Our month of sin continues with a review of Sinfest, an independent webcomic written and illustrated by Tatsuya Ishida. While I am accustomed to turning to sinfest.net for a daily dose of parody and satire, it is still hard to wrap my head around the fact that Ishida has been turning out one of these comics every day for more than 15 years.
At first the comic looked a lot like the Pip-Boy illustrations from the Fallout series, payed heavy tribute to earlier cartoon series (such as Peanuts and Cathy), and centered around the actions of a small cast of characters. Over time that cast has grown, the characters have matured, and the comic has taken on a more decidedly political bent while still holding onto it’s core of daily humor.
But it is the composition of the cast that makes this comic a particularly good read for In Nomine players. In addition to God and the Devil, there are numerous demon girls and boys, a pair of cherubs, Jesus, Buddah, Uncle Sam, Liberty, and a core group of humans (and an anthropomorphic pig) who must deal with them on a regular basis.
In short, the comic gives a decent glimpse into what might happen to a town where angels and demons are visible and people interact with them on a daily basis. It’s also a lot of fun to read.
The Songs of Bomf
There are a number of magical effects that occur throughout the Sinfest series. Some are tied to locations, like the Reality Zone, Friend Zone, Trans State, and River Lethe. Others are abilities possessed by supernatural entities, things like the Zen Zap (which acts as a kind of mystical reset) and the Songs of Bomf and Bkow outlined below.
The Songs of Bomf are among the first demonic abilities we get the see. The Devil (and more recently Tangerine) can use it to turn living creatures into devils. Fuschia and some of the other devil girls can use it to animate objects (or shadows), and anyone with infernal energy can use it to harm another character (the look is similar to what other comics use when a stick of dynamite blows up in a character’s hand). This lines up particularly well with the three realms that In Nomine splits songs into.
Corporeal: The Corporeal Bomf works much like a Calabite’s resonance. Singing the song is like making a ranged attack with Power equal to the singers Corporeal Forces. It may be dodged by not resisted.
Ethereal: The Ethereal Bomf grants diabolic life to inanimate objects. It lasts 1 hour x CD for each Ethereal Force of the Singer. If the CD is greater than the Total Forces of the object, the singer may spend additional essence equal to the target’s Total Forces to make the effect permanent so long as the animated object satisfies a Need equal to its highest Force.
Celestial: The Celestial Bomf temporarily rearranges a living creatures forces and injects them with infernal power. In order to have any effect it must succeed with a CD greater than the Total Forces of the creature targeted and the singer must spend additional essence equal to the target’s total forces. The subject may resist with a Will roll. If they fail they will become a Lilim of another color for a number of days equal to the Celestial Forces of the singer. So long as the target does not use any infernal abilities they can revert to normal once the duration is over, otherwise the change is permanent and the newly minted demon will owe the singer a geas equal to the singer’s Celestial Forces.
Essence Required: 1 (3 for celestial)
Disturbance: CD (+ singer’s Total Forces for Celestial)