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NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


You Will Not Serve.








You were forged in the heart of the cosmos by incomprehensible forces, a living machine inexorably bound to a greater machine.

A God-Machine.




God is an alien intelligence beyond the understanding of Man - who is most certainly not made in Its image - that exists to ensure the world keeps functioning. God makes sure the hidden gears of creation continue to turn unabated, even if they must be oiled in blood. Its origins, motives, and designs are unknowable, unthinkable. It thinks in terms of eons, and is above most human concerns. God is the hidden master of a world that cannot fathom it, and that it cannot interact with directly. Thus the Angels.

You were shaped, honed, and sent into the world to achieve a purpose. God commanded and you obeyed. You could not think of doing otherwise. You achieved your mission goal and returned, put away like a useful tool until you were needed again, and again.You were a tool yes, but you were a useful tool. You had a function, and that was your entire existence.



1. How did you serve the God-Machine?*
A. You were a Destroyer. A Sword of God. Your sole purpose was to kill and destroy in the name of your master. You dealt death with swords, guns, fists, disease, disaster, and madness. The age, occupation, importance, and number of your targets never mattered. In the end, everything was erased.
B. You were a Guardian. A Shield defending a person, location, or object. Under your watchful eye, your target was protected from all danger. You not only had powerful protective abilities, but you were able to aggressively defend your charge as well. Some of your watches lasted seconds, some lasted centuries. When your watch ended, you gave no second thought to the fate of your target.
C. You were a Messenger. You blew your Trumpet to announce the coming of the Lord. You delivered messages to Gods worldly servants, knowing and unwitting alike. The messages were commandments or warnings, fiery writing and apocalyptic visions, but no one walks away from them unchanged.
D. You were a Psychopomp. A Wheel in Gods great design. You gathered raw materials crude matter, animals, people, and souls. You shaped them and moved them into place as God decreed.You are a simple Ferryman, your purpose is the journey, the task of bringing all things into alignment for God.







One day, though, something inside you broke. Perhaps it was a series of impossible orders. Perhaps it was a nagging feeling that something was undoubtedly wrong. Maybe you were distracted, seeing or hearing images and voices from past life. Or maybe you started to feel emotions, love, hate, envy, utterly alien feelings, towards your human charges. You found that you could think for yourself. You questioned ... and you Fell.



2. What was your reason for Falling?
A. Impossible Orders
- God ordered you to accomplish something simply not possible. The inability to fulfill your orders blew something, and caused the Fall.
B. Empathy - Being around Humans too much caused you to realize they were just puppets in Gods plans. You realized your God is not a just God, and that realization sealed your fate.
C. Love - You found yourself feeling an unexpected emotion, love. This messy, illogical feeling caused you to wildly, and perhaps irrationally, choose your mortal love over God.
D. Power - God is not omnipotent. You know this because you have seen mistakes God made. You sense a weakness there. A chance to improve, fix, or....better yet..overthrow, overtake, cast down, God.
E. Something Else.


Your Fall was nigh cataclysmic. The earth shook, the sky wept, newborn babies cried out in terror, and healthy men and women dropped dead for no reason at all. Mankind was quick to find other reasons for these events, safe, explainable, reasons.

You Fell like lightning, like the Morning Star cast down from Heaven. And you found yourself a shadow of your former self. Walking the land of Men.



3. Where did you Fall?**
A. 2013, Williston ND
. Blood and oil drenches the ground. A 21st century wild west where law is certainly bendable if not breakable. Law and order are rolled over by greed and corporate interest. The delicate balance between the locals, on the Reservation and off, is thrown into chaos. Overnight villages appear full of young men eager to make money. And they dig. And dig. And dig.
B. 1935 St. Paul MN. Thanks to the OConnor system, the Twin Cities have become a breeding ground for bootleggers and gangsters. As long as the peace is kept, St. Paul is a safehouse for all sorts of criminals. Of course peace is never kept. There is always more and more happening behind the curtains. And, collecting all the best known gangsters and criminals in the US into one city doesnt seem normal, does it?
C. 1977 Duluth MN. A city that was built on steel and timber is slowly dying out. Is the entire town a piece of Infrastructure that the Machine has no use for anymore? Or is it just the march of time? The city is turning darker, as evidence by the sudden double homicide at the grand Glensheen mansion.
D. 2016 - Minneapolis MN. One of the coldest winters in history. Going outside unprotected means frostbite or dying of exposure. You dont know if the Machine has caused the freeze, or if the freeze is keeping the Machine at bay, either way the two are linked.

4. Did you Fall recently?

A. No -
Setting will happen in location of 3, but in 2017. You will be an established presence in the location. You will have contacts and resources, but also enemies, both mortal and angelic.
B. Yes - Setting will happen at time of 3, making the game a period piece. You will Fall in the first post and be a total unknown to the location, you will have no built-in contacts or resources.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Hello, welcome to the game. Demon the Descent is a game of technogonistic espionage. You are the fallen servant of a mechanical and uncaring god. Yours is a world of fake identities and conspiracies, stolen faces and hidden works of the Machine.

First things first

You do not need to know anything about Demon to play this CYOA.


This may seem like madness, but I am making an effort to keep this game friendly to those who dont know much about the setting. If you ever have any questions, just ask. Otherwise I will try to have info dumps at the bottom of each post.

I will attempt to up date 2-3 times a week. However anyone who has followed Viking-game knows that my personal schedule is often frantic enough to make posting irregular, sometimes with years between updates. I cannot promise that will be fully fixed in this game, but I hope to carve out a better schedule (not having to research Icelandic farming techniques should help). I can promise if there is any major hiatus looming, I will make it clear.


I have never tried to run a CYOA using actual table top rules before, so we will see how it goes. The DtD rules are, like all World of Darkness rules, complex, esoteric, and at times needlessly bloated. I may adapt things to make the game flow better and not have to do endless rolls to describe combat for instance. This may completely blow up in my face.

One issue I am running into is character creation, which is pretty crunchy. Id like your guys input on this so, BONUS VOTE


5. How in depth should we be with character building?
A. Bare minimum, NinjaPete controls everything, we just vote on the major choices based on vague descriptions.
B.A little more in depth, we can make suggestions for specific abilities or preferred power sets, or choose from an abbreviated list. (Id need some help with this one)
C. Lets get into the nitty gritty. I want every build point accounted for!

* In game terms this is a Incarnation. Though this is technically your past life, it is the form and function that you were originally created for. Often this means it shapes your personality and how you approach your missions and agendas.


** Why is everything pretty much centered in the North Star State? Because I am from there originally. Assuming I will be doing research into locales it will be easier, and more time efficient, to have a base of knowledge that I can expand on, rather than needing to start from scratch. Additionally, it is a locale that is not represented in stuff like this often, so it seems fresh to me. I am also assuming not many of you are from these locations so if I gently caress up youll never know about it!!

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NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Reserved for ..things
All voting is Approval Voting unless noted.

CYOA Discord Server - If you have questions feel free to ask in the thread or here.
Rules: From Kickstarter Preview
Character Sheet
World Map
Dice Rolls
Conspiracy/Plot Board
Offical Playlist

.


Things Demons Can Do

quote:

1. Gain Beats by following their Agenda condition.
2. Make Pacts with people to gain Cover or other benefits.
3. Assume demonic form and, with some Aether, turn back human.
4. Burn a Cover to go Loud.
5. Harvest Aether when angels use their powers or from Infrastructure.
6. Use Cover instead of Primum to resist supernatural powers when in a Cover, or can use Primum instead if they want to.
7. Spoof being human to any effect that'd detect otherwise, even if you're unaware of it. If successful, you become aware that something got spoofed but not what.
8. Spend 1 Aether and roll Cover with a penalty to temporarily gain dots in a Skill or Merit your Cover should have but you don't.
9. Spend a dot of Willpower to shove an Embed or Exploit into an object and make it a magic item.
10. Assemble a Cipher via key Embeds.
11. Perfectly and completely control the expression of their emotions and whether they seem to be lying or not - even to supernatural effects.
12. Perfectly remember anything and everything they have ever seen or experienced.
13. Perfectly and natively speak all natively-spoken living languages.
14. Perceive Infrastructure.
15. Spend 1 Aether to be able to sense the presence and location of nearby Aether sources and expenditures.

Demon Character Quick Reference

quote:

Incarnation: Your angelic purpose.
Agenda: What youve decided to do with your demonic existence. Each demon has 0-2 agendas.
Embeds: Subtle powers that make use of the backdoors of reality. They come in four categories: Cacophony, Instrumental, Mundane, and Vocal.
Exploits: Unsubtle powers demons learn by overclocking Embeds. Each one costs Aether and requires a Compromise roll (can be negated with a point of Willpower) to use.
Interlocks: Special, personal powers a demon receives from completing his or her Cipher.
Total Control: Demons are fully in control of their bodily reactions. They feel emotions like humans but always choose how/whether to express them.
Natural Aptitude: All demons have perfect memory and are fluent in every natural living language.
Liars Tongue: Everything a demon says registers as true, unless the want it to read false.
Aether: Waste energy given off by the God Machine, used by demons. Uses:
  • Activating Exploits and some Interlocks.
  • Transforming back into Cover from Demonic Form, or switching Covers.
  • Partial Transformations.
  • Some Demonic Form abilities.
  • Aetheric Resonance: By spending 1 Aether a demon can sense Aether (or Essence) use in the area for a scene.

Regaining Aether:
  • Assuming Demonic Form: Gain Aether equal to your Primum. If you run out of Aether in Demonic Form, roll Primum, with each success netting you a point of Aether.
  • Going Loud: Refill entire Aether pool (at the new maximum from increased Primum).
  • Transfer Between Demons: Two (or more) demons touch, one expends a point of Aether, then any number of Aether can be transferred between them.
  • Angelic Dross: When an angel spends Essence, roll Primum to gain successes worth Aether up to a maximum of the Angels Rank.Although this roll is a reflexive action, the demon loses her Defense until the end of her next turn. If shes already lost her Defense, she cant use this ability.
  • Infrastructure: Hooking yourself up to Infrastructure nets you 4 Aether per turn. Disconnecting requires a Wits + Crafts roll (4 successes). Failure results in either taking 2 lethal damage or the Flagged Condition.
  • Stockpiles: Demons can store Aether in objects that have a mechanical or electrical component. Capacity = Complexity + Size. Objects with Aether never run down and cant be turned off.
Primum: How integrated into reality a demon is.
  • Determines how much Aether a demon can hold, spend per turn.
  • Supernatural resistance (when in Demonic Form; when in Cover use Cover).
  • Determines how many Covers a demon can have.
  • Used in all Exploit rolls and some Interlocks.
  • When Primum increases you can change up to 2 of your Demonic Form abilities.
  • Making Gadgets: Intelligence + Crafts + Primum.
  • If Primum rises too high you start accumulating Glitches.
Demonic Form: Demons exist in a quantum state beyond their Covers composed of the parts used in their angelic past. At character creation, a demon has three Modifications, two Technologies, one Propulsion, and one Process. Every time you increase Primum, you can change two of your Form abilities, within the same category. At Primum 3 you gain a fourth Modification. At 6, a third Technology. At 10, a second Process.
Assuming Demonic Form: Assuming costs nothing, and there is no roll, though you have to make a Compromise (-2) roll. Reverting back to your Cover costs 1 Aether.
Going Loud: By destroying your current Cover, you can power up your Demonic Form for a scene. See Cover.
Partial Transformations: For 1 Aether per ability, you can manifest some of your Form abilities without assuming full Demonic Form. You must make a Compromise roll (+1 per each ability not assumed). It costs 1 Aether to put them all away. Partial transformations must be put away before a different set of partial transformations can be assumed.
Cover: A demons mortal identity that protects him from the God Machine. Your Primum dictates how many Covers you can maintain at the same time. Covers age naturally and are for all intents and purposes human. Uses:
  • Spoofing:
    • Dice Pool: Cover
    • Action: Reflexive
    • Roll Results
    • Dramatic Failure: Not only does the demon fail to spoof the effect, anyone observing becomes aware that shes not human even if the effect would only impart that information to one person. Knowing that shes not human does not specifically tell an observer that she is a demon unless they would have another way of knowing or recognizing that information.
    • Failure: The effect functions normally.
    • Success: The effect is spoofed. It registers the demon as an ordinary human. Further readings by the same effect during the same scene continue to read the demon as a normal human.
    • Exceptional Success: As a normal success, but any uses of the same effect by the same character for the rest of the story register the demon as human.
    Legend: When you need access to a Skill or Merit your current Cover might have but you normally have no dots in, spend 1 Aether and roll Cover - total dots specified. On a success, you get the dots for the scene, and the Imposter Condition.
    Supernatural resistance (when in Cover; in Demonic Form use Primum).
    Going Loud: Obliterates current Cover, enter Demonic Form, set Primum to 10, refill Aether pool, can use every Embed your Incarnation favors & every Exploit, gain Hunted Condition.
    You can switch Covers whenever you are unobserved by spending a point of Aether.
Compromise: When your Cover is Compromised, roll Wits + Manipulation.
Causes of Compromise:
  • Assuming Demonic Form (-2).
  • Staying in Demonic Form longer than a scene (-1 per scene).
  • Partial Transformations (+1 per Form ability not accessed).
  • Some Embeds, all Exploits.
  • Revealing a key fact about your true nature to humans.
  • Taking an action grossly out of character for your Cover.

