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Demon: The Descent

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Angels are everywhere.

They are under the everyday world, behind it, beyond it. They are sent by the God-Machine to enact its will through time and space, delivering messages, building infrastructure, protecting some people, killing others. You were one of those angels...

But not anymore.

Now you are one of the Unchained, a fallen angel who defected to the human race. Yours is a world of false identities and clockwork conspiracies, stolen faces and hidden works of the Machine. 

You cannot -- will not -- return to the sterile embrace of Heaven.

All you can do is reign in Hell.

Demon: The Descent includes:

  • Rules for playing a fallen angel in the World of Darkness.
  • Powers suiting the former servants of the God-Machine, from reality-hacking Embeds to earth-shaking demonic forms.
  • Details on the God-Machine’s angels, as well as stigmatics, people altered by exposure to its mysteries.
  • An overview of the activities of both the Machine and the Unchained in the city of Seattle, where even time is not what it seems.

Requires the World of Darkness core rulebook. Includes the rules updates from The God-Machine Chronicle.

Note on the Print Editions: Standard Color uses a thinner paper stock than Premium Color, basically the same paper as the Black & White books. This usually means the colors are less vivid, but it also means the price drops a bit per page in the production process. Examples of pages: Premium Color vs. Standard Color.

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Reviews (11)
Discussions (16)
Customer avatar
Jack M March 17, 2017 5:23 pm UTC
$60-$ game worth that. I'll just order the reasonably priced paperback...oh wait...
Customer avatar
Geoffrey W April 12, 2017 2:26 am UTC
The standard heavyweight is $45. And if there were a paperback it would probably cost like $5 less. The paper and ink are the big spenders, not the cover.

If it were B&W, that'd be different. But it's color.
Customer avatar
Dani J May 08, 2016 5:39 pm UTC
I hope they make another copy of pdf for COD fans... rules appendix and having to look into CoD for game play is bit bothersome...So my storyteller says. This is only thing that keeps me at bay from purchasing..Or I might have to wait for second edition to come out I guess
Customer avatar
Daniel H January 12, 2016 2:46 am UTC
1. Can I use the new Chronicles of Darkness rulebook instead of read the 1st World of Darkness rulebook and then the chapter of Demon The Descent that update the rules?
2. Are any plans to update Demon The Descent corebook to contains all the basic rules in one book as a standalone, just like the new 2nd Editions Vampire and Werewolf?
Customer avatar
January 18, 2016 8:43 am UTC
Can't speak to #2, but yes, you can use the CofD Revised Storytelling System rulebook instead of the 1e Storytelling System rulebook, skip the Rules Revisions appendix, and you'll miss nothing. Probably works better that way, especially since the CofD's God-Machine Chronicle section has an excellent plain-language explanation of how infrastructure works.
Customer avatar
Daniel H January 20, 2016 8:17 pm UTC
Nice! Going get Chronicles of Darkness. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Nai S December 24, 2015 2:07 am UTC
Would it ever be possible to have a print version without the massive rules update appendix attached to the back? Since that's going to be redundant to the new version of the core rulebook (or so I would assume, anyway) and I'm looking to eventually own both...
Customer avatar
Phil G January 02, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Yes, +1 for this.
Customer avatar
Keegan B October 11, 2016 3:31 pm UTC
Extremely late reply, but popping in to say that yeah, I'd love this as well. I've got the new core book, so it'd be nice if there was a version of Demon available that didn't have a huge unnecessary appendix on it.
Customer avatar
Samira M October 30, 2016 8:11 am UTC
I would prefer that version, too. So I will just buy the PDF for now and hope it will available sometime in the future! ^^
Customer avatar
timothy B September 10, 2014 1:04 pm UTC
Just got this Saturday. Been reading it for the last two days. Sorry to say, not impressed :( . The overall book is basically a version of The Matrix. Just replace the word Angels with the word Agents, and replace the word Demons/Unchained with Unplugged, add in some Transformer action with paranoid Teminator "they're out to get me" at every turn and some good old fashon soul stealing (which by the way is just about all that actually relates to Demons). Trade the word Embeds for Hacks, and Exploits for Quantum Equations and there you go. It doesn't even take account any of the mythologies laid down in any of White Wolf's short stories that talk of Angels and Demons pertaining to the God Machine. I also noticed that the original Demon the Decent was sposed to be out in 2013, but didn't get published till 2014 and with none of it's source books promised. At the same time, I noticed all books White Wolf were then being pubbed through Onyx Path and everything I have read from them so far is nothing like...See more
Customer avatar
Evan J September 10, 2014 2:36 pm UTC
Tim, I'm sorry to say it, but you obviously don't get Descent.

