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Old 06-24-2010, 08:48 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Default Starting an In Nomine game

OK, so I've never played, never mind run, an In Nomine game, but recently a great idea hit me for setting a game in Barcelona (where I live... well, I live just outside). The general idea is thus...

The "Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família" normally known as just "La Sagrada Familia", is a huge Catholic Cathedral in Barcelona, that is known throughout the world and often used as a symbol for the city (Wikipedia link here if you want more info). At the moment it's a huge tourist attraction, and largely a building site. Construction started over 100 years ago under the direction of genius architect Antoni Gaudi and is due for completion sometime around 2026. But this November, Pope Benedict XVI will come and consecrate it, making it a fully functioning church. This is a pretty major event for La Sagrada Familia and for Barcelona.

My idea is that this will be the end play in a plan started by Eli (or servants of) to create a divine tether in the city, which (in order to make this more dramatic, I'm saying) doesn't currently have a divine tether. The current closest divine tether (for Yves) is located in Montserrat (Wikipedia again) about 1 hour train ride from the city.

The focus on the game, depending on whether the players play angels or demons, would be the various Archangels vying to be the ones to whom the tether will be aligned (Eli isn't really following up on his plans any more... or is he?) and the demons attempting to corrupt or just plain stop the tether from being created.

The essence of my problem is, how do I pull the players into this? How do I set it all up? I know I can just have their superiors give them orders to make it happen, but even if I do that, what kind of thing would their superiors tell them to do in this situation?

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions. I think I have the core of a really nice idea, I'm just struggling to find a way to apply it, and this seems like a good place to ask.

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Old 06-24-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
Rocket Man
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Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

Sounds like a neat idea!

The challenge with creating or destroying a Tether is that it's a power that comes largely from human perception. Celestials can try to load the dice, of course, and bias folks toward a certain viewpoint, but the more direct and obvious that celestial involvement gets, the less likely any Tether will come about ... which, of course, makes for a good and subtle story.

Some examples, starting from the dark side:

Nybbas: Find a way to turn the event into a media circus ... turn people's thoughts away from reverence and solemnity and toward the spectacle of the occasion. Make it a Super Bowl, not a service!

Malphas: You know, there's never a bad time to stir up a good Church scandal ... get people arguing, fast.

Belial: Screw subtlety. You got no building, you got no ceremony and no Tether. But they'll have all kinds of security on it (mortal and celestial) as the time gets close. Don't get burned yourself.

Saminga: Similar to Belial ... but you know, if the disaster happens during the ceremony and lots of people die, we might even get a Tether out of this.

Kobal: It'd be a shame if anything embarassing happened to his Holiness or his entourage during all this, wouldn't it? Make me laugh.

Angelic efforts are more likely to be playing defense against one or all of the above plots: Eli's done the groundwork, and if all goes well, Heaven will get a new Tether out of it. By default, if the consecration proceeds as planned, it will probably go to either Creation (if Eli pays attention) or The Sword. Other angels hoping to pull a land-grab have their work cut out for them ... I'll try to include some possibilities in a later post.
“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 06-24-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Birthplace of the Worst Pizza on the Planet
Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

Mmm. All of this is sort of subtle. One desecration murder by a Celestial near the Cathedral ruins it as a tether.

So, you need to complicate things a bit. Find a half dozen other historical places in the city which might also turn into tethers. This forces the characters to act subtly...and also makes even Infernals with an interest work against Belial's squad (if they don't have a potential tether)

First off, most of the work needs to be done by human proxies. Find them! Get them to Serve!

Some thoughts:

Malphas: With it's history of constant seperatist movements, he hopes for a tether somewhere. Maybe in the old POUM headquarters. Thou shalt not Disturb his machinations

Baal: From it's inception, Barcelona was a hotbed of fighting, from fighting the Moors, to the oppression of the Castilians of the Catalan majority. The early 19th Century was full of assassinations, gangsters, and the Spanish Civil War, a horrible enterprise looked at in great horror by the world until it was eclipsed by WWII. With the recent bombings in Spain, Baal is hoping to foster that ethnic unity into another 'Basque' movement which might form a tether to him. He will 'bring down the rain' on anyone who gets in the way of his ambitions.

See? Now no easy fix unless they want to spend their time dodging The War and Factions.

Now HOW to do it...Let me think on it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

What a neat setting for such an adventure. Good suggestions so far. My main question is whether your players will all be on one side or the other, or whether it's a mixed group...

If all angels: Collaboration to defend against infernals makes sense, as noted above. Servitors of multiple Archangels might all be on loan to Laurence (whose own Servitors in the area might have been busy with some other unrelated campaign). Or, wait to see what your players pick for characters, and then work backward from there to come up with reasons why they'd be present.

If all demons: Everyone is probably ordered to collaborate with overt orders to simply prevent the tether from being formed, but covert (if generally assumed) orders to backstab one another at the last minute in an attempt to get the tether for themselves.

If a mixed group: Maybe there's a reason why people on both sides would want a tether to be prevented (e.g., inside information that Laurence is going to finally try to kick off the armageddon once he gets one final major European beachhead). Mixed groups will be a lot harder to contrive reasons for, though -- unless it happens to be a mixed group of both Outcasts and Renegades. Then they might be under contract to a specific client (e.g., Lilith, seeking to undermine a religious organization she sees as a threat to Freedom).
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

For a place to start, look up Barcelona's May Days. Baalish hilarity
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:47 AM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

Wow, lots of replies, thanks everybody!

