In Nomine by Mors Rattus
Too Dumb To Be InsultingOriginal SA post In Nomine: Too Dumb To Be Insulting
In Nomine is a game of angels and demons. It's...well, it's theoretically based on the French game In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas. Mostly, they just share the fact that they are about angels fighting demons in the great war between Heaven and Hell. It's an interesting hook, but unfortunately, In Nomine is not a good game. Mechanically, it is absolutely awful, and thematically...well, it's got some issues. It's fundamentally pretty good-hearted in terms of, y'know, trying to not be an asshole about religions, but it is also in many places exceptionally dumb.
The book opens with the Overture, which tries to roughly explain what's going on. Everything that exists is part of the Symphony, an omnipresent pattern written into all of existence. God wrote the Symphony, and in doing so, He created the world, and Himself. He created angels to serve as intermediaries and instruments, nurturing God's creation in the way of their natures. Each type of angel has a different nature, or resonance, which attunes them to a deep pattern of creation. Their actions ring out in clear tones throughout the Symphony. However, when an angel acts against their nature, it creates notes of jarring dissonance. The more dissonance an angel contains, the more likely they are to fall from grace.
A very long time ago, about a third of the Heavenly Host rebelled against God, their fellow angels and their own natures. Unsatisfied with being mere instruments, they wanted to make the Symphony serve them. They embraced their dissonant natures, replacing the selflessness of divinity with the evil of selfishness. This rebellion was defeated, outnumbered as they were. These Diabolicals, as they named themselves, were cast into the realm of Hell, from which even now they plot to subvert the Symphony. This taught a grim lesson to the angels, but even that lesson could not keep the angels totally pure. Sometimes, an angel can't help going against their nature. The lucky ones can cleanse themselves of dissonance in time, but others are more determined to fall. The Fallen are changed, warped into demons suited for evil. They have their own resonance, and denying their selfishness brings them their own painful dissonance. Most dissonant demons are destroyed by their own kind, but a few yearn for redemption, hoping to regain the grace they once lost.
All knowledge is contained within the Symphony, but even the angels and demons have only the vaguest access to its mysteries. They know how little it is they truly understand and how uncertain the future truly is. Most angels avoid questioning their purpose, and most demons relentlessly pursue their selfish aims. Neither likes to think they may be on the wrong side. They are at war, eternal war, to claim control of the Symphony.
We then get short stories: A Bright Dream, featuring an angel who recruits a human to help her fight demons. She's kind of an asshole. And A Dark Dream, in which a demon (who is also an asshole) who is worried about how he's kind of bad at his job of promoting evil and that his boss might find out and kill him. He uses the angel to fake his own death and take out some of his rivals. Anyway. We now get an explanation of basic character concepts. Angels and Demons are the main types of PC. Angels serve the Archangels, while Demons serve the Demon Princes. Most angels are good people. Demons tend to be bad...but not always, you know, grandly so. They each have their own style and agenda, after all, but their main goal is always to push selfishness among humans.
The relationship between an angel and their Archangel or a demon and their Prince is delicate. Complete obedience isn't always the best idea - Superiors like initiative. Most of your job in the game is to do what your boss says, sure, but that's also a great way to die - those jobs aren't safe. Sometimes, angels and demons have their Forces stripped from them, reducing them to mere Remnants - vestiges of their former selves who are invariably insane, if not always dangerously so. Some angels are cast out but have not yet Fallen. These Outcasts serve no one and are barred from Heaven, but are still angels. The demonic counterpart is demons gone AWOL, or Renegades.
Angels can receive promotions, or Distinctions, from their archangels. The first rank above normal angel is Vassal, then Friend, then Master. Demons get something similar, becoming Knights, Captains and Barons. The most important on either side may be given a Word, which becomes their entire purpose in life. They exist to further that Word, which is a concept in the world, via the lens of Heaven or Hell - for example, the demon of Pipe Bombs, who teaches people to use and make pipe bombs. The greatest of the Wordbound are, of course, the Archangels and Princes, who have Words like Dreams, Nightmares or Fire, compared to smaller Words like Pipe Bombs or Cities or Unexpectedly Short Fuses. You do not get to begin play with a Word. Angels have them handed out by the Seraphim Council, sometimes with competitions, while demons receive them from their Prince or directly from Lucifer.
The other characters the book mentions now are Soldiers and the Undead. Soldiers are supernaturally enhanced mortal humans, made aware of the Symphony and the War. They can't really match up to celestials in power, but that's not what they're around for. Their job is to do what celestials can't, as they are much harder to notice in action. They're stronger than normal humans, at least. The Undead are a unique form of Soldier created from the dead by the power of the Demon Prince of Death. The best of them are Mummies, followed by Vampires and then Zombis.
Next time: Choirs and Bands and stats.
The d666. No, really.Original SA post In Nomine: The d666. No, really.
Angels come in Choirs . Seven of them, at least right now. Each has its own nature and dissonance. We'll cover them in more detail later. Seraphim are the most divine, and their nature is truth. In their natural forms, they look like winged serpents of immense size. Cherubim are the gentlest Chour, but also the most stubborn protectors, as their nature is guardianship. In their natural forms, they resemble winged beasts or sphinx-like crossbreeds. Ofanim are, quote, "celestial Easy Riders" whose nature is movement. In their natural form, they are large rotating wheels of fire. Elohim are angels of balance and judgment, with a resonance for emotion. In their natural form, they appear as beings of pure light. Malakim are angelic warriors, whose nature is honor. No Malakite has ever Fallen. In their natural form, they appear as shadowy figures with black wings. Kyriotates are able to split themselves among many physical forms, as their nature is multiplicity. Their natural forms are mad, ever-shifting clouds of eyes and limbs. Finally there are Mercurians, closest to human, whose nature is interpersonal. They appear in their natural form as humans with wings and halos.
Demons come in Bands , also seven, with their own nature that'll be covered in detail later. Balseraphs are liars made, the Fallen Seraphim, who also appear as giant serpents with wings. Djinn are Fallen Cherubim, forsaking love for obsession, stalking their targets. They appear as heavily mutilated or rangy winged beasts. Calabim are Fallen Ofanim, inverting themselves to chaos and destruction, who can focus their power into an entropic field. They appear as kind of stereotypical demons. Habbalah are Fallen Elohim, controllers of emotions but under their sway. They still believe themselves to be angels, every one of them, using their power to tempt people so that they may overcome adversity. (In reality, they just break people.) Lilim are not Fallen angels, but creations of Lilith, whose resonance is for desire. They sense what you want and give it to you - and so they hook your soul. Shedim are Fallen Kyriotates, creatures of corruption and body thieves who appear as masses of insane, ever-shifting eyes and limbs. Last are Impudites, the most human demons. They love humanity - and steal power from them, like vampires. They appear as humans with horns and pointy tails.
We'll cover the Superiors later, so on to stats! Every character is made of Forces - Corporeal, Ethereal and Celestial. You can have between 1 and 6 of each. Corporeal Forces determine how well you interact with the physical world, and their corresponding stats are Strength and Agility. Ethereal Forces determine how powerful your mind is - by the way, we're Cartesian here, your mind and body are entirely separate. The more Ethereal Forces you have, the smarter you are, and the corresponding stats are Intelligence and Precision. Celestial Forces determine the strength of your soul, controlling your ability to interact with the Symphony. Remnants have none of these, and thus are unable to even interact with Heaven or Hell. The corresponding stats are Will and Perception.
Each Force you have gives 4 points to spend on its two stats, which range from 1 to 12. You can have no more than 6 Forces of any one type, giving you 24 points to spend - 12 in both stats. Celestials start with 9 Forces and Soldiers/Undead start with 6. You also get 4 times your total Forces in Character Points to spend on various resources - skills, Songs, gear and more. We'll cover all those later. Every celestial also begins play with one free Attunement, determined by the confluence of their Choir/Band and Superior, which gives them an ability. These are not balanced against each other in the slightest. You can also buy Servitor Attunements (general abilities offered by your Superior) for 10 CP each. You can also get Servitor Attunements from other Superiors...if your boss is okay with it, and only after chargen.
So, how do dice work? You use the d666 most of the time. Really. All dice used in this game are d6s. 1d means 1d6, 2d is 2d6, 1d+2 is 1d6+2, etc. But the d666 is your most common roll: you roll 2d6 and add them together, hoping to roll under the target number. You roll a third d6 to get the check digit, which determines how well you succeeded or failed. That's right - how hard you succeed or fail is determined entirely randomly, with only the barest relation to your actual abilities. Typically, the TN you are rolling under is one of your stats, or a stat plus a skill. And yes, it is entirely possible to end up with, at chargen, a stat+skill of 12 or higher, making you nearly incapable of failing those rolls. The GM will not be lowering your TN much, either - -2 is the modifier for "very tough" challenges and the highest suggested negative modifier. You can choose to reduce the TN by 1 as well, to increase the check digit by 1, succeed or fail, or vice versa. If your TN is over 12, you add an amount to the check digit equal to however much it's over 12. Basically: if the TN is 12, you can't fail and are rolling just for the check digit...almost.
What about if it's an action someone else is contesting, like trying to wrestle someone? You both roll as above. If both sides fail, nothing happens - just keep struggling. If one succeeds and the other fails, the successful roller wins. If both succeed, higher check digit wins. If they're the same, it's a draw and nothing happens. But what did I mean before about almost? Interventions . Any time a character rolls an unmodified, natural 666 or 111, an Intervention happens. On a 111, the Holy Spirit does something, which is good for angels and bad for demons. 666 means Lucifer intervenes, good for demons and bad for angels. Modifiers are ignored for Interventions. The more important the roll, the more dramatic the Intervention - for good or bad, depending on who rolls it. Anyone can roll an Intervention, not just angels or demons, too.
Okay, now, Resources . These are what you spend your CP on, and they come in 6 types: Artifacts, Roles, Servants, Skills, Songs and Vessels. You can also take Discords to gain more CP. CP are earned when the GM gives them to you. Artifacts are physical items bought with CP, and typically, these objects will be special in some way - celestials just don't care that much about normal objects. Typically, these will be physical artifacts that do something, ethereal talismans that improve your skills or celestial relics and reliquaries that store Essence (your magical fuel) or perform Songs. Most artifacts can be used by anyone, though some can only be used by certain types of people. However, whoever paid CP for one is attuned to it, able to roll against its level plus their total Forces of the same type as the artifact to detect its current location.
Corporeal Artifacts are specifically those objects that you never want to worry about having to find in play. Only celestials can take them - humans just get normal objects. They cost their level in CP, and the only benefit you get is, well, the higher level, the easier they are for you to track. Ethereal Artifacts, or talismans, cost double their level, or more if they have special powers, and add their level to a specific skill for the user. So an ethereal gun at level 3 would give you +3 to Weapon (Pistol) when firing it. Celestial ARtifacts are either relics or reliquaries, and both cost three times their level in CP. Relics contain Songs, sometimes Songs only found in that relic, though most just use normal Songs. The TN to use a relic is its level plus your appropriate Forces for the Song, so the Song of Celestial Healing at level 3 would be 3 plus your Cerlestial Forces. You don't have to know the Song, but must be capable of learning it, so Soldiers can only use relics containing Corporeal Songs and mundane humans can't use 'em at all. Relics can hold up to their level in Essence to fuel the song, or however much the Song can use at max, whichever is lower. You have to pay any difference it can't. Reliquaries, on the other hand, hold their level in Essence, and anyone able to use Essence can move it in or out of the reliquary. Reliquaries also regenerate 1 Essence each day - at sunrise for divine ones, sunset for infernal.
Next time: Roles, Servants and Skills
Know your RoleOriginal SA post In Nomine: Know your Role
A Role is your place in human society when you're a celestial. When you act within the bounds of your Role, you don't unbalance the Symphony as much. Humans, of course, don't need Roles - they're already part of the corporeal Symphony. Each Role is linked to a human vessel - while a vessel could be an animal, an animal can't have a role, as animals can't have a part in human society. (Even Lassie.) Now, it doesn't cost any points to just pretend to be a cop - but if you have a cop Role, you actually have paperwork and reality pretending you're a cio, too. Roles have a Status, which determines how important it is in society and gives a bonus to reactions, and a Level, which determines how high Status can be, and how real the role is to the world. (Humans get Status 1 free and can buy levels of Status for 2 points per level. Status 1 is janitors, status 3 is accountants, status 6 is executives.) A Role costs (level*status)/2, rounding up. Level 1 roles are largely faceless - the folks you see as you pass them in the supermarket - while level 6 is as real as it's possible to be as a person. You do need to live out your Role in everday life to maintain the protection it offers you from disturbing the Symphony, or to raise its level. The GM is ordered not to allow Roles to be increased in level unless well-roleplayed. Anyway, when you would do something that would normally cause Disturbance (covered later), the GM can roll against your Role level plus your Corporeal Forces, if it'd be an action your Role might normally do (a PI who gets spotted and gets in a car chase which ends in someone's death, say). Succeed and you cause no Disturbance. Roles also give you a skill of Knowledge (How to be this Role) at a level equal to the Role's level.
Servants are mortals that serve you and have their own character sheets, made by standard character generation. They have a Level and a Class. Level determines how willing they are to serve when asked to do something they don't want - you roll their Will minus their level, and if they fail, they do it. If they resist, you can't ask again for (10-level) minutes. Class determines how powerful they are, with class 1 being a 4-Force Zombi or loyal pet animal, 2 being a Reliever, Imp or Gremlin with 4 Forces (more on them later), 3 being one of the above but with the Familiar powers described later or a human with 4 Forces, 4 being a 5-Force human or vampire, 5 being a 6-Force Soldier or Undead or a 5-Force human with 20 bonus XP, and 6 being a 7-Force Soldier or Undead. Cost is (Class*Level)/2. If your servant dies, your Superior will replace it at the start of the next adventure with one of the same value, unless yuur Superior thinks you lost them foolishly, in which case you have to find your own.
Skills are things you know how to do without magic. If you don't have a skill and try to do it anyway, you roll using its pertinent stat, bu subtract the Default for each skill from the TN. Skills are the only things you can default on. They cost 1 CP per level.
Sidebar: Essence for luck. You can spend Essence to increase the TN of any roll, 1 for 1. Even mortals can do this, and indeed, when a mundane mortal really wants something, they will automatically spend all of their Essence at once to do it, with the GM deciding when this happens. Soldiers and Undead learn to spend Essence a point at a time, at will. When celesials use Essence to buff a roll, something otherworldly happens - the ringing of bells, a flash of flame, the smell of incense - at the GM's discretion.
Songs are essentially miracles. They alter the Symphony directly, costing 1 CP per level, and unless a Song notes otherwise, any celestial can learn any Song, while Soldiers and Undead can learn only Corporeal Songs. Songs require Essence to use, and the more Essence you spend on them, generally, the more potent they are...but if you fail, the Essence is still spent. Your TN for a Song is its level plus your Forces in its realm, so your rolls are often quite low for them. If you know two Songs of the same type but in different realms (Celestial and Ethereal Healing, say) you get +1 to the check digit on success, and if you know all three Songs of a type, you get +2 to the check digit on a success. Depending on the level you have the Song at, it takes different amoutns of physical ritual. At level 1, you need hand motions and vocal performance, taking effect the same round youy use it. At level 2, you need either physical or verbal ritual but not both. At level 3-4, you can use the rituals for same-round effect or invoke it purely mentally to have it take effect next round. At level 5-6, you can get same-round effect with purely mental ritual. Relics, incidentally, follow the same rules here. You can take extra time for a bonus to the Song, as long as you use both singing and physical motion to invoke it. You may limit a Song's effects in length when you invoke it, and can generally turn it off with a simple Will roll.
Vessels are bodies worn by celestials. Most are human, but it's possible to make animal vessels, or even plants, rocks or energy. Shedim and Kyriotates, as a note, cannot have vessels at all without special attunements to allow it - they possess mortal bodies instead. Vessels cost 3 points per level, plus any Charisma added. The higher a vessel's level, the more damage it can take. Roles are attached to vessels, and if you die publically, your Role is lost, too. If you can conceal your vessel loss and replace it fast enough with an identical one, the Role stays around. Humans do not need a vessel, but instead have effective vessel level of their Corporeal Forces, plus up to two levels of Toughness at 4 CP per level, to determine their HP, and can buy Charisma as normal. You can have up to 3 levels of Charisma at 2 CP per level, which gives a bonus on reaction rolls. You can also take negative Charisma, getting 2 CP per level, up to 2 levels worth, for a reaction penalty...but if it's a vessel, you can only use those points to improve the vessel.
Sidebar: A vessel looks like a normal human body, but isn't. Vessels do not require food, water or sleep, though you can use any of those if you want. Vessels do not age unless you want them to. (Though if you know the Celestial Song of Entropy, you can use it to age up or age down your Vessel at will.) Vessels heal faster than normal bodies, but they do still require air to breathe. They have belly buttons, and their Strength is yours - so yeah, a child vessel with an 8-Strength angel can beat a Strength 4 demon in a bodybuilder vessel. Kyriotates and Shedim, likewise, overwrite the Strength and Agility of their hosts. Those possessed by a Kyriotate or Shedim do not need food, water or sleep while possessed. Animal vessels can talk, but are otherwise apparently normal animals. Vessels are fully equipped to have sex, as well. Celestials may swap between vessels with a point of Essence, apparently shapeshifting over the course of a round, if they have multiple vessels.
Discord is a flaw in your interaction with the Symphony. It has a level like any Resource, 1-6, and each level gives you 3 CP to spend. In play, you may also convert 3 notes of Dissonance at any time into 1 level of Discord, chosen by the GM. This is one-way - and that Discord cannot be removed except via a Superior's help. Corporeal Discord affects you physically, sometimes reducing your stats or how people react to you. The GM can, at any point, reduce any human's reaction to you with a penalty equal to your Corporeal Discord level. Angels double the penalty, but demons do not have any reaction penalty at all - they ignore Corporeal Discord in others, mostly. Ethereal Discord causes emotional urges, which can be suppressed with a Will roll that's harder the higher the Discord level is. Some Etheral Discord makes dissonance easier to acquire. Celestial Discord, similarly, can be suppressed...but generally causes other problems.
Now, we finally get told what Essence is: it's the energy of the universe. It can be used for all kinds of things, but spending Essence as a celestial can be sensed by other celestials, even after you leave. Your max Essence is your total Forces - so 9 for most starting celestials. If you try to hold more than that, it just dissipates. Celestials can freely transfer Essence between each other, using it as currency, but cannot spend Essence fr each other. Angels regain 1 Essence each sunrise, and demons and undead regain 1 each sunset. Spirits regain 1 Essence per day, at sunrise for angelic spirits, sunset for demonic ones and midnight for any others. Soldiers, humans and animals get 1 Essence at noon, and may also regain 1 Essence any time they succeed at a skill roll using a skill they know at level 6. Angels and demons must perform Rites to regain more Essence. Rites are rituals empowering their Superior's Word (or, if they are Wordbound, their own Word). Outcasts and Renegades, however, lose access to Superior Rites.
Next time: How the world works.
Everything Under HeavenOriginal SA post In Nomine: Everything Under Heaven
The Symphony divides the world into three levels of reality: the Corporeal, the Ethereal and the Celestial. The Corporeal is...well, Earth. To manifest on Earth, a celestial must have a vessel. Earthly beings like humans don't have to care - they're born in their vessels, after all. The Ethereal realm is also referred to as the Marches, the mythic dreamlands of the Symphony. They're a vital part of the world, but very different than Earth. They are made of dreams and half-real things, theoretically divided in half - one half being the land of Blandine, Archangel of Dreams, and the other half the land of Beleth, Demon Princess of Nightmares. In truth, the Ethereal stretched far beyond the realms either controls, and some dreamscapes have never seen an angel, and are still home to mythic remnants. The Marches are home to many spirits, including the souls of those whose bodies died but whose minds chose to continue to dream. Even these natives, however, are vastly outnumbered by the visitors of night. When humans dream, they enter the Marches. Everyone has their own dreamscape, which drifts through the Marches. Where you are determines if you have good or bad dreams. Those who sleep with a hopeful mood drift into Blandine's Marches, while those who sleep with fear enter the Ethereal in Beleth's realm. The angels and demons that serve Beleth and Blandine can interact with the dreamscapes there, and some cross the border to protect or corrupt dreamers on the other side. While humans are awake, their dreamscapes can't be found, and if they awaken with others in their dreamscape, those others awaken as well or are ejected. When a human dies, their dreamscape vanishes to all but, just maybe, Blandine and Beleth. The rules say that any time a dreamer in Blandine's marches fails a skill roll in a dream with a CD of 6, they instantly teleprot to Beleth's Marches and start having nightmares, and any time a dreamer in Beleth's Marches success on a skill check with a CD of 6, the opposite happens.
Unlike humans, angels and demons do not have dreamscapes. To fall asleep, they must succeed at a Will check, and when they d, they enter the overarching dreamscape of either Beleth or Blandine's Marches, surrounded by the dreamscapes of humans. They may observe them, but not affect them without use of the Songs of Dreams or the attunements granted to servitors of Blandine or Beleth. Waking up for them is just another Will roll. If a nonhuman were to enter the Marches through the mind of a dreamer, their corporeal form, if they have one, will remain asleep until they return. While in the Marches, if something happens to their vessel, they awaken immediately. If you were to enter the Marches some othe way, like the temple of an ethereal spirit, your vessel vanishes and you need to find a direct route back to Earth. Blandine and Beleth each have a tower in the Marches with many exits, and when an angel or demon uses one of those, their celestial form vanishes, reappearing hen they return to the Tower. There is no ethereal form - visitors to the Marches appear as the last vessel they inhabited.
Ethereal spirits are the native beings of the Marches. These are the pantheons of gods and goddesses born of the collective dreams and nightmares of humanity. Uriel, Archangel of Purity, was recalled to the higher planes of Heaven almost 1500 years back for slaughtering every mythic creature on Earth, as well as most of Blandine's half of the Marches. Beleth offered refuge to many, both to piss off Uriel and to recruit the more nightmarish old gods. Some survivors now live in her realm and aid her, while others fled to the Far Marches and are rarely seen. Many of these spirits are still supported by human worship...and further, they claim that God, the deity of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths, was not always an omnipotent being, but that as His power grew, He rewrote the history of the universe. Heaven rejects this claim, of course. As yet, Dominic, Archangel of Judgment, has yet to find another Uriel to crusade against these spirits, and while most angels agree that they are annoying, they are very much a minor problem. From Earth, the only direct path into the Far Marches of the pagan spirits is via temples consecrated to them. The ritual to use these paths varies based on the god of the temple, but angels and demons rarely pay any attention to them anyway.
The Celestial realm contains both Heaven and Hell. Each has many levels, but angels and demons may only reach the lowest - the Earthly Heaven, the least divine of Heavens, and...well, just about all of Hell. In the celestial realm, angels and demons take on their celestial forms, and any Discord they have is apparent on those forms. Outcasts and Renegades can still take on celestial form, but may not enter Heaven or Hell. Humans do not have celestial forms at all and appear as humans when they die and enter the celestial planes. Very little day-to-day life is spent in the celestial plane, and to ascend, you must already be in celestial form. An angel can enter Heaven automatically at any heavenly Tether, and a demon from a Tether to the Hellish domain of their Prince. Anywhere else requires a Will roll, repeatable after (10-Will) hours, minimum 1, if failed. Normally, ascending places you next to your Heart, more on which later. However, anyone ascending near you within a minute of your ascension can instead choose to follow you, appearing where you did, with a Perception roll...though this will not allow demons to enter Heaven. It will, however, allow angels to enter Hell. Returning to the Corporeal plane takes no rolls or time - you just show up were you last left it, unless your Superior sends you somewhere else or you accompany someone to where they left Earth. When you appear on Earth, you appear in a vessel of your choice and cannot manifest there if you don't have a vessel...unless you're a Kyriotate or Shedite, in which case you have (10*Celestial Forces) minutes to find a host before being yanked back to the celestial plane.
