Angelus: The Battle

God is missing.

Demons roam the streets of Earth. They want Armageddon.

The blood of saints runs in your veins. An angel shares your soul.

You are God’s instrument.

Inherit the Earth.

A roleplaying game of hope in darkness

This is not a complete roleplaying game. A copy of the World of Darkness Rulebook is required for play. This supplement is also available in PDF.

Setting

God is missing, presumed gone. Nobody knows where he went or what has happened. The Archangel Council tried to rule Heaven in his absence while keeping Earth running as well. They almost succeeded.

The Lightbringer launched an attack on Heaven which shook the world to it’s core, nearly destroying the planet in the process. Psychics and mystics dropped dead and the walls of Hell cracked under the strain. Michael, the First among Equals, is missing. Barachiel, head of the Four Hosts of guardian angels, lay dead in the ruins of Heaven. The attack on Heaven was just a distraction—the Lightbringer nearly destroyed all that is so that six hundred and sixteen demons could escape from Hell and bring about Judgement Day on Earth. Denied their Final Battle for seven long years, the demons have taken matters into their own hands.

The six hundred and sixteen demons escaped into the bodies of humans who were already dead inside. Merging with humans gave them a taste of free will, and made them dangerous. A demon subjugates its host but taps that freedom, making the world around it more comfortable for itself rather than forging ahead with the Apocalypse. That flirtation with the forbidden has given the Archangels a chance.

The archangel Selaphiel devised a way by which an angel of one of the lower five Choirs might meld with a human soul, using the human’s free will to carry out the work of Heaven on Earth. The Archangels chose one hundred and one holy men and women, their bloodlines traced back to a handful of Saints. One hundred and one angels of the five Choirs, pledged to one of five Archangels, matched themselves to human souls. Only Jegudiel, ruler of Heaven in Michael’s stead, refused to accept the angels’ pledge of loyalty.

These beings—no longer quite people, and not entirely angel— re the Soul-Chained. Theirs is an impossible task: The Soul-Chained must face life in a cracked world, where dark things lurk under a thin veneer of respectability. Among this world they hunt demons, for if the Final Battle starts early then Heaven will lose, and the Earth will become an outpost of Hell.

The Soul-Chained hunt demons, returning the escapees to Hell to prevent the end of the world as we know it. Some go further, seeking the truth behind the Presence’s current state. If the Lord were to return and the Final Battle commence, Heaven would be victorious. The Soul-Chained angels cannot return to Heaven before their mission is complete and every demon returned to Hell. The only time an individual angel leaves Earth is after her human soul dies. An angel cannot be bound to another human—she’s had her chance.

Life in Chains

Having an angel chained to their soul would traumatise most people. She realizes in a flash that nothing’s quite right—she knows that the world isn’t what it’s supposed to be. Whatever happened on the first of January 2007, the world changed forever. Where once light and dark were in balance, this new world contains ancient evils. The Soul-Chained knows on a deep-down level that this is wrong, but she doesn’t yet know what to do about it.

After her initial revelation, the new Soul-Chained starts hearing voices. The angel within speaks to her in dreams and visions, leading many to think that they are going insane. When the mortal soul can take no more, what remains of her faith shattered and her sanity pressed, the angel manifests. Her human body is changed, improved, as the angelic side pours through. The human soul feels what it’s like to ride shotgun in her own psyche, second-fiddle to a heavenly being. Even after this first change, the angel whispers to the mortal soul. It pushes her towards a life of virtuous deeds, even though the state of the world drowns out such faint whispers. Likewise, the mortal whispers to the angel, suggesting new ways of looking at problems and new solutions that the agent of Heaven would not consider.

Those chained to demons have no such luck. The divine presence in a Demon-Chained starts corrupting the mortal soul early. By the time it first warps the human form, the soul has only a scrap of sanity left. The human is nothing but a servant to the demon by the time it starts raising Hell. The soul has to remain independent—the demon requires the human’s free will in order to function—but the soul is already well on its way to eternal damnation.

The Soul-Chained have not been on Earth long enough to form factions or groups for anything other than personal survival. Where groups of angels meet each other, they gauge the other’s probable reaction by her Choir and Host.

