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Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Cythereal posted:

Eh. For my purposes, before this stuff about Saminga was posted, I'd assumed Azrael was killed by Lucifer during the Fall.

Grigori didn't exist before the Fall. They came after when Lilith popped Hell open and Heaven went "Well gently caress me, we need some way to detect these assholes" and God went "ZOOPAH" and the Grigori came into existence as the 8th Choir, with the resonance to detect disturbances, and the dissonance for not responding to them.

Azrael's existence and fate is totally unknown, so you can do literally whatever you want with them conceptually. He's not even full canon, just semi-canon. Miriam is the only unofficially 'official' Grigori Archangel.

like I said big messy dumb headache

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Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Cythereal posted:

Thus my comment that that was something I'd thought before anything was posted about how Azrael actually is in this game. I'd thought Azrael had been a powerful archangel, then Lucifer killed him and made sure his Word was taken by an idiot that Lucifer could keep firmly under control.

Ooohhhh. I get you now. Yeah, just, do whatever with Death, it's seriously like 7 streets over from canon.

EDIT: NEVERMIND it'll be seen later.

Black August fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Feb 7, 2016

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Mors Rattus posted:

Awwww, I was saving the Grand History for when I reviewed that.

Oh, poo poo, I'm sorry. I wanted to give some context to all the other stuff going down and being discussed. Didn't mean to jump the gun on you. :(

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Cythereal posted:

Ah. As it is, I upgraded and PM sent.

Nice. I got a party to go mingle at, so I'll check it out when I get back.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



oh god not the Zadkiel writeup

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Yeah, and again, every piece of weird politically charged junk you read bleeding out of Zaddy's writeup, was easily leagues worse before the weeks-long tester forum rage posts and eventual editing cutups.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



So what made Ravenloft so popular to make it still hold on for so long? Was it just the novelty of the first dedicated horror-flavor setting to come into D&D?

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Zereth posted:

I'm wondering why Choirs on the far end from humanity of the Humanish <-> Inhumanish scale, like say for example cherubs have gender identities at all.

Generally your Word and its meaning in human society is stronger than your identity as an angel. But yes, you're right! Angels that high in divinity typical don't give a poo poo. But since the author was a freaking creeptoid wackjob it had to be untactfully rammed in. Nevermind about how loving stupid it is to have stuff like Kahlid, the Elohite, the Choir literally devoted to being OBJECTIVE, have the Word of Faith and end up being such a tardshow about it. This guy had to roll along and throw Zadkiel into the same blender full of gently caress.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Kurieg posted:

I'm guessing the reason why she has such a strong female gender identity is because it means that the strongest in-universe supporter of the Muslim faith is a woman.

Which, at least in 97, was probably "edgy".

Oh this wasn't 97, buddy.

This was 2010.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



God even the naming is dumb. Just call them Zadites like everyone else ever did.

This is another point about her, and a lot of IN material really. She's mechanically boring and weak. It's the sign of a poor writer who can't even come up with mechanics that don't rely on boosting a resonance (making it Restricted), or slapping some way to get out of dissonance on it. To speak nothing of the mechanically repetitive ones like Kobal, who are just variations of the same power, while also forcing the player into a pigeonhole role.

Zadkiel is just boring. Uninspired. Unnecessary.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Count Chocula posted:

I don't mind her. Clean up the problematic elements and you have an angel in the traditional Guardian Angel/Touched By An Angel mode, who's followers going around helping people, often in disguise. And since so many of the Angels are assholes, it's good to have another nice one, who can still throw down in a fight. If you want to make her scarier or more ambiguous, play up the overprotective thing. She actually seems human, and one of the few relatable Angels.

Anything more for Novalis?

rear end in a top hat Angels was never meant to be the default of the setting. While Zadkiel does do that well, being kind, she's just a role already filled by a lot of other Archangels. I wouldn't ever want to make her scarier and more ambiguous, but after you pull the weird poo poo from her writeup, she just plain doesn't offer much the other Archangels don't already. It wouldn't take a lot to salvage her, though. Better mechanics, a less politically charged role, maybe even tap into the human/inhuman aspect of things and have her be the one stirring up poo poo about David's conduct or Novalis' attitudes, and being a bridge between the Militant and Peace factions.

I'm coming from too much time with my head under water though. For a new player and GM, Zadkiel is a decent fit for a neutral small time Archangel to run jobs with. It's why I liked using her as a sort of troubleshooter, small mercenary style gathering of experts and highest end security, the Archangel you call in before an operation goes awry, or after it already has and you need immediate rescue.

