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  • Prelude Angel Players: Advice?

    I'm thinking about running the first session of a Demon campaign where the players start as Angels, in this way they can experience their falls. I'm looking at doing it in the Fall of Constantinople. Any advice regarding stats? or really anything else?
    Last edited by xenoterracide; 08-26-2016, 09:14 AM.


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  • #2
    I would simply suggest not using stats for angels. The God-Machine builds angels so that they have enough ability to acomplish their Missions. I'd simply make the game so that the angels can automatically succeed at doing whatever relates to their Mission, because they can just be upgraded if necessary. This also lets the players feel out what kind of abilities they want their Fallen form to have.

    The big thing with angels is that, in their purest forms, they're defined entirely by their Missions. Over time, personalities and wants and needs start creeping like flaws. Decide where on the scale you want these angels to start off as, before their Fall. That's probably important.

    Angels are constantly in contact with the G-M, so be very detailed (overly so) with the descriptions. Angels can instantly detect what's wrong with a person by feeling their skin, down to heart issues, bad livers, and potential prostate cancer in 15 years. Focus on how much you know, how much you're connected to the world at large. Also, make a point of treating humans like little machines - they're not individuals, they're cogs. Then, have a moment of touching humanity, throw the players into confusion.

    Figure out how you're going to handle Infrastructure. Angels are effectively restricted to "holy ground" that has the G-M's Infrastructures, so be sure to detail some of that out. Are they possessing someone instead? Hanging out in Twilight?

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    • #3
      I think having some idea regarding stats is relevant, simply for the occasions when the Angel deal with out-of-mission-parameters issues (as they should, as a prelude to Falling).


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

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      • #4
        I like MCN's advice on the storytelling side. I'd make very simple stats just so you have dicepools but avoid complexities like Manifestations and Influences. I'd be tempted to give them Embeds and Exploits rather than Numen and Incepts so you can ease players into the demon stuff.

        I'm very excited to see someone playing in the Fall era! I shall follow with interest and if you need any advice or have any questions I'd be happy to help. When are setting this prelude - pre or post the Fall?
        Last edited by Eremite; 08-26-2016, 12:22 PM.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by MCN View Post
          Figure out how you're going to handle Infrastructure. Angels are effectively restricted to "holy ground" that has the G-M's Infrastructures, so be sure to detail some of that out. Are they possessing someone instead? Hanging out in Twilight?
          huh, I know I've seen some angels restricted... but I didn't think all of them were? I thought they only had to be summoned under certain conditions and some might have location ban/bane.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Eremite View Post
            I like MCN's advice on the storytelling side. I'd make very simple stats just so you have dicepools but avoid complexities like Manifestations and Influences. I'd be tempted to give them Embeds and Exploits rather than Numen and Incepts so you can ease players into the demon stuff.
            Yeah I was thinking I'd allow them access to whatever Embeds they want, because aren't embeds basically things angels can do, but Exploits aren't (like this is how the system is supposed to work, an exploit is not by design), I may just give them rank 4-7 stats.

            I'm very excited to see someone playing in the Fall era! I shall follow with interest and if you need any advice or have any questions I'd be happy to help. When are setting this prelude - pre or post the Fall?
            Pre, probably during the Siege. I really need to read the era more before I make concrete decisions. My basic idea is essentially that the GM stops communicating with them (which makes them the abandoned type, can't remember the term from the ST Guide) possibly one or more of the missions are actually anti constantinople, but all this will lead to them falling for one reason or another.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by xenoterracide View Post
              huh, I know I've seen some angels restricted... but I didn't think all of them were? I thought they only had to be summoned under certain conditions and some might have location ban/bane.
              Restriction might be the wrong word - its not like the angels can't leave, but rather that Infrastructure serves as the Anchor for angels. Without it, they bleed essence, have massive trouble regaining essence and have sharp limits on Manifestations.

              So, angels can run out from their Infrastructure really fast for a quickie Mission bit, but they need to come home and recuperate. And people can be Infrastructure too. But its definitely something that needs to be considered.

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              • #8
                Angels don't bleed essence. Or rather, they do, but the God-Machine just keeps topping them up. Angels are more tied to their missions than Infrastructure. Sometimes the mission is to be near the Infrastructure, other times it's to do something far away from Infrastructure.

                Now an angel that is explicitly designed to be an incorporeal being that acts like a spirit may need to stick around Infrastructure and be limited in manifestations etc. Many are embodied in whatever physical form the God-Machine decides - though they have spirit traits, bans and banes, they don't need to worry about paying upkeep costs for being corporeal, or bleeding essence.

                Angels are special snowflakes when it comes to being ephemeral entities.

                Edit: This was discussed earlier this year http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...001#post815001

                2nd Edit: Link didn't work. Fixing it.
                Last edited by Bunyip; 08-28-2016, 08:43 AM.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by xenoterracide View Post

                  Yeah I was thinking I'd allow them access to whatever Embeds they want, because aren't embeds basically things angels can do, but Exploits aren't (like this is how the system is supposed to work, an exploit is not by design)
                  Kind of. Embeds are cobbled-together demonic versions of angelic numina and influences. They allow specific effects where angelic abilities are broader. Exploits are hacked versions of Incepts, where the demons no longer have access codes to the universe, and therefore develop workarounds.
                  Last edited by Bunyip; 08-27-2016, 05:55 PM.


