In Nomine: Armageddon
In Nomine campaign rules
This is not a rules-heavy system and I will be making lots of judgement calls. This is going to involve me making some decisions you disagree with. Of course I respect your right to voice that disagreement, but I ask that you do it in writing only. Send disagreements by Canada Post mail and I shall carefully file them in a manner that is appropriate for my concern upon receipt.
This is not a particularly fair campaign. After all, you are serving Demons! Expect awards and punishments that may significantly impact the effectiveness of your character. If your character is punished, I will probably provide a way for you to reverse that punishment later on (or counteract it). Please reserve your vitriol for the written letter you will be mailing.
Angles/Outcasts/Renegades/Remnants etc: Your character is a Demon in good standing (not a renegade, no discord, with a superior). No other character choices are available for this campaign.
Band: There are many bands of Demons, including, but not limited to the Bands listed in the Main rulebook. That said, characters are limited to: Balseraph, Djinn, Calabim, Lilim, Habbalah, and Impudite. It is OK if more than one PC is from the same band.
Superiors: There are also many demon princes, including, but not limited to the demon princes in the Main rulebook. That said, I will be assigning your demon prince after your character creation. It will be a demon prince from the Main book. Do not expect it to necessarily be an obvious fit for your character. For example, don’t expect that because you made a calabim cat-burglar that you will necessarily serve Valefor. You might just as easily serve Asmodeus, and he might be very suspicious of how much you seem to help one of his enemies words. Expect me to be evil like that. Or maybe I’ll just give you the obvious choice. Expect the unexpected!
Your Superiors (at least at the beginning of the campaign) will not be information you share with each other. You will all know that the other characters serve a Demon Prince, and if they serve the same demon prince as you, nobody has let you know. You will likely discover each other’s master soon enough, but at first, it’s a bit of a mystery. I think that adds some fun – and fits the “A Dark Dream” story as well.
Forces and Characteristics Clarification:
Celestial forces represent your SOCIAL ability along with your perception and willpower. Perception is the more passive social ability (being likeable or engaging), while Will is the more active social ability (conscious manipulation through intimidation and the like)
Character Points: You have 36, but many are spoken for already (Role and Vessel) – however, the rest may be spent on additional roles, additional Vessels, (or starting with a better primary role or vessel), skills Numinous Corpus, and songs. That’s it. No artifacts to start. No additional attunements either.
Role: All characters must purchase a role (at least one role). The minimum “level” of the role is level 5 (6 is allowed, but not required). The Role may have any status between 1-5. The status of the role will rank the potential advantages that role might provide. As per the rules, an appropriate skill must match the status of the role (for example, a status 5 lawyer would need a persuasion skill of at least 5)
Examples of roles:
Status 1: You are a nothing wage slave. You exist, but that’s about it. Your job is unlikely to provide any useful perks
(Examples: 3rd rate boxer, window cleaner, retail cashier, fast food cook)
Status 2: Still pretty much a nobody, but the job provides a perk or two, like maybe access to a vehicle, some useful tools, or some form of authority that might grant access to places you might not otherwise be able to go.
(Examples: Gas Company technician, Limo driver, Mechanic, IT)
Status 3: You are approaching middle class. You might have access to moderate amounts of money or resources (you might own a vehicle for example). Otherwise, you job is starting to provide some reasonable level of authority
(Examples: Traffic cop, Accountant, College professor, Insurance agent)
Status 4: You are either solidly middle class, or have a reasonable level of authority. You might have access to information, or be able to manipulate important records, etc. Alternately, your job may pay well, even if no other perks are obvious)
(Examples: Stock broker, TV News Journalist, Dentist, City Hall records employee, Reverend of a local church)
Status 5: You may actually be wealthy at this level, OR you may have a large amount of authority and access to information. There should be substantial advantages to your role, but you don’t get to Chief of Police, or Mayor or anything like that
(Examples: Police Detective, Wealthy business owner, Member of City Council, City Judge, Prominent Doctor)
Skills: The skill list in the main book is not ideal, so I’ve simplified it. In addition, they are no longer tied concretely to a characteristic. For Example: If you use Coercion to strong-arm a security guard to step aside if he doesn’t want to get hurt, it will likely be a Coercion (Strength) check (note this will need to involve some form of physical display, since your vessel doesn’t necessarily reveal your strength). However, if you use coercion to suggest to the guard his family might be in danger if he crosses you and he should step aside, I would call for a Coercion (Will). Lighter Melee weapons will require a Melee (Agility) check, while heavier ones will require a Melee (Strength). The listed characteristic (or characteristics) listed by each skill will be the characteristic it is normally tied to.
