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How Would You Do D:TF?

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  • How Would You Do D:TF?

    If you were the one in charge of making a new Demon: The Fallen edition how would you go about it? How would you change the rules and setting while still remaining faithful to the original design?

  • #2
    I’d make it a PbtA game with different lore, but similar topics and themes.


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

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    • #3
      A Lore system not based on Disciplines. Probably more like Mage concept of Dynamic magic.

      To explain how each group are about seeking their goals and how your players can actually help to achieve them (i.e: Plans to destroy Creation. How to make the massive "faith weapons" Faustians want. Something about the "gates of heaven" and how divine influence manifest - not to turn Demon in a fight against angels, but because that influence exists, if in a subtle and remote fashion).
      You know, enemies to defeat, plans to think, power to seek, and generally stuff to do now that you're outside Hell

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      • #4
        If I remember right, someone once threw up the idea of doing the Lore system similar to the Dark Age Fae system which I thought was a nice idea

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        • #5
          Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
          If you were the one in charge of making a new Demon: The Fallen edition how would you go about it? How would you change the rules and setting while still remaining faithful to the original design?
          It depends on what you mean with faithful to the original design.

          I feel the "demon courts" to be something they tacked on and don't fit in. "Fallen angels have just recently started to escape the abyss, the world is changed into something you don't really recognize, and attaching your essence to this human has changed your mindset. However, everyone else have organized themselves into these organisations, and you belong to one." I would probably keep that for an alternative setting, where demons have been seeping out since medieval times and have their own masquerade going. I would probably more go for the "where are the other fallen, and whom of them can you trust?" as the default.

          In the same vein, for the default setting, I would make Earthbounds no more or less "evil" than the Fleshbounds. A Fleshbound gets a jumpstart on having a chance to get empathy for humans, as they get to see things from a human perspective and get a humans memories. An Earthbound on the other hand have had thousands of years achieving that.

          I would probably go with something similar of CofD or Exalted 2.5 for mechanics, and develop from there.

          I would also look into if I could figure out a good way to separate the Angelic part of the character from the human part. So if the human body dies and the Fallen has to jump into a new body, it would be a lot clearer what the new character would become. Perhaps having a way to fully stat out the Angelic part, and then having that a human body can only take so much; and as time goes, the host body can be conditioned to host more of the Fallen.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lundgren View Post
            It depends on what you mean with faithful to the original design.

            I feel the "demon courts" to be something they tacked on and don't fit in. "Fallen angels have just recently started to escape the abyss, the world is changed into something you don't really recognize, and attaching your essence to this human has changed your mindset. However, everyone else have organized themselves into these organisations, and you belong to one." I would probably keep that for an alternative setting, where demons have been seeping out since medieval times and have their own masquerade going. I would probably more go for the "where are the other fallen, and whom of them can you trust?" as the default.
            I don't get much of a feeling of them being tacked on personally but I do feel they are a bit too cohesive. Although if a D20 (haha D20...stupid joke) was made they would have the better part of 20 years now to be on Earth and find each other. Personally I dislike the Houses and feel that if each Elohim was created for a specific reason then they would exist for that reason and not be part of a larger House but that's just my personal opinion.

            In the same vein, for the default setting, I would make Earthbounds no more or less "evil" than the Fleshbounds. A Fleshbound gets a jumpstart on having a chance to get empathy for humans, as they get to see things from a human perspective and get a humans memories. An Earthbound on the other hand have had thousands of years achieving that.
            I don't see a problem personally with the Earthbound being "evil" as you put it because they did suffer in the Abyss and are filled with pain and rage in the form of Torment. One thing though I feel should be done with them is to have them have a more alien perspective as they aren't human and have never been human and understand reality at a much higher level than most other beings. This I feel would be a nice contrast to the Fleshbound as they now live inside of a host and can now feel and experience things from a human perspective.

            I would probably go with something similar of CofD or Exalted 2.5 for mechanics, and develop from there.
            Personally I think if you changed the mechanics to an entirely different system like that it would be going away from the original design rather than fixing it.

