Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 121 to 150 of 155
  1. - Top - End - #121
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009

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

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    Traditionally, children were property. You would need the father's agreement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    True. I should rephrase - I wouldn't portray people as having a tradition of children being the property of their parents unless I wanted to portray said people as an Evil (or at the very least, non-Good) society.

    From a legal perspective, they still are in some form. Otherwise corporal punishment wouldn't be legal. Parents can spank their kids (for example) precisely because of that. It's not worded specifically that way, but that's the underlying basis. (NOT saying I agree).
    My current “Fantasy Fantasy” team (5 members allowed, only 1 from a world, series must be active): Jon Snow, Percy Jackson, Harry Dresden, Minmax, Belkar Bitterleaf. Back to 1/5ths Dinosaur mounted , dang it!

    Spoiler
    Show
    (And yes, I know I'm playing the long odds on some of these!)

  2. - Top - End - #122
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    From a legal perspective, they still are in some form. Otherwise corporal punishment wouldn't be legal. Parents can spank their kids (for example) precisely because of that. It's not worded specifically that way, but that's the underlying basis. (NOT saying I agree).
    Legal guardianship and legal ownership are two very different concepts, I believe.
    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"

  3. - Top - End - #123
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

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

    How many contracts do devils make with mortals in the first place? I've always been under the impression that it's not at all a common things. Occasionally a king or a high level wizard or cleric might sign a contract, but the vast majority of people would never even be approached. And if that's the case, then even if devils are willing to make deals with children, there probably are very very few children who are in a position to be offered one.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Legal guardianship and legal ownership are two very different concepts, I believe.
    Very true. And there's no law that specifically spells them out as property now. Rather, it's a carryover from the days when they were considered that way.

    The issue these days is that if a child were considered FULLY a person (legally) by the courts, then you couldn't spank them at all, since that meets the assault definitions. Most US courts have ruled there's an exception for parents disciplining their children. That exception is the carry-over. You have a legal right to be able to do something to your child that you can't do to another person.

    Note: NOT saying I agree with this and again, not saying that the law SAYS children are property. Simply that the exceptions for corporal punishment are a carry-over from those days.
    My current “Fantasy Fantasy” team (5 members allowed, only 1 from a world, series must be active): Jon Snow, Percy Jackson, Harry Dresden, Minmax, Belkar Bitterleaf. Back to 1/5ths Dinosaur mounted , dang it!

    Spoiler
    Show
    (And yes, I know I'm playing the long odds on some of these!)

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Legal guardianship and legal ownership are two very different concepts, I believe.
    I think you are splitting hairs. Countless examples abound in RL of children being sold to marriages and into slavery. This has gone on for thousands of years across dozens of cultures. More vile (yes, that is possible) acts perpetrated by parents and ignored by society bear this theory out still further.

    Regardless of what you call it, if guardianship includes the legal ability to make bargains on behalf of the child then the devil is out of luck. Assuming, as previously discussed, that they follow human norms.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    Regardless of what you call it, if guardianship includes the legal ability to make bargains on behalf of the child then the devil is out of luck. Assuming, as previously discussed, that they follow human norms.
    The devils just need to create popular cartoons which have embedded advertising, and get the kids to ask their parents for products which include free eternal damnation.

    This is similar in principle to malicious medical advertisers convincing patients to bug their doctors on behalf of the advertiser.

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    I think you are splitting hairs. Countless examples abound in RL of children being sold to marriages and into slavery. This has gone on for thousands of years across dozens of cultures.
    Yes, but that's not relevant since we were discussing current attitudes, not historical ones. If you want to argue that it's splitting hairs from a historical perspective, hey, no argument here.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    How many contracts do devils make with mortals in the first place?
    As often as ones plot calls for it, though any more than once or twice per campsign and I'd expect a reason for devils to be so active all of a dude.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2018-07-08 at 11:22 PM.
    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"

  8. - Top - End - #128
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    I think you are splitting hairs. Countless examples abound in RL of children being sold to marriages and into slavery. This has gone on for thousands of years across dozens of cultures. More vile (yes, that is possible) acts perpetrated by parents and ignored by society bear this theory out still further.

