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Ordinary Human Working for the God Machine...

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  • Ordinary Human Working for the God Machine...

    Can ordinary people willingly serve the God Machine without being or turning into stigmatics and have access to it's infrastructures?
    Or if you wish to work for the God Machine, the stigmatic condition is something your must have in your CV?

    PS: Stigmatics can see trough angels and demons cover?

  • #2
    Yes. They can, and they do. The vast majority of the God-Machine's servants are just ordinary humans.

    However, most of them don't know they're serving anything at all. Most who know they serve don't know that it's the God-Machine they obey. And those few who do know that they serve the God-Machine have incomplete and flawed ideas about what the God-Machine is and how it works - but that's no surprise, since not even demons or angels can fully comprehend it.

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    • #3
      I was thinking a story about a scientist who want to quit the God Machine when he discover that the GM intends to use his research (maybe on a new source of energy) for not humanistic purposes, so he ask some demons to help him escape from the God Machine and it's minions... it's a good plot?

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      • #4
        Sounds great! Taking a classic cold war spy trope like "extract the defector" and combining it with some metaphysical weirdness is pretty much the perfect way to come up with a concept for a Demon story.

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        • #5
          I'm glad you like it!

          Regard the "enemy base", my idea is about a research center with a boombastic name like: "The Great Machine Foundation" or something similar, where every reseacher can unleash his scientific passion without limits. Someone within the institute knows about the GM, the angels and the demons and yet, they can operate in the sunlight since for the mundane world it is just a place with a showy name which is playground for a bunch of brainacs.
          The place is a compex of mundane buildings, but there's also an infrsactructure: a "control room" that allow the God Machine to monitor the whole place and get updates about the various ongoing projects. And finally, it's lincpin is a classic and huge self-destruction red button for those who enjoy very big explosions.

          It's everything doable?
          Last edited by Ipergigio; 08-12-2017, 11:25 AM.

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          • #6
            The obvious self-destruct is questionable, but still allowable, yes. Usually the Machine isn't remotely that transparent (where is the advantage, really?), but it certainly could be.

            For bonus fun, have the researcher have a friendship (or relationship) with an Angel on staff there. Maybe they don't even know they are an Angel. Have fun with things. Maybe the researcher is themselves a Sleeper Agent.


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

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            • #7
              Hmm... something make me a bit reluctant to use angels as antagonist. We're talking about a spy-game so when a demon bumps into an angel and fights, his cover is ruined, I'm right? As player I may not enjoy it...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ipergigio View Post
                Hmm... something make me a bit reluctant to use angels as antagonist. We're talking about a spy-game so when a demon bumps into an angel and fights, his cover is ruined, I'm right? As player I may not enjoy it...

                Which is why when Angels are around, Demons usually keep in Cover. As long as they don't do anything that screams "Hey, I'm a Demon, not a mere mortal", the Angel doesn't know.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ipergigio View Post
                  Hmm... something make me a bit reluctant to use angels as antagonist. We're talking about a spy-game so when a demon bumps into an angel and fights, his cover is ruined, I'm right? As player I may not enjoy it...
                  That's not necessarily a problem. Demons can have more than one Cover. Saboteurs routinely use Burner Covers - flimsy Covers intended for a single mission, that can be destroyed by Going Loud without any regrets.


                  Find my Homebrew Fangs of Mara 2ed update Here

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ipergigio View Post
                    Hmm... something make me a bit reluctant to use angels as antagonist. We're talking about a spy-game so when a demon bumps into an angel and fights, his cover is ruined, I'm right? As player I may not enjoy it...
                    Firstly, the conflict of a spy game shouldn't necessarily be about fighting. A confrontation with an angel could easily be a tense interrogation, a chase, a game of hide-and-seek, a proxy war of agents and cultists or even a philosophical debate.

                    Secondly, a demon who reveals herself to an angel has only revealed herself to that angel. Angels know only what they need to know for their mission and what they learn during it; the God-Machine is not in the habit of transmitting the identity of every confirmed demon to every angel as soon as they are caught. Almost no angel has the authority to call for backup, either, so they can't even call the angel cops on you.

                    Even beyond that, Cover is more than a lie about who you are - it has metaphysical weight, and angels have no inherent power to destroy it. You can go right up to an angel and say "I am the demon Ezekiel, once known as the destroying angel Vanatiel" and it will do absolutely no damage to your Cover. The presence of an angel only intensifies Compromises, it doesn't cause them. If they want to damage your Cover, they have to do it the same way as anyone else and force you to suffer Compromise either by making you use your demonic powers or sending human investigators to pick it apart.