            I would also look into if I could figure out a good way to separate the Angelic part of the character from the human part. So if the human body dies and the Fallen has to jump into a new body, it would be a lot clearer what the new character would become. Perhaps having a way to fully stat out the Angelic part, and then having that a human body can only take so much; and as time goes, the host body can be conditioned to host more of the Fallen.
            This I like, it would be nice to have what aspects of the character and what aspects are the host body be distinct.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
              I don't see a problem personally with the Earthbound being "evil" as you put it because they did suffer in the Abyss and are filled with pain and rage in the form of Torment. One thing though I feel should be done with them is to have them have a more alien perspective as they aren't human and have never been human and understand reality at a much higher level than most other beings. This I feel would be a nice contrast to the Fleshbound as they now live inside of a host and can now feel and experience things from a human perspective.
              Personally, I just feel the "Demon Lords" still in the Abyss and the Earthbound currently being to much of a "and here is how we kick the game back into 'a group trying to save the world against insurmountable odds' niche."

              There was a lot of people that feared the turn of the millennium, and oWoD leaned hard against that. However, save the world/end of the world have a tendency to invalidate any other agendas the players might want for their characters. So I would rather put that as an option, instead of the default if I was in charge for a new version.

              An Earthbound can still be alien, but looking at humans as we might look at fishes we keep in an aquarium, or in some other way look at humans as perhaps beloved pets. The current system as written is that Earthbounds just gains more and more Torment. Humans can be very horrible people, so Fleshbounds both Earthbounds can be nasty. My impression of the current writeup of Eartbounds is to much of designated villains.

              In a way, I want more of a toolbox, where the setting presented in the current books would be possible, but just one of the options.

              Personally I think if you changed the mechanics to an entirely different system like that it would be going away from the original design rather than fixing it.
              It is still pool of dice, where 2 is human average and 5 is human peak. Both are still WhiteWolf systems, so I don't agree on them being entirely different systems.

              I guess it also depends on where one think the strengths and the weaknesses are of the different variations of the ST system and similar dice pool systems.

              This I like, it would be nice to have what aspects of the character and what aspects are the host body be distinct.
              If done right, it would also open up the options for Angels still loyal to team G, and Fallen that never was cast down into the Abyss (perhaps because they fell during a later era).

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              • #8
                First of all I´d like to remind everyone that we already have, in my opinion, excellent Demon Translation Guide that allows us to easily play DtF using CofD ruleset.

                That aside personally for a DtF 20th I would, like many others, seek to separate the Fallen from the Host more clearly. Character creation would then be divided so that you start by creating your Angel and twisting it according to the Fall. This would hold Faith score, Willpower, Apocalyptic Form and the actual DtF powerset. Then as a second part of Chargen one would create the Host and then combine the two. This would make switching Hosts much more easy to handle with a clear set things that would remain and what would change.

                The powerset itself does need some revisiting. To keep the DtF feel Lore´s may still work although they need a bit of boosting at places and to be a bit more open ended. Whether to go with something similar to Mage Spheres or DA: Fae Dominions or go with something more like C20 does with Arts and Unleashings, with Lore´s having certain set powers, still a bit more open ended than Disciplines etc, and granting an option to go into the grand scale, is still something I´m struggling with. What I would like the powers to be is tools that allow you to do the job you were given as an Angel, whether that be genocide or creating all of the world’s flowers, with the caveat that to use them fully you need to power those tools up. Back before the Rebellion that power came from the unending source of the Divine, like just plugging your power tools to a wall socket, but now you have returned to a world without wall sockets or even a power grid. So basically you have all the instruments to change the world but lack the power to do so. This is where Faith comes in. Human souls are like self-recharging batteries, but singular souls are just that batteries not quite the grid you used to have, that you can draw upon to power your toolset. So that with little Faith at your disposal you can create smaller local effects but with enough Faith, from hundreds of souls (not to mention thousands), you can go bigger and affect creation in the grand scale. This would explain why Faustians hoard Pacts and give means to Raveners to actually burn this world if not stopped or kept in check.

                So more Faith you have at your disposal, through Pacts, the more you can use of your toolset and to a grander effect.

