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About demons in Vampire the Masquerade and Dark Ages.

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  • About demons in Vampire the Masquerade and Dark Ages.

    What would a demons motives be in such times? The God machine isn't necessarily present in these settings to my knowledge so i wouldn't assume they gain souls to hide from it. So what exactly would a demon use souls for? Perhaps some means to gain infernal ranking in hell but how exactly? Obviously souls have power but what exactly could they offer a demon to raise it's power? Could someone maybe interpret their understanding of it?

  • #2
    OWoD Demons are judaeo-christian constructs trapped in and seeing to escape a sort of hell to which they have been confined as punishment for rising against God under lucifer; many became depraved during the conflict and most of the rest have since been driven insane as a result of their confinement. Demons that escape to reality for the most part operate to satiate their urges, egos, and long-nurtured hatreds, pursue particular ideological goals, or in rare cases seek redemption (see Demon: The Fallen and, for Dark Ages, Devil's Due); they entice and enslave mortals to their service and worship to grant themselves the spiritual energy they need to operate. The concept has virtually no relation to that of nWoD.


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    • #3
      In oWoD, the word "demon" is used to mean a shitload of different classes of supernatural beings that have very little or very much in common.

      1. In core VtM "demons" are straight up abrahamic evil spirits who live in hell and can be summoned to do nasty stuff. They don't have a defined agenda, hierarchy or anything.
      2. In Demon: the Fallen "demons" are fallen angels who are broadly split into two classes: demons, who don't appear in the world until the Technocracy blows up its spirit nuke in Enoch, and earthbound, who have been around for quite some time. Demons possess living bodies and take over the lives of previous owners of those bodies. They make deals with people to harness their belief to power up demon magic. They don't actually need souls and don't do anything with souls and their main goal is not going back to hell in the couple of years that are left before the End Times. Earthbound are bigger and nastier demons who have been summoned and possess inanimate objects called reliquaries. Earthbound are Always Chaotic Evil, have phenomenal cosmic power and also don't need souls. They organize people into cults and brainwash them to have pawns and faith batteries.
      3. In revised edition Dark Ages VtM book "Devil's Due" we have a mixture of 1 and 2.
      4. In Mage "demons" are also known as "umbrood" by the hermetic magicians, and are just a kind of umbral spirit you can make deals with. Not really different from any other umbral spirit.
      5. In Werewolf "demons" are "banes" - evil entities of polution, decay and technology that possess people and ruin turn them into hideous monsters to do evil stuff and molest children. From Mage perspective they are not really different from umbrood except when they are.
      6. Also in VtM we have "the Children", who are undefined evil cthulhus who are somehow related to the Baali in vague undefined ways. One of the Children was killed by ancient tribesmen randomly digging it up out of the ground, but they are also apparently an existential threat to the world.

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      • #4
        You also have the demons from the KotE, which are much different than anything on your list. They exist within Yomi, the Demon World, which consists of Realms stolen from the Middle and Low Umbra. In addition, you also have the demons of the Book of Madness, which almay be different from the demons of the Abyss or the High Umbra, as they are normally incapable of appearing unless summoned and yet do not seem to be fallen angels (I consider them to be the demons of the Yomi World that exists outside of the influence of Asian culture, but that is just me).

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        • #5
          TL;DR: Derrek321, answering your question is impossible because it's a kitchen sink setting and there you can meet a new kind of demon every day who has nothing in common with the demon you met yesterday. WoD is very much like D&D in that regard.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
            5. In Werewolf "demons" are "banes" - evil entities of polution, decay
            So far, so go-

            and technology
            No, spirits of technology are technology spirits. They've often something to do with the Weaver, but not necessarily always.

            that possess people and ruin turn them into hideous monsters to do evil stuff and molest children.
            Their activity is actually pretty varied. Most of them just wait for people to do terrible shit on their (i.e. the human's) own and feed off of it. Possession is not nearly so frequent as a nudge here and there. Most fomori also tend to have a varied schedule of atrocious activities based on the tenant's bent and how much control the host has, as gorehounds are different from enticers who are also very, very different from normalites.