The Final Battle

The very presence of the Soul-Chained leads to questions of Armageddon, the Final Battle between Heaven and Hell. Demons took mortal hosts to hurry the oncoming end of the world, and angels travelled to Earth in order to stop them. Despite the urging of Uriel, the other Archangels do not want to start the Final Battle until God wills it happen. That requires the Lord’s presence, something that a number of angels in Heaven are working on.

Even if he were found, many hope that the infinite mercy of the Lord would set the world to rights, removing the shadow of darkness and healing the cracks left by Lightbringer’s machinations. Unlike the Adversary, the Lord has no desire to end everything. Heaven, Earth, and even Hell work as they should, and destroying two realms just to prove the superiority of one is a sucker’s game. The Adversary has always been the one who clamoured for the final battle, and the Lord has no desire to give him what he wants.

The Archangel Council

Barachiel: Guardian of Humanity. Lead the Four Hosts of guardian angels, and guarded the world from devastation. Killed during the escape.
Gabriel: The Messenger of the Lord, carrier of the Word of God. After Barachiel’s death, Gabriel oversees the Guardian Angels—and has taken on perhaps too much.
Jegudiel: Bearer of Ultimate Responsibility. He has taken command of Heaven in Michael’s absence—but is far out of his depth.
Michael: The First Among Equals and leader of the Heavenly Host. Currently missing, believed killed during the Escape.
Raphael: The Healer of All Ills. Rock on whom the others all rest. A pacifist who prefers to win hearts and minds rather than battles.
Samael: The Shadow of Vengeance. Arbiter of divine justice and the original angel of death. It is he who puts the “fear of God” in people’s hearts.
Selaphiel: The Listener of Prayers. The embodiment of peace and holy mysticism, the agent of balance between light and darkness.
Uriel: The Purest Light of God. Advocates literal interpretation of the Lord’s word and and “burning out” of Sin.

The Council is split. Uriel wants to uncover the true fate of the Lord so that the Final Battle may commence and the forces of Heaven win for good. While Samael doesn’t care for Uriel’s literalism, his desire to return to work as God’s Vengeance places him by Uriel’s side. Raphael believes that the world should be left as is, with Hell and Earth existing alongside Heaven. Selaphiel backs Raphael, though whether as an agent of Balance or because he also believes in the futility of the Last Trump is unknown. Jegudiel listens to all and plots the course of Heaven, but cannot pick and choose—he doesn’t have the vision for Heaven that Michael had. Gabriel has no side. She has taken on the work of Barachiel in addition to her extant tasks, and is far too busy saving the world to pick a side. Some angels who pledge fealty to her whisper that she is sounding more and more unstable, though they only rarely share their worries with other Hosts.

Five of the six remaining Archangels sponsor the Soul-Chained. These Hosts advance the cause of Heaven as seen through the lens of their patron among the Council.

Gabrielites: Messengers, bringing the message of Heaven to humanity and keeping the scattered Soul-Chained in contact.
Raphaelites: Healers of body and mind and lords over the kingdom of beasts, some have turned their talents to harm as well as help.
Urielites: The Faithful, who work with communities to keep groups together and who ignite holy fire in the hearts of those around them.
Samaelites: The Wrath of God, sending demons back to hell with every breath they have. They must prove the power of Heaven above.
Selaphim: Agents of balance, who manipulates the secrets of Enochian mysticism known as Magia to command forces beyond all imagining.

Angels

Those angels who choose to meld with humans do not come from all Choirs. The Seraphim cannot merge with a mortal; the pure power is too much for a human vessel to contain, and the potential host dies. Those who manifest on Earth do so as pillars of flame or caged lightning, but they cannot directly manipulate the world without sending the whole system of the planet off-balance. The Cherubim are too removed from the world, as they are the light of the sun and the stars. They could bond with humans, but in such experiments the Cherub burned out the human’s soul, leaving it a husk without the vital spark of free will that a Soul-Chained needs. Cherubs remain inspirational forces, repairing the damage to Heaven.