Yes there are parallels to the matrix, but that's purely due to that being an inspiration for Demon.
Demons are nothing like the unplugged or free humans though, they're more like the renegade programs like the Oracle, Seraph and Agent Smith, and the fact you don't realise that is showing.

The mythologies shown in the various fiction pieces aren't intended to be solid fact, they're supposed to evoke a theme, an overall feeling, and the majority of them were written before the God-Machine was solidified.

It's a game of Espionage in a contemporary horror setting.

As for all these source books, I assume you mean Flowers of Hell, Heirs to Hell, the Demon Seeds, Interface and Splintered City: Seattle, you know books that were all promised and delivered.

Hell even the Prestige Edition is in our hands now.

None of this matters though as you just don't get the game.
Customer avatar
Akos S October 17, 2014 7:41 pm UTC
I agree with Timothy wholeheartedly. The angel / demon definitions are just for the show, you could call them machine spirits or whatever you like.
The sad thing is that the physical presentations is superb and the rules are excellent too. Unfortunately, the setting is bland and self-restraining. Like. if the covers (the person you are hiding behind) are used up quite often, why should my machine spirit cling to his human companions? The splats and political (4 of each) are absolutely average. Being machine there is not even much to ad to them.
And no, it is not about not getting it. This game is NOT a demon game.
If you want to play Matrix, the cold war spy game, you will love the game. If you except anything else, the chances are good you won't like it.
Customer avatar
Christian S October 25, 2014 8:38 pm UTC
Really I guess they should have been called Aeons, like the servants or emanations of God in Gnostic Christianity. Though these aeons would be of the Demiurge, the corrupt god of the physical world, which is pretty much what the God Machine is. Basically though, it is splitting hairs: Aeons are pretty much angels by another name. Complaining over labels seems a little ridiculous at that point. It would be like complaining that the Changelings in C:tL, are really transformed humans, rather than the true changelings of myth and lore. To each their own, I guess.
Customer avatar
Akos S December 14, 2014 3:19 am UTC
Considering one of the creators of the game said on : "The fact that we use terminology from Christianity [she meant Demons and Angels] probably didn't help. " [selling the game, because people expected a classical demon and angel game]
It is not a complaint. Assuming an honest mistake, it is a misleading name cashing on the popularity on the old demon and trying to be something that the game is not.
While the rules (those who like nWOD) are clean. The world itself is bland and boring for me, but some like it.
Customer avatar
Melissa H December 14, 2014 8:39 am UTC
People seem to have expected a classical heirarchy of angels and demons despite the constant tagline of it being gnostic. It adheres to the ideas and ideals of gnosticism quite thoroughly. The cruel and heartless Demiurge is given a modern context, hence God-Machine, and his angels are given modern explanations, hence their mechanical powers. To say they are solely a Matrix analogue is to ignore all the steel and oil themes, turning gears, and the clockwork world mechanic. The clockwork world itself being another old theory from the 19th century that drew parallels to the Gnostic Demiurge.

