Please ReadPlease note the date at the top of this page - a little less than two months after In Nomine was released. There are some answers here that coincide with canon, but nothing in here should be assumed to be canon unless it happens to coincide with something in the printed books.
If you're looking for canon answers to your questions, try the In Nomine FAQ. Note that the FAQ is a "lesser canon", so to speak: if it contradicts the books, and there is not an erratum to correct the printed page, the book takes precedence.
Q: How do you pronounce "In Nomine"?
A: (from firstname.lastname@example.org <Andrew Getting>)
Q: Where does the title come from?
A: (from Alex Feely <email@example.com> and fish <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
From the French game entitled In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas (INS/MV) which was the inspriation of In Nomine. But originally, probably the Latin prayer/blessing, "In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti" which means, "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost."
Q: What are some sources of background material? I'm looking for books,
films, pretty much anything that bears on the theme/mood of the game.
A: (from various sources)
- The Bible. King James is only one of many available interpretations. The Book of Revelelation, in particular, is of interest.
- A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson
- The Sandman and Hellblazer comics both contain relevant material.
- Neil Gaiman's graphic novel Season of Mists
- Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
- The Prophecy, a film starring Christopher Walken
- This Present Darkness by Peretti
- To Reign in Hell by Steven Brust
- The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology by Rossell Hope Robbins
Q: Can anyone tell me a little about the game mechanics? What's going
A: (from fish <email@example.com>)
Much of the mechanics was (and still is, although the links have been removed) on the web, at least some of the more important points. I guess I can tell you a little without the Men In Black coming for me...
The primary die-rolling system, while it also used three six-sided dice, isn't technically 3d6; it's called a d666. Basically it's a 2d6 roll (for success), with the third (differently-coloured) die, called the 'check digit', determining the degree of success or failure. The higher the target number, the easier the task will be to complete; a d666 roll of 116 is pretty much the best possible...
Unless you're a demon, in which case rolling 666 gets the Powers That Aren't to come in on your side... sort of Diabolical Intervention. Likewise, a 111 for an angelic character (while it would normally indicate only a minor success, with a '1' on the check digit), indicates Divine Intervention.
I'd tell you more, but I think someone would send some Undead MIBs after me...
Q: This game sounds wacky. All we need is an anime/toon version!
A: (from Derek Pearcy, who informs us that we need to be careful what we wish for)
The game upon which In Nomine is based is called In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas (aka INS/MV). Halloween Concept, the French company who produced Toon en français and makers of Intervention Divine, a collectible card game based on INS/MV, produced a Toon supplement with excepts from Tooniversal Tour Guide, including a new offering, "In Nomine Toonis." It introduces all the Archangels and Demon Princes as Toon characters, bringing the ultimate war between good and evil to a cartoon land near you (if you happen to live in France).
Q: How do other religions fit into the In Nomine setting? Are they considered
false, or are they explained another way?
A: (from firstname.lastname@example.org <jason schneiderman>)
The monotheistic religions are canonical -- Heaven's got a big Hall of Worship where the faithful go. However, different angels support different religions, and there's politicking enough over which is the True faith. So far, Laurence is the patron of Christianity and (as revealed here) Khalid is the patron of Islam. No clue as to the patron of Judaism.
The pagan gods -- the ones that survived the Purification of the Ethereal Realms -- dwell in the domains of Beleth, Demon Princess of Nightmares, who offered them shelter. They're somewhat lacking in power now, not surprisingly.
Q: What's the story on advancement if you're a Celestial?
A: (from Moriah <73407.515@CompuServe.COM>)
Participants in the War are often striving for a higher way: The Good of All, e.g., or, Me and What's Mine. In this struggle, they grow, they mature, they gain rewards from masters, they accrue Power unto themselves from the nature of the Symphony. In game terms, they buy Resources, Characteristics, Forces, and Power. The GM may give rewards out in the name of your Superior as extra attunements, distinctions, and even new Forces.
But there is only so much your Superior can give you... only so far you can grow. The next step (more like a different kind of step, since you may still be in the progress of serving a master) is gaining a Word. A Word attunes you to a part of the Symphony which is uniquely yours (except that a celestial on the other side of the War may also have the same Word). Being Word-bound gives you new powers from that special attunement. By serving that Word (as opposed to serving another celestial), you have the chance to continue growing in Power. If you care for that Word, then the theme (to use the musical metaphor) of that Word will grow in the Symphony, and your power will grow, too.
And finally, there is another source of Power: The friends and servants that you have. As you grow in power, others will serve you. Their work will further your Word and Power. Mighty allies will seek to band with you and work together, supporting each other -- more Power.
At some point, you'll be powerful enough to become emancipated (how each side of the War oversees that moment differs drastically) from your Superior and solely concentrate on your Word. You'll probably still need to be an *ally* of a more powerful superior until you can become powerful enough to be considered one of the peerage of major Superiors.
Q: Isn't it hard to get your characters interested in playing non-celestials?
