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Old 08-07-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Mainz, Germany
Default And the Angel of Irony wept...

Okay, for somebody from secular Europe, fundamentalist evangelicals are always kind of weird - but this just takes the cake:
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Default Re: And the Angel of Irony wept...

Personally (and speaking as an American on the political left who hasn't been to church in years), I actually find this really interesting. I'm not going to be integrating any of these ideas into my own campaign because my players and I aren't made particularly uncomfortable by anything in the setting, but this seems like kind of a neat way to get people into the game who might see certain aspects of the game interfering with their suspension of disbelief. (I've read enough DC/Vertigo comics that I'm totally familiar with the idea that angels can be total jerks, but I can see how that might be jarring or distracting to the point of not-fun for someone from a different background...)
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:32 PM   #3
Rocket Man
Petitioner: Word of IN Filk
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Longmont, CO
Default Re: And the Angel of Irony wept...

I'm with Jason here. In fact, this is *less* change to the game than I was expecting in espousing a fundamentalist Christian worldview.

One of the fundamental rules of RPGs has always been "If there's something about the game that makes you uncomfortable, change it!" If this is helping someone have fun and maybe even grow in their faith, more power to them. I think my own faith is secure enough that I won't be led astray by an imaginary world, but if someone else needs more support, by all means. For that matter, I wouldn't ask such a person to play an unaltered game until they felt themselves spiritually ready, if they ever did.

Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. 1 Cor 8:13
“It's not railroading if you offer the PCs tickets and they stampede to the box office, waving their money. Metaphorically speaking”
--Elizabeth McCoy, In Nomine Line Editor

Author: "What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger"
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Mainz, Germany
Default Re: And the Angel of Irony wept...

Hey, I'm not saying it's not interesting, from an anthropological point of view... I actually spend my work time writing theses about this kind of stuff - nevertheless, the very idea that someone with a fundamentalist viewpoint would want to play IN in the first place floors me - let's face it, it may not be Magna Veritas, but it still pokes fun of a lot of religious concepts. And to then alter it like that in order to make it kosher - well, it made us giggle, anyway ^^

rather like playing Infinite Worlds although you hate time travel genres, and then deciding just to play on homeline... hey hoo...

Last edited by Phoenix42; 08-07-2011 at 05:03 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: South of the Town across from the City by the Bay
Default Re: And the Angel of Irony wept...

I'm stunned from my American perspective that they even want to play RPGs in the first place and not have a book burning to "save the children." To hear that your fundamentalists even entertain the idea of playing RPGs, let alone IN, let alone there might be enough European fundamentalist Christians who may want to play, let alone put the effort into doing a conversion, is simply mind-blowing to me. The best we can manage here is being fortuitously overlooked -- the last time our fundamentalist Christians got involved TSR went into an editing frenzy trying to appease people from invoking the wrath of Congress (needless to say, video games occasionally got a similar backlash, however it achieved a critical mass to fight back by the 90s onward).

An interesting find because it's so beyond my realm of experience.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:31 AM   #6
Matthias Wasser
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Boston
Default Re: And the Angel of Irony wept...

Yeah, I agree that this is nothing crazy. Two critical comments:

1) I think this is a good illustration of why I don't like bright, high-contrast settings - when it's clear what good and evil are and that good will triumph, two of the most compelling types of conflict are given away. In real life, affirming that good and evil are absolute and that the good guys will win in the end don't rob life of its pathos, because doing what you believe to be right is struggle and your conceptions of morality and teleology are constantly perforated with doubt: "and some question, in the middle of the night, whether they made the right choice - they are very much like us." Suspension of disbelief over third person objective-described settings - and not being an incredibly talented actor - compromise these elements in fiction, especially this particular medium; and I think that many geeks' reflexive reaction to settings like this is "well what if Starfleet is EVIL and the show is Federation PROPAGANDA" is essentially an attempt to sneak these elements back in. This rewrite actually runs in the opposite direction - this sense, the author's joke about Derek Pearcy being a Balseraph may have been more sly than intended - because it goes above and beyond the basics of the bright high-contrast setting by removing additional sources of conflict - angels only ever politely disagree, they never have torrid love affairs...

Of course, to be clear, I really do mean "criticism" above in the analytic rather than scolding sense; and I'm likely judging this from a position of privilege (as opposed to a privileged position, if you catch my meaning) and that the author worked from a much less poncy aesthetic perspective than my own, much like - and I realize how condescending this sounds - Michael Bay makes movies that are objective failures by the standards of high culture (hence film critics) but succeed on others. (The class and other baggage that's encrusted around these different standards is unfortunate, because it makes some preferences difficult to express without sounding like a dunce and others without sounding like a dick.) Like: this is basically Touched by an Angel with more room for flaming swords and high-speed car chases, and TBAA worked well by its own Kitchen Soup for the Soul-style standards. You couldn't really translate its narrative formula to an RPG straight, unless you went a weird indie route - the NPCs experience all the drama - but maybe the author imagines, say, playing with a youth group who get to cathartically beat up demons while their youth pastor GM assigns dissonance to impart lessons about right and wrong. Idunno.

This was a bit longer than it probably deserved to be.

2) Making Eli Jesus makes Yves' not being renamed the Father a bit conspicuous - maybe the author's theology places the Father as more absolutely transcendent than that? But then why the complaints about print IN's rather transcendent godhead? This does kind of expose a bit of In Nomine that's in effect a sort of deformed Christianity - God is both fully transcendent and immanent, but only because we're giving you both an apophrastic panentheism and, separately, Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty. This seems like a good thing to think about when playing around with the setting.

3) Okay, yeah, it's funny and stereotype-confirming to see a fundamentalist going down the list of Archangels expunging moral sins: "Hmm, Blandine... angels don't have sex... Gabriel... no, he is sad about the whole Islam thing... Janus... stealing is wrong, revise that... Dominic... hmm finally a good guy, moving on..."
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