The other Choirs can join with human souls. Each has an angelic purpose, their duty as decreed by the Lord.

Thrones: The Humble Choir. As the Link to God they bring the word of the Lord from Heaven to the Soul-Chained on Earth.
Dominions: The Lords of Wisdom. Charged with leading the Soul-Chained while they are on Earth, they can command humans with consummate ease.
Virtues: The Warrior-Angels. Capable of winning any conflict, they see the everything as a struggle between Heaven and Hell.
Powers: Lords of Shape. Motion and energy embodied, they are the energy of creation distilled into angelic form.
Principalities: The Host of Christ. They hate humans and other angels who harbour Sin, for through their actions those people ignore the gift and message of the Son of God.

The Soul-Chained

The Soul-Chained are strange creatures, a fusion of human and angel. The angelic essence mixes with the human soul, creating a creature of dualities. In her human form a Soul-Chained can use her free will to do whatever she will, though with suggestions and urges from her angel. She has the ultimate freedom, something no angel has. However, she can only manifest Subtle Songs and does not have access to the majesty of her true form.

A Soul-Chained can transform, letting her Virtue shine through. Her body changes — a burning halo erupts around her head and wings grow from her shoulders. Her body changes as well, becoming stronger and faster. In this form she is constrained by her angelic nature, though if her human side remains virtuous she can access a portion of its free will even when empowered. So embodied, she can manifest both Subtle and Harsh Songs.

Demons

Demons inhabit people as a form of Soul-Chaining as well, though they subjugate the human soul for access to free will. Demons have their own equivalents to Songs, and can manifest a wider range of features than angels — everything from horns to flaming breath and poisoned spines.

Six hundred and sixteen demons escaped Hell on the night of the Lightbringer’s attack. On earth, they found six hundred and sixteen empty souls — people who had given up hope, who were already dead inside. On the dawn of the year 2007, those people knew Hell. Rather than a careful bonding with a human spirit who carries the bloodline of a saint, a demon can take anyone with a gap in his soul, a place for the Divinity could fill. From that moment on, the demon controls the human host, wrecking the soul to mine the free will trapped within. Each demon belongs to a horde, reflecting the Choir of angels that she belonged to before her Fall.

Defilers: Once Thrones, these demons embrace debauchery to bring the world closer to Hell, making things more favourable for demons in general.
Fiend: Dominions who fall can weave fate, manipulating mortals in positions of power and other demons with consumate ease.
Scourge: Death is only the beginning for ex-Virtues, as they wield disease as a weapon and control the ghosts of dead mortals to their warlike ends.
Malefactor: Powers who embrace the Lightbringer can create objects that taint all who touch them, and control the unholy fires of Hell itself.
Devourer: Principalities fall harder than any other angels, embracing sin and turning their self-loathing outwards in their quest to destroy any hope of a perfect world.

The Demon-Chained do not hold to archdukes of Hell. Their sole patron is the Lucifuge, the Night-Master and Prime Minister of Hell, who offers them far more leeway than any angel receives. Some seek out ancient demons who escaped the Pit through trickery or brute force and who bound themselves to the world, offering their service to these Earth-bound devils. Others remain true to the Lucifuge, doing his will to bring Hell to Earth. They are not alone; though the cracks in the Inferno’s walls are smaller than at the moment of escape, minor devils still manage to sneak out. These devils ride humans, gently nudging their thoughts and occasionally taking full control of their host much like a Soul-Chained angel, but without any further divine power. Human-devil hybrids, called Daimonion, are subtle manipulators who have a knack for sniffing out mortals who can make trouble for angels on Earth, from cops to councilmen.


Systems

Create a character as specified on p. 34-35 of the World of Darkness Rulebook, in Step Five apply the following Supernatural Template:

Choir

Select one of the five Choirs of Angels. Choirs have access to the following Songs and Skills:

Choir Subtle Song Harsh Song Skills
Thrones Humility Prayer Academics/Occult/Empathy
Dominions Majesty Command Politics/Persuasion/Socialize
Virtues Strength Tactics Weaponry/Intimidate/Streetwise
Powers Dexterity Energy Athletics/Craft/Larceny
Principalities Faith Devastation Brawl/Survival/Expression

Determine one Impulse related to your Choir. The Impulse is what the character believes to be her sacred duty, and must be something that the character has to do. The Impulse must not be an action that is a sin against Morality. Make a note of your Choir’s Focus Skills.

