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Mundane (DTD)

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These Embeds help a demon stay unnoticed and incognito. Conceptually, they deal with the notions of concealing, obfuscation and forgetting. Psychopomps find these powers easier to learn.

Some wonder if, given the supernatural nature of the world and demonic powers, "Mundane" is a truly appropriate term for these abilities. A demon that truly understands the nature of Embeds would say that Embeds do not transcend the fundamental nature of the universe and are therefore simply laws of nature yet undetected. That said, Mundane Embeds allow the demon to fit in with the world a little better, enhancing Cover in subtle ways to let the demon to go about his business unnoticed by man or angel.

Conceptually, Mundane Embeds allow the demon to capitalize on the fact that, to humans, a thing or a word can have multiple meanings. A “shot” can be a small, powerful drink of alcohol, an injection or an attempt to kill with a gun — and with the right application of a Mundane Embed, the demon can cloud which of those options is immediately relevant. In addition, these Embeds deal with the concept of forgetting, and many a demon has reason to make a witness forget. Don’t discount, though, the power to make someone unable to forget something.

AbilitiesEdit

  • Alibi[1]: A person being in two places at once is generally a violation of the laws of physics, yet demons manage to pull it off. This power doesn’t actually enable the demon to duplicate himself, but rather to shift his Cover so that people see it in another place. If a demon has multiple Covers, he can choose which one establishes the Alibi (it doesn’t have to be the Cover he’s currently using). In either case, the “duplicate” can’t take meaningful action — nothing that would require a dice roll — but the power makes for a good way for a demon to establish plausible deniability or lose a tail.
  • Associate and Integrate[2]: Under normal circumstances, Demons have no influence over their original Cover. Associate and Integrate circumvents this, allowing the Unchained to manipulate the relationships of her Cover. She can turn associates into friends, friends into family, enemies into lovers. Necessary paperwork appears to support the new role. Essentially, she redefines the world around her to accommodate the new details of her desired Cover. The Embed affects only one person and works only in one regard, but can be used multiple times on the same target.
  • Authorized[3]: People don’t generally enjoy confrontation, and most of them fold in the face of authority. With this Embed, the demon shows a symbol to a witness — it might be a costume sheriff’s badge or just a quick flip of the demon’s wallet — and the witness believes that the demon has the legal and societal right to be where she is, doing what she is doing.
  • Clothes Make the Man[4]: When wearing the appropriate clothing of a profession, for example a doctor's uniform, the Demon can pass off as a member of this profession and even draw upon knowledge associated with it.
  • Cuckoo’s Egg[3]: Obtaining an object is much easier if the owner of the object doesn’t realize it is missing. This requires some subtlety on the part of the demon, but with this Embed, the character leaves the target in possession of an object that is identical to the stolen one. This requires that the demon have an object of comparable size, function and mass to the targeted one, but once this Embed is activated, the “cuckoo’s egg” is indistinguishable from the stolen one.
  • Deep Cover[4]: The demon can choose to be read as a specific kind of supernatural being. The demon doesn't necessarily know how an observer perceives her, but each supernatural type's scrutiny carries a flavor specific to that supernatural type. Once the demon experiences the gaze of a particular supernatural type, she can recognize it when she falls under the scrutiny of others with the same origin. This is the case even if the exact method of scrutiny is different - such as two spells that determine a creature's occult origin but by different methods.
  • Diversion[3]: Getting someplace where one's not supposed to be, opening the right filing cabinet, or swiping something off a desk is very often a matter of the right person or people becoming distracted for a short amount of time. With this Embed, the demon can cause her targets to look away or otherwise be diverted just long enough to slip past them.
  • Don’t I Know You?[5]: Memory is a funny thing. The connections we make in our memories are often unconscious, but still very powerful. A person might be inclined to treat another with more kindness or deference than perhaps she deserves just because she reminds him of her uncle. That reminder might be visual, auditory, or olfactory (scent actually forms the strongest bonds of memory in the mammalian brain), but it makes the target predisposed to be favorable to the character. This Embed uses different systems based on whether the character is using the Social Maneuvering game mechanic or a simple Social action (for fast-talking, for instance).
  • Earworm[6]: It’s irritating to have a catchy but annoying song stuck in one’s head. A demon, however, can prevent a target from forgetting such an earworm, amplifying it to a degree that interferes with any attempted thought or problem solving.
