View Full Version : Kobold Quarterly Exorcism Enhanced, Part 2

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04-11-2013, 02:12 AM
Originally posted on Thursday 04-11-2013 02:01 AM at koboldquarterly.com (http://www.koboldquarterly.com)

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In the first part (http://www.koboldpress.com/k/front-page15555.php) of this series, Charles began exploring exorcism in the Pathfinder game and provided us with the cost of failure. This time, he takes us into the commandments exorcists can use, as well as how to handle true names.Commandments
Commandments are orders issued with special divine authority. Exorcists learn how to issue commandments as they study ways to combat demonic possession. When an exorcist issues a commandment, the possessing demon is compelled to obey (no saving throw).
At will, as a swift action, the exorcist can issue any of the following commandments:

Abase Thyself: The demon cannot make any sort of attack, physical or magical, for 1 round. It can still defend itself.
Abstain from Trickery: The demon ends all dismissible magical effects and abstains from using any magic for 1 round.
Answer Truthfully: For 1 minute the demon promptly and truthfully answers all yes/no questions. If done during an interrogation (see “True Names”, below) this gives the exorcist a +5 bonus to his or her next set of skill check rolls.
Be Silent: The demon stops all noisemaking activity (even speaking) for 1 round.
Be Still: The demon stops moving for 1 round (can still use magic, but is denied physical attack and defense).
Diminish Thyself: This rescinds the Manifest Thyself commandment, forcing the demon back into early-stage possession.
Manifest Thyself: Brings the demon out of hiding, transforming early-stage possession into advanced-stage possession.
Repent: The demon is forced to look upon its own unworthiness. Shaken to the core, all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and skill checks are made with a Ė4 penalty for 1 minute.

The power of commandments wanes if overused. For every commandment it receives, the demon has a cumulative 10 percent chance of becoming immune to future commandments. This immunity lasts until the possession ends.
True Names
Knowing a demonís true name grants power over the demon. Using the demonís true name in the Verdict of Exorcism imposes a Ė5 penalty to the demonís saving throw. Exorcists must take care, though: Using an incorrect name grants the demon a +5 bonus to the saving throw.
Most exorcists will want to interrogate the demon so that they can discover the demonís identity and thereby gain an advantage. Demons look forward to interrogations as an opportunity to mislead the exorcist and get the upper hand.
Interrogation isnít always possible, though. In early-stage possession, the demon is sequestered deep within the victim and has no way to answer the exorcistís questions. In advanced-stage possession, the demon controls the victimís body and can respond using the victimís voice, which provides the exorcist with an excellent opportunity to ask questions.
The simplest way to simulate an interrogation is with a series of opposed skill checks. Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive are sure to be used extensively, but GMs should also encourage creative use of other skills: A demon with ranks in Perform (oratory) may weave a story supporting its lies, while the exorcist might use Knowledge (religion) to winnow fact from fallacy.
Demons have practiced their lies since the dawn of time. Normally demons add their CR as a bonus to any skill checks made in support of their lies. This bonus does not apply against exorcists, though, since exorcists have carefully studied the deceptive ways of demons.
Assume each set of opposed skill checks represents about 15 minutes of game time.
If the exorcist wins the skill check, then he or she gains a clue about the demonís name. Skill checks that fail by 1 to 5 points bring no gain to either side. If the exorcist loses by more than 5 points, then he or she has been fooled into accepting a lie as if it were a clue.
The GM should not tell the exorcist if he or she won or lost the skill check. Instead the GM should say something similar to ďyouíve gained more information,Ē while keeping a secret tally of actual clues versus lies.
After collecting a minimum of seven clues, the exorcist has enough information to (possibly) determine the demonís true name. If actual clues outnumber lies, then the exorcist has discovered the demonís true name. Otherwise the exorcist has been fooled into believing a false name.
The exorcist can extend the interrogation to collect more than seven clues if he or she so desires. Regardless of how many clues are collected, the exorcist uncovers the demonís true name only if actual clues outnumber lies.

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