Daemon playbook: ascend to demonhood

A whisper in one of the groups I’m in attempted to become a demon, and I ended up writing almost entirety of what should have been a collaborative project by the virtue of being the most experienced in Blades…

Most of this is a kitbash of other playbooks with some original things thrown in. I wanted Daemon to be an intermediate state rather than a full transformation - an actual demon is not even a person, so to speak.

The playbook is available here. Comment is open - feel free to suggest improvements.

5 Likes

I think this is a really interesting idea and from what I can see a creative way to handle fairly, all the power a transformation to a demon would bring.

Flagging this to come back to when I’m more awake and get a game on the go. I like its potential. :smiling_imp:

I like it! I do think some of the elements that basically just state “you have the weaknesses of a demon” are a little unnecessary given you’ve done such a good job of making some of those same features into interesting Special Abilities. I think the theme of power at a cost could be fascinating to play with if you embraced it more fully.

I was just thinking about building a demon playbook a few days ago and really like this. Its interesting how you’ve pooled from the source material and will definitely be giving it a look!

As it turns out, one of my players decided they’d like to have their character evolve towards demonhood. Then I saw @ClockworkOwl 's excellent material. Wow!

I needed something a little less powerful for our game, so I riffed on his amazing work to make a slightly different daemon playbook.

Major differences:

  • Less powerful
  • Removed the composure mechanics as my player’s character is still really a mortal / human.
  • Some language changes (Strictures instead of Corruption for instance) that are really just personal.
  • Added some special abilities and strictures/corruptions of my own design.

I would LOVE feedback from the masters on this forum for better language, mechanics, warning about balance issues, etc. Anyone with the link can comment.

Thanks again @ClockworkOwl!

I received a first round of feedback, SUPER HELPFUL. Turns out I had made that playbook WAY overpowered for what I was intending. Thanks to the feedback, I’ve made some revisions that I think make this a playbook someone could include in a “regular” game without the character being too OP.

Feedback greatly welcomed. Here is a link, a copy-paste appears below also.

Daemon
Imperfect Ascension to Immortality

A Daemon is the transitional state between mortal and demon. Daemons are still mortal, but they have some of the power, and some of the limitations, of demonhood.

As a Daemon you live on a knife’s edge. Your power grows, but also tries to consume your very consciousness. Demons of your own element will try to bound & enslave you because you have not yet proven yourself worthy. Demons of rival elements will try to kill you.
Setup

You retain action points, special abilities, friends, rivals, and items from your prior playbook. This playbook is not accessible by normal means - the character must find the arcane and potentially perilous way into the Ascension. How did you begin your Ascension? What did it cost?

When you become a Daemon select your Elemental Affinity & Dark Desire (page 304). How do you indulge your dark desire? You must also write down your True Name.

XP Triggers
-You addressed a challenge through the use of your elemental affinity.
-You prioritized your dark desire over your former beliefs, drives, heritage, or background.
-You struggled with issues from your vice or compulsions.

Vice
You now have one vice: Ascension. To indulge this vice you must find an exquisite Weird vice purveyor capable of aiding you in the rituals needed to continue your Ascension. The penalties for overindulgence are greater for you

  • Attract Trouble: Select/roll an additional entanglement with a +1d penalty.
  • Wrecked: You lost control and damaged some of the arcane implements. Pay 4 Coin to repair.
  • Flashy: Your lack of caution caught attention. 2 ticks on a 4-clock for “Unwanted Attention.” The attention may come from Spirit Wardens, demons, or others attuned to demonic power.
  • Lost: Vanish for a few weeks. Play a different character until this one returns. When the character returns, they heal any harm they had.
  • Tapped: Current purveyor cuts you off. As these vice purveyors are extremely rare (possibly unique), you will be hard pressed to change their mind or find a new purveyor.

Trauma/Compulsion
Instead of trauma, you gain compulsion. When you transfer your character to the Daemon playbook it starts with 1 more compulsion than your prior playbooks had Trauma. Upon marking the fourth compulsion, you’re completely consumed by your dark desire and no longer can be considered a person. You must retire, and are highly likely to reappear as an NPC demon who has an unusual (and usually undesirable) interest in your crew.

