IN Over the Edge

By Earl Wajenberg (


For a low-dice mechanic, you might consider adapting the system used in "Over the Edge," published by Atlas Games and written by Jonathan Tweet. In this, a character has hit points, "psi hits," and four characteristics -- three "traits" and a "flaw" -- defined by the player. Each characteristic is described in a short paragraph. Each characteristic has to be given a visible "sign" of its presence. The GM then assigns the number of d6's the player can roll for each trait. In play, the GM sets a level (usually privately) and tells the player to roll. If they roll at or higher, they succeed.

For IN, choir/band and superior automatically supply two of the traits. A Word would supply another. You then have one or two other slots for additional character definition.


Ariel, Elohim of War

Ariel works in Boston and has been given the task of keeping the Green Line of the Boston subway system a little safer. It is a young angel, hence the limited assignment and closely-defined "beat.&qot; It hasn't seen much of Earth outside the Boston area, but it keeps contact with other celestials, and Boston is a rich environment, so it's learning fast. At the moment, it has no Role, just a small budget given it by a Mercurian supervisor, for clothes, subway fare (a major item for it), and incidentals.

Trait: Elohim, 3d6 -- Ariel is interested in passion, but untouched by it. It was given a male vessel, and wears the right clothes for it, but does nothing else to act "macho." It looks like a clean but shabbily-dressed young man, probably a student. It sometimes disconcerts people by staring long at them, especially if they were in the midst of heated or otherwise emotional discussion. Of course, it has all the standard Elohim abilities with regard to emotion. [It would roll 3d6 whenever using any of these, and pay one psi hit, or Essence, or whathaveyou.] Sign: Stares at strangers.

Trait: Angel of War, 2d6 -- Ariel rides up and down the Green Line, day and night, especially night, fighting crime. For pickpockets and gropers, it may frighten them off with a cold stare or a loud "Hey!" or a sharp elbow in the ribs. For muggers, it charges to the rescue. For gang trouble, it joins in with other, senior angels to break things up, either subtly or as a third "gang." It also turns criminals in to the cops when expedient. It is taking lessons in karate and fisticuffs from a senior angel. Sign: On first-name basis with all the conductors and cops on the Green Line. [Ariel rolls against this trait for all combat rolls.]

Trait: Hungry for Knowledge, 2d6 -- Ariel knows it is ignorant of Earth. It has eight free hours a day, which it uses window-shopping, browsing in bookstores, visiting museums, and people-watching. On-duty or off, it listens in on conversations and has begun learning how to gracefully insert itself in them. And it very much wants to learn from the senior celestials in the area -- far more than they want to spend time talking to it. Sign: Strikes up conversations with strangers. [You would roll against this trait to see if Ariel has some piece of area knowledge, or for social skills, or whatever else seems reasonable.]

Flaw: Naive -- Being new, Ariel is fairly easy prey to trickery. Sign: Doesn't "get" many jokes or rhetorical questions.

And there are no other stats except hit points and psi hits.


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