In Nomine

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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FACM
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In Nomine

Postby FACM » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:47 pm UTC

In Nomine is a tabletop RPG set in present time about angels and demons (Jewish/Christian/Islamic angels and demons, not a generic construct of good and evil). It can be run to fill a variety of moods, but the default setting places the world in a relatively wide set of moral grays. Depending on your Superior (the Archangel or Demon Prince you work for), you can get away with killing humans, stealing, etc with little repercussion. (There are game mechanics to discourage this sort of behavior, as celestials aren't supposed to be interfering with the mortal world too much). Each angel/demon type has unique powers, and your Superior also grants you an ability specific to your Choir/Band.The line is generally out of print now, but books can still be purchased in paper form or online.

I was in one campaign with a group of angels trying to protect one old composer from demons as he wrote a song that would have an immense effect on humanity. Being a Elohim of Novalis, my restrictions were that I could not act on emotions, and that I could not engage in violence unless there was no other option. This resulted in some odd situations, such as asking demons to put down the shotgun and talk things out rationally [Hint: that doesn't work, no matter how much you try]. On the other hand, I evaded several combats with more subtle powers, such as the Song of Harmony [everyone within range has to beat your Will score or be unable to act violently, or even with strong emotion]. In a one-on-one fight against a demon with an enchanted knife strong enough to cut even my celestial form, I managed to win[by default] by possessing his physical body [and the knife along with it], ejecting him into his celestial form. He ran after that.

Other standout moments for that campaign include having 5 Superiors in one building [and no fighting broke out], our Malakim of Gabriel lighting some punk kid on fire and getting away with it, and dueling demons in celestial form over an audience listening to the symphony mentioned earlier. I was always pretty intrigued by the game, and that campaign showed me that In Nomine is a game worth reading and playing.

It's not much of a min-maxer game, as the roll system (roll 2d6 to see if you pass or fail a check, and a 3rd d6 to see how much you succeeded or failed) disconnects stats from how good you can do at tasks. This also shows in the number of unique powers, none of which are really balanced against some arbitrary number, let alone each other, but they are mostly situational powers, such as the ability to slowly move through mineral materials vs using any nearby item as a powerful weapon for a combat.

Has anyone else here played In Nomine, or wanted to? Any particular way you like to run your game? Ideas you think would be cool for a story? Anything else remotely relevant?

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clockworkmonk
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Re: In Nomine

Postby clockworkmonk » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:53 am UTC

In Nomine. Most definitely my favorite system. As you seem to have posted an Angel view, I'll do the opposite.
A group of demons, if played right, often includes players plotting against each other for personal gain, and the only reason to not kill everyone you see is it might draw the attentions of the Celestial Host or worse, piss off your Prince. Ideally, you set someone who works for an enemy of your prince to take the fall. Not that you don't cooperate to complete your mission, as you all benefit from its completion, in that you get to remain on earth and aren't punished by your prince.

One Interesting thing about the game is that it includes a Falling mechanic. Every group of angels (called Choirs) has a corresponding band of demons that, it they fall, they become. Except for one choir, but thats a separate issue.

as for a story, I once had a group that had not read or even heard of Good Omens, so I was able to run that story.
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FACM
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Re: In Nomine

Postby FACM » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:34 pm UTC

You didn't mention the Redemption mechanic for demons, which works in a similar way.

Whenever your character does something against their nature (Ex: a follower of Novalis starting a fight because someone wore the wrong color hat), they gain a note of dissonance. One or two points isn't too terribly a big deal, but it does let other celestials that you did something wrong. If too many of these build up, they start turning into Dischord effects, which are much more noticeable and harder to get rid of. For each point, you have to roll to see how much it effects you, and if you botch this roll (666 for angels, 111 for demons) you will fall (angel becomes a demon of the appropriate type). Demons don't redeem in this method, but they gain a Discord and another point of dissonance for this.

For a demon to redeem, they have to find an archangel willing to remove their dissonance and convert them into the appropriate angel. There's no automatic conversion for demons. They lose all the demonic abilities granted to them (retaining any they learned, though), their demonic heart in Hell shatters, and they gain an angelic heart in Heaven. They also have to start proving themselves to their new Superior right away to earn their Choir attunement and such.

