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Fiend: The Transaction; A Storytelling Game of Temptation

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  • Fiend: The Transaction; A Storytelling Game of Temptation

    It had been three months. James glanced over at the sleeping face of his girlfriend Sandra, angelic in the moonlight.

    Three months since he'd made the deal; three months since he had been fully human, three months since he'd been a stupid, naive loser being pushed around in the halls.

    Three months since he had been in full possession of his soul.

    He sat up, careful not to wake her; it was then he noticed a flicker at the edge of his vision. Something in his mirror had... moved. He padded to the mirror and came face to smiling face with the man he'd sold his soul to.

    "Hello James, fancy seeing you here. Ah, I see the missus is asleep; I should keep my voice down, shouldn't I?"
    "Why are you here? Did... did I break the contract? Have I?"
    "What? No, of course not James, you're a
    model customer! I just thought I'd pop on down and see if you want a renegotiation. Standard operating procedure, I'm sure you'd understand."
    "I don't know, I've got it pretty good right now - "
    James, my good man, surely you can't be satisfied? The contract we made before was just a taste of the improvements you could make on your own life!"

    James thought for a moment; the last contract had made him popular and had led to him meeting Sandra. Another one couldn't
    hurt, could it?

    "Alright, what are the terms?"
    "Oh, simple, simple! If you could just exchange, say, your girlfriend's necklace, I'm sure we could find
    something I'd be willing to give in exchange..."

    Deals are a uniquely human thing; before mankind came on the scene, the concept of an exchange of goods and services was simply unheard of. However, the concept is here now, and with it came the Hellions.

    What are the Hellions?
    The Hellions are an almost-choir of almost-spirits that live in a place they refer to as the Infernum, a vast realm lodged at right angles to mirrors and behind shadows. It is an amoral place, which would be almost unremarkable except for two facts.

    Firstly, it is entirely free from the influence of the God Machine; angels sent within cannot find anywhere Resonant with them, and while reality seems to function in the same way, Embeds and Exploits (or similar powers) simply do not function there.

    Secondly, it holds the second greatest market in all the realms, only surpassed by the Goblin Markets of Arcadia and the Hedge.The Hellions have warped the Infernum into a marketplace-cum-investment house; they hold an economy as complex as any built by man.

    The purpose? The purchase of souls, by parts and by wholes. No one is entirely sure what Hellions do with souls they own, but whatever it is, they are extremely eager to fill their coffers.

    What is Fiend: the Transaction?
    In Fiend, you play a person who has sold part of their soul; in doing so, you get an expansive capacity and power over the many vices and transgressions of humanity... for a price.

    And a Hellion is always waiting in the wings, perfectly willing to... expand the deal.

    Was ist Das?
    Fiend is inspired in part by the Possessed minor template and Infernal demons; while they share some features, the majority of the material is going to be new.

    Other inspirations to call out to:

    Water Phoenix King: Go read it. Go read it now.
    Various other things that I probably don't realize at the moment.

    Before I get started on this, a little bit of an OoC glossary:

    Burnout: Overcharging your infernal credit card; the result of trying to use too much Malice at once.
    Eidolon: A feature that Fiends get after a while that lets them separate their souls from their body to go on a walkabout. It's pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.
    Fiend: What you play (and pay) as; you made a bad deal somewhere, buster.
    Hellions: Demonic Sin-Commerce Almost-Spirits, they are Ephemeral Beings that are unique to Fiend (but are still free to be used elsewhere).
    Infernal Pact: A simplified (and weaker) version of Demon's pacts; much more restricted, though still nicely versatile (I hope.)
    Investiture: A Fiend's core powers; they don't get many of them, but each is a scene-length (or more!) power that are custom built by the players using a set of Clauses. They come in three tiers: Common, Noble, and Regal. Each Investiture has a Sanction that makes it cheaper as long as it is followed, and which can make it very expensive if it isn't.
    Malapraxis: A Fiend's core Malice and Willpower regeneration thingamajig. It is entirely focused on making Fiends tempters.
    Malice: A Fiend's magic juice; they spend Malice to activate Investitures and to Invoke their Sins.
    Seal: Each Malapraxis has up to 3; they further refine and individualize the whole affair.
    Sin: As in the seven deadly ones; funnily enough, this is both their Power Stat and the most basic building blocks of Fiendish powers; Sins can be Invoked, in which case they function like pseudo-Influences.
    Soulless: This isn't a definition; this is a friendly notice. Namely, all Fiends have the Soulless condition by default; they are lacking at least a fraction of the thing, after all. If you don't like the idea of playing someone whose soul is all fractured might not want to play a Fiend.

