Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

I might be running this game and need tips/help/answers

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I might be running this game and need tips/help/answers

    So I gave my players a few options for our next campaign and so far 3 of 4 expressed interest in playing Demon after I gave them a cursory view of what it's about, so as long as the 4th isn't opposed to playing it, we're gonna play it. I haven't yet talked with the players about their characters etc but I want to prepare before that.

    I only got the core book and I've been reading it, but some things I'm not sure off. I don't want to delve into suplements cause everyone is gonna be new to the thing so I don't want to get overwhelmed.

    1) If you build a patchwork cover does it start at cover rating 1? Seems like a big xp-sink.

    2) How to best describe the game to the players? As said I gave them a cursory overview over what the game is about but I want to prepare a "cheat sheet" that would describe most important setting elements so they could at least create a character concept. What should such a cheat sheet contain. So far, I'm thinking:

    - Summary of what the GM is and what are Angels and what it means to Fall
    - Summary of Incarnations
    - Summary of Agendas
    - What makes demons different that humans (afaik it's seeing infrastructure, Demonic Form, perfectly controlling emotions, having "alien" virtues and vices, did I miss anything?)
    - What is Infrastructure
    - What is a Cover

    Anything else that I should describe to them for starters? We can go over embeds etc once we get to making characters but I want to at least give my players enough idea about the setting to think of a character.


    That's it for now, i'll come back for more later if you don't mind.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Menace View Post
    So I gave my players a few options for our next campaign and so far 3 of 4 expressed interest in playing Demon after I gave them a cursory view of what it's about, so as long as the 4th isn't opposed to playing it, we're gonna play it. I haven't yet talked with the players about their characters etc but I want to prepare before that.
    *Cracks knuckles*

    Originally posted by Menace View Post
    1) If you build a patchwork cover does it start at cover rating 1? Seems like a big xp-sink.
    Keep in mind that Pacts are your source of Cover XP, so you aren't really draining your character growth options when you are building up Covers. Sure, creating a Patchwork at a decent rating is going to require lots of Pacts, but it is all yours, and durable at higher ratings to boot. You can custom craft an identity - that not to be treated lightly.

    Originally posted by Menace View Post
    2) How to best describe the game to the players? As said I gave them a cursory overview over what the game is about but I want to prepare a "cheat sheet" that would describe most important setting elements so they could at least create a character concept. What should such a cheat sheet contain. So far, I'm thinking:

    - Summary of what the GM is and what are Angels and what it means to Fall
    - Summary of Incarnations
    - Summary of Agendas
    - What makes demons different that humans (afaik it's seeing infrastructure, Demonic Form, perfectly controlling emotions, having "alien" virtues and vices, did I miss anything?)
    - What is Infrastructure
    - What is a Cover
    All good options. Try to get them to understand both the high weirdness of the God-Machine and Occult Matrices, and how the Unchained need to keep things hidden and always have backup plans. See if you can reference or show the inspirational media beforehand so they can get a feel. If you can get a hold of Interface (the Demon anthology), reading those can give a range of what the feel of Demon.

    Originally posted by Menace View Post
    Anything else that I should describe to them for starters? We can go over embeds etc once we get to making characters but I want to at least give my players enough idea about the setting to think of a character.

    That's it for now, i'll come back for more later if you don't mind.
    Think on how you want to start the Chronicle. A quiet intro to get characters invested into their Cover's lives? A big event that led to all of their Falls, then a cut forward to "present day", and sporadic references to the intervening time via flashbacks? In Media Res, to have them hit the ground running (which might be how the Ring meets, or their first job/operation together)?


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

    Comment


    • #3
      Establish not only how the players know one another, but also how their covers are associated so they know how they should and shouldn't act. It does a lot to flesh out group dynamics and even cover details.

      Honestly, I would recommend showing them Flowers Of Hell, as it elaborates and expands upon concepts that are in the core book, as well cool options in merits, form powers and embeds and exploits. The gadget section is exceptional.

      Also, help establish a safe zone of sorts. This doesn't need to be a bunker, but an area to build a sort of normal, a center safe from weirdness. This area can be threatened over time, but it should be established first.

      Comment


      • #4
        Second post with helpful links:

        Inspirations:
        What's the inspirations
        Looking for inspiration

        Plot Hooks:
        01000111 01101111 01100100 Plot Hooks

        General Advice:
        GMing Demon: What NOT to do?
        Help me summarize Demon for my gaming group

        Other "Starting games" threads:
        [Setting] Unchained Las Vegas: places, NPCs and plot hooks from my game
        Finally getting to run a Descent game but I had a few small questions
        Starting a Demon game for CofD newcomers, could use some ideas.


