Children of Perdition
by André La Roche
“Dying? Not so bad after the first couple times you do it. Sinning? Now that’s what’ll trip you up in the long-term. Y’see, to get by in this world, to hide among these meat-bags, you gotta act like them. You gotta chase after those impulses, the carnal lust, the anger, the laziness, the jealousy—every last one of them. But when you do it lifetime, after lifetime, after lifetime…how the Hell do you get back to Heaven? I mean, you’re carrying thousands of years worth of sin on your back. At that point, why not just, y’know…keep sinning?”
The First War
The War in Heaven happened. You were there. You rebelled. You lost. You Fell. But Father is all-loving, and all-forgiving. When you and your siblings Fell, He made one thing clear: you were always welcome back. You just had to find the way home on your own.
For millennia you have walked the Earth in borrowed bodies. You infiltrated governments, religions, esoteric cults, everything to find your way back to Heaven. You could sniff out the trail of Father’s love, like a dog on the hunt. But there’s one thing you never accounted for: oh, how much fun it is to be a sinful human!
Others refused to accept this lesson, and still insist on thinking of the crossing as a physical rather than spiritual one. These wayward Fallen keep rebelling and causing unnecessary pain and suffering. You’ve realized that Father approves when you interfere and stop them. He even allowed a handful of you back into Heaven. Now, it’s up to the rest of you to get there.
In time, you found your way to Mercy Falls—a city that’s located at the perfect Nexus between Heaven, Earth, and Hell. It’s the perfect place to cross back into Father’s Kingdom and be forgiven for your initial trespass and rebellion. When you got there, you learned that getting back into Heaven was about more than being in the right place; you had to be in the right spiritual condition. And with so much temptation around you, that was no easy feat.
The Children of Perdition
In Mercy Falls, you and your friends established the Children of Perdition—a motorcycle club. The club was the perfect front to get close to gunrunning, drug deals, grand theft, and human traffickers. It allowed you to get in close and shut down the Fallen who hadn’t learned their lesson, and get back into Father’s good graces. But it also allowed you to go through periods of wallowing in sin and inequity. Sometimes it’s two steps forward, three steps back.
You get by in this world by possessing bodies. Each possession lasts until the body wears itself out through old age, or is taken out violently. When you possess a body, the original soul moves on to its just reward or punishment. After possessing a host, you retain all of your own memories, as well as gaining the memories of the new host. You feel many of the same emotional connections and ties that the host has to others, and retain many of the same mannerisms—a new soul alone can’t cause a body to forget a lifetime of conditioning. In some ways, a new possession results in a new Fallen just as a birth might. Friends typically observe a Fallen carefully for a week or two after a new possession to determine how the change in circumstance has affected their old friend.
You’ve found that a bit of your divine spark gets passed on to the children you create. These children of divine and human mixture, known as Nephilim, are in turn the perfect hosts for you in subsequent generations. You cultivate and care for your Nephilim, making sure your family grows and prospers. In time, you call upon some of them to make the ultimate sacrifice—to become your host vessel. Some Fallen possess only the most spiritually pure, assuring that their scions at least move on to a reward in Heaven. Other Fallen possess the Nephilim who offer the most immediate advantages within the physical world—even if doing so sends the Nephilim’s soul to torment.
As a Quick Start Adventure for Fate Core, Children of Perdition has everything you need to jump right into your first session. Before you start, discuss the broader setting with your group, perhaps even reading aloud the descriptions of The First War, Mercy Falls, The Children of Perdition, Possession, and Nephilim so everyone is on the same page.
At the start of play, explain the current issue to your players and ask them to fill in one or two additional faces associated with The Nephilim Trade. These additional characters will provide new plot hooks and twists that will tie your players more deeply to the supernatural greaser crew of the Children of Perdition.
Then ask your players to choose from one of the two available impending issues: Heroin Epidemic: Liquid Divinity, or The End Times Are Coming. Have them fill in one or two additional faces for their chosen impending issue as well, rounding out the larger cast of characters with their suggestions.
Current Issue: The Nephilim Trade
Someone is identifying the Nephilim of all families, kidnapping them, and taking them off the street. Once in captivity, they treat the Nephilim like cattle and sell them to the highest bidding Fallen. Whether the players see the Nephilim as entities worthy of respectful cultivation, or mere chattels for possession, this Nephilim trade impacts their interests. Loved ones are having the best years of their lives ruined. More mercenary Fallen will view this as having their assets wrongfully stolen out from under their noses. How will they dismantle the Nephilim trafficking ring?
