Steve Jackson Games In Nomine

Burning Feather

Using In Nomine with GURPS


Copyright © 1997 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

Point Values For Converted Games

These rules assume that those using them are GURPS enthusiasts, using it to run GURPS In Nomine from the first day of the campaign. However, much of the information here can be used to convert characters between systems.

If you are adapting an existing In Nomine campaign to GURPS, it's best not to worry too much about exact character point totals; celestials can range widely in adapted point value. Adapt the characters as closely as you feel is necessary, and just keep playing. If the point difference between individual PCs is so great that some players feel cheated, give the weaker characters some extra points to bring them up to the level of the more powerful ones.


Unless specified otherwise, any use of any kind of supernatural ability – from the invoking a resonance to assuming celestial form – requires a single Concentrate maneuver to perform.

Adapting Attunements

As we hope you've noticed, In Nomine features a wide variety of supernatural powers for characters – from the resonances of the choirs and bands, to the powerful Songs, to the attunements offered by the Demon Princes and Archangels.

Listing every single one in GURPS terms is beyond the scope of these rules. If the need arises, GURPS In Nomine might happen as its own book. We won't know until the fans tell us.

In the meantime, to adapt In Nomine's powers for those who do want to use GURPS, we offer the following guidelines which (combined with a working knowledge of GURPS and a relaxed attitude toward numbers) should be plenty for 95% of the campaigns out there.

Rule #1: Don't get hung up on precise adaptations! We said this already in the main text, but it bears repeating. Focus on dramatic effect. If the Compendium has an advantage that is close to what you're looking for, then it's probably good enough. If a cleverly-applied enhancement or limitation will make it perfect, then use it – but if it takes four or five cleverly-placed enhancements and limitations, then the odds are you aren't doing yourself a favor by inflicting that much number juggling on yourself. Simply determine a point cost that you and the players are comfortable with, and get on with the game. That said, most of the more unusual In Nomine powers break down into the following categories:

The Power to Break Things: Combat powers are the easiest to adapt; see GURPS Supers for all the information you'll ever need to describe miracles that smite and smash.

Transportation Powers: Most of these really amount to either Teleportation (as per the spell or psi skill) or Flight, with colorful special effects and one or perhaps two limitations.

Information-Based Advantages: A good many attunements, in particular, are information advantages, reasonably straightforward abilities to know something. If an information power tells you about a person, it should be worth about 15 points if you can use it to consistently impress others and gain favors, about 30 points if those favors would include genuine self-sacrifice and about 40 points if the information gained would grant enough leverage to bypass moral codes and self-preservation. If an information attunement really does nothing other than highlight your targets (showing you which people deserve special attention), that's worth 10 points. If a power tells you about places or events, then you can probably extrapolate it from the psionics rules, using either Psychometry or Precognition as a basis.

Rules Tweaks and Bonuses: Many attunements (such as that of Saminga's Balseraphs) allow In Nomine characters to ignore the regular rules; others (such as that of the Ofanim of Janus) let them apply bonuses to normal die rolls. For the former, the value is usually from 5 to 25 character points, with the low end representing useful convenience and the high end representing powers that can routinely save the skins of an entire group of PCs. For the latter, derive values from the normal costs of skill or attribute bonuses (see GURPS Compendium I), with a limitation or two applied.

Adapting Attributes

When adapting characters from In Nomine to GURPS, use the following guidelines:

ST: Double In Nomine Strength. If the result is less than 20, add 2. Thus, an In Nomine Strength of 6 results in a GURPS ST of 14.

DX: Equal to (Agility + Precision + 2). If this result is less than double In Nomine Agility, bring it up to that figure.

IQ: Equal to (Intelligence + Precision + 2). If this result is less than double In Nomine Intelligence, bring it up to that figure.

HT: Multiply Corporeal Forces by four, then add 2.

Hit Points: To calculate a character's hit points, multiply Corporeal Forces and In Nomine Strength together, then add 2.

Every point of difference between hit points and HT is worth 5 character points, as an advantage or disadvantage, as appropriate. Most angels and demons have a lot of hit points, compared to humans.

Translating Will: Double the PC's Will score, add 2, and compare the total to his GURPS IQ. For every point over or under IQ, give the character a level of Strong Will or Weak Will, as appropriate.

Translating Perception: The process for Perception is similar to that for Will. Double Perception, add 2, and compare to IQ. If the figure is lower than IQ, ignore it. If it is higher than IQ, give the character one level of Alertness for every point over, to a limit of Alertness +3. If the figure is more than five above IQ, give the character both Alertness +3 and Danger Sense.


Essence in GURPS is nearly identical to Essence in In Nomine. It is spent to power supernatural abilities, improve skill rolls on a point-for-point basis and so on. Angels recover a point at sunrise, demons a point at sunset.

There are a few tiny differences. In GURPS, humans recover a point of Essence whenever they make a skill roll exactly (instead of with a check digit of 6). Because GURPS uses a 3d system instead of the d666, Essence-related modifiers have a slightly (but only slightly) weaker effect. Other factors counterbalance this.

