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Old 05-01-2012, 05:16 PM   #21
Phoenix42
 
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Default Re: Seraphim and "what lies will work"

Wow, wasn't expecting that example to be so popular... ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by naraht View Post
Point taken...
OK, so let me slightly reword...
This doesn't work if the Seraph knows that the Receptionist's boss is the Senechal...
True. :) In my imagination, the Seraph in question isn't sure who in the joint is or isn't a demon. Hence the words "there's a good chance" because there are still going to be more humans in there than demons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias Wasser View Post
I feel like these solutions really seem like people are thinking of Seraphim as humans who have the arbitrary restriction of not telling lies, rather than the Living Truth, the Attendants of the Throne of God, Holiest of Created Beings.
Yup, more or less... which doesn't mean that Seraphim can't come to the same conclusions after spending some time on Earth... Basically I have in mind a Seraph of Wind or Creation, who having spent a long long time here, has begun to understand how humans think and knows that since humans are such limited beings, you simply have to portray the Truth in such a way as to not disconcert them.

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We haven't been discussing whether Mercurians would suggest killing the guards, and we haven't suggested that a Mercurian would plant a bomb in the building and kill everyone in it and not get dissonance because, hey, doctrine of double effect, go read some Aquinas scrub. And I'm guessing that's because we're humans and humans have much stronger inbuilt aversions to killing people than to lying, so when we place ourselves empathetically in a situation like the one described, and try to modify our mindset with "okay, and don't lie," we naturally come up with clever solutions like talking in questions and so on. This works okay for Mercurians because they're supposed to be basically like us, and unless we've received specialized psychological training in a gang or military we know what it's like to have an instinctive break on violence. This doesn't work for Seraphim because we're just not by our nature creatures that get sadder thinking that people sometimes believe in astrology than that they sometimes get horrible diseases and die screaming in agony.
I'm all for the approach of "angels aren't humans" approach to roleplaying IN, I actually use it myself most of the time. However, in doing so, one needs to avoid the pitfall of making angels automatically non-human or anti-symphony. Not that I'm accusing you of that, in fact I tend to enjoy playing my various Seraph NPCs a lot closer to the type of truth-loving that you describe. I just think that your comparison with the Mercurians shows quite aptly that both our ends of the spectrum are completely within bounds. Mercurians are defined by their love of humanity, and may thus not kill a human. However, the rules clearly allow them to kill by proxy (e.g. call in the Malakim), but what position they have is entirely up to the personality of the character in question. So basically, everything between the Mercurian of Yves in our group who balks every time the Gabrielites fry a sinner, and the Mercurian of War who, after the failed interrogation of a particularly valiant and stubborn hellsworn Soldier, wipes the captive's spittle from her face, tells the Malakite to shoot him, adding "wow, humans... they never fail to surprise you, do they" while walking away.
I think both ends of the spectrum are acceptable, and both ends can be overstepped quite easily to the point where it is "too much". The Mercurian who thinks that humans should be spared no matter what, even if it cost the lives of angels, is missing the point, as is the one who starts to have a Malakite with her at all times "just in case I need to kill a human". Not that those two aren't possible, but they aren't going to keep their jobs for long... On the side, I would definitely regard the Seraph in the above example as on the far end of his spectrum, because he is only one step away from saying that humans are so dim that he can say whatever he likes and they'll believe what his wording implies, and that's a Balseraph just waiting to happen.

Quote:
There are plenty of ways to get past a receptionist without tricking her. Walk past and ignore her protests. Shoot her in the face. Ask her some awkward questions, Resonate, proceed to blackmail. Break into her house, slash her tires, steal her keys, visit her in a dream and ask for lock combinations. Et cetera. Seraphim of Flowers are great at just, like, walking past armed guards and explaining that they're entering without permission if asked.
In the end it depends what your MO is, i.e. what part of the spectrum you're on, and what the Seraph accepts as "trickery". At some point in the line, there will be things involved that, in one interpretation or another, count as deception. Even if you walk in guns blazing, shoot everyone and blow up the building while shouting "IN THE NAME OF THE LORD", it will result in deception because you made it look like a "terrorist attack" (and if you didn't, you'll be pushing pencils in heaven pretty soon). Of course this is only deception by proxy, but if you take the Truth business to extremes, that's what you end up belabouring yourself with.

