Sense Demons (*)
Demons do not belong to this world, and because of that even the most novice of demonologists quickly learn to sense when a demon is near. Their touch, every step, even the air they breathe becomes tainted with a vileness that doesn’t belong here. Every Demonologist knows when to be on guard; the ones who didn’t learn aren’t alive to make that mistake again.
Roll: Occult + Demonology or Wits + Demonology, whichever is higher
- Success: The demonologist will know where and/or who the demon is. More successes mean the demonologist knows both, and can pinpoint the location more accurately. The storyteller and circumstances may dictate what/which is known.
- Failure: Nothing new is gleaned.
- Dramatic Failure: The demonologist realizes that the demon has fled and found a new host.. in one of their companions.
Spending a willpower point allows the demonologist to know where or who the demon is automatically. The player may choose which to learn, or circumstances/Storyteller may dictate that both are known.
When multiple demons are within range, the demonologist may focus his attention for one turn to count how many demons are present. The character may make the roll (or spend the willpower point) and focus his attention during the same turn.
Ward Demons (* *)
A locked door or window will stop the possessed as much as it will any common burglar, i.e. only as long as it takes for them to kick it in. However players who have studied demons and other infernal creatures have an additional ‘lock’ at their disposal: wards. Wards allow demonologists to create a temporary safe haven. The ritual varies from demonologist to demonologist. Religious characters may rely upon relics of their faith, characters ‘in the know’ may have powerful artifacts they rely on, and modern characters may simply rely on infernal knowledge as their article of ‘faith’. Regardless, the results are the same.
Roll: Occult + Demonology or Resolve + Demonology
- Success: The demonologist has successfully warded the room, and demons are barred from entering based on the Storytellers discretion. If the demonologist is nearby, he may realize that the wards are being challenged if a demon attempts to enter the warded space. If the demonologist remains within the room, the storyteller may allow a contested roll to keep the demons at bay. The demonologist may also be able to determine the relative strength of the demons: stronger demons may not be slowed by the wards at all, while weaker demons may not even be able to challenge the wards. The wards remain for 12 hours.
For dramatic purposes, the storyteller may allow the demons to be kept at bay automatically while the demonologist focuses his attention on warding during a scene but the demonologist can do nothing else during that time. Stronger demons who would otherwise ignore the wards are not affected by the continuous warding.
- Failure: The wards do not work and the demonologist knows. The character may ward the room still, but is required to spend a willpower point now for an automatic success.
- Dramatic Failure: The character thinks that the area is warded when it is not, or the character feels that there’s no way the room can be protected and will not spend a willpower point to try.
Spending a willpower point allows the demonologist to ward the room automatically. However, the character does not regain that point of willpower while resting that night. He or she may regain willpower spent in other ways while resting, but cannot regain the point spent warding the room by resting that night.
If warding a room, a larger space can be protected by warding just the openings into the room (doors, windows, holes in the wall, etc). When in an area with no defined borders (the woods, a parking lot, etc) a protective circle can be created instead, with a radius of 5’ per dot in Demonology.
This skill could also be used to trap a demon within it’s confines. However, depending on the reasoning, the storyteller may decide the character is starting down a dark path and require a morality check. See below.
Bind Demons (* * *)
Roll Occult + Demonology or Wits + Demonology vs. Resistance
Can create a circle ward that binds a demon to a location. Ward is about 10’ circle.
Command Demons (* * * *)
Roll Presence + Demonology vs. Resistance
Can command a demon to perform acts below:
- Approach: On its turn, the subject moves toward you as quickly and directly as possible for 1 + dice roll round. The demon may do nothing but move during its turn.
- Drop: On its turn, the demon drops whatever it is holding. It can’t pick up any dropped items for 1 + dice roll.
- Fall: On its turn, the demon falls to the ground and remains prone for 1 round + dice roll. It may act normally while prone but takes any appropriate penalties.
- Flee: On its turn, the demon moves away from you as quickly as possible for 1 round + dice roll. It may do nothing but move during its turn.
- Halt: The demon stands in place for 1 round + dice roll. It may not take any actions but is not considered helpless. If the demon can’t carry out your command on its next free turn, the spell automatically fails.
Banish Demons (* * * * *)
Sometimes praying for a quiet night is not enough. Sometimes hoping the things that go bump in the night will stay away just isn’t enough, and more direct measures must be taken. Priests and shamans have been called to exorcise or banish demons for centuries and longer, and in this modern age street shaman and other awakened folk have taken up the calling. Characters may have been taught the skills by another practitioner, researched the True Name of a powerful demon, or simply have been stubborn and willful enough to force a demon to flee. However they came upon this skill, they are now a weapon against the infernal.