    I currently have a first draft for the template itself and everything but the different Clauses that make up an Investiture, so...

    Who wants to make a deal with me?

    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

  • #2
    I'm craving for more! Inferno: The Possesed was one of my favorite sub-splats, and I was very sad when I heard that Demon was about god-machine angels rather than Inferno demons finally getting a complete book

    I'm 100% backing you for this project, and I hope to see more soon.
    -Magnum Opus

    Glorious Useless-Post Prana
    Cost: 2m; Mins: Linguistics 1, Essence 1 Type: Simple
    Keywords: Mute
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Ten-Characters Methodology


    • #3
      Glad to hear that!
      Sign on the Dotted Line: The Fiend Template

      The Fiend Template is formed up by 10 "segments", representing the sale of fractions of the soul; the final dot is the sale entire of the soul, with all the attendant dangers thereof.

      I Have To Say, I'm Interested: Making a Sale
      The initial sale of a one or more Segments requires that you meet with a Hellion, and draft up a contract; this contract always contains both an escape clause and a default clause. However, there is usually an... interest in a further purchase, and so the option holds to renegotiate the contract.
      Mechanics: Renegotiating a Contract:
      Each time you renegotiate the contract, you must deliberately fail a Breaking Point roll incurred for the precise purpose of the sale. The Hellion needs your soul a little... shredded to remove it properly, after all. Once you fail the Breaking Point, you gain the next segment of the Template.

      There are three complications to these rules:
      • Each even segment you attempt to renegotiate for (the 2nd, the 4th, and so on) are required to be Breaking Points unique to your character; each time you successfully renegotiate a contract using these unique Breaking Points, you lose that Breaking Point afterwards.
      • The renegotiation doesn't have to be with the same Hellion; this leads to greater safety for your soul, because both Hellions must agree that you are defaulting on the contract before you can suffer the consequences. However, there is the constant risk that one of the Hellions will barter and negotiate until they get the entirety of the soul.
      • The final segment may only be sold once you are at Integrity 1 and Willpower 0; once that sale has been made, your Integrity is reduced to 0.
      What's In It For ME? The 10 Segments.
      As mentioned before, the Fiend Template has ten segments, which must be purchased in order; the 1st Segment comes before the 2nd and so on and so forth. The initial purchase of the Fiend Template may incorporate between 1 and 3 of the segments.

      The Universal Qualities of Segments.
      Each segment has the following benefits and drawbacks:
      • Each segment grants you a dot of Sin, to be distributed as you please.
      • You maximum Integrity is equal to 10 - the number of segments you have.
      • As long as you have at least one segment, you have the Soulless condition, which cannot be removed without removing the Fiend template. If you have nine templates, you also have the Enervated template. Fiends do not gain the Thrall Condition upon reaching Willpower 0; instead, they gain the ability to purchase the final segment.

      Segment 1
      This segment is a bit of a teaser; upon purchasing this segment, you gain two Merit dots to spend, and select your Primary Sin, which you must spend your first point of Sin on. Finally, you gain a Malapraxis and the ability to use Invoke [Sin].
      Segment 2
      Upon gaining the second segment, you cease to age; in addition, your Malapraxis gains its first Seal, and you gain the ability to form a single Common Investiture.
      Segment 3
      Upon gaining the third segment, you gain an additional Merit dot; in addition, the first time in a scene that a character fulfils their your Malapraxis, they regain 1 Willpower. This is cumulative with their
      Segment 4
      Upon purchasing the fourth segment, you gain the ability to use the Eidolon; in addition, you may hold up to 1 Dot of Infernal Pacts at a given time.
      Segment 5
      Upon purchasing the fifth segment, your Malapraxis gains a second Seal; the number of Investitures you may have formed at one time is equal to the number of Seals your Malapraxis has.
      Segment 6
      Upon purchasing the sixth segment, you gain the ability to form Noble Investitures; in addition, the first time that a character deliberately forgoes fulfilling your Malapraxis, they lose 1 point of Willpower.
      Segment 7
      Upon purchasing the seventh segment, you may spend one additional point of Malice each turn without risking Burnout as long as you are inside an area Open to one of your Seals.
      Segment 8
      Upon purchasing the eighth segment, your Malapraxis gains its third and final Seal, and you gain the ability to hold up to three Dots of Infernal Pacts at once.
      Segment 9
      Upon purchasing the ninth segment, anyone who fulfils your Malapraxis considers it a Breaking Point with a -1 modifier.
      Segment 10
      Upon purchasing the tenth segment, all of your Sins have their rating increased to 4; in addition, you may form a single Regal Investiture.
      Next up... making sense of half the words in the above post!
      Last edited by amechra; 04-27-2014, 07:22 PM.

