Diablero (season 1)

Diablero  | TV Series (2018– ) 40min | Horror | TV Series (2018– ) Summary: A fallen priest, a legendary demon hunter, and a modern day superhero join forces to battle evil.
Countries: MexicoLanguages: Spanish

So this series hit a whole bunch of key likes for me, which is probably why Netflix brought it up on the suggested list. Thanks, Netflix! It’s originally foreign language (by which of course I mean “not English”), 15 rated which means I don’t have to sweat too much if The Young Person wanders in mid-scene, and completely nuts. It’s also light enough that I can watch it while knitting or sewing, which is quite a difficult combination to get right.

Warning. The rest of the review will only really make sense if you’ve ever played a World of Darkness tabletop roleplaying game, or at least know the system. Otherwise, just assume I liked it, and click away now.

Character intros

Ref: “Lovely to see you all, thanks for rolling up the characters while I was away last week. I’m sure you’ll all have done so responsibly. Can we just have a quick run through so I’m clear who’s playing who?”

Player 1: “I’m playing Elvis Infante and I’m a Diablero. I can cast spells and drive out demons. I’ve got an inscribed machete and a backpack. Appearance rating 5. I’m never portrayed less than impeccably unless I’ve just been in a fight.”

Ref: “Oookay, Player 1. What’s your focus for casting spells?”

Player 1: “My own blood. I cut my hand with my machete when I need it.”

Ref: “Really? I mean, I guess. Sure. Anything else I should note?”

Player 1: “I’ve got a car. A mint, sweet set of wheels that I spend a lot of time obsessing over.”

Ref: “And your resources rating?”

Player 1: “My what now?”

Ref: “Anything else?”

Player 1: “My dad was a Diablero and my mum was a witch, but she’s dead now.”

Ref: “And how many dots did you put in allies for your dad?”

Player 1: “Uh, none, he’s like my dad and stuff?”

Ref: “Fine. You start play with your car impounded in someone else’s garage and your dad is an alcoholic. You haven’t seen him for some years. Moving on. Player 2?”

Player 2: “I’m playing Nancy and she’s a demon.”

Ref: “I’m sure we discussed this and demons aren’t playable in this campaign the same way as they are written in the source material. Otherwise you’re going to be the single most powerful character in the party and the game balance is going to be well and truly fucked.”

Player 2: “Oh. In that case she’s like a perfect vessel for demons, and you can decide when we do the summoning how powerful the demon is, that would work, right?”

Ref: “But how would the demon then leave the vessel each time?”

Player 2: “Oh I’ll just get Elvis to throw it out. He can do that, right, Player 1?

[Player 1 nods enthusiastically. The ref is conscious of time so just gives in.]

Ref: “Player 2, your resources rating?”

Player 2: “Uh, zero. I just hang out with Elvis and stuff.”

Ref: “Player 3?”

Player 3: “I’m playing Ramiro Ventura and I’m a priest. Uh, I’ve taken a large number of flaws in order to pay off my secret merit.” [passes character sheet to the ref]

Ref: “Clear the room if you’re not player 3 please.”

[room clears]

Ref: “So I just want to get this right. You’ve taken Dark Secret twice.”

Player 3: “Yes, that’s for my secret lover in the past and the illegitimate child that my character doesn’t know about.”

Ref: “And you’ve added Blackmailed.”

Player 3: “Yes, my 3 dot mentor who is the bishop or something like that is part of the Society of Leopold. He knows both of my Dark Secrets.”

Ref: “The Society of Leopold are probably going to seem like enemies to the rest of the party. Also, Dark Fate? Are you sure?”

Player 3: “Uh, yeah, I mean those things never really come to fruition in-game anyway do they? And I needed the points to buy the merit Avatar Companion. It’s an angel. It touched me once.”

Ref: “Haha. Dark Fates never come into play? Haha! Anyway you can’t tell anyone about the Avatar Companion. Unless I say so. Are we clear? Now you know you said you were a priest? You don’t have any True Faith?”

Player 3: “Uh, no.”

Ref, tiredly: “Resources?”

Player 3: “Uh, one I suppose, I live over the church?”

Ref: “Go and tell the others to come back in.”

[the others return]

Ref: “So, player 4?”

Player 4: “I’m playing Elvis’ sister?”

Ref: “Really?”

Player 4: “Yes, I’m a nurse. I took Resources 2 and Occult 4 with a specialisation in magical healing. I’m also a Diablero.”

Ref: “The campaign setting says only men are Diableros.”

Player 4: [hard stare]

Ref: “Ok. You’re a secret, unacknowledged but very powerful Diablera. You rent a small apartment. By necessity, everyone else in the party lives there as a default. Except the priest. Most of the time. So. Let’s get started. We’re going to start this story a little bit in the past, because that’s where all great stories are foreshadowed. Elvis: you’re a young Diablero and you have come into the possession of a great artefact: an angel feather. You know how important this is. Only with an angel feather or other great artefact touched by an angel can they be summoned into this world. Now, you…”

Player 1, interrupting: “AWESOME! Ref, I’m going to use the feather as the material component to make my sister pregnant!”

Ref, startled: “Wait, what?”

Player 1, rolling dice: “I’ve got ten successes and I cut my hand with my machete so that lowers the difficulty by one. If this needs to be a ritual, I’ll just take my time and keep rolling. We can do that in the backstory, right?”

Ref: [facepalm]

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