                  Aims to write stuff you like.
                  WoD | Changing Breeds, Umbra, Book of the Wyrm, Shattered Dreams
                  CofD | Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd ed, Idigam Anthology, The Pack, Demon Storyteller's Guide, Hurt Locker, Dark Eras Companion, Beast Player's Guide
                  The Trinity Continuum | Æon

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Bunyip;n958711]

                    Edit: This was discussed earlier this year here


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                    • #11
                      Hmm... after the city is taken an segregated, is Sharia Law something to be considered? did Islam look similar then?


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                        Angels don't bleed essence. Or rather, they do, but the God-Machine just keeps topping them up.
                        That's not in the books that I see. Do you have a reference? Because it sounds like you're saying that the actual printed rules are being thrown out. That makes no sense to me.

                        Its one thing to effectively handwave things away for the sake of having NPCs do what's necessary without worrying about the fiddly bits, shoving them into the background since its unimportant. Its another to say that the official rules from the core book are lies. And it definitely seems like you're saying the latter.

                        And, if we're dealing with a PC instead of a NPC, those details suddenly become more important, since its actually something that highlights a part of the angelic condition.
                        Last edited by MCN; 08-28-2016, 04:46 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Fixed the link above (which xenoterracide had also done - thanks). Apologies for not testing it when posting.


                          Aims to write stuff you like.
                          WoD | Changing Breeds, Umbra, Book of the Wyrm, Shattered Dreams
                          CofD | Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd ed, Idigam Anthology, The Pack, Demon Storyteller's Guide, Hurt Locker, Dark Eras Companion, Beast Player's Guide
                          The Trinity Continuum | Æon

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                          • #14
                            I decided to run Giants of the Earth with a PC group composed of major famous demonic names (Leviathan, Belial, Beelzebub, etc). I decided to stat them out as angels, complete with Numina, Influence, and Incepts. I explained how their powers work (it helps all of my players have also played mages). But when we actually RPed, we did it as a very old school text based, simplistic scenario. Angels get completely detailed information, but they don't EXPERIENCE it. I erred on the terminator side a lot of the time. I tried to make it feel like a cruddy old text based RPG. Instead of describing the myriad colors, flavours, and scents of the City of Books (Byblos), the angel registed "Multicultural elements. be wary of fuel sources that do not match your systems. seeking semitic locality. Locality found. accessing relevant jargon, language, skin tone, and behavior." I made it as cut and mechanical as possible, while trying to give flavour to what the Machine pays attention to. I sprinkled in vast and smart sounding descriptions of particles, probabilities, modifications, and anything related to the Mission. Instead of good visceral settings, I tried to create a sort of Mod mode. I used the fiction of the DSG (seriously one of the best fictions ive ever read in any game book ever. EVER) as reference--the angels rarely seemed to interact with the setting itself, and far more often seemed to interact with "God". "God" would blur lines, teach them new concepts, abstract things, and would communicate directives.

                            Using this method was a bit of a headache, admittedly--i didnt grow up with text and command RPGs, so I had to wing it. But it made a huge difference. Leviathan, for example, was basically a nuclear submarine guarding the eastern Mediterranean. Its social encounters were very largely just summarized--"successful negociation with ship captain", "growing morale among sailors". thus, when they FELL, these demons felt it. They felt the sudden loneliness and lack of confidence that the Fall engenders. They noticed that their powers had been heavily nerfed and broken. They noticed once I went from "social engagement--dinner--successful. subject fully cooperative" to actually describing what the bowl of fish soup tasted like and what the other guy was saying. It made all the difference in the world, showing the Fall. Those dice pools, as an angel, are largely flavorless. pass or fail. The detail for angels is parameters, statistics, openings in access, information inundation. Those are a HUGE contrast to a newly fallen angel just experiencing for the first time to need to take a wizz (and the joyous feeling to do it), the ache of hunger, the need to have a rancid poo after delicious but foreign food, the colors of the bazaar at the dock, actual senses. The contrast of the two is the most valuable thing that comes from starting as an angel then ending up a newborn demon.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MCN View Post
                              That's not in the books that I see.
                              Neither is pretty much any of the stuff that makes angels and exiles nearer to indistinguishable from demons at a glance. The ephemeral being mechanics for angels do not exist for the sake of modeling Demon PCs in waiting.

                              Do you have a reference? Because it sounds like you're saying that the actual printed rules are being thrown out. That makes no sense to me.
                              "Angels with proper backing from the Machine don't have to worry about the minutia of Essence bleed due to various caches, temporal suspensions, and other reality hacks that are part of the massive interlocking system of Infrastructure they occupy" is not "the baseline operating state of an angel in ephemeral form does not use the printed rules at all."


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