      I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

      So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


      • #4
        Mmm... I like what I see. So, are you going to include the vice-disciplines from Inferno as part of the possible benefits?


        • #5
          Reminds me of the Mage: the Indebted game I sort of finished a while back and is probably still kicking around somewhere. It was some of my earliest work, and IMO, it shows. (Basically it was Dr Facilier: the game)

          Best of luck to you.

          “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
          My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
          Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers


          • #6
            On the Vice-disciplines... short answer is no.

            Long answer is... most of those things are far too specific IMO, and I never really liked them all that much to begin with. Basically, to use an old-ish example from a previous rendition:

            Minnie the Moocher is a Fiend who has Lust 2 and a Seal of Fashion; her player decides to build a Basic Investiture they're going to call Elegant Cut. She decides that the Tempting Approach Clause looks pretty nice, and grabs it; that takes up her one free Line, so she has to spend the rest of her Lines on either the Invoke Sin Clause, the Imbue Sin Clause, the Imbue Seal Clause, or the Increased Duration Clause, so she splits the remaining two Lines between Imbue Fashion and Increased Duration. The final result is:

            Elegant Cut
            Sin: Lust
            Seal: Fashion
            Malice Cost: 2
            Roll: Charisma + Lust
            Duration: 2 Scenes
            Action: Instant
            Sanction: The article of clothing targeted is currently in fashion.
            Elegant Cut targets an article of clothing currently worn by Minnie:
            Dramatic Failure: The infernal magic snarls itself up in the threads, leaving gaping metaphysical loopholes; not only does the Investiture fails, but she loses 1 Malice if she fulfils her Virtue within the next two Scenes. Furthermore, if the targeted article of clothing isn't currently in fashion, she loses 1 Malice at the beginning of the next two scenes, or until she removes that clothing, whichever comes first.
            Failure: The clothing stirs, but none of the Malice manages to hook itself into the fabric.
            Success: Malice flows into the clothing and laces itself in between the threads; reduce any penalties to her social rolls due to her appearance by up to her Lust. In addition, while using the Social Maneuvering system, the subject only gains 1 Door if the suggestion would lead to a Breaking Point; if the subject has fulfilled Minnie's Malapraxis this scene, she achieves an Exceptional Success on any social rolls to open doors with only 3 Successes instead of 5.
            Exceptional Success: As a success, except Elegant Cut lasts for 3 Scenes, and the subject of a Social Maneuvering attempt does not gain any additional Doors if the suggestion goes against their Virtue.
            Clauses Contained: Imbue Fashion, Increased Duration, Tempting Approach

            As a general rule, fulfilling the Sanction reduces the cost of the Investiture by 1 Malice. But yes, this is a starting power; a Regal version of this Investiture would be Permanent, and might have other Clauses that do stuff like straight-up boosting Charisma, causing addictions with a glance, convincing people far faster than normal, or tossing around Swooning and the like as a matter of course.

            I mean, to take an example from Inferno, Your Pain, My Pleasure might be it's own clause; Green Eyes? Not so much (you can get that effect with Imbue Envy.)

            I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

            So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


            • #7
              By "immune to the thrall Condition", I assume that means an Enervated Fiend doesn't lose Willpower dots for indulging his vice? Would make sense, as a Fiend still has barest smidgen of his soul-enough to remain vaguely sane.

              Also, does a Fiend get the benefit of a Renegotiation (aside from gaining/losing a Segment, since obviously he came out of the deal with his soul not shredded enough to be taken) if he succeeds at the Breaking Point? Think that would also make sense-the soul regenerates what it lost for some reason, likely altruism being involved in the deal. The Hellions don't actually mind that much - true, their overall hold over the Fiend does not tighten, but they still get a bit of soul out of the deal, still a tiny bit of wealth - and the Fiend is more confident, more likely to make another deal...

