Episode 7 (Jan 2007)
The Nine Hells

Open Full Player Digg This!

Don't just read about D&D's latest news and announcements--listen to them as well! And where better to find inside information than from the very halls of Wizards of the Coast? In this episode, Dave Noonan and Mike Mearls walk the nine layers of Hell itself!

Episode 7

  • Industry veteran Steve Winter and R&D’s James Wyatt join the studio to discuss deviltry: namely, the tyrants of the Nine Hells, including a look back at the role and evolution of devils throughout the game. Some notes from their discussion:
  • The Dragon article under scrutiny? That’s The Politics of Hell, an article appearing in Dragon Magazine #28 as well as Best of Dragon volume 2, penned by (himself rather fiendishly named) Alexander von Thorn.
  • Literary sources also include Dante’s Inferno, which contains references to malebranche, the “horned devil” that spilt into the malebranche and cornugon lines throughout the game’s editions.
  • Hell’s rulers have not always retained their dominion over its layers. James references the Hag Countess, former ruler of Malborge the 6th layer, now ruled by the lovely Glasya.
  • When it comes to deviltry, what could be more insidious than the hot seat? This time, Mike Mearls takes the seat, subjecting himself to Dave Noonan’s evil questions. Think you know the answers to the following:
  • John asks: Can centaurs be used by paladins as special mounts?


  • Adam asks: Say I am Mr. Evil Creepy Wizard Guy. I turn into a remorhaz and eat the party’s rogue. I then dismiss the spell. What happens to the rogue?


  • Jesse asks: What exactly happens when you dominate yourself with a dominate spell (other than the opposed Cha. roll against someone else’s Charm/Compulsion spell)?


  • Andrew asks: What would happen if you turned a bag of holding inside out?
  • Some notes on Mike’s answers:
  • For more information on bags of holding, consult Skip Williams’s Rules of the Game article on the subject.
  • Dave’s quip about Schrödinger's rogue? A reference to the famous “is it alive or dead” paradox, concerning Schrödinger's cat.
  • Download it now! (31.1 Mbs, 37:58 minutes) Click on the link to listen to the file in your browser, or right-click Save As to download to your computer.

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About the Authors

David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. His credits include co-designing Dungeon Master's Guide II, Heroes of Battle, and numerous products for the Eberron campaign setting. He lives in Washington state with his wife, son, and daughter.

Mike Mearls is the dark hope of chaotic evil: young, handsome, well endowed in abilities and aptitudes, thoroughly wicked, depraved, and capricious. Whomever harms Mearls had better not brag of it in the presence of one who will inform the Demoness Lolth!

Evil to the core, Mearls is cunning, and if the situation appears in doubt, he will use bribery and honeyed words to sway the balance in his favor. He is not at all adverse to gaining new recruits of any sort, and will gladly accept adventurers into the ranks, but he will test and try them continually. Those who arouse suspicion will be quietly murdered in their sleep; those with too much promise will be likewise dealt with, for Mearls wants no potential usurpers or threats to his domination.


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