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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    In one campaign setting, there is an obscure but dangerous Demon God of Children. He grants children's prayers. Unfortunately, children's prayers are rarely well thought-out, and while he will pour a great deal of power into making them come to pass, no matter how unworkable, they also still have horrific consequences. He doesn't even need to bargain; the evils that arise as cascade effects once the child's prayer granted him permission to intervene pile up to far greater than his investments, as a general rule.
    That's amazing.

    You probably wouldn't even need any other demon-gods.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    The simple answer is that nobody likes playing games where the actual best course of option might be to kill all the children. In universe, I suspect that either demons and devils cannot enforce such pacts on children (which doesn't necessarily mean they don't make the pacts; if you can convince someone they are already doomed, what is one more pact), they are forbidden by agreements between the various powers that be from doing so, or there are some powerful entities whose purpose is to hunt down and destroy any devil or demon that tries. That said, the "Lord Fastenloose, your daughter has offered me her soul in exchange for a pony" thing is an awesome start to an adventure.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    This thread brings a different meaning to the phrase "hell is for children".
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    The souls of children are not yet ripe, therefore they are not yet delicious.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by VincentTakeda View Post
    The souls of children are not yet ripe, therefore they are not yet delicious.
    "Ripe enough to Fall."

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Duke Amdusius of Malebolge explicitly does make deals with children, offering them power in exchange for having them murder and sacrifice their parents.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    "Ripe enough to Fall."
    +1



    Quote Originally Posted by Iamyourking View Post
    Duke Amdusius of Malebolge explicitly does make deals with children, offering them power in exchange for having them murder and sacrifice their parents.
    I'd hazard a guess... that's precisely the sort of thing that the publishers of D&D have shied away from for much of its publication history due to it sounding a lot like all the stupid scaremongering crap that people said about D&D.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    I feel like if a devil was making deals with kids it'd be part of a long term investment sort of plan. Having them murder someone or getting the kids soul seems kind of like a waste of time given how rare making a Faustian bargain is. You want to make pacts whenever the opportunity arises and make them last as long as possible in the hopes of getting more bystanders caught up in things.

    I'd imagine devil deals with kids being something the kid wants in exchange for behaving in a fashion that encourages other people to be evil. Rewarding blackmail, spying, rumour mongering, deception and other social manipulation that breaks down trust and builds strife between people in the hopes of pushing them to be more cruel and tyrannical.

    At the peak of possibilities I'd imagine children pulling a Salem Witch Trial type affair on their village, and the devil would hope, and likely encourage, their parents try to take advantage of it for personal gain in the hopes of damning them as well as the children.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I disagree with most everyone here, and would make my own houserule: souls, when sold, go into a sort of astral escrow account. They cannot be collected until death, but they are also in a sort of stasis. Souls are desired because they are valuable to a fiend, but grown, mature souls are exponentially more valuable. This means that children's souls, while easier to get, are far, far less valuable, and most often not worth the time or effort.

    Hence, parents can warn children of devils and demons, and kids can be possessed or corrupted, but it is uncommon to rare.
    Demons and devils don't die of old age right? Seems like a smart fiend can corner the soul market by investing in cheap kiddie souls and collecting a fortune in a mere half century or so.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    The great secret that the devils are hiding is that no soul contract is valid. Souls are sent to the plane that most closely matches their alignment at the time of death, regardless of what they did or did not sign. The whole "selling your soul" shtick is just to fool people into thinking that they're already lost, so that they won't believe there's any point in changing their ways and they'll end up being carried into Hell by inertia (metaphorically speaking). It only works with people who are already pretty far along the path; if you spring it on someone too early there's a good chance they'll be horrified once they have a chance to reflect, and they'll devote the rest of their life to doing good in hopes of beating the contract - any good cleric would give them that advice - with the likely result that they'll end up on one of the upper planes when they die.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    If devils were to respect the laws of mortals, then every kingdom would just write a law prohibiting devils from visiting anyone ever.