Host

Select one of the five Hosts of the Archangels. Hosts have access to the following Songs:

Host Subtle Song Harsh Song
Gabrielites Speed Understanding
Raphaelites Healing Beasts
Urielites Leadership Fire
Samaelites War Darkness
Selaphielites Reinforcement Magia

Determine another Impulse, this time related to your Host. This Impulse is the character’s sacred duty as a member of that Host. The Impulse must not be an action that is a sin against Morality.

Songs

Characters start with four dots in Songs, at least two of which must be in Choir or Host Songs. Choir and Host Songs can start at 2 dots, all others start at 1 dot.

All Songs have a cost, paid in Aether. Subtle Songs offer modifiers to existing rolls, as long as the character pays the Aether. Harsh Songs are actual full on impossible actions.

Subtle Songs can be used in human form. Use the following rough guidelines, with the title of the Song for a general idea of the kinds of rolls it can affect.

Rank Cost Effect
1 Add +2 to a Skill under specific circumstances
•• 1 Make a roll into a rote action
••• 2 Perform an action without any indication that you’re doing so (e.g. laying on hands)
•••• 2 Make an Extended action into an Instant action
••••• 3 Automatically succeed at an action

Two sample Subtle Songs are included below, others are up to players and Storytellers to create.

The Song of Faith

Spark in a Thunderstorm (•)
Cost: 1 Aether
Applies To: Any Instant action with a penalty of -2 or worse
The angel channels her faith in her purpose to the task at hand, allowing her to press on through any adversity. She ignores all penalties to the roll, whether caused by inferior equipment, environmental trouble, or supernatural abilities.
Kindle (••)
Cost: 1 Aether
Applies To: Any Instant or Extended action made by a human character that suffers a penalty.
The angel kindles the spark of faith in a human near her, singing a song that reminds the world of the heaven it can aspire to. The targeted roll gains a +3 bonus, as if the affected character has spent a point of Willpower.
In the Face of Adversity (•••)
Cost: 2 Aether
Applies To: Any Instant action with a penalty of -2 or worse
The angel unleashes her faith, pressing through impossible circumstances to victory even when it appears impossible. Her roll is treat as a rote action.
Spread the Word (••••)
Cost: 2 Aether
Applies To: Any non-confrontational Instant or Extended Social action
Everyone who hears the angel’s words understands the subtle tones of a higher reality. If the character’s action succeeds, everyone she’s interacting with also a point of Willpower. If her roll is an exceptional success, each listener regains 3 points of Willpower.
His Will be Done (•••••)
Cost: 2 Aether + 1 Willpower
Applies To: Any Instant action with a penalty of -2 or worse
Her faith blazing like an inferno, the angel finds that no matter what stands in her way, her faith brings her through. She succeeds at the task as if she had rolled three successes. She cannot spend Willpower to improve this roll

The Song of Humility

From the Shadows (•)
Cost: 1 Aether
Applies To: Any Instant action taken by a human within ten yards
This song inspires others to take the limelight, leaving the angel outside of others’ notice. The affected roll gains the 8-again quality.
The Penitent Man (••)
Cost: 1 Aether
Applies To: Defense
The angel represses herself, allowing others to shine brighter than her. She increases her Defense by one as long as she doesn’t attack an opponent. If she Dodges, her total Defense is increased by +3 rather than +2
So Others May Shine (•••)
Cost: 1 Aether
Applies To: Any Instant action
The angel’s humility requires her to give someone else the credit for her successes, and this song allows her to do just that. Everyone who witnesses the roll believes that someone within the angel’s Lux Aeternum in yards performed the action.
Beneath Notice (••••)
Cost: 2 Aether
Applies To: Any contested Stealth action
The angel’s subtle song removes her from the perceptions of the world. The Stealth roll is treat as an instant action instead; the observer does not get to roll.
I Am Eternal (•••••)
Cost: 2 Aether
Applies To: Any confrontational Social roll
This song uses an angels ultimate humility to bring others to her side. Having recognised her deficiencies, others recognise the light of the Lord within her. She ignores any penalties to her roll, and treats the situation as a rote action. If she succeeds, the targets of her action become well-disposed to her no matter their previous attitude.