    Regardless of what you call it, if guardianship includes the legal ability to make bargains on behalf of the child then the devil is out of luck. Assuming, as previously discussed, that they follow human norms.
    Even if for some reason devils would recognize mortal legal codes as valid, most of those codes won't explicitly give ownership that extends past the death of the subject. So it'd be easy to build a contract which takes the form of a debt of soul to be paid the moment the subject repossesses themselves.

    But of course devils won't recognize mortal legal codes - their cosmic role is to represent the ultimate twisting of rule of law to perpetuate evils and injustices. Which they cannot fully do if they cannot actually apply their own twisted legal codes to their dealings. If a devil appears to follow mortal legal precedents, it's either indulging in sinful pride (I am so awesome I can win even with a handicap), being deceptive, or obeying the conditions of some secondary contract it has entered into (e.g. perhaps the wizard who summoned it gave it freer range in accomplishing it's duties in exchange for an agreement not to break the law).

  9. - Top - End - #129
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Yes, but that's not relevant since we were discussing current attitudes, not historical ones. If you want to argue that it's splitting hairs from a historical perspective, hey, no argument here.
    At the risk of a moderator message I will elaborate with a few examples that point to the fact that many of these issues persist well into the 21st century.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...child-marriage

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/relay.n...-india-culture

    https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/con...iage-survivor/


    NichG
    That is an interesting take on Devils and mortal law. I particularly like the "handicap" aspect. Somehow, I was always under the impression that infernal law was a reflection of mortal law, (or more accurately that mortal law was derived from biblical law,) but I suppose that was just personal preference for my own campaigns.

  10. - Top - End - #130
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    At the risk of a moderator message I will elaborate with a few examples that point to the fact that many of these issues persist well into the 21st century.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...child-marriage

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/relay.n...-india-culture

    https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/con...iage-survivor/


    Yes, these things are horrible. Sounds like a good reason to involve this in a campaign to illustrate a non-Good society. Someone should make that point sometime.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2018-07-09 at 07:26 AM.
    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"

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

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

    Many people don't build their campaign settings to "illustrate" real world issues, and many people don't game to have "lessons' shoved in their face.
    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

  12. - Top - End - #132
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Rockphed's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Near Giant Graffiti.
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Yes, these things are horrible. Sounds like a good reason to involve this in a campaign to illustrate a non-Good society. Someone should make that point sometime.
    I feel like various people are talking past each other.

    For the record, I don't think I would include devils buying the souls of children (whether directly from the children or from their parents) in a campaign unless I wanted to show an evil dystopian society. The best place I can think of the use it would be in dark-elf society.

    Wait, isn't that how the Dark Eldar work in Warhammer 40,000? They have, effectively, all sold their souls to some warp-demon, but they can get out of the deal by giving it other people's souls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Many people don't build their campaign settings to "illustrate" real world issues, and many people don't game to have "lessons' shoved in their face.
    And this is why I wouldn't include this sort of thing in a game unless I was trying to set up a society as definitely non-good, probably evil.
    Last edited by Rockphed; 2018-07-09 at 10:55 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    We should change the collective noun for crocodiles to "an abundance of crocodiles".
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

  13. - Top - End - #133
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

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

    To go one farther than Rockphed, either the nature of the cosmos itself or some specific wording in the Pact Primeval (don't have any of the FC books, don't personally know all the printed details) could easily have some mental competency clause. At the very least both parties have to broadly understand what's actually at stake (even if devils mislead about finer details), or else you'd have elaborate scrollwork on seemingly mundane contracts that's really a soul deal in some archaic language.

    If I wanted to create a crapsack universe, I could create lineal debts. Screwing over the entire lineage for the sins of one person is a thing in certain genres. I could also invoke the idea that the liege has a certain level of ownership over all his subjects, so a king could sell off the souls of his subjects without even consulting them. Both are very medieval thinking, both ideas have shown up in fantasy before. It all comes down to deciding what unstated bits should be ruled what way in order to get the sort of story you want.

