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Tabletop Game / WitchCraft

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CJ Carella's WitchCraft is an urban fantasy tabletop RPG that uses Unisystem. It's set in a world like our own, but with an extensive Masquerade to mask the fact that just about every supernatural being and mythological figure exists (or has existed). The players take the part of the Gifted — humans who secretly wield the power of magic, psychic abilities, divine miracles, or other supernatural traits. For all of recorded history, the Gifted have kept their existence a secret, but now the world is threatened by an approaching Reckoning, and new Gifted are being born in record numbers. The time for hiding in the shadows is coming to an end...

The setting has a dark undertone, but it is far from hopeless. On the one hand, there are many conspiracies and supernatural entities that are trying to exploit or outright prey upon humanity, and most of the ones that don't won't bother getting involved unless it suits them. On the other hand, not only are there beings that genuinely want to help and protect humanity, but human potential is virtually infinite, and there are Gifted who can curbstomp uppity vampires, ghouls, ghosts, demons, angels, gods, freaky things from beyond, etc.


A Spin-Off, Armageddon, takes place in 2017, where the Reckoning is in full swing, and Germany is spearheading the takeover of the Earth on behalf of the extra-dimensional monster: Leviathan.

This tabletop RPG provides examples of:

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    Original Game 
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • Fiends are physical embodiments of malice, and therefore cannot be anything but evil.
    • Inverted with the Angelic Ethereals, who are physical embodiments of good.
    • Subverted with the Fallen Seraphim. They're potentially as capable of good or evil as any other angel, though Hell isn't really a good place to be a good being. Likewise, the Qliphonim have free will, though they had better not exercise it if they know what's good for them.
    • The Mad Gods aren't exactly a positive influence on anyone, either - to the point where the demons actually team up with humanity to fight them in the sequel.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Combine, the Knights Templar, and the Fellowship of Judas. The latter two, however, are mostly good guys, if sometimes amoral.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: Seraphim, Demons, and Mad Gods fit. In the sequel, we get the Angels and Devils teaming up with humanity against the Squid. Ironically, the Mad God Leviathan acts a lot more like a devil in terms of the whole temptation thing.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: The Fellowship of Judas' recruitment is "voluntary," but they use very aggressive pressure on prospective recruits by forcing them to face the consequences of their sins, and those who refuse the Last-Second Chance are sent to Hell (whether they were alive or dead when the offer was made).
  • The Atoner: The Fellowship of Judas are an entire Covenant of people like this, most of them undead.
  • Ax-Crazy: Relentless Dead of the "Dark Wrath" variety are little more than berserk killers.
  • Badass Bookworm: The Rosicrucian Marchers.
  • Badass Normal: A Mundane at the default (Heroic) level of play is among the most hardcore normal humans in the world, making up for their lack of Gift with skill, talent and bullets. At the Legendary level and higher, however, this trope is simply averted - you can't make a mundane character who can expect to match a Seraphim or a Greater Gifted in ability.
  • Bargain with Heaven: Old Gods and Seraphim can make these with humans, serving as Spirit Patrons. This gives power, albeit limited by Bonds representing the mortal's side of the deal.
  • Black Magic:
    • The Sadicas invocations practiced by the Cult of Pain (and possibly other evil magicians). The Essence used to power them can only be recharged by torturing innocents.
    • In general, Black Magic is magic that doesn't require care and consideration when used. It can freely be used for evil without rebounding on the caster, but someone will always suffer when it's used - and if it's used selflessly, the caster's the one who'll be stuck with the bill.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The penalty for any Divinely Inspired person who errs in their faith.
  • Cats Are Magic: The Bast, especially High Bast.
  • Cats Are Mean: For Bast, ethics only apply to their friends and people on their side. They will freely be merciless and cruel towards enemies and other rightful prey.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: While groups centered around black magic exist, the point is made that they rarely survive in the long term, since most black magicians are ambitious, psychopathic, and all too eager to advance their power at the expense of others.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe:
    • Reversed, as disbelieving Mundanes make it harder for magic and certain supernatural abilities to function, especially when the Mundanes are gathered in huge crowds. If you're playing in a setting where the cat's out of the bag, anger makes a decent substitute.
    • The jury's out on whether this applies to the Divinely Inspired. Are they actually calling on the Creator's power, or does the power come solely from their Faith?
  • Combat Clairvoyance: One application of the Mindtime or Mindview abilities.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Group magic and psychic gestalts, although they don't have to be used for offensive powers.
  • The Corruption: The Mad Gods and their minions, on just about every level. Humans who have contact with them can get infected by their Taint, and most of these unfortunates very quickly die, go irrevocably insane, or become pawns of the Mad Gods. The few who don't - the Mockers - dedicate themselves to fighting the Mad Gods, but even they face an ever-growing struggle with madness and dissolution.
  • Corrupt Church: Some Covenants see the Sentinels as this. On a more personal level, some Gifted with Divine Inspiration end up leaving their churches, as their divine insight causes them to see the corruption marring those institutions.
  • Crossover Cosmology/Fantasy Kitchen Sink: As with the World of Darkness setting, Witchcraft sourcebooks eventually introduced so many different supernatural beings, races, and conspiracies that it becomes difficult to imagine how the Masquerade survives at all.
  • Cult: The setting has no shortage of these. They can be your garden variety mundane nutjobs, or they might be dedicated to black magic, demons, or the Mad Gods. Even better, the more fanatical Covenants view more than one of their fellow Covenants as dangerous cults.
  • Cursed with Awesome: One way to view Taint powers... at least until you lose your battle with madness.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Not only are there playable monster-heavy Covenants, they're actually nicer on average than many human ones. The House of Thanatos, for example, are an organization of Necromancers and undead who want to be truly immortal... and go about this by preserving the sanctity of the Death Realms and the living world from each other, busting up Mad God cults, and generally being a social clubhouse.
  • Deal with the Devil: Oddly enough, demons rarely offer these kinds of deals, because anyone who would sell their soul is likely damned anyways. On the occasions when they do, it's only for mortals who stand to corrupt a lot of other mortals.
  • Determinator: Plenty of things are difficult to kill in this setting, but the grand prize probably goes to the Relentless Dead. Permanently offing one of them requires not only massive physical and spiritual damage, but specialized invocations or Necromancy powers on top of that.
  • Eldritch Abomination: There are a bunch of them running around, most notably the Mad Gods and those infected by their Taint.
  • Elemental Powers: Each of the classical four elements has an invocation, as well as a Key of Solomon.
  • Enforced Cold War: The Ruya'ha and Alamut sects of The Hashshashin both have Madrassas in the Garden of Earthly Delights, but they don't fight there or attack each other's headquarters despite being mortal enemies. First, the Garden's nature weakens violence and makes it hard to permanently kill anyone, and second, the Assassins have no wish to defile the holy Garden with violence. They'll kill each other on Earth instead.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: While not necessarily female, the Lesser Gifted archetype lets you play this: a talented but relatively ordinary person with a little magical extra.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Practitioners of black magic are exempt from this trope (even if their poisoned Essence stands out as vile to other Gifted), but Taint is another matter. Humans who gain (and keep gaining) Taint become increasingly deformed.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: The "Storm Fist" style of the Storm Dragons.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampyres: Vampyres survive on intense experience and therefore do not need to kill or even harm people. Many do (especially since overpowering someone and biting them to drink their blood is a great way to terrify someone) and there is a Vampyre flaw that does require blood, but not all (or even most) Vampyres are irredeemable monsters and there are even several Vampyre organizations that are dedicated to playing nice with muggles).
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The MO of the Disciples of the Flesh, who usually first manifest their grotesque powers right when the abuse which defines them reaches its boiling point. Whether they're actually evil after that depends on the individual involved.
  • Functional Magic: Lots.
  • The Fundamentalist: A common type among the Society of Sentinels.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Fellowship of Judas embodies this, as its members are culled from the most self-destructive and wankery people that they can find (and reform). After being reborn, most Iscariots still aren't very nice people (even though they're now fighting for good).
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: While Incarnates (read: gods) are not utterly dependent on human belief, they derive a lot of power from it. Most lost their power base when the Seraphim had their mortal minions slaughter the Incarnates' mortal minions.
  • Healing Factor: Like the Functional Magic, almost too many examples to count.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Normally, a healer of most metaphysical disciplines (magic healing or Mindheal) feels the pain that they're curing, which makes Magic somewhat difficult and Mindhealing draining. The exception is Divinely Inspired healing, which has no drawbacks (but can only be used in serious situations - though most situations that call for magical healing in the first place qualify).
  • Heel Realization: One step of a typical initiation into the Fellowship of Judas: when the prospective member is confronted at the threshold between life and death, and then forced to realize how selfish and vile they were when they were alive.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Averted, as the Legban Covenant featured a detailed description of the Voodoun religion and Voodoo deities other than Baron Samedi.
  • Humans Are Special: An alternate theme of the game setting. Humanity is the only known species that possesses the Divine Spark. This essentially means that human potential is virtually infinite, and upon realization of this potential, humanity may well be like God. Seraphim (both the angelic one and the demonic ones) tend to be... unhappy about this.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: One theme in the setting, as demons prefer to seduce humans into committing evil rather than get their own hands dirty, the Mad Gods can't breach our reality without the help of human cultists, the Combine (with all its megalomaniacal oppressiveness) may be a purely human organization, and - last but not least - the Disciples of the Flesh are created by all-too-human abusers.
  • Hit Points: Life Points or (for spirits) Vital Essence.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: More than one player of a True Immortal or Relentless Dead has been nonchalant about getting mangled, since most enemies lack the means to (permanently) kill them.
  • Instant Expert: One application of the Old Soul quality, especially at higher levels.
  • Jerkass Angels: Of the three Seraphim factions, only the smallest, the Watchers, truly have humanity's best interests at heart; the Heavenly Host are at best paternalistic Control Freaks and at worst "Let God sort 'em out"-style Knight Templars, and as for the Infernal Legion ...well, guess. The Old Gods, too, are often selfish and manipulative to their followers.
  • Ki Attacks: One form of Tao-Chi attack.
  • Knight Templar: Tends to be the MO of the Sentinels, who have a long history of hunting monsters - including, at times, other Gifted (whether they were actually using their powers for evil purposes or not). Subverted with the actual Knights Templar, who are much less rabid in their efforts to protect humanity.
  • The Legions of Hell: Fallen Seraphim want to damn all humanity to prove that they're right. These are not to be confused with Fiends, which are a form of spirit from a different Sephiroth that are defined by hate, hunger, and power relations.
  • Limit Break: Magic functions like this in combat situations, as invocations can't be used until the magician has channeled enough Essence for the effect they want.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The Disciples of the Flesh are Gifted who had such a mangled childhood that it awoke their Gift in a way that allows them to reshape their bodies into grotesque living weapons. The expected morality of the Pariahs is subverted, however-for the most part, they just want to stop the real monsters of the world from causing further suffering.
    • An even more blatant example comes from humans who get infected by Taint from contact with the Mad Gods. One Covenant, the Mockers, is centered around humans who survive the experience and choose to fight the Mad Gods with their horrible new powers. These powers are fueled by Taint, and the more Taint you gain, the more deformed and/or insane you become.
  • Lord British Postulate: Defied. The game will give even a Mad God stats and allow the PCs to try to kill it - they, alone or in conjunction with allies, might just be able to pull it off.
  • Mad God
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Magic, Necromancy, Seer abilities, Divine Inspiration, and the variety of other abilities around each function under a particular set of rules.
  • Magitek: Atlantean Arcana, which runs on Essence and can't be built by mundanes or regular Gifted.
  • Mana: Essence. (Or, more darkly, Taint.)
  • Masquerade: Albeit one that's getting harder to maintain everyday; by the time Armageddon begins, the cat's been out of the bag for years (though of course there were still people denying it right up until they saw genuine angels on live TV).
  • The Men in Black: One category of the Combine's servants. A lesser extent: The Knights Templar.
  • Mercy Kill: A frequently-encountered trope for the Mockers. The Mockers search for other Mad God survivors to bolster their ranks, but for every victim who remains intact enough to join them, they have to kill several others who are beyond help.
  • Mind over Matter: The Seer Mindhands power.
  • Muggles: Mundanes.
  • Muggles Do It Better:
    • While lacking any form of supernatural traits, Mundane players get so many points for other stats that they can start with excellent attributes and near-superhuman levels in combat (or any other) skills. A sidebar in the main rulebook also warns that the Gifted have their limits, using the example that a trained gunman can fire several shots before most wizards can finish a sentence (let alone a powerful invocation).
    • Defied at Legendary and higher levels. Once you get into the realm of the Greater Gifted, Seraphim and Incarnates, there's no rules for mundane heroes; there are simply no mundanes capable of competing with that kind of power.
  • Necromancer: Yet another type of Gifted, and distinct from invocation-wielding magicians. They usually fall under the category of Dark Is Not Evil.
  • Not So Different: The Knights Templar are enemies of the Combine and have much nobler goals, but use the same shadowy conspiracy tactics as their enemies, from media manipulation to assassination. They try to avoid collateral damage, but won't let innocent bystanders get in the way of getting stuff done.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: The Inspired have fairly defined limits on when they can unleash their miracles; this means either when lives are at stake or other supernatural powers have manifested. In addition, the Touch of Healing is expected to be limited to co-religionists, though some Inspired will heal their allies against evil regardless of their professed beliefs.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Relentless Dead can actually take this as a power.
  • One-Winged Angel: Nearly all the Disciplines of the Flesh lend themselves to this, and indeed the standard tactic with those powers is to morph into an inhumanly strong/fast/pointy/hideous monster and rend your foes limb from limb. With a bit of effort on the Reshape power, these forms can also be scary enough to trigger some pretty harsh fear tests while you're at it.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Like in real life, it's possible to bring someone Back from the Dead with prompt medical attention in the ER. A quirk of this is that, under certain circumstances, your soul can be taken from you when you would otherwise be savable (preventing this); the Fallen are in no hurry to update their definition of "dead."
  • Our Angels Are Different: Angels are closer to their original biblical counterparts, as powerful soldiers of God who smite people. Some are nicer, especially the Kerubim who are ascended humans. The rest often have (from a human POV) a serious attitude problem.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Most Vampyres don't actually need to drink blood, as they can siphon the Essence they need merely by causing enough fear, pain, or pleasure in their victims.
  • Path of Inspiration: Many examples. The Old Gods took worshipers for their own power and to keep humanity in line. The Abrahamic Religions were often used by the Seraphim to take out the worshipers of the polytheistic religions so they could defeat the Old Gods in their home domains. The Catholic Church in particular had been used for centuries by the Combine to root out supernaturals and Gifted, and keep humanity largely ignorant. At least the Church no longer operates like this since the Black Death crippled the Combine.
  • Phantasy Spelling ("Vampyres"...)
  • Point Build System
  • Power Crystal: One category of Atlantean super-tech.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child
    • Ghosts with the Ghostsmith ability can forge permanent items that work in the Death Realms, at the cost of some permanent Essence. The most unfortunate Ghostsmiths get enslaved by more powerful ghosts, who force them to forge items constantly - and keep them in existence by feeding them the Essence of yet other ghost slaves.
    • The Sadicas brand of black magic allows its users to hold much higher Essence pools than normal, but it can only be replenished by torturing other humans and stealing their Essence.
  • Power Glows: Beings and places with huge amounts of Essence are very obvious - if you're Gifted.
  • Power Levels: The game defines five levels of starting power for PCs:
    • Pre-Heroic: This tier is occupied by slightly-better-than-average normal people, with a sprinkling of weak and inexperienced Gifted. Generally, expect a horror-movie feel at this level, as the PCs are going to be heavily outgunned by any supernatural adversaries they face.
    • Heroic: This is the default power level. Gifted and minor supernaturals are generally journeyman-ish in strength, while major supernaturals might exist but are very weak and inexperienced for their kind. The absolute best mundanes top out at this level. PCs at this level can be effective members of an Association and proactive in dealing with supernatural threats.
    • Legendary: These are superheroes, beyond the capabilities of any human. Gifted are powerful psychics and sorcerers, and supernatural beings are usually experienced, of a powerful race, or both. Many characters will be Really 700 Years Old. These characters are leaders or major agents in their Associations and in the world, and they're sent on critical missions that can affect entire theaters of war.
    • Mythical: Most of these are supernatural beings of great age and power, ranging from Greater Seraphim to Incarnate gods. Gifted at this level are The Archmage, with centuries worth of experience and knowledge in their respective field (though there's a few young prodigies with really awe-inspiring inborn talent). These beings are armies unto themselves, and reshape the world wherever they act.
    • Transcendent: This one's mentioned in passing to represent cosmic-level movers and shakers, as usually these types don't make good PC material. This tier is pretty much limited to named characters who won't appear on Earth before Armageddon, such as the High Archangels and leading deities of Old God pantheons, as well as Dark Apostle Johann Goering. To give you an idea of just how powerful one of these can be, Odin single-handedly wipes out the Army of Revelations' invasion of Britain and Scandinavia.
  • Psychic Powers: Seer abilities.
  • Really 700 Years Old: When a True Immortal is awakened, they become permanently stuck at the age they were awakened at. While most do so in the prime of their lives, there is a flaw that allows you to be permanently stuck in an underage body. This trope also applies to the Gifted, who age more slowly once they build up a huge store of Essence, to the point where the leaders of most Covenants are centuries old.
  • The Red Mage: Taking multiple types of magic (except for combining Divine Inspiration with Magic or Necromancy) is entirely possible, though it can be limited by your tradition, teacher or patron (you don't see a lot of Rosicrucian psychics, for example). Some magical traditions actually combine different arts; for example, a Voodoo houngan uses Magic and Necromancy, while most Shamans use both Magic and Seer abilities and don't see any difference between the two.
  • Reincarnation: Human souls reincarnate on a fairly regular basis. The Old Soul quality (which allows you to access your past lives) is one of the few supernatural qualities a mundane can take.
  • Religion of Evil: Numerous cults exist that involve human torture and/or sacrifice. The Cult of Pain stands out as it featured prominently on the Witchcraft website as part of several entertaining examples.
  • Rich Bastard: One stereotype among the Rosicrucians.
  • Ritual Magic: The slow, tedious way of using magic. If you don't have Essence Channeling, it's also the only way.
  • Romanticism vs. Enlightenment: The conflict between the Combine and the Knights Templar can be summed up as this. The Templars believe that humanity is best liberated by democracy, technological advancement, universal education and secularism (they don't see religion as bad, per se, but they're wary of it as a tool of mundane control). The Combine's objective is to keep humanity under control, which usually means a unified and authoritarian church and state, failed revolutions, technology suppressed or turned to serve those in authority, and the deaths of reformers and free-thinkers.
  • Serial Killer: A common bad guy in this setting. They might be a mundane murderer... or they might be a malevolent Vampyre, Feral, Relentless Dead, black magician, a cultist beholden to demons or Mad Gods, a corrupted nature spirit, or some other supernatural being...
  • Spider-Sense: A bonus effect of certain Seer powers and Chi Mastery.
  • Spirit World: The various Sephiroth provide almost every variety you can think of. Hod and Geburah got write-ups, while Yesod, Netzach (the realms of The Old Gods) and Binah (home of the Elemental Planes and the Seraphim, but not Fluffy Cloud Heaven) haven't, and some of the Sephiroth have names but little else. Then there's Kether, which is the highest of the Sephiroth, and the only certainty is that those who go there don't come back. The conventional theory is that it's the home of the Creator and/or the Nirvana of Buddhism, but it could just as easily be a Cessation of Existence where people are reabsorbed into pure potential.
  • Spin-Off: Armageddon.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Gifted character type has the fewest points for attributes and qualities, leaving them looking a little like this compared to Lesser Gifted and (particularly) Mundane players.
  • Summon Magic: The Spirit Mastery family of invocations.
  • Summoning Ritual: The most popular way of bringing the Mad Gods into our reality. More benign summoning invocations can also resemble this trope, if the magician is being especially careful.
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: Any high-essence character not concealing their power with an essence shield looks like a delicious meal to many creatures.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: The Tao-Chi powers, although they fall more towards the Charles Atlas Superpower end of the scale than the Dragon Ball Z end. Alternately, you can just use the mundane Martial Arts skill you already have, augmented by bonuses from Seer Powers, Divine Inspiration, Necromancy possession, and/or the Key of War. (No one ever accused this game of having a lack of options...)
  • Touched by Vorlons:
    • Or, in this setting, Touched by Mad Gods. Being Tainted gives you powers, but is generally not a good thing.
    • Having a Spirit Patron is a voluntary version of this, where you make a Deal with the Devil, a Bargain with Heaven or a pact with another kind of big supernatural for awesome powers.
  • The Undead: Vampyres, Ghosts, Phantasms, the Relentless Dead... all of which are playable character types.
  • Unequal Rites: Usually, the Divinely Inspired and Magicians don't get along. The powers are incompatible, most monotheistic religions that believe in magic take a dim view of it (and conversely, a Gifted from a religion such as Voudoun is far more likely to be Magical than Inspired), and the Sentinels (the main Covenant for the Inspired) are an Antimagical Faction. Some are more tolerant than others.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The Knights Templar want to build a utopian world government without poverty or war, because they believe that that's the best path to enlightening humanity. However, to get there, they work as a black-ops conspiracy using methods not dissimilar to those of the Combine.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Ferals (who aren't accursed) and the Disciples of the Flesh.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Comes with the Gift, especially for the more powerful. True Immortals can also take the "Destiny Rider" flaw, which makes the Weirdness Magnet effect even more overt.
  • Wizards Live Longer: People with large Essence pools, or with mastery of Mindheal, are able to slow their aging or even attain immortality.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: If you pledge a Gift of the Soul to your Spirit Patron (usually one of the Fallen), then your soul is theirs at the moment of death. One corollary of this is that they can arrange for this to happen sooner rather than later. A second corollary is that your soul is theirs at the moment of clinical death, preventing resuscitation by magic or modern medicine.

  • The Alliance: The Alliance, natch.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Justified: Developing a Mark Of Leviathan requires genuine loyalty to him, which pretty much means that the Marked are utterly evil, existing solely for the destruction of reality and the subjugation of mankind.
  • America Saves the Day: America is the only country that has enough of its shit together to mount an effective counter to the Church of Revelations, with everyone either being conquered, collapsing internally due to ill-defined reasons, supporting the United States, or stuck in an extremely bloody stalemate.
  • Atlantis: The Armageddon book gives us a brief history of the Elder Kingdoms, which included Atlantis, Mu, Lemuria, and Ultima Thule. Not brought down by hubris, but because Ultima Thule contacted Leviathan to win their war with Atlantis. To prevent the world from becoming corrupted, Satan sent the Flood and destroyed civilization. Immortals are the reincarnations of the ancient Atlanteans.
  • Council of Angels: It's revealed that the Seraphim of the Heavenly Host tend to fall on the Knight Templar spectrum, having done all sorts of things of questionable morality over the ages (though they are not all like this). When the Archangel Michelle finds out just how bad things are (namely: that the Combine was originally the work of Gabriel), she quits in disgust to found the Alliance and takes a non-insignificant number of Seraphim and Kerubim with her.
