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What would you change if Demon the Descent got a new edition?

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  • What would you change if Demon the Descent got a new edition?

    What would you change if Demon the Descent got a new edition?

    My list of quick changes:
    • Make God-Machine Angels have their own creation rules separate from the Ephemeral Entity rules. Angels shouldn't manifest, instead they should have Covers and Angelic Forms.
    • Lean more into Bio-Mechanical Horror more. Angels, Cryptids, and Gadgets being presented with a mix of organic and inorganic components.
    • Expand the God-Machine as antagonist to other entities who are trying to collect Angels as their servants/slaves. Demons being the closest things Angels have to a free form.
    • Establish a supernatural community of Demons. My only issue with Demon the Descent so far is that there isn't a sense of scaling with Demons. A high Primum Demon isn't easily identified, except for the glitches they have accrued. And even then Demons seem like they would rather live separate from one another than together. Maybe if Archdemons acted as beacons for other Demons to rally behind. It's not an elegant solution, but I feel like there has to be a better way to organize Demon communities without them all being so underground that other demons can't find them.
    • Hell Infrastructure vs Heaven Infrastructure. Establish what Hell can actually look like. Places where Angels cannot enter, where Demons have access to the equivalent of Angel Incepts. So in order for the God-Machine to take it back he has to send Non-Angel agents to destroy Hell infrastructure.
    • Add an additional Antagonist that isn't Angel or Demon. I heard Mummy adding Immortals as antagonists and thought that was a great idea. But Angel vs Demon is very iconic I don't know who you'd add against them.
    • Anti-Demon weapons. In mythology Demons do have weaknesses to Holy relics, Holy chanting, and other religious items. So it would make sense that there is some Demon Bane items that can affect Demons.
    While I like the God-Machine I do also like the idea of other entities trying to fight for control over Angels. Angels are a servant species from all accounts in the books. It would make sense that some may have been corrupted/taken by other powerful entities.

  • #2
    I would very much like a two-column spread in which the left-hand column relates a scene or a series of scenes, and the right-hand column gives the mechanics that generated the scene, including the rational of the ST and Player, the calculation of the dice pool and the analysis of the result.

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    • #3
      well 2nd edition is being made so...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
        well 2nd edition is being made so...

        It uses 95% of the Revised Storytelling System (colloquially known as 2nd edition) so don't expect a second edition of Demon until the system reaches its third edition.


        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tessie View Post


          It uses 95% of the Revised Storytelling System (colloquially known as 2nd edition) so don't expect a second edition of Demon until the system reaches its third edition.
          I thought they were making a new edition? like corebook

          welp, guess I was wrong, so I'll give it a go.

          1. more stuff on the pentagram

          2. occult mechanics and how to interact with them

          3. have it broaden its focus. right now demon heavily leans toward being about dismantling the God-Machine, so saboteurs largely seem to be the only relevant agency in terms of what the game allows for.

          4. stop making demons so mechanical (and angels for that matter). they are said to sometimes be all tech, all organic, and BIO-mechanical. much of 1st edition was way too focused on them being robotic.

          5. finally, make them more demonic. I'm ok with all the spy terminology and such, and keep that, it's good. but add more aspects that highlight what makes them...well, demonic. how they may use Infrastructure, their alien morals, etc. I understand the line between demonic and angelic is blurry at best, I'm talking about the line between Demonic and being spies.