As for Novalis, sadly nah. She's one of the few Superiors who got neither an expanded writeup (like the Superior books), or a semi-expanded writeup (like a lot of Superiors got in the Rev Cycle books). She has her core rules self and that's it, apart from smatterings of info about her in other texts. Which is fine. She was always a pretty hot button topic with writers as the Peace Leader head. Especially with the right wing nuts.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



And this is why the Game Master's Guide is one of my favorite books. It does a good job explaining Words and how you can change things up for your game, and better understand the setting by answering a lot of obvious mechanical questions and ideas.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



What they said, yeah. In Hell, it's practically the norm. You're expected to try to stab your way up in Word granularity, and many Demon Princes fear their most powerful Wordbound as a threat. Which is why Belial killed Demogorgon, the Calabite of Fire and Demon of Destruction. Something for context as well; minor Words can still become Superiors. That is to say, you don't NEED a 20-Force Word to become an Archangel/Prince, but it takes tremendously more power for the Council or Lucifer to do it. You could have a Demon Prince of Stale Bong Water, it'd just be tactically useless in the War.

This leads to one adventure idea, which is that Lucifer is promoting more less powerful Princes lately to try to experiment with Word expansion as a reward at the Superior level, to encourage younger demons more under his control to take the place of the Old Guard. Alaemon could easily slip into Asmodeus' spot, under the right conditions, for example. Anyways that's all tangent.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Oh, I remember reading about WoD and its uhhhhhh, unfortunate gypsy fascination.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



These parts of the GMG are handy for some flavor ideas for a setting, though they are pretty dry around this point. It picks back up when it discusses the timeline, and then how to make Superiors work for your setting.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



There we go, the good stuff. It was really nice to have something to give Superiors structure and limits, since they ran roughshod like bad DMPCs too often on older games I was told. Well that and the original Core Rules just plain weren't very good at describing anything.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Zereth posted:

Unless they're Dominic in which case they're going to visit the Judgement PC every single week.

I always liked that. It serves to make him extremely human, which is in strong contrast to his Choir, Word, and supposed politics. He has to be in constant immersion mode, always dedicating some instantiation of himself to the task. The only other Superiors who do that are Beleth and Asmodeus, to much lesser degrees. But it also serves to keep Judgment as powerful as it is, because of the very very frequent checks and balances.

Which reminds me as a minor peeve is how they portrayed Blandine as this innocent airhead confused by human materialism. I dunno what dreams she walks, but I was always of the thought that she'd have an extremely sophisticated and educated view of human desires and needs by seeing so many of their dreams.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Simian_Prime posted:

Dominic works best as Heaven's police commissioner, telling the PC's that they're "loose cannons" and "out of line". He always threatens to take their Words, but he keeps these Angels on the edge around anyway... Because they get *results*! :dealwithit:

Also acceptable and encouraged.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Mors Rattus posted:

Next up: Corporeal Player's Guide, Liber Canticorum or Revelations 1: Night Music?

Hooraaaay

I'd vote Night Music just so people can see peak '97 stink, and also Furfur, but I'd just as happily vote a Player's Guide.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



I'm not even gonna try to read and digest that mess, puke.

Random fact I remembered from something someone said in the thread. Kobal's Word used to actually be Black Humor, when I read an alpha document of the game from loooong time ago. It got changed to Dark Humor for obvious reasons, though it's meant to evoke black humor as in extreme schadenfreude. Did not stop some of the other batty poo poo like the first few Rev Cycles had, of course.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Mors Rattus posted:

It is a (fairly popular) fanon thing.

You have no goddamn idea

Everyone thinks Tumblr and 4chan is somehow responsible for shipping, no, no, Livejournal was a thing and those people existed in the dark long before

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Cythereal posted:

My thoughts immediately went to kicking off a campaign by a sorcerer doing the impossible and summoning an archangel or demon prince to Earth. The celestial immediately corrects the problem, but have the starting adventure be the cleanup detail (or trying to take advantage of the situation), demonstrating precisely why the Superiors don't solve everything themselves and why it really is up to the low-ranking PCs.

I reason this happens all the time, but Superiors just nuke the Sorcerer on the spot so it's not a recurring issue for them. There's the idea too that Superiors are common names, but they also have a bunch of celestials with the same name on hold so they can throw them out to torch whoever is summoning without Kronos' and Hatiphas' blessing. Or even with. Demons are fuckers.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



I really, really don't care for that Soldiers section. I mean, I don't care for the game's narrative and attitude to humans in general, placing almost exclusive focus on celestials, and leaving humans as total trash, system-wise. 5 Forces is poo poo, and 6 Forces isn't good either. If I ran a human game, I'd be starting them at 7 Forces as a Soldier and able to climb, because gently caress the narrative of "Oh humans who approach the weakest demons in Hell are SUUUUPER rare!!"

It's funny, because while the narrative tries to constantly play humans as important and vital, absolutely none of the setting and mechanics reflect that. My personal beef is how casually lovely it makes a lot of the Superiors treat their Soldiers. While that narrative was toned down later, the damage was still deeply done, leaving half the Archangels seeming as psychotic as the Princes in their treatment of people. It also barely makes any loving sense - humans have tremendous power to influence the workings of the Symphony, and they're totally natural. You'd think there'd be shitloads of valued human agents in Heaven AND Hell, simply because their utility is (supposedly) so excellent.

