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JeenLeen
2019-07-08, 10:55 AM
This has become a place where I'm consolidating my homebrew, so editing in a link to Metanoia, Archangel of Redemption: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?582267-In-Nomine-Metanoia-Archangel-of-Redemption

In In Nomine, celestials can hear Noise (disturbance to the world via celestial action).

I find the core rules rather convoluted in play, since they depend on each individual being's distance (in yards) from the Noise and Perception stat. While not too hard to calculate, it still seems a lot of work, especially if a GM wants to be rather fair about if enemy forces heard something.

Also, while I didn't do the math, I'm not sure if the math examples in the rulebook go along with the fluff.

So I decided to make something easier, with a few guiding points.

the rule books says "Noticing that an angel across town just spent a point of essence is impossible, but hearing a demon kill a human a mile away is possible for the perceptive."
in a game I was in, really loud events in Los Angeles were heard in Las Vegas. That is about 270 miles. I want to keep that similar.


So here's the houserules


Once you detect Noise, you can hear an echo of it for Perception + Noise minutes.

If you reach the center of the Noise, you can then trace the echo to who caused it. If there are multiple causes, roll Perception again. If you succeed, you find a number of traces equal to the check digit or the number of causers, whichever is lower. Pick one. A failure has no effect unless the check digit is a 6, in which case you find a false lead.

It's hard to trace multiple Echos at the same time. You can remember the "ring" of up to Ethereal Forces echos at a time, but if you hear a new one you have to forget an old one.



Small acts by a celestial -- breaking a wine glass, punching a wall (making a dent or crack, but not breaking it or really damaging the infrastructure), slapping a human (but not doing Hits) -- make 0 Noise. It can be heard, but mechanically has little effect.

Enter/Leaving the Corporeal Plane and Appearance of a Superior have their Noise halved at a Tether. Metaphysically, the tie to Heaven or Hell makes it easier for a being to enter there, so it makes less disturbance. (Metagame/narrative reason: such things happen, and should be able to without massive disruptions, so doing it a Tether seems to make sense. Also may say Superiors only make Noise in response to an Invocation. That seems the intent, and it seem unfair to screw the players with a 20 or 30-Noise burst if their boss shows up because the DM thinks they should. At least, unless the Noise is part of a punishment for poor performance.)

I think this is implied RAI, but hurting a human does make Noise. I'll say 1 Noise per attack, up to a limit of their Corporeal Forces in a scene.

Undead do count as human for the purpose of doing damage, but not for "Killing a Human". That is, you do Noise for damaging them, but no burst of 10 Noise for killing.

And, not really a Noise note, but the only humans that can see celestial forms are those with Perception 5+ or Symphonically-aware. This seems in line with the idea that not just anyone can see an angel or demon flying around, but some do. A human who sees someone go celestial can roll to perceive the new form, even if they normally could not. (If they succeed, they can always roll to detect celestials from then on, as they have experience perceiving it.)

Consequently, I could see letting Shedim of Nightmares be perceived at lower Perceptions, since part of their deal is being perceived as monstrosities.



Celestials, ethereals, and Symphonically-aware humans can sense Noise.

How far Noise can be heard depends on the amount.
0 = within a few feet (e.g., the current scene, close)
1 = 50 feet
2 = 200 feet
3 = 250 feet
...and so on, +50 feet until
10 = 1 mile
11 = 1 mile, 100 feet
12 = 1 mile, 200 feet
...and so on, +100 feet until
20 = 10 miles
21 = 11 miles
22 = 12 miles
...and so on, +1 mile until
100 = 100 miles
101 = 101 miles
...and so on, +1 mile per Noise

So, at about 300 Noise, you could hear sometime from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

This is also precisely that killing a person (10 Noise) can be heard 1 mile away.