Harsh Songs can only be used in angelic form. Use the following rough guidelines, with the title of the Song for a general idea of the kinds of effects. Roll Attribute + Song + Lux Aeternum to generate effects.

Rank Attribute Cost Effect
Wits 0 Sense
•• Intelligence 0 Enhance/Diminish
••• Presence 1 Create
•••• Strength 2 Destroy
••••• Manipulation 2 Warp

The Song of Devastation

Sense of Sin (•)
The angel is attuned to the harmonies that indicate past sins, allowing her to seek out demons and those who give themselves over to sin.
Cost: None
Action: Instant
Dice Pool:Wits + Devastation + Lux Aeternum
Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The angel mistakenly believes that an innocent that he can see is possessed of sin.
  • Failure: The song reveals nothing.
  • Success: The angel is aware of the strongest source of sin within 10 yards per dot of Lux Aeternum (as a rough hierarchy, from worst to best: Bound, Soul-Chained, Daimonion, Humans with Morality below 4). If nobody fits the definition of a sinner, the song fails.
  • Exceptional Success: As per a success, but the Song’s effective range is doubled.
Fan the Flames (••)
This song allows the angel to inflame righteous anger in humans, turning them against sinners. This song affects every human with Morality 7 or more within the angel’s Lux Aeternum x 10 yards.
Cost: None
Action: Instant
Dice Pool:Presence + Devastation + Lux Aeternum – Composure
Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The angel douses any ire that the humans may feel. She may not use this song on the same targets for a day.
  • Failure: The song fails to work.
  • Success: Everyone affected by the song feels an urge to strike out at the nearest source of sin, using the hierarchy for Sense of Sin to find the nearest target. They do this of their own accord, the angel cannot control which target they select or how they strike out at it. This power lasts until the end of the scene.
  • Exceptional Success: The humans are whipped into a frenzy. Any actions taken against their target gain a +1 modifier.
Fire and Brimstone (•••)
This song rains divine vengeance on the world, striking a target with holy flame or turning his body to salt. If used on someone who is not a sinner (by the definition of Sense of Sin), this power suffers a -4 penalty.
Cost: 1 Aether
Action: Instant
Dice Pool:Strength + Devastation + Lux Aeternum – target’s Stamina + Lux Aeternum
Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The song turns against the angel, inflicting one point of Lethal damage.
  • Failure: The song doesn’t work.
  • Success: The angel lashes out against a target up to his Lux Aeternum x 10 yards away. That target takes one point of Lethal damage per success.
  • Exceptional Success: As per a success, and the target loses the use of a limb struck by the song until the damage heals.
Rapture (••••)
The angel can save the righteous from the depravations of sin, transporting them instantly to a place of safety.
Cost: 1 Aether
Action: Contested; resistance is reflexive
Dice Pool:Stamina + Devastation + Lux Aeternum versus target’s Resolve + Composure + Lux Aeternum
Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The angel unknowingly sends his charges to the lair of a demon or other powerful source of evil.
  • Failure: The song fails to work.
  • Success: The angel transports everyone with Morality 7 or higher in an area equal to his Lux Aeternum x 10 yards to a place he knows to be safe. He cannot transport people more than a mile away.
  • Exceptional Success: Everyone affected by the song heals one point of Lethal damage in transit.
Fanaticism (•••••)
The angel can warp the energies of sin itself, turning the basest humanity into most righteous soldiers of Heaven.
Cost: 2 Aether
Action: Contested; resistance is reflexive
Dice Pool:Manipulation + Devastation + Lux Aeternum versus target’s Resolve + Lux Aeternum
Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The song warps and twists. The angel loses a point of Morality instantly.
  • Failure: The song does not work.
  • Success: Every human within 10 yards per dot of Lux Aeternum with a Morality of 5 or less inverts their Morality dots: their current Morality equals the number of empty dots, rather than the number of full dots. For example, someone with Morality 2 would have Morality 8. This power’s effects last until the end of the scene.
  • Exceptional Success: As per a success, but those affected have their effective Morality raised to 7 if it would be below.

