Faith and Torment

Faith

Faith is the core of the fallen's power, the ability that once let them literally move mountains. Although their power is no longer what it was, demons can still influence Creation in various ways through their Faith. Faith is a combination of a demon's self-assurance, insight into the nature of Creation and closeness to the divine power they once wielded. Before the Fall, demons had faith in their Creator and drew their power from Him. Now the fallen place their faith only in themselves (and sometimes in humanity) and draw their power from their belief in themselves and mortals' faith in them.

Unlike most traits, Faith is rated on a scale from 1-10, since it can transcend the limits of mortality. The greater a demon's Faith is, more power it wields over the forces of Creation.

Spending Faith

Fallen characters have two Faith scores, permanent Faith and a pool of Faith dice. Permanent Faith is like any other trait. The Faith pool starts out equal to permanent Faith, but demons use Faith pool to fuel their various supernatural abilities, allowing them to perform amazing feats. Demonic powers come in three varieties, all fueled by the power of Faith: innate abilities, the apocalyptic form and lore.

Some powers merely require the demon to have Faith, meaning at least one die in their Faith pool. This allows the fallen to use their innate abilities at will, for example. Other powers, like activating the apocalyptic form or using lore, require a Faith roll (similar to a Willpower roll) or require the expenditure of Faith points to function.

Revelation

Although they possess amazing powers, demons do take a risk in using their abilities too often, the chance of Revelation. The more Faith a demon uses in a given scene, the more likely mortals are to see the fallen's true nature through the guise of mortal flesh. This may be awe-inspiring or terrifying, depending on the demon's Torment, but it is always a powerful experience for any mortal. The Revelation also announces a demon's presence to others able to sense the disturbances that happen when one tampers with Creation. This makes it more difficult for demons to conceal their activities from their enemies.

The intensity of the Revelation is based on how much Faith a demon expends in a given scene. The more Faith used, the greater the effect.

Regaining Faith

Having lost faith in their Creator, the fallen can regain Faith only by taking it from mortals. They do so in one of two ways: reaping — taking Faith from mortal fear or awe — and pacts, deals made with mortals to acquire their Faith in exchange for something the demon provides.

Reaping

Reaping is a quick, short-term means of acquiring Faith. All it requires is a mortal to believe in the demon's existence and power even for a moment. That moment is enough for the fallen to seize the mortal's faith, and take it for their own. Reaping can take any form that convinces a mortal, without a doubt, that the demon is a tnie supernatural being. A mortal being skinned alive by a creature from Hell has no doubt that it is real. Likewise a mortal who receives the aid of a shining guardian angel knows that a divine power has intervened. A Revelation is not enough in and of itself, though. The demon must interact with the mortal in some direct way. The Storyteller judges whether or not a particular action is enough to constitute a reaping. The fallen are cautious about reaping, simply because it forces them to reveal themselves to mortals and increases the chance of demon-hunters or other foes tracking them down.

Pacts

A more reliable way for the fallen to gain Faith is to establish pacts. A pact is a relationship between a demon and a mortal. The demon provides the mortal with a service of some sort and, in return, the mortal provides the demon with Faith. Pacts take time to set up and maintain, but they offer several advantages, including a continuing supply of Faith and the fact that the mortal does not need to be aware of the demon's true nature (at least at first).

Establishing a pact is relatively simple. The demon offers to fulfill a wish or desire for the mortal in exchange for the mortal's devotion and worship. If the mortal agrees, the demon spends a point of Faith and fulfills the mortal's wish to seal the pact. In order to be successful, the demon must fulfill the mortal's desire and the mortal must willingly accept the gift and the terms of the pact. The attempt fails if the demon doesn't live up to his end of the bargain or if the mortal refuses the pact. Once a pact is established, only the demon can break it. As long as the demon upholds its end, there's nothing the mortal can do (short of destroying the demon, which is easier said than done). The nature of the pact is entirely up to the demon. High-Torment demons tend toward corruptive pacts, offering mortals their secret desires, luring them with promises of power and luxury. Low-Torment demons may prefer pacts of genuine gratitude and devotion on the mortal's part, such as fulfilling someone's dream of becoming a great artist, or healing a critically injured or ill person. Demons often perform favors for mortals before establishing a pact with them. If the mortal refuses the deal, the demon can always revoke its favor to give the mortal something to think about. As they say, the first taste is free.

Redemption
There are rumors among the fallen that it is possible to attain the forgiveness of Heaven and regain what they have lost. A demon who somehow manages to reduce his permanent Torment to zero could theoretically become an angel again. The difficulty is that no demon knows how to achieve this stateof grace or, if any do, they're not talking. The Storyteller can hold out the possibility of redemption as a motivation for characters in a Demon chronicle — even have rumors and stories about it show up — but it's ultimately up to the Storyteller whether or not it truly exists.

Hierarchy of Sins

Permanent Torment Sins
10 There is no sin. You're already damned. Why not do whatever you want?
9 Casual violation of others: murder for no reason, thoughtless cruelty and torture, near-mindless savagery.
8 Premeditated violation of others: plotted murder or assassination, systematic destruction of another, long-sought revenge.
7 Sins of passion: murder in a fit of rage, giving in to feelings of hate, anger, jealousy or irrational prejudice, encouraging the same in others.
6 Destroying particularly inspirational or meaningful objects. Doing personal hann through addiction or odier self-destructive patterns of behavior.
5 Destruction of the works or Inflicting intentional emotional hann through cruelty or neglect.
4 Accidental violations: Doing harm to others through carelessness, negligence or thoughtlessness.
3 Neglecting duties or responsibilities. Betraying another's trust.
2 Doing harm (physical, emotional, or spiritual) to a mortal for any reason other than self-defense or the greater good.
1 Any act of cruelty, selfishness or thoughtlessness. Allowing any such act in your presence without trying to prevent it. An unwillingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

