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  • Homebrew Demonic Form Abilities!

    So, i'm re-reading Demon: The Descent one more time, and when i start seriously thinking about my character Demonic Form i realize that some of the Form Abilities i'd like to have aren't listed there. I start searching then for guidelines to craft them on my own, and i found this piece of text.

    Originally posted by Demon the Descent
    Form abilities are grouped into four types: Modifications,Technologies, Propulsions, and Processes.
    Modifications are small subroutines that affect the demon’s ability to perform a task, such as a bonus to a roll with an Attribute or a Skill bonus.
    Technologies are specialized implants that give the demon the ability to create a specific effect that usually targets only one individual.
    Propulsions are a mutation that allows the demon specialized movement, such as the ability to fly.
    Processes are large programs or adaptations that gives the demon a specific action and effect that is usually significant in scope and size, and can affect multiple targets at once.
    Seems like a good definition of each type. Clear and elegant. But then i realize something: Some Modifications seem to me more like Technologies (Sonic Acuity, Sense the Angelic, for example), and some Processes i'd clearly put them in Technologies (Wound Healing, Cavernous Maw, Aegis Protocol). So, i'd like to know what criteria should i follow in order to create some new Form Abilities, and hear also from yours, if you have created some.

    Right now i'm wondering where and how to put these Mage Rotes as a Demonic Form Abilities:

    Sense Consciousness (Mind •)
    Magic Shield (Prime ••)
    Nightsight (Forces •)
    Not only as listed in the Demon Corebook, mind you, but also with the effects of detect electromagnetic radiation, or sonic or kinetic energy.

    What do you guys think about it?



    Userhat Aegpts Vlrs. Coren "Ojos de Fuego". Mithrael. Menehet.

  • #2
    I'm pretty sure that in earlier drafts of the game that wasn't as much or even any division in demonic powers - you just pickrd from big lists. So some overlap between Mod and Tech may date back to that.

    Comment


    • #3
      You may have a point there, Nicias! Anyway, i keep finding nice powers for demonic forms in Mage Rotes (Mage Developers, you have my absolutely respect for so many awesome rotes).


      Userhat Aegpts Vlrs. Coren "Ojos de Fuego". Mithrael. Menehet.

      Comment


      • #4
        I keep wanting to do tentacles. Thought it would work best as a tech. You'd spawn four to six "arms" and could use them to grapple/restrain. The actual look of them would be ports on the demon's body that spawn the tentacles.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FallenXanderel View Post
          I keep wanting to do tentacles. Thought it would work best as a tech. You'd spawn four to six "arms" and could use them to grapple/restrain. The actual look of them would be ports on the demon's body that spawn the tentacles.
          Unless there is a different functionality to them, That is covered by "Extra Arms". The "Arms" don't have to actually look like arms.



          Frequent Story Teller for the Circle of Five gaming group.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't have the write up on me but I altered Barbed tail into just an injector with a 1+ making up for the extra limb aspect of it.

            An NPC is using Cavernous Maw in that her Demonic form is a singularity and she "eats" things she comes in contact with.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Phersus View Post
              Right now i'm wondering where and how to put these Mage Rotes as a Demonic Form Abilities:
              Sense Consciousness (Mind •)
              Magic Shield (Prime ••)
              Nightsight (Forces •)
              Not only as listed in the Demon Corebook, mind you, but also with the effects of detect electromagnetic radiation, or sonic or kinetic energy.
              Originally posted by Demon the Descent
              Modifications are small subroutines that affect the demon’s ability to perform a task, such as a bonus to a roll with an Attribute or a Skill bonus.
              Aetheric Damper:
              Angels expecting contact with the Supernatural world have specialized defenses that prevent the Angel from being influenced from their mission.
              Appearance: Wisps of blue-green energy race over the Angel's skin, leaping in the path of incoming effects. The smell of ozone is generated every time a Demon/Angel using this is attacked.
              System: The Demon spends one Aether, and gets half of their Primum as armor (rounded up) that only applies to Supernatural aimed attacks (So an Awakened's lightning bolt and a Spirit's Blast numen, but not a Werewolf's claws) (For Angels, it's Essence and Rank instead of Aether and Primum)

              (I initially wanted this just to be a +2 to rolls to resist, but that's already covered in the book)


              Originally posted by Demon the Descent
              Technologies are specialized implants that give the demon the ability to create a specific effect that usually targets only one individual.
              Eyes of the Programmer:
              Guardians sent to protect a subject/item/place from Supernatural abberations and Destroyers sent for the same both have need to sense the underlying aspects of the world. The sensory capabilities implanted into these Angels give them far more information than even the most well-trained scientist, the most experienced tracker, and the most sensitive precognitive psychic rolled into one.
              Appearance: The Angel's means of sensing the world has circuitry and additional equipment grafted onto it or replacing it. This could be a glowing tattoo of a circuit pattern, the Angel's eyes becoming pixelated, polished brass and lensed goggles, full-on Borg array of cybernetics, or servitor-entities who exist in multiple states of existence at once.
              System: The Demon spends one Aether to activate this Technology. Those who have access to Mage: the Awakening should consider the Angel to have Mage Sight for all arcana active. Those without access to Mage: the Awakening should consider the Angel to have the ability to sense and analyze any mundane or supernatural effect down to its most basic components with an extended Intelligence + (appropriate skill, typically Science for mundane phenomena, Occult for supernatural phenomena) roll.