I find it deeply hilarious that Asmodeus of all people actually seems to use his Soldiers smartly, if callously, and will even Knight some, which is really goddamn cool. Which is a much more intelligent narrative than "You're a trash slave who will 100% of the time be betrayed and killed and rot in Hell despite any utility you had."

Ugh, this game.

Black August fucked around with this message at 07:08 on Feb 22, 2016

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Night10194 posted:

A supernatural game that talks up how important humans are and then never has any rules or setting reflect that?

I'm shocked. Shocked!

Yeaaaaaah, I know. There's no lie here, In Nomine spawned from the same pool of ichor and poo poo that White Wolf and its prestigious line of hot garbage crawled out of. I mean the very first vignette you read, in the Core Rules, before anything else, has a bunch of lovely demons who seem kind of fun at least in their shittiness, while there's this sorry rear end human who essentially gets enslaved and slapped around by a psychotic angel, while a Cherub who I am pretty loving sure was a Djinn has a woman tied up in his car.

The guy who wrote Alaemon did a roleplaying thing me and a bunch of other people participated in, a long while back. The psychotic angel who treated the human all lovely, Nicole, was recast by him as a broken soul who Fell after one last explosive outburst and promptly became the Demon of Justification for her awful behavior.

Again, this game had a seriously damaged framework from every angle. It was always a shock compared to GURPS and everything I used and read for it, in terms of editing quality, system quality, and basic coherency.

Black August fucked around with this message at 07:21 on Feb 22, 2016

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Ratoslov posted:

It'd be pretty funny if Hell's biggest single advantage in the war was that they had the best HR department- not because of some basic benevolence, but because it's good for internal propaganda and it gives Hell an edge. Meanwhile, Heaven sucks at it, because most of the Archangels are kinda inhuman and of the opinion that the humans should be perfectly happy working for Heaven for free with no vacations or health benefits.

Edit: This is also why Novalis and Marc are disproportionately powerful- it's because whenever a Soldier of someone else meets a Soldier of those two and finds out that their organizations actually pay them, they transfer over immediately.

This was actually a huge writeup of fan material from one of the authors, where Marc lost his poo poo after collecting reports and spearheaded a Wrath Of God level Mercurian effort to set up a Heavenly program, funded out of his pocket, to provide powerful sensible services to ALL Soldiers of Heaven and their families, and affiliated agents. Gold Cross & Gold Shield - FULL coverage health insurance with divine healing, providing basic necessities for a comfortable human life, agents to help smooth over wrinkles in your life and help explain weird happenings to your not-able-to-understand friends, family, and work (I have a meeting at 2pm tomorrow, I was out until 6am beating a demon to death with a baseball bat and my suit is soaked in blood), specialized Songs to make time in life for the little things since 90% of your time will be taken up dealing with unstable angels and murder happy demons, therapy and counseling for the MINDFUCK of getting your poo poo resonated, and angelic services to see to it that when a Solider is abused or mistreated, it is filed, it is reported, you will be hearing from him, you will be hearing from Dominic, you will be hearing from Novalis, you WILL be hearing from your own Archangel as they rip your wings a new rear end in a top hat, and the entire thing went over very poorly with most of Heaven until the Soldiers unionized and Dominic slammed down the gavel and told them to eat poo poo and start acting like the Holy Host instead of a bunch of disorganized sociopaths.

Marc is great because he's a Mercurian and not to be hosed with.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Ratoslov posted:

Marc: The Archangel of Actually Getting poo poo Done.

Marc is another Archangel who never got semi-expanded or fully-expanded material, same as Novalis. Which is ok because I know half the jackasses who wanted to write him would have hosed it up proper good. Marc has an amazing dissonance condition. It's very simple, very sensible, and very divine to me. Don't break promises. That's it. While Marc frames his Word in a financial manner, his archaic origins are clear from the dissonance; he's the Archangel of the Promise, of altruism, of a basic and holy concept, and there's not much room to mince it or mash it like so many of the other weird dissonance conditions or Word concepts. Add in the money he manages, the connections he has, the fact he's a Mercurian, and you have an amazing Archangel for starting players, where you can play the spy, the face, the moneyman, the scourge of liars and cheaters; just excellent flexibility of role with the very simple concept of "Don't go back on your word, ever."

