Most In Nomine modules are presented as challenge for either a group of Angels or a Group of demons to overcome. Since Angels and Demons typically respond to each other in a hostile manner, this is an understandable decision if you want to ensure that your players are at least nominally working together (though demons do have a tendency to backstab their colleagues).
However, a far more common cultural image that of the guardian angel and tempting devil who fight each other over the disposition of an individual’s soul. Enter Cynthia Bland.
This is a three player campaign setting (though I have variant suggestions for 2-6 below)
- One will play an angel
- One will play a demon
- One will play a human (Cynthia Bland)
The three players should work together to create a story for Cynthia. She should have a couple of virtues, a couple of vices, some goals and hobbies, one or more obstacles that she needs to overcome and at least one thing that she is proud of. When in doubt, the person who is playing Cynthia gets the final say. I would also suggest that Cynthia be built with 6 Forces. She’s at the heart of a conflict between an agent of heaven and an agent of hell. She’s going to end up a ping-pong ball if she’s not at least equivalent to a Soldier of the war.
Once Cynthia’s history and personality is known, the other players should create Celestial characters who fit in well with Cynthia’s story. Collaboration is again suggested, and liberal interpretations are allowed. Cynthia’s player gets a veto if one of the Celestials looks too far removed from her story, but otherwise the decisions ultimately rest with the player who is going to play the character.
Instead of having all three players work together, you may want Cynthia’s player to work pair wise with each of the other two. That way her player can ensure that both fit within her story, but the people playing the Celestials will not know the specific motivations and powers of their opponent.
Before the action begins, the players should figure out how their characters know each other. The angel and demon will likely suspect each other’s affiliations, but Cynthia shouldn’t know that either one is supernatural.
From there the action should be mostly player driven. Cynthia’s goals will be laid out during character generation. The Angel wants her to pursue them in a way that benefits Heaven (and will oppose goals more likely to send her to Hell). The demon wants her to pursue those goals more likely to take Cynthia to Hell and will try to interfere with her life in ways that keep her out of Heaven. If the players don’t start throwing ideas at your themselves, take turns approaching the Angel and Demon players between sessions and asking which goal they’ll help Cynthia with and how.
If the action gets too stagnant, you are certainly welcome to throw in additional scenarios – but these scenarios should basically be treated like side quests and distractions. Things that will keep the player from their true goal, guiding Cynthia and her journey towards salvation or damnation.
Two Player Variation
If there are only two players, they should take on the roles of the Angel and Demon, and the GM will make and play Cynthia. Instead of making Cynthia first, the Angel and Demon should create whatever characters they like, and it will be the GMs responsibility to build Cynthia in a way that makes the player’s choices relevant.
Four Player Variation
Cythia gains another friend. Either a “mundane” companion (who is likely to become a pawn in the Angel and Demon’s fight over Cynthia), a sorceror (who is trying to protect Cythia from the Celestials and/or manipulate them through huer), or an Ethereal.
Five Player Variation
There are a few ways to do this, but I would suggest adding an Ethereal Soldier and an agent of the god or concept they serve to the party. This new pair would try to draw Cynthia towards a third path – but Cynthia’s angel and demon may also attempt to tempt the new mortal away from their Ethereal patron.
Six Player Variation
The party consists of two distinct triads, each containing one human, one angel, and one demon. While all six can work together, I would suggest having each triad work separately. That way each angel and demon will be relevant to their human and the angels and demons cannot coordinate until after they’ve actually met each other.
Once the game gets underway, the GM should keep a quiet tally of which celestial does a better job of influencing the trajectory of Cynthia’s life. This player should be “rewarded” with better reactions from their boss, and possibly more XP. Though as they become more respected, they may also face more obstacles in the form of side assignments.
Also, since Cynthia will be starting off at a significant disadvantage, she should also get some bonus experience whenever her actions have tipped the scale more towards heaven or hell (regardless of which way it goes).