  14. - Top - End - #134
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Many people don't build their campaign settings to "illustrate" real world issues, and many people don't game to have "lessons' shoved in their face.
    I should rephrase. I wouldn't have such a society in place to illustrate real world issues so much as I would first want an Evil society for campaign reasons, and then give them the child ownership trait to easily illustrate that the society is Evil. Similar to the Empire of Blood having a ridiculous "justice" system; it's not trying to say, "hey, a real-world justice system is like this and we should be against that," it's just a simple way to show it's an Evil government while also furthering the story.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    I feel like various people are talking past each other.

    For the record, I don't think I would include devils buying the souls of children (whether directly from the children or from their parents) in a campaign unless I wanted to show an evil dystopian society. The best place I can think of the use it would be in dark-elf society.

    And this is why I wouldn't include this sort of thing in a game unless I was trying to set up a society as definitely non-good, probably evil.
    I agree wholeheartedly.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2018-07-09 at 12:03 PM.
    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"

  15. - Top - End - #135
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    I feel like various people are talking past each other.

    For the record, I don't think I would include devils buying the souls of children (whether directly from the children or from their parents) in a campaign unless I wanted to show an evil dystopian society. The best place I can think of the use it would be in dark-elf society.
    I guess for me the non-sequiteur here is, when we talk about devils and infernal contracts, what could we possibly be trying to show other than an evil dystopian society. That is almost the definition of what devils cosmically represent. The fact that the rules devils play by are awful shouldn't be seen to reflect on the society upon which they predate, unless that society has basically opened the door to them and encourages devils to set up one-stop-damnation-shops for the citizenry. So if devils are buying the souls of children, that doesn't mean that the society in which that is happening is evil, it just means that the society in which it is happening doesn't on its own have the power to completely control what its citizens get up to.

    More broadly, once you raise the subject of (any particular) vile act and actually ask 'do lower planar entities do this thing?', making them willfully avoid it sort of diminishes the effectiveness of those planar entities as representing the absolute nadir of evil in the setting. So if you want to avoid e.g. child damnation as a subject in game, its better not to raise the question in the first place rather than to actively specify 'children get a pass' - similar with other sensitive issues. It's not that the worst evils in the cosmos aren't doing that stuff, but rather it's that the game isn't trying to be a vehicle for dealing with it so it's all happening offscreen and isn't really central to the particular issues that surround the PCs.

    If a group does actively raise the question, e.g. proactively investigating child damnation in a city, saying 'why don't devils do this?', etc, then to me that indicates at least some degree of willingness to be exposed to the issue and to deal with it, so for such groups I think it would be better to just play it straight.

    Ultimately, you can be selective about the degree to which all of this stuff plays a role in a campaign without making a setting's logic fall apart because demons/devils/angels/etc themselves are extremely uncommon on the material plane in most cases, and ways to invoke their presence are the domain of mid to high level casters. So you can have tons if you need tons via the intervention of a summoner, and few or none if that's what you need or want to work with.

  16. - Top - End - #136
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Psyren's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    More broadly, once you raise the subject of (any particular) vile act and actually ask 'do lower planar entities do this thing?', making them willfully avoid it sort of diminishes the effectiveness of those planar entities as representing the absolute nadir of evil in the setting. So if you want to avoid e.g. child damnation as a subject in game, its better not to raise the question in the first place rather than to actively specify 'children get a pass' - similar with other sensitive issues.
    The problem with this view is that you appear to be assuming "children get a pass" is an attitude held by the devils themselves. That is why it doesn't seem to fit. Instead, it's far more plausible/sensible to assume that a higher power - the gods, specifically - are the ones who fought tooth and nail to get that clause into the Pact Primeval or legal precedent or whatever. They can't eliminate evil and devils entirely, but they can at least protect the souls of some (most) kids.

