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Old 09-29-2009, 06:08 PM   #31
BillionSix
 
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Default Re: House Rules?

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Originally Posted by Acolyte View Post
BillionSix--That is a pretty cool idea, but since it's tied to Bands/Choirs, a more interesting take might be to let that be a function of resonance; ie, any Band or Choir can make a resonance roll and add the CD of that roll to the TN of making the relevant music. Thus, Seraphim aren't natural guitarists or violinists because of innate ability, but because they can play chords that resonate with the Truth for their listeners, and Malakim aren't better singers technically but instead can sing and better reach their audience.
Also a cool idea. I would just as soon make it a point break on the skill, since it's not really integral at all. More of a background flavor thing. Plus, there is the whole "whiff factor" I wanted to avoid of them only getting a boost when they make the roll, instead of being generally good.

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Old 09-29-2009, 06:28 PM   #32
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Haha. I meant Mercurians (Malakim wouldn't have skills at reaching people). Malakim are better percussionists because they imagine their instruments as demon heads. *grin*

Either way it works, though.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:28 AM   #33
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Default Re: House Rules?

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Non-Need Celestial Discord doesn't short Essence recovery.
I kind of forgot about Celestial Discord interfering with Essence recovery, and I've been letting one PC with 3 levels of Bound recover every morning, so I'm gonna say this was a "house rule" and not just me being ignorant. :)

I'm still trying to decide whose optional rule I want to borrow for this. I like the idea of Full Dodge only, as combat can take forever when damage totals keep getting reduced; I just want combat to be fast, painful, and more focused on description than die-rolling. Then again, I also like the idea that dodges represent "grazing" the target. We may just switch the rules so Body Hits are not so dependent on Strength, but I don't want to take that stat out of the equation entirely.

Some additions I've already made or will soon be announcing to my players:

1) PCs detect disturbance according to convenience.

I like to minimize rolling during the game, and, like others around these parts, I'm not really willing to calculate different ranges to detect disturbance according to each character's stats. Basically, if I want the PCs to hear something, I tell anyone with a high Perception score that they heard something, and they are welcome to roll to get the check digit for more info.

2) Celestials' true names must be relevantly linked to character concepts and Resources.

I guess this isn't a "house rule," considering that the books say that this is the case, but I am more of a hardliner about it than the In Nomine editors are. An celestial in my game playing with a name like "Jason" (originally meaning "healer") had better have a Song of Healing, or the Cherub of Flowers attunement, or some other Resources or concept reflecting this meaning. This doesn't make the Seraph of Destiny attunement an automatic celestial detector, but it does reflect the idea that knowing someone's true name gives you a degree of power.

3) Small improvements to Dream and Fire Choir attunements.

I don't have any PCs serving Dream or Fire, but this is largely because these characters kind of get the short end of the stick on the balance between Choir attunements and dissonance conditions. I like playing in canon, but I'm adding a little something to these just to make them a little more interesting for the next campaign I run.

Every Dream Choir attunement has a small "waking world" side to it. Still working on some of these, but I want them to be logical and not so powerful that it seems unfair to give them in addition to the normal effects. These could be*something like Ofanim being able to automatically Move Silently past people who are sleeping or daydreaming; maybe some other Choir gets a glimpse at people's daydreams with their resonance.

Fire, meanwhile, has some more useful Choir attunements for the corporeal realm, but many are offset by the fact that they also impose dissonance-risking obligations. If you don't want your party derailed by dealing with random cruel people, you don't introduce many cruel NPCs, and now your PCs working for Fire don't get any use out of their natural attunements (with the notable exceptions of those possessing the Ofanim and Malakim attunements).

I thought it might be fun to work a little bit of the unpredictable prophecy/fiery messenger element of the Archangel Gabriel into her servitors. So, anytime one of these servitors gets a check digit above 6 on a successful resonance roll (or something modified appropriately for Ofanim boosting Area Knowledge), they receive a cryptic prophecy about the subject of the resonance. If they get a natural check digit of 6 on a failed resonance roll, they still get the cryptic prophecy, but have to make a Will roll to resist describing their visions out loud.

Even if they're not meeting plenty of cruel people to burn, servitors of Fire should still be plenty of fun at parties.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:39 AM   #34
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Default Re: House Rules?

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2) Celestials' true names must be relevantly linked to character concepts and Resources.

I guess this isn't a "house rule," considering that the books say that this is the case, but I am more of a hardliner about it than the In Nomine editors are. An celestial in my game playing with a name like "Jason" (originally meaning "healer") had better have a Song of Healing, or the Cherub of Flowers attunement, or some other Resources or concept reflecting this meaning. This doesn't make the Seraph of Destiny attunement an automatic celestial detector, but it does reflect the idea that knowing someone's true name gives you a degree of power.
*Chuckle* I tend to do this with my own PCs anyway. My Mercurian's Role name is Kevin Ryder ("fair and gentle messenger") and a true name of Gareth ("gentle"), while an Elohite of Oannes I run in a different campaign has the true name Kaimana (Hawaiian for "Power of the waters").
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:29 PM   #35
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I'm not a huge fan of names being definitely linked to certain concepts, if only because a large number of name "meanings" have no basis in fact, and because so many names mean the same thing. I like a conceptual link for angel PCs, but considering that demons who become full demons after being demonlings had names like "Snorkle" or "Flubby", and that there are so many demons made to be dispensable by their Superiors...I don't think their names have that much meaning.