Angels and demons start with an "Essence Reservoir" of 9, ordinary humans with a Reservoir of 5. Any non-celestial with the Symphony Awareness advantage starts with 6. The Reservoir defines starting Essence and maximum Essence in the same way that the number of Forces does in In Nomine.

Optionally, characters may purchase larger reservoirs at a cost of 15 character points per level. Allow no more than one or two levels of additional Essence Reservoir at character creation, if at all.


There is no specific mechanic for roles in GURPS. Roles are represented by social advantages or disadvantages (e.g., Status and Wealth) and by jobs and the requisite job skills applied to a character's vessel (or one of his vessels, if he has several). To represent a human vessel with no role, give that vessel the Zeroed advantage for 10 character points. While "roles" are useful, sometimes it doesn't hurt to have a vessel with fingerprints nobody knows about, who can slip through the cracks of the Information Age.

"Roles" don't always have a point cost in GURPS – being a bartender is free, unless you want to be especially famous, or own your own bar. Being the Prime Minister of England, on the other hand, will require Status, Wealth and Reputation. Perhaps even skills.

Other advantages and disadvantages which define roles include Alternate Identity, Clerical Investment, Contacts, Favors, Legal Enforcement Powers, Military Rank, earthly Duties and Social Stigmas.

A Note About the Secret Disadvantage: While most angels and many demons prefer to keep their celestial nature a secret, Secret is only rarely legitimate as a disadvantage. No "Zeroed" vessel may have a Secret, and other vessels reduce the value of a Secret by three steps (see p. CI78). Thus, if you create a vessel in a society that would imprison or exile a celestial, it is worth points only as a quirk. Not only would the authorities first have to be convinced of the character's celestial nature, they'd be hard-pressed to come up with any prison or paper that could restrict the movement of an angel! If the society where the celestial has a role would actively hunt him, this reduces the price of the vessel by -5 points. There must also be a genuine desire to keep the secret; many societies would hunt demons down if their existence were acknowledged, but there are demons who couldn't care less and would enjoy the chase . . .


In GURPS, servants are Allies. Note that if your character coerces his servants through threats of violence or other less-than-friendly means of persuasion, they may count as Unwilling Allies (see p. CI19). Ally Groups are also a possibility, representing anything from cycle gangs to parental activist groups.

Invoking Resonance

Both angels and demons invoke their resonance with an IQ roll, with a penalty equal to any dissonance they have. Demons receive a bonus (or penalty) equal to their level of Strong (or Weak) Will. Angels receive a bonus equal to their level of Alertness.

If the roll is successful, use the margin of success to determine the effect. The margin takes the place of In Nomine's "check digit" mechanic. Treat any success greater than 6 as 6.

Example: Blind Rico, a Malakite operating in Washington, D.C., is stalking a Philip Morris lobbyist, intent on bringing a little justice to the world. He focuses on his resonance, and makes a 3d roll against his IQ of 13. The dice come up 11 – his margin of success is 2, the equivalent of a check digit of 2. Images swim behind Rico's dead eyes – the most noble thing the scum has done that week was to give a pocketful of change to a derelict to make him leave him alone. The most ignoble thing was to help cover up the kidnapping of a doctor who had too much information to offer the public about the effects of secondary smoke on children . . . Rico grabs the lobbyist by the hair and claps a hand over his mouth . . .

Some resonances (such as that of the Kyriotates) have special rules; the text notes these specifically.

For some demons, failed resonance rolls can cause dissonance, as in the normal rules.

Dissonance and Discord

Angels and demons alike, when performing certain actions that violate their nature, may generate dissonance. Dissonance is a number applied as a penalty to a character's resonance invocation. In demons, too much dissonance leads to Discord – jarring personal flaws. In angels, too much dissonance can cast a character from grace.

It would be pointless to juggle numbers to cram the dissonance mechanics into a GURPS 3d roll, so in this case take the odds directly from In Nomine. To determine the effects of a potentially dissonant action, use the rules described on p. 57 of the main rules. Only the following adjustments are necessary:

Check Digit: Just roll 1d to determine the delay, in hours, until the character can invoke his resonance. It doesn't have to be one of the dice used to check for dissonance.

Demonic Discord: Discord is determined by rolling 1d and multiplying the result by 5. The demon must take that many points in either physical or "neurotic" mental disadvantages (see below).

Defining Discord

In GURPS In Nomine, some disadvantages are more than disadvantages – they're discordant disadvantages.

Any physical disadvantage (such as blindness, fat, lame or especially disturbing appearances) is "Corporeal Discord." This has little meaning in game terms, except that angelic characters shouldn't start the game with any.

Any mental disadvantages of an emotional nature (including Bad Temper, Berserk, Guilt Complex, Low Self-Image, Paranoia, Phobias and others) are "Ethereal Discord." Again, this is largely an aesthetic distinction. The Vulnerability disadvantage (p. CI106) is also considered an Ethereal Discord, as is the Obvious Aura disadvantage (see New Disadvantages).

