Shelters Demons

Published September 24, 2014 by

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Inside of your soul lies a chorus of voices who constantly contend for control of your body. These voices whisper, cajole, scream and seduce you towards the dark. These demons are both your curse and the source of your power. Their mere presence allows you to accomplish amazing feats, but their strength often comes with price. Too many dead lay behind you from the times you have lost control and set the demons free. This may haunt you, or maybe you have accepted your lot – perhaps even relish it. In the end the demons are your protectors, your greatest foe, your damnation. All those who travel with you beware, for the demons ever hunger for the taste of extinguished life.

Before voting, please leave a comment on what should be fixed. I will endevour to incorporate all suggestions.


GM Intrusion: In a welling tide, the demons crash through your mental defenses and take control of you for a single round. Follow the Possession ability given in Tier 2.


Pick one other PC. This PC has seen you when control has been lost and the demons reign free. This experience has armed them for when it happens again. The PC is treated as trained when trying to call you back to self awareness when you have become possessed.

Additional Equipment:

A strange mirror (or mirror fragment) that when you, and only you, look into it a swirling cloud of darkness and light is reflected back. The voices seem to make more sense when you stare at the maddening patterns. When looking directly into the mirror you gain an asset on controlling your inner demons.

Esotery Effects:

Your esoteries are the stuff of nightmares. In all cases, your esoteries are thick with the screams of the damned and carry a terrifying persona about them. For instance your force blast from Onslaught might take the form of a screaming skull, or your Ward deflecting a blow might be a tortured “soul” taking the hit for you. This counts as an asset towards intimidation rolls while using your esoteries.

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You scar the mind of your target and daze them for a single round.
Major Effect Suggestions:
You tap into the greater power of you inner demons and deal an additional 6 points of damage.
Tier 1:

Incredible Power: The demons strengthen you even when they are quiet and docile. You gain and additional 6 points to spend into your Pool maximums. Enabler.

Tier 2:

Possession: The dark within your soul has taken hold! Whenever you have dropped a step down the damage track you must roll against a level 6 intellect task, or be consumed by the demons. If the roll is failed (or electively forgoed) then the PC becomes possessed by the GM. The GM will have the ability to manifest a GM Intrusion for no rewarded XP once a round and can attack every creature within short range of the possessed PC at the same time. These attacks and the intrusion should be shows of dramatic, esoteric forces unleashed by the PC’s demons. It should be noted that these attacks have no cost to the player’s stat pools Every round, the Player is allowed to make a single intellect based roll to try and regain control. This task is set at level 6.

Tier 3:

Telepathic Destruction (4+ Intellect points): You reach out with your mind and, for a split second, allow the demons to touch another’s soul. Even this passing touch can leave people scarred for their entire lives. Causes 6 points of intellect damage to a single target within short range. Instead of spending levels of Effort on damage, you can apply them towards lowering the level of the creature by one step for ever level applied. This effect only lasts for 1 round. Action.

Tier 4:

Wail of the Damned (5 Intellect points): Images of a world erased of all life, your loved ones destroyed and everything that is good extinguished flash before your eyes as the voices whisper of your damnation and that of everything you touch. Your throat contorts in a horrible cry for mercy, revenge, love and desolation as your are assaulted by the images. Your wail carries to anyone within immediate range and paralyzes them (in utter fear) for a single round. Everyone within a mile can hear the scream, but only those within immediate range are affected. Action.

Tier 5:

Resistance: Your mind has grown resilient, if not numb, to the constant cries of the dark within yourself. When you become possessed by the demons as per tier two ability it now only a level 3 task to reign back control of yourself. Enabler.

Tier 6:

Demonic Form  (12 Intellect points): You have finally gained a form of mastery over the demons within. Delving deep within you unlock the chains holding the darkness in check. The demons rush to be released, but through indomitable will you are able to restrain and coax them to do as you please (this power should be accompanied by a transformation of sorts for the character, taking on demonic aspects such as horns, claws, a tail, maybe even glowing eyes). The PC is granted the ability to affect reality on a basic level and can create effects similar to GM intrusions every round. These effects require GM consent and should be themed appropriately, to not imbalance the game. Each round that Demonic Form is active you must pass a level 3 intellect based task to remain in control. If the roll is failed the PC will move one step down the damage track.

5 thoughts on “Shelters Demons

  1. David's Perspective says:

    Nicely themed. Not sure I understood the Tier 6 ability. But otherwise I like the simplicity of the foci.

    1. Nicholas Johnson says:

      The Tier 6 ability is basically a hulk out ability. Also, it was themed to drop down the light for everybody else so that you could literally be the phantom striking in the dark.

