Demons Based on Emotions


I won’t say this idea is an original one, as in Dragon Age you had demons based on negative emotions, but I kinda want to reinvent this system. But my problem is that I can’t really classify the negative emotions that would make good demons, here are a few that I’ve successfully created:

  1. Fear.
  2. Desire.
  3. Pride.
  4. Wrath.
  5. Disgust.
  6. Despair.
  7. Envy.

So I tried researching stuff, and sometimes I boil down the list to include only Desire and Fear, with Desire being a neutral entity. Other times I think of adding Guilt to the list, but Guilt isn’t a negative emotion but rather the evolution of conscience, with a little spice of Despair. And I thought of different entities for Lust and Greed, but they’re both parts of Desire.

And now I’m troubled because I can’t decide which of these are positive emotions and which are negative, and which are not emotions but rather the effects of emotions.


At first, when I started reading this, I thought maybe I could help, but I am now in a deep, deep philosophical hole :anguished: Maybe just use the emojis, idk anything anymore


Like with a lot of things, I think it depends on the intensity. Pride and desire aren’t necessarily negative in itself, just when they’re overdone.

Some of these seem to overlap with the seven deadly sins which I’ve seen being represented by demons/people in stories before.


ALL emotions have a positive and a negative.


beautifully said


Exactly, which is the main issue. Emotions are there for a reason, so you can’t simply call it evil.

Yeah, I was planning to do that, until it occurred to me that stuff like Gluttony and Sloth aren’t really that bad. I mean… they’re ways of saving/gaining energy.

Yep, true.


Ive done both characters based off of emotions and characters ((on multiple occasions)) based on the sins.Emotions are quite hard to put in a box.Since like said before Pride is only bad depending on how intense it is.If your talking about just having confidence ((which I believe can be classified as Pride)) which isnt bad but if it turns into arrogance it is.You can also boil emotions down to just representing one ((because both Greed and Lust can represent Desire but Greed is a desire for money and Lust is not)) but that simplifies emotions quite a bit just like trying to classify them are.Id go with your gut on what you think is what.You could also have in your story a plot point where the emotions that represent them arent bad its just really what the character has done that makes them bad.It all depends on what you want to do with it because emotions are complicated ((as is Good and Bad)) so you can go wild with however you want it in the story :slight_smile: . Sorry if Im rambling slightly.


I also barley know what Dragon age is.


So that’s another issue: all these things have a positive and a negative.

Fear keeps you from walking on the railing of a tall building.

Desire is what keeps you going and making yourself better.

Pride is what gives you a self-esteem so you know your worth.

Anger is what makes you shout at the person who isn’t doing his job well.

Disgust is what keeps you from eating that week-old pizza in your fridge.

Despair, well… that’s what keeps the contrast of light and dark in your life. You can’t know happiness if you don’t know sadness.

And Envy is what makes you make yourself a better person.


Well, when writing a book you need demons just so your world looks more diverse. And the basic idea of emotions having positives and negatives pretty much ties up with the analogy of morally grey gods/demons who simply embody all the emotions of a mortal.

For example, say the God of War is also the God of Anger. He respects warriors and all the warriors pray to him, but his angels/demons are entities of wrath who feast on anger. The more angry a person is, the more powerful the demon bound to them becomes.

It’s a game where demons are embodiments of negative emotions or sins, often created when mortal spirits are denied their original purpose.


If you base it in Christianity you could take the seven sins?

I don’t think any emotions are outright negative (if you mean ‘bad’ by negative) because they are there for a reason. If you mean that they often affect you negatively, then there’s another aspect to it. Fear can cause a lot of negative reactions in your body, but it is also there to save you in situations that your mind counts as dangerous. Desire is sort of a ‘want for something’ which again can be seen as a sort of ‘collecting’ that again, may save you in the long run if it, for example, is directed towards food, water, protection etc. It can affect you negatively by limiting your view to other things and give social reprecautions. Pride is only negative if you go over the boat with it and it will most likely affect others view on you. Wrath can be a way to protect yourself as it is often associated with fear and anger, but also strength. It can give you an advantage. Disgust is supposed to keep you away from things that may be dangerous for you. Despair is also an emotion to keep you alive, like the last effort- feeling to get what you need to survive. Envy tell you there’s something you want that you think may give you a better life (not necessarily true, but the idea). None is really negative emotions even though all of these may affect your mind and body in a negative way and give social consequences.

Somewhat I feel like you’ll have to figure which emotions are considered\viewed negative in your world\society because there’s really no negative emotions, in my opinion.


I did already base it a bit on the seven sins, although there are many more negative emotions than those seven. And maybe this can include the negative aspects of certain emotions and not the negative emotions themselves.


Not sure if this makes sense, but why don’t you just make all the demons an exaggerated version of their respective emotions? Anger could either blow up easily or get extremely angry when pushed beyond limits.

This means that none of the demons are inherently evil. Or even if they are, it isn’t related to their respective emotion. Perhaps the evil demons are just demons who have gone out of control, that are unable to come to their senses.

There are a lot of ways you can change this up but I’d suggest not making an emotion evil because of the emotion itself, if that makes sense.


That is why they have both Demons and Spirits in DA. Justice, and then Anders story illustrates this point very well in Dragon Age, exploring how Justice becomes Vengeance and then even going as far as where you as a player stand on it.

The complexity is what makes those moral questions interesting. Separating it into black and white always holds a danger of coming across as simplistic and, well, preachy, as in Inquisition’s treatment of Anders’ story.