by Sean Jaffe
Had they been human, Hector, Dodger, and Raxl's hearts would have been pounding, and their breaths coming in ragged gasps. But they weren't human, and they weren't tired. Just hungry, and at each other's throats. They paced at the end of a dead-end alley, and tempers were running high.
Art by andi jones
"What the Hell did you get us into?!" Raxl screamed, waving his hands in the air for emphasis.
"How the heck should I know?! They were trying to kill me too, you stupid lick!" Hector snapped.
"Antedeluvian-loving hand puppet!"
"Guys guys guys guys!!!!" Dodger put his hands up between the two Kindred. "Listen, I know you both come from rival sects, and I know you guys must really hate each other. But can it please take a backseat until we do something about that holy Roman terminator that's been chasing the three of us all night?! I mean, we've shot him, stabbed him, burned him, and driven a Buick Skylark up his backside, and it hasn't seemed to do anyone much good."
The other two suddenly gave him a wary look.
"Waitaminnit . . ." Hector started." Listen to you go off . . ."
"Yeah, you're a Ravnos . . ." Raxl agreed.
"Yeah, guys, you got me. This is all a gypsy hoax. That's why my hand's still burned from where I grabbed his shoulder, remember? Honestly, you licks drive me absolutely --"
"Get Down!" Hissed Raxl. The City Gangrel lunged out and yanked Dodger into a inky black shadow that Hector provided. The three vampires hid in muted silence as the sound of footsteps proceeded down the alley.
"That's him!" Whispered Hector as a tall, thin, battle-worn blonde man entered the alley, now being followed buy a hyperactive teenage girl.
"Ok, Buzziel, remember that Archangel David wants all three parts of the amulet. Tell Yves that we will have the completed relic by morning, and that with the arrival of the Malakim, the . . . difficulties we've run into will be dealt with."
The three Kindred exchanged uneasy glances as they each withdrew a piece of a shattered amulet from their pockets.
"What's a Malakim?" Whispered Raxl.
"Shhh!" Hissed the other two.
"We'll meet back here in two hours. You deliver your message, and I'll greet the Malakim."
With that, each burned from within so brightly that Raxl, Dodger, and Hector felt their skin tingle as though exposed to sunlight, and they had to shield their eyes. When they looked up, a many-eyed serpent spiraled upwards on feathered wings, and a burning wheel of fire bounced off three walls and a dumpster before gathering enough momentum to tear out of the alley at incredible speeds. The three vampires exchanged worried glances.
"Oh, man, oh, man . . . he said "Archangel," didn't he? I distinctly heard him say "Archangel" . . . " Hector shuddered.
"Oh, man, this sucks!" Barked Dodger. Raxl merely groaned; watched the night sky.
"I'm gettin' too old for this."
The respective worlds of In Nomine and the World of Darkness both share the same focus, a blind and apathetic humanity unaware of the war engaged on its own streets, and in its own backyards. The two worlds are very similar, and occasionally, interests may overlap. Let's face it, what self-respecting gamer with a single Sisters of Mercy album hasn't found themselves in a late-night argument over who's a dirtier fighter, Troile or Michael? Or who would win if you raced a Silent Strider and an Ofanite?
These pages have purposefully left out rules in favor of ideas, for two reasons. First, to cover every possible aspect of a full crossover, this article would be a 150-page book. Second, it is simply more fun to decide for yourself how Beleth reacts to chimera, or what The Balseraphs think of the Pooka. After all, It's your game! Included are a few guidelines for creating angels and demons in the World of Darkness, and a few guidelines for running these characters with each of the five World of Darkness game lines.
Creating an Angel or Demon -- W.O.D. Style!The three forces still apply to the celestials, however with completely different effects.
* Corporeal Forces determine Attributes.
* Ethereal Forces determine Abilities.
* Celestial Forces determine Willpower, Celestial Perception, and Songs.
A starting celestial has nine forces, just like in In Nomine. After determining forces, the character can use the following formulas to carve out the rest of the stats.
* Corporeal Forces x 5 for Attributes. (These points can be allocated freely to all attributes, without the 7/5/3 split.)
* Ethereal Forces x 10 for Abilities. (Same as above.)
* Celestial Forces x 2 for Willpower, Celestial Perception, and Songs. (So a character with four Celestial Forces has eight points in Willpower and Celestial Perception, and eight points to distribute among Songs.)
Celestial Perception is different from normal perception. and can be used several different ways. It can be used to sense disturbances in the Symphony, to sense a person's true nature, or if a given person is preternatural. Also, if the storyteller agrees, a celestial can burn a Celestial Perception point to gain a keen insight into a situation. this ability should not become a crutch.
The character must buy backgrounds with freebie points. This is the closest approximation to Roles.
Discord is the Same. Imagine Paradox with an Ice Cream Headache. You get the idea.
ResonancesSeraphim: Celestial Perception, Check successes against chart.
Cherubim: Celestial Perception, Check successes against chart.
Ofanim: Celestial Perception, Check successes against chart.
Elohim: Celestial Perception, Check successes against chart.
Malakim: Celestial Perception, Check successes against chart..
Kyriotates: Willpower Check vs. Host.
Mercurians: Celestial Perception, Check successes against chart.
Balseraphs: Celestial Will, Check successes against target.
Djinn: Celestial Will, Check successes against target.
Calabim: Celestial Will, Check successes against target.
Habbalah: Celestial Will, Check successes against target.
Lilim: Celestial Perception, Then, Will to inflict geas. Level is mix of successes and storyteller discretion.
Shedim: Willpower Check vs. Host.
Impudites: Celestial Will, Check successes against target.
SongsObviously, the wide array of celestials' Songs would take pages and pages to work out, so I'll give a basic system here and leave the specifics to the storyteller. A character can buy songs with the system above, derived from Celestial Forces. Songs can range from one to five, with only word-bound celestials able to exceed five, and only angelic and demonic Superiors capable of ratings of ten or more. Treat number of successes rolled as a check digit, and remember the disastrous effects of a botch!
New Rules!* Angels and demons can buy the other's powers up as songs.
* Consider Disciplines and Cantrips to be Corporeal.
* Consider Arcanoi and Gifts to be Ethereal.
* Of all the powers, though, only Spheres are Celestial (That's what makes 'em so neat. And that's why only Mages get paradox.)
Also, use your discretion when dealing with Psychic Numina, Mummy Hekau, Fomori Powers, Spirit Charms, Hedge Magic and Gypsy Blood Affinities. Obviously,True Faith is out of the question. Demons hate it, angels are it. Also, yes, Faith will repel demons. Duh.
Adjustments for Vampire"These losers are our unfinished business. If you see one, kill it. It's that simple."
--Tobias, Malakite of Dominic
"AAAAAAAgh Help help I'm on fire help meeeee!"
-- Mitch, thirteenth generation Sabbat Ventrue
"Listen, Ms. Galbraith, I'm sure we can reach some sort of an . . . agreement."
-- Malcolm, Balseraph of Malphas, on a recent trip to Mexico
BackgroundIt's natural. After all, weren't God's angels, instead of God himself, responsible for the curse? The older a vampire would be, the greater his hatred for these celestials. This can add a whole new dimension to things, as vampires face their tormentors and throw off petty grudges such as the Sabbat-Camarilla lines or elder vs. young.
Superiors in the FrayIn the Book of Nod, Michael, Uriel, and Gabriel all have a stake (ha!) in this one, alongside a relative unknown, Raphael. But that doesn't mean we can ignore the infernal! Naturally, any vampire can fall to any demon when the lures of Servitor Attunements and demonic investments gets too much to pass up. But the demons with the most interest would probably be Andrealphus, Mammon, Malphas, Valefor (stealing blood is still stealing), Saminga, and a very amused Lilith.
System ElementsGhouling and Bonding: Angels and demons are, by nature, unbondable (Heaven help the vampire who tries to bond a Lilim!) Angels, who share the Lupine's liberal, egalitarian views on vampires, will refuse vampire blood under all but the most bizarre of circumstances. They suffer one point of discord for every point ingested, and gain no real benefits from the drink. Demons, on the other hand, consider vampire blood a tasty treat, gaining essence from the stuff. (How much depends on the vampire's generation.) This is not so good for the vampires. Very few demons go out of their way to get vampire blood, but if a demon by some chance finds a tasty vampire with nothing better to offer . . .
Feeding: Well, if somehow an enterprising vampire can manage to drink the blood of a celestial, he'll take three levels of aggravated damage for every point he imbibes, either through the massive divinity or utter corruption of the blood. The only exception to this rule is if the drinker is an Infernalist, and the drinkee a demon. In this case, see The Storyteller's Guide to the Sabbat for more on Infernal Diablerie.
The Embrace: If by some even more bizarre stroke of luck, some wildly creative vampire manages to pin an angel, drain its blood, and give it some of her own foul ichor, the angel will wake up a Remnant. (In Nomine Remnant, not the Ghoul family.) If she does this to a demon, the demon will get up, unharmed, and either continue on his way, thank the vampire for such an interesting good time, or whup the ever-loving snot out of her. In any case, it doesn't seem to have any real effect. (Remember, that's seem.) Kyriotates and Shedim who possess vampires find them to be unusually cold. Kyriotates don't seem to gain dissonance for leaving a vampire in worse shape.
Adjustments for Werewolf"These are our allies, the Red Talons. They strike for our people, for Jordi. Together, we will rip the human scourge from Gaia's heart, as God has commanded. Amen."