The TN for the Perception roll to hear the Noise is:
Perception + X - Y,
where
X = number of events causing the Noise, or the Noise, whichever is lower
Y = number of miles from the epicenter, rounding down (so for less than a mile, this is 0)

To take the example from the book: a demon, in a rage kills someone in one hit. The human has 3 Corporeal Forces and is dead, so that is 3 + 10 Noise. 13 Noise can be heard 1 mile, 300 feet away.
The average Celestial has 6 Perception, so the average TN would be 6 + 1 (since one event killed the person) - 1 (since it's over 1 mile away). So a base TN of 6 to hear. Not easy, but not terrible. And very perceptive celestials (Perception 10-12) have a good chance of hearing it.

For the check digit: it seems implied by the rules that, for Sensing Noise, you do not add the TN amount above 12 to the check digit, as you do for other stuff. So making that explicit. Also adding that, even on a 1, you can sense roughly how far away the Noise is. E.g., "close" (within 50 miles), to ranges of how far in about 50 mile increments. Mainly I want just about anyone to be able to tell a Noise they hear is either close or next-city range.


Thoughts?


The fluff states that every action a celestial takes on earth makes some Noise. It even implies that emotional damage or spiritual distress makes some sort of Ethereal or Celestial Noise, whereas most Noise is... I guess Corporeal Noise? The rules don't really go into it, just one line of description.

Ethereal and Celestial Noise, if it's a thing, can only be sensed by Superiors (or equivalently-powerful ethereals, if any still exist). It's just beyond normal celestials.

For what we normally mean by Noise: "truly small Noise" like bending blades of grass and damaging them as you walk, or chewing food, is perceptible but only to the celestial doing it or maybe at someone at literally touching range. DM and group can decide on the actual metaphysics of it. I like this in order to have angels or demons who, if they want to be real sticklers about Noise, might avoid eating to avoid the disturbance. But I don't want to punish players either.

So basically just an RP thing, and no rolling required for an angel to sense itself chewing a sandwich.
For humor or seriousness, I could see some groups making some eating level 0 Noise that others can hear. Like, chew some soft fruit, no Noise. Chew up a really crunchy biscuit... 0 Noise, as that takes more work to damage the physical construct that is a tough biscuit.
I wouldn't enjoy it personally, but a 'sidebar' option.

And for rules-lawyers: chewing food is okay because food is meant to be chewed, and an angel in an earthly vessel (even without a Role) has enough of a sense of placement in the Symphony that it can eat food. Maybe that's why walking on the ground doesn't make Noise, too? They could also open a soda can or beer bottle without Noise; it's just manipulating it as intended, not really 'damaging' the corporeal Thing.
Consequently, I could say that using an alien, monstrous form always generates 0 Noise if you make even the slightest disruption to things in the world.
Also consequently: I could see Servitors of Revelation shy away from eating, for the purpose that it's close to using a Role. Though it wouldn't be actually dissonant, since it's just a side-effect of having a vessel.

RossN
2019-07-08, 08:36 PM
Apologies for taking so long to respond. I am glad to see there is still some interest in this game! I miss Erulasto. :smallfrown:

I'm away from books at the moment but I like the sound of those rules. I like how you handle humans hearing noise. IIRC the Corporeal Player's Guide mentions sorcerers call the Symphony the 'Cacophany' because they hear disturbances without any innate understanding of what they mean. I can picture something similar for the very Perceptive.

JeenLeen
2019-07-09, 08:01 AM
Apologies for taking so long to respond. I am glad to see there is still some interest in this game! I miss Erulasto. :smallfrown:

Thanks, and ditto.


I'm away from books at the moment but I like the sound of those rules. I like how you handle humans hearing noise. IIRC the Corporeal Player's Guide mentions sorcerers call the Symphony the 'Cacophany' because they hear disturbances without any innate understanding of what they mean. I can picture something similar for the very Perceptive.