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Snoof
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Re: In Nomine

Postby Snoof » Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:01 am UTC

I love the In Nomine setting, but the system is, unfortunately, a bit crap. I'd much rather play it with a less crunchy system - say, PDQ or Wushu. Anyone know of any decent conversions?
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FACM
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Re: In Nomine

Postby FACM » Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:55 pm UTC

I don't know of either system you mentioned. There is an official GURPS In Nomine conversion, though.

Really, if you wanted to convert In Nomine, all you'd have to do is pick a system you like, decide on a Resonance roll in that system and possibly add a way to keep track of Forces. All the skills and stats should generally fall in place pretty easily.

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Re: In Nomine

Postby Ansob. » Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:25 pm UTC

FACM wrote:For a demon to redeem, they have to find an archangel willing to remove their dissonance and convert them into the appropriate angel.


I'd forgotten about that particular tidbit (which is also present in In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas). If I weren't already playing Paranoia, MechWarrior/BattleTech-esque Wushu and DMing WFRP2, I'd be tempted to run a game revolving around a dissonant demon wishing to contact an archangel to redeem himself.
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Re: In Nomine

Postby parkaboy » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:33 pm UTC

Ah! just what i was looking for!

The system works just fine if you have players and a GM that are versatile and creative enough to adapt to it. You could use a computerized random number generator, a d20, hell even a d100 system and it doesnt matter. Granted where youput points and your rolls determine success rates but thats not the fun side of the game, thats the technical side of the game.

these are ROLE PLAYING games nice ROLLING DICE games. we're not playing craps here. that being said, i thought the 3d6 system for a game based on religious premises where numbers are significant (666) was terribly clever.

anyway, my adventures in In Nomine have taken me through two VERY LONG campaigns, one as a demon that made it through to the apocalypse and one as an angel who saw the beginning of another apocalypse. One thing i noticed was that as a demon, we'd use humans, but ultimately leave them unscathed... perhaps a little mentally unstable but alive. With demons, as mentioned before, it really is about getting the upper hand on other demons. Plot, scheme, kill, disfigure, humiliate... its about getting at and above the other players.

as angels... there were no innocent bystanders. we had a Triad and we slaughtered busses full of civilians because they were judged and found to be rife with sin. It was our job. We worked together.
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FACM
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Re: In Nomine

Postby FACM » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

parkaboy wrote:as angels... there were no innocent bystanders. we had a Triad and we slaughtered busses full of civilians because they were judged and found to be rife with sin. It was our job. We worked together.


If you weren't all servants of Dominic, I'd be hitting you pretty hard for that sort of behavior. If not because it seems like a selfish act to kill someone because you thought they needed killed, then because you're encroaching on Dominic's job.

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parkaboy
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Re: In Nomine

Postby parkaboy » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

Dominic patted their little heads and said "You are my Triad; my judge, my jury, my executioner... go... do your job." i think one of them was NOT dominic'sbut he had his superior's blessing after some bargaining.

when i say "we" i meant my group. i was a malakim of david so i got to sit there and frown until someone hit me. but i got around that eventually. =)

the whole killing lots of people thing just sort of happened on the way to the assigned jobs. and if they were little sins, they just gave them a good warning. it was the really bad ones that got it. we just happened to be on a really bad bus that night.

and a malakim of Yves accidentally sent Jean to limbo (long story) and chose to fall as a result, thus starting that second apocalypse. it was an interesting game.
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Re: In Nomine

Postby Kookie » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

Great game here ! The system (3d6 for every roll) is both simple and clever, and the setting both entertaining and interesting.

I only played the demon side though, and the campaigns I started with friend unfortunately never finished... But I remember lots of plotting schemes of everyone against everyone, and even more hilarious times with awesome flawed characters.


I also thought it was one of the best and simplest settings and systems for introducing role playing to newbies, far from the thousand rules and quite classic universe of D&D. What do you think ?


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