Level: 6 is the highest level for any skill period. You can’t raise a skill over 6 in this campaign. Skill levels above 3 or 4 are actually quite rare. Also, you don’t necessarily need to have levels in a skill in order to use the skill.
Defaults: Are gone. If you are attempting a skill for which you do not have, you roll against the characteristic unmodified.
Substitution: You are trying to determine the source of a rare poison and the GM calls for a Medicine roll. You don’t have medicine, but wouldn’t Sciences work? If the GM approves, you can roll Sciences instead of Medicine, but whenever you substitute skills, you have a -1 on the check digit if the roll is successful.
Risk: This isn’t a house-rule – just a reminder that the rules allow you to add or subtract risk. You can reduce the difficulty of a check by 1 but you also reduce the check digit by one. Alternatively, you can take greater risk by increasing the difficulty by one but also increasing the check digit by one. Here’s the house rule – I may allow greater risk/safety to be applied, but be aware, a check digit of 0 is a failure – even if you made the difficulty.
Essence: Also not a house rule – but a reminder that you can use essence to decrease the difficulty of a roll. One essence = -1 to the difficulty. Here’s the house rule – I will allow you to use essence to increase the check digit too! However – this must be declared BEFORE the roll is made.
Athletics (Strength or Agility)
Art and Style (Perception)
Technology (Intelligence or Precision)
Melee (Agility, Precision or Perception) – Note that Corporeal, Ethereal and Celestial Melee are 3 different skills! You cannot substitute these skills.
Medicine (Intelligence or Precision)
Ranged Weapons (Precision)
Combat: There are some house rules here to note in regards to weapons and armor. These house rules are designed to prevent a bunch of demons running around in plate mail with M-16’s – not necessarily for realism.
Contact Weapons: (all uses the melee skill)
Unarmed: Power 0, Accuracy 0 (includes Ethereal or Celestial attacks) (Use Agility, Precision or Perception) – Agility is a punch, kick or otherwise, Precision is if attacking the Ethereal form, Perception for attacking the Celestial form. In each case, the appropriate forces (Corporeal, Ethereal or Celestial) is added to the power of the attack.
Small Melee Weapon: Power 1, Accuracy 0 (includes any weapon you can reasonably hide on your person. Brass knuckles, a knife, a blackjack, etc) – all use Agility
Large Melee Weapon: Power 2, Accuracy 0 (includes any weapon too big to hide on your person, most swords, a fire axe, a chainsaw, etc) – all use Strength
Special: All Melee Attacks add corporeal forces to power (so if you have corporeal forces 3 and are using a knife – the power of the weapon is 3, if you are using a katana, it’s 4). This is not the case for Numinous Corpus (which already have pretty nice power).
Ranged Weapons: (All require the Ranged Weapon skill)
Low Power ranged weapon: Power 0 Accuracy 0 (includes any non-firearm (bows/crossbows/thrown weapons as well as most pistols)
High power ranged weapon: Power 1, Accuracy 0 (includes the very large pistols, rifles and shotguns. No high powered weapon is easy to conceal)
We will determine range on a case by case basis. Don’t worry about ammunition, we will assume you have some extra bullets/an extra clip and can reload as part of an action (unless there is a story-reason to keep track). We will provide a +1 power for fully-automatic weapons, but it drains your clip very fast. One round of fire and you are empty. If you have more than one extra clip, make sure I know beforehand.
You may notice that Accuracy is always 0. We aren’t going to use it. We will use the Attack Modifiers which can provide modifiers to hit.