The Song of Magia

Magia is a mix of human mysticism and Enochian prayers, channelling the power of Heaven down to Earth through a more fluid conduit than the Songs of other angels. Rather than a list of defined effects, a practitioner of Magia has a pool of points that she can spend on specific effects (Prayers). Each Prayer should be built as though it were a Harsh Song of the same level. A Prayer equivalent to a three-dot Harsh Song thus costs three points from her Magia pool. An angel cannot use a Prayer rated higher than her Magia dots (so a Soul-Chained with Magia ••• couldn’t create an effect that required Magia ••••, even though she has the points to use it). The Magia pool refreshes at dawn each day, though angels who face dire need may suffer a point of Aggravated damage to gain the next morning’s refill instantly. Doing so means she does not regain her Magia pool at the next Dawn. She can only refresh her pool once per week in this fashion.

Apprentice (•)
Magia Pool: 1
Disciple (••)
Magia Pool: 3
Journeyman (•••)
Magia Pool: 6
Adept (••••)
Magia Pool: 10
Master (•••••)
Magia Pool: 15

Morality

Soul-Chained follow the laws of Morality as do humans. All demons, including Daimonion, Demonic Soul-Chains, the Bound, and the unliving (Prometheans/Vampires) do not count as humans for provisions against violence and murder—angels can not kill that which does not live. Werewolves may be kin to beasts, Mages wield alien powers, and Changelings suffer twisted bodies, but they are all still living beings.

Lux Aeternum

Lux Aeternum is the Light of Heaven within the angel, measuring her power. It acts as a general power stat, adding to any rolls to resist supernatural powers . It also controls access to Aether, the heavenly energy in an angel’s form. The following table breaks it all down. Characters start with one dot, and may spend 3 Merit points to gain another dot at character generation.

Lux
Aeternum
Morality
Threshold
Attribute/
Skill Max.
Max. Aether/
Per Turn
Form
Features
6 5 10/1 1
•• 6 5 11/2 1
••• 6 5 12/3 2
•••• 7 5 13/4 2
••••• 7 5 14/5 3
•••••• 8 6 15/6 3
••••••• 8 7 20/7 4
•••••••• 9 8 30/8 4
••••••••• 9 9 50/10 5
•••••••••• 10 10 100/15 5

Aether

Characters begin with points of Aether equal to their Morality. Characters can regain Aether in a number of ways:

  • Spending an hour in prayer.
  • Acting on your Impulses when in human form.
  • Activating your Virtue in Angelic Form.
  • Lose 1 from any Attribute when in Angelic Form to gain 3 points. This damage heals like a point of Lethal damage.

In addition to fuelling Songs, a character can spend 1 Aether to switch to Angelic Form or to instantly heal one point of Lethal damage if she does nothing else in a turn. Finally, once per chapter, spend one point of Aether to apply the 8-again rule to any action involving your character’s Focus Skills.

Merits

Characters can purchase Merits from the World of Darkness Rulebook, plus Blessing (sacrifice one point to automatically succeed on a roll, refreshes on a per-story basis), Reliquary (a storehouse of Aether, 5pts/dot) and Sanctuary (an area protected from demons). All Soul-Chained know their human language and Enochian for free.

Experience Costs

All the usual as per usual. Lux Aeternum is (New dots x 8), Songs of one’s Choir or Host are (New dots x 5), all others are (New dots x 7).

Angelic Form

Soul-Chained characters have access to an Angelic Form, a powerful form that nonetheless suffers unique restrictions.