          EDIT: Crap my bad Tessie, you meant it would be quite a while before 2nd edition is even announced for Kickstarter, correct?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KieranMullen View Post
            I would very much like a two-column spread in which the left-hand column relates a scene or a series of scenes, and the right-hand column gives the mechanics that generated the scene, including the rational of the ST and Player, the calculation of the dice pool and the analysis of the result.
            This is not a Demon thing so much as a "help me understand the ludonarrative interplay of a scene" thing.
            • A little more up-front establishment that the God-Machine is, well, The Establishment, with all that that actually means. The lede's a little buried at present vis-a-vis the fact that, at any scale south of the existential, "the God-Machine maintains the status quo" combines with "the God-Machine is fallible" to mean "the God-Machine regularly supports bad people doing bad things." It's a techno-organic edifice playing the role of the Gnostic Devil, and its vested interest in the fulfillment of its projects and its dispassionate approach to same should not obfuscate the fact that it is doing what it does to benefit itself first and foremost. Thinking of it as just a machine that's malfunctioning here and there is committing the same error it makes in its approach to demonic individuality, and while that's fun to realize as a piece of subtext, it could probably be buried a little closer to the surface than it is.
            • A little more mechanical rigor for glitches would go a long way, since the implication seems to be that they're the preferred way of venting compromises and logically one of the main giveaways to set an investigator on the trail to picking apart a Cover.
            • In a context where we now have a more or less consistent baseline framework for conspiracies from Deviant (which it's been lamented would have been useful to have back when designing more involved takes on Infrastructure) and Mummy 1e put out rules for occult architecture towards the end of its run, the only thing I can really conceive of as not guaranteeing Tempters and Psychopomps more stuff to play with in a new edition is wordcount and pagespace.
            • Front-loading the complexities of the angel-to-exile-to-demon continuum and all the various ways the Machine winds up arrayed against itself, I feel, can only heighten the Cold War atmosphere of not knowing who's doing what and why. Let the mechanical lines blur a little without repeating the confusion brought about by "angels with Cover-equivalent Infrastructure don't actually interact with the Manifestation system, but their statblocks still bother to list Twilight Form et al."


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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
              EDIT: Crap my bad Tessie, you meant it would be quite a while before 2nd edition is even announced for Kickstarter, correct?
              I highly doubt OPP has started planning for a second edition of Demon. This edition of the system is still new, with most games still having few supplements, and four of them not even having had their core books released yet. In short, it should be years before a new edition of the system would be considered for development, and I don't think they'll do a second edition of Demon before that.


              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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              • #8
                I think there can definitely be more of the marriage between technology and occult. It’s not that the occult is actually technology so much as that occult and tech are compatible, if that makes sense. Demons don’t have to be completely organic, some have cybernetics, others are completely inorganic statues made of demonic marble. Some can even be fully robotic.

                I’d like to see demons confront a demonic seal; and one demon says “Clearly the pattern in the seal is a code that completely locks down any Demon who walks into it” while another says “The seal is a representation of holy energy, meant to isolate any demonic energy that passes over it” while another says “The ancient script that surrounds the seal is a 12th century prayer to trap demons, created by a holy man who banished demons from his village.” And all of them are correct.

                You have one demon who can overwrite the code of the seal, another who can manipulate the power flow of the seal, and another who can speak a counter spell to unlock the seal.

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                • #9
                  My biggest wish is a revised mechanical handling of angels, and more explicit on page discussion of the mechanical asymmetries between demons and angels. The interplay between demons getting to do fuckall with Twilight and angels easily accessing twilight is barely discussed; this perturbs me.

                  Demon talks a lot about tactics in the abstract and in the spy metaphor but falls down sometimes in explaining how those translate to details. The angels of its (awesome) fiction seem much more parallel to its demons than the mechanics we are actually given.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DontEatRawHagis View Post
                    I’d like to see demons confront a demonic seal; and one demon says “Clearly the pattern in the seal is a code that completely locks down any Demon who walks into it” while another says “The seal is a representation of holy energy, meant to isolate any demonic energy that passes over it” while another says “The ancient script that surrounds the seal is a 12th century prayer to trap demons, created by a holy man who banished demons from his village.” And all of them are correct.

                    You have one demon who can overwrite the code of the seal, another who can manipulate the power flow of the seal, and another who can speak a counter spell to unlock the seal.
                    So, here's the problem: these can all be correct, but they're all correct in the current edition as well and the reason the first one tends to get more press is because of what demons are.

                    Demons use plain language for most of their terms for a number of reasons, least among them being that they have no native language of their own and the nature of their creator means wiretaps are everywhere, but the gist of it is this: demons aren't going to take kindly to being transparently mythologized to by their peers when they have a job to do.