  • Day of the Jackboot: What happens when the Church conquers an area. Generally, they start with a state of emergency, then set up a Fantastic Caste System based on whether you've taken the Mark of Leviathan and start making it harder on anyone who doesn't take it.
  • Deal with the Devil: Praying to Leviathan will bring you luck, if you don't mind someone around you paying for it.
  • Deus ex Machina: Considering the setting, a lot. Leviathan gives his worshipers what they want, but in a disturbing manner. Odin scatters the Church of Revelations' fleet to prevent the conquest of England and the Scandinavian Peninsula. And Divine Intervention is implied to be why nuclear weapons don't work
  • Divine Parentage: An Inheritor is the offspring of a mortal and one of the many deities out there.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Leviathan, of course.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: That's the price of failure.
  • Enemy Mine: Everyone who is not the Church of Revelations has allied together against Leviathan; angels and demons are fighting on the same side, and ordinarily-nasty sorts and antiheroes are finding themselves forced to either join Leviathan's evil or stand against it.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Church of Revelations introduces this in conquered areas. You can go up in caste freely in this case - all you have to do is go to church.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: An apocalyptic setting where angels, demons, pagan gods, witches, psychics, the undead, and immortals have all teamed up to fight Lovecraftian Mad Gods!
  • Gender Flip: The Archangel Michael, upon taking mortal form, finds out that he's actually a woman.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Inheritors are half-gods, the Nephilim are half-angels or demons.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Creator left about 20,000 years ago. The Heavenly Host have been searching for (Him? Her? It?) for most of that time, when not busy "keeping those upstart humans in line" (which probably is very far from the Creator's original plans).
  • Fallen States of America: America's kind of in a bad way. Slum areas of major cities were walled off, and the Supreme Court was laughed at when they declared this unconstitutional (said slum areas have become hives of supernatural danger). Parts of the country have gone Mad Max, with motorcycle gangs of army deserters and Believers roaming the roads, while other areas have rebelled and declared their own petty nations. The U.S. government simply doesn't have the time or resources to deal with any of this - they're too busy fighting a war for humanity's survival.
  • Legions of Hell: They're actually on mankind's side for this conflict. It's kinda hard to damn all mortals to prove they're unworthy of The Creator if a monster devours all of reality, you included.
  • Leonine Contract: Eventually, the Church of Revelations gets to this point: accept the Deal with the Devil or get shipped off to a slave camp. It's only gotten this far in a few places, though.
  • Mark of the Beast: The Mark of Leviathan. Anyone with it on is irrevocably lost to the Mad God.
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia are working together to fight the Church of Revelations, supported by the largest contingent of the Heavenly Host in the world (the remnants of Gabriel's faction).
  • Out-Gambitted: Although not stated outright in the book, Archangel Gabriel has this happen to him in a BIG way. Not only did his Combine patsies completely fail to stem the rise of supernatural awareness among humans, but they were completely blindsided by Leviathan's minions. There are in fact several hints that the Combine was in large part subverted by the Church of Revelations to their ends.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Church of Revelations does not claim it's trying to end the world and corrupt everyone into mindless servants of an extra-dimensional Mad God, or at least it's being done for the benefit of mankind.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: As many as 70% of the soldiers in the Army of Revelations are not Believers; they just joined up to get a better job, to get out from under the boot, or because they were part of national militaries that got absorbed into the Army. Eventually, though, most of them are going to either die in action or take the Mark.
  • The Unmasqued World
  • Villain Has a Point: Retroactively. For all that he's a Knight Templar Smug Snake who was given the runaround at every turn, Gabriel really did have a good reason for wanting to keep the supernatural under control. Problem is, the very mechanisms he set up to keep things under control became tools for releasing Leviathan.
  • You Are Not Ready: According to both Gabriel and the Old Gods, humans shouldn't be meddling with science or magic, because the last time they reached an era of such power, they awakened Leviathan and Lord Archangel Lucifer had to wipe out the Elder Kingdoms. Unfortunately, the angels mostly kicked out the Old Gods, and Gabriel's attempt to keep the worms canned was a dismal failure.


Example of: