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[Re-Recruitment...Kinda][Demon: The Descent] MI666: Hellraker!

smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The world is in peril.

The sinister criminal organization SERAPHIM works tirelessly to advance their master's inhuman agenda. Their electromechanical tendrils spread murder and mayhem to every corner of the globe, threatening world peace and the prosperity of The Empire.

Her Majesty commands you, the unnatural agents of her Secret Infernal Service to thwart SERAPHIM's evil schemes, smash their Infrastructure and bring the God-Machine to face the Queen's Justice.

As always, should you or any of your Ring be caught or killed, the Home Secretary will disavow any knowledge of the supernatural.

Good Luck, and Hell Save the Queen!


-----

I'm looking for a group of 1-2 players to join an ongoing Demon: The Descent game of globe-trotting superspies, saving the world from the strange and sinister agents of The God-Machine for Queen and Country!

All Demon games are spy games at heart, but I see no reason why they all have to be grim and paranoid La Carre novels. Our game will mash the action, adventure and camp of classic James Bond, Mission Impossible, and The Laundry series with the high weirdness of Demon's corner of the WoD.

Travel the world, meet strange and interesting monsters, and kill them! Gadgets and Gizmos! Babes and Bombs! Commie Werewolves! CIA Vampires! Other weird shit I haven't thought of yet!

But no Austin Powers. Seriously.

We've just successfully finished our first adventure (see my signature for the link), and we're gearing up for the second - HELLRAKER! Currently, the team consists of:

@EnigmaticOne as Mr Wolf (Marksman)
squidheadjax squidheadjax as Ms Wheelie (Driver)
@Darad Zhall as Ms Heart (Demolitions)

I'm looking for up two more players to round out the team. If you're interested, please submit a character concept ASAP. I will review the concepts, ask questions and select two characters sometime next week.

Here's some notes from the last game, to give you an idea of what you're in for.

Experience Points and Character Gen
Spoiler: Show
There won't be any. I don't think tabletop xp rules are compatible with the nature of PbP gaming. For example, our last adventure took 358 Real-Life days to complete. Had we followed the standard NWoD beat system, I estimate players would have earned maybe 10 beats top. 2xp for a years' work.

So, I just buffed the starting characters to roughly where I thought as 'James Bond' type would be, and then handed out a slab of upgrades at the end.

I need to dig through the old thread to determine exactly what character gen will be, but expect a character of Primium 3 with a decent mix of upgrades beyond starting.


The Setting
Spoiler: Show

  • It's 1975.
  • The major governments of the world are aware of the supernatural.
  • What they know - and for how long - varies from nation to nation. There's been state-backed monster hunters for millenia, but the current age of state-backed monsters is a 20th century phenomenon. Specifically, both the Axis and Allies aggressively recruited during WWII, a dark mirror of mortal intelligence agencies. (For those that played in it, this setting is a continuation of my earlier game Inglorious Monsters.)
  • Each country has their own arrangements with the various creatures of the night, but the broad rules aren't much different: stay in the shadows, don't make too many waves, and they'll turn a blind eye to your occult shenanigans - to a point.
  • The modern occult intelligence agencies vary in structure and composition. Your home is the Office of Esoteric Intelligence, known unofficially as MI666 or the Secret Infernal Service, which exclusively recruits Unchained and their offspring to combat the forces of the God-Machine.
    • There are other occult groups in English intelligence, but they haven't been explored. For example, England's government vampires belong to the Night's Watch.

In the specific case of the OEI, here are my current ideas:

  • The Unchained in England are not required to work for OEI; indeed they are very picky about who they let it. You're here of your own free will... or at least, you were forced to join for specific reasons, not just because you're a Demon.
  • The leadership of OEI are human - exclusively. Most are Stigmatic, some are Offspring or even Fractals, but the Unchained cannot advance beyond Agent. The inmates are not permitted to run the asylum.
  • All field agents of OEI are required to sign "The License", a contract to faithfully defend Queen and Country from the forces of the God-Machine - even at the cost of their lives - and to keep her secrets safe. The penalties for violating The License are dire, up to and including the loss of all of their Covers and even complete annihilation. Whether they can actually enforce the terminal clause, you don't know, but it's a for-real Demonic contract.
  • The License specifically does not include anything about following orders. You can't be forced to obey bad orders from a compromised superior.
  • The License specifically does allow you to quit, provided you go through proper channels. You're likely to wind up with a bland government employee Cover in the hinterlands, but you absolutely can walk away.
Tone
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So, what I'm aiming for here is light and fun, but not farce, with an emphasis on the cinematic. This is a summer popcorn movie, a superspy adventure with a supernatural twist. The protagonists (that's you guys) are not necessarily paragons of virtue - you are spies, you lie and seduce and kill - but the audience understands there's a core of righteous heroism. The good guys are the good guys and the bad guys are the bad guys. (Obviously, there's room for NPCs of questionable morality and loyalty, but the PCs are firmly on Team England. )

