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Tabletop Game / The Gates of Hell

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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):

  • Above the Gods: Asmodeus, despite being a mere avatar of the real Overlord, is already an Overdeity while in Hell.
  • All for Nothing: A person wanting an audience with Mammon must sacrifice an object valuable to them, which is taken away regardless of whether it has sufficient value to be worth an audience. If one sacrifices their soul, that's precisely what happens in case of a sub-Epic character.
  • 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.
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  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Half the nobility is actively trying to become gods. Some are close to succeeding.
  • 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.
  • Blood Iron: Sammael carries a rapier made out of iron drawn from the blood of thousands of humanoid creatures. It suppresses the healing of anyone struck by it. Marks of the Dark Ministry are Blood Iron as well.
  • 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.
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  • Brain Bleach: Invoked by Bensozia, who after going mad from learning Asmodeus' secret went to Leviathan to erase the memory.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Knowledge can be discerned by careful reading, regular observation of cause and effect, constant experimentation, or by drilling a hole into a mortal’s head with an ice-pick.
  • 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.
  • Composite Character: Canonically, Moloch replaced Lilith, and later was himself replaced by Malagard, the Hag Countess, an adviser who recommended that he defy Asmodeus to his face. The Gates of Hell instead have Lilith as triune so that she can serve the role of the Hag Countess.
  • 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.
  • Declining Promotion: When Belial was an angel, he has been offered multiple promotions from his position as a healer of mortals and declined them all. It was believed to be due to him loving being around mortals and helping them. In reality, of course, he knew that should he be promoted, he'll have to spend his time around beings too powerful to hide his true nature from.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Three books out of the nine are about these. Plus one is about notable devils who are not officially nobility.
  • 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.
  • Eunuchs Are Evil: Lilith's mortal servants are nearly all female, but sometimes castrated men are accepted.
  • 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.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: For fiends of the Conversion Branch (the one in charge of manipulating mortal societies into serving hell), Handle Animal is a very common skill precisely because of this trope.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mephistopheles doesn't use his soul trapping power easily because of something he claims to be "honor".
  • Evil vs. 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.
  • Fake Wizardry: Book 5 describes a devil named Byzine, who has several undercover identities, including a necromancer serving Orcus. Since he doesn't have a lot of necromantic magic at his disposal, he mostly relies on scrolls and such to create the impression.
  • 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.
  • Home Field Advantage: Every Lord gains a +3 bonus to Divine Rank while in their layer (for Asmodeus, anywhere in Hell). Dispater takes it further, with his Iron Tower being an artifact location full of spells like one constantly wrenching enemy weapons out of their hands.
  • Honey Trap: Jezebel, Glasya's Elite, and all the other erinyes.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Amdusius is half unicorn, Geryon is half dragon.
  • 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.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: It is commonly believed devils cannot procreate among themselves. In reality, the high ranking ones are fully capable of that... should they choose to. Very few do, because they need no heirs and certainly no competitors.
  • 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.
  • Internal Retcon: The idea of the Dark Ministers never being replaced is ingrained so deeply in their underlings' minds, that whenever one is replaced, everyone "remembers" said minister has always looked like that - even if we are talking about a clawed male pit fiend being replaced with a beautiful winged Fallen Angel lady.
  • 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.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: The devils of the Denomination of Research are despised for their ability to think outside the frame, although it does seem to be changing as they prove their usefulness.
  • 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.
  • Legacy Immortality: The Dark Ministers may be be replaced sometimes, but hardly anyone is aware of that.
  • 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.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Merorem is pushed back and stunned if he comes out too close to his past or future self.
  • 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.
  • 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 (along with Glasya, though that only provides softcore content).
  • The Perfectionist: Beelzebub.
  • Pieces of God: Up to Eleven. When the Overlord fell, his blood gave birth to malefircareim, mighty beings who proceeded to wage war upon each other. Once the Overlord awoke, he destroyed them (except for a few he set as nobility or intended to use for his own obscure schemes). However, since the malefircareim are still demigods in their own right, they are constantly being reborn in the form of yet lesser beings called nupperibos, who, if allowed (which is rare), evolve back into Malefircareim, with an intermediate stage called a barregon.
  • 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.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: A lot of people have been cheated by devils in their contracts, sued them in Hellish courts... and won, with the devils in question being severely punished. After all, Hell doesn't want to have bad reputation in that regard - it will prevent more people from signing such contracts.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Mephistopheles And Belial.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Carreau and Eblis.
  • Red Right Hand: Fallen Angels tend to suffer significant changes to their appearance. They often remain beautiful, but seldom quite the same.
  • Religion of Evil: Asmodeus' mortal followers are a prominent example, plus there are all the nobles attempting Divine Ascension.
  • Resistance as Planned: Verrier's first attempt to bring the Overlord down was assembling an army of nine million Hellspawn... meaning Lucifer didn't need to hunt them down all over Hell. These days, Verrier is running another resistance, while being hidden by a powerful anti-scrying spell... since Asmodeus is stated to be its source, it can be safely assumed the trope is at work once again.
  • 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. More specifically, loyalty that supersedes ambition. Geryon was cast out of his position for being too staid and content in his position for Asmodeus' taste. His successor, Leviathan, was not released from his icy prison upon assuming the role, and Geryon is mobile in his plotting against him, making it likely that he can regain his Lordship at some point once his shows energy and ambition enough for Asmodeus' satisfaction.
  • Running Both Sides: Asmodeus' rebellion against Lucifer, that with the two being avatars of the same being. Mephistopheles later did the same on a smaller scale.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: Book Six describes the Dark Ministry and the Blood War as seen by the rank and file devils. There are strong 1984 vibes.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Glasya and Lixer.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Glasya, Lixer 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 who would dare call the Overlord's daughter innocent?
  • 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: Even the best of Hell's mortal servants only have a limited chance (varying from master to master) of being rewarded for their service after death. As for ones who attempt to make a Deal with the Devil, their chances of coming out on top are effectively nil, especially if the deal was with one of the nobles.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Haagenti’s Live the Nightmare power.
  • We Have Reserves: The armies of Hell are not as bad in that regard as the demons, and normally try to keep the casualties reasonable among troops. There is just one minor detail; lemures aren't regarded as troops by the rest. They are ammunition.
  • 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).

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