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Old 04-11-2009, 09:12 PM   #1
JCD
 
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Default Vessel Features

This seemed particularly different from the Vessel Question thread as to necessitate it's own entry.

What specific features would a Superior gift to vessels? We know that their healing rate rocks, they don't eat, sleep or drink and tired is something that happens to someone else (though I'm not entirely convinced on that last point)

However, it seems likely that there are other subtle things that the most up to date superior might add.

For example, 80% of humans are "secretors", i.e. when they sweat, spit etc, they leave DNA samples. Why wouldn't an aware Superior make sure that none of the vessels he doles out would have that particular drawback (One gets the image of a Superior occassionally visiting the oldest Earthbound. "Time for an upgrade to Vessel 3.4")

Another thing they might add is DNA which breaks down easily, as well as finger pads which don't carry oil. Just a couple of things which might make their lives easier.

Any other additions you can think of?
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Vessel Features

JCD, I know we have been PM'ing each other on this topic but I am curious what the others think.

I would say that ID and possibly a paper trail, (specifically a Social Security Number and a Passport) to be vital to ensuring smooth running for a vessel. Or would that be something you would have the character pay for?
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyarcana55
JCD, I know we have been PM'ing each other on this topic but I am curious what the others think.

I would say that ID and possibly a paper trail, (specifically a Social Security Number and a Passport) to be vital to ensuring smooth running for a vessel. Or would that be something you would have the character pay for?
Honestly, that's part of the Role, IMO. If you don't have a Role, you don't exist in mortal society in any way shape or form. Even a level 1 Role would be some rather scanty paperwork. But others differ on this topic, so I'm interested in what they think as well.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
For example, 80% of humans are "secretors", i.e. when they sweat, spit etc, they leave DNA samples. Why wouldn't an aware Superior make sure that none of the vessels he doles out would have that particular drawback
Problem is, Superiors are constantly forced to balance between making vessels that make their servitors' lives easier, and making vessels that don't break the masquerade. Both sides of the War want humans kept in the dark about it as much as possible - angels to preserve free will, and demons because knowing about Hell tends to encourage good behavior among the talking monkeys. A vessel that didn't leave DNA traces would be mighty suspicious for the human doctor that ran across it. The rest of the vessel differences can be fairly easily faked - even if a vessel doesn't need to eat, excrete, or sleep, the servitor inside it can always choose to do those things anyway and avoid scrutiny. But when the EMT takes a blood sample and finds out that, oh my, you don't have blood cells in there, they'll know Something Is Amiss.

Which is not to say that this sort of "wetwork" vessel is never issued, just that I think it won't be standard issue. If Martha Malakim gets vessel-killed, bamfs back up to Heaven, begs a new vessel off her Archangel, and descends back into the fight, I'd just say "Yeah, your new vessel is completely DNA-free. Michael didn't feel like getting fancy anyway, given the time constraints". And it's possible that an celestial might be given a wetwork vessel on a permanent basis, if their Superior were assured that they'd never use it outside combat.

Even if Superiors are handing out forensics-free vessels, though, they probably encourage servitors not to use them unless they need to. If you kill someone, and need to have your Role go to Argentina to beat the rap, or even go to jail, well, it's annoying, but it's certainly within the resources of a Superior to manage. Heck, you don't even have to do the time - your Role can be taken by an imp or a reliever or something while you get a new body and go back to causing mayhem. Unless your Role is very important to preserve (A minimum of Status 4, I'd say), Superiors probably prefer that humans see some evidence that a crime was committed by humans, rather than having a bunch of crime scenes that are bizarrely evidence-free. The absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence, but it's definitely suggestive that something weird is going on.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
Honestly, that's part of the Role, IMO. If you don't have a Role, you don't exist in mortal society in any way shape or form. Even a level 1 Role would be some rather scanty paperwork.
I think that even a Role/0 does include some absolute basics - a piece of paper with your picture on it that claims to be a driver's license, some money, etc. Anything a Superior could reasonably just create out of thin air when they created the body. But there won't be anything backing that paper. If the cop takes your license and checks the computer records, nothing will come back, and the money might very well have serial numbers that match some other bill somewhere else.
But, yeah, a Role/1 will start providing the backing for all that sort of thing as part of the Role, and it will only get better from there. No need to pay extra points for the paper trail - that's half of what a Role does!
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen
Problem is, Superiors are constantly forced to balance between making vessels that make their servitors' lives easier, and making vessels that don't break the masquerade. Both sides of the War want humans kept in the dark about it as much as possible - angels to preserve free will, and demons because knowing about Hell tends to encourage good behavior among the talking monkeys. A vessel that didn't leave DNA traces would be mighty suspicious for the human doctor that ran across it. The rest of the vessel differences can be fairly easily faked - even if a vessel doesn't need to eat, excrete, or sleep, the servitor inside it can always choose to do those things anyway and avoid scrutiny. But when the EMT takes a blood sample and finds out that, oh my, you don't have blood cells in there, they'll know Something Is Amiss.