Plus since he's so strongly social, he's a lot easier to work with conceptually. You could build a whole game out of a team of Trade angels who serve as troubleshooters for other Archangels, especially types like Laurence and Blandine. I mean Blandine is supposed to have this inexplicable 'chilly disdain' for Marc and his material ways, but gently caress that lazy garbage, Marc is a guy who helps dreams come true in a sustainable way. He's also the one Archangel to deal with Lilith and a lot of Hell as the Face, making him and his angels prime diplomats. It's also neat to think that his existence is essentially tied to the War in a very personal manner. He's likely made a promise to save mankind from Hell's apocalypse, so he stands to face dissonant annihilation of self if he can't keep that promise.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Zereth posted:

Don't you need two forces in a Realm to reach "human average" in its associated stats? So by becoming this rare, awesome, head and shoulders above what most of humanity can possibly be, you become... dead average. :geno:

Yes. The humans in In Nomine are unbelievably weak. Like, by the system's numbers, they can barely accomplish simple rolls, will CRUMPLE before any celestial in a contest of any attribute or skill, and if they specialize in one realm of Forces, they drop into barely-able-to-function levels in their other attributes. GURPS In Nomine did jack poo poo to really manage this, on top of the hilariously library-length garbage templates and insanely complex power modifiers to bend the systems screaming together into a flesh pretzel of unplayable puke. It'd fare much much better in GURPS 4e, but SJG is allergic to doing anything useful. If you do know GURPS as a system, as an example, most humans in a straight 1:1 translation would end up with like, ST 6, DX 4, IQ 9 and HT 7. On average. Want to jump up to like, drat, ST 15? Your IQ is now 3. Whereas all the celestials start with a hot hard suite of 14/14/14/14 which they can rocket up to like the 30s with minimal effort.

But again, In Nomine's system is trash. It's straight up trash. The only thing it has going for it are the cool attunements and Songs, and great setting concept. The combat is vague and dull and really badly balanced, skills are unfun, the check digit system is the worst idea you could possibly force into a 3d6 resolution mechanic, and none of it works together very well for player or GM.

Back with the humans, Soldiers are still useless, their supposed human advantages amount to nothing, and you're basically encouraged to play a Child of the Grigori or a Gorgon or basically anything, ANYTHING but a human, because God forbid they be allowed to reach any sort of parity with the celestials, who by the numbers could probably take the world over in a single night if they put their minds to it. It's why I turned all guns into a straight damage number (this pistol does 2d+1, this rifle does 7d+3, etc) because then it suddenly made guns, and humans, horrifically dangerous to all but the most poo poo-hard of vessels backed by an equal shitload of divine powers.

It does give you room for some mean gotchas, though. If you take Asmodeus to an extreme you'd expect of some monstrously intelligent ancient dude with a Word like the Game, then go ahead and pop out humans who are 9-Force Knights of the Game, they're in the local law enforcement, and your angel or demon just got plugged six times in the back and slapped with a soul lasso to be dragged screaming back to the nearest Tether. And there was zero disturbance from it happening.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Count Chocula posted:

I dunno, I've read like 75 - 90% of the source material and rear end in a top hat angels and fun Demons makes sense as the default assumption.

All those Marc rewrites above just seem to make it worse. Free Angelic healthcare, sure (not an issue in most of the world, but sure), but improving the world through Capitalism and a Corporate Structure? In my studies of religion class we learned that people fear loss of meaning more than death. When the Catholic Church stopped doing the Mass in Latin, attendance fell. In other words, Angels would have better recruitment rates by playing up the hardcore macho bullshit and high barriers to entry; not insisting on KPIs or whatever.

Hey, the game encourages that style of play just as well, but it's really not to many people's tastes when Heaven is a meatgrinder who stares at you blankly when you beg for some sanity trying to work for them, and recruiting fanatics isn't exactly useful when you want to try to save humanity, not see them burned up and dead in your name. There's inhuman, and then there's Hell With A Different Coat Of Paint.


EDIT: Also I'm trying to say that Capitalism isn't Marc's point, at the base concept. Why would the Archangel who encompasses every single concept of Trade be limited to one dysfunctional human system anyways? Yeah dreams can be bought but Blandine isn't a loving retard, and Marc isn't some snappy suited Nybbas-clone, he's a keeper of promises and trust.

Black August fucked around with this message at 09:05 on Feb 22, 2016

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Zereth posted:

Even the "terrible at actual rolls" thing aside, you'd think somebody would have spent five seconds noticing that the alleged average was not attainable by average humans. You can't make Totally Average Man without being some incredible 6-force alleged super guy. (Who's still, uh, bad.)

Well that's because the early game clearly thinks humans should be WoD level chattel for your super cool murder machine to blow away, possess, order around, or whatever. Derek did not give a gently caress.


Ratoslov posted:

Yeah, it's worth remembering that Capitalism is only about five hundred years old and isn't synonymous with trade. Marc's word encompasses capitalistic economies, but it also encompasses socialist or communist societies, or for that matter gift economies or post-scarcity societies. As long as stuff is moving around to fulfill human needs or desires, it's Trade. Marc's word is ridiculously powerful.

There's a funny theme in the game with Mercurians and Impudites holding deceptively powerful Words. Marc, Eli, Kobal, Nybbas; a lot of points are made that they're not necessarily just strong through raw Word power, like Baal or Michael, but because they also have tremendous social influence that is a hell of a lot stronger in a cold war setting than brute strength. Including Essence. Kobal is noted for being one of the strongest Essence holders in Hell, and when Essence is the building block of reality, it means that if you're forced into a corner, and you got a lot of it, SOMEONE is going down with you. Many someones. And many more when their social connections trip the deadman's switch and blow apart half the infrastructure. Hell, Nybbas? Want to know why you don't gently caress with Nybbas, apart from his incredibly powerful Word? He was an Impudite of Technology once, and had / still has great relations with Vapula. Impudites of Technology get double Essence reserves of other demons naturally. Follow that to the logical nightmare conclusion.

