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  • Need some detailed answers.

    I am thinking of running a mortals game using elements from the God Machine, and Demon the Descent. DtD (don't have the book) seems to cross over with the God Machine a lot, since as I understand it they are angels that have betrayed the God Machine. I'm not sure how much I want to use the demons and the angels, but I read that Cryptids and Stigmatics are an important part of the setting.

    My questions are:

    What exactly are the Cryptids?

    Are they racial, or are most one of a kind?

    What does the God Machine think/use them for?

    What makes a demon/angel unique? What sort of powers, limitations, and goals do they have? What makes them scary?

    Finally please give me any details you can about the reptillians, grey aliens (if they exist in the setting) and stigmatics (don't really understand what these are),



    Offense is rarely given, but often taken.

  • #2
    Cryptids are normal animals that have been exposed to Aether somehow, which is like magical radiation the God-Machine and its projects/servants give off. This mutates them into monsters. There are lots of ways this can happen: maybe a coyote is digging in a construction yard and stumbles onto the magical equivalent of exposed wiring, maybe some fish are swimming in a river that's polluted with runoff from the GM's secret blood sacrifice factory, maybe a demon intentionally mutates their neighbor's pet dog into a hellhound servant. Cryptids are built according to a basic template in the Demon book, but basically they're stronger than normal animals and they have supernatural powers chosen by the Storyteller. Turning invisible, breathing lightning, haunting peoples' dreams, poisoning groundwater, lots of stuff. Look at the Dread Powers stuff in the core book for ideas. They need to consume more Aether to live, which means either hanging around Infrastructure (think a flock of crows that's always circling in a weird pattern above a certain building), or preying on Demons. The one power they all share is Aether Sense, which means they can track down sources of Aether- again, that includes Demons, since they rely on Aether much like Cryptids do.

    They can be either racial or one of a kind. The Demon book presents examples of both. If they're racial, it might be a common Aether mutation that always happens when you expose X species to Y source of Aether (a certain sewer that turns pet turtles into hulking warrior beasts), or maybe a cryptid breeds true and creates offspring that shares the mutation and hunger for Aether. You could get away with either.

    The God-Machine usually doesn't intentionally create cryptids, although there could be a project to do that if you want. They're presented more like unplanned side effects of its workings, which demons and angels sometimes take advantage of to get an advantage against each other. The biggest value of cryptids for the G-M is that they can naturally detect and hunt sources of Aether, like Demons, which is something that angels can't do. Angels usually have to do surveillance and spycraft to identify whether a person of interest is not actually human, whereas cryptids can just smell their blood directly. The G-M could send an angel to corral some cryptids to use as hunting hounds to flush out a demon in hiding.

    One sentence summary: angels are Agents from the Matrix, demons are Neo and friends. That's basically their approach to the world and the type of powers they have. Demons and angels are biomechanical inhuman monsters that hide behind magically-created human identities called Covers. Mr. Johnson down the hall, the guy you say hi to at the water cooler but no one is quite sure what he does, is actually a fire-breathing champion of Hell who's embezzling funds for his cult. The street preacher on the corner, always preaching about Sodom and Gomorrah into his megaphone, is actually a coldly calculating divine functionary who keeps people from looking too closely at the building he guards, and watches the crowd for people who don't react like it expects humans to act. Angels have limited free will and are assigned a specific mission by the G-M, demons try to stop or subvert those missions to keep the G-M off their backs. Sample missions: protect Alice Smith until she turns 16, kill a heretical dissident to make an example of the G-M cult running the taxi company, identify humans with psychic potential and convince them to join a secret program, return a malfunctioning angel to a secure facility for "retirement" before they Fall and become a demon.

    A lot of their powers are Matrix-y "hacking reality" tricks called Embeds, relatively subtle, and thoroughly modern. Hacking, firearms, downloading knowledge, social engineering, making real life work like an action movie for a few seconds. They can also use more explicitly supernatural effects called Exploits, really wild stuff like banishing someone to a space outside reality for a while, making it rain hellfire, turning animals into Cryptids directly, summoning people to their presence. Using these is dangerous because the other side notices and might bring the hammer down. On top of those powers, they can drop their fake human Cover and assume their real monstrous form, which are all unique and have very physical powers like wings, acid spit, inhuman beauty, metal claws, blazing swords, etc. Again, this is dangerous because demons and angels try to keep a low profile so they don't get squashed. Demons, not angels, can make pacts with humans, hacking reality to give humans wealth and power in exchange for pieces of their lives and memories, which the demon grafts onto one of their Covers to reinforce them against scrutiny, up to "soul pacts" where the demon takes over the human's life entirely as a new Cover. Angels and demons are scary because they are completely inhuman creatures who infiltrate our world with false and stolen faces, manipulating the reality we know because they don't think it's real in the first place, treating humanity as pawns and resources in their secret war. "Whoever wins, we lose," etc.