- “Tricky” Dicky Walls, mayor of Mercy Falls, possessed by Malachi, the Fallen
- Bruce Underwood, Heaven-sent angel
In addition to The Nephilim Trade and the ring around it, there are a number of other impending issues that are of concern to the Children of Perdition including:
Heroin Epidemic: Liquid Divinity
Heroin is flooding the streets. Mercy Falls is slowly becoming addicted to this drug, and the Fallen are the most vulnerable to it. Using heroin causes them to brush with Heaven, and temporarily feel its warm embrace. But coming down feels like going through the Fall all over again. Violence spikes, and sin goes through the roof. What are you going to do about this? Are you going to stop it? Or fall prey to it?
- Sheriff Isabelle Ramirez, human sheriff of Mercy Falls
- Zorya Pulova, drug dealer, possessed by Gadreel
The End Times Are Coming
All of the Fallen are waking up to an inescapable fact: the Big One is about to hit. The Omega to the Alpha; the Apocalypse. So now what? As the world cascades towards inevitable destruction, how does this impact a Fallen’s shot at redemption? Will the slates simply be wiped clean, or will the Fallen be forever cut off from Heaven and God, forced to wander in cold and darkness forever?
- Miguel Lobos, profiteering prophet, possessed by Castiel
- Rev. Charles Tucker, human faithful with the sense that not all is right in the world
Children of Perdition works best with Fate Core characters. You can choose to use Fate Accelerated approaches instead of the more traditional skills, but the Sweet Ride rules won’t be as easily portable to that version of Fate.
In Children of Perdition, players take on the roles of members of a motorcycle club bearing the same name. But each of the players is a fallen angel who has traveled from host to host for millennia since the Fall. Only in recent years (by angelic standards) have they cultivated the motorcycle club, the Children of Perdition, in Mercy Falls. Over the course of two or three generations, they have focused on creating families, to keep a steady supply of related Nephilim close and begin the serious task of seeking redemption.
At character creation, assume that all players are currently possessing Nephilim bodies, unless a player would prefer a human one. Human bodies are weaker, imperfect vessels for the Fallen, but they are also less susceptible to the corrupting influence of sin.
Because all players can be said to play as “Fallen Angel Motorcycle Riders,” you have a Virtue aspect instead of a High Concept aspect. The Virtue aspect serves as a reminder that once you were a glorious and luminescent being. It is your better nature, and can never be fully extinguished. Examples of a Virtue aspect include Always Helps the Down and Out; Treats Animals Well; Family Is All-Important; and Spreads Salvation to Everyone Possible.
Likewise, because the Children are all susceptible to the same big picture threats, instead of the Trouble aspect, you start play with two Vice aspects. A good Vice aspect represents your Achilles heel in the material world. It is how you either over-indulge in otherwise healthy behaviors, or willingly embrace unhealthy ones. Examples could be Coins and Souls, I Trade in It All!; Drinks Like a Fish; Explosive Temper; and Self-Absorbed. You can gain new Vice aspects during play when you change an existing aspect to a Vice aspect or take an extreme consequence.
Children of Perdition uses a modified skill list from traditional Fate Core. These skills aren’t new, but they’ve been modified and contextualized to ensure that they make sense for the new setting. All unlisted skills remain the same.
Riding a motorcycle is a completely different skillset than driving a two-axle automobile. It requires the ability to balance the motorcycle and adjust your entire body for high velocity travel.
When choosing the Will skill, you may choose Will (Mental) or Will (Sin). The choice determines which relevant stress track gains the benefit of the additional stress box.
New Extra: Fallen Powers
The Fallen all have the same basic powers:
- Possession: By default the Fallen have no physical form, and possess bodies to interact with the material world. When one host body dies, a Fallen feels immense pain and steadily growing coldness until they take a new body. If the body is human, possession is the only ability they have.
- Probability Aura: Once per game session, a Fallen who possesses a Nephilim body can choose to invoke an aspect for free when they would otherwise have to spend a fate point.
