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Old 03-17-2014, 01:11 PM   #1
Omegonthesane
 
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Default Doing strange things with Resonances

Under what circumstances would (a) a Role or (b) Asmodeus' Humanity attunement cover up the Disturbance caused by Calabite resonance?

Is it possible for Shedim to possess Undead in general? If not, does the Shedite of Death attunement get around this?

Do Elohim risk dissonance if they are clearly enjoying what was strictly speaking the most rational action (e.g. torturing a demon into talking to the Seraph)?

Can Cherubim/Djinn/Elohim/Habbalah/Impudites/Malakim/Mercurians resonate themselves, and is there any possible benefit or non-obvious risk for them if they do so?
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:04 PM   #2
Dalillama
 
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

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Originally Posted by Omegonthesane View Post
Under what circumstances would (a) a Role or (b) Asmodeus' Humanity attunement cover up the Disturbance caused by Calabite resonance?
Very few. IIRC, Humanity explicitly doesn't cover things like that. For Roles, someone whose job was demolitions could potentially get some cover, as long as it looked like explosive damage. That's about all I can think of though.

Quote:
Is it possible for Shedim to possess Undead in general? If not, does the Shedite of Death attunement get around this?
No and almost certainly.



Quote:
Can Cherubim/Djinn/Elohim/Habbalah/Impudites/Malakim/Mercurians resonate themselves, and is there any possible benefit or non-obvious risk for them if they do so?
Cherubim/Djinn: No
Elohim: Yes, but they'll probably be dissonant if it shows anything up. Of course, they'd already know if they were Dissonant, so no benefit there.
Habbalah:Yes. They could easily drive themselves crazier. Whether that's a benefit or a risk depends on perspective, I suppose.
Malakim: Yes, but it won't tell them anything they don't already know.
Impudites/Mercurians: Yes, and it might tell them if they've been deceiving themselves about their feelings regarding others, and possibly also whether other have been deceitful regarding their feelings towards the Celestial.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:58 PM   #3
Matthias Wasser
 
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

To raise a few notes of disagreement with Dali on Resonances:

Cherubim/Djinn: yes. I would probably rule that self-attunement is Selfish and therefore Dissonant (but possible) for Cherubim. You could also read any self-protection by a Djinn that can't be passed off as stemming from some other motive to count as denial of permission to herself to come to harm, which is a mildly elegant way of encouraging/explaining the Band's stereotypical nonchalance.

Elohim: knowing what you would do in a given situation is actually extremely useful! A Power may well know what its breaking point is, the better to stop short of it.

I take it that most Impudites are self-Charmed, and that this comes with a cost in analytic abilities that makes it not universal (especially among the most ambitious Takers.) Lilim almost certainly self-resonate regularly. Like Impudites Calabim like to self-Resonate but have to balance it against objective costs; they may do it as often as healing resources commit, and outright self-destruction may be a relatively common danger. I like the idea of Habbalah as emotionless and affectless except insofar as they self-resonate; their emotions exist for utilitarian reasons but can chain out into sequences of emotions that unfold according to their own logic: a Habbalah makes himself angry to summon up the needed energies for a fight, then still wanting to hurt people makes himself sad to inspire pity, then feeling sad self-resonates to...
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Very few. IIRC, Humanity explicitly doesn't cover things like that. For Roles, someone whose job was demolitions could potentially get some cover, as long as it looked like explosive damage. That's about all I can think of though.
That's what I thought - though IPG explicitly calls out the possibility of Roles covering up Calabite resonance, it's simply not a thing Humans can do so wouldn't be covered by Humanity.

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
No and almost certainly.
Got a rules citation on that? Thematically, for Zombis I'm right there with you, as they are soulless corpses - but Vampires and Mummies are Human as far as the Symphony is concerned, and the process for their creation involves them going straight from living to undead without ever becoming a corpse in between, whereas going by Saminga's Zombi attunement and the Create Zombi ritual in CPG, all Zombis have to have once been corpses.

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Cherubim/Djinn: No
Again, rules citation please, but with less fervency because thematically I'm right there with you. Cherubim are Guardians, and guardians are meant to protect others rather than themselves; Djinn are Stalkers, and it's kind of hard to stalk yourself.