That was actually that high Perception lets you perceive celestials in celestial form. High Perception alone wouldn't let you hear Noise; you'd need to be Symphonically-aware for that. So, in theory, someone could have high Forces but still not become Symphonically-aware, so it's easy for them to see celestials but they can't hear Noise. (Though maybe just seeing them a lot is enough to 'awaken' and become Symphonically-aware. I haven't read any lore on how that works in In Nomine.)

IIRC, all sorcerers are Symphonically-aware, even if self-taught, so that line about Cacophany still applies for them.

My biggest bother was that, by the default rules, it sounds like every person gets a Perception roll to see a celestial in celestial form. So just being in a crowded room (even if of just Perception 2 or 3 people) means some folk will get lucky rolls and see you. That just doesn't seem right, especially for Kyriotates who have reason to go around celestial and probably don't want to paralyze random people with fear.
So putting a Perception limit fixes that. It's still possible someone sees you -- Perception 5 isn't common, but it's well within normal human abilities -- but unlikely. If I were running a game and wanted it to be random, I'd probably roll a d6 and, on a 1, say that someone had enough Perception and enough luck to see you.

---

Though a GM could be very free to make some humans count as Symphonically-aware for Noise purposes. Especially makes sense if they have Grigori-blood.

---

As a side-note: in a couple months, I might try to re-recruit or just re-start for that game I was running with you, Erulasto, and Zero Prime. I finished running it with my IRL group -- they had a very different approach as they were two Michaelites -- and it should work well PbP. I'm now running a more sandboxy In Nomine game IRL, but I don't think it'd work well with PbP since it'd be too hard to keep players on the same timeline. (I'm amazed at how well Erulasto handled that.)

For both IRL games I ran, though, I found the Noise rules frustrating to work with.

RossN
2019-07-13, 12:56 PM
Yeah, that all sounds a pretty reasonable fix.

If/when you do start up a game I'd be happy to take a look. I really do love the setting!

JeenLeen
2019-07-15, 12:03 PM
Since it's not a double-post now, I'll post a couple more houserule ideas.


I dislike how armor both decreases the attacker's TN and decreases total damage. It adds a level of realism and allows some extra nuance in choices, but I think it's mechanically burdensome, requiring more thought, math, and maybe making the DM reveal or hint at the attacker's accuracy when he'd rather not.

So, instead, all armor simply provides Protection. The table below shows the new values, which are (with some tweaking) essentially the old TN adjustment + Protection added together. (As once you hit TN 12, which most heavy-melee builds would be, extra accuracy is simply extra damage.)

o Heavy Clothing: 1
o Leather: 2
o Chainmail / basic archaic armor: 3 (2 vs. firearms)
o Kevlar / riot gear: 3 (4 vs. firearms)
o Steel Plating: 5
Heavy clothing or leathers can pass as normal clothes, although you might stand out in a crowd. You can wear chainmail or Kevlar under your clothes, but an observant person might notice. Other armor is rather noticeable.




Very strong celestials can easily do enough damage to kill a mortal even if they roll a 1 on the check digit. This seems problematic.

With martial arts (or, with GM approval, melee weapons), a celestial can do less damage than the maximum. Before rolling, decide the modifier to add to the damage.

For example, if your default check digit is 1d6+10 (due to Power from some modifier or a TN above 12), you can choose to do any damage from 1d6+0 up to 1d6+10.
This allows you to judge how much to want to risk doing enough damage vs. doing too much.

A full pulled punch
You can 'hit' someone without doing real damage. As a normal mortal has 4 to 6 health, a single point of health represents a fair bit of durability. So it makes sense to allow you to do a 'warning' punch that doesn't do real damage.

I guess you could theoretically do that with a sword or something else, just doing a papercut-equivalent wound on the cheek. Maybe force to use Agility instead of Strength, and a failed roll either misses or does actual damage, depending on what the player doesn't want?
Eh--probably better to just not do Zorro-style markings on folk, but seems doable nonetheless.



Some stuff seems inconsistent about what happens to an Outcast, so here's a streamline.


