Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The God Machine Reboot

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

  • The God Machine Reboot

    Aloha everyone,

    I've never played DtD even though I participated in the Kickstarter and bought all the books released by Onyx Path in this line. I've had a campaign plot in mind for quite some time but never really decided to write it down and make it happen, until now. I thought it might be a good idea to get some feedback from the community before I start to play. I am using many ideas from the books, which I merge in a way that (at least from my point of view) makes sense.
    Quick note: I play with only one player 12 hours away from me

    Here it is in a nutshell ...

    The God Machine is looking to reboot itself to correct bugs. For that to happen, it needs to decode the very first Demon who has ever fallen. In the process, it also creates a code to spread through a normal human virus to de-activate Demons.
    The first Demon is a prisoner of the God Machine, somewhere in a cave in Botswana, where the God Machine is attempting to decode it, piece by piece, a process that takes a very long time. To do so, the God Machine uses the telescopes in Hawaii (on the opposite side of the planet) and the light they collect, then sending waves through the Earth to the first Demon.
    The God Machine uses what it learns from the first Demon to craft a reboot code for itself and in the process has figured out a way to generate an anti-virus code against Demons. Interestingly, that anti-virus code is slowly embedded in a human virus - the flu - so it can be spread widely through the world population and attack the Demons who catch it. The result is a slow loss of power by the infected Demon and the only cure is for them to go loud.

    What will the Demon need to win?

    They will need to find the "reboot" Infrastructure somewhere in Kamchatka (follow the chain of volcanoes in the Pacific to their "origin"). There I imagine a big final battle between Angels and Demons, with Demons trying to reboot the God Machine, while the Angels are trying to reboot it so that Demons are completely erased.

    They will need to find the Apocalypse Clock, which is a countdown to reboot the God Machine. Both Angels and Demons want it, as they want to reboot the God Machine only when they are ready for it. They will need to get it from the Deva Corporation one way or another. I haven't thought too much about the role the Deva Corporation will play though.

    The Demons will also need to gather pieces of the reboot code by fighting Angels and Infrastructures. The Embeds, Exploits, and Interlocks that they learn are pieces of the code necessary to reboot the God Machine in the way they want.

    However, no Demon alone can carry the entire code. A group of Demon is required and they will need to show that they trust each other so much that they are ready to merge their final Interlocks and express the reboot code.

  • #2
    Now that I have mentioned the great scheme of things, here is how I imagine things will start.

    I intend to spend the first few sessions playing the Falls of the Angel. I say Falls and not Fall because the Angel will be similar to that of the first novel in the Core Rulebook: it fell but was stopped halfway through by the GM and kept in stasis to be released later. I intend to "trick" my player, having him play four different Falls, each time with a different Incarnation, to let him chose which one he preferred ... making him think that the three others haven't happened. However, he will realize at a later stage that they did happen.

    Here is how I intend to unfold the Guardian Fall ...

    The year is 1999. The city is Los Angeles.

    The Angel is sent as a young kid in a family that is expecting their first natural child. When the Angel arrives, its mission is to protect its yet unborn sister until she reaches the age of “about” 12. The young kid should be old enough to have some sort of influence on its parents but not too old so they still live together by the time the sister reaches the age of 12. The family home is the Angel Infrastructure as it is important that they remain in Los Angeles.

    The first part of this scene is about the young Angel making sure its parents will have the baby and will start to live a healthier life. Indeed, the parents are not wealthy, the father is a drinker, the mother a smoker, and they don’t even know how they were able to afford to have a first child to begin with! The goal of the Angel is thus to convince its parents it wants a sibling and pressure them to drop their unhealthy habits. Maybe some boundaries should be tested here though it may be too soon to Fall.

