Lord Asmod

Asmod is kind of based on the medieval demon Asmodeus, famed today as the namesake for the mighty French game company Asmodee. Asmod’s figure bristles with heads. The two little heads on top are wearing crowns, and grin with idiot joy. A huge maw gapes between the rows of heads. This is one of my favorite figures.

Asmod’s menace is to force all the players to roll 1d12 apiece. Whoever rolls the highest falls under Asmod’s power, and fights on the demon’s behalf. If you’re lucky enough to roll a tie, no one falls under the Demon’s control.

Asmod has an attack of 6d10, toughness 6, and 20 hit points for 4 players. This is about average for a Lord, but his ability to take over a player makes up the difference.

Normally, each round of combat a hero gets to choose whether he retreats or stays to fight. A hero under Asmod’s control retains enough self-will to be able to retreat instead of fighting. Of course this loses his services the rest of the battle. And each turn, that 1d12 is rolled again so someone else might be controlled. If you’re lucky, it’s someone with a comparatively weak attack, like John Dark. If you’re not, it could be Bernice or Penrod. (urk)

The controlled hero must attack the other heroes. His target is chosen by the team captain. He still attacks during his turn in the hero part of the turn. When the demons attack, the captain can still have them target the controlled hero. Asmod obviously, is not loyal to his slaves.

Asmod becomes one of the tougher lords due to this. It’s easy to see why. Imagine a 4 player game. Each turn, only 3 players get to attack Asmod. Plus Asmod has an extra attack coming in from one of those heroes. Even though a hero’s attack is generally much weaker than a demon’s it is still nothing to sneer at.

Asmod’s difficulty, however changes with the number of players. In a 3 player game, he is far more dangerous than in a 5 player game. 3 players are much less likely to roll a tie (and thus avoid Asmod’s power), for one thing. Also when they fall victim, it’s a third of their number instead of a fifth. I decided that players are smart enough to figure this out for themselves. And even in a 5 player game, Asmod is no pushover. But if you manage to beat him with 3 or 2 players, you should feel even more proud than when you do it with a full team push.

Lord Procrustes

The name of this lord is derived from an ancient Greek entity but its image is clearly derived from the lord of the Flies, Baalzebub.

When you enter Procrustes chamber, your courage pool loses 4 courage. If the pool doesn’t have enough courage, then EACH hero takes 1 damage per missing courage. This is such a terrible penalty that the effect is that you never dare attack Procrustes without that Pool courage, except in the direst of emergencies.

Procrustes has a rather gruesome toughness of 4+4, the same as a 3rd circle demon (who are notoriously tough to kill). He “only” has 15 hit points vs. 4 players, which is slightly below average, but that toughness more than makes up for it.

His attack is bizarre, and ignores toughness. Basically, after his target is chosen, he rolls 1d12 and compares it to his target’s Health.

  • If the 1d12 exceeds the victim’s health, he’s “too short” and takes 6 damage. Troopers can absorb this.
  • If the 1d12 is lower than the victim’s health, he’s “too tall” and his health DROPS to the die roll amount. Troopers CANNOT absorb this.
  • If the 1d12 is equal to the victim’s health (which happens precisely 1/12 of the time), he is “just right”, and the hero gains 4 courage. Don’t count on this.

A typical fight might go like this. First, Hannah, with her 4 health, is chosen as Procrustes’ victim. Procrustes is likely to roll “too high” and inflict 3 damage, dropping Hannah to 1. Now she doesn’t dare be chosen again, because almost any roll will now be “too high” and kill her. If you choose a high-HP hero, such as Moose, for her target, you are at risk of him rolling something really low like a 3-4 (or a 1!) and dropping the hero precipitously and shockingly.

And since it takes a LOT of attacks to wear Procrustes down, he will be inflicting his horrible attacks on you constantly.

Cinematic Procrustes

Procrustes (in non-fly form) appears in Mario Bava’s film Hercules in the Haunted World, which I recommend without reservation. Among its other terrific bits is a performance by Christopher Lee, and the most weird hell-like Hell I’ve seen in a movie. The attack of the evil spirits against Hercules is really an amazing sequence.

But of course, I generally recommend Mario Bava to anyone. It’s neat to see his touches in a muscle-man film though, since he is best known for horror and suspense.