  • Going Native[7]: The demon is temporary centralized in a single cover, becoming a true human for all intents and purposes. Some use this to sneak past angelic guards, while others simply seek to enjoy life as a mortal for once.
  • Homogenous Memory[6]: The Rashomon effect, named after Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon, refers to the phenomenon of different perspectives coloring the same event. This effect sometimes works for demons trying to keep their Cover, since multiple perspectives of supernatural occurrences don’t make for credulous investigators. But just as often, a demon finds it more useful if all the witnesses tell the same story. People, cops included, take the path of least resistance, and if all the witnesses say a man jumped off the ledge, who would ever think that a winged being dropped him? This Embed, then, counters the Rashomon effect, making sure everyone tells the same tale.
  • Identity Theft[6]: Becoming another person for purposes of using their money, insurance, or credit is simple enough for anyone with a computer and a little con artistry. A demon, however, can do so much more by playing on the notion of “identity” at a conceptual level. She can become someone else in more than just name, wearing her target’s face and seeing with her eyes. The effect doesn’t last very long, but a careful demon can build up a “stable” of identities that she uses frequently, allowing her to escape from pursuers quickly … or even to strike at her foes using her co-opted identity’s resources.
  • Idle Conversation[8]: When demons gather or meet with other supernatural beings, they might discuss battling angels, seeing werewolves hunt, or any of the violent or downright bizarre acts they committed in service to the God- Machine. But they enjoy having a cup of coffee or a pint of lager with such conversations as much as human beings do, which means that masking the conversation from nearby listeners is wise. A demon employing this Embed makes the conversation he is in sound like idle, nonspecific chatter, not worthy of listening to. If someone is actively trying to spy on the demon, she is unable to make sense of the conversation — she seems unable to focus on the words or adjust the volume on a listening device quite enough. Note that since demons are able to speak any language they wish, it’s not at all difficult for a group of demons gathering in a diner in New York City to speak in, say, Basque, and have little concern that anyone around will understand them. This Embed, then, makes more sense for a character who routinely deals with stigmatics, pactbound, and supernatural beings other than demons.
  • In My Pocket[8]: Having exactly what is necessary at exactly the right moment can be the difference between life and death (or Cover and angelic discovery). A demon’s pockets are a strange confluence of empty space and quantum possibility — that is, a demon might potentially have anything in his pockets that would reasonably fit, until and unless he turns out those pockets and proves that he doesn’t. As such, a demon’s pockets can be said to have any object that would fit in them.
  • Interference[9]: Demons must constantly be vigilant about their Covers. The God-Machine would love to reclaim (or destroy) demons and Cover is the only thing keeping its agents off the demon’s trail. That said, pursuit of an Agenda often forces the demon to become visible, even for a moment. A demon with this Embed can diffuse the distortion that a blown Cover roll causes, buying herself some time. This Embed is used after the demon (or another demon nearby) loses Cover or otherwise attracts angelic attention.
  • Last Place You Look[9]: The act of hiding something changes it. The gun is no longer just a gun. Once someone has concealed it for whatever reason, it is a hidden gun, deliberately placed somewhere that someone hopes it will not be found. Finding a hidden object by looking for the object is difficult, depending on how well the concealer did his job. Finding a hidden object by looking for the “hidden” part is much more effective, but it’s not an option for most people. Demons, of course, are not most people.
  • Like the Movies[7]:Life imitates fiction and a demon with this Embed is attuned to those moments in life when events can take just such a twist. An old friend he hasn't seen in years suddenly turns up working in the very building the demon needs to infiltrate, or he comes home after a fruitless day of research at the library and realizes the exact book he needed was sitting on his bookshelf the whole time.
  • Living Recorder[10]: The best recorder of data is a human brain. While it suffers from limited visual angles, it also records information of a tactile, auditory, and olfactory nature and even has the ability to interpret that information. A demon with the right knowledge can use a target person as a living recording device, accessing the data at leisure. This is a very useful way to obtain someone’s password or case a building— simply turn someone into a recorder and let everyday life do the rest. The demon must touch the target to turn her into the Living Recorder.
  • Lost in the Crowd[10]: Every person is unique, with markers both physical and conceptual that makes him or her different than any other. And yet, put enough people together and they become a crowd, and the crowd is, in many ways, a homogenous mass of human beings. A demon can become part of that mass, losing any unique markers and blending in so thoroughly that even given a high-resolution photograph and a lot of time, no one can pick her out.
