resisting possession - demon devil undead and the like

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resisting possession - demon devil undead and the like

Post by Lurker »

So, the Monday night ne'er do wells have slowly increased to a level where they can handle things bigger than thugs and imps and the like

That starts putting them in the area of some interesting monsters (in a horror setting). However, I need some help on handling possession (of NPCs and possibly the PCs themselves).

I'm thinking about adding the ability to posses a person to most incorporeal undead and demons etc. to make it a little more varied than straight by the book.

I'm aiming for a feel like the movie 'Fallen' - though few monsters or demons will be as powerful as the monster in that movie and won't be able to hop around unlimitedly like the demon in the movie (though there will be some that are that powerful).

Some monsters already have the ability to possess a victim, but there isn't a standard way they do this. Some are make a save to resist, others are the spirit drains an attribute and then takes possession automatically after the target reaches 0. However, for the ones that are not by the book able to posses a person, what is a good standard way. I'm thinking make a save (either Wis or Cha) to resist. Or, if the person has been possessed they can attempt to push back against the spirit at least for a little bit and regain control for a few moments.

That said, what are some good ideas on how the various ghosts spirits demons etc can take possession of a person, and how does the target resist it ?
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Re: resisting possession - demon devil undead and the like

Post by Rigon »

I'd start by looking at intelligent weapons and how they interact with PCs for the possession aspect. For the PC to resist, I'd probably go with a Cha save.

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Re: resisting possession - demon devil undead and the like

Post by Captain_K »

sorry about this ref, but New movie of Caspar... you can possess.. but to control takes power from the Ghost... rate it hp vs hp and so long as the ghost is in possession its burning "possession" hit points... when they are gone, it looses possession and then is tired?
Or each round the possessed gets a roll to break the possession. Success gets rid of possessor, miss by say less than 10 and they do "damage" to the ghost and miss by more than 10 nothing happens ghost stays in control... then when success (at least a 20 should do it) the ghost will be down h.p. The Ghost may leave before they loose too many hp too. This gives the possessed PC something to do...

Make possession... soft.. if your PCs will play the game... have them act oddly and play different yet so the other PCs do not notice? Give them rewards for doing this well... not just blerting it out...
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Re: resisting possession - demon devil undead and the like

Post by serleran »

For simplicity, I would likely look at spells like magic jar. I thought that was in the PHB.

Otherwise, it might depend on how complex you want to go...

Did the possessed ask for it? I mean, did they say the fiend's name or do some sort of act that called its attention, making them susceptible (such as stealing candy from a baby or whatever...) in which case they may not even get a chance to resist.

Age matters, likely, as well according to history (and misunderstanding/lack of education.) Does the victim have any disorders, as the less "whole" the more likely... etc.

I was working on a whole slew of stuff based on religion and "sin" and these were the types of questions (specifically possession) to address. I stopped that, though, as I didn't want people to presume real world was mingling.

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Re: resisting possession - demon devil undead and the like

Post by Lurker »

Captain_K wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:23 am

Make possession... soft.. if your PCs will play the game... have them act oddly and play different yet so the other PCs do not notice? Give them rewards for doing this well... not just blerting it out...
Even if they don't 'paly along' they will play along - one already failed a check in a museum and then that night in his room found an old ancient roman statuette and pieces that he will be able to put together to make asset of ancient magical caestus. He had no idea how they got there

If the fail they may just oddly be walking and pick up a rock and chunk it through a window or something with the rest of the group surprised at what they did, and the character know knowing they did it :twisted:

That said, yes if they do fall pray to the possession and play it out then yes (if they survive and stay sane) they will get a fate point for the role playing.

rgr on being strong enough to control the victim, and over time that control weakening (or causing permeant damage to the victim).

also, serl rgr on age health education etc. the spirit will be very careful who it tries to possess, though it might get a wild hair, or get desperate, and try for someone harder to posses than its normal victims or try for a PC if I think my dice are hot enough to pull it off

Plus since it is an 1880s Masque of Red Death setting , evil corruption etc will play a part too. The icing on the cake is if a player is possessed for any length of time they will start down the corruption/insanity path -they are already paranoid about imps and spiders so being entangled with a ghost will be a load of fun (for me)
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Forgive all spelling errors.

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Re: resisting possession - demon devil undead and the like

Post by serleran »

One thing I like doing with possessing entities is give them a fatal flaw, some weird, myth-inspired (and stolen) thing that makes them particularly vulnerable (or at least stops their possession) such as presence of swine (Biblical) or even wearing blessed leather armor (Medieval). There are others, many others, but some might be harder to use like wearing a red tie around the neck (perhaps it could just be wearing any red jewel?) and it can be fun to develop some others even borrowing from vampire (and Sesame Street) lore like "demon must stop and count grains of salt" and what have you. Heck, you can even make non-magic rituals and power words that can help stave the possession attempt, like throwing salt (heh) or even saying certain works like Gesundheit (pretty literally "good health.")

Not what you asked for but these things open the doors of the Serling nature.

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