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Old 12-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
robkelk
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Default The Mercurian Candidate

Those who recognize which movie (and remake) I'm riffing in the thread title will probably already know what I'm about to ask...

How would one go about "brainwashing" an angel, without making him Fall?

For bonus points, how would one go about "brainwashing" an angel, without making him Dissonant?

I have a plot idea involving an angel that doesn't realize he's sending information to Asmodeus, but it won't work if he can't be brainwashed... and I'm having trouble coming up with some way he could be brainwashed that doesn't show. Any ideas, anyone?
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Mercurian Candidate

Well, in real life spy situations, plain old deceit is the usual technique, although it would be harder to pull off with angels. i.e., in the Cold War, KGB agents would pose as MI6 agents to recruit British informants, claiming to be e.g. counterspies looking for moles. Maybe the angel knows that they're passing info, but believes that it's going to War's intelligence services instead of the Game?
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Mercurian Candidate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Well, in real life spy situations, plain old deceit is the usual technique, although it would be harder to pull off with angels. i.e., in the Cold War, KGB agents would pose as MI6 agents to recruit British informants, claiming to be e.g. counterspies looking for moles. Maybe the angel knows that they're passing info, but believes that it's going to War's intelligence services instead of the Game?
I don't remember the rules well enough to say if it is feasible, but could a Balseraph get away with pretending to be a Seraph of Dominic who needs information for an ongoing investigation?
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Mercurian Candidate

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
I don't remember the rules well enough to say if it is feasible, but could a Balseraph get away with pretending to be a Seraph of Dominic who needs information for an ongoing investigation?
As long as the target isn't a Seraph themselves, I don't see why not.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Mercurian Candidate

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
I don't remember the rules well enough to say if it is feasible, but could a Balseraph get away with pretending to be a Seraph of Dominic who needs information for an ongoing investigation?
Depends on what you mean by "getting away with," since the Balseraph herself is going to believe she's a loyal Inquisitor. This can be done but requires very delicate handling.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:23 AM   #6
robkelk
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Default Re: The Mercurian Candidate

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
As long as the target isn't a Seraph themselves, I don't see why not.
Or the target doesn't make contact with a Seraph - the first time that the Seraph used his resonance on the "mole" and got a CD 6+, the jig would be up.

And there are two Seraphim in the player party...
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
Rocket Man
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Default Re: The Mercurian Candidate

Brainwashing tends to depend on two things:

1) Isolation, so that others can't contradict the views you're trying to inculcate.

2) Conditioning, a steady encouragement of "good" behaviors and discouragement of "bad" ones.

If the character is already part of a PC party, then number 1 is in a great deal of danger and your ability to provide number 2 is jeopardized. Maybe not impossible, but difficult.

One of the keys to this from Hell's side is that the target must learn to mistrust the Seraphim he knows. Give him reasons to dislike them, avoid them, consider them narrow-minded killjoys, or beings so focused on universal truths that they don't understand common realities and necessities. Make relationships with them cool or even chilly; if he's rude enough, the Seraphim may start avoiding him as unpleasant to be around. Note that this doesn't work so well with Seraphim of Dominic ....

Another thing I would recommend is working through mortals who are already on Hell's side. Get them to be his friends, because people are often predisposed to agree with their friends. Maybe even set up a situation where the character can get one of his "friends" out of trouble caused by narrow-minded zealotry, or by some group known to have Heaven's backing in the campaign. (Why mortals? Because if anyone checks to see if he's had commerce with demons, even a CD6 won't say "Yes"; also because mortals can have confusing aims and morals that can lead to celestials not understanding their true intentions right away.)

The trick, as you say, is to keep him from Falling or Jumping. So encourage minor things that are still part of his angelic nature ... an Ofanite might get the chance to go to the gym with his buddies on a regular basis, for instance, or a Cherub to walk that nice young woman home. But constantly, quietly reinforce the inner voice that tells him that even though most of his Heavenly buds are real nice guys (except for those #$% Seraphim), they just don't understand how the real world works and trying to explain would just get him accused of heresy. Thankfully, these guys understand ... and if he just slips them a little quiet help every now and then when they need it, no one Above really needs to know, right?

(The comparison may sound ghoulish, but it's rather like "grooming" a victim for abuse in some ways. Studying those sorts of cases may give you more ideas than you would want!)
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:40 AM   #8
Archangel Beth
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Default Re: The Mercurian Candidate

Another tack might be... There's no brainwashing, per se, there's just delusion that "this nice Soldier/Aware human I'm talking to is transmitting information to [perfectly reasonable Superior to be talking to]." Use a human as a cut-out (and be sure to treat the human very well, though lying like a rug is useful...) and spin your story so that the human believes it. "Yes! I am an angel serving the Lord Commander of the Hosts of Heaven! But I'm/{target is} in deep cover. You can be our go-between, but I can't be seen directly visiting {target} or my/his cover will be compromised."

To keep an angel from Jumping/Falling, there's basically two key points: Dissonance, and Selfishness. Dissonance is betraying Choir Nature and Archangel's Dissonance Conditions. Selfishness is harder to quantify, but a deft hand can probably also avoid that. I suspect one important bit is to make sure that you don't no-win the scenario -- if you shove the angel into a corner where it can't win, can't help others, can only try to help itself... That's likely to backfire. Despair can break an angel in un-useful ways as well as useful ones.
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