Asmodeus Unleashed

Posted on July 13, 2012

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Okay, if you don’t already know, the Vampire Bestiary: Mountain of the Cannibal God pdf is available at RPGNow HERE for $8.00.

This article details Asmodeus for 4th Edition D&D, in a way its a companion piece to my versions of ORCUS and KRONOS.

UPDATED FRIDAY 20th of JULY: I added two more pages, but this is still NOT the full article. I still have Aeshma-Deva to update as well. I’ll try and get that up for next Friday (the 27th). Today’s update adds the Telocvovim entry as well as some creatures he spawns/summons during the encounter – I still want to go back and tweak Telocvovim a bit, I’m not totally happy with him. I also changed the Solo Resilience power of Solos (on both Asmodeus and Telocvovim). Let me know what you think of the change.

The Devil’s Bestiary?

Many of my plans seem to get waylaid languishing in development hell (pun intended). One such idea which may or may not ever see the light (and thus I may as well speak about it here and now) was for an Angels & Devils themed tome. The more I studied the devils the more I realised I had enough ideas to put them in their own book and not only that but completely revamp the whole of the Ten Hells…yes thats right…ten of them. To correspond to each of the 10 deadly sins…yes thats right…ten of them. :)

Anyway, the basic revamp was to see devilkind firstly subdivided by the 10 sins and secondly subdivided into the following categories:

  1. Lemures: Levels 6-10
  2. Least Devils: Levels 11-15 (Imps, Nupperibo’s etc.)
  3. Lesser Devils: Levels 16-20 AND 24-28 Minions (Bearded, Barbed Devils etc.)
  4. Knights of Hell (Important Lesser devils): Levels 17-21 Elite
  5. Greater Devils: Levels 17-21 Solo AND 26-30 Standard
  6. Nobles: Levels 26-30 Elite
  7. Archdukes: Levels 26-30 Solo
  8. ‘Kings’ (basically those Archdukes that command other Archdukes like Baalzebul, Mephisto and Asmodeus): Levels 31-35 Solo

Of course the devils would themselves be adjusted by rank: Nobility as solo’s, Greater Devils as Elites and Least Devils as Minions. Of course the balancing act you face is therefore when all the devils of a given sin are together.

  • Least Rage Devil = Level 15
  • Lesser Rage Devil = Level 20 and Minion 28
  • Rage Knight = Level 21 Elite
  • Greater Rage Devil = Level 21 Solo and Level 30 standard monster
  • ‘Rage’ Noble = Level 30 Elite
  • Asmodeus = Level 33 Solo

As we can see above the six classifications with two rank variants gives us the ability to seemlessly use Rage Devils for mid-high Paragon Tier AND mid-high Epic Tier, with 4 different choices at each tier.

Asmodeus (1st Edition AD&D)

Asmodeus first appeared in the 1st Edition Monster Manual. But collectively the devils were never given the same kind of publicity that the demons received and so he does not grace any adventure modules during that time. Nevertheless, he was certainly one of the most powerful entities in the game until the release of Deities & Demigods/Legends & Lore which noted that Asmodeus was a Lesser God. The key abilities he possessed back then were:

  • Gaze of Asmodeus: Capable of causing (1) fear, (2) fear + weakness, or (3) chill (slow) different effects.
  • Ruby Rod of Asmodeus: Acted as a rod of absorption, Delivered a cause serious wounds to anyone touched by its tip and can also shoot forth a cone of frost, jet of acid or bolt of lightning (as per the appropriate dragon breath).
  • Spell-like Abilities: The most pertinent of these abilities seem to be the large number of charm type capabilities, shapechange, wall of fire/ice and his ability to fulfill another’s wish (at will!) – which was only allowed to be granted to mortals of their own free will.
  • Summoning: Could always summon 2 lesser or 1 greater devil.

Asmodeus (2nd Edition AD&D)

Asmodeus was never detailed in 2nd Edition and in fact was never even named until about a dozen years after the release of 2nd Edition because of the idiocy of the Angry Mothers From Heck and their ill-conceived crusade against the game. When Asmodeus did finally get a mention it was to suggest that he was a fallen angel overgod whose true form was a great serpent/dragon whose fall created the Nine Hells. The humanoid form was just some sort of Avatar or Aspect of this true being.