-- Garonel, Malakite of Jordi
"I can look through the eyes of Gaia and remember a time when souls fell burning through the Umbra like rain, when the angels fell to the same hubris that took my tribe. Don't fall, pups. You are all that will stand at the apocalypse."
-- Joshua Tribe-Keeper, White Howler Ancestral Spirit
"Hey, hey, why are all you big, German guys looking at me like that?"
-- Izzy, unfortunate former Impudite of Haagenti
BackgroundWait a minute! God and Lucifer don't leave much room for the Triat! Or-do they?
Well, If one assumes the Triat to be a creation of both God and Lucifer, things become more clear. The Devil's tie to the Wyrm is screamingly obvious.
Oddly enough, God, at least, The Jehovah of In Nomine, seems most like the Wyld, with the mystical other, the ethereal force of the Weaver being Mankind. The "Collective Spirits" of each concept gave rise to the Triat that the Garou hold dear. Certain superiors favor certain aspects of the Triat. For example, Novalis would probably have little trouble getting werewolves to believe she is Gaia, with all but the most enlightened Stargazers and Children of Gaia being completely fooled.
Superiors in the FrayObviously, the more earthy-crunchy Archangels would fall in love with the werewolves right away. David, Eli, Jordi, Michael, and Novalis would all have their own different uses for the Garou. Meanwhile, the Glasswalkers could work something out with Jean, and one could see Janus, Laurence, and Gabriel getting mixed up with the other Changers.
Meanwhile, a conspiracy in hell may number Mammon, Haagenti, Belial, Saminga and Vapula as having a "lower calling" for the Wyrm's Minions in the pit. Now there's an ugly fight . . .
System ElementsThe Delirium: First off, celestials are invariably Immune to Delirium.
Angels of Jordi: A new Servitor Attunement is Defender of Gaia. This allows the servitor to take a human vessel, which is then granted the "umbral mass" that converts them into a changer, with all the physical advantages therein.
Seraphim become Rokea.
Cherubim become Bastet.
Ofanim become Corax.
Elohim become Mokole and Nagas.
Malakim become good ol' red blooded Garou.
Kyriotates become Ananasi.
Mercurians become . . . well, use your imagination.
Kyriotates and Shedim who possess Werewolves find them to be uncomfortable and itchy.
Adjustments for Mage"I'd say you have to take each one of the Magi as individuals because no two are alike and even two who are supposed to be on the same team usually have really different goals but they have all this neat stuff that goes real fast like this one guy I met was called the Son of Ether and I said `I have this go-cart and It doesn't go fast enough' and he said `I can make it real fast' so then . . ."
-- Buzziel, Ofanite of Jean
"That is to say that these Sub-umbral proto-spiritual emanations resonate with either `divine' (enthalpic) or `infernal' (entropic) energy, leading the layperson who has been subjected to the sanctimonious dronings of the Celestial Chorus to mistake them for Angels or Demons. Now here's something that I had R&D develop after doing some experimentation on one of these things myself . . ."
-- Hunter Grant, NWO Man in White, New York Region
"You are going to die, and I'm going to write `Loser' across your forehead. You actually believed I was your friend? Loser!"
-- Shannon Rock, Nephandi Soldier of Belial
BackgroundRemember how celestials can buy the "Lesser" powers of Songs? And how only Spheres are a Celestial Power? Well this is very important to the Magi on the whole.
Of the five major archetypes, Magi are the only humans. This humanity is what allows a Mage to tap into the celestial power within, for better or worse, and warp the world.
Superiors in the FrayEach of the four persuasions in Mage would have its own set of backers, although their allegiance may be surprising. Certain Marauders may answer to Eli, Haagenti, and Kobal. Tradition Mages may secretly be in league with Yves, Kronos, Gabriel, Belial, Blandine, Belelth, Fleurity,or Khalid. The Technocracy would fall under the sway of Asmodeus, Dominic, Marc, Nybbas, Jean, and Vapula. Lastly, the Nephandi don't need to disguise their control, hence, a Nephandi can pledge allegiance to any demon prince they like.
System ElementsCelestial Spheres: Celestials either roll Celestial Perception ( If they are an angel) or Will (If they are a demon) to determine the results of a sphere effect. They do not need foci.
Adjustments for Wraith"We . . . must . . . fight . . . for this place. The souls of mankind are right here, and we are . . . losing . . . them."
-- Milky, Mysterious Angelic Celestial
"Oh, you'll see 'em sometimes, out in the tempest. Prolly as confused as the rest of us, thinkin' they're angels and whatnot. Poor bastards."
-- Chamberlain, Ferryman
"Can't stop shaking . . . sooo horrible . . . soo horrible . . . Never go back . . . we can't win . . . can't win . . . can't win . . ."