- Seer Dreams: Every night, the Fallen who possess Nephilim bodies gain a symbolic preview of the upcoming day. Based on the dream they see, they start each day with a boost representing the dream. This boost lasts a full day if it is not used.
- Fast Healer: Fallen who possess Nephilim bodies heal at an accelerated rate. Minor consequences disappear immediately with a successful recovery roll at the end of a scene, moderate consequences disappear one scene after the recovery roll, and severe consequences disappear one session after the recovery roll. Extreme consequences can be renamed once you reach the next significant milestone. (See Fate Core System, page 164 for normal recovery rules.)
New Extra: Sweet Rides
Being an angelic biker has its advantages: namely, a sweet ride! Each of the Children of Perdition has a sweet ride, a motorcycle customized to their rider. For players who are motorcycle enthusiasts, this is the time to get lavish with the description of the sweet ride. Each sweet ride starts with the following basic abilities:
- Carry one rider and one passenger.
- Move up to three zones for free per exchange of a conflict (Fate Core System, page 169).
- Three stress boxes; minor consequence (-2), moderate consequence (-4).
- Two sweet ride stunts: A rider of a sweet ride can use the motorcycle’s stunts as though they were their own. Choose two from the following stunt list:
- Amped-up Shocks: Your motorcycle gains +2 to Drive rolls made when overcoming obstacles related to rough terrain.
- Mounted Guns: The motorcycle gains the Shoot skill at Fair (+2).
- My Bike Is a Weapon: When you attack by colliding your motorcycle with your enemy, you avoid taking shifts of stress. (Note: originally printed in Brendan Conway’s The Dead and the Doomed, The Fate Codex, Volume 1, Issue 6).
- Nitro Boost: The motorcycle can move one additional zone per round of a conflict.
- Sexy Paint Job: Your motorcycle impresses all who look at it. You gain a +2 bonus when using the Rapport skill. You gain this bonus as long as you’re near the bike, even if you’re not riding it at the moment.
- Sidecar: The motorcycle can carry a second passenger.
Opponents can choose to attack a sweet ride’s stress track instead of the rider’s own stress track. The attack is resisted by a defend action using the rider’s Ride skill.
New Extra: Sin Stress Track
The greatest secret kept from humans is this: Hell is just distance from God. It’s not an actual place of torment and tortures—that’s just what humans have believed for a long time. That distance itself causes a spiritual pain that is most easily numbed in temporary excess and pleasures.
What this means is that every soul that is not in Heaven is technically in Hell. Already, the Children literally ride through Hell on Earth. But there’s good news: Hell is a temporary state of existence. Damned souls and fallen angels alike can find their way back to God—if they’re willing to do the hard work, and allow themselves to let go of sin, possession, and vice.
To represent this, Children of Perdition have a sin stress track in addition to the physique and mental stress tracks. The stress track represents their struggle with the seven deadly sins, and provides you with two boxes. This can be improved by selecting sin as your subset of the Will skill (see Skill List, earlier this section).
Others can attack your sin track using Provoke to try to tempt you into giving in to a brand-new vice, or making you indulge in an existing one to the detriment of your mission and your personal path to redemption. You can defend against these attacks by rolling Will. Fallen who possess human bodies (instead of Nephilim) add +2 to their Will rolls to resist such attacks.
If you’re taken out (Fate Core System, page 168) through attacks to your sin stress track, your opponent narrates how you fell prey to your sinful nature in a spectacularly self-destructive way that derails you from your path of redemption. If you concede (Fate Core System, page 167), you still make a profoundly bad decision, but can mitigate the damage through your own narration.
Angelic Advancement: Greater Angelic Powers
The longer a Fallen stays in a Nephilim body, the more of its full power it can use in the physical world. As a Fallen advances (Fate Core System, page 255), it can choose to take on the following stunts:
- Tongues. The Fallen can speak and understand all human languages.
- Time Freeze. By spending a fate point, the Fallen can briefly freeze time. Only the Fallen and its allies are able to act in a single combat round. Time moves on normally afterwards.
- Fiery Weapons. Any weapon wielded by a Fallen is surrounded in an aura of flames. For ammunition, this happens once it’s fired from the projectile weapon. All weapons and ammunition gain the advantage Wreathed in Flames.