    The end of this first part is when the baby sister is born. Another Angel will intervene to make sure the baby gets out of the womb of its mother, has her first breath, and the umbilical cord is cut at exactly midnight between December 31st, 1999 and January 1st, 2000. This other Angel is the ObGyn of the mother and will provoke the birth at the right time. The Angel PC will have to deal with the presence of its peer and let it do its own work. The birth takes place at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center on Sunset Boulevard.

    The second part then covers the childhood of the sister and should involve some specific events to help the Angel PC describe its reactions, though time should be given for the PC to also describe preventive actions they undertake to facilitate their task. Maybe some boundaries should be tested here again but it may still be too soon to Fall.

    This second part should be fast, covering years of existence in minutes of play, only stopping on some events the Angel PC would like to focus on. The pace should then slow down as we enter 2011. Maybe the Angel PC realizes it has been 12 years since it was sent and thus understand that its mission will end soon.
    (Example of an event to deal with: the parents want to move to a different location but this is not allowed because the Infrastructure of the Angel PC is their home ... there are plenty of other events however that could directly endanger the sister)

    This is when the third and final part begins and it should highlight the attachment of the Angel PC to its human sister. The goal should be to focus on events throughout the year 2011 where the connection between the Angel and the human is emphasized. The Angel PC should think about losing that relationship when it will be recalled to the God Machine.

    This leads to November 11th, 2011, at 11:11 am. The event of the day should appear completely ordinary. November 11th is usually a holiday (Veteran’s day) so the two siblings have planned some activity: going to the movie theater, to the beach, doing some shopping, anything ... The activity should only imply taking the car through Los Angeles and the Angel PC should not be organizing the activity: it should only be going with its sister so it will be with her when she dies, killed by the actions of another Angel: the doctor who delivered her almost 12 years ago. It will happen at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and L Ron Hubbard Way, in front of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center where the sister was born. The Angel PC should notice this other Angel maybe just minutes before the accident. It should happen all very casually again and kind of in slow motion: maybe the Angel PC and its sister are driving on the Boulevard and the Angel PC notices the other Angel passing them on the other lane just before turning at the next left. He will reappear minutes later at the Sunset Boulevard and L Ron Hubbard Way, braking just a bit too late at the light, causing a car driving opposite to the Angel PC to swerve and crash into the Angel PC’s vehicle, killing the sister.

    Barely seconds before the accident, the Angel PC should suddenly become aware that its mission has ended and that it is not supposed to protect the girl anymore. It will be recalled to the GM in just a few moments.
    The Angel PC should be given time to do one action only. Whatever they decide to do, it will be their last action. Either they try to save the sister, one way or another, and then they Fall. Or they don’t and just have time to realize the sister is dead, as much as they are.

    If they decide to try to save the girl, the Angel PC might be able to save the girl and maybe even survive too. It does not really matter because the Angel PC will Fall. At least, they will start to Fall but something or someone will prevent them to do so, catching them at the last moment before the Fall is complete. The Angel PC should experience part of the Fall: for instance, they should feel the slow disconnection of their own being with the God Machine, one string at a time, very slowly at first before it suddenly accelerates, thousands of strings being ripped in a heartbeat while a sensation of nascent freedom fills them. This sensation of freedom is both exhilarating and terrifying. Similarly, a sensation of extreme pain takes over the Angel PC: part of it seems to come from the soul and all those severed strings, but another part seems to come from the body of the Angel, crushed in the accident despite all the efforts the Angel might have deployed, even if they thought they were successful. Something, someone, somewhere, has altered reality and some piece of the car is now piercing the heart of the Angel PC. At that moment, when the Angel PC realizes it is going to die but die free, free-falling, it will unexpectedly hit an invisible net or wall or hand. The sensation is painful like crashing into the ground after a long fall but also comforting like the hands of a mother protecting her child, and also terrifying like the web of a spider reattaching all its string to the body of its prey.
    Black.
    The end.

    Comment


    • #3
      1st session done! It went quite well and I think my player realized he was slowly falling though he tried to stick to the GM's plans as long as possible. It was very interesting to play and see it unfold!