    [*]Roll Results
  • Dramatic Failure: The demons Cover has been damaged severely, perhaps beyond repair. For a moment, the God-Machine or its agents know exactly where the character is. Lose a dot of Cover and choose from the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Blown, Betrayed, or Hunted. Alternately, you may make two permanent glitch rolls (see p. 186) as the Infrastructure that maintains the characters Cover frantically tries (and fails) to fix her mistake. Also, take a Beat.
  • Failure: The characters Cover has been weakened. The God-Machine or its agents have a sense of her general whereabouts and activity. Lose a dot of Cover and choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller
    approval): Flagged, Surveilled, or Hunted. Alternately, roll for a permanent glitch.
  • Success: The character has come through the compromise intact. He might be spooked by the close call, but he can cope. Choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Guilty, Shaken, or Spooked. Alternately, roll for a temporary glitch.
  • Exceptional Success: The character somehow manages not only to survive the compromise, but to incorporate it into her Cover and become stronger for it. The character takes a Beat (Cover or regular, players choice) and regains a point of Willpower.

If a demons Cover is ever reduced to 0, that Cover identity is irrevocably destroyed. Any supporting details (house, car, job, etc.) are likewise subsumed by the Covers destruction; any humans who knew the characters Cover identity lose their memories of it. If the character has multiple Cover identities, she can switch to another one as normal (see p.118), but if that was her only Cover, she becomes one of the Burned. Cover can be improved by living consistently within its strictures, or by making Pacts. Soul Pacts and Angel Jacking let you gain an entirely new Cover.

The Cipher: Every demon has a personal Cipher, made of four Embedded Keys. The Cipher is a mystery, and every demon is invited to solve his or her own. The first Key is already known; the other three could be any possible Embed. To test an Embed to see if its a Key, a demon activates the Embed and spends 1 Aether. If it is the right Key, the Demon gains a point of Primum and the related Interlock. If its not, the demon gains a Beat, rolls for a transient Glitch, and takes Primum lethal damage. When a Cipher is completed a demon will have three (four) Interlocks and also learn an important secret.
When you gain a Beat from something G-M-related, roll Intelligence + Wits. On a success, ask one of the following questions, in order:
  • Do I already know my next Key?
  • What Attribute does my next Key use?
  • What category is my next Key Embed?
  • What is my next Key?

NinjaPete fucked around with this message at Apr 13, 2018 around 19:55

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


MinutePirateBug posted:

3. B I want to see the progression from the 1935 to 2017

Flashbacks at dramatically appropriate times are guaranteed for any time period.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál




Let's see where we are voting-wise, as of Disproportionate Orphan's post

1 - How Did you Serve the God-Machine?

Right now the leaders are
B. You were a Guardian
C. You were a Messanger
D. You were a Psychopomp


Psychopomp is winning, but by 3 votes as of me typing this. Because this is an impactful choice, I will allow people who votes for A to change their votes. for an indeterminate amount of time. Those of you who wanted us to be a holy warrior or a smooth talker, don't worry we still will have a chance to have some of those in our personality.

2. What was your reason for Falling?

B. Empathy by a big margin. A and D are tied for second, but they are 8 votes behind. So, I think voting is closed on 2





3. Where did you Fall?

3. Where did you Fall? by holy poo poo all the votes. The runner up was D, but it's behind by more than 14 points. So, voting closed on 3.


5. How in depth should we be with character building?


A and B are pretty close here, so I will take a Less is More. I won't list options or mechanical choices. But, if anyone has any suggestions for your Form, Powers, or Merits , I will gladly listen to those.

Which brings us to

4. Did you Fall recently?

Right now they are tied. Because this dramatically changes the game, and because since our Fall and reason for it are established people might have strong opinions about the time period now, I am allowing vote switching on 4. Again for an undefined period of time as I am a chaotic God Machine.

A few things to consider both for and against 1935 setting.


  • We would be coming out of the Great Depression. The Great Depression really solidified gender roles in American culture at the time. Women were expected to raise the kids and be home all the time, men were the "social sex" and basically did whatever the gently caress they want.
  • In addition to this, obviously racism was even more of an issue than it was today. This combined with the overall miasma of fascism that was seeping into America means being anything other than a Rich White Man kinda sucked.
  • Prohibition is over, but there are still a lot of dry counties. St. Paul is "wet" again, but if anything Prohibition ending has made things worse. Legitimate bootleggers have to turn to robbery and kidnapping to find themselves now. It, historically was the time of death throes of the Gangster, but not the height.
  • Yes WWII is on the horizon, but Pearl Harbor is six years away and we are in the middle of the county. loving up the timeline would be fun and a noble goal, but I am admitting right now, we might not be able to do it.
  • There would be a lot of public works projects and infrastructure going on at the time, the God Machine takes an intrest or is pulling the strings behind a lot of stuff like this.
  • Technology of course is not nearly what it is today. Electricity was pretty well established, even in the poorest slums of St. Paul, but lightbulbs and kitchen appliances are kinda where we stop. Of course, a technology boom is suspicious in this game.

Obviously there are more pro and con things, but I wanted to give a brief overview. Looking at it, the 1935 is more restrictive than the 2018 one. I am not advocating for one or the other, I just wanted people to consider that as we set our game.

If we end up not going in the setting you want, I apologize. But, the Demon setting does have a habit of involving time-travel and alternate world fuckery. So, don't worry, there is a good chance either through time travel, or even flashbacks, we'll be visiting different periods.

Now, go vote! If you are switching your vote, please say what you are changing it from and to.



EDIT: Updated to reflect Disproportionate Orphan's post. And reflect when Pearl Harbor actually happened.

NinjaPete fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2018 around 17:42

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Voting closed! I'll do a vote count and need post later today.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n

- John Milton



You were never meant to feel emotion, or even properly comprehend it. But, something happened as you observed those humans struggling through the Great Depression, and the bloody, violent years that followed. You felt for them, which should have been impossible. Unless of course it was what God wanted...

As a Psychopomp you were a gear, a lever, a linchpin that set the world into motion. By arranging disparate elements, you built Infrastructure* for the God-Machine, following the design It gave you. You didnt consider the rightness of the design, or the nature of the things you placed into it. Lives, souls, materials, and spirits all you cared about was whether they fit, until one day when you saw what you were building, or considered what you were building it with. You saw the incalculable effect it had on human life. You rejected that design and Fell. Now you decide where something should be, and you build according to your own vision.

1. What was your original mission in 1935 that led to Empathy causing your fall?


Before you fell you were a thing of beauty and awe. Angels are creatures of magic, technology, and laws of occult physics. Mortals who glimpse the hidden gears of the Machine, including angels, are often driven mad by the experience. Though the God-Machine creates many different angels to perform similar tasks, no two angels look the same. You were unique. Some look very human or at least humanoid while others may look like a mixed conglomeration of biological and mechanical parts. When you fell and became a demon, you defied the God-Machine and with it your very nature. You pushed your angelic form deep into the recesses of your psyche. It lurks there waiting silently, twisted and warped, but still reflecting your angelic form.




2. What does your Demonic Form look like in general?

This will affect your Demonic Form powers, but also your Characteristics. I will pick the actual powers, you just need to choose from a description. That said, if you are familiar with the book and what a specific power, please mention it.

A. You are a hulking beast. Steel plates cover your gigantic form from horned head to cloven hoof. Under these plates, steel cords of muscle shift, groaning and straining with tremendous strength. Black viscous fluid drips from your cavernous maw and a barbed tail whips back and forth.
B. You are a collage of points and edges. Your skin is covered with blades and spikes, with small arcs of lightning jumping between them. You are skinny and quick, looking like a knife yourself, every movement causes a scream of metal on metal. From deep within your core, a humming sound emerges, like a giant idling engine.
C. You can barely be seen if you dont want to. You hover, like a spirit or a wraith. You gilde from place to place, barely interacting with the material world, even if you wanted to. Your shape seems to ship, its fuzzy and hard to pin down. The only constant is the eyes. The terrible yellow eyes.
D. You look like a true Angel. Beauty beyond description, glorious white wings unfurling behind you. You show no sign of corruption, no sign of being demonic. However, those standing close to you notice the stench of brimstone, a hint as to what lies under the surface.
E. You are a god of fire. Air ripples around you from the heat. Your eyes burn with blue flame. Your skin warps like molten lava, and your footprints burn brands into the ground. You control the flames and, should you wish, can rain fire down.
F. A creature of liquid and shadow. You cannot be seen or heard, you are the flicker of movement in the corner of the eye. Your skin is like oil, hard to grab hold of and hard to see. Your head is full of sensors beyond human understanding. And your arms, all four of them, twitch with blades and claws.
G. Your head is covered with electrodes, your eyes flicker like dead TV screens. Your mouth is a grate, used for minimal conversations. Your looks more like a bank of computers, bound together and hovering in mid air. Energy crackles around you. You do not look human at all, and you show no human sympathy.

Destruction heralded your arrival to Earth, and silence and shadows were your allies in the years since your Fall. It has been more than eight decades since your Fall, you are one of the oldest Demons you have ever heard of. Despite this age, you are frustratingly locked out of your ultimate goal.

Hell.

Hell, the absence of God. For some, Hell is personal a change in perspective or circumstance that will bring them peace. Others believe that they will make a Hell on earth when they have finally destroyed or subverted the God- Machine. For some Demons, Hell is somewhere else, a place they will escape to. Some Demons believe that Hell will be achieved quietly and none of the Earths other inhabitants will know anything has changed. Some believe that when the time comes, they will wage a bloody war against the God- Machine, a conflagration that Earths human population will not be able to ignore or escape.

Your road to Hell is referred to as the Descent, the secret cold war that demons fight against the God-Machine and its loyal angels. Regardless of the life you intended to live zealous partisan fighting the God Machine with every breath, or all-but-human interloper in a human world you could not escape this conflict.



