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[Recruitment] GMC/Demon: the Descent: God Machine Revealed

Insertname

Registered User
Validated User
So, I've had this idea kicking around in my head for a while now. It's a future setting in the World of Darkness, where the God Machine has not only become public knowledge, but the acknowledged leader of Earth (as far as a Machine can be called a leader).

The game then deals with Demons (it could deal with other supernatural things, but demons are my first choice as they're most effected by all this), trying to survive and get by in a world that isn't merely secretly controlled by the Machine, but openly obedient to it.

The feel is something of a high technology world, except most of the really advanced technology has a basis in the supernatural properties known in the world. Modern medicine heavily uses vitae as an ingredient (even though the source of vitae is highly classified), and street drug formats can even give you minor vampire powers. Cybernetics have also become fairly common, but owe a lot more to Promethean based alchemy than neuroscience (not to say that neuroscience isn't used in them).

The God Machine is all controlling and omnipresent, with angels and mortal forces on constant patrol and clone armies should brute force ever be needed.

Spoiler: Show
The God Machine:
Is a known entity. It's central cores are understood to be on thee Moon, but it has auxiliary systems all over the world making sure that everything runs smoothly and according to plan. It is the sole governing body of the world, and under its reign life across the globe has consistently improved and been made better for pretty much everyone.
The God Machine is also widely worshiped as actually being God.

Angels:
People know and understand that the God Machine has supernatural agents, but are privy to much detail. Angels do not have to work completely in secret, though some still do. They have the authority to commandeer civilian resources without subterfuge these days.

Demons:
The existence and general behavior patterns of Demons are widely known. These traitors are considered the biggest threat there is to the world at large and are top priority in all things.

The Shadow:
While the Twilight (typically called the ephemeral state) has become general knowledge to anyone with a scientific background, the existence of a spiritual world beyond is largely unknown. There are scientists aware of it, but their research is kept classified, as the God Machine controls information quite tightly.

The Underworld:
The God Machine has not seen fit to tell humans what it knows about the underworld, or how it arranges it. It has assured them that its agents will ensure they are treated as befits them in the next life, and occasionally has allowed humans to witness its psychopomps at work ferrying ghosts away.
Amongst those organizations that the God Machine employs to deal with the supernatural, it is strictly forbidden to interfere with the Underworld. Exactly why is classified.

Sin-Eaters:
The God Machine seems largely unconcerned with the Sin-Eaters. Occasionally it intercedes to either help or hinder them, but no more so than it does any other human that helps or hinders its purpose.

Stigmatics:
Stigmatics are required by law to register with the God Machine, and are known to the public. Those registered are deemed well and good and necessary, but those unregistered are viewed as highly dangerous threats.

Gifted Humans:
Are treated the same as Stigmatics, save that the God Machine is less likely to employ them directly.

Mages:
Mages are treated much the same as Stigmatics and Gifted Humans. The God Machine seems aware that Mages are something different from these two groupings, but the public at large is taught to see mages as just another form of Gifted Human.
The Mages seem to believe that the God Machine is trying to find Watchtowers, though they cannot say to what end.

Qashmalim:
These are to under no circumstances be approached by anyone or anything. If you see evidence of an angel made of fire operating outside Infrastructure, report it immediately and it will be dealt with.

Pandorans:
These are actually unknown by anyone. If the God Machine knows, it really couldn't care less.

Prometheans:
Their existence is widely known, and their scientific qualities rather important. They are to be apprehended on sight and brought to the God Machine. The God Machine uses their Azoth to produce Clones as cheap, efficient and expendable soldiers, agents, and Covers for Angels.

Mummies:
If even the God Machine knows about Mummies, it has not shown it. Most Angels and Demons are unaware of them, as is pretty much everyone else.

Vampires:
Officially they do not exist until you have the appropriate clearance. Once you do they are considered to be dangerous to the community at large and should be dealt with. 'Dealt with' means captured alive if possible, for ongoing work and research (and production of a wide range of pharmaceuticals that use Vitae as a base).

Ghouls:
Ghouls are actually pretty common. Not that they know they're ghouls, but Vitae is used in enough medicine and steroids these days that a lot of people are ghouls without even knowing it.

Changelings:
Current theory is not even the God Machine can see through the Mask. I mean, really, these things are impossible to spot.

Hunters:
Most Hunter societies were working for the God Machine even before they knew it. Little has changed, other than a lot more of them being official government agencies now.

Fetches:
Find and contain. Extermination not considered necessary till more is known.

