Friday, March 11, 2011

Avis: Old Scratch and Friends

When telling a story, sometimes you need a cackling villain. Not a guy who does bad things even though he loves his mother, or who has a decent or even good side, but someone who is only motivated by his own greed, and who is Evil with a capital E. Towards this end, let me introduce Old Scratch and a few of his friends. This fiend is very active in the world of Avis but can easily find his way into any campaign setting. Unlike Jack Frost, Old Scratch does not serve any of The Twelve Gods , though he and the Old Man of the Sea and Mother Necessity do have some dealings. Rather, Old Scratch serves himself, seeking to steal souls for his own purposes.
Game Masters should not overuse Old Scratch. He is not just a potent baddie for characters to bash and fight with swords and spells, hes a bit too powerful for that anyway. Rather Old Scratch needs to be fought with riddles, guile and appealing to his twisted sense of honor. Game Masters using Old Scratch need to remember that this demon lord is SMART, and has long ago mastered lying and cheating. Player characters beware!
This monster is made using the Labyrinth Lord system. This system is a re-working of the classic Dungeons and Dragons game system. Simple rules with infinite possibilities.


Old Scratch (Demon Lord)
No. Enc: 1 (Unique)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40'), fly 180’ (60’)
Armor Class: -2
Hit Dice: 21+ (666 hp)
Attacks: 3 (2 claws, 1 bite)
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d4 or by weapon +3
Save: F21
Morale: 4
Hoard Class: XXXV (Mostly gold and magic items)
"Why should that worry you? A soul? A soul is nothing. Can you see it, smell it, touch it? No. This soul, *your* soul, are nothing against seven years of good luck. You'll have money and all that money can buy." -Old Scratch
Old Scratch appears as a swarthy, handsome male of any race (most often a human or a dwarf), though with some aspect of his demonic nature present, such as small horns, cloven hooves or even a tail. He usually seems friendly, well mannered, entertaining and helpful, but this is merely a ruse. This demon lord maintains a furnace realm which hungers for the souls of mortals, and Old Scratch is always looking for more firewood.
Though he prefers guile to combat, Old Scratch may attack with two claws and a bite each round, or may use any of the following spell-like abilities at will: animate dead, bestow/remove curse, cause disease, create food and water, detect magic, dispel magic, ESP (always active), fear, find traps, gate, illusion, insect plague, irresistible dance, know alignment, locate object, magic jar, mass charm, passwall, polymorph self, project image, read magic, snake charm, sticks to snakes, symbol (all), time stop, and true seeing. Old Scratch may only be struck with weapons of +2 or better enchantment. Furthermore, once per day Old Scratch can gate 2d4 7HD Hell Hounds, which often accompany him in his guise as the Wild Huntsman, chasing the souls of the damned (see Damned Souls below). Old Scratch has the following powers: Infravision (120’), Half damage from cold-based attacks, Half damage from electrical-based attacks, No damage from fire-based attacks (all), Telepathy (allows all languages to be understood).
The most potent power that old scratch possesses is the ability to grant one to three wishes to those who sell their souls to him via written contract (the number of wishes are determined at the time that the contract is written). The results of these wishes can be either good or evil, but cannot be made to directly break the character contract with Old Scratch.
Common Magic Items carried: Bag of Holding (Devouring when out of his hands), Amulet vs. Crystal Balls and ESP, Chime of Opening, Carpet of Flying, Ring of Invisibility.


Infernal Witch (Standard Order Demon)
No. Enc: 1d6 (1d6)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120’(40’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 3 (claw, claw, bite or by weapon)
Damage: 1d4,1d4,1d6 by weapon +2
Save: F6
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XX
Infernal Witches are not mortal spellcasters, but humans who have made a terrible pact with Old Scratch (or other demon lord), gaining infernal powers in return for their immortal souls and service in the mortal world. Infernal Witches (male or female) are generally indistinguishable from human beings, but always have a physical deformity by which their nature may be detected. This deformity can be scaly, warty or slimy skin, an odd odor or an animals tail or feet and can be concealed by cloaks, hats or other garments.
All infernal witches can be considered to be an Alchemist (see page 47 LL rulebook) in regard to potion making. Infernal witches have the innate ability to charm person which they use to beguile human men and women. Furthermore, all infernal witches gain the following spell-like abilities- climbing (as potion, 1 turn duration), darkness (as cleric), sleep (1/Day) and invisibility (2/Day). Infernal Witches may only be dealt damage with magical weapons that are +1 or better. However, they are susceptible to damage from ordinary weapons made of pure iron. As demons infernal witches gain the following have Infravision (90’), Half damage from cold-based attacks, Half damage from electrical-based attacks, Half damage from fire-based attacks (all), Telepathy (allows all languages to be understood) .
Because not all witches are old or ugly in appearance (many are very attractive) some well meaning or lust filled people think that these creatures can be rescued from their demonic servitude. However this is not possible, these creatures are irredeemable, and can and will commit any evil.
Infernal Witches congregate during the dark of the moon to hold wild celebrations, to which the wickedest sort of intelligent monsters in the area will likely attend, including lesser demons, gargoyles and the like. Sometimes Old Scratch himself might attend such gatherings, at which point he typically gives out gifts of magic items such as a broom of flying or a bridle of polymorph (Transforms a sleeping human into a Light Riding Horse for one night), and any number of cursed items.


Damned Souls
Damned Souls are the spirits of those who were taken by Old Scratch and burned in the furnaces of Hell. These Damned Souls look much like they did in life, though with a singed look (the fires of hell still on them), and wild mad eyes. These beings are now considered to be lower order demons, and have alignments of “Chaotic” regardless of their natures in life. They hate the living and cannot be redeemed by mortal effort.
Damned Souls have the stats of NPC Dwarves, Elves and Men (of any sort), but posses the spell like ability to cast fear 2/Day, and the following powers:
As demons, damned souls have the following abilities: Infravision (90’), Half damage from cold-based attacks, Half damage from electrical-based attacks, Half damage from fire-based attacks (all), Telepathy (allows all languages to be understood).
On occasion, damned souls will get loose into the mortal world. When this happens, it is never a good thing, as these beings are unrepentant and profoundly jealous of the living. On occasion, Damned Souls are purposely released by Old Scratch so that he and other demons might hunt them for sport. These "Wild Hunts" are terrible to behold, as despite their evil nature, damned souls were once mortal folk.

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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan