The rules on page 222 of the God Machine Rules update state:

Entities in Twilight can only attack or be attacked by other ephemeral beings of the same type, unless the attack utilizes the entity’s bane. Physical attacks on a manifest entity that normally cause lethal damage only cause bashing damage unless the attack utilizes the entity’s bane. Despite appearing to the naked eye and being solid, a manifest spirit, ghost, or angel doesn’t have any internal organs to injure.

Can my logic on this be checked?

  • Angels are a type of Ephemeral Being, along with spirits and ghosts.

  • As such, unless they activate a suitable ability, like Materialise, they exist in a state of Twilight.

  • While in the state of Twilight, a being is invisible, and unable to interact with, physical objects except via suitable powers, e.g. the Telekinesis Numen.

  • Physical objects, including attacks, similarly can not effect the Ephemeral Being, while in Twilight

  • As a Demon is not an Ephemeral Being of the same type as an Angel (anymore).

    • While in the Twilight the Angel can not attack the demon,
    • Not physically or through the Blast Numen.
  • The Demon can not attack the Angel in the Twilight:

    • unless it works out where it is and attacks using its bane
    • or it could use Abjuration or Exorcism. (that is mortal only)
    • these solutions are open to everyone, including mortals
  • The Angel can make what ever other actions it likes, so long at it isn't an attack, and doesn't involve moving physical objects. This includes:

    • The Drain Numina (to take all their willpower, though drain can become suck if they lose the contested roll)
    • Th Hallucination Numina, to screw with them
    • Awe, Rapture and Dement, to give them Conditions.

Is this correct? Are demons no more able to protect themselves/fight back than mortals? and are exactly as vulnerable to attacks (aside from there supernatural resistance)?


3 Answers 3


Mostly correct, with the following extra abilities:

  • All Demons can sense Aetheric Resonance so that they can tell if an Angel is around.
  • They can run to a Bolthole with the No Twilight add-on to make fighting the Angel easier.
  • The Ephemeral Cover Exploit lets you get a Twilight form.
  • Gadgets bend the rules, letting you be more versatile... and one example gadget is a weapon that can hurt ephemeral creatures.
  • Various Embeds, Exploits, and Form abilities may increase resistances.

Other than that, from what I can tell, Demons are vulnerable to Angels and other ephemeral beings.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer would be improved with direct quotes from the book to support its claims. That example gadget is 'capable of cutting ghosts,' not angels or other ephemeral entities. \$\endgroup\$
    – user10063
    Mar 11 at 6:52

The other answer (the accepted answer when first writing this) is wrong or incomplete on some important points.

The Ephemeral Cover Exploit is useless against angels:

The demon can craft a Cover out of spirit-stuff, creating a mask that resembles a ghost or a spirit.
He can harvest Corpus using this Exploit; as such, Ephemeral Cover also functions as an attack against ghosts and spirits.

A demon with a Cover like that can enter Twilight, but a ghost or a spirit in Twilight still can't touch an angel in Twilight, as the question above already mentions. And you can't use it to create a Cover of any other type of ephemeral entity, let alone to impersonate an angel, so a demon is never going to be able to attack them in Twilight by becoming 'of the same type' that way. (They could always submit to the machine for 'redemption,' of course...)

Gadgets are less versatile than Embeds and Exploits, not more, and while they could "bend the rules" with near-field effects that your Storyteller might possibly approve, there's by default no Gadget that can cut angels in Twilight, let alone all ephemeral beings indiscriminately.

Gadgets offset portability and reliability with inflexible single-function usage that represents only a portion of the Embed’s or Exploit’s potential.

The sample Exploited Gadget listed in the book fits the default rules for Gadgets, it's a strict subset of functionality: it only hurts ghosts, not ghosts and spirits, and it's highly dubious whether you'd be allowed to create an equivalent that would cut angels, because the original Exploit can't touch them.

A straight razor that hums audibly and spews a thin ribbon of fog is Installed with Ephemeral Cover (p. 164) and is capable of cutting ghosts.

Aetheric Resonance costs one Aether to activate it for every scene you'd wish to check for the presence of angels in Twilight or the use of their Numina, so to be on the lookout you may want to buy the one-dot Merit Resonance Sensitive (Prerequisites: Wits ••••, Flowers of Hell p. 129) to allow the sense to be constantly active at no cost of valuable Aether. (The truly paranoid might buy dots in Resonance Aware to greatly extend the range of the demon's aetheric resonance sense.)

Finally, the Bolthole Merit's "No Twilight" option is useless here, because boltholes are already even more useful than that out of the box. Angels are completely unable to enter boltholes in the first place:

All boltholes have the following benefits:
Wards: The bolthole is warded against angels (see Warding, p. 353).

As explained on p. 353, which are the same rules on ephemeral beings as in The God-Machine Chronicle rules update and the Chronicles of Darkness core book:

the entity described in the ritual treats attempting to move into or out of the warded area as though it were against its ban.
All ephemeral beings suffer from a mystical compulsion known as the ban, a behavior that the entity must or must not perform under certain conditions.

Now some potentially useful Exploits when dealing with angels in Twilight are:

  • Reality Enforcement, which robs all nearby demons, angels, and stigmatics alike of their powers (it doesn't specify how long this effect lasts). Angels become unable to use Numina and ones in Twilight are forced to Materialize, at which point you can just shoot them with guns.
  • The Word, which can give single-word commands to a target, which can inflict lethal damage or force them to e.g. 'flee' for a number of hours. It doesn't say the commanded target has to be human, solid, or even visible to the demon at all, so even invisible angels can be targeted if you know they're there. (Perhaps you could just command them to 'materialize.')
  • Show of Power (Flowers of Hell, p. 114) is the wild card: it can mimic the Merits or powers of a non-demon if the demon has seen that power used before and if it doesn't require an extended action to perform, so if any other type has a way of hurting or repelling angels in Twilight, they can use that. (It says 'another type of supernatural being,' so by RAW you can't use it to mimic mortal powers like warding and binding, though that would be a fairly logical extension/houserule.)

Also, there's one more (general, non demon-specific) weakness angels share with spirits: Essence Bleed. An angel in Twilight roaming freely can't stay that way forever.

• Ephemeral beings outside of a suitable Condition bleed one point of Essence per hour. The Influence and Manifestation Conditions starting on p. 346 state whether they protect from Essence bleed for different types of ephemeral being. Entities that run out of Essence due to bleed suffer a single point of lethal damage and enter hibernation.

To avoid this it would either have to become Materialized, and vulnerable to physical attacks, or to inhabit a target's body with the Possess Manifestation, which renders them unable to use any of their powers (Numina or Influences). Outside of those Manifestation Conditions, their mission is on a time limit before they have to resort to those two options or retreat to refuel itself by returning to Infrastructure or calling on a local cult's sacrifices. It depends on how strong it is: Rank 1 entities have a Maximum Essence of 10, Rank 4 entities have a maximum of 25, Rank 5 can hold a whopping 50 Essence.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Good catches especially WRT ephemeral cove & bolthole. Great first answer. But near-field effects are part of gadgets and they do bend the rules. Nearfielding ephemeral cover to get an angel knife may or may not be near enough depending on GM ruling (some of the near-field examples are pretty distant, because they rely on theme not mechanics), but nearfielding another one (like The Word, or Show of Power). Escense Bleed isn't really going to be too relevant in most campaigns, given that angels are much rarer (at least in my games) than infastructure, so fueling is easy \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2017 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LyndonWhite Edited the answer to account for near-field effects. \$\endgroup\$
    – user10063
    Sep 23, 2017 at 2:13

Limitations on Twilight Use By Angels

When I first learned about the rules for angels working Twilight it seemed massively unbalanced. However, on closer inspection it is a powerful ability, but not as unlimited as you might fear.

Angels by default are ephemeral beings and exist in Twilight. While in Twilight they can be performing tasks for the GM on any Infrastructure that might exist in Twilight, or spy on activities in the Material plane. The CoD manual states:

Unless they Manifest or use a power to appear, ephemeral beings remain in their insubstantial state when in the material world. This state is described as “Twilight.” To beings in Twilight, physical objects appear pale and semitransparent, light sources are dimmed and sounds distorted as though underwater. Twilight isn’t an actual place, though, more a description of how ephemera interacts — or fails to interact — with material reality.

Thus while an angel can spy from Twilight and perhaps follow a suspect, they won't be able to overhear conversations or spot fine details.

If Angels in Twilight are away from Infrastructure for long periods of time they are subject to Essence Bleed at the rate of 1/hour. Angels can't sit on a stakeout in Twilight for too long. If they Materialize or are in Cover, they don't suffer Essence Bleed. Thus there is an incentive for angels to Materialize when they are on some mission (or be placed in Cover by the GM) rather than run around in Twilight. You could imagine an tag team of angels working round-the-clock surveillance on a demon from Twilight, but that's an enormous investment of resources to accomplish what might be done more easily in the Real world.

If an angel is watching a demon from Twilight and the demon gets in a car and drives away, the angel better have some form of propulsion to keep up. Being in Twilight does not grant any flying or projection abilities.

Twilight's biggest impact (IMO) is that it can give an angel a Get Out Of Combat Free card. A retreating angel may have learned enough about its combatant's identity to come back and fight them another day - or send twenty cultists instead. If he is not careful a demon "winning" a fight may be far worse off as the angel in twilight plans her revenge attack now that they know his Cover.


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