An Outcast’s Heart becomes cracked and cloudy, and can no longer be used to track them. Neither can the Outcast ascend to Heaven. However, if they die corporeally, they still how up at their Heart in Trauma. An angelic Heart cannot be broken by the angel.
A Renegade’s Heart is left as-is unless the demon breaks it. (Breaking the Heart causes the demon to lose its Superior's Rites and dissonance requirement, but it keeps any Attunements.)
Falling is as the book, but remember it comes with an inversion of the celestial’s perspective, which can explain why many fallen stay fallen instead of seeking redemption.
A demon will almost always die during Redemption if they are not truly repentant and wanting to serve Heaven.




compiling and streamlining rules related to these, plus making some stuff consistent

Most celestials can maintain celestial form for minutes equal to their Celestial Forces + the check digit used to go celestial. Kyriotates and shedim last 10 minutes times their Celestial Forces. Note that, besides kyriotates or shedim, you cannot go to earth without a vessel.
If you are stuck on the Corporeal Realm in celestial form and cannot or do not 1) get a vessel, or 2) go to the celestial realm, you start to take 1d Soul hits each round. This represents the Symphony trying to eject you.
If you’re stuck in that situation, you can force yourself to your Superior’s attention, and he will yank you to his domain. You will likely be in trouble for causing such trouble.

A demon in Heaven takes 1d Soul Hits per minute. A demon at a celestial Tether in celestial form takes 1d Soul hits per round. An angel can be in Hell or a demonic Tether without taking damage.

If the host of a shedim is knocked unconscious, the shedim is also unconscious. It will awaken and automatically exit the host (assuming the host is still unconscious) in 30 minutes. It cannot enter that host again for 2d6 rounds.

If the host of a kyriotate is knocked unconscious, the Forces inside the host are ‘stuck’ and cannot be used for 30 minutes. (If the kyriotate was not manifest elsewhere at the same time, the kyriotate is also unconscious for these 30 minutes.) It will awaken inside its host after 30 minutes and automatically exit the host. If the host is in bad enough shape to cause dissonance to the kyriotate, the dissonance can be removed if the kyriotate re-enters the host and restores it before exiting again. It must wait 2d6 rounds to try to enter that host again.

A kyriotate or shedite must be in line-of-sight of a host to possess this. This means, without a current host, they must be in celestial form.



By the book, Lilim and Geas are pretty broken, both in the sense of 'can be overpowered' and 'do not work right'.

By the rules, you can simply add different Geas together to get a stronger one, e.g., 2 level 3 Geas make a level 6. This is pretty broken, so changing it.
It takes 3 Geas of a lower-rank to equal one of a higher-rank. For example, 3 level 1 Geas can be called in to inflict a level 2 Geas. Or 3 level 2 to inflict a level 3. And so on.
Lilith may be able to add them directly, per the original rules.

If you are playing a Lilim, you can put some points into Servant to represent mundane, random people you have hooked.
The class is 4, as for normal humans. The rank is the number of times you can use it in a week. You can assume it is a Geas between level 1 to 3. You can also assume the hook is always successful; no risk of dissonance from calling in these favors.

Normal humans get a Will roll to try to avoid the Geas when it is called in, per RAW; but, if they fail, they cannot ignore the Geas.

Celestials can opt not to fulfill the Geas at the cost of dissonance; they get 1 note of dissonance per time period. Symphonically aware humans can do the same, but the lose a level of Strength per time period and die if their Strength reaches 0. Ethereals work as Soldiers, but lose Intelligence.



The core rules seem inconsistent about when humans go to Heaven or Hell or reincarnate/dissolve. And the idea of one single act (a Fate or Destiny) sealing one’s final destination doesn’t sit great with me. So here’s how I plan for it to work in this game.

Destiny and Fate are the pull towards the best possible world and the worst possible world. When someone (or something) accomplishes its Destiny, that accomplishment is something that sets the world on a track towards more good and selflessness. And the inverse for Fate. In this sense, everyone and everything has a Destiny and Fate.