The important ones are "Celestial Discords." In GURPS, any mental disadvantage that is (a) not Ethereal and (b) not a matter of personal choice, is a Celestial Discord. This includes Bloodlust, all Compulsive Behavior disadvantages, Gluttony, Greed, Laziness and Lecherousness, as well as the new disadvantages Celestial Blindness, Geas and Need (see New Disadvantages).

When a character has any Celestial Discord, he must roll higher than one-fifth the absolute value of his largest "Celestial Discord" disadvantage on 1d every time he would naturally regenerate Essence (sunrise or sunset, depending). If he rolls higher, he regenerates a point of Essence normally. Otherwise, no Essence is regenerated.

Exception: If a character has the Need disadvantage and fulfills his Need, ignore it when checking for "Discord blockage." If the Need is the celestial's largest Celestial Discord, then fulfilling the Need eliminates the "blockage" roll entirely for that day.

Disadvantages that do not fit the above categories (social disadvantages, for instance, or mental disadvantages that are a matter of choice, such as a Code of Honor) do not count as discordant for any reason. Even angels may freely take them at character creation.

Exchanging Dissonance for Discord

Angelic characters may "swap out" points of dissonance, accepting disadvantages that are added more-or-less permanently to their character sheets. For every 4 points of dissonance removed, the angel must take -5 character points' worth of disadvantages. The disadvantages chosen must be among those that qualify as "discordant."

All other rules regarding Discord are handled as in In Nomine.

Translating Discord

Most of the Discords in In Nomine have obvious GURPS counterparts to be used when translating characters. Greedy is Greed, Paranoia is Paranoia, Obese is Fat, Angry is Bad Temper, Twitchy is Klutz, Murderous is Bloodlust and so on.

Ignore the concept of "levels" – generally speaking, in GURPS, you either have a bad temper or you don't (but see the "frequency of submission" rules on p. 10 of GURPS Compendium I for an option which approximates levels for many disadvantages).

Discolored, Pallid, Stigmata and Vestigium are all represented by the Unnatural Feature disadvantage (p. CI85), along with any additional reaction penalties (worth a flat -5 points per -1 to reactions).

The New Disadvantages section translates those Discords which do not have obvious GURPS versions.

Generic Equivalents

When a sticky situation comes up, or something covered by an In Nomine rule but not specifically covered here, the GM should act by fiat, keeping things consistent and fair. Assume that, from a world perspective (if not a system perspective) anything that holds true in In Nomine holds true in GURPS In Nomine as well. The following mechanical equivalents might come in handy (note that the conversions provided do not always use them; in some cases, a simplification or a change was deemed more playable in GURPS).

Attribute Rolls: A roll against Strength in In Nomine is the equivalent of a (ST-4) roll in GURPS. Agility or Precision (when used for physical tasks) equate to a (DX-4) roll, and Intelligence, Perception, Will and Precision (when used for mental tasks) each equate to an (IQ-4) roll, with appropriate modifiers (Strong or Weak Will and so on).

Check Digits: This usually translates in GURPS as the margin of success of the appropriate 3d roll. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the maximum effective "margin" is 6.

Damage: In very general and abstract terms, a point of In Nomine damage equals 2 to 3 points of GURPS damage. This also applies to damaged Will, which in GURPS follows all normal mechanics for hit point loss and recovery, including shock, stun and so on.

Criticals and Intervention

When using GURPS, follow the GURPS standard for success rolls, instead of In Nomine's rules for Intervention.

Note, however, that critical successes and failures should be more spectacular in this world. They do, as in In Nomine, represent the hands of God and Lucifer; the GM should leap upon these opportunities for dramatic improvisation whenever they come up, keeping in mind the spirit of the setting.

Adapting Skills

When creating a GURPS In Nomine character from scratch, just buy skills normally. Angels and demons can learn Cooking, Artist and Meteorology/TL as well as any human – usually better. The idea of a seven-foot Cherub with Jeet Kune Do might be appealing, too, if you have access to GURPS Martial Arts.

When adapting characters from In Nomine to GURPS, you'll find that most skills have a fairly obvious analogue. The major difference is how specific skills in GURPS tend to be. If your In Nomine demon has Large Weapon skill, it's up to you and the GM to decide if he has Axe/Mace, Flail, Polearm, Staff, Two-Handed Axe/Mace, Two-Handed Sword or all of those. Base your decision on actual play, if possible. If your character tends to carry around his lucky woodcutting axe but has never once even glanced at a sword, then he probably just has Axe/Mace in GURPS.

To determine the GURPS level of an adapted skill, calculate your total skill in In Nomine. (If you have Acrobatics/4 and an Agility of 5, your total skill is 9.) Then do the following:

  • If the total is 6 or less: Add three to get GURPS skill.
  • If the total is 7-11: Add four to get GURPS skill.
  • If the total is 12 or higher: Add five to get GURPS skill.

If the translated skill is lower than a half-point would get you in GURPS (this happens rarely), use the GURPS default instead. If the translated skill requires prerequisites, assume that the character has them at the minimum required level (usually 12), or at the half-point level, whichever is higher.

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