"Oh cool... So you're STILL working on this?" -- A guy at GenCon

"If I see Drah-koo-lah, I will. kick. him. in. the eye!!!" -- My 4 (almost 5) year old daughter. She GETS it!

"Meatpie Forever!" -- A playtester at GenCon 2013

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

And for all your patience and support, as well as a nod to this fairly awesome holiday and my return to the Land of Phantoms, here's an entry from the upcoming Volume 2. It's a preview of a monster in TA/TG. A new, yet familiar, take on an old standby -- The Demon!


Init +3; Atk necrotic scratches +8 melee (1d3 + 1 Sta; Fort save vs. DC 13 or permanent) or poltergeist activity; AC 17; HD 5d8; HP 25; MV fly 60’; Act 1d20; SP cold spot (if detected), manifestation, incorporeal, immune to non-magical weapons, possession, undead; SV Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +6; AL C.

Demons are malevolent, incorporeal spirits that embody the darkest and most evil demimondes of human existence. Unlike Demons in the Dungeon Crawl Classics roleplaying game, a Demon in Transylvanian Adventures starts out as a spirit entity. The initial goal of these demonic spirits is to possess and inhabit a mortal body to enact their will in the material realm. The act of possessing a mortal form creates a Demonopath (see below) which is a demon in human form.

Demons are frightening entities that manifest on the material plane as a result of a great evil or misguided sorcery. In their natural form, they are dark, shadowy creatures -- a cinderless smoke of malign intent. Demons can assume illusory manifestations for brief periods of time and often do so to lure victims away so that they can attempt to possess them. Demons are intelligent and enjoy frightening people. They are often mistaken for ghosts or wraiths and will frequently assume the tactics of one or the other to mislead potential victims.


  • The Demon’s primary attack is its necrotic scratching. It will often hide in shadowy places and then scratch a target from behind. This attack leaves a set of three razor-thin, parallel, necrotic burns on a target that do 1d3 hit points of damage with an additional 1 point of Stamina damage. More powerful demons require a Fortitude save at DC 13 to prevent the Stamina damage from becoming permanent.

  • The Demon may also create poltergeist activity. This includes throwing small objects at a target (+4 missile fire for 1d3 damage) and pushing or tripping targets (DC 13 Reflex save to avoid falling prone or being pushed 5’ in a direction of the demon’s choice).


  • Demons are incorporeal and can pass through walls and other physical barriers. Demons cannot be harmed by non-magical weapons and are immune to all forms of elemental damage such as fire, lightning, ice and cold. Demons are immune to critical hits from non-magical weapons, disease and poison. Demons are also immune to sleep, charm, hold and other mind-affecting spells.


  • Demons are infernal. This means that they can be turned, exorcised and banished from a location. Even though they are incorporeal, holy water still burns them.
  • Demons are nocturnal. They can operate in daylight but only the most powerful ones do so. Demons are unable to manifest in daylight. Frequently, their tactics involve poltergeist activity during the day.


  • Demons are crafty and have the ability to mimic voices, especially those of children. A Demon also has a passive form of telepathy and can generally pick up on a character’s name and background. This allows the Demon to call out a target’s name. Or mimic a laughing child. Or to cry for help. These are all tactics a Demon might use to prepare for a manifestation and possession (see below).
  • A Demon has the ability to manifest in an illusory form. Doing so lowers the Demon’s Armor Class to an AC of 10 and reduces its movement to only 30’. Therefore, a Demon is only likely to manifest to an isolated victim in order to minimize its risk. Demons often assume the visage of an innocent child, a seductive young maiden or someone the character may know -- especially if that person is dead. Note that the Demon is still incorporeal in this form.
  • In its illusory form, the Demon gains another attack: a paralyzing gaze. While in its illusory form, the Demon has reflective, twinkling eyes like a cat’s eyes in the headlights of a car. A character in presence of a manifested Demon must make a DC 10 Reflex save each round or look into the Demon’s eyes, resulting in the target being paralyzed by the demon.
  • The Demon’s flagship attack and raison d’etre is the Possession attack (see sidebar). A Demon failing a possession attempt is unlikely to stick around. There is easier prey to be had.
  • Demons stalk the living, hiding in the shadows of dark places until they can frighten their prey enough to split them up and give the Demon an opportunity to manifest and possess a victim. While being stalked by a Demon, the party can make a DC 20 Intelligence check to notice strange shadow movements that might alert them to the demonic presence. Until detected, the Demon is at +4 to all attacks and unless it is detected the Fear check DC is increased by +4 as well.
  • Once a Demon is detected, it will create a Cold Spot encompassing an area of 20’ x 20’. Everyone in this area must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or take 1 hit point of damage. While in the area in which the Cold Spot is created, the characters are at -1 to all rolls. The Cold Spot does not move and dissipates once the Demon leaves the vicinity.


  • Locals tell of an evil spirit or malevolent ghost that haunts a place and warn strangers to avoid going there.
  • Locals give characters holy symbols or cross themselves when the characters’ destination is revealed.
  • A local reveals necrotic scars from an encounter he had with the entity years ago.
  • Locals talk about ghostly children or a forlorn spectral maiden that haunts the location.
  • Characters hear voices (some familiar) calling their names.
  • Characters notice shadows moving in their periphery.
  • Characters feel a cold chill.
  • A character gets a set of scratches that burn with an icy heat.


  • Demons like to assume the form of children.
  • Necrotic scratches in sets of three are signs of demonic activity.
  • Demons are intelligent, curious and willing to bargain or do evil deeds but their asking price is often too high.
  • Demons are weaker in the daylight.
  • Demons tend to avoid confronting large groups. Stay close to your friends!


  1. I like this take on demons. Very cool.

  2. Thanks. Many of the creatures in TATG will have a similar treatment.


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