However, usually when speaking of Destiny and Fate, one means a special act or state of being that a human can accomplish. That is what is meant below, and what most Attunements of Destiny or Fate can sense.

If a person accomplishes their Destiny, they will go to Heaven unless they suffer a severe fall. (Most are too noble and selfless to do so, but it does happen.) These almost always reincarnate or dissolve, though a few truly horrendous examples have wound up in Hell.

If a person accomplishes their Fate (but not Destiny), they will go to Hell after death. If they somehow managed to become repentant and good, selfless beings after accomplishing their Fate – it’s nearly never happened, but has happened sometimes – the Angels of Final Judgement will save the soul.

If a person accomplishes their Destiny and Fate, they usually reincarnate or dissolve. A small amount go to Heaven. A small amount go to Hell, but the Angels of Last Judgement have never deemed such worthy of saving. (Presumably they’d have gone to Heaven if they were.)

If a person manages to avoid both Destiny and Fate, and is fairly neutral on the selfish or selfless tract, they tend to reincarnate. Some do dissolve. However, if their life has truly tended towards one path or the other, they usually go to the corresponding afterlife.

Having a bond to Heaven or Hell (or an ethereal) can impact one’s final resting place.
• Soldiers of Heaven will almost always go to Heaven. The exception are those who suffer a fall or meet their Fate. Such usually reincarnate, or repented and are saved by Last Judgement, though a small number are known to remain in Hell.
o This is part of why even Novalis, Zedkiel, and Yves are unwilling to make someone a Soldier simply to save their soul. It doesn’t work. (Besides wasting valuable resources, balking at the principles of Heaven, and likely angering the Seraphim Council and Judgement.)
• Soldiers of Hell always go to Hell. However, if they had truly repented and acted selflessly in life, the Angels of Last Judgement will save them.
• Being a Servant of a celestial makes it more likely one will wind up in Heaven or Hell. It’s not as important as if you met your Destiny or Fate, but it could be a tipping point or get you to go to one side instead of reincarnating.
• Ethereal Soldiers and Servants to ethereals sometimes go to the Far Marches domain of their master.

Note that it’s possible to have some strange circumstances. Take a gang that is secretly run by demons of Belial. Three gangsters die in a fight against an angel, but neither had made their Destiny or Fate. The first was a cruel person who only cared about his own pleasure and used the gang for money and power. The second was coerced into joining the gang, like most kids on his street. The third was a jerk at times, but he was in the gang out of obligation to his family (also members) and to make money to help out his mom and younger siblings. It’s most likely the first would go to Hell, the second reincarnate, and the third go to Heaven. But dissolution or reincarnation are possible for all three, and, depending on other factors, the second kid could wind up in Heaven or Hell.

Also, despite some folk being savable or damnable after reaching their Destiny or Fate, most aren’t, at least from a practical standpoint. So angels, even Yves, usually consider someone a lost cause if they met their Fate. Likewise for demons, even Kronos, and those who reached their Destiny. Yes, in an ideal world, one would have the time and resources to secure the eternality of those souls, but it’s just not worth the effort when there’s others whose Fate or Destiny are unfulfilled.



I think the mechanics of Trauma simply don't mesh with the fluff.
By RAW, after Corporeal Forces days, you roll with a TN equal to your Will. If you make it, you awake out of Trauma. If you fail, you have to wait another period time equal to the check digit + Corporeal Forces days.
But even with a Will of 2, you'd awaken every 1/36 tries.
Yet the fluff speaks of celestials in trauma for centuries or millenia.

So how to reconcile this?
I've thought of homebrew to make it more in line with the fluff. Like, maybe the check digit is also a penalty to your next Will save, so if you have low Will you might be screwed until you both roll well and had gotten a low check digit on the previous failure. And/or, after so many failures, the time duration moves from days to weeks, eventually to months, eventually to years, maybe to decades or centuries?