  • Add six points total to any Attributes. No Attribute can have more than four dots added thanks to Angelic Form. You can add extra dots (up to 10 total), but each dot after the sixth requires you subtract a dot from another Attribute. You cannot both add to and subtract from the same Attribute. Your bonus dots are fixed after character creation, and affect secondary characteristics as normal.
  • All Angelic Forms subtract 2 dice from ranged attacks against them and 1 die from close combat attacks made by humans. Other Soul-Chained do not apply these modifiers.
  • Your character’s Angelic Form has Features per your Lux Aeternum dots. A Feature adds three dice to situations in which it is useful. These include blazing halos (+3 to Presence), wings (+3 Speed, able to fly), flaming swords (+3 lethal damage, Aggravated at Lux Aeternum 3 and above), animal features (bull: +3 Stamina, eagle: +3 Composure etc.).
  • You cannot channel your Virtue for Willpower (see Aether, above), and cannot channel your Vice at all when in Angelic Form.
  • You must keep your Morality above your Morality Threshold (see below), or else you lose free will in your Angelic Form.
  • Acting against the nature of your Choir is impossible. Acting against the nature of your Host is a Sin with Morality Threshold of 6.
  • Losing Morality dumps you straight back to human form for the rest of the day unless you succeed at a roll of human Resolve + Composure.

A character can stay in Angelic Form for one scene before being forced to revert to human form for at least an hour. Roll Stamina + Lux Aeternum in addition to spending Aether if you need to change before the hour’s up.

Morality Threshold

Each Soul-Chained has a Morality Threshold. If her Morality is equal to or above her Morality Threshold, then her angelic half can access her human soul’s capacity for free will and she remains a free agent. If her Morality falls below her Threshold, she can still transform to her Angelic Form but is stripped of free will.

A character stripped of free will cannot commit sins against Morality, even those above her Morality. It’s simply impossible. No justification, no weaselling out. No sins. At all. You’ve done the crime, now you must learn respect for the laws of the Lord your God.

The character must act according to her Choir and Host Impulses. They define her mission on Earth. She can not sin whilst doing so, for that would require going against the word of God, but within those constraints she must attempt to carry out her mission. She can focus on something else if it has an obvious, distinct resolution (fighting a demon, finding a lost child). This requires spending a point of Willpower, and once the resolution has occurred the character goes back to acting out her Impulses.

The character may activate her Virtue in Angelic Form to gain Aether, given the constraints above. Channelling her Virtue in human form is a good excuse for her player to spend Experience points on raising her Morality, but has no further effect. Activating her Vice in human form locks her out of transforming into Angelic Form until the next dawn.

The only way to regain access to free will is for the character to raise her Morality above her Morality Threshold. It’s possible for a Soul-Chained to lose her access to free will simply by increasing her Lux Aeternum, when the fire of the Lord burns within her and eclipses her human soul while she is in Angelic Form. She must hold her human self to higher standards of virtue in order to commune once more with her angelic half.


Antagonists

The legions of Hell are set against the Soul-Chained. This section details the three most common kinds.

Daimonion

Daimonion are humans who are ‘ridden’ by minor demons. Some actively seek out infernal manipulation, others are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the end, it doesn’t matter. The devil, a lesser denizen of Hell, slips into the host’s psyche. Unlike the Soul-Chained, these demons don’t try to merge with the soul. Instead, they’re an addictive presence. The human starts feeling strange, but the demon shifts things in the host’s favour just long enough for the human to shrug off any change. After that, it’s just a matter of subtle, subconscious prodding. The host eventually goes along with the demon without the devil’s interference. Before then the demon can take control, leading to blackouts when anything can happen. Once the two souls are acting in accord, it becomes incredibly difficult to free the victim of demonic possession. Some powerful prayers of Magia can banish the demon, but otherwise the only guaranteed way to get rid of a Daimonion is to remove the eyes of the human host.

Daimonion are human, and should be created as such. Each individual devil has a measure of power, known as Torment. The lesser demons typically have Torment between 1 and 3, which acts as a Supernatural Resistance trait. This is the only extra trait that a Daimonion possesses. While the Daimonion’s Morality + Torment is greater than 6, the demon hasn’t yet gained full control of the host. In this circumstance, the demon can take over the host only sparingly. The host blacks out for a scene, and the demon has full use of his body and memories. It can do this a number of times a week equal to its Torment. Additionally, the demon can “muse” the host’s rolls, giving them the 9-again quality, though she cannot do this when she has taken control of the host. She can do this once an hour.

