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Old 04-16-2012, 01:28 AM   #11
Acolyte
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: Shedim of Malphas are just... wow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edman View Post
...A Shedite could wreck a whole town, without causing a single note of Disturbance, within a day. That's just one Shedite, and one tactic.
A slight issue: the moment a news story hits the internet about "one person blacking out and acting completely different", angels show up and investigate. A Shedite might be gone in time, but it might not. Clever, long-lived, and most importantly (to Demon Princes who control access to the Corporeal) useful Shedim corrupt and destroy without leaving such an obvious trail. They use progressive corruption, so much so that when a human is left holding a bloody knife as the sirens get closer and closer, he believes that the little voice in his head wasn't someone or something else, it was his own urges the whole time.

Even Malphas isn't an anarchist, not in practice (I suppose utter anarchy might be an ideal for him). He loves organized religion for the schisms it creates, for example. He also values subtlety (look at his Principality). He knows that dismantling every single relationship between every single being will take time--a lot of time--and isn't going to unleash a town-wrecking Shedite with orders to cause as much damage as possible in a short time.*

*Obvious caveat: ...unless that provides an excellent smokescreen for some other plot. Malphas is complicated.

Quote:
The defence against that is that it doesn't count for purposes of Fate? Three things.
1) Malphas may not care if he pisses off Kronos if he can strengthen his Word in such a major way.
2) In this particular case, it's the fallout, the lack of trust and the despair of the family members that causes the most trouble, not the demon's infernal will.
3) If that's how the game works, the side that influences the humans the least wins - that doesn't seem right.
1) Malphas prides himself on being everyone's friend (to them, of course). And blithely sidestepping Kronos isn't wise in Hell (Kobal's jesterlike role provides some protection, but his bitterness toward Kronos has only created more unhappiness for him...). Even apart from that, the "Symphony fights back" logic doesn't just work on a broad level, it works on an individual level--meaning that a Shedite who tramples that many Fates and Destinies isn't long for existence even if it escapes the Malakim. But even if that weren't true...
2) A single traumatic event doesn't always do as much damage to people's lives as the systematic destruction of a human's psyche that leaves him unable to interact meaningfully with any other human for the rest of his life (a Faction of one...), and that leaves a gaping, irreconcilable hole in the lives of everyone with whom he previously interacted. A single event might be destructive enough, but a more complete Shedimization is guaranteed.
3) That's not true, and the key word is "influence". Given how many more humans there are than Corporeally active celestials, and how humans (as social beings [animals, Jordi would say]) 'trend' and prioritize group cohesion, influencing humanity is far more important than changing a human. Put in...other terms, celestials can "hack" a human the way anarchists can take down a website with denial of service attacks, but that's crude and ultimately ineffective--the best celestials are the ones who pump out memes into humanity. Turning a prude into a depraved sex addict makes that human a slave of Lust, but addicting every teenaged male in America to internet porn is a massive gain for Andrealphus--and Hell. Helping one neighborhood band together for protection serves the Word of Stone, but creating the Neighborhood Watch program is a victory for Stone everywhere, and Heaven's win as well.

The interesting thing about this is that demonic resonances are much better at blunt force hacking and angelic resonances are much better at meme propagation. This explains why the Demon Princes needed to go with a "more but weaker" strategy in the War.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:05 AM   #12
JCD
 
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Default Re: Shedim of Malphas are just... wow...

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Originally Posted by Edman View Post
A smart Shedim could just possess a parent, convince a child to stab his brother, and then leave. The parent would suffer from blackouts
And the child, totally at odds with everything that the parent ever taught him, wouldn't do it (Exactly how much talking would it take for YOU to have killed one of your siblings at the parent's say so?). He'd be torn. He'd go to his mother crying. He'd realize he came close to losing his brother if he listened to daddy.

Daddy would be in the dustbin, the relationship strongly broken with all three of his family members. Poof!

But the other three would cleave together even closer, huddling for warmth with each other. The brother knows he can trust his little brother, because he stood up to his father. Mother knows she can trust little Johnny to do the right thing. Both of the kids, insecure with the father, will be hurt and a bit mistrustful, but will grab at anything they believe they can trust (mom) with even greater passion.

So Faction gains one and loses three. IF he is looking at the long game.