But then I got to thinking about the narrative of the game. I like that In Nomine allows PC death with real consequences, but also allows the death to be not final and the PC to come back. So I think it's best to not adjust the mechanics but to acknowledge that this is one area where the mechanics do not reflect the in-game universe. Or just chuck it up to PCs being lucky and use a more "fluff-consistent" mechanics for NPCs.

Similarly, I think the rules for Divine or Infernal Intervention don't quite make sense, but if you think of "rolls that count" as just rolls important to serious things, as rolls in a game would be... and perhaps say humans just get really minor interventions if any at all... then 2/256 actions as an intervention seems reasonable.

I generally dislike a divide between mechanics and fluff, but it seems reasonable in these two situations.



My players asked about this, so adding it here.

Once a Tether is stabilized, it is rather hard to destroy. Also note that an attack on a Tether is a serious move in the War and generally leads to escalation and counter-attacks on your side's Tethers. Thus, without special permission, Tethers are generally left alone. Sometimes raided for intel or to save mortals, and sometimes attacked to attack demons inside, but rarely attacked in the sense of damaging the Tether itself. Anyway, there's no guarantee that killing everyone at a Tether and burning it to the ground will destroy it; more demons might simply show up and rebuild.
And remember that a Tether is a direct gateway to Heaven or Hell. It is very easy for the invaded side to call reinforcements, though most Seneschals don't unless necessary lest they lose face.

Instead, Tethers are generally attacked by trying to change the human underpinnings of it. Rather than lead a strike force to kill everyone at a Tether to Lust, slowly work on converting the souls who debauch therein to better things, thereby weakening its influence and ties to its Word. But there's a Seneschal working against you... so it's hard to destroy a Tether. Still, the best way to destroy a Tether remains to conceptually break its link to its Word. A corebook example is cleaning up a dark and scary alley that is a Tether to Nightmares via restoration work and making it into a community garden. Such will likely destroy its ties to the Word of Nightmares, thereby destroying the Tether.

Converting a Tether is far harder as you not only have to destroy the conceptually ties to the old Word but you also need to link it to the new Word. I guess vengefully burning down a corrupt building (like a Tether to the Media or Lust) is somewhat likely to form a divine Tether to Fire, but it's nothing certain. I think the core rulebook talks about a huge fire that burns down a football stadium (Tether to The Media) could potentially be reborn as a divine to divine or infernal Fire.

And to reiterate: before you lead a strike force against a Tether, get permission from your Superior. And, at least for angels, give the others a heads-up lest they fall to reprisals.



Some dissonance conditions just seem untenable. Or unclear so it's hard to tell what's dissonance or not. This is a work-in-progress, but here goes.
First off, a general rule: if in Heaven or Hell, any dissonance that hinges on doing an activity daily (or every so many days) is effectively on hold or mediated accordingly. For Choirs, this means shedim in Hell don't have to corrupt. For Words, here are some examples. Wind is fine as long as in the cathedral of Wind, as you are moving therein. Theft still has to move around in Hell, but there's plenty of room in allied domains or Valefor's own. The Media has to support media in Hell. Gluttony doesn't have to force via Consume. Factions don't have to cause division. Ask GM for details if you think your PC will be off-earth for an extended period of time.
And being in Trauma also puts all of these on hold. A servitor of Theft or Wind doesn't get dissonance because they can't move due to being in Trauma.

Jordi: Animals It is dissonant to value human life above animal life, or to let human social mores interfere with protecting animal life. It is also dissonant to be cruel when killing; hunt and defend as nature intends, but cruelty is a thing of humans and demons.
Thoughts: from RAW, it sounds like it's dissonant for angels of Animals to respect human social mores in any way. That seems absurd, both to make them unplayable as well as he has his Mecurians tasked with teaching humans.
They'd have to respect human social norms at times in order to do their jobs.