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Angels and the Combat Issue

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Azahul View Post
    Setting aside the points others have made (Rip the Gates is an exhaustive list, and Twilight isn't a place you can go so much as it is a state you can be in), I would be extremely wary of giving Demons an ability they don't have by default. This topic originally came up because of Agentwestmer making the assertion that Demons can use Exploits to gain access to Twilight in order to fight Angels. This isn't actually the case, the handful of Exploits that do grant access to Twilight always put the Demon on a different wavelength to Angels or otherwise make it impossible to use those abilities for combat purposes. And since Demons are meant to fear Angels, not having a capacity to fight Angels on an equal footing appears to be very much an intentional part of the design of Demons' suite of powers. Handwaving and letting your players do something that goes against a core weakness of the splat they are playing isn't something to allow lightly.

    It all depends on the game your running. Though I do see your point. I'll tweak a few settings though I still like the idea of rip the gates going anywhere.
    Last edited by Basic; 04-25-2018, 04:24 AM.

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    • #32
      This felt relevant:

      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
      Angels have ephemeral resilience and omnipresent divine backing stopping them from being more than a half-step away from the characters where the story demands it, the Demiurge's own obscurity and lack of honorary Rank mechanics safeguarding their individual weaknesses from exploitation, and the ability to be nigh-on undetectable until it's too late unless the characters are forewarned about an angel due to the God-Machine's capacity to just give them a bleed-free cover identity if they happen to need one. Existing visibly in Twilight doesn't seem like it would actually make the ephemeral attacks of a loyalist (or any other Twilight-dwelling entity) solid to material beings and I don't think they really need such an exploit.

      The God-Machine is the very system a demon inhabits, and even a lesser angel is a tendril of the larger-scale threat of Its will — it's never just the one loyalist you have to worry about. Further, an angel built to be an immediate threat is an immediate threat in its specific designed context, and the context angels the Machine makes to safeguard things are designed to be flexible — a versatile and customized spread of Numina is one of the strongest tools in the God-Machine's purpose-built arsenal.

      However, Demon is, again, primarily an espionage game; the major threat of its antagonists lies in escalation over time more than big scary monsters you fight four-on-one. Bigger angels are more likely to be dangerous due to what they're present to account for than out of any intended menace to the Unchained.


      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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      • #33
        So...are the people in these circles aware of Incepts on any level?
        Cause...they're scary.

        An Angel played like a player would play their character, to its full potential, is a nightmare to deal with. I once had a player that built a character that was almost completely unkillable (lots of Armor, Plasma Drive, Just Bruised, Deathgrip from DTG). They, naturally, weren't feeling particularly challenged by most combat encounters. Then that character met a Rank 4 Angel that used the Economy and Units Incepts.

        Just Bruised wasn't all that useful when facing 5 Blasts per turn, when each activation of the Embed costs 4 Aether.

        Even if the player character had won that particular combat, it wouldn't have accomplished anything, because she had no way to drain away the Angel's Essence - the angel would have returned to life in short order, as ephemeral tend to do, and immediately resumed her Mission.

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        • #34
          Economy only affects powers targeting the angel so Just Bruised should not be affected. Still, Incepts are definitely among the most potent powers in all of second edition.


          Bloodline: The Stygians
          Ordo Dracul Mystery: Coil of Smoke
          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Tessie View Post
            Economy only affects powers targeting the angel so Just Bruised should not be affected. Still, Incepts are definitely among the most potent powers in all of second edition.
            Fair enough, yeah. Even without that, the player would have quickly reached the cap on uses per scene before Compromise in that particular fight.

            Even scarier than Incepts, imo, is the point raised in the latter part of my post.
            Okay, so you managed to discorporate the Angel. Good job?

            Now what? Cause it's going to come back, and now it knows what you can do.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
              Fair enough, yeah. Even without that, the player would have quickly reached the cap on uses per scene before Compromise in that particular fight.

              Even scarier than Incepts, imo, is the point raised in the latter part of my post.
              Okay, so you managed to discorporate the Angel. Good job?

              Now what? Cause it's going to come back, and now it knows what you can do.
              And since most seem to have the Discorporate Manifestion, if they don't feel like continuing the confrontation, they can just flash you the peace sign (or finger) and fade out back to their Infrastructure.


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

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              • #37
                It's no different than other ephemerals: Force them to spend Essence during combat, attack their basic Condition to make them bleed Essence over time, and/or cause aggravated damage since that also destroys their Essence (though not at a fast rate so it can't be the only method). By no means are these easy feats, but that's how you do it.
                But if you've already discorporated one without killing it the best bet is to go after its Infrastructure. If you manage to disable it before the angel reforms it's stuck in hibernation until someone puts it in suitable Infrastructure again. And even if it does manage to reform at least you still have days or possibly weeks before it has healed enough to be fit for combat again. Unless it has Regenerate, of course.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mystery: Coil of Smoke
                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  It's no different than other ephemerals
                  Yes. My point is that every time this topic comes up (Ephemerals are weak in combat!) people largely seem to be forgetting about this.