              The player can ask the Storyteller one question per success about the phenomena being analyzed. Asking "Who did this?" will only be able to tie it to an individual if the Angel also uses this Form to analyze that person, or this Form to analyze something else by that person. (So you analyze a dropped gun from a shooting spree, and then the suspect's prized car. The Demon could then tell if the suspect used that gun. Or just analyze the suspect herself, and then tell that way.)

              Applicable phenomena include:
              • All forms of energy, from radio transmissions and kinetic energy to the esoteric energies that power Spirits, Demons, Mages, Prometheans, etc. (the message, the source, the frequency, strength, the type, the last being to use it or that it was stored in, etc.)
              • Consciousness (the presence, the state of mind, the type of mind, the identity)
              • Lifeform (the health, what the life form is, etc.)
              • Warps is space (portals, recent dimensional travel, etc.)
              • Modified flow of Time (pockets of accelerated/slowed Time, portals to another timeline, etc.)
              • Spirits and Ghosts (the types, the identity, Bans/Banes)
              • The eddies and whims of Fate, how intricately two things are bound together and have impact on each other
              Note that this would not let an Angel look into other Realms, such as into the Underworld, Spirit Realm, Hedge, etc., but if the Angel found itself in another Realm this would still function. Storytellers should feel free to restrict this Modification to as many or as few examples of phenomena as they feel appropriate for their chronicle.

              (Too powerful to be a Modification, too weak to be a Process. And this does target only one individual/effect/phenomena at a time.)

              More later.
              Last edited by Paddon; 01-24-2014, 05:06 AM. Reason: Added an Aether cost for Eyes of the Programmer.


              Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

              Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.

              Comment


              • #8
                That's actually an amazing work! Thank you very much for spending your time in writing it.
                One thing i didn't say and you have picked up perfectly from my mind is that i don't really like powers that add fixed values to your defense or your offense. They are too... imbalanced in my opinion. First they are too powerful. Then, as the character escalates, lose quickly all pretense of potency. Besides, one +/- 2 to your strengh or resistance or composure seems to me like a somewhat “cheap” demonic form ability. I like more the effects, not so much the numbers.
                Eyes of the Programmer, in my opinion, is not too weak to be a Proccess. In fact, seems like a very good one. Yes it applies only to one thing at a time... but is amazingly useful, as you wrote it.
                Great work, and thank you, Paddon. If you have the inclination and the time, i will have more demonic form abilities for you!


                Userhat Aegpts Vlrs. Coren "Ojos de Fuego". Mithrael. Menehet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Phersus View Post
                  That's actually an amazing work! Thank you very much for spending your time in writing it.
                  One thing i didn't say and you have picked up perfectly from my mind is that i don't really like powers that add fixed values to your defense or your offense. They are too... imbalanced in my opinion. First they are too powerful. Then, as the character escalates, lose quickly all pretense of potency. Besides, one +/- 2 to your strengh or resistance or composure seems to me like a somewhat “cheap” demonic form ability. I like more the effects, not so much the numbers.
                  Eyes of the Programmer, in my opinion, is not too weak to be a Proccess. In fact, seems like a very good one. Yes it applies only to one thing at a time... but is amazingly useful, as you wrote it.
                  Great work, and thank you, Paddon. If you have the inclination and the time, i will have more demonic form abilities for you!
                  Thank you!

                  That's another reason I went with "One point per Primum", so that it scaled with the character/story. That's a kind of character building I try to avoid as often as possible, where you have to choose between abilities/powers that are excellent in Tier 1 games but useless in Tier 2/3/4, or bank on making it to Tier 3 and being a burden on Tier 1. Also, as you said, the +/- 2 to an attribute or roll abilities feel too much like Dungeons and Dragons, which (for me) quickly became "Powergaming: The Bookkeeping". However, I'm going to edit the armor it gives to half-Primum rounded up, since I'm still grasping the new Armor rules. (Story is so much more interesting, and I haven't had time to play a game post-GMC yet!)