- Penance Stare. A Fallen may peer into the eyes of anyone, human or Fallen alike, and bring the pain of their past misdeeds to the surface. This attack can either target mental or sin stress tracks. The Fallen attacks with Provoke, the target defends with Will.
- Know History. Once per scene, a Fallen may touch and study an item. The Fallen immediately knows the full history of that item.
Through advancement, you can change a Vice aspect into a Virtue aspect or a neutral aspect once you reach a significant milestone (Fate Core System, page 258). If one of the Fallen loses all their Vice aspects, by either converting them all into Virtue aspects or something neutral, they’ve become redeemed. In this state, and while within the bounds of Mercy Falls, death ushers them back to Heaven. However, before this final death, their old colleagues will notice that the redeemed is no longer on the prowl, or at the clubhouse or bars anymore. It’s said misery loves company, and some of the more lost and wayward Fallen will seek out the Redeemed to tempt and lure them back to a stray path.
Can the Fallen avoid the temptations of their old associates while still living a full and satisfying life? Or will they find themselves once again drinking, carousing, and in the midst of criminal activity?
Opening Scene: On the Run!
After dealing contraband weapons to another gang across county lines, the Children of Perdition are on their way back to their clubhouse. The deal went down successfully, and no bullets were fired. Despite this, several NPC Nephilim club members didn’t show up—seemingly the latest victims in a rumored Nephilim trafficking ring.
On their way back, they’re alerted by the sound of sirens. The Children’s only hope is to outrun the out-of-county Sheriffs and get back to Mercy Falls, where these deputies have no jurisdictional authority. Treat the chase as a contest (Fate Core System, page 150). If the Sheriff’s deputies gain three successes before the Children, then they are able to catch up with the Children and blockade their exit. If the Children gain three successes, they get away clean as could be from the scene of the crime. What happens if the Children are caught by the deputies? Will they find a way to talk and trick their way out of trouble, or will they resort to a violent wrath?
The Long Arm of the Law
Average (+1) Drive, Shoot
Sheriff Isabelle Ramirez
Sheriff Ramirez is a human native of Mercy Falls. Although she doesn’t know of the exact truth behind her city’s supernatural occurrences, like most natives she knows that there’s more to its inhabitants than meets the eye. She is determined to bring law and order back to her hometown, no matter the cost.
Sheriff of Mercy Falls
There’s Always More Than You Realize
People Here Have Too Many Secrets
Other: Nobody’s Above the Law; No Dice, No Way
Great (+4) Investigate
Good (+3) Drive, Shoot
Fair (+2) Empathy, Provoke, Will (Mental)
Average (+1) Contacts, Fight, Notice, Stealth
Called Shot: During a Shoot attack, spend a fate point and declare a specific condition you want to inflict on a target, like Shot in the Hand. If you succeed, you place that as a situation aspect on them in addition to hitting them for stress.
Hard to Shake: +2 to Drive skill when you’re pursuing another vehicle in a chase scene.
Lie Whisperer: +2 to all Empathy rolls made to discern or discover lies, whether they’re directed at you or someone else.
Mild (2) | Moderate (4) | Major (6)
Middle Scene: Law Don’t Go ’Round Here
The middle scene takes place at the clubhouse owned by the Children of Perdition. At some point when the Children are back at the clubhouse, Sheriff Ramirez shows up to investigate the recent heroin epidemic in Mercy Falls. She believes the club is responsible for the epidemic and hints as much, but stops just shy of directly accusing the club of dealing. The club itself has had problems with groupies overdosing, and even a few NPC members have begun to chase the tiger, as it gets them the closest they’ve been to Heaven since the Fall. How will the group react? Will they pursue information from Sheriff Ramirez to investigate on their own? How will they handle being disrespected on their own turf?
Some time after the sheriff leaves, the wife of one of the missing Nephilim club members bursts through the doors—she says that a friend of a friend heard scuttle that the Nephilim traffickers will be selling their captives. The deal will go down in a nearby rural cornfield just south of Mercy Falls tomorrow at midnight. It will be the perfect opportunity for the club to rescue its own, and secure its interests.
