Alternate Impudites: Another Take on the Takers
for In Nomine
by Eric A. Burns
The Impudites are a challenging Band of demons to play in In Nomine. Unlike all other celestials, they have penalties assigned to every use of their resonance. Their Band Attunements often do little more than give them break even chances to affect their targets with their resonance. Even their dissonance conditions are difficult -- if a Mercurian gains the Murderous Discord, ultimately Falling as a result, that same Discord will make an Impudite dissonant.
This is an alternate view of Impudites, which players and GMs may use in their games, along with alternate Band Attunements from the major Superiors where appropriate. These Impudites are even more charming and seductive, but are also all the more selfish . . . and dangerous.
The demon wheeled into the alley. The Malakim wouldn't be delayed by the traffic accident long. He needed cover and he needed it fast.
Up ahead was a dance club's back door. A bouncer stood outside, making sure gate crashers didn't slip in the back. Perfect. The Impudite smiled, running up to the man. "Hey," he said, pushing with the back of his soul into the bouncer's. "Can't you let a guy slip in? C'mon . . ."
The bouncer's scowl seemed to melt, and he smiled. "For you, man, anything," he said, opening the door. "You have a good time, now. And don't tell anyone, or we're both in trouble."
"Whatever," the demon thought, waving as he slipped through the door and into the mass of sweet humanity beyond. Let's see the blackwings find him now.
The most charming and apparently sympathetic of all demons, Impudites are also the most selfish of a self-centered lot. Everybody's best friend and closest confident, Impudites surf through existence on the backs of others, taking and using what they want and making sure someone else pays the price. With enough time and effort, their "friends" will even offer up their very Essence to these charming takers.
Where Mercurians can perceive the relationships that surround all beings, Impudites can force those relationships onto others. They have the ability to push their own symphony onto others, making their victims like or even love them, and willing to sacrifice everything for them. Impudites use this gift to get everything they want, from special favors and gifts to the very Essence that others usually hold so dear.
Even as an Impudite is so adept at convincing others to sacrifice on the Impudite's behalf, no Impudite is willing to inconvenience himself for others. Whenever an Impudite chooses to put another's interests before his own, he suffers dissonance. This doesn't mean Impudites can't be helpful, if their interests and another's coincides, but it's a sure bet no Impudite will ever do for another without having a personal agenda driving it.
Obviously, it's within an Impudite's best interests to obey his Superior, so he can help his fellow demons -- even to the point of inconvenience and sacrifice -- if ordered to from above. He can also be relatively subtle in his manipulations, so long as there is clearly greater reward than cost to his actions. For example, if an Impudite wants to sleep with a beautiful young activist, he can give money to a homeless man as a means of impressing her without suffering dissonance. (Though if his attempt to seduce the woman does fail, his earlier "generosity" will cause him delayed dissonance, making "investments" sometimes risky.)
Manner And Appearance
Impudites are the demons most close to humanity. They understand human beings, interacting smoothly and well with them. Even without their resonance, Impudites are warm, charming, and gregarious, getting to know everyone in a room and glad-handing their way into high society at any chance. Only Mercurians are so adept at interacting with humanity.
At the same time, Impudites are self-absorption and vanity incarnate. They can't stand to be anything less than the best looking, best dressed person in the room, and spend inordinate amounts of time on clothes, makeup, accessories, and everything that goes with them. Of course, someone else inevitably pays for all of these things -- after all, the Impudite is such a great guy, how could you not buy him a new suit? As social creatures, Impudites are typically surrounded by beautiful people, all of whom are lavish with the attention and praise the Impudite so craves.
In celestial form, an Impudite looks like his most recent vessel, with a slight (and very attractive) reddish cast to his skin. They have slender leather wings, immaculately kept, small red horns, and a dark halo that clings to their head, almost enthralling in its malevolance. In their own symphonies, they're the lead singer at the front of the stage, with all the hands of the audience reaching out to them.
An Impudite rolls against his resonance to Charm his victims. This is a normal resonance roll with no penalties. The victim resists with a Will roll, and if successfully resisted, an Impudite will not be able to resonate that victim for a number of hours equal to the Will roll's check digit.
The Charm is almost intoxicating, with a level of commitment, friendship and even love for the Impudite filling the victim. The victim really, really likes the Impudite, and continues to do so no matter what the Impudite does, short of physically harming the victim, for a number of hours equal to the Resonance's check digit.