                I did like the Arcana system from Devil´s Due but if that would be used it would need to be brought to a new level of effectiveness and/or add a mechanic to greatly boost the Arcana effects by burning more Faith. What I like about the Arcana system is it´s open-endedness and ease of adding custom options.

                I quite like the Earthbound book itself but I would like to make the Fallen more alike despite the Host they end up with. But since the idea here is to remain faithful to the original DtF we must make some differences here. Similar starting chargen, you start with the Angel and then twist it through the Fall and further by the vessel and worship given to it. Again the Earthbound will be mostly comprised of its Apocalyptic Form, Faith and Willpower. Naturally their Apocalyptic Forms may not resemble anything like Angels or even Demons are usually imagined as since they have been twisted by both their vessel and human Faith used in worship. Now then since they are unable to make singular Pacts, for Faith gain though naturally they are able to empower their priests and such, but rely on worship to gain Faith through a grid of their own making I would make their Faith gains be the greatest power difference between them and Fallen in human Hosts. What I mean by this is that since their Faith comes from an artificial power grid of their worship and that worship comes with intent it allows them to often boost up their powers more easily than the Fallen that rely on singular Pacts. But the price of this power is the twisting the worship inflicts upon the Earthbound. Individual Pacts are constricted by clear rules and thus do not inflict change upon the Fallen but free worship enjoyed by the Earthbound while powerful allows the intent of the worshippers to use that Faith to twist them into what they are. That would be my main difference here. That mechanically something about inhabiting an object or place instead of a living Host makes you unable to forge individual Pacts for Faith and forces you to rely on worship to regain your power and that is what twists the Earthbound not the vessel but the Faith of men. Or perhaps it should be that the Fallen within living Hosts would be unable to enjoy the benefits of such general worship and thus such an artificial power grid, forced to rely on Pacts, which are much slower to gather, require personal contact to forge and do not come with such forceful intent to create change.

                So to sum it all up:

                Clear separation between the Fallen and the Host. Whether the Host is living or not.

                Apocalyptic Form that not only allows you to look the part and also handles your Attributes in your natural form. Attributes that are limited to the Hosts own if possessing a human, but that can be used to their full extent with a little Faith, and in the case of Earthbound are usable only when manifesting in their full glory apart from mental Attributes, Charisma and Manipulation which are usable in the extent that their vessel or means of communication allow. This does mean that the Earthbound tend to be mentally more capable than the Fallen who are barring Faith expenditure limited to human range of Attributes, but the Fallen have unsurpassed mobility compared to the Earthbound. This form is can be twisted by two things Torment and Worship which will both affect how you look and how closely you resemble your original purpose and form.

                Powers revisited with an eye to opening them up to be more open ended. Either by adding a new mechanic comparable to Unleashing or by changing how Lore´s work or going the way of Devil´s Due and using Arcana revisited.

                Faith gathering clearly divided to Pacts and Worship. Latter is easier to get, you can recruit priests who gather cults and need only minimal personal touch, and forms a more stable power grid that can be drawn upon to empower ones powers more easily but with the considerable caveat that it twists your very being until you become Earthbound. The Pacts on the other hand are harder to get, and each requires your personal involvement, and resemble powerful self-recharging batteries instead of a stable power grid which means that it is a bit less cost effective way to empower your capabilities but there is no caveat beyond that limitation, Pact Faith is freely given and less laden by intent as it is not actively used and given to you and thus it does not twist your being in any way.

                Faith stat more clearly divided with Permanent score and Faith pool, the latter of which can and often does exceed the Permanent score. The permanent Faith and Torment on the other hand are the power stats used when the Fallen utilize their powers. Dicepools for powers should be based on Faith and Torment, possibly adding Lore is using them as powers, instead of Attributes and Abilities. Similarly Apocalyptic Forms Attributes could either be a separate Attribute scores divided at chargen as normal, except much larger amount of dots, or be based on Faith and Torment scores. Perhaps your Attributes are maxed out at higher of Faith or Torment score, and you look the part accordingly, meaning that if fully manifested in your Apocalyptic Form you would use higher of those two scores instead of any Attribute required.