                  Attacking an Angel's underlying Conditions is substantially harder than it is for other Ephemerals in my experence, though - it's Infrastructure, not simple resonance, and there's a good chance it's well guarded by more than just the Angel.

                  As for 'forcing them to spend Essence during combat' - only an ST that is intentionally misplaying the antagonist is going to let them spend enough Essence that permanent death is a real possibility from that alone. Angels are presumably aware that their continued existence and the success of their Mission is dependent on not burning all of their fuel. That kind of strategy isn't going to be enough on its own to bleed out anything but the most animalistic of Spirits.

                  Combined with the other stuff you mentioned, sure.

                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  By no means are these easy feats
                  Exactly - if you're going through all of that, then the 'combat' certainly wouldn't qualify as being 'no challenge to fight' as posited in the OP.

                  As for recovery time...
                  I don't know about you, but I generally assume that the Machine is capable of Infrastructure that can pump out more than one Essence per day. That's the default based on the Condition alone, but we've seen that Infrastructure can do quite a bit, and refueling an Angel as needed seems well within the abilities of a more specialized Infrastructure.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                    I don't know about you, but I generally assume that the Machine is capable of Infrastructure that can pump out more than one Essence per day. That's the default based on the Condition alone, but we've seen that Infrastructure can do quite a bit, and refueling an Angel as needed seems well within the abilities of a more specialized Infrastructure.
                    I've been kinda working on the idea of Maintenance Infrastructure in my head. It would be the only kind of Infrastructure that also serves the the Infrastructure Condition tagged to a specific angel or possibly angels, but instead of simply protecting from Essence bleed and grant 1 Essence each day it'd also be possible to design it to produce extra Essence. Some would convert specific resources to Essence, in a more automated alternative to the sacrifice that converts Availability/Integrity to Essence, while others could tap into supernatural energy sources (Loci, Hallows, possible Leylines/Nodes) and convert that energy into usable Essence.
                    How cool wouldn't it be to have Infrastructure that forces open an Avernian Gate to a "low pressure" area of the Underworld and uses a mystical turbine to produce Essence from the resulting "draft"?


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mystery: Coil of Smoke
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                      How cool wouldn't it be to have Infrastructure that forces open an Avernian Gate to a "low pressure" area of the Underworld and uses a mystical turbine to produce Essence from the resulting "draft"?
                      Yeah, this is exactly what Infrastructure should be like.

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                      • #41
                        I just presumed Infrastructure stores Essence and produces it once per day, much like it does Aether. Also, I've never seen anything that denotes an Angel is limited to a particular Infrastructure for Essence. Given the amount of Infrastructure a given city has, an Angel that makes its rounds can collect essence fairly easily, right?

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Taidragon View Post
                          I just presumed Infrastructure stores Essence and produces it once per day, much like it does Aether. Also, I've never seen anything that denotes an Angel is limited to a particular Infrastructure for Essence. Given the amount of Infrastructure a given city has, an Angel that makes its rounds can collect essence fairly easily, right?
                          No, I'm fairly sure all infrastructure is keyed to specific angelic agents. It would be nigh impossible and completely fruitless to suburn it for the purpose of dealing with angelic threats if you simply treat them like gas stations for angels.

                          The God Machine is badass, but it's a system and systems can be exploited.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Malus View Post
                            No, I'm fairly sure all infrastructure is keyed to specific angelic agents.
                            It is notable that Infrastructure is distinct from the other two main baseline Manifestation Conditions in its ability to be generated by an angel on behalf of another angel.


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

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                              It is notable that Infrastructure is distinct from the other two main baseline Manifestation Conditions in its ability to be generated by an angel on behalf of another angel.

                              Apologies if I am being thick here, but how would that work in-game? An Angel opening access to an Infrastructure that an Angel didn't have access to? Or causing a new Infrastructure to emerge for them to work with? I am still figuring the ephemeral rules, and without context they are a little confusing.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Taidragon View Post
                                Apologies if I am being thick here, but how would that work in-game? An Angel opening access to an Infrastructure that an Angel didn't have access to? Or causing a new Infrastructure to emerge for them to work with? I am still figuring the ephemeral rules, and without context they are a little confusing.
                                An angel with four or more dots in one of their Influences can create the Infrastructure Condition on a subject for themselves or another angel just like a ghost or a spirit can use their Influences to make a subject appropriately Resonant or serve as a new Anchor.

                                The Condition's description of this as being for the benefit of subordinate angels suggests that it still only works along the lines of the Influence in question, but the Condition is also not completely the same thing as the general phenomenon of Infrastructure and this still establishes that Infrastructure is a little more like Starcraft creep than the other Conditions — the Machine uses it to expand its Influence in ways which themselves help generate new instances of the Condition that can call down different sorts of angels, some of whom can shepherd different types of phenomena into the esoteric shape of Infrastructure, and so on.

                                It doesn't show up much because angels who can build Infrastructure are comparatively rare, but it can basically be approached as "Ariel the fiery Psychopomp can use the phenomenon of fire as a vector for introducing Infrastructure into a subject or area."
                                Last edited by Satchel; 05-01-2018, 08:48 AM.


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

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