How common is Infrastructure in Demon: The Descent? That is, should a Demon expect there to be several pieces of it in every town? Is it as common as Starbucks (every few blocks in an urban setting), a shopping mall (one or two in a decent sized town, more near a city) or power plants (one per city) or FBI offices (few and far between)?

I am asking because the setting evokes a spy in a police state, which implies ubiquity. On the other hand, Infrastructure is secret and having it on every block seems hard to keep hidden.

To use movies as analogies, is Demon: The Descent closer to "They Live" or to "The Adjustment Bureau" or somewhere in between?


Infrastructure is "plot thick"

There's no established rules or ratio for how much Infrastructure is in a given area; thematically, it may work for the chronicle for the location to be a hotbed of many small installations; or perhaps a giant one. That being said, a truly barren and devoid place, a blind spot to the GM, would represent a hot commodity that many Demons would be willing to fight over, growing louder and louder until they get noticed.

From the GM's perceptive: Infrastructure often daisy-chains, so it makes sense to have some clustered ; but on the same hand, if one is compromised, it'd be inconvenient for a large project to cascade into failure.

From the ST's perspective, Infrastructure is both "crisis" and "opportunity", so it makes sense to have the right amount for the chronicle tone, troupe size, etc.

But, if you still want an official metric, the "setting city" of DtD is Seattle, Washington. Between DtD's Appendix One, the "How an Angel Dies" chronicle included in DtD, and the Splintered City: Seattle sourcebook, there's about 12 pieces of Infrastructure fleshed out. Ironically, these include the FBI office and a self-replicating chain of coffee shops.

Now, assuming there are about 200 Starbucks in the Seattle metro area, one could fiat a good number of those into Von Neumann's, but let's count those collectively as 1.

Current Wikipedia stats gives Seattle's footprint as 142.5 square miles, 725K residents (3,87 million for entire metro area) which gives roughly:

  • 1 Infrastructure per 12 square miles
  • 1 Infrastructure per 60K residents
  • 1 Infrastructure per 323K residents (entire Metro area)

Off course, the caveat is that Seattle is not going according to plan, what with all the time splinters. Maybe the Infrastructure was too dense, and the GM has since spread more out... or maybe, because Seattle has "fallen", it's actually less dense, because the GM doesn't trust it anymore.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But an area devoid of Infrastructure and GM presence would also be devoid of opportunities to refill aether, right? Otherwise most Unchained would simply migrate to the wilderness. (Otherwise, your answer makes a lot of sense.) \$\endgroup\$ – Kieran Mullen Aug 6 '18 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ For some Demons, that sounds like an ideal Hell - a place free from the GM. They wouldn't get much Aether, but they wouldn't have to need it to hide and run. Or it'd be a great place to practice making Lambdas and other Gadgets. Either way, who said there's no Infrastructure in the wilderness? That sounds like a great place to keep Infrastructure away from prying eyes... \$\endgroup\$ – C Geist Aug 6 '18 at 21:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ But if there's infrastructure in the wilderness then it's not free from the GM. :-) My point is that you have provided a nice balance for the story - you can run far from any Infrastructure as long as you don't plan on ever doing anything with your abilities - which won't sit well for for a lot of the Unchained, and is a hell of a risk if something unexpected happens. \$\endgroup\$ – Kieran Mullen Aug 6 '18 at 21:52

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