The Impudite also can influence one social interaction with his successful resonance roll. After successfully Charming someone, the next socially based skill roll (such as Emote, Fast-Talk, Lying, Savoir-Faire or Seduction) made against the target receives the resonance roll's check digit as a bonus. If this skill roll fails, the victim is still Charmed unless the failed skill's check digit was 6, in which case the Charm is broken. If the Impudite needs something more from his victim, he must roll another resonance roll for each successive social skill roll made.
As a more sophisticated use of resonance (see the Infernal Player's Guide for details), an Impudite can attempt to actually Charm a person into subconsciously giving them their Essence. The victim must already be Charmed before attempting this more difficult task. The Impudite must make a resonance roll, at -2 for the difficulty, and at a further penalty equal to the victim's Celestial and Ethereal Forces. Finally, the Impudite must be in physical contact with the victim for the transfer to take place. If Impudite is successful, the victim voluntarily pushes his or her Essence into the Impudite, whose Essence total is increased by this amount (though never above their maximum Essence total). If the victim is not Symphonically Aware, they automatically give up all of their Essence, whether the Impudite can use it or not. (A normal human without Symphonic awareness typically has 1d6-4 Essence to spare.) If the victim is Symphonically aware (such as another demon, an angel, or a soldier), they give up a number of points of Essence equal to the resonance roll's check digit (or all the Essence they have if less than the check digit), whether the Impudite can use them or not. This process is entirely subconscious -- the victim won't even realize they've lost their Essence. If the difficult resonance roll to take Essence fails, the initial Charm is broken and another cannot be established for a number of hours equal to the failed roll's check digit. If an Essence stealing attempt fails against a Symphonically aware target, the Charm is broken and the victim knows exactly what the Impudite tried to do.
Revised Band Attunements
These revised attunements replace those Impudite Band Attunements which are resonance or dissonance based (and therefore restricted) in the In Nomine main book and appropriate supplements. Any Superior or attunement not listed remains the same as in the source materials.
Alaemon: (Restricted) Alaemon's Takers are experts at infiltrating and escaping. They may add their Ethereal Forces to any resonance-enhanced skill roll to either talk their way into a restricted area or talk their way out of one. This includes talking their way out of prisons.
Andrealphus: (Restricted) Impudites of Lust may add their Corporeal Forces to any resonance enhanced skill roll to seduce or otherwise convince another to perform a specific sexual act with them.
Baal: Experts in the etiquette of combat and the duel of face, Impudites of the War may add their Celestial Forces to any roll made in an honorable duel by a given society's rules. This can be from the use of dueling pistols to fencing to a back alley street fight where a bar eggs the participants on.
Beleth: Charged with nightmares of humiliation and social embarrassment, Beleth's Takers can see a victim's social weaknesses with a glance. When confronted with this embarrassment publicly, their victims must make a Will roll or flee from all public areas in terror and humiliation.
Belial: (Restricted) Belial's Takers evoke the dark hunger for fire in men's souls. When in the presence of open flame, Impudites of Fire can use their resonance to captivate their victims into staring at and approaching the flames, ignoring all other stimuli, for a number of rounds equal to the roll's check digit. During this time, they may Charm essence from their victim, attack their victim, or even push him into the fire without breaking the effect. Dousing the flames breaks the captivation.
Fleurity: (Restricted) The overly social, overly friendly Takers of Drugs -- a title that is all too fitting, most of the time -- are also expert pushers. They may add their Celestial Forces to any resonance-enhanced skill roll when convincing someone to use drugs.
Haagenti: (Restricted) These overconsumers spur their victims into frenzies of conspicuous consumption. They may add their Celestial Forces to any attempt to use a resonance-enhanced social skill to convince a victim to buy, eat or otherwise consume something.
Kobal: As per In Nomine p.171, save that there is no benefit or penalty for the death of a human. This attunement is not partially restricted.
Malphas: (Partially restricted) As per In Nomine p.175.
Mammon: (Restricted) Mammon's Impudites may, with a successful resonance roll, convince their targets that they're getting a sweet deal and taking advantage of the Impudite -- no matter how completely the Impudite is ripping them off. The victim will remain convinced he has taken the Impudite in completely for a number of days equal to the check digit, even if confronted with evidence to the contrary.
Saminga: (Restricted) Saminga's darkly seductive Takers excel in sowing the seeds of the ultimate sacrifice. Impudites of Death may add their Celestial Forces to any resonance enhanced skill to convince their victim to commit suicide.
Vapula: (Restricted) The ultimate technology users, Vapulan Impudites can use their resonance to enhance skills "coaxing" performance or information out of technology, whether an attempt at hacking a computer with Computer Operation skill or pushing their automobile far past the limit with Driving skill, and everything in between.
Article publication date: October 15, 2004
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