    By doing it this way, you don't have to have devils who "willfully avoid it" - they are instead avoiding it very unwillingly. They'd love nothing more than to swoop in and hand out ice cream cones in the playground in exchange for easy souls. But they don't, because there are laws in the universe that they didn't write and powers that supersede theirs saying they can't profit from that. Maybe not in all instances, but in most. And also by doing it this way, you set the clear precedent that even if this does happen, it's exceedingly rare (as it should be) and that is precisely why the PCs won't come across a children-soul-mill or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    It's not that the worst evils in the cosmos aren't doing that stuff, but rather it's that the game isn't trying to be a vehicle for dealing with it so it's all happening offscreen and isn't really central to the particular issues that surround the PCs.
    The thing about verisimilitude is that to make a world feel real and alive, you can't just limit its scope to what the PCs are doing. If the PCs are highly unlikely to ever see something, verisimilitude demands that there be a reason for that. You can't say for example that dragons are the most populous creature in the world, with a birthrate surpassing that of even goblins, and then continue to run a standard campaign where they are pretty rare. Similarly, you can't run a campaign where children selling their souls is anywhere close to routine but the PCs just never see it happen or the effects of it because it's all "off-camera."
    Last edited by Psyren; 2018-07-09 at 07:48 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
    Plague Doctor by Crimmy
    Ext. Sig (Handbooks/Creations)

  17. - Top - End - #137
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Mid-Rohan
    Gender
    Male

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

    Point I haven't seen anyone else make: devils don't have an age limit to their lifespans.

    To them, most mortals are all like children. It's really not feasible for them to be dealmakers, but somehow be required to "play fair".

    The only argument about the limitations on what deals can be made and with whom are all totally dependent on how the cosmic force of Law is being handled in the setting, which varies between respective universes.

    The Metaphysical Limit: devils seek deals because they possess metaphysical power. If all deals are equal in value, devils will run around picking all the low hanging fruit to maximize profit. If deals are more cost effective based on who and what is being sworn, then it becomes far more profitable to hunt the larger prey. This won't stop them from drafting smaller deals that present themselves as easy to attain.

    The Cosmic Limit: not all deals actually manifest cosmic power of law. Nothing prevents devils from making any deal with anyone, but not all of them actually give them any cosmic power in return. Difference here is that it's not the act of dealmaking itself that has power, but the invocation of certain deals and variants thereof.

    The Planar Political Limit: power in deals comes less from the nature of the deal itself and more on the complex balance of power between planar beings, such as deities, angels, demons, modrons, slaad, etc. This version is actually the easiest to bamboozle mortals with, as they tend to be relatively blind to interplanar politics. However, it also grants larger protections to mortals from devil enemies.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  18. - Top - End - #138
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post

    The Metaphysical Limit: devils seek deals because they possess metaphysical power. If all deals are equal in value, devils will run around picking all the low hanging fruit to maximize profit. If deals are more cost effective based on who and what is being sworn, then it becomes far more profitable to hunt the larger prey. This won't stop them from drafting smaller deals that present themselves as easy to attain.
    This, basically, was how I was seeing it. For a not-great-but-workable analogy, definitely getting children's souls is like a guy begging down to pick up a penny. Sure, it's money and had called, but it's so small compared to the 5-figure deal they got going on elsewhere that why bother? And even those who devote all their time to it are still going to come out significantly far behind everyone else.
    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"

  19. - Top - End - #139
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    The problem with this view is that you appear to be assuming "children get a pass" is an attitude held by the devils themselves. That is why it doesn't seem to fit. Instead, it's far more plausible/sensible to assume that a higher power - the gods, specifically - are the ones who fought tooth and nail to get that clause into the Pact Primeval or legal precedent or whatever. They can't eliminate evil and devils entirely, but they can at least protect the souls of some (most) kids.

    By doing it this way, you don't have to have devils who "willfully avoid it" - they are instead avoiding it very unwillingly. They'd love nothing more than to swoop in and hand out ice cream cones in the playground in exchange for easy souls. But they don't, because there are laws in the universe that they didn't write and powers that supersede theirs saying they can't profit from that. Maybe not in all instances, but in most. And also by doing it this way, you set the clear precedent that even if this does happen, it's exceedingly rare (as it should be) and that is precisely why the PCs won't come across a children-soul-mill or something.

    The thing about verisimilitude is that to make a world feel real and alive, you can't just limit its scope to what the PCs are doing. If the PCs are highly unlikely to ever see something, verisimilitude demands that there be a reason for that. You can't say for example that dragons are the most populous creature in the world, with a birthrate surpassing that of even goblins, and then continue to run a standard campaign where they are pretty rare. Similarly, you can't run a campaign where children selling their souls is anywhere close to routine but the PCs just never see it happen or the effects of it because it's all "off-camera."
    Whether or not children can be pulled into infernal contracts, just how many infernal contracts do you think a group of PCs should encounter over the course of their career on average? I'd put it around 0 to 2, with further outliers requiring something pretty specific like taking a trip to Baator. If none of those happen to be child contracts, it wouldn't even be particularly noteworthy even if 80% of contracts in the population at large are child contracts.