  2. Rafail Zlatarov says:

    Interesting theme. I have a couple of issues with it though (I don’t want to be an asshole, just trying to provide some constructive criticism): although the theme seems cool, it also looks quite punishing/underpowered and that’s why I doubt players would want to pick it. The Tier 1 ability is nice, but some of the others below look pretty punishing, without giving any sort of benefit or motivation for the PC to actually advance.

    Tier 2 is basically giving the PC a major inability, without compensating it in any way. Look at other Tier 2 abilities in the Corebook/Char. Options: all of them provide some sort of benefit or useful gimmick the PC could look forward to. Tiers should be CONstructive, not DEstructive.

    I can’t decide if Tier 3 is underpowered or not, considering a glaive with a heavy weapon could do 6 damage without the need of spending 4 Intellect points (I could see it used as an “upgraded” Onslaught, but then again, comparing the points spent with the damage dealt, Onslaught could prove to be more efficient depending on the placement of Edge of course).

    I also don’t like the Tier 5 ability that much and that ties into the same concept I described for the Tier 2 ability: Tiers should be upgrades, little abilities and buffs the PC should be looking forward to, not debilities that screw with his game plan. Look over the abilities on Tier 5 and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    Some quick examples I put together on how you can make it better:

    Tier 2 Possession makes esoteries/moves/tricks cost 0 points OR Tier 2 Possession gives the PC access to unique esoteries while he’s possessed f.e.:
    – Chains Of Torment (3 Intellect): hands made out of darkness and shadow sprout up from the ground grabbing and immobilizing a creature, dealing 3 damage each turn to the creature while grappled.

    Tier 3 Telepathic Destruction (4 Intellect points): Additional effect: For each level of Effort the PC puts in the ability, the difficulty of the afflicted creature’s next action is increased by 1 step.)

    To wrap it up: theme looks awesome, but mechanically it needs more work imho.


    1. Nicholas Johnson says:

      I really appreciate your commentary. I was going for a focus that was at least reminiscent of Howls at the Moon. The PC has no control over the beast and I want to replicate that in a way that was slightly more demonic in theme. I do agree that maybe I should add wordage to Possession about having no points deducted so that the possession wont kill them, but i don’t want it under their control. I love the idea for tacking onto telepathic destruction! As for the ideas about extra powers during possession, the GM is given free reign with his/her dark side for esoteries. If i gave a list it would just add more to read and limit the GM. Your comment has made me realize that maybe a level 8 intellect task to revert to normal is slightly too much for a tier two. ill bring it down to six and the tier five ability will go down to a tier three. the tier five is so they can revert more reliably (have more control of their demons)

  3. Anthony Shaffner says:

    I like this foci. It seems really cool because I like the idea of rp wise having to deal with something destructive inside you that you can’t fully control. I’ve tried to come up with similar concepts in past Pathfinder games I’ve played but nothing really fit. Now that my group is playing numenera I like the idea of finally being able to do this. Now although I like the idea I do feel that the mechanics are a little hard to understand.

    For instance, the additional equipment piece you get, the mirror/mirror fragment states it gives you an asset on controlling your demons when you look directly at it. Now I may be misinterpreting it but the only time it seems this would come into play is when the demons have gained control. Now if the demons are in control you can’t look directly at the mirror so the asset it gives is not able to be used based solely on the description of the item. Like I said I could be reading it wrong 🙂 if you could clear that up for me I’d appreciate it.

    Also the 6th tier ability states “are treated as being specialized with all abilities from this focus” There are only 2 abilities from this focus and both have high intellect costs along with activating the tier 6 ability itself. 7 points to activate, and 4+-5+ to use the abilities it gives bonus’ to. I realize that with intellect edge it would mitigate that but imo it seems a bit underpowered for a 6th tier ability.

    Maybe add another ability you can make use of or my own personal idea instead of making it so you are the “phantom striking in the dark” another way you could go is a fusion. It would still be a hulk up ability but maybe have it where you can “fuse” with the demons temporarily and “work together as one”. Maybe throw in a few special abilities you can use while in “Demon form” and give them intellect costs. And if that seems to powerful you could make it where afterwards you are weakened and that would give the demons the ability to rest control since demons aren’t known for doing something for free ;P. Idk I’m just spitballing here 🙂

    Really my only concern is that the 6th tier ability seems underpowered, like I’ve said earlier I could be completely misunderstanding what it means. That and the addition equipment piece. If you could clear that up for me I’d really appreciate it. 🙂

    Good work on this foci though, I admit when I saw it I was like FINALLY HAHAHAHAHA. keep up the good work bro ^_^

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