In Nomine

Liber Servitorum Contest Rules

As you might guess, the Liber Servitorum is going to have a lot of characters in it. Enough that I'm hoping to run a contest... However, contests have rules.

These Rules Must Be Followed Exactly. Anyone who doesn't follow them will have their submission rejected, and will probably not be notified. I anticipate being very busy. (And for every brilliant submission that didn't follow the rules, there will be five equally-brilliant ones that did. Guess which ones I'm going to read?)

#1: All Submissions must Have Correct Headers. I want each submission to say: LIBER SUBMISSION: [character name and/or number] in its subject. I'm going to be running a filter program to put all these in a particular email folder, and if the Subject is wrong, then the submission will be lost in all my *other* email.

#1A: Send them to "" or "" Any submissions sent to the list will not be considered for the Liber Servitorum. Watch that "To" field in your email.

#1B: 1 character per email. If there's more than that, then I won't look at any of them.

#2: All Submissions Must Be Correct English. If the submission isn't close enough to good English for me to read easily to start with, I won't read it. (If you get who/whom mixed up, or have 1-2 honest typos, no biggie; anything more egregious than that, and I go on to the next one.) If English is obviously not your first language, get someone else to help you with it before submitting it to me. No, I'm too busy to help for this contest. Sorry.

#3: All Submissions Must Use Correct IN Terminology. If I see "a Shedim" or "Calabites" or "Lilims," I'm not going to be pleased. Likewise, no using "dissonance" for "disturbance," etc. (And though I use "Geasa" in my own games, the canon is "Geases" for the plural noun, or geas/geasing for the verb.) See the Official Stylesheet for all expanded singulars and plurals. This is one of my pet peeves; if I'm tired, I'll stop reading anything that doesn't keep the plurals straight.

#3A: Characters Must Conform To Canon. Yes, there are a lot of interesting characters out there that bend canon in a good cause. But I don't want to see them submitted for this book.

#4: All Submissions Must Be No More Than 625 Words. Total. This is going to include a short vignette (maybe), the character stats (yes, those count as words), and descriptive text. If I want you to make a submission longer, I'll ask. First, I want to know if you can write that tightly. If you can't, then I don't read it.

#4A: put your Word-count in front of the rest of the character, above the character itself.

#5: No More Than 10 Submissions. That's right, I'll look at up to 10 of your submissions, but no more. (If I need more from you, I'll ask.)

#6: Make It A Wonderful Character. This is the trickiest -- the character has to be one that I like, and that The Guy Who Runs Steve Jackson Games likes. (Why is this rule number 6? Because no matter how wonderful the submission is, if it doesn't follow the rules above, I won't look at it. Pity, that.)

#6A: You have 10 submissions for a reason -- I want to see a typical Seraph of Stone as much as I want to see the Bright Lilim of Judgment you're using as an NPC somewhere. In fact, I want to see the more "typical" characters *MORE*, and I want them to be *interesting*. (I fully expect to get at least 15 Brights, of which 5 will be serving Laurence, Dominic and David. Two will be Creation in service to Judgment. Prove me wrong, please.)

#7: You Must Agree To The Following Nasty (but necessary) Conditions:

Now, here's What I Want (and Don't Want):

* Interesting, Useful Characters. Each character should have a well-defined personality. Each character should have a defined *game use*. I.e. (and I am endebted to Jo Hart for this concept), each character should have a role to play within the game: victim, sidekick, aggressor, villain, immediate superior/boss, etc. (Note that this is not the same as a Role, and also note that the _PCs_ are going to be the heroes -- don't submit a character that does everything himself and is so utterly perfect that if he's introduced into a game, he'd logically take over the campaign and Solve All Problems. Even "Here Comes The Cavalry" characters need a reason not to join up with the PCs every time they're in trouble.) You don't have to put the character's game-role into the description, but should have it firmly in mind when you're writing the character up. (And if you *did* put in a sentence saying what its game-role is, I wouldn't mind. Put it up with the word-count, and don't count it with the rest.)

(I reiterate -- even if the character is 9 Forces and point-balanced, write it as an NPC, not a PC. PCs are either too bland (if painted broadly) or too detailed and weird. NPCs have roles in the universe and are a GM aid.)

* No Superiors. (We have plenty of Archangels and Demon Princes. We don't need more.) Likewise, no ethereal gods.