                Full Apocalyptic Manifestations should be a huge and glorious things, while partial manifestations should look disturbing as the true form of an Angel or a Demon leeks through the Hosts own form. I´m personally on the edge about the manifestation matter, should full Apocalyptic Manifestation only be possible either Outside a Host like with the Earthbound possibly collapsing the human vessel on the floor as your rise above it in your full glory or just more costly than partial manifestation but still possible while within the Host.

                Well I think that is all for now. I would still keep the Houses and such as I feel they are an integral part of DtF. The Courts I personally like but my main problem with them is how to get enough Fallen into one place to form a full Court, but at least as an option I would keep them for those who want to use them.

                That’s about it. Ymmv naturally.

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                • #9
                  Two things I think:

                  1) Cosmology - I've always found the cosmology/history to be great. If there was a problem with it in the core book, it was that it came across as too absolutist and dismissive of the other game lines/cultures. I would keep the thrust of it but emphasize the ambiguities and really bolster themes of revelation/mystery, trauma, hubris, and post-war angst. The current world of darkness IS the post-apocalyptic world to them. No fallen should be able to recall what it was like interacting with god...they just "know" that he/she/it was around. Lucifer's whereabouts should remain a mystery, he should not be active and about in LA. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam should be no more or less relatable to the Fallen as Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. I treat the Legacy background as a trait that is used reflexively by the storyteller (or less frequently rolled actively by the player) to offer glimpses of the war and before the fall, but this should be disoriententing and offer more questions than answers. Legacy can be used in this way (Legacy+Intelligence, dif 8) to create deeply personal, mysterious, and tragic stories for the player characters that keep them coming back for more. It also gives a "hook" for getting player characters to band together despite different driving philosophies (Faustian, Cryptic, etc.). Also, the Earthbound are great villains that really emphasize the damned nature of the player characters. All of the Earthbound should be slumbering-every last one of them--until The release of the fallen from hell. The players should think:
                  A. Hell is agony
                  B. Freedom! Yes!
                  C. My God this world is so terribly broken...are we to blame?!
                  D. We can right the wrongs! (Insert given faction)
                  E. Oh shit, there are Earthbound here??? (Earthbound: Exxxcellent. Some playthings have roused us!)
                  F. No...no...escaping hell woke the Earthbound...we've fucked ourselves over again/doomed the humans
                  G. What do we do??

                  2. Mechanics - The apocalyptic forms are great. If anything I'd add more options. What I would clarify/revise the mechanics surrounding lores, faith, and virtues. As an overview, Demon needs a unique system that does not seem to parot any of the other lines. Furthermore, the key to doing this is to ramp up power and temptation by proportionally ramping up the consequences of power and virtue. Let me walk through my proposed changes:

                  Faith: The faith pool should remain, but should be different from what A static trait that i will call "Weave." More on that in a minute. Faith should not be confined to 10. Starting faith should be 10. It increases by 2 for each virtue that is developed for the host. This will raise the stakes of losing a host body, as demon hosts are pretty weak initially in terms of will and virtue. Monstrous demons that by intention or impulse move in the direction of their Torment have more caps on their faith pool, but make up for that through ravaging faith from pacts: 1 faith can be ripped and used from a mortal 1:1 for lethal damage to the mortal.

                  Now Weave. Somewhat similar to Arete, but with no paradox. Starting Weave is 3. It is what demons roll to do their effects. It goes with the demon regardless of host. Faith can be used to add successes, up to the Weave rating.

                  Virtues: As stated before, virtue increases will increase the capacity of faith a demon can hold. Probably like 1 virtue equals 2 additional faith capacity. Similarly, with each additional dot of permanent torment gained, a demon loses a dot in a virtue. When a virtue drops to 0, the host body becomes corrupted and likely rot apart within 24 hours a la Earthbound rules. The demon will then need to find a new host. As before, when a demon gets to 10 torment, they become an Earthbound.