Roll: Occult + Demonology for general research on banishing rituals, banishing demons, or related subjects
When confronted by a host possessed by a demon, or a demon who has take on a corporeal form, a character may not have time to prepare for a full exorcism. In these cases a Demonologist can attempt to banish the demon. This is more akin to a mental or willpower attack than an actual attempt at exorcising the creature, and the results depend on the strength of the demon and the willpower and resolve of the character.
Roll: Resolve + Demonology – demon’s resolve; bonuses may apply based on previous research or demon strength/type; penalties may apply if the demon is of a more significant stature/type
Cost: 1 Willpower point for each use; no cost is required if an artifact or relic of sufficient power is wielded by the character during the attempt. Wielded is defined as being held and brandished as if a weapon itself. Hanging from the neck or in a pocket is not enough.
- Success: The demon’s hold on the possessed host is momentarily loosened, and neither the host or demon has full control. Neither the demon nor host can take any action during their next turn (or for a number of turns equal to the number of successes achieved if the character is powerful enough, or the demon weak enough). If the demon is not possessing another creature, then they may flee or be stunned at the storyteller’s discretion.
- Failure: The willpower point is spent, but no tangible effect occurs.
- Dramatic Failure: A willpower point is spent, even if an artifact or relic are wielded, but the character is the stunned for his next action instead, having spent too much of himself in the action.
When a Demonologist has time, a more effective method of banishing a demon is an exorcism. Instead of just stunning or causing a demon to flee, this has the effect of completely forcing the demon from the host and this plane entirely. This is the same as the Hunter tactic Exorcism, except that the character can perform the action himself. Treat the Demonologist as the primary actor. Any research done may add bonuses at the storyteller’s discretion.
Demonologists are interested in demons. The dangerous ones are obsessed. Anytime a character with demonology encounters a demon, they regain a point of willpower. As their power and experience grows, this changes over time. A character with three points in Demonology will no longer be as excited by simply seeing a demon, but if they encounter multiple demons during the day they may regain an extra point that night while resting. Additionally, warding a room when a true danger is present would allow them to regain a point of willpower (but not the point spent warding the room), but warding when no plausible danger is known would not. Meeting a new demon, defeating a demon, banishing, etc all have the potential for willpower to be regained, assuming the act has not become so mundane as to be blasé to the character.
Many of history’s dark necromancers started down their path wanting to only master death so they could better heal. Their rationale being that they just needed to learn a bit more, get a bit more power, sacrifice a little bit more.. all in the name of saving the lives of friends and family. However the sweet seduction of such dark power corrupts, and soon they begin to rationalize their corruption. Why shouldn’t they get a little something out of it anyways? It’s not like anyone else has sacrificed so much for others, why not get a bit of personal power out of it?
Demonology is a dangerous path to tread. It brings the character into direct conflict and control of the infernal. That seductive lure of control over the damned can grow if not kept in check by friends and family. But why not? They are demons after all. They are evil incarnate, so who’s going to be upset if we use their knowledge to help us, or force one demon to fight another. It may save lives after all. Our lives. We put our very sanity on the line every day for the unaware masses around us. And if there are no demons around in the heat of a fight, why not summon some minor one to do the fighting for us? It’s not like he’s going to get loose. After all, we were talking about signing a pact with him anyways…
If the storyteller and character wish, they can use an alternative system to morality and derangements. As the character grows in power and skill, their control over demons increases. This invariably leads to thoughts of controlling demons, summoning them directly, or even merging with a demon for infernal powers.
Flaw: Sweet Seduction
• Each dot contributes to a bonus die pool the character has access to.
• Each bonus die can only be used in demonology related activities.
• For each dot, the character suffers a -1 to morality rolls when based on Demonology related activities
If a character fails his or her morality check, they automatically gain this flaw with one dot (instead of a derangement). Just like Cassandra, what seems like a benefit is truly a curse: anytime the character uses dice from this pool to augment a power or skill, they must immediately make a morality check regardless of the type of action they are augmenting. Failing the check means another dot is added to the flaw, but they do not lose an actual morality point. This does not prevent morality from being lost; morality can still be lost, but when the action taken triggers it as with any normal character. This special check is only for measuring the mental state and slide into darkness of the character.
This pool is not based on experience with demons, but tapping into that dark place within us all. The place where the whispers and promises of demons takes hold, and begins to seduce us with thoughts of power or prestige. That first time the demonologist traps a demon within his wards can be intoxicating. An infernal creature bound by his will. Trapped, under his control. He just needs to find out where the demon hid the other victims… but maybe he can learn a secret or two before they banish it.
Coming back from the edge can be tough, but not impossible. For each month that the character does not augment his pool with bonus dice, one dot is removed from Sweet Seduction. The first dot cannot be removed in this manner though, and is treated like derangement for the purposes of curing with experience or time.