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Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Uh. Hate to break it to you, but Skinheads is almost used exclusively for Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists nowadays, you don't want to call any punk a skinhead. SHARPS and the like exist, but common image is the far-right nutjobs.

Robindaybird fucked around with this message at 09:20 on Jan 20, 2016

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


As much as it sucks that Nazis co-opted skinhead culture, they totally pulled it off and explaining the history of that is probably beyond the purview of a game about non-denominational angels and demons.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I would really like to see a robust presentation of GUMSHOE without a defined setting, someday.

What do you mean by this, ARB? Gumshoe's been used in a lot of settings.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Well, since they said they want one without a defined setting, I imagine they mean "System-only GUMSHOE" book. Ala Fate Core or whatever.

Me, I'm still holding out hope for Bubblegumshoe because I have players that would kill for some sort of Brick/Veronica Mars mashup game.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


gradenko_2000 posted:

What do you mean by this, ARB? Gumshoe's been used in a lot of settings.

I mean a generalized implementation with advice on its use like Dramasystem gets in Hillfolk. As it is, if you want to use GUMSHOE for your own settings, you have to reverse-engineer it from an existing implementation AFAIK.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Count Chocula posted:

I just assume all the angels are androgonysly bisexual, like in that Neil Gaiman comic about a murder mystery in Heaven that I forget the name of. Gabriel looks like Destiny of the Endless too.

That was actually titled Murder Mysteries, funnily enough. :)

Cthulhu Dreams
Dec 11, 2010

If I pretend to be Cthulhu no one will know I'm a baseball robot.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

I mean a generalized implementation with advice on its use like Dramasystem gets in Hillfolk. As it is, if you want to use GUMSHOE for your own settings, you have to reverse-engineer it from an existing implementation AFAIK.

There is a SRD: https://pelgranepress.com/index.php/the-gumshoe-system-reference-document/

It's just a technical manual though

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I mean a generalized implementation with advice on its use like Dramasystem gets in Hillfolk. As it is, if you want to use GUMSHOE for your own settings, you have to reverse-engineer it from an existing implementation AFAIK.

I would imagine that would be something they would possibly make after they finish the two they're working on, Bubblegumshoe and Gumshoe 1 to 1. I don't think Ken or Robin is involved in Gumshoe Ars Magica. A 2nd edition of the lines they have now would be more probable, Trail of Cthulhu is close to 8 years old.

Gumshoe is so simple though it seems kind of redundant to have a bare bones version.

RocknRollaAyatollah fucked around with this message at 13:11 on Jan 20, 2016

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




I actually like David's support of gangs and skinheads. It shows that angels aren't just "early 21st century middle class First World humans with wings." Having Angel morality diverge from human morality in striking ways is cool, because the tendency when writing games like this is to just take all the stuff you personally believe to be right and have the angels embody it because wankety wank wank.

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

I would be very curious to see how the French original compares to the English version, after all this.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



So Ryan Macklin is looking for writers for some upcoming Katanas & Trenchcoats supplements. Two of the questions he wants asked are "what is your favorite 90's RPG" and "what does 'The Dream of the 90's' mean to you?"

Part of me is really tempted to throw my name into the hat. Part of that part of me is tempted to link him to my Torg review so he can see how I'm capable of breaking 90's design down to its component parts. :v:

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I know one of the big changes is that the original was a much more pointed parody of Catholicism. Even though it's treated as the one true religion in the original (all other denominations / faiths are wrong), you have things like Jesus being the boss' son who's only where he is via nepotism. Supposedly a lot of the stereotypes and jokes don't translate well but it's surprisingly hard to find information on it.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Don't you declare actions in ascending initiative order in Mage? So the person who goes first is the last one to get to decide what they do?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Superiors 1: Judge Not Lest Etc.

The angels of Judgment see order, rules and patterns in the world. Disrupting these patterns of justice is unthinkable for them, and to see others do it is disturbing. They are specially bothered by claims that their rules are inflexible and thus unjust. Without formal codes, how can there be fairness? One person would be punished one way at one time and another would get an entirely different sentence at another time. Without rules, it would all be whim, not justice. Because of this, they tend to believe strongly in hierarches. Seraphim lead, Cherubim serve them as lieutenants, Elohim advise, and so on. Of course, these change if one angel has expertise that a 'higher' angel lacks, but they can still be vetoed...though not blindly. Any angel that does so and is wrong is answering to Dominic, after all. Likewise, if a higher Choir, even a Seraph, is behaving irrationally, the lower Choirs will not allow their influence. Even a human Soldier can accuse a Seraph or even arrest them, if that Seraph lies.

Seraphim are leaders, managers and supervisors. They rarely have much in the way of corporeal combat skill, focusing more on Perception and Ethereal Forces, though those on Earth often have some skill with guns. Most Inquisitors are Seraphim. They are known for being strident and pedantic in exposing heresy, though not all fit this stereotype. The young ones tend to, however. Cherubim are guards and lieutenants. Those on triad duty tend to be high on Corporeal or Celestial Forces, if not always the cleverest - they tend to leave thinking to the Seraphim and tactics to the Elohim, Ofanim and Malakim - but some of them are thinkers. Most Warders are Cherubim. To track people, sometimes they prefer to attune a sturdy object and plant it on the target until they can manage a true attunement to the subject of their investigation...though as these objects are not subjects of investigation, they must be protected.



Ofanim are pilots, drivers and fighters, used to get triads where they need to go and to spot the Discordant along the way. They tend to be fast, precise and perceptive, with a slight weighting towards Corporeal Forces. They are most likely to speak their minds of any Choir save for the Seraphim, especially where Discord is involved. Elohim of Judgment are even more ruthless than most Elohim, and tend to favor Ethereal and Celestial forces. They are tacticians, spies and interrogators, able to calmly stop before they reach dissonant behavior. They also advise the Seraphim in how to handle others and try to calm them down, usually via Judgment hand code to ensure that others take their lectures seriously.





Malakim are fighters first, tacticians second, and they are the most uptight of Dominicans. They find the earliest signs of corruption and purge them, either via report or violence. They focus first on Corporeal Forces, then Ethereal. Kyriotates, meawhile, are deep-cover agents, preferring Celestial Forces to all others, and rarely have strong corporeal combat skills. Mercurians are the best at dealing with humans, though they must be able to see the worst in humanity and punish it. They favor Ethereal and Celestial Forces and tend to be good tacticians and spies, as well as good at calming the more rabid angels of Judgment.



In the celestial realm, Judgment does a lot of work, both teaching younger angels in how to do their jobs for the Word and in watching other angels. Some of them track the roving triads or arrange trials, while others sit as judges on the trials, determining guilt or innocence. In the Marches, the triads poke into the dreamscapes of Soldiers when they can find them or at least humans aware of the War. After all, they do counterintelligence, so it's important to watch for dreams indicating a moral knows more than they should, which can be a sign of needless revelation or of Hellsworn. Since a 'pleasant' dream of a megalomaniac shows up on Blandine's side of the Marches, they can get quite lucky. On Earth, basides triad duty, Dominic also assigns solo and duo agents to aid in Role creation and maintenance, tracking demonic Roles or preparing locations for other angels. They also watch out for demons, as part of counterintel.





All of Dominic's angels commonly hold Roles as lawyers, judges, cops or PIs. Seraphim also often work as hospital administrators or members of licensing agencies, to better read records. Cherubim tend to be law enforcement or private security. Ofanim are commonly PIs or traveling salesmen, to better move around freely. Elohim tend to have longterm Roles, particularly those in criminal organizations or those suspected of infernal influence, to better infiltrate and take down these groups. Malakim tend to be lawyers, judges, cops and military, especially Roles that let them carry out sentence on evil, and some serve as prison wardens. Kyriotates are spies and clean-up workers, usually given a specific area to cover and hunt information on, especially illegal activities. They will gleefully possess criminals to sell out their allies to the cops, or for when they have to go into danger. Crime lords with heavily armed men are beloved tools whom the Kyriotates spend a lot of time spying on to better fake membership. They also enjoy wearing corrupt cops, for the guns and authority, and particularly Hellsworn, when they have to face demons, as they need not care about getting them hurt. They are also called on to erase records of celestial intervention and ensure witnesses recant. Mercurians tend to work as secretaries, receptionists, doctors, counselors, teachers, PIs and deputy sheriffs in small towns. Any Bright Lilim Dominic has are only assigned to roving triads or work with the Monitors, Dominic's internal security, due to their ability to spot weak links before they break.





Dominic's angels often have poor relations with those of other Words. Most strained are angels of War. Michael has never forgiven Dominic, and his angels tend to refer to Domincans as hyenas and harass them when they can. Though Dominic has said that War is no longer to be charged with vainglory and Pride, most Judges have encountered enough problems from War angels to be hostile toward them as much as Judgment will permit. In particular, they're likely to be detained for questioning if they show even the slightest problem. In larger groups of War angels, Dominicans try to be unfazeable and unflinching no matter what. If challenged to a duel, they have learned to maneuver into contests of debate if possible, which disgusts most War angels.

Angels of Fire also feel similarly, blaming Dominic for Gabriel's instability. They are slightly less likely to try open intimidation, but they do like to talk about how they handle their own punishing of the cruel. Dominicans tend to consider them slightly insane and prone to overreaction, and often expect dissonance and Discord among them. The Wind is also frustrating, as the angels of the Wind tend to steal Dominican artifacts and are hard to track down. Many have been tried and found guilty, but they at least don't seem to hold grudges, viewing it all as some kind of game. Judgment tends to think of them as unreliable and one step away from Falling to Theft.

Naturally, Creation is the primary target of most Domincans. Their Archangel's AWOL, they don't suffer the dissonance conditions of those they serve and often tend to overindulge in corporeal pleasures. Most of them get visited at least bimonthly by a roving triad to check up on them and ask if they've met Eli recently. Individual Creationers have their own responses to this. Many enjoy confessing their corporeal sins in as much detail as possible, requiring care to keep them on track, while others can be hostile or even violent. A small group of Judgment angels advocate much softer approaches with them, as these angels must be confused and hurting, and it's no good to make triads a target for their misguided emotions or drive them further into despair.

Next time: Common Jobs

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




VAMPIRES, PART 1

NBA doesn't have a single 'canon' definition of what vampires are and what they're capable of. Where did they come from? How are they created? How are the destroyed? What can they do? This chapter lays out not the answer, but a whole big pile of possible answers.

As there are four game modes, so are there four general vampire types:

Supernatural
Vampires are caused by magical activity here on Earth - necromancy, witchcraft, what have you. Most vampires from old folklore fall into this category.

Damned
Vampires are caused by activity down in actual, literal hell. They seduce, they're repelled by the power of God. Most literary vampires from the 17th century onwards are this, including Stoker's Dracula.

Alien
Vampires are alien invaders, psychic entities, or human corpses reanimated by extraterrestrial science. H.G. Wells pioneered this category of vampire.

Mutant
Vampires are a parabiological threat caused by black program genetic testing or viral outbreak. They spread like a disease. This idea has its roots in Enlightenment skeptics tying vampire myths to tuberculosis.

It's possible to mix and match these types at will - supernatural phenomena may be the result of alien science. A biological vampire disease could have come forth from the pits of hell. It's worth talking to your players about what kind of vampires they want to fight - if they want to kill Edward Cullen, let them kill Edward Cullan.

Vampires and Game Mode
How your vampires function - and which kind you use - should vary based on the kind of game you want to run.
  • In Burn games, emphasize the agony of staking someone you know and trusted. Vampires should still retain some facets of their old humanity. Damned and Supernatural vampires hit this the best.
  • In Dust games, you want a bit of 'realism' to the setting - keep their numbers minimal so that the conspiracy is more believable (and also because even a single vampire is a serious threat to a Dust party). Mutant vampires work well, as do the grimier sort of supernatural vampires.
  • In Burn and Dust games, vampirism should be incurable, to emphasize the loss and/or powerlessness of the human side.
  • In Mirror games, the important thing is that vampires must be able to pass as human - keep the party guessing on who they can or can't trust. Alien vampires fit well, as do any vampires who choose their own fate.
  • In Stakes games, you get the most mileage out of vampires motivated by an ideology - so, damned vampires are your best bet.

How Vampirism Works
The first question to ask is: Where to vampires come from? How are they created? Why are they a menace now, in the 21st century? The answer depends on the vampire type.
  • Supernatural vampires could be reintroduced to the world as a menace by grave robbers. The genocides of the 20th century could have roiled up the spirit world.
  • Damned vampires could return as part of a prophecy, or as a result of the work of over-ambitious agents with ties to the world of black magic and satanic cults (Aleister Crowley, Heinrich Himmler, etc). Or, they could have started with a specific historical figure and spread from there through their influence - Vlad Tepes, Elizabeth Bathory, Gilles de Rais, Judas Iscariot.
  • Alien vampires come, obviously, from space. Maybe they've been here for a long time, and were just reawakened by some kind of recent phenomenon. Maybe they were in Roswell since 1956.
  • Mutant vampires could be the result of an obscure, latent genetic pattern, or a mutation of another disease epidoemic. Alternately, they may have been created by Nazi, Soviet, or CIA secret experiments.



Spread
How do vampires spread? Why haven't they taken over the world?
  • Supernatural vampires exist in folklores across the world - Europe, Japan, Mexica, China, West Africa, the Caribbean. Is each its own vampire conspiracy, or is there a global alliance? If the former, all it takes to throw everything into chaos is the SS bringing one jiangshi into Berlin to cause a turf war.
  • Damned vampires generally must choose to convert a victim, so the spread is relatively slow. The conspiracy's spread will follow the spread of Christianity.
  • Alien vampires may be blocked from conquering humanity by environmental concerns, star alignment, or genetic limitations. They likely use a lot of genetically-modified Renfields to do their field work for them.
  • Mutant vampires carry the biggest, scariest threat of global vampire pandemic. Look at how modern diseases spread - that's the kind of patterns you might see from mutant vampire epidemics.

Numbers
The more powerful vampires are, the less there should be. An absolute upper-limit on vampire count in a region would be 1 vampire per 2,000 humans, if virtually all missing persons and unsolved murders are vampire-inflicted. Looking at it from a perspective of predator patterns, equating vampires to wolves, a more likely number might look like 1 vampire per 60 square kilometers. That number would put a max of 40 vampires in London.
  • Supernatural vampires tend to stick to one town, one vampire (plus servants). If the vampire population in an area gets too active, vampire hunters move in.
  • Damned vampires fit into fancy, specific hierarchy rules. Six or thirteen are common numbers - 13 arch-vampires, each with 13 vampire vassals, each with 13 human servants.
  • Alien vampire numbers vary widely based on how they arrive. One ship/meteor might bring a few to a few hundred vampires. Was there just one such arrival, or have there been multiple over time? Have agents culled their numbers in between, or do they keep getting more and more populous?
  • Mutant vampires might be a one-in-a-billion mutation as the start of a strain, after which population can potentially explode. If they were built by a black ops program, they would have probably built a small, round number - 100, tops.

Variations and Divisions
Are all vampires united by a common bloodline, or are there rival 'species' of vampires, competing for a single resource (human blood)? The more kinds of vampires you have, the more complex the game gets - more than three vampire bloodlines is probably too much for one setting.
  • Supernatural and Damned vampires potentially vary by folklore, legend, or tradition, so there could be a wide variety of different types. Vampire literature usually sticks to one type, usually drawn from multiple different folklore traditions. If there are different types, they vary by region, and may fall to infighting or may be united by their malice against humanity.
  • Alien and mutant vampires are more likely to stick to a single strain, since they all come from the same source within the setting. Alien vampires tend more towards monolithing, but mutants may split into different strains and competing alliances.

Life and Death
The unifying trait of most vampire legends is that they are creatures between life and death that feed on life. Usually life comes from blood, but it can also be breath, emotion, memory, youth, or psychic energy. So, how dead are your vampires? How alive are they?
  • Supernatural and damned vampires cover a wide range here. Some are dry, walking corpses, some are lousy with lust and personality. Their connection to death is usually through some kind of magical spirit world.
  • Alien vampires may exist on some level outside of our life/death spectrum, due to psychic natures or extra-dimensional bodies. Humans can barely comprehend what makes them tick, or why they need to prey on humans.
  • Psychic vampires, whether alien or mutant, probably don't drink literal blood. They feed on psionic power, or emotions, or memories, or neural eletricity. They may actually inhabit human bodies, making them some of the most lifelike vampires there are.

Humanity
Were vampires once human? If so, how much of their humanity did they retain in their life after life? How hard are they to distinguish from living humans? These are important questions, since they dictate the motivations of the vampire conspiracy.
  • Supernatural vampires are often twisted parodies of their past selves. They're usually unpleasant creatures, with one or two distinct features marking them as the undead, such as red eyes or missing reflections.
  • True damned vampires have full memory of their human lives, but are still evil creatures, since they were evil humans. They'll target old enemies for revenge and old loved ones for corruption. Their unlife is fueled by a desire to revel in sin. This is where you usually find the most sexy vampires, possibly with succubus-like powers of seduction.
  • Alien vampires were never human. They may not understand us better than we understand ant colonies, and may accordingly be incapable of passing as human, instead using human agents to do their field work. Psychic vampires may instead act similar to damned vampires, arrogantly wielding human frailty as their weapons and using telepathic suggestion to make themselves irresistible to humans.
  • Mutant vampires have more often than not lost their humanity to madness and thirst. Rather than attraction, the standard reaction to these more monstrous vampires is fight or flight.

Cure
Can vampirism be cured? Once someone has been turned, is there any hope of turning them back?
  • Chinese esoteric medicine talks about obscure ways to draw out vampire poison. Supernatural vampires may have various spells or treatments to cure a vampire bite, especially if the victim hasn't yet died from the wound. If so, saving someone is a desperate race against time.
  • Damned vampires can sometimes be exorcised from the body they inhabit, but doing so seldom saves the victim - instead, thety just get to die with God's grace. Drinking from the Holy Grail might be a perfect vampire cure, or killing a vampire may lift the curse on his victims. Kill Dracula, save Lucy.
  • If alien vampires can convert humans in any capacity, they may be somehow combated by paranormal methods or radiation. If aliens create servants using genetic manipulation, there's probably no saving their victims.
  • Viral vampires create the simplest, most clear-cut solution: Vampires are a disease. Can medicine provide a cure?



Building a Vampire
Enough fluff decisions! Time for numbers!

All vampires have three basic abilities - Health, Hand-to-Hand, and Abberance. Health functions like an agent's Health, but nothing but a Bane can reduce a vampire below -11. To make things harder, vampires may refresh Health rapidly, be very hard to reduce, or they may replenish it by drinking blood from their foes.

Hand-to-Hand is the go-to combat method for most vampires, but it's much more dangerous than the human equivalent. If a vampire is animalistic or brutalistic, it gets +1 damage. If it has claws or talens, +1 damage. If it has supernatural strength, +2 damage. They're likely to use the full range of Thriller Combat abilities available in the campaign, especially Called Shots, Critical Hits, Extra Attacks, Mook Shield, Reckless Attacks, and Throws.

Aberrance is the pool representing a vampire's supernatural powers. Most things that vampires do that are impossible require Aberrance spends. If a vampire has 8+ Aberance, it gets +1 to its Hit Threshold, same as Athletics.