There is no 'in game' reason for a Shedim to NOT be able to do such things (and I favor the alternate rules in the back of the GMG to allow humans some chance against getting constantly hit with Imbroglio...). Shedim are some of the worst thought out bands in the game, IMO, right behind Kyros (still don't understand them).

One Answer?

The Shedim Squad

A Seraph, a Elohim, a Mercurian and a Malakim walk into a bar (not the start of a joke) This area has seen a rash of difficulties lately.

The Elohim looks around at the various drunks and looks for HATE. He finds quite a few and makes a note to...

The Mercurian who looks around at these and sees who has close personal relationships with the people around. (This is predicated on the idea that with the Shedim in the driver seat, IT'S relationships will dominate) Someone with no close relationships in the bar or with a family leads to...

The Seraph asking the person what their name is. Anything less then "My name is X" (i.e. "I'm called" etc) will quickly lead to further questioning by...

The Malakim. Nuff said.

Shedim are sneaky...but even running to Hell isn't much of an option because they are ONLY big Celestial bags of wind. Very fragile. Pure Celestial damage. I wonder how much damage four Celestials could do in 3 rounds? How many forces could be skinned off of it?

YMMV

And the beautiful thing?

"In local news, a man was attacked and killed by four out of town ruffians. Police are looking for them."

The pack suddenly grabs hold of each other. Neighborhood watch meetings. Watching the kids more closely. Checking out the neighbors.

Makes a Faction want to gnash his teeth.
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Last edited by JCD; 04-16-2012 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:31 AM   #13
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Shedim of Malphas are just... wow...

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Originally Posted by JCD View Post
So Faction gains one and loses three. IF he is looking at the long game.
You make it sound as if it's in the interest of Angels to do that sort of thing, not Dæmons.

(And sorry, I have very little idea about IN.)
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:12 AM   #14
Omegonthesane
 
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Default Re: Shedim of Malphas are just... wow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
You make it sound as if it's in the interest of Angels to do that sort of thing, not Dæmons.

(And sorry, I have very little idea about IN.)
It's more that that plan is very much a double edged sword in its results, next to what an actually competent Shedite would do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD View Post
And the child, totally at odds with everything that the parent ever taught him, wouldn't do it (Exactly how much talking would it take for YOU to have killed one of your siblings at the parent's say so?). He'd be torn. He'd go to his mother crying. He'd realize he came close to losing his brother if he listened to daddy.

Daddy would be in the dustbin, the relationship strongly broken with all three of his family members. Poof!
Even that isn't guaranteed or irreversible, the "underlying psychosis" could be treated and some sort of relationship restored. So, not for sensible Shedim to try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD View Post
There is no 'in game' reason for a Shedim to NOT be able to do such things (and I favor the alternate rules in the back of the GMG to allow humans some chance against getting constantly hit with Imbroglio...).
Imbroglio isn't a Shedite trick, and the alternate resonsance rules deny humans any bonus against it.

In practice, making Shedim unable to literally compel people to do evil with a Will roll... will reduce to Shedim convincing people to do evil with an Int + Knowledge (human psychology) or Int + Lying roll, resisted by a [Skill]+Int or [Skill]+Perception roll on the human's part because the loss of consistency and fairness, combined with the need to roleplay with every random host, is too great to justify... roleplaying with every random host. I feel the purpose of making it a roll isn't to imply Shedim are in-character compelling people against their actual will, but to model their results - even the results of human free will - in a consistent way that resolves half-hour arguments with the GM about the abilities of player or NPC Shedim.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD View Post
Shedim are some of the worst thought out bands in the game, IMO, right behind Kyros (still don't understand them).
Is that literally not understanding their mechanics and dissonance, or figuratively not understanding their purpose of existence?

Granted the cynical voice in me would postulate that Kyriotates primarily exist so that something can Fall to become Shedim, because possessor demons are a repeatedly used and appropriately cool concept and the Song of Possession doesn't facilitate them. However the multiplicity embodied by their ability to take many hosts as opposed to the Shedim's single minded outlook, and their need to take care of snatched bodies, make them something I'd rather see than not in IN2E.

(Even if it would make more sense to me for Kyriotates to get access to host memories and the like, simply so they can interact with non-Soldier human hosts without being counted on to get dissonant. That being said it may not be entirely unintentional that it becomes easiest for Kyriotates to take over a group of ambient animals than a human, for Will rolls and for avoiding dissonance and for simple Force limits.)

Last edited by Omegonthesane; 04-16-2012 at 04:26 AM.
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