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Old 04-23-2010, 07:38 PM   #1
Jason
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Default Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

I'm hoping I can ask for some advice on how to integrate Malakim and Servitors of Judgment into settings with angels and demons on relatively friendly terms. One of my players, you see, happens to be playing a Malakite of Judgment, and it's kind of screwing up my plans to run the adventure from Night Music, "The Demon Prince of Rock & Roll."

One of the most interesting dynamics in this adventure is that there is a lone Malakite in Austin who is completely in the dark about the fact that a bunch of his friends are demons, and the only reason the setting really holds together is that the only local Servitors of Judgment are equally in the dark. I don't think my players will be willing to constantly pull the wool over the eyes of our resident Malakite Judge, however, and I know that he will narc on Zara, Tomas, and Druiel at his next meeting with Dominic. I suppose the practical upshot of this is just that my PCs won't be coming back to Austin anytime soon after this mission is over, but I'm not sure how to make things pan out in a logical and satisfying way such that they don't get too sidetracked from the main mission.

One thing I'm also not sure about is how Dominic would react to reports of angel/demon coziness. Night Music implies that he must have an inkling of what's going on here, so I guess he'd either cryptically tell his Servitor not to worry about it, implying he has his own plans for Austin, or he'd bring in all the angelic "favored Servitors" for questioning after the main plot is over. It seems like kind of a bummer to burn through so many good NPCs so quickly, though, or to introduce mysteries I have no intention to solve for my players.

I know that Malakim can decide to put off killing demons until other matters are attended to, and Judges wouldn't necessarily have to report angels for heresy if those angels could make a good case that they may be helping to "reform" the demons they're friends with …*but I'm still having a hard time seeing how this can end well without the most interesting NPCs all dying. Some probably won't emerge unscathed, but I welcome your alternative suggestions.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
Rocket Man
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

Some possibilities:

1) Buy time. Dominic only visits once a week; there could be as many as seven days before he comes around again. (Or better yet, have him visit early BEFORE Mr. Virtue has met the demons, meaning he's got a week of sitting anxiously on his hands before he can report anything.)

2) Keep the other players in the dark about who they're dealing with, too. There's at least a few cases where the PCs may well know they're dealing with celestials, but not with demons -- it's pretty much laid out in the setting that the "Austin clique" won't reveal too much to a new celestial until they can be sure of who they are and what their motives are.

3) If the veil begins to slip, see if one or two of your PCs are willing to help keep up the masquerade. (I know, you dismissed this in your OP, but it's worth trying.)

4) Keep that Malakite busy! If there's always a bigger evil to chase off after, he's not going to have time to worry about a few odd-seeming celestials.

5) Give him orders. A Malakite cannot let an evil live if it's his choice; however, Dominic plays subtle games for a Seraph. Perhaps he's commanded the Virtue to not strike without orders unless his life or another's is in danger, so as to make sure that he's acting with clear-eyed Judgment instead of responding to what may be a distraction by the enemy. (And since this is a mystery, this could work especially well ... he has to be the Archangel of Judgment's eyes in Austin, carefully peeling back the layers of deception until he reaches the truth, rather than simply going scorched-earth.)


Something else to consider -- the setting has been set up to be deliberately unstable. Judging by the intro, the PCs are meant to be something of a tipping point, upsetting the delicate balance that's been maintained for so long ... and making the setting into one that will truly be your own. So your biggest problem may not be as much of a problem as you think.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:27 PM   #3
Archangel Beth
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

I'd definitely decide how you're having Dominic in your campaign, because really... this all hinges on what Dominic's gonna do.

1) Dominic knows full well about the truce, and wants to crack it wide open. Malakite went to Austin without orders to keep things on the low-down? Gosh, how'd that happen? Demons dying? So sad.

2) Dominic knows full well about the truce, and wants to continue it -- the demons are a source of data for a clever Seraph, and some of them may be redeemable. It would be unjust to drive them away from Heaven. (Distasteful as it is to admit that Novalis-style tactics are working.)

3) Dominic has some stoopid Servitors there, who've somehow gotten the wool thoroughly over their eyes. He wants to know what's going on, because he can't quite get a good Seraphic picture just talking to his usual people. He doesn't want to upset the status quo till he understands it, so Malakite Servitor needs to be let evil live until he reports to Dominic and gets his targets assigned.

4) Dominic doesn't actually know anything of what's happening; somehow he's been diverted from investigating. The Malakite has orders not to cause rampant mayhem, but he's got a lot of leeway...

5) Dominic wants the Malakite to find out how much the Austin angels' Superiors know about the truce, so he can arrest them all for inciting conspiracy with Hell.

6) Also, that is not leather under his cloak. Really. REALLY. YOU WOULD NEVER THINK THAT ABOUT AN ARCHANGEL.

Pick one, and the solution will probably become more clear. O:>
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:38 PM   #4
Jason
 
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

All great points/options. Absolutely no idea how I want to handle it yet, but I will stare at this page until I decide. Thanks so much!
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:41 AM   #5
Archangel Beth
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

I am compelled <strikethrough>by my Lilim nature</strikethrough> to note that Superiors 1 has an entire section for Dominic, so if you don't already have it, you might want to use it to help you decide any Dominican questions.

O:> (The halo is real! Really! It is not onna stick!)
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:43 AM   #6
Rocket Man
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archangel Beth View Post

O:> (The halo is real! Really! It is not onna stick!)
Looks more like wire than a stick to me. And why can't I see the wings clearly? ;)
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

Don't forget that the cops KNOW who the bad guys are. They just aren't allowed to grab them...and or use them for OTHER projects information.


Why is that halo supported by TWO sticks on the front of your head? Are those wings...dark?
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:55 AM   #8
Jason
 
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archangel Beth View Post
I am compelled <strikethrough>by my Lilim nature</strikethrough> to note that Superiors 1 has an entire section for Dominic, so if you don't already have it, you might want to use it to help you decide any Dominican questions.

O:> (The halo is real! Really! It is not onna stick!)
Yeah, I should take another look. (As of this week, I'm only missing Fall of the Malakim, Liber Servitorum, and You Are Here...)

I think I am leaning toward telling the Malakite practically nothing about what he is walking into, and then deciding retroactively how much Dominic really knew based on how delicious the mayhem turns out to be. The Malakite will probably be told that his main purpose is to follow up on a lead on Eli in town, with instructions not to let demon-hunting get in the way of his investigation. (Of course, if demon-hunting can be done on the side, without distracting from the mission, then what the hey, right?)
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

IIRC Heaven and Hell has a write up for Dominic as well.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:53 PM   #10
Rocket Man
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Default Re: Malakim, Judges, and Mixed Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD View Post
IIRC Heaven and Hell has a write up for Dominic as well.
It does indeed, and it's an excellent start. Much of the material was re-used and built upon in the Superiors 1 writeup.
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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”
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