    Thus, devils presumably don't respect mortal laws in most games.
    Its less about law and more about the idea that children are literally incapable of understanding what theyre agreeing to. If you need an explanation, assume that devils, either by nature or as part of a specific code, wont deal with somebody if their ability to understand the deal is compromised in some way. They cant just get someone drunk and trick them into signing a contract for example, they need to specifically get the person to agree while in full command of their senses. If theyre foolish enough to not take advantage of that ability, well, that's their own fault.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    There's also the numbers game. A devil doesn't care about one soul among billions, although they'll take one if it's free. But they're not going to offer you anything unless you can give them something big in return. If you can start major wars, enslave whole regions, or inspire hordes to follow your evil path, they'll talk to you. For an ordinary child, naah They've got better things to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iamyourking View Post
    Duke Amdusius of Malebolge explicitly does make deals with children, offering them power in exchange for having them murder and sacrifice their parents.
    A fiend could easily convince a child to do something, usually a thing with ripple effects that cause the community to become a generally nastier place. Although turning children into slavering murderers tends to be done for pure shock value, and most tables tend to be very uncomfortable with that.

    For faustian bargains, I'm going to have to join with the side that assumes that for actions to have moral weight they require understanding, or at the very least malicious indifference. A child or a lunatic can certainly be pawns in a devil's plan, but their lack of understanding means that any deals they enter aren't valid.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    I should note that Amdusius doesn't do this for shock value or just to try and corrupt children. His targets are always children who are being abused by their parents or other authority figures, so in his own evil mindset he's helping them by giving them the power to fight back (They get the power for a week, and if they kill and sacrifice their parents they get to keep it).

    Of course, child abuse is another issue that a lot of games would rather not deal with.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Largely because there is a horrible return rate on a kid's soul.

    You need that corruption or weight on the soul. That's the ticket. A high corruption that weighs on the soul little is like a sifter of well-aged whiskey or cheese, whereas a low corruption but a heavy weight is the equivalent of bulk buying cheap knock-off or no-name brand candy: it's not high quality stuff, but the volume is what gives it value.

    Have you met a child? Do you know what weighs heavily on their soul? Is it their sins? No, it's that Spiderman's cartoon is not going to be aired because of some political debate is going on longer then expected. It's that mom scolded them for dunking their entire grubby fist into the cake batter. It's because dad yelled at them for whacking their kid brother with their sword (a sturdy branch that fell off the oak tree in the yard) yelling "IM DA HEEWO UF DA WAAND! DIE GOBWIN!" and knocking out a tooth.

    Yes a kid would sell his soul for a Beyblade, and after setting up a rube goldberg-level of complexity plot to kill the kid without dirtying your hands and collect he, our theoretical devil, will probably end up getting like... 4 HeckNickels in profit. Kids are stupid.

    And if he waits until the kid dies of old age and tries to play the long con, he'll get like, maybe a HeckDollar return on investment since most people are at most simply annoying s**ts and not horrible sinners who's acts would make a good man faint. Still using your ex's netflix months after breaking up is being a right and proper Richard, but i wouldn't expect that to make it rain HeckBucks once you come collecting.

    Otherwise you'll have to get at the kid young and then you're required to put the effort into corrupting them over a long period of time and hope it takes since you've already invested into this soul, instead of going out for a few months and just finding a handful of people who are susceptible to corruption to begin with. This is probably the devil equivalent of a passion project, but it's a whole lot of time and effort put into something that may not bear fruit.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    If devils were to respect the laws of mortals, then every kingdom would just write a law prohibiting devils from visiting anyone ever.

    Thus, devils presumably don't respect mortal laws in most games.
    ;) I meant the laws of the devils themselves. Just because you are evil doesn't mean you aren't bound by a lot of rules. Just letting devils do whatever they wanted would be anarchy. Or worse, chaotic.

    To quote Crowley from Supernatural: "This isn't Wall Street, this is Hell! We have something called integrity."
    Last edited by Kami2awa; 2018-07-03 at 02:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    I think a lot of good reasons have been hashed over here. Particularly the reprisals one would face - not merely the Good planes but Mechanus also sending enforcers to deal out a Reckoning with Extreme Prejudice. I might even see some beings of Limbo affronted by this as a tyranny of the highest order.

