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[GMC/Demon: The Descent] Let's get some Gears turning

Femme Firebird

New member
Banned
Herein, let us discuss plot seeds and chronicle ideas based around that vast, unknowable entity grinding away beneath the skin of the universe: the God-Machine. Present ideas for antagonists, fully-formed chronicle ideas, or plot seeds with various possibilities. Include the perspectives of those you see as the player characters: mortals, demons, or one of the other supernatural denizens of the World of Darkness.

Here's one:

After a tragic accident, a man receives advanced prostheses to replace damaged organs and limbs lost. He seems to make a full recovery, but his dreams are filled with visions of mechanical things with faces. In the metallic shrieks and grinding and pounding of pistons, he hears words, voices, commands. He starts seeing things when awake, finds himself compelled to pick up the phone, dial a strange number (which he can never remember) and listen to the screech of a modem for some time. Sometimes he scribbles various sequences of binary while he's waiting in an unusual place for something he doesn't understand.

The player characters know this man from before the accident. He's a feature in at least one of the demon's Covers, and now they can't help but notice his strange behavior. The thing is, they don't know why he's acting this way. Certainly, the God-Machine's will is taking over his body like rust creeping over a broken down car. He's becoming stranger, almost more angel-like.

Story Bytes:
• Maybe the God-Machine is experimenting with something new and horrifying: if an angel can Fall and become closer to human, can a human Rise and become something closer to an angel? The thought should certainly worry any demon concerned for her own skin — and those who are concerned for the very humanity that drove them from the God-Machine's cold grace.
• This man has become a stigmatic, but a strange case for one. He has no obvious purpose other than simply observing and recording. What is God's design for him? He could be laying groundwork for Infrastructure to come, but he seems ignorant of the characters' true nature. If he simply vanishes, angels will surely come investigate, yet he may be unwittingly studying the demons or participating in some scheme to reveal them. He may even be working at a purpose unrelated to the characters, and yet he is not something they can ignore without constantly looking over their shoulders. How can they learn his purpose without losing their Cover?
 

Professor Phobos

Sweeper of Arcane Lore
Validated User
The campaign concept I have for Demon is one part The Prisoner and one part Welcome to Night Vale.

The demons are all residents of a small town in the American Southwest. They can't leave, except for very short periods of time if it's compatible with their cover. The human population are mostly unaware of their role in the town as jailers; the entire place is a containment infrastructure for the demons. The angels observe and interrogate and interfere with escape attempts. The God-Machine, being lazy, uses the town for a variety of other purposes as well, possibly connected to the characters or other imprisoned demons.
 

ChairKicker

Part-time Table Flipper
Validated User
- An Angel is stalking you. Problem is, it's using a child with loving parents (Stigmatics?) as a Cover.
- (Yay Persona 4.) All the televisions in a small town have been unknowingly turned into gates to somewhere else (the God-Machine, or the Underworld, or another place altogether), but not everybody can enter them, let alone notices that something is off. Unfortunate mortals who're thrown through the screen are generally found a few days later, dead, hanged to aerials or satellite dishes. A serial killer is blamed. Sometimes, though... they come back walking. Well, they're different. (Special Stigmatics who're ready to be taken over by Angels, in order to give them much better Covers [as in, these guys actually eat and discuss with their family and pretend to have hobbies even when nobody else's watching], or something along these lines.)
You were one of the Angels that replaced the survivors, but you've since Fallen. You remember that someone or something is throwing all these victims to the God-Machine, but you don't know what's the purpose of that whole mess. Until you can stop the culprit, you fully intend to rescue the mortals before they're killed/turned, or at least, make the newly-produced Angels Fall and, hopefully, join you in your mission.
 

James Yakura

Registered User
Validated User
(Inspired by The Prisoner)

They say that demons, when captured, are just thrown into the forges and remade. This isn't exactly true. The Machine can't just melt you down; it's put too much work into assembling your individual components to do that. It can't even disassemble you; some of the "repairs" it needs to do have to be done in-place. So, when it captures you, it puts you into special Facilities designed to make you cooperate. They wear down your resistance, little by little, until you finally agree to join back up. And if it can get hints from you as to another demon's Covers, that's just a bonus.