              EDIT: Of course, a large portion of the Infernum isn't happy with the idea, no. There's an antagonist faction that hates the idea of the Devil being cheated in any way. They aren't the majority, probably (most Hellions have a better grasp of economics than that), but knowing some Fiend got away with it somewhere, for any reason, pisses them off. Cue Condition representing the gain being put in their sights, with Resolution being losing that thing or placating/driving the "debt collector" off. Exceptional success means, for some reason, they're afraid to try and collect, likely Too Much Altruism Resonance.
              Last edited by Leliel; 04-27-2014, 04:14 PM.


              • #8
                Ooh, I'm liking that.

                One thing I'd like to note is that the Eidolon functions by allowing the Fiend to be a Hellion for a little bit. With the... added benefit that they can set up an account in the Infernum.

                I better go clarify the immunity, but you have the long and short of it.

                EDIT: Whoops, actually I misread your post. Don't worry, they get a secondary Willpower pool. It's all good.
                Last edited by amechra; 04-27-2014, 07:22 PM.

                I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


                • #9
                  Actually, let's get on explaining that!

                  New Advantage: Honorary Rank

                  A Fiend has a place in the half-choir of the Hellions; they have an Honorary Rank equal to the number of Seals their Malapraxis has. In addition, once they've purchased the final segment of the Fiend template, their Honorary Rank increases to 4.

                  New Advantage: Infernal Willpower

                  A Fiend possesses a secondary pool of Willpower, with a number of Dots equal to 1 + their Honorary Rank. This pool may only be refilled through fulfilling their Malapraxis; if their Malice pool is full, they may regain one point of Infernal Willpower instead of regaining Malice. Conversely, if their Malice pool is empty, they may spend Infernal Willpower instead of Malice on a 1-for-1 basis.

                  New Advantage: Malice

                  Acquiring power from a bunch of sin "spirits" means that, on a certain level, it is an inherently malicious force; Malice is the magical charge that allows Fiends to use their Investitures, enter their Eidolon, and Invoke their Sins. They have a Malice pool with a maximum capacity equal to the number of Segments they have, and may spend up to 1 Malice each turn... safely. Any attempt to spend more Malice risks Burnout.

                  Malice may only be regained through two means: either by another character fulfilling their Malapraxis, or through an Infernal Pact.

                  New System: Burnout

                  It can sometimes be helpful to imagine a Fiend's relation to their Malice pool as being roughly equivalent to that of a mortal to their debit card; they are pulling "money" that they have stored elsewhere so as to pay for goods and services. There's even a charge limit! And here the metaphor breaks down; mortals rarely get knifed for overdrawing their cards (at least, not immediately).

                  Once per turn as a Reflexive action, a Fiend may attempt to overdraw their Malice pool. If they try to do so, roll Honorary Rank.

                  Dramatic Failure: As a failure, but the Fiend suffers 1 Aggravated damage instead of the Lethal damage and loses one Malice as debt flows to an equilibrium point.
                  Failure: The Fiend suffers Lethal damage equal to their Primary Sin.
                  Success: The Fiend suffers Bashing damage equal to their Primary Sin, gains the Overdrawn Condition, and may spend an additional point of Malice this turn.
                  Exceptional Success: As a success, except they do not suffer any Bashing damage and do not gain the Overdrawn Condition.

                  New Condition: Overdrawn

                  Your character is starting to overdraw their infernal "credit"; they get a -1 penalty to any rolls to resist Burnout. Until they shed this Condition, each time they succeed on their Burnout rolls, the penalty increases by 1.
                  Possible Sources: Successfully resisting Burnout.
                  Resolution: Fail a Burnout roll, Purchasing another segment of the Fiend template.
                  Beat: n/a
                  New Advantage: Malapraxis
                  A Fiend gains a Malapraxis, much like their buyers in the Infernum; a Malapraxis consists of a number of Sins and Seals. A Malapraxis has a maximum of three of each; a given tapestry of sin can only hold so much detail. A Malapraxis gives its "owner" a decided benefit; much like a Vice feels good when you fulfil it, a Malapraxis gives a definite rush when someone else fulfils it.
                  • Whenever someone indulges in one of your Malapraxis' Sins at your urging, regain 1 Malice.
                  • Whenever someone indulges in one of your Malapraxis' Sins in a manner resonant with one of your Malapraxis' Seals, regain 1 Willpower.
                  • Whenever someone fails a Breaking Point roll incurred by fulfilling your Malapraxis, take a Beat.
                  These benefits stack; if a Fiend whose Malapraxis contained Greed as a Sin and Death as a Seal, convincing someone to rob a grave would give that Fiend 1 Malice and 1 Willpower. A given character may only fulfil your Malapraxis once per scene.