I like the point about more obvious celestial involvement decreasing the chance of the tether forming. It forces the players to think creatively. Although I'd probably need a reason why the Demons need to be subtle too... perhaps the superiors are worried that if they act too obviously the heavenly forces will just call down a host of Malakim to force their point, so subtle corruption of the tether has a better chance of doing the job.

As I see it, at least a couple of Archangels have a chance at claiming the tether...

Eli (Creation), obviously. The church is an amazing example of creativity in the name of God, and I'm saying he started the whole project with the aim of creating a tether.

David (Stone). Not only is it a massive monument made of stone, but the completion of the project would be stunning example of persistance despite all the trouble it's endured (The original designer dying in an accident not long after the project starts, the plans being destroyed during the civil war).

Yves (Destiny). Becoming a functioning cathedral in the name of God would be the fulfillment of the building and it's designers destiny... becoming a tether, even more so.

Marc (Trade). The entire project is actually privately financed. Currently most of the money comes from tourists paying to see it and a few private donations. So in a way, the church is a shining example of commercial success be used to glorify God.

How each superior attempts to make the tether his would depend on his personality.

I had considered having an infernal tether already present in the city. Possibly one to War at Placa Sant Felip Neri (Link for info). Since the incident that caused the tether to form happened quite a while ago, perhaps the tether is slowly dying, a sudden shock in the symphony could finish it off, forcing even the Demons of War to tread lightly in the city.

I think I'll give the players the choice to play all angelic or all demonic, I just think mixed groups will be too difficult to handle, and I'm not all that familiar with the setting or the rules. I'll take the easier option on this one.

I suppose what could work as an intro for either side is simply being tasked to derail the plan of a specific opponant. Perhaps the Archangels have caught wind of a demonic plan to mess up the pontential tether, and as your first mission in the city they want you to make sure it doesn't happen... or the other way around. Essentially I want a specific, short term goal to get the ball rolling, once we get underway the players will hopefully get more proactive. As Rocket Man said the angels are likely to be on the defensive, so they could be running counter intelligence, whereas the demons would be focused on sabotage. What I really need now is to get more specific on these... ideas?

...and yeah, Barcelona's festivals can be a bit nuts. Sant Joan just passed and would have had Gabriel or Beliel dancing with joy. Most of the city go to the beach armed with a cool box full or booze, a Coca (traditional cake) and a rucksack full of fireworks. Insanity reigns throughout the shortest night of the year. :) ...or you have the Correfoc (literally "Fire Run") during La Merce festival. People dress up as devils and stick fireworks on the end of tridents then march down the street while everybody dances in through the fireworks. I'm pretty sure both Gabriel and Beliel have a strong presence in the city. :)
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
Archangel Beth
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Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

Obligatory Plug: The Liber Castellorum is the Book of Tethers, and may give you a lot of ideas, if you don't already have it... O:> (For instance, celestials being able to disrupt forming Tethers... kinda easily, really... is technically canon. Throw canon out the window for your own game if you want, of course!) for the link to the LCast, which also has excerpts that might amuse you.
Shamelessly adding Superiors: Lilith and her fiction page to her .sig (the latter is not precisely gaming related)
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:58 AM   #8
Kelly Pedersen
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Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

Originally Posted by JCD View Post
So, you need to complicate things a bit. Find a half dozen other historical places in the city which might also turn into tethers. This forces the characters to act subtly...and also makes even Infernals with an interest work against Belial's squad (if they don't have a potential tether)
As a spin-off idea for this: You could have it so that there were no tethers, of either side, in the city - but that's a recent phenomena. For some reason, all the pre-existing tethers, both divine and infernal, were recently shut down/shifted/outright destroyed, or whatever. The reason for this is up to you, and can be a source of plot hooks. If it was Something Mysterious, then everyone will be desperate to try to find out what it was, both to prevent it happening to them again, and to see if they can weaponize against the other side. If it's a known phenomena, then both sides will be competing to control it, or if one side already has, the other side will be trying to steal it. If the source is known, but essentially unrepeatable (two Superiors of opposite sides were both fighting to stabilize a tether that could go either way, both of them rolled opposing Interventions), then it's basically a tragic accident that makes for good backstory.
Anyway, now that all the tethers in the city are kaput, the place is probably an excellent place for new ones. Tether formation is inhibited by disturbance, and active tethers tend to cause disturbance, which means that tether formation falls off once an area gets saturated. Now that all the tethers are gone, there's a bunch of places with the proper resonance to form new tethers that are now getting the chance. But there are good potentials for both sides, so neither side is going to want to make noise - the disturbance that screws up the tether forming for the other side is also quite likely to disrupt the one forming for your side, so keep it quiet! Even the sorts who would prefer that no tethers form (demons with no places likely to form tethers to their Word, for example) are going to be very wary of making noise, since it will draw the fire of everyone else.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

To bounce off the excellent ideas Kelly spread, also from a mechanical standpoint, set a distance and power threshold for tether disruption.

So if it's a 10 Disturbance, it has to be several miles away. If it's a 1 point one, it will need to be 100 meters away. Something like that.
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:20 AM   #10
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Default Re: Starting an In Nomine game

Thanks everybody for the ideas, the technical stuff is pretty much lost on me for the moment, but otherwise it's all very usefull.

I guess what I need to do now really is pitch the game, and see which side of things interests the players most, then I'll have to put together an opponant with a plan that needs spoiling.

Thanks for all the ideas so far, if anybody has ideas what they would do to influence a tether if they were playing an Angel or Demon, I'd be glad to hear it. Might help me figure out the plan the PC's will be tasked to disrupt.

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adventure, in nomine

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