Soldiers (humans with enhanced abilities) seem not to be that interesting.
A: (from fish <email@example.com>)
All of my players seemed to enjoy Soldiers. And I also found that Soldiers made a very good introduction to the game for new players, as they could play a character who was only just recently introduced to the existence of the Divine and Diabolical... allowing us to teach them how the universe and system worked through in-character interaction.
Q: Okay, so "enhanced humans" are interesting. What do I need
A: (from Derek Pearcy)
There're crude guidelines for creating Soldiers (for both sides) and Undead in the basic book. Since Laurence, Archangel of the Sword, is the organizer of the Soldiers of God, and since Saminga, Prince of Death, is the creator of the Undead, we're covering all four of these subjects in depth in Night Music, plus Soldiers of Hell (countering Soldiers of God) and Saints (to counter Undead). Sorcerors, completely removed from the initial book, also get a big chunk in Night Music, written by Sam Chupp (ex- of White Wolf).Another A: (from firstname.lastname@example.org <jason schneiderman>)
Soldiers of God/Soldiers of Hell are humans who've made contact with the celestial and have been profoundly altered. They've got 6 forces (as compared to a human's five and a Celestial's nine) which makes them superhuman, to a small extent.
Undead are immortals, created through rites of Saminga, Demon Prince of Death. They're built similarly to Soldiers.
Soldiers and Undead are weaker than Celestials, and can use fewer Songs. However, they're part of the Symphony, and don't gain Discord or leave Echoes from their actions. This makes them very useful to other Celestials.
Q: Are each of the supplements (including the Core Rules) going to have
a significant contribution to the "Relics and Reliquaries" list?
A: (from Derek Pearcy)
Oh yeah, we're going to include lots of neat holy and unholy gadgets and such in the meantime. (For example, since the main adventure in Night Music is set in Austin, I've demothballed the guitar of St. Stevie and its accompanying reliquary.) We'll add lots of other new Resources in supplements besides just artifacts, too. Guilt as a Discord, for the good Catholic angels. Addiction is another one I'd like to see added, and an appropriate one for the Demon Prince of Drugs (who may also make an appearance in Night Music).
Q: Where's the list which notes how each kind
of angel would get a soda from a vending machine?
A: (posted by J. S. Cardella <email@example.com>)
Here, on the day of its parent's release, is the original, unaltered Soda Machine List. This material is ©1996 Steve Jackson Games, Incorporated.
ANGELS AND THEIR SOFT DRINKS:
AN ABSTRACT EXERCISE
The below examples are designed to show how various Choirs would deal with getting a drink out of a soda machine, in the abstract.
When confronted with a soda machine, a Seraph would ask another angel to handle the matter for him.
When confronted with a soda machine, a Cherub would wait to watch someone else use it, find some way to get money, buy a coke and give it to someone he thinks needs a drink.
When confronted with a soda machine, an Ofanite would rip the door off its hinges, grab as many drinks as he could and spiral out over the night before arousing any more attention.
When confronted with a soda machine, an Elohite would recognize it as merely an extension of a giant marketing machine, designed to suck money and soul from its customers. He would take it home and disassemble it as his leisure, marvelling at its simplicity of design and complexity of purpose.
Malakim find no redeeming qualities in carbonated beverages.
When confronted with a soda machine, a Kyriotate would pull out his two quarters and . . . hey, these coins are cool.
When confronted with a soda machine, a Mercurian would put his two quarters in the slot and punch the button of the drink he wants. Mercurians always have a bit of change in their pockets.
Q: Where's the list which notes how each
kind of demon would get a backrub?
A: (from Derek Pearcy, ©1997 Steve Jackson Games)
A Balseraph would go into a massage parlor claiming to be a reviewer for Backrubs Monthly.
Djinn couldn't care less about backrubs.
A Calabite would turn to someone and say, "You know, when I get these knots in my muscles, it makes me want to break things."
A Habbalite would torture someone with guilty feelings until he broke down and rubbed the demon's back.
A Lilim would walk up to a stranger, bite her lip and say, "Don't you owe me a backrub?"
A Shedite would possess one person, start him giving someone else a backrub, then moce into the other person's body to enjoy the experience.
An Impudite would rather give a backrub -- and take advantage of the opportunity to steal some Essence.
Q: Hmm. If Lilith isn't a "true" demon, what is she?
A: (from Derek Pearcy)
She was once a human, granted diabolical power by Lucifer for pleasing him when she turned the first Eden experiment into a disaster.
Q: Is Night Music a stand-alone supplement?
A: (summarized from information posted by Derek Pearcy)
Apparently so, but it's the first of a larger series. It'll be part story and part setting (places, NPCs, objects, etc.) information, as most of the In Nomine supplements seem to be. Derek has been heard calling this series of story/rule supplements the "Revelation Cycle." It's apparently going to run 5 books, and will end with something tentatively titled "Armageddon."
Q: Are Songs flexible and multi-purpose, like those in Mage: The Ascention
or Ars Magica, or are they rigidly defined, like in GURPS Magic or AD&D?