It's broad, and the core concept doesn't hold up to serious examination, but hopefully everyone's having such a good time they won't notice the flaws until they get home.

Now there are several things I don't want it to be. The first is grim. It's terribly easy for World of Darkness games to bleak meditations on the loss of humanity or the beast within us all. This is not going to be one of those games. The agents of MI666 live dangerously and expose themselves to terrible risk on a daily basis, but they're not filled with existential dread or hopelessness. They smash the infrastructure of the God-Machine every damn day, with the active support of a major world government. In this game, making covers shouldn't be about exploiting the desperate or leeching identity away for mortals like some kind of history vampire. It should be the metaphysical equivalent of judo chopping a guard and stealing his uniform.

Another thing this shouldn't be is horrific - but let me be specific in what I mean. The game is about monsters and techno-organic weirdness, and I have no intention of downplaying that. I don't want to stomp anyone's cool idea for their Demon form. Be the Angel of broken glass and circuit boards that you dream to be! But what I want to avoid is Lovecraft-porn, dwelling on the mind-blasting madness of alien horror. The man on the street might be scared shitless when he sees the hunter-killer angel - but we're not watching a movie about the man on the street. We're watching a movie about cool monster-spies who deal with this shit all the time.

Finally, the thing I want to avoid above all else is parody. This is not a parody. This is not Austin Powers, Supernatural Man of Mystery. We're emphasizing the lighter aspects of the spy thriller genre, but it's not a spoof - the audience still needs to feel like the setting and plot matter, that it's not just window dressing for a joke-delivery system.

If you want a touchstone for tone that isn't James Bond, think about the 1989 Batman with Michael Keaton. It's not Christian Bale's grimdark meditation on a Hard Man making Hard Choices, but neither is it the "BIFF! POW!" sendup of Adam West. The 89 Batman is heightened and weird and there's a lot of goofy shit in it, but the characters within the world are taking things seriously and at face value.

I... think that gets my point across...? :)


Improv and Player Agency
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I am a great believer of using the improv maxim of "Yes And" in roleplaying games. We're all creating this world together, and we all have equal agency to make it fun and interesting. Players are expected - indeed, required - to add details and flavor into any scene they wish. Introduce what you like, when you like. Don't contradict other people's additions, but build off of them. Feel free to use or introduce characters in a scene if it will make things better. This includes other player characters. If you need Mr Wolf to help you hurl a KGB werewolf into the liquid nitrogen, then Mr Wolfdoes it. You don't have to wait for the player's permission.

Now, obviously there are some limitations to this. You don't need a player's permission to use their PC in your post, but that player always retains ultimate control of their character. They can veto their character's use in someone else's improv, at any time and for any reason, with no further appeal - including to me. If they say no, you have to edit your post. As the GM, I also retain the right to veto any bit of improv for any reason. Now, in my experience, such vetoes rarely happen. When they do, neither player should take it personally. Just edit the post and move on. We're all adults, and we're mature enough to avoid intentionally doing stupid shit with other people's characters. So long as you keep other peoples feelings in mind, everything should be cool. :)
 

Nate_MI

Hail Tzeentch!
Validated User
Interesting. Torn between a sweet gal with a Glaswegian accent who's a dab hand at a knife, or a dressed-to-the-nine fop who can talk his way past anything. I'm not 100% on the God-Machine rules, so I hope you can help me over some of the rough spots.
 

Maledicta

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm interested as well. Technically I'm in an rpg session right now, so will have to think of a concept later.
 

squidheadjax

Social Justice Cultist
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Wheelie is not just a driver but also a (mini) car.
It's too bad there's no demonic form option for going full Transformer and being passenger-capable.
 
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