And I thought of a series of interlinked random tables.
Step one: Pick Stasis/Stability or Enthropy/Change. Or toss a coin. If you have Stasis, add "a" to the number of the tables. Enthropy means you add a "b".
Step two,optional: Do you want to decide a god in advance or not? If yes, roll on table 1.
1a: Roll 1d10, or 2d10 pick higher/lower.
1b: Roll 1d10, or 2d10 pick higher/lower.
Or, you know...just decide whether you want a Cohort or a main god/dess, and roll 1d5 on table 1C (c for Common, it applies to both stability and change).
1-Authority and Rulership (the "boss" of the pantheon)
2-War and Violence
3-Wisdom, especially occult
4-Death and Afterlife
5-Sex and Family
Either way, if you have chosen a god or goddess already, when you'd roll the other tables, only pick results that "fit". A courtesan might not be the best option for Sarku (or at least I prefer not to imagine it).
Step 3: Pick the basics of your demon. Roll on table 2.
2a - roll 1d24 or a 1d100
- Warrior (1-5)
- Scholar (6-10)
- Priest (11-13)
- Maiden (14-15)
- Slave (16)
- Pe Choi or other "friendly" race (17)
- Unfriendly race or extraterrestrial menace (18)
- Grazing beast (19-23)
- Predator (24-26)
- Earthly predator (27)
- Earthly vegetarian beast, likely horned and/or of great mass (28)
- Marsupial (29)
- Bird with great speed or strength (30-33)
- Bird of prey (34-38)
- Lizard-analogue (39-40)
- Frog-analogue (41-42)
- Invertebrate considered useful (ex: eatable mollusque, a scarab that must eat the body of the deceased in order to guarantee the ascension of the soul 43-45)
- Colony-based Insect (46-50)
- Construct, humanoid (51-54)
- Plant (55-60)
- Fungi (61-62)
- Animated item (63-69)
- Geographic location (a big boulder, a forest 70-75)
- Roll twice and combine (ignore this result if you roll it again, 76-100).
Table 2b. Roll 1d66 (2d6 of different colour, giving you a result between 11 and 66).
- Roll once more 2
- Roll twice more
- Roll 3 times more
- Warrior, probably berserk-like or mounted
- Scholar, likely mad or extremely methodic
- Dark-clad Assassin
- Non-human Tekumelian race
- Enraged, stampeding grazing beast
- Stalking predator
- Corpse-eating beast
- Bird of prey
- Carrion-eating bird
- Horned beast
- Other invertebrate, likely considered harmful
- Carnivorous plant
- Algae or jellyfish
- Poisonous or corpse-eating insect
- Construct, non-human looking
- Animated item, likely not man-made: Stone, sand, diamond
- Incarnation of a disaster (hurricane)
- Animated geographic feature (forest)
- A hive, swarm or pack with one mind
- Ethereal presence
Now combine all results you got, if you have more than one, and go to the next step.
Step 4: Roll on table 3.
Add an elemental condition to your demon. This is a guideline-only and the "element" doesn't need to be presented!
A Wind demon might be fully material, but flying...or it might be the wind itself (the scourging wind, for Change demons). It might be watery, or command water (salty water, for Change demons).
Table 3a (I let it to you to guess which die to roll...or you can roll 1d100).
- None 1-44
- Light 45-52
- Air 53-60
- Water 61-68
- Earth 69-76
- Gold 77-84
- Steel 85-92
- Shadow 93-100
Table 3b. Roll 1d20 or 1d100...seriously, you don't need me to write that out!
Step 5: Combine them into a narrative description that fits.
Step 6: Consider which god or goddess said demon is most likely to serve (note: a "slave" demon likely has no free will and you might want to roll on Table 1).
Step 7: Decide what said demon's goals, needs and wants, dislikes, hates and quirks are. Demons often reflect the identity of the god/dess they serve.
Step 8: Decide on a binding ritual. The type and element should help you, but it should be costly, require precision and sacrifice - or it doesn't count...
Also remember, no demon works for free. The personality should help you devise a suitable payment.
So, how does it work?
Well, you start with Step 1, and pick a pantheon. Let's say you got Stability.
Then you roll 100, double, and get "maiden" and "plant" on the results. You roll "gold".
Your demon is a plant girl, walking on feet of greenery, that leaves golden nuggets in her footsteps. I decide she's an Avanthe demon that aims to preserve the crops and reward the good farmers.
Too bad you need to boil gold in a pot of ironwood and pour it on a still-living flower so you get the golden flower. You need to arrange enough of those to make a nice arrangement, while reciting the magical formula.
If you fail to do a nice one, the demon appears, but smashes the arrangement and takes the caster away for uses best left unmentioned.
Oh, and you know why this has the Exalted tag? It also works for demons of the 2nd and 3rd circle, or even new Yozis!