I assume a demon cannot be possessed by a spirit. Is this correct?

I'm not finding it in any of the rule books.


2 Answers 2


No, a Demon cannot be possessed by a Spirit

I'm frustrated that I can't find a passage - I thought there was an explicit "Demons can't be mentally/spiritually influenced by any external forces," but I'll assume I was thinking of classic WoD Demons.

DtD p182, "Total Control"

A demon never expresses a thought or emotion involuntarily... This precise trait makes it almost completely impossible to read his true intentions.

Demons are, by their nature, unemotional. They can emulate emotions, they can even trick themselves into feeling emotions (Flowers of Hell, page 25), but they cannot be influenced by emotions.

The problem is, that's most spirits' angle of attack; the Demons offer nothing Resonant to Open up, so to speak.

Even in the case of say, a mechanical Spirit, wherein it could be argued an innate resonance exists with Demons, the situation would be far more akin to having your Spam folder flooded with all caps directives to paint your living room, rather than waking up after a three hour blackout with paintbrush in hand.

It's also worth considering the Possession Exploit - DtD, page 171. While naturally Demons and Spirits have different mechanisms for the act of possession, the effects are by and large the same - the invader gains total control of the victim, does not have to keep burning fuel to retain control, etc. In some ways, the Demonic method is stronger - using her own traits and possibly using some of the victim's Skills, not counting lack of restrictions on Embeds and Exploits.

This Exploit specifically says it targets "human beings" - meaning Demons can't be victim to this arguably stronger version of possession.

And, to circle back, since a Demon's true motives are inscrutable, it bears to reason that even if a Demon was able to be possessed by a Spirit, it'd be a meaningless endeavor - like a court order prohibiting a person from flying without mechanical assistance. Most people can't do that - and for those who could, why would they obey such a piece of paper?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I couldn't find anything that said it specifically either in DtD, FoH or DSG. However, I haven't read each book cover to cover so I might have missed. it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ghostdriver I still would have preferred something more explicit, but it makes sense that an answer can be derived via extrapolation; Demons are very logical, after all. \$\endgroup\$
    – C Geist
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 21:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The entire premise of this answer is wrong. Demons are not unemotional robots, they are robots who have emotions and can conceal them perfectly. \$\endgroup\$
    – user10063
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user10063 My answer is merely trying to say "A demon is always in full control of his emotions" paired with "Spirits possesses via emotional manipulation (at least, initially)" imply that the possession wouldn't work. I did not mean to imply that Demons don't feel emotions. \$\endgroup\$
    – C Geist
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:10

There is no rule that makes demons immune to becoming Possessed by ephemeral beings.

Ironically, yes, a demon could also even be possessed by an angel, technically.

It may merely be somewhat more difficult for the Possess Manifestation to succeed, on par with trying to possess more powerful supernatural beings, as unlike others, demons in human guise use their morality/sanity stat, Cover, as their Supernatural Tolerance. And it's much higher even for novice demons (Cover 7) than their Supernatural Potency stat (Primum 1).

Living subjects contest the roll with Resolve + Composure + Supernatural Tolerance.

Before it can use the Possess Manifestation, the ephemeral being just needs the target to have the Open Condition. For spirits, this means first advancing from the prerequisite Resonant Condition. If that involves a specific emotion, so be it, because demons feel emotions just as keenly as everyone else. Hell, emotion is almost inevitably involved in what caused their Fall in the first place.

Demons are really good at lying: Very true. Demons are masterful liars, the consequence of being an inhuman machine- creature wearing a human body. Demons feel emotions — they feel them just as deeply as humans — and can express themselves by angry shout or tender whisper, but the disconnection between what a demon thinks and his human body means that they don’t show involuntary signs of emotion. Every demon has an iron-clad poker face and magical attempts to sense their emotions usually fail.

The fact that demons feel emotions, even as they hide them from mundane observation, is repeatedly alluded to throughout the book -- even still-enslaved angels have them, to some degree.

For good or ill, angels don’t experience emotion in their bodies. Everything is intellectual for them. A hunter angel might feel contempt for the demons he is sent to destroy, but he doesn’t hate them, not with the bone-deep, venomous hatred that humans are capable of. His hate exists purely in his mind, a pseudo-emotional circuit placed there by the God-Machine to ensure that the angel completes its mission.

When an angel Falls, the barriers of emotional objectivity falls with it. A demon is fully embodied in the world. She feels her emotions as fully and viscerally as any human being (though they don’t necessarily express them normally — see p. 44 for details). This comes as a shock to most demons, but they usually adapt quickly. Not all demons Fall because their non-physical emotive thoughts were enough to overcome their programming, but it’s a sufficiently popular motivation that demons are generally friendly to the idea of passion.

Torn from the God-Machine’s control, a Falling angel experiences a tumult of new emotions and thoughts, its previously clear mind wrecked by an explosion of sensation. For a terrifying instant it doesn’t exist — it isn’t part of the God-Machine any more and the universe has no place for it — but the remains of its protective Infrastructure wrap around it and reality warps to accommodate the newcomer.

anyone who can see into the Shadow might notice the spirits of passion who are drawn to a demon’s newfound intense emotions.

They feel emotions as deeply as any human. What they don’t do, however, is express these emotions unconsciously. A demon might lash out in anger, but no one around her will see it coming. Her interpersonal self-control is perfect.

For example, if a human psychic tries to read a demon’s aura, the demon can spoof the psychic’s ability to detect that she isn’t human, but not his ability to read her emotional state. She might, however, get a contested roll against the power.


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