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Tabletop Game: The Gates Of Hell
The Gates of Hell is a part of the Dicefreaks' fan expansion
for the Dungeons & Dragons
. It came out in 2008, therefore following the 3rd edition. Theoretically, it should have been followed by a few more supplements, about the Abyss and Heaven to begin with, but works on these has been extremely slow as of 2013.
The books describe the structure of Hell, the magic, and the abilities of the devils and people serving them. It is quite close to what is canonical - at least, what was canonical back then. However, there is quite a bit of expansion. For example, there wasn't just one Fall, there were two. The first one was the one which created Hell... and sent a universe sized serpent into a trillion year long coma. The second... that's your classic "fallen angels" plot.
The books are free, and are available at the Dicefreaks forums
. Technically, this is one book, but it is downloaded in nine parts.
Tropes present in The Gates Of Hell (note; a lot of them are present in the official sources, but are often expanded upon here):
- Almighty Janitor: There are a couple of very arrogant and feared adjutants, bookkeepers and messengers described.
- And I Must Scream: Leviathan. He was frozen inside an iceberg by Asmodeus, and was never released, even upon being given back his realm.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Half the nobility is actively trying to become gods.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Bael and Astarte during Dies Irae.
- Being Evil Sucks: There is a lot of emphasis on the meaninglessness and emptiness of evil.
- Bizarre Instrument: Sidiar, who makes music out of the screams of the damned. And it sounds beautiful.
- Bloody Murder: If Verrier's blood is spilled, lesser devils grow it. Asmodeus' does the same, although on a much larger scale.
- Boxed Crook: Adrammelek/Adremalech. Everyone believes he was killed, but in reality he was recruited by Asmodeus for a covert job.
- Brain Bleach: Invoked by Bensozia, who after going mad from learning Asmodeus' secret went to Leviathan to erase the memory.
- Canon Fodder: There are supposed to be at least 27 Arch-devils and 81 Duke. Not nearly all are described.
- Carry a Big Stick: Dispater and Asmodeus.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Belial, to the extent that he stabs himself with his trident as often as the enemies.
- The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: People bargaining with Sammael tend to die from severe allergic reaction.
- Corrupt Church: Mammon's fluff includes one. Also, quite a few devils have established them.
- Dark Lord on Life Support: Asmodeus' true form has been crippled after a crash trillions of years ago and is yet to heal.
- Deal with the Devil: Each member of the nobility has it as part of their description... including how they backfire.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: Three books out of the nine are about these.
- Dirty Coward: Mammon.
- Divine Ranks: Expanded upon.
- Dream Weaver: Haagenti.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means.
- Enemy Mine: Apparently, when Beelzebub is around, elves and drow work together.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Several devils have been described to be in a relationship which can be considered love... an extremely twisted and evil love, and with most of them not recognizing it as such, but still.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Mephistopheles doesn't use his soul trapping power easily because of something he claims to be "honor".
- Evil Versus Evil: Devil against devil, Malefircareim against pit fiends, Fallen Ones against True Devils, Devils vs Demons, well, everything in canon and a bit more.
- The Evils of Free Will: Beelzebub.
- Exact Words: One of the conditions in Caarcrinolaas' treaties is that the client cannot be killed in cold blood. Devil blood tends to be quite warm.
- Extreme Omnisexual: Belial has seduced millions of both men and women over the years.. except for this one Arch-devil who wisely keeps away.
- Field Power Effect: Any area where a devil was summoned.
- Fighting a Shadow: Higher ranking devils cannot be killed outside their realm. And then you have Asmodeus, who is actually an avatar of something unimaginable.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Surprisingly few of the layers.
- Flaying Alive: The kocrachons.
- Frontline General: Bael is a frontline Lord, though less so with time. Abigor fits as well.
- From a Certain Point of View: Belial has promised rewards and pleasure to the devils who would support him in his coup against Adrammelek. He even opened his mind before them in order to convince them. In the end, he delivered as promised after the successful coup. However, perhaps the devils should have been a tiny bit more cautious about promises of rewards and pleasure from the greatest sadomasochist in Hell...
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Knowledge of the Asmodeus' true nature did that to the Arch-Devil who was his wife.
- Greed: Mammon's hat.
- The Hecate Sisters: Lilith's three main forms.
- Honey Trap: Jezebel, Glasya's Elite, and all the other erinyes.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Amdusius is half unicorn, Geryon is half dragon.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: Very few higher ranking devils procreate among themselves - mostly because they need no heirs and certainly no competitors.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: According to one legend, two of the devils who supported Asmodeus when he revolted against Lucifer did it because they wanted to lose. When they won, Asmodeus gave them both precisely what they wanted; one was exiled to Toril... the other destroyed.