You can, however, assume celestial form on Earth. This renders youunable to interact with the corporeal world - you can still see, hear and smell it, but you are insubstantial and untouched by gravity. You can't touch anything or be struck or damaged by any earthly force. You can fly and pass through solid objects, and harm others in celestial form. Most people can't see celestial forms - they don't reflect light, after all - but those with especially high Perception can see them, especially if the target has high Celestial Forces. It's even easier if the viewer is themself in celestial form, or if you're using a power on the viewer. Also, anyone you attack can see you, whether you hurt them or not. You can speak to anyone who can perceive you, but need a Song to speak to anyone that can't. Once you are perceived, however, you can be seen through solid objects - no matter what's in the way, a human will know your location within (Perception+Celestial Forces) yards, and a celestial or spirit out to twice that distance or until you are out of mortal sight, whichever is longer. Taking celestial form costs 2 Essence and a Will roll, and you can maintain it for (CD+Will) minutes, except for Kyriotates and Shedim, who have 10*Celestial Forces minutes to find a host. In Celestial form, your vessel vanishes, along with your clothes and up to (Corporeal Forces*10) pounds of other items you were carrying, which return when you reassume the vessel...except for celestial artifacts, which you carry with you in celestial form.
Celestials can perceive the Symphony much more clearly than mortals, and can sense actions that disturb it. Humans who serve them directly can also sense these changes, having been made aware of the Symphony, but tend to be much less good at it. Celestials are not meant to be on Earth, and everything they do causes foreign notes. Most are small, easily ignored, but some are dramatic and attention-grabbing. When a celestial makes a major change, all others in the area can make Perception rolls to detect it, with both the power of the change and the physical distance to it determining how hard it is to notice. Spending Essence to boost rolls or use Songs, that's quiet. Killing a person? You can 'hear' that from up to a mile away if you're perceptive. Spending Essence and using Songs both cause Disturbance, as does entering or leaving the Corporeal plane. The physical appearance of an Archangel or Demon Prince is very loud. Harming physical objects or beings is fairly loud...though it isn't caused by damage to vessels - just actual mortals...or mortal hosts of possessing beings. Killing humans is quite loud.
Disturbances also leave echoes. Something very loud can be heard for several minutes after the event, allowing you to track the source of the disturbance and even tell who made it if you see them. If you get a good check digit, you can also learn more about it - not just what direction it was in, but how big it was, its general nature, how far away it is...and, with CD 6, even a detailed description of what happened, though not who or what kind of celestial did it. Angelic and demonic Disturbance both sound the same.
Okay, now, resonance. Every Choir and Band has its own resonance, based on its nature, and similarly its own dissonance condition - a type of action that will give notes of dissonance. Infernal resonance acts based on Will (except for Lilim), as a demon imposes their perspective on the rest of the world. Divine resonance is based on Perception (except for Kyriotates), as the angel attunes themself to the Symphony to find meaning. The more dissonance you have, the harder it is to use your resonance, but resonance does not cause Disturbance unless you spend Essence on it. Demonic resonance can be opposed with a Will roll, but angelic resonance, being passive, cannot be resisted. You can use your resonance via audio or video, but at a penalty...except for Cherubim and Djinn.
Dissonance, incidentally, can cause angels to Fall without any choice in the matter. Angels also generally have an easier time avoiding dissonance - usually, acquiring it requires a choice on their part. Demons can't automatically Redeem from dissonance...but are more capable of suffering dissonance simply by failing to assert their will on reality. Demons are thus more able to become dissonant, and more likely to have Discord as a result, while angels have graver consequence for dissonance and Discord. Whenever you do something dissonant, you make a roll to see how badly it affects you. If any of your three dice equal or exceed your notes of dissonance, you just get another note of dissonance and lose access to your resonance for (CD) hours. Otherwise, you lose access...and suffer disaster. If an angel rolls a 666 or fails on all three dice, they become Outcast, unable to use Superior Rites or enter Heaven until they clear their dissonance and make up with their Archangel. An Outcast that fails or rolls a 666 immediately Falls. Demons that roll 111 or fail generate a note of dissonance and a new Discord at a level equal to the check digit, or that many new levels in a Discord they already had. However, if an angel rolls 111 or a demon rolls 666, they not only gain no new dissonance, but also lose any and all dissonance they had, as either God or Lucifer smiles on their apparently dissonant actions for...reasons, which the GM should keep in mind. The only other ways to lose Dissonance are to undo the original source of dissonance, to turn 3 notes of it into a level of Discord, to spend 10 Essence once per adventure to lose a note of dissonance, or to spend time in a Tether working for its Seneschal...though if you remove any dissonance in a way other than undoing the original cause, you can no longer use that to remove the dissonance.
Next time: Falling and Redemption.
Well, I'm Terrified Of These Four WallsOriginal SA post In Nomine: Well, I'm Terrified Of These Four Walls
When an Outcast angel Falls, they automatically become a demon of the opposing Band. Malakim are the exception - they don't Fall, they just get another level of Discord. When an angel Falls, any dissonance they had is lost, as are all attunements. They may not perform any divine Rites and generate Essence at dusk. The forces of Hell love the Fallen, since they're a chance to learn Heaven's plans firsthand. Indeed, the Princes often get into bidding wars as they each try to court the new demon into their ranks, both for the power of a new demon and to keep the other Princes from having them...though other demons might be trying to kill the new demon to keep them out of other hands, and Dominic's angels certainly want them dead. Until a newly Fallen demon gives allegiance to a Prince, they will not be able to enter Hell on their own - they have no Heart to show the path. Once they do swear fealty, the Prince will attune them to a new Heart, granting them whatever Band attunement thy offer and access to their Rites...but also their dissonance conditions.
Sidebar: A Tether is a link between the realm of an Archangel or a Demon Prince and Earth. They are places of refuge and power for their master's Word. They vary wildly in size. The smallest known Tether is a room in Tokyo that is barely large enough for the very fat Baron of Haagenti that cares for it, while the largest is an African valley in which no human has ever entered, protected by angels of Jordi to guard animals that survive in no other place. Demons in celestial form may not approach divine Tethers, but angels can approach infernal ones. At a Tether, it is much easier to communicate with the celestial - no Will roll needed to enter the celestial plane, just Essence, and it's easier to invoke a Superior there. Each Tether has a Seneschal, a powerful celestial that cares for it. All have at least a dozen Forces and most are Wordbound to their Tethers. Some have vessels, but many, unlike other celestials, do not. Most can leave their Tethersb ut few do for very long. Still, they know instantly if their Tether is under attack. Many Tethers also have staffs to aid in taking care of them - gardeners, for a Tether of Novalis, cooks for Haagenti, etc. Serving at a Tether is a good way to lose dissonance, at one week per note of dissonance. Locations of Tethers are generally well-known to all local celestials - they're fortresses, hard to keep secret and very loud. The most famous Tether in the West is Notre Dame, belonging to no Archangel but linking to Heaven. New Tethers can be created by powerful manifestations of a Word, with or without celestial plans. The former site Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment is a strong tether to Death and Saminga, for example, while the beach at Normandy has been a Tether to Michael and War since D-Day. Tethers can also be destroyed, and newly made ones are vulnerable, but an attack on any Tether is a major operation.
A demon cannot Redeem accidentally. Some demons, riddled with discord, are just bad at their jobs; others are not devoted to the cause of evil. These demons, if they truly repent of the harm they cause, may try to join the angels. Heaven has a few practical reasons to help. First, former demons typically have wide experience and knowledge of Hell's plans. Second, they have nowhere else to go, so they tend to be quite loyal. Third, they're often rather tired of fighting angels and willing to submit. Demons seeking Redemption, either with the help of an angel or not, must contact an Archangel and request asylum in Heaven. Archangels are the only beings powerful enough to strip a demon of Discord and remake them into an angel. Even this is not always successful - sometimes the demons die, though PCs automatically do not. After that, the demon becomes an angel of the Choir opposite their former Band. Their demonic Heart shatters, wherever it's kept, and the Archangel that patrons them remakes a new angelic Heart for them. They become an angel mechanically...but must still prove themselves. They lose any Celestial Discord, but not any other kind. Each successful mission will get the Archangel to remove some. At first, they are granted only the Rites of their Archangel, and no attunements, as well as losing any demonic Attunements they had. Only by service will they earn an Archangel's attunements. However, a former demon retains access to their infernal Rites. If they can resist the temptation to use them, they will succeed...but any use of a demonic Rite also gains a note of dissonance, along with the dissonance conditions of their new Superior. If a Redeemed ever becomes Outcast, their Archangel will never, ever try to help them again. Once a Redeemed rids themselves of Discord, earns their Archangel's Choir attunement and at least one Servitor attunement, they will then be considered a fully fledged angel.
So, what does Discord do? Well, some Ethereal Discords count as dissonance for certain Choirs or Bands. Also, any Celestial Discord will prevent natural Essence regeneration. At sunrise or sunset, you instead roll a die. If it's higher than your highest level of Celestial Discord, you regen as normal that day. Otherwise, you don't. Demons have Discord much more frequently than angels - an angel with Discord risks censure, shunning or other punishment...particularly Malakim. Angels react very poorly to Discord in other angels, and the only way to rid yourself of Discord for sure is with the help of a Superior, who will need to be convinced to help. Superiors recognize talent, at least, so good work will get their help...but GMs are instructed to only do it to reward exceptional play or roleplaying, and only instead of getting CP or new attunements, to make sure that players worry about dissonance.
Combat works as per normal rolls, mostly. An attack's damage is equal to the Power of the weapon used plus the check digit of the attack roll, minus any Protection the target has from armor or Dodging. Bonuses or penalties are entirely at the GM's whim. Corporeal combat only happens on Earth, and requires you to be in a vessel most of the time. Take too much damage, you fall unconscious. Anyone who loses a quarter of their HP or more in one hit is stunned for a turn. after that, it's pretty easy to kill you. (Or your vessel, anyway.) Mortals heal one damage per (6-Strength) days, minimum 1, while celestials heal one damage per day at the same time they would regenerate Essence. However, vessels only heal while you're wearing them. Ethereal combat takes plcae in the ethereal or corporeal realms, typically when attacks are aimed at the mind via a Song or attunement. If you lose all your mental HP, determined by your Ethereal Forces and Intelligence, you fall unconscious and gain a level of Ethereal Discord. This is the rarest form of combat, and Mind HP heals at the same rate as Body HP. Celestial combat attacks the soul directly - if you lose badly, you stop existing. It can take place anywhere, but anyone in a vessel is immune to it. Those in a celestial form are not. Your Soul HP is determined by Celestial Foprces and Will, and each time you lose all your Soul HP, you lose one Force permanently, lowering your stats immediately, then regenning to whatever your new Soul HP cap is. Soul HP returns at 1 per week for all creatures, but you can't heal back lost Forces.
When a human's body dies, their soul goes somewhere depending on whether or not they met their Destiny or Fate. What's that? Well, see, every mortal has both. Your destiny is the brightest goal you could ever hope to achieve. It's rare that a human meets this destiny, but if they do, they go to heaven when they die. Archangel Yves and some of his angels can see your destiny. Fate is its opposite - the darkest, most selfish thing you could ever do. Do it, and you're going to Hell. The game's example: Hitler's destiny was to be an honest interior decorator who painted for pleasure and taught in his old age. His fate, well. Yeah. Demon Prince Kronos and his demons can see your fate, and work to damn you with it. Most people, of course, die without meeting either, or meet with both, like Hemingway. People who meet both or neither of destiny and fate are either reincarnated to try again or disband into their component Forces and stop existing. It's not totally clear which one, or if both might happen.
When a spirit's vessel dies, they return to their home in the ethereal realm for weeks of Trauma, which may strip them of Forces and thus destroy them. This is why so many mythic beings died during Uriel's war of Purification, and why they are so cautious about going to Earth now. As for celestials, their Forces return to their Heart, but they enter Trauma unless they have another vessel right at that moment, usually stored in a Body Bag artifact. Malakim are the exception - they do not suffer Trauma for any reason. Kyriotates don't suffer Trauma when their hosts are killed but do gain dissonance, and Shedim can avoid Trauma if they find other host quickly, but also gain dissonance. Trauma lasts for several days, after which you can make a Will roll to get out of it. Some never do get out, though, presumably due to bad luck and weak wills. Angels get put in special hostels in Heaven, while severaly Traumatized demons occasionally get rounded up and torn apart for their components.
If you lose all Corporeal Forces from celestial combat, you cannot take any physical form until you get another one, and cannot use any Corporeal Songs. Also, you get a Corporeal Discord. If you lose all Ethereal Forces, you retain the skeleton of your memory and personality and can keep fighting, but gain an Ethereal Discord and will be at a severe disadvantage due to your shattered intellect and lack of any Ethereal Song usage. If you lose all Celestial Forces and have no vessel, you are gone forever. If you have a vessel, you will immediately take corporeal form, wherever you are or last were on Earth if you're not on Earth right now. You remain unconscious for 24 hours and become a Remnant. Your Heart shatters, you lose your resonance and dissonance. You lose all Celestial Songs and any attunements requiring Celestial Forces. You gain a Celestial Discord and cannot leave the corporeal plane. If you had a Role, you assume it as your life and can remember nothing of your past. Otherwise, you have no history or memory whatsoever. Remnants are immune to all Perception-based resonance.
Next chapter is some sample artifacts - the Stunt Cycle, for example, which grants a bonus to riding it, or the Compass of Attunement, that can track people via the Celestial Song of Attraction. The Holy/Unholy Bullets, ammo for a Holy or Unholy Pistol, able to deal massive damage to vessels. Fiery Swords, which are weapons usable in celestial form to improve your celestial combat ability, and also be a sword made of fucking fire. Body Bags, which are black bags able to hold a vessel wthin, to protect you from Trauma...though if taken out of the bag early, they die within 5 minutes. We get a list of possible Roles and Skills, but what's more interesting is Songs, which I'll cover next time.
Next time: This is your song.
If I Was A Sculptor, But Then Again, NoOriginal SA post In Nomine: If I Was A Sculptor, But Then Again, No
Most Songs come in three versions - Corporeal, Ethereal and Celestial. Songs can't be resisted or dodged most of the time, but they need to be fueled by Essence. The Songs of Attraction control the forces of attraction, lasting for several hours at a time. The Corporeal Song attunes two items to each other, causing them to tug gently in the directions of each other, allowing you to use one object to track the other. It can't be used on living things, though, and you have to touch both objects. The Ethereal Song causes its victim to become madly, passionately attracted to one person or object you pick that you can see. The target can resist with Will, but otherwise feels compelled to possess and protect the object of desire for the duration. The Celestial Song acts rather like the resonance of a Djinn or Cherub - you touch something, and can then track it with a Perception roll.
The Songs of Charm stun people and reduce their stats. The Corporeal form affects STrength or Agility, Ethereal affects Intelligence or Precision and the Celestial affects Will and Perception. Corporeal and Celestial last only briefly, but Ethereal lasts several hours. The Songs of Dreams interact with the Ethereal World. The Corporeal song has the same effects as the Dream Walking attunement, but only for a few minutes. We'll get to the Attunement later. The Ethereal version lets you alter a dreamer's skill rolls within their dream. The Celestial version lets you control the circumstances and nature of a dreamer's dream. The Songs of Entropy control chaos. The Corporeal version can control time, aging or youthening the target. The Ethereal version terrorizes its victim, dealing mental damage. The Celestial version causes hallucinations, stunning the target for several rounds.
The Songs of Form change the shape and appearance of your vessel for a few minutes. The Corporeal version lets you alter your skin, increasing your Protection. The Ethereal version turns you into a shadow, nearly invisible but still corporeal. The Celestial version allows you to literally reshape your vessel like clay - change your face, change your gender, make yourself older or younger-looking. The Songs of Harmony , also called the Songs of Peace, soothe anger and danger. The Corporeal version makes others too weak and sluggish to attack well for several rounds. The Ethereal version makes people too subdued and rational to take violent action wthout a Will roll for a few minutes. The Celestial version temporarily negates a Discord for a few minutes. The Songs of Healing heal people. The Corporeal version heals physical wounds, while the Ethereal version heals mental ones and also unstuns people, and the Celestial one heals soul damage.
the Songs of Light control light. The Corporeal song makes you glow brightly. The Ethereal one lets you shape photons into illusions. The Celestial one shoots fucking lasers at people that hurt and blind them. The Songs of Motion control...motion. The Corporeal song lets you fly quickly for a few minutes. The Ethereal song gives you telekinesis for a few minutes. The Celestial song lets you teleport things. The Numinous Corpus Songs are special Corporeal Songs that alter your body to give you superpowers - each one gives a different form of attack. Acid-spitting, claws, hooves, horns, a tail, a barbed tongue you can shoot out of your mouth, or wings, which don't attack but let you fly instead. The Song of Possession allows you to seize control of a vessel or body, similar to a Kyriotate. It is a Celestial song, mechanically.
The Songs of Projection let you project your consciousness and soul elsewhere. The Corporeal version lets you astrally project to anywhere you've been before on Earth. The Ethereal version lets you project yourself to anywhere in the Marches you've been before and might be welcome in. The Celestial version lets you project yourself anywhere you've been before within the realm you are in - Heaven or Hell - or from Earth to wherever your Heart is, or the other end of a Tether you're in. The Songs of Shields create temporary defenses. The Corporeal Song creates a cyclone that prevents physical attacks, the Ethereal song creates a nearly invisible green energy field that blocks attunements, resonance and Essence-based attacks, and the Celestial song enhances existing fog, darkness or brush to prevent any celestial force from seeing through out or Disturbances from escaping it.
The Song of Thunder stuns everyone nearby, masks all other Disturbances in the area and is very loud, celestially and physically. It is considered a Corporeal song. Lastly, the Songs of Tongues help communication. The Corporeal song lets you speak all human languages at once, understanding in text and speech in your native language and being understood in the most comfortable tongue of anyone hearing or reading your words. The Ethereal song gives you telepathy for a few minutes. The Celestial song sends a brief message and a bit of Essence to anyone you've met before.
We then get a list of Discords - most of which are boring, but a few are funny or especially dumb. Discolored is a Corporeal Discord that causes you to be a weird color. Obese is a Corporeal one that makes you fat. Bound is an Ethereal Discord that locks you in your vessel or forces you to obey the holder of an artifact. Geas is a unique Ethereal Discord caused by Lilim resonance - they can force you to obey them or face dissonance. Gluttonous is a Celestial Discord that makes you eat stuff. Need is a Celestial Discord that makes you unable to regenerate Essence without doing some specific thing - have sex, eat chocolate, play games - the game suggests all of these things.
Next time: Choirs
Cruella - Cruella de VilleOriginal SA post In Nomine: Cruella - Cruella de Ville
Seraphim , AKA the Most Holy or the Trisagionists, are the most divine of the Choirs, created from the essence of perfection and sbstract reality. They are attuned to truth, and when they are paying attention, no one can lie to them. A lie is a stain on the Symphony to a Seraph. We're told they tend to hate television. The Seraph obsession with truth and their tendency to lack restraint in expressing their views makes them very annoying, particularly to most Mercurians. Most Seraphim have no tact whatsoever and regularly feel the need to point out a truth others have politely ignored. They hate dealing with humans one-on-one, so most of the time other Choirs have learned to steer them away from social situations. Seraphim dissonance, as a result, comes from lying. It isn't that they can't - it's that it hurts them to do it. Most Seraphim become skilled at misdirection, dodging questions and keeping secrets by telling people truths that aren't quite what they were asked. Seraphim also may find it distasteful to stand by when another lies, but it isn't dissonant for them to do so.
Seraphim generally have a better perspective on grand situations than other Choirs, and their divinity means that they tend to have the final word when dealing with angels of similar rank. In celestial form, they resemble winged serpents with many eyes, and their vessels tend towards the tall, thin and bony, with clean-cut appearances. They move smoothly and precisely. They are not perfect, much as they aspire to be, but they are deeply respected, and tend to act in a way that deserves that respect. Seraphim like to think of themselves as string instruments of great sweetness and clarity.
Mechanically, the Seraphim resonance allows them to detect the truth. When they activate it successfully, it lasts for (10-CD) minutes and applies to anything they hear. The check digit tells how much of the truth. On a 1, they know if the speaker thinks they're lying. On a 2, they also know which statement the speaker thinks is most false. On a 3, they know why the speaker chose to lie or not lie. On a 4, they also know what the speaker thinks the truth is. On a 5, they also know whether the speaker knows the objective truth. And on a 6, they also know the objective truth. Obviously, this applies to opinions as well, but opinions cannot be objectively true - they just know if you're lying about your opinions. GMs are warned that Seraphim can tell the diference between literal and metaphorical statements, and...well...
GMs who abuse player trust by purposely misleading them and hiding behind semantics may vanish some night as a warning to others.
Cherubim , AKA Hayyoth or the Guardians, are stout and reliable angels. Their resonance is for stability and devotion. With a touch, they can attune themselves to someone or something, sensing its location and condition to better protect it. They will know instantly if such things are endangered or destroyed. Their single-mindedness is legendary, simple and constant. Cherubim and Kyriotates tend not to get along very well, given Cherubim are extremely singular in thought while Kyriotates are multiplicity embodied. For a Cherub, the greatest sin is betrayal of devotion, and that is what gives them dissonance. As long as they are attuned to something, they will never do anything to bring it harm. Only force of will and physical contact can remove their attunement, and any failure to remove an attunement generates dissonance, too. Because of this, Cherubim are notoriously selective about attuning to things. Cherubim also gain dissonance from betraying their Superiors, friends, ideals or themselves. Thus, they work to keep their loyalties undivided.
Cherubim are slow but purposeful. Their human vessels tend to be short, stocky and powerful. In celestial form, they look like immense winged animals with golden haloes of light. Most Cherubim suspect the whole fat baby thing was a demonic plot. They are the ultimate protectors, the best people to have guarding your back. Musically, they tend to think of themselves as one-handed horns by day and saxophones by night. Why? Fuck if I know.
Mechanically, a Cherub can attune themselves to (Forces) objects or people at a time, generating dissonance if they allow any of their attuned objects or people to be destroyed. If an object is broken and its pieces seperated, it is hard for a Cherub to detect, but if they can restore it, they lose the dissonance gained from its destruction. When using their resonance, they can sense the direction to their attuned objects on a CD 1. On a 2, they also know its general condition and if it's in any non-immediate danger. On a 3, they also know the approximate distance within miles. On a 4, within yards. On a 5, also whether it's moving or not. On a 6, also whether it's in any danger whatsoever. A 6 can also detect individual pieces of a broken attuned object. A Will roll can negate an attunement, but failure gives dissonance.
Next time: "The Easy Riders of the celestial realm." They love that phrase.
I'm Cool, You Can Tell Because Of PatchworkOriginal SA post In Nomine: I'm Cool, You Can Tell Because Of Patchwork
Ofanim , AKA the Thrones or the Wheels, are "the Easy Riders of the celestial realm." We know this because they won't stop telling us. Their resonance is for motion, and they never stop. They hate inaction, and they are the Choir most capable of short-term results. Their nature guides them to the fastest path to anywhere, and they intuitively understand the terrain. They're whimsical, erratic and insane angels, even by celestial standards. They have very short attention spans, and an Ofanite "likes to watch television as he paces, one hand clenched on the remote control as channels speed past, ranting loudly and gesturing like an amphetamine-dosed spider monkey." Malakim tend to have trouble with Ofanim - they can't get used to the frivolity that the Ofanim seem to love. Ofanite dissonance is inaction. If an Ofanite has the chance to indulge their mobie nature, they must. Imprisonment, binding or inability to act terrify Ofanim, and even more terrifying is being able to act and not doing so. Inaction in the face of need is gravely dissonant.
Ofanim appear as giant wheels of holy flame, flying through the sky. Their human vessels tend to be manic, wide-eyed and gaunt, poorly kept and almost radiating heat. They have mad, fearless eyes. Ofanim serve as messengers and border-jumpers, "celestial workaholics in the ultimate high-pressure office." Other Choirs respect them, but also pity them. Ofanim see themselves as percussion - anything from random cymbal crashes to 140 bpm European techno.
Mechanically, Ofanim have three different ways to apply their resonance. The CD of a successful resonance can be added to the TN for any Agility-based roll, skill or stat. However, if they then fail the modified roll, they gain dissonance if the CD of the failed roll is 6 or higher. They also gain dissonance if they use their resonance again before using the bonus. Seccond, an Ofanite can add the CD of a successful resonance to the TN of any Area Knowledge roll, sensing the direction to any general site ('the nearest convenience store') or specific place ('the nearest gas station that sells detail') as long as those locations exist within the public consciousness - they're no Cherubim, to precisely track specific objects. Lastly, an Ofanite can use their resonance to travel (CD) miles in a single minute while in celestial form, rolling for each minute of travel.
Elohim , AKA Dynamis or the Powers, are the calm, dispassionate middle of the celestial hierarchy. Their nature is balance of thought and feeling. They resonate with emotion and objectivity, allowing them to understand the minds of those they look upon. They can use this to predict how people will react, and it is only their reserved natures that allow them to profit from it - they never take sides, denying themselves personal passions in order to serve the Symphony. They conflict with no one, holding bias towards none, and other Choirs respect them, though they often feel the Elohim focus too much on the big picture. More outspoken angels often find them boring and passionless, frustrating in their refusal to be subjective. The reason is that subjectivity is dissonant. Elohim form opinions from fact and observation, though of course they often debate the inherent subjectivity of observation, but they refuse to allow themselves to act on their opinions. They feel emotions but it is dissonant for them to act on them. When an Elohite alters the Symphony out of selfishness or desire, they step closer to damnation.
Elohim are the advisors of Heaven. They aren't above getting their hands dirty, despite their calm and dispassionate natures. They aren't uncomfortable in bars or brothels - they don't judge places. You are where you are. On the celestial plane, they appear as vaguely human figures with smooth, androgynous features and hairless heads. They Fall only rarely, cherishing their objectivity and refusal of passion, but their heartlessness can itself lead them down the wrong path. They seldom show their passions, but identify with beels, chimes and xylophones.
Mechanically, Elohim resonate for emotion, sensing the feelings their target has at the time. With CD 1, they know the target's current broad emotional state. At CD 2, they also know the single strongest emotion the target is feeling. At 3, also the motivation of that emotion. At 4, you get the two strongest emotions and their motivations. At 5, you also know how the target would react in that moment to any one action. At CD 6, two actions. An action is defined as anything that could be done in no more than a single combat round. This isn't precognition, the game notes, "but it's good enough for rock and roll."
Malakim , AKA the Kings or the Virtues, are the purity of Heavenly honor and wrath. They are often arrogant, tyrannical and cruel, but they are angels. Their resonance is for honor, and their honor matters more to them than their lives. They can see a human's purity of nature and virtue of principle - how selfish and selfless people are, and if they try to rise above or sink below. And, uh, apparently they tend to kill those they find unworthy. Everything is exceptionally serious to Malakim, and they insist on honor in those around them. While they don't have time to straighten out everyone, they also don't shrink back from doing so if they must. There's a war on, you know. The Ofanim accept their seriousness the worst, and often like to give them a metaphorical wedgie. The dissonance of the Malakim is dishonor. No Malakim has ever Fallen, and they claim they are incapable of it, but some say it's just that they police themselves heavily. Either way, every Malakite has a personal code of honor that they follow and expect others to follow. They all have four oaths, and many have more. Two of these oaths are constants. First, a Malakite can never suffer an evil to live if it is their choice. They can lie about showing mercy, though! Second, a Malakite can never surrender in a fight or allow themselves to be captured by the armies of Lucifer. Death is preferable - it's not like Malakim can suffer trauma. The other two required oaths are defined by the Malakite.
In celestial form, Malakim appear as shadowy figures, with huge black wings. They tend towards simple, utilitarian vessels, but like leather. Especially leather made from animals they've killed personally. Malakim are ruthless, but their motives are unquestionable. Other angels watch them carefully and try to stay on their good sides, though. Malakim who care about personification think of themselves as heavy, strong drums.
Mechanically, a Malakite can sense someone's personal honor. At CD 1, they know most noble or ignoble thin the target's done that week by the target's standards. The GM chooses which. At CD 2, they know both. At CD 3, they know the three most noble or ignoble acts of the last year, by the target's standards. At CD 4, they know both the three most noble and ignoble acts of the last year. At CD 5, they know the target's greatest virtue and worse sin. At CD 6, they know the greatest potential the target has for good or evil - and they can automatically detect a Balseraph if they used this on one. Not other demons, however.
Next time: What do you get for the angel who's everyone?
I am Legion, for we are-wait, no, that's something else.Original SA post In Nomine: I am Legion, for we are-wait, no, that's something else.
Kyriotates , AKA Hives or the Dominations, are the most alien of the angelic Choirs. They are collections of urges, borrowing flesh briefly and moving on. They are chaotic but potent forces, ephemeral and yet worldly. Their resonance is for multiplicity, and they have the power to control many bodies, though rarely stay in any one body long. They do not have a consistent self-image and are unable to make vessels. Instead, they borrow the bodies of the living. While possessed, their hosts roam the Marches dreaming and have no memory of the events of their takeover. Kyriotates, likewise, cannot access the memories of their hosts, and their possessions last no more than six days at a time. When not in a body, they have very little time to find a new host - and if they can't, they'll be shoved back to Heaven with some explaining to do. To avoid that, Kyriotates tend to have a group of servants, human or animal, that take turns being ridden. Cherubim tend to dislike Kyriotates - they're both guardians of a sort, but Cherubim find the Kyriotates too irrational and cavalier, while Kyriotates are puzzled by Cherubic single-mindedness. However, Kyriotates get on quite well with Elohim, who love hearing about the many perspectives the Kyriotates run into. Kyriotates are sworn to protect their hosts, and they gain dissonance when they leave a body in worse shape than they found it. The closer to the time they must leave, the more carefully they tend their hosts, and most learn the Corporeal Song of Healing as a security measure.
Kyriotates are smooth, at home in just about any body. They tend to be relaxed and prefer casual dress, but they're quick to action. In celestial form, they are mutli-huied clouds of random libms, mouths and eyes that pulse to a random beat. Humans that witness this tend to be stunned by it, praying for the sweet embrace of madness. While Kyriotates switch bodies easily, they also prize their subjective nature and the threads that make them themselves. Their selfhood is the only constant they have, after all. They see themselves as improvisational woodwinds - often clarinets or flutes.
Mechanically, when dealing with willing hosts, Kyriotates need only make a Will roll to send their forces into the host. An unwilling host can resist with their own Will roll, which overrides the angel's even if the angel succeeds, locking the Kyriotate out of the body for several hours. Otherwise, a Kyriotate can stay (CD) days. They may possess and control any number of hosts at once whose combined Forces are no more than the angel's total Forces - so a 9-Force Kyriotate can't handle two humans, but could probably do a human and two dogs. (Animals posssessed by Kyriotates, unlike animal vessels, can only talk if the animal is already capable of speech. Parrots work, dogs not so much.) Any human but an Undead that spots a Kyriotate in celestial form must make a Will roll or be stunned for a few rounds. A Kyriotate may manifest celestial form at the same time as possessing a host as long as they have at least 3 free Forces. That form can be in a different place or even a different plane than their host body or bodies, but they can only have one celestial form at a time. Kyriotates can spend only (10*Celestial Forces) minutes without any hosts on the corporeal plane before they get sent back to Heaven.
Mercurians , AKA the Intercessionists or Friends of Man, are the least divine of the Choirs ever since the exile of the Grigori, and they are the most human as well. Mercirans resonate with the patterns of human politics. They can walk into a room and immediately tell the relationships at work in it. Individually, Mercurians can easily grasp the relationships and responsibilities a person has, and the importance of each. They often judge people aesthetically, and style matters a lot to them, but even the dreadfully unstylish have their sympathy and they make for generally affable people. They love humanity even more than humans do. Seraphim are puzzled by their unconditional love for humanity, but have generally resigned themselves to not understanding. However, Mercurians can never be violent towards humans, for fear of dissonance. Violence is the antithesis of politics, after all. Demons have no protection, and Mercurians can advocate for violence - they just can't act violently against a human.
Mercurians in celestial form appear as the traditional Western angel - a winged human with a bright smile. Mercurians care deeply about their appearances, and they never wear ugly vessels unless their desired aesthetic is ugliness. They are all fashionistas, as well. They move smoothly in human society, and no other angel so deeply understands the human condition. Musically, Mercurians prefer their own bodies as instruments - singing, clapping or stomping feet.
Mechanically, Mercurians can invoke their resonance to determine the social standing of anyone within (Forces) yards. CD 1 tells them how the person estimates themself relative to those around them. CD 2 also tells how those people actually regard the target. CD 3 also tells the target's most commonly used name, origin geographically and culturally, and any hobbies, jobs and so on. CD 4 also senses how many relationships the person has, such as work, school, family or so on. CD 5 also tells you how important the target sees those relationships as. CD 6 tells the Mercurian the target's entire background and what degree their relationships control their life to. Mercurians can also use their resonance on a group of up to (CD) people to see the degree of interrelationships between those targets. A Mercurian's resonance, once invoked, lasts for (10-CD) minutes.
The Grigori , AKA the Giants or the Watchers, were once the eighth Choir, created to shepherd the humans. They were both physically and spiritually immense, and they helped teach early humans and observe them. However, angels can be corrupted, and the Grigori, furthest from the Divine, proved much more corruptible due to their immense zest for life. They took spouses among humanity and led lives of debauchery, ignoring their duties. Legend holds that their children were misshapen beasts, known now as the Nephallim by demons. Angels dispatched these half-breeds, and the Grigori were damned to remain on earth for the rest of their lives.
This story is largely true. The Grigori were excommunicated from Heaven en masse, and it is believed that even speaking the word 'Grigori' disturbed the Symphony. Heaven calls them only the Watchers. What few know, however, is that besides the giant, malevolent Nephallim, the Grigori had other children, seemingly human yet part angel. Angels are forbidden to consort with the Children of the Grigori or, of course, any remaining Grigori themselves. It's impossible to say how many remain alive - the upper estimate is about 50, some say none. Their direct descendants are uncountably many, and a few underground groups of them have formed to find and protect each other. Most beleive themselves the remnants of some ancient race, like Atlanteans, and technically that's almost true. Most of them can exert, consciously or not, some control over the Symphony they can all hear. Sometimes they do harm, but usally it's an accident. They are most dangerous in adolescence and early adulthood, when their minds open to the Symphony, and many have been labelled witches across history. Some of them have altered the course of history radically, and usually for good. This is why some angels consider them not abominations but a sacred ace in the hole, a tool for use in the War. Regardless of what they are called, however, it is Grigori blood in their veins, and they often find themselves fighting Hell. They instinctively shun demons, but have little more love for angels. Those that know of their true heritage are wary of Heaven's manipulation and bitter towards their 'relatives.'
Next time: Archangels
Here Comes The New BossOriginal SA post In Nomine: Here Comes The New Boss
The game lists 13 Archangels who are the msot active in the War. They are all unstatted - Archangels exist beyond "the scope of a game - or, perhaps, of human understanding." Therefore, their requests sometimes seem nonsensical. Still, they feel emotions like anyone else. Most angels were made by their Archangel out of the patterns of the Symphony, and most angels rema in in Heaven. A large minority get assigned to Earth, and a few, favored servants (read: PC angels) report directly to their Superiors. PCs have caught the eye of an Archangel and been given relatively independent jobs. Each Archangel has a Word and philosophy, and each represents a facet of Truth. Every Archangel's servants gain a dissonance condition based on their Archangel's Word, and also Attunements, Distinctions and so on. They have political connections between each other and demons they hate more than others. Each grants access to Rites, as well, which can be used once per day to gain one point of Essence. An Archangel other than your own can sometimes give you access to one of their Rites, and any Wordbound will have a unique Rite that they can share as well. If you get in trouble, you can try to invoke an Archangel, but it's never easy. It takes two turns and no Essence...but the base chance of it varies by Archangel, and it's never high. Essence can raise the TN, and so can other modifiers - being at risk of death, for example, or being in the presence of demons - but they can also lower the TN, such as making futile demands, trying to invoke within a month of your last invocation or trying to summon a Superior other than your boss. Also note - any Attunement that relies on a Choir's resonance is restricted and can't be learned by another Choir; otherwise, they can be bought as Attunements by other Choirs. Any that do a thing based on resonance and another thing that isn't are partially restricted - you only get the non-resonance part.
You may also notice some Attunements are significantly better than others. They all cost the same. Vassal, Friend and Master powers are the only ranked ones - given out with Distinctions and not buyable.
The world is a dream, nothing more.
Blandine, Archangel of Dreams is a Cherub locked in eternal war with Beleth, Princess of Nightmares. She is a loner, avoiding politics, but most Archangels agree she's done the most good for man. She carries out orders and protects her Word, helping humanity achieve goals and dreams with as little interference as possible. Blandine's servants are rarely expert fighters, preferring manipulation to force. Every evening, they go out into the Marches to protect dreamers and dreams. On the few occasions when Blandine manifests physically, she appears as a beautiful woman in her early 20s with black hair, green eyes and elaborately embroidered gray clothes. It is dissonant for any angel of Blandine to take on celestial form in the mundane world or use Celestial Songs on Earth. Most of her angels are also assigned to specific dreamers to guard, and if they know their charge is in danger, they must warn the charge in their next dream or gain dissonance until either the warning is given or the danger resolved.
Seraphim of Dreams can immediately recognize intruders, adding their Ethereal Forces to any Perception roll made in the Marches.
Cherubim of Dreams can automatically enter the dreamscape of any sleeper they're attuned to.
Ofanim of Dreams , when using the Dream Walking attunement, can stay in a dreamscape for minutes equal to (Check Digit of Perception roll*Ethereal Forces).
Elohim of Dreams , when in the Marches, have their natural resonance on at all times, with the check digit considered to be equal to their Ethereal Forces. They may make resonance rolls to improve the check digit, however.
Malakim of Dreams are hard to notice. Any Perception roll to spot them has a penalty equal to their Ethereal Forces, even rolls made by Blandine's Seraphim.
Kyriotates of Dreams can be in multiple parts of the Marches at once. They may be in up to (Ethereal Forces) dreamscapes at any time.
Mercurians of Dreams can use dreamers as conduits, entering one person's dreamscape from another's with no roll, but only if the two people are close to each other, as determined by the GM, and currently on the same side of the Marches as each other.
Dream Walking is a Servitor Attunement that basically every angel of Dreams is required to take, because that's good game design! It allows the angel to enter the Marches via a dreamer's mind. The angel must be asleep and make a Perception roll, and must have seen the person before, but need not be near them, though it's easier if you're touching them. The subject must be asleep and in Blandine's Marches, however. The CD gives the number of minutes the angel can stay in the dream or the number of minutes before they can try again.
Healing Dream is a Servitor Attument requiring the target be within half a mile and asleep. It allows you to scan someone's memory for a topic and modify it. Some parts of the mind can't be tampered with - firm convictions, memories from the past (10-your Ethereal Forces) years, phobias, insanities and major traumas - including any interactions with demons. This power costs 6 Essence and takes one hour, requiring a Will roll at -2 to use, and the patient can resist. If the attempt fails, the patient wakes up and remembers a dream about whatever subject you were trying to mess with.
Vassals of Dreams can send blissful dreams to any sleeper within 500 yards, drawing themselves and their target into Blandine's Marches.
Friends of Sleepers can detect when someone in their presence is the target of a celestially-caused dream or nightmare.
Masters of the Realms of Night get a +2 bonus to any roll made within the Marches.
The Archangel of Dreams avoids politics and considers most other Archangels far too political and undedicated. She prefers her servants likewise avoid politics, and while she is considered hostile to David, Jean, Marc and Michael, it is more that they often work against her word,a nd she is cold to them. Her agents iwll not sabotage other angels except to protect the Word of Dreams, and might even help any angel needing it, if it didn't intefere with their job. Blandine is considered associated with Yves, and while she never leaves the Marches for politics, her sigil at important meetings is carried by one of her unique angels, the Menunim, and her vote is cast at Yves' discretion. The basic Rites of Dreams are:
1. Sleep for four hours without visiting Beleth's realm.
2. Get 3 Essence for spending eight hours successfully protecting a sleeper from active danger.
Blandine is base Invocation TN 2, with +1 if you have a book of fairy tales, +2 for a sleeping potion, +3 for a handwritten lullaby collection, +4 for a bad in which a demon slept while in the Marches, +5 for someone dreaming peacefully while traveling in a vehicle, +6 for 90 people dreaming peacefully in one room or +8 if you're at the top of her Tower.
The world is strong and hard. Be harder, be stronger.
David, Archangel of Stone is a Malakite. He and his angels made the first shelters for humanity, taught them how to make pots, metal and buildings. He also helped them find new, better ways to beat each other to death. He feels responsible for humans, since he helped mold early humanity, and his angels strengthen others by forcing them to endure labors. DAvid believes this must be done if humanity is to survive. His servitors encourage people to join together for loyalty and protection...and yeah, sometimes they also help out skinheads. Some angels think David's servants are too brutal, but they believe they're not too brutal enough . They are blindly loyal and never question their master. In human form, David appears as a commanding man with steel-gray eyes and a strong face. He prefers to manifest naked, and can also manifest as a mound of stone, which he can form into humanoid shape and speak through if he likes. Angels of Stone must be as immovable as stone. They never start fights - they finish them. Being provoked into attacking first is dissonant, as is using any ranged weapon.
Seraphim of Stone are miners made, able to detect the presence and quality of all minerals within (Corporeal Forces) yards, and can make Chemistry rolls to detect complex compounds. However, their abilities are blocked by grass and other organic materials, or artificial substances like plastic.
Cherubim of Stone are laborers who can create a psuedo-magnetic field, pulling any object within (Corporeal Forces) yards to their hand, as long as it's made mostly from minerals and they can physically lift it. Someone holding the object can resist with STrength, but at a penalty of the Cherub's Celestial Forces.
Ofanim of Stone can move through minerals, carrying any worn or carried items they like up to (Corporeal Forces*10) pounds. Each foot of progress takes one round for soft earth, two for stone or brick and three for glass or metal. Their tunnel closes behind them, and they always know which way is up. If they encounter any non-mineral substance, like paper, wood or paint, they must tear through it to continue.
Elohim of Stone are attuned to the planet. They have absolute direction, knowing exactly where they are and what time it is unless they are completely surrounded by a thick layer of organic or artificial material, or they are not in Heaven or on Earth.
Malakim of Stone , once per day, can plant their feet on solid ground and become both immovable and indestructible. They retain all senses, but can take no action but answer any mental communication they receive or revert to normal via a Will roll.
Kyriotates of Stone can have vessels made of stone. These cost 3 points per level, move at half speed and get +2 Power with unarmed attacks. They ignore weather and temperature unless it'd affect a statue, and have natural Protection 5. When this vessel is manifested, the Kyriotate must allocate the appropriate number of Forces - five for a humanoid vessel, one for a stone seagull, etc. They suffer neither dissonance nor Trauma if a stone vessel is destroyed.
Mercurians of Stone can recoghnize a building's date of construction and what was used to build it. They also have a sense for buildings made of minerals, especially as they move through them. They can create a blueprint in their heads, omitting all non-mineral elements (such as people or wood) but revealing any secret doors or hidden compartments, and showing the quickest way through a maze of corridors.
Deep Gaze is a Servitor attunement that, for 1 Essence, lets you see through (Corporeal Forces) yards of stone or earthy material, for (Celestial Forces*10) minutes.
Cold Touch lets you, for 6 Essence and a Will roll, touch a foe and turn them to unbreakable stone. They remain conscious but unable to move or speak. Celestial victims can resist via (Strength+Corporeal Forces), but others resist only with Strength. The victim may attempt another resistance roll after (10+your corporeal Forces) minutes in order to recover. If they fail, they keep rolling each time the duration passes until they succeed.
Vassals of Stone cannot be harmed by earth or stone.
Friends of the Subterranean World automatically detect the presence of any underground cavities within (Corporeal Forces*100) yards.
Masters of the GranitE Hand , when fighting unarmed, multiply their check digit by their Corporeal Forces on Fighting rolls. This is not cumulative with the benefits of Rock Hard. (Rock Hard is not listed anywhere I can see in this book.)
David openly believes he should be in charge of the War, but he's still loyal to Michael and the rest of the military faction of Heaven. He has also privately instructed his angels to aid Gabriel, and he considers himself allied to Gabriel and Michael. All other Archangels he has instructed they avoid aiding in order to conserve their energy unless it also helps David's plans. He is associated with Jean, Jordi and Laurence, and hostile towards Marc. Basic Rites are:
1. Spend 4 hours resting in a mine or cave.
2. Spend one hour praying undisturbed in a church made of stone.
David has a base Invocation TN of 3, +1 if you have a small, smooth stone, +2 for a stone statue of a male figure, +3 if it's a marble statue, +4 for a gathering of 50 gang members with no guns, +5 for a stone more than 1500 years old or +6 for a rock used to kill a demon.
Next time: Judgment, Creation and Fire
Wait, why is the angel quoting Crowley?Original SA post In Nomine: Wait, why is the angel quoting Crowley?
The world is ruled by order. Without law, all is cacophony and madness.
The game notes that Dominic, Archangel of Judgment appears equally as often on Earth as female as he does male, using the name Dominique as a woman, but it consistently refers to Dominic as male, so I will too. Dominic and his angels have been given the task of rooting out corruption in the Symphony, particularly among angels. Dominic is a Seraph, and in celestial form he wears heavy, concealing baclk robes. Dominic leads the Divine Inquisition and is infamously tyrannical in rooting out troublemakers, Discordant angels and Outcasts. His angels even work with demons of Asmodeus to hunt down demonic Renegades, though Dominic refuses to publically acknowledge it. The Divine Inquisition works in triads, teams of three angels. One Cherub, attuned to the subject of their inquiry. One Seraph, to resolve the truth. And one angel of another Choir, to carry out the sentence. Judgment is by majority vote of the triad. If the guilty party is of higher rank or status than the triad, or if one of the triad dies and the vote is tied, a more potent triad must be called in to join the bote. Only the most favored angels, such as PCs, get to operate autonomously, and Dominic saves them for the most unique missions requiring greatest discretion. Dominic has little interest in either the law of mankind or human problems in general. While the angels of Judgment will uphold and help execute just laws and help good police and courts, they will ignore any law that fails to match their standards of justice. While Judgment tends towards Old Testament views on punishment, it is dissonant for any angel of Judgment to inflict a punishment greater than the crime, or to stand by while the innocent are unfairly punished. They also suffer dissonance when overlooking what they feel is heresy in an angel.
Seraphim of Judgment are Dominic's chief inquisitors, and they add their Celestial Forces to the TN of their resonance rolls.
Cherubim of Judgment , when attuned to a subject of inquiry, do not suffer dissonance if the subject is hurt.
Ofanim of Judgment can hear Discord in others within (Celestial Forces) feet, and can tell what the Discord is and what level.
Elohim of Judgment can see guilty feelings in the form of bloody sweat on someone's face. The guilt need not be justified for them to see it.
Malakim of Judgment can hear dissonance in celestials. No distance given. They are required to report any Malakite with more than one dissonance to an Archangel immediately.
Kyriotates of Judgment do not gain dissonance for taking poor care of their host if the host is evil.
Mercurians of Judgment can use their resonance to tell a human's most deviant behavior and how long ago it was committed. Further, Mercurians suffer no dissonance for harming guilty humans, as long as the punishment fits the crime.
Incarnate Law is a Servitor attunement that gives the angel innate knowledge of what rules and regulations are agreed upon by a place's human inhabitants.
Heavenly Judgment is a Servitor attunement that, for 7 Essence, allows for immediate trial of a target in eyesight suspected of a crime at least as nasty as murder. If the accused is guilty, a glowing sword appears in the angel's hand, and a voice booms 'Let justice be done.' At that point, the sowrd flies to attack the victim for 7 damage per round, until either the target is dead, the angel is dead, or the angel wills the judgment to stop.
Vassals of Conscience can cause any Will 1-2 target that they look on to confess their crimes immediately.
Friends of Judgment can also compel confession from Will 3-4 targets.
Masters of Law automatically detect any crime committed within (10*Celestial Forces) yards.
Dominic attempts to avoid factional commitments, though he (like Laurence) supports Catholicism as the best belief system for humans to follow. Still, Dominic is allied to Yves and always listens to him. He is hostile to Eli, however, and his distrust of Eli often has him siding with the warlike Archangels, though some, like Michael find him too narrow-minded. His top priority right now is finding Eli and putting him on trial. He believes Eli is insane and dangerous, and few of Eli's scattered angels serve Dominic, which he's fine with. He also finds Gabriel to be insane, but Yves protects her for some reason. He dislikes Janus, believing that even angels should not steal, and also dislikes Novalis for her airy and informal attitude. Basic Rites:
1. Spend two hours defending an innocent in court.
2. Help deliver a guilty mortal to corporeal justice.
3. For 4 Essence, kill the vessel of a demon or Fallen angel.
Dominic straight up can't be summoned. Instead, he stops in with every single one of his angels once a week to check up on them.
The world is creation, the application of will against entropy, bringing life and beauty from the void.
Eli, Archangel of Creation , is the most contradictory. He creates and destroys, he is full of life and hope, but he is out of control and insane. His servants embody primal creative forces, and while they may now be casual and disorganized, they remain creators of beauty and servants of Heaven. Eli is a Mercurian, and a few decades ago, he abandoned his Heavenly realm, stripped himself of most his memories and disappeared into the mass of humanity. He's rarely seen and even his most faithful followers fear for what he might have become. He no longer seems to care about protection his Word, which to be fair barely needs it. Even the other Archangels haven o real idea what he's doing. Around the turn of the century, he gave command of most of his angels to other Archangels - so you might have, say, a Malakite of Eli in service to Gabriel. These angels retain their Creation attunements and rarely gain attunements from their new masters. A few of Eli's top servants still obey him directly. (His last command was 'Do what thou wilt, but be cool.') They do errands for him on his whim, rarely understanding what or why. They keep their own Hearts as best they can, and most of Eli's angels are frustrated and confused. Eli has no dissonance conditions - his angels can do as they will within their Choir's standards.
Seraphim of Creation can automatically recognize how good someone is as at a skill, chosen when they stare at someone, with a Perception check. On a CD 6, they also know the target's full potential with that skill.
Cherubim of Creation can tell who created any item they hold and when it was made, though generally only the basic facts and what sort of being they were. GMs are advised to give more info for higher check digits. These Cherubim can also use their resonance to track down the creator the item. Assembly line items will appear to have many makers, or a machine maker.
Ofanim of Creation can slow down, speed up or reverse aging, in themselves and others. Once a day, they can touch something an adjust its age by (Precision) years. Further, they heal (Corporeal Forces) HP per day.
Elohim of Creation can bind Songs into objects to make relics and reliquaries. It takes one month of work per level of the Song and/or point of Essence the object is meant to hold. However, they are required to know the Servitor attunement Transmutation.
Malakim of Creation can turn anything they pick up into a weapon with Power equal to the CD of a successful Perception roll, lasting one combat.
Kyriotates of Creation may use the Celestial Song of Form on their hosts for no Essence, though the Song's effects end prematurely if they leave the host.
Mercurians of Creation can create talismans, spending one month per level of skill in them. The angel must possess the skill they imbue.
Abracadabra is a Servitor attunement that can create matter from nothing. For each point of Essence spent, you can make a tenth of an ounce of rare or precious minerals, one cubic foot of common metal or material, or one cubic yard of simple, mundane and common substances like water or rocks. You must have some experience with what you're making, though the Chemistry skill can substitute for direct experience. The material appears wherever you like in your general vicinity ('up to 1 hex away' - no, hexes never come up in the book before or after this ) that you can see and has room for it.
Transubstantiation is a Servitor attunement that can convert inorganic matter into organic matter. For each point of Essence spent, you can turn one quart of common liquid like water or ammonia into a complex organic material such as wine or blood, or a cubic foot of common material such as sand or salt into a common organic pattern such as insects or fish. You may also, at GM discretion, turn small amounts of one organic material into another.
Eli does not offer distinctions.
Eli once considered himself an ally of Jordi and Novalis and associated with Janus, Yves and Blandine. Since his dropping out of Heavenly society, however, his reputation has suffered and his influence is waning. If anyone were to ask Eli, he'd claim he was doing more than most of the other Archangels by living among humans and following the Symphony's pull. Many in Heaven consider his angels to be modern Grigori, corrupted by the flesh. With Dominics recent crackdowns, the reputation's gotten better, but still...they are known for debauchery. Basic Rites:
1. Succeed at 3 Precision-based skill rolls in a row.
2. Spend an hour having consensual sex.
3. Calm a group of more than three crying children.
Roll a d6. That's how hard it is for any angel to invoke Eli today. +1 if you have a paint brush or musical instrument, +2 for a form of unused birth control, +3 for a human family getting along with each other, +4 for the blueprint to the building you're standing in, +5 for the work of a blind sculptor, and +6 for a unique plant, animal or mineral.
The world is energy, hot and fluid.
Gabriel, Archangel of Fire imbues others with joy and inspiration, but her power can burn the unwise and unfortunate. She is an ancient Ofanite, and while she and her angels act honestly and simply, their nature is complex. Physically, Gabriel appears in both flawless male and female forms, but she prefers female in the modern age. In any form, she is potent and obstinate. Mentally, however, she is unstable. Gabriel was present for the birth of Christ and recited the Quran to Mohammad at Yves' instruction. While she was only following orders, Dominic (who supports Christianity alongside Laurence) declared her heretical and almost had her exiled until Yves and Michael defended her. Still, Gabriel stormed off angrily and has still not truly returned - in over a millenium. Besides holding the Word of Fire, Gabriel also punishes the cruel. She was once Heaven's messenger, but after the Islam thing, she's refused to do it again. She is too unstable to lead God's armies, too disturbed for rehab and too powerful to destroy. She is primal, able to be channeled but not controlled. Yves protects her no matter what, however. Gabriel wanders Earth most of the time, avoiding other Archangels and doing the job she's held since ancient times. Sometimes, she talks to herself, screams or laughs for no clear reason. Her servants adore her, though. Gabriel's angels gain dissonance if they do not punish the cruel. They need not punish all of them...but once they finish with one, they must deal with the very next one they meet, within (Celestial Forces) days. This dissonance will fade once justice is done.
Angels of Gabriel are attuned to specific kinds of cruelty, which they can detect with a look - not the detials, just that the target practices that kind of cruelty.
Seraphim of Fire sense and punish those that knowingly profit from the suffering of others or who lie to themselves about their monstrous nature.
Cherubim of Fire punish those who have, within the last year, horribly betrayed someone devoted to them.
Ofanim of Fire punish those that flee justice. Further, they are immune to damage from corporeal heat, radiation and electricity. Their vessels balance these energies automatically, depositing any excess into the Symphony, making the sun burn that much brighter.
Elohim of Fire punish those who enjoy causing psychological or emotional pain to others.
Malakim of Fire are given specific assignments and have no special sense. Instead, they can cause their flames to burn with green celestial flames, giving their unarmed attacks Power of (Celestial Forces) and ACcuracy -1.
Kyriotates of Fire punish those that enjoy causing physical pain to others.
Mercurians of Fire punish those that enjoy being cruel to themselves. However, rather than punish them, they must prevent their targets from hurting themselves for a single day.
Dance of the Atoms is a Servitor attunement that allows the angel to control ambient temperature, up or down 10 degrees Fahrenheit per Corporeal Force. The change is instantaneous, but cannot be used to instantly kill someone with heat or cold.
Smite is a Servitor attunement that fires off a fiery blast at anyone the angel can see within (Corporeal Forces*10) yards, doing (Celestial Forces*Essence spent) damage. This ignores all physical armor and has no roll to hit...but it can be dodged to reduce damage as normal.
Vassals of Fire can strengthen or reduce any fire they can see with a thought. They may also keep a fire from spreading or make it burn faster and further. It can be made to shrink or spread at one yard per round, or leap up to its radius in height, though this is the limit of their control. The power lasts as long as they concentrate, covering an area up to 10 yards wide.
Friends of the Divine Spark can amplify a human's passion for a thing or belief, making them obsess over that for one hour each day for (Ethereal Forces) weeks.
Masters of the Flame of Heaven can spend 1 Essence to create a sphere of flame around themselves with a radius of 6 yards, lasting until a fight ends or the angel wills it away. Any foe entering the sphere or present when it appears must roll STrength to avoid being dazzeled for (Celestial Forces) rounds. The flames are made of light, not fire, and cannot cause damage or affect the angel's allies or innocent bystanders.
Gabriel has no allies and is hostile to Dominic, but considers herself associated with Janus and Yves. Basic Rites:
1. Spend 3 hours near an intense heat source.
2. Spend an hour in intense conflict, mental or physical.
3. For 4 Essence, kill a demon with fire.
Gabriel has a base Invocation TN of 3, +1 if you pray before a fight, +2 if you clean a peace of metal in fire, +3 if you have the life's blood from a betrayer, +4 in the tomb of someone who died to protect others, +5 if you are in or surrounded by flames or +6 if you are engaged in mortal battle.
Next time: Wind, Lightning and Animals
ANGEL SCIENCEOriginal SA post In Nomine: ANGEL SCIENCE
The world is a whirlwind. It sweeps across bodies and hearts, bending the soft things and destroying the rest.
Janus, Archangel of the Wind commands the Heavenly agents of change, charged with shaking up the static...and also divine thieves. Janus is a large and burly Ofanite and is one of the eldest of Archangels. His mission is to promote change, but he is largely unchanging. Janus is friendly, gregarious and whimsical, as quick to condemn his friends as praise them, but very apologetic afterwoard. Some worry for his stability, but everyone agrees he's useful, and his mood swings reflect his job. Janus' angels try to disrupt normality and cause chaos without upsetting the balance of the Symphony. Typically, they arrive somewhere, scope it out and then start causing mayhem. ...really, mayhem is kind of a constant with them. They tend to be reckless, young and hanging out of speeding cars to regenerate Essence as they zoom from town to town, blowing things up and causing chaos. It is dissonant for any angel of Janus to remain in the locale for more than three days. Normally, a city is a locale, but some cities, like LA or NYC, are large enough to contain multiple locales.
Seraphim of the Wind can add (Celestial Forces) to all Fast-Talk skill rolls. They can't lie, but they are quite good at using misleading truths.
Cherubim of the Wind are limited to a single person at a time for attunement, but their attuned becomes enthralled with them, acting as equivalent to a Servant of (Celestial Forces) level until the attunement ends.
Ofanim of the Wind can add (Ethereal Forces) to any roll involving breaking locks, opening doors or freeing themselves or others from any form of physical restraint.
Elohim of the Wind can look at the sky and accurately predict the weather, down to the minute, for (Ethereal Forces) days barring intervention by celestial forces.
Malakim of the Wind may add (Ethereal Forces) to any roll involving making, setting or using any explosive, including throwing them.
Kyriotates of the Wind may assume a gaseous form on Earth without need of a host. In this form, they cannot communicate verbally or interact with the world, and they move at 1/4 normaly speed. They can only be seen in this form with a Perception roll, made easier the more dissonant they are.
Mercurians of the Wind can move through crowds, parting them to pass easily whether or not they are visible. They may also tell at a glance if an object was acquired honestly or not.
Passage is a Servitor attunement that allows an angel to make an Agility roll to open any look, with a max of -3 for the most complex locks, with voice prints and so on.
Swipe is a Servitor attunement that, for 2 Essence, may make any corporeal object no more than (Forces) pounds vanish for (Celestia Forces) minutes. It reappears later with the angel, whereever they are, and causes no disturbance as long as no one observes the vanishing or reappearance.
Vassals of the Wind can speak silently among themselves as clearly and quickly as human speech via gestures.
Friends of the Unseen always know if they're being watched, listened to or otherwise spied on.
Masters of Motion double their flying speed if they have wings and may add 4 to their Running skill before any roll, or to the check digit of any Running roll that succeeds without this assistance.
Janus is allied to David, Gabriel and Michael, and associated with Yves. He is hostile towards Laurence. Basic Rites:
1. Spend 1 hour in 80+ mph winds, such as in a windstorm or a convertible with the top down.
2. Spend 2 hours meditating on a moving roller coaster - it can stop to let people on or off, but you can't get off.
3. For 4 Essence, see a vehicle flip and roll at more than 60 mph or watcha multi-story building get demolished, in person in either case.
Janus has a base Invocation TN of 0. +1 if you steal a newspaper, +2 if you deface a public street sign, +3 if you reroute a set of Detour signs, +4 if you blow up a car, +5 if you can see a tornado directly and unaided, +6 if you fall through the air for more than 10 seconds.
The world is lightning, the spark of life and the flash of insight.
Jean, Archangel of Lightning commands the angels that control the energies of the world, who slowly share their secrets with man. Jean is an Elohite in charge of managing human technology, knowledge and understanding the physical world. His angels develop and experiment with new devices designed to reduce selfish desires. He and his angels tend not to like humans much, but he has been known to say "But in spite of their tiny cranial volumes, they still manage the occasional flash of insight." He tends to blame this on Lucifer and Vapula, Prince of Technology, who share secrets of the Symphony with scientists in exchange for dark favors. Jean appears as a middle-aged blond man, just over six feet tall, with a very angular face. He avoids other Archangels, preferring to follow his own schemes and those of God. He is a proud, pedantic micromanager, who prefers his angels not take too much on themselves. He is generally easy to summon, and he's a hard worker. It is dissonant for angels of Lightning to let a technological secret or device fall into human hands before Jean decides it's time, though anything that humans truly discover on their own must be accepted. It is, however, dissonant for them to allow infernally-inspired technology to go unopposed.
Seraphim of Lightning have photographic memories. Further, for 1 Essence, they may conjure a floating display, showing to an observer anything they have ever seen or heard.
Cherubim of Lightning may connect from any telephone to the phone nearest an object or person they are attuned to. If there isn't a phone near their attuned, they may spend 1 Essence to cause a cell phone to appear for 10 minutes within 7 feet of the attuned.
Ofanim of Lightning can, with a suitable conductor, temporarily convert their vessel into electricity, traveling (Corporeal Forces*100) yards per round for (Ethereal Forces) rounds. They may reappear at any point on the path, but whenever the trip ends, they deal 3d6 damage from lightning to both the entry and exit points.
Elohim of Lightning may spend 1 Essence to create a pocket-sized computer out of the air, lasting (Ethereal Forces) minutes. These computers have a high-speed wireless link to the Internet, are immune to EMPs, require no power and have infinite memory. Their cables can connect to any non-encrypted computer system with a serial port, and also give a bonus of (Celestial Forces) to all Computer Operation checks.
Malakim of Lightning may add (Etheral Forces) to any Chemistry, Electronics or Engineeering roll, or to any other roll to repair a technological object.
Kyriotates of Lightning may possess physical objects as vessels for (Ethereal Forces) minutes.
Mercurians of Lightning learn the Ethereal Song of Tongues for free and cannot fail to use it. The level and CD are both equal to their Ethereal Forces.
Generator is a Servitor attunement that lets you spend at least 1 Essence to generate electricity and channel it through anything you touch. The Power is (Essence spent+Corporeal Forces). Living targets are blinded for (10+Esssence spent-target's Will) seconds.
Remote Control is a Servitor attunement that lets you mentally control any manmade device from (Forces) feet away. They can make it do only what its regular controls would allow, and may give only one command per round.
Vassals of Lightning are perfect calculators, and players are allowed to keep calculators on hand to use as long as they need to get the right answer to any math problem. Further, they may recognize all possible applications for any technological object.
Friends of the Illuminated may detect the cause of any malfunction in any technological object, ad can predict problems (Celestial Forces) rounds before they happen.
Masters of the Machine may instantly 'heal' damage to any device at a rate of 3 HP per Essence spent.
Jean has no allies, but considers himself associated with Eli and Yves. He is hostile towards Jordi, Michael and Novalis. Basic Rites:
1. Rest for an hour whole touching the turbine in an electric power station.
2. Rest for 2 hours plugged into a wall socket.
3. Spend an hour in a thunderstorm on a cliff.
Jean has a base Invocation TN of 3, +1 if you have a scientific formula on hand, +2 for a demonstration of math, +3 for a microscope, +4 for a complete lab, +5 for a new and working scientific theory and +6 for the Grand Unification Theory.
The world is an animal, wild and quick.
Jordi, Archangel of Animals hates civilization. He considers it a lie, and feels that Heaven should never have allowed humans to keep their artificial trappings - they will die without a wild nature. Jordi is a Kyriotate who despises most human works, spending most of his time wandering the world in various animal forms. Lucifer tried to tempt him, but it never works - he is loyal to God, regardless of how he feels about the modern world, and he does like humans who share his love for animals. Angels who don't work for Jordi often consider him totally insane, but he is very intelligent and perceptive, and he's willing to give leeway to anyone who gives him respect. His servants are wild, but not cruel. They are passionate but not hateful. Jordi will appear in cities only in emergencies, unless they are cities like New Delhi. It is dissonant for Jordi's angels to allow themselves to be swayed by the concerns of human society or by their rules or expectations of behavior. They also gain dissonance if they value human life above animal life. Their kills must also be clean and painless.
Angels of Jordi are all attuned to a particular kind of animal and may communicate basic concepts with that type of animal via sound and gesture. They are also all required to purchase at least one animal vessel, except the Kyriotates. However, nothing they do in animal vessels except for use of Songs or Essence will cause any Disturbance. Still: angels of Animals get shitty powers, except for the Kyriotates.
Seraphim of Animals are attuned to amphibians and marine life.
Cherubim of Animals are attuned to cats, big and small.
Ofanim of Animals are attuned to flying animals of all kinds.
Elohim of Animals are attuned to reptiles. Further, their resonance extends without penalty as far as they can see in any direction.
Malakim of Animals are are attuned to dogs, wolves and other pack animals.
Kyriotates of Animals may control animal hosts with total Forces up to (total Forces*Corporeal Forces). Further, they are especially attuned to insects. Any insect swarm only counts as one Corporeal Force for them to control.
Mercurians of Animals are attuned to apes.
Call of the Wild is a Servitor attunement that allows the angel to spend 2 Essence to summon a small group of local animals. They may select what type of animal comes, as long as no one of them has more than (Celestial Forces) total Forces. Roll (Corporeal Forces)d6 to determine how many show up. They arrive in 2 minutes and will not harm the angel, but are not controlled by the angel, either.
Animal Magnetism is a Servitor attunement that lets you spend 1 Essence to charm any animal you can see that isn't already celestially influenced, as long as the animal's total Forces is less than or equal to their Corporeal Forces.
Vassals of Animals always know the intentions of any animal they see.
Friends of Beasts will never be attacked by wild animals, though trained or charmed animals still can.
Masters of the Creature Within know at a glance how much a given human likes animals and how they tend to treat them.
Jordi dislikes politics but does not ignore them. He's a swing vote, courted by many sides, and if sufficiently motivated, he will appear, cast his vote and then leave. He feels the other Archangels do not care about him or hios goals, and he's essentially correct. He is allied to Novalis, who sometimes carries his proxy in formal votes, but shuns other Archangels, except Eli and Yves, whom he is associated with. He is especially hostile towards Jean, Marc and Michael. Basic Rites:
1. Spend 8 hours with not trace of civilization in sight.
2. Live in a city for one full day as an animal, without spending Essence.
3. Rescue an animal endangered by human works or carelessness.
Jordi has a base Invocation TN of 2, with +2 to TN and CD if no human buildings, roads or vehicles are in sight. He also gives +1 for the presence of a street mutt or alley cat, +2 for a work of man created out of sincere love for animals, +3 for an egg of an endangered species, +4 for 20 cats living in the same dwelling, +5 for a mountain gorilla and +6 for a panda. Jordi fuckin' loves gorillas and pandas.
Next time: The Sword, Trade and War.
ANGEL HIGHLANDEROriginal SA post In Nomine: ANGEL HIGHLANDER
The world is a blade that cuts the unwary. Respect the power that comes with your station. Keep yourself finely honed, and never cease to be vigilant when hunting the Diabolical.
Laurence, Archangel of the Sword , is an honorable Malakite and supereme commander of the armies of God. He is in charge of training and assigning Soldiers, coordinating official missions and tracking the enemy. He was not always an Archangel. He last served Uriel, Archangel of Purity, until the Purification Crusade. Laurence was his finest demon hunter and was made archangel in 745 AD, when Uriel was recalled to the Higher Heavens. Since then, he has not only led the armies of God, but also become the patron of Christianity, actively promoting its growth. In particular, he's Catholic and wants the Pope to become religious leader for all of humanity. Only Dominic really supports him in this. Laurence appears most often on Earth as a skinny man with long, black hair. He is the youngest of the Archangels and an amazing fighter, but too idealistic as a planner. He tends to forget that his angels are imperfect and that demons fight dirty. When his plans go wrong, he invariably relies on Michael to help out. As the prime strategist of Heaven, Laurence is in a tough position. He has to keep the peace in Heaven but also remain steadfast against the foe. His servants have no spare time, and they often complain that others ask them for help too often - though they never turn their allies down. They are honorable and idealistic, and they're some of Heaven's best...when they can survive long enough to meet their potential. Laurence is the most rigid of any Archangel but Dominic, and it is dissonant for his angels to disobey his orders in either word or spirit.
Seraphim of the Sword can tell at a glance if the foes they face are on the ultimate side of good or evil, based on the foes' motives for fighting.
Cherubim of the Sword may use their resonance on anything they see and via photographs, rather than needing to touch their subjects.
Ofanim of the Sword , when fighting or pursuing a foe, move an extra (2*Agility) yards in corporeal form or (2*Perception) yards in celestial form, but not when being pursued.
Elohim of the Sword may use their resonance not only on those around them but on those who were in the area any time in the past (Celestial Forces) hours.
Malakim of the Sword may add (Ethereal Forces) to the CD of their resonance roles.
Kyriotates of the Sword receive a free vessel - the body of a warrior that died a meaningless death before finding their destiny. The vessel appears to have survived its wounds, and the human's life is the vessel's Role, with level equal to (Ethereal Forces). The vessel is default level 1, but can be raised with CP. The Role is free, but if its Status would be greater than its level, the GM may require the Role be increased with CP. Other hosts can be possessed while using this vessel as normal, but the vessel cannot be abandoned. Even while not manifested, it ties up 5 Forces of the Kyriotate. However, it generates no dissonance if damaged or destroyed, though the attunement must be repurchased if it's destroyed.
Mercurians of the Sword add (Corporeal Forces) to their choice of their Dodge skill or a Dodge roll's CD, decided before rolling.
The Blade Blessing of Laurence is a Servitor attunement that allows an angel to touch any blade and spend 3 Essence to give it a divine edge, causing it to have +5 Power for (Celestial Forces) rounds, on top of its normal stats. However, it must be an actual blade - Fiery Swords don't count.
Hunt is a Servitor attunement that allows you to unerringly track anyone you have ever fought, regardless of distance. You can keep track of up to (Ethereal Forces) foes at once.
Vassals of the Sword may remain serious under any circumstances, even demonic provocation, resonance or attunements, and may judge the seriousness of others. (No mechanics on how that works.)
Friends of the Lord's Troops can judge someone's courage. (Again, no mechanics.)
Masters of the Armies of God may state a refusal so severely that they prevent the other party from reiterating their proposition - basically, they can end conversations just by saying the word 'No.'7
Laurence is allied to David, Dominic, Jean and Michael. He considers himself associated to everyone else, except for Eli and Novalis, whom he is hostile towards. Basic Rites:
1. Slay an evil creature.
2. Spend a whole night hunting your prey.
3. Spend four hours resting in an armory.
Laurence has a base Invocation TN of 4. +1 for having a practice sword, +2 for a book of military precepts, +3 for a high quality sword, +4 when ordering a group into battle, +5 for a fine sword engraved with the Lord's Prayer, and +6 for a sword blessed by the Pope.
The world is trade, the give and take of day-to-day life.
Marc, Archangel of Trade , knows that commerce, while it has complicated human life, has lowered the amount of violence. Wars can't be dought without death, but commerce allows conflict in which numbers and things in human minds are the only losses. Marc is a Mercurian, and his servants are Heaven's top diplomats. They lie only by omission, and only for good reason. Marc can be trusted, as long as you read between the lines and read the fine print. He promotes the abstract concept of currency and is the treasurer of Heaven, which he does quite well. He invented the concept of the salary and pays himself generously. He is always fashionable and polite, and while he's occasionally been snippy when his Word was not respected, nothing major has ever stood in his way except Lucifer's hordes. It is dissonant for angels of Marc to break their freely given word.
Seraphim of Trade can look someone in the eye and know how much they'd pay for something. Also, when they fail a resonance roll, they can retry in seconds, not minutes.
Cherubim of Trade may, with a touch, know the true owner of any object.
Ofanim of Trade know the fastest way to get anywhere with anything.
Elohim of Trade can tell the fair market value of anything they touch.
Malakim of Trade may, after looking someone in the eye, know exactly what something means to them. They must be able to see whatever that thing is, but once they do it, they can tell about anything they look at for (Ethereal Forces) minutes. This can only affect one person at a time.
Kyriotates of Trade may automatically enter a host. They can't fail a resonance roll, and roll only for the check digit, though they can be resisted with Will as normal.
Mercurians of Trade , when using their resonance, can look back over (Celestial Forces) months to see how much money the target has received and what they did to earn it.
Divine Contract is a Servitor attunement that lets you create a written contract between two or more people and infuse it with Essence. Any party that signs the contract of their own free will and then breaks their word suffers (Essence spent*6) corporeal damage.
Head of a PIN is a Servitor attunement that lets you extract (100*Essence spent) dollars in local currency from an ATM or wire transfer. The money miraculously comes from lost or destroyed cash, so no loses any money this way.
Vassals of Trade may make a Perception roll, once per target per day, to discuss a deal with someone and know exactly what they hope and intend to get out of it, long term. They also know, at all times, the exact location of anyone that's broken a Divine Contract with them.
Friends of the Shareholders can read any agreement, in any language, and discover any hidden unfairness or escape clauses intended by the creator.
Masters of Finances get the Fast-Talk skill at level 6 or add 6 to their existing skill in any financial discussion.
Marc has no allies or enemies, giving him a unique position as go-between and diplomat between those who care more about abstract reality, like Blandine or Gabriel, and more physically oriented Archangels like David or Michael. He is, however, associated with Janus. Basic Rites:
1. Make a 100% profit on an honorable transcation.
2. For at least an hour, own an object or document worth more than ten million dollars. You get 2 Essence if it's worth more than a hundred million.
Marc has a base Invocation TN of 3, +1 if you have a dollar someone gave you for nothing, +2 if you have 100 dollars in cash from each of 3 different countries, +3 if you have illegal goods smuggled from another country, +4 if you have a contract worth at least a hundred thousand dollars, +5 if it's worth at least a million dollars, and +6 if you have the beads that bought Manhattan.
The world is a war, raging across reality.
Michael, Archangel of War , is the first angel made by God, older than any celestial but Yves. Michael is a Seraph, and he doesn't really like the way Heaven's run these days. He doesn't bitch much, but he's tired of saving Laurence's bacon every few centuries. He is the most potent angel in all ways, and he defeated Lucifer in single combat and kicked him out of Heaven. For this, he was given the Word of War. While Laurence runs the armies, Michael is the patron of those who fight alone. His servants fight that the War might end one day. They are proud, powerful and never back down, but they're also sympathetic to humans and try not to miss a chance to help them out when they can. Michael is a born warrior, living only for the struggle. He favors the battle axe to the noble sword, and his pig-headed, individualistic and does not coddle...though he protects his servants from Dominic, whom he calls the hyena of Heaven ever since an inquest, millenia ago, which Dominic led against him on the subject of vainglory. He accused Michael and his angels of encouraging heathen traditions like trophies, warrior cults and blasphemous heraldry. God intervened, acquitting Michael - he was guilty, but God said that without pride and glory, Heaven and Michael would not win their battles. It is dissonant for any of Michael's angels to retreat from a fight without direct orders to do so.
Seraphim of War cause all foes that Dodge their attacks to take a penalty of (Corporeal Forces).
Cherubim of War can feel if any of their attuned will die in the next 24 hours, barring celestial intervention. They don't know how or when, but can act on this warning to prevent it.
Ofanim of War always go first in combat, and retreating solely in order to circle around and attack again does not cause them dissonance.
Elohim of War can look into someone's eyes and see how serious they are and how much they're willing to risk in a situation.
Malakim of War can hear danger coming (Corporeal Forces) minutes before it arrives, but not the nature of the danger.
Kyriotates of War can purchase vessels. Any vessel ties up 5 Forces, except possibly animals, which the GM can rule cost less. These vessels are made by Michael, and if they are destroyed, the Kyriotate takes a note of dissonance. Further, any Forces tied up in the vessel are tied up evn while it isn't manifested.
Mercurians of War know what, if anything, will resolve a conflict between any two people they've met.
Proficiency is a Servitor attunement that grants expertise with a specific type of weapon. The angel may make a Precision roll before attakcing with that weapon, and if successful, they add the CD of that roll to the attack's Power. However, this applies to only one attack per roll.
Howl is a Servitor attunement that lets you howl out a war cry that stuns all foes within (Corporeal Forces) for one round. You cannot attack the round you use this.
Vassals of War can use celestial language while corporeal, communicating five times faster than any Earthly tongue. Any angel that hears it can understand, but only Vassals of War can reply in kind. Demons can recognize the language but not understand it. Mortals hear only whistled martial song.
Friends of the Fighters are immune to the effects of natural or supernatural fear as soon as they commit to a fight.
Masters of Valor may grant the Friend distinction power to their allies for one fight. (It doesn't say if that means ever or just, you know, that's how long it lasts.)
Michael has no allies, but is associated with David, Jordi and Laurence. However, over the past few thousand years, has grown to become the only angel to distrust Yves. He is hostile to Blandine, Dominic, Novalis and Yves. Basic Rites:
1. Spend three hours in armed practice.
2. Duel with a Diabolical.
Michael has a base Invocation TN of 1, +1 if you are howling a war cry, +2 if you have a knife, +3 if you have a battle axe, +4 if it's an ancient axe, +5 if you are at a castle under siege, and +6 at a battleground on the day of the battle.
Next time: Flowers and Destiny r
Like, chill, man.Original SA post In Nomine: Like, chill, man.
The world is a garden - peaceful until disturbed by the strident voices of the savage and the cruel.
Novalism Archangel of Flowers , is charged with calming human souls. She is aCherub, and in her most common human vessel, she looks like a cross between a debutante and a flower child. She also appears as a young girl with a basket of flowers or as a spry old gardener. In any form, she is quick in both body and spirit. Her servants can be precise or wild, but all of them are hippies and stoners. Novalis is the kindest of Archangels, avoiding conflict when she can. Her angels are exceptionally friendly, and she doesn't like to see them helping with violent missions unless they can prevent the bloodshed. In fact, it is dissonant for angels of Novalis to perform or allow any violence that is not absolutely necessary. Killing a human is always dissonant, though demons can be killed if necessary. Even then, however, Novalis says to try kindness first.
Seraphim of Flowers emanate an aura of peace. Any violent action in their vicinity requires a Will roll with a penalty of the angel's Forces, reduced by 1 per yard of distance to the violent person.
Cherubim of Flowers can transfer corporeal damage from those they touch to themselves.
Ofanim of Flowers may, once per day or after completing a Rite of Novalis, instantly and invisibly teleport from any plant they touch to any other plant they can see or which is within (Forces) miles.
Elohim of Flowers can sense the emotions felt in the past week near a plant they touch, with a Perception roll giving information about the source, with more learned the higher the CD is.
Malakim of Flowers have foliage move to allow them to pass freely. Further, they can have plants entangle foes within (Corporeal Forces) yards, reducing their movement per turn by (Celestial Forces) yards.
Kyriotates of Flowers may possess plants as hosts, up to twice their total Forces. A tree form keeps a tree's natural strength and Protection (determined by the GM), but uses the angel's Agility and can grab or strike with branches.
Mercurians of Flowers fill any human that perceives their celestial form with intense joy, raising the TN of their next roll by the CD of the successful Perception roll.
Nothing But Flowers is a Servitor attunement that renders the angel very hard to spot if hiding behind or in plants, requiring a Preception roll with a penalty of (Celestial Forces). If the angel hides among flowers, they are completely invisible.
Crown of Joy is a Servitor attunement that allows you to spend 1 or more Essence and half an hour making a crown of flowers that looses a cloud of nearly invisible pollen shan shaken, six feet across. It requires a Perception roll to spot. The pollen remains for (Corporeal Forces) rounds, and anyone in the cloud is filled with kindness, dancing around for (5+Essence spent) minutes, or seconds if the victim is a demon. A Will roll can resist.
Vassals of Flowers can detect the degree of love or hate between two people they can see.
Friends of the Gardeners can, (Corporeal Forces) times per day, instantly restore a single large plant or a square yard of small plants to perfect health. For the next week, those that rest on or against these plants have any applicable die roll modifed by 1 in the direction of peace or healing and against conflict or harm. This is to be interpreted as liberally as possible.
Masters of Peace may calm irrational people or smooth over misunderstandings such as those caused by Malphas' attunements. If resisted, it is a contest of Will, with the angel adding their Celestial Forces to the TN.
Some of the more martial angels find Novalis blasphemous for wishing to reach out to demons over killing them, and also because she's a fucking hippy. Dominic grumbles but does not overtly act against her. Novalis just grins and compliments her critics' appearances. She is allied to Eli and Jordi, associated with Yves and hostile to David and Michael. Basic Rites:
1. Sleep alone in a garden from sunset to sunrise.
2. Dance for two hours to live music surrounded by humans.
Novalis has a base Invocation TN of 4. +1 for a peace symbol from any culture, +2 for a large bouquet of flowers, +3 for ten plants removed from their pots and replanted, +4 for a nuclear power plant, shut down, +5 for a large outdoor concert and +6 for 50 thousand people congregating for peace.
The world has its own destiny. Accept it, embrace it and help things along when possible.
Yves, Archangel of Destiny , is held to be the first soul made by God, armed with knowledge of the most primal universe, and he and his angels can predict the future. While he is an Archangel, he has no Choir, and others speculate that he is some higher order of being, acting to angels as they do to men. Yves named God and was named by God, and Yves named all that is. He is perpetually quiet and rational, rarely seen on Earth and spending most of his time in meditation. On all planes, he appears as an elderly, strong and cheerful man. He and his angels are name-givers and guardians of knowledge. They are philosophers, primarily, now that Jean handles technology, and the Library of Yves connects to all librariesi n the world. Yves used to promote religion as a way to brighten human hearts, but it's not worked out so well. His last major attempt was the founding of Islam, which led to the Crusaders and persecution of Gabriel. Yves is not omniscient, but knows the names of all things, anything that's ever been written down and all of the best and brightest possibilities for the world. He is the most respected soul in heaven, and only Michael dislikes him. It is dissonant for Yves' angels to take any direct action to move a person towards their fate.
Seraphim of Destiny know the true name of anyone they touch and any item they see clearly or handle, provided an Earthly name exists in a language they know. They may also detect illusions with a touch.
Cherubim of Destiny know if and when a person they're attuned to will die within the next year from 'natural' causes such as disease or being hit by a car.
Ofanim of Destiny add (Celestial Forces) to any Intelligence or knowledge-based skill roll.
Elohim of Destiny automatically succeed at any resonance roll when physically touching the target.
Malakim of Destiny can tell a divinely-caused Disturbance from a diabolically-caused one.
Kyriotates of Destiny may access the memories of their hosts, including any Skills, for as long as they remain in the host.
Mercurians of Destiny may, by touching someone, intuit their fortune for the next (Forces) months, barring celestial intervention.
Divine Destiny is a Servitor attunement that allows you to spend 1 Essence to know the destiny and fate of a mortal whose face you can see.
Divine Logic is a Servitor attunement that allows you to spend two minutes and a Precision roll to convince anyone of anything you believe yourself, resisted with an Intelligence roll.
Vassals of Destiny instantly comprehend any printed material they see, even only flashed by them, and never forget it.
Friends of the Sages are considered to have the equivalent of a skill of 11 in any Knowledge except Area Knowledge, and their player may consult an encyclopedia or general reference book as they like.
Masters of Divine Knowledge gain the natural resonance of another Choir, along with its dissonance conditions.
Yves has no allies, but is associated with Blandine, Gabriel and Jean. He is hostile to no one. Basic Rites:
1. Spend two hours in deep philosophical discussion.
2. Spend four hours teaching willing students.
3. Spend six hours studying in a library or meditating.
Yves has a base Invocation TN of 1, +1 if you have a detail city map, +2 for the Encyclopedia Britannica, +3 if you solve the New York Times Sunday crossword, +4 if you successfully apply to a major college, +5 if you read materials in 10 languages or +6 if you recite the Bible from memory for an hour.
Heaven, now. Heaven is hidden, existing in the celestial realm at the edge of human comprehension. There are many levels of Heaven, and only the lowest of these is accessible to angels. Souls that enter the Higher Heavens do not return. Anyone with benevolent Essence and at least one Celestial Force can enter, save for Out casts. Living humans cannot ascend to Heaven while alive, but someone with the Song of Projection could arrange an astral visit. All inhabitants of Heaven speak Angelic, a musical tongue that is incapable of expressing falsehoods. Normally, it can only be spoken in celestial form.
Each Archangel has a cathedral in Heaven, an infinitely large structure to house the angels and spirits that serve their Word, which is linked to their Tethers. The Council Spires are home to the Seraphim Council, which is made of the older Seraphim and all Archangels. They assign Words and arbitrate Heavenly disagreements, as well as assisting Laurence in coordinating the actions of the bodhisattvas, powerful human souls choosing to remain in the lower Heaven. It is also home to Dominic and his angels. Gabriel's Citadel of Fire exists on the edge of Heaven, a caldera the size of Everest that serves as the first line of defense after Blandine's Tower, should demons invade. Commerce Park is the marketplace cathedral of Marc, where each angel of Trade has their own shop, open while they are in Heaven, to store their goods and Hearts. The Eternal City is home to Laurence and his angels, at the center of Heaven, as well as the Halls of Worship, where angels and saints who deal with religion meet. Every religion is represented here by a patron angel and by human souls, though it's a bit uncomfortable given Laurence's favoritism for the Catholics. Novalis manages the Glade, a peaceful green garden full of parties and musicians. Eli's Halls of Creation, once the greatest gallery and concert hall, now lies empty and in disarray, as does the Castle of Uriel, full of the trophies of his hunts. Jean's Halls of Progress are home to celestial experimentation without fear of humans learning the secrets of Heaven. David, Janus and Michael share the Groves, an immense forest in which they train for battle. Jordi manages the Savannah, where all animal spirits go on death. There are no buildings allowed on the Savannah. Last is Yves' Library, which extends throughout Heaven, connected to every repository of knowledge anywhere - even Kronos' archives in Hell. The gateways of the Library open only for Yves and those who are innocent at heart, mostly children, whom the angels quietly help book to their proper place. Anyone in the Library will quickly become lost, wandering about for 1d6 hours before passing through a gateway to a random other place. The Lbirary organizes itself with its own consciousness, and contains the collective memories of all who have died, in the form of written autobiographies. Yves can produce any book he wants at will, while his angels need (10-Celestial Forces) days to find a book. All knowledge ever created or dreamed exists within the Library...somewhere.
Next time: Demons
Hell is these peopleOriginal SA post In Nomine: Hell is these people
Balseraphs , AKA Serpents or the Liars, are second only to Lucifer when it comes to lies. They are the most malicious Band, entirely wrapped in their own selfishness. They are widely seen as the world's biggest liars, but not by themselves. They only care about their own point of view. To a Balseraph, no one is innocent. Everyone lies. They're paranoid, and their views warp their perceptions, allowing them to continue without the Seraph tap into ultimate truth. They can exert their will to force their views onto others, as long as they can keep it straight. You see, a Balseraph is still, at heart, a Seraph. They can't lie without constructing an entire reality in their soul in which the lies they tell must be true. If their lies are contradictory, they gnerate dissonance, and they also get dissonance if their victim can reist their power and see through the lie.
Balseraphs in the corporeal are graceful, hpynotic. They dress exquisitely. In celestial form, they appear to be a many-eyed winged serpent, but unlike a Seraph, they are obviously malevolent, cloaked in mystery and reserve. Other Bands don't question them - they never believe a Balseraph is telling the truth, but questioning their honesty makes you look gullible and stupid - you think they might not lie, or that they'll admit they lied. It's rude and pointless. Balseraphs are freakishly paranoid, assuming all others they speak to are lying in some way - especially other Balseraphs. They view themselves as stringed instruments - the grace, precision and delicacy appeals to their vanity.
Mechanically, a Balseraph can invoke their resonance to persuade (CElestial Forces) people at a time of their views. In combat, it's one person at a time and takes 3 turns of concentration in which you must not take damage or make Dodge rolls. The targets can resist with Will, and automatically win the contest if they succeerd, preventing the Balseraph from resonating them again for (CD) hours. On a CD 6, the Balseraph also takes dissonance until they can successfully apply their resonance to that person in the future. If the target fails, however, the Balseraph can influence them for (CD) minutes. Seraphim add their Celestial Forces to their Will for this, whether they know they're dealing with a Balseraph or not. Once a Balseraph successfully resonates you, though, any attempt to detect that they're lying will fail. You will consider anything plausible they say to be absolute truth, or any opinion that is unprovable. However, when a Balseraph contradicts themselves verbally or by deed while their resonance is in effect, they generate a note of dissonance until they can cover it with a new lie. No matter how many times they resonate someone, however, they can only have one note of dissonance from that person at a time. Once it's cleared up, they can get a new one from that person.
Djinn , AKA Binders or the Stalkers, are sarcastic, disdainful and cold. They hate to admit they care about...anything. They are the counterparts of the Cherubim, and like a Cherub, they can attune themselves to things or people by touching them. The attunement is only temporary, but lets them sense the location and condition of their attunement. Shedim and Djinn distrust each other viciously, thanks to the Djinn inability to track a Shedite moving between bodies and the Shedite tendency for nasty pranks. This frustration is just proof that Djinn do care, no matter what they claim. They constantly struggle with their refusal to care and their need to be cared about. They don't protect their attuned, but they gain dissonance if they personally harm the attuned unless the attuned explicitly asks them to do something that results in their harm. Unfortunately, Djinn can also end up fixated on things, given their more wanton attunements, and if they can't escape an attunement, they suffer dissonance like a Cherub, unable to betray the object of their obsession.
Djinn are dark, brooding creatures, dynics who see themselves as brassy, angry instruments in the night. Their vessels tend to be stocky and strong, with no real effort put into their appearances, as they find vanity a weakness. Others, though, are obsessively neat. In celestial form, Djinn appear as surreal, warped animals, hideous to look upon. They get along fairly well with each other, as they understand each other, at least.
Mechanically, a Djinn can attune themselves to up to (Celestial Forces) things, each attunement lasting (CD) days. They can renew this with a touch, no roll needed. However, if the CD is a 6, the attunement lasts until the Djinn makes a Will roll to remove it. Any attunement can be removed with a Will roll, with a penalty equal to the number of days it has left. A Djinn can use their resonance identically to a Cherub to track their attunements. They cannot physically harm their attunements unless the attunement asks them to do so. When they fail a Will roll to remove an attunement, they gain dissonance and become obsessively devoted, with their resonance acting identically in all ways to a Cherub's for (CD) days. When the attunement finally fades, so will the dissonance.
Calabim , AKA Freaks or the Destroyers, are born to break things. Their resonance is entropy, the motion of an Ofanite turned inside out. They may destroy things around them at will. However, if their resonance fails, the energy recoils on them. They must either accept a note of dissonance or immediately lash out at another target in range until they manage to do damage. Most choose to lash out, so they're not really safe to be around.
Calabim are strange even by Hell's standards. They all have Discord, a crack in their Forces allowing their resonance to operate. When not destroying, they seem calm and even distant, externalizing the motion their angelic selves had into a whirlwind of entropy. They see themselves as painful instruments of percussion. At all times, they are thinking about taking things apart, and many compulsively disassemble mechanical devices such as clocks. Calabim are loyal, but easily angered and hard to calm down. They break things and break people unless specifically told not to do so. In their celestial forms, they are grubby, leering demons with red skin and bat wings. On Earth, they prefer rough vessels. Whatever they wear tends to get dirty and wrinkled by their entropic aura. Their hair tends to be long and messy, and they love their work.
Mechanically, all Calabim must have 1 Discord, of any type, at a level equal to the number of Forces they have of that type. It can only be removed by Redemption. When they invoke their resonance, they deal (Corporeal Forces + CD) corporeal damage to corporeal targets. If in celestial form, they instead deal (Celestial Forces + CD) soul damage to celestial targets. If they fail their resonance roll, they can't use it again for (CD) minutes against the same target. Their resonance works on anything within (Will) feet, and living beings may resist them with Strength (or Will, for celestial damage). When a target resists, the Calabite must either take a note of dissonance or lash out at something else in range, doing nothing but invoking resonance against other targets in range until they finally do damage - even if it means hitting themselves.
Next time: More than a little crazy.
No angel born in Hell could break that Satan's spellOriginal SA post In Nomine: No angel born in Hell could break that Satan's spell
Habbalah , AKA Horrors or the Punishers, are obsessed with punishing those they consider weak. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they believe themselves to be working directly for God, the only true Choir of angels, serving God where they are most needed: Hell. Habbalah are Fallen Elohim, and their perspectives are so shattered that they are ruled by emotion. They still appear coldly rational, but they do not question the origin of their views or how they are influenced. Their resonance remains for emotion, but it is twisted. They can still tell what people are feeling, and more importantly, what emotion would cause the most harm, then force it on people. However, their emotional attacks do not always work. When a victim resists them, the Habbalite must display the feelings they intended to inflict or take a note of dissonance.
Habbalah poorly conceal their disdain for other demons, and they resent being called demons. They're angels. Definitely angels. Balseraphs adore them. As instruments, they see themselves as synthesizers. In the corporeal realm, they tend towards beautiful and highly sexualized vessels, rebelling against the androgynous Elohim. Celestially, they appear as mangled, mutilated, elaborately tattooed and scarred. They are broken, and out to prove to the world that they weren't the weak ones.
Mechanically, a Habbalite can inflict a powerful emotion on their target with a resonance roll. If they fail, nothing happens. If they succeed, the victim's Intelligence or Precision is reduced by the demon's Ethereal Forces and the target suffers an emotion of the Habbalite's choice, both determined before the roll is made. The intensity and duration of the feeling depends on the CD. If the victim makes a Will roll to resist and succeeds with a higher CD than the demon, the resonance backfires, and the Habbalite must suffer its effects or take dissonance. Elohim are especially vulnerable to Habbalah, and their Will rolls to resist are reduced by the demon's Celestial Forces. Common effects include Fury (the victim becomes enraged by either what they are looking at or talking about and must lash out at the object of their anger (CD) times or for (Corporeal Forces) minutes), Sadness (the victim suffers depression for (CD) hours, unwilling to do much of anything), Disgust (the victim must avoid the current topic of conversation for (CD) days or, if this is impossible, loudly proclaim their disgust about it and, if touched by the object of disgust, make a Will roll to not vomit), Love (the victim becomes enamored with the current topic of conversation or the next thing they look at, demon's choice before rolling, for (CD) days, during which they can do little but think about the object of love and devise ways to be close to it), or Emptiness (for (CD) hours, the victim's Agility is halved and they can act only once every other round. When reflected on a Habbalite, the demon takes dissonance whether they like it or not, and if they make a 111 on the dissonance roll, are relieved of their delusions of angelhood).
Lilim , AKA Daughters or the Tempters, are the children of Lilith, made in her image. They desire, more than anyhting else, to be free, but most are bound to a Prince or to Lilith, trapped in the web of favors that is their society. Their resonance allows them to extract favors in exchange for a promise of service, or geas, which wears away at victims until they obey, in the form of a Discord. Lilim can look into your eyes and see what you need. If they give it to you, they force you to owe them. However, a victim can resist. If they succeed, the Lilim gains dissonance until they can snare the victim later. If necessary, the Lilim can also impose geases on themselves to enforce their promises, giving them dissonance until they fulfill their word, as they cannot resist their own geas.
Lilim are warm, sympathetic, sensuous and very fun. The book wants to be sure you know that. They are all very, very fun. Lilim do not all consider themselves female, though the majority do, and they are collectively referred to as female. Lilim get on well with other demons and each other, though their sisterly rivalries can turn violent or fatal. They only Band they really hate are the Shedim, whom they find abhorrent. In celestial form, they resemble their corporeal vessels but with green skin and tuny horns. They don't like to think of themselves as instruments, but as players. Newly made Lilim, as a not, need not serve a Prince. They may instead owe Lilith nine favors - one per Force. These favors can be called in at any time as level 3 Geases. Lilith ca and will trade these favors to others, such as demons, Princes, other Lilim, Lucifer or even spirits or Archangels. Free Lilim also won't have any Rites, attunements or Heart at first, though they can earn or trade for them. Most Lilim never escape their indenture, and the term 'free Lilim' is something of a dark joke. It's just too easy to bind yourself more for resources, Essence or help.