                  In terms of scaling it between Processes and Technologies, I looked at how many you'd get and the example abilities, and didn't think that Eyes of the Programmer rated to be the be-all Process you had when you could choose Rain of Fire (which needs to specify the area it affects, btw), Insect Swarm (which I've pointed out in another thread can cover DC in a few yards of insects at Primum 10 and/or Going Loud), or Memory Theft (Mind-rape!). Putting it in the same slot as Aura Sight (Similar, and I'd say what Aura Sight can see can't be seen with Eyes of the Programmer), Clairvoyant Sight, Mirrored Skin (Predator!), and Fire Resistance seemed about the same level of utility.

                  Will post more as time/inspiration allow.



                  tl;dr: Thanks! Agreed re: self-scaling powers. I defend my choice of Demonic Form slot. More to come.


                  Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

                  Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Demon the Descent
                    Propulsions are a mutation that allows the demon specialized movement, such as the ability to fly.
                    Planeshifting:
                    Angels needing to attend to Infrastructure whose occult matrix spans the planes use this rare ability to create their own path through the various realms of interest to the God-Machine. Demons who retain or develop this Propulsion find it useful to escape deadly situations, but unless they use extreme caution or are very prepared, it is more than frequently a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire.
                    Appearance: Upon activation, an electrical hum is heard as purple bolts form a mathematical fractal set that encompasses the Demon, and material pulled from the target realm fills in the fractal set and all of it is delivered to the destination. The specific fractal and material depends on the destination plane, such as thorny branches for Faerie, a black cowl and inky shadows for the Underworld, translucent ephemera for the Hisil, etc. Once the transition is complete, the fractal has burned itself into any surface close enough to where the Demon was standing, including the ground.
                    System: The Demon spends one Willpower point and a point of Aether to initiate the transition. The shifting only affects items/people in a radius of the Demon's Primum in yards. The number of turns it takes to complete the transition depends on the severity of the barrier between the origin and destination realms. For travel between the Fallen World and the Hisil, immediately at a Locus, 2 turns in the wilderness, 3 in a small village, 4 in the suburbs or town, 5 in dense urban areas. For travel between the Fallen World and the Underworld, Low Places take 2 turns, normal areas take 5 turns. During these turns, the Demon cannot defend herself adequately and so cannot Dodge. Items carried and other people within Primum yards are transported with the Demon. Note that to carry an unwilling person through, the Demon would either have to first render them unconscious or to succeed on a grapple maneuver each turn. If the fractals are disturbed or interrupted, (e.g., someone wrestling free and running away or someone trying to tackle the fleeing Demon), the transition fails and the interceding object takes the Demon's Primum in Aggravated damage.

                    Successful transitions place the Demon one "step" into that Realm further than the origin plane. (So the Hedge for Faerie, just the far side of the Gauntlet for the Hisil, etc.)

                    Author notes: I have a few issues here. Firstly, not sure about if this should be able to be used while falling. Secondly, it requires more of a knowledge of the Planes in World of Darkness than I have off the top of my head for a full list, though it would be perfectly appropriate for the ST to restrict which realms it can connect to (Psychopomps for souls would have need to access the Underworld, but not necessarily Faerie, for example.)
                    Last edited by Paddon; 01-26-2014, 05:37 AM. Reason: Fixed mechanics with the Gauntlet


                    Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

                    Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Planeshifting was one of the propulsions i was going to propose you xD i would make it cost just one point of aether, actually, and made it personal. Other supernaturals can do ir even more efficiently, no problem with the cost, but making it encompassing an area it's too much for a Propulsion; maybe with a Process. You could also make it be harder to achieve if the Demon is not in an apropiate place to reach that Plane, for example. (Loci for travelling to the Sigil, cemetery for Underworld, special locations for Arcadia...)


                      Userhat Aegpts Vlrs. Coren "Ojos de Fuego". Mithrael. Menehet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Demon the Descent
                        Propulsions are a mutation that allows the demon specialized movement, such as the ability to fly.
                        City-walking
                        To the God-Machine, cities are all expressions of the same concept. Thus, each are connected on a sympathetic level, connected to each other, feeding each other, in spite of the intervening distances. Angels sent to manage occult matrices between cities are equipped to tap into this network of Logistical Infrastructure, and Demons who retain or redevelop this ability are spoiled for choice on how to use it.

                        Appearance: The Demon walks down on the street or sidewalk in a developed/metro area of a city, concentrating on the destination city. The character can start walking down a street or sidewalk and concentrate on a different city. While they are walking the streets and alleyways, they walk by signs of other cities, other cultures, eventually navigating to their destination city.

                        System: Demons roll Resolve + Streetwise modified by how well they are connected to the destination city. On a success, they find themselves walking through the denser areas of their destination after 30 minutes of moving through the city, only 5 minutes on an Exceptional Success. On a Failure, nothing happens, and can be retried after 30 minutes with a cumulative -1. On a Dramatic Failure, they've attracted the God-Machine's attention, gaining the Flagged Condition (see Demon: the Descent, pg 120). (In combat, such as a foot-chase, substitute "turns" for "minutes".)