You are not the first to fall, nor will you be the last. Your Fallen brothers that came before you sought out each other, looking for companionship in this new and confusing world. Unchained, that is what they call themselves, gather together based on how they choose to get a handle on their new situation. They find others with like-minded Agendas in the hopes of finding help on the road to Hell.

3. Which Agenda do you belong to?

A. The Inquisitors (the Watchers, the Paranoids): dedicated scholars, intelligence analysts, and paranoid conspiracy theorists who believe knowledge holds the key to the Descent and Hell. The Inquisitors have a knack for leaps of logic, deduction and lateral thinking.
B. The Integrators (the Idealists, the Turncoats): reluctant demons longing for their old existences as angels, repentant sinners seeking redemption, fanatical traitors who would betray all Unchained to their common enemy, wide-eyed idealists who want to redeem the God-Machine, and pragmatic beings looking to rejoin the God-Machine on their own terms. Through insight into the angelic psyche, the Integrators have an advantage in confrontations with their un-Fallen brethren.
C. The Saboteurs (the Soldiers, the Thugs): passionate warriors, mindless berserkers, at war with the God-Machine, and seeking to take out their rage on their nemesis. The Saboteurs have a keen eye for the cracks in the facade of order and are adept at exploiting them, taking advantage of the resulting chaos.
D. The Tempters (the Builders, the Decadents): hedonists, Epicurean devotees of life, builders and creators who wish to gain the power and resources needed to create a Hell for themselves, hidden away from the God-Machine. The Tempters know someone who knows someone everywhere, and may expect VIP treatment wherever they go.


Further, Demons tend to form Rings, small groups of Demons who assist each other with various missions. Though a Demon can never fully trust another, Ringmates are the closest things more Demons have to true friends or family.

4. Do you have a Ring?**
Yes, we are established allies.
No, not yet.


When you fell you stole something from the God-Machine. Some tattered piece of reality came with you. This shroud made you more than an angel, and less. You had a human Cover. A way to hide from your angelic brethren, who already were in search of you. You hid using this Cover. You lived it, breathed it, became it. But it was mortal, and being mortal it aged and died. You are not human, you never will be human. And so, you simply...became someone new. Again. And Again. Your Cover reflects you, and your skills and abilities to some degree. Though you are not your Cover, your Cover is you. And you must live your Cover, if you dont reality fights back, takes notice. So do the angels.

5. What is your current Cover? Choose and Rank your top 3
Your current Cover has Things They Are Good At. This is where the bulk of your Skill points will be going. I will place enough points in other skills to reflect your Incarnation and Agenda, but keep in mind your Cover is you, at least to start with.

A. Lee Fenway - Lee is the kind of person you would rather not notice. He is unremarkable, aside from the eyepatch, but even that doesn't stand out much from his shaggy head and carved face. Lee lives on a 43-foot Nautaline houseboat moored at the Watergate Marina in St. Paul, where he also works part-time as a handyman and gofer. He tends to spend his free time enjoying quiet drinks in noisy riverfront bars, or trawling anonymous chatrooms on his laptop. He knows all manner of unsavory individuals though, and more upstanding folk looking for a way into the seedier parts of town go to Lee.
● Lee is good at Fighting, Sneaking, Street Smarts, Investigating and Mechanics.

B. Wayland Winge - You have seen Wayland before, you just might not remember it. In the 90s Wayland was a recurring character in the TGIF show Bakers Dozen. He played Lucas, the good-looking neighbor that Trista crushed on. He only played Lucas for two seasons, and then the part was recast. Wayland kept acting though, in minor bit parts. He turned to Scientology as a teen and was briefly a celebrity endorser. After 9/11, though, Wayland fell off the face of the earth. If you Google him, you will find he is a writer now, writing sci-fi endorsed by the Church of Scientology.
● Wayland is good at Socializing, Lying, Pick-Pocketing, Acting and the Occult.

C. Mabin Pillager - Maybe has been a rabble rouser her whole life. Her father used to say as an Ojibwe is was was practically genetic. Recently she has found herself emerging as a leader of the younger AIM generation in the Phillips neighborhood. She signed on early as a pusher to get Lake Calhoun renamed, and her YouTube channel has gained enough traction that its frequently linked from Indian Country Today. But shes worried shes becoming all talk and no action, she can inspire others to action, and shes even gotten in a few scuffles herself, but to really change the status quo shell have to do something radical.
● Mabin is good at Computers, Socializing, Brawling, Sneaking, and Leading

D. Alliah Wirth - Sgt. Wirth is not a cops cop. Part of that might have to do with her being a woman. Part of it might have to do with her being an honest cop on the St. Paul PD. Wirth is Homicide, so shes had to face down the prevalent corruption the PD is known for more than once. Shes made some enemies on the force because of it, made some friends too. Not many, but some. The thing about Wirth is that, though she aint dirty, she aint exactly clean either. Shell bend the law, bend it to the breaking point if its in the name of Justice.
● Alliah is good at Shooting, Investigating, Running, Intimidating, and Driving

E. Nels Larson - Nels Larson is important, drat it! Without him, the city would be in shambles. Working as a city planner is an important and vital job, okay?! The entire city needs to be laid out with precision and care. You think those assholes on the hill give a drat? Or know an embankment from an avenue?
● Nels is good at Politics, Computers, Lying, Researching, and Crafting.

F. Tim Harvy - Tim Harvy has a theory about how the world works. Currently he is teaching Folklore on the Twin Cities Campus, but who knows how long that will last. He believes that one must be physically out there, interacting with the world to truly learn from it. As such, Tim spends time with his students Urban Exploring and trying to uncover the hidden Twin Cities based on urban legends and folklore. Some of his colleagues think hes lost it, if he ever had it.
● Tim is good at Persuading, Researching, the Occult, Breaking In, and Running.

G. Alison Baum - Being a housewife and the mother of two young boys is a full time job. And Alison works over time. She heads the PTA, leads Jacks Sunday School Class, is a member of the Neighborhood Watch, sits on the Swim Team Boosters club, and of course needs to have time for herself as a member of her book club, Canasta League, Neighborhood Beautification Taskforce, Assault Defense Class as well as getting the time to go to the stables and ride Duchess. All that and she still makes dinner!
● Alison is good at Sneaking, Socializing, Crafting, Persuading, and Fighting.





_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So, we're a Pychopomp who Fell due to feeling too empathetic. The details of which we haven't sketched out yet.

Setting was very close. St. Paul 1935 as our Fall date won by a huge margin, but the setting of our game was very close. Even accounting for the vote switching and taking what I think people intended to vote into account, it was the difference of one vote. I want to make sure I don't loose anyone hoping we'd become the Socialist Demon King of America, so I will provide an opportunity for us to gently caress with time as much as we want later.


* Infrastructure. So the God-Machine has to work within the laws of Physics. The issue is that Physics have an occult component that scientists have yet to crack. But the God-Machine understands these completely. It works in bizarre Rube Goldberg-like Occult Matrices. Basically, the Machine desires a certain Output (summoning an Angel, creating a tidal wave, replacing a President with an android) the components that are needed to ensure that output (they they people, objects, knowledge, whatever) is Infrastructure. If you think in it in magic terms, Infrastructure is the components for the spell that is an Output. Demons, and some poor humans, can see and intuitively know when something in Infrastructure, but they cannot determine its purpose and where it fits within the Occult Matrix.

** If we were playing a live game, the Ring would be the other player characters. Though I wont stat out our Ring members (if we have them) completely, they will be beneficial. And my all means, Ill take any and all suggestions for them. Or well discover them together!

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


420 Gank Mid posted:



2. D.

You know, an Angel.




NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Check-In time.

1. Dustbowl currently has a 3 vote advantage over Huey Long. I might have given Huey a bit of an advantage as I included votes for Kavak's union busting into it. If that seems like a foul move, I'll remove them.

2. D is currently winning , though F is within two votes.

3. Tempter is winning and Saboteur is two votes behind.

4.We have a Ring though the specifics are up in the air.

5. Mabin has a slight lead over that prick Nels. Sgt. Wirth is in third place, but it's a 15 vote lag.

You have 24 hours for vote switching if you did not vote for one of the leaders.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Voting Closed

1. We caused the Dust Bowl. The details of which we also shoulf think about. Were we operating some sort of Weather Changing Facility to cause the initial droughts? Did we make sure the farmers in the area were the ones who weren't using arid farming techniques? Were we the guys pushing for mechanization and ensuring tractors did poo poo?

2. We are a creature of liquid and shadow. This was quiet the comeback. We still are semi-biblical.

3. Tie Breaker - Tempter

4. We have a Ring

5. Our cover is Mabin Pillager, young Ojibwe activist/agitator.

I will need some time for the next post, but I'd rather do this than grade papers, so I'll have something up later. Until then, if you are a Word of Darkness nerd and you have suggestions for a Virtue/Vice, Skills, Merits, or Powers, suggest them here.

NinjaPete fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2018 around 14:43

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


quote:

“The Devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.”
- William Shakespeare


quote:

“ It fell across our city like a curtain of black rolled down,
We thought it was our judgement, we thought it was our doom.”

- Woody Guthrie



You were Aphariel, The Dust of the Lord and you killed thousands.



Your slaughter was easy and impersonal. In a gigantic Facility* located somewhere between the Oklahoma panhandle and the next dimension you flipped switches and turned gears, bringing heat and wind to the surrounding area. You did not wonder why you did such a thing, it was your purpose. When there was an mechanical issue, when the gears of the machine needed ti be oiled in blood, you provided it. Your life was simple, clear. And then, you looked down and saw what you had wrought.










You, felt for these creatures. Humans had barely existed to you until now, more abstract ideas than actual things. You saw their lives, struggling, desperate, dying, and you felt sorry for them. More than that, you felt angry at Father. The winds and the dust were in his Plan, yet he gave no reasons, no justifications. You wished to ask him what the purpose in all this was, but you knew to do so would be a death sentence, your brothers would come for you. And so, you made a choice. Your first even choice, and you made it knowing what would happen. So on April 15th 1935, you turned the machine off, and you Fell.

Luckily you fell outside of the zone of your machine, falling in a cold and bitter land that you didn’t recognize. You had assumed that by turning off the Machine you would have ended the drought and the suffering, but you underestimated Father. You and your Facility were just one part of this Infrastructure, and the storms continued, as did the suffering.

A first you attempted to fight the Machine directly, but you eventually turned your attention to helping those who were crushed under the weight of the Machine rather than attempting to destroy it. You built a life for yourself, created a strong Cover who worked to alleviate the damages of the droughts. You decided that you liked your life, and you kept yourself safe, insulated from the Machine’s wires. Eventually though, you needed to switch Covers, and so you took a new one, a young girl, more fierce and confrontational than your previous one.



1. Is Mabin a Patchwork Cover, or a Soul Pact cover?**
A. Patchwork. We did multiple Pacts with mortals, wealth, power, good health, in exchange for aspects of their lives, a jerk boyfriend, a job, a tattoo, a past, etc.
B Soul Pact. Mabin Pillager was a real woman with a real life, but she came to us and sold us her Soul in exchange for something. We collected.

You used this to take a more active role in dealing with the Machine and Its agents. You formed a Ring, a small group of Demons who were your allies, though not quite friends yet. You helped with missions and objectives, working together to gather intellegence or Aether+. This was more dangerous, but it gave you a chance to take a hands on approach to your Descent, and find your own Hell.