Though, I wouldn't call it inherently dissonant if it was possible - but then, I don't feel mere selfishness should cause dissonance in angels, simply because that makes it easier to have them turn up on Team Evil when running "other, nicer angels" or "unusually sympathetic demons".

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Elohim: Yes, but they'll probably be dissonant if it shows anything up. Of course, they'd already know if they were Dissonant, so no benefit there.
Why would it be dissonant for an Elohim to know what their own motives are and thus be able to question them appropriately?

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Malakim: Yes, but it won't tell them anything they don't already know.
It might on a check digit 5 or 6 tell them things they had not devoted conscious thought to, but otherwise, thought so.

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Impudites/Mercurians: Yes, and it might tell them if they've been deceiving themselves about their feelings regarding others, and possibly also whether other have been deceitful regarding their feelings towards the Celestial.
Mercurians maybe. Impudite resonance doesn't impart information though.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:59 AM   #5
Azel
 
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

IANAAB (I am not Archangel Beth), but unless I missed an errata from SJG's 1st edition errata file, here's what the book says:

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Originally Posted by Omegonthesane View Post
Under what circumstances would (a) a Role or (b) Asmodeus' Humanity attunement cover up the Disturbance caused by Calabite resonance?
A Role, according to Liber Servitorum, covers what that role would normally do in the Symphony. That is a touchstone for GM judgment. If a doctor would normally drive to work on a work day, then an accident during that act would receive role cover when done by a celestial in the role of that same doctor. If the doctor in a fit of rage decides to ram into another car, that's not what a doctor (or most sane people) would normally do -- and similarly the role of the same doctor would not cover that.

So, since Calabim resonance is essentially blowing stuff up with entropic "mind/soul blasts," it's hard to speak of a human role which that is what it would normally do. Until there's common acceptance of psychic powers blowing stuff up for fun and profit, there's basically no way to mask this.

However, if you changed the setting to where psykers run rampant blowing stuff up...? If you ran In Nomine in the Warhammer 40K universe you could easily get away with this. You'd still be just as persecuted, as psykers are persona non grata, but it wouldn't create that disturbance to attract other celestial attention.

The next one is pretty easy, as IN core rules already address this.

"Humanity
This attunement lets a demon pass as a human under any circumstance, to anyone -- except Lucifer.

It costs 1 Essence to activate and remains in effect for 24 hours. During this time, nothing the demon does creates ripples in the Symphony. He becomes human in almost every regard: his vessel requires food and maintenance, he can't perform Songs, regenerate Essence naturally or assume his celestial form on Earth. He may use attunements, both passive ones and those which require Essence to fuel them, as well as his basic resonance. He may spend Essence to enhance die rolls, but while the demon is "human," he may not freely exchange Essence with someone else." (IN SJG core 1st ed., p. 161.)

So yes, Calabite head explodey is covered! :) And nobody but Lucifer (and naturally assumed as well, God) can tell it was you. You'd think Asmodeus would have internal affairs problems with this floating about. (Or perhaps it's a deliberate blind eye to trip up his own servitors. Maybe he likes the Game of it, and uses such chases to stay sharp. He's not a nice guy.)

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Is it possible for Shedim to possess Undead in general? If not, does the Shedite of Death attunement get around this?
As the resonance says living human, and there's no errata otherwise, I'm going to say By the Book, no. Which makes Saminga's attunement special indeed. However it also has an interesting clause -- cadavers may only be possessed ONCE, EVER, by the same shedim.

I think this is interesting because it reinforces the corrupting drive in Shedim. They resonate to a singular perspective and try to force everyone else to submit to seeing things their own way. But there's nothing there to bully in a cadaver, so they get frustrated and grumpy. Why go back and look through the same dead eyes? Sounds like a fun role play angle to tempt Saminga Shedim out of constant corpse walking.

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Do Elohim risk dissonance if they are clearly enjoying what was strictly speaking the most rational action (e.g. torturing a demon into talking to the Seraph)?
By APG and elsewhere, Elohim are allowed to feel -- they are just not allowed to let that feeling shape how they act. That is the touchstone I use to GM such judgments. One of the canon elohim, where I currently forget, has the role of a spontaneous and gregarious art student. So whimsey and emoting are required! Yet the key is making sure the art student ROLE is maintained, not the celestial's own desires.