Werewolves:
Officially, the Forsaken are fine and the Pure are a menace to be wiped off the face of the Earth (or at least captured for more experiments and genetic research). There is some confusion amidst the Forsaken as to the relationship between the God Machine and Luna, which leads to a lot of tribal infighting.
The Pure are well on the decline, but the Forsaken are booming in numbers (unlike the more typical setting that has this the other way around).

Changing Breeds:
Considered much like Gifted Humans, which they basically are.

Crptids:
Largely considered pests. Capture and research is often handy, but usually just kill the bastards.


Spoiler: Show
1959:
Luna II lands on the moon, and sends back evidence to the USSR of active machinery on the surface. The Premier Khrushchev makes the crucial tactical decision of giving this information to the United States. The supposedly ceremonial copy of one of Luna II's pennants that he gave to President Eisenhower was, in fact, one of the receivers for the Luna II. Behind the scenes the USA and the USSR continued to share information concerning discoveries on the moon, though this was known only to a select handful of people, kept extremely secret.
It is widely believed (and taught by the God Machine to the populace) that several Demons had their hands in this exchange, and keeping it hidden. The lunar program was vital to their efforts against the God Machine, after all.

1963:
President Kennedy is assassinated. Official reports from the United World Government (which is, really, just the God Machine) says that a Demon arranged the attack to make the champion of the space race a martyr, though most Demon's contend an Angel did it in an effort to stop the space race.

1969:
Ten years of film and radio transmissions from the unmanned landings culminates in the first manned landing. The mission has two real purposes. The first is to open direct negotiations with the strange human beings they'd achieved evidence of (the Exarchs), and the second was to implant a device (designed by Demons in all likelihood) to disrupt the Machine. This device was disguised as an American flag (and some believe it harnessed the mass attention of the live filming of its planting as part of an even more complicated ritual than it appeared).
This was the greatest and most direct blow ever struck against the God Machine.
Needless to say, the God Machine did not allow the Lunar program of either of the nations to continue much longer.

2001:
Human cloning is made effectively legal in the UK.

2016:
A fringe group of psychologists decide to use the UK as a testing ground for a new twin study. By legally making clones, they avert the ethical problems of separating twins, and get a reasonable sample size.
They publish an in depth report in 2032, but not on the original topic. Instead the paper is an examination of the mental deficiencies of the clones and their lack of explanation for it.
This experiment is found to be repeatable. For some reason clones never seem to be much more intelligent than dogs. It's bizarre and inexplicable.
Religious groups grab hold of this as proof of a soul.

2021:
The quiet fall of dictatorships begins with a military coup in North Korea that establishes, against all odds, an active democracy. This is the first in a long series of such strange coups, and while they seem on the surface unrelated, the governments that are established tend to have similar ideologies and cooperate well with each other.
This, naturally, is the beginning of the God Machine's direct domination of the world.

2039:
A young woman named Julia Matherson starts winning various skeptic prizes for proving her psychic abilities. She shows up all over talk shows and newspapers. Then she disappears two days after winning the Amazing Randi's $1,000,000.
Despite her bringing the issue up and inspiring a great deal of interest, no other psychics are proven. She becomes a fluke.

2045:
Kabala Brushwick publishes more than 30 years of personal work investigating hauntings and supernatural sightings. The conclusions reached seem to indicate most supernatural sightings are bunk, but uncovers compelling evidence of ghosts being real. This evidence includes film and even a 'physical' sample.
Because of the sample, the Kabala's work research turns out to be reproducible, and ectology emerges as an actual and reputed field of study.

2052:
The first speaking clone is introduced to the world by a Dr. Markenzo. The clone still seems strangely blank, devoid of personality or deeper thought, but he can speak and obey orders so it is considered an advancement.

2054:
Dr. Markenzo publishes a paper called 'On the Internal Mechanisms of Golems'. At first the scientific community is baffled by this, but it seems that what he refers to as 'Golems' were vital in his work in making the famed speaking clone.
Unfortunately, Dr. Markenzo is unwilling to actually show direct proof of the Golem, causing a great deal of controversy and his denouncement in the field.

2058:
Dr. Markenzo is found dead, strangled in his own living room. A strange ugly man was found chained up in his basement. several studies confirmed this to be the alleged golem.
The Golem calls itself Sanchel, and becomes a known scientific curiosity. He is, very briefly, treated as a real person, but disappears off the grid again in 1960.

2061:
The theory of dark ectoplasm is developed. A corollary to dark matter in a way, scientific readings of ectoplasm have always been a little funny, but its not till now that a theory of unobserved ectoplasm in the world, somehow hidden away, enters the study.
This is the first evidence the scientific community has of the Shadow.

