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The Embeds of chaos, violence and disharmony. Their concepts are destruction, renewal and entropy. Obviously, they are the purview of the Destroyers. Destroyers, angels tapped to kill, raze, and break, know well the truism that it’s easier to destroy than create. That isn’t to say, though, that destruction doesn’t have a certain art to it, particularly if collateral damage is to be avoided. Cacophony Embeds allow for selective, targeted destruction. The demon carefully chooses his focus and then introduces chaos, changing variables in the background equations of reality just enough to throw things out of balance … or to enable him to kill with surgical precision. On a conceptual level, Cacophony Embeds all allow a demon to “destroy” ideas, causing doubt or inaction in the face of crisis. They can change entropy, making a situation more or less chaotic. And, although not all Destroyers want to admit it, destruction is part of a cycle that leads to renewal.
- Apple of Discord: Named after the apple of Eris, this Embed allows a demon to make an object or person she touches intensely desirable to anyone who sees it before the end of the scene (although it has no effect on demons or angels). Victims see the target as a sure means of fulfilling everything they are and act accordingly.
- Anarchism: This Embed allows the Unchained to twist that rule, making people act without fear of societal repercussion and censure. An affected target lies, cheats, steals, and hurts without compunction if it means getting them what he wants. Usually targets will not hurt loved ones, since doing so carries consequences beyond societal ones. This Embed doesn't make them unaware of consequences; it simply makes them not care about societal pressure and law.
- Breakdown: The human mind is a complicated machine. It processes thousands of things at any given time, and keeps the complexities of the body regulated so that its myriad parts work together to form a cohesive whole. This Embed gives the Unchained a weapon against that mental equilibrium; it causes just a hint of entropy that ripples through the subject's every function, forcing it to do something entirely unrelated whenever it attempts something.
- Bystander Effect: The bystander effect is a psychological phenomenon that states simply that the more people who witness an event, the less likely any particular person is to get involved. The reasons for this vary, but a demon can exploit this tendency to attack a target in full view of a group of people and escape unhindered. This Embed does not work on groups of people who know each other, however — a demon can’t stab one policeman in a cop bar and hope to get out with no repercussion. Bystander Effect is easier to use in crowds. If fewer than 10 people witness the demon’s action, apply a – 2 modifier to the roll to activate it.
- Cause and Effect: Most people are familiar in at least a cursory fashion with the “Butterfly Effect.” That is, every event, no matter how small, has effects on the world that often cannot be measured and can never be predicted or replicated. A demon with the right knowledge can capitalize on that principle, taking one action that leads to a completely different and unexpected (to everyone but the demon) outcome. This power, like several others that impact probability and causality, poses a risk to Cover by its very nature. A demon using it should proceed with caution.
- Combustion: Everything burns, but not everything burns easily. Despite what action movies tell us, a stray bullet is extremely unlikely to blow up a car. But the explosiveness or flammability of an object is a known value, and that means a demon with the right knowledge can alter that value, making an object more likely to burn or explode.
- Cool Heads Prevail: The best way to survive a fight is not to have one. With this Embed, the demon reduces the amount of chaos and destruction, taking the desire to fight away from the targets. It doesn’t make them like each other any better, but it does make them less likely to kill each other.
- Deafen: Taking “cacophony” to a literal extreme, the demon creates a persistent ringing in the ears of a target that prevents him from hearing anything at all. The sound is only audible to the target; physical examination of the victim while the power is active shows nothing physically wrong with his hearing apparatus.
- Devil’s Advocate: This Embed allows the demon to cause disagreement, even if the parties involved would normally see eye to eye. While Devil’s Advocate is useful as a diversionary tactic, a demon skilled in the use of reverse psychology can make truly impressive use of it. For instance, having been pulled over by a traffic cop, a demon might admit to the accusation in question and acknowledge that she deserves a ticket, then use the power to force the cop to disagree. This Embed only works on characters in physical proximity; it can’t be used online or over a phone.
