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How can Demons pierce angelic cover?

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  • How can Demons pierce angelic cover?

    I'm going to assume that a Demon can't just see through the cover, anymore than an Angel can just see through the demon's. One direct question I have though, is when the god machine is writing the cover, are demons affected by said writing? say an Angel is written into the life of a Demon somehow, would the Demon have any awareness the angel wasn't there before? I'm thinking no, that that cover is just as effective. So what ways to Demon's have of determining an angel is just that?


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  • #2
    I would generally be careful with the idea of the God-Machine being able to write angels into the periphery of demonic agents. Which is not a no, I've run with it myself, but it's an easy situation to turn into a bit of a gotcha if you don't emphasize that the writing is preventable, effort-laden, or otherwise a possibility a demon is equipped to deal with.

    But to directly answer the question: in addition to general non-supernatural observation and suspicion, if you suspect somebody around you might be an angel, you try to bait them into tipping their hand. They might need to drop Cover for the power to deal with a given situation you can set them up to fall into, but even baiting them into spending Essence on subtler abilities, like Numina, will let you sense the giveoff of exhaust Aether when they do so, possibly at longer range with judicious Aetheric Resonance.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
      I would generally be careful with the idea of the God-Machine being able to write angels into the periphery of demonic agents. Which is not a no, I've run with it myself, but it's an easy situation to turn into a bit of a gotcha if you don't emphasize that the writing is preventable, effort-laden, or otherwise a possibility a demon is equipped to deal with.
      I didn't set the question up this way... but I'm starting the players as angels, so they can more directly experience a fall... but I'm trying to figure how existing demons might notice them. So if they use an ability that is something that would be sensed. Hmm... I was wondering about (oh what's the name for the not Exploit angel power equivalent) anyways there's a couple that would basically allow you to hope from one side of the city to another (in various ways), in one case observation knocks you out of it (weeping angels?), I think a normal human wouldn't notice, but would a demon? or would they only notice the aether expenditure (does this create aether contrails? :P)


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      • #4
        Well, if the angel is in standard biomechanical horror form, it will be apparent to anyone who can see into twilight, or to just anyone if it actually materializes.

        If the angel is using Mortal Mask, then a person has to make a Wits + Composure roll, penalized by the angels Finesse.

        Remember that all Demons have Unseen Sense(G-M).

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        • #5
          Yeah, I would guess any Angel that has a "Human" cover requires either Mortal Mask as a Numina, or Hallucination. Or maybe their "True Form" just looks mostly human. It's honestly kind of weird how Angels handle it.


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          • #6
            I thought it was stated by the writers at one point that Angelic Covers just "are", being pretty much perfect to whatever degree of perfection is necessary due to having self-correcting infrastructure being actively maintained by the Machine.

            Now, if an Angel were to be written into a Demon's life, the Demon would likely notice due to their perfect memory if nothing else. If their best friend from high school who they've never met is suddenly an integral part of their life, deeply embedded into the lives of their friends and family, odds are they can hazard a guess as to what is going on.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Agentwestmer View Post
              Remember that all Demons have Unseen Sense(G-M).
              Stigmatics have that.... but I can't find a reference to that for Demons, what page should I look on?


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                I thought it was stated by the writers at one point that Angelic Covers just "are", being pretty much perfect to whatever degree of perfection is necessary due to having self-correcting infrastructure being actively maintained by the Machine.

                Now, if an Angel were to be written into a Demon's life, the Demon would likely notice due to their perfect memory if nothing else. If their best friend from high school who they've never met is suddenly an integral part of their life, deeply embedded into the lives of their friends and family, odds are they can hazard a guess as to what is going on.
                I thought similar... but I haven't found anything to back it up
                Last edited by xenoterracide; 10-12-2016, 11:50 PM.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by xenoterracide View Post
                  Stigmatics have that.... but I can't find a reference to that for Demons, what page should I look on?
                  Demons don't have the benefit of Unseen Sense; that is, they don't sense the presence of manifestations of the God-Machine automatically, and they can't take the Spooked Condition to pinpoint the source of the manifestation. They do have the additional benefit tacked on to the Unseen Sense (God-Machine) variant: Concealment Infrastructure doesn't bounce their notice away from conspicuous aspects of infrastructure. On page 66 of the Demon core, where it talks about how infrastructure looks out of place, that's what demons and stigmatics can both notice that other people can't. Stigmatics also get the Unseen Sense.

                  The books haven't really addressed the notion of how angels in Cover work mechanically very directly or clearly. The Storyteller's Guide reads like it assumes angels can benefit from the base effects of demonic Cover without compromise, as part of the default package, but doesn't stop to lay out exactly what they do and don't get, or what Mortal Mask on angels is for in that case.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by xenoterracide View Post
                    I thought similar... but I haven't found anything to back it up
                    I think it was in one of the discussion threads following the release of the Storyteller's Guide.

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                    • #11
                      Angels don't use the same cover mechanics as demons, as the God-Machine backs up their legitimacy as far and as legitimately as it can.

                      This doesn't mean that every angel has a deep cover, or that every angelic cover is going to suit every situation. Angelic covers are deep but not necessarily broad. This is where the Storyteller needs to do some work in determining the angel's role and what the GM has put in place to reinforce that. If the angel is designed to be mostly ephemeral but occasionally manifests to wreak havoc on the GM's enemies, then the angel probably has no cover, and no established physical body. It materialises or uses Mortal Mask when needed to accomplish its mission, but ti doesn't have anything to rally back up its human-seeming appearance if questioned.