    However, the question I ask is, do D&D devils really try to trade for the souls of living mortals? I know they traffic in the already-damned, but since (as was mentioned) souls in D&D go to the plane that matches that soul's alignment, aren't devils really just trying to arrange temptations instead? Give the puny mortals deals that will lead them into depravity and excess, letting them grow old (or not) and die never regretting the bargain that set their feet onto the lawful evil path. Only then do they find their old 'benefactor' waiting as they enter their new home for the first time.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    In a lot of medieval societies, children literally belonged to their parents or apprentice-master until they turned 15 or so. If you're owned, you can't disburse yourself or your soul as it belongs to your master(parent), not you.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    I can think of a few possibilities:

    1. There are ways to escape such contracts. Even if these ways are hidden and difficult, if devils suddenly started grabbing every (or too many) child(ren), suddenly you'd have basically every Good creature on the material plane, plus various celestials, looking for ways out of the contracts. And then everyone knows the way out, which means now you have no way of gaining souls: Once the Good guys know how to prevent you from reaping the rewards, they have no reason to let you do it ever again. Best keep it to adults as often as possible, because everyone believes they're capable of making their own choices and even most Good creatures seem to think you should lie in the bed you make. In a way, this would actually be devils playing everyone else: they take advantage of the apathy of Good creatures, maybe even pointing out to their debtors that if these supposed Good creatures know a way out, they sure don't seem to care.

    2. As others have said: a lack of moral understanding. Innocence means that you may not understand the consequences of your actions. It may be in the nature of devils or simply a requirement of some ancient agreement that they can't buy the soul of the morally innocent or anyone else who may not understand what they're getting into. As someone pointed out, if they could do that then quiet a few taverns would likely have some low-level devil lurking in a corner waiting to make a deal.

    3. Fear of reprisal. Another one someone pointed out, if there's no way to get out of the deal and they can do it anyway, you can bet an army of celestials are gonna start hunting such devils across the planes and recruiting any powerful adventurer they can to hound them in the places they can't reach. Deities might even get involved. No one wants a large scale interplanar war, so their bosses will probably cut them off too. Maybe even offer you up as a peace offering so paladins stop besieging their preferred layer of Hell.

    Demons don't care, but they also don't make real deals: they'll drag you to the Abyss whether you're a tyrant who trafficked with their cultists or LG paladin. They don't follow rules and break their oaths whenever it's convenient. They also aren't organized enough to pull it off large-scale and are kept in check by literally everyone else, including non-CE fiends.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    As has been pointed out it'll depend on the metaphysics of the setting.

    I like the idea that people under their culture's agree of majority are 'owned' by their parents. We can throw in a symbolic rite of adulthood that has metaphysical meaning, in that the cultural shift from child to adult means that, as far as the universe is concerned, the person owns themselves.

    Another idea I've had it's that devil's don't bargain for souls, they bargain to make the world more lawful Evil. Why do you think all these outsiders are interested in the material plane? It's not out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather any world that is resonant with their alignment long enough becomes a new layer on their plane. Sure, young outsiders might want to live in Celestia, but Baator and the Abyss just have much cheaper real estate, massive it's better to start there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    They cant just get someone drunk and trick them into signing a contract for example.
    That actually could be an interesting adventure seed. Farmer Bob started showing supernatural powers, or having things "go his way" as disasters befall his rivals, and has realized the quirky old slimeball he shared a drink with last week must've been serious about the whole "sell your soul" thing. He now wants adventurers to help him get out of this and stop bad things happening to his friends and family.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinewmire View Post
    In a lot of medieval societies, children literally belonged to their parents or apprentice-master until they turned 15 or so. If you're owned, you can't disburse yourself or your soul as it belongs to your master(parent), not you.
    This is also a good point. It leads into why fae of old fairy tales could bargain for "your firstborn son." So you could have the child-souls traded by their parents rather than by the kids themselves, if you wanted.

    An adherent of a succubus or the like who barters his children for power and success in lustful pursuits might deliberately father many, many kids so he has more and more bargaining chips to trade away.

    Look at that same scenario from the other side, and see the succubus surrounded by her adoring semi-adopted children, all the ones she's claimed from her contracts, which she raises in a Granny Goodness like fashion. They all call her "Mommy" or "Auntie."

    In a fully diabolic society, where devil-worship is the norm, it may be that the first contract most make with devils is to barter back their OWN souls in exchange for service or more souls than their own. After all, Mommy and Daddy sold yours before you were even born.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    As has been pointed out it'll depend on the metaphysics of the setting.

    I like the idea that people under their culture's agree of majority are 'owned' by their parents. We can throw in a symbolic rite of adulthood that has metaphysical meaning, in that the cultural shift from child to adult means that, as far as the universe is concerned, the person owns themselves.