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            • #7
              The Children might be Malfeans. Or Antediluvians. Or Earthbound. Or all three. Or something else.I kind of like their vagueness, though. The Children are more enigmatic and scary than Earthbound as they are.

              My own personal theory is that they're either the corpses/shells/fragments of the Neverborn manifest in the physical world, or the equivalent of the Primordials from Exalted. But they also sound like proto-vampires, since at least one of them burned in the sunlight.

              Some of the demons in the Book of Madness are the dreams of the Malfeans that have coalesced into weird forms on the fringes of reality. Malfeans were a cross-setting Big Bad for a while in the oWoD. Some people hated that, but as a Wraith fan, I loved it.

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              • #8
                I suppose if we're going to consider the multitude concept spanning the various cross genre gaming platform of the WW / OP macrocosm, then the best way to associate Dark Ages demons to their purpose, would be to reference those lines closest to the timeline.

                I would start with the Clan Book Baali, which would give you a sense of pre-era, as the origin story seems to take place during the Bronze Age. This ideology is most certainly one of a Judeo-Christian approach, seeing as the Level 10 Discipline of Daimoinon; from the Clanbook, the Power is titled -- Open the Way -- though, in later writings, was retitled as -- Call the Great Beast -- where the character literally performs a ritual that extinguishes his/her consciousness, leaving his/her body as an empty vessel, so that the Devil himself can possess and wreak havoc upon the world. [a suggestion; I would avoid this direction, unless you plan an all out game crash]

                The next point of reference I'd turn to, would be a "Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade" book, titled -- Infernalism: the Path of Screams -- a particular nasty & dark perspective, however, if we're talking demons and the Dark Ages, then this is certainly on key. Mind you, this system differs from the rest of the World of Darkness, and is a stand alone game unto itself. However, Infernalism as a guidebook for demons of the era, is quite palpable since the Sorcerer's Crusade line is a fantasy setting [Camelot-esque] for Mage. One can easily draw a parallel across Dark Ages Mage/Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade, though, contextually differing, the Medieval theme is pervasive. And one book which draws a line between modern Mage and Sorcerer's Crusade, is a title called -- Bygone Bestiary -- which details mythological creatures of every sort, which can be implemented in cross-genre games of modern Mage, Dark Ages Mage, Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade, even Werewolf & Changeling ... err, I kind of slipped topic ... essentially, my point is, the idea of demons in the era, Infernalism: the Path of Screams certainly fleshes out much of the desires, chronicling demons from Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim faiths, as well as many Dark Pagan Gods. It truly is an incredible resource.

                From there I would attempt to gleam some insight from the fragments scattered among the plentiful VtM books, where you see Dark Thaumaturgy, and the Infernal pathes. Just know, that if you are dealing with Vampires, the practice is generally shunned by the society at large, and usually only fringe solitary coteries of the Sabbat indulge [in modern nights].

                There is some good reading out there on this subject.
                --- Seek, and Ye' shall find

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                • #9
                  Demon is a highly generic term that covers a wide variety of things, like vampire. Kindred use the term Kindred to specifiy themselves in the wide variety of things out there that are in fact not them but survive by preying upon humans(KJ, Psychic vamps, Ravaging changelings, Anastasi, Strix(for requiem)) The Demon games both have specialized terms for their protagonists(Unchained, Fallen) to differentiate from all the other nastiness out there.

                  That being the case we can broadly say that each gameline has some sort of creature we can readily call demons. V:TM/DA has the least to say on the subject they are creatures that exist make deals and offer power. They are generally antithetical to any form of morality except service to them. The Baali have a special interaction with a group they call "The Children" that those who interact with them actively work to keep asleep vs the aspects of their clan that are "the world is dying better get power while it goes down"

                  You also have the Kulpala which is probably some form of evilness that's been implied to be everything from a Talon of the wyrm in other gamelines to an Earthbound to one of the Children. Its Vague and evil.