  • Meaningless[10]: Language is symbolism. A spoken word is just a blend of sounds, a written word is nothing more than a jumble of lines and squiggles. It is our ability to see or hear these random elements and inscribe them with meaning that allows for language. A demon can attack a target’s ability to draw meaning from language — or, with sufficient skill, from a situation.
  • Mistaken Identity[11]: The demon causes two targets she has met in the last month (one of whom may be the demon) to be mistaken for each other even if they don't physically resemble one another.
  • Never Here[12]: It’s one thing to bribe or threaten a witness not to reveal that a demon was present, but a dedicated investigator has ways of making people spill their guts. Better for the demon simply to remove the knowledge that he was ever there. The demon forces one or more characters to forget that they shared a scene. The Embed doesn’t remove all memory of the demon, simply his presence in one particular scene. If the witness was with the demon for several contiguous scenes, use of this Embed might be extremely disturbing to the witness, if she stops to piece together the timeline of the demon’s activities (“He was with me during breakfast, and then we went to a movie … but we didn’t leave together?”).
  • Occam’s Razor[12]: Occam’s razor is a scientific precept that states that, all else being equal, the explanation for a phenomenon that requires the fewest assumptions tends to be the correct one. That is, the simplest explanation is usually true. Since demons often find themselves in situations that are not easily quantifiable and have the need to keep their Cover, a way to conceal their activities is useful. This Embed provides that, making witnesses inclined to believe whatever explanation occurs to them (as long as it is simpler than the truth).
  • Persistent Legend[11]: The demon encodes legend into its cover, resulting in a permanence of the bonus first applied through legend. They stick with her until she releases the Embed, learns the relevant traits, or swaps them out for a new Legend.
  • Quick Change[12]: A change of clothes can make all the difference to a demon trying to fit (or stand out). With a moment’s concentration and isolation, a demon alters her wardrobe as she sees fit, changing from grimy street clothes to an immaculate evening gown (or vice versa). This Embed allows for infiltration or impersonation, but the demon should take care — it doesn’t change her Cover, and violating that Cover can compromise it.
  • Unperson[13]: In 1984, George Orwell coined the term “unperson” to mean someone whose existence had been erased to the point that, for all practical purposes, that person never existed. Angels are occasionally called upon to perform this unsavory task, but the means to make such a sweeping change to reality don’t survive an angel’s fall. Even so, a demon with the right expertise can force a person into a kind of “identity blackout” for a short time, making her unrecognizable and unable to identify herself.
  • The Voting Dead[11]:A popular scam in democratic communities involves registering the dead to vote in order to swing elections. This Embed takes that principle and runs with it. As long as the demon knows a dead individual and has enough data to identify him, she can wrap that identity into her Cover and assume it, albeit temporarily. To everyone around her, her name changes and so does all her identification. What doesn't change, however, is her relationships to human beings.
  • Wave Function Collapse[14]: With this Embed, a demon can attack the quantum state of another demon, rendering him unable to contact one of his Covers or to assume his Demonic Form. Other macroscopic creatures, like Angels, are also vulnerable to the effects.
  • Without a Trace[13]: Modern forensics and crime scene investigations are incredibly sophisticated (presuming resources and expertise on the part of the local personnel). A demon’s best recourse if she wishes to avoid being detected after the fact is to make sure that scene itself forgets her. A demon with the right knowledge can do exactly that.
  • You can Tell Me[14]: The demon twists the principle of her near undetectable lies to render other persons incapable of telling anything but the truth to her.

ReferencesEdit

  1. DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 139
  2. DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 100
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 140
  4. 4.0 4.1 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 101
  5. DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 141
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 142
  7. 7.0 7.1 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 102
  8. 8.0 8.1 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 143
  9. 9.0 9.1 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 144
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 145
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 103
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 146
  13. 13.0 13.1 DTD: Demon: The Descent Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 147
  14. 14.0 14.1 DTD: Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p. 104

Demon: The Descent Embeds

Cacophony · Instrumental · Mundane · Vocal

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