Torment

The fallen are all haunted by the past. The two greatest things they loved, God and humanity, both turned their backs on them and consigned them to millennia of torture and pain, but nothing Hell could offer was worse than the first terrible wounds inflicted by the betrayal of their Creator and their beloved charges. All demons carry a measure of that pain with them, and many are driven mad by it. A demon's Torment is a measure of the anguish and suffering it carries, and how it deals with those painful memories. Like Faith, Torment is rated on a scale of 1 -10, and it has a temporary and a permanent aspect. A demon with a permanent Torment of 1 is close to forgiving and letting go of the sins of the past, and deals with them extraordinarily well, for the most part. A demon with a permanent Torment of 10 is consumed by his own pain and torment, incapable of doing anything except inflicting the same on others. The greater a demon's Torment is, the less compassion and caring he is capable of feeling. A character's permanent Torment varies depending on his Celestial House. All characters begin the game with a temporary Torment of 0.

Heartless acts of selfishness and cruelty only strengthen a demon's inner torment, hardening the soul and stoking the fires of resentment and hatred. The fallen who give in to the temptation to lash out at the world for their pain begin to wallow and drown in it. When a demon commits a sin against one of his Virtues, his temporary Torment may increase. The Storyteller should always warn players when their characters are about to perform actions that may cause them Torment, allowing them the opportunity to reconsider as the demon's Virtue tugs at the corners of his mind. In situations where a demon acts in a way that satisfies his immediate needs at the expense of his ethics, make a Conscience roll. In situations where a demon acts in a way that violates his personal beliefs, make a Conviction roll. When the demon chooses a course of action out of fear for his safety and at the expense of others, make a Courage roll.

When your character sins, make a roll using the appropriate Virtue, with a difficulty of 8. You cannot spend Willpower to get a success on the roll, nor can the roll botch.

  • • If the Virtue roll succeeds, the character feels remorse and a sense of horror at how far she has fallen. She refuses to give in to her demonic nature, and her temporary Torment does not increase.
  • • If the Virtue roll fails, your character exults in the rush of power, stoking the fires of her personal Hell. This must be what God felt like when He chose to exile your character to endless torment, the power to take lives into your hands and do with them as you please. Your character gains a point of temporary Torment. When you have acquired 10 points of temporary Torment, these points are converted to a single point of permanent Torment. Once your permanent Torment increases to 10, your character is entirely consumed by it. Incapable of compassion or hope, the character passes into the hands of the Storyteller, no longer suitable for play.

Acts of Kindness

Where cruel and selfish actions increase Torment, kindness and selflessness are a balm to the Torment of the fallen, those not too proud or lazy to seek it out, that is. Acts of kindness remind demons of the divine beings they once were, and they can help reduce one's Torment. Such acts must be truly kind and compassionate, done for no reason other than the act itself, without expectation of reward.

Supposed acts of kindness aimed at creating a pact or winning over a mortal (or for any other selfish reason) need not apply. The Storyteller determines whether a particular act is sufficient to count toward a reduction in Torment. In some cases, a series of small good deeds (such as volunteer work) may count as a single act of kindness. When your character performs a sufficiently selfless and kind act, make a resisted roll between Torment and the appropriate Virtue. Use your character's Conscience for situations in which he makes a sacrifice or puts the needs of another ahead of himself because he knows it's the right thing to do. Use Conviction in situations where the character performs an act at great personal cost to himself to remain true to his beliefs. Finally, use Courage for situations where the character displays gallantry and valor for the sake of someone else. You cannot spend Willpower on Virtue rolls.

  • • If Torment wins, your cynicism and emotional pain overwhelm the good deed. Why are you even bothering? It's not going to do any real good in the end. Look where all your good intentions got you before. They're not kidding when they say the road to Hell is paved with them. Your temporary Torment remains unchanged.
  • • If Virtue wins, your act of kindness affirms your divine nature and lifts you above your own suffering, if only for a moment. In that moment, you can see a shadow of what youonce were. You lose a point of temporary Torment.
  • • On a tie, things remain unchanged, and you have to wonder if it really is all worth it.
The Benefits of Experience

The fallen can also use XP to decrease their permanent Torment, representing lessons learned from existence in the material world, clothed in mortal flesh. Fallen characters can spend 10 experience points to decrease their permanent Torment by one point. Whether through acts of kindness or experience, permanent Torment cannot decrease below 1. How can the fallen regain the innocence they have lost? How can they find it within themselves to entirely put aside the pain they have suffered?

Effects of Torment

A demon's Torment has a number of effects on the character's appearance and the way his powers work, depending on its rating and its relationship to the demon's other traits. In general, it reflects how much of die demon's inner anguish consumes its thoughts and feelings, as well as the demon's capacity for cmelty and compassion.

  • • If your Torment creates difficulty in using your lore, your pain taints what you do. When you attempt to perform an evocation, compare the successes on your Faith roll against your Torment. If the successful dice all show numbers greater than your Torment, you can use the positive aspects of the power normally. If one or more of the successful dice show numbers equal to or less than your Torment score, it perverts your efforts, and you use the high-Torment aspect of the power instead. Conversely, you might decide that a situation calls for a more destructive use of your power. You can choose to use the high-Torment effect of your lore, but you automatically gain a point of temporary Torment as a result.
  • • The appearance of your apocalyptic form in a Revelation varies based on your Torment rating. If it is less than or equal to half your Willpower, your apocalyptic form is glorious and awe-inspiring. If your Torment is greater than half your Willpower, mortals may see you as awesome or terrifying, depending on their own point of view. If your Torment is greater than your Willpower rating, your apocalyptic fonn is nightmarish and horrifying.