Of course, I now can't get Three Dog Night out of my head.

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As you all know, I'm a pretty monumental In Nomine fanboy. In Nomine brought me back into RPG fandom after several years away, and I've never regretted that. The game has undergone any number of travails, but it's seeing new life in electronic publishing, as Steve Jackson Games's e23 service has (finally) begun a steady stream of new updates. As has been mentioned before, the Core Rules are now available (and let me state, for the record, having the core rules in a searchable format rocks my tiny little world.) I also pointed you towards an extended dance mix of Lilith, the "Demon" Princess of Freedom, which has done pretty well all told.

Well, since then, there's been two other developments. One, I'm going to point you all at, because....

...well, because it's free, damn it! FREE!

The Sorcerer's Impediments is (yes, the proper usage is 'is,' because it's a title. I'm not referring to the plural number of sorcerer's impediments here. I'm referring to the singular title The Sorcerer's Impediments. Just to keep things clear) an introductory adventure that also includes a light (I'm not a huge fan of the word 'lite,' because... um... it's... silly) version of the core rules. This way, people can dip into the game, get a handle on its basic concepts, and smack around demons. (As In Nomine is designed for people to play either angels or demons, I kind of hope a simple demonic adventure is also put out, sometime in the future.)

It's a cute adventure, and it's free, so Jesu Christe in a bucket, why not?

But, for the In Nomine faithful, the big news isn't The Sorcerer's Impediments.

The big news is Eli.

See, here's the thing. Since Steve Jackson Games moved In Nomine publications to electronic format, there's been little new meat that's been put out. There's been a lot of adventures (good adventures, at that). And the Core Rules is huge -- it really, really is. But for longstanding players, for a long time, there was only the (well written) Liber Umbrarum to really add content to their games. And while a supplement expanding on ghosts and other such specters in the realms of In Nomine was cool, it wasn't the kind of thing the fanbase had been clamoring for. It wasn't details on the Grigori, or writeups of historical Superiors long since dead.

And, there were a lot of Superiors -- Archangels and Demon Princes -- that were lacking extended writeups. They had their original writeup (or worse, a writeup in a supplement that came out after the original core rules) and a whole lot of fan commentary.

Now, the first Superior to be e-published as an extended dance mix was, as I said, Lilith. And it made a certain amount of sense. Lilith is a recognizable name outside of In Nomine. Lilith is, by definition, a hot babe. Lilith enjoys a certain popularity in the game. And the Lilim -- Lilith's demonic children -- are exceptions to enough rules that it can't ever hurt to have more information about them out there.

However, the simple fact is, Lilith already had an extended writeup, back in the Revelations Cycle. So while there was interest (and sales have been good), it wasn't the event that a major Archangel who hasn't had an extended writeup would be.

And Eli fits that bill perfectly. He is an enigma in the game. In the game's chronology, Eli was the first Mercurian created. Made Archangel of Creation, Eli was, effectively, the hands God used to create Heaven and the Earth. Other Archangels helped shape that creation, but Eli was the primal force behind it. He made Adam, Eve and Lilith. He represented art and the humanities and the driving need to build, to create, to make something new.

And, in 1950 or so, he walked out of Heaven and disappeared. Rumors have flown ever since. The Archangel of Judgment has had the dogs out, looking for him. His Servitors have been thrown into chaos -- largely sent to work for other Archangels, who don't trust them because they don't know what Eli himself is up to. There are rumors he's an amnesiac. Rumor's he's Falling. Rumors he's Fallen. Rumors he hasn't Fallen but is instead living a sybaritic life among humanity, breaking God's commandments. Rumors he's preparing for Armageddon. Rumors he's seeking the second coming. Rumors he is the second coming. And so on... and so on....

Needless to say, an extended writeup, designed to at least shed light on all this, if not resolve any of it, has been eagerly anticipated since the extended writeups first started appearing. So, the publication of In Nomine Superiors: Eli is an exciting thing.

I own it, now. And it's a good supplement. It's got lots of depth and lots of flavor and some cool new powers and the kinds of information that will have the fanbase arguing for the next five or six years. Which is of course what a supplement like this needs. It has some bits I'm not as enamored of -- most notably, it brings up the abortion and contraceptive rights debate, without taking a firm enough stand in either direction to justify its inclusion. Frankly, I'd have just left it out entirely.

But in the end, that's minor, and the writeup is solid. While it doesn't advance canon storylines (that ship may have already passed), it does give In Nomine fans what they really wanted for Christmas: new stuff.

And that's what Eli's all about, right?

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Hey there Eric - I just wanted to draw something to your attention, and I don't know your e-mail address. It's probably around the site somewhere, but apparently I'm too lazy to find it.

This past week, the newspaper comic Soup To Nutz has introduced a character named Stephan Pastis, the same as the author of Pearls Before Swine. All the jokes this week have been about the abnormally large size of Stephan's head.

I just found it interesting.

Three Dog Night? You lost me there. I have Dukas stuck in my head now. And I don't know the piece's structure well enough for this.

Cheshire, it's in the FAQ. As is a delightful little tale about two impish children playing in the snow.