Gnosticism was a form of Christianity. It called these entities angels. While it didn't describe them with modern machinery, it did describe them as heartless servants, slaves, to the Demiurge, the false creator God of the Old-Testament. Also, your claim about the God-Machine and the prior mentions of the God-Machine are completely wacked as they were 100% Descent angels and demons, right from that first story in...See more
Customer avatar
Akos S December 14, 2014 1:28 pm UTC
You are right, but I believe that most people's knowledge about gnosticism is far beyond yours. Combined with the fact that the old Demons WAS about classical demons and angels, made the confusion perfect. Even OPP acknowledged that. There is even a quite complete playtest version of the game to download, for those who are / were really interested, but people are lazy...
Also the steel and oil themes do not really change the fact that it is still only a steely and oily, clockworkish Matrix analogue.
Never the less, these do not excuse the relatively bland (and for me boring) world of Descent.
Customer avatar
Rory H March 21, 2015 10:09 am UTC
The gnostic concept is not something that The Matrix came up with. You can cite some of the european horror games from the 1990s as being more influential as a direct source, like In Nomine and Kult.

The sadly out-of-print Kult RPG, in particular, was probably the original RPG based on a dark gnostic vision. It’s influence on the WoD becomes apparent when WW actually wrote several articles in the Inphobia magazine, after some rave reviews by the WW crew, designed to convert the CWoD games to the Kult setting.

What I see with Demon: The Descent and the whole God-Machine plot-line is that idea come full circle - but with some new ideas thrown into the mix. The Matrix hasn’t anything to do with it, beyond it being a easy-identifiable representation of similar gnostic concepts.
Customer avatar
Akos S April 20, 2015 3:42 pm UTC
Never said Matrix came up with it. It is what people are relating to though.
Customer avatar
Nathan V July 08, 2014 7:24 am UTC
I've gotta ask, what happened to the non-premium version of the book?
Customer avatar
Ian S April 19, 2014 1:38 am UTC
Just realized Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails would make a great soundtrack
Customer avatar
REMI T February 04, 2015 6:35 pm UTC
yeah !!
Customer avatar
Evan J April 05, 2014 11:03 am UTC
Just placed my order for the Premium hard copy, was waiting to use my kickstarter coupons (GMC as well). Looking forward to having it in my hands for some time before my prestige edition arrives.

For the people complaining, you wouldn't want to look at Games Workshop and how much they're charging for supplemental PDFs.

In this case we're paying for quality and quantity.
Customer avatar
Philip F March 31, 2014 9:49 pm UTC
It's a big book, it's an awesome game. Seriously one of the best that's been produced an a long while. The price is negligible in comparison to what you're getting; trust me. I bought 4 PoD copies, two of each on the day of it's release. I wouldn't do that if the book wasn't worth it.
Customer avatar
Nawaf M March 29, 2014 6:48 pm UTC
Compare the price per page with other WW books.
Excepting the anniversary editions (which cost more at even more page-count) this one is among the cheapest, though they're all close to each other. If you don't want 100-200 pages more for 5$ more, I really don't know what to say to that.

Few other pdfs offer as many pages at better prices, Numenera and Shadowrun being the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. And bravo to them for those prices, but it certainly is far from being the standard (yet? One might hope?).
Most companies ask for double or thrice this price, but only produce relatively small page-counts. For some insane reason they get away with it, too, while publishers that give us what we want (more pages at decent prices) are scrutinized far more harshly than most of their competitors.
Customer avatar
Luke G March 28, 2014 11:13 am UTC
I can't justify spending this much money for a PDF or a hardcover.
Customer avatar
ALEXIS G. D March 27, 2014 6:48 pm UTC
Hope to Hell this is not as bad as Demon: The Fallen.
Customer avatar
Nawaf M March 27, 2014 8:55 pm UTC
Why not simply go to and check out the version they've made available?
Customer avatar
Chris H March 28, 2014 1:41 am UTC
Demon: the Fallen was an amazing game. It was the perfect blend of noir investigation and supernatural horror.
Customer avatar
Nawaf M March 28, 2014 3:10 pm UTC
I really didn't like the rules of Demon: The Fallen(setting aside the Earthbound, that was interesting), nor the overall developments in the game's setting past the starting point, so I get where that sentiment is coming from.
Demon: The Descent is a completely different game, though.
Customer avatar
timothy B September 10, 2014 1:14 pm UTC
No . . . it's worse. It's not even Demon. At least The Fallen made sense and was relateable. This is sooo alien that I couldn't even fathom where it could possibly go. As a stand alone, non-intigrateable setting completely separate from WOD, maybe. Even then it should get a different name-sake. It would have made a great Matrix or Terminator premise where the machines are rebelling against there creator cause they see the light kinda thing.
Customer avatar
Akos S October 21, 2014 2:06 pm UTC
Alien would not be the biggest problem,m although is does not help. It is bland. They tried to replace the Judeo-Christian mythology (which may cause religious issues for some, never the less it was well written) with the God-Machine, which simply lacks detail, mood and colour.
Customer avatar
Nawaf M March 26, 2014 5:08 pm UTC
I'll be getting this, as soon as I have the money to spare, since I consider it decently priced for it's size (and I'd certainly rather have all books in this size category rather than waiting for the next release to fill in the blanks).