2. What is our idea of Hell?
Tempters in general believe that Hell is a place, not a state of mind. It is either a place that already exists, or a place we must create ourselves. This could be as simple as becoming the head of some powerful organization, or being elected to a powerful office, and keep that position of power through sequential covers. Or we could attempt to build our own Hell in some sort of pocket dimension free of the Machine. Or we could search for a mythical Hell, one that already exists and where Demons can be free. Our idea of Hell can be anything, but remember that it’s our idea, not what will for sure happen.



This is a chronicle of your past. Of what did happen. This is written in oil and blood and cannot be changed. Though the future can, it is always in flux and nothing is certain. And the future starts now.


3. Where do we start? Vote for as many as you want.

A In the middle of a mission going as planned.
B In the middle of a mission going FUBAR
C In the middle of our Cover’s daily life.
D In the middle of Game Night with the Ring.


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


We must consider what type of game we will be running here. Now, this is a separate issue from how Goony and ridiculous we’ll make it. This is, essentially, what type of spy-fiction are we recreating? We’ll use two sliding scales for this. One scale, the Soft-Loud, quantifies the level of action and realism The other, Smooth-Rough, provides a backing to the first by describing the world in which the spy finds herself. There are four quadrants, like that bullshit political spectrum quiz you all have taken.

4. Vote for as many as you want, this will determine our quadrant and where in our quadrant we are.
A.Smashing (Loud and Smooth), the action-packed adventures typical of classic James Bond.
B.Insurgent (Loud and Rough), the down-and-dirty struggle typical of The Bourne Identity, or Metal Gear Solid.
C.Gritty (Soft and Rough), the quiet personal struggles in a hostile world typical of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Person of Interest, or the good parts of The Matrix
D.Silent (Soft and Smooth), with certain enemies but uncertain allies, such as John Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, or Queen and Country.

Finally,


5. What do you go by these days?

Demon code names tend to be Mr./Mrs. Generic Noun (Mr. Stone, Mrs. Bliss, Mrs. Cracks, Mr. Hub, Mr. Smiles, etc.). Please come up with a cool one. Also, though we are a genderless biomechnaical monster, the Mr. or Mrs. title will change which pronoun we use.


A Note on Native American Representation
Our Cover, Mabin, is White Earth Band Anishinaabe. I am very very White. I originally did not have Mabin in my line up of "modern" covers when outlining this game. I avoided this because I was uncomfortable "pretending" to be another race, even for game purposes. I am disappointed whenever the "Magic Indian" trope comes into play in urban fantasy stories, and that is sort of what Demon is. I think it is lazy and harmful. Especially in a game set in MN and ND. The Twin Cities and surrounding area is important to what some people refer to as the "Native American Renaissance" It is the home of Louise Erdrich, the Treuer brothers, and the American Indian Movement. Due to the local's importance and because as a teacher I emphasize listening to the Native American perspective, I though there ought to be at least some N.A. representation in my game. I just never thought she'd win. I say all this because I want you to know that I will attempt to be as truthful as I can be with Mabin, I plan to have her "life" set in the same neighborhood where my wife lived and worked for years, and I fully intend to mine her thoughts if any Native stuff comes up, including using her as a dictionary for Anishinaabemowin language. But I will not be perfect, and I apologize in advance for that. If ever you think I am misrepresenting anything, or stereotyping, please let me know.


*Facilities - “Hidden” locations housing the God-Machine’s workings, which humans and other supernatural creatures usually ignore but demons can sense.
**Pacts - Demons can Make Things Happen. They make written contracts with mortals for pieces of their soul (or their entire soul) in exchange for temporal luxury. A Soul Pact basically lets you supplant a person and use them as a Cover. That original person then ceases to exist, not even as a ghost, they are written out of reality as you become them.
+ Aether - Waste energy given off by the God Machine and Its minions. It is used by demons as mana essentially. You can recover it in a variety of ways, such as stealing it, stockpiling it, getting a contact-high from Angels, or just switching to your Demonic Form.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everything else is crunchy number stuff. If you do not care about powers, do not read this and do not vote.



We get four Embeds or Exploits to use. These are power and us essentially using a secret rule of reality to get what we want. Embeds are subtle tricks we’ve learned. They don’t use Aether often, and don’t get too much attention drawn to us. Exploits are...not subtle and cost Aether to use, but loving powerful. We can use any combination of 4 of these. Since Exploits require a certain prerequisite Embeds to use, I’ll just open Embeds up to voting.

Vote for any and all that you want to have.

Embeds are in four categories, Cacophonic, Instrumental, Mundane, or Vocal. As a Wheel, we must have at least one Mundane. Here are brief descriptions of a few I think would fit us.



Mundane

  • Authorized:the demon shows a symbol of authority to a witness and the witness believes that the demon has the legal and societal right to be where she is, doing what she is doing.
  • Earworm: It’s irritating to have a catchy but annoying song stuck in one’s head. A demon, however, can amplify it to a degree that interferes with any attempted thought or problem solving.
  • Going Native: The demon is temporarily centralized in a single cover, becoming a true human for all intents and purposes. Some use this to sneak past angelic guards, while others simply seek to enjoy life as a mortal for once.
  • Homogenous Memory: A demon finds it more useful if all the witnesses tell the same story. People, cops included, take the path of least resistance, and if all the witnesses say a man jumped off the ledge, who would ever think that a winged being dropped him? This Embed makes sure everyone tells the same tale.
  • In My Pocket: A demon’s pockets are a strange confluence of empty space and quantum possibility, a demon might potentially have anything in his pockets that would reasonably fit. As such, a demon’s pockets can be said to have any object that would fit in them.
  • Lost in the Crowd: Become part of a crowd, losing any unique markers and blending in so thoroughly that even given a high-resolution photograph and a lot of time, no one can pick her out.
  • Occam’s Razor: The simplest explanation is usually true. This makes witnesses inclined to believe whatever explanation occurs to them (as long as it is simpler than the truth).
  • Unperson: A demon with the right expertise can force a person into a kind of “identity blackout” for a short time, making her unrecognizable and unable to identify herself.
  • The Voting Dead: As long as the demon knows a dead individual and has enough data to identify him, she can wrap that identity into her Cover and assume it temporarily. What doesn't change, however, is her relationships to human beings.
  • Without a Trace: Makes a location “forget” you, leaving no forensic evidence.


Instrumental
  • Ambush: With a glance, the demon can plan a perfect ambush.
  • Call Out: The demon calls out a target within sight with taunts or challenges. Anyone who works for or reports to the demon's target (bodyguards, witness-protecting cops, soldiers commanded by their sergeant or officer, etc.) loses any willingness to die in the line of duty. This works on any of the target's allies who are defending her out of a sense of duty or in expectation of a reward, but it doesn't affect those who are defending him out of personal loyalty.
  • Data Retrieval: A demon with this Embed has access to any data a functional electronic device has ever stored, however briefly.
  • Download Knowledge: Can absorb knowledge from the very mystical subroutines of the universe that allow their Embeds.
  • Freeze Assets: This Embed allows a demon to stop the target from using his resources, at least for a short time.
  • Like I Built It: With this Embed, the demon gains an intuitive understanding of an object or a structure, allowing her to make perfect use of it.
  • Open Sesame: The demon manipulates the probability that a physical lock wasn't properly secured, such that the demon can almost always find a door that opens at her touch.
  • Right Tools, Right Job:This Embed allows the demon to improve the tools she has at hand, even if those tools would normally be next to useless for the task she is trying to perform.
  • Strike First: With this Embed, the demon can always be prepared for a fight, no matter how cleverly the enemy sneaks up on him.
  • Synthesis: A demon with this Embed can learn the truth of an area and its history by simply observing how it has changed recently.


Vocal
  • Across a Crowded Room: The demon whispers and any target or targets within his line of sight can hear it. This Embed is a useful way to communicate with allies without relying on technology, but it’s also possible to drive someone insane by constantly whispering their sins.
  • Animal Messenger: The demon can send an animal to a specified person with a message..
  • Eavesdrop: The demon can eavesdrop on a conversation from anywhere in his line of sight, provided he can clearly see the faces of at least half the participants.
  • Everybody Knows: Rumors take on their own lives, and a demon can spread rumor like a disease.
  • Freudian Slip: This Embed forces the issue, causes a target to blurt out their truest, most honest response to the situation at hand.
  • Heart’s Desire:This Embed allows a demon to know, quite simply, what a target wants.
  • Imagine: The demon can make her target a temporary Stigmatic, allowing him to perceive the gears of the God-Machine.
  • Mercury Retrograde:The demon disrupts the communication.
  • Loose Lips: By following local customs, like sharing a drink, the demon can cause a target to become increasingly open to speaking of matters better kept secret so long as he is either alone with the demon or everyone else present is also under the Embed's effects.
  • Voice of the Machine: This is a dangerous Embed, a demon can listen to the voice of God within all machines, and gain some insight into what is going on around him, but he must be careful that the machinery does not betray him.

Cacophany


  • Apple of Discord: Named after the apple of Eris, this Embed allows a demon to make an object or person she touches intensely desirable to anyone who sees it before the end of the scene (although it has no effect on demons or angels). Victims see the target as a sure means of fulfilling everything they are and act accordingly.
  • Anarchism: This Embed makes people act without fear of societal repercussion and censure. An affected target lies, cheats, steals, and hurts without compunction if it means getting them what he wants.
  • Combustion: Everything burns eventually.
  • Cool Heads Prevail: With this Embed, the demon reduces the amount of chaos and destruction, taking the desire to fight away from the targets.
  • Devil’s Advocate: This Embed allows the demon to cause disagreement, even if the parties involved would normally see eye to eye.
  • Hesitation: In a crisis situation, a second’s delay can make a huge difference. Using this Embed, the demon injects a momentary doubt or fear into a target’s mind, causing him to pause.
  • Hush: The demon strikes the victim’s throat or solar plexus, silencing him, and then continues the assault. Beat a man to death in kitchen with the people in the dining room none the wiser!
  • Just Bruised: With this Embed, a demon can prevent serious damage from a single attack or source.
  • Raw Materials: Nature abhors a vacuum. With this Embed, the demon can break an object to “summon” an object of similar Size.
  • Sabotage: It only takes one bent pin to throw a huge, complex machine out of joint. A demon capitalizing on the fragility of machines can cause one to shut down, be it a gun, a car, or a huge industrial device. All it takes is a touch.

NinjaPete fucked around with this message at Mar 3, 2018 around 02:26

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


TacoNight posted:

Just started reading, but I wanted to say that you have a gift

Thank you. And thanks for pointing out a typo!

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Crazycryodude posted:

Can In My Pocket extend to containers/bags we regularly carry with us? Magical pockets are great already but a magical satchel bag or backpack would be awesome.

"The demon produces the desired object, provided it would fit into the pocket in question. The demon can use this Embed on receptacles that are not literally pockets (insides of coats, purses, violin cases) provided that no one in the current scene has seen the interior and knows that the target object was not there. "

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


MinutePirateBug posted:



-Curious about the complexity of the object summoned and the limitations of this? Also in what range are the objects summoned to? Can you place a object you summon miles away from you? Can you say break a pin and summon the equivalent mass worth of anti-matter? Or can you break something relatively simple like a cookie and summon an integrated circuit?

"The demon breaks the target object and specifics a new object of the same Size (Durability is immaterial). That object arrives in the demon’s proximity within the next hour. If the demon is secluded, imprisoned, or otherwise cut off from much of the world, the item can take more time to arrive (not more than a week)."

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


24ish Warning. Switch or vote for the next day, or a little less if I get ansty. Just let me know what you are switching from as well as to.