                  Next we have werewolf with all its variety of wyrmness. Maijin Incarna, Banes there are whole choirs and litanies in service to the primal concept of distruction/corruption. Its fairly simple in tis complexity but will have all the proper trappings of demons, cults, power etc.

                  I'm going to jump to Wraith next we have here the occasional ghost who decides to remake himself as a demon and start a cult but generally the demons of this line Spectres, ghosts in service to Oblivion. They have nasty super level monsters called Malfeans that can be broken down into two categories the Onceborn who were human once but worked their way up and the Neverborn monsters that just exist spawned from the spite of nothingness. Possibly also more faces for the Children of the Baali.

                  I put Mage after Wraith because Mage plays with everyone elses Demons so far Plus adding weird outer god stuff ala lovecraft. Broadly speaking there are High Umbral demons(these are any demons people have ever conceptualized across the world) the Middle Umbral wyrm stuff from werewolf and the Low umbra stuff from wraith. Plus outer god stuff. They all can offer power. They all can be "patrons' for nephandi.

                  So Changeling it doesn't have demons right? Well technically no but Lets Look at the Fomorians shall we? Born of primal nightmare and prehuman dreams they are a threat returning from beyond that some members of their society secretly work towards. One would not see Formorian cults as much different than anything else so far asside from being of the Dreaming.


                  KOTE: this adds the Yama Kings they are really sort of an offshoot of the Middle and Lower Umbra for purposes of things but they take in souls make deals do the usual things. Generally they are limited to areas that are under Asian Cultural Paradigm but if you start making a cult outside their area doesn't that basically just expand their reach?

                  D:TF the Game about demons in this WOD iteration. Everythings a Demon you make deals with people for their Faith. They have super evil Earthbound whcih are more powerful but are bound in objects so they don;'t have the humanizing effect of human memories. There is however nothing in here that can't be called a Demon.





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                  • #10
                    Kammerer really gives a good outline of the various demons. However, if you are specifically wanting to include demons from Demon the Descent, I would suggest having them being a type of judeo-christian type as they are in Demon the Fallen. I think there is a translation guide between the two that gives some suggestions on how it might work.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                      In oWoD, the word "demon" is used to mean a shitload of different classes of supernatural beings that have very little or very much in common.

                      1. In core VtM "demons" are straight up abrahamic evil spirits who live in hell and can be summoned to do nasty stuff. They don't have a defined agenda, hierarchy or anything.
                      Actually pretty dubious when one reads the examples we get - they deal in souls and service in exchange for power, if the Storytellers's Handbook to the Sabbat serves as any indication and we do have some references to "legions" and "nobility" that bring subtones of goetic/medieval demonology overtones, but it's all so vague and loose that one can get more definite info in D&D books.

                      Gulfora from Chicago by Night might be said to be even worse, as while she does reference the Genesis when speaking of her origins, she does it in a way that could imply her kind has more to do with "beings of sea and air", so more like elementals or pseudo-lovecraftian piscine/reptilian beings between beast and spirit, like the Drowned King from Past Lives than anything like fallen angels.

                      Not to mention the original write-up of the Baali in the ST Handbook also seemed to play quite fast & loose with the "biblical or lovecraftian" angle too. And the Decani.... well, as mentioned in another topic, when it comes to their identity or roots, those guys can be quite a morass of their own.

                      Not even going into how "actually biblical" - as in not out of medieval literature - demons are strongly derived, not to say outright mined, from cananite/chaldean/mesopotamian traditions and how Demon the Fallen's goes even deeper into that well with the brunt of its terminology, to the point one can easily replace "demon" with "annunaki", "angel" with "Igigi" and possibly make more sense of the setting as a whole...
                      Last edited by Baaldam; Yesterday, 12:01 AM.

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