Dragon's-Eye View: The Devil Made Me Do It


Dragon's-Eye View
The Devil Made Me Do It
By Jon Schindehette

When it comes to visual representations for devils and demons (or what I like to call the evil D&D guys), we're all over the place. That's no big surprise since these guys come in all shapes and sizes. Their appearance is usually limited only by the imagination of the writer, and it seems they keep dreaming up weirder and weirder creatures all the time.

Talk about this column here.




 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

i only voted on the second poll. nobody has time to kill their eyes looking through that many thumbnails.
i only voted on the second poll. nobody has time to kill their eyes looking through that many thumbnails.


Yeah, the next time they do something like this they should make them all links to their full versions, even if they're hosted on another site.
Of all the things to waste my time with. None of those devils would get play in my game, and using the space that could have been dedicated to something more constructive is a little disappointing. 

I guess it's a good thing I don't look forward to those articles each week I'd be disappointed a lot.

I hope some of you were entrtained. 
I actually think there's a ton to say about the design of devils and demons, and the article said none of it. Seeing a billion different assassin devils is kind of fun, but this is a topic where I think the game has some actual work to do.

The article states "these guys are all over the place visually", like that's just kind of the way it is and the way it has to be, but that's not something that should be taken for granted. One of D&D's coolest ideas about monsters is the division of demons (in the generic sense of the word) into lawful devils and chaotic demons. One of the greatest failures of execution in D&D is that demons and devils look like someone designed fifty demonic creatures and then they were assigned to teams completely at random. I'm not saying that every devil or especially every demon should look the same, but there should be consistant themes and throughlines. Motifs, if you will, things that maybe not every devil or demon has, but that are exclusive to one or the others. Bat wings vs. Bird wings. Maybe only one side gets ram horns. Maybe only devils gets chains. Maybe only one side gets giant bugs. Maybe demons tend to be asymmetrical. On a more zoomed-out level, maybe devils are likely to wear well-kept arms and armor in complete sets, and demons are likely, if they're wearing anything at all, to wear a mishmash hodgepodge of stuff. I don't want another edition of Evil Outsider Roulette. We should respect the traditional organization of devils and demons, but work to pull them much closer visually to being the lawful/chaotic beings they allegedly are. (And behaviorally as well, in many cases.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I am wondering if there isn't multi-purposing behind the poll, I think it really illustrates (pun intended) that while artists have a different take on the same componant, players and DM's do as well. Look at the history of the article when it comes to D&DN...Halfings, the images fit the description, but people bashed the description and the images in the threads. But the question was, did the images fit the description? Same with the Wraiths, Ghosts, and Spectres. I applaud the task Jon and crew have at hand, creating the visuals for a game that has people who have been creating visuals in thier minds since the late seventies, as well as for people who haven't ever played. Daunting task. I would be very intimidated. I get nervous about illustrating a map for our campaign because my players all like different visual aspects!
As for the thread itself, while difficult to view easily, I spent some time on each, made some notes, and took the poll. The initial work in deciding what met the requirements best, what was way off, what I liked best, and what I thought would fit the D&DNext playtests I have been running let me make a good decision while only being zoomed in to 125%.
 This is the type of dig in I love!
Is the big hairless gorilla, that sheared King-Kong the kyton/chain devil? Because it doesn´t cause fear at all. 

I have said it in the past, but I think this time this is the bes place to say it (again).

I suggest the kytons with a splatterpunk esthetic, something like the shadar-kai picture from "Fiend Folio" 3rd Ed, with piercings.





Do you rebember the cenobites from "Hellraiser saga"? (But I don´t ask a +18 picture).

I imagine kytons like a mixture of Kratos (god of war) and pinhead.




Lucidique, from "Clive Biker´s Tortured souls" serie, by McFarlane Toys.

(I hope the photo weren´t too gore).

 
Have you seen the videogame "Clive Barker´s Jericho"? You can see the gameplay by youtube.











---

I would like a zoom to see those pictures bigger.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

My favorites:

Adam Lane

Anna Christerson

Cristopher Reach

Cornelius Cronockf

Luis Vazquez

Victor B Corbella

and lots of more but I can´t writte all their names. 


I don´t like: 

Brian Cieq 

Irwox

Nattham Stotteberg

Pedro Jorgue Magahaes

Peter Reed

Stan    (WTF?)

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

i only voted on the second poll. nobody has time to kill their eyes looking through that many thumbnails.



Yeah that's a massive amount of thumbnails... damn.
the pictures are to small to realy coment on as the devil might be in the details.
i only voted on the second poll. nobody has time to kill their eyes looking through that many thumbnails.


Yeah, the next time they do something like this they should make them all links to their full versions, even if they're hosted on another site.



Yeah I looked at the first grouping and was like to heck with it.  Especially because I'm using a small screen and all the size adjusting is just a headache.  So this poll is pretty much dead to me.

Anyways one of the things they mentioned when they switchted to 4th ed was a change in how demons and devils were protrayed.  Devils typically followed a more traditional look of the humanoid, batwinged, scaled devil.  In turn the demons had a far more animalistic, savage bent.  In both cases there were plenty of exceptions though.  Anyways I like the idea if not the follow through, devils should look more humanoid and while demons look more monstrous.