A: (from firstname.lastname@example.org <jason schneiderman>)
A little bit of both, actually. Each Song comes in three flavors: Corporeal, Ethereal and Celestial, corresponding to the three types of forces. Each variety applies the nature of the song to the force, in a sense.
Take the Song of Shielding, for example. The one shown in "Dark Dream" was the Celestial Song. The Corporeal Song of Shielding does what you asked -- it stops physical attacks. And the Ethereal Song prevents attacks of a dvine nature: no resonance, attunment or other song can affect the target.
Each Song is taken as a separate ability, but knowing more than one song of a particular type gives a bonus to the use of the others. Think of them as the guitar, bass and vocals to a given tune. They all sound different, and have different effects, but knowing one makes learning the next easier and the three together make up a Song.
Q: So what's stopping celestials on either side from turning into blatant
A: (from jason schneiderman <email@example.com>)
What keeps Angels and Demons from being power brokers? Well...they are. Sort of. It's just that the power they're brokering isn't *theirs*. Celestials may have the powers of Essence at their disposal, but they've got strict rules to follow, handed down from their supervisors, and breaking them causes Dissonance.Another A: (from Moriah <73407.515@CompuServe.COM>)
What keeps them from being *blatant*? This isn't their world. When a celestial spends Essence or manipulates the Symphony, he or she knocks it out of tune. The universe reverberates with the sound of being plucked, and celestials can hear the sound from miles away and for hours later. Being blatant about your power makes you a target, fast.
Besides Jason's excellent answer (it makes noise which makes them targets for the enemy); there *may* also be other explanations. E.g., God commands the angels not to interfere (too much) with human freedom. AND/OR Lucifer commands the demons not to reveal themselves because it makes humans go on demon hunts and gets them all too religious. Stay tuned to see if these takes on the Commanders make it into the supplements.
Q: I'm confused. Michael is typically seen as the commander of God's
armies, and yet there seems to be some overlap with Laurence in this regard.
What's happening here?
A: (from fish <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Moriah <73407.515@CompuServe.COM>)
Laurence is commander specifically of God's armies on Earth, and not on the Etherial or Celestial realms. Laurence is more of a field marshall. Michael is Commander-in-Chief with his own Executive branch and elite troops.
Q: What's the deal with Furfur? Isn't "Furfur" a stupid name
for a demon?
A: (from Derek Pearcy)
Hey, it's up to you. Furfur begins Night Music as the renegade demon of Heavy Metal, a Word which has arguably hit its peak and set in to its waning. But he thinks he's managed to get something on Lucifer, and it's something so good he believes he can roughhouse himself into an undeserved Princedom. But he's not doing it for power, he's merely doing it to thumb his nose at the entire political structure. He's a demon's demon. Besides, Furfur is a very old and venerable demon name. It's been in the family for generations.
Q: Can you clarify what's going on with Djinn? What's the deal with their
attunement problems, and how does In Nomine's Djinn relate to those of myth?
A: (from Derek Pearcy)
They attune themselves to things when they want to. It lets them have some feeling of control. As long as a Djinn attunes himself to something and then lets the connection naturally run its course, he's cool and suffers no penalties. It's when he tried to end an attunement before its time that he can get in trouble. (My well-thought-out answer also had something to do with "and frequently your Prince orders you to attune yourself to something, etc.")
Their sarcastic and brassy attitude was more Djinn than any other "demonic" archetype I came across. That, and their ability to attune themselves to people but not being able to harm the object of an attunement except at the wishes of that person reminded me of the nasty genie trick of having the man who wanted a million dollers to be crushed by gold coins. The Djinn in general seemed to make a nice analog for the Cherubim.
Q: Are there other supernatural entities besides angels, demons, and
assorted servitors of heaven and hell?
A: (from jason schneiderman <email@example.com>)
Yes and no. There are other supernatural entities -- the undead, imps, relievers, familiars, sorcerers and so on -- but they all have a connection to the divine, even if it's through their neutrality.
Q: Where do angels come from, in the game reality?
A: (from jason schneiderman <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
As far as I can tell, there are two ways that celestials come into being:
a) They're born. Most angels and demons are created from the energies and will of their supervisors.
b) They're made. It is possible for Soldiers, Familiars and the like to gain forces. Once you gain your ninth force, you *are* a Celestial. Haagenti, the Demon Prince of Gluttony, got his power this way. Naturally, such ambitious mortals are watched very closely by other Celestials.
Q: Why did Dominic call heresy upon Gabriel for being at the creation
of two religions?
A: (from Kestrel <email@example.com>)
Because Dominic isn't a neutral judge. He favors Christianity, and Islam challenges it. So since Dominic lacked the celestial cajones to take on Yves, he took on Gabriel.
Q: Why doesn't God just eliminate Lucifer? He's God. He can do that.
A: (from Rick Neal <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
Here's something that is being missed in the debate about the whys and wherefors of the mind of God. Catholic teaching at least, and probably several other sects, holds that The Plan is ineffable; that means that man _can't_ understand it. I've always thought that this was a cop-out, theologically speaking, but it adds a certain existential angst to a game like IN. A little evil serving a greater good, etc., with none of those involved understanding how it fits together. What torture a cherub must go through if the person they protect is destined to die to further The Plan. This is an idea with appeal for me.A: (from Moriah <73407.515@CompuServe.COM>)
Conversely, if you want something more understandable for mortal minds, let's look at the Mormon's take on this. The hold that the big blow-up between God and Lucifer was over free will. Lucifer wanted to make mankind automatically good, worshipping God, not having to think and decide, and, therby, eliminating evil. God decreed that they must have a choice. He and Lucifer fought, and Lucifer took the long drop.
This ties into the previous point in an interesting way: You have here a supreme being who creates someone almost as powerful as he is (according to scripture), and then sets him up to become evil just so that man has something to choose between. Then he creates a _WHOLE_ planet for two people, and gives them the catch-22 that they must be fruitful and multiply, but must remain innocent. A double-bind where Adam has to disobey one of the two orders, thereby... CHOOSING.
That's a little convoluted, but it shows that the mind of God is not for man (or Celestial) to know. In translation, have fun, GM's. No one can call you on your reasoning.
The party line of the Judeo-Christo-Islamic (JCI) religion is that God can crush Satan with a mere thought, but that God allows all his creatures, which were *created* Good, to have free will, even if that means they choose evil. Good which is forced is not Good, it is slavery. God doesn't want preprogrammed robots, God wants friends to love and to be freely loved by them.Q: I can't find anywhere in the book that gives starting Essence.
So, the demons are free to do what they want, however, they're not going to be unopposed. The angels who did not fall have just as much free will as the demons, and they're going to use it to oppose any evil they see. Angels, though they outnumber the demons, are not the type to be genocidal; though they will totally destroy a demon who becomes homicidal.
Demons don't want to start a final conflict unless they are sure that they'll win.
Also, humanity has power, too. If demons and angels truly started to slug it out in Times Square and buildings started to fall; guess what the National Guard is going to do. And guess which side the National Guard will take. As powerful as demons are; military ordnance will send them back to Hell.
It's a damned cold War.
Under "Essence," on p. 50, it says, "A character may never hold more Essence than the total of his Forces." We assume that characters, when starting the game, are full up and ready to go.Q: Alain's name was changed to Jordi in the final release. Why?
Alain was the Archangel of Agriculture in the original game. His character changed to become an Archangel of Animals, so to do something resembling justice to the original game, of which this is a license, I revamped the character to match their Jordi, Archangel of Animals.Q: Do Celestials have genders?
Celestials are not necessarily engendered, though, when they think in personal terms (rather than in celestial/spiritual terms) they might have a tendency toward considering themself or manifesting a gender celestially (or, like the Elohim, be completely asexual). That tendency may fluctuate or flip flop between extremes over the centuries.Q: Why can't celestials just go around revealing their true identity or blatantly using their powers?
Human Corporeal Vessels are engendered -- that's their *nature*. To not have an engendered Human Vessel is a Discord (a fracture of nature).
For angels:Another A: (from Derek Pearcy)
1. God prohibits it. That should be good enough for any angel still serving their Side. And their Superiors back up that command -- angels who disobey in this area are dealt with severely. If the Superior didn't, they'd have Dominic on their case. But what about Soldiers, you might ask. Of course, the recruitment of Soldiers is seen as being too important in the War, and that it is overlooked, even by Dominic. And traditionally, God has prompted angelic contacts with certain humans (who then go blabbing all over the place that they've talked to an angel -- but that can't be helped). The angels are charged with 'helping' humanity which means that there will be a certain amount of accidental exposure, no matter how careful they are. And the War makes it even harder to remain hidden. Be sure that Heaven knows the difference between recruiting a Soldier, accidental exposure, and grandstanding.
2. Now, you might ask, why does God prohibit it? No one knows. The best guess is that such a revelation could seriously harm a human's free will. If an angel of God appeared to you in full glory and told you to part your hair differently, would you refuse? Well, that's because you're stubborn and headed for the other Side, but most people wouldn't refuse an angel anything. Think of it as a celestial Prime Directive. Most angels, who desire what is Good, do not want to 'disturb' things; just help behind the scenes. To become a known and active force can be considered prideful. Look at what happened to the Ethereal Spirits when they were on the Earth, they got worshipped as gods. Such a thought should seriously disturb any angel.
3. The fact that angels disturb the Corporeal Symphony through theiractions and revelations makes most conscientious angels pause at the thought of a whole scale coming out party. Disturbing the Symphony isn't *natural*; it goes against the original score as intended by God; and is often viewed as a path toward Falling.