Angels of Dream are shortchanged in corporeal service, but the books in numerous places specifically mention that while Beleth is expanding her operations into the waking world, Blandine isn't. And they do shine in the Marches. Any extra corporeal powers of angels of Dream should be minimal, and probably focused directly on dreams or dreamers.

Angels of Fire aren't as limited as you seem to suggest, to me. For example, they don't have to punish a cruel person if they are already focused on another target (though they might write the name down for later), and they have days to get to that target. Like many things, I assume routine punishment of the cruel is going on in the background of the game unless it becomes central to the plot. I've got an angel of Fire in my current campaign and whenever he starts throwing his eyes around, I just ask him if he's already on the trail of a cruel person or if he's free. Thus the restriction only comes to the fore when it's good for the story, not constantly annoying us.

HOWEVER, angels being forced to babble prophetically is pretty awesome. However, the only way to get a resonance roll's CD above 6 is to have a target number above 12, which means your Perceptions+the Essence you spent has to be above 12, which is pretty insane. I don't really like that method of triggering--perhaps you could explain more what you mean?
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:22 PM   #36
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I'm not a huge fan of names being definitely linked to certain concepts, if only because a large number of name "meanings" have no basis in fact, and because so many names mean the same thing. I like a conceptual link for angel PCs, but considering that demons who become full demons after being demonlings had names like "Snorkle" or "Flubby", and that there are so many demons made to be dispensable by their Superiors...I don't think their names have that much meaning.
This raises the question of just how much of a hardliner you really want to be with this kind of approach, and basically, I'm kind of crazy in this regard. In my game, every True Name is truly meaningful, even if the "meaning" isn't what you'd find by looking it up in a baby names dictionary.

If a mundane's true name is Joseph Smith, for instance, a Seraph of Destiny would only detect the etymology of the name "Joseph" if Joe's parents chose the name because they liked what they read in the baby name dictionary. If Joe's named after his grandpa, though, the Seraph might instead understand that the person was named in honor of someone else. If a demon's true name is "Flubby," knowing the True Name means not just knowing how it's spelled, but actually understanding that the name was meant to be nonsensical and demeaning.

Admittedly, this does overstep the True Name rules offered in canon, which just say that the name is how a person understands him or herself. You might not know why your parents named you what they named you, but a Seraph of Destiny potentially would.

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Angels of Dream are shortchanged in corporeal service, but the books in numerous places specifically mention that while Beleth is expanding her operations into the waking world, Blandine isn't. And they do shine in the Marches. Any extra corporeal powers of angels of Dream should be minimal, and probably focused directly on dreams or dreamers.
Yeah, my take on this is heretical. It's just very hard to integrate servitors of Dreams into a group that doesn't hang out in the Marches, and that seems kind of a waste to me, given that the Word has a lot of potential for interesting uses in the waking world (as years of Neil Gaiman's Sandman demonstrate).

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Angels of Fire aren't as limited as you seem to suggest, to me.
I don't mean to imply that angels of Fire are actively handicapped so much as that many wouldn't automatically start the game with an actively helpful Choir attunement like everyone else does. Rather, their attunement is an obligation, and one that means one more thing (potentially unrelated to the central story) for me to worry about as a GM. If there were any reward whatsoever for punishing the cruel to whom they are attuned (e.g., a Rite), at least then my players would consider taking it.

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Originally Posted by Acolyte View Post
HOWEVER, angels being forced to babble prophetically is pretty awesome. However, the only way to get a resonance roll's CD above 6 is to have a target number above 12, which means your Perceptions+the Essence you spent has to be above 12, which is pretty insane. I don't really like that method of triggering--perhaps you could explain more what you mean?
I would be happy to babble further about prophetic babbling!

One way to get a CD over 6 is to have a target above 12. Another (which my players are quite fond of doing) is to use proximity modifiers: +2 when making direct contact, and +1 if within a yard. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but my group's PCs exceeded CDs of 6 on resonance rolls maybe two or three times (among six players) in the first meeting of our new campaign. That's infrequent enough that you wouldn't necessarily have a prophecy in every meeting, but you'd probably get at least one or two per adventure.

Ofanim don't have an option to get resonance roll check digits over 6, however, and can get Area Knowledge or Agility check digits over 6 far too easily. I can't leave them out when Gabriel is an Ofanite herself, though! I'm thinking maybe that the effect for them might occur when the unmodified check digits on the resonance roll and modified Area Knowledge roll align. The prophecy would be something about the locale itself, or whatever the Ofanite is trying to find, and perhaps the pair of numbers could be worked into the details of the babbling somehow.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:43 PM   #37
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Default Re: House Rules?