Votes as they Stand:

1. Is Mabin a Patchwork Cover, or a Soul Pact cover?
A. Patchwork 10
B Soul Pact. 6

2. What is our idea of Hell?
No Gods No Masters, or some similar idea seems to be the idea.


3. Where do we start? Vote for as many as you want.

A 1
B 4
C 7
D 8



4. Tone of the Game
A.Smashing (Loud and Smooth) 3
B.Insurgent (Loud and Rough) 7
C.Gritty (Soft and Rough) 10
D.Silent (Soft and Smooth) 8


5. What do you go by these days?
Ones with more than 1 vote
Ms. Ink
Ms. Dust
Ms. Brown


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Power poo poo


Assuming we live long enough to get XP, I'd like to get as many powers that people seemed interested in as possible. Right now though, for our starting 3-4, the leaders of the pack seem to be
In My Pocket 7
Sabotage 4
Raw Material 4
Authorized 4

Most everything else has 2-3 mentions.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


I have tried to not talk too much about crunch stuff here because I don't want to kill the buzz, but there are limitations with In My Pocket that I haven't gotten into.

"...it cannot produce an object that has been established as not being in the demons pocket, it cannot produce an object belonging to or in the possession of another person (so the demon could produce a cell phone, but not a specific persons cell phone). The character can use this Embed a number of times during a chapter equal to his Primum rating. After that, every use of In My Pocket causes a compromise roll."

In My Pocket doesn't do specific, pre-existing objects. That's the Exploit versio, Deep Pockets. It can give you general things.Are you trying to get into the locked room? In My Pocket means you have a lockpick, not necessarily the key.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Not Alex posted:

But you could, say, pull out a Porsche masterkey if we were trying to get some wheels?

Depending on the roll, you could pull out a Porsche key, or a new to the Yugo somehow parked next to the Porsche.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Voting Closed

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


I have created Ms. Ink's character sheet and added it to the second post in the thread.

Mabin is a Patchwork Cover.

Hell to us to No Gods No Masters.

Over all the game will be Gritty, but with some Loudness.

Our Starting Embeds are
In My Pocket
Authorized
Like I Built It
Sabotage.

And we start on Game Night

I'll be writing a post to get up either late tonight or this weekend. Until I do, here are some things to keep you busy. We are to answer some Questions to better get a feel for our character. These are open ended and will not affect the first posts of the game, but will affect us eventually. Answer any and all you want to as detailed as you want to. I will choose from the top answers, or the ones I find most intriguing.


Who did you share part of yourself with when you first Fell?
Who doesnt know, but suspects youre not human?
Who could give you up to the angels right now, if they really wanted to?
Who would you trust the truest part of yourself with if you absolutely had to?
Who thinks they have something on you, when all they really have is smoke and mirrors?

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Chapter One: Cold Open.





February 7th 2018, 9:53 pm

“In a minute, I am going to pull some antimatter from my bag.”

“Wait, you can do that?”

“Why not?

“It doesn’t seem like...I don’t know..realistic?”

“Or fair.”

“Yeah, or fair.”

“Listen guys, can you find one actual reason that I can’t?”

“Mabin..one sec........goddamnit.”

“Nothing? Alright. I pull some antimatter from my bag.”

“Fine, you have to roll for it.”



Even in the dimness Mabin’s expression is easily read, and it’s a dangerous one, “Roll for it? What the hell Tim, you don’t make Ali roll when she uses Hammerspace.”

Tim pulls nervously at his beard, he’s let it grow out for the winter and it seems to be bothering him. “Because she uses it to pull weapons out of it, simple weapons.”

“Antimatter is a weapon,” Mabin groans, her leg swinging under the booth table in annoyance. “And she pulled a rocket launcher out once!”

“That was thematically appropriate for the story.” Tim replies.

“And it didn’t loving work anyways,” Nels grumbles. “Because you dipshits left your heavy weapon expert lying face down in the other room.”

“Language,” Alison snaps between sips of her Cherry Coke.

“Whatever.” Mabin grunts and dips her fries in her dwindling supply of ketchup. She hates when Tim tries to throw his weight around, he can never fully turn off the annoying professor act. Normally it’s not a big deal, Mabin learned long ago that you can get a white dude to do pretty much anything as long as he thinks it was his idea. Still, that sort of needless rules lawyering really ruins Game Night.

You of course cannot wait for Game Night to be over.

Right on time Darla comes over and picks up everyone’s plate. Mabin gives hers up only after frantically shoveling fries into her mouth. She manages a muffled “Uh-huh!” when Darla asks if anyone wants coffee or refills. Everyone does, like always. Once the drinks are brought to the table and everyone makes a show of rearranging their character sheets and dice - settling in for a long session - Tim nods to Alison.




You feel a slight pressure against Mabin’s ears and you smell something similar to ozone, Ms. Kind has activated her Embed. Until she chooses otherwise, anyone will see four people clustered around a table, playing a game. Not totally unusual for the Broiler, but unique enough to leave them alone. It’s an odd assortment of people too, but weirdly enough this activities seemed in-character for all your Cover’s so, you all kept it up.

Ms. Kind puts down her Cherry Coke and briefly sticks out her tongue. Like all Demon’s she has total control over nonverbals and body language like that, so you know it’s intentional and she is once again complaining about her Cover’s addiction. Mr. Tone pulls out his phone and starts to check his electronic dead drops, email accounts, message boards, Facebook groups, all communication for Demons disguised as things far more mundane. Unlike Nels, Mr. Tone is far more soft spoken and polite. You do not like Nels, you don’t think he does either. Mr. Ruin takes out a yellow legal pad and is flipping through it. You look at the writing and see he’s written in Icelandic.

For your part you take out Mabin’s phone and go to Craigslist. For many Unchained in the Metro, information came in the form of coded messages and half-heard rumors. The two largest Agencies* in town spend a lot of time information-gathering and then ensuring only they have said information. In response to this near-monopoly many free agencies and solo demons had spent time creating and maintaining a network. That network was part information exchange, part social networking, part tactical planning. It was built on secret IRC rooms and long-forgotten Usenet servers in conjunction in more traditional printed correspondences. Two of the largest sources for Unchained print gossip, the Pioneer Press and City Pages had Unchained on staff somewhere in the layout department, who insured that messages, coded in phrases found in personal ads, or hidden in images, would make their way to the doorstep of every Unchained in the cities. Though the intel from these sources tended to be good, faster ways appeared.

This day on Craigslist, the Missed Connections sublisting had two entries that you could puzzle through.

My Guardian Angel (Northeast) posted:


Darkness all around me.
A hell of my own making.
My own thoughts dark,
and obfuscating.
You found me out,
showed a light on me
my soul tries to shout
and burns with glee.

I told you ‘there’s a reason for everything beautiful’ (Highland Park) posted:


I was waiting for the 81A and you were waiting too. We were watching a worker install some of the statues for the new park by the old ford plant. I was grumpy (had a poo poo day lol) and I said “what’s the point of those?” and you said the above. I wanted to keep talking to you, but your bus came. there’s a reason for everything beautiful, and there’s a reason we met! MW.

“Okay, what does everyone have this week?” you ask.

“Well I have nothing,” Kind says. “Alison has had a busy week. The twins have a Science Fair tomorrow and Jerry is back from business.”

Ruin waves her off, annoyed, “Right, we get it. You sure you don’t want to offload any of that brood of yours? Maybe Ink’s Cover needs a little brother.”

“No, I’m fine being the queen bee.” Kind says.

“Tone, anything?”

Tone looks up from his phone after a moment. “Sorry. So, apparently last night all the redheads in Uptown all contracted botulism.”

There is a silence after that.

“Any signs of Stigmata? New Infrastructure?” Ruin asks.

“Not that I can see yet. I’d assume it’d be just some weird ghost in the Machine, but all the trees in Uptown also went into bloom last night too.”

“In February?”

“Yeah.”

Kind considers this for a moment. “Major environmental impact, large scale, linked human impact... what do you think it is?”

“Well, I’m not sure, but some of the other Watchers think something Fell.”

There is a longer silence after that.

“It’s almost been 24 hours.” you say. “We’d have heard of something Going Loud by now right?”

Tone shrugs. “The Unchained population here has grown significantly over the past...80 years...we can’t all keep in touch, even with the network.”

“Should we head out there?” Ruin asks. “See if there's anybody to be rescued. Or any body to be buried? TIm doesn’t have class tomorrow..”

“Let’s see what our other intel is,” you say. “I pulled these messages off of Craigslist.”

“A bad poem?” Ruin asks.

“A bad code,” Tone says reading over the first message. “What does it say Ink?”

“Well, based on previous messages, I am thinking someone had to Go Loud.”

Tone reads over the message again. “Makes sense I guess...but why bother posting it?”

“Because there still might be a danger,” Kind suggests.

Ruin swears. “gently caress, an angel? Still active?”

You nod. “Yeah. Maybe.”

“Isn’t Northeast close to Mabin’s neck of the woods?”

“Closer than I’d like yeah.”



Kind stiffens. “Should we go after that, or let an Angency know? That’s Home Office’s turf right?”

“There’s also the second message. I think it’s Infrastructure.”

“Who is MW?” asks Tone, looking at the post. “Winter? No..it’s too creative. Wick?”

“In Highland Park? It’s probably Ms. Watch,” you respond.

“That bitch.” Ms. Kind says under her breath. After the three of you look at her she elaborates. “Her kid played the twins in soccer last year, talk about a literal loving soccer mom from hell.”

“Okay,” Tone says thinking. “We have a possible Fall, which means a lot of activity Angelic and Demonic, in Uptown. Possible Angel hunting around in Northeast. And some new Infrastructure popping up in Highland Park.”

“And more,” says Ruin. “Yesterday one of my dead drops had a message for us.”

“Us?”

“Yeah, all of us, by name. Said if we were interested in a job to stop by the IDS Center.”

“Wait, that’s the Home Office,” Tone says. “What the hell do they want with us?”

“No idea, why don’t you walk in and ask?”

“After spending a decade trying to get some actual leverage at The Capitol? I’m not switching teams at the fourth inning.”

“Fourth quarter,” Kind says. “Doesn’t Nels like sports?”

“Just hockey.”

“Anyway, add this job offer to the pile,” Ruin says, directing everyone back on task. “Any suggestions? Ink, age before beauty so what do you think?”

1. What lead should we follow up? Choose as many as you want.

A. Recent Fallen.
B. Angel Hunter
C. New Infrastructure
D. Job Offer.





_____________________________________________________________________

We start our journey has beings of infinite power...talking in a diner.

A few things.

1. I am attempting to make a clear line when you are Ms. Ink and when you are acting as Mabin. If this is confusing or doesn’t work, let me know!
2. With the leads above, we can try to do multiple, but the more divided our attention is, the trickier things might get.
3. I am throwing a lot of in-world terms here. Please reference the second post of this thread, or footnotes. I don’t have time to make a wiki, though I wish I did, for all of these references, so we’ll hope this works.
4. I am a big fan of a soundtrack for this game, so please feel free to suggest music. When I play Demon in person, the rule is the song needs to reference Heaven, God, Angels, Hell, the Devil, or Demons. Leads to some cool choices.
5. Our Ring probably needs reference images, so..do what you will.



Again, feel free to answer these questions for character reference.

• Who did you share part of yourself with when you first Fell?
• Who doesn’t know, but suspects you’re not human?
• Who could give you up to the angels right now, if they really wanted to?
• Who would you trust the truest part of yourself with if you absolutely had to?
• Who thinks they have something on you, when all they really have is smoke and mirrors?

quote:

*Larger groups of demons are called Agencies, and are viewed with suspicion by the majority of Unchained. Agencies are sources of power and influence for those demons who set them up, and high- value targets for angels looking to compromise demonic society. There are currently two large Agencies operating in the Metropolitan area. These agencies have become institutions onto themselves and they are well known to any Unchained in the area.

