In Nomine Hack


I’ve started working on a game based around In Nomine, an old RPG which focuses on angels and demons. The players are either angels or demons and take part in a sort of celestial cold war with earth as the battlefield. I’ve put together a few ideas and would appreciate some feedback. It helps if you know In Nomine but its by no means essential. Also, I liked the whole angels and demons vibe in supernatural season 4 and have used that as some inspiration (not seen season 5 or 6 so no spoilers please). let me know what you think.


The angels serve God and carry out His divine plan – the Symphony. It is their role, their purpose, their vocation. They battle the forces of the Lucifer and do whatever it takes to ensure the Symphony is adhered to.

Divine Nature: Domineering, Condescending, Blameless (or Righteous), Judgemental

Conflict: The angels have difficulty understanding why God loves the humans so much in spite of their numerous faults, their wavering faith and their wanton sinning. Why should God favour the humans more than his loyal, devoted angelic servants? Why should the angels risk their very existence pandering to human desires, rescuing them from dangers they don’t even understand and saving them from damnation when most don’t even believe anymore?

Extremes: Too much nature means the angels are too far removed from humanity to understand their plight. Too little nature means the angel has become too sympathetic and caring. Zero nature means the angel has fallen from grace and become mortal.

The demons serve Lucifer and work to derail the Symphony through whatever means possible. They see the humans as pawns in a great game which they must win at all costs.

Infernal Nature: Selfish, Corrupting, Impulsive, Persecuting

Conflict: The Demons have difficulty understanding why Lucifer is so focused on disrupting the Symphony. The humans are making a pretty good job if ignoring God and religion anyway. Why do they need to be exploited just to irritate God and his angels? Why not embrace them and their ideals to enjoy the fruits of the Earth? After all, Demons are not so different from humans are they?

Extremes: Too much nature and the demon becomes embroiled in corrupting, causing suffering and punishing the humans at the expense of their mission to disrupt the symphony. The humans become too much of a distraction. Too little nature means the demon has become too sympathetic and caring. Zero nature means they are banished from Hell and forced to live as a mortal.

I might make the Nature 0 result being either redemption or falling, and then playing for the other side. I read an amazing IRC transcript (with some of the designers and Jenna Moran playing) about a group of angels who manage to redeem one of the Lilim. I think the best aspects of the game in general are the internal politics between the Superiors (Archangels and Demon Princes) and the extraordinarily focused powers the angels and demons could bring to bear, and how they were corrupted images of each other. The seraphs, with their ability to feel lies as pain (making television extremely uncomfortable for them) and balseraphs, who can construct an alternate universe in which the lie is briefly true, allowing them to lie perfectly, are such marvelous reflections. Same with the superiors - If you can work that in, I’d play in a second.

I’ve also thought it would be perfect for porting over into FATE, with the choir/band powers and the superior’s boons represented as stunts.

In your mouse guard hack, would you keep the rule that 3 sixes or 1s imply a Superior’s intervention?

Thanks for the feedback. I want to try to include the D666 mechanic to some extent but I will need to work on it. Do you think the natures work? Every time I try and hack MG the nature always trips me up. I’m trying to get the feel right but also make the system still play as well as it should.

One thing you might consider is having different choir/superior combinations provide different natures. A Malakite of Fire and an Ofanite of Wind are… very different, and should be played differently. In general, High nature could represent connection with your word and choir? High means, as you said, that you’re too connected with your word and are incapable of functioning in the world, or of making compromises. Low nature probably shouldn’t indicate becoming mortal, rather, that there’s a threat you may defect.

So rather than just Divine and Demonic, everyone would have Word and Choir keywords associated with their natures.

I think keeping it more generic suits MG better. While In Nomine has some great aspects to it, I’m just as happy having more generic angels vs demons type game I think. If you start having lots of different natures it makes party coherence tricky.

Should selfish be a descriptor for demons? Should demons at low nature be similar to angels at low nature? Do the extremes work thematically? Should the two scales be very different?

In Nomine’s an awesome game! So I feel moved to pipe up. I beg you to bear with me.