Well, maybe not, but wouldn't it be funny if there was?

I always preferred the term "streamlined" for simplified rules for quick play. It's a good, underused word. It gives a real positive, quick feel to the noun in question. And since when did wordy, logorrheic me start using Timestyle?

In Nomine is always high up on my "very tempting" list for role-playing games. I've actually been really tempted to pick up both the original version and the English version, to compare and contrast and see if things have changed much thematically.

Paul -- Three Dog Night do "Eli's Comin'."

There's... wait... free?

Dude, either I haven't been reading these things for comprehension or you're a crappy shill-guy, cuz dude! I so didn't know that! Excited and checking it out now.

...well, because it's free, damn it! FREE!

Siwangmu: That didn't tip you off? Maybe you need to read slower.

It's like a gateway drug. And I really didn't need another thing to get addicted to. My wife is going to kill me if she finds out. Don't tell her, mmkay?

And NOW I feel the need to seek out Sports Night DVD's. The network of cultural references continues on.

And now I feel the need to cancel my RPG for tonight, pop in Sports Night, download the In Nomine Stuff, plot an In Nomine Game and quite possibly notice my girlfriend glaring at me for neglecting her during all this.

As much as I love The West Wing, and even though I'm not a big sports fan, I miss, terribly terribly miss, Sports Night. /sigh

It's a cute adventure, and it's free, so Jesu Christe in a bucket, why not?

Because I have nobody to play with, except maybe that bunch of guys over at the Uni whose character sheets reek of power-gaming (I mean, a Monk/Rogue. *Really*.)

Because I'm still trying to organise that Stargate RPG with my online friends.

Because I prefer computer games where all the dice rolls and everything are already done for you, and all you need to do is get in character and have fun.

Because Angels and Demons and APOCALYPSE DOOM SECRET WAR HUMANITY AS PAWNS doesn't really sound like my type of game. I hate fairies, angels, demons and anything else that thinks it's oh-so-superior to "mortals".

(Answering Your Rethorical Questions Since Last Friday!)

" I hate fairies, angels, demons and anything else that thinks it's oh-so-superior to 'mortals'."

You know, I never thought about how overused that is in RPGs until now. Heck, now that I'm on the subject, in one game I'm currently in, an aspect of the Morrigan cursed my character simply because she could. And the GM was somehow surprised when I took exception to it, especially the part where he wanted me to spend experience points to reflect that curse.

It's even sillier in console RPGs. Because said race with superiority issues keeps itself wholly shunted off from mankind and incredibly xenophobic, until your characters, through one selfless act that saves the village, convinces them that humans should be respected as equals.

Oh yeah, one member of your retinue will either be an exiled member of this race or a half-breed member of this race but orphaned and not realizing their true heritage.

Meagen Image: "Because Angels and Demons and APOCALYPSE DOOM SECRET WAR HUMANITY AS PAWNS doesn't really sound like my type of game. I hate fairies, angels, demons and anything else that thinks it's oh-so-superior to "mortals"."

It's not like that, really. You could play it that way, I suppose, but I too don't care for the whole "humanity as pawns" schtick, and I don't think In Nomine really posesses it.

Humans are crucial, really - to the powering of Words and formations of Tethers, and needing to be guided to their Fates or Destinies. They aren't the means; they're the end.

There's not that many canon isnstances of "human events actually due to the secret manipulations of the Celestials" stuff, as far as I've seen.

The line policy is, yes, that 90-99% of human events are... human. I believe that in the core rules, the Demon Prince of Technology is taking credit for several purely human inventions, for instance. There's mention in one of the other books of *one* demon who got herself into the Bible -- just one. Sure, celestials hop on the bandwagon when humans start something rolling, and the demons especially *try* to take credit... (It's good for their egos and resumes.) But it's humans who're running the show most of the time.

The basic rules are kind of crippling for mundane humans, though, even when using the Corporeal Player's Guide; GURPS In Nomine is much more mechanics-friendly to mortals.

I don't own the CPG, but I've always felt that, at least as far as combat is concerned, celestials ought to be a great deal more powerful than a mundane, unprepared human.

I mean, being an angel/demon should MEAN something. It's like Buffy - she was no mundane, but even she'd get thrown around and massively overpowered by demons that she fought. If she were to beat them, it was through training, intuition, preparation, and most of all, the support of her friends. A loose and violent demon oughta be able to slaughter humans with ease.

But killing humans isn't really the point - they'd only reincarnate sans-Destiny/Fate resolution, and in any case, pretty much all the Superiors WANT the humans to be there, except perhaps Jordi and Saminga.

What stops humans being just pawns or innocent bystanders in the game, as I see it, is their massive weight of numbers and their key role as a natural part of the Symphony.

That, and vehicular vesselcide. Admittedly, for the real combat-wombats with the really tough vessels, you have to back up and run over them a few times, but if they don't dodge...

A truck is a truck, whether it's a human driving it or not.

Splat.

(And the sheer numbers, natural place, etc. But the splat suits my mood at the moment... *evil grin*)

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