    A world in which the average population center of 100 people or more has to deal with a contracting devil passing through is already going to be so wildly different than the default setting assumptions that explaining why devils don't steal kid souls is going to be the least of your breaches of verisimilitude, unless you're running a campaign taking place in Ribcage.

    If I were running devils who were in a Pact Primeval double-bind preventing them from contracting with children, I'd have them physically abduct the children to Baator and 'left alone' - starved and dehydrated, without being permitted to die - while their parents on the Prime were told that it could all be fixed if only they tricked their neighbors into signing over their souls (letting the parents commit an act of self-sacrifice would be too easy). If the continued existence of the Devil were at stake - e.g. risking the wrath of the gods - I'd have them constantly framing each other for child contracting to get the gods to come down and clean up their rivalries. If its not a table where that would be appreciated, it's not going to come up, but that's still the mental model of devils I'm running in my head when trying to figure out their psychology, motivations, and tactics. It's just that, this campaign, the PCs won't cross paths with a devil for whom that stuff is the current priority sceheme.

    When it comes to cosmic evils, it hurts my verisimilitude much more if they hold back than if it just happens that their opportunities for interacting with random prime material plane mortals are fairly rare. They've got a Blood War to win after all, and I can buy 'they have better things to do'.

  20. - Top - End - #140
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Are you talking about them making bad contracts in your setting, or are there canonical examples from the rulebooks? Genuine question as I haven't seen the latter.
    I'm away from books right now, but the Fiendish Codex 2 has a few examples. When it's explaining torture as a means of coercion and interrogation, one such pact a devil will offer a victim is to simply stop the torture. It even says that the devil knows it's an invalid pact, but will make it anyway just to see if it sticks.

  21. - Top - End - #141
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

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

    A thought occurs to me. Let’s assume devils can make deals with kids. How cognizant that a deal is being made must the target - of any age - be?

    If the devil offers a glass of water in return for the mortal’s soul in a language the mortal does not speak while disguised as a kindly old woman while holding out said glass of water encouragingly, does the mortal accepting the glass constitute sufficient agreement for the pact to be made and his soul become the devil’s property?

    Similarly, can a child with a vocabulary sufficient to indicate his desire for a cookie and accept one when offered be expected to be making a deal of the offerer says, “here is a cookie; if you take it, I own your soul. Would you like to take he cookie?”

    When we previously discussed ability to consent, we kind-of accepted that children can consent without really knowing the full implications. This is because there is an age range where kids understand the concept of a deal, but lack the cognitive prowess to really make what we’d consider informed decisions.

    A lot of “devil’s deals” are with mortals who similarly don’t think the deal through properly (in other words, like the twisty devil meant all the clauses to work together in an inobvious way). But at what point does it stop counting because the mortal is too unable to comprehend that a deal has even been made?

    I think examining the first example situation might help, here. The mortal is not mentally inept or immature, but has no reason to believe that a deal has even been proposed nor a string attached to the proffered water. Does that count? How much awareness that a deal is being made must he have?

  22. - Top - End - #142
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Mid-Rohan
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    But at what point does it stop counting because the mortal is too unable to comprehend that a deal has even been made?
    I think the "safe zone" threshold can be defined by the mortal's "suspicion to within reasonable doubt."

    That is to say, to what extent is the situation clearly placing themselves at risk through their acceptance? Clearly, diabolical deals can go through even if the mortal fails to notice all the threats laid out against them, but there is an argument to be made for how far should a mortal be responsible for looking out for threats against them. It's ridiculous to think a demonic pact has no power unless they inform the mortal of the terms and conditions (although that can still be an intriguing scenario).

    Perhaps the power of pacts is fueled by the mortal's level of voluntary committment to the deal.

    Coerced: nearly, if not actually, useless.