      I however faced a few questions which will come back to haunt me when he actually plays a Demon if I don't find answers ... First is foremost is whether Demons and Angels can recognize each other right away? I imagine that Angels can tell if another being is an Angel automatically, but I realize that I never read a clear answer about that in the book. And that made me realize I don't even know if Demons can see Angels right away for what they are (and vice versa). I imagine that no, based on several novels in the Core Rulebook, but where is the rule?
      Then, since my player was interpreting an Angel, he asks a bit about the kind of power he had, though he relied mostly on using his Cover to reach his goals. I see the Numina page 350-351 and the rules to create an Angel in the page before, but it seems a bit underwhelming compared to what I read in some novels of the book. Maybe I am wrong and most Angels from those stories are Rank 3 and above which gives them great Attributes on top of their Powers ...
      Anyone cares to help me?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by nflagey View Post
        First is foremost is whether Demons and Angels can recognize each other right away? I imagine that Angels can tell if another being is an Angel automatically, but I realize that I never read a clear answer about that in the book. And that made me realize I don't even know if Demons can see Angels right away for what they are (and vice versa). I imagine that no, based on several novels in the Core Rulebook, but where is the rule?
        Angels know angels - they're all hooked up to the same GodMachine network. No-one auto-detects demons when they are in Cover, neither angels nor demons. Demons can detect the use of Ether by angels or Infrastructure through "Aetheric Resonance":
        DtD p.184:
        Demons can feel Aether through a sensation dubbed “aetheric resonance.” .... All of the God-Machine’s most potent endeavors are dependent upon the conversion of Essence into Aether. Angelic Numina, Influences, Manifestations and true forms, as well as facilities and stockpiles: everything emits Aether. Aetheric resonance serves as a valuable asset by which the Unchained may feel out the workings of their enemy. Fortunately for the Unchained, aetheric resonance is a uniquely demonic trait. Angels possess no comparable means by which they can flush out their fallen counterparts.
        So angels cannot auto-detect demons, but demons can sense the use of Essence (turned into Aether) using Aetheric Resonance.

        Originally posted by nflagey View Post
        Then, since my player was interpreting an Angel, he asks a bit about the kind of power he had, though he relied mostly on using his Cover to reach his goals. I see the Numina page 350-351 and the rules to create an Angel in the page before, but it seems a bit underwhelming compared to what I read in some novels of the book. Maybe I am wrong and most Angels from those stories are Rank 3 and above which gives them great Attributes on top of their Powers ...
        Well, a Rank 3 angel has a minimum of 15 and maximum of 25 for the total of all their attributes. Pick a middle of the road 7 each for Power, Finesse and Resistance means that with the Blast numen he can throw a 14 die ranged attack with no range penalty that ignores defenses. Then there is the matter of Influences. A Rank 3 angel has a minimum of 3 total points of Influence and so could pour it into controlling wind, fire, electricity, light, bats or whatever. You can also dump more points into Influence at the expense of points in numina to be able to create aspects of the Influence.

        Finally there are Incepts. They are crazy strong. For each Essence pumped into the Units incept your Rank 3 angel does 4 Blasts instead of 1, or raises 4 waterspouts (using some weather Influence) instead of one.

        The above focuses on combat. Your angel may have imparted zeal on hundreds of cultists as a messenger, or created a massive Infrastructure to extract souls from child soldiers fighting in Africa. It depends upon their original mission.

        Comment


        • #5
          Also, Demon's have crappy capabilities when it comes to affecting Twilight in general, and Angelic Twilight specifically. An Angel can always just phase out and use their powers with relative impunity.


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

          Comment


          • #6
            Gee it's almost like Angels are supposed to be really powerful entities that are really hard to deal 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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
              Also, Demon's have crappy capabilities when it comes to affecting Twilight in general, and Angelic Twilight specifically. An Angel can always just phase out and use their powers with relative impunity.
              I still get a bit confused on this one. I know that an angel that has Manifested from Twilight can choose to discorporate. Can an angel in a Cover (created by the GodMachine) retreat into Twilight? If it does so can it return to that Cover or has it discorporated until the GM can create a new Cover (or it uses its Manifest ability)?

              I've run it that an angel in Cover can choose to retreat into Twilight when they are in danger, but at the cost of their Cover. So they may choose to do it but there's a cost.

              Comment


              • #8
                Discorporation is something an angel can do regardless of whether they're in Twilight Form or using another Manifestation (except Claim). Only if they have the Discorporate Manifestation are they allowed to do it willingly, otherwise it's only if they are damaged enough.
                There is no singular Manifest ability. You might either be referring to Materialize or to the Manifestation system on a whole.

                Angels in Cover have no written dedicated rules other than not having to check for compromise because of upkeep from Infrastructure.
                One way to do angelic Covers is to just apply the rules for demonic Covers as far as possible, substituting Essence for Aether at a 1:1 ratio whenever there's a cost. It's not elegant and maybe not completely intended, but it works and should be consistent without having to homebrew it from the ground up.
                Edit: In which case just ignore all references to Primum, Demonic Forms and Aether gains, as neither is relevant to angels.
                Last edited by Tessie; 06-27-2019, 11:19 AM.


                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  Discorporation is something an angel can do regardless of whether they're in Twilight Form or using another Manifestation (except Claim). Only if they have the Discorporate Manifestation are they allowed to do it willingly, otherwise it's only if they are damaged enough.
                  There is no singular Manifest ability. You might either be referring to Materialize or to the Manifestation system on a whole.

                  Angels in Cover have no written dedicated rules other than not having to check for compromise because of upkeep from Infrastructure.
                  One way to do angelic Covers is to just apply the rules for demonic Covers as far as possible, substituting Essence for Aether at a 1:1 ratio whenever there's a cost. It's not elegant and maybe not completely intended, but it works and should be consistent without having to homebrew it from the ground up.
                  Edit: In which case just ignore all references to Primum, Demonic Forms and Aether gains, as neither is relevant to angels.
                  But if they Discorporate their Material body is gone - I think. That is, it’s a negative ability of undoing something rather than a positive of opening a gate into Twilight. So it makes sense to me that they destroyed their Cover.

                  For me as a ST it makes for a tactical difference between an angel in Cover on a long term mission and a Hunter that has Materialized to capture a demon. The former is more hesitant to discorporate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KieranMullen View Post
                    The former is more hesitant to discorporate.
                    An angel who discorporates is already out of commission until they recover their Essence in the first place and not all of them will have the luxury of convenient nearby Infrastructure. They don't need to completely lose the benefit of the universe telling a lie about what they are on their behalf for there to be understandable practical reasons why they don't slam their bug-out button without cause.


                    Resident Lore-Hound
                    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KieranMullen View Post

                      But if they Discorporate their Material body is gone - I think. That is, it’s a negative ability of undoing something rather than a positive of opening a gate into Twilight. So it makes sense to me that they destroyed their Cover.
                      If they Discorporate, their Corpus is gone. No one knows what happens to the Cover. Perhaps it follows the angel and can be resumed once the angel recuperates, perhaps it reverts to the Infrastructure that upholds it so it needs to be reapplied to the angel, perhaps it is destroyed in the process and a whole new Cover needs to be created.

                      You don't open gates to Twilight. Ephemeral entities are always in Twilight unless they're using certain Manifestations, are in Cover, or are located in another realm. Stop doing either of these and you automatically enter Twilight Form.


                      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


                      • #12
                        I don't really have much to add, except the hopefully amusing imagine that entered my mind of a Demon contacting his Ring. "Soooo...I went ahead and called tech support...they wanted to know if we had tried turning our God off and back on again..."

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X