                  Lores - some of the specific lores would benefit from being rebalanced, and adding a few more common lores. But that aside, here are the major rule changes in general. Demons roll their Weave to cast their effect. They can spend faith to boost successes on their lore. The old way torment affected it is gone. Instead, demons can choose to either reroll their lore roll or DOUBLE their successes by embracing their torment. Sounds great right? It is! Also, Doing so means they have to roll their torment, difficulty 10- pemanent torment. Each success grants additional temporary torment points. And yes, this means you could start descending very, very quickly, even reaching a point where you have to refrain from using lore and fight viciously to save your own soul. Additionally, once you gain your 6th dot of permanent torment, you must always roll your permanent torment when you cast an effect.

                  As a final note, Demons should remain oblivious to the Middle/High Umbrae. If/when they do learn of it, it should be unnerving, strange, and cause them to question themselves.

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                  • #10
                    I honestly like DtF for the most part(Only really working with Core+Player's guide), but it's never something I would see as being played by itself. So I'd just work toward upping it's compatibility with other games.

                    Bring it up to V20 skills, etc.

                    (I already assume the host is not "Living", but is now a part of the demon's mind in a stagnant sort of way. Doesn't talk to the demon, but the demon knows those feelings. I felt that was quite clear from the prose.)

                    Elaborate on how demons play in with different races (Vampires, wraith's, etc.).

                    I see WoD games as ambiguous truths so take what you want and leave what you don't to be only a rumor. So I wouldn't go ripping things out myself. I like the rumor's effects on games.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DamienLS View Post
                      (I already assume the host is not "Living", but is now a part of the demon's mind in a stagnant sort of way. Doesn't talk to the demon, but the demon knows those feelings. I felt that was quite clear from the prose.)
                      The Player Guide, if I recall the correct book, brought up the possibility with the hosts soul haven't vacated the premises.

                      One of the "I know I never will find the right group for this" I have is I want to play the Fallen part, and another player runs the human part, so there is a "two minds, one body" situation.

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                      • #12
                        I like the way Devil's due handled the mechanics of the fallen personally, in a sort of similar vein to spirits powers(which like DA:Fae did with sprites hinted at demons/fae possibly being an exotic extension of the not entirely understood spirit world, and thus created ties in cosmology).

                        It also gave this feeling of having to rely heavily on humans for faith and packs. As a good angel, People weren't just batteries you could use and throw away, you needed them, their praise, their recognition, you had to convince them to put themselves in difficult situations for more powerful pacts and often required a large amount of time to build a relationship with your thralls before you could really reclaim you might as an angel.

                        Trying not to rely on humans forced you to increase your torment and taints, forcing you to relive your past failures and dooming you to make new ones as your angels torment forced you into new addictions and your taints twisted you into an weakened, ugly perversion of your former self. It reminds me of the ending of one of the Modern D:TF stories where a malefactor left off looking at a gathering of humans with awe as if they were a religious savior, as in Devils Due, mechanically they Were

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                        • #13
                          i would make the lores more akin to spheres.
                          i would give a bigger sense of urgency, i like the overall plot but i feel its too "Lucifer dependant.", in a big way i sense as if the game itself is carried by lucifer's mere existance in game.
                          i would focus on the random element of character host (i allow my players to create the Demon. but when it comes to the human host they have to pick at random).
                          i would focus on exploring more themes of Faith, Urgency, God/Godhood and exile. to me, demons are heartbrokened creatures who are trying to figure out what to do next. a world that sees them as pariah and as beings of evil. a tale of humanity within eldritch horror


                          Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
                          ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
                          Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
                          Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom

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                          • #14
                            One thing that has always bothered me is how it was described that the Earthbound are so powerful that they can't take a human vessel while the Fallen are the weakest demons, those who could wriggle their way out through cracks in the Abyss.
                            However, then books like Houses of the Fallen have some of the very Angels who approached Adam and Eve at first, and who were described as the greatest of their Houses who joined the rebels, as Fallen on Earth, inhabiting human bodies.

                            I'd have the book specifically state that the reason Earthbound are so powerful has more to do with receiving human worship than any innate superiority. It could also raise the possibility that, after millennia, the Archdukes have become even more powerful than Lucifer himself.

                            I also wish they'd retcon Michael into a greater position and a relationship to Lucifer similar to their DC counterparts.

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                            • #15
                              I'd get rid of the problematic fluff regarding the Earthbound and non-Abrahamic religions.

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