In "Demon: The Descent" (p.348) we learn

Materialization lasts for one hour per success on the activating roll. When the duration ends, the entity fades back into Twilight. Physical contact with a Bane or removal of a prerequisite condition can cause the Condition to end early.

However, we also meet angels (which are ephemeral by nature and live in Twilight) who have missions that last for years. How do they stay materialized?


Most Angels have Covers, so it's not an issue

Page 117 of DtD details the act of Angel-Jacking: the act of stealing a Cover as it is being created.

Furthermore, the act of the Fall causes an Angel to be cut off from the GM; if most Angels had no Covers, the mechanism by which they obtain their initial Cover would be mentioned somewhere.

A good passage from Demon: Storyteller's Guide, page 60:

Angelic Cover rarely stands out. It is carefully selected by either the God-Machine or the angel itself to fit the situation, location or mission parameters. However, some angels eschew Cover altogether. Either their Mission doesn't require it at all - normally the case with hunter angels - or it is unnecessary, if the angel is not expecting a need for physical presence.

In other words, most of the time, Angels are walking around in their own Covers, interacting with reality. They may be ephemeral by nature, and by default would be in Twilight, however, they are wrapped up in a mortal body that "fits into" reality. If it helps to look at it this way, they are like "spirits possessing a soulless body," in that they don't bleed Essence while in Cover.

However, as it states, some Angels may not have a Cover - the Destroyer hunting its target may simply follow it in Twilight until an attack seems advantageous, at which point it materializes for a scene, either spending more Essence when the scene ends, or resuming stalking in Twilight, awaiting another chance; this pattern broken only by "pit stops" at Infrastructure to get refilled with Essence.

One interesting case to consider is the Angel "Summer Hopkins", from Night Horrors: Enemy Action.

In the back story, it explicitly states that Summer has had a Cover prior to going into cold storage. Once again activated, she "looks identical to the previous model."

It touches briefly on her description, including that, without clothing, she appears at least partially mechanical (there's even a plot hook implying someone sees her "true form," a robot woman [and her artwork depicts her as such])

However, in her previous mission, she was a waitress, which implies people saw her.

She possesses neither the Mortal Mask Numen, nor the Materialize Manifestation.

It is unlikely that she had either of these before, as her write up specifically calls out her Ban being changed, but states no changes to her Numina or Manifestations.

In summary:

  • She had a Cover
  • She looks identical to how she looked before
  • She is able to interact with telephones, Skype, etc.
  • She "cannot endure personal contact"

These create a compelling case for her "long term materialization" being due to her having a viable Cover (even if that physical body has robotic sections that are covered with clothing)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't doubt your answer, but the DtD gives details on the need for Angels in Twilight to be supported by Infrastructure, how the Open Condition (arranged by the GM and cultists) based on that Infrastructure is needed before they can Materialize, and how they have a Mortal Mask Numina so that they can appear to be human when they use their Materialize manifestation. It is frustrating to also have a parallel system that just says "Oh yeah, they just have Cover like a demon." I thought the section on Ephemerals in the DtD was supposed to explain how angels enter our world. \$\endgroup\$ – Kieran Mullen Sep 9 '18 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's fair. The section on Ephemeral Beings is reprinted in several other gamelines (eg, Beast: the Primordial) so, I believe it's intended to serve as more of a summary; however, since Angels aren't really a focus of that game, the "here's how they Manifest" serves it well. However, because they are a major antagonistic force in DtD, that may be why they both reprint the overview, and go into more depth, like how most Angels actually have Covers. It would have been more clear if the overview hadn't been quite so misleading. \$\endgroup\$ – C Geist Sep 9 '18 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is further confusing is that many (all?) examples of angels in the DtD (Alexandra Fairchild, Orin, Keeper of the Dead, Rachel Fearson, Drawbridge...) have the Materialize manifestation, and many (but not all) in published material have the Mortal Mask Numina (Samson, Madame X, Keneo, Lambent). It might improve your answer to make clear that the specific text in the DtD about angels having Cover should supersede the "general boilerplate" about angels as Ephemerals in the latter part of the book. \$\endgroup\$ – Kieran Mullen Sep 9 '18 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ The rules of the Materialize manifestation don't allow it to be performed at a random location. There needs to be an Open Condition first, usually from Infrastructure. This would give demons a bit of safety from angels lurking in Twilight, but no privacy. \$\endgroup\$ – Kieran Mullen Sep 9 '18 at 18:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I haven't found any text that directly calls out "This supersedes Appendix Two", however, that appendix doesn't mention Cover, and DtD books explicitly refer to the Cover of Angels. Perhaps Mortal Mask is a Numina that facilitates Cover somehow; there must be a benefit to possessing it. Still, my basic point remains: since Demons can hijack Covers meant for Angels (and the GM doesn't notice), and since Demons have no effect similar to Essence bleed while in Cover, it makes sense that an Angel in a Cover shouldn't bleed Essence - thus staying in the material realm for extended periods of time. \$\endgroup\$ – C Geist Sep 9 '18 at 19:02

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