                        Suggested Modifiers:
                        Character has never been to destination city before -5
                        Character has only visited destination city -4
                        Character is being chased -2
                        Character had a significant experience in the destination city (honeymoon, funeral, a past completed Story) but never lived there -2
                        Character spent at least a month in destination city +1
                        Character lived in destination city for at least one year +2
                        Character lived in destination city for at least five years +3
                        Character raised children in destination city +4
                        Character was born in destination city +5
                        Author's Notes: Yes, this was snaked/adapted/stolen/inspired from the Urban Wanderings story seed from the God-Machine book. I was thinking that the suggested modifiers would encourage players to make pacts for peoples' experiences in other cities, to generate more story that way.
                        Last edited by Paddon; 01-26-2014, 07:02 PM. Reason: Formatting


                        Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

                        Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Phersus View Post
                          Planeshifting was one of the propulsions i was going to propose you xD i would make it cost just one point of aether, actually, and made it personal. Other supernaturals can do ir even more efficiently, no problem with the cost, but making it encompassing an area it's too much for a Propulsion; maybe with a Process. You could also make it be harder to achieve if the Demon is not in an apropiate place to reach that Plane, for example. (Loci for travelling to the Sigil, cemetery for Underworld, special locations for Arcadia...)
                          I recognize the Propulsions are generally personal, but I think the mechanics should be written with an eye towards a group of characters, not just individuals. This Propulsion would by its very nature split the party, something I don't see as conducive to a game at all. I made it cost a willpower point in addition to the point of Aether because from a Storyteller's perspective sometimes it's hard enough managing a game in one realm, let alone 10 simultaneously. About not being in the appropriate place, that's factored in by the time it takes.


                          Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

                          Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paddon View Post
                            Author notes: I have a few issues here. Firstly, not sure about if this should be able to be used while falling. Secondly, it requires more of a knowledge of the Planes in World of Darkness than I have off the top of my head for a full list, though it would be perfectly appropriate for the ST to restrict which realms it can connect to (Psychopomps for souls would have need to access the Underworld, but not necessarily Faerie, for example.)
                            Sure, i'd let the player use it while falling. It is such a cool image that i cannot deny that use. Burning through the planes. BUT. The damage at the end of the Fall will be still the same; no matter in what Plane, you'll finnaly find ground (unless the abyss, maybe. Though i'd rather choose the impact)

                            And regarding your second question, yes, that's better left to the judgement of the Storyteller.

                            Originally posted by Paddon View Post
                            City-walking
                            You have my thumb up on this one. Definitely inspiring. It would make also a good Embed... or maybe an Exploit. But waht if the character is locked in some room? Maybe she would appear in another locked room, in a different city?

                            Originally posted by Paddon View Post
                            I recognize the Propulsions are generally personal, but I think the mechanics should be written with an eye towards a group of characters, not just individuals. This Propulsion would by its very nature split the party, something I don't see as conducive to a game at all.
                            I see them differently. They will split the group no matter waht Propulsion you use (fly, teletransportation, passing through the walls). But that's not a problem at all, just new opportunities to the storie to unfold.


                            Userhat Aegpts Vlrs. Coren "Ojos de Fuego". Mithrael. Menehet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Phersus View Post
                              Sure, i'd let the player use it while falling. It is such a cool image that i cannot deny that use. Burning through the planes. BUT. The damage at the end of the Fall will be still the same; no matter in what Plane, you'll finnaly find ground (unless the abyss, maybe. Though i'd rather choose the impact)
                              Agreed!

                              Originally posted by Phersus View Post
                              You have my thumb up on this one. Definitely inspiring. It would make also a good Embed... or maybe an Exploit.
                              I think most of the Propulsions are reworkable as Embeds/Exploits, though they would have to be couched in terms of making use of existing Infrastructure in the world; rather than "I have Wings!", it could be "By hacking into the concept of thermal updrafts and fueling it with Aether, I can fly!"

                              Originally posted by Phersus View Post
                              But waht if the character is locked in some room? Maybe she would appear in another locked room, in a different city?
                              I would have to say no. I would see someone with this Propulsion in a locked room the same as someone with Wings as a propulsion if they are chained to a wall: Screwed. (Yes, break the chains, but similarly, break out of the room) Without access to the Infrastructure you travel along while City-Walking, I don't see how it could be used.

                              Originally posted by Phersus View Post
                              I see them differently. They will split the group no matter waht Propulsion you use (fly, teletransportation, passing through the walls). But that's not a problem at all, just new opportunities to the storie to unfold.
                              True, while splitting across planes is little different than splitting across rooms in terms of one mission, keeping it personal prevents stories where the entire Ring is traveling across such alien vistas.
                              Last edited by Paddon; 01-29-2014, 12:44 PM.


                              Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

                              Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.

                              Comment

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