One theme of In Nomine that doesn't get played enough is the idea that Superiors, and all their organizations, are essentially living WMDs. Yes, they probably could end the world tomorrow. The issue is that everyone else would die as well, or one side would be left so weak the other could buy a victory, and then, well, reign over a dead husk of a world. There was one good story in a series called Superior Victory (in which one Superior and their concept wins the War) written about how Belial finally did it, pushed mankind into nuclear war, Gabriel Fell and died to him, and then Belial started to rapidly die because humans were gone and the world was a fireless wasteland, forcing him to embrace Gabriel's side of the Word, which was too little too late - he dies as well in a hollow, empty victory.

Regarding Marc though, yeah, that's the idea. Maybe in modern times he assumes one of the strongest images associated with the concepts of Trade, but that doesn't mean that's all he is, or has been. Marc has been every concept of trade, promise, value in material, value in words, value in concepts, and this value, being associated with Heaven, is more than monetary value, it's the value of life, bonds, trust, and society. It's why Mammon is so weak and slated to become a snake sausage breakfast for Haagenti, his entire origin is how he only saw value in the material and became so focused on a single aspect of his Word that he's killed himself.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Nessus posted:

It seems like Marc might have a weird thing where whatever demon of Capitalism there is is making Marc more powerful in the process. But I like the idea of Marc as being ultimately about promises (which are, of course, what underlie trade) as opposed to betrayals.

I'd certainly have trouble buying corporate capitalism as being anything more than, at best, neutral, but I can certainly see a large role for trading and exchange without it necessarily meaning everyone is clapped into the irons of total materialism forever.

Marc is opposed by Mammon, the Prince of Greed, who you can reasonably assume encompasses the concept of Capitalism from the Infernal side, and also likely has a demon devoted to the Word. Notably, Mammon is not doing well against Marc. If anything, Marc isn't really concerned with Trade as a money thing like Mammon is with Greed, he's concerned with how these systems that humans made can benefit mankind and help sway the War for them and a better future. I'd pit Marc more against Asmodeus and Nybbas in a quiet side-war, with a lot of espionage and information brokering. The war with Mammon could easily just be a public distraction.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Poor Grigori. They were a neat concept, though subject to the usual 'super special unique race buy the book' syndrome typical to the era. But that was thankfully nipped right in the bud since the planned Grigori book never ever took off, and the only material about them is bits in some books and the usual fan apocrypha. I got to read and roleplay some of the material about them, but they're honestly not that special, which is great, just a fun background element to the history of the setting, and a potential plot hook, especially since there's the Archangel of Song still on Earth. Gameplay wise they're dirt simple. They don't have bombastic powers, they don't shake the earth or break the system, they're just giant dudes who are basically Human -> Crossbreed -> Grigori -> Mercurian in terms of how close to humans they are on the divinity ladder. They can detect disturbance real good, the Symphony ignores them as basically human by giving them insane bonuses to Roles, and they get dissonance for not responding to disturbances, since, well, they're the Watchers and God made them to flush demons out.

They can Fall, too. They become Dark Grigori, Skulkers, and can blank disturbance out, making them ABSURDLY hard to find, which is why their existence is summed up by a one-line sentence in GURPS In Nomine. Politically speaking though they're a rough draft mess that leaves it up to the GM to iron through. Default assumption is "Well why the hell would God gift an entire 8th Choir who then hosed around and He let get mass-banned by a blood-frothing Eli holding a shotgun and a nervous Dominic, well God knows it was probably on purpose for some inscrutable world-saving reason thousands of years down the road"

I played a Grigori of Judgment who was good at hiding in trash cans and was pathetically happy when some big honking incident happened and he was given a chance to serve Dominic again as an Outcast on extreme probation. It was fun.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



gradenko_2000 posted:

Oh, he doesn't claim that to be an original idea. He straight up recommends that the GM pick through the list of curses and flaws in the AD&D 1e DMG and use those.

Those are lame though. Those just directly place you into physical danger without any sort of interesting caveat. Those aren't curses, they're traps.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Hypocrisy posted:

You really get a sense of there being very different views of the way Heaven should act since every single Superior has the Superior talking about how humans are the most important things and how soldiers are so wonderful and then you have this book which kind of shrug its shoulders about it.

Yup. Lots of writers, little oversight, lots of different ideas about MY Heaven and MY canon and MY setting, instead of a viciously enforced setting standard that is then given side options to deviant from. The Corporal Player's Guide does nothing to make you want to play a human. Or even a variant human. "Undead are useful to Heaven! Actually only a little more than a Soldier and useless compared to these super cool awesome celestials."