Which is not to say that this sort of "wetwork" vessel is never issued, just that I think it won't be standard issue. If Martha Malakim gets vessel-killed, bamfs back up to Heaven, begs a new vessel off her Archangel, and descends back into the fight, I'd just say "Yeah, your new vessel is completely DNA-free. Michael didn't feel like getting fancy anyway, given the time constraints". And it's possible that an celestial might be given a wetwork vessel on a permanent basis, if their Superior were assured that they'd never use it outside combat.

Even if Superiors are handing out forensics-free vessels, though, they probably encourage servitors not to use them unless they need to. If you kill someone, and need to have your Role go to Argentina to beat the rap, or even go to jail, well, it's annoying, but it's certainly within the resources of a Superior to manage. Heck, you don't even have to do the time - your Role can be taken by an imp or a reliever or something while you get a new body and go back to causing mayhem. Unless your Role is very important to preserve (A minimum of Status 4, I'd say), Superiors probably prefer that humans see some evidence that a crime was committed by humans, rather than having a bunch of crime scenes that are bizarrely evidence-free. The absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence, but it's definitely suggestive that something weird is going on.

I think you are misunderstanding what I am suggesting. I am not suggesting a DNA free vessel at all! If an EMT takes a DIRECT sample, well, everything is good. I am suggesting that if Martha Malakim gets hit with a bullet, her blood DNA degrades quickly away from her body so that any sample sent to CSI is "degraded" after only a few hours. Nothing odd, happens all the time for crime investigators. An even easier fix would be for the DNA to slightly change, so it appears contaminated.

And non secretors are a common Earth phenomena (unless ALL those 20% are actually Celestials, which is pretty scary)
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
I am not suggesting a DNA free vessel at all! If an EMT takes a DIRECT sample, well, everything is good. I am suggesting that if Martha Malakim gets hit with a bullet, her blood DNA degrades quickly away from her body so that any sample sent to CSI is "degraded" after only a few hours.
Ah, I see. Yeah, in that case, it seems pretty reasonable to make that a standard vessel feature, in all but the tightest of Roles. Maybe standard for any vessel attached to a Role/4 or less?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
And non secretors are a common Earth phenomena (unless ALL those 20% are actually Celestials, which is pretty scary)
Really? 20% of humans don't shed skin cells in their mouth or release skin cells when they rub against something? That seems... weirdly high, I must admit. Got a source?
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen

Really? 20% of humans don't shed skin cells in their mouth or release skin cells when they rub against something? That seems... weirdly high, I must admit. Got a source?
This may be where the percentage of "non-secretors" came from, though I can't vouch for the validity of the source. (Call me paranoid, but I always get suspicious when I see someone's pitching a book): http://www.dadamo.com/knowbase/newbie/a.htm

That said, maybe one of us should PM Dr. Mandrekar (pmandrekar on these boards). He probably knows more on this particular subject than all of us put together.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Never said didn't shed skin. Said that they didn't secreat DNA into their bodily fluids. A bit of research shows that secreators vs non secreators has more to do with blood antigens then DNA. A cheek cell would still have all the DNA if the angel was in the habit of gnawing the inside of his mouth.

However, if an angel spit on the corpse of a dead demon, one could not blood type him as a non secreator. If there happened to be some cheek cells, well, pray he bought the "easily degradable DNA option".
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vessel Features

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
A bit of research shows that secreators vs non secreators has more to do with blood antigens then DNA.
Interesting! Always good to have new knowledge. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
A cheek cell would still have all the DNA if the angel was in the habit of gnawing the inside of his mouth.
You don't need to chew your flesh to release skin cells. They shed all the time, naturally. Ever had a cheek swab taken? They basically just rub a Q-Tip on the inside of your cheek firmly. That's enough to get lots of cells for a sample.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
If there happened to be some cheek cells, well, pray he bought the "easily degradable DNA option".
I'd just make this a default feature of vessels. You've convinced me it's not unusual enough to cause comment, so I don't see why Superiors wouldn't give it out to everyone for free. I figure In Nomine is typically better off not worrying about forensics teams tracing celestials and putting them in prison, and this makes a good handwave as to why it doesn't happen. :-)
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