Monday, May 5, 2014

Demon: the Fallen Rules Modification

I love this game...
I'm one of those people who loves Demon: the Fallen and the complicated, sometimes lovable, sometimes terribly evil, player characters you can build from it.  How many games make you create three characters to make one?  You need to design your Fallen Angel and the Human Host and then figure out how the merging of the angel's selfhood with the human's mind, memories and meatsack would combine to create a brand new creature.  Then if your host body gets wrecked, you then get to take your Fallen Angel, design a new Human Host, see how those two would merge, and then see how that plays havoc on all of your existing relationships.

There's a lot there in just "being" someone, and I absolutely adore that.

The only trouble is that the lores were a bit, well, rushed.  And they have some of that old World of Darkness need of house rules.  Don't get me wrong.  I loved the old World of Darkness.  But it did so often need house ruling.

So I've house ruled it and house ruled it and house ruled it, until recently, when my husband and I decided to go back to basics and give it a great big re-design from the bottom up using the core principles of each lore and some of the best powers as a guiding point.  And yes, this version of house rules does give each lore a bit of a power boost, similar to the new vampire rules in God Machine.  Also, these rules are compatible with New World of Darkness rather than oWoD but it shouldn't be too hard to change the stat lines if you so choose.

So on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays each week I will release one of the rule sets:

Defiler: Storms, Longing, Transfiguration.
Devil: Flame, Radiance, Celestials.
Devourer: Beasts, Flesh, Wilds.
Fiends: Light, Patterns, Portals.
Malefactor: Earth, Forge, Path.
Scourge: Awakening, Firmament, Wind.
Slayer: Death, Ghosts*, Realms.

Common: Frequency, Humanity, Fundament

*I've renamed Spirits as Ghosts because the Hisil is such a core part of the nWoD gameworld, even if the creature types don't necessarily know it, and so I've changed the name for clarity's sake.


  1. Having played under these rules, or at least a version of them (have you updated since our last two stories?) I highly recommend anyone who enjoys nWoD, oWoD, or particularly "Demon-The Fallen" have a look.
    Demon is my personal fave genre from the oWoD rules set and the beauty of what Wild and her husband have done is to capture the essence from that genre and tidy it up into a smoother nWoD compatible document. Feel free to taint my opinion by the fact I know and game with Wild IRL, but seriously give this series of posts a read.
    The most you've got to lose is a small amount of time.
    While the most you've got to gain is a new and possibly favorite rules set to game by, tell stories with, and expand an already amazing universe.

    ps - Wild, if you have updated the document please flick me a copy.

    1. We're still in the process of it. It'll be a bigger, better, more beautiful version than last time which helps add to the feeling that you're a Fallen Angel. Certain powers will be toned down, or transformed, when they were problematic for story reasons ... such as Patterns which is hard to work with.

      And Celestials now gives you a Faith thirsty option to hide your lore use so you don't *ping* every demon around the moment you use your powers.

      Torment versions will be streamlined so that they're both tempting (as encouraging players to dip into the evil side adds some nice conflict) and problematic (it is your evil side, after all). One of the annoying things about the original rules is that some torment versions were highly powerful and others were always something you wanted to avoid.

    2. We noticed this with the discrepancy between our characters. One (death lore) basically gets single-target powers that become AoE with Torment, offering essentially two different versions of the power, but with the Torment version quite likely to be equally good or better unless there are civilians to worry about. The other (beast lore) has Torment versions that limit your options, plus require a test every round to avoid the ST hijacking your power and potentially NPCifying you for the rest of the scene. Those are *really* not equivalent.

    3. So very, very true. Hopefully my rules shifts make things work out easier for you all. Who's playing what?

    4. I'm hoping to get an AP up in the next few weeks, but Dan was a Cryptic Slayer (I think?) scary little death-girl, and I was a Cryptic Devourer Hugh Jackman animal summoner.

    5. Ooh, I'd love to read (or listen) to that. Sounds like some pretty classical characters there. Nothing wrong with that....

    6. Usual crossposting thingy, actual play is now here. "Next few weeks" was, ah, a little optimistic! Months, weeks, whatever...

  2. Particularly looking forward to this because we played this last week (my first actual WOD game) and had some concerns about it.

    Do you actually design your host and spirit separately and then merge them? That's not how we did things, but it seems like it would make more sense, and help with establishing your final character, which I struggled with.

    1. Yeah, I'd thoroughly recommend making them separately. Even if you have an idea of the merger first (which is fine), I'd then recommend sitting back and thinking about who the host and Fallen were separately. It *really* helps add in some conflict, esp. when you realise that your potentially lovely Fallen also went nuts into the Pit. My recommended questions:

      Who was your Host? (give loads of detail)
      Who was the Fallen before and after the war?
      How did the Pit change your Fallen?
      What elements of the Host / Host's life resonated most with the Fallen?

      After all, by the time the Fallen comes out it wants to hurt everything around it. What changes? Even the most evil Ravener tends to get some perspective and sanity when they land in a body. Did their first potential victim turn out to be their host's child? What did that sudden infusion of love and devotion do to their brain?

      Ooh, and remember that your Fallen has basically gone from sensory deprivation for millennia to an entirely new sensory set (i.e. mammalian senses). Playing up the: "Wow, coffee is really good...." or obsessing over silk shirts can work wonders for exploring something new.