4. Whatever an angel can do to prove that they're an angel, a demon can do, too. That won't help anything.
1. Lucifer prohibits it. And that should be enough for any demon. Sure, there are plenty of insane demons who will violate this, but if their Superior let them loose on the Earth, they'd have to face Asmodeus and Lucifer. Having Soldiers is the sneaky way around this, and Lucifer wholly approves. If the angels can do it, so can we. But wholescale revelation is Not Allowed.
2. Why won't Lucifer allow this? He doesn't keep that a mystery. Look at the witch hunts. Sure, they were engineered by demons and aimed at innocent mystics and the insane; but they all know how easily the humans could have started to direct it themselves against real demons. There is a grudging acknowledgement (well, not so much among the Balseraphs who always see things differently) that as bad as humanity is, there still is enough good in them that they would mobilize their energies and resources to rooting out demons. The better tactic is to corrupt them behind the scenes. And Hell help the demon who ruins Lucifer's plan.
3. If an angelic and demonic slugfest broke out in Times Square bringing down the buildings around them -- do you think the humans would stand by and do nothing? The National Guard would come in with the heavy ordnance and send all the celestials back to their Hearts. And if they were going to help one side over the other, guess who'd they pick? Not the guys with horns and tails.
For angels and demons:
1. What, are you crazy!? Reveal your position!? There's a War going on out there! Putting aside announcing to the world that you're a celestial, just a *minor* disturbance in the Symphony can have your enemies running to your location.
2. In a jam with human authorities? Just go celestial and 'disappear'. Many a celestial who relied on that trick no longer *exist*... *at all*. They went celestial, which disturbs the Symphony, and drew the attention of their enemies who came running and were able to celestially damage them into non-existence.
3. Since both Sides are against revelation, angels, demons, renegades, or outcasts who reveals themselves will find themselves being put at the top of the most wanted list of both Sides of the War. One of the very few instances of angelic and demonic cooperation are the combined angel and demon squads of the servants of Dominic and Asmodeus who hunt down not just renegades, but any celestial who is upsetting the Plan of both their Big Bosses by coming out.
Well, then there's the whole, "Good going, Arafel, way to mung up theSymphony!" aspect of it. Part of the ineffible plan is that humans must have faith. How fair would that be, otherwise?Q: What happens when a celestial with no heart in the celestial realm "dies"? There's no heart to manifest next to.
Think of it this way: demons provide tests of weakness, while angels provide tests of strength.
I'd say that Outcasts (who can't get to their Superior's Cathedral) and Renegades (who've presumably shattered their Hearts before scampering away, and can't get to their Superior's Principality) either:Q: So do bright Lilim keep her Rites? (The sidebar on Redemption says that a redeemed demon can use old Rites, though Renegades can't! Go figure....)
a) show up in the Marches;
b) show up at the front door of their respective celestial realm (angels might be given push-broom duty for eternity; the Princes probably have a snitch sitting high atop a pillar keeping an eye out for any Renegades trying to sneak back in);
c) have no limits on how long they can stay in their celestial forms, thus keeping them on Earth but leaving them open to serious celestial attack and eventual disbanding of their Forces.
I like the third option, what do you guys think?
Oops. That's a contradiction, isn't it. Hmph. Hmm. Well, the idea was to keep Renegades from earning Essence while rebelling from their masters, but to give redeemed demons enough rope to hang themselves with. Hmm. Well, I might be inclined to say that Renegades don't use their master's Rites because that might tell their dark lords (and ladies) where they are, but they can if they really want to -- and that redeemed demons are shielded from such scrutiny by their newly retuned natures. Or some such Balseraphic line.(2/15) Another A: (from Moriah <73407.515@CompuServe.COM> )
Ouch, that will probably have to be fixed in some way. Anyway, if a Lilim is becoming Bright, she'll have an Archangel supervisor. Using the Rites of a Demon Prince causes Dissonance in angels which is Really, Really Bad for a Repenting demon.Q: If you buy a spare vessel, do you have to buy a body bag to store it in, lest have it spoil, and turn to goo?
OTOH, Lilith is Lilith and not necessarily of the same mold as Demon Princes. So maybe using her Rites doesn't cause Dissonance for the Bright Lilim. GM's call.
You can have two vessels in the corporeal plane at the same time, one in a body bag and one not. That's the body bag's trick. Otherwise, the other vessel exists merely as potential until you change into it.Q: How do Roles and Kyriotates work?
There's no point for Kyriotates to buy Roles.Q: If I buy the Fighting skill, I don't get as good a chance to hit as I do with the bare handed attack! I would have to buy it at the level of my Corporeal Forces just to be even with this number. Can you clarify this?
As far as I can tell, you're right and we goofed. The most consistent and logical thing to do is to add the Fighting Skill level to (Strength + Corporeal Forces). Even if the Fighting Skill is still at default level (-1).Q: The rulebook says humans can have Discord. I thought this was a Celestial-only attribute?