                  New Advantage: Sin
                  A Fiend has thrown in with a group of spirits with definite influence over what could be referred to as the Seven Deadly Sins. As such, they do to.

                  Every Sin has a rating from 1 to 3; no Sin may have a rating higher than that of your Primary Sin. If your Malapraxis has less than three Sins in it, Dots in Sins gained through purchasing segments of the Fiend template may be assigned to any Sin; however, once three Sins have at least one Dot in them, further Dots may only be spent on those Sins.

                  Upon purchasing a Sin, select one of the following categories for it: Power, Finesse, or Resistance. Each Sin must have a unique category assigned to it; if you have Pride(Resistance), you cannot also have Wrath(Resistance).

                  Upon purchasing the final segment of the Fiend template, your rating in all of your Sins increases to 4; this explicitly breaks the limit on how many Dots a Sin may have.

                  New Advantage: Seal
                  Each Malapraxis has up to 3 Seals incorporated into it, expanding and flavoring the Sins it also incorporates. Each Seal is assigned a single purview, as would be appropriate for a Spirit's Influence. After doing so, select one of the following Categories for that Seal: Physical, Social, or Mental. Much like with Sins, each Category is unique; if you have Machinery (Social), you cannot also gain Fire (Social).

                  Each time you gain an additional Seal, you may choose to expand it; doing so causes it to cover an additional category. For example, Machinery (Social) could be expanded to Machinery (Social and Physical).

                  Next up, the exciting part! COOL POWERS HO!

                  And then setting. Because I'm weird like that.

                  I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                  So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


                  • #10
                    Alright, the actual powers and stuff are going to take time to put in a forum-readable format (I write all my notes as semi-coherent half-sentences. They are mostly a memory aid, after all.)

                    Let's Make a Deal: Infernal Pacts
                    AnInfernal Pact is a direct result of the commercial attitude of the Hellions; their primary customers get some of the action, resulting in a bizarre kind of sinful pyramid scheme (as if there was any other kind.)

                    An Infernal Pact is, on the surface of it, aggressively simple: forming a Pact only requires conscious agreement on the terms and a simple verbal agreement. Once this agreement has been formed, the recipient of the Pact receives a 1 Dot Merit of their choice, or increases one of their Merits by 1 Dot.

                    And what does the Fiend get out of this? Why, they get the simple satisfaction at making a deal! And as a peripheral benefit, they receive 1 Willpower for each Pact they maintain each time they rest for long enough to regain Willpower (or rather, would regain Willpower if they weren't Soulless.)

                    A Fiend with 4 segments can hold one Pact. A Fiend with 8 segments can hold three. Regardless, a single character may not be the recipient of more Pacts than they have Vices.

                    But Wait, There's More! A Pact's Onus
                    Alright, there is one tiny complication to the Pact-making process: each Pact has an Onus. An Onus is a specific behaviour which must be performed at specific intervals; if the Onus is met, the recipient of the Pact either gains another 1 Dot Merit or increases one of their Merits by 1 Dot, and the Fiend regains 1 Malice any time they receive Willpower due to a Pact.

                    Unlike the basic outline of a Pact, the Onus does not have to be agreed on or even known about by the recipient; this is often used by Fiends to "renegotiate" a better Pact with people. While the Onus can be nearly anything, it does have some restrictions:
                    • Firstly, it must be related to the Fiend's Malapraxis; a Fiend with Wrath, Greed, and a Seal of Fire can't have an Onus based around giving to Charity.
                    • The Onus must be achievable; requiring someone to jump over the English Channel once a month would probably be out of the question.
                    • The frequency of an Onus' action cannot be shorter than a day or longer than a year; the only exception to this is if the Onus is a one-time event, such as the murder of a specific person or the destruction of a specific object.
                    Pacts and Two-Dot Merits
                    Pacts may grant 2 Dot Merits; if they do so, the "basic" benefit of the Pact is a "phantom" Merit, with the actual Merit being granted by following the Onus. This allows Fiends to negotiate anything from fame in return for a murder to great riches as long as they keep a particular cat well fed...
                    I Want Out: Breaking an Infernal Pact
                    Pacts are deceptively simple to break; either party may approach the other party and simply request the termination of the Pact. If the other party agrees, they gain a Beat and the Pact ends.