And why play a Saint. They're just Reliever-grade celestials without a resonances.

EDIT: Fun thing to do. Make Saminga genuinely dangerous by making undead be a very varied and powerful bunch. Punch them up to celestial levels so demons and angels who gently caress around with him too much end up in the middle of their own Resident Evil style bio nightmare of meat shoggoths and tyrants with claws that can shear through a Malakite of Stone. Saminga canonically likes undead more than demons, why wouldn't he have invested disgusting amounts of time and power into making shitloads of varied types with horrible powers?

Black August fucked around with this message at 23:59 on Feb 23, 2016

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



I always liked openly cursed items as the nuclear option. The curse makes it grossly powerful, swinging way above its weight class with the bite to back it up, but there's a price to pay if you even think of using it. Which, you know, encourages players to think and connive and figure every way to cheat or assess risk and reward as needed, which seems fun? But nah let's just save or die or make it blow up with a 1 in 20 chance.

Hell, I don't even get why curses have to be bad for the player. Why not a berserking sword that gives you a huge boost to power, but hard caps your to-hit chance to something like 40%, or eats up some HP in some proportion to the amount of damage you dealt every time you land a successful blow? Or makes wounds you deal seem so horrific that anyone who witnesses what you did ends up spreading a bad rep about you? Something, ANYTHING interesting or with unusual consequences.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



I guess I come too much from a standpoint of someone who loves to tinker with systems and push them around to make an interesting result, or modify game variables that no power or advantage does normally. That and too many video games where I found a fascination with things like "Well if you use this you're strong but risk loving something up REALLY BAD" like, I dunno, Missing No from Pokemon. If an item is outright cursed and fucks you up and nothing else, why would you ever use it? Curses, to me, are willfully accepted burdens and malformations in exchange for serious drat power, usually at a time and place where that power is several steps above your current pay grade. But so much (visibly readable anyways) gaming culture is so caught up in a Me vs You gotcha war. So I'm not too surprised there's a bunch of crap items that just outright harm you with no benefit. It feels so, so lazy.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Oh right, I forgot that the GMG was posted. I may as well repost this.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

TIMELINE

???: Yves is the first soul. He names God.

???: Michael is the first angel, followed (in order) by Lucifer, Baal, David, Eli, Uriel, and Gabriel.

???: Metatron appears. So to speak. Never seen, Metatron is the Voice of God, who dictates orders to the rest. The others believe he is a Seraph, and some believe it was actually Metatron who spoke the words "Let there be light." Whenever God speaks to the angels, it is through Metatron.

???: Michael, Lucifer, Baal, David, Eli, Uriel, and Gabriel go about creating the universe, receiving orders from God (through Metatron), while Yves names things. They also begin creating lesser beings... other angels created during this time include Asmodeus, Beleth, Blandine, Dominic, Jean, Kobal, Malphas, and Raphael.

4.6 billion BC: The Earth is formed.

100 million BC: Malphas, Gabriel and David (all Archangels now), and a promising young Servitor of Gabriel named Belial, have been busy moving, heating, and breaking up tetonic plates. Asmodeus and Dominic begin codifying the word of God. Beleth and Blandine (both Archangels) are exploring the Marches, and soon build their Tower. Yves, Jean, and Raphael are transcribing knowledge; the latter two become Archangels at about this time. Kobal receives his special assignment, which is even yet unknown. Andrealphus is created, and (in a relatively short time) becomes the Archangel of Love. Janus, Jordi, and Oannes are also created during this epoch. Janus learns how to move ocean waves and winds, and teaches the trick to his friend Oannes. They become the Archangels of the Wind and the Waters, respectively. Jordi discovers how to create corporeal vessels, and is given authority over all living creatures as the Archangel of Animals.

67 million BD: Saminga is created. Coincidentally, he witnesses the extinction of the dinosaurs during his first visit to the Earth.

500,000 BC: Lucifer teaches early humans how to use fire (with some help from Jean).

25,000 BC: Humans are developing religion. The Marches are becoming populated with the ethereal creations of human imagination. Humans are also becoming the most selfish of all creatures. Jordi decides to wipe out humanity... but Michael (at God's behest) talks him out of it. Jordi still regrets this. Dominic and Marc are given their Words, and assigned the task of teaching angels (and humans) how to get along properly.

23,000 BC: Yves announces that humans are to be left alone, and the corporeal plane is henceforth off limits to angels. Many (especially Lucifer) are dismayed at this. The Eden experiment follows. Novalis, the Angel of Flowers, creates the Garden of Eden at God's behest. Adam and Lilith are created by God, and Lilith walks away. God creates Eve to replace her. Adam and Eve live in Eden for several years, before Ophis, a Servitor of Baal, sneaks in and taints the experiment. God calls the experiment inconclusive, and forbids further celestial intervention. Dominic places the Cherub Jophiel at the gates of Eden. Lucifer has a long talk with God (through Metatron), but is not satisfied.

