLY

 

 

Interesting idea, I'll see if/where it fits.

(funny coincidence of the DH name tables, the character who made the pact is named Eisen and the one who noticed his tainted aura while drugged out on Spook is named Varn)

 

ohh creepy






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