Mechanically, a Lilim can make a Perception-based resonance roll after making eye contact with a target to determine their needs., with the CD determining degree of need and reducing the Will roll to resist the geas. If the Lilim fails, they can't try again on the same target for (CD) hours. They can then fulfill the need, which is generally a task as difficult for the target to do as the check digit would be as the level of a geas...though for the Lilim, it might be easier. GMs should be creative, and the Lilim can always choose to walk away. If they help, however, they can at any point in the future ask for a return favor, inflicting a Geas with level equal to the original CD. When they ask for the favor, the victim gets a Will roll to resist, modified as noted. If they resist, the Lilim gains a note of dissonance and has one - and only one - chance to ask again, in (CD) days, which is easier to resist - no Will penalty. If this traps the victim into the promise or the Lilim ever successfully places a nother geas on them, the dissonance vanishes. Favors are cumulative - two level 3 Geases can be called in at once for a level 6 Geas.
If a Lilim truly repents, as a note, and wishes to join the angels, it's possible. It's rare, but it's possible. They do not become any Choir - there is none. They remain a Lilim, a so-called "bright" Lilim. They still owe any favors they owed before Redemption, too. These Lilim are precious to the Archangels, and exceptionally rare. And now, a break to discuss Lilith. No picture, but...
The world is what you make of it.
Before the Fall, Lilith was made to be the first wife of Adam in God's Garden of Eden experiment. She chose to leave. Lucifer offered her power, Essence and the Word of Freedom, ad eal she otok, but she's insisted that her independence means far more to her than power. She is now Lilith, Demon Princess of Freedom , and she has neither Principality nor permanent servitors. When she wants something, she trades for it. If she comes out ahead, oh well. She's not even a demon, technically, just a unique being. She is also the only person in the entire universe that can create Lilim. Each is made individually, and no Prince has ever figured out how to do it. Lilith doesn't care to help her Lilim, though - if someone can beat them, oh well. She just ensures they're not victimized or treated as disposable. She can lie amazingly, though she treats it as 'changing her mind.' She never breaks a deal, however, and if she feels the need to prove a point, she can Geas herself to a job, though she rarely does. She avoids politics unless she can't help it. She'd like to be truly free, but it's unlikely at best, and Lucifer makes a potent protector. Besides, her first job was to have God ask her to be a man's slave. Many Archangels hate her and want her dead, though some don't - notably Jean. Lilith refuses to keep servitors, seing it as too much like slavery, but will trade favors to get people to work for her, giving access to her Rites at the cost of accepting her dissonance condition: anyone in Lilith's service takes dissonance if they accept restraints or orders save as part of a freely negotiated agreement. Being imprisoned is not dissonant, however, unless you fail to attempt escape.
Lilith offers no attunements or distinctions. She is allied to Andrealphus and Valefor, and associated with all other Princes. Basic Rites:
1. Spend an hour encouraging people to resist the government, question authority, quit their jobs or leave one-sided relationships.
2. For 3 Essence, free a human from physical bondage.
3. For 4 Essence, destroy, physically or socially, a mortal enemy of freedom.
Any celestial can call on Lilith, with a base TN of 3. She is unlikely to answer a call from anyone but a Lilim or Superior, though - a big -6 penalty. However, you can promise her a favor, Geasing yourself to her, for an invocation modifier equal to the level of the Geas. You owe her if she appears, even if she doesn't help you out, though, and there's no way to get out of a Geas to Lilith herself. You can also get a +1 modifier from a pair of broken handcuffs, +2 from a piece of the Berlin Wall, +3 from a caged animal set free, +4 from being on a battlefield where a tyrant fell, +5 from a human prisoner set free, and +6 for overthrowing any government.
Shedim , AKA the Fleshless or the Corruptors, are the demons that do most to contribute to day-to-day corruption of humans. Like Kyriotates, they can't make vessels, and instead possess people. They do not have the selflessness to control many hosts - but their power is more treacherous. Their host's consciousness remains in a serene state, and they have full access to their host's thoughts, feelings and memories. Their hosts believe themselves to be in control, and in some ways, they are. The Shedite just desensitizes them to horror by convincing them that it was all their idea. They can't go a day without corrupting or turning people towards evil. They need careful instruction, as they can be exceptionally dangerous once let loose. They gain dissonance every day in which they do not force their host to further corrupt themselves. It doesn't have to be big - it just has to be bigger than last time. Each act sets a new standard, and the next day must be worse, or the Shedite must leave or gain dissonance. For this reason, Shedim prefer to pick quiet people with many inhibitions, raising the ante over time to turn them into mad killers. At that point, they wander off to find a new host, facing no consequences themselves. Many hosts driven this far commit suicide. If their victim is knocked out, however, a Shedite is expelled after 30 minutes. If the host dies with the Shedite still inside, though, they gain a note of dissonance, though they can avoid Trauma by finding a new host within (10*Celestial Forces) minutes.
Shedim are the most genuine 'devil worshippers' of Hell, devoutly owing their loyalty to Lucifer. They spraypaint pentagrams, tattoo horned heads on themselves and so on. They also love rock music and throwing the horns. They are the most despised Band, generally speaking, and the Djinn and Lilim hate them almopst as much as angels do. Shedim don't care about how they treat their hosts, acting as if they were indestructible and driving an endless supply of rental cars, just so long as they can get out before the host dies. In celestial form, they appear as black clouds of limbs, wings, eyes and organs, pulsing to an insane beat.
Mechanically, Shedim need to make a Will roll to possess someone, and can be resisted with Will. The Shedite's CD is added to their Will when they take control of their host, while an resistance or failed possession locks them out of that person for (CD) days. While inhabiting a host, the host handles most actions - walking around, talking to people, etc. They are undisturbed by their new celestial perceptions, however, and influenced by how comfortable the demon feels. At least once a day, the Shedite must win a contest of Will with their victim and make the host do something evil, something that harms someone, whether or not that person is aware of it. And, as noted, each action must be worse than the last, to avoid dissonance, which will go away if the Shedite makes it up later. Each act takes a contest of Will, so most Shedim avoid multi-part plans unless they can dominate their hosts easily. Once per day, the host can make a PErception roll to realize they're not in control, with +1 per day of possession. This gives them a bonus of (CD) to the Will roll to resist the Shedite, until they next get a good night's sleep. Shedim can stay as long as they want, though the rising bonus makes it hard to stay too long. They can leave at any time, but have to resonate again to enter another host. They automatically assume celestial form when looking ofr a host, making them vulnerable, and they have (10*Celestial Forces) as their time limit before returning to Hell.
Impudites , AKA Charmers or the Takers, are the nicest folks you'll ever meet. You like them! And they love humanity. They're people demons, and they don't like being in Hell. The problem is, they know a whole lot about how Forces work and how souls generate Essence. They can charm you easily and suck that Essence out for themselves. Impudites love humanity, however, and it is dissonant for them to kill a human personally, through action or inaction.
Impudites are the most human demons, dressing well and acting cheerfully. They are friendly and easy to get along with. They work their way into human groups and steal Essence from their new friends, then move on if folks get suspicious. They love the modern age, where Western people don't really believe in demons any more. They steal luck and power from the pople around them, but no one notices! In celestial form, they appear as their vessels do, but with leathery wings, horns and a dark halo. They see themselves as singers, front men for the universe.
Mechanically, the resonence of an Impudite is twofold. They can Charm or Steal Essence, both requiring a resonance roll with a penalty equal to the victims (Ethereal + Celestial Forces). Charm allows them to make their victims like them. It lasts for (CD) minutes and can be resisted by Will, which immunizes you to the resonance for (CD) hours. They can then rob their charmed victims of Essence, though most can't tell if someone has any to steal. No harm in trying, though. They can steal up to (CD) Essence at once, though most humans can only hold 5 and are rarely full up - a random mortal will have 1d6-4 Essence. On a failure, the Impudite can't steal from that victim for (CD) hours. Victims can rsist with Will, and if their CD is higher than the demon's and they succeed, they gain that amount of Essence from the demon, though no one can hold more than their Forces in Essence. Impudites, incidentally, can charm other celestials, even angels, though most angels have too much Will to be taken in. Further, Cherubim, Elohim Kyriotates and Mercurians also get a Perception roll to notice the demon's doing something and shut them down, with the TN raised by the demon's total Forces but reduced by the demon's CD. Further, if the angel resists successfully this way, they can invoke their resonance on the Impudite as if they were physically touching, no matter the distance.
Next time: The Demon Formerly Known As Prince
The Armies of HellOriginal SA post In Nomine: The Armies of Hell
While the diabolicals originally derive from the angels that Fell in the first battle of the War, few of them remain from that time. Most demons are weak compared to the average angel, as Lucifer chose quantity over quality, to increase the number of demons and reduce the risk of rebellion. Some dmeons, though, are quite potent: the Princes who rule over Hell. Most demons were created by their Prince and trained in their Prince's ways. In theory, a Prince wants to help their Earthly servants. In truth, most Princes will write off failures as the cost of replacement if there's less risk there than helping you out. Especially if they set you up to fail for being too ambitious or too intelligent. Still, if you can please your Prince without making them suspicious, they will reward you well. Oh, and sidebar: Oathtaking. It's really easy to turn someone into a Soldier of Hell even if they lack the sixth Force. A Demon Prince can just prepare a special Force and shove it into a human. The human must be willing and aware they're selling their soul to Hell, of course. If the human's hit their Force cap, they die. Otherwise, they become a Soldier of Hell.
The world is lusting, writing with desire.
Andrealphus, Prince of Lust is easily one of the creepiest Superiors. He is an Impudite, and his friends call him Andre. He's subtle, cheery and well-liked by those Princes that enjoy pleasure. He dislikes ugly demons and he's always busy. Recently, he's been working with Nybbas to create a new paradigm for religion, and they expect to found a religion of entertainment before the end of the 2100s. In the meantime, he's got his demons teaching humans that it's okay to lose yourself in the pleasures of the flesh. However, his demons must remain emotionally distant. It is dissonant for any demon of Lust to feel sympathy for a human or true concern. They can only manipulate mortals, though faking affection is acceptable and encouraged, of course.
Balseraphs of Lust can force a victim to enjoy any single physical sensation for (Celestial Forces) minutes. A victim can resist with Will, but a failed roll at CD 6 causes them to be permanently neurally rewired to find the experience extremely pleasurable, no matter what it is.
Djinn of Lust can keep people in a post-coital afterglow for a slong as they continue touching them after they awaken or after satisfying sex. While in this state, the human will remain calm no matter what's happening and the demon can add their Ethereal Forces to any Will roll or Will-based skill roll to influence the victim, as well as to any resonance roll after that if they're attuned to the victim. (Obviously, that last bit's only good for Djinn.)
Calabim of Lust may do celestial damage to anything they touch and resonate, even those protected by corporeal vessels. However, damage dealt this way cannot remove a Force.
Habbalah of Lust never suffer a reversal of resonance if their target resists. Rather, the emotion spins off randomly and hits someone else, somewhere in the world. Further, they add their Ethereal Forces to any resonance roll against someone they're touching.
Lilim of Lust are...uh...
The Lilim of Lust are Andre's favorite minions. (He asked for a full page in which to express their virtues, but it boils down to, "If you ever get a chance with one, you should take it.")
Shedim of Lust may move at will into anyone they touch that is experience orgasm. Also, they add their Corporeal Forces to any resonance roll against someone they touch.
Impudites of Lust add Corporeal Forces to their resonance rolls against anyone they've had sex with.
Dark Desire is a Servitor attunement that lets you sepdn 1 Essence to imprint a desire into someone. They can resist their new urges with Will, but if they fail, they will have no goal but to satisfy their desire for (demon's Forces) hours.
Kiss of Death is a Servitor attunement that lets you kill someone by spending Essence and making a Will roll while you have sex with them. This is a physical attack dealing (CD*Essence spent) corporeal damage. Andre, as an Impudite, dislikes when his servants use this on humans, but doesn't ask often.
Knights of Infernal Pleasures can detect how sexually fulfilled someone is, both at the moment and in their general life. Any demon that seduces an angel will be given this distinction.
Captains of Diabolical Delight can bring someone pleasure with a mere touch, giving +4 to a reaction roll.
Barons of Eternal Ecstasy can make someone they've seduced do anything sexual with the demon at all, even if they'd never normally consider doing it.
Andrealphus is happy to ally himself to anyone who won't interfere with his Word, and so he is allied to Lilith and Nybbas, and associated with Valefor. However, he is hostile towards those who would steal his devotees or harm his power. He is thus hostile to Haagenti, who is ambitiously trying to broaden Gluttony into Lust's territory. He is also hostile to Baal, and a direct enemy of Saminga. Basic Rites:
1. Spend half an hour performing sexual acts.
2. Spend an hour reading an illustrated magazine in public and smiling pleasantly at passers-by.
Andre has a base Invocation TN of 1, +1 if you have a dirty picture scrawled on a nearby wall, +2 for a well-thumbed issue of Playboy, +3 for a good-looking person having sex, +4 if that person is extraordinarily beautiful, +5 for a person having sex for an audience, +6 for 10 people having sex for an audience.
The world is a game, whose rules must be followed.
Asmodeus, Prince of the Game is the head of Lucifer's secret police, who hunt down Renegades and traitors. He is a Djinn, and second only to Kronos in power among Princes. He is widely feared and despised, and his agents always have at least one cover identity, revealing themselves only to make 'arrests.' They are charged to kill the vessels of any Renegades they find, and to Asmodeus, a Renegade is any demon that acts against the expressed or implied wishes of their Prince, any demon with Celestial Discord or any demon whose actions call into question their loyalty to evil. Lucifer also uses Asmodeus especially to hunt down those who might Redeem or threaten Lucifer's plans, and to calm the unrest Malpha scauses. While any Prince can call on Asmodeus' servants for aid, most prefer to deal with problems internally rather than have them poke about. Asmodeus usually appears as a tall man with burning eyes. His servants generate dissonance when they disobey any of his direct orders or when they help a Renegade escape judgment.
Servitors of Asmodeus are attuned to their respective Band, and may identify them and how much dissonance they have with a Perception roll. They also receive 12 CP to spend on a Role or skills for that Role.
Balseraphs of the Game are typically casino clerks, stockbrokers, meteorologists or other positions requiring creative lying.
Djinn of the Game are usually security guards, accountants, police, military or other positions requiring them to keep tabs on others.
Calabim of the Game usually have Roles as construction workers, loggers, oil tanker captains or other jobs that let them destroy.
Habbalah of the Game are typically therapists, school counselors, private eyes, fast-food clerks or other jobs that let them be overly inquisitive without suspicion.
Lilim of the Game ...
Asmodeus' Lilim show up most frequently as hookers, strippers, substitute English teachers and other roles that let them get kinky in plaid private-school uniforms.
Impudites of the Game usually serve as doctors, lawyers or other jobs that give them many people to 'help.'
Dissonance Binding is a Servitor attunement that, for 3 Essence, lets you bind a demon with their own dissonance, reducing their Agility by (Celestial Forces+target's dissonance) for (Forces) hours. While so bound, the victim cannot spend or regenerate Essence. And yes, this works identically on dissonant angels.
Humanity is a Servitor attunement that, for 1 Essence, lets you pass as human to anyone at all except Lucifer. It lasts 24 hours, and while in effect, nothing you do causes disturbance. You become human in nearly every way - you need food and maintenance, you can't use Songs, you don't regenerate Essence naturally and you can't assume celestial form. You can use attunements, both passively and those that need Essence, though, and you can still use your resonance. You may spend Essence to boost rolls, but may not exchange Essence with others.
Knights of Judgment inspire confidence in humans they meet, and any human will respect their opinion and not dispute their judgments.
Captains of Integrity can detect if someone's spoken words match their secret feelings.
Barons of Justice can identify those whose opinions are just, fair and accurate, with their Celestial Forces determining the detail they get.
Asmodeus will never ignore treason, even in his allies. However, he is allied to Kronos and associated with Baal. He is neutral towards Beleth and Malphas, and hostile to all others but Valefor, whom he considers an outright enemy. Basic Rites:
1. At sunset, Asmodeus' demons regenerate 2 Essence, not 1.
2. For 3 Essence, kill a Renegade.
Asmodeus has a base Invocation TN of 1, +1 if you remonstrate a child, +2 if you attend an important legal suit, +3 if you use exhaustive evidence to bog down a trial, +4 if you get an innocent convicted at trial, +5 if you "prove" a criminal innocent, +6 if you clear the name of a Nazi war criminal. Regardless of invocation, Asmodeus personally checks on all of his minions once a month to assess them and get an explanation for any dissonance they may have.
The world is a war - and the demons are out to win it.
Baal, Prince of the War , is a born warrior, a Balseraph with a twisted sense of honor. He is cultured, classy and intelligent. Combat is his way of life, and he's led the armies of Hell from the outset, though he is more general than fighter these days. He prefers to appear as a respectable statesman, but he keeps other vessels, as well - alien forms of immense physical strength. At other times, he appears as a plan, normal human of immense charisma. His demons work to encourage humanity to destroy itself and to fight against angels. He rules with an iron grip, checking on his demons frequently. He fought like a champion for the right of the demons to rebel, but kills anyone that threatens to rebel against him. He seldom stays in one place long, not only because he despises the unworthiness of most he meets, but because he's also needed in many places to fight for Lucifer. It is dissonant for demons of the War to retreat from any conflict without direct orders to do so.
Balseraphs of the War subtract their Corporeal Forces from any attempt to Dodge their attacks.
Djinn of the War can detect any flesh, living, dead or undead, within (Corporeal Forces) yards.
Calabim of the War add (Corporeal Forces) to their resonance rolls to destroy flesh.
Habbalah of the War can sense any physical conflict within (10*Corporeal Forces) yards.
Lilim of the War add (Corporeal Forces) to any attempt to charm someone.
Shedim of the War add (Corporeal Forces) to all Will rolls to urge their hosts into physical combat.
Impudites of the War gain no dissonance for killing humans in honorable combat.
Art of Combat is a Servitor attunement allowing you to make up to (Corporeal Forces) attacks in one round, at the cost of 1 Essence per attack. These can be physical or mental attacks, but you can't use the same attack twice. So you can punch and shoot a gun, but not punch twice or shoot twice.
State of Ophis is a Servitor attunement named for Ophis, the angel that tempted Adam and Eve in the form of a serpent. For 2 Essence and a Will roll, it allows you to assume celestial form without Disturbance.
Knights of the Black Order can tell at a glance if someone has the will to fight.
Captains of the Infernal Armies know at all times the exact location and health of anyone under their command.
Barons of Victory can predict, one round in advance, the actions of any foe in physical combat. The demon's foe must decide thir actions at the start of the round and tell them. If they know the Baron can read them, either by foreknowledge or an Intelligence roll, they can attempt a Will roll at the start of their turn to change their action at the last moment.
Baal has no allies, but is associated with Asmodeus, Belial, Saminga and Vapula. He is hostile to Andrealphus, Beleth, Kronos, Nybbas and Valefor, and considers Malphas his enemy. Basic Rites:
1. For 2 Essence, kill an enemy that puts up a fight.
2. Enter a duel with an angel of Michael.
Baal has a base Invocation TN of 1, +1 if you have brass knuckles, +2 for a pistol, +3 for a machine gun, +4 for a 20mm cannon, +5 for a heavy tank and +6 for a destroyer.
The world is terror, a never-ending nightmare.
Beleth, Princess of Nightmares , was one of the first angels made, serving as the angel of Fear and the lover of Blandine. Now, she is a Djinn that despises humanity after siding with Lucifer against her lover's wishes. She thinks the other Princes are too soft on humans, particularly those that just kill them. She spies for Lucifer, and most Princes avoid the Marches as a result. She has no friends, no allies, and few who will even work with her. She and her demons have worked more than any others to promote fear and mistrust, doing so to mask the insecurities that they will never admit to. It is dissonant for demons of Beleth to assume celestial form on Earth, but they can use Celestial Songs.
Balseraphs of Nightmares may create an irrational Fear in anyone they resonate, as per the Discord, with effective level equal to the CD, for (Ethereal Forces) days.
Djinn of Nightmares can enter the nightmares of their attuned, no matter what the distance.
Calabim of Nightmares automatically know what would must stun or terrify anyone they see, and if they can produce it, their victim will go into shock for (Ethereal Forces) rounds unless they resist with Will.
Habbalah of Nightmares can invoke their resonance to unstun anyone they touch...but the next person they afflict with painful emotions will be stunned for twice the duration as the stun they saved the first person from.
Lilim of Nightmares cause their victims to get a level 1 Fear of the demon's choice if they fail to perform a Geas, on top of the normal penalties. This Fear worsens by q1 level each increment of time until the geas is performed.
Shedim of Nightmares may take on celestial form on Earth without dissonance.
Impudites of Nightmares may add the number of minutes they spent most recently in their target's nightmare to any resonance roll against that target.
Dream Walking is a Servitor attunement identical to Blandine's, except for Beleth's side of the Marches.
Terror is a Servitor attunement that lets you haunt the nightmare of anyone you've seen before if they are within 500 yards of you and in Beleth's Marches, for 3 Essence. You summon an incarnation of the target's fear and confront them as they sleep. The victim can resist with Will. If they fail, they awaken immediately, and take (CD*Celestial Forces) soul damage, though this cannot remove a Foprce. If they succeed the Will roll, however, they face the fear and no longer fear it, unless it was a Fear Discord, in which case they remove one level of the Discord.
Knights of Restlessness may send any sleeper in 500 yards into a delirious state of fightful dreaming, drawing themselves and their target into Beleth's Marches.
Captains of Headhunters always know if anyone they meet has had a celestial in their dreams in the past day or experienced a celestially-inflicted dream or nightmare in the past day.
Barons of Screams get a +2 bonus to all rolls in the Marches.
Beleth has no allies, but is associated with Asmodeus, Kronos and Malphas. She is hostile to all others. Basic Rites:
1. Spend six hours in Beleth's realm.
The base Invocation TN for Beleth is 1, +1 if you have a Stephen King novel, +2 for a theater showing a horror movie, +3 for more than one hit of LSD, +4 if you frighten over 20 people, +5 if you have a person confronting a phobia in a nightmare, and +6 in an asylum for the violently insane.
Next time: Fire, Gluttony, Dark Humor and Fate.
Burn in HellOriginal SA post In Nomine: Burn in Hell
The world is burning - like the ovens at Belsen, like the eyes of a madman, like the heart of the Prince of Fire.
Belial, Prince of Fire , would let the whole world burn before admitting he lost or was wrong about anything. He's a Calabite, a fighter who rarely shows up unless force or threats are needed. Lucifer likes him fine, but limits his power for fear of treachery. Belial takes himself exceptionally seriously, refusing to show weakness in any of his vessels. They are all strong and muscular, with an affectation of sophistication, and they are never without a weapon. Belial is the guy who shows up in a three piece suit toting a flamethrower. His demons come in all kinds, but all of them smoke, if only so they have a reason to carry lighters. Belial was once an angel serving Gabriel, but Lucifer promised him the Word of Fire iif he helped overthrow God. Lucifer's kept his promise as best he can. Belial only represents literal, physical fire and its destruction, rather than the conceptual power that Gabriel often embodies. Their rivalry is legendary, and their angels and demons hate each other deeply. It is dissonant for Belial's demons to be burned by a fire they made - literally or metaphorically. A demon of Fire gains dissonance whenever they are hurt, physically or otherwise, by their own schemes.
Balseraphs of Fire can instantly heat any metal object within (Corporeal Forces) yards that weighs no more than (Forces*10) pounds. It won't melt or start fires, but becomes too hot to hold.
Djinn of Fire can brand victims with a symbol representing their name. They are permanently attuned to anyone they brand, and it doesn't count against their maximum attunements. The only way to remove the attunement is to flay away the branded flesh, one inch on either side and half an inch deep. Anyone that does that is permanently immune to all of the Djinn's powers and may gain unpredictable abilities. Further, anyone in the presence of the brand, no matter where it is - on the victim or flayed off - can use the Celestial Song of Attraction to track the Djinn. Other Djinn or Cherubim don't even need the song - they can use their natural resonance.
Calabim of Fire double their Corporeal Forces when adding them to the CD of a successful resonance. Further, their resonance cannot cause Disturbance.
Habbalah of Fire can use their resonance to make someone they touch believe they are on fire for (Corporeal Forces) rounds.
Lilim of Fire add (Ethereal Forces) to any attempt to use their resonance to Geas someone into an act of mayhem or destruction.
Shedim of Fire may possess fire - (Forces) square yards of it at once. They control its shape and can move it to consume in one direction or another, or to not burn something within the flame.
Impudites of Fire add (Corporeal Forces) when using their resonance for any purpose while within (Forces) feet of a fire.
Incendiary is a Servitor attunement that lets you ignite anything or everything flammable within (6+Corporeal Forces) feet, for 2 Essence. It deals no damage the first round, and 1d6 damage to all objects set on fire every round after that.
Firewalker is a Servitor attunement that prevents all damage from fire and allows you, once per day, to heal up to (Corporeal Forces) corporeal HP by touching flame. It does not provide any immunity to heat or heated objects - just flames.
Knights of the Infernal Furnaces know to the nearest degree the ambient temperature and the temperature of anything in eyesight. They may use this to 'see' thermally in the dark.
Captains of the Eternal Fire may snap their fingers to ignite a fingertip, equivalent to a cigarette lighter. Their vision cannot be blocked by flames, either.
Barons of the Demonic Brazier are immune to heat of all kinds and may pass this immunity on to those they touch for (Celestial Forces) minutes.
Belial has no allies, but is associated with Baal and Vapula. While he is hostile towards Andrealpjus, Haagenti, Kobal and Valefor, he considers no one his outright enemy. Basic Rites:
1. Immolate six humans, consecutively or concurrently.
2. Spend an hour resting in 120 degrees Fahrenheit heat.
3. Spend half an hour in 250 degrees Fahrenheit heat if you are immune to fire.
Belial has a base Invocation TN of 1, +1 if you have a match, +2 for a charcoal birquette, +3 for 15 gallons of gasoline, +4 for a can of napalm, +5 for a forest fire, +6 for a burning skyscraper.
The world is starving - it must be fed.
Haagenti, Prince of Gluttony will eat just about anything nearby. He is a Calabite, usually appearing as a hairy, screaming demon about three feet tall with a huge maw of razor teeth. He moves about by hopping and skipping, eating anything he can grab. He hates most of the other Princes, having spent 600 years in service to them. He started as a gremlin under the Prince of Sloth, pushing himself up with hugnry ambition, promising himself he'd one day devour his foes. Over time, he became a Calabite in service to Belial, where he caught the eye of Kobal. Kobal bought him from Belial, sponsored him for the Word of Gluttony, and finally adopted him as a 'brother.' Protected and encouraged, Haagenti grew ever more potent. He eventually attacked and consumed Meserach, the Prince of Sloth, and Lucifer made him a Prince in his own right. He is energetic, informal and greedy as a ruler. He demands obedience and food, and he retains the sense of humor that first drew Kobal's attention. He's not subtle - he likes torture and sight gags. His demons encourage consumption of all kinds, but particularly of food, and also help demons of Kobal out. It is dissonant for demons of Gluttony to go more than (Corporeal Forces) days without using the Consume attunement to force a human to consume. So yeah, they all need the Consume attunement. Game design!
Balseraphs of Gluttony may impose the Celestial Discord of Glurttony on their victims at (Corporeal Forces) level for (CD) days with a resonance roll. Humans do not gain an actual Discord, but act as if they had it.
Djinn of Gluttony always know the direction to the nearest glutton, and if they are attuned to someone with the Discord Gluttony or equivalent disadvantage, they automatically succeed on resonance rolls against that person with an automatic CD 6. Non-Djinn only get the glutton direction sense.
Calabim of Gluttony regain 1 Essence if they can provoke or participate in an orgy of consumption by destruction, such as a demolition derby or exceptionally rowdy party.
Habbalah of Gluttony may add their Corporeal Forces to resonance rolls when inflicting hunger, which only they can do. With a CD of 6, their victim will gorge themselves to bursting but remain hungry.
Lilim of Gluttony may prepare amazing meals by spending (4-Corporeal Forces) hours at work, minimum 1. Whoever they offer the food to must make a Will roll to resist eating it on sight, penalized by (Celestial Forces). If the meal is not poisoned, the diner owes the Lilim a level 2 Geas. Only one such meal can be made at a time, but the target does not need to be selected when it's made. Non-Lilim do not get the Geas out of the deal.
Shedim of Gluttony reduce the Will roll of their hosts by (Corporeal Forces) if the host is a glutton.
Impudites of Gluttony do not need to charm victims to steal Essence, just touch them. However, this produces Disturbance equal to (Essence stolen+Corporeal Forces) and leaves the victim ravenously hungry.
Consume is a Servitor attunement that must be purchased. It allows a demon to amplify a victim's inner hungers massively, forcing a Will roll penalzied by their Corporeal Forces to resist wastefully consuming the object of their desire - eat the food, buy the shit, whatever.
Devour is a Servitor attunement that allows you to consume (10*Corporeal Forces) pounds of matter in any minute with a Strength roll. You need the Numinous Corpus Song of Fangs to eat anything harder than normal food, though. For 1 Essence, you can use this as a Power +5 attack. If you use this more than once an hour and fail at one of the second or later rolls, you vomit up everything you ate, suffering damage equal to the number of times you successfully used the power that hour...but also dealing that much damage to anyone directly in front of you.
Knights of Banquets can detect any form of nourishment edible by a normal human within 40 feet, which explicitly includes living or recently dead humans.
Captains of Cannibals may flavor anything they touch however they like for 1d6 minutes.
Barons of Satanic Dishes can make anything they touch look and feel like an equal mass of food for 1d6 minutes, an illusion that is not apparent until the effects end.
Haagenti gets along well with the other Princes of Shal-Mari, particularly Kobal, his borther and ally. He acts as a sort of random factor in the plans of others, due to his aggressive nature, though. He is associated with Nybbas and Saminga, and the now minor Prince of Greed, Mammon, tries to stay on his good side, but Haagenti is neutral at best towards him. Haagenti is hostile to Belial, Malphas and Valefor, and considers Asmodeus his enemy. Basic Rites:
1. Cause someone to eat 15 pounds of food in a single sitting. (That's about a dozen large meals.)
2. Use Devour to consume 200 pounds of matter.
Haagenti has a base Invocation TN of 3, +1 if you have a bag of candy, +2 for a Big Mac, +3 for a normal meal, +4 for a luxurious meal, +5 for 50 pounds of fast food, +6 for 10 thousand whole fried chickens.
The world is a joke, and humanity is the punchline.
Kobal, Prince of Dark Humor , is Hell's jester and beloved by Lucifer, who allows him to say anything, even if he'd punish anyone else. Kobal perverts humor into mockery, hatred and despair, turning thought into laughter and concern into callousness. He appears dfifferently whenever he manifests, but his demons can always recognize him. Sometimes he is cheerful, but mostly he is depressed and caustic. He prefers intelligent humor and word games to simple gags. He is an Impudite and used to spend a lot of time on Earth, but does so less and less this century. He's heard all the jokes now, he's jaded and getting bored and angry. He only comes out when called or to enjoy some especially brutal practical joke. He is planning to perform the ultimate joke, though he's not necessarily consciously aware of it. When he does it asnd on whom may make the difference in the War. It is dissonant for any demon of Kobal to go a single day iwthout worsening someone's luck by laughing at them or making others laugh at them.
Demons of Dark Humor are given unique Rites by Band, usable once per day to regain 1 Essence...or 2, if they can laugh in victim's face after.
Balseraphs of Dark Humor must lie to someone and make others think they're stupid and gullible.
Djinn of Dark Humor must embarrass the person they're attuned to by making a scene or implying some dark secret on the victim's part.
Calabim of Dark Humor must destory something important and have their victim discover it a particularly ironic moment.
Habbalah of Dark Humor must make humans embarrass themselves with inappopriate emotional outbursts, like laughter at a funeral.
Lilim of Dark Humor must successfully dare or Geas a human into doing something clearly foolish and dangerous.
Shedim of Dark Humor add (Ethereal Forces) to make their hosts do anything darkly silly or degrading, and also get their Essence from doing so.
Impudites of Dark Humor must play practical jokes that make people's lives miserable. Also, they do not gain dissonance if one of their jokes kills a human.
Prank is a Servitor attunement allowing you to spend 2 Essence and make a Will roll to create an illusion of convincing but cartoony madness - giant chicken comes out of a car, dead bodies appear on a table, whatever. The illusion must be humorous or ironic. Victims get a Perception roll minus (Celestial Forces) to resist. Otherwise, they genuinely believe the illusion for (Demon's CD+their CD) seconds.
Knights of Derision can make anyone see the humor in a cruel situation, requiring a Will roll to avoid demeaning both themselves and whoever they are laughing at.
Captains of Repartee can make any human that can hear them shrug off the importance of any event they've just witnessed or news they just received by making a pithy joke about it. This can be resisted with Will.
Barons of Hysteria know at a glance what kind of humor someone finds funniest, and may also make a joke to distract someone for 1 round, during which their rolls are reduced by (Celestial Forces) unless they make a Will roll to resist.
Kobal is allied with Haagenti and associated with Malphas and Saminga. He is hostile to Baal, Kronos and Valefor, and considers Asmodeus his enemy. Basic Rites:
1. Make someone laugh just before they die.
2. Make a psychotic joke at the expense of any other celestial and make the GM laugh at it.
3. Disrupt a serious occasion involving at least 30 people with inappropriate laughter.
Kobal has a base Invocation TN of 3, +1 if you have an original and cruel joke, +2 for a 5 minute comedy sketch making the audience enjoy something evil, +3 for a busy stretch of road made slick, +4 for a malicious hour-long stand-up routine, +5 for something that the GM thinks would make Kobal smirk and +6 for something the GM thinks would make Kobal laugh. Yeah, Kobal kinda sucks as written. My favorite campaign idea, though, is 'Kobal performs the Ultimate Joke: he Redeems and drags Haagenti with him, leaving Hell in utter chaos.'
The world is sliding toward the Pit - but not quickly enough.
Kronos, Prince of Fate is the most potent of the Princes. He doesn't care about most people - just those who are called to a bright destiny, who must be crushed with a dark fate. He and his demons are the only ones with a true connection to the greater Symphony, the better to pervert it. They are the greatest foes of the angels of Destiny, finding patterns to push the Symphony down weaker paths. Without them, the angels might have already won. Kronos is a Balseraph that presents himself as a small, older man who rarely speaks but has an aura of authority. Other Princes may be jealous of him, but all respect his knowledge. It is dissonant for any demon of Kronos to knowingly help a human achieve their destiny or knowingly prevent a human from achieving their fate. They must know the human's destiny or fate, whether via the Fated Future attunement or by Kronos telling them. Accidents aren't dissonant, they just make Kronos very angry.
Balseraphs of Fate choose the resonance of any single Choir of angel. They get that resonance, but also that angel's dissonance conditions.
Djinn of Fate know when an object of their attunement is slated to be destroyed within the next 24 hours, barring celestial intervention. Also, anything they are attuned to cannot be attuned to by a Cherub, and any Cherubic attunements are negated.
Calabim of Fate do not begin the game with a Discord. Further, when they use their resonance, they can choose to make it appear as if the target was damaged by the passage of time.
Habbalah of Fate who use the Fated Future attunement automatically know what emotion they could inflict on their target to best serve the cause of evil.
Lilim of Fate can see Discord by looking into the eyes of someone else. Also, they may add their Celestial Forces to any attempt to inflict a Geas.
Shedim of Fate may, once a day, alter their hosts perception of time and mortality. The host believes there is enough time for everything and so can give in to temptation, or that there is no time to do what's right instead of what's fast. Either way, their Will is reduced by (Celestial Forces) to resist the Shedite.
Impudites of Fate can touch a person and, with a Perception roll, know their life story from their perspective.
Fated Future is a Servitor attunement that lets you spend 1 Essence to know a human's fate or destiny. For 2 Essence, you get both.
Temporal Projection is a Servitor attunement allowing you to launch anyone within 2 yards through time or space, as long as they are corporeal. They may resist with Will. Otherwise, they vanish from the world for (Celestial Forces*Essence Spent) hours, reappearing a random distance away. Roll 1d6. On a 1, they appear (1d6*Essence Spent) feet away from their last location. On a 2, yards. On a 3, tens of yards. On a 4, hundreds of yards. On a 5, miles. On a 6, tens of miles. They will not reappear inside matter, in midair or anywhere immediately destructive...but could appear in water.
Knights of the Winged Chariot always know the time, down to the second, and the age of anything they touch. With 1 Essence and a Perception roll, they can find the darkest deed in any object's past.
Captains of the Infernal Hourglass can spend 1 Essence to perform an hour's worth of non-combat, non-movement, non-travel tasks in half the normal time. They can spend 2 Essence to let anyone else do this.
Barons of the Book of Days know the equivalent of anything that would be reported in newspaper headlines, had newspapers existed, for any one century in the past 2000 years, chosen when they get the distinction. To simulate this, the player may refer to an applicable history book, the GM can feed them information as needed or they can just assume any relevant Knowledge rolls are passed at CD 6. This can be granted multiple times to the same demon, covering different periods each time.
Kronos has no allies, but is associated with Asmodeus, Baal, Beleth and Nybbas. He is hostile to Andrealphus and Haagenti, and he considers Kobal and Valefor his enemies. Basic Rites:
1. Spend six hours observing the passage of time, such as by listening to a clock tick.
2. Prevent someone from achieving their destiny.
3. Help someone meet their fate.
The base Invocation TN for Kronos is 1, +1 if you have a quartz watch, +2 for a wind-up clock, +3 for a hand-written autobiography, +4 for a working 100-year-old grandfather clock, +5 for an incredibly large clock, like Big Ben, +6 for an atomic clock of unprecedented accuracy.
Next time: Factions, the Media, Death and Theft.
The Bad Decisions TeamOriginal SA post In Nomine: The Bad Decisions Team
The world is a chaotic pattern of factions within factions - but in the end, we have no allies at all. Each of us is a faction of one.
Malphas, Prince of Factions , is a Shedite who likes to appear as an older, nasty-looking man, easily mistaken for a war criminal or tyrant. Lucifer uses Malphas and his demons as diplomats. Lucifer likes him, as do most Princes. Malphas does not return their affection, and he enjoys factionalizing his fellow demons as much as humans. Lucifer approves, and it's why he likes Malphas, in fact. As long as Malphas is at work, the Princes can never unite against Lucifer. Malphas is always friendly to his servants and willing to listen - not out of kindness, but to factionalize them. Each demon believes Malphas is tough but fair, and each believes they have a special relationship with their boss. His organization is very inefficient, as none of his demons trust each other enough to work well together, but it is exceptionally reliable. After all, they're all ready for a chance to denounce each other. Malphas is never violent, save in self-defense, and he insists that his minions be likewise. Causing violence is fine - but using it means you're a failure. Malphas also believes most of his fellow Princes are idiots. It is dissonant for demons of Malphas to go more than a day without creating division between two people. A missed day can be made up for by starting two fights the next day, but after the next day, the dissonance can no longer be removed this way.
Balseraphs of Factions can make one person at a time take the demon's opinions as their own for (Ethereal Forces) hours.
Djinn of Factions can make anyone they're attuned to hate any person or object the Djinn points out for (Ethereal Forces) hours.
Calabim of Faction can destroy relationships with their resonance. The victim will not care about a relationship of the Calabite's choice for (Ethereal Forces+CD) hours when resonated, resisted by (Will-Celestial Forces).
Habbalah of Factions can make someone take an unwavering stand on any of their opinions for (Ethereal Forces) minutes. Anyone that disagrees during that period will suffer a violent response - a physically violent one, in fact, if the victim doesn't make a Will roll.
Lilim of Factions can use their resonance to force someone to focus only on the Lilim for (Ethereal Forces) minutes, ignoring everyone else.
Shedim of Factions do not need to make Will rolls to control their hosts - they do it automatically. They must still perform evil acts, they just don't need to struggle for control.
Impudites of Factions can make a Perception roll to tell how to destroy someone's trust in anyone or anything, with the CD reflecting the importance of the trust and how much work it'll take to break. If the demon manages it, they can steal (CD) Essence from the victim.
Imbroglio is a Servitor attunement that causes everyone within (Ethereal Forces) yards to take everything said to them in the worst possible way unless they make a Perception roll to avoid miscommunication. This lasts for (Essence spent) minutes.
Polarize is a Servitor attunement that causes conflict between any two people, making them find or imagine something to fight over. The demon only needs to be able to see one of the victims. This requires a Will roll, but any Essence spent on the roll also adds to the CD, with the CD determining how serious the argument is and how long it lasts. The demon can, however, elect to choose the effect of a lower CD. CD 1-2 causes cold separation for a day. 3-4 is an argument for 3 hours. 5-6 is a screaming argument for 1 hour. 7-8 causes unarmed violence for 6 minutes. CD 9 is 6 seconds of fighting with any weapon handy.
Knights of Deception can tell how much any two people they can see hate each other and why.
Captains of the Broken Promise can touch someone and know who they have most recently betrayed and how.
Barons of Inner Torment can touch someone and know any painful secrets they keep, such as a son hiding homosexuality from their family, and also detect any Ethereal Discord.
Malphas is allied to Beleth and Nybbas and associated with Andrealphus and Kobal. He is hostile to Baal and Haagenti, and considers Saminga his enemy. Basic Rites:
1. Initiate conflict between two people. This can be done twice a day.
Malphas has a bas Invocation TN of 2, +1 if you give bad directions to a stranger on the street, +2 if you lead a blind man astray, +3 if you convince someone to betray their spouse, +4 around an employee cheating their boss for over 20 thousand dollars, +5 if you sell illegal arms worth at least 2 million dollars, +6 if you involve at least 100,000 people in a conflict.
The world is what you think I say it is, half off this one-time sale. Call today!
Nybbas, Prince of the Media , is the newest and youngest Prince. In 1884, he was a low-ranking servitor of Vapula, and he worked with several humans to invent the television. Lucifer immediately made him a Prince, granting him his Word. It caused a lot of controversy on both sides of the War, but television has forever changed human thought and dreams. Nybbas' plan is working amazingly. He is an Impudite who has shaped the views of Hollywood - beautiful people are the stars, and most humans are just extras or consumers to exploit. Reality's a script, to be rewritten if it's boring. Nybbas appears and acts like the most horrifying of game show hosts. He could look good if he wanted to, but he doesn't bother. He's the studio head - other people look good for him . Nybbas disdains anyone he can manipulate and thinks anyone who helps him is just his puppet. He works closely with Andrealphus and Vapula, but everyone can tell that he only tolerates them, and they fear that he's gearing up for revenge on anyone that slighted him when he was weaker, like Haagenti once did. Nybbas doesn't seem to notice this uneasiness, or perhaps just doesn't care. It is dissonant for demons of the Media to fail to spend at least one hour each day contributing to the growth of the world's media - anything from writing a news article to making a new web page. Once they catch up to their backlog, any dissonance gained this way vanishes.
All demons of the Media are given a human Servant worth (Celestial Forces*2) CP, plus any additional CP the demon chooses to spend.
Balseraphs of the Media can use their resonance on someone to cause any medium - usually TV or a magazine, but any media works - to read however they desire while the victim is reaidng or watching. Their Servant is generally an entertainment lawyer, scriptwriter, producer or other highly paid liar.
Djinn of the Media typically have a violent Servant. They are always attuned to their Servants, and those Servants don't count against their total attunements.
Calabim of the Media tend to have sports heroes as Servants.
Habbalah of the Media usualy have phony psychics or New Agers as Servants. They cause no Disturbance if their actions appear to be performed by their Servant.
Lilim of the Media get a free Role as a celebrity with level and Status both equal to (Corporeal Forces). Their Servants are fans.
Shedim of the Media may inhabit their Servants indefinitely without a roll. They must still corrupt their hosts, and typically purchase multiple Servants for this reason, but when their Servant becomes to corrupt ot use, Nybbas will replace them.
Impudites of the Media have entertainers as Servants.
Soundtrack is a Servitor attunement that I fuckin' love. For 1 Essence, the user hears a soundtrack in their head for (10*Celestial Forces) minutes, which reflects the mood of the moment. If the demon is walking into an ambush, it's foreboding, if they're safe, it's triumphant, and so on. If their luck changes, the music warns them a round in advance.
Subliminal is a Servitor attunement allowing you to bind a Song or attunement into a recorded medium. This costs twice as much as usual, or 1 Essence for free powers. The embedded power affects the first person to succeed on a Perception roll while watching the recording. Any variable effects must be defined when the power is embedded. You may use this power multiple times on a single recording to have it affect another person each time you pay for it.
Knights of Influence get an hour of radio or TV airtime per week to use as they like. Each time they put on their show successfully, they gain 3 Essence.
Captains of Swank get +3 to all reaction rolls with peiple who follow any form of media.
Barons of the Fourth Estate can use the Subliminal attunement to hit 10 people for the same cost as one.
Nybbas causes strong feelings in others, both good and bad. He's been Prince for barely a century, and his relationships aren't stable yet. He is drawn to young or modern-styled Princes, and for this reason considers Andrealphus his ally and is associated with Kobal and Vapula. He likes Haagenti but isn't close to him. He's also associated with Kronos, as their goals are often parallel. Nybbas is only peripherally interested in Malhas, but Malphas wants to work closely with him. Nybbas is hostile towards Baal and Saminga, and finds the more militant Princes tedious. He has no enemies, however. Nybbas never Fell, and he has no real grudge against Heaven directly. Basic Rites:
1. Spend 3 hours watching television.
2. Spend 6 hours listening to the radio.
Nybbas has a base Invocation TN of 4, +1 if you have a color TV on hand, +2 for a department store display window, +3 at the editor's desk of a major newspaper, +4 on the set of a live TV broadcast, +5 at the physical location of a website with the top 0.5% of hits this month, +6 at the st of a live TV broadcast being viewed by more than 10 million people.
The world is dead; it just doesn't know it yet.
Saminga, Prince of Death is a Shedite that only ever wears rotting corpses on Earth. In Hell, he appears as a mass of decaying bodies. Three thousand years ago, Saminga was an ordinary demon, but after learning the secret of mummification from the ancient Egyptians, he used it to make an army of undead sorcerers, soon exceeding several Princes in power. Lucifer considered destroying him, but decided against it when he realized that Saminga doesn't want to rule Hell. All he wants is what he has already. He finds most work boring and lets other Princes do it. Saminga believes that death is the ultimate evil, and as holder of the Word of Death, he is therefore the ultimate evil. Lucifer is fine with this - it makes Saminga pathetically easy to manipulate. Destruction of property or mere animals is boring for Saminga - he only enkoys the deaths of intelligent beings, particularly deaths in fear and agony. He prefers dead puppets to mortal servants, and he isn't very clever. He is, however, paranoid and savage, particularly when he thinks people are being insolent. It is dissonant for demons of Death to encourage life in any way - including giving mortals wholesome food or drink.
Balseraphs of Death may kill humans with their bare hands without causing Disturbance.
Djinn of Death do not gain dissonance for killing their attuned. Further, they can detect the presence of undead within (Corporeal Forces*10) yards.
Calabim of Death know exactly how much HP anyone they see has.
Habbalah of Death can make a Will roll to remote control a corpse within 50 yards. This turns it into a temporary zombi as long as they concentrate, but if they do anything else while controlling the corpse, all of the corpse's actions are at -4.
Lilim of Death get a free undead servant or group of servants worth (3*Celestial Forces) CP, total. There aren't many Lilim of Death, as a note - they tend to find Saminga unfun.
Shedim of Death may possess corpses for (Corporeal Forces) days. No corpse can be possessed by the same Shedite twice, and the corpse must have flesh on it still. While in a corpse, they get the Corporeal Discord Pallid, with level based on how long the body has been dead, decided by the GM.
Impudites of Death may pull Essence from the corpses of those dead for no more than (Corporeal Forces). Further, they get no dissonance for killing humans.
Zombi is a Servitor attunement allowing you to make a Will roll, adding your Celestial Forces but subtracing the total Forces the corpse you are trying to raise had in life. If you succeed, you spend Essence equal to the corpse's Forces in life. In (6-CD) hours, the corpse rises as a Zombi, with the same Forcesi t had in life, but all of its Celestial Forces replaced by Corporeal Forces. It also has a level 3 Need and any single Numinous Corpus Song at a level equal to its new Corporeal Forces. It has all the memory and instincts it had in life, at least until it starts to rot, but it has no soul.
Vampiric Kiss is a Servitor attunement requiring physical contact and a Will roll to drain life out of a willing or charmed victim. It can't be used on an unwilling victim. You cause (CD) corporeal damage to the victim, and gain that much Essence, or however much the victim has, whichever is less. You must spend all Essence gained this way before using this attunement again.
Knights of the Dead know the cause of death for any corpse they touch and may see the last thing the corpse saw before death.
Captains of the Infernal Legion can appear dead in every way at will.
Barons of the Undead Kingdom know at all times the exact position and location of all corpses within (Celestial Forces) yards, and also always know the location of any undead that serve them.
Saminga is allied to Baal and Kobal and associated with Belial and Haagenti. He is hostile to everyone else except Andrealphus, whom he considers an outright enemy. Basic Rites:
1. Kill 10 humans, consecutively or concurrently.
2. Kill the vessel of a being with more than 5 Forces.
3. Sleep in a cemetary for 6 hours.
Saminga has a base Invocation TN of 2, +1 if you have a human bone, +2 if it's a skull, +3 if you have a human cadaver, +4 for ten cadavers, +5 for a hundred cadavers and +6 for five hundred cadavers.
The world is there for the taking, so take whatever you can.
Valefor, Prince of Theft , is a thin and unusually suave Calabite. He appeared out of nowhere a few centuries back, having stolen the true prophecies of Nostradamus from Yves' library. He rapidly became infamous for stealing everything from the sealant from the Spanish Aramda's gunpowder barrels to Nikola Tesla's electrotherapeutic cancer cure. More importantly, his demons constantly strain mortal society. A little theft is often a gateway to greater sin, after all, especially after Nybbas started helping by promoting thieves as cool media heroes. Lucifer made Valefor a Prince for his daring, but Asmodeus, Baal and Kronos think he's dangerous, that the rivalry between his demons and the angels of Janus is too pat. Surely there must be a reason the two Superiors resemble each other conceptually so much. Lucifer, however, finds Valefor a useful tool, and when anyone in Hell needs something stolen, Valefor's the demon to see. It is dissonant for demons of Theft to remain in the same locale for more than three days, exactly like it is for angels of the Wind. It is also dissonant for demons of Theft to recognize societal rules of ownership and personal space.
Balseraphs of Theft add (Celestial Forces) to their resonance roll TNs.
Djinn of Theft can only attune themselves to one person at a time, but their attuned becomes enthralled by them, acting as a Servant at level of (Celestial Forces) until the attunement ends. Djinn of Theft can attune to other celestials, but they cannot enthrall them this way.
Calabim of Theft add (Etheral Forces) to any roll involving breaking locks, opening doors or otherwise freeing themselves or others from corporeal restraints.
Habbalah of Theft can look at the sky and accurately predict the weather up to (Ethereal Forces) days into the future, down to the minute, barring celestial intervention.
Lilim of Theft add (Ethereal Forces) to the penalty to resist their Geases when trying to Geas someone into any form of theft.
Shedim of Theft may assume gaseous form without need for a host. They can't communicate verbally or interact significantly with the world in this form, and they move at a quarter normal speed. They can be spotted by a Perception roll, made easier by dissonance.
Impudites of Theft can move through crowds easily, parting them whether or not they are visible. Further, they can tell at a glance if an object was acquired honestly or not.
Passage is a Servitor attunement that lets you make an Agility roll to open any lock, exactly as per the equivalent Wind attunement.
Swipe is a Servitor attunement that is also identical to the equivalent Wind attunement.
Knights of Kleptos can communicate amongst themselves with gesture, as quickly and clearly as human speech.
Captains of Corsairs always know if they're being watched, listened to or otherwise spied on.
Barons of Buccaneers fly at double speed and can either add 4 to their Running skill before rolling or add 4 to the CD of any Running roll that succeeds without that assistance.
Valefor is allied to Andrealphus and associated with Kobal, Malphas, Nybbas and Vapula. He is hostile to Baal and Haagenti and considers Asmodeus and Kronos his enemies. Basic Rites:
1. Spend an hour in 80+ mph winds.
2. Steal more than 200 dollars worth of material goods.
The base Invocation TN for Valefor is 3, +1 if you steal a newspaper, +2 if you have a fanned out hand of ten 20 dollar bills, +3 for a vauable painting, +4 for a Ming vase, +5 for an ancient relic, +6 for...
My God! The lost Monet!
Next time: Technology and Hell. kde
Hellish scienceOriginal SA post In Nomine: Hellish science
The world is an experiment gone awry - it stinks, and when it breaks, there'll be bodies everywhere. I love it.
Vapula, Prince of Technology , is a Habbalite who usually appears as a bright-eyed, elderly man with messy hair and clothes, usually in a labcoat. He is generally quiet, until he bursts out with a torrent of ideas. Even when angry, he's quiet and friendly...even as he invites you to donate your body to experimentation and straps you to the rack. Vapula lacks the access to the Symphony that Jean has, and so he is reduced to experimentation to learn what Jean was simply given. He's gotten quite good at it, and he loves gadgets, though he doesn't care about any side effects they might have. Vapula was never an angel, and Hell is much better for him than Heaven would be - he's free to do whatever he likes, and he finds relics especially fascinating. Lucifer and theo ther Princes want machines humans will use destructively and selfishly - weapons, cars, fast food, whatever. Humans invented all those things themselves, but Vapula takes credit for helping them along. His Hellish forges produce most infernal artifacts, though he allows few of his craftsmen to go to Earth. Most recently, Vapula and Nybbas have teamed up to try to make a combination computer and TV that will drain Essence from those nearby or accept Essence 'broadcast' from elsewhere. Tentatively named the NC, or Nybbas Computer, they believe they could completely control humanity with such a device. Most demons of Vapula have a demonic artifact or two, and it is dissonant for them to allow these things to fall into human or angelic hands, though recovering the object removes the dissonance.
Balseraphs of Technology can look at any manmade device and instantly comprehend all possible apllications. They can also do the same from a spec sheet, identifying the machine's actual performance. Further, they add (Celestial Forces) to any attempt to convince someone a mundane item has fantastic properties.
Djinn of Technology receive extremely light palmtop computers, which they may attune to up to (Celestial Forces) objects. The palmtop has a thing, six foot cable that must touch such an object to attune and track it. The tracking functions of the computer function identically to the Djinn resonance.
Calabim of Technology do not exist. Vapula does not like Calabim.
Habbalah of Technology receive a mood ring that changes color to reflect the emotional state of the nearest person. They may also use their resonance on those experiencing strong feelings to produce a feedback loop, stunning the victim for (CD) rounds. There is no backlash on this for failure.
Lilim of Technology add (Celestial Forces to any Computer Operation roll or any use of their resonance on a scientific or technical person.
Shedim of Technology receive a laptop computer that requires no power and has a high-speed cellular internet connection. They may use this computer as a vessel freely when no host is available. Further, they add (Celestial Forces) to any attempt to possess someone using the computer while they're inside it. Others can als possess the computer and if they do, they can use this bonus if they have an appropriate Song or resonance to possess someone with.
Impudites of Technology can store twice as much Essence as their Forces should allow. Further, they receive a pair of glasses that can measure the Essence inside anyone within (Celestial Forces) feet.
Invention is a Servitor attunement that temporarily creates a relic with one or two abilities. These abilities are fueled by your Essence, andi f you don't have enough, the relic will instead deal 5 soul damage on its user per point of Essence needed. It cannot remove a Force, but if it would have to, it doesn't function. The object must exist already, and this attunement allows a Precision roll to add one or two Songs or Essence-requiring attunements you already know, which last for (CD) hours in the relic. Powers embedded in the object, however, must reflect its mundane uses in some way.
Knights of Combustion can immediately tell the best way to use any device, getitng +2 to whatever skill is required to use it.
Inspectors can detect any fault in any technological device.
Barons of Gremlins can create a tiny defect in any device they touch. It will fail disastrously after (10-Celestial Forces) usage, with only the most thorough examination having any chance of spotting it before then.
Vapula has no allies, but is associated with Baal, Nybbas and Kronos. He is hostile to Saminga. Basic Rites:
1. Work for 3 hours or spend 6 hours asleep in a lab or factory.
2. Convince someone to try a new creation that will increase their reliance on technology.
Vapula has a base Invocation TN of 3, +1 if you have a used battery, +2 for a cheap imported toy, +3 for a stick of dynamite, +4 for a machine responsible for maiming a factory worker on an assembly line, +5 for a well-used crematorium furnace and +6 for a nuke.
So, Hell. Hell is a place of darkness, an abscess in the celestial realm aslo known as the Pit, the Inferno and the Vacuum. It is where demons live, divided into Principalities connected by various tunnels, walkways and teleporters. Each Principality has several Tethers based on its master's Word. Each is ruled by a Prince, see, who rules over not only the demons there but the damned souls that make up much of Hell's population. They are the property of their Prince, who is usually the one who they, knowingly or not, supported most during their lives. Travel between Principalties is difficult and monitored, even for demons. Essence is Hell's currency, and each demon or damned soul generates 1 Essence every 24 hours. (Angels in Hell, incidentally, do not regenerate Essence.) Humans might use their Essence to buy anything from a brief break from torture to freedom, but then, in some Principalities, humans are used as guinea pigs, consumers or literal fuel.
The bottle says 'son screen', which is actually kind of clever.
Abaddon is the Principality of Saminga, a gray wasteland of souls who served deat. Saminga cares little for them, allowing them to move freely within Abaddon until he needs them. At the center is his bone citadel, where human souls are dragged to harvest them for Essence and Forces. Other Princes see this strip-mining of souls as wasteful, but hey, they're his. He never destroys a soul all at once - rather, they get captured, stripped of one Force and then set off to wander again. Each time a soul loses a Force, it's pushed back a step on the evolutionary ladder in some way. Abaddon is thus the only source of animals in Hell, former human souls. The dirt grubs that infest the wastes are the remnants of Souls stripped down to a single Force, desperately trying to avoid the final harvest. These harvested Forces are used to create undead on Earth.
Kronos rules over the Archives, where the details of the Symphony and the histories of the War and humanity are kept. They track the dispersal of souls to Principalities, record which demons have been publically sent to Earth and which Words Lucifer has given. Kronos and possibly Lucifer are the only ones who can reliably find anything in the Archives, but if a demon can get his attention, Kronos will answer any question...for a price. The Archive can be reached from every other Principality - one of the only places in Hell that can be. Gehenna, meanwhile, is Ball's domain, a shifting battlefield where those will not fight are slaughtered. It is the proving ground for demons of the War, ceasing its battles only when Baal returns to select new Earth forces from the best of the lot. Hades is the first domain any damned soul sees, and any creature entering Hell save for demons returning to their Hearts. It is ruled over by Asmodeus, and the gates into Hell are guarded by two large angels of Dominic. They can spot any soul that does not truly belong in Hell, pulling them out of damnation, but they very, very rarely spot any such person. Asmodeus handles the assignment of human souls to other Principalities, following an unfair method worked out by Lucifer. Everyone felt equally shafted by the method when it was made, though, so they've all assumed it must be fair.
Perdition was once the realm of Sloth, before Haagenti devoured his old Prince. Lately, it's been the realm of Nybbas and his demons, who keep the humans there in a state of tranquil dormancy. Perdition's humans quite like it, fixating on a single kind of sensory input to obsess on to the exclusion of all else. The demons merely need to threaten to remove that input to get them to fork over the Essence. Demons in Perdtion mostly work in the skyscrapers there, making up new content for Nybbas. Pedition borders Tartarus, the realm of Vapula, but Vapula and Nybbas get along. Shal-Mari, meanwhile, is the glitzy Principality shared by Andrealphus, Kobal and Haagenti. It is a consumer society, full of casinos, bordellos, restaurants and theaters. Andre runs the brotherls, charming Essence out of the damned, while Haagenti does the same in the restaurants and bars, and Kobal with the theaters. The casinos are split between all of them. Humans in Shal-Mari can do anything...if they can pay for it. Other souls sometimes use hoarded Essence to buy brief 'vacations' to Shal-Mari, but they're rarely allowed to stay.
Sidebar: the original Fallen had to figure out a new way to use the old angelic language, as the inability to lie was unacceptable. Over time, the demons have bent and broken the language into something most angels can barely recognize. Demonic can be spoken in any form, corporeal or celestial, and while demons understand angelic, angels can't make anything out of demonic save that it is, in fact, the tongue of demons.
Sheol is the realm of Belial, built around Hell's only volcano, which fuels the Lakes of Fire. Demons within Sheol that serve Belial are immune to heat and flame while there. They trap human souls in the flames, torturing them into giving up their Essence - and only then allowing them out. Stygia is a maze of catacombs, shared by Malphas and Valefor. There, all of the damned try to steal Essence from each other in hopes of buying freedom. It never really works. Tartarus, meanwhile, iks ruled by Vapula, who experiments on his damned souls to test his inventions. It's a mess of kudzu-esque rebar, full of toxic spills and half-built projects. Vapula likes the chaos, finding it inspirational. There is a wide and largely unpatrollable passage to Perdition, but Vapula likes to let his infernal machines police the area, doing terrible things to escapees.
Now we move to the next chapter, where we get a discussion of common beings other than angels and demons. Soldiers, for example. Soldiers were once ordinary humans, but now they have been forced into the War. They knowingly serve a celestial, have 6 Forces and can control Essence. They can learn Corporeal Songs, and make good servants or weak PCs. Despite the name, most are not fighters - they are aides, spies and support...usually. Some of them, though, fight directly. Soldiers of God are sworn to fight Hell anywhere, regardless of consequence. Some, like the Vatican's Purifiers, have organizations, but others operate alone under a single angel. Soldiers of Hell, meanwhile, tend to have literally solid their souls for reward - sometimes earthly, sometimes a false hope to become demons in death. They tend to work in small gangs, but are often loners. There's also a handful of surprisingly large infernal organizations. Soldiers of Hell are often given vast support, resource-wise, but not so much in terms of magic. Demons don't want them to get too powerful. Any Soldier of Hell that learns any non-Corporeal Song by any means or who gains an 8th Force is likely to become a target. Either way, Soldiers on either side cause no Disturbance except when they spend Essence.
Ethereal spirits live in the Marches, and most rarely leave their dream-strongholds. The lesser spirits serve the greater, and while some of the greater pay lip service to Beleth, few would fight for her. Only rarely does a spirit serve an angel or demon, though less formal alliances are possible.
Celestial spirits are proto-angels and proto-demons. Most have no corporeal vessels, though they can appear on Earth in celestial form. The exception is a Familiar, which can do the same but typically wears an animal vessel. Celestial spirits are only sent to Earth for a specific purpose - to help an angel or demon, or to help or hinder one specific person, object or place. They need to be doing their duty to remain on Earth - if they're prevented from doing so, they are pulled back to the celestial realm. They can't go back on their own by any other means. Spirits have 3 to 8 Forces and may learn any Songs their Superior approves. They can buy attunements, but may never earn distinctions. Spirits that persevere can become full angels or demons. A demon requires 7 Forces, while an angel needs 9. Their Choir or Band reflects either whatever attunements they bought or the manner in which they best did their duties.
A familiar is aspirit in a corporeal vessel, usually a small animal. They are always someone's Servant, and it is dissonant for them to disobey their master. If they die, they enter Limbo in Trauma, though their master can send them Essence to help them get out. A familiar can be used as a living Essence reservoir, and a demon can force their Discord onto a familiar briefly, once per day for one type of Discord only, for (Will-Discord level) hours. Demonic familiars tend to be spiteful as a result.
Gremlins are proto-demons sent to Earth to destroy the works of men. They love breaking or disfiguring things, and in celestial form, they appear as small, misshapen winged demons. They can learn the Songs of Entropy, Motion, Thunder or Numinous Corpus, and are capable of becoming Balseraphs, Calabim or Habbalah. Imps, meanwhile, make humans' lives miserable in petty ways - draining batteries, stealing car keys, knocking over glasses, poking holes in condoms. They appear as miniature humans with vestigial horns and tails, and they can leanr the Songs of Dreams, Form, Light, Motion or Possession. They can become Djinn, Shedim or Impudites.
Relievers, finally, are minor angelic spirits, who help humans in small ways. They leave food for the poor, find car keys and so on. They appear as tiny, hand-sized fairies, larger the more Forces they have. They may learn the Songs of Dreams, Harmony, Healing, Light or Motion. They can become any kind of angel.
Next time: Undead and sample NPCs
Don't worry, ma'am, I'm FROM THE INTERNETOriginal SA post In Nomine: Don't worry, ma'am, I'm FROM THE INTERNET
Undead are typically former Soldiers of Hell, seeking immortality. They are quite potent, gaining the power to learn and use Celestial Songs, and demons are all too happy to do it for them. There's a catch, you see. The methods remain crude, even after thousands of years. The souls of the undead are held together only by their flesh. Undead do not need to eat, drink or sleep, though they can. They do not age. But if their body is destroyed, their soul is gone. They must be warned of this, but they seldom listen or care. Angels despise the undead, as they do not cause Disturbance.
The most successful rituals produce mummies. They gain a Force drawn from the realm of Saminga, which can be of any type. They also get 10 CP worth of any abilities available to demons of Saminga and/or the Prince they serve. Typically, they'll get a Numinous Corpus at level 3-4 and a few other Songs, but they can get attunements, too, and can take Discord to get more points. Mummies regenerate 1 Essence at sundown, and some of them have even developed Rites. With GM permission, a mummy can take one Rite, which will give them 1 Essence, for 3 CP.
Around 50% of the time, however, something goes wrong and the demonic Force will not attach properly. That's a problem, since more energy is needed to keep the Forces of the new undead from utterly unraveling. This is managed by using Discord on the soul, creating a vampire. Vampires are identical to mummies, save that they have only 5 Forces, not 6. They get the 10 CP of demonic powers, but also get a level 3 Vulnerability Discord to Sunlight and at least 3 levels of Need, usually for blood. If a vampire can meet their Need each day before sunset, they regenerate 1 Essence at sunset.
Sometimes, things go incredibly wrong, stripping the undead soul down to 4 or even 3 Forces. These are zombis. Zombis have no Celestial Forces and rarely have many Ethereal Forces. They do retain all Corporeal Forces, however. Zombis also cannot harm their master or the allies of their master. Lacking Will, they obey orders unquestioningly, so they never need to be more than a level 1 Servant. Zombis begin play with 3 levels of a Need, often blood or brains, and 1 Numinous Corpus song equal to their Corporeal Forces in level. They can use any skill they had in life and can even use Corporeal Songs. Some zombis are not failed mummies, but creations from corpses by the demons of Saminga. Corpse-made zombis have no soul, but do retain their memories from life. Zombis rarely last long. Every dawn, if they have not satisfied their Need, they take 1 damage. Zombis do not heal naturally, either, and demons rarely feel the need waste Essence on the Song of Healing for them.
Now, some sample NPCs! All the characters from the opening fiction are here, but they suck and are boring. Ishmael, Elohite of Dreams, is slightly more interesting. He's a newly favored angel of Blandine with a human and a canine vessel, though he prefers the human one - a tall, serious man in rumpled clothes from the 1920s. He usually seems sleepy but with a twinkle in his eyes. His job is guarding the dreams of children, and he's been doing fairly well for the year he's been at it - he's never met a full demon. Spirits, sure, but not demons. He's been tracking one for a while, though, and he's closing in. Still, the closer he gets, the more he thinks he's in over his head. He's about equivalent to a starting PC.
Orc, Angel of Networks and Kyriotate Master of the Machine under Jean, is not. Orc is of moderate but growing power, thanks to his help developing computer networking among humans. He's been given a Word for his work. He works out of Finland, at the cutting edge of web development, but can appear almost anywhere that's networked. He has found a small group of students who don't mind being possessed for days, and with 16 Forces, he can handle three at once to multitask. When he has time, he does homework for them. All they remember is sitting down at the computer and waking up days later with their work done, which they blame on too much coffee. Like any Kyriotate of Lightning, he can possess computers, and his Word grants him two other powers. He can teleport instantly from that computer to any computer it can connect with, anywhere in the world, for 3 Essence. While in a computer, he can also access any data it has, bypassing passwords, though he needs a Computer Operation check to read it if it's encrypted. Orc is friendly, if poorly socialized, but can be reached by email easily. He also has a pair of personal Rites: sleep in a well-connected computer room or connect a web site to the Internet.
Lynoure, Djinn Baroness of Nightmares and Demon of Shadow Shapes under Beleth, is the demon that Ishmael has been tracking. She appears as a beautiful redhead, and her Wordl ets her enthrall those to whom she is attuned via a Will roll. This freezes them in place from up to 3 blocks away, resisted by Will. Once they are pinned, Lynouire can manifest in the room as shadows cast by an outside window or open closet door. She can't manifest in any room with opaque windows and closed closet doors. If undisturbed for a full hour, Lynoure robs her victims of any Essence they have, leaving them awake all night in fair and dealing 2 soul damage. If they had no Essence, she gets 1 anyway, as this is also her Rite. Lynoure loves to menace kids, and that's how she got Ishmael's attention. She's been leading him closer and closer, leaving messages with each child for him to find. If he confronts her alone, she will almost certainly kill him...if she doesn't become fascinated, obsessed or in love with him, first, as the book implies she might. She's quite potent, by the way.
Moving on, we get discussion of campaign types. The game suggests that there are four basic types of play for In Nomine: Realistic, Dark, Humorous and Mythic. Most games mix elements of several styles, balancing the four. Realistic campaigns focus on day-to-day interactions among humans and small victories and defeats. It's often more roleplaying than dice-rolling, and tends to be smaller in scale most of the time. Dark campaigns play up the horror of the setting - human complicity in Lucifer's plans, for example. Angels have a tougher time and demons have it easier. Angels focus on questioning their nature and the helplessness of the Host to save the world. Demons, on the other hand, might focus more on Pyrrhic victories, winning the War at the cst of damnation even for them. Humorous campaigns are more social satire, focusing on the irony of current events through the lens of celestial eyes. Mythic games are about the grand play of an ancient story, focusing on wide conflicts between Heaven and Hell, with philosophically oriented adventures as often as real, blood-and-sweat ones.
For advancement, the game suggests 1-2 CP per session if the mission went well, plus 1-2 for good roleplaying. Superiors will give rewards or punishments at the end of an adventure depending on how the job was done, generally a few extra CP if things wen twell, or perhaps a Rite, Song or removal of dissonance or Discord. Doing really well might get a free attunement, Force or distinction. - or even a Word, if you do really, really, really well. Failure, however, will get no CP unless you were supposed to fail or failed in a way that helps the greater good. Instead, you might get saddled with Discord, stripped of a distinction or artifact, or even made to fight to prove your worthiness. Stats, by the way, can be improved with CP: 3 CP per level, and if you add 4 levels to a realm, you automatically gain the appropriate Force. You can also buy Forces directly for 10 CP per level - 2 points cheaper, and you get those 4 stat levels free.
We now get a list of sources that might privde inspiration. Each has an explanation for why, too. Books: Angels and Visitations by Neil Gaiman, Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins, The Boomer Bible by R. F. Laird, A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Letters From The Earth by Mark Twain, Paradise Lost by John Milton, The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, Season of the Mists by Neil Gaiman, This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, and A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle. Big on Gaiman, thse guys. Movies and TV: Angel Heart, The City of Lost Children, Desperado, Hellraiser, The Prophecy, Twin Peaks and Wings of Desire. Music: Black Flag, Henry Rollins, David Bowie, The Breeders, Counting Crows, Danzig, Dukes of the Stratosphere, Lords of Acid, Liz Phair, Stan Rideway, Smashing Pumpkins, T Rex, Tom Waits, Ween and Soul Coughing.
I think this might be the only probably-meant-to-be-black guy in the book.
So, looking at possible avenues next...we've got the GM's Guide, the player's guide series, the Libri (expansions on stuff like Songs, Tethers, etc.), the Superiors series (which covers the Superiors in more depth), the Revelations Cycle (a five-adventure metaplot campaign) and a handful of standalone adventures. I'll save those for later, so...what do you want to see next: GM'S guide, Player's Guides, Libri, Superios or Revelations?