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🎨 Creative [Riff It Good] 101 Demons


illegal jokes
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I thought we could have a Riff about demons and extraplanar abominations. I'll start, as is the tradition of my people.

1) The Harriga

The Harriga was a small demon in the infernal hierarchy, a veritable whipping boy for the greater powers who ran the forty Hadean realms. Nevertheless he kept a small cult of loyal followers throughout history, concentrated in a small English village called Lesser Peckford. The Peckfordians themselves were all cultists and staunchly loyal to the Harriga who had presented himself as a kind of benevolent uncreator. His promises of material wealth almost always panned out and kept most of the town's populace in comfortable upper middle class standing for over three centuries. His punishments were severe enough that few if any wanted to reach above their station.

That was before the suburban sprawl of nearby towns had spilled across the countryside and Lesser Packford became just a small part of Peckington. The Harriga worked quickly to expand his influence among the mortals, and for the most part it worked. The cult of the Harriga now spreads across the suburbs, promising okay jobs and pretty good salaries for all. When you join up, you get a little triangular tattoo on your wrist and twice a year you share in the living nightmares of the Harriga. The demon himself has changed as time went on, initially content with a small following, but figuring that it was time to induct the entire island into his infernal court. He is less red of skin now and more prone to wearing ill-fitting suits of human skin.

And now he's climbing the infernal hierarchy as well. Things are looking up.


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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2) Trinket Demons

These are middle rank demons. They are not dangerous lower monsters, nor as powerful as higher ranking demons. They, like the middle ranks of all species, do most of the work. Their job is to generate Pride, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony and Lust. Sloth and Greed. They then feed upon those energies, tithing to their superior (or their sponsor that sent them to Earthrealm). Trinket demons are makers: they make just the right things with a small twist of spellcraft. Those things then "put things into motion". Usually there is some small exchange between the Trinket Demon and the victim/ vector. It is usually a sale, but it could be a trade, or a promise. Sometimes they make a gift of the item, hoping for a cascade to make up for the "energies they have lost" in making a trinket and giving it away.

Here is a trinket demon I wrote up a while ago, originally post here

Dalme The Tinker

Dalme is one of the various travelling Tinkers plying their trade in the villages along the back roads. One can hear his cart from a arrow shot away, clanking and clinking, his wares: pans, pots, utensils, plow shares, cow bells, and other metal bits, banging against the side of his cart. The rest of his goods are kept inside his house cart (mugs, plates, fabric, ribbon, and other things) along with his anvil and fire bellows. He tells news, shares jokes, and does a bit of trading. He is everything a tinker is expected to be…. and unfortunately much more.

Special Equipment:
His colorful garb.
His brightly painted wagon full of goods and clanking things.
“Just the right thing you need.”

Dalme is one of the various travelling Tinkers plying their trade in the villages along the back roads. He is a man of an older nature, but his age seems vague because of his smile and twinkling eyes. He dresses in a slightly run down colorful costume of ribbons and puff and slash, a flamboyant salesman like most tinkers. He looks like every other travelling tinker you have seen.

Dalme plies his trade along the back and minor roads of the region. He is reasonably fair in his dealings, always following the letter of his word. These minor back road traders help keep these little villages alive, as they don’t have a blacksmith, weaver, or other crafter. For most villages, he (and his tinker kind) are their only source for metal goods, ceramics, fabric, and herbs. He will even have folk talismans, for warding off any number of evils. Tinkers also repair existing metal things forged by real blacksmiths. They also provide news of the outside world.

Dalme is a flamboyant character, sharing a joke and a pipe round his cart and his campfire. He is everything one expects in a successful tinker. “He always seems to have “just the item you need” in the back of his cart".

In fact, the players will often see them in their travels. Sometimes he is in the background of a village they are in. Sometimes he is passing them in the road. Other times, they might even share his campfire. He is just another colorful NPC. In fact, they should of encountered him a number of times before they even encounter something odd.

Unfortunately Dalme is not a real tinker, or even human. Dalme is a very successful Trinket Demon. He is properly masqued, so few will ever be able to detect him as such. He never breaks his masque and reverts to his demonic form (it really isn’t that physically powerful anyways). He keeps all these little villages in the back regions alive and healthy, so their people can do all those “little evils” and suffering that his kind feed upon. His items encourage their petty jealousies, avarice, anger, sloth, and so on. So while they seem to do something nice, they actually generate more suffering in the community. Most of these items are mundane, sold to just the right person at the right time to fan the flames of jealousy (“that ribbon makes her think she is “so special” and can have my man… well we will see about that”), avarice (“I must have that axe, I always wanted one like it and he snaked it out from underneath me”), anger (“damm him. Now everyone will follow him because he has that fancy cloak”), or sloth (“with that new plow, I can avoid working today as it will take me so much less time to plow my field”). Nobody seems to notice these little evils. But sometimes Dalme sells some “little magics” items. Some are obvious, like a love potion or wealth talisman (that enriches one man by syphoning luck and money from others around him). Others are secretly magical. Only those trained in spotting the ways of evil magics will notice them… innocent items with extra something. These “extras” often seduce the owner down the path of Evil, or produce extra suffering for the owner or the people around them. (See Garage Sale from Hell) or check out any number of horror stories or the Friday the 13th TV series for example items). Dalme is quite adept at this, for he has been plying his trade for quite a while. It will take players quite a while to recognize the pattern existing and even longer to associate Dalme with it.