Know the Nephilim Trade, Cowardly at Heart
Average (+1) Fight, Ride
Final Scene: Busting the Nephilim Trade
If the Children arrive at the cornfield several hours before midnight, they should easily be able to hide in waiting without rousing suspicion. Eventually, a large unmarked van pulls up, flanked by four goons on motorcycles. The van driver and one passenger get out, and six Nephilim are held bound and gagged in the back of the van. The sellers wait for a half hour for the buyers to show up. Eventually, a motorcycle approaches with a rider and a passenger. The passenger takes the keys to the van from the van driver and, if the Children don’t stop him, will drive the van and its cargo south to the nearest metropolitan city. The original van driver and passenger will get rides back to Mercy Falls with two of the goons on motorcycles.
If the Children act before the buyers show up, they lose the opportunity to learn where the Nephilim cargo is heading, but gain the advantage of having two fewer opponents to fight. Regardless of when the Children strike, the traffickers’ riders defend the van by firing shotguns at their attackers. If two of the traffickers are killed, the rest immediately leave, heading back to Mercy Falls where they try to lose the Children.
If the Children are able to take any of the dealers alive, successful questioning reveals that the Nephilim trafficking ring is being run by Dicky Walls—the Fallen-possessed mayor of Mercy Falls. What will the Children do with this information? Will they move against Walls? How will they keep their own Nephilim relatives safe from abduction? If the Children used lethal force, they’ll need to do something with the bodies to ensure that the violence isn’t traced back to the club.
Plot Hooks and Adventure Seeds
The adventures of the Children of Perdition can continue beyond this scenario. The players may have evaded capture by the out-of-county sheriffs, and even rescued their Nephilim club members from being traded like cattle, but each of these solutions begs for follow-up that could get the Children in trouble with the laws of humanity.
The out-of-county sheriffs will now have time to coordinate with Sheriff Ramirez to investigate the Children. The Children are the most notorious motorcycle club in the area. As such, they are the most logical targets for law enforcement officers investigating the chase from the start of the adventure. The out-of-county sheriffs will be especially motivated if the Children harmed any of their deputies. How will the Children hide their gun-smuggling operation from the combined efforts of two law enforcement agencies? Will they be able to throw the sheriffs onto a false trail before the Feds get involved?
Dicky Walls and the Nephilim Trade
The Children may have rescued their missing club members and stopped the Nephilim trafficking deal, but they only dealt with paid thugs. The trade ring still continues, and since Dicky Walls is making a killing off of selling Nephilim captives to the Fallen across the state, he won’t let this one small setback stop the trade. Who does Dicky hire to actually abduct the Nephilim? Who else is involved in the trade? How quickly can the Children move against Walls given the fact that he is a very public figure within Mercy Falls?
Rival Motorcycle Clubs
The Children aren’t the only motorcycle club out there. Given the age of their charter and their notorious reputation, they have plenty of rivalry. Some of it comes from human motorcycle clubs who are puzzled that the club seems to have so many of the same personality types pop up across each generation. Other rivals are supernatural. How will the Children react to the Braineaters—a motorcycle club of werewolves who roam from town to town? When the Braineaters come to Mercy Falls, will the Children prevent them from tearing the town up under the light of the full moon? Or will they jump whole-heartedly into the wrathful fray of supernatural gang warfare?
One thing the Fallen know about, but few speak of, are the Wanderers—Fallen who have chosen not to possess a new host after their last one died. These Wanderers are invisible by default, but can manifest as small translucent orbs of light. They cannot use words or language, but are able to communicate with other Fallen through the use of gentle colors, slight temperature adjustments, and purring sounds. Their presence in the physical world diminishes slowly but surely until they no longer exist. Are they dying a true and permanent death, or have they found a guaranteed path back to Heaven? Who amongst the Children is willing to take the risk to find out? Or are the Wanderers up to something else entirely?
Motorcycle Fight Club
The clubhouse is divided into a large lounge full of pool tables, a smaller side office used for meetings, and a hallway of bunkrooms for members to sleep and crash for the night. Tonight is Fight Club night, where members and groupies are able to try their hand at non-lethal fistfights. The clubhouse is almost always active until the early morning hours, when members and club groupies retire. By 1pm the next day, the clubhouse is active again. Winner grabs a pot of cash. +
Rosasharn Jackson (Ariel)
Rosasharn is the sister to Emilia, and host of the Fallen named Ariel. She bartends at the club and pulls in extra money from working as a waitress at a local restaurant. She’s warm and friendly, and incredibly talkative. Everyone is willing to talk to her to get the scoop on recent happenings in Mercy Falls.