    Another idea I've had it's that devil's don't bargain for souls, they bargain to make the world more lawful Evil. Why do you think all these outsiders are interested in the material plane? It's not out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather any world that is resonant with their alignment long enough becomes a new layer on their plane. Sure, young outsiders might want to live in Celestia, but Baator and the Abyss just have much cheaper real estate, massive it's better to start there.
    This makes a good way to address this in setting. "Coming of age" is a powerful idea, and it exists in various forms in various cultures. It's not unreasonable for a setting to have a metaphysical equivalent of doli incapax that extends at least so far as active diabolical temptation as a way to resolve the consistency problem here in such a way that does not cause the setting to devolve into a part-Faustian, part-Dickensian dystopia.

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    d6 Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    +1





    I'd hazard a guess... that's precisely the sort of thing that the publishers of D&D have shied away from for much of its publication history due to it sounding a lot like all the stupid scaremongering crap that people said about D&D.
    The guess is correct. Which is why Dungeons and Dragons is now pathfinder.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    This is also a good point. It leads into why fae of old fairy tales could bargain for "your firstborn son." So you could have the child-souls traded by their parents rather than by the kids themselves, if you wanted.

    An adherent of a succubus or the like who barters his children for power and success in lustful pursuits might deliberately father many, many kids so he has more and more bargaining chips to trade away.

    Look at that same scenario from the other side, and see the succubus surrounded by her adoring semi-adopted children, all the ones she's claimed from her contracts, which she raises in a Granny Goodness like fashion. They all call her "Mommy" or "Auntie."

    In a fully diabolic society, where devil-worship is the norm, it may be that the first contract most make with devils is to barter back their OWN souls in exchange for service or more souls than their own. After all, Mommy and Daddy sold yours before you were even born.
    I personally like these ideas. For extra funsies, somebody willing to sell their child's soul for power is committing an even more evil act than selling their own soul for power (or services). Selling somebody you're supposed to protect with your life to somebody who's literally made of evil, well that's
    a first class ticket to the firey afterlife. Even if the child is able to get out of the contract Baator probably still wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hecuba View Post
    This makes a good way to address this in setting. "Coming of age" is a powerful idea, and it exists in various forms in various cultures. It's not unreasonable for a setting to have a metaphysical equivalent of doli incapax that extends at least so far as active diabolical temptation as a way to resolve the consistency problem here in such a way that does not cause the setting to devolve into a part-Faustian, part-Dickensian dystopia.
    Interestingly we also have an extension. Who 'owns' those children without parents and guardians. I'd say that those who end up in orphanages or monestaries or the like are owned by the person running the place (or most directly looking out for their needs), but those without anybody looking after them metaphysically own themselves.

    Which means that we have a now relatively common character archetype in the setting, the urchin warlock. Somebody who through desperation sold their soul for power while living on the streets. Avoiding them might even spur cities to give more support to orphans and other children in danger of making the trade, the only thing worse than an angry warlock is a warlock who's angry at you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hecuba View Post
    a part-Faustian, part-Dickensian dystopia.
    You say that like it wouldn't be awesome to have the players run across a city where this is the way things are.

    Huh, I wonder if having Drow be a part-faustian, part-Dickensian dystopia would make them more interesting.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Same reason they have to make deals for souls at all: It's just the rules. They have to give their soul willingly, and while in possession of their full judgement, which means their brain has to be fully-developed. Heck, in some depictions, Devils don't even lie, merely..."mislead"". By which I mean, they say things that are technically true, but they know will be interpreted wrong.
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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    "It's an interesting place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."

    There are societies that most players are going to be OK with encountering, but totally immersing themselves in it is going to become "Crapsack World Gaming", and that's not for everyone.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    "It's an interesting place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."

    There are societies that most players are going to be OK with encountering, but totally immersing themselves in it is going to become "Crapsack World Gaming", and that's not for everyone.
    Such societies are usually termed "adventuring sites" in D&D and similar games.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Peelee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    Demons and devils don't die of old age right? Seems like a smart fiend can corner the soul market by investing in cheap kiddie souls and collecting a fortune in a mere half century or so.
    Like a fiend collecting pennies while others find contractor jobs that pay in the tens of thousands. Said fiend may end up working more, if not harder, than the others for most likely less benefit.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking).

    Cuthalion makes great avatars. Like my Silver Dragon.
    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Why don't D&D devils, make deals with kids?

    Contracts with minors are not legally binding, according to most mortal laws and also Infernal Code Chapter 784.864, Article 83, Section 72.38, Subsection A14, Paragraph 903.
    Last edited by legomaster00156; 2018-07-03 at 11:39 AM.
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