The higher (moral, magical, macroscopic) external universe is composed of six Demon Realms, a pattern which repeats and resonates throughout all creation and is mirrored by the (individual, microscopic) internal universe within all sentient beings capable of moral choices.
This internal universe is a sequence of six impulses that direct individual behaviour. Mediating between the internal and external are six Pillars of Capability that form the mind-body composite.
Game significance of the Demon Realms:
- The six-fold attribute/ability spread should be familiar to OSR fans. The Ability Scores themselves (the “mediating Pillars of Capability”) are used mostly as you’d expect, for task checks, saving throws and other random rolls.
- Impulses come in at the personal level; they’re used to tie freeform background stuff like personal history, relationships and so on into the rest of the game. All PCs have a number of lines of Backstory which are just single sentences that describe formative history, personal views, affiliations to certain groups, etc. and each of these lines hinges on a particular Impulse.
- Finally on the universal, cosmic or magical scale there are Demons. Each type of Demon is tied an Ability Score and is the manifestation of the character’s potential in that Realm. Demons provide all of the exceptional powers in the game.
Realm of Violence
The Realm of Violence represents directed force. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous the directed energy that burns away corruption and extraneous matter; and at the most base, absolute chaos and destruction.
|Realm of Violence
||aggressive, violent, and destructive actions
||fighting; shoving, lifting, or applying force; restraining or hanging on
|Demons of Violence
||Demon Weapons and Demon Fighters
Realm of Durance
The Realm of Durance represents survival. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous fertility, health, and harvest; and at the most base, perpetual agony.
|Realm of Durance
||patience, persistence, reliability
||working; travelling; staying awake; resisting pain, fatigue or illness; Body-based saving throws
|Demons of Durance
||Demon Armour, Guardians and Wards
Realm of Flux
The Realm of Flux represents dynamic change and motion. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous change and evolution; and at the most base, confusion and entrapment, and distortion of time and space.
|Realm of Flux
||speed, balance, reactions
||moving quickly; moving stealthily; manual dexterity; reactions and Reflex-based saving throws
|Demons of Flux
||Demons of Movement, Teleport Demons, Gates
Realm of Science
The Realm of Science represents understanding. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous foresight and truth; and at the most base, the boundless truths of the universe, and therefore the futility of mortal existence.
|Realm of Science
||asking questions, insight
||situational awareness; languages; spotting clues
|Demons of Science
||Demons of Knowledge, Divination and Scrying
Realm of Desire
The Realm of Desire represents dreams and imagination. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous the realisation of desires and the formation of new worlds; and at the most base, the inability to separate truth from illusion.
|Realm of Desire
||intuition, empathy, feeling, the subconscious, dreams
||gut feel and intuition; telling reality from illusion; Will-based saving throws
|Demons of Desire
||Demons of Illusion and Reality-Shifting
Realm of Majesty
The Realm of Durance represents interaction and leadership. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous organisation and moral leadership; and at the most base, falsehood and self-serving manipulation of others.
|Realm of Majesty
||expression, articulation, creativity, charisma
||intimidating, charming and leading people
|Demons of Majesty
||Demons of Command, Control and Possession
Impulses, Ability Scores and Demons map onto each other like this:
||Realm of Violence
||Realm of Durance
||Realm of Flux
||Realm of Science
||Realm of Desire
||Realm of Majesty