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Old 04-15-2005, 07:02 AM   #1
Archangel Beth
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Default My Book Recommendations

Based from this thread. I thought it might be a good idea to have a sticky of What Books An IN Fan Might Want And Why.

Mostly because I fielded a question about it last night when I was far too distracted to re-generate all these answers again.

If other people want to chime in, I'm not locking the thread. I'd like this to be more a "reviews" thread than a conversational one, and will edit or delete posts as needed. (Or spin them off to a thread, etc.)
**
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc
I guess my first question should be, have I bitten off more than I can chew here? Should I start off with something a little more light-weight, albeit less satisfying?
Well, there's nothing saying you can't play In Nomine in a "light-weight" fashion - see also In Nomine: Anime.

Quote:
Really I am wondering if anyone has any tips for someone starting out with In Nomine? For instance which resources are essential and which can wait a while (I could only afford to pick up maybe 3 or four books in the near future). Should I wait for a revised edition of the core rules?
Don't wait for a revised edition. I've not been told anything about a chance to revise it, and I should know. I have many notions on how to do it, (GURPS In Nomine could be considered an example), but I've not been given a "Hey, we need to do a second edition" sign yet.

So long as you grasp that the book isn't necessarily best-read from front to back, and it has a few quirks (mainly Songs) where information is spread out, you'll be fine. (How did I read it? I got up to the d666 mechanics, then I skipped ahead to the Choirs, Bands and Superiors sections, and finally went back and read the rest.)

What you want... I'll try to order these and explain what's in them and why you might want them.

*The Core Rules, either plain IN or GURPS version. Duh. O:> They are now available on e23, only.

*The Game Master's Guide. As a new GM, this could be very useful to you. You may also want Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering, which SJGames published, which is system-neutral - it's a 32-pager, as I recall, and may couple with something else useful.

*If you like anime, and your gaming group does, In Nomine: Anime. It's a 32-page book, so relatively inexpensive. It may also be a good lead-in for "practice games."

*The Liber Canticorum (Book of Songs) or Liber Reliquarum (Book of Relics), for "spells" or "magic items." The Liber Reliquarum has an adventure in it which, in hind-sight, presumes a more conflict-prone Heaven than the default seems to have shaken out to be.

*The Angelic Player's Guide, Infernal Players Guide, Corporeal Player's Guide, or Ethereal Player's Guide - each of these are useful for what they focus on. Frankly, if you wanted to run a "small gods" campaign, you could get the core rules and the EPG and chuck 99% of the background. (See also a paragraph of http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=3268.) I am partial to the IPG and EPG because I had a lot to do with them, and the CPG is just plain useful if you want important humans. The APG, I didn't have my hands on the reins enough, in my arrogant opinion, but it still has a lot of useful stuff in there, like Kyriotates.

*The Superiors Books (War and Honor, Pleasures of the Flesh, Hope and Prophecy, and Rogues to Riches). if you can get your players to "cluster" around the four Superiors in a given Superiors book, I'd say that one should be your third choice. They have all the data from the core rules (with any errata fixed) to reduce book swapping, as well as additional Servitor Attunements and Distinctions. Not only do they discuss the Superior, but also what it's like to be a Servitor of that Superior. They also have adventure seeds that can be fleshed out. (See also http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG82-1005.)

*The Liber Servitorum (Book of NPCs and/or pregen PCs, basically), the Liber Castellorum (Tether-book; making and short samples), and You Are Here (a bunch of locations and the adventure seeds associated with them). None of these are in the top three you should have as a GM, unless you happen to flip through and be the sort of person who'd be incredibly inspired by them, but I'm rather fond of them. (The Servitorum also expands on Roles and Servants.)

* The Revelation Cycle. I believe you'll want to cherry-pick these. (I mean, eventually, you want it all, but...) Don't feel that you have to use the "official adventure." (My own campaign has cheerfully jumped the tracks, for instance, before the Rev Cycle's adventure even "got started.") So unless you want more on a topic (Night Music = Austin, Tx; Marches = Marches; Heaven & Hell =...; Fall of the Malakim = Los Angeles; Final Trumpet = a lot of Superior write-ups), these are unlikely to be top-three picks.

And to order them... Well, there's always www.warehouse23.com... O;>

EDIT: e23 now has In Nomine stuff. Note that most e23 material has GURPS 3rd edition (GURPS In Nomine) conversions. (Originally, such conversions were not going to be done because in a dead-trees book, that would eat up the space for In Nomine data. This is a less pressing concern with e23.)

The Liber Umbrarum expands ghosts. It also contains GURPS conversions for the basic ghost types from the CPG.

