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Old 07-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
The Bearded One
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

I have recently resumed my on-and-off In Nomine campaign called The Word. Several of you have asked me to start this log so that there is a bit more activity in the IN section of the forums, and coincidentally it may serve as adventure seeds for other IN GMs.

The premise of the campaign is simple enough. In October 2002, a mid-rank (11-Force) Lilim of Andrealphus named Selena sponsors a group of young, inexperienced demons to come to Earth for the first time. The demons (the PCs) do not have to all work for Lust since Selena can call in favors from other principalities.

Selena has a simple job for the PCs: She has a list of seven humans (just names, rough physical descriptions, and home addresses) and she wants them to all lose their jobs in the next two weeks.

Quick investigation by the PCs will reveal that the seven humans all work at a specific call center (one manager, one tech support, and five telephone operators). Deeper investigation reveals that the call center is a clearing house for information designed to help battered women.

So far, no problem. Unfortunately, when the PCs start messing with the employees, they'll quickly attract the attention of nearby angels. There is a Cherub Friend of Blandine and a Malakite of Gabriel nearby who will not take kindly to demonic plots. The call center is also funded by a charity based in New York City which is run by an angel of Flowers.

I have run this scenario twice. The first time, the PCs panicked when the Malakite of Fire found them and decided that they were totally willing to defect to Heaven's side of the war. The second time, the PCs embraced the idea of being demons serving the side of evil (for the most part) and eventually committed arson to shut the call center down for good.

The second group asked for that adventure to turn into a campaign, so I figured out what Selena was really up to (she wants a valuable Word and doesn't particularly want to beg Andrealphus to sponsor her), and a couple more missions for her to send the PCs on, and voila! The Word became a campaign.


Questions answered and more info in a couple of days.
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GM - G4e Drow War (Fantasy + Thaumatology)
GM - In Nomine: The Word (modified rules)
Player - G4e Sex Crossbows (Dungeon Fantasy)
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
The Bearded One
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

The player character demons are a really mixed bag:

1) Balseraph of Lust
2) Lilim of Lust
3) Balseraph of The Game (whose mission is to find out what Selena is really up to)
4) Habbalah of Nightmares
5) Calabite of Fire
6) Lilim of Fate
7) Shedite of The Media
8) Djinn of Technology

That last demon's player (#8) has decided that she wants to defect to Heaven's side of the War and become an angel. She has begun that process and is now secretly a Renegade feeding information to the Cherub Friend of Dreams that I mentioned in the OP. (Because the player is uncomfortable with the idea of playing a demon, I am making the process of Redeeming substantially easier for her than it should be.)


More to come....
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GM - G4e Drow War (Fantasy + Thaumatology)
GM - In Nomine: The Word (modified rules)
Player - G4e Sex Crossbows (Dungeon Fantasy)
Player - Deadlands
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
Rocket Man
Petitioner: Word of IN Filk
 
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Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

Eight PCs? You have my admiration and sympathy, sir. When everyone is in attendance, my own In Nomine Madison group includes:

1. A Bright of Music, now in service to The Sword (and planning to transfer).
2. A Bright of War.
3. A Kyriotate of Creation, in service to Flowers.
4. A Cherub of War.
5. A Seraph of Judgment, heading up the local Triad.
6. A Malakite of Lightning
7. A Malakite of the Divine Word (Gabriel's sphere of influence here), presently off on an atonement assignment.

No, no Powers or Friends of Man. I used to run a Mercurian of Destiny in this campaign before becoming a co-GM, though.

It's also worth noting that -- in part because he came in when the group was smaller and we needed all the help we could get -- numbers 2, 5 and 7 are run by the same player. We've suggested that he's a Kyriotate in disguise. Especially since 2 and 5 argue with each other. :)
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“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 07-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
The Bearded One
 
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Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

The player of the Habbalah of Nightmares missed the first full session of the adventure last week, so I briefed him about the PCs' new missions. While we were talking about that, he said something to the effect that demons are expected to obey their orders without question. Since I'm trying to have the War between Hell & Heaven be more complex than just black vs white, I composed this following email to all of the players:

Quote:
An issue came up when I was briefing [Player #4] about what happened in the first session of the current In Nomine adventure... an issue of broad philosophy.

Lucifer's Rebellion against God was specifically about the nature of authority. God, the Creator, fancied Himself to be the ultimate authoritarian and looked very dimly upon any hint of disobedience. Lucifer believed in free will for himself and for every other angel. The Fall was about Lucifer refusing to bow down before God just because God said so and was the toughest bully around.

There is a hierarchy in Hell, but for the most part (aside from normal levels of corruption) it is a meritocracy. Individual demons earn rewards and promotions based on how well they promote the Words of their Superiors. (For example, a demon of Death who is able to create a fascination for vampires among a large group of humans will receive promotion faster than one who merely gets a lonely psychopath to murder a hobo.)

The angels of Heaven are much more communistic in their philosophy. They expect lower-ranked angels to follow their orders without question, and promotion among the angelic host is mostly based on time in service rather than actual qualifications.

Bottom line: Demons do not - and are not expected to - follow their orders unquestioningly. Disobeying your orders usually will have consequences (including making your boss very angry), but it is part of life in Hell.
I followed that up with a second email just for the player of the one demon trying to Redeem:

Quote:
The previous email describes how the demons look at the philosophy of free will. They paint themselves as the heroes of the war and the angels as the villains. The angels tell a very different story.

According to the angels (mostly by way of Harry, Friend of Dreams), Lucifer's Rebellion was not about free will at all, it was about petulance. When God created Humans, Lucifer got jealous, feeling that God was placing Humans above the angels (and above him) in importance.