                    And finally, risking Cover is important to the Demon experience. Much of what's really interesting about the game comes from how demons relate to their Covers and the concept of identity in general. Some identify strongly with their mortal selves and would rather die than sacrifice their Cover, some appreciate their Covers from a practical standpoint and would be loathe to part with their favorite but ultimately just see them as expendable tools, and some have no respect for them at all, making soul pact after soul pact and callously burning through their stolen lives for any minute advantage they can muster. If you aren't putting your players in situation where they're forced to choose between protecting their Cover and gaining some operational advantage you aren't letting them engage with one of the coolest parts of the game. Asking the players if they would rather reveal themselves to an angel or risk failing the mission is very appropriate for this game.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ipergigio View Post
                      I was thinking a story about a scientist who want to quit the God Machine when he discover that the GM intends to use his research (maybe on a new source of energy) for not humanistic purposes, so he ask some demons to help him escape from the God Machine and it's minions... it's a good plot?
                      I love this idea. I would consider the risks to Cover to be a feature, here. The characters need to sneak in, locate and verify their target without tipping off anyone to their intentions, convince the target that they're the rescue squad and not other agents of the Machine checking for loyalty (which could cause a compromise all on its own if they reveal that they're demons), then smuggle the target out without drawing attention. The whole time the characters just need to take it on faith that the defector is on the level and not actually a Sleeper or an angel in disguise. That's an awesome story. If the characters are reluctant to go for it due to Cover risks, just make certain he has something to offer that they can't refuse.


                      Jason Ross Inczauskis, Freelance Writer
                      Currently writing: Dark Eras 2, Mummy: The Curse 2e, Pirates of Pugmire, TC In Media Res. Previous projects: DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action; C20 Anthology of Dreams
                      Masculine pronouns preferred.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Terrorforge View Post
                        Firstly, the conflict of a spy game shouldn't necessarily be about fighting. A confrontation with an angel could easily be a tense interrogation, a chase, a game of hide-and-seek, a proxy war of agents and cultists or even a philosophical debate.

                        Secondly, a demon who reveals herself to an angel has only revealed herself to that angel. Angels know only what they need to know for their mission and what they learn during it; the God-Machine is not in the habit of transmitting the identity of every confirmed demon to every angel as soon as they are caught. Almost no angel has the authority to call for backup, either, so they can't even call the angel cops on you.

                        Even beyond that, Cover is more than a lie about who you are - it has metaphysical weight, and angels have no inherent power to destroy it. You can go right up to an angel and say "I am the demon Ezekiel, once known as the destroying angel Vanatiel" and it will do absolutely no damage to your Cover. The presence of an angel only intensifies Compromises, it doesn't cause them. If they want to damage your Cover, they have to do it the same way as anyone else and force you to suffer Compromise either by making you use your demonic powers or sending human investigators to pick it apart.

                        And finally, risking Cover is important to the Demon experience. Much of what's really interesting about the game comes from how demons relate to their Covers and the concept of identity in general. Some identify strongly with their mortal selves and would rather die than sacrifice their Cover, some appreciate their Covers from a practical standpoint and would be loathe to part with their favorite but ultimately just see them as expendable tools, and some have no respect for them at all, making soul pact after soul pact and callously burning through their stolen lives for any minute advantage they can muster. If you aren't putting your players in situation where they're forced to choose between protecting their Cover and gaining some operational advantage you aren't letting them engage with one of the coolest parts of the game. Asking the players if they would rather reveal themselves to an angel or risk failing the mission is very appropriate for this game.
                        I recommend you read up on how Covers may unravel before a demon's very eyes.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Malus View Post

                          I recommend you read up on how Covers may unravel before a demon's very eyes.
                          Could you be a little more specific?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Terrorforge View Post
                            Could you be a little more specific?
                            Investigating a Demon, pg 114, Demon: The Descent.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Malus View Post

                              Investigating a Demon, pg 114, Demon: The Descent.
                              "Success counts as “revealing a key fact about yourself” if the investigator is human, or else gives the researcher equivalent knowledge that could be shared with humans to undermine a demon’s Cover."

                              This doesn't contradict anything I said. The investigation rules work on the principle that revealing yourself to humans is inherently Compromising, and specifically call out that a non-human entity (such as an angel) learning facts about you only damages your Cover if they choose to share that information with humans.

                              Revealing yourself to an angel is still a very, very bad idea, it just doesn't cause your Cover to implode on the spot. It's a potentially reversible error, provided you can deal with the angel and its investigations before the damage becomes irreparable.

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