In Nomine Superiors: Lilith is the expanded expansion - the material from FotM, revised and expanded with data on both Free Lilim and contracted "employees" of Freedom.

In Nomine Superiors: Litheroy is the expansion for the minor Archangel (who first appeared in "Feast of Blades") and his Servitors.

In Nomine Superiors: Eli expands on the Archangel of Creation. It gives hints as to what he might be up to, and lots of data about his Servitors.

In Nomine Superiors: Asmodeus is the expanded expansion. Inludes a lot about actually playing the Game as a Servitor... There're also suggestions for something even more important (to quote one of the authors): how to make them go away.

In Nomine Superiors: Zadkiel is the expansion for the Archangel of Protection (first appearing in Heaven & Hell). She's rather changed, and mechanics have been clarified.

The e23 adventures:
Strange Bedfellows: has pre-generated characters (both IN and GIN), and is meant to be a simple adventure for 1-2 sessions. It's one way the "Strange Bedfellows" adventure seed in Superiors 1 could go. (Servitors of Judgment and War are sent, with the aid of Stone and Sword, to recover an Outcast Cherub of War. Mayhem and snark ensue.) A version of this appeared in Pyramid, but the e23 one is more polished.

The Rats' Revenge: a locked-room mystery, expanded with original notes that didn't make it into Pyramid, and with a few additions of my own that I thought of while running it myself. (My PCs did things out of order, of course, and wound up not doing the second part.)

A Very Nybbas Christmas: from the original paper version of Pyramid, updated a bit, and free.

Feast of Blades: the adventure that came with the out-of-print GM screen, updated to agree with the Superiors 4. This is the first appearance of Alaemon, Prince of Secrets, and Litheroy, Archangel of Revelation. It's also a fun little adventure, though the sorcerer NPC may not entirely agree with the CPG.

City on Fire: an adventure that appears nowhere else, and is definitely full of mayhem. I have neither played in, nor run, a game with it, though. Alas.

The Sorcerer's Impediments: a free "In Nomine Lite" adventure! It has sample characters, simplified rules, and a short plot. If you prefer your In Nomine "Hevvy," this sample Pyramid article gives suggestions (and an entirely new pre-gen character that was cut from the Lite version).
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Last edited by Archangel Beth; 01-20-2010 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Stuff on e23!
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: My Book Recommendations

IMNSHO The most important book (after the core rules) is the Corporeal Players Guide. The place for the Lowdown on cool stuff like:
*Sorcery
*Other Human only advantages like Blessed
*More Detailed Rules for Undead
*Saints
*How each major Superior treats Human Soldiers

Even more importantly this book has the rules for things that are basically essential rather than just cool facets of the setting. Such as...
*Rules Change to make humans have less hitpoints on average than a Sedan
*Optional Rules to make humans less incompetent at human sorts of tasks
*Rules for Drugs, Poisons, and Diseases

Basically if you want to have any significant Human characters you need the CPG.
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Old 09-23-2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: My Book Recommendations

Quoting from another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by h3rne
Hi! I'm a gate crasher from a foreign SJG forum... IN got flagged on Websnark just recently and it piqued my interest. I found this thread trying to work out whether to buy IN or go for 3e GIN.
Quote:
Originally Posted by milliken
Generally I'd recommend the GURPS version if:

- your players already play and like GURPS a lot, and don't like other systems, especially ones where the rules are "squishy"
- you want detailed combat rules (or just detailed rules in general)
- you want to do historical stuff, and mine the various GURPS historical books for NPCs
- you want some semblance of play balance between the PCs
- you want to intermix humans with celestials a lot (human PCs are very disadvantaged in regular IN, not so much in GIN)
- you want to intermix IN with "regular" magic, psi, or other non-mundane genre stuff, or use it in a genre cross-over campaign

The regular IN is best if:
- your players are more interested in roleplaying and character over rules, and like "rules-light" systems
- players won't care if one character is much more powerful than another
- you'll gloss combat a lot (the IN combat rules aren't much faster than the GURPS ones, just less detailed)
- you plan to stick strictly within the IN background, and not introduce supernatural stuff from other backgrounds (though it's not all that hard to add "house rules" for things created within the IN framework)

Note that I actually like and use both systems (well, if I ever have time enough to actually play again), but prefer to play the IN background in In Nomine. I'd definitely use the GURPS version if I wanted to do a mix-and-match game -- Elizabeth did an In Nomine/Yrth game in GURPS IN, for example, and it worked fairly well. It would have been very hard to do in regular IN.