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One way to get a CD over 6 is to have a target above 12.
Yes, but on a resonance roll, you're rolling against straight Will / Perception, which caps at 12. So the only way to get a TN above 12 is essence pumping or using the proximity rules (which add to the resonance roll, not the check digit, unless I seriously misread the rules...)

So even with Perception 10 and touching, a Seraph only has a TN of 12. And if they have a 12 TN, I wouldn't see them spending essence very often - only when they really NEED a high check digit.

Ofanim, resonance, by contrast, can produce double-digit check digits on a regular basis, if you're looking at the skill check itself (Attribute 12 + Skill 6 = minimum CD of 7, BEFORE invoking resonance.)

(For true Ofanim insanity, do an acrobatic dodge with Agility 12, Dodge 6, Acrobatics 6. Your minimum check digit is 15; 16 if you can use the resonance on BOTH skill checks! :))
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:55 PM   #38
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Yes, but on a resonance roll, you're rolling against straight Will / Perception, which caps at 12. So the only way to get a TN above 12 is essence pumping or using the proximity rules (which add to the resonance roll, not the check digit, unless I seriously misread the rules...)

So even with Perception 10 and touching, a Seraph only has a TN of 12. And if they have a 12 TN, I wouldn't see them spending essence very often - only when they really NEED a high check digit.
Good point that Will/Per will not exceed 12. Still, the proximity modifier to resonance is applied to the check digit, not the target number (IN, p. 57). If your character can touch the target of resonance physically, you only need to roll a 5 or higher on the check die to exceed a check digit of 6.

Last edited by Jason; 10-03-2009 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Edited last sentence for clarity.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:16 AM   #39
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I can respect that obsession with True Names, though it's not something I'd really be that interested in adding to the game--more often than not, that would add extraneous information diverting from the game (like the Fire attunements can).

One canon-friendly way to incorporate a Dreams angel into a primarily corporeal campaign is to have him 1) serve in one of Blandine's many Tethers on Earth (or have just finished such service) or 2) serve a powerful Word-bound of Dreams with a Corporeally-focused Word (the Angel of Degrees or Doctorates might serve Yves/Jean, but the Angel of Graduation surely serves Blandine) or 3) be in service to another Superior who might grant more corporeally relevant abilities (including another Choir attunement). If a player wanted to be a Dreams angel and had a good concept, but I didn't want to recast Blandine's canonical focus on the Ethereal, I'd probably go with one of those options...but that's why this thread is called house rules! *grin* If you'd like to throw up your ideas for each Choir in a new thread, I'm sure we'd enjoy discussing them.

The Fire Choir Attunements are not unhelpful. They allow instant glance-detection of various types of cruel behavior. They are also not an obligation--the obligation comes from the Word dissonance condition (which all non-Creation angels have), which specifies that every few days they must punish a cruel person. The attunement just makes detecting a specific type of cruel person more easily. For example, a Cherub of Fire has successfully punished a man who left his bride at the altar. While the Cherub can immediately sense someone else who has betrayed a devotee, if the Cherub encounters a man beating someone else and shouting racial epithets, that man is obviously the next cruel person the Cherub has met and this activates the dissonance countdown, even though the racist's particular type of cruelty isn't the Cherub's specialty. And the ability to tell if someone has recently betrayed someone who relied on someone else comes in handy in many investigations. Compare to a Cherub of the Sword, who has an expanded resonance distance (not always that useful, because it is hard to protect something you can't even touch).

Additionally, Servitors of Fire have access to the impressive Smite Servitor Attunement (shockingly uncapped as its damage is), and the radical cool factor of working for an insane boss. Angels of Fire have always been attractive options for the players I've discussed character creation with.

You are right that CDs can be boosted by contact (though when I first started playing IN we applied those bonuses to the TN [which we have since changed but still makes more sense to me]), or penalized by the use of media. I had neglected that in my previous post.

That said, your fix for the Ofanim makes sense...but I still don't see a specific reason to boost Servitor attunements that already fit in (Gabriel's dissonance conditions are nowhere near as restrictive as Yves' or Blandine's; and in any case IN isn't about balance to begin with). HOWEVER I am very pro-prophetic babblings (in my current campaign, the Malakite of Fire recieved a personal prophecy from Gabriel and currently possesses an Ethereal Force she donated him absentmindedly from herself). I would make this Babbling Prophecy a (probably cheap) Servitor Attunement of Fire that her more prophetic-minded Servitors can buy.
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:06 AM   #40
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Default Re: House Rules?

House Rule 1: All Celestials have a transition time to their Hearts including Malakim. After that, there is also Trauma except for Malakim.

House Rule 2: When a player jumps into a room temperature vessel in a body bag, there is a painful transition time as they 'stoke the furnaces'. Additionally, unless they use this vessel regularly (at least once a week), they are at -1 or -2 on their physical skills, depending on the length of time they have been out of the vessel. It reduces by one every day they actively use it.
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