* Few Word-bound, and No New Ones. There are plenty of Word-bound in the books already: check out the INdex/INcyclopedia for names and locations. (And include all previous page references to that character if you submit him/her/it, so I can find it easily.) Just don't use one who's stated to be dead now. Go to, and follow the Resources Link. I have a list of Word-bound at the bottom of this message which I *do not* want to see. Someone else is already working on them.

(As a note: non-Superior Word-bound do not have Band/Choir Attunements, and their "Servitor Attunement" tends to be simple and relatively weak. They also get a special Rite. Both their ability and Rite need to be described. No, you can't go over the word-count budget to do so.)

(Seneschals can be used, but they're going to count as Word-bound, mostly. (Even the attuned ones.) I will much prefer to see one illustrated in detail who was just a single-line mention in the past (or even not mentioned at all, with just his Tether described). Again, there are already a few of them mentioned, and anyone who has a playtest copy of the Liber Castellorum can come up with _countless_ others.)

* Previously mentioned non-Word-bound. If you want to scrape together all the references to a character from an example, whose stats have not already appeared in Pyramid, and make it conform to all those, I may be pleased by that. (I'm trying to cut down on name-proliferation.)

* A range of power-levels. Anything from demonling servants to lesser Word-bound, concentrating on the middle ground -- 7-11 Forces or so. I do want to see a few 7 Force demons. 7-9 Force celestials, ideally, will be point-balanced, so that they provide examples of character creation _as well_ as being cool NPCs.

* A range of kinds of characters. I don't want to see fifty Fire-Malakim. Even if they're all gems, this is not going to be the Big Book of Fire Malakim! Don't make your 10 submissions identical or interchangeable.

* A range of personalities. To para-quote Em: Not all Lilim and Impudites are great wonderful people who are going to redeem at the drop of a hat. (Even the _nice_ ones aren't going to do this, 99.9% of the time! Yes, you can be selfishly nice; if it's no skin off your nose, it keeps the surrounding environment more pleasant to live in.) Not all angels are Nice either -- and not all non-Nice ones are headed for a Fall or dissonance! (I want to see the whole spectrum -- nice demons, truly evil nasty demons, enigmatic angels, nasty angels, nice angels, etc.)

* Few Linked Characters. If you have two (or more) characters who are linked in some way -- archenemies, partners, parent-child, etc. -- and one is rejected, the other will probably get rejected too. 95% of the characters in the book should be able to stand alone. (This makes it easier to use them in someone else's campaign -- one doesn't have to worry about fitting in more than one NPC at a time.)

Now, the categories are:

Angels and Demons: these will be the majority of desired characters. I do not want to see any Grigori, celestial Children of the Grigori, or Nephallim/Nephalim. Outcasts and Renegades are okay. There may be as many as 2 Remnants accepted (1 per side).

Relievers and Demonlings (inc. Imps & Gremlins): Familiars or otherwise. There will probably be only one reliever and at most 2 demonlings (imp and gremlin) in the final book. Tough competition. Don't duplicate the ones in the APG/IPG.

Humans: I have some space for humans. I don't want many mundanes (and any mundanes have to have a reason why a GM might want them in his game). I do want Soldiers (both sides), Saints, sorcerers, Undead... Any Zombi, though, will have to be brilliant -- zombis are dead, lacking in will, and rotting. Not very interesting NPCs. Humans must be brilliant. I do not want to see Joe Schmoe the Gas Station Attendant, even if he has the most fascinating fate or destiny; these should be humans (mundane or aware-but-not-Soldiers or otherwise) who will be interacting with the PCs, not just being the living McGuffin. Don't duplicate the undead in _Night Music_.

Ethereals: Yes, I have some space for Ethereals. These are going to be tricky -- canon on them isn't as clear as for the others. (And some of the examples -- such as those in _Heaven & Hell_'s scenerio -- have errata. Check All Errata if you're planning to submit an ethereal.) I'm more likely to look favorably on a character which doesn't seem to have potential to make it really hard to retrofit ethereal canon around it. (That's an evil sentence, but it stands.) *NO* ethereal gods/ethereals of Superior class. I don't want to see anything of a higher "power level" than one of the Fair Folk.

The format is going to be:

Art Notes (what the character looks like, roughly; this will be handed to the artist, and doesn't count for the wordcount. Remember that the art will be about [inches] by [inches], and we can't fit in great gory groupshots.)

The vignette ***MUST*** concisely illustrate some facet of the character. It must ***NOT*** waste words, be "filler," or just be a chance to show off your great fiction-writing talents. It must be useful to a GM *and* fun to read.

