i guess this means i have satans in my setting now, thanks dandyman
Satans. You meet them at crossroads - sometimes by chance, sometimes by design. They have something to offer you. You have something they want.
You can make a deal.
First of all, add 'satan at the crossroads' to your encounter table, probably at one of the ends (snake eyes?). If you're not at a crossroads and you roll it, roll again - satans only ever appear at crossroads. This is known.
Second, every time you meet a satan after the first one, roll a die or flip a coin or something. This satan has a 50% chance of being a satan you've met before. (once you've met multiple satans, i guess do a second die roll to determine which satan you've met before it is)
Here's a table for making satans. They generally appear as the same species as whoever is looking at them. Or maybe they don't look like anything at all and you're all just projecting. Who fuckin' knows.
Dealing with the Devil
Okay, you've met a satan, now what? Well, you get to make a deal, of course. Pay a small price, get a minor boon, pay a heavy price, you know...
It's totally fine for a paladin to make a deal with a satan, by the way. There are any number of ways they can, and should, rationalize it.
What Does This Satan Want and What Can It Give Me
Generally, a satan will have a particular price in mind for a particular boon. If you offer them something else, they'll charge you double.
In addition to the below, any satan can offer you food/water/healing/rest/&c in exchange for any small price.
- Something you don't want - an injury, a curse, a disease, etc. But you gotta talk it up like you do want it, or they'll catch on that it's not actually valuable to you.
- Some part of your body, usually a finger or an eyeball. A greedy satan might start out asking for a whole arm and a leg (hence the saying), but you can probably talk them down to one or two digits if it's for a lesser boon.
- Your youth. A percentage - the satan will probably start at 50% but can be talked down to just below 10 - of your remaining natural lifespan. You're an adventurer, you weren't planning to live that long anyway, right?
- A share in your soul. Agree to a length of time - the satan will probably start at five minutes, but haggling is expected - and the satan can possess your body whenever they want, but only once, for that length of time or shorter. It is in the satan's best interests to keep you alive during that time (how else are they going to persuade you to sell them the rest of your soul? unless you already sold it, in which case, paying this price is a really bad idea) but their goals probably don't line up very well with yours otherwise.
- Your soul. You only have one of these, and if you sell it, you're fucked once you die. No resurrection, no reanimation, no speak-with-dead, nothing can bring you back, even for a short time. High-level souls are worth more, as are especially holy or 'good' ones.
- Your life. Obviously, this is a pretty bad idea to sell if you've already sold your soul, or just in general unless you have a really good plan to come back to life.
If you come up with something else, they might still take it. Who can really know the machinations of a satan.
- Youth or Health. You're not gonna grow old, and probably won't ever get sick. It probably doesn't make sense to trade your youth for this one, satans are wise to that kinda trick.
- Beauty. You look great. Like, really great. Supernaturally seductive. That kind of thing.
- Knowledge. The satan will answer a question. They know a lot, but maybe not everything. If they can't answer the question, you get your price back.
- Wealth. Either the satan just gives you an extremely valuable object, like a fiddle made of solid gold, or the next time you find treasure you find an improbably huge amount, or similar.
- Fame. Supernatural proficiency at some sort of mundane craft, like piano playing. You get a new skill, and anyone that witnesses you performing it can't help but talk about how amazing you are at it.
- Power. Either a simple numerical bonus (+2 to a stat, +1 to attack, that kind of thing) or some sort of magical ability, like being able to talk to goats, crows, and creatures of the night.
Can every satan offer all of these things? Probably not. Can they offer other stuff? Sure.
Gaming the System
If you balk at the idea of giving up one of your eyes or whatever, you can always challenge the satan to a game of chance.
First, set your stakes. This is basically the same as the normal negotiation for a boon.
Second, suggest a game. The satan has veto power. Rock-paper-scissors and Connect 4 are popular.
If you win, you get the boon without paying a price. If you lose, you pay the price without getting the boon.