Demon Books in Progress

Demon: The Descent

Hi! It’s Matt! Taking a little break from redlining Seattle and running my Kickstarter to talk about a couple of Demon books!

So, I’m working on five Demon books at the moment. Three of them are stretch goals for the Kickstarter, so I’m putting together an update that will get posted over there. The other two, though, have been on the schedule since the beginning, so let’s us discuss them here?

First, the Demon Translation Guide. I actually don’t have much to say about this one, yet, just that I’m developing it, Rose is writing it, and it kind of got put off because we decided getting all our demonic ducks in a row for Descent (Demonic Ducks Descending — new novel by Jeff Linsday?) before diving into that project. But it’s on the radar, we promise. I’m looking forward to it – I haven’t actually done much with Demon: The Fallen for a while (but back in the day, I ran it and it was one of my favorite chronicles).

And then, there’s Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide. Michelle is finishing up edits on this (she’s running a little behind; she’s in grad school and had academic issues come up that couldn’t be put off). Mike Chaney is doing his art-direction magic on it. Rose has mentioned, here and there, some fun things in the book, but I wanted to call out the section on suborning Infrastructure (written by Dave Brooksaw and Filamena Young). We’ve got systems for plugging yourself into Infrastructure, which might seem a really terrible idea on the face of it, but it allows a demon to get easy access to lots of Aether, information they can’t get any other way, and even objects that make for interesting gadgets.

Oh, and the gadgets chapter. Oh, mama. Stew Wilson and Danielle Lauzon really outdid themselves. Sure, you can put your Embeds and Exploits into gadgets, and that’s awesome. But you can also remove your form abilities — basic parts of your demonic body, and put them into a gadget. All kinds of story potential there, especially once you see the systems and examples.

And, of course, new Embeds, Exploits, demonic form powers, and Merits, by David Hill and Eric Zawadzki. Want a demon that can break down dams, or cause the liquid in a person’s body to try and force its way out? We gotcha covered. Demon that can turn into data and flow through fiber-optic cables? OK, then.

On the setting side of things, we also have a great discussion about the Fall, what it’s like to be a demon, how catalyst plays into progression, and the Agendas and how they function. Susann Hessen and Travis Stout had the bulk of that chapter, but we also have smaller – but very cool – bits from Renee Ritchie, Jim Fisher, Neall Price and Peter Woodworth.

Like to see a little sample? OK, then. Here’s an Embed that I enjoy, just because it’s nicely simple and, I think, quite useful.

Fire Drill

Most safety and security alarms are sensitive to small disturbances. A frying pan of bacon in the kitchen can set off the smoke detector in the living room, and sitting on the bumper might set off the car alarm. The idea behind this is that the inconvenience these false positives may cause is outweighed by the risk that the alarm will not function during a real emergency. A demon with this Embed redirects small amounts of matter and energy to generate just enough of a disturbance to set off alarms.

Dice Pool: Wits + Science

Action: Instant

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: The demon doesn’t set off the intended alarm, but she accidentally starts a fire or creates some other small emergency in her immediate vicinity. The demon or the area gains a Tilt or Condition appropriate to the nature of this complication.

Failure: The demon fails to set off any alarms.

Success: This demon creates a disturbance near an emergency sensor within 100 yards of her position — a few wisps of smoke, a tremor in a vehicle’s chassis, a tiny radiation leak, or whatever else she chooses. While this does not present any real threat, it is enough to set off any relevant alarms in the area. Depending on the circumstances this can create chaos ranging from an orderly evacuation to a panicked mob trampling each other to escape. The Perception rolls of anyone who does not yet know it is a false alarm are reduced by the demon’s Primum rating, and anyone using the alarm as cover for their movements (such as people disguised as firefighters while a fire alarm is blaring) receive a bonus on the relevant roll (probably Persuasion, Stealth, or Larceny) equal to the player’s successes.

Exceptional Success: The demon sets off an alarm as above. In addition, she may choose to set off any number of alarms within range.

  15 comments for “Demon Books in Progress

  1. Yossarian
    March 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Very excited for the Translation Guide. It’s gonna be the first in the God-Machine era, and I’m really excited to see how Rose incorporates aspects of the new system, like Conditions, into translations of the OWoD stuff. And vice versa.

    DtF is probably second only to Masquerade for me in OWoD, so that book’s been high on my list since it was announced.

  2. Genesis
    March 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    This is an update I’ve been waiting for, thank you!

    Will there be much on Ciphers and Interlocks?

    • March 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      There’s some discussion of Ciphers in the Players Guide. I believe there will be more in the Storytellers Guide, but that’s really Rose’s call.

  3. Aschazel
    March 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Also excited about the translation guide. I’m a big fan of classic WoD, but when I first read the quickstart for DtF I was floored by the awesomeness…but also heartbroken that it was part of a completely different ruleset/setting. I feel like the translation guide would be a huge boon for fans of classic WoD interested in the God-Machine Chronicle.

  4. March 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    All I want to know is when the Demon core book will be available on DriveThru, particularly in POD form. The latest Onyx Path books have been very worth it, very fun to read, and utterly gorgeous to look at.

    • IanW
      March 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      The weekly Monday Meeting notes give details on the status of all of our projects.

  5. Mr. Paint
    March 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    What category of embed is Fire Drill? My first instinct is Vocal.

    • March 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Cacophony, actually.

      • bwgustaf
        March 13, 2014 at 10:20 pm

        of course, because everyone knows that fire drills are the very embodiment of chaos.

  6. Jonathan
    March 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Hi-jacking Infrastructure is what my first DtD character is all about. Glad to know I’ll be getting a few more tips and tricks. 😀

    • DaveB
      March 15, 2014 at 4:03 am

      There’s a nice, big section about hacking Infrastructure. I hope you like it!

  7. Kazorh
    March 14, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    “Depending on the circumstances this can create chaos ranging from an orderly evacuation to a panicked mob trampling each other to escape.”

    Heh. I’d say the lower range of “chaos” would be “two curious glances and one shrug”. Car alarms hardly make a big stir most of the time.

  8. Mr. Paint
    March 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Gadgets… Talk to us a little bit about Gadgets. In the main book gadgets are less versatile versions of embeds or exploits, (though with exploits, there is the advantage of not provoking cover rolls)

    If I put my embeds in gadgets and hand them off to another player, they get my gimmicks, increasing the survivability of the party, but decreasing my narrative importance: what I do, their characters can do, even in limited form.
    The form gadgets sound neat, but they follow the same “zero-sum” pattern, one character is sacrificing an ability to give it to another character.

    We haven’t seen any gadgets that look like they would introduce new avenues of approaching problem. If I put an embed or an exploit in
    a gadget, I haven’t generated anything new, like a Werewolf Fetish or a Changeling Token, which usually generates an ability beyond what can be purchased with xp.

    Will we ever see gadgets infused with Numina stolen (or bargained for) from angels?

    • Danny James
      March 18, 2014 at 8:54 am

      I love the idea of seeing/reading about a Demon having a gadget infused with Numina that’s been bargained from an Angel. I think it would make awesome fiction.

      That being said, I don’t think it would get a lot of play in game – how many times are Demon’s going to actually bargain with an Angel knowingly and a) not be destroyed, b) not know that they’re ultimately getting an inevitable raw deal (after all, they deal with Pacts and should know to stay clear of such bargains).

      Perhaps such thing would be a good story seed rather than a set of rules.

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