* You've been caught. You're plugged in to the reprocessing Facility. If you want to live, you need to bust out; and if you don't do it soon, your Covers will all degrade to nothing.
* Your friends have been caught. You need to bust them out.
* One of your enemies has been caught. But this enemy knows things about you. How are you going to keep yourself from getting Betrayed: bust them out in exchange for a big favor, or go in and kill them?
* It's a machine that remakes demons into angels. Tweak it a bit, and it's a machine that might let the Integrators get what they want: rejoin the Machine, but without getting wiped in the process. Tweak it a bit more, and you can make sure that demons don't truly get "fixed". A little more, and maybe you can jam large parts of the Machine.
 

birdiedude

Registered User
Validated User
Maybe not the best time or place for this because the idea isn't fleshed out, but how would an amnesiac demon fare? For whatever reason you woke up today with no memory of the past, from this point on you remember things normally. You have perfect memory moving forward, you understand all languages, and have odd feelings when you approach certain buildings... The only flaw is that you feel an odd disconnect in expressing your emotions. What's going on and how long can you last before the God Machine reclaims you?

That's pretty much where the idea ends for now. Not quite sure where it would go from there. Demons aren't like Vampires where they need blood or fear the sun. They also aren't like Werewolves who I'm sure would instinctively transform or can see spirits (I think, it's been a while since I read the rules). I'm not sure how Mages or Changeling's would handle things. For Promethean's it probably wouldn't change much. That said it would almost be a Demon's dream come true, other than stigmatic animals not much could threaten their cover, so I'm not quite sure where threats would materialize aside from normal WoD craziness.
 

Funkadelic

The Enemy of All That Rocks
RPGnet Member
Validated User
A campaign concept I’ve been wanting to give a try.

ARC-10

It’s been a hundred years since the world ended. We’re not sure exactly where the Nephilim came from, most theories point to space. The first mutated humans began appearing shorting after the asteroid Shiva was blown to bits. The guys with the thick glasses speculated that some kind of mutagen survived and made it to Earth. In a few short years it when from small isolated mutant outbreaks to the monstrous Nephilim destroying entire cities.

Humanity retreated to the ARCs, thirteen Arcologies built on major cities designed to house, feed, and protect humanity. There are only 8 left. Two fell to the Nephilim before we developed the ORION units. One fell to internal conflict. Two others simply stopped communicating.

ARC-10 used to be the city of New York, and the ORION units are based out of Liberty Island. It may seem a bit cruel to put teenagers into giant bio-mechanical armor to fight giant space mutants, but you have to meld with the suits young and only the ORION units have the power to take the fight to the Nephilim. They are our scouts, scavengers, defenders, and celebrities. Each piece of armor is as famous as its pilot. Nightstalker is the black and red giant who strikes from the shadows, silent, brutal and yet somehow noble. Berserker is fast and savage its claws tear apart the Nephilim, with its advanced sensors it is also the best tracker. Merlin is the artillery, each Nephilim is different and Merlin has the vast array of weaponry to take down each of them.

Inside ARC-10 is a mixture of advanced technology and dilapidated slums. The rich and powerful have everything, while everyone else scrapes and fights to survive. There is as much danger inside the ARC as there is outside.

So how does the God-Machine fit in?

In 2015 the G-M detected the Shiva asteroid (in actually a terrible creature beyond the world) was about to hit the Earth. The G-M is deciding the best way to deal with it.

The people of ARC-10 believe the year is 2115. The Earth is not the one we know. They are trying to restore humanities place as lords of the Earth. However, soldiers, scavengers, and ORION pilots that spends enough time exploring the ruins outside ARC-10 start to notice that they could have sworn they passed that tree a mile back. And wasn’t that wreck helicopter by the lake last time? And when was the last time anyone travelled to another ARC?