In this state, the demon can be removed by many forms of magic that disrupt possessing spirits or ghosts, or by inflicting significant trauma on the human host by reducing his Health to the point where he suffers penalties to dice pools.

Once the Daimonion’s Morality + Torment is 6 or lower, the Daimonion is no longer two souls fighting for the same body. The body is under the complete control of the demon-soul, with the human as a willing participant. The Daimonion increases its Torment by (10-the host’s Morality). In addition to supernatural tolerance, a Daimonion can neutralise the effects of a Song completely by sacrificing a point of Torment. The demon is also harder to detect, applying Torment as a penalty to any rolls to detect supernatural influence. The only way to return the devil to hell is to remove the eyes of the host, kill the host, or channel powerful Prayers.

Demon-Chained

Demon-Chained are much like the Soul-Chained, and should be created as such. Their Horde indicates which Songs and abilities they get, as per a Choir. Their Patron is usually Lucifer (though see the Bound, below), who gives access to the Subtle Song of Spite and the Harsh Song of Sin.

Demon-Chained use Torment in place of Lux Aeternum, and Ichor in place of Aether. Their Demonic Form is akin to an angel’s Angelic Form, though they have access to a greater range of features. A Demon-Chained has an inverse Morality Threshold, equal to (11 – the equivalent angelic Morality Threshold). Demon-Chained must keep their Morality below their demon-half’s Morality Threshold, and are penalized for gaining Morality in a twisted mirror of the rules for angelic Morality Thresholds. Likewise, the role of Virtue and Vice et al are swapped for Demon-Chained.

If a Demon-Chained’s Morality is above her Morality Threshold, the demon can sacrifice a point of Torment to manifest in Demonic Form and take control, much like the Daimonion ability.

The Bound

The Bound are powerful demons who slipped out of the Pit in ages past through various means. They take their name from their need for a physical anchor to keep them on Earth. This Anchor is an object of at least Size 5, carved with inscriptions to the demon within.

A Bound has a Torment rating of at least 7, and can possess one human per point of Torment (treat this possession as the first stage of Daimonion possession). These demons avoid Songs, as their resonance would draw the attention of Heaven. Instead, they use a tainted form of Magia to curry favour from Hell. The Bound have a Magia pool of five points per dot of Torment.

Ancient and incalculably evil, the Bound are the greatest demons on Earth. Only seven are known to exist with any certainty, though rumours persist of others. Cults, human puppets, and a veritable army of Daimonion serve each of these demons as they work to bring about Hell on Earth without the need for a Final Battle. Some go so far as accepting the pledges of demonic Soul-Chained, granting them access to the Songs that the Bound possesses but dares not use. Each Bound grants access to two Songs, and replaces Lucifer as the patron of the Demon-Chained in question. In return, the Demon-Chained must do as the Bound requires or suffer unimaginable tortures.


Desiner’s Notes

Information in this section may help you integrate the Soul-Chained with other World of Darkness games, and provides a direct look at the cosmology.

Setting

The assault on Heaven cracked the world, resulting in the World of Darkness. Before 01/01/2007, Earth was identical to the world as we know it, without the presence of demons and monsters. The alteration of the world changed history, allowing werewolves, vampires, et al. to have existed for thousands of years — even though a Divine observer believes that they only came into existence on 01/01/2007.

Songs

I couldn’t include a full list of powers, instead just a few samples and some guidelines on creating your own. If you need inspiration for other Songs, you may find inspiration in games that use freeform power construction rules. You may find it helpful to ask others in your gaming group.

Suggested inspirational matter includes Brimstone, In Nomine, Hex, Dogma, Sin City, Demon: The Fallen, Engel, and so on.


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© 2011 CCP hf. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the written permission of the publisher is expressly forbidden, except for the purposes of reviews, and for blank character sheets, which may be reproduced for personal use only. White Wolf and World of Darkness are registered trademarks of CCP hf. All rights reserved. All characters, names, places and text herein are copyrighted by CCP hf.

 

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