  • Superiority: You consider humans to be inferior and weak, and will belittle or ignore them.
  • Ostentatious: You like to show off your greatness, insight or intricate plans - with speeches or actions. You might indulge a villainous monologue and say too much, or attempt an unnecessary act of grandeur.
  • Apathy: Human emotion is hard for you to understand or sympathize with. You used to be human after all, surely it shouldn’t be that difficult? Right?
  • Mercurial: Your mood changes easily and unpredictably. Bad news to anyone interacting with you, considering your strength and power.
  • Paranoid: You are obsessed with personal safety, and trust no one. Anything that may threaten your precious immortality must be destroyed with extreme prejudice. Your true name must be guarded zealously.
  • Conceit: You are overconfident and will not relent in face of actual danger or tasks beyond your abilities. Given your resilience, “actual danger” would not be what it means for a normal human.
  • Inattentive: It is hard for you to focus on things, unless it is directly related to your Dark Desire. It’s probably not that important anyways.
    Obsessive: You are obsessed with a certain goal or method that is not directly related to your Dark Desire. Maybe you’re taking some sort of artist mindset. Maybe you prefer certain methods a bit too much.

Daemonic Special Abilities & Strictures
Obtaining the power of the demon puts you further away from humanity. When you become a Daemon, select one Daemonic Special Ability. Thereafter, every time you select a new Daemonic Special Ability you must also gain one Daemonic Stricture.

Special Abilities

  • Arcane Insight: 5 stress to gain several hours of potency in interpreting any Arcane or occult speech or writing.

  • Closing of the Eye: You no longer suffer terror from the supernatural, and can choose to take only 1 stress when you resist mental, electroplasmic, or spiritual harm, regardless of the result of your roll.

  • Elemental Manipulation: 3 stress to speak arcane effects related to your elemental affinity into existence. Pay additional stress if the magnitude (p. 221) is greater than your Compulsion.

  • Elemental Senses: 5to use your elemental affinity to achieve clairvoyance. Pay additional stress if the magnitude (p. 221) is greater than your Compulsion. For example, a fire daemon could gaze into a fireplace and see out of the cook-stove at the Bluecoat tower across the street.

  • Elemental Travel: You may expend your special armor to teleport from a site of your elemental affinity (P. 304) to another you can see. Take a Compulsion to return to your vice purveyor’s ritual chamber.

  • Terrible Visage: 3 stress to reveal your supernatural nature, causing all those who can see you to look away and leave your presence, or be paralyzed with dread.

  • Vale: 3 stress to cast an illusion to change how others perceive you and your immediate surroundings. Pay additional stress if the magnitude (p. 221) is greater than your Compulsion

Strictures

  • Arcane Beacon: Every time you use a Daemonic Special Ability, tick a 4-clock for “Unwanted Attention.” The attention may come from Spirit Wardens, demons, or others attuned to demonic power.

  • Arcane Injury: unable to heal via mundane means. Healing requires someone adept in arcane healing.

  • Dark Consumption: Your inner demon is attempting to consume your soul before you are ready. You must indulge vice every downtime so that the rituals keep your sanity from slipping or else suffer 5 stress.

  • Elemental Weakness: you are weakened by exposure to your element’s opposite and attacks using it are potent against you.

  • Mutation: You take a beastly or monstrous appearance. You can pass as a Tychrosi if someone is not looking closely. But those who do look closely, or know what to look for, will identify you for a supernatural being.

  • Repelled: demon bane charms and related wards can hold you at bay (may be resisted).

  • Restraint: Anyone who knows your true name may use occult rituals to try to compel your obedience. If you ignore the binding, take harm equal to the magnitude of the binding (may be resisted).

Feedback complete, we’re launching v1 of our Daemonic playbook. It is here. Use at will :).

Thanks to @ClockworkOwl, JAD, and TAT!