OK, let's clear up a few things. The part about IN NOMINE 'seeming' to make Discords only applicable to celestials is quite subjective... and objectively wrong.(2/20) Another A: (from Moriah <73407.515@CompuServe.COM>)
Under the description of characters (p. 36), which includes both celestial and human PCs, is a section that says that characters can have Resources. Discord is a Resource. Therefore humans can have Discord. (Yes, Celestial Songs are Resources, too, but they're specifically banned from being owned by Mundane and Soldier characters -- nowhere is there a similar ban from humans having Discord.)
In the section on "Game Mechanics" (beginning p. 38), we have a section on "Discord" (p. 49), notice that the text is very careful to distinguish between talking about 'a being' or 'characters' (celestials and humans) and specifically a 'celestial'.
Under the section of the Undead, humans who become Vampires and Zombis gain Discords.
Humans do not ever acquire Resonances (that we know of) and therefore, never will have Dissonance. Their souls are much more free to improvise in the Symphony. Their nature doesn't force them into certain modes of behavior which they must attend to or suffer a breakdown in their nature.Q: I have a question about the Lilim resonance. The check digit determines the "level" of the desire that someone has, right? Now if Joe Blow has the following desires in ascending amounts (i.e. He'd like to have an affair, but he REALLY wants his partner's head on a pole): (1) A stiff Drink, (2) To have an affair, (3) A new Porsche, (4) Win the lottery, (5) Kill his business partner.
They can start out with Discord, treating Discords like disadvantages. Humans can't take Discords which are obviously meant for celestials (e.g., discolored). Discords can be acquired by humans during play depending on the situations they find themselves in. A human given a vision of Hell in all its gory might pick up a mental Discord. A human who is tortured might pick up any sort of Discord, especially a physical disability.
Nope. The [check digit represents the] level of difficulty in granting their desire.Q: Well, if you're a Soldier, it allows you to use Songs you normally can't. Or are Soldiers unable to use (say) Etherial Songs, even when contained in a relic?
I personally, and this is a matter of opinion, would arrange it thusly: (2) To have an affair (assuming this is an OK looking guy), (5) A new Porsche; killing his partner, (6) Winning the Lottery.
A stiff drink is too easy to rate even as a level 1 Geas.
And don't let a player force the GM to stretch reality too far, there are some very contented people out there whose most difficult desire might only rate a 3. If the Lilim rolls a 6, tell the player "this person doesn't have any aspirations that difficult to achieve, but you do discern three level two desires which are..."
Or, "This person's desire (that's worth a level 6 Geas) is world peace. Do you try to get it for him? He'd be very indebted to you if you could..."
Soldiers (as far as everyone knows right now ;> ) can only use Corporeal Songs, period. They can use Relics (i.e., a Celestial Artifact) with Corporeal Songs only. They can use Reliquaries (i.e., Celestial Artifacts with storing-Essence properties). (Anyone can use a Talisman, i.e., an Ethereal Artifact)Q: Physical damage is tracked separately for each vessel a Celestial has. What happens, then, if a Celestial near unconsciousness elects to switch vessels during combat, but gets hit during the round that the change occurs?
All things are simultaneous in a round. So, both happen, the celestial gets hit *and* switches vessel. Whenever that celestial switches back, that celestial will find their body in the condition as if the hit took place. This might mean that the body is unconscious or even dead.Q: Does switching to celestial form cause the same degree of disturbance in the Symphony as actually leaving or returning from the Celestial Realm? Does the 2 essence required to change into Celestial form add to this? If switching form does cause the same disturbance, does a celestial going to the Celestial Realm cause double the disturbance (once for changing form, and again for leaving)?
If dead, the GM could rule that the body really doesn't exist anymore, but that the celestial did manage to switch to their alternate vessel. Or, if the GM is nice <insert bout of maniacal laughter> and wants to be cinematic, the GM could allow the body to be 'at death's door' and if the celestial arranges to have some appropriate health care available for the nearly-dead body when they switch back to it, then that vessel can be saved from death.
Yes. Yes. Yes, although entering doesn't cause double since one enters the Corporeal Realm directly into a vessel.Q: Can a celestial recognise another celestial while both are in their vessels? Can they tell if someone is in fact an angel or a demon?
As a general guideline, GMs should always make the Disturbance rules side with celestial powers being as noisy as possible. Celestial powers make celestials hot stuff on earth, but there is always risk involved -- being noticed. The 2 Essence is added since there are times when a celestial doesn't have to spend that Essence, e.g., transforming in a Tether (although, compared to the noise a Tether makes, who would notice?).
And, since it's been discussed on the list, here. Let me add that switching vessels should be as loud as going celestial.
Nope. Nope. A celestial in a vessel who is doing practically nothing causes practically no disturbance and is practically indistinguishable from a human. Once disturbance starts (or even the physical signs of the use of celestial powers); then people start getting a clue -- but even then, a Soldier spending Essence feels just like a celestial, angel or demon, spending Essence.Q: What is the level of a corporeal artifact based on? There's only one specific example I can find, and that's the .44 bought by one of the example characters as a level 1 artifact.
