Liber Demonica, We Are Legion. A Demon Tempter’s Guide hits a lot of sweet spots for me in its sales pitch. Its vaguely Christian demonology, about pacts with devils, a short zine, cheap, an RPG, and I’ve been on a solo game kick lately. In this one, you play a fledgling demon tempter whose goal is to guide mortals souls to “the great father below” and away from “the enemy above”. If you do, you get merit points, which can be cashed in for promotion. Like a lot of solo RPGs, you track your progress in a journal, and this is a game where you could really make a cool little one. I jumped in during the print run Kickstarter but you can still get copies over on itch as well.
So to start, let’s talk looks. The zine is pretty cool with its bright red case, and no title. It stands out on the shelf apart from all the other black or tan zines next to it. The book is packed with art by Mortifer.um, although because I’m illiterate and fairly familiar with public domain, occult, work originally thought it was a collection of old demonology pieces. Then I noticed it all blended with a really consistent style, so I went and checked and realized she just did a phenomenal job hitting the style of these older books. The books packed with art, and it’s all great.
Getting into the game proper is pretty straight forward. You start by generating a common and true names, followed by your appearance by rolling on some charts. Your common name should be two demon-ie words pushed together, and there is a big list provided. I went with Bonehaggle, for the double entendres I hope to work in, and my hope that I can haggle and make deals. Maybe bone related. My true name was rum rum tep eg. We are told to add spaces, hyphens and apostrophes as needed, and I love rum rum, so I’ll land at Rum’Rum Tep-Eg. Sounds like a booz-ie pharaoh and I’m into it. I picture him on a sailboat with a fishbowl drink full of something pink and umbrellas cruising down the Nile. For my physical appearance, I’m supposed to choose from a list in a variety of areas, and I do think a quick table here could have forced me to make some unconventional choices.
- Head: I went with a humanoid head, since I like a classic. I will give him two long horns horns like that of a gazelle though.
- Facial Feature: sticking with classics, lets go with an extra long forked tongue.
- Body Type: Hairless, except for a van dyke and goat like fur over his lower half. Also, his skin is bright red.
- # of arms and legs: standard
- clawed hands and cloven hooves for sure.
- As tempting as the crotch face might be, I’m not looking for a second face right now.
- # of wings is a simple set of leathery bat wings.
- He has a serpent tail, but it’s not the tail of a snake. His tail is a cobra and it will bite when agitated.
- As for ornamental or symbolic objects, he’s going to have a floating flaming crown that fades in whenever he is angry. Normally he will be jovial and buddy-buddy, but if things start going against him, he has a temper.
Now that Bonehaggle/Rum’Rum Teb-eg is stat-ed up, it’s time to build out his ledger. This has a whole bunch of fluff around it, but amounts to a journal you make entries in. Each entry needs space for your “patients” and up to 9 good qualities, while allowing you to remove those and add evil qualities. It will probably be a journal, but this is also the artifact from your playthrough, so I’d recommend getting a fun notebook or something you can decorate a bit. Then you can show people your list of names, and how you are corrupting them. Or secretly stash it, so your parents find it and have satanic panic flashbacks.
Gameplay is a simple roll to determine your roleplay prompt, and then react. How you react is usually guided with die rolling, but you do have special dice you use to influence your patient. Repeat the loop until the patient ascends or descends, and then if you have more credits you can do it again. Each patient probably gets 8 or 9 of the 12 prompts, and it’s more about the order they are taken, and the results of the die rolling, than the actual prompt itself. I imagine you will get a bunch of fun stories about corrupting various folks and their path towards damnation.
One of the things I like about solo games is not always so much the act of rolling dice alone, but rather the output and stories it can generate. I like to take the artifact, in this case my journal, and turn it into a creative writing exercise. Normally when writing, you know the general gist of the story you want to tell, but in a solo game you don’t really know the ending. So, you get a unique, custom story just for you. We Are Legion really succeeds on this aspect. Its prompts are really flavorful, and even just reading through them, you get a feel for the stories you can tell. I highly recommend checking it out, and the pdf is $6.66, so why not take a peak?