Imps are the innumerable "least devils" that spring up on the plane of Sheol whenever a member of one of the sapient races thinks an impure or "sinful" thought or impulse. They are rarely taller than 12 inches, and usually smaller. Their forms are infinitely mutable - they might look like anything from a small humanoid with a variable number of limbs, a giant insect, or a formless blob. Nevertheless, there is usually some sort of hint of what kind of sinful thought gave rise to a specific imp - a slothful impulse might give rise to an imp in the form of a large slug, while a greedy thought might create a small, goblin-like creature constantly snatching up anything shiny and valuable it comes across.

Most people believe that they can only spring up from thinking about specific, clearly defined sins, and most religions teach that this is indeed the case (with the sins defined by their religion naturally being the most prominent in their sermons). This is not actually the case, though the truth is only understood by few people. What generates imps is not thinking about specific behavior, but the conflict between the thought itself and the cultural conditioning that such behavior is wrong. A human who has been raised with the ethos of Thenos that theft is wrong will generate an imp when he thinks about stealing something. Most goblins, on the other hand, do not consider stealing as "wrong" and thus the thought has no further repercussions. In fact, some researchers have discovered cases where imps even spring up from thoughts that humans would consider positive - such as a hobgoblin contemplating being merciful to his defeated enemies.

Imps are intelligent, though barely so. They become brave in large swarms and are willing to tear up even large enemies (especially when directed by overseers who are more powerful devils, as it is common on the battlefields of Sheol), but they quickly flee when they do not have large numbers to hide behind.

A tiny minority of imps (which are still countless thousands, when compared to the multitudes of imps existing on Sheol) become sensitive to the thoughts and dreams of humans and other thinking beings drifting through the Astral Plane. With enough practice, they learn to feed on thoughts similar to those that gave rise to them, and eventually become strong enough to turn into lesser devil.

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

In Urbis, devils are not a force of "absolute evil", but rather parasites who feed on the weaknesses of the human soul.


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