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Demon the Descent

Avys

Retired User
Can anyone give me an honest opinion on this New World of Darkness game? How is it compared to Demon the Fallen?
 

stsword

Registered User
Validated User
It's a completely different game, if you want a game like demon the fallen either wait for the translation guide or use Inferno, the nwod book about demons and the template for those possessed by them.

Demons in Descent are former energy constructs made by a lovecraftian entity, if lovecraft was a paranoid luddite and not squicked by sex and seafood.

Powers in descent are lovecraftian like applications of science beyond human understanding, although ironically the demons don't actually understand it either, they're intuitive applications to them.

Instead of being powered by faith, they are powered by the recycled energies of the god-machine, which is generated by sacrifice including human sacrifice, although the god-machine could certainly have different sources as well.

Demons don't have torment or even a real morality trait, they have cover, because the god-machine is looking for them, if a demons cover is a human piece of garbage they only suffer penalties if they don't act like human garbage.

Demons don't really buy souls, when they buy someone's soul it gives them the right to use cosmic identity theft that causes the human to cease to exist, or demons can make less pacts and form a patchwork life out of other people's details: someone's SO, someone's job, someone's education, etc, put into a blender to make a composite identity.

And lastly, the major difference between descent and fallen is that Hell doesn't exist, it's goal of the demons to make their own hell: an ideal in which they are free of the god-machine forever.
 

Future Villain Band

Super Moderator
Moderator
Validated User
Can anyone give me an honest opinion on this New World of Darkness game? How is it compared to Demon the Fallen?
It's very different, as others will tell you. I will say that if I were a fan of Demon: The Fallen looking for a reason to get Demon: The Descent, it would be to grant Fallen Demons the ability to get Descent-like Pacts. (Although oddly, Changeling is probably the game to look to for rules like that.)
 

Stupid Loserman

Lame Dumbhead
Validated User
Okay, let's see. What did you enjoy in particular about Fallen?

First important caveat is that Descent is not a sequel to Fallen and is not trying to hit the same notes. It's not going to give you the same thing as Fallen did in nWoD rules.

Descent, like Fallen, is a story about fallen angels. Unlike Fallen, Descent is a story about angels who have embraced their fall. The Unchained of Descent do not seek to recover their angelic glory; the angelic state necessarily represents union with God in a way that precludes a full independent experience, and separates angels from the empathic abilities of humanity. Borrowing some of the better cover copy for Descent, the Unchained have "defected to the human race;" it's a game about exercising your free will and embracing the human condition from the outside in.

One of the major stumbling blocks for a lot of people is that rather than a conventional Christian theology, or even a skewed take on it, Descent is rather a story about the scale of modern society. The God whose host of angels you have defected from is everpresent, but it is not a numinous force. It is not, in fact, an individual decision-making agent, but a description for the sum total of a vast occult infrastructure plugged into the world itself and thoroughly interlaced within human society. God makes decisions like a corporation makes decisions; God is not a tangible thing to itself, but is a concept encompassing many, many working pieces, all of which are tangible things that can be subverted, damaged, destroyed or commandeered.

Finally, Descent is a story about questions of identity. God's angels are hidden from everyday human society's notice by wrapping them in human cover identities, a sort of psychic lens of relationships and personality traits through which normal human beings perceive them. In order to tear themselves from communion with God and disappear into the masses of society, upon their Fall, the Unchained fully realize these cover identities, to the extent that they actually assume the physiological body (and corresponding human sensations) of that identity. The Unchained can maintain multiple cover identities at once, in addition to the horror and glory of their fallen angelic form revealed; these bodies and natures all coexist in superposition, permitting the demon to choose which appearance and identity to wear at a given time. This, combined with certain quirks like total control of facial expressions that make them exceptionally good liars, means it's arguable to what degree you might identify with a given cover identity as being "yourself" or just a convenient disguise you wear, to what degree you even have a particular "yourself" beyond the interpersonal relationships that, after all, you're already twisting into the shape of a disguise to keep under God's radar. On some level, demons are liars even when they mean to tell the truth. It is their nature.

After all that theme stuff, it's worth concluding with a note that Descent is a game that has cool powers. Like the Fallen, the Unchained use the alien levels on which their fallen angelic minds can operate to exploit secret physical laws undergirding the universe. These powers are often very effective but very situational. Example powers include pulling any object you can lift with your hands out of any container that it might conceivably have fit in, making an unintended meaning of a word literally manifest, retroactively declaring that you not only aren't there but haven't been there for the last four minutes, causing all local gunfire that isn't specifically and carefully aimed to miraculously miss, or issuing a short command to be obeyed, regardless of whether it's a command a person could voluntarily obey (for example, "stop" is valid, but so is "spontaneously combust").

It's a really cool game. Gotta be open to something a little different when you approach it, though.
 

Avys

Retired User
Thanks everyone it has given me a very good idea. Sounds very different. I guess with Fallen what i liked where the different House's, apocalyptic forms and how you can tweak them and powers. I did not mind the biblical story. I kinda enjoyed the escaped from Hell fallen and look at humanity as they evolved from the war. I have actually not read Descent yet. I wanted to know it if was worth a read. But by the sounds of it most seem to be liking this game.

Thanks again.
 

CowboyEnergy

Registered User
Validated User
Thanks everyone it has given me a very good idea. Sounds very different. I guess with Fallen what i liked where the different House's, apocalyptic forms and how you can tweak them and powers. I did not mind the biblical story. I kinda enjoyed the escaped from Hell fallen and look at humanity as they evolved from the war. I have actually not read Descent yet. I wanted to know it if was worth a read. But by the sounds of it most seem to be liking this game.

Thanks again.
You can totally like both. They don't compete with each other, after all.
 

Stupid Loserman

Lame Dumbhead
Validated User
I guess with Fallen what i liked where the different House's, apocalyptic forms and how you can tweak them and powers. I did not mind the biblical story. I kinda enjoyed the escaped from Hell fallen and look at humanity as they evolved from the war.
Demons from Descent haven't escaped from imprisonment (Hell is their term for an ideal state free from God, their own Hell to reign in), and they lack the clear backstory arc of Fallen and the specific organization of the Houses. I think you'll like the powers, though, and you'll definitely like the demonic forms, which are extremely similar to Fallen's apocalyptic forms, but fully customizable straight out of the corebook.
 
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