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How do demons get what they want?

Started by memolith, October 11, 2006, 01:50:48 AM

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memolith


I'm confused about how Demons can exert their influence outside of Sorcery and conflicts where there is no obvious opposition.

Let's use the Whitechurch Branch for example:
-The Demons want to drive prices and demand up, up, up!
-They want the Steward to pronounce that it's okay for the town to rob the store--which would be false doctrine.
-They want the Dogs to buy stuff, so they'll try to break their stuff too. They don't want the Dogs to pronounce that it's okay for the town to rob the store -- because if the Dogs say it, it's probably not false doctrine.

How do demons exert their influence? Is it something bubbling under the surface of NPC's decisions, or something more overt? Or both?
How would you handle the demons in the town described above?

memolith

What I'm thinking is that whenever there's a conflict, you can try to subtly incorporate demonic influence in.

Say there's a conflict-- "Can we talk sense into the Steward's son?"
He escalates to physical, runs inside and slams the door behind him.
The Dogs kick the door in.
My See, as GM, is "The door flies off the hinges, the house ripples paint flecks like a pond, and all the windows shatter."

Is that acceptable? I've analyzed what the demons want, and incorporate it into the actions of someone who isn't directly tied to them sorcerously.

What about mid-session...I declare that the Steward is pissed, and there's an angry group of folks standing outside the general store. Could I launch a conflict-- "Does the Steward authorize looting of the general store?"

I'm wondering if bringing in demonic influence like this is too heavy-handed.

museleading

I think it depends on the level of supernatural in your game.  It can be as heavy handed as you want.

Someone (I think Vincent) once described Demonic Influence on the low level as "What's the worst possible thing that could happen?".  At the higher level, Demons can do whatever you think up.  There's a thread which really clarifed this for me here - http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=15611.0

Thomas Lawrence

Yeah, muselading has this right.

In general, when Demonic Influence dice are rolled, this is a cue to introduce superqantural special effects, keeping in mind what your group have expressed about the levell of supernatural influence they're looking to get. So this can scale from creepy misfortune that's entirely naturally explicable (wind blows the candle lights out, whispering is heard in the trees, the girl acts unusually violently) to full-on phantasmagoria (blood fountains out of the walls, demonic apparations scream and wail, the girl's head spins around and vomits pea soup)

Outside of direct rolling of Demonic Influence, what the demons do is make the worst possible thing happen. Again, depending on the supernatural level of the game, it may be obviously supernatural or merely it may appear that way to the religiously minded.

For example, say therew's stealing going on in your town, and the demons are making it worse b causing all of Brother William's cattle to get fever and die. Now, that could easily be construed as just bad luck, or if you like the cows could have clear indications of dying by sorcerous ritual, with wounds in the shape of sorcerous inverted pentagrams or something.

Either way, the people in the town are likely to BLAME demons, and by extension blame the sinners, or possible candidates for Sorcery (so you get witch-hunts, basically, which ties right into the demons and their want for hate and murder).

So, the demons get what they want by causing (or at least, appearing to cause) the worst thing to happen.

lumpley

As far as the game mechanics go, the way the demons get what they want is, you as GM say, "during the night, three cows die and looks like ten more come down with it." If the Dogs shrug and don't do anything about it, cool, it's done. If the Dogs are like "hold on, we can heal them," then you roll dice, using the demonic influence as called for.

Easy!

-Vincent

memolith

I think I'm starting to understand.

They're there to make things worse, and to provide the acceptable degree of supernatural stuff. Even though they don't always contribute dice, I can incorporate them into the game as necessary, to provoke a reaction from the players.

Thanks everyone.