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Old 02-01-2009, 07:23 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle
Default Re: Question on Seraph resonance (MHC spoilery)

Alright. The Seraph's resonance homes in on the next person to speak or act in such away that communication happens after invoking her resonance. For the duration (10 minutes-the CD), the resonance scrutinizes that individual, unless someone else directs a lie (in either word or action) directly at the Seraph, in which case the resonance switches to the liar and the Seraph is alerted to the lie. I would probably supply CD-level info about both targets in this case (I mean, they're angels, and the point of resonance is learning information and I like to reward that, but a stricter interpretation of the rules wouldn't do this).

The Seraph's understanding of the lie is totally besides the point. Let's examine several scenarios (all of which assume the Seraph makes her resonance roll):

1) The Seraph invokes her resonance, and the next person to talk is the Cherub. After this, the NPC lies to the Cherub but not to the Seraph. The Seraph's resonance only examines the Cherub's statements and behavior. The only way a lie could be detected here is on a CD of 6, if the Cherub repeated the lie, believing it to be true (NPC: "It's hidden in the basement." Cherub: "Oh, I should check the basement." Resonance: "The Cherub thinks he should, but he should really check the kitchen instead.").

2) The Seraph invokes her resonance, and the next person to talk is the Cherub. After this, the NPC lies to the Seraph directly (or indirectly, like he's talking to the room at large or through a translator, since in both cases the words are still directed at the Seraph). The Seraph's resonance pings the lie as such, and for the rest of the duration, the Seraph analyzes the NPC.

3) The Seraph invokes her resonance, and the next person to talk is the NPC. No one lies directly to the Seraph, so her resonance remains on the NPC for its entire duration, and so any lies uttered or gestured by the NPC ring as such, even if they are not directed at the Seraph.

Now, to the language barrier. If the Seraph has no knowledge of the language, she will merely identify any given statements as lies, but not gain any knowledge of what the statements were, directly. However, at most CDs that can be inferred. Let's go with the lie being Japanese for "The body's in the basement," and the Seraph speaks only Spanish.

1--The Seraph knows that something the NPC said was a lie.
2--The Seraph knows which phrase was the worst lie, but would only know the Japanese words uttered. Not very useful.
3--The Seraph knows which phrase was the worst lie, but only in its Japanese words. However, the "why" of the lie would appear in the Seraph's head in whatever language she thinks in (and "...because the NPC doesn't want me to find out where the body is" is a pretty good clue).
4--Again, all of the above is known, and the extra info (what the truth is according to the NPC) will by necessity reveal at least part of the lie (if the speaker thinks the truth is "the body's in the kitchen" clearly he lied about where the body was).
5--Same as above, though no real extra information is gained.
6--This merely confirms if what the NPC thinks is true is really True., on any CD of 3 or greater, the Seraph can probably figure out the lie, what it was about, etc. Below that, a lie might be detected but the language barrier might limit how much the Seraph can do with that information. If the NPC speaks the Seraph's language, a CD of 2 will pick out the lie more clearly assuming the Seraph's resonance is on the NPC (from one of the previous examples).

Basically, with resonance, I always err on the side of giving the PCs more information--it's by far the coolest thing about playing an angel in IN (since the demons get the cooler "actually doing things instead of sensing" resonances, except for Kyriotates and Ofanim), and I find it fun for me as a GM, too. It makes all noncombat encounters much more different than in any other RPG (unless there's one I haven't played where all the PCs specialize in different types of divination magic or something). So have the ******* NPC try to pull off a lie, and have the Seraph detect it. It's the way it should go, generally, unless the Seraph fails the resonance roll or something else goes wrong--like a different NPC rushing in, grabbing the Seraph's wrist, and shouting a lie directly in his face.

...on an even more general note, I think the most attractive thing about the IN rules (at least the d666 version) are their "floppiness." If you wanted to say that anyone grabbing an angel with an active person-sensing resonance (Seraph, Elohite, Malakite, Mercurian) immediately gets the resonance moved over to him, or that a huge big lie (or in this case, an ******* literally attempting to test a Seraph's sensitivity to a malicious and petty lie) might automatically trip a resonance, or that the game would progress in a more fun and interesting direction if any of the above mechanics were interpreted a bit loosely or a bit in a new direction, the game really supports you doing that willy-nilly. After all, Lucifer is often watching, and God always is.
“The world is going to Hell in a hand-basket, but I’ve got Good News: I saved my soul by switching to Heaven.”
—Baruel, former Djinn of the Media, now Cherub of Destiny and the Angel of Good News
Acolyte is offline   Reply With Quote