2064:
Capitalizing on decades of growing uncertainty about the nature of reality, a series of escalating violent pranks and strange murders try to convince the world that vampires are real. They are revealed as what they are, however.

2067:
A prison doctor discovers that there is something quite odd about one of the 'vampire killers'. After following up with the rest of them, he finds that abnormal physical strength and sturdiness and a strange sensitivity to light is common amongst all of them, and absent from their medical histories before they met in 1959.

2071:
The United World Government is founded. The negotiations go insanely smoothly, and are put together quite quickly. Most of the UN signs on to this sudden change of approach, the three major exceptions being the United States, Russia, and China.

2073:
For failing to sede power to the UWG, president Dorothy Jameson is impeached by the US legislature. It seems an insane political move all around, but it ensures the US's entry into the UWG, as a major player of course.

2075:
War between the UWG and the remaining countries outside begins.

2081:
Reports from the frontlines in China come to establish that Werewolves are, in fact, a thing.
What the reports don't indicate is that the appearance of these werewolves has little to do with the war itself, and a great deal to do with the UWG unleashing their own werewolves first. With the Forsaken siding with the UWG, the Pure are forced to find their own allies. They drag the war on far longer than it needed to last.

2087:
War finally ends with the UWG in charge of every nation on Earth.

2095:
The God Machine reveals itself to the world, and replaces all governmental bodies with its own auxiliary programs.

2100:
The Chronicle begins.


So, any interest?
 

MrPrim

Bleak Academic
Validated User
Sure, thoughts.

Note, i'm super exhausted, so I'm not 100%.

One of the big things in a game like this is making sure that the players are well aware of the tone from the get go. The biggest tonal question is... Do we get to win?

Can we make things better? Can we save the world? Or, at least, make some part of the world, however small (and how small) a little bit better? Or do we all end up Winston Smith at the end, our tiny GM rebellions amounting to literally nothing?

I'd probably make an Integrator (or a Promethean) for this, if only because I tend to lean hard towards Inquisitors. An Integrator would be a big departure for me, mentally, and I'd like that challenge, A Promethean would be cool because I've always wanted to play one.

The Integrator concept I see is an Angel who has, through insight, spotted some great flaw in the Machine's plan and can't handle it. Now he wants to repair it or convince it to alter it's course.

Since so far it's just me, I'm going to leave things a bit vague. But Psychopomp tech-guy seems very appropriate in this sort of world. On the other hand, Identity-crafting face changing spy holds some appeal...
 

Insertname

Registered User
Validated User
Winning would be an option. It'll take a Hell of a lot of work to pull the machine down altogether, but smaller victories can be grabbed (and build to larger victories) and it'll depend on how long the game ends up going.
 

VampGuy

Registered User
Validated User
I'm interested. I already have a Sin-Eater, Changeling, Hunter and I think a Werewolf written up so whatever you'd like me to play for spice, let me know
 

Insertname

Registered User
Validated User
On the one hand, I'm glad to hear some one else has interest, because I haven't abandoned this idea yet.

On the other, kind of curious how you intend to fit characters already designed for the setting into the future version of it.
 

VampGuy

Registered User
Validated User
A few of them I've written up but never played so they are starting characters with no XP

Will we need to build them a certain way?
 

Insertname

Registered User
Validated User
Well... sort of?
I mean, part of it is sorting out what kind of game we're going to do (whether it'll be straight up Demon or a hodgepodge of various supernatural types), and then there's considerations for changes in the system. At the very least there's some edits to merits you may have to make on account of the edits to those in God Machine and the increased Merit points at start.

Would you be interested in a Demon game in the setting, or do you specifically in it for the other groups?

(because, I can tell you that I think the order of how fitting the non-mortal characters are in this setting probably goes something like Demon, Promethean, Mage, Werewolf, Vampire, Sin-Eater, Mummy, Changeling, largely because the further down that list you get the less connected to the whole God Machine part of the setting you get. I mean, yes, the world has changed, but Sin-Eaters, Mummies and Changelings mostly operate the same. Demons and Prometheans are actively hunted by knowing powers, however, and Mages and Werewolves are expected to register while Vampires are mostly just gunned down).

So, of your list, probably the Werewolf might fit best. (Hunter probably second best... as I said, Sin-Eaters and Changelings kind of fit weirdly since they're least affected by the setting shift)
Though, it may also be worth starting from scratch to make a character who fits into this world and then figure out his stats, rather than just going from stats backwards (which is at least how I approach it, but maybe I'm weird).
 
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