                      In contrast, if the angel is designed to be Bob the local plumber, then it has an appropriate Bob form that it wears all the time, has appropriate Bob tools, van and workshop, and no amount of digging will ever officially determine that Bob has only existed for the last year and isn't a 45 year old man. Some few people may have sketchy memories of Bob from childhood, with gaps that may add up if the demons question enough of Bob's old 'school buddies'. This may be enough to fuel demonic suspicions of who the angel is, but they won't be able to prove it's Bob without more direct action.

                      But no matter how deep Bob's cover is, it's unlikely to be broad enough to fit every eventuality. The GM has a purpose for putting Bob in that place, and the ST should ensure the cover fits that purpose. Bob's cover may include bowling every Tuesday, and the angel knows exactly how to do that and interact with bowling buddies, but when it goes home it just waits until the next subroutine cuts in. It probably has behaviour patterns for dealing with neighbours or customers, a few designed to interact with friends who may unexpectedly come on over - serve them coffee or beer, make small talk for limited amount of time, have excuse for why visit needs to end in smallest amount of time possible. What the angel's cover doesn't have are ways of dealing with the truly unexpected. If the demons break into Bob's house and rearrange the furniture, what does Bob do? Move it all back to exactly where it should be? Ignore it as irrelevant/? He's unlikely to call the police, which is what most people would do. Human authorities bring questions and unfamiliar actions which challenge defined subroutines, and should be avoided if possible.

                      If someone confront Bob directly, and he doesn't have any recourse but violence, his cover doesn't extend to using angelic strength to snap an enemy's neck, or if desperate, when he uses Numen to call down bolts of heavenly fire against his foes. The cover won't protect these actions, but if nobody witnesses the incident the GM doesn't have much to repair. If someone does witness it, it will take longer to fix, but eventually it will all go away. People will rationalise it away. It won't be Bob who did it, because that doesn't fit with the cover. It won't be heavenly fire, it'll be 'Bob was mugged, but some cop came and shot the mugger'. This takes time to repair - how much time depends on the parameters of the original cover, the magnitude of the breach, and ST's fiat. (And if Bob uses the Witness Protection Numen first, then no one remembers anything and his cover doesn't require any repair.)

                      Demons working to determine who the angels are need to work with the limitations of cover. They need to identify likely suspects and introduce random elements. Humans will figure out how to react, though the fallout may not be pretty. Angels won't know how to react, and will reveal hints of themselves for brief windows afterwards. Humans will forget as the angelic cover reassert itself, demons won't forget.

                      Also remember that a broader and more flexible cover requires so many more subroutines and greater capacity for free will. Broad covers have a higher chance of leading to a Fall. The GM knows this and - if it cares - keeps covers limited to exactly what it needs out of the angel. There are Guardians who have grown alongside their charges since childhood, interacting with everyone and being almost as flexible as any human. These fleshed-out angels fay find it more difficult to abandon their charge when her death is called for, or refuse to carry out the order and complete its mission.

                      The best way for demons to expose covers is to exploit and introduce the random elements of humanity. The downside is that humans are strange and individual and something that demons interpret as angelic limitations could just as easily be genuine human confusion. They may never know for sure if someone is an angel until they confront it face-to-face. This cloak-and-dagger bluff and double bluff is exactly what DtD should be.


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                      • #12
                        Was that more cut content from the DtD:STG?

                        Also, the use of essence will ping a demon's radar (if the radar is active) and that angels are supported by Infrastructure, which is visible to demons.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                          Angels don't use the same cover mechanics as demons, as the God-Machine backs up their legitimacy as far and as legitimately as it can.

                          This doesn't mean that every angel has a deep cover, or that every angelic cover is going to suit every situation. Angelic covers are deep but not necessarily broad. This is where the Storyteller needs to do some work in determining the angel's role and what the GM has put in place to reinforce that. If the angel is designed to be mostly ephemeral but occasionally manifests to wreak havoc on the GM's enemies, then the angel probably has no cover, and no established physical body. It materialises or uses Mortal Mask when needed to accomplish its mission, but ti doesn't have anything to rally back up its human-seeming appearance if questioned.
                          So, what happens if it falls? Does it not get a human body?

                          In contrast, if the angel is designed to be Bob the local plumber, then it has an appropriate Bob form that it wears all the time, has appropriate Bob tools, van and workshop, and no amount of digging will ever officially determine that Bob has only existed for the last year and isn't a 45 year old man. Some few people may have sketchy memories of Bob from childhood, with gaps that may add up if the demons question enough of Bob's old 'school buddies'. This may be enough to fuel demonic suspicions of who the angel is, but they won't be able to prove it's Bob without more direct action.
                          So, angels with cover are physical and have different appearance to their true form but it doesn't use any of the angel mechanics like mortal mask or materialise?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                            So, what happens if it falls? Does it not get a human body?
                            If an angel falls, it becomes a demon and has a body.

                            Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                            So, angels with cover are physical and have different appearance to their true form but it doesn't use any of the angel mechanics like mortal mask or materialise?
                            Angels whose cover demands a physical body have that body and don't need to use mortal mask or materialise to sustain it, yes.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                              If an angel falls, it becomes a demon and has a body.
                              But the demon's first cover is made from jailbreaking the cover they had while they were an angel. That's why you have things NPC demons who have animal covers and building covers since that's what their cover was when they fell. If they have no human cover, then they wouldn't make a human body right? If they have no cover at all and if they do get a body, they would be at great risk because they have to spend they're days in full demonic form until they can find a creature to create a pact with since they'd start with no cover.

                              Angels whose cover demands a physical body have that body and don't need to use mortal mask or materialise to sustain it, yes.
                              That should probably be said somewhere in the angel rules, and raises the question on why so many angels with covers also have mortal mask & materialise seems like such a dumb choice by the God-Machine to give it abilities that it never has any reason to utilise.

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