Vampires may also have supernaturally strong skin, giving them always-on armor. This could vary from -1 to -6, depending on how thick and tough their skin is. Depending on the species, attacks of certain types, such as silver bullets, may bypass that armor or even do extra damage. Vampires are immune to inhaled toxins and suffocation. The book goes on to list a number of possible vampire body types:
  • Corpse: Never suffers from shock or blood loss. No armor, but all weapons do half damage. Firearms do 1 point of damage, shotguns firing shot do 2 points of damage. Called shots are only effective against one single weak point.
  • Fluid: Strange biotech, ideal for alien vampires. All physical wounds simply close after being inflicted. Fire, electricity and acid do full damage.
  • Immaterial: The vampire exists outside of the material plane. Physical attacks do no damage, fire does 1 point of damage. Electricity, magnetism, microwaves, radiation, or sonic attacks may disrupt it.
  • Rubbery: Abnormally resilient, clay-like flesh. -2 damage from melee weapons, firearms do half damage. Called Shots are effective against weak points. Car crashes and falls do 1 point of damage.
  • Stony: Like a walking statue. Any weapon with a damage modifier below +1 does no damage, heavier weapons do -2 damage. Immune to fire and electricity, vulnerable to acid. -5 damage from car crashes and falls.
  • Unfeeling: Cannot feel pain. Automatically passes all Consciousness rolls, can fight while Seriously Wounded. Physical attacks don't inflict Hurt, even if they push it below 0 Health.

Other Abilities
Some vampires may have the Weapons ability at very high ratings, due to centuries of practice and supernatural strength and speed. Very strong or supernaturally strong vampires can add their +1 or +2 damage bonus to weapon attacks, stacking with the weapon's power. Some more modern vampires may also take up Shooting. Vampire spies may take up skills like Conceal, Infiltration, or Surveilance, just like their human equivalents. If they have an unnatural edge in any of these abilities, they can spend Aberrance on such contests, in addition to the relevant ability pools.

Next: Vampire powers.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Superiors 1: Jeez, There's A Lot of Sidebars




Pictured: not Mihr.

It's not easy for angels of Judgment to make friends, and most believe them unfriendly. They don't go to parties, they don't relax, they won't take a cup of coffee on duty, they'll turn a friend over to the Inquisition if they become dissonant, and half of them can do things that would normally cause dissonance. They're rumored to collaborate with demons, which would put any other angel on trial. It's easy to fear and dislike them, and many of them never bother to explain the love and concern they feel for other angels as they try to keep them from Falling. If they overlooked heresy in a friend, that friend might became a demon - a fate far worse than death. Likewise, they must maintain proper behavior, that others might be confident in their fairness and ability. They are encouraged to be aloof and reserved, and to keep the secrets of their Word. However, despite Dominic's concerns on relationships, they do befriend each other and even become intimate, discussing case law and investigation with an enjoyment must humans reserve for sex. These relationships are not allowed to cloud judgment - those with known bias, which they had best report to Dominic, will be asked each week if their judgment is unimpaired, and Dominic can always tell the Truth.

In the corporeal, temptation is more common, and there is more pressure not to give in. Fellow angels of Dominic will report any friendships that appear to be becoming intimate in spirit or body, out of concern of bias. A Dominican must obey their Archangel above all things, must cherish Judgment over any person and must place duty ahead of their desires. If Dominic knows of a relationship and allows it to continue, which he will if he hears the Truth of the angel's ability to cope, albeit with stern warnings of consequences of poor judgment, then the other Dominicans won't belabor the point unless you seem to be slipping. Of course, they have different ideas about what that means. Some consider holding hands a sign of corruption by physical pleasures, and some are laid-back enough to only care if it causes dissonance or interference with your work. (Oddly, these tend to be Seraphim, who can see the Truth that it isn't.) Most angels of Judgment aren't too bothered by occasional bouts of sex or relationships, among each other or the angels they question, but overindulgence in sex or other corporeal pleasure is suspect, and for some of them, that can be mean 'twice in one year.'

Despite their insular culture, some Dominicans do make friends with outsiders, though fraternization with Creation, Fire or the Wind is frowned on for fear of being corrupted by their lax ways or making them feel pressured by your power over them. Using that power unjustly would be dissonant, to be sure, but even the appearance of coercion is inappropriate. On the other hand, it's quite easy for Yves' and Laurence's angels to make friends wth Dominicans, and angels of Stone, Lightning or Trade are also acceptable. At all times, though, you msut be able to act dispassionately, without bias towards your friends. This can stress relationships in the same way that Elohim can stress relationships, and Dominican Elohim are considered the most cold-blooded group in Heaven possibly only short of Jordi's Elohim. Intimate relationships are also often strained by Dominic's weekly visits, which are not regular enough to schedule around. He won't comment on finding you post-coitus as long as you're able to report well and without a guilty conscience, but it's not good for the mood. Obviously, overinvolvement with demons is unwise, particularly demons of the Game. Being friendly or romantic with them is a good way to get ruthlessly questioned.

Triads are the favored arrangement of Dominic's work. Cherubim are typically attuned to either the Seraph or both other members, by tradition of protecting noncombatants and in case one of them becomes the subject of an investigation. These attunements are removed when the current task is done and typically the Cherub is then reassigned. It's easy for them to spend Essence in a safe place to sever these attunements safely. Many servitors of Judgment have no Roles, as they're rarely in one place long. They do, however, carry IDs that are at least plausible and point back to Judgment-controlled organizations that will vouch for them long enough to withstand a cursory check. They often carry useful artifacts as well.

Celestial triads are generally made of novices, acting as roving triads for Heaven. They check on the Redeemed, spy via Hearts, harass Windies and so on. Any group of three angels can be identified as Judgment by the special harnesses they wear on duty. Sometimes, an experienced angel will be assigned to them, either as vacation, tutor or punishment, depending on where they're assigned. (If it's to check on War, it's punishment. The Sword is a working vacation.) Commonly, these triads will be a Seraph, a Cherub, and then any other Choir or even a particularly experienced reliever. They are expected to get into a certain amount of trouble, like getting challenged to spar by Warriors or having Windies steal their notepads, and how they deal with it is watched. They rarely get given artifacts besides the ones that serve as their recording devices and the distinctive harnesses they wear.

Execution triads are typically a Cherub, Ofanite and Malakite, assigned when a sentence is laid but is too difficult for a regular triad to carry out. The Cherub's job is to find the target and veto any overambitious plans.

Roving triads are what most people think of. A Seraph, a Cherub and one other, sent to an area with a list of known angels toq uestion them, find any other angels in the area, question them as well, update files and report back. Typically the third angel will be an Elohite or a Mercurian, but not always. The Cherub will attune to any potential problems and may return later as part of a specifically assigned triad. Roving triads may be professionally roving, moving about without Roles, or may have a specific route and Roles there, or a combination of the two.

Specific assignment triads are usually Seraph/Cherub/Other, but the Other is usually a Malakite or Ofanite, as these triads are sent to question specific people from reports of trouble. They need combat capable angels! Otherwise, the third angel is a member of the subject's Choir, to better understand them.

A celestial judge triad is convened when a Heaven-bound angel must be tried. It always includes a Seraph Inquisitor and Cherub Warder. The most common third is a Malakite Warder. The group reads the court record of preliminary questions or listens to a prosecutor make their case and question the subject, traditionally the leader of the triad accusing the angel. There is a lot of formality, custom and procedure, but when the judging triad decides the matter's settled, the declare verdict and, if needed, sentence. They tend to presume guilt unless innocence is proven, but false accusation is itself a sin, and with a Seraphim of Judgment, proof of innocence is as simple as a true statement.

Capture triads are used when a witness or accused must be acquired rather than summoned. Outcast and Fallen Dominicans are always hunted for trial, in preference to anything but sou;-killing them. Sometimes, a witness is an Outcast or demon that doesn't want to cooperate. Capture triads typically have a Cherub (to attune to the subject), a Kyriotate (to possess their vessel) and an Ofanite (to chase). At least one will be a Warder.



Game-cooperation triads require angels that work atypically flexibly for Judgment yet are also exceedingly loyal. Rarely is any single angel or even a duo allowed to work with the Game - you need a full triad, any cooperation is at Dominic's specific instructions, at least in theory. A very small subset of angels are allowed this job, and it requires a lot of Dominic's trust. It's a bit of a dubious distinction, though - even fellow Domincans are sort of appalled by it. Few of them speak of their training or work, but they know a lot about the habits and abilities of demons of the Game. They will typically be a Seraph, a Cherub and an Elohite or Ofanite, depending on need. Elohim are good at spotting treachery but vulnerable to Habbalah. Ofanim are combat-ready and can use Discord to their advantage, but are impulsive. Malakim are occasionally assigned to this, but their nature makes them less suitable. They will always be given artifacts, but never anything powerful or unique enough that its theft by a demon would be too distressing.

Infiltration or spy-triads are typically an Elohite, a Kyriotate and a Mercurian, or specifically tailored to the given situation. Seraphim and Malakim, while good at finding informaton, are rarely temperamentally suited to the job and are used only if necessary.

Local triads are assigned to a specific area, made of whatever Dominic feels will best guard the area, find dissonante or Discordant angels and deal with matters. They typically have Roles in the community and are based out of Tethers or safehouses. Duos are a form of local 'triad' in which it's just two angels, often with longterm married Roles in which both members are loyal and work together well. They are never sent out for any other form of triad duty without a third member, at least in most cases. Solitaries are local 'triads' of one, with a Role in an area and a job to provide info and backup to any other triads in the area. Typically, there will be several in large cities, especially those with Judgment Tethers, who will work together when called on to form a triad. Solitaries are watched very carefully by Dominic.



Next time: More Jobs and What A Triad Is Like

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



I really like the idea of ideologically driven vampires, with flunkies that haven't been mindwhammied or coerced into following them but are honest believers in the cause instead. A Dracula that fought the Turks ages ago looked up to as The Hard Man That Makes Hard Choices in times of terrorism and upheaval in the Middle East. "Cultists" that sell their souls and the blood of their people in exchange for security from the barbarians at the gate. A vampire that the PCs may have followed of their own will, had things played out differently.