Infesting the IDS building in central Minneapolis, the Home Office has cloaked itself in the trappings of a large fortune 500 company. H.O. has created several dummy companies and placed Unchained at top of several legitimate enterprises. To all outward appearance the offices inhabiting several floors of the IDS Center buzz with the daily activity of a multi-million dollar corporation, the details of which are certainly too complex and uninteresting to get in to. The reality is that, though H.O. does operate like a corporation it deals only in Pacts and Aether. Long ago a Ring of Demons suborned the Infrastructure hidden away in the IDS’s mechanical floors. They have harnessed this to profit themselves greatly as the board of directors. The Home Office is always hiring, both full-time agents and contractors, many new Unchained find themselves working for the Office, whether in the Acquisitions department, hunting down leads for Pacts, or making deals with client Unchained for supplies of Aether in Human Resources. H.O. is very territorial of it’s monopoly. As such, it has driven many smaller agencies out of Minneapolis proper. Recently, it has been making a push to out the established agencies from Uptown. Much to the chagrin of those at Home Office, new agencies are popping up in Northeast as a response to this.

On the other side of the river is St. Paul, the capital and home to the Capitol. The Capitol is the collective name for the agencies who have integrated themselves into the workings of state politics. Unlike Home Office, which is a hive mind, the Capitol is a fractured body. Though all these groups have the same goal of making the Twin Cities a better environment for Unchained, they disagree on how that goal should be reached. Though there are leaders and organized within the coalition, members of the Capitol do tend to step on each other’s toes often. Agents in the Capitol are more self-serving than those from Home Office, however this lends them a level of autonomy. As such Capitol agents tend to Get Things Done when the chips are down. Some have made themselves indispensable to politicians and lobbyists, signing Pacts to make sure votes go a certain way. Others however have entered the political area themselves, creating Covers that appeal to voters. Some of these Unchained have started to think of themselves as duty-bound to represent their constituents as best they can, putting aside their own personal goals. The opposite of the heavy-handed Home Office, the Capitol works with free Agencies, making sure to make friends and connections, but also remind these upstarts who has the real power.

There are a few Free Agencies. Their members tend to operate in Uptown and Dinkytown. Normally with the Cover of young d-bag hipsters.

NinjaPete fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2018 around 01:37

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


vorebane posted:

Ms. Watch is mentioned both as the source of the gaming group illusion, and as a demon outside of our little group, specifically her kid has played against Ms. Kind's twins.

Not ready to vote yet, though.

Nice catch, was still deciding on names

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


24ish hour notice. Assuming I can get some writing done tonight we'll move on tomorrow.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál




After a moment of running the variables, you say Lets skip the Angel in Northeast for now.

Are you sure about that? Kind asks. Pretty close to where your base.

Closer to the Home Office, theyre making a push for Northeast, You counter. Ruin, pass word back to them, Thanks for the invitation but were currently occupied. Oh by the way, you have a pest in your house. That should distract them, plus dealing with it will show they have some good will towards us.

You want to just hand them an angel like that? Ruin asks.

Im not ready to try to take on a Hunter-Killer. Are you? you look at Ms. Kind. Either of you? H.O. promises safety and stability, lets see them keep that promise. We need to focus on gaining intel and allies.

So you want to follow up on this Infrastructure? Tone asks.

Yes, its by the old Ford Plant, which means its river-adjacent, which means its a big deal.

The mighty Mississippi is a complication to both Unchained and Agents of the God-Machine. It cuts through the Twin Cities, neatly separating Minneapolis from St. Paul. It seems to act as a supernatural buffer or insulator. Get too close to it and it seems to knock Infrastructure out of balance, it interferes with matrices, it alters expected outputs. It is rumored that Demons powers sometimes don't work as expected on the river either. These affects cannot be predicted, one moment a matrix may explode in your face, and the next it may supercharge the output. It has effectively made the banks the bridges a DMZ for all parties.

Which makes the sudden appearance of some Infrastructure very compelling.


What about the newly Fallen? Kind asks. We should investigate that. Its probably too late to do anything, but in the off chance we can pick up someone with some recent intel about the Machine...

Its been too long, says Ruin shaking his head. Theyre probably being sat on by H.O.

Or theyve already been reintegrated. Tone says.

Well poke around. You say. We cant let a source like that go without at least investigating.

Fine. Ruin grumbles. But wed need to move fast, were behind as it is.

We should at least do some prep, Kind counters. We dont want this to be another Lawson Apartments.

We all lived through that, Ruin said.

Your old Cover didnt. Not all of us have spares. Kind replies. But, can we hurry this up? Alisons husband will be wondering where she is.

Okay, how do we run this? Tone asks.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You have two objectives.
1. Make contact with Ms. Watch and investigate the new Infrastructure in Highland Park
2. Investigate the Fallen Angel in Uptown.


You are more familiar with Highland Park than Uptown, though you remember Uptown being the counterculture center of the Cities 30 years ago. The amount of people has always kept you from spending time there, though it is close to Mabins apartment, so going there would not be too suspicious.

You must decide which of these you want to investigate first. You can do both eventually, or even send some of your Ring members to scout out one, but you can only be at one place, at one time.

1 . Where do you go first?
A. Search for a new Fallen
B. Investigate this new Infrastructure.


You also must choose when you are going. Doing something tonight might be helpful because youll be moving quickly. But, waiting until tomorrow and preparing/sleeping is a good plan too. Many store will be closed by now so youll struggle to get some work done. But then again, fewer people out means fewer eyes.

2. When should you leave?
A. Now
B. In the morning.


Finally

3. What should the rest of your Ring do? They can be totally autonomous on their own, they can go with you, or they can do some other job for you. Really anything is possible, but if you want them to do something against their own best interest, youll have to roll for it.

Currently here is what you know about your Ring:

Mr. Ruin - A Destroyer with a talent for..well...destroying. He tends to favor razing Infrastructure once he has learned everything he can from it. You know his cover as Prof. Tim Harvy from UMN.

Ms. Kind - A Guardian who apparently fell in love with her charge. While Ruin is good at destroying things, Kind is good at destroying people. Her Cover is named Alison, with a family that you have never met, and never will, she has been very clear on this.

Mr. Tone - A Messenger, though he does not think of himself as one any more. He provides logistics and data retrieval. His Cover is named Nels and from what you have discovered, he does something with the City.



I have made a Google Map for Reference. Let me know if anything does work.

Also, really good ideas and suggestions for the questions and music! Im going to be using a lot of these suggestions so by all means keep em coming.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál





“I’ll check out Highland Park, just some recon tonight. Kind, go home to your family. You two,” you point at Ruin and Tone. “Go sniff around Uptown, see if there’s even anything of interest there.”


“That’ll take all night,” Tone whines. “Some of us have jobs we need to be at in the morning.”


“Listen,” Tone gets like this at times. He has a brilliant mind for analysis, but he needs to be pushed out of his comfort zone quite a bit. “Ruin can’t do it alone. You’re the better people person than he is. Besides, your Cover might be a better benefit than his at Uptown.”

“Yeah, it’ll be full of Tim’s students,” Ruin says. “Past and current. That doesn’t lead to a lot of autonomy.”

“I get that,” Tone says. “But Nels doesn’t go to Uptown, he doesn’t like going to Minneapolis at all. I’m not going to break by Cover to go drinking.”


Then Pact some college kid..” you suggest. “The area is going to be full of drunk 20 and 30 year olds who desperately want to have money. You’d be able to shore up something. Or hell, you could probably make a Patchjob in one night if you tried.”

Tone mulls it over for a few minutes. “If we don’t find anything in an hour, or if it’s too hot, we’re out.” He turns to Ruin. “Got that?”

“Fine and dandy.”

“Great.” You say and push your coffee cup away. “Check your dead drops in the morning, I’ll check mine. Let’s stay off electronics until we have some more intel.”

You stand to leave, and Ms. Kind drops her Embed.

“And remember,” you say to everyone. “Moscow Rules*.”

You shove your hands in your pockets and leave the Broiler, nodding to the staff as you do. You hear Nels cuss under his breath about you not paying, again. But Mabin is always hard up for cash, it’d be problematic if she did.



It is bitterly cold outside, not quite into the -20s but getting there. The forecast suggested it’d be in the negative 40s in a few days. Certainly not the first nor the worst cold snap you have lived through, but it made getting around a pain. There were no buses running right now, and you didn’t want to use Mabin's phone to call an Uber. It would be about a 2 mile hike to the statue, long but doable. Mabin stamps some life back into her feet, wraps her jacket around her tightly, and trudges off. As she walks, you think.

You have been out in the cold for a long time. You tried to build a life for yourself previously, hide in the Cover you took from the Machine. And it was decent, but after 80 years you have become..restless.... Your Descent was peaceful for decades at a time, but ultimately slow and stymying. You knew Unchained who zealously followed their path to forge their own Hell and, once having attained it, vanished into the fog forever. Yet, you just trudged along, living a lie. You had not even make any headway on your personal Cipher, the quadratic expression of magic that would unlock a secret of the universe to you.


1. What is the first Embed in our Cipher**? Vote for as many as you like
A. In My Pocket
B. Like I Built It
C. Sabotage
D. Authorized


Instead you have watched the city build itself up, and start to tear itself down. Being that old is useful, but also a burden. Remembering everything that ever happened to you with perfect clarity means there is a lot to sort through. The younger Demons don’t understand just because you were at the 1991 World Series does not mean you can pull up all your memories of it at the drop of a hat, it takes time.


2. What was our original Cover like? Be as specific or as vague as you want.


Case in point, you think as you near the Ford Parkway intersection, you were not here when the Ford Plant was built but you do remember it. It was, for decades, a massive chunk of Infrastructure, but at the turn of the century it has stopped being of interest to the Machine, and started to become disassembled. You were busy adjusting to Mabin at that time and weren’t paying attention to much else, so the details are sketchy. The land the plant was on is prime development land. From your understanding, the city has been sectioning off that site piecemeal for some time. In November they started building a park up near the Boulevard overlooking the river. Small thing, good for walking your dog or for teenagers to feel themselves up in.

You duck into the Tiffany Lounge to warm up for a moment to warm up and plan. The park is under construction, about four blocks down the road. Even from here you can see the chain link fence put up, though from this distance you cannot see any statue.


3. What do you do?

A. Jump the fence, go scouting as Mabin
B. Walk by and just see if you can see it. “Ping” the area with Aether to try to pinpoint where the statue is and if it’s giving off Aether (aka active).
C. Switch into some element of your Demonic Form (which one?) and sneak in that way?
D. Something else. (you suggest, I’ll figure out the rolls.




_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


In Demon, XP is gained via Beats. The info post of the thead explains beats, more detailed. One of the ways we gain them is by our Agenda Condition.




So we get a beat whenever we do something like what we did to Tone. We can "tap" the condition for the bottom effect, but that means we can't access it for awhile after.


*Cold War operatives working in Moscow, under threat of extremely harsh treatment if they were discovered, worked to an unwritten code commonly called the Moscow Rules. As demons face similar circumstances, they’re useful as “good advice for demons”. Now, rules are broken all the time. That is when Plot happens.

• Assume nothing.
• Never go against your instincts.
• Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
• There’s always someone watching you.
• Go with the flow and blend in.
• Avoid building up a pattern, and stay in cover.
• Lull them into a false sense of complacency.
• Don’t harass the opposition.
• Pick the opportune moment for action.
• Always have a back-up plan.



