Monday, 18 August 2014

Demon the Fallen: Preacher Man, 02

Getting into your demon skin

This is a scenario dreamed up by Arthur, there are no spoilers here, so listen away as you please. As always, be aware that the podcast is not really family-friendly, if that sort of thing bothers you. Thankfully, this one is largely free of background noise, though there is some eating.

Episode 2

The Episode

A fairly restrained setting-up kind of episode, although I much appreciated Arthur getting stuck in early with the dodgy priest and some actual DTF content, rather than having us scour the place for a long OOC time before finding anything just for the verisimilitude. Slightly cheesy, sure, but very much the right choice in a one-shot. It was nice to feel like we'd accomplished something early on.

Having now read a bit more about Demon, I feel my choice of character (and specifically, house) was very sound, because I got some of the fairly small pool of powers that you can use regularly in a wide variety of situations. Being able to summon animals and use them as spies isn't especially powerful in the direct sense, but it's something you can do readily in any kind of downtime, without any real cause for suspicion, and potentially learn information that will be helpful. It's unlikely to cause problems. This means I was able to play a demon that could actually use my supernatural powers early on and keep doing so.

Obviously, you do need to be a bit proactive, and sitting around playing with animals all game would have accomplished little. However, even compared to Dan, my low-level powers are just more usable: mine were Summon Animals, Control Animals and Possess Animals, all of them usable anywhere with animals, granting unreplicable abilities and not especially suspicious. Dan's were:

  1. Read Fate - useful exclusively when you need to find out how someone died, or more specifically, what was happening at the time.
  2. Decay - useful when you need to kill someone or destroy something. There are other means to both ends, mostly with a longer range, although reducing things to dust is handy.
  3. Vision of Mortality - useful if there is a creature you need to make flee from your presence. A very specific power that isn't always appropriate even during fights.

Many other lores look sort of similar. Basically, Dan needed to wait for the right occasion to use his powers, whereas I could make my own opportunities. This meant, again, that we could quickly get on with doing Demon Stuff rather than simply hanging around a conference centre, and that took the game forward. I know the game isn't designed for one-shots, but I think in a game about being supernatural beings, where your supernaturalness is essentially defined by fluffy characterisation and a set of magic powers, it's important that you actually get to use those powers. RPGs are like any other media in many respects: a power that doesn't get any screentime essentially doesn't exist, because it doesn't exert any influence on the story. Or something.

Copyright and suchlike

Demon: The Fallen is copyright and/or trademark White Wolf Publishing, who I think now belong to some other corporation but I can't be bothered to check right now; Arthur will be cross with me already for my vagueness. The podcast theme music is Vltava from Smetana's Má Vlast as taken from Wikimedia Commons under the CC0 licence. The episode intro and outro are, respectively, an extract from Black Vortex and all of The Descent, both by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

The hilariously portentous opening passage is read directly from the blurb from Demon: the Fallen, and any mockery should be directed to White Wolf.

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