Asmodeus (3rd Edition D&D)

Asmodeus shows up in two books, firstly the Book of Vile Darkness and secondly the Fiendish Codex: Tyrants of the Nine Hells.

  • Aura of Submission: This basically turned his charm like spell abilities into a single aura.
  • Regeneration: Asmodeus gains regeneration 13 (weird number to pick) which is negated by holy damage or weapons.
  • Ruby Rod of Asmodeus: The rod actually gains some new powers. Firstly the ability to render someone who tries to wield the rod helpless. Secondly the Reverie of Nessus which is a bit like a donut aura with anti-magic on the outside and a wall of force on the inside plus Asmodeus is automatically purged of all negative spells and conditions affecting him and fully healed.

Asmodeus (4th Edition D&D)

Asmodeus has not yet been detailed in 4th Edition, however, he has become a Greater God and as such must be considered at least Level 37 (Solo Monster) by the game’s mechanics.

Asmodeus (Krust Edition)

Okay, my first thoughts regarding Asmodeus are that he will be useless if I detail him at Level 37 or above, but at the same time if I don’t make him that powerful it won’t really be the “real” Asmodeus and thus people will feel cheated. So by way of a compromise I have decided to make him a Level 38 solo monster but ‘cheat’ by using the super-solo rules and drop him down 5 levels to Level 33 and give him two (solo) stat-blocks.

I decided to use his occult appearance as a second (true) form. What isn’t depicted in the illustration is that he is meant to carry a lance/standard in this form.

In the famous de Plancy image he is also seen riding a dragon. This beast is named Telocvovim an Infernal Dragon known as “the Death Dragon”. It occured to me that what if his rod (or the giant ruby atop the rod) was actually this dragon’s imprisoned form (hence the breath weapon tie-in) and that part way through the battle the rod turns into Telocvovim.

It also occured to me that the three-headed Asmodeus in the de Plancy illustration, coupled by the dragon may well be two halves (or more specifically three quarters plus one quarter) of a fallen Seraphim (or Balseraph). In effect, when he was cast down from heaven his fall wracked his body, splitting him into “The Dragon” and the “Beast”.

So the original idea (which has since change a little) for the phases of the battle were:

  • Phase I: Asmodeus (humanoid form) wielding rod.
  • Phase II: Asmodeus (humanoid form once bloodied) rod planted in ground (in this phase Asmodeus plants the rod into the ground and he cannot be hurt until the rod’s ruby is broken, which releases Telocvovim. This phase is essentially a single-use conversion of the Reverie of Nessus power)
  • Phase III: Asmodeus (humanoid form) + Telocvovim
This would be the mid-point of the battle. Once Asmodeus’ humanoid form is destroyed, he adopts his more monstrous form.
  • Phase IV: Asmodeus (monstrous form) + Telocvovim.
  • Phase V: Rage Incarnate. Gravely wounded, Asmodeus terrible form unleashes a wave of rage that automatically infects all combatants causing them to attack random targets (even their own allies) until saved against.
  • Phase VI: The fight to the finish.

Setting Encounters for Epic Tier Games

In 4th Edition, the PCs gain an unseen 18.3% power per level boost over and above monster levels. The result of this is that every 6 levels PCs effectively gain one full level over the opposition. Thus at Level 30, PCs are effectively Level 35 in terms of challenging monsters, not Level 30.
There are two ways of compensating this:
  1. Use (for your standard) Encounters 18.3% higher level than the PCs average level. (e.g. For a Level 23 party you would use Level 27 as the average Encounter Level.
  2. Replace Minions with Standard monsters, Standard monsters with Elites, replace Elites with Solo’s and replace Solo’s with Super-solo’s.
Additionally I’d also suggest that you divide XP by half during Epic Tier encounters. But I’ll leave that for DMs to decide themselves.
Asmodeus here is a Level 33-Super-Solo monster. That means he should be a typical challenge for a party of 5 PCs averaging (a hypothetical) Level 33. It also means he would be a Difficult (as in 50% chance they will lose) challenge for a party of 5 PCs averaging Level 29.

Hope you like it. As ever, click on the pages below for the larger versions.