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These Embeds allow the demon to affect material objects and machines. On a conceptual level, they deal with timing, precision and utility. Guardians have an affinity for them.

As angels, Guardians had to be intimately aware of their surroundings, of the materials composing everything in their vicinity, and what effect those might have on their charges. As demons, they keep that highly analytical mindset, allowing them to make best use of the resources at their disposal. On the abstract level, Instrumental Embeds allow the demon to perceive and twist the passage of time. The demon can change expressions of precision, making his own efforts surgical and meticulous or making someone else’s laughably vague. Finally, the demon can alter the nature of utility, making all of a target’s possessions useless, even for their intended purposes.


  • Ambush[1]: Given even a few seconds, a demon can analyze a location and know precisely where to stand, where to hide, and what weapon to use in order to maximize the element of surprise. With a glance, the demon can plan a perfect ambush.
  • Call Out[2]: The demon calls out a target within sight with taunts or challenges. Anyone who works for or reports to the demon's target (bodyguards, witness-protecting cops, soldiers commanded by their sergeant or officer, etc.) loses any willingness to die in the line of duty. This works on any of the target's allies who are defending her out of a sense of duty or in expectation of a reward, but it doesn't affect those who are defending him out of personal loyalty.
  • Check Backdrop[3]: A firefight is a fraught scenario at the best of times. People with training know to check their backdrops (that is, to be aware of what’s behind a target as well as the target itself) and not shoot unless they have a reasonable chance of hitting their target without hitting a bystander. A demon can use her control of precision to force the issue so that every shot that isn’t aimed misses.
  • Data Retrieval [2]: A demon with this Embed has access to any data a functional electronic device has ever stored, however briefly. A cellphone can replay its calls, for example, and a photocopier can reprint a document it copied years ago, but the demon must specify the exact date and time he wants to begin the replay.
  • Data Wipe[4]: The demon strips all references to a single fact, a single statement, from existence. This means it leaves the minds of humans, as well as any servers it might rest upon. However, the context still remains and inquisitive minds can still figure the fact out.
  • Download Knowledge[3]: Does a collective unconscious exist? Demons, who might be expected to know the answer, disagree. They do know that with the proper understanding they can absorb knowledge from the very mystical subroutines of the universe that allow their Embeds. Whether that means they are taking the knowledge from a human collective consciousness or just the memory banks of the God-Machine is an open question.
  • Efficiency[3]: A demon can work faster than any person simply by applying knowledge of reality’s workings that no human being could hope to attain. Any task can be completed in a fraction of the time. This Embed affects the demon’s ability to perform a given extended action. Once the action has been completed (or abandoned), the effects of the Embed no longer apply.
  • Ellipses[3]: While the concept of “lost time” tends to go along with sinister or mysterious notions such as alien abduction or brainwashing, the truth of the matter is that anyone can lose time if they become too engrossed in something. A person sits down to a good book or starts playing a video game, and suddenly it’s dawn and the person is left wondering where the time went. Some demons claim that the God-Machine nudged human evolution in a precise way to create this tendency, others claim it’s just a useful coincidence, but any demon might learn to exploit it.
  • Freeze Assets[5]: An opponent with money can make all manner of obstacles go away. A rich individual can afford lawyers, security, weapons and assistants, but more than that, he can afford to live in such a way that those around him defer to him. Money is just one more tool, though, and that means it can be made useless. This Embed allows a demon to stop the target from using his resources, at least for a short time.
  • Fulcrum Point[6]: “Give me a place to stand,” said Archimedes, “and I will move the Earth.” He was referring, of course, to the fact that with the right lever almost any object, no matter how heavy, can be moved. A demon with this Embed takes this principle to extreme lengths. With a good shove, the demon can move any object, regardless of its weight, as long as it is not affixed to the ground. Buildings are built into the ground, for instance, and therefore not subject to this Embed, but vehicles, trash bins, and boulders can be moved just enough out of position to inhibit pursuers or give a demon something to climb.
  • Functional Identity[4]:This Embed redefines a tool's most basic function. The tool must have been somehow functional for its new purpose, however. For example, a wrench may be repurposed to act like a hammer. One could use a wrench to hammer nails, although not very well. Similarly, a gun could be used as a bludgeoning paperweight, so that would be a valid shift in technical purpose.
  • Fungible Knowledge[6]: A demon can affect more than just the facts or skills that she knows. She can change her knowledge on the level of metacognition — that is, knowing what she knows and that she knows it. Having this kind of understanding of her own cognition, the demon changes the variable “what I know” in one area, and the variable “what I don’t know” in another. The result of this is that she temporarily loses expertise in one area but gains it in another.
  • High of Birth[4]: The road of life is usually set at birth; deviation is always harder than just walking the path. However, agents of the God-Machine can divert this path, in the way enterprising humans divert the flow of a river. Through this prophecy, the Unchained can take an otherwise mundane life and offer it a destiny of privilege and power.
  • Knock-Off[7]: The demon temporarily transforms a target object the demon is wearing or carrying in a container no larger than a backpack, either increasing or decreasing its quality and value.
  • Like I Built It[6]: With this Embed, the demon gains an intuitive understanding of an object or a structure, allowing her to make perfect use of it. This Embed does not function on natural objects or topographical formations (so it can’t be used to find her way out of a cave system), only on buildings and objects that have been deliberately crafted. While it might be possible to use similar principles to gain an understanding of natural phenomena (since they are “crafted” by time and physics), demons generally feel that doing so would be a good way to break Cover.