                    The God-Machine is a techgnostic take on the Demiurge, a Gnostic entity named by analogy to the role of craftsman, and the Unchained are tools of if not pieces of the God-Machine. Their technical language is plain because a) working behind the curtain means you don't need or have time for the theatrics of mythic language that Messengers mess with among mortals, and 2) an awful lot of them are demons because they're really upset at unclear communication or being outright lied to by their employer.

                    Look at the things demons do use poetic terms for: themselves, their maker, their loyalist brethren, the fabled state of freedom many of them pursue, and the mysterious process that ostensibly guides them there. Things they're invested in that don't map plainly to descriptive language.

                    They can use inflated prose to describe other stuff if they feel like romanticizing the processes, but selective pressure means romantic demons without a ruthless streak tend not to survive. The first demon is telling you what the thing does, the second demon is doing the same thing but with bells on, and the third one is doing the same thing but with the benefit of information the other two may not have been able to acquire themselves.

                    What does fulfill the desire for more poetical demons, though…
                    • A stronger integration of cults and stigmatics into the core game, much as other Second Editions have done with their mortal-adjacent secondary splats. Getting an outside view of how the Unchained operate (and how they tell you they're operating) should help tremendously with feeding the demand for more mythologized demons while still respecting the fact that they're rogue archons inclined to distrust simplified frameworks of good-versus-evil and it's-God-don't-worry-about-the-details. Mage and Mummy's newer emphasis on mortal support structures may likewise help somewhat with establishing demonic "society."


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

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                    • #11
                      Analysts in the core (really this is all in the core, I appreciate some of it has been in supplements but I don't like it when a game doesn't become good until supplements are out), more morally ambiguous (or flat out evil) things to do for advantages, probably crib something from Deviant or other Nemesis systems from games for mechanical support for angels and cults bent to hunt specific PCs down, keep the power level but fiddle with the all or nothing abilities so there's some leeway, some established Angel and Demons of fame or infamy so STs can have some big names to drop into games for plot hooks and wow factor. Also be more clear about the differences between occult matrices and infrastructure, and what infrastructure is (I don't think it got across very well) and capabilities of angels.

                      It's a very good game as is, I don't think much really should be changed around, mostly just tightening up loose ends. The biggest and most common complaint I hear is just that it's not Demon the Fallen, but it never really tried to be so I don't think that's worth spending any concern over.

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                      • #12
                        I've said elsewhere that I wish the rules for conspiracies in Deviant existed when I was writing the sections on Infrastructure for God-Machine Chronicle and Demon. Nodes/Linchpins --> Conspiracies/Projects --> Web of Pain so easily maps over to discrete Infrastructure/Linchpins --> interconnected Infrastructure/Projects --> God-Machine as entity, and it gives a mechanical way to approach and attack the God-Machine's interests (and to be hunted and attacked by its servants, in turn). So I'd love to rebuild Infrastructure systems with those newly learned lessons.

                        I think it would also be good to clean up the depiction of what the God-Machine wants to do with/to its wayward servants. The idea that sometimes It wants to capture them, sometimes It wants to recycle them, and sometimes It just wants them eliminated isn't a problem in itself (counterintelligence often requires you to let known enemy agents continue to operate without check so that they don't realize that they're under tight surveillance, for example), but the fact that no explanation is given as to why It doesn't treat demons consistently is. There was a fair amount of exploring this question across various supplements, but I'd like to see them unified in a few paragraphs of the core.

                        Finally, and this might be a bit more controversial, I'd like to de-emphasize Integrators as traitors looking for a chance to betray their fellow Unchained hard enough to earn redemption in the eyes of the God-Machine, which always struck me as more of an antagonist philosophy than a protagonist one. I like Integrators best as demons who want to "fix" the God-Machine, or who have taken up a task that is outside of their original mission ("I'll return to It once I've raised my Cover's kids"), or who have decided that the God-Machine isn't their enemy, just that they don't want to be servants anymore.


                        Onyx Path Freelancer and Fantasy Author

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                        • #13
                          Modified form of the conspiracy rules a la Deviant for managing the consequences of compromises and modelling infrastructural projects.

                          Support for trying to hack infrastructure to produce alternate output or even to hack together your own suborned infrastructure with ends towards output, which might well hook into the above. Flowers of Hell claimed to provide this but had very little mechanical support for doing much more than a few very specific tricks, regardless of the infrastructure.