- An Ice Person: Mephistopheles and Raithetarkon.
- Incest Is Relative: Belial and Fierana. Asmodeus and Bensozia could also count, although it becomes really twisted when he is the progenitor of all the devils.
- Insult Backfire: Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies used to be an insult.
- Kicked Upstairs: When a Duke of Hell is promoted to Arch-devil, chances are he is banished from Hell at the same time.
- Kill All Humans: Eblis hates mortals.
- Knight Templar: Many of the Fallen were banished for being that. They still are.
- La Résistance: Verrier.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Leviathan is all about that.
- Like a Badass out of Hell: Usually happens after one becomes an Arch-devil, whether through promotion or demotion; most notably Eblis, who was sent away because Asmodeus himself feared the guy (who has a higher CR that any of the eight lesser Lords, and that's without the benefits of an equal rank). Also, the ones captured by Lilith's Earth Rift power have a 50/50 chance of turning into lemures when arriving in hell... but the other half is welcome to try and fight their way out. Chances of doing that are not specified.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Lilith's Icequake, Mephistopheles' summoning ritual, and the Cone of Frost power of Asmodeus' scepter are all capable of freezing a person solid, with the trope following if they are unlucky.
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Bensozia's took nine years.
- The Man Behind the Man: Belial behind Fierana, The Overlord behind Asmodeus. Bensozia tried to do the same to Asmodeus... she didn't know what she was dealing with.
- Magnificent Bastard: You don't remain in power for all these billions of years without being one of these.
- Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Merorem's specialization
- Million Mook March: Well, more like a trillion mooks...
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Never My Fault: Beelzebub is incapable of seeing his own flaws.
- No Sex Allowed: Carniveau, Duke of Purity.
- Numerological Motif: Mainly nine, of course, but seven and three as well, sometimes.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Dispater's entire policy is this and meaningless work, because he believes that the best way to keep his underlings from rebelling is to always keep them busy. Works perfectly; he's the one Lord who had no threats to his position (well, aside of from Asmodeus, but that's part of the job).
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Despite their Sibling Rivalry, Lixer and Glasya have foiled plots by others against each other.
- Only One Me Allowed Right Now: Merorem is pushed back and stunned if he comes out too close to his past or future self.
- Orcus on His Throne: Bael is the only Lord of Nine not fitting this trope, and even he moves closer the more he deals with governmental matters.
- The Peeping Tom: Semyaza can see from nine remote points at the same time. He mostly uses it to look at Fierana’s bed from every possible angle.
- The Perfectionist: Beelzebub.
- Poke in the Third Eye: The background to the books is a wizard looking at Hell through a mirror. When at the end he tries to spy on Asmodeus, the Overlord reaches through.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Rhalik, The Bigot, Duke of Intolerance.
- Power Tattoo: Verrier.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Weapons forged out of souls are the least creepy example.
- Prongs of Poseidon: Mephistopheles And Belial.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Carreau and Eblis.
- Religion of Evil: Asmodeus' mortal followers are a prominent example, plus there are all the nobles attempting Divine Ascension.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Inverted. Geryon, the one Lord to remain loyal to Asmodeus throughout a rebellion, was exiled because Hell has no place for loyalty.
- Sanity Meter: An optional mechanic.
- Secret Secret Keeper: Lilith suspects the truth about Asmodeus, but never shared it with anyone - there is no point in doing so.
- Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny: Carniveau.
- Sibling Rivalry: Glasya and Lixer.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Glasya, Licer and Fierana are rumored to be capable of summoning their fathers in combat.
- Technical Virgin: Glasya is a virgin, and might be a virgin in all the other senses as well... but her mind is totally rotten.
- That's No Moon: In the canon, Asmodeus' true body is hundreds of miles long. In this book, his scales are planet sized.
- The Shadow Knows: Leviathan, when summoned, appears in his smaller shape, but his shadow is much bigger.
- Third-Person Person: Beelzebub.
- Those Were Only Their Scouts: There are dim rumors of a hellish army much larger than anything ever seen. Led by a creature to match...
- Time Abyss: Trillions of years is not an uncommon figure in the book.
- Took a Level in Badass: Hell's nobility compared to the first-party sources. The average Duke is stronger than the Lords of the Nine used to be, while the Lords of the Nine are on par with Greater gods.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: Malphas and Hepharion.
- Unperson: A couple of deposed former lords, and Leviathan's ultimate goal for all the others.
- Xanatos Gambit: Oh, boy...
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Haagenti’s Live the Nightmare power.
- Whip It Good: Moloch.
- Would Hurt a Child: Moloch and Lilith. One can guess this creates a lot of tension between them and the next guy.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Amdusius. Which creates quite a bit of tension between him and Lilith (his mother).