The Vignette does not necessarily need to introduce the character. It could come in the middle of the description, or even at the end. It *must* conform to the above.

There does not have to be a vignette, and it does not have to be long. If you have a 9-Force, balanced character, I advise a *short* vignette. Say, 3 sentences, if you can manage that.

Deadline for characters is: January 10.


General Character format:

(Note that there is *no space* between the -Head: or @Normal: and the text that follows it. (Use exactly those capitalizations, too...) Also note that in the IN Stats section, each characteristic is separated by a , not spaces. There should be no spaces there. If your emailer inserts spaces for tabs, tell me. I am using CAPS as a placeholder for a variable value. Do not fill in the NAME of a character in all-caps.)

[if Word-bound] @D-Head: Angel/Demon/Seneschal of WORD/TETHER'S NAME
[If no distinctions, then "Title" is either "Servitor" or absent (if in good standing)]

For Renegade and Outcasts, the last D-head reads:
@D-Head:Renegade/Outcast CHOIR/BAND TITLE of WORD.

For those in service to someone, the last D-Head reads:
@D-Head:CHOIR/BAND TITLE of WORD in service to NAME

The rest of the character sheet should be in this format:

@Normal:<I>Vignette, if any.<I> [Vignette is commonly placed here in Cyclebooks; for the Liber Servitorum, it may be elsewhere in the description.]
@IN Stats:<B>Corporeal Forces - #<B> Strength # Agility #
<B>Ethereal Forces - #<B> Intelligence # Precision #
<B>Celestial Forces - #<B> Will # Perception #
@Normal:<I>Vessel(s):<I> Vessel1/# (gender/description [e.g., "female" or "old lady"]), Charisma +/-#, Sex Appeal +# [if any charisma/Sex Appeal]; Vessel2/# (gender/description), Charisma +/-#, Sex Appeal +#; [etc.]
<I>Role(s):<I> Role Name1/#, Status/#; Role Name2/#, Status/#; [etc., making sure that if Roles are attached to a vessel, this is obvious.]
<I>Skills:<I> [etc.]
<I>Songs:<I> [etc.]
<I>Servant(s):<I> [etc.]
<B>Attunements:<B> CHOIR/BAND SINGULAR of WORD, [etc], any distinctions [etc.]
<B>Malakite Oaths:<B> [if Malakite; a Malakite will have oaths! If he does not, he needs to.]
<B>Discord:<B> [if any; a CALABITE will have Discord! If he does not, he needs to.]
<B>Artifacts:<B> [if any]
<B>Special Rites:<B> [if any]
<B>Special Ability (-ies):<B> [if any; these are where "cute abilities" of the Word-bound should probably go]
@Normal:The Rest Of The Description.

When doing a Seneschal, the format is thus:

Word Bound Seneschal:

@D-Head:Seneschal of TETHER'S NAME

Attuned Seneschal:

Attunements:[stuff], Seneschal (attuned to TETHER'S NAME)

Alain, the talented person who does layout, says, "There should be a period at the end of a stat only if that stat is a sentence. Skills, Songs etc. don't need periods. Special abilities, descriptions of unusual artifacts etc. usually do need a period."

Characters who have been spoken for already:

Arael, the Angel of Birds
Jophiel, the Cherub who guards the gates of Eden (Dominic)
Mihr, Elohite Angel of Mercy (Dominic)
Nathanael, Seraph Angel of Punishment (Gabriel)
Pelial, Angel of Righteous Vengeance (Laurence)
Raguel, Malakite executioner (Dominic)
Raziel, Ofanite Angel of Mysteries (Yves)
Sandalphon, the fastest Ofanite in Heaven
Seraphiel, Seraph Angel of the Inquisition (Dominic)

Azazel, Lucifer's Djinn secrtary
Iblis, Baal's Djinn aid-de-camp
"I'm Going to Hell," Lilim Demon of Gambling Debts (Mammon)
Marau, Impudite seductress (Andrealphus)
Mastema, Asmodeus' chief prosecutor (a Balseraph)
Moloch, Impudite Demon of Blood Sacrifices (Baal)
Murmur, Calabite Duke of the Game who commands all souls in Hades
Saleos, Impudite Demon of Fecundity (Andrealphus)
Sammael, Calabite Demon of Poison (Fleurity)
Tamiel, Djinn Demon of the Deeps (Beleth)
Tchort, Balseraph Demon of Atheism
Vaphoron, Fallen Mercurian of Purity

Steve Jackson
Games * In