    Ignorance: hit and miss, so weaker devils who can't score the big corruptions try to compensate taking ignorance pacts in large numbers hoping it will ultimately cash out big one day. Like gold diggers sifting.

    Fear: the mortal is making the deal as a last resort and only agrees out of fear of loss of something greater than their soul (commonly a loved one in peril). These deals always hold up in court, but sometimes heroic sacrifice can redeem the soul, so it's not always most reliable. Most of these deals are safe, but unfortunately, your biggest, most valuable souls are most likely to do something heroic to free themselves.

    Ambition: the nice thing about these deals is you don't always have to go looking for them. Half the time, they seek you out, though mostly only if you're already powerful enough to have a reputation in the mortal realm. These deals can be dangerous, as mortals that take pacts out of ambition usually have a game plan for how to have their cake and eat it. In a few cases, the mortal wins big time. Overall, though, these are well paying deals, due in no small part to the lack of divine protections for such characters.

    Corruption: not necessarily separate from the other categories, but goes above and beyond. When you get corruption to work, you get more than the deal for the mortal's soul, you actually make them more like a devil (which they will automatically fall to the bottom rung on the pandemonium pecking order if they become fully corrupted). It's the difference between making a single sale and tricking the mortal into doing your bidding as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  23. - Top - End - #143
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    A thought occurs to me. Let’s assume devils can make deals with kids. How cognizant that a deal is being made must the target - of any age - be?

    If the devil offers a glass of water in return for the mortal’s soul in a language the mortal does not speak while disguised as a kindly old woman while holding out said glass of water encouragingly, does the mortal accepting the glass constitute sufficient agreement for the pact to be made and his soul become the devil’s property?

    Similarly, can a child with a vocabulary sufficient to indicate his desire for a cookie and accept one when offered be expected to be making a deal of the offerer says, “here is a cookie; if you take it, I own your soul. Would you like to take he cookie?”

    When we previously discussed ability to consent, we kind-of accepted that children can consent without really knowing the full implications. This is because there is an age range where kids understand the concept of a deal, but lack the cognitive prowess to really make what we’d consider informed decisions.

    A lot of “devil’s deals” are with mortals who similarly don’t think the deal through properly (in other words, like the twisty devil meant all the clauses to work together in an inobvious way). But at what point does it stop counting because the mortal is too unable to comprehend that a deal has even been made?

    I think examining the first example situation might help, here. The mortal is not mentally inept or immature, but has no reason to believe that a deal has even been proposed nor a string attached to the proffered water. Does that count? How much awareness that a deal is being made must he have?
    Using my idea that soul contract are cons, the mortal has to believe that they've sold their soul for it to work.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

  24. - Top - End - #144
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    A thought occurs to me. Let’s assume devils can make deals with kids. How cognizant that a deal is being made must the target - of any age - be?

    If the devil offers a glass of water in return for the mortal’s soul in a language the mortal does not speak while disguised as a kindly old woman while holding out said glass of water encouragingly, does the mortal accepting the glass constitute sufficient agreement for the pact to be made and his soul become the devil’s property?

    Similarly, can a child with a vocabulary sufficient to indicate his desire for a cookie and accept one when offered be expected to be making a deal of the offerer says, “here is a cookie; if you take it, I own your soul. Would you like to take he cookie?”

    When we previously discussed ability to consent, we kind-of accepted that children can consent without really knowing the full implications. This is because there is an age range where kids understand the concept of a deal, but lack the cognitive prowess to really make what we’d consider informed decisions.

    A lot of “devil’s deals” are with mortals who similarly don’t think the deal through properly (in other words, like the twisty devil meant all the clauses to work together in an inobvious way). But at what point does it stop counting because the mortal is too unable to comprehend that a deal has even been made?

    I think examining the first example situation might help, here. The mortal is not mentally inept or immature, but has no reason to believe that a deal has even been proposed nor a string attached to the proffered water. Does that count? How much awareness that a deal is being made must he have?
    Well, the thing about a contract-based capture is that, from the devil's point of view, getting the mortal this way should cause more systemic damage than just e.g. kidnapping the mortal to Gehenna and having a barghest eat their soul, or killing them on the spot, or so on.