The level indicates how attuned you are to the artifact (p 41). If you want to always find your Porsche in a crowded parking lot, then take it at level 6.Q: Are all angels of Jean immune to electricity? If not, how can they perform the 'two hours plugged into the mains' ritual?
The performance of the Rite itself grants the immunity during the duration of the Rite.Q: Soldiers can buy their superior's attunements (according to page 32). Can they buy choir/band attunements, or only servitor attunements?
Any type of Attunement, as long as it makes sense. If a Sectional Attunement affects how celestials of that Section use their Resonance, then, obviously, it can't be given to a Soldier (or to a celestial who does not have that Resonance).Q: Are the items listed under each Superior's Invocation Modifiers used up or consumed by the attempt to summon the Superior, or by a successful summoning, or not at all? A Bright Dream certainly implies that Gabriel takes the blood...
GM's discretion. Certainly, nothing gets used up if the invocation failed.Q: Why are higher levels of the Song of Claws (page 82) less effective than lower levels? (Smaller claws, lower accuracy.)
Use 6" chopsticks to pick up something. Then, use 1' chopsticks. The reason why the extra long claws lose accuracy should then be made clear ;)Q: Character advancement. Do players have to pay character points for rites granted to them by other Superiors? Do characters have to pay character points for their superiors to remove discord? If so, how many?
Rites (and any advantage or power, really) that are acquired through *role playing* are free. If they want them at character creation, then they should pay for the ones that don't come automatically from their Superior. Discord may be removed by GM fiat as a PC's reward from their Superior at the end of an adventure. If the players want to spend character points to remove Discords, they may with the GM's approval, with a story as to why their Superior is being so generous. If the players are paying, 3 points per level (p. 49).Q: Has anyone else had problems with character creation in buying skills? It appears to me that if I spent 1 point on a skill like Running I go from (Attribute -1) to (Attribute +1), but if I spend 1 point on a skill like Chemistry I go from (Attribute -5) to Attribute +1), quite a leap for the same price.
While a GM may do what they want to smooth out this jump in ability, this is certainly not, from Our Point of View something that is broken with the mechanics. Mechanics for a cinematic style of play purposely chooses simplicity over realism and smoothness.Q: What is the cost of a reliquary; I can't seem to find it anywhere.
The big penalties for defualts in some skill represents how hard it is to do those skills for someone with no training. Everyone knows how to run, but unless one studied chemistry, no one knows the right volumes of NaHO and ClO to mix to produce a safe but salty drink.
Putting one point in the skill raises it to level 1, regardles of what the default was for the sake of simplicity. Some skills are easier to learn, but they still have the same learning curve for game purposes.
If you want a detailed skill system, please be patient and wait for the conversion to GURPS, or, brew your own home version and have fun!
Being unclear on that is our fault, but it can be ferreted out:Q: In the description of the Seraphim's description if seems possible for a Seraphim to know what the truth of something is even if the person they're asking has no idea whatsoever!
P. 42: a Celestial Artifact (i.e., a Relic or Reliquary) cost 3 times its level.
On p. 71, if the Celestial Artifact is a Relic *and* a Reliquary, and the Essence it generates can be used only for the Song it can sing, then it costs 5 times its level.
And if the Celestial Artifact is a Relic *and* a Reliquary, and the Essence it generates can be drawn to be used for other purposes (just like a normal Reliquary), then it costs 6 times its level (3 + 3 = makes sense! ;) ).
The Seraphim is "tuning into the Symphony" to extract the information, so it's possible. On the other hand, it's not clear how much "Truth" the Seraphim actually should get, especially when it has to do with things not in his immediate vicinity. Note also that frequent rolls to do this sort of thing invites problems from "backfires" and infernal intervention....Q: Does a character instantly get rites, attunements etc. upon becoming Word-bound? And are these paid for by CPs, or given to the character instantly?
Getting Word-bound is a long, complicated process. Presumably the various benefits are worked out over time, and then granted when the celestial is bound to the Word itself. I also assume that a Word-bound celestial can invent their own Rites (for their Word).Q: Do celestials recognize each other?
It's fairly clear that the general answer is no. A Seraphim of Yves might be able to tell using physical contact, using his Choir attunement. Of course, celestials may have favorite appearances for their vessels, which means that if you know what they looked like, once, you *might* be able to recognize them, if they kept that vessel's appearance for later vessels.(4/15) Another A: (from Elizabeth McCoy)
There are, however clever ways to use various resonnances to get some hints.Q: Does physical damage cause pain/shock effects?
It doesn't appear so -- certainly the stories (A Bright/Dark Dream) seem to indicate that celestials, at least, aren't particularly bothered by damage to a vessel (which makes some sense, since vessels clearly aren't "true" bodies). IN's combat system is decidedly cinematic, so leaving out nasty little details like this is probably a Good Thing.Q: Do characters have to buy each weapon skill separately? I'm not quite sure.