-- Nicholas, former Mercurian of Michael, now Impudite of Saminga
BackgroundOK, big sticky problem number two. What happens when you die? In the world of In Nomine, your soul goes where it belongs, Heaven, or Hell. In the World of Darkness, things aren't so cut and dried. The most obvious answer is that the Shadowlands are -- you guessed it! -- purgatory, where tepid souls await either Final Salvation or Final Damnation. Remember, however, oblivion is not a one-way ticket to hell, it is a ticket to nothing. A character who succumbs to or is destroyed by oblivion is, quite simply, no more. Oblivion, above and beyond the call of good or evil, is simply the state of "not being." Consider it. On the other hand, Transcendence may take on a whole new meaning for the wraiths, as they shed their mortal vessels for the last time and look down upon their new angelic forms.
Superiors in the FrayObviously, Saminga has been busy here. This is clearly a realm he's got an interest in, for readily apparent reasons. However, Blandine, Dominic, Marc, Laurence, and Yves have staked various claims in the Shadowlands, standing fast against Saminga's Spectres. Not to be outdone, Baal, Beleth, Kronos, Malphas, and Vapula have come to their friend's aid. It would seem that if one presses deep enough into the tempest, or the Labyrinth, they will wind up in Hell. Who do you think those Malfeans are, anyway?
It would be worthwhile to note that Eli sees the whole of a the Shadowlands as one huge problem that needs to be dealt with, soon. He is the antithesis of oblivion.
System ElementsCelestial Form: Another thing to consider is that given the discovery of Angelics, Archangelics, Demonics, and Archdemonics in the Tempest, this may be a place where celestials are stripped of their vessels and are forced to take their celestial forms. Yes, that is Archangel Gabriel under the description of Angelics.
Fighting for Hosts: Kyriotates and Shedim can fight with wraiths for hosts, leading to three-way Will rolls for the host body. The angel or demon and the wraith go head to head first, the winner takes on the host. Nether type of celestial can possess a wraith, for obvious reasons.
Adjustments for Changeling"Hey, um . . . excuse me, why am I holding this string? Why are you all laughing? What's with you people? Why won't you -- PAUGH!! Ptt . . . Ptt . . . Mmm Hmm. Banana creme. Very original, kids, very original. Oh, stop it."
-- Mr. Whiting, unwitting servitor of Dominic who needed to come down a few notches.
"Ok, so you're saying that your angel king, or queen, or whatever, is using us all to fight the Unseelie, who are under the control of a demon queen? Yeah. Unh-hunh. Pull the other one, dog-ears."
-- Megan O'Leary, Skeptical Eshu
"So you are sayin' we work for Beleth, who is a demon queen? Kick ass! At least I'm not some hippie seelie."
-- Cartman, Redcap Childling
BackgroundBorn from the dreams of Mortals, The Fae established themselves as gods and tyrants in their day. While the Fae can be cold and beautiful, they can also be passionate and dangerous. Well, It seems like a certain pair of celestial ex-lovers have been having a spat, in the form of Seelie vs. Unseelie. At least, Until guys like Asmodeus and Dominic moved in, with their schedules and inquisitions and appointments, and they ruined all the fun. The nice thing about Changeling is that it gives the storyteller a chance to really solidify ties between one group and its celestial counterpart. In other words, it's a good beginner's crossover.
Superiors in the FrayBlandine and Beleth! Each celestial, still in love, and unable to let go, yet consumed with rage at the other, has sent a mighty army against the other in the form of walking dreams. This was all well and good until Dominic and Asmodeus, respectively, poked their cold noses in and told them both to cease. Since then, being a fairy hasn't been the same, what with all these sticks-in-the-mud. It is important to emphasize that these celestials are merely using the Kithain, and they did not necessarily create them.
System ElementsYes, Blandine's and Beleth's Marches are the Dreaming. Arcadia is still a mystery, and neither celestial is talking. That said, here's a new Servitor Attunement, common to both:
Kithain BoonThis attunement allows the celestial to take a little of the dreaming into their corporeal vessel. While this does not render the celestial a changeling per se, they will appear as one chimerically, and will be granted the ability to see chimera.
Seraphim and Balseraphs become Sidhe.
Cherubim and Djinn become Trolls and Ogres.
Ofanim and Calabim Become Pooka (Calabim hate this).
Elohim and Habbalah become Nockers.
Malakimbecome Redcaps (hmmm).
Lilim become Satyrs (hmmm).
Kyriotates and Shedim become Sluagh.
Mercurians and Impudites become Boggans.
Enchantment: Any Celestial can be enchanted, but it takes twice as much glamour if the celestial is a servant of either Dominic or Asmodeus. Impudites, much to the amusement of their cohorts, can enchant themselves by accident while attempting to steal essence from a Changeling.
Kyriotates and Shedim who possess Changelings are left inexplicably giddy and whimsical. In other words, they get high.
Article publication date: October 22, 1999
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