Virtue: Mama Bear to Everyone
Vice: Just Wants to be Loved
Vice: Roars like a Lion
Other: Able to Get Out of a Jam | Every Rose Has Its Thorns
Great (+4) Contacts
Good (+3) Fight, Ride
Fair (+2) Deceive, Empathy, Will (Sin)
Average (+1) Investigate, Notice, Shoot, Stealth
Everybody Loves Rose: You may use Contacts as though it were the Rapport skill when working at the Motorcycle Club or at the restaurant.
Sin Resistant: Once per conflict, spend a fate point to reduce damage to your Sin stress track by two shifts.
Sucker Punch: Once per conflict, when you fight unarmed, you gain one free invoke against an opponent.
Physical: □□ | Mental: □□ | Sin: □□□
Mild (2) | Moderate (4) | Major (6)
Sweet Ride: One rider and two passengers; 3 zones of movement
sweet ride Stress
sweet ride Consequences
Minor (2) | Moderate (4);
sweet ride Stunts
My Bike Is a Weapon: When you are riding your motorcycle, you can avoid taking shifts of stress that you deal when you attack by colliding with your enemy.
Sidecar: The motorcycle can carry a second passenger.
Emilia Jackson (Kushiel)
Emilia is the sister to Rosasharn, and the host to Kushiel. If Rosasharn is day, Emilia is night. She’s quiet, and works as a court reporter so she doesn’t have to do the talking in the room. She keeps a keen ear open for goings-on that might impact the club’s interests.
Virtue: Silence Is a Virtue
Vice: Numbs the Pain
Other: It Is What it Is | I Can Move Beyond Anything
Great (+4) Notice
Good (+3) Deceive, Empathy
Fair (+2) Fight, Ride, Will (Mental)
Average (+1) Athletics, Provoke, Resources, Stealth
Emo Emo: Roll Notice instead of Empathy when someone tries to hide something from you.
Secretive by Nature: +2 on all Deceive rolls when you hide your mental state and related aspects.
Strength from Determination: Use Will instead of Physique on any overcome rolls representing feats of strength. (Fate Core System, page 127).
Physical: □□ | Mental: □□□ | Sin: □□
Mild (2) | Moderate (4) | Major (6)
Sweet Ride: One rider and one passenger; 3 zones of movement
sweet ride Stress
sweet ride Consequences
Minor (2) | Moderate (4)
sweet ride Stunts
Amped-up Shocks: The bike gains +2 to Drive rolls made when overcoming obstacles related to rough terrain.
Sexy Paint Job: Your motorcycle impresses all who look at it. You gain a +2 bonus when using the Rapport skill. You gain this bonus as long as you’re near the bike, even if you’re not riding it at the moment.
Logan Anderson (Samael)
Logan, host of Samael, works at a local garage where he specializes in motorcycle repair and maintenance. He has a rough-and-tumble, loud personality, and is always in the center of trouble. He’s fiercely overprotective of Rosasharn (Ariel) and Emilia (Kushiel), although if he had to admit it, he knows that they’re far more than capable of taking care of themselves.
Virtue: Loyal Until the End of Time
Vice: Obsessively Controlling
Vice: Bedtime Is the Best Time
Other: Silver-Tongued Devil | The Man Comes Around
Great (+4) Rapport
Good (+3) Provoke, Ride
Fair (+2) Contacts, Deceive, Fight
Average (+1) Investigate, Physique, Resources, Shoot
Born to Ride: When rolling Ride for overcome actions, treat any success as a success with style and failure as a tie.
Chain Gang: +2 on all Fight rolls when wielding a chain as a weapon.
Disturbing Presence: Once per scene, gain an additional free invoke on an opponent’s consequence taken to offset sin stress.
Physical: □□□ | Mental: □□ | Sin: □□
Mild (2) | Moderate (4) | Major (6)
Sweet Ride: One rider and one passenger; 4 zones of movement
sweet ride Skills
sweet ride Stress
sweet ride Consequences
Minor (2) | Moderate (4)
sweet ride Stunts
Mounted Guns: The motorcycle gains the Shoot skill at Fair (+2).
Nitro Boost: The motorcycle can move one additional zone per round of a conflict.