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Pit Fiend in a bottle

   
In all seriousness, I very much doubt that the object was intended as anything other than a "get a fiend buddy for an hour" item. It's supposed to be worth 170k! Like the Planar Binding line, there's a "get into jail free" card the DM can use, but I imagine it's intended more of a grant-three-wishes thing than a grant-three-wishes-and-then-kill-you think.

On the other hand, if you make it a good dungeon, you'll get several idiots' worth of gear.

Quite honestly battle is the best way to use the pit fiend, anything long term is pretty much guaranteed to be a problem. While the pit fiend might be pissed off to be used to fight enemies below him...he has other stuffs to attend to in the nine hells beside a mortal that used for one hour out of his thousands of years staying alive.

It sounds like you need to ask the DM what his/her intentions are in how to play it. TheFred is correct that the DM might not be looking to screw you over with something that's an ostensible reward. I'm playing with a DM right now who's made it clear that a current negotiating-with-devils scenario we're in is intended to aid the players and set certain things up (exposition-wise) for later in the game. Knowing that intention helped us play through the scene without the panicky second-guessing that would have ground everything to a halt. (Actually, we would have avoided the negotiations altogether without that assurance, for exactly the sorts of reasons that Ikul detailed.)

If the DM isn't on your side, then anything you do--or don't do--will backfire. If the DM is on your side, then the situation can be used to your character's benefit even if you're not perfect. So I'd say that DM intentions are the key.

If the DM says something like "It depends on how stupid you are," then ask what makes something "stupid." Is greed/ambitiousness stupid? Then play it conservative in your request. Is a poorly worded request stupid? Then get the
Ba-dum pshht!
Hell out of there. No contract is loophole-free unless it's coated in plot armor, and it sounds like the DM isn't doing that. Or maybe run through what you were thinking and ask the DM for suggestions.

Take it literally or metaphorically, as you prefer.
In real life, however, a deal with the devil is guaranteed to backfire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaBear View Post
It sounds like you need to ask the DM what his/her intentions are in how to play it. TheFred is correct that the DM might not be looking to screw you over with something that's an ostensible reward. I'm playing with a DM right now who's made it clear that a current negotiating-with-devils scenario we're in is intended to aid the players and set certain things up (exposition-wise) for later in the game. Knowing that intention helped us play through the scene without the panicky second-guessing that would have ground everything to a halt. (Actually, we would have avoided the negotiations altogether without that assurance, for exactly the sorts of reasons that Ikul detailed.)
To be fair if it's the game I'm thinking of, most DMs aren't going to have you talking to a Yu-gi-oh monster serving as her actual card title role. Also it depends on the genre of the game. The Amazon Prince game is a comedy game where screwing over the PCs goes against the crazy over the top parody.

If he's playing in a more serious game, or heaven forbid a horror themed game, then I'd throw away the flask ASAP. I'd tell him to consider what genre of game he's playing in.

Of course since it was a random treasure reward, it backfiring on him, would be kind of a cruel thing for the DM to do. Especially on a major item table. Just a few percent dice difference and he could be holding a +10 sword instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaBear View Post
TheFred is correct that the DM might not be looking to screw you over with something that's an ostensible reward.
I mean, one should certainly be careful, and the pit fiend being annoyed and wanting revenge is always a possible plot hook for later, and so on - certainly if this is abused - but ultimately so what if it gets asked to fight something for an hour? I think of it more like a genie, where it's probably happy enough just to be off. It's an evil creature so if it can screw the PCs over too maybe it will (it's certainly not on their side) but it's probably not going to go to much effort over it.

It might even be happy just to perform evil acts in their name, and possibly corrupting them in the process (imagine it going overboard in whatever it was asked to do and the PCs having to pick up the pieces, for example).

In the right campaign, an Iron Flask containing a Pit Fiend would be invaluable. I would keep it as a bargaining chip.

Do you know the command word? It only serves if the command word is spoken at the time of release.

These things make interesting traps. Rig it so the trap removes the stopper. Whoever triggers the trap is now the user - an user that did not use the command word...




 

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