Some people have even sold their soul to him for items, without realizing it. He is that deft at the art of conversation.

Roleplaying Notes:
1) He is a consumate entertainer and salesman. He is flashy to get your attention, listens to you carefully for what you want, and tries to get it for you. He can be flattering when needed.

2) He is very honest in most of his dealings. It does not pay off in the end to lie about most things. If he gives his word, he must keep it to the letter.

3) He does protect his “territory” from excess Evil. (So often he will sell talismans to keep more active Evils or accidents away from his people). He is protective of his people like a shepard is of his sheep; so he can fleece them later. He needs them alive and somewhat healthy so they can produce more little evils for him to “eat”.

4) He tries not to interfere with travellers through his territory. They are unknown qualities and may be dangerous.

5) He keeps his karmic balance sheet clear. If you do a good turn for him, he will help you sometime in return (though often not in the way you expect and usually at someone else’s expense).

6) If you don’t mind that he is a demon (and in most cases you will never know), he is actually a “nice guy”. He is fun to be around, wise beyond his apparent years, and always the voice of caution.
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An Innocent Bystander
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3. Greenfiends

A general category, Greenfiends are the demons borne of forest spirits, plant-based fae, and sentient plants. The despoiling of the forests and jungles often lead these beings to become angry and wrathful, but often they try to moderate their revenge. However, there are some who, facing great desperation, turn to darkness and black magic to supplement their natural powers and seek revenge upon mortal civilization for their excesses. The most likely to fall are Dryads who are severed from their trees and need a new source of energy to maintain their lives, but others can find such pain in the world to drive them down this path.

The process of becoming a Greenfiend makes their present power static - they maintain what they have, but they cannot grow stronger in their current form (fae cannot deepen their understanding of faerie magics, Ents cease to grow, and in general they no longer advance in their previous form). In exchange, they come into possession of demonic powers. This manifests in various ways - those who are more magically inclined tend to learn new, darker magics, while those whose powers manifest as changes to their form will materialize more demonic alterations.

That Other Guy

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4) Ziltiel the Extremely Naughty

A demon of varying gender and exotic appetites, they are often summoned by bored or frustrated wizards and is generally described as "a Hell of a good time".

Adam Morrow

Registered User
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5 Jeekesv
An extremely competent demonic butler who is often summoned by extremely lazy wizards. Outside the infernal realms, they tend to have one flaw in their competence which proves devastating.

Cerulean Lion

Social Justice Christian
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6. The Grateful.

You rescue some small creature. A child, a helpless man or woman, an animal. He/she/it is very grateful. They stick around, and do things for you. They're competent at one or two useful things, so they're worth having around.

Once you get used to having them around they begin to quietly arrange trouble. Sabotage a device or a process. Garble a message. "Accidently" insult someone. Make promises on your behalf and fail to tell you about them. They're subtle enough that it may take a long time to suspect them as the cause of your troubles, and once you do it may take a long time to prove it.

When the Grateful is exposed and sent away, it will swear revenge and harass you from a distance. Or it will make threats and then not carry them out, just moving on to the next victim and letting you worry about what it might do.

Some Grateful will admit up front that they have magic and will use it in your service. Some won't.
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Brilliantly Crazed
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Personal Title: Auren of the Overflowing Hands
AKA: The Everful Purse, Goldenblood
Angelic Title:

Rotwood-Under-Gilt is a moderately powerful demon that provides money and power to merchants willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. It also takes the maxim "Money is Power" quite literally, and grants abilities that you pay for in gold.

Unusually, Rotwood-Under-Gilt does not trade in souls and will even decline to make a deal for one if offered. This has led many summoners into a false sense of security. Instead of damning his victims through anything as fragile and escapable as a demonic pact, he leads them to damn themselves.

To summon this demon and be granted his powers, a supplicant must simply perform prescribed rituals. These rituals invariably require evil acts, and have requirements or loopholes that will eventually make them unavailable to the victim when they need them the most. This usually leads the victim to a desperate search for a new ritual to get them out of the mess and which consigns them further to evil.

Example Ritual:
Inviting a number of homeless people into your home and serving them a fine meal. The meal contains a coin, which one must eat without realizing it. Whichever of them eats the coin must die before the end of the night, but not from anything that happens to them during the meal (such as poison). Rot-Under-Gilt appreciates making a mockery of charity.

Example Powers Granted:

Being able to eat gold, for sustenance and healing.

Knowing someone's net worth and valuable property by looking into their eyes.

Being able to sense gold and other precious metals.

A cursed coin that, while in someone's possession, makes them very susceptible to your influence: magical and otherwise.