- Fire Drill: Most safety and security alarms are sensitive to small disturbances. A frying pan of bacon in the kitchen can set off the smoke detector in the living room, and sitting on the bumper might set off the car alarm. The idea behind this is that the inconvenience these false positives may cause is outweighed by the risk that the alarm will not function during a real emergency. A demon with this Embed redirects small amounts of matter and energy to generate just enough of a disturbance to set off alarms.
- Fractal Reality: This Embed speeds that timeline and causes infrequent things to recur more quickly than they might otherwise. If the Unchained buys a scratch off lottery ticket, and nets $1,000, this Embed makes the next ticket another $1,000 win. The drawback is, these things must be possible with the right probability, and their recurrence makes other desired anomalies even less likely to happen again.
- Hesitation: In a crisis situation, a second’s delay can make a huge difference. Using this Embed, the demon injects a momentary doubt or fear into a target’s mind, causing him to pause. By the time he regains his composure, the fight may already have been lost. This Embed can only be used before the intended target has taken his first action and before the demon has taken hers. As such, it is possible to use Hesitation on multiple targets in a turn if the initiative order favors the demon.
- Hush: A skilled Destroyer can kill or incapacitate a target without either of them ever making a sound. The demon strikes the victim’s throat or solar plexus, silencing him, and then continues the assault. This Embed does not silence the sound of a weapon, firearm or otherwise, so if the intended victim manages to produce a weapon to protect himself, the effect ends. Until then, though, no sound escapes the combatants and only muffled thuds result from them colliding with surfaces. A Destroyer can beat a man to death in kitchen with the people in the dining room none the wiser, provided he does it quickly.
- Just Bruised: Bodies are strangely resilient. Falling damage wreaks havoc on a human body, and yet recorded instances of people falling from impressive heights and walking away with only minor injuries exist. Gunshots can kill instantly, or they can result in flesh wounds and nothing more. With this Embed, a demon can prevent serious damage from a single attack or source.
- Knockout Punch: Despite what popular media would have people believe, getting “knocked out” usually indicates a serious injury, often with accompanying brain damage. If it doesn’t cause such damage, a sharp blow to the head is usually just painful. A demon operates under different constraints. With this Embed, a demon can knock a target unconscious and specify when the target will revive.
- Left or Right?: The classic thought experiment of Schrödinger’s cat raises the question of when two possibilities collapse into one reality. Angels of the God-Machine, of course, deal with this kind of multiple-reality problem frequently, but demons, having chosen one existence rather than a potential many, are better suited to answer the question. With this Embed, a demon can predetermine the result of a binary choice that he has no way to influence. A coin flip is a classic example, but whether a person glances left or right when entering a room, whether a light is on or off in a room that demon cannot see, and whether the safety of a gun is on or off before the demon picks it up are all also valid.
- Lucky Break: The most carefully constructed plan cannot account for the vagaries of chance. A mouse chews through the wiring on a security system, a freak lightning strike downs a power line, an assassin chooses to buy a sandwich from a particular shop and sees his target cruising by at exactly the right second — these are events that no one can anticipate and few have the wherewithal to capitalize on. The demon, however, can cause these strange “lucky breaks.” She should be advised, though, that fate is fickle, and relying too much on manipulating it will surely break her Cover sooner or later.
- Merciless Gunman: The demon calmly dispatches multiple targets with a gun. Using this Embed, the demon can easily clear a room of antagonists without endangering his comrades or risking a true firefight breaking out. Note that this Embed’s primary function only works for Down and Dirty Combat. If the Storyteller determines that, for whatever reason, the situation does not qualify for Down and Dirty Combat, then this Embed does not function. A demon can automatically sense whether Merciless Gunman would work; if the demon risks exposure by using it or the opposition has resources that the demon isn’t aware of (if they’re vampires, for instance), then the Embed doesn’t work and hopefully the demon realizes she needs to be more circumspect. In a situation where Down and Dirty Combat does not apply, Merciless Gunman still makes the character more effective with his firearms, but does not confer the same level of lethality.
- No Quarter: A brawl can turn deadly in an instant. All it takes it someone picking up a brick or a pool cue, someone smacking his head against a solid surface, or a demon in the room using this Embed. With a glance, the demon can cause combatants to Go for Blood.
