Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

Divinity and Damnation [Setting idea]

Started by Dangerboy, July 15, 2005, 01:02:02 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Posted this on and one poster didn't like the religious terms (orginally called Nephilim). In an effort to just focus on the story, I changed the terms to some more generic ones. I'm psting here to see if I cen get some more critique from people that may not frequent

Quote from: Divinity and Damnation: Destiny
Divinity and Damnation takes place on modern day earth. The human populace is divided into three species: Human, Protectors, and Bargainers. The Protectors are for the most part human; they lead normal human lives, they share the same human physiology, they even have to deal with the same mundane problems that humans deal with, like rent and relationships. There are subtle but profound differences, though. Protectors cannot procreate. They can (and do) have sex, but Protectors - male and female - are infertile. Protectors also stop aging and random points; no one (not even the Protectors themselves) knows when or why. Protectors also know that a higher power exists. Whereas most humans function spiritually off faith, Protectors are aware of the presence of a "God" (not even the Protectors have a true answer on the religion thing). This is the biggest thing that separates Protectors from Humans. Humans were created to be the vessels of divinity, so they can receive and even produce divine favors, such as curing blindness or resurrecting the dead. Protectors cannot do these things, but what they can do is offer blessings to humans. The counterpoint to Protectors are Bargainers who offer pacts to humans. When a Pact is formed, both the human and the Bargainer gain some power from it. Bargainers can look human, but the similarities end there.

Protectors: Protectors are drawn to a specific human by way of destiny. That person becomes 'touched', which allows that human to access his/her divinity and the Protectors refer to this person as their Charge. Protectors invoke special powers to bless their Charge, or in rare cases other untouched humans. Protectors are immune to blessings and human divinity.
Humans: humans are for the most part spiritual clay. When a human is touched by a Protectors, they become that Protector's Charge and there is always one Protector to one human. When a Bargainer forms a pact with a human, that human is called a Bondman and unlike the Protectors, a Bargainer can have many different pacts with many different humans. Very rarely, a human can achieve divinity (or damnation) without the aid of a Watcher, or Bargainer. These rare individuals are called the Revered (on both sides). Humans can be affected by blessings and by divine/damned favors.
Bargainers: Bargainers are predatory creatures. They attempt to form pacts with humans because every pact formed increases their own power. Pacts grant humans immediate or short term power, but in the end, the Bargainer always wins. Once a pact has been completed, the Bargainer gets that person's soul. A soulless human isn't dead, but they no longer have that 'spark' of life in them nor do they benefit from the same things normal humans do. Protectors, while immune to blessings and human powers, are vulnerable to damned favors and other powers the Bargainers wield.



This sounds like a pretty nice world so far. It seems a little ... religiously ambiguous, but I suppose you've taken some flak for that in the past. Stick with Nephilim, I like the term- and know the biblical ramifcations. We don't actually know what the Nephilim were- and it'd be a nice mode for your "human heroes" to exist in. It sounds like a game version of Lewis' Screwtape Letters. Which is an odd choice- but definitely cool. I'd like to know more about your world- more about what the players are doing, what the GM is doing, how they work together (or against each other) and to achieve what goals.

Are these player classes? NPC classes? Or just a normal set of beings that the players interact with and go between- sorry if I'm not catching it, it's late where I am.

I like where you're going, give me more in terms of what's going on in the game- I'd like to help you where I can.

"The price of getting what you want is getting what you once wanted." -Neil Gaiman


Well, originally the terms were this:

Protectors = Nephilim
Bargainers = Devils
Revered = Saints
Charges = Charges
Bondmen = Demons

I didn't mean these terms to be the be all, end all terms (The Nephilim weren't even sure they were the real Nephilim), but they decided that they would use judeo-christian terms since if someone was recording history, might as well be the Christians (Monks, anyone?). I got one reply about the Nephilim not being true to the biblical definitions, so they thought that I would lose people looking for such things. So i removed them. It's still got religious undertones, but it doesn't pin anything down.

As far as the game goes, The PC's would play either two characters (Protector and Charge) or one type (protector/charge). Later, I can make a sourcebook highlighting the other side (Bargainers/Bondman). I'm even working with an idea on playing a Souless PC. I haven't decided if players should be able to play a Revered off the bat, even though I know that would appeal to players.

I haven't read the Screwtape Letters, but my friend has. That's the story of one demon writing letters to another demon on how to act like a demon, right?


