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How can angels stay on long-term missions?

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  • How can angels stay on long-term missions?

    In "Demon: The Descent" (p.348) we learn
    Materialization lasts for one hour per success on the activating roll. When the duration ends, the entity fades back into Twilight. Physical contact with a Bane or removal of a prerequisite condition can cause the Condition to end early.
    However, we also meet angels (which are ephemeral by nature and live in Twilight) that have missions that last for years. How do they stay materialized? In addition, angels obtain their human form when Materialized using the "Mortal Mask" Numina. The description (p.351) states that its duration is limited to a few hours. How can an angel have a mission that lasts for years?

  • #2
    Many likely don't need to be materialized for the entirety of their Mission, and are perfectly capable of re-materializing as needed.
    Many Angels also have missions that don't require human forms.

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    • #3
      I don't think your reply addresses the difficulty. First angels cannot materialize outside of Infrastructure. The Materialize manifestation requires an Open Condition based upon Infrastructure. Second, the fluff is full of angels acting as long-term family members - aging grandparents, mothers, etc. There is no indication that they are re-Materializing every few hours. However, in the Rules As Written, angels de-Materialize every few hours and only re-Materialze near Infrastructure dedicated to that task.

      You may be right that angels should be run this way, but it should be a BIG part of how they interact with PCs. For example, the easiest way to detect if someone is an angel is to arrange to have them observed for 24 hours and see if they de-Materialize. They would also have to have daily contact with Infrastructure. I could imagine that angels work this way in the game, but if so it should be made much more clear.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KieranMullen View Post
        I don't think your reply addresses the difficulty.
        The difficulty is skipped by many angels through the fact that they're provisioned by God, which can softhack the world around its angels in various ways to e.g. suspend their Essence bleed, staple custom Manifestations onto the side of their core loadout, remove the state of Twilight in their operating quarters, or otherwise make the bulk of their interaction with the ephemeral being mechanics amount to "has a Power-Finesse-Resistance Attribute spread, this ban, this bane, these powers, and this much Essence to work with at a time." They're functionally demons with simplified statblocks and stronger backing.

        Many angels don't have these provisions made for them, but they're not the ones living as well-connected accountants for twenty years at a time.

        The ephemeral being mechanics as a whole are most relevant to spirits, who interact with them with the least amount of modification, and ghosts, whose modifications mostly come into play after they lose their initial support structure. Angels are pretty much just material beings with access to Twilight in the absence of aberrant circumstances.


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

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        • #5
          Let's just get a note out of the way: while it could be clearer in the book, God-machine Covers tend to sidestep the need for Manifestation as well, since it's built into the Infrastructure they will be working with.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            Let's just get a note out of the way: while it could be clearer in the book, God-machine Covers tend to sidestep the need for Manifestation as well, since it's built into the Infrastructure they will be working with.
            This one.

            Cover the God-Machine provides side-steps the normal Ephemeral and Manifestation rules, so years long assignments are entirely plausible. When It doesn't simply create prior "history" for It's agent backwards from the appointed time so it only seems like they were around for 20 years.


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

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            • #7
              To add on to the point of Cover sidestepping the needs of manifesting, cover is also infastructure and as such will supply the base essance requirements to an angel. It is not explicitly said and one really does have to read into details to pick this out but it is not reading into thing too much.
              -Cover is mentioned to have once been maintained by the machine.
              -A demon’s first cover is often a relic from their time as an angel
              Are two of the easiest sources to support this statement. It is never outright stated that angels have cover but that is because it is infastructure and not an innate quality. Though I admit this in my interpretation and not a gurenteed RAW.

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              • #8
                Angels definitely have Covers (see angel-jacking) but there's no rules for angels in Cover. They're probably not in Twilight since the Cover is physical, but it's never mentioned whether they still suffer Essence Bleed, if they have access to any Manifestations while in Cover, how/if they can temporarily leave their Cover and become ephemeral again, if they suffer Compromise, etc.
                It's likely that Cover either has no time limit or is indefinite as long as a related piece of Infrastructure is intact, and it's likely they don't suffer Essence Bleed (and thus only have to spend one Essence each day to remain active). If they're stationed so that they have access to Infrastructure they can remain indefinite as long as they don't have to spend any Essence. If they do have to spend Essence in their mission, they are probably also assigned a G-M cult that provides that for them. If their mission is carried out through a day job they could also voluntarily enter sleep mode while in Infrastructure (whether the Cover itself is Infrastructure, or it's upheld by another piece of Infrastructure) and save Essence during weekends.