- On the Mend: While Cacophony Embeds usually tend toward inflicting damage and chaos, they also have power over renewal. Demons can learn to manipulate the same forces of chaos that allow them to harm in order to heal.
- Password Entropy: Password entropy is used to measure the strength of a password based on the total number of possible combinations of characters in a password of its length. This Embed takes advantage of the way people choose PINs and passwords to narrow down the possibilities. Presented with a password prompt, the demon types the correct one. It does not provide knowledge of user names, nor does it grant remote access if the victim does not have it for the target account.
- Play Possum: Death is a part of a cycle that leads to rebirth. This philosophical gem has practical applications, allowing the demon to experience physical death whenever she suffers lethal or aggravated damage. The demon's death happens quickly and in a manner consistent with the source of the damage: bleeding out for an injury, for example, or succumbing instantly to a toxin. The demon can turn her senses on or off while in this condition, but all mundane and supernatural attempts to detect the spark of life fail.
- Raw Materials: Nature abhors a vacuum. With this Embed, the demon can break an object to “summon” an object of similar Size. The object that she breaks is destroyed, never to be repaired or made functional again. The object she summons isn’t created out of nothing, but is brought to her location by a seemingly coincidental series of events.
- Ripple: This Embed ensures that an isolated worst case will have consequences that lead to even more drastic results. Not only does a man fall to the ground when hit with a bat, but the fall causes the floor to collapse, which means further injury.
- Sabotage: It only takes one bent pin to throw a huge, complex machine out of joint. Angels, of course, are wellfamiliar with the concept — when they Fall, they become the bent pins. A demon capitalizing on the fragility of machines can cause one to shut down, be it a gun, a car, or a huge industrial device. All it takes is a touch.
- Shatter: Everything breaks. It’s just a matter of applying force in the right location. A demon who understands this principle can apply the force of entropy to an object and shatter it with a swift kick. The demon cannot affect an object with a Size greater than her own (usually size 5), meaning this Embed is good for kicking down doors and breaking weapons, but not useful for smashing cars.
- Shifty Eyes: Human beings rely on their intuition to a great and probably foolish degree. “Just a hunch” or “it just felt right” are terrible reasons to make important decisions, but they feel important, and so a demon that can manipulate those feelings wields a great deal of power. This Embed allows the demon to do exactly that — inject a nagging feeling of doubt or unease in one target about another. Like many Embeds, proper use of Shifty Eyes requires thinking ahead; properly used, it can force a target to isolate himself. This power affects two people, the target and the subject. The subject is someone who interacts with and usually tries to get something from the target. If the Embed works as intended, it makes the target distrust the subject. The subject need not be present for the Embed to work, but the target and the subject must have interacted within the past 24 hours.
- Special Someone: An angel isn’t always given a specific target. A Destroyer sent to kill a person or a Guardian sent to protect one might simply be told to focus on the strongest or weakest in a group, or the most likely to be receptive to a particular task. The methods for finding this person are available to demons as well as angels by means of this Embed.
- Trip: This Embed causes an immediate and momentary exception to a person's balance. Something appears beneath her feet, in her path, or the situation shifts to make balance difficult. Quite simply, the victim falls to the ground.
- Victory at Any Price: A demon with the right knowledge can nudge probability in his favor such that he often snatches victory from the jaws of defeat -- at a price that tells on his body. The demon can activate this Embed whenever the player succeeds at or fails on a roll. This Embed cannot salvage a dramatic failure, a compromise roll, or a Stamina check to remain conscious. This Embed has considerable utility, but repeatedly manipulating probability tends to attract God-Machine scrutiny. The character can use this Embed a number of times during a chapter equal to his Primum rating. After that, every use of Victory at Any Price causes a compromise roll.
- ↑ , p. 93
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 , p. 94
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 , p. 125
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 , p. 126
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 , p. 95
- ↑ , p. 127
- ↑ , p. 128
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 , p. 129
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 , p. 130
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 , p. 131
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 , p. 96
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 , p. 132
- ↑ , p. 97