This is a delicate balancing act. Elohim do what needs to be done; if there's pleasurable overlap, that's nice, but don't act on it. However they may see pleasure as disturbing, for fear of reversing the order of things -- which is its own feedback loop if unchecked. A tight wire balancing act, it is: enjoys something, but can't let that pleasure override what needs to be done; afraid to enjoy something, but cannot let that fear override what needs to be done.

The easiest response for them would be to do what needs to be done then, and later during down time (where they do not have immediate things that need to be done) reflect lovingly on what was a nice time. In a way that's also disturbing, as you might see Elohim relaxing in heaven "blissing out" and swapping tales on memories of torturing demons. Detachment is a good word for players to focus on to avoid tripping up.

Last edited by Azel; 03-18-2014 at 04:08 AM. Reason: bad citation, 2 am grammar
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

I would let a Cherub attune to her own vessel without dissonance if it were part of a plan to allow herself to be possessed and then track a Shedite back to its secret hideout. :)

Edit to add: Okay okay, Shedim can't possess celestials with their resonance, but Shedim do get a bonus to the Song of Possession, IIRC!
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

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Originally Posted by Azel View Post
So, since Calabim resonance is essentially blowing stuff up with entropic "mind/soul blasts," it's hard to speak of a human role which that is what it would normally do. Until there's common acceptance of psychic powers blowing stuff up for fun and profit, there's basically no way to mask this.
What if the role has to do with explosives, the location of the resonance use is somewhere that they could conceivably have set explosives without your seeing them, and they have what looks like a detonator in their hand? It would obviously be hard to blow up humans with this kind of symphony cover, but a chunk of building that will fall on the human should be doable.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:35 PM   #8
Azel
 
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

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What if the role has to do with explosives, the location of the resonance use is somewhere that they could conceivably have set explosives without your seeing them, and they have what looks like a detonator in their hand? It would obviously be hard to blow up humans with this kind of symphony cover, but a chunk of building that will fall on the human should be doable.
Well, it helps to think of the Role first, and then What it Would Do.

So technically you are absolutely right, a demolitions expert can set and detonate explosives without symphonic disturbance. But to use it willingly against animated targets would be a breach of professionalism, along with being criminally and civilly actionable. To breach with intent, the Symphony will know; to breach accidentally, the Symphony will let it slide because it looks reasonable. You can't fake it or lie to yourself, either. The role is a question of judgment, which heavily deals with due diligence (precaution).

Now if your role is a bomb terrorist, then yes! You may gleefully set and detonate explosives without disturbance. But that also attracts mortal as well as eventual celestial attention, and you'll likely move to the front of the line for role elimination. Great power attracts great attention.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

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You can't fake it or lie to yourself, either.
Except, possibly, for a Balseraph, whose very nature is to lie to itself and the Symphony at large. But that's moving away from the question of Calabim, who are a completely different breed of crazy. :)
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:20 AM   #10
Azel
 
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Default Re: Doing strange things with Resonances

Balseraph have a personal symphony, but it only goes so far. A role is beyond their range, as it is that which the Symphony sees as a natural part of itself. IIRC in Liber Servitorum, Balseraphs may fake a role, but for only for a very short time. Further, though they can marginally fake a Role, to further fake their Role (or fake their fake Role,) steps beyond Symphonic credulity. Symphony looks for long term presence, routines, and naturalness.

If you imagine things happening with an invisible man, it's quick to see that which will create disturbance. Cars don't drive and get into accidents all by themselves, as if by an invisible man. However doctors do drive cars on the way to work. The latter Role, worked by years of repeated effort tying it into the symphony, passes the Symphony test. A celestial can slip into it as a mask.

Demolition experts blow stuff up. Demolitions experts don't shrug their due diligence to "accidentally graze" targeted parties. A terrorist gleefully does due diligence to blow up targeted parties directly. If you want a Role to cover up explosions, there's one already available in the Symphony. So trying to skirt intent by contorting one to supplant the other (and its consequences) defeats the spirit of the game's and GM's judgment.
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