Maybe some of you have had other experiences, but I find it hard to plan out adventures that are set in heaven, and especially hard to come up with good campaigns there.
Even if you play in a dark game with minimal contrast where heaven is just as factious and backstabbing as hell and where might literally makes right, it’s still a hard place to set a campaign.
- Heaven has no real hierarchy. You’ve got Servitor, Vassal, Friend, Master, and Archangel, and only the Archangel has any sort of formal territory or superiority. Progress is progress of subservience and there is no real personal reward aside from the big brass ring of Archangel (and perhaps the competition for the Premum Mobile among the Archangels).
- You literally cannot lie in heaven. Not only is it filled with Seraphim who would almost certainly catch you out, but Angeltongue cannot be used to deceive. The language itself would break and turn into Helltongue which is immediately recognizable to all angels. Theoretically you could speak in a human tongue, but why would you if you were telling the truth?
- Even when the archangels disagree they are mostly on the same side. They might try to convince each other or undermine each others positions when they feel the other is in the wrong, but you would need to turn the contrast way down before you get to the point where there would be massive open conflicts.
In other words the default setting has little room for ambition, politics, or combat. Three big strikes against setting a game completely within the heavenly sphere.
It is certainly possible to weaken any of the three observations above to make a more playable setting, but that means deviations from canon are more-or less necessary. While it is true that home brewed material deviates from canon by its very nature, I am not comfortable assuming such a change for the sake of “extra tidbits.”
I will likely start making some Angel Ascendant posts akin to what I’ve been doing for Hell – but as far as I can tell, these scenarios will almost always be darker than default scenario because what really makes Heaven seem to tick is the Harmony its actors manage to maintain.
If you have managed to pull off such a game, I’d love to hear what you did!