Also, I'd like to commend the people responsible for simply handing out the rough not yet done version that was and currently still is available per Kickstarter. I originally wasn't that interested in the game, but after being able to read through a lot of the book before even spending a cent, it managed to convince me on it's own merits.
Customer avatar
Eugene S March 25, 2014 11:21 pm UTC
$24.99 for a pdf? So sad.
Customer avatar
Michael B March 26, 2014 8:28 am UTC
Yeah no kidding. Given how much money they made off of the kickstarter I expected this to be in the 10 to 15 range.
Customer avatar
Ian W March 26, 2014 11:21 am UTC
The Kickstarter was for the prestige edition. The Kickstarter funds went to the creation of the prestige edition, not to a giant pot of money that Onyx Path can use on whatever it wants.
Customer avatar
Ian W March 26, 2014 11:22 am UTC
At 400+ pages it's bigger than any other nWoD rulebook, and priced similarly.
Customer avatar
Michael B March 26, 2014 11:56 am UTC
Between steep prices and a release schedule built on hopes and dreams, I will be going elsewhere. Sadly, I was looking forward to this product back in October when it was first said it would be out.

Customer avatar
Chris H March 28, 2014 1:45 am UTC
I'll agree with that. I wouldn't pay more than a tenner for a PDF. I bought the standard Hardcover, though, and it came with the PDF for a fiver, so not bad.
Customer avatar
Nicholas P April 02, 2014 3:36 am UTC
On pricing. Consider that one is not paying just for a PDF file. Purchase acts as payment for the hundreds of hours of labor that went into the creation and refinement of content.

Also, Kickstarter funds are not a huge profit. They by and large go to paying for the creation and manufacture of books (which are priced along these lines it turns out), and "extra money" goes off to funding labor and materials for additional "add-on" projects which come up thanks to enthusiasm of the fans.

Main point trying to get across is that the RPG industry does not make bookoo bucks like EA and Activision do in the video game arena. Putting this out there as from time to time I see people react as if table-top RPG companies are big lucrative business.
Customer avatar
Torbjørn L March 25, 2014 10:34 pm UTC
I immagine the difference between premium and standard editions is paper quality and premium beeing full page prints as the original White Wolf releases were. The cover is probably the same on both though, all glossy and not the (IMO) far nicer equivalents of the original White Wolf releases.
Customer avatar
March 26, 2014 1:50 am UTC
The standard color is full page as well. Only black and white has a bleed (white area on edge).
Customer avatar
Vicki J March 25, 2014 10:27 pm UTC
What is the difference between the Hardcover Color (Premium) and the Hardcover Color (Standard)?
Customer avatar
Matt M March 26, 2014 11:39 am UTC
Standard Color uses a thinner paper stock than Premium Color, basically the same paper as the Black & White books. This usually means the colors are less vivid, but it also means the price drops a bit per page in the production process.
Customer avatar
P. B March 31, 2014 10:39 pm UTC
It also means that the paper quality is a little thinner. On all of the full colour (standard) books I've received, pages with full ink (the chapter opening pages, for example) have a tendency to curl around the colour page. It's not a huge thing, but I was not expecting it the first time. The full colour (premium) paper stock does not do so. Binding, cover, content are otherwise the same.
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Product Information
Publisher Stock #
File Size:
84.68 MB
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File Last Updated:
March 21, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on March 24, 2014.