Armor: PC’s aren’t going to use it. It exists, it works, but your characters don’t wear it. You can decide why. Don’t worry – the other angels and demons aren’t wearing it either. It’s pretty much a human thing.
Reminder: If you have a target of over 12 (so for example, you are using a knife and have a melee skill of 6 and an agility of 8), every point over 12 ADDS to the check digit of the roll (so in the example, you would add 2 to the check digit, in addition to the power of the weapon).
So that’s combat – basically heavily simplified and weighted towards Melee.
Every session you attend you get 2 character points. These may be saved or spent, but may never be spent DURING gameplay (only between sessions). They can be spent or saved as per your choice – but these are the only things you can spend them on:
- Characteristics: These cost 3 points to raise. If you raise characteristics of one force by 4 points, you get an additional force. (Example: You start with 3 corporeal forces and go with Str 8 and Agility 4. Over several sessions you raise your Strength to 9 and your agility to 7. Once the 4th characteristic is added, your Corporeal forces increases to 4.)
- Songs: They cost 1 per level. These are a great investment
- Skills: They cost 1 per level. Not as powerful as songs, but they don’t cost essence, nor do they alert other celestials of your presence
- Vessel Level: You can absolutely increase this with character points. You can alternatively buy additional vessels
- Role Status or Rank: Promotion! If you can explain it, you can buy it. Your Lawyer Role might be increased to Judge for example, but likely not to Investment Banker.
- Other stuff: Nope.
Other ways to power-up or Power-down your character: Be aware that at the end of the campaign, characters will NOT be of equal power. Your superiors have the ability to provide or strip pretty much any power they want. Most importantly, they can provide Distinctions – which give lots of power. Make your superior happy and they will reward you. Fail to make them happy and they won’t. They may provide you with extra forces too. Just requires their choice to do so.
Other Demon Princes might reward you too. Taking down a renegade might not mean much to your superior (Vapula), but Asmodeus might be happy with you and he can boost or strip you of powers too, pretty much at will. Expect this to happen. However, keep in mind that Vapula may not be happy you are supporting Asmodeus.
Artificats: These may be acquired through the campaign. They are rare, and don’t expect them often – though if your superior is Vapula, for example, and artifact might be gained in place of another reward.
Pissing off your superior: If you piss off your superior, expect punishment. This often comes in the pure stripping of your power. Maybe resonance is lost, maybe he just strips your forces. Sucks, but what can you do? Hell doesn’t have an HR department.
Losing your Role: Remember how a gas company technician has some advantages? Don’t think you don’t need to be careful. If you use that position to gain access to say a powerful politician’s residence and then rip him off without some very carefully laid out protections, expect to lose your job. Lose your job and you’ve lost your role. No, you don’t get the points back. What you need to do now is go to your superior on your hands and knees and beg them for whatever they will provide (or find another job on your own – with your only experience ending in firing for misconduct). Not good. Be aware, I’m not going to have a light touch on this. Cover your ass. Abuse your position and you are taking a risk. Sometimes when you take a risk you get burned. That role wasn’t cheap either.
Losing your vessel: You got in a fight with a Malakim and he killed you dead. Good news is that as a celestial you can reform into a new vessel. Bad news is that original vessel is gone. If you have character points saved up, I will probably allow you to buy another vessel right away (aren’t I generous?) If you don’t – then we have a bit of a problem. Hands and knees time. Don’t expect a particularly good vessel. Furthermore – if you have a role tied to the dead vessel – you have an additional problem. Better save up 3 character points to buy another vessel that looks the same – and then come up with a good excuse why you went missing.
Final point regarding development: The intention is that at the beginning of the campaign, you are one of your superiors FAVORITES (that doesn’t mean they will be nice to you of course). You have been an effective tool for them and they consider you valuable. However, show them disrespect, counter their instructions, work against them, fail to support their word or goals when you had the chance and they will know. Characters that prove that the superior was RIGHT to consider them valuable provide incentive for that superior to REWARD that character with additional power. Be a bad little slave and expect them to treat you poorly in return. Assume your master knows exactly what you are doing at all times. It’s a safe assumption. As mentioned, other demon princes (or Dukes, or Lucifer himself) might provide you rewards as well. Just be careful, as your Master may not like you cozying up to a rival, and this could end in mixed blessings. Clear? No? Good.