There are two thoughts on this: First, and this is probably what Derek intended, is that you buy each weapon individually. As a GM, you can either pick a fairly close weapon (sap might be a good choice) or you can define a new weapons skill, Small Improvised Weapons. Or you can just left the default stand. ANY Malakim had better be darn good at using ANYTHING that comes to hand! ;) Perhaps only allow Malakim of Eli to buy Improvised Weapons as a skill?Q: So would a lilim have her heart in the same manner as a servitor of Eli?
IMO, however, this system places too much emphasis on weapon skills. To resolve this (keep in mind that these are GM calls, NOT canon!) you can have broad groupings. For example you can break down the list into the longer, swingy things (like a shortsword or club), the shorter stabby things (daggers, icepicks, etc), the shorter swingy things (saps, high-heels), and the attached to your hand things (brass knuckles, some martial arts weapons, cestus). Then have each broad category as a skill.
Or, for the gung-ho GMs, just have ONE Small Weapons skill and be done with it. The same for Ranged weapons as well. This is Absolutely Not Canon, but I hate fiddlin' around with character sheets wondering "does this NPC have skill in flail?". This is not realistic, but it works for me!
Lilim serving a Superior would have a Superior-forged heart in some Principality of Hell.Q: is it possible to actually use an attunement of another band if it requires the Band's attunment?
Lilim who are 'free' don't have a heart <grin>. They could, if a Superior or Lilith were willing, trade a favor in order to have that Superior create and keep a heart for her. Creating hearts is a heavy Essence expense on the part of a Superior, and they don't do it lightly. This would be 6 levels of Geas for sure. And another 6 levels of Geas in payment to have the Superior 'liberate' her heart and let her put it where she wants.
The IN NOMINE book prevents celestials from acquiring Attunements that affect Resonances they don't or can't have. So, a Duke gets all Attumenents of his Superior except in the case of Attunements which affect foreign Resonances.Q: Do Soldiers of God all serve a: Laurence and only Laurence, or b: both an Archangel AND Laurence, enabling them to purchase attunements belonging to either Superior?
Same for the Ambassador distinction, which is the angelic equivalent of Duke.
b. is close, but needs just a slight clarification:Q: Can an Elohim take the Emote skill, or would this be dissonant?
Soldiers serve a Side -- God or Hell. They are directly supervised by a Superior's Servitor. It is possible for a Soldier to receive the Servitor Attunements of the Superior they are serving under (directly or indirectly).
Laurence is charged with coordinating the Soldiers of God on earth. He makes his Servitor Attunements available to them (regardless of who else they may serve or whatever religion they may be).
IN NOMINE dealt with celestial characters. People will have to have some patience for the full Soldiers rules due real soon in the next supp.
You don't have to *feel* what you're Emoting. (In GURPS terms, Emote is Acting skill.) It will read as "truth" if you're Emoting what you're really feeling, but it doesn't *have* to be what you're feeling.(4/10) annother A: (from John Karakash <email@example.com>)
It would be something that would be *dicey* for an Elohite to do, and s/he'd have to be very sure that hir actions were purely for the benefit of the Symphony, and not self-interest-directed. And it might get a trio of Dominic's Finest descending upon hir to see if sie was actually showing *real* emotions, rather than acting!
(Probably including another Elohite, to gague hir emotional state and how much sie was allowing it free reign.)
Only if he alters the Symphony out of selfish desire. Emote is just a kind of misdirection which might be difficult for a Seraph to stomach, but even there it isn't really _lying_. If anything, an Elohim should be particularly good at the 'hide emotions' part of the Emote skill.Q (paraphrased): How can Habbalah fool themselves into thinking they're still angels?
How delusional are they? Very. Remember that every demon is a _broken_ angel. They can never really look Truth full in the face. In fact, the most essential part of their natures is what is corrupted most. They _know_ that the demons are demons and hell is hell. They just think that it's part of God's plan for some angels, themselves, to be working with the demons in hell. Pretty sick and twisted, eh?Another A: (from Elizabeth McCoy <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
They are working with demons because they must use the tools that are available, and the other angels don't seem to realize that this culling of the weak, the unworthy-of-Heaven, is *necessary* and *desirable*. Habbalah are appointed by God to *test* the herds of humanity, so that only the purest of heart and mind may enter those pearly gates. If they can be corrupted, then they were obviously not pure enough, and are fit only for the fires of Hell.
The Hell-Princes think that Habbalah are sworn to them, but they don't understand that this is just for convenience, and they, too, will be struck down when they falter. When the final battle comes, the Habbalah will (probably) turn on their "masters" and be welcomed into the highest planes of Heaven, praised and rewarded for their fine work.
The other demons are tests as well, but only the Habbalah know that they are doing God's Will.
Habbalah can no longer enter Heaven-Tethers because that would blow their cover -- it's so funny how demons think that Habbalah are Fallen, even when you correct them! (Either that, or Habbalah just don't think of that -- they don't want to go up to the earthly heaven anyway, where all those wimp namby-pamby angels are who can't be bothered to get their hands dirty.)
(Insane enough for ya?)