    2E Legacy Updates
    Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
    Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Caladriu View Post
      Cryptids are normal animals that have been exposed to Aether somehow, which is like magical radiation the God-Machine and its projects/servants give off. This mutates them into monsters. There are lots of ways this can happen: maybe a coyote is digging in a construction yard and stumbles onto the magical equivalent of exposed wiring, maybe some fish are swimming in a river that's polluted with runoff from the GM's secret blood sacrifice factory, maybe a demon intentionally mutates their neighbor's pet dog into a hellhound servant. Cryptids are built according to a basic template in the Demon book, but basically they're stronger than normal animals and they have supernatural powers chosen by the Storyteller. Turning invisible, breathing lightning, haunting peoples' dreams, poisoning groundwater, lots of stuff. Look at the Dread Powers stuff in the core book for ideas. They need to consume more Aether to live, which means either hanging around Infrastructure (think a flock of crows that's always circling in a weird pattern above a certain building), or preying on Demons. The one power they all share is Aether Sense, which means they can track down sources of Aether- again, that includes Demons, since they rely on Aether much like Cryptids do.

      They can be either racial or one of a kind. The Demon book presents examples of both. If they're racial, it might be a common Aether mutation that always happens when you expose X species to Y source of Aether (a certain sewer that turns pet turtles into hulking warrior beasts), or maybe a cryptid breeds true and creates offspring that shares the mutation and hunger for Aether. You could get away with either.

      The God-Machine usually doesn't intentionally create cryptids, although there could be a project to do that if you want. They're presented more like unplanned side effects of its workings, which demons and angels sometimes take advantage of to get an advantage against each other. The biggest value of cryptids for the G-M is that they can naturally detect and hunt sources of Aether, like Demons, which is something that angels can't do. Angels usually have to do surveillance and spycraft to identify whether a person of interest is not actually human, whereas cryptids can just smell their blood directly. The G-M could send an angel to corral some cryptids to use as hunting hounds to flush out a demon in hiding.

      One sentence summary: angels are Agents from the Matrix, demons are Neo and friends. That's basically their approach to the world and the type of powers they have. Demons and angels are biomechanical inhuman monsters that hide behind magically-created human identities called Covers. Mr. Johnson down the hall, the guy you say hi to at the water cooler but no one is quite sure what he does, is actually a fire-breathing champion of Hell who's embezzling funds for his cult. The street preacher on the corner, always preaching about Sodom and Gomorrah into his megaphone, is actually a coldly calculating divine functionary who keeps people from looking too closely at the building he guards, and watches the crowd for people who don't react like it expects humans to act. Angels have limited free will and are assigned a specific mission by the G-M, demons try to stop or subvert those missions to keep the G-M off their backs. Sample missions: protect Alice Smith until she turns 16, kill a heretical dissident to make an example of the G-M cult running the taxi company, identify humans with psychic potential and convince them to join a secret program, return a malfunctioning angel to a secure facility for "retirement" before they Fall and become a demon.

      A lot of their powers are Matrix-y "hacking reality" tricks called Embeds, relatively subtle, and thoroughly modern. Hacking, firearms, downloading knowledge, social engineering, making real life work like an action movie for a few seconds. They can also use more explicitly supernatural effects called Exploits, really wild stuff like banishing someone to a space outside reality for a while, making it rain hellfire, turning animals into Cryptids directly, summoning people to their presence. Using these is dangerous because the other side notices and might bring the hammer down. On top of those powers, they can drop their fake human Cover and assume their real monstrous form, which are all unique and have very physical powers like wings, acid spit, inhuman beauty, metal claws, blazing swords, etc. Again, this is dangerous because demons and angels try to keep a low profile so they don't get squashed. Demons, not angels, can make pacts with humans, hacking reality to give humans wealth and power in exchange for pieces of their lives and memories, which the demon grafts onto one of their Covers to reinforce them against scrutiny, up to "soul pacts" where the demon takes over the human's life entirely as a new Cover. Angels and demons are scary because they are completely inhuman creatures who infiltrate our world with false and stolen faces, manipulating the reality we know because they don't think it's real in the first place, treating humanity as pawns and resources in their secret war. "Whoever wins, we lose," etc.
      Thanks that was helpful. Can you tell me if there is more information on reptilians or alien greys?


      Offense is rarely given, but often taken.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by K9ine View Post

        Thanks that was helpful. Can you tell me if there is more information on reptilians or alien greys?

        Neither are specificly called out as anything in the setting. Reptelians could be a race of Cryptids though, same with Grays.

        To cover something that was missed:

        Stigmatics are basically human-cryptids. When a human is exposed to the workings of the God-Machine they can develop some supernatural powers, an omen ability and some physical changes to mark them, odd tattoos, wierd hair or eye color.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
          Neither are specificly called out as anything in the setting.
          Well, one of them is.

          Originally posted by Reptilians, DtD Core p232
          Some paranoid conspiracy theorists believe that politicians, celebrities, and CEOs are being replaced. In their places are imposters, reptiles in human skin, and that these creatures will soon control every major facet of business, politics and media across the world. These theories are mostly (but not entirely) wrong.