It is all simulation. The G-M is determining if launching a missile to destroy the Shiva (but not the mutagen on it) is a worthwhile plan. Sure humanity takes a hit, but they are contained and with the tech in the ARC more easily controlled. They will survive.

Secrets and people of ARC-10

Detective Elizabeth Heat is a detective of ARC-10 and enjoys playing the role of a campy modern occult detective. The fact that she really is an angel tasked with hunting down supernatural creatures for the ORION project just makes her job all the more enjoyable. She is starting to enjoy the fantasy she’s acting out more than the single-minded devotion to the G-M.

Mr. Fingers poses as a businessman in ARC-10, wealthy and influential, the demon has been working for years to take some of the technology here to the main timeline and use it against the G-M. So far he has met with limited success but he’s recently struck a deal with a scientist on the ORION program. He’s just so close.

Miss Red used to be an angel in charge of protecting the integrity of the Simulation. Now she’s a demon attempting to turn ARC-10 into Hell. It didn’t quite work out in ARC-6, but she’s more careful now. Mortal law enforcement believe her to be a terrorist and anarchist.

Luck Kim is from the main timeline. While in an old abandoned maintenance shaft she found a crack into ARC-10. At first she couldn’t believe what she found, but she adjusted quickly and is now making a fortune smuggling this in and out of ARC-10. Technology comes out, “antiques” from the “past” go in. She’s starting to plan on smuggling a person out. Lucy is unaware of the G-M and the danger of coming under its gaze if she plays Coyote.

Jamal Kringer is the pilot of Nightstalker and the first of ARC-10s ORION pilots. He is a skilled combatant, charismatic leader and deeply trouble individual. Even since he started piloting Nightstalker he’s had nightmares, but now he finds it hard to stay awake during the day, fire is starting to make him nervous, and he has vivid fantasies of ripping open one of his groupies and drinking their blood. He hasn’t told anyone about any of this because he is too afraid of being taken off active duty. And part of him knows that if he killed someone no one cared about, he would be protected from an investigation. For now though, he pushes the thoughts deep down and focuses on his mission and debauches whenever he has free time.

The ORION-armors are made by fusing the essence of a magical creature into a bio-mechanical body. It maintains all the powers of the creature, but can be controlled (mostly) by a teenage human mind.
Director Bram, is in control of the ORION project and an angel tasked with developing weaponry that might oppose the Nephilim. While he is mostly concerned with the Nephilim in the ARC-10 pocket reality he does have ambitions of designing a weapon to take out Shiva in the main timeline.


I’ll keep it about there to keep it from going to long. But I think everyone can get the general idea.
 

BluegrassGeek

Hillbilly GM
Validated User
Werewolves are a problem for the Fallen. They're very protective of Essence sources in the wild, and extremely dangerous if you get into a fight with a pack. Luckily, most werewolves know nothing about your kind. The God-Machine itself doesn't seem interested in werewolves, unless it needs one of their loci.

Then the God-Machine discovered a su'ur - a werewolf whose soul had been removed and replaced with a spirit.1 That had potential. A group of angels subdued it, and began an horrific experiment.

Now, there is a werewolf in the demon's city which has had bits of God-Machine infrastructure grafted onto its spirit-soul. It is now little more than a broken puppet, the living werewolf's mind shattered irrevocably. And it has a new, singular, ruthless purpose: to track down demons and annihilate them.

Story tweaks
- Should the demons somehow subdue and interrogate the werewolf, they can learn the horrible truth: his mind is still there, but utterly subsumed by the (now machine-altered) spirit that replaced his soul. He knows his soul is dead and gone. Without that soul, though, he can't even feel sorrow for its loss.
- The God-Machine hasn't figured out how the Idigam did the initial soul-spirit-swap... yet...
- You could swap the werewolf for a vampire (grafting Infrastructure to the Beast, perhaps) or maybe a Promethean.

1 See Night Horrors: Wolfsbane, pg 131
 
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