                    Of course, convincing a Fiend to break a steady flow of revenue or a former wallflower to give up their new-found confidence might be rather... difficult.

                    So, there's Infernal Pacts; simple, non? I have a quick request of anyone reading the thread:

                    I'd like example Pacts. So if you want to help out, drop me a few, that look something like this:

                    If you leave $10 on that table over there every day, that cute chick down in Finance will have eyes only for you.
                    Basic Pact Benefit: Phantom Dot.
                    Onus: Leave $10 on a particular table every day.
                    Onus Benefit: Entwined Destiny (Love) (Scroll down)

                    Hey, wanna be friends?
                    Basic Pact Benefit: Phantom Dot
                    Onus: Attack the Fiend.
                    Onus Benefit: Cursed (Whatever seems appropriate, set for after betraying the Fiend)

                    Yeah, I can make you famous. You're gonna be big, baby!
                    Basic Pact Benefit: Fame •
                    Onus: Cut off all ties with your loser friends.
                    Onus Benefit: Fame +•

                    Something like that.
                    Last edited by amechra; 04-27-2014, 10:18 PM.

                    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


                    • #11
                      Actually, you know what?

                      The World's Largest Mall: The Infernum
                      The first thing most visitors to the Infernum notice is how prosaic it is; they'll find themselves standing in a store of some description.

                      However, this impression soon fades if the visitor tries to leave the shop; a used car lot might lead into an upscale boutique, whose changing rooms open into a filthy back-alley black market which leads to the food court of a suburban mall, whose bathrooms open back out to the lobby of a bank. The Infernum is, on a fundamental level, a place of commerce; if man has set a price on it, the Infernum has it... somewhere.

                      Each "shop" corresponds to one or more Hellions, whose Malapraxi greatly shape the available selection and backstock of the given shop. For Hellions aren't sin spirits in the same sense that, say, an Infernal Demon is; they are tempters who... cater to a specific taste. A Hellion whose Malapraxis consists of Lust and Greed might have a shop represented as a cheap brothel or as a upscale boutique that happens to be permanently holding a 50% off clearance sale. One whose Malapraxis consists of Wrath and Pride might have an artisan weapons shop, and so on and so forth.

                      Of course, not every shop is available to... first time visitors. After all, you don't want to come on too strong with a new victi- customer. And so to the virtuous, the Infernum shows a more harmless side, restricting itself to pleasant food courts, money changers, and department stores. However, eventually, a customer will start finding the other shops creeping in; a brothel here, an all-you-can-eat restaurant there, a black market for slaves between a changing room's curtain.

                      After all, sometimes the price isn't money.

                      New System: Finding the Right Shop
                      On a certain level, the Infernum itself is conscious, and wants to lead you to the perfect shop for your needs; a happy customer is a repeat customer!

                      Finding a shop if you don't have specific directions functions similarly to Social Maneuvering; as such, that system is used with some modifications:
                      • By default, the starting impression of the Infernum is Excellent; if the Sins incorporated into the merchandise align with the searcher's Vice, this improves to Perfect.
                      • Any particular shop is sealed behind 2 Doors; this increases by two if the merchandise would be considered a Breaking Point for the searcher, and by one if it would be opposed to the the searcher's Virtue.
                      • Being a particularly good customer can act as Soft Leverage; politeness, free spending, and a willingness to indulge are appreciated by "management".
                      • Hard Leverage does work against the Infernum; vandalism, attacking a shopkeeper, and other such... miscreant behaviour can get results.
                      If you do have specific instructions as to where the shop is, it only takes a few minutes to reach there, and no system is necessary.
                      There, that represents the process of navigating the mess of shops quite well, I think.

                      I might go back and tweak the template so that Fiends can navigate the place more easily; what do you think?

                      I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                      So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.