I wouldn't worry about biblical accuracy, if I were you. In Nomine is far from accurate in that respect but it's still a geat setting (hell, it wouldn't be nearly as fun it if was biblically accurate...).
My point is, when it comes to what terms you use, don't go with what gets the least compalints - go with what really makes the colour and setting come alive. If judeo-christian terms fit best with your vision, go for it.
But you do seem to be aiming for a more neutral explanation of these supernaturals' origins. Maybe you could split the supernaturals not just by nature (ie Nephilim, Devils, etc) but also by 'clans' - not in a cheesy, WOD-type fashion but where each is influenced by a different religion. So, a Barginer from europe would be a Devil, and a Barginer from africa would be a Trickster (or somesuch). They needn't have different powers necessarily, they'd simply apply them differently. Just an idea, maybe it helps.

Alex Dalziel


one poster didn't like the religious terms (orginally called Nephilim)

So what? That is his problem, not yours. Firstly, whether he disliked the religious aspect because he himself was religious or because he disliked it because he thinks religion is a waste is really not important.

Either way hes' uppity. Cant deal with it, don't read it. Don't like it? Tough.

I am not religious in any way, shape or form. Yet I adore movies tlike The Prophecy. Why? Because they are powerful tales of mans inhumanity to man, potent reminders of our own fragility as a species in the grand scheme of things , etc.

And besides, beings that serve the creator of REALITY ITSELF? that is pretty damn cool, regardless.

Just because I dont believe in a man that lives in the clouds that created the world with magick doesn't mean the imagery is lost on me.

Now, if this poster went with you to a pizza parlor and said only the mentally deficient eat pizza would you then not eat pizza? No. You would likely either ignore them, eat the pizza, or eat the pizza anyway, mock them, and then light them on fire and laugh as they run screaming from your divine power.

Y' :)

Seriously though, don't alter the way your game works based on ONE poster. If that single poster could provide technical PROOF that your game would not work and that the religious connotations would result in a pack of blood-hunting christians/mormons/whatever on your ass to make sure it never saw light...then you would have a reason.

Heck, I would still publish it in that case, just to tick them off.
Chris DeChamplain
-Realm- RPG


and by the way, love the idea. Develop this some more. I like it...BUT DAMN YOU AND THE RELIGIOUS NATURE ...RAAAAR (j/k of course).

officially too damn early to be awake.
Chris DeChamplain
-Realm- RPG

Stefan / 1of3

Not bad. It sounds like the divine side is rather subtle, that might be a difference to most games about that topic.

As a side note: There is a German RPG called Nephilim.


Wow, thanks for the replies. :)

Eventually, I want to put the terms back in, but I wanted people to focus on the setting first. I'm not Christian, or Jewish, or Buddist (I'm my own religion), but since I live in the USA, I was drawn to judeo-christian terms b/c that's what I'm surrounded by. I want players to wrap their own beliefs into this; not only would it add to the flavor of the setting, it would make it more endearing to them. I want that sense of uncertainity. I don't want NPC's to say, "yup the Jewish were right. Jesus was just a guy... a good guy, but a guy nonetheless (unless that's what the GM wants)." I do want PC's to say, "Nephilim? Yeah were called that. Personally, I am the avatar of Vishnu."

As for the clan idea, I'm thinking of a core book, a Protector/Human players guide, an GM guide detailing more about the Revered, and a Bargainer/Human guide publishing-wise. Adding different factions, it will keep one protector from being the same as another, but I don't want to limit to regions because I still want to keep that uncertainty. But Human divinity-wise, it might be cool to include some divine favors based on religion (Maybe instead of resurrecting the dead, a PC from India can reincarnate the daed). I guess to give an idea of how orgainized I want the protectors to be, I'm looking for about a little more orgainization than in White Wolf's Hunter: The Reckoning. JUst because the Protector's know there's a higher power at work doesn't mean they have the answers.

As far as advice goes, the poster usually has some constructive things to say. This was pretty much an opinion, so I don't take what he said as fact, but it wouldn't do me any good to blow him off completely. As it stands, he didn't like the interpretations I was using; whereas you all seem to like it a great deal. I want to write some opening fiction to give people a sense of what direction I'm taking this in.

I originally thought of calling the Protectors the Grigori, but after some searching, Nephilim seemed a better match. So like anyone curious about plagarism, I looked up Nephilim online. Chaosium translated the game into english, but it doesn't look like they make any more books for the game. Aside from that, I read a review of the game and creative-wise, it doesn't look llike we're going the same direction with this.

I want to downplay the F/X a lot, if I can. I mean, resurrection is pretty big no matter how you slice it. For example, if it were possible to cast a Dazzle spell in game, rather than have some magical bout of light spray pop out of nowhere, everyone effected would see the light show in their minds, like a hallucination. A random observer wouldn't see anything at all.


Just watched Constantine last night. I saw it in the theatre, but forgot most of it. Though the half-breeds don't do much, it was pretty close to what I'm trying to do. Grr. :)

I still think this setting idea is different enough, while still following that good vs evil theme, to be worth it.