22,625 BC: After recruiting 1/3 of the Host, Lucifer leads his Rebellion. In his last private talk with God, he destroys Metatron. Uriel, formerly a Seraph, becomes the first Malakite during the Rebellion; the Cherub David quickly follows. Michael kicks Lucifer out of Heaven. The Lightbringer plummets to the farthest reaches of the universe, followed by his fellow rebels. They are trapped in Hell (for a time). The last ice age begins. Michael is made Archangel of War and appointed general of Heaven's armies. God lifts the ban on celestial intervention, but insists on subtlety.

22,000 BC: The Seraphim Council is created. Dominic is elevated to Archangel, and forms the Divine Inquisition. Marc becomes the first Archangel elected to that position by the Seraphim Council; Novalis (with considerably more debate) becomes the second. Archangels begin organizing their Servitors into formal heirarchies.

16,000 BC: With Lilith's help, the Diabolicals escape Hell, first finding their way to the Marches, and from there to Earth. Beleth begins building her Tower, opposite Blandine's. Lilith becomes the Princess of Freedom. The demons gradually begin acting more openly. The Grigori Choir is created, to guard humanity against diabolical influences.

11,600 BC: The Second "Fall". The Grigori, assigned to protect humanity from demonic influence, succumb to lust, begin having children, and neglect their jobs. David and Uriel's angels intervene, slaughtering the Grigori's Nephallim children, and rounding up the Watchers. Dominic tried and finds them guilty; the Seraphim Council votes to cast them out. The War is beggining in earnest, as angels and demons do battle across the Earth, disturbing the Symphony and slaughtering many humans.

2000 BC: Ethereal spirits are becoming powerful pagan deities, sometimes rivaling the power of an Archangel. The Seraphim Council declares something must be done. Yves suggests promoting monotheism as a way to cut off ethereal worship. Abram (Abraham) leaves the city of Ur. He makes a pact with God, and becomes the Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

1700 BC: Oannes traps and destroys his former Servitor, Vephar, the Demon Prince of the Oceans.

1627 BC: Oannes is slain by Belial. During the battle, the island of Thera explodes, leading to the collapse of the Minoan civilization.

1600 BC: Gebbeleth, Prince of Secrets, dissapears. No one notices.

1580 BC: The Trial of Michael. Dominic accuses Michael of Pride, promoting pagan personality cults, and creating too much disturbance with his actions. Michael is found guilty, but God aquits him. Michael steps down as leader of the Host. He is replaced by Uriel.

1550 BC: Saminga arrives in Egypt. He begins studying their necromantic arts, becomes very proficient at it (with some help from the Egyptian gods), and earns the Word of Death.

1500 BC: Egyptians start removing mummy brains to thwart Saminga.

1200 BC: Saminga becomes the Prince of Death. Lucifer grants him Abaddon.

859 BC: Magog, a Kyriotate of Stone and Angel of Fortitude, has been patronizing the Hittites, the Assyrians, and the Sea Peoples, spurring them toward conquest so he can strike directly against Saminga in Egypt. Finally, David confronts his Servitor. Magog Falls, and Lucifer crowns him Prince of Cruelty. The next day David, with help from Khalid, the Angel of Faith, imprisons Magog and his followers beneath the Egyptian desert.

700 BC: Mammon becomes the Prince of Greed.

600 BC: Eli works with the prophet Zoraoaster, in Persia, to promote monotheism.

500 BC: Zadkiel becomes the Archangel of Protection.

200 BC: Uriel begins patonizing the Roman Republic (later Empire), trying to keep the pagan gods they wirship under control.

146 BC: Demogorgon, the power Demon of Destruction, is destroyed by Belial amidst speculation that Lucifer is about to crown him Prince.

50 BC: Laurence is created by Uriel.

6 BC: Gabriel announces the conception of Jesus Christ.

60 AD: Yves, Gabriel, and Raphael work together and somehow cause Christianty to spread so rapidly that it begins cutting off many pagan gods from their worshippers. Michael eventually supports Christianity also, but becomes hostile to Yves at this time.

325 AD: Council of Nicea. Constantine begins making Christianity the official state religion of Rome. Uriel and Dominic both declare their support for the faith. Litheroy becomes the Archangel of Revelation.

331 AD: Laurence becomes the Angel of the Sword.

400 AD: Haagenti is created, and spends the next 600 years as an abused familiar.

455 AD: Beelzebub, the first Prince of Corruption, is slain by Uriel.

610 AD: At Yves' behest, Gabriel visits the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad receives divine revelations (which become the Quaran) for the next 23 years.

632 AD: Muhammad dies. Dominic summons Gabriel to Heaven, to try him for heresy. The Archangel of Fire angrily storms out of the Seraphim Council, and begins his self-imposed exile from Heaven. Soon thereafter, Gabriel begins assuming female form more often.

715 AD: Purification Crusade begins. Beleth offers the ethereals sanctuary in her realm, for a price. Some pagan gods flee to the Far Marches instead.