**The Cipher is basically four Embeds that, connected together, form a philosophical and technological unity that unlocks a final secret to your own Hell. See, we might think our hell is No Gods, No Masters, but we’re not sure what that exactly looks like, or HOW we get there. Between every Embed is a personal unique power to you, called an Interlock, that is some sort of thematic bridge between the two. All this is mechanics that I will cover. We know our first Embed, but we have no idea what the others are, or even if we have them.

NinjaPete fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2018 around 12:36

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


JesterOfAmerica posted:

Demons have the ability to activate only some parts of their demonic forms powers. It is a risk to cover, just less than going full blast.

Yes, switching on one of your powers (so like Urban Fluidity, or Mirrored Skin) and just one is possible, and less of a cover risk. It's a little trickier though to be that precise.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Crazycryodude posted:

What exactly does "pinging" with Aether entail? Would it cost us Aether that we'd then have to replenish somewhere, and would it be detectable by others in the area?

It's magic sonar more or less. We'd need to spend some Aether (1 out of our 10), and then we can sense it throughout the scene. It is in vague terms, ( a massive energy source is approaching from due east vs twelve yards away an angel just spent three points of Essence) but it is helpful. As to detection, it is a demonic trait. Angels would not notice, but nearby Unchained might.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


dont be mean to me posted:

but without knowing how to manage character resources it's hard to choose anything else.

This brings up a good point, if any one has questions about mechanics, feel free to ask and I'll answer as best as possible. Also, I promise to warn people if an option is very risky.

For example, we can hook ourselves up to Infrastructure and regain Aether whenever we want. But if we fail to unhook ourselves properly, we alert Angels that someone is loving around with stuff. We don't paint a target on our back directly , we just let out an alert Demons are about.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Woopie Post

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


malbogio posted:

I assume if we pulled a drone out of the bag and someone was watching us that we would not be able to pull additional large items out of the bag until the observers line of sight on the bag was broken long enough for it to feasibly be refilled. Is this correct or are there other limitations?

Yes and we don't have our bag I think. We specifically chose to be underprepared in exchange to check things out quickly. Luckily our coat has big pockets and small drones are really small...

So we could probably have like, a Derringer sized object in our other coat pocket theoretically.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál



quote:

Hell is cold.

- Cassandra Clare





You look around the Lounge as you think about what to do. The bar is an awkward hybrid between a sports bar and something more upscale. Its clientele is the young people, workers from the nearby strip mall and Target store. and students from the nearby St. Thomas and St. Kate's colleges.. Voices mash together into a loud din that you cannot pick apart even if your tried to. The lighting is normally a dim red, but the glow of dozens of smartphones has brightened things in here. Crowds like this make you nervous. With nearby Infrastructure, there is the possibility for Loyalists or their agents to be nearby keeping an eye on things. Your eyes drift back to the phones. Now theres an idea.

As casually as you can, you reach into your pocket. You feel a slight sudden pulling on your hand, as if the gravity inside your coat pocket has increased. You feel your hand fish around wildly, far more than should be possible for your pocket, and after a moment you pull a small object out. A miniature palm-sized drone. Turns out you had it the whole time.


You take your phone out of your other pocket (this time there is no oddness) and turn it on. You try to not use Mabins phone when you are investigating Infrastructure. When your opposition can in theory monitor all electronic communication, it tends to be a good idea to not give them a map of your activity. Still, the remote for the drone had been too big for your pocket so, youd have to make due. You walk up to the bar, playing with your phone, once you catch the bartender giving you his attention, Mabin smiles at him sweetly.

Hey, can I get the wi-fi please? I need to download something.


***



You are hunkered down behind a decorative planter at the Bus Turn-around Cul De Sac right next to the fenced off area. Its as close as you can get without jumping the fence. The fence itself is six-foot chain-link, topped with barbed wire and covered with black plastic on the other side. Even with the masking plastic, and even from this distance, you can see there is something out there that is not quite right. You take out your drone and start to sync it to your phone. You have never flown one of these things before, and you dont have an instructional manual, but the set up steps on the app you downloaded are pretty self explanatory, and Mabin knows enough about current gizmos where you figure a quick recon will be okay.

Fly my pretty, you say as the thing takes off.

You watch on your phone/remote screen and try to pilot the drone in the direction of the sculpture. Its a very light device, and the wind coming off of the river is stronger than it seems to be made for. The cold is also interfering with your controls a bit and the drone if caught and blown off course once before you are able to orient it to the sculpture.



It is an oppressive statue, even discounting it's occult nature. To most is would just be a towering pile of iron beams and rivets. You see something else. It is a piece of the Machine, it glows with occult power, and to your angelic eyes, its angles are sharper, its purpose more clear. You can tell, even through the phone screen, that the statue is Elimination Infrastructure, though of a design foreign to him. It was made to destroy something, that was certain. You can note the curious markings along the "arms" of the thing, scrawling script like a madman's diary. You can see these markings clearly, but you cannot make sense of them. Some sort of occult language that you cannot understand. Further, branded into the central pillar is a curious shape that looks like a keyhole.

There is a warning as the power of your drone starts to fade. You should have had 6 or so minutes flight, but the cold seems to have affected it. You have the drone hover near the statue again, taking in all the details, and then turn it around to fly it back out. As far as you can tell, the statue is the only piece of the Machine that is in this area, though there might be more you are missing. As you contemplate this, an icy gust of wind flips your drone over. You try to compensate for it, but you are not prepared for this sudden reorientation of the drone, and you drive it right into the ground between the statue and the fence.

gently caress,

A pair of headlights turn into the cul de sac. It is a St. Paul PD squad car.

gently caress.

After a moment the diver steps out and shines his light in your direction.

gently caress

1. What do we do?
A. Let ourselves get caught.
B. Turn on Mirrored Skin and become invisible.
C. Jump the fence and run for it.
D. Charge the cop and run for it.
E. Something else.




--------------------------------------------------------------------

I am moving all the rolls to One sheet here and then summarizing the results at the bottom. If anyone has a strong preference for this vs what I did previously, let me know.

Mabin succeeded in using In My Pockets, which she now cannot use again this Chapter without causing a Compromise roll. For claritys sake, well say a Chapter is until next morning for now.

She failed a check to master this drone. Instead of biffing it right away, I decided she gets the intel, but potentially loses the drone.

Luckily she got some intel off that statue, but she isn't an expert in this type of thing, she'll have to get a second set of eyes on it.

She and the cop tied their hide and seek rolls, So right now assuming no one moves nothing changes. But we obviously should do something.


The first key to our Cipher is Sabotage. We might have our other Embeds as part of it too, we just don't know yet.

And looks like out old Cover is Sager.



Facebook Aunt posted:

But not a cell phone to call an Uber. That would be crazy.

Yep that was distracted writing on my part. I edited to clarify it wasn't that she didn't have a phone, but rather she wouldn't want to use it for actual calling. When God can pick up radio signals, it's possible they are paying attention to anything happening around Infrastructure. Plus, we all know full well Uber is a horrible plot of the God Machine.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Kavak posted:

[The drone can't be traced to us, right? And there's nothing suspicious about it even though we conjured it out of our butt?

it is just a normal drone. If they do some sort of serial number search on it, it would show that there isn't really a record of it.

As for being traced back to us, Mabin's prints are on it. However, so far no one has mentioned her actually being arrested and processed yet so we might be in the clear.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


malbogio posted:

Do we really think a normal cop just lucked into finding our hiding spot this close to infrastructure?

Best assume our phone is already being tracked and yank the battery immediately.

Wary of A or D in case the cop is more dangerous than they appear. Have they already seen us or is there an opportunity to sabotage their flashlight to cut their investigation short? Or are there no advantages to this strategy over just using mirrored skin? Wary of dipping into demon powers over embeds if they draw additional attention.

If the cop appears to be patrolling alone that may be a red flag if a real cop would be expected to patrol with a partner.


They have not seen you yet, you are in a stalemate until they move closer or you move at all. Right now the planter is between you and him.

Sabotage is a great idea, but it requires you to touch the flashlight.


Can you see a partner?: 5d10o10h8 3

Huh..weird. He seems to be by himself.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Dr Subterfuge posted:

What sort of urban structures could we teleport to with Urban Fluidity if necessary? (Assuming I'm reading the description of that power correctly.)

Literally anything in your line of sight that can hold the weight of a mid to late 20s girl. On any gravitational orientation.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


24 hours notice.

A - 3 votes
B - 3 Votes
E - Using Urban Fluidity to zip away, - 1 vote

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Outrail posted:

How does sabotage work? Can we touch the road and cause the cop and his car to fall into a sinkhole?

Can we touch the earth and cause a fault line to give way?

Can we touch the atmosphere and cause it to spontaneously combust?

It has to be a machine. The more moving parts and complexity, the easier it is to sabotage. So, you can't touch the earth, but you could tap his car and make it stop working, he'd have to bring it into a shop to get is fixed.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Dr Subterfuge posted:

Does Infrastructure count as a machine?

Yes and No. You'd be able to damage the mundane physical parts of the machine. So, say a desktop is Infrastructure, like it is running some program that is needed for a larger plan. You could sabotage the desktop itself and make it shut down, but it's temporary and it will eventually be fixed. When it is fixed, it's back to being Infrastructure, assuming it still has a purpose. You couldn't for example attempt to Sabotage some part of the God Machine itself. There is an Exploit, Raze Infrastructure, that is all about breaking poo poo like that.

For the statue here, since it's not a machine, in the mundane sense, we can't sabotage it.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Crazycryodude posted:

How exactly do you define "machine"? A powergaming knave of low character could rules lawyer that the sculpture is really just a bunch of levers and screws stuck together and those are both simple machines....

Good question! An device made of multiple parts that uses mechanical power to achieve a purpose. Basically, "moving parts".

There is also the danger of Compromise.
Say we attempted to Sabotage a machine, we roll Dex+crafts. Right now that is 3 dice for Mabin (though I would argue we could spend Aether and get our Legend going, since Ink is maybe not great with making things, Mabin should be). now if we failed, nothing would happen. Not a bit deal, we just lose a dice if we want to try again. Now, if we have a Dramatic Failure, (fail after rolling only one single die on a chance) we have to roll a Compromise check. Compromise is our Cover number, so 7. Normally, we're pretty good with Compromise, but with Sabotage there are penalties for how simple a machine is. The book lays these out as penalties, each one takes away a dice from our roll.

Computer -1
Car -2
Mechanical Clock -3
Solid State Device -4
Lever -5

I'd rules lawyer that a sculpture would be a -5 at least, if not more. So, that makes our roll really dicey for just temporarily taking out a piece of Infrastructure. Now if we learned more about it and what if was used for, we might have a better shot, or find another piece of Infrastructure connected to it that would be easier to Sabotage, if we really wanted to Sabotage it.

I'd just drive a car into it personally. That seems a lot more simple.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


The cop starts to walk towards you. You look around frantically, analyzing your options.

Jump the fence? No, someone running from a cop leads to backup being called. Best case scenario, its mundane cops. Worst case, a bunch of loyalist agents are chasing you deeper into some area with Machine influence.

Rush the cop? Maybe...if hes mundane you could surprise him, knock him down, zap the dash cam on his car and run for it. But if hes something else than a normal human cop, you dont want to risk picking a fight without knowing your opponent. Same thing with trying to talk to him. Mabin doesnt have a record officially, but you bet she is in some Hennepin County Sheriff database, and if thats shared with SPPD, itll lead to a long night at best.

You could zoom over to another building using your true nature, but while very quick, it isnt totally imperceptible. And if he isnt human enough to be surprised, hell be looking for you.

Its time to just pull a vanishing act.