Serf
May 5, 2011




I'm really digging Night's Black Agents. It has plenty of cool spy stuff, but I love that they provide so many options for customizing the vampires. It seems like you could use it to for several campaigns with the same idea of "spies vs. vampires" but keep the players guessing as to exactly what the deal is each time.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Superiors 1: Rush to Judgment

Long-term triads are those that have worked well and loyally enough together that Dominic doesn't split them up after jobs. They might be in charge of a specific area, and they're often based out of a Tether. Indeed, some of them are the triads of Seneschals. They meet regularly with roving triads as well as Dominic, to ensure their relationship doesn't taint their judgment. Being trusted this way is a sort of unofficial rank, and members of long-term triads have influence that those who have only been in roving triads do not.

Other triads are formed at need, and sometimes even contain humans or relievers, or trainees with no voting privileges. One common type is formed to investigate incidents and report back. Often these are two Seraphim and a Cherub or Malakite guard. There's also solitary Cherubs, attuned to Redeemed and instructed to trace their movements to ensure they don't get re-entangled with Hell. Allowing these attuned to become captured by Hell, unwilling and unFallen, is dissonant for these Cherubs as an act of injustice. Typically, these solitary Cherubim have other Cherubim attuned to them in the same way, in case both they and their attuned are threatened. It's also rare but possible for the Cherubim to dislike their attuned and believe it'd be more just to throw them back. This is, of course, heresy and must be dealt with.

Judgment angels are intolerant of the sins of others, and even the most relaxed dislike those that are more casual about sin than they are. Most Dominicans have no real concept of free time or off duty. Sometimes, all that keeps them from mass trials is another Archangel clearly allowing the behavior of their servants, and police in that case is for Dominic to bring it up with them directly while the Dominicans simply keep records for later. Triads visiting anyone except an angel of Judgment or the Sword will probably find some problem if they stick around long enough. This tends to upset younger angels of Judgment, particularly when dealing with angels of Destiny. Older angels are more concerned over whether the apparent sin (which might be just enjoying human food a lot) is actually a danger. Roving triads often end visits with something resembling a lecture on the dangers of being ensnared by corporeal life, relationships and so on, then take their notes and leave.

There are two main schools of thought among Judgment. The Righteous school is largely made of angels who remmeber the Fall, those that were made when Dominic was most bitter, those angels that rarely visit Earth, most Malakim and many Seraphim and Ofanim. They are the slightly larger school among angels of Judgment and they hold that sparing punishment is a bad idea. They rarely act politely, are quick to leap on perceived flaws and love to lecture. They hate the politics that keep them from bringing in all the Creationers and their sympathizers.

The Merciful school, on the other hand, is mostly made of seasoned angesl too young to exist during the Fall or truly ancinet angels that remember before the Fall. They believe their duty is to keep angels from Falling and that the best way to do it is to remind them of Heaven's love, not its wrath. They try to be polite, though they still don't understand why people don't like to be questioned in front of others. They attempt to restrain their instinctive reaction to minor sins and investigate instead to see if the sins are actually problems or just quirks. Some even go so far as to offer Outcasts sentenced to death a chance to repent and agree to imprisonment and retrial.

Both groups bring about the same number of angels for trial, though the Righteous request more arrest warrants. Both groups find approximately the same numbers guilty and innocent. The Merciful more often sentence angels to exile from Earth than to death. There are no statistics on how many Outcasts or Fallen result from their visits. In either case, Triads tend to take on the character of their leaders. If the Seraph wants to be merciful, the others won't publically contradict, even if they believe in harsher moments, though they will argue for them in private. Likewise, a Seraph that likes to rant will not be silenced unless their rank becomes unjust, though there may be many uses of the gesture that translates roughly as 'Softly, Most Holy!'

Dominicans hold themselves to even higher stnadards than everyone else, and they self-police strictly. They are even more distasteful towards dissonance and Discord among their own, perhaps because they feel it's a personal betrayal, much as Dominic feels every Fall as both a betrayal and a personal failure on his part. If their fellow angel is not lost, they will understand the reserve and confess quickly, asking for aid. The more they deny the problem, the harsher it gets. If it seemes likely that a Judgment angel will become Outcast soon and is behaving unreasonably, it is common for Dominicans to feel justified in killing their vessel and returning them quickly to Heaven. In most cases, they're even right and gain no dissonance. If they're wrong, it is unjust, however, and they will become dissonant and put under investigation. For the unrepentant Judges or those who commit egregious crimes, there are public trials. This is to show that even Dominic's angels are not above judgment, though onlookers do not always grasp it, and sometimes think it seems to be making an example, as demons do. Punishments of Judges are not harsher than normal, as that would be unjust, but they are likely to have extra crimes on the list, such as defaming the Word of Judgment.

Between this and the weekly visits of Dominic, it's rare for Dominicans to spend much time dissonant or Discordant. If they don't take care of it, then Dominic will determine the correct response - often Tether service or a painful slap on the wrist for the Truly sorry, while the self-serving receive public trial. Despite this, angels of Judgment react to becoming dissonant with the same range of reactions other Words' angels do. They are more likely to confess, especially if they thought htey were obeying proper strictures and accidentally did something unjust. Besides, it's not as though you can hide from Dominic. Any Dominican deliberately wanting to become Outcast has about a week to do it in - once their Heart is cracked, Dominic can no longer find them for the weekly visit, but will dispatch a capture triad to their last known location. He also assigns capture or investigatory triads to any area in which a Dominican's Heart was shattered. unless someone Truly saw the angel's soul-death, Dominic assumes neither Fall nor death.





It's not always easy to determine what's heresy, what's sin and what isn't. You have to take into account hte Rites and dissonance conditions of the person being judged, determine if an action is for the greater glory of God, if an action is selfish or if an angel thinks they're doing right but are in error. Falling, of course, is the ultimate sin. While the tacit agreement with the Game does tend to put demons outside Judgment's jurisdiction, it's still a Rite for them to kill demons, corporeally or in soul, and any Fallen not reporting to a Prince is probably fair game, if for no reason other than their inability to invoke a Prince. Willful dissonance or non-dissonant disobedience of your Archangel are both also wrong, but can have mitigating circumstances. Anything that starts a new religion is probably sin, certainly if it doesn't come from Yves' instructions. The Seven Deadly Sins are especially important to be watched for, and any of them are grounsd for trial without extremely favorable extenuating cirumstances. They need not cause dissonance, and triads are often happy to handle overlap by charing a subject with more than one.

Envy is subtle, but one which has made many Fall. It's said that Lucifer envied humanity's importance in the eyes of God. An angel that envies others has lost track of piroities - things are just things, and wanting power is a bad sign. Gluttony, meanwhile, is a Princely Word, and it strengthens Haagenti even if you don't Fall. Triads often refer to it and Lust as 'overfondness for corporeal pleasure' and watch out for angels that overindulge in food, drink, trading cards or what have you. Greed is like gluttony, but more about hoarding than consumptiopn. Those who disregard their duties to gain wealth, art or material goods are suffering from greed. The Wind, especially, shouldn't hang onto stolen prizes too much if they want to avoid charges. It's bad enough to steal, but steal to fulfill your own desires...well.

Lust gets a lot of attention, in part because Andrealphus has wielded it so effectively as a Word. While nearly all the Host agree that God would not give angels the urge to share joy had He minded it, Dominicans are certain it can get out of hand easily. See also: the Grigori. They prfer that sex be restricted to the minimum necessary for a Role, and then only within the appearance of wedlock, to avoid giving a bad example to humans. Failing that, at least be discreet.



Pride was Michael's sin, indulgence in self-importance and willful blindness to the chance of being wrong. Some say Dominic himself suffers from it at times. When an angel becomes overconfident to the detriment of their plans and the danger of their allies, that's Pride. Sloth is laziness and apathy. It's fairly rare among angels, as Archangels don't want lazy servants on Earth. Wrath is the lightest of the seven sins, as long as it's focused appropriately. One could say that Malakim get away with it all the time. However, focusing on anger to hte extent that it destroy caring is never healthy, and Triads are particularly responsive to reports of Wrath in Mercurians and Elohim, or any angel that seems to be risking the secrecy of the War.

All of these matters justify immediate inquiry with the offender, but do not always result in trial. They are, however, time-consuming and frustrating. Fortunately, many Judges believe the process is punishment enough if there is no treason. That doesn't mean they don't enjoy harassing the difficult - it's petty and they can't let it affect their judgment, but they can enjoy minor revenge. They don't trust anyone that refuses to answer - if you won't talk to a Seraph, you're obviously hiding things. In Heaven, it's very hard to hide things, given the amount of Seraphim, Elohim, Malakim and Mercurians, all of whom see nothing wrong with resonating friends and associates. Thus, the desire to hide things is not Heavenly, and needs investigation. Being overly hostile to a Dominican is also suspicious enough to warrant inquiry - they're just doing their jobs, after all. Anything that hinders them could aid corruption. In general, trying to hinder them is a sign of possible treason, and they'll want to know why, even if it takes hours of questioning or dragging you to a Tether.

If a Seraph hears Truth in protestations of innocence, however, then you're innocent. Period. The Symphony's a powerful witness. If an action is dubious but a Rite, well, you can't punish someone for behavior their Archangel blesses. Dominic might raise policy questions, but that's not the work of a triad. Just document it and any adverse effects it might have as evidence for Dominic. Judgment also understands that some behavior is required to appear human. Triads never eat or drink on duty, but know that some angels must as part of a Role. Likewise, dating, the appearance of sleep rather than being on the job all the time and time-wasting hobbies are allowed.

Next time: Guilt and Punishment

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



People might be entertained to know that cyber-Highlander RPG Legacy: War of Ages is part of the current Bundle of Holding.

quote:

Originally published by Black Gate Publishing in 1993 during the sensational early popularity of White Wolf's World of Darkness, Legacy: War of Ages casts players as Highlander-style Immortals with swords and trenchcoats in a Techno-Gothic modern world gone mad. Its moody angst is as '90s as you can get. ("They are Immortals: That is their gift, and that is their curse.")

But the swordfighting combat system is fine and flavorful. Few other RPGs since GDW's En Garde have made flashy swordfighting such an integral part of the setting. Like the first Highlander film, Legacy is one of the more interesting modern-day answers to classic sword-and-sorcery.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Superiors 1: The Final Judgment

Judgment's code of punishment is an eye for an eye. Rehabilitation comes after penance, and only with remorse as well. Punishment and penance are designed to fit the crime. Mistakes are sentenced lighter than willful sins, and sincere regreat means penance is more likely than sentencing. Even the lightest sin, however, will be judged harshly if the accused is also willfully blind to their effects on others. Once someone gets dragged back to heaven, the situation escalates from if it was solved on Earth, though once a while these cases do get dismissed. The most common punishment by far is reprimand, which does not even require celestial trial and can be administered on the scene. It's used mostly for incidents where an angel doesn't realize they've gone out of line.

Next most likely is penance, depending on if the accused will admit to wrongdoing. Penance is always something that gives plenty of time for reflection and enough hard work to purge and atone for guilt. It can involve anything from a special mission to temporary service to another Archangel. Punishment never, however, includes dissonance. It may include Discord, usually in conjunction with penance for someone with a minor crime but no real contrition. This Discord must be given by a Superior, and the guilty angel's Archangel will usually not appreciate being told they have to make time for it.

If a subject also needs to learn humility, they can be stripped of attunements, Distinctions or even Forces. It's meant to to teach them to work with others, not act alone, but Archangels still don't welcome their servants when they come bearing a note of what punishments they're meant treceive. Sometimes, an angel will be Cast Out from Heaven, as the Grigori were. It may have a duration or be attached to a mission of atonement, or it may not be.



An angel too dangerous, to themself or others, to allow to be on Earth will be stripped of their vessel or, if a Kyriotate, of their Corporeal Forces. If they are bitter or defiant, they will also be attuned to a Cherub of Judgment to check for seditious activity. Treason may result in indefinite confinement in the Tribunal, if not destruction. Dominic does not trust other Archangels to make escape-proof prisons, and is very unlikely to release offenders to anyone else's custody.

The ultimate punishment is soul death. Any angel who becomes Outcast by their own actions is at risk of this sentence, though they can lessen it by throwing themselves on the mercy of the court, generally by ridding themselves of dissonance, finding a Tether and begging for help from any triad they meet, but the sentence may still be death. Any willfully disobediant Judge is also at risk of death, as corruption among Judgment is a serious crime. More often, soul death is the decision laid down on those deemed willfully malicious, too insane to comprehend their evil or otherwise likely to jump from the point where Michael hurled Lucifer into Hell.

If a judgment requires an Archangel to administer the sentence, that Archangel will be notified by courier so they can do it personally. If they wish to review the trial or bring it up in council, they will. If they are unavailable, the guilty party must allow another Superior to perform the sentence or risk charges of obstructing Judgment. For judgments of death, there's a waiting period for the angel's Archangel to be notified, and if that Archangel does not contest, then justice is swift. However, from the moment of sentencing to the day of execution, Seraphim with the Celestial Song of Tongues are posted at all major entrances of the Tribunal. If any angel can approach them and Truthfully say that the sentence is unjust and they have proof, the Seraphim will use their Song to halt the execution until the new data can be examined.

That's Judgment!

Next time: Putting demons to the Sword.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


Mors Rattus posted:

Oh, Khalid.

:sigh:

Oh, writers.
Khalid? Not even an actual Islamic angel like Israfel or something? Huh. Given the reactions had so far in this thread, and the fact that a quick Google search tells me that he nearly fell to be the demon prince of fanatics, I can only imagine how magical the text on him will actually be.

Unrelated, I somehow managed to only figure out after three years of doing these on and off that it might be good to take Alien Rope Burn's advice and actually write more than one entry ahead of time, instead of doing the string of consciousness "write as I read then post" poo poo I've been doing. Turns out that it's hard to change habits when you're stubborn. This is probably an especially good idea given how often I go into depressions or have writer's block. Hopefully this will mean future FATAL and Friends entries within a series from me aren't as far apart.

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

If memory serves, there is an Israfel in the big book of Songs. She's the angel of music, serving under Eli.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Superiors 1: A Sword In Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush



Laurence, Commander of the Heavenly Host and Archangel of The Sword, used to work for Uriel until the Purity Crusade ended. He was the top demon hunter, and suddenly he was an Archangel.

Bright Lilim of the Sword apply (Celestial Forces) as a penalty to any demon's attempt to resist their Geases. Laurence tries to get as many of them as he can, as they are so rare, but the Seraphim Council tends to care more about what the Bright Lilim want than what Laurence wants.
Scabbard is a Servitor attunement allowing you to 'sheathe' any number of weapons outside normal space, concealing them entirely. You can draw a weapon from thin air instantly, but any weapon stored this way must be one you can wield personally - the upper limit's about an M-60, practically speaking.
Purity of Purpose is a Servitor attunement allowing you to speak to a group of humans and quiet the districtions in their minds. They lay aside arguments and fears, focusing on whatever goal or problem you present for at least as long as you speak to them - longer, if you're a good speaker and they're good listeners.
Holy Fortitude is a Servitor attunement that lets you spend Essence to put off a vessel's death for a time, even your own. You must be able to see the vessel and spend 2 Essence immediately when death would happen. The victim makes a Will roll, with their Will tripled if they are currently working towards a sincere and righteous goal. They stay alive for (2*CD) rounds, regardless of any injuries they take in that period.
Divine Absolution is a Servitor attunement adapted from Purity - one of the few Laurence could manage. It allows you to touch a dissonant angel and remove one dissonance, at the cost 5 Essence and 4d6 soul damage to yourself, which heals at 1 hit per hour if you're in a Sword Tether. Laurence tends to grant this attunement only to ranking angels who will assign penance while they use it, and only to the truly repentant. Obviously, accepting payment or reward for its use would be horrible.
Laurence offers higher Distinctions, but does not grant any powers with them - just responsibility. Before he reorganized in the 1800s, each Holy Order had their own Distinctions, with many, many titles confusing everyone. Since then, Laurence only hands out three higher Distinctions: Major, Colonel and General. All former titles were granted one of these ranks but may use their old titles for formal purposes. Each Order is also led by a Grand Master, who will always hold an appropriate New Order rank. This does mean non-Laurentines have a bit of trouble figuring out rank structures still. Angels of the Sword expect people to recognize and use their distinctions, so Peliel, Malakite of Righteous Vengeance and a Colonel is known as the Colonel of Righteous Vengeance, or more formally by his old title, Grand Cross Puissant of the Order of the Eternal Sword.

Expanded Rites:
1. Fight a fair and honorable duel.
2. Lead folowers to victory over diabolical foes.
3. Forge a fine sword and consecrate it to fighting evil.
4. Baptize a sincere convert into the Church.

Common Sword Malakite Oaths:
1. I will remain chaste.
2. I will not partake of alcohol or drugs. (Some Malakim go further, regarding food as an unnecessary distraction and swearing to only eat or drink as necessary for their Role.)
3. I will not refuse aid to honorable souls in need.
4. I will never use trickery or treachery to defeat my foes.
5. I will be respectful to everyone, even my enemies.
6. I will always act as a model for how I believe others should behave.
7. I will give away anything I do not need and cannot carry.
8. I will not draw my sword unless I mean to kill someone.
9. I will never refuse an honorable duel.
10. I will not allow any insult to God, Heaven or my Archangel to go unanswered.

Laurence was created long after the Fall, shortly before the time of Christ, as a Malakite, made for war. He never knew a demon as anything but a foe, and he became a demon hunter under Uriel, Archangel of Purity. He went all across Earth, slaughtering thousands of demons. In time, he was even given the Word of the Sword, shortly after he converted to Christianity in the 4th century. In 715 AD, Uriel ordered the destruction of the beasts of myth, seeing them as a force too often used by Hell, and deciding it was time to make a new age in the wake of Rome's collapse, in which the possible and impossible were clearly defined. Conceptual purity, in other words. Some of the beasts that could travel between Earth and the Marches were also hunted to extinction, forcing Blandine to protest to the Host and to God, but it was too late. The dragons and gryphons were destroyed. Laurence was key in the cleansing, following his orders well. When Uriel was tried, the Seraphim Council was unsure whether to punish or reward the angels of Purity, for they had only followed orders excellently.

God took the matter out of their hands, bringing Uriel to the higher Heavens to be seen no more and elevating Laurence to Archangel and Commander. Laurence became chief general of the War, charged with forging the Hhost into a new Sword. Only Yves and Dominic seemed unsurprised by this. Laurence himself was shocked, but took to the new role eagerly. He moved his base from the Castle of Purity to the Eternal City, where he took stock of all Heaven could bring to bear, from its angels, Saints and Soldiers to more abstract concepts like organized faith, divine right and commerce. To Laurence, each facet of the War reflected the others, a complex game of finite principles and pieces. Earth was in turmoil - Rome alive by sheer inertia, Byzantium rising, conflict in the East. Laurence quickly settled into the patterns that would define his strategies for centuries, methodical and thorough. His precision and predictability did cause him problems, but Michael, David and the others were and are there to help.

For nearly 800 years, Laurence worked frequently won his battles. He had a good eye for usng the other Archangels, and except for his tendency to exclude Novalis, it worked out most of the time. When it failed, it was because the angels were imperfect in reality, unlike in his plans, or because Hell did not fight fairly. Hell won a lot more fights with individuals, particularly individual humans, then with massed demomic hordes. Hell's sneakiness and Laurences idealism made that very frustrating for him. In the early 16th century, though, Earth was getting dangerous. Hell brought technology and divisiveness to bear. Uriel's dream of a clearly defined world had come true, but backfired. People began to doubt God as impossible, became distracted by new sciences. Within a few decades, there had been Torquemade and the rise of Humanism. Laurence was deeply, deeply frustrated, as he saw the Church of Rome as one of his most valuable tools. Still, it was threatened from within, more and more. This set the stage for Laurence's most important lesson on humans.

Laurence tried to beat the demons at their own game, manipulating a mortal to alter the history of the world. In 1516, he approached a charismatic Doctor of Divinity with the errors that needed correcting in the Church, hoping it'd reinforce faith from the outside in. In less than 15 months, it all went bad. Martin Luther, Laurence's chosen agent, had not been let in on the secret, so he did it his own way and nailed his challenge to the door of Palast Church. Laurence watched the continuing crumble of the Roman Church and the rise of the Protestants with horror. From then onward, he had a new attitude, dividing humans into three camps: innocents to protect, sinners to rescue or destroy, and agents to cultivate openly. If humans were going to be stubbornly individual, Laurence decided, they must be willing agents, not dupes. The War, after all, was for and about them. Michael and the other Archangels began to hope more, though Laurence has still not learned to treat angels with the same individuality he does humans. With his newfound respect for mankind, Laurence took on the job overseeing the training of all Soldiers, regardless of Word, and the coordination of the Saints (or bodhisattva), but continued to treat angels more like chess pieces than people. As the modern age dawns, mor and more wonder if perhaps Laurence would be better off on the front lines than in the planning room.

Those who deal with Laurence for the first time often mistake his passion for anger. He's intense, he insists on obedience and he demands unwavering courage. Still, he is not an angry angel. He actually is somewhat fearful - he's at the center of the storm, trying to run a war only God and perhaps Yves understand. He knows his past strategies were flawed, but he is determined not to let the stain of his past failures ruin his present or future plans, or to let his fear rule him. Courage, after all, is not absence of fear. Laurence is a Malakite born, genuinely noble and willing to die to see Hell vanquished. He's also an optimist, believing that light must ultimately win, that God cannot be defeated by an upstart Fallen angel. Laurence is in many ways the perfect knight, fighting to his last breath to keep from being disillusioned.

Laurence has eight Oaths, all sworn by choice - he's not once been Dissonant. First: Never suffer an evil to live when it's my choice. Laurence answers only to God, so he has no excuses - he can't say that his Archangel gave him orders. He can justify letting demons escape only when his duties require him to pay attention to more important things, and even that pains him. He keeps a list of every demon he's met and every demon that opposes him, and it's rumored he's sworn to kill all of them, presumably with exemptions for the Redeemed. His hit list is made available to any of his angels, and killing a demon on it is considered a meritorious quest. Second: Never surrender or allow myself to be captured by the armies of Lucifer. Laurence's optimism is drawn from this oath: he can't lose. Lucifer must, ultimately, fail. Any other outcome is literally unthinkable. Third: Strive for perfection in all things; never lower my standards for the sake of ease or convenience. This is what drove Laurence to earn his Word, and it can drive his fellow Archangels mad that he refuses to accept less than perfection. He demands it of his angels as he demands it of himself. He does not do things the easy way, and while he knows that others will not live up to his standards, that even he cannot be perfect, he fervently believes that only by adhered to God's standard as much as possible will Heaven prevail - lowering your standards means accepting Lucifer's view. Fourth: Never question the will of my Superior. Once, that was Uriel. Now it's God. God doesn't talk much, but he made Laurence the Commander, and so Laurence will never question his post or step down unless God Himself orders it. Fifth through seventh: Respect your weapons, and treat them with care. Always use the finest weapons available. Never choose a weapon you don't respect. Laurence swore these three at different times as his philosophy evolved before he gained his Word. He never expected them to apply to the whole Host. He respects other angels now, but ultimately must think of them as weapons, not people. Because he can't give them jobs they're unworthy for, he drills them relentlessly. He can't respect Novalis and has lost all respect for Eli, so he doesn't include them in his plans. He respects a few of their angels, quite rarely, but not them. Eight: Protect and uphold the Holy Catholic Church. Put the welfare of the Church and its members above my own. Laurence swore this when he became Christian. It was his final oath, causing him much distress in 1054 when the Church split, but he managed to overcome it. He still embraces all of Christendom, but far prefers the Catholics. While others fear he'd risk Heaven for his Church, it's not so. He'd risk himself, but as he knows his position is more importan than himself, he must place the Host's welfare above the Church's.

Laurence believes that God is right and just and good. He knows God is omniscient and omnipotent and has a Divine Plan for all the world, which does not include Lucifer's victory. Laurence does not believe angels have free will, but instead are the instruments of God's will. Before the Fall, it was impossible to rebel, but Lucifer introduced Evil into the world, which can corrupt angels, causing them to Fall. An angel must perform according to God's will to avoid corruption, as any deviation from the Divine Plan is evidence of Evil's taint. That is why Laurence expects unquestioning obedience and has such high standards. That the Divine Plan is not always known does not matter. Laurence will obey it as he understands it, confident that God will reveal all He deems necessary to reveal. As for how Lucifer rebelled in the first place, well, that's the Question of Evil. Laurence has no answer, but doesn't care. Evil exists, thus it must somehow be part of the plan, and it is Laurence's job to expunge it. Laurence is a staunch Catholic and believes in the Trinity. He believes God sent His only Son to Earth, to die for mankind's sins. Jesus was the Messiah and will return at the time of Final Judgment. The Holy Spirit is the medium by which God's will is communicated.

The Christian doctrine of Jesus' nature as both God and man is important to Laurence's views on humanity. If God could incarnate Himself as a human, they must be both free-willed and important. Laurence also notes that God has sent many human prophets with messages even angels were not given. Thus, he has come to accept that free will is part of humanity and that Heaven can only guide and encourage them, not control them. He's yet to be convinced this is so of angels, and inf act believes that angels exist for man's benefit and should therefore act strictly according to their roles. This doesn't mean humans get to do as they please, though. They can choose selfishness and damnation, but the virtue of the Church is that it imposes strict, faith-based rules for peuple. Laurence knows the Church is imperfect and not always correct, but that's okay. If humans could be relied on to obey God, accept Christ and be selfless on their own, that'd be ideal, but they can't, so even rote obedience to the Church is better than selfishness.

Laurence is a busy, busy Archangel. On top of organizing the Host, he rules the Eternal City, oversees the Halls of Worship and is responsible for the training and assignment of Soldiers. He coordinates the Saints and bodhisattvas of Heaven, and he also plays at politics in order to increase the power of Christianity. (He's always honorable and open, but he very much is a partisan when it comes to faith.)

As Uriel's Angel of the Sword, Laurence was given dominion over questers and demon-hunters among the angels. In 745, however, his Word was expanded beyond the literal. His sword is the combined might of Heaven, a metaphor for every weapon of light, from Marc's financial powers to Novalis' ability to cal hearts, though Laurence tends to ignore her when he can. It is his job to array these resources on the field, cordinating them against Hell.

Laurence was present for the founding of the Roman Church, witnessing Peter in Rome around 60 AD. He witnessed the crucifixion of Peter as well, long before he got his Word, and he did nothing because the Romans were human and not tainted by the diabolical, but he admired Peter and grieved for him. He had little time for theology in his hunting, but in his travels, he marveled over the quick spread of Christianity. He was not convinced of Christ, however, until the 4th century, when Uriel converted after the first Council of Nicea. Laurence, ever loyal, converted as well, swearing to defend the Church Peter had made. Shortly therafter, he was made Angel of the Sword. When Laurence became an Archangel, he envision a universal Church as one of his greatest weapons, but by then it was already fragmenting. When the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople split in 1054, he was torn - both factions claimed to be the original, and most believed it temporary, so Laurence embraced both Churches. As the dcades passed, it became clear the rift was permanent, and Laurence had to choose, as his oath could not apply to both equally. While Constantinope was more vital and potent militarily, Laurence chose Rome because of Peter and Uriel. He has not forsaken the Orthodox, and he considers himself patron of all Christians, even Protestants - they didn't change the essential Gospels, after all. Laurence does not hate or dislike Jews, Muslims or even Buddhsits or Hindus, but he believes Christianity is correct and has the greatest chance of saving mankind, particularly the Catholics.

Laurence has quite liked Pope John Paul II and the directions he moved the Church in. John Paul traveled, working hard to expand the Church's reach and keeping the USA's connection to them strong. He tripled the number of Catholics in Korea and did surprise visits in Denver. Laurence was really happy, and while he knows that John Paul will soon die and looks forward to speaking to him and getting his advice more directly, he worries about where a new leader might take the Church. (And I have no idea what he's thoughts on Pope Palpatine or Pope Francis might be.) Still, while Laurence may have his dobuts early on, he has none now. He would risk everything for the Church, or at least much of the Host thinks he would. The other Archangels work to be sure this is a strength, not a weakness for Hell to exploit in their commander.

Next time: War planning

Payndz
Sep 22, 2006

I'm Peter Graves, and I was wondering if you could direct me to the natatorium, as I'm attending a Scuderia Ferrari team-building exercise. Thank you. I'm Peter Graves.


I was intrigued by the sound of Gumshoe, because I thought it'd be about, well, gumshoes - pulp/noir detectives in trenchcoats, chainsmoking and drinking whisky and taking cases from mysterious dames with big secrets. But no, it's about shooting vampires or ninjas or what the gently caress ever.

Sam Spade putting half a dozen .45 slugs into Cthulhu's face and then making a sardonic wisecrack might be worth playing, though.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?


Payndz posted:

I was intrigued by the sound of Gumshoe, because I thought it'd be about, well, gumshoes - pulp/noir detectives in trenchcoats, chainsmoking and drinking whisky and taking cases from mysterious dames with big secrets. But no, it's about shooting vampires or ninjas or what the gently caress ever.

Sam Spade putting half a dozen .45 slugs into Cthulhu's face and then making a sardonic wisecrack might be worth playing, though.

Night's Black Agents is one of many Gumshoe games. It is also one of the pulpiest.

That being said, is there a good proper Noir-ish Gumshoe game out right now?

DigitalRaven
Oct 9, 2012

When I kill you with a motor-car, you should have the common decency to stay dead, you horrid little object




Don't think so. Does Trail of Cthulhu have some options for turning up the pulp, maybe?

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

According to Evil Hat, Bubblegumshoe is in layout now- since it lists Veronica Mars as a chief inspiration, it'll probably be the closest to straight up noir we've gotten out of the system so far, weirdly enough. One of the early writeups of it suggests that it works for a Justified game with very little hacking.

Lurks With Wolves
Jan 14, 2013

At least I don't dance with them, right?


ProfessorProf posted:

Night's Black Agents is one of many Gumshoe games. It is also one of the pulpiest.

That being said, is there a good proper Noir-ish Gumshoe game out right now?

I say you could get a decent pure mystery game out of Trail of Cthulhu by stripping out the Mythos stuff the same way you can get a decent spy game out of Night's Black Agents or a decent Law And Order game out of Mutant City Blues. It's still weird that the most noir Gumshoe product is the pulpier end of Trail, though.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Alien Rope Burn posted:

As much as it sucks that Nazis co-opted skinhead culture, they totally pulled it off and explaining the history of that is probably beyond the purview of a game about non-denominational angels and demons.

Even weirder is that I heard that the skinhead look originated among black Caribbean immigrants to the UK, so you'd think of all the cultural looks white supremacists would appropriate it would not be that one.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
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It's probably possible to keep David's dark edge and weirder take on morality by having him support most violent gangs and groups but stopping just shy of 'literal Heiling racists and people that practice ethnic cleansing.'

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP


I could also see it as David supporting such things if there are not better alternatives. Better Nazis than anarchy, but better functional society and community than Nazis.

Impermanent
Apr 1, 2010








David could be interpreted as the kind of person who thinks that local gangs, like those in America and those in, say, Iraq, are better for ensuring peace than nations. At least one of the angels should have some sort of anti-american streak to them - it is the Great Satan, after all.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

DigitalRaven posted:

Don't think so. Does Trail of Cthulhu have some options for turning up the pulp, maybe?

ToC does have a separate set of Pulp rules, much like how NBAgents has its four different modes. They let you do things like only run out of ammo at cinematic moments, dual-wield pistols, lose less Stability from encountering Mythos monsters, regain Sanity from successfully beating back the Mythos, and level-up the Investigators over time.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Superiors 1: Crossing Swords


Laurence's symbol.

It's Laurence's job to plan Heaven's strategy in the War. Each Archangel has their own agenda and fights within their own sphere, but Laurence coordinates them all so that Hell can be defeated as a whole. Like Baal, Laurence sees the War as a chess game - but unlike Baal, he believes it's fixed, with all pieces in play. Only under the pressure of great events will he admit that the rules can be changed. This is frustrating, because Hell cheats. Those that say his inflexible nature dooms him to fail, however, overlook his many victories. Laurence is an unparalleled master of strategy, and when Hell wins, it's always by doing something unexpected that he has not prepared for. Laurence has never been caught off-guard the same way twice, and after millenia, there's only so many new tricks left. When the War follows a plottable course, as it often does, Laurence does not fail. The pieces he puts in play, on the other hand, can.







Laurence has three main doctrines in the War. First: Hold That Which Is Ours. Laurence takes what Christ said to Peter seriously. Te Host's power must be built where it is strong, and so he encourages every Archangel and Wordbound to vigorously defend their Words. Given how Hell assaults them, this often becomes very aggressive strategy despite how it sounds. Laurence also puts a very high priority on Tether defense - it's more important to him to preserve the divine Words and Tethers than destroy infernal ones. Second: Strike to the Heart of the Enemy. When it's possible to take the offensive, Laurence doesn't hold back. He doesn't want angels to just slowly grind down Hell, taking out random demons. He wants to destroy important targets, hard and fast. Killing one Wordbound is more important than a dozen minor demons. Destroying a Tether weakens Hell more than killing every demon in a city but leaving it intact. Demons fear Laurentines because they know when the Sword attacks, it picked an important target and has dedicated itself to utter destruction of it. And third: Win Souls. The hearts and minds of humanity are the ultimte battlefield of the War. Thus, Laurence encourages missionary work, trying to bring as many humans to God as possible. Ideally, Catholics, of course, but any selfless cause will do. Laurence prefers noble causes over merely being good and religious causes over secular ones, Christian over other relgiions and Catholic over other Christians, but he approves of even an atheist teaching illiterates to read as a light against Hell.

Laurence needs diplomacy with the entire Host, which is a tightrope over a pit of spikes that few other angels need to bother with. His youth and idealism are what keep him strong. Sure, his harshest critics say he can't look the facts in the face, but maybe that helps him some. Michael's never actually accused Laurence of being unfit, as he trusts God, but he's not shy about telling Laurence when he's loving up, either. Laurence takes it with good grace, but it's a heavy weight to always be under the eye of the first Commander. They fought once, in a duel they both say was just practice, though some say Michael proposed it when he felt Laurence was getting too haughty. Laurence lost handily and has been more humble since, but he's confided to his closest advisors that he doesn't think he's ever really earned Michael's respect, and it'd mean a lot to him if he could.

Laurence doesn't get Eli. He looked up to the guy once, but Eli's abandonment of Heaven was an act of betrayal, and he wishes all of Eli's angels were transferred to other Archangels, before Eli drags them down with him. He doesn't get Novalis, either. If she were just a Wordbound, he could understand her, but as an Archangel, well...being nice is fine, good even, but this is a War. Some demons might Redeem, and that's good, but you don't extend hospitality to the rebels. Novalis is extraneous, and he wishes she'd stick to her own domain entirely.

Khalid was Uriel's left hand as Laurence was his right. Khalid is far older and believed that he should have been made the Commander of the Hhost. Now, Khalid is the Archangel of Faith and fierce promoter of Islam, as fiercely as Laurence is for Christians. Their rivalry dates back to the Battle of Poiitiers. Laurence has not held a grudge, however, and even defends Khalid at Council. Khalid never speaks openly against Laurence, but privately disdains both Laurence and the Church. Laurence hopes to one day truly reconcile.

Laurence is friendly, or at least not unfriendly to all the other Archangels. He and Dominic are long allies in supporting the Catholics, and Laurence htinks Dominic is essential to the Hhost. David is a friend, a fellow Malakite whom Laurence includes in all his planning seassons. LAurence does not work closely with Jean, but respects him and trusts his judgment as well as trusting him to counter Vapula. He'll always help Jean promote his innovations. Janus is a warrior Archangel, but is one of Laurence's more outspoken critics. Laurence tries to ignore his words and does not often include Janus in his planning councils. The other Archangels have their parts to play, and in exchange, Laurence helps them when he can.

Superior Opinions posted:

Same deal as before.

Blandine: His influence on men shapes more dreamscapes than he knows. Some of them aren't on my side of the Marches, but Yves trusts him, and I trust Yves. I prefer him to Uriel.
She is the general of the broadest beach-head of the human soul. I let her do what she does best; she always, always comes through for us. Sometimes we fail her, and I regret those times deeply.
David: Steadfast. Determined. Focused. It's fair to say I admire the youth, and we've worked well together. His Soldiers and mine mesh nicely; they do good work, permanent work. I do wish he would spend more time considering the realities that his plans ignore. I could do better, and he knows it. But Laurence has an edge on his soul that puts his sword to shame, and we need that.
David's courage and steadfastness are unequaled, and he is an asset to our cause. Of course, there is more to waging war than brute strength.
Dominic: The Malakite of the Sword... He is valuable, well-suited. Incorruptible as only his kind can be, and he moves with purpose to bring order and purity to the humans, with his favored Church. His sword is still touched by the designs of Uriel, in so many ways. I approve.
Dominic? Dominic has a thankless task and performs it well. None of us likes to think we're less than perfect or that someone we trust might be an enemy. Dominic knows the enemy can come with an army - or as a whisper in the night. It is his job to hear the whispers.
Eli: Nice kid...a little intense, but that comes with the job. I know he's upset that I'm not up there in Heaven, but I think he's doing fine without me. I have faith in him - it's too bad he can't reciprocate.
What in the Hell does he think he's doing? Does he think being one of the first Archangels excuses him from participating in the War, that his job is over and now he can take a vacation while the rest of us try to save Creation? I fear Dominic may be right about him.
Gabriel: He glows with the same fire that consumed Uriel, but his is a more tempered flame. He burns brightly, but he flickers with uncertainty. He has not yet been through the crucible...we shall see what emerge.
Gabriel's Servitors are dedicated and noble, but Gabriel herself cannot be relied upon. She is a primal force whom I've given up trying to direct. In her rare moments of lucidity, she delivers amazing intelligence, and I know she possesses insights even Yves does not.
Janus: I dislike his predictability. We don't need some idealistic demon-hunter lining the Host up to be smacked by Hell and blinding them with glorious speech. We need to move more quickly, inside and behind and under and above...Michael understands. Why isn't Michael there? Tell me that!
He takes the war directly to the enemy, and I respect that. I'm glad to have his power on our side. But he needs to stop complaining about how he thinks things should be and learn to work as part of the team.
Jean: We don't work that closely together. He leaves my angels to their work, and that's fine.
Some of Jean's Servitors have a habit of getting too absorbed in their projects, and forgetting there's a War going on. But Jean doesn't. He may withdraw into his Halls of Progress at times, but when he emerges, it's always with a brilliant idea. My patience has always been rewarded.
Jordi: He is as deadly and graceful as any of God's creatures. He hunts the diabolical, with skill and cunning. He kills what needs to be killed. Nut he always votes to protect the works of man. He is not my enemy, but he is not my friend.
He protects an important part of God's Creation, and he does it well. But Jordi needs to realize that God gave Man dominion over the beasts for a reason. If we lose humanity, we lose the War. I hope someday he'll come out of the wilderness.
Marc: He understands the role of commerce...he isn't just about his blade, and I respect him for that. I've heard some unpleasant talk about his strategies; I don't repeat it. Bad for morale, bad for the whole team. I like his strategies; he remembers that there are a million fronts, and that not all of them involve blood. Perhaps he wishes it were otherwise; I don't know. But he does his job. He needs to learn about Vacation Time, though.
Marc doesn't get nearly enough credit for his role in the War. He may not engage the enemy directly, but he strikes at Hell's soft underbelly, the realm of money and influence peddling. He finances a lot of our operations, and he teaches mankind that one can be virtuous and prosperous.
Michael: He is brave and noble. His talents seem wasted in the Eternal City, though. He should be down there carving up the vessels of Lucifer's servants, not moving our warriors around like chessmen. He's a terror, or can be...but he expects merchanical perfection from the angels, and as much honor from Hell as he has himself. His sight is keen, but his vision blurs when he looks at the War from a distance. We elders try to counsel him, and we try also to remember that he must have been given his post for a reason.
I am humbled by his skill and strength. It sometimes worries me that I and not he hold the title of Commander of the Armies of God, until I see the damage that can be done by the lack of overall coordination, and realize again that we need a commander and not simply a champion. He views me as a youth still, and I always welcome his advice. Perhaps some day I will earn his full confidence.
Novalis: Mmm... He doesn't like me. I like his intensity: it's bright and it's warm. He loves his fights, and I don't, but he is what he is, you know? He has so much to learn, still. He's never learned to let his hair down except to dry the sweat and blood from it. He's never let himself see that we can win just by bringing humanity a little peace... Happy people don't invite demons in. I don't think Laurence knows that. And I think he's pretty much alone, inside.
She constantly hinders operations with her insistence on showing mercy to diabolicals. Peace is a wonderful concept, but peace is for after the War is over. I wish she and her Servitors would concern themselves more with plants and less with humanity.
Yves: Some are inclined to judge him harshly, because he hasn't already won the War for us. After spending eons waiting for the Earth to cool, haven't his fellow Archangels learned patience yet? God didn't select Laurence on a whim.
I respect him. I admire him. There are days when I envy him, and one or two days when I think I'm lucky enough to understand him. I'm glad the Halls of Worship are left to me, though. He made some mistakes there that he's been wise enough to avoid making again.
Andrealphus: I could make all the jokes about swords - but really, he and his angels are so foolishly ethical, always interfering in other people's pleasure. They should learn that the ultimate part of one's desire is proving your control by knowing that you're doing what the other person doesn't want...
He has taken one of God's greatest gifts and perverted it into something filthy and degrading. Do not underestimate Lust, for it has caused more humans - and angels - to go astray than perhaps any other sin.
Asmodeus: An impudent pup, blinded by idealism. He's a child pushing pieces around on a board he doesn't understand. Laurence worried me more when he was down on Earth, carving up our forces. I wish him a long career as General of the Host.
By killing their own kind, his demons do some of our work for us. But he is crafty and his spies are everywhere, forcing us to be ever-vigilant.
Baal: Am I supposed to accept this...whelp as my adversary? Bah. It is laughable to think of Laurence as Michael's replacement. Yes, he is a competent tactician, but this game bores me. It is time to end it.
It is good that he underestimates me. Pride blinds Baal more than my supposed naivete could ever blind me. I am secure in the knowledge that even if I should fall in the final battle, God's forces will prevail, and all Baal's carnage will avail him not.
Beleth: He brings bright dreams...knights in shining armor, puerile fairy tales. And his Guardians of the Marches keep the darker dreams at bay. But they can't protect humanity from itself. I am the darkness that Laurence dares not gaze into.
I pity Blandine, who must suffer over what her lover has become. But I do not pity Beleth. Killing her will put two souls out of their misery.
Belial: It doesn't matter how sharp the blade is; apply enough heat, and it'll melt. Someday, I'm going to light that kid up like a candle.
He's probably more responsible than anything else for Gabriel's madness, and I'd welcome the opportunity to prune the Word of Fire to one bearer. If Belial wasn't held in check by Baal, he'd be as great a danger to his own side as to ours.
Haagenti: Annoying. Gets in my way. Stops people eating. Spiky, too. Someone should sort him out - what do we have an army for, anyhow?
What a disgusting creature. But dangerous. One of the deadly sins, indeed. Someday, that obscene, ravening maw will be shut forever, when I drive my sword through his skull and pin his jaws together.
Kobal: So, God's on Generalissamo Number Three...they seem to have staffing problems up there. Anyone who takes himself as seriously as this boy does is just begging to have a "Kick Me!" sign pasted on his back. And you know, that's not a bad idea...
What have we to fear from this laughing buffoon? Kobal can only threaten those who are insecure. The Holy Spirit is a shield against scorn and mockery.
Kronos: We need not deal with Laurence directly. We defeat him by defeating Heaven in the War. Laurence's fate is to fail.
He worries me. Some say he's a dark reflection of Yves. I don't know about that, but somehow he has access to a lot of classified information, and I want it stopped.
Lilith: Heh. How charming to know the General of the Host is younger than me. What I'd give for the key to unlock the chains around his virtue... But he's best avoided; much too dangerous. If you get any Geases on his Servitors, though...call me.
She chose to walk away from God. She cloaks herself in the ideology of liberation, but never forget that she represents the consequences of free will exercised selfishly - the freedom to choose Hell over Heaven.
Malphas: Laurence is proof that the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. A sword is better at cleaving than unifying. How many different ways can I fragment his precious Church before he sees the folly of relying on anyone but oneself?
I'm tempted to see Malphas' hand in every schism, but I have to remember that he can't dictate what humans will do any more than I can. Still, if not for him, the Church would be far stronger, and we might never have had a Dark Ages. He is one of our most dangerous foes.
Nybbas: Oh, please! Knights in shining armor, saints and martyrs, sacrifice, chastity, honor, virtue, yadda yadda yadda... That's all so pre-post-modern! The kid needs to update himself, get a little anti-hero thing going, maybe a female lead to give him something worth fighting for... But that church-motif has got to go! I'm sorry, but the public media is no place to be preaching moral values.
He condenses everything into a shallow tale of sex and violence, devoid of depth or consequences, and the masses swallow his pabulum. But that vacuous wretch cannot conceal the power and glory of the Word of God.
Saminga: Nasty, nasty Malakite! He's so sickeningly virtuous, and he kills my best servitors. I want him dead! Dead, do you hear me? Dead, dead, DEAD!
Those whom he claims are beyond redemption. He's a horrow-show beyond description, but flesh is flesh - living or undead, it cuts as easily.
Valefor: He's so busy looking for demons, he can't see when we've come and gone. Anyone want a sword?
He doesn't just steal things...he steals virtue. He robs people of their integrity and respect and leaves them mourning the loss of their possessions. These thieves should lose their heads, not just their hands.
Vapula: Religion is an old, failed mortal paradigm. Laurence is a crusader for the past, when I'm trying to lead the world into the future.
Vapula embodies the dangers of knowledge untempered by wisdom. His science is literally godless - not every new innovation represents progress.
Humanity: They are the reason for everything. The War cannot be fought independently of humanity...we can only win by winning humanity. It is their souls we are fighting to save.
Soldiers of God: Those who know about the War, and serve willingly, are our greatest assets. Do not risk them needlessly, but do not deny them the right to risk themselves, even sacrifice themselves, in the battle against evil, just as we would.
Soldiers of Hell: I will never understand how humans can drat their eternal souls to Hell, knowing full well what they do. But damned they are, so excise them like a cancer.
Pagan Soldiers: They are foolish, succumbing to the promises of old gods, false gods. But some act with a misguided sense of honor. Save them if you can, and destroy their patrons when possible, but don't let them interfere in the War...above all, do not let them become a resource for the Other Side.
Sorcerers: They've sold their souls to Hell for knowledge they could gain for free if they chose the side of the light. Pity them, but do not spare them.
Saints: I am angered when I see angels behaving as if the Saints are being given the privilege of helping us. We are honored to have their help. I see the fruits of our success every time I walk the streets of the Eternal City and meet the souls we've helped save.
Ethereals: They are figments; their time is past. They are not a part of God's plan, and they must not be permitted to interfere with mankind's destiny. Those who are harmless may be ignored, but those who align themselves with Hell must be eradicated.



Next time: The Eternal City

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 01:25 on Jan 21, 2016

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

It seems kind of weird that the first real mention of the Protestant reformation is with Laurance.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP


This game is apparently from France, so that doesn't surprise me. Protestantism, as I understand it, isn't on the general public radar in France.

I suspect this game is going to say it was Malphas' plot from the sounds of it.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

That makes it even more hilarious that the only French victories other England came from direct heavenly support.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Playing a Gumshoe or Dogs in the Vineyard game as a triad of Dominic's angels could be fun.

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mcclay
Jul 8, 2013

Oh dear oh gosh oh darn


Soiled Meat

gently caress all this Angel or Demon nonsense. I wanna play a Pagan character and kick rear end in the name of the Old Gods. Are there rules for that?

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