732 AD: Laurence and Khalid (both Servitors of Purity) are present on opposite sides at Poitiers, France.

745 AD: As Uriel's forces raze the Marches, he is called before the Seraphim Council, but is unrepentant. God abruptly orders Uriel to the Higher Heavens (some claim it was the voice of the slain Metatron who called him); Laurence is elevated to Archangel and is made General of the Host in Uriel's place. Khalid begins promoting Islam.

750 AD: Khalid becomes Archangel of Faith. He begins withdrawing from the Seraphim Council, spending more time on Earth.

793 AD: Valefor appears for the first time. He steals the Word of Genubath, Prince of Rapine; Genubath dissapears, and Lucifer makes Valefor the Prince of Theft.

900 AD: Kronos first appears, as the Prince of Fate. (Legend spculates that Lucifer actually found him centuries before this.)

1008 AD: Legion, a Shedite Servitor of Saminga, learns how to possess multiple hosts. Lucifer is pleased, and makes him Prince of Corruption. Legion soon goes mad, and as he begins possessing humans by the dozens, then by the hundreds, Heaven and Hell team up for the first time to destroy him. In the end, Raphael, Archangel of Knowledge, sacrifices herself to destroy Legion. During this battle, the young demon Haagenti distinguishes himself. Kobal takes a liking to him, and adopts the creature as his "bother."

1009 AD: Haagenti becomes the Demon of Gluttony. He increases rapidly in power, gathers an army, and sweeps through Hell, devouring Meserach, Prince of Sloth, before Lucifer makes him a Prince. Following his ascension to Prince, he devours Mariel, Princess of Oblivion.

1212 AD: The Children's Crusade prompt the naming of an Angel of Children: Christopher, a Servitor of Stone.

1348 AD: Makatiel, the Renegade Demon Prince of Disease, accelerates the spread of the Black Death, trying to destroy mankind. Servitors of Asmodeus and Dominic collaborate openly for the first time, to hunt down and destroy the mad Prince.

1517 AD: Laurence's Last Lesson. By using his agent Martin Luther to instigate change in the Catholic Church, Laurence inadvertently sparks the Protestant Reformation.

1771 AD: As factories spread across England, Vapula, the Demon of Technology, is quietly elevated to Prince; Richard Arkwright (inventor of the water frame), is believed to have assisted as Vapula's servant.

1800 AD: Alaemon, once a Mercurian of Revelation, becomes the second Prince of Secrets around this time.

1864 AD: Fleurity, a Servitor of Gluttony, becomes the (latest) Demon of Drugs.

1884 AD: Nybbas (a peon Servitor of Vapula) and several human allies invent television. He is given the Word of the Media and simultaneously crowned Prince. He quickly takes over Perdition.

1900 AD: Kobal, growing jaded, begins spending less time on Earth. Meanwhile, Eli starts assigning his Servitors to other Archangels.

1957 AD: Eli goes AWOL, abandoning his Heavenly Cathedral.

1978 AD: Christopher becomes an Archangel.

1986 AD: Crack cocaine gets Fleurity named Prince.

1997 AD: Furfur, Renegade Calabite of Fire and Demon of Hardcore, is made Prince.

1998 AD: Khalid is brought back from the brink of a Fall, but remains somewhat isolated from the rest of the Host.

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It'd be neat to see a Banestorm style update to the timeline if In Nomine ever gets a revival (it won't). Go Furfur.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



At least the Hunters section is fun. There was a decent story examining the fallout of the war going full public, and projections, and it turns out most everyone ends up getting their asses blown clean back to Heaven and Hell, especially since Tethers can be annihilated by humans. In a weird way, the best end is forcing them all back home and making them stay there, but that leaves the Marches as the only battleground, and Blandine and Beleth are bloodnasty possessive and grim to celestials loving around there. And it'd leave the Grigori on Earth still since they're invisible anyways.

Then there's Lilith. It's psuedo-canon for most that God did give her the Word, or she manifested it of her own since she's a sort of "peek at the back of the book" for mankind's future, and Lucifer just brainfucked her into a corner using the Eden experiment to his advantage.

EDIT: Smif made some serious garbage art for the series. BAD stuff. It was about the time he discovered Photoshop filters and went hog wild. Perez was the only artist who ever understood the style of the game and got it right.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



potatocubed posted:

Ramon Perez always turns out quality stuff. It was his art that was at least partially responsible for my Rifts collection.

Perez is seriously pro. His Superior splat pictures, especially for dudes like Magog, are amazing. He actually drew, you know, Choirs and Bands, Ofanim and Seraphim and all that, instead of Smifs disgusting melty blob art with nothing but winged humanoids and 20,000 lens flares.

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



I don't get those types. Why are these people playing games when they just seem to want to make people angry and lose? Doesn't that get tiring and boring really fast? Where's the fun, the joy?

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Black August
Sep 28, 2003



I'd let the goblin rip it up because that is cool and fun looking.

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