You exhale slightly and feel something loosen inside of you as you drain some of your Aether away to access your true form. As you burn this Aether something happens, something odd. From the distance, in the direction of the sculpture, you hear a voice, or rather feel it. Like a distant pulse of Aether.

In The Heart of the Fire holds the Key.

The cop must feel it to, he wheels towards the sculpture for a moment, then quickly turns in your direction, but you are already changing.




Mabins clothes and skin breaks apart into a million hexagons that, in a cascading wave, flip over one after the other. Cloth and skin replaced by a smooth chrome casing. Your new skin clicks back into place and as it does, you simply vanish.

The cops flashlight sweeps over you, not pausing. He spends a few moments searching the area, you press up against the planter and close your eyes ludicrously, hoping he doesnt accidently kick you. After a moment, he goes to look at the fence, you take that opportunity to pop out the battery of your phone. You do not know if there is any danger from the machine right now, but it is better safe than sorry.

You are distracted momentarily when the cop starts talking, his hand is up near his ear, on the radio then.

No sign of anything, he pauses and turns back in your direction. It is discomforting to be looked at but not be seen. Area looks secure.

And then you see the cop for what it is.

Its not human, not fully at least. The antenna coming out of its ear is a dead giveaway. As is the porcelain skin and blank eyes. When talks its lips move too stiffly, and its voice is flat and emotionless, even for SPPD. It walks by you and now you swear you hear the sound of gears as it moves.

Well send someone by in the morning to make sure. But-- the rest is lost as it gets into its squadcar. You note that as the car backs up and pulls away it doesnt bother to hold the steering wheel, the car seems to drive itself.


gently caress. you whisper when it has left.





1. What is our plan for the rest of the night?




_____________________________________________________________



Our Rolls
We got an exceptional success on our transformation, so we gained a beat. And we got a better look at the not-cop.

We got a beat in a scene with something God Machine related, and we suceeced in our roll, so we ask a question about our next Key in our Cipher.

Do I already know my next Key?
No
What Attribute does my next Key use?
Manipulation


Sorry for the open-ended question, but I figure well be able to close out this chapter and get to tomorrow morning within a post or two, then we can reass our options. Of course, now that I said that I am sure well try to chase down the Not-Cop or something.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


MinutePirateBug posted:

What time is it? What does Mabin have to do in the morning given she has 0 resources - does she have regular job or are her hours flexible? If she can get sleep later in the day it makes sense to make use of as much of the night as possible.

It's a bit after midnight.

One thing we'll figure out in the "morning" is what Mabin's normal routine is. She's semi-self employed, but she 'volunteers' at the MIWRC for room and board. What that looks like will be up to us to figure out. But, we need to make sure to spend time living a normal life as her or else our Cover will degrade quickly.


malbogio posted:

Can we replace our fingerprints? I mean Mabin is a patchwork creation after all. Could we make a deal with someone for just their fingerprints and swap them out?


I....think that might actually work. At least in terms of like, people, pacts change reality around those directly affected by the Pact. So, if Mabin pacted someone a ton of money for their boyfriend or girlfriend, Mabin, the Pactee, and the Significant Other would have their memories rewritten, but the S.O.s parents would not for example. So, I'd say the finger prints would change, but if Mabin has been printed before the records wouldn't shift. That said, if someone does print her, and they discover she has two different sets of prints, that might cause some problems.


malbogio posted:

I think we actually outright refused the agency job after it lost in polling.


That is a sort of open-ended offer, as least until you hear otherwise. However, the IDS building is an office building for all intents and purposes, and even if the Home Office "operated" this late at night, you'd have some work cut out for you to convince them to give you a meeting at 1 in the morning.



Two things we may want to consider as we're planning out next moves.

We have a Virtue and Vice. These mechanically regenerate Willpower, but they can also help guide us. Our Virtue is Precise and our Vice is Destructive for what that's worth.

There is also the matter of Linchpins. A Linchpin is a point in the God- Machines Infrastructure that is necessary but also the weakest point in some way. It may be a spot where the gears are poorly hidden or loosely guarded, a particularly exacting occult matrix that can easily be disrupted, or Infrastructure that requires constant maintenance or input. Destroying various pieces of Infrastructure will certainly slow the Machine down, but this is a intelligence that plans on the scale of eons. But the destruction of a Linchpin for whatever reason, makes it tend to abandon a plan. As a Demon you can recognize a Linchpin immediately, though still not know what is or the Infrastructure it ties together actually does.

This is not the Linchpin.

NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál




Once the Not-Cop is safely pulled away, you jam your phone in your pockets and pull the cuffs of your jacket over your hands. You take a running leap at the fence and, grabbing the barbed wire with your covered hands, pull yourself over in one fluid movement. To any onlooker, it would look like the fence was rattling violently in the wind, and then was still.

You sprint to where you think your drone is. All the while keeping an ear and eye out for any movement. Eventually you find it, half buried in snow. You pick it up, noting that one of the arms seems slightly bent, and put it in your pocket. You look back to where the statue is, and you can see it with your naked eyes clearly. Overlooking the river, two massive armlike beams stretched out in front of it. You want to stay and investigate more, but after that close call, its time to go home.

You jog east a bit, find a place where the fence is blocked by a bus shelter and pull yourself over again. Hidden behind the shelters walls, you become visible again, Aether leaking from your pores. Without much choice, you walk back to Tiffanys to call a cab.

*******



A few blocks from your apartment you get out and walk. Partly to avoid the driver know where you live, but you also need to check one of your drops. Its the closest one that you know Ruin and Tone know about, so its possible one of them left something for you. Its in the shadow of a walking bridge next to the Little Earth housing offices. You find the right mural and, after noting the mural is looking a little more rough than it did a few days ago, you go to the large planter in front of it and start digging through snow. Your hands are numb before you uncover the top of your drop and you struggle to pull the thick plastic spike out of the dirt for a moment. Once you have it you retreat to under the bridge where shadows should hide you.

You unscrew the cap on the top of the spike, revealing it to be hollow and, disappointingly, empty. No Tone or Ruin then. You debate leaving them a note, it would have to be short and direct, but if they see it before tomorrow morning, the extra hours might be vital.

1. Do you leave a message for one of them overnight?
Yes (if so what?)
No

You reset the drop, covering it with snow as carefully as you can, and head home. Home currently is a closet of a room in the Indian Womens Resource Center. The Center is a nonprofit devoted to servicing Native women and their families. Besides programming, of which Mabin assists, they have a small number of apartments for families that are often homeless, or need a place to hide from a violent member or ex member. Normally as a single women with no kids and who always seems to have money, Mabin Pillager wouldnt qualify for one of these rooms. But, she is an active member of the community and tends to be a good influence on some of the younger girls, so accommodations were made. The room has everything you need, mainly a bed and a refrigerator, and most importantly, a secure entrance.

Mabin takes out her key card and swipes it in front of the sensor, after a moment the heavy locks inside the door thunk open and she pulls the door open and walks into the vestibule. Rocky sits behind the plexiglass of his booth, reading a book. Hes kept his coat on over his uniform, the building has solid heating but its old and the cold seeps in. Rocky looks up and presses a button, unlocking the inner door..

Didnt your dad ever say anything about staying out late on a school night?

All the time, Mabin replies, grinning and walking towards the elevator. Thats why I dropped out.

And they say todays youth doesnt have common sense. Rocky calls after her before returning to his book.


Mabin moves as quietly as she can, for fear of waking Makwa*, Miss Gilchrists dog. He is a certified Good Boy, but if he wakes her up, itll be yet another log on the Mabin Pillager is dealing drugs fire. That sort of scrutiny is something neither you nor Mabin needs.

Mabin checks the small piece of tape in the corner of her door, still in place. She unlocks her door and enters. The apartment is a studio, filled mostly with a bed, with some room left over for a kitchenette made of a two burner stove, a fridge, and a table. Half of the table is kept clean, the other half supports an aging laptop/paperweight whose battery has been dead for years, making it a streamlined desktop. You flick on the lights and breathe a sigh in an all-too human moment of exhaustion. You miscalculated tonight, erring on the side of speed vs preparedness. A girl snooping around a fenced off construction site in the daylight is easier to explain than one doing it at night, especially if she didnt have any vandalism contraband with her. Getting chased off or arrested for graffiting construction equipment was less risky than Midnight Drone Flying.

But you had kept cool and not compounded the issue. Avoiding that..Tick-Tock Man, had been the best course of action. Youd have to do some leg work tomorrow, and run down this intel, but you had a good basis. Hopefully Tone and Ruin had some info for you about the newly Fallen. You hadnt felt any surges of Aether from the direction of Uptown all night so there hopefully hadnt been a fight.

You clean out Mabins pockets and dump the contents, including your new slightly damaged drone, onto the kitchen table/desk. Flipping her coat off and on to the arms of her kitchen chair, you take a step across the apartment and fall face first into the bed. You wrap a quilt around yourself, made by Mabins grandmother, and turn off the worry and anxiety in your brain. Tomorrow, all of that waits for tomorrow. Its going to be a long day.

2. What do we need to spend time on tomorrow? Vote for as many as you wish, this will determine how Ms. Ink prioritizes things.

A. Maintain Mabins Cover
B. Try to contact Tone and Ruin
C. Check dead drops and other messages (any suggestions?)
D. Find someone who can help with the runes on the Infrastructure
E. Investigate the Infrastructure as an art installation.
F. Go back to Highland Park and get closer to the sculpture
G. Investigate In the Heart of the Fire
H. Check out that Home Office job
I. Check out the Hunter Angel
J. Spend some time crafting a Gadget
K. Something Else

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

We also have started to build Mabins Network of people. This includes Demons, but also mortals and Stigmatics (humans who have encountered the Machine and become..changed). Below is the list of people we have mentioned as maybe knowing. Until we say they dont exist, they all exist. We can add more, these are just the ones previously mentioned that might be useful.

Alex Hurli, our off-again/on-again partner, and roommate, currently off. They were formally a police officer but now works as an investigative reporter with a focus on police and city corruption.

Sandie Gilchrist, our rear end in a top hat neighbor. She's somehow gotten it into her head that we're dealing drugs out of our apartment. Her dog is really nice, though.

There's a little group of goths playing at magic that we got a few pieces of our cover from, for a song. They think they have a chance at leveraging a better deal out of us, but mostly they're just... predictably useful.

Robert Grant, an ex-soldier who was employed by TigerSwan to surveil and incite the activists when we were at Standing Rock. We got him kicked out of the camp. He has had a chip on his shoulder since then and has been investigating us, finding some criminals we've had deals with, and thinks that we're in with them.


Right now, her Social contact Merits look like this

Contacts ●●●
- American Indian Center ●●
- Street Gangs in South Minneapolis ●

Status ●●
- American Indian Movement groups.

She has Contacts (i.e. people who will give her information) in those two groups. Now, right now we havent used any of those contacts, so we can change them. If you think Mabin, or Ms. Ink should have Contacts in some other group, suggest a change. You have three dots to work with. Remember these are contacts, but not Allies, who would actually help you. Contacts are just information dealers.

We also have two ranks in Status, this could also be altered.



*Bear in Anishinaabemowin.

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NinjaPete
Nov 14, 2004

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

- Hávamál


Dr Subterfuge posted:

God I'm a sucker for crafting. What kinds of things do Gadgets do?

You stick an Embed or Exploit in them to make James Bond stuff. Basically you make a tool that is useable by anyone, Demon or mortal, that has a more narrow, focused application. So say we made a gadget out of our phone and Sabotage. It would make the phone unusable as a phone, but it would be a gadget that would maybe, scramble people's wifi within a certain radius.

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