                          Straighten out clearly whether angels use material Cover like demons or ephemeral Manifestations, define how it works rather than leaving it to be inferred, remove the one they don't use.

                          Simplify the pact system. It uses the structure of Changeling 1e's very versatile, customizable pledge system, but is not customizable enough to really benefit from it. The scaling Willpower cost is clumsy and fails to accomplish what it sets out to do. If you want to disincentivize demons from being too generous with their pact benefits, do it differently.

                          Quibbliest wish: A cost for gadget projects more interesting than a Willpower dot, like needing to find and suborn particular types of infrastructure as workstations or supplies.

                          Integrating the new conspiracy rules is the only real big overhaul. Demon doesn't need a huge update, a lot of it is fine.

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                          • #14
                            Oh! Big one that I'd like to not forget:
                            • Emphasize/Illustrate the particular oddity of the Machine that is arguably its strongest claim to divinity: the thing itself is so hidden as to be nonexistent. It dwells in all its work, but its work comprises everything from steam engines to times tables and its communication is always through intermediaries. It is an opportunistic parasite in the structure of structure, regardless of whether or not you believe it to be the same hypothetical entity that set the world in motion or that its stewardship is directly responsible for the continued existence of reality itself. The God-Machine has a reasonable claim on being divorced from the material reality it favors due to its connection to systems both concrete and abstract, and while its particular means of exerting influence are not so broad as to make up the whole of the universe, demons largely haven't taken leave of their senses when they speculate that some otherworldly phenomenon or another could possibly have its blueprints in the mix. The Demiurge is an Unmoved Mover sending its fragments scurrying through the tunnels of Order as it does its work, and the messiness of those tunnels and that work are part of why demonic Agendas break down the way they do — they call this thing God because it's impossibly vast, wields massive deific power, and seemingly cannot be wholly pinned down. Conspiracy can retreat under a grain of sand, and the space-saving abilities of angels are well-documented.


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

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eric Zawadzki View Post
                              I've said elsewhere that I wish the rules for conspiracies in Deviant existed when I was writing the sections on Infrastructure for God-Machine Chronicle and Demon. Nodes/Linchpins --> Conspiracies/Projects --> Web of Pain so easily maps over to discrete Infrastructure/Linchpins --> interconnected Infrastructure/Projects --> God-Machine as entity, and it gives a mechanical way to approach and attack the God-Machine's interests (and to be hunted and attacked by its servants, in turn). So I'd love to rebuild Infrastructure systems with those newly learned lessons.

                              I think it would also be good to clean up the depiction of what the God-Machine wants to do with/to its wayward servants. The idea that sometimes It wants to capture them, sometimes It wants to recycle them, and sometimes It just wants them eliminated isn't a problem in itself (counterintelligence often requires you to let known enemy agents continue to operate without check so that they don't realize that they're under tight surveillance, for example), but the fact that no explanation is given as to why It doesn't treat demons consistently is. There was a fair amount of exploring this question across various supplements, but I'd like to see them unified in a few paragraphs of the core.

                              Finally, and this might be a bit more controversial, I'd like to de-emphasize Integrators as traitors looking for a chance to betray their fellow Unchained hard enough to earn redemption in the eyes of the God-Machine, which always struck me as more of an antagonist philosophy than a protagonist one. I like Integrators best as demons who want to "fix" the God-Machine, or who have taken up a task that is outside of their original mission ("I'll return to It once I've raised my Cover's kids&quot, or who have decided that the God-Machine isn't their enemy, just that they don't want to be servants anymore.
                              I agree with the Integrators. they are actually my favorite Agenda and I feel the Corebook focuses WAY too much on the traitor ones (nothing wrong with those, I think those can even still BE played as PCs) and makes them sound ONLY like antagonists. the player and storyteller guide is definitely how I want them to be explored for a possible 2nd edition.

                              Tessie, DontEatRawHagis, I'm sorry about being so rude. I thought the Brochure from way back said it was getting a new edition. again, sorry I was such a uninformed ass about it

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