I strongly recommend the e23 version of the core rules over a hardcopy from eBay or the like -- this is in large part because the core rules started out badly organized, especially for character creation, but the addition of the PDF bookmarks and searching capability pretty much alleviates the problems with finding things quickly.

---Walter
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: My Book Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archangel Beth
The Rats' Revenge: a locked-room mystery, expanded with original notes that didn't make it into Pyramid, and with a few additions of my own that I thought of while running it myself. (My PCs went and did things out of order, of course, and wound up not doing the second part.).
Link doesn't work, and "locked room" games are ideal for Live ARP--that being my geekage. Any idea whether it can still be gotten?
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tHEhERETIC
Link doesn't work, and "locked room" games are ideal for Live ARP--that being my geekage. Any idea whether it can still be gotten?
http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG37-3344
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
Archangel Beth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tHEhERETIC
Link doesn't work, and "locked room" games are ideal for Live ARP--that being my geekage. Any idea whether it can still be gotten?
The links have been fixed -- thanks for telling me!
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archangel Beth
* The Liber Servitorum (Book of NPCs and/or pregen PCs, basically), the Liber Castellorum (Tether-book; making and short samples), and You Are Here (a bunch of locations and the adventure seeds associated with them). None of these are in the top three you should have as a GM, unless you happen to flip through and be the sort of person who'd be incredibly inspired by them, but I'm rather fond of them. (The Servitorum also expands on Roles and Servants.)
Does the Liber Servitorum expand on classes of Servants beyond 6?
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:40 AM   #8
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Because of the quirks of the system, there are no classes of Servant above 6. However, there is a whole chapter about Servants, which includes a very short discussion about more powerful beings as Servants.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: My Book Recommendations

I would rank the books as follows (note that I am not including the recent e23 material, as I don't have any of them):

Critical:
  • The core (obviously), which I would recommend picking up hardcopy on eBay (regardless of its design flaws), because unless everyone brings a laptop to the game, you'll want a hardcopy to toss to a player who wants to look something up. GURPS or 666 depends on your playstyle/familiarity (I prefer 666, but that's a me thing).

Almost Critical:
  • Angelic Player's Guide and Infernal Player's Guide. Celestials are foreign creatures and hard to RP for IN newbies, and these books are endlessly helpful for getting into the mindset of your character, as well as clarifying important rules.

    Liber Castorellum does an amazing job of showing how Superiors act on Earth and how to set up an area for you to game in. The most important thing in an area are its Tethers, and focusing on Tether issues is the easiest way to make an IN campaign when you first start out.

Extremely Useful:
  • Ethereal Player's Guide and Corporeal Player's Guide, which let you make things other than celestials fleshed out and interesting.

    Liber Servitorum gives you excellent, ready-to-use NPCs that are practically plot hooks in their own right. No idea what to do for a session? Crack open this book, select an NPC, and have him or her arrive in the PCs' town. Session planning done.

    Game Master's Pack--not because of "Feast of Blades," which isn't particularly good, and certainly not because of Litheroy's write-up (as his Dissonance restrictions make his angels annoying to play). Alaemon's writeup is interesting, but the real gem there is the DM Screen, which organizes a lot of relevant information in one place far more efficiently than even a bookmarked pdf. I never actually use it as a Screen, but it's an excellent reference. Hard to find, though.

Useful:
  • Liber Reliquarium and Liber Canticorum, in that order, provide useful supplemental information, but I would put them way down the list for a new GM, as there are certainly enough Songs in the core, and relics are far less important to IN than magic items are to your average RPG.

Interesting:
  • "Superiors" books. They might be more important if your campaign focuses around their themes, and they provide interesting plot hooks and VERY interesting advice on playing the Archangels, but their relevance can be either really high or virtually nil.

    "Revelations Cycle" books. The Marches is useful but outdated with the EPG, and the others are primarily good for the Superior expansions. I am personally annoyed by metaplots, and I am not overly fond of the adventures therein.

Buy Only If You Are Rich Or Are An Obsessive Collector:
  • The Game Master's Guide provides very few useful tips or advice on rule interpretation, which is what a GM guide should. Instead, it focuses on things like tone and campaign planning, which can't be learned as well from a book as by actually playing. There are useful things there, just few and far between.

    IN: Anime is a waste of money unless your players are interested in that sort of thing, in which case it might be a worthy buy. However, it has no useful info for people playing a more conventional game.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: My Book Recommendations

On the topic of the Game Master's Guide -- will it ever make it to e23? Of all the books, it's the hardest to find, basically never coming anywhere close to list price on eBay and Amazon.


Beth here. The GMG is now on e23: http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG30-3317
So's the Liber Canticorum: http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG30-3312

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