My Recommendations on how to approach Character Creation:
- Pick your role. Let’s discuss what kind of money that role will provide you with, as well as any advantages that role might provide. Don’t expect to use any advantages of a role that you didn’t warn me about. When we work out an appropriate Status for that role – pay the point cost. Expect your role to cost a lot of points – anywhere from 12 to 20
- Pick your Band: You have the choices of Balseraph, Djinn, Calabim, Lilim, Habbalah, or Impudite. The rulebook provides an excellent description of each.
- Assign your forces – you have 9 to assign to corporeal, Ethereal and Celestial. I highly recommend a minimum of 2 to any force (just because it creates a huge vulnerability you do not want the GM to know about). 3 to all 3 forces isn’t a bad choice at all!
- Assign your characteristics: For each force you get 4 points per level to assign. Your corporeal forces are Strength and Agility. Your Ethereal forces are Intelligence and Precision, your Celestial forces are Will and Perception. Strength, Intelligence and Will represent your “hit points” for each form you might take (Physical form, Ethereal form, Celestial form). Agility is going to affect a lot of skills and to hit with a number of weapons. Precision is represented in more skills than any other characteristic. Perception is not a skill, but expect “perception rolls” to be made regularly.
- Spend your Character points. You have already spent a ton on your role. Here’s the other things to spend on: (They will go fast)
- Vessel: This is the bag of flesh you wear to appear human. A vessel costs a base amount of 3 points. Every extra 3 points you spend gets you twice as many corporeal hits (hit points), You can spend 2 extra points for your vessel to grant you a +1 to reaction roles (because you look really trustworthy or nice or pretty), or 1 point for a circumstantial bonus to reaction roles (Like you are really big and muscular – giving a bonus to intimidation, but not to deception for example). I would expect the average expenditure on starting vessel to be 4 points
- Skills: This is a list of the skills you are trained in. You can spend up to 6 on any individual skill, though that will be pretty rare. Even one point in a skill means you have a decent amount of training in that skill. 6 points in a single skill makes you among the most trained on the planet. Note that you will need to buy a skill that represents your ability to function in your role (for example – a swat team officer might have ranged weapon skill, a detective might have Insight skill and a patrol officer might have Driving – but we can work that out together based on your role) – and that must be at least equal to your role status. I would expect the average character to start with about 6 points in skills. Note my abbreviated list of skills
- Songs – You want some of these. Songs are like spells – they provide you with abilities that are COOL. Each song costs 1 point per level. Maybe you can heal wounds, manipulate human emotions, or turn invisible. There are drawbacks as well as costs to using songs, including the cost of essence to power them, and using them creates a ripple in the symphony. Basically, it’s like ringing a bell that other Celestials who are nearby can hear. Based on the impact the song has, the bigger the bell. I would expect the starting average expenditure on songs to be around 6 points.
- Numinous Corpus: Although you normally appear human, you can buy one of these to manifest some kind of demonic appendage. It might be claws for attacking, wings for flying, or acid saliva for ranged attacks. Unless you invest a significant amount of points, numinous corpus are unlikely to be more powerful than conventional weapons (unless you expect to invest 5 points or more – then you can start to eclipse conventional weapons – otherwise, these may be a handy way to get a weapon past airport security etc). I would expect the average character probably won’t have numinous corpus. Average point cost – 0
- Extra roles: You can start with more than one role. Extra roles are like “alternate identities”. Any extra roles do not require the minimum 5 levels that your primary role requires, so they can cost as little as 4 points. That said, I would expect most characters are going to start with just the one role – average point cost = 0
- Extra vessels: You can buy more than one vessel. Secondary vessels may look the same as your original vessel (which can be a quick and dirty replacement if your original vessel is destroyed) or different. An extra vessel can even be non-human (there are restrictions on this – but dogs, cats, pigeons – all OK). You may also want to tie an extra vessel with an extra role. This is purely up to you. This will be a minimum of 3 points – but I suspect most characters will start with only the one primary vessel – average point cost = 0