Transform an animal into a dangerous servitor. It eats only gold, but can gain immense power depending on how much it is fed. The servitor appears to bleed gold coins, but in fact it bleeds copper coins under a Fools Gold charm to tempt people into torturing an animal for money.

If someone agrees to sell themselves to you as a slave, as long as you honor the contract you made they are under your mental domination
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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8) The Skein Walker

Most who lose their soul to The Dark One are consumed by the Demons and Devils, only a few dark souls are truly Evil and Cunning enough to rise as a Demon (or Devil). What about one who lost themselves but had no soul?

Kvanges was Djinn. Like all Djinn he was immortal and had the ability to shape matter and most energy to his whim. The currency of his people are promises, bets, secrets, and honor. It is the bets that keep keep his people binding each other to servitude, or at the worst case binding losers to objects and forcing them to do the bidding of lesser beings.

There were rules that bound his people behind promises and honor. One of the highest ones was never to touch the skeins of time. Djinn, they who have boundless powers, do not like restrictions. Kvanges always poked along the edges of what was possible. He started to see too much, so he opted to "cheat". The Celestials - dark and light - had different rules. He traded with them to gain knowledge of time. The Djinn Council found out about Kvanges transgressions and were about to bind him to the null when he contacted one of his "trading partners" for one last deal, to keep him free of the Djinn's Council grasp.

The Demon Lord Azmoran

The Demon had given him the ability to shift through time and to feel the time stream... to sense the tapestry of time and feel the skeins of fate and history. He may travel up and down the warp and wheft of Eternity, even pull a string or two. He traversed time itself. He saw the possible begining, the possible ends, and visited many time and places. He was free. Free of the council. Free of the constraints upon him. Free to do anything. He even visited the end of time, to prepare for the next cycle.

Then he was yanked back

"After all, you were free to the end of time".

He still had his might time powers (and extremely limited djinn powers). He was bound to what he would eventually learn is called a pocket watch (which is nearly indestructible and regenerates). He who owns the watch is Azmoran, one of the Demon Princes. He uses The Skein Walker as a servant to move people and things through time on the material realms. Azmoran, from time to time, lends the ownership of the watch out, usually based on some kind of contract or the whim of Azmoran. The Skein Runner finds himself often in the hands of lesser beings (and some not so lesser beings), doing their bidding... opening time portals here, enforcing continuity there (or breaking it), allowing others to peer through time.

Over his "time in service" he has gathered things, souls and other trinkets, in which he has traded to other Demons and Devils... on his own time. He cut deals and cheated with time. He ruthlessly has taken down many who stood in his way (and to the pleasure of the Azmoran and his Dark Lord Master). He now has both the power and the position of a higher ranking Demon, yet still bound to his watch.

Now mortals can summon him away... allowing him to be bound in other ways. (Given his time powers, he is now summonable by ancient rites that he planted in the past.) Various time related spell and effects are his domain. He provides various travel trades for those that summon him (and various demons who want to trade.) Why this all grates at him, it is a plan. While he can not be free of Azmoran, he can cause a "temporary complication in ownership". In those brief moments, he could manage to free himself from his binding or the control of Azmoran. Thus he is often found in worlds of high probability (Supers or Adventurer worlds). He is often entangled in the affairs of masterminds and archmage elite.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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9) Demon Dogs

In one of the broken futures associated with the world, one spell was successfully cast. It banishes all Human Possessing and Manipulating Demons from the World. Sounds like a great way to banish all the Evil from the world. Except the world was a jenga tower and the forces of Evil were responsible for a number of blocks being kept in place.

Also, not all demons were human possessing/ manipulating.

The worst were the minor demonlings that rose to prominance. They were empowered by Man's inability to keep "the first promise", to care for those canids that joined their tribe. The Degali is what they are called by those who know. Most call them something else.

Demon Dogs make every dog these possess "dire". Every one eventually grows to nearly 250 lbs (110 kg). They are tough, fast, regenerate, and have the ability to spew fire every now and again. Humans, especially those that have not treated dogs well, are their specialized enemy.

Between society collapsing and most dogs becoming possessed (as there was a mass abandonment of pets), this timeline became a post apocolyptic wasteland and eventually a demon realm.

Now they are pulled from this other world line to serve demons and magi in this and other realms.

Chris Goodwin

not a robot
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10.) The Possessed

Very, very rarely -- as in, maybe a dozen times total, throughout all of the history of human-demonic interaction -- a possession goes wrong. A demon possesses the wrong human, and through some kind of supercharged physical, mental, or spiritual immune system, the demon's mind is destroyed. This leaves the human mind in charge of a demon's not inconsiderable power, utterly unbound by any agreements or contracts. (Demons live and die -- or whatever it is they do -- by the contract.)

Of the dozen times this is known to have happened, in ten of those instances the human-in-demon-form entered the Hells and wreaked all kinds of havoc. In two of those instances -- one about 450 years ago, one last year -- no trace of either of the entities in question was ever found.

Very little scares demons. This is one of the few things that does.
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