          Reptilians exist, though not in the numbers conspiracy theorists believe. In their true forms, reptilians are lanky humanoid creatures, massive chameleons with human eyes and stunted tails. They can shift the color of their skin and the shape of their limbs, allowing them to camouflage themselves as human.

          Reptilians are panicky, still subject to primal instincts. In a direct confrontation they tend to drop their guise and flee. Angels and demons alike find use in the species as spies and informants: a quiet janitor here, a security guard there. They make fine spies, so long as you don’t expect too much of them.


          Resident Sanguinary Analyst
          Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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          • #6
            Yeah I didn't get to stigmatics and the other stuff, sorry. Usually the workings of the G-M are hidden, but stigmatics can see them clearly. They usually pick a side between angels and demons once they figure out what's going on, and support or lead their cults.

            Satchel covered all the info on reptilians (or as I prefer, REPTOIDS) in the book.

            Greys aren't mentioned in Demon. But! They do have a writeup in Summoners, a sourcebook for Mage. In Mage, "cryptids" refers to a similar but unrelated variety of mythic/legendary/superstitious creature that lives in the secret places of the world. Same "magical animal" concept, totally unrelated origin. So you could easily adapt them as Demon-style cryptids if you wanted. The Summoners grey aliens are the standard UFO media depiction, gentle but mysterious and distant, have "technology" (magic) that only works for them, but they can grant use of their devices to other people for a scene before they break down. I think the rules for their devices is just "decide what it does and roll 7 dice. If it succeeds, it does the thing, heals or inflicts [successes] damage or whatever." They aren't actually from another planet, just human ideas about UFOs regurgitated by the spirit world.


            2E Legacy Updates
            Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
            Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
            Storm Keepers

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              Well, one of them is.

              Wow, totally forgot about that little bit. What section is that in? Cryptids?


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              • #8
                Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
                Wow, totally forgot about that little bit. What section is that in? Cryptids?
                Yup, right after Mothmen.


                Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                  Yup, right after Mothmen.

                  Them I remember. At least my suggestion that they would be Cryptids was still solid.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Caladriu View Post
                    Yeah I didn't get to stigmatics and the other stuff, sorry. Usually the workings of the G-M are hidden, but stigmatics can see them clearly. They usually pick a side between angels and demons once they figure out what's going on, and support or lead their cults.

                    Satchel covered all the info on reptilians (or as I prefer, REPTOIDS) in the book.

                    Greys aren't mentioned in Demon. But! They do have a writeup in Summoners, a sourcebook for Mage. In Mage, "cryptids" refers to a similar but unrelated variety of mythic/legendary/superstitious creature that lives in the secret places of the world. Same "magical animal" concept, totally unrelated origin. So you could easily adapt them as Demon-style cryptids if you wanted. The Summoners grey aliens are the standard UFO media depiction, gentle but mysterious and distant, have "technology" (magic) that only works for them, but they can grant use of their devices to other people for a scene before they break down. I think the rules for their devices is just "decide what it does and roll 7 dice. If it succeeds, it does the thing, heals or inflicts [successes] damage or whatever." They aren't actually from another planet, just human ideas about UFOs regurgitated by the spirit world.
                    To cast it in a D:tD light, they could be a "true-breeding" type of Cryptids originally formed from humans. Heck, they could even be a mutant colony of Offspring (people descended from Demons, who inherit their faculty with Embeds) - in which case their "tech" could be Gadgets they've made. If you wanted, they could even be from the moon or Mars, or wherever.


                    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                    • #11
                      I always forget that there is explicitly God Machine stuff happening in space. Demon children building Gadgets in a secret colony on the dark side of the moon is highly lore-friendly!


                      2E Legacy Updates
                      Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
                      Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
                      Storm Keepers

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Caladriu View Post
                        I always forget that there is explicitly God Machine stuff happening in space. Demon children building Gadgets in a secret colony on the dark side of the moon is highly lore-friendly!
                        I still get shivers thinking about that angel wrapped around the Oort Cloud. The Machine's scale is truly massive.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cmwatford View Post
                          I still get shivers thinking about that angel wrapped around the Oort Cloud. The Machine's scale is truly massive.
                          Mattaron’s instructions told it to turn its intention outward. It listened to the distant symphonies of other systems and planets. It listened between, to the slightly different cadence of parallel universes. Mattaron heard the softest wave pulse, transcending normal time and space, containing a familiar rumbling of gears, gurgling flow of lubricants, and crackling sparks of computing analytics.


                          The GM covers more than just this universe.


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                          WoD | Changing Breeds, Umbra, Book of the Wyrm, Shattered Dreams
                          CofD | Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd ed, Idigam Anthology, The Pack, Demon Storyteller's Guide, Hurt Locker, Dark Eras Companion, Beast Player's Guide
                          The Trinity Continuum | Æon

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