Lucifer's Rebellion was actually about Lucifer and his demon allies trying to prove that Humans are "nothing special". Demons in all their work on Earth and in the Dreamlands are trying desperately to prove to God that humans are just animals, no more important to the universe than spiders or ferns.

The demons will ultimately fail, of course. But for reasons so mysterious not even the angels understand, God is permitting the forces of Hell to make their argument and try to corrupt the Humans.
*Note: I use the term 'Dreamlands' instead of 'Marches' in my campaign.

Does this seem a reasonable summary of each side's philosophy of the War?
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GM - G4e Drow War (Fantasy + Thaumatology)
GM - In Nomine: The Word (modified rules)
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
robkelk
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Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bearded One View Post
Does this seem a reasonable summary of each side's philosophy of the War?
It looks good to me...
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Rob Kelk
“Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”
– Bernard Baruch,
Deming (New Mexico) Headlight, 6 January 1950
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:07 AM   #6
Rocket Man
Petitioner: Word of IN Filk
 
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Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by robkelk View Post
It looks good to me...
To me, too. One side claims it's about the independence or subordination of the spirit, while the other says it's about the exaltation or degradation of Man.

That said, remember that rebels against authority aren't always good at granting others independence. The CSA recognized its right to secede from the USA, but not West Virginia's right to secede from Virginia in turn; Hell may be similarly tunnel-visioned in granting its subordinates the independence it demands of Heaven. ;)
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“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 07-15-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
The Bearded One
 
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Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

The most significant event of the last session was that a Free Lilim met with the PCs and questioned them about what Selena has been asking them to do and how she wants them to do it. The Balseraph of The Game told the Lilim everything. Afterward, the Free Lilim warned the PCs that Selena may be trying to create a schism between Andrealphus and the rest of the Lowerarchy.

A couple of the other demons were less ready to "throw Selena under the bus." One (the Shedite of Media) called Selena privately to warn her what was happening and ask who she is really working for. Selena refused to answer that question.

Andrealphus himself is going to show up in person in three (in-game) days to answer some of these questions. (He largely knows what Selena is up to, but he doesn't want to strip her Forces while she's still fostering the word of Lust.) Still... a lot can happen in three days.
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Current games
GM - G4e Drow War (Fantasy + Thaumatology)
GM - In Nomine: The Word (modified rules)
Player - G4e Sex Crossbows (Dungeon Fantasy)
Player - Deadlands
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:18 PM   #8
The Bearded One
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

A couple of interesting developments in tonight's game. (We appear to be covering about one in-game day per session.)

1. The PCs discovered by spying that Archangel Gabriel is going to be coming to their corner of the Dreamlands soon, and by direct messenger that Prince Andrealphus is coming to Washington DC (where the campaign is set) to speak with them in two days. The PCs don't yet know why, though they suspect that the two Superiors are going to have some sort of peace talks. (They're not.)

2. A low ranking (9-Force) NPC demon of The Game was caught poking around the Dreamlands and was sent into Trauma by a pair of angels.

3. The PCs are finally beginning to suspect that the human contact that they were told to get information from is mentally unstable... but they still don't know that she's a Soldier of Hell.

4. One of the PCs has convinced/coerced the metro police to send out patrols to hunt for an angel of The Sword who has been hunting a couple of the PCs. The human police don't have much to go on, just a physical description of the vessel and the sword he carries. Still, it would look really bad if this Malakite Friend of The Sword had to defend himself in combat against a couple of cops.

Finally, one kvetch:
There are two Balseraphs in the PC group, but only one of them is using his Resonance aggressively to try to coerce information and cooperation out of every human he thinks might be able to provide him with useful information or aid. He's using it so much that it is stepping on other players' ability to have fun using their Resonances or Songs.

I know this is a player problem and not a Balseraph problem, but he's starting to really bug me and I know my efforts to slow down his stampede are frustrating him.

Gah!

Sorry, I just needed to get that off my chest.

Questions or comments are welcome.
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Current games
GM - G4e Drow War (Fantasy + Thaumatology)
GM - In Nomine: The Word (modified rules)
Player - G4e Sex Crossbows (Dungeon Fantasy)
Player - Deadlands
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
alexondria
 
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Atlanta GA
Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bearded One View Post
Finally, one kvetch:
There are two Balseraphs in the PC group, but only one of them is using his Resonance aggressively to try to coerce information and cooperation out of every human he thinks might be able to provide him with useful information or aid. He's using it so much that it is stepping on other players' ability to have fun using their Resonances or Songs.

I know this is a player problem and not a Balseraph problem, but he's starting to really bug me and I know my efforts to slow down his stampede are frustrating him.

Gah!

Sorry, I just needed to get that off my chest.

Questions or comments are welcome.
I don't know how you've been trying to slow him down, but I can say as a player if every time I tried to use my resonance ic (or even a lot of them) you just came up with reasons that it wasn't effective I'd get frustrated. On the other hand as a player if you came to me and said, "hey your character's resonance is really cool and useful, but you're using it so much that no one else is getting to do anything, think you could slow it down and let them have some fun too." I'd respond with something like, "oh I didn't realize, sure no problem"
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:07 PM   #10
William
 
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Default Re: [The Word] The Bearded One's Campaign Log

Are you enforcing the fact that a Balseraph has to believe whatever it is he has just resonated someone with? The first one a Liar convinces is himself.

Randomly, a human ought to eventually resist him, even if it's just on a crit or Divine Intervention.

Also, if he's using it an awful lot, then the first critfail or, worse, Divine Intervention should be magnificent.
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