    A devil wants to exploit the ability of feelings like inevitability, despair, hopelessness, desperation, and guilt to fester and spread greater harm. Not to mention, to create a circumstance that ultimately leads to submission and acceptance of the tyranny of an unjust law. A total victory would be to get a mortal to willingly commit an atrocity they didn't want to and didn't have to, while saying all the while that they must and that it's the right thing to do.

    The purpose of a contract in this is to create the perception in the mortal that everything that follows is their fault, not directly the devil's or the infernal system as a whole. So a child contract would work if e.g. the child didn't understand the consequences, but their parents or community did and were driven to some unnecessary sacrifice or self-destructive action on the child's behalf.

    The actual disposition of the child's soul is less important than the potential for damage to be done in the vicinity of its capture, I'd say. The child is a target here because they represent a weakness in others around them that can be exploited, and twisting something good and noble like love into evil is a big win.

    So that would imply that secret contracts (or contracts where even the signatory is unaware) are suboptimal - maybe an option as part of a larger ploy or a rookie move by low-level infernals or a 'we need bodies for the Blood War' mass drafting scheme (though in that case, physical abduction makes more sense), but generally not what something at the level of a Pit Fiend would be pulling.

    So at minimum, you probably are looking for enough of the trappings of consent that the mortal (or those around them) can be encouraged to believe that what is happening is their fault and that they in some way deserve it, or to at least be in proper self-destructive denial. A mortal believing truly that they're unbound while observers in the community get stirred up into a witch hunt is also workable.

  25. - Top - End - #145
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    A lot of “devil’s deals” are with mortals who similarly don’t think the deal through properly (in other words, like the twisty devil meant all the clauses to work together in an inobvious way). But at what point does it stop counting because the mortal is too unable to comprehend that a deal has even been made?
    When the mortal can't comprehend the deal. To expand on what I've said earlier, so long as a person (age regardless) understand the concepts of ownership, trade, and their soul, there's no Lawful reason why the deal can't be made*; being a terrible negotiator doesnt make one exempt, though outright trickery or coercion does. Caveat venditor. But if the seller doesn't know they're selling, then they're not selling.

    *Plenty of Good reasons, of course.
    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"

  26. - Top - End - #146
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

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

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    Using my idea that soul contract are cons, the mortal has to believe that they've sold their soul for it to work.
    Indeed. I like that formulation.

    Stepping outside D&D for a moment, and going with Earth-literature traditions about "the devil" and Faustian bargains, I like the idea that the claim, "The Devil can't lie about a contract," is, itself, a lie. He is, at least in Christian tradition (which the Faustian Bargain is rooted in, and therefore from which a lot of our notions of "deals with devils" and "devil contracts" stem), "the Father of Lies."

    I've oft thought a neat story would be one wherein the Devil makes the deal for the target's soul, and then proceeds to pal it up with him. Sure, the Devil reminds him regularly that he's doomed to the Pits already, but he uses that to explain why the Devil can be so chummy and helpful, now. "You're already doomed; I don't have to screw you over or tempt you to evil. Heck, I want you to have the happiest and most successful life you can, so others will make similar deals," he says. "So, since you're already damned, why should you remain chaste? Why should you even care about that girl's knowing consent? Trick her. Seduce her. Use her and leave her when you're done. It's not like you endanger your soul by doing so," he suggests. "Y'know, this guy's in your way, and it'd be real easy to sabotage him, make him look bad. There's no eternal reward waiting for you if you are some lame 'good person' about this; seek the win in this life, because it's all you've got. Hell's waiting either way," he argues.

    The truth is, the contract had no power at all, beyond whatever sin being willing to make it in the first place represented. The real power of it is in the mortal's head: because he thinks he's going to be punished either way, why shouldn't he be evil in life if it feels good and gets him what he wants? The Devil very carefully keeps the mortal's mindset focused on Heaven as the only reward for doing good and making right-but-hard choices, because if the mortal has attacks of conscience and caring about others, the mortal might actually live a good life in spite of believing himself damned. And, since the contract is not really enforceable, the mortal could find himself going to Heaven for living a good life in spite of his belief that he was damned to Hell.