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Obviously by canon I'm wrong about this and Seraphim use Fast-Talk all the time, but you can only consistently keep about half of canon anyway, so.
As I wrote above, the view based on "echelons of knowledge" shouldn't be underestimated. A Seraph would hardly say that God, by creating a universe that included things that are not as they seem, was creating a Lie (and if he did, well, short straws and all that). Nor is God in any way deceptive for not giving His servitors the whole picture. A Seraph would likely say that God and His creation are ineffable, unknowable to more limited beings. The same could be argued about the affairs of heaven regarding humans. Humans would not be able to grasp the entire truth, therefore, for now, they are given the part they require to do the right thing. This of course does not mean lying to them, that would be wrong, but just as the Universe is perplexing to angels and humans alike, an angel can give a human a perplexing answer which will conceal the truth until the human is prepared to find it (unless, as in the other thread, the angel is in service to Revelation, in which case "sod subtlety, I'm an angel.")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acolyte View Post
I am (I think unusually, though no offense is intended) going to side with Matthias Wasser on this front. The above isn't a lie, but it is a deception, and plenty of book references make it clear that Seraphim are uncomfortable with deception. Which is why I said that Seraphim would not turn to such plans unless they had already looked into other areas.
Guilty as charged, and any Seraph player who ran round doing this regularly would be earning dissonance if I had anything to do with it. Though an interesting point can be made that when the dust settles, the receptionist will very likely consider the conversation from a new angle, go "wait a minute..." and maybe even come to the conclusion that he wasn't being lied to, just fast-talked. As for that differentiation...

Quote:
Obviously, Seraphim of the Wind are outliers, but I think there's a very important difference between Fast-Talk and Lying (they are two different skills, after all, in a game without that many skills). The point of Lying is to deceive someone, and even Seraphim of the Wind don't use it (unless they are making a dash to become Balseraphs of Theft). The point of Fast-Talk is to bypass something, be it a drunk-driving checkpoint, an awkward question about the bloodstained sword, the bored security guard at the fence, etc.
Interestingly, Gurps (yeah, hailing from Gurps:IN here) does not make that distinction, which I think is telling in a way. Fast-Talk, as I understand it, is the art of confusing someone with banter to the point where they let you through. This may or may not include outright lying. Of course, if you can't lie, this makes the whole thing a lot more tricky (hence the Seraph's -5 to skill), but not impossible.

Quote:
Seraphim are very emphatically beings of Truth, to the point of recognizing simple deception in others (their resonance picks up non-lie deceptions--there's a quote about a woman dying her hair to look younger being resonanceable). They can be complicit in deception but never directly lie, and they, as the least human Choir, are very uncomfortable with even the small deceptions that comprise human existence. Again, this doesn't mean a Seraph will never get into a Tether under false pretenses--but it does mean he won't want to, even a Windie. Other options look much better to him.
I agree completely - btw, one question just occurred to me:
Do Seraphim of War wear camouflage?
It's not supposed to be a rhetorical question, but depending on how you answer, I think one can delineate the side of the argument you're coming from. I for one would emphatically say "yes". Camouflage is not a lie, it's merely a change of appearance that hinders an enemy's sight, which, while uncomfortable for those in favour of honourable lines-of-war formations, is not the same as a false-flag op, or a false radio transmission. If, however, you say it's a lie, then similarly, things that are intended to mask your presence also fall flat.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #22
Matthias Wasser
 
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Default Re: Seraphim and "what lies will work"

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Originally Posted by Acolyte View Post
I am (I think unusually, though no offense is intended) going to side with Matthias Wasser on this front.
None taken; I don't think anyone here's agreed with me except by accident.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:44 AM   #23
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Default Re: Seraphim and "what lies will work"

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Originally Posted by Matthias Wasser View Post
None taken; I don't think anyone here's agreed with me except by accident.
Well, make that one person, then. *grin*

Quote:
Do Seraphim of War wear camouflage?
Of course. Seraphim of Flowers might also do so, ironically (of course). Camouflage simply makes you blend in--much like a Vessel on the Corporeal Plane. When you see someone in camo close up, it's not as though they actually appear to be grass or a tree or whatever.

Nothing anywhere in any IN book suggests to me that Seraphim cannot wear disguises as long as the costume doesn't "shout out a lie", like a cop's badge.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #24
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Default Re: Seraphim and "what lies will work"

A Seraph should probably be told that the camo is to make it "hard to notice" instead of "looking like a bush," though... You don't want to come across a poor Seraph that has a little tag on its camo-branches that reads, "I am NOT a bush."
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:11 AM   #25
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Default Re: Seraphim and "what lies will work"

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Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
The first thing that comes to mind: show up in denim with a tool box, knock on the door and say "I understand your heat's out. Mind if I come in?"

No lie involved. Especially if the Seraph has any kind of blue-collar Role.
No. It won't do.

By dressing that way and carrying that box, he is asserting "I am a heating repair man". This is a lie unless he has a Role or a knowldege of HVAC systems.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:22 AM   #26
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Default Re: Seraphim and "what lies will work"

I am a bit more of a hard liner.

Seraph: (Places tool box full of guns and knived on the desk) "I want to bring my tools into your building and fix the problems in here."

Rec: "Oh...are you here to fix the heating?"

Seraph: "I can take a look at the heating." he asserts

Rec: "It's freezing in here."

Seraph: "Not yet. It certainly won't fix itself."

Rec: "Have you done this job long?"

Seraph: "Far longer then you'd think."
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