  • The Map is Not the Territory[8]: The demon can amplify the discrepancies between an object and its associated inspiration, severing the relationship between representation and actuality for a target.
  • Miles Away[8]: Demons are nearly impossible to read. They control their emotional responses almost completely, which is a good thing considering how much of a demon’s existence requires hiding and remaining vigilant. But demons still feel pain, both emotional and physical, and they still crack under pressure. And despite their apparent stoicism, demons can still feel love, and can still fear for those they love. A Guardian has to be able to put fear and even love out of his mind and remain focused in a crisis. This Embed replaces fear, doubt, hate, love and other distracting emotions with a pleasing, all-encompassing sound. The demon hears whatever he finds soothing. It could be music, his lover’s voice, or even the static hum of the God-Machine. Whatever it is, it gives him the ability to resist pain and distraction.
  • Momentum[8]: Any action, no matter how small or how cerebral, sets matter in motion, creating energy. A demon can use this energy to fuel her own endeavors, regardless of whether or not the preceding action actually helps the demon on a literal level. For example, in combat, the demon can take a successful attack —even against her — and use it to fuel her counterattack. Or, she could take the Drive roll of her compatriot and use it to fuel a Firearms roll to shoot at a pursuer. The demon must see the target action take place and be in physical proximity and line of sight to the person taking the action. It doesn’t matter if the action isn’t something that can physically observed (Social actions count), but the demon needs to be able to see the character.
  • Open Sesame[7]: The demon manipulates the probability that a physical lock wasn't properly secured, such that the demon can almost always find a door that opens at her touch.
  • Read Hostility[9]: A Guardian needs to be able to recognize a potential threat before it becomes an actual threat. One way of doing this is simply to attune oneself to the concept of hostility or intended harm. A demon with this Embed can do exactly that — anyone entering the area with meaning to hurt the demon or a chosen target finds that her baleful intentions betray her.
  • Right Tools, Right Job[9]: Tools will never supplant skill, it’s true, but even a genius mechanic might find herself unable to perform even a simple repair without a screwdriver. This Embed allows the demon to improve the tools she has at hand, even if those tools would normally be next to useless for the task she is trying to perform. She can use a penknife to perform delicate surgery or a wrench to fix eyeglasses. The tools themselves don’t change shape, they simply function much better than they have any right to. Witnesses usually find themselves wondering how this feat was accomplished, but if the demon is too closely observed, she might wind up blowing her cover. Better to use this Embed in secret.
  • Shift Consequence[9]: This somewhat dangerous Embed allows a demon to change the results of a scene by changing who suffers the consequence. A critical injury, poison, humiliation or a Condition can change from one target to another. This Embed can be activated any time between when the consequence appears and the end of the scene. The demon specifies which consequence he wishes to shift. It must be something that occurred within the last scene and it must have a game effect — damage or a Condition are the most likely targets.
  • Soup Up[7]: A demon with the right knowledge can alter a vehicle's qualities to approach those of their cinematic counterparts, allowing for acrobatic stunts.
  • Strike First[10]: No one likes to be sucker-punched, especially not a demon. With this Embed, the demon can always be prepared for a fight, no matter how cleverly the enemy sneaks up on him. The character can use this Embed even if he is surprised.
  • Synthesis[10]: As any crime scene investigator can tell you, any given area can say volumes about what has happened there. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions and having the right tools. A demon with this Embed can learn the truth of an area and its history by simply observing how it has changed recently. This Embed does not let the demon relive the past of the area or see visions of what has come before; the further back in time an event happened, the less information the demon can gain about it. However, this Embed makes a demon a detective par excellence.
  • Tag & Release[10]: Life as a demon is an exercise in patience. A demon needs to know when to approach a target, when to strike (for whatever value of “strike” is appropriate) and when to leave well enough alone. This Embed makes this kind of patience easier; the demon can mystically mark a target so that he can find it later. The demon must touch the target to mark it.
  • Tools Into Toys[11]: The demon mystically attacks the utility of tools, removing any assistance they provide to a task. Skillfully wielded, this Embed can make a task impossible.
  • Trivia[12]: With this Embed, bits of plausible-but-false trivia become functionally true despite the fact that they have no basis in reality. They become wrapped into the demon's Cover, but still influence the outside world. Memories and perceptions shift to support the minor factoid. Wikipedia articles will instantly bear citations supporting the claim.
  • Turn Blade[11]: A weapon is a tool, and demons who make use of Instrumental Embeds know how to affect a tool’s utility. With this Embed, the demon blunts a blade, softens a cudgel, or slows a bullet. He can’t make a weapon perfectly harmless, but he can make it much less deadly.
  • Wasted Time[12]: Wasted Time allows the Unchained to introduce minor variables and hold up progress. Every annoying little thing that could happen, happens. The gun jams. Friends call you up because the old drinking buddy's in town. The library's closed for fumigation.


  1. DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 132
  2. 2.0 2.1 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 97
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 133
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 98
  5. DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 134
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 135
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 99
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 136
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 137
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 138
  11. 11.0 11.1 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 139
  12. 12.0 12.1 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 100

Demon: The Descent Embeds

Cacophony · Instrumental · Mundane · Vocal

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