                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)

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                • #9
                  It's probably worth mentioning that 'returning to Infrastructure' could be as simple as 'stepping into the locked walk-in closet in the master bedroom'.

                  Yes, it gives observers a potential chance to notice that Uncle Milton always seems to dip back into his room at 4:44PM every day, but aside from Demons, who's going to be paying close enough attention to notice? Sure, it's a little weird that he never lets anyone back there, and gets really scary when he tells the kids not to play near the closet door, but he's just a grumpy old man.

                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  It's likely that Cover either has no time limit or is indefinite as long as a related piece of Infrastructure is intact, and it's likely they don't suffer Essence Bleed
                  In the few instances I've toyed with the idea of including mechanics for angelic cover, I always just settle on treating it as a mobile Infrastructure that surrounds the Angel. This means the Conditions necessary for their manifestation are always present, no Essence Bleed, etc.

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                  • #10
                    Angels should deserve their own set of rules😔
                    For semplification i assume that angel covers are infrastructures sustained by at least another logistic infrastructure that provide the essence to maintain indefinitely a materialization or possession.
                    The summoning is the mean to made the cover infrastructure Open indefinitely.
                    Of course not all angels are granted a cover....
                    Last edited by Neos01; 09-09-2018, 02:31 PM.

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                    • #11
                      An interesting point though is that cover is concealment infrastructure that demons cannot see through. Maybe for a similar reason when mundane things like storefronts are used as concealment infrastructure are not seen through but illusions that fool others are seen through by demons.

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                      • #12
                        I had focused on the crunch of Manifestation of Ephemerals and so had forgotten that the fluff refers to angels having Cover. I have read elsewhere that the section in the DtD on Ephemerals is basically repeated in other splats as general rules for Ephemerals. As such, the specific rule that in a DtD game angels have Cover should supersede the general case.

                        Unfortunately all the angel descriptions give the angels the Materialize manifestation even if they have Cover, and many of them have the Mortal Mask Numina. This seems misleading and a waste of a Numina slot. The angels in the DtD also do not have a Cover rating, so there was no indication that they have a Cover.

                        One interesting consequence of the rules for Materialize is that an angel who is acting in Twilight could choose to Materialize without specific instructions from the GM to do so. They would need to find or arrange Infrastructure for this purpose and perhaps create their own posse of cultists. They would be skirting the edge, but not quite Falling.

                        Yet.

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                        • #13
                          This is in truth a matter the community has debated back and forth because of both it not being stated directly in the rules on angel creation and the listed sample angels you presented.

                          As to your point of an angel choosing to do something without instruction the angel might be close to falling. However, the angel may have broader instructions that allows this 'choice' to be in fact just following their mission and not a choice of free will. So yes, in some cases such could signal or lead to a fall but some missions have flexibility of reaction encoded in them (one would assume).

                          As to the fact that angels do not have a cover rating listed, you'll find mentions in the section of cover that the GM no longer maintains a demon's cover so an angel's cover would be maintained as required. As well the only main drawbacks of low cover are the ease at which you are detected by the machine which is not an issue when you are a component of the machine.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                            In the few instances I've toyed with the idea of including mechanics for angelic cover, I always just settle on treating it as a mobile Infrastructure that surrounds the Angel. This means the Conditions necessary for their manifestation are always present, no Essence Bleed, etc.
                            Protection from Essence Bleed would be an additional effect since Infrastructure alone doesn't grant such protection.


                            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)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                              Protection from Essence Bleed would be an additional effect since Infrastructure alone doesn't grant such protection.
                              They wouldn't suffer from essence bleed while in infrastructure just like a ghost near their anchor or a spirit in a resonant condition. Essence bleed only occurs when ephemeral beings are outside their relevant condition.

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