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

        Comment


        • #5
          I should also note, Demons have perfect body control, but not perfect emotion control - a Demon can control their body so well they basically have the perfect poker face, and can decide if what they say is "true" or not to any powers or machinery that attempts to assertain if they are indeed telling the truth. However, Demons aren't able to control the emotions and horomones that run through their brains when in Cover, and indeed they lack much of that emotion when in Demonic form.

          Also, in regards to Patchwork Covers; a Patchwork only starts as low as the number of Cover experiences you feed into it. If you use just one pact that only has 3 Cover experiences on it, you will only start with a Patchwork Cover at rating 1. However, if you build (or build up) one by having several pacts, some with 3 Cover experiences, or others with 6, you can easily get a Cover that's as good as a starting Cover. A Patchwork Cover is much slower to get than a Soul Pact Cover, and requires a lot of good pacting to get going, but it is a labour of love with the advantage that you control what goes into the Cover.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for all the help, I'm gonna check the links posted. As for inspirations I told my players "Its kinda like playing Agent Smith from the Matrix" I'm not familiar with the other sources mentions.

            I have a 2 questions about pacts:

            - the book states that demons usually "don't give more than they take" but looking at the pact rules the willpower cost of the pact is depented on how much it favors the Demon. So is it ok a Demon to give away some freebies to lower the willpower cost? "Ok so you're willing to give me your old job if I make you rich. Sadly not everything can be bought with money. I like you, so I can give you some good looks as a freebie, whadaya say?"

            - can mortal part of deal be the Demon TAKING AWAY away? For instance Hank was a big debt at a lone shard and Ms. Lovely offers to take away that debt (Ms. Lovely needs quick Cover patching). Is such a deal acceptable and would it be 0 value on the mortal part or +1?


            Last edited by Menace; 06-12-2018, 08:31 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Menace View Post
              Thanks for all the help, I'm gonna check the links posted. As for inspirations I told my players "Its kinda like playing Agent Smith from the Matrix" I'm not familiar with the other sources mentions.
              Check out a few episodes of Person of Interest for Spy Behavior and the panoptic surveillance of The Machine.

              Originally posted by Menace View Post
              - the book states that demons usually "don't give more than they take" but looking at the pact rules the willpower cost of the pact is depented on how much it favors the Demon. So is it ok a Demon to give away some freebies to lower the willpower cost? "Ok so you're willing to give me your old job if I make you rich. Sadly not everything can be bought with money. I like you, so I can give you some good looks as a freebie, whadaya say?"
              Demons are encouraged to "balance" the Pact to reduce the Willpower cost. As for giving the human party extra? Keep in mind that someone suddenly becoming popular, wealthy, connected, etc. overnight is going to raise flags. So if you want to be "generous", make sure to do it in such a way as it doesn't draw too much attention. Also keep in mind, if you give the Pactee the moon, you don't have as much leverage to sell them later.

              Originally posted by Menace View Post
              - can mortal part of deal be the Demon TAKING AWAY away? For instance Hank was a big debt at a lone shard and Ms. Lovely offers to take away that debt (Ms. Lovely needs quick Cover patching). Is such a deal acceptable and would it be 0 value on the mortal part or +1?
              The "debt to lone shark" is the Demon's reward in the pact. The mortal needs to actually get something or there will be increased Willpower cost on the Demon's side. Remember - even annoying details like that help cement a Cover as "legit".


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you, what I was wondering whether the demons reward and the mortals rewards can be essentially the same thing. So you either have to give something extra or pay extra, got it.

                Maybe ill check Person of Interest.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If a Demon has enough willpower, they can simply outright take someone's blindness or a loss of limb in a pact, and the mortal wouldn't see it as anything but a gift. Granted, if you want it as a permanent feature it will cost an arm and a leg for willpower dots. If you want to balance it out, perhaps give it the context that in taking away their disability, you are also fixing reality to as if they never had such a disability, allowing them to have had a career in the work force or resources owing to how they never had to spend so much money on themselves and the equipment to give themselves a normal life. Remember that, barring Soul Pacts, a Demon can characterize pacts however they want.

                  Something to consider in that, however; Flowers of Hell suggests that pacts that introduce obvious flaws (such as a missing limb, a stalker, or a really obvious feature like a characteristic scarf or a birthmark on your face), as "damaged goods", can be considered one less in terms of Willpower expenditure without degrading the Cover experiences it gives. This encourages both generosity as well as introducing the character to dramatic turns in the narrative, where they could find the lack of a left leg is impeding them, or that taking someone's arthritus means you are wracked with pain during an on-foot escape.

                  Edit: Sorry for bringing up Flowers Of Hell so often when you have established you are only working with the core Demon book. I just find myself referencing Flowers Of Hell as often as the core book for various facts in the Demon game I'm in, and thus I highly recommend it for anyone playing the game. However, it isn't essential for a good Demon game and I hope that you're enjoying the material in the core book as it is.
                  Last edited by Taidragon; 06-12-2018, 03:48 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another thing you can do with "undesirable" Pact elements - create a specific emergency burner Cover. Even a Cancer-and-Stalker riddled quadraplegic can still exist for one precious moment of insulation before being cast into the conflagration of Going Loud.


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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                      Another thing you can do with "undesirable" Pact elements - create a specific emergency burner Cover. Even a Cancer-and-Stalker riddled quadraplegic can still exist for one precious moment of insulation before being cast into the conflagration of Going Loud.

                      I didn't think about that, nice idea.

                      We're now pretty sure that we;re gonna try Demon, I made the cheat sheet and asked my players to think about the character. A few more questions:

                      - if you use an element to craft a cover and you lose that element due to story reasons (you pay off your covers debt, your covers dog dies etc.) does your cover deteriorate in any way?

                      - if you Soul Pact a cover and that cover has stuff that could be represented by merits then you need to pay exp to represent that? And can you use cover exp to pay for those? For instance, let's say your cover is millionaire so it'd make sense for it to have some dots of Resources.

                      - is there a limit to what a pact can grant? For instance can you go for the classic tale of "Take your soul for resurecting the love of your life"? Or would you first have to find a means to do that (some exploit?) ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Menace View Post
                        - if you use an element to craft a cover and you lose that element due to story reasons (you pay off your covers debt, your covers dog dies etc.) does your cover deteriorate in any way?
                        Not at the book, but it shouldn't. You still maintain the backstory and most relationships from "resolved" Cover elements even if they're not active. You might not have that debt, but you've had a history of being in debt and you still have a relationship with the bank or loanshark or whatever. Even a lost pet is a Cover element since you can meet new people depending on how you lost the pet, and you can keep old relationships gained from having the pet (such as people you met when taking the dog on walks).


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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Menace View Post
                          - if you use an element to craft a cover and you lose that element due to story reasons (you pay off your covers debt, your covers dog dies etc.) does your cover deteriorate in any way?
                          Yup. Losing less valuable elements provides a minor bonus to the compromise roll and losing more valuable elements provides a penalty; the Player's Guide covers this as well.

                          - if you Soul Pact a cover and that cover has stuff that could be represented by merits then you need to pay exp to represent that? And can you use cover exp to pay for those? For instance, let's say your cover is millionaire so it'd make sense for it to have some dots of Resources.
                          You do have to and in fact that's one of the main ways that you recoup the loss — using Legend to replicate Skills and Merits your Cover should have that you absolutely don't gives you the Impostor Condition, which gives you a Cover Beat once you buy a dot in one of the traits you faked. You can't use Cover Experiences to buy it, but spending Cover Experiences to raise your Cover directly improves your ability to pull this off.
                          Last edited by Satchel; 06-13-2018, 08:57 AM.


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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Menace View Post
                            - if you Soul Pact a cover and that cover has stuff that could be represented by merits then you need to pay exp to represent that? And can you use cover exp to pay for those? For instance, let's say your cover is millionaire so it'd make sense for it to have some dots of Resources.
                            Somewhat? If you take a millionaire, you still have their millions, but remember the Sanctity of Merits - anything you "paid" for is protected or refunded. So the Demon might have those millions when they first assume the Cover, but circumstances (read: the Storyteller) could happen to make them lose their wealth. Or friends (Allies, Contacts, etc.) could just drift away. Spending the XP kinda locks them in place (or you at least get refunded and can switch things around if you do lose them), even though they don't go "poof" immediately if you don't. But it really depends upon how permissive/vindictive the ST is.

                            Originally posted by Menace View Post
                            - is there a limit to what a pact can grant? For instance can you go for the classic tale of "Take your soul for resurecting the love of your life"? Or would you first have to find a means to do that (some exploit?) ?
                            This is covered in the Benefits section. I think there is some uncertainty whether they can grant Supernatural Merits (nothing says they can't, and bargaining with a Demon for occult power is very much in theme). But the Exploit Raise Dead is called out as something Unchained use as leverage. So, I think for something not covered in the Benefits section of Pacts, you need to come up with the ability separately (but can make doing so a condition of the Pact).


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Menace View Post
                              - is there a limit to what a pact can grant? For instance can you go for the classic tale of "Take your soul for resurecting the love of your life"? Or would you first have to find a means to do that (some exploit?) ?
                              Technically, you could trade someone a gadget that could ressurect a particular person if it had the Raise Dead exploit. Once again covered in the Player's Guide, gadgets add to the mortal's side of the pact; Demons are loathe to part with them in this manner, so they often do so for Soul Pacts since, as they will be able to take the other person's life as Cover, they will be getting the gadget back. Otherwise, Vent0 has it covered.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X