Nature is a weird thing and trips a lot of people up, me included. It works so well in Mouse Guard because it hits that sweet spot of things that aren’t heroic, but are tempting. So it seems like the ranks of Heaven and Hell ought to have Natures that, likewise, are tempting choices that will tend to present complications. Just noodling here, mind you, and riffing a little maybe on Demon: the Fallen as well as some handwavy Biblical angel lore.

Divine Nature: What have angels on the side of righteousness done? Hmm. Guarded places, slaughtered oppressors, dispensed serious justice, conveyed the Word in a manner not to be ignored. So since I tend to cast Natures as verbs, I’d need a concise way to say that to be an agent of the Divine is to naturally
[li]forbid things
[/li][li]destroy things - not just like kill them or hurt them, but to LAY the VENGEANCE of the LORD on them. Cataclysmic in scope.
[/li][li]exalt things
[/li][li]and something else – oh! Obey. Thought of this re: Infernals, below. Might kind of fall under “forbid,” if you take it to mean they are both the embodiments and executors of God’s Law.

Infernal agents are just fallen Angels, right? The first verb of their Nature might be Rebelling. I think Selfish is good, but were it me I’d try to find a way to express that concept in a manner most likely to provoke a certain amount of hair-tearing. Maybe another list is in order.
[/li][li]being supernaturally, troublesomely selfish
[/li][li]let’s not say Corrupting things, let’s say Befouling. Kind of the mirror of “exalt things.”
[/li][li]enabling? Thinking Screwtape, and maybe an Nobilis-like Dark philosophy of gleefully giving people the rope with which they obligingly hang themselves. I guess you could say “Tempting” here but that’s so old-fashioned.

Nature’s tricky. Maybe Paul B will drop some sage advice in this thread.

I can imagine a character sheet with two 7 to 0 scales, converging on the same 0 - there should be as much room to Fall as there is to be redeemed, eh? And I like the thought that 0 Nature reduces one to mortal status. For the extremes I think they’re on the right path. Looking at MG as a guide, Nature 7 at a session end forces a trait change. I’d feel okay doing the same: Luminous, Owl-Winged, Eyes of Fire, Brimstone Stench, Stigmata, something like that.


Hello Gary

Thanks for your input. I like your ideas about presenting tempting choices. Is “destroy things” not too game-able? Rebelling makes sense as a fallen angelic agent (hence the fall) but does it work as a demonic agent - they have fallen and now have to serve a new master; rebelling is not a great quality to show your new boss? “Befouling” sounds great and would work too. The two scales appeals to me also but how do you transfer from one to the other? On a connected point, I’m thinking of having the songs (supernatural powers) as a replacement for weapons - Song of War replaces a sword (mechanically speaking) for example?


Destruction doesn’t seem like it should be in either camp… both angels and demons are capable of destruction. Rebellion seems like a good demonic one, and obedience an angelic one - while it may not be GOOD for a demon to be rebellious, demons should be their own worst enemies, and it explains the difficulties inherent in organizing demons to any purpose without it devolving into squabbling and assassination. Demons should have to fight their nature to get anything useful done as a group. Angels, on the other hand, have trouble disobeying orders, even when the orders are repugnant, and don’t show a lot of initiative. Harmony and Discord? Unity and Individuality? Truth and Lies? Inspiration vs Coercion? Forgiveness vs Vengeance?

How about demons being “uncooperative”…

Oh, and if you have to explain it, it’s a poor choice for an IN “Word” or a MG Nature descriptor

Troublingly Selfish

Or, more poetically

Troublingly selfish

Good points Mike, particularly “rebellion” and “obedience”. I like the whole opposites idea presented and think there’s something to work with.

Hello Aramis. Thanks for your comments. I think “Litigious” sounds great thematically but I’m not sure how it creates a conflict for the character?

It has a connotation of argument for the sake of argument, at least locally. More accurately, suing for the sake of suing, rather than suing because of grievances.
It also has a connotation of picking apart contracts for niggling details with which to exploit.

I see now. Works for demons and the devious deals they make. Nice.