    And that kind of explanation does wonders for answering all sorts of questions, including matters of consent and understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    A devil wants to exploit the ability of feelings like inevitability, despair, hopelessness, desperation, and guilt to fester and spread greater harm. Not to mention, to create a circumstance that ultimately leads to submission and acceptance of the tyranny of an unjust law. A total victory would be to get a mortal to willingly commit an atrocity they didn't want to and didn't have to, while saying all the while that they must and that it's the right thing to do.

    The purpose of a contract in this is to create the perception in the mortal that everything that follows is their fault, not directly the devil's or the infernal system as a whole. So a child contract would work if e.g. the child didn't understand the consequences, but their parents or community did and were driven to some unnecessary sacrifice or self-destructive action on the child's behalf.

    The actual disposition of the child's soul is less important than the potential for damage to be done in the vicinity of its capture, I'd say. The child is a target here because they represent a weakness in others around them that can be exploited, and twisting something good and noble like love into evil is a big win.

    So that would imply that secret contracts (or contracts where even the signatory is unaware) are suboptimal - maybe an option as part of a larger ploy or a rookie move by low-level infernals or a 'we need bodies for the Blood War' mass drafting scheme (though in that case, physical abduction makes more sense), but generally not what something at the level of a Pit Fiend would be pulling.

    So at minimum, you probably are looking for enough of the trappings of consent that the mortal (or those around them) can be encouraged to believe that what is happening is their fault and that they in some way deserve it, or to at least be in proper self-destructive denial. A mortal believing truly that they're unbound while observers in the community get stirred up into a witch hunt is also workable.
    Excellent points, if the contracts don't claim the soul, themselves, or if the purpose is not one soul, but many.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    When the mortal can't comprehend the deal. To expand on what I've said earlier, so long as a person (age regardless) understand the concepts of ownership, trade, and their soul, there's no Lawful reason why the deal can't be made*; being a terrible negotiator doesnt make one exempt, though outright trickery or coercion does. Caveat venditor. But if the seller doesn't know they're selling, then they're not selling.

    *Plenty of Good reasons, of course.
    Also a good stance. Makes it simpler, if not outright simple. Now all we have to do is determine if the mortal really understood, "You're trading your soul for X," and what sufficient understanding of what a soul is constitutes.

    I assume this formulation would also handle "unserious" offers. If Sandra thinks the kid offering her a candy bar for her soul is joking about the "for your soul" bit, it still doesn't count. Devil-boy had best be certain he's convinced the mortal that the deal is real.

  27. - Top - End - #147
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I assume this formulation would also handle "unserious" offers. If Sandra thinks the kid offering her a candy bar for her soul is joking about the "for your soul" bit, it still doesn't count. Devil-boy had best be certain he's convinced the mortal that the deal is real.
    I'd say it's a gamble for the devil. Joking wouldn't affect it (play stupid games, win stupid prizes), but not understanding the deal would. A five year old, for instance, would almost never understand it. A twelve year old probably would, but probably is still the key word. The gods could always say at the end, "they couldn't understand what they were doing, deal isn't valid." The devils have no absolute concept of the person understanding, though, so there's high risk for low reward.
    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"

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

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

    Also, to be fair, in a setting where devil's buying people's souls was really a thing, it's probable that "joking" about "Sure, I'll give you this candy in return for your soul," would not be considered funny. At all.

    Kind-of like if somebody "jokes" IRL about bombs while in an airport, or the like.

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    A kid won't summon one.
    This is probably the best explanation. Devils are rarely on the material plane. Simply saying "I'd sell my soul for a cookie." Isn't enough to summon a devil.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jun 2010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaccount View Post
    My headcanon is that as a person ages their soul develops "flavors" so to speak. In addition to being more or less useless in the short term, a child's soul would be a bit like having an undercooked meal.
    This reminds me of Black Butler; granted, I've only seen the anime (yes I know I'm a philistine for not reading the manga, I do intend to correct this but I don't know when I'll get around to it) but Sebastian wanted Ciel to achieve his revenge because doing so would influence the flavor of his soul when Sebastian ate it... and that became a big point in the non-canon 2nd season, albeit I won't spoil how in case anyone actually cares what the anime did differently from the manga and wants to watch it for themselves.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •