Tiny IN Blurby Rant

Here's my little blurb on the IN system and why it doesn't work very well:

In Nomine is a Supers game. Supers games need a balance between a crunchy system and a narrativistic system. On the one side, players want to roll dice to smash the bad guy with their super powers. On the other hand, players want to be able to do cool, unpredictable things with their super powers. They want to say, "I twist this metal bar and then hit the bad guy over the head with my super strength!" They don't simply want to punch or simply want to use the metal bar.

The IN system grows out of an older vision of gaming where everything in the game is defined by a statistic or a device. This works for certain things, but when the player wants a super Heavenly Lightning Car or a Flaming Sword or some mystic device, they find that to keep things in balance, the system must enforce enormous penalties on the player to maintain its own internal balance. This leads to very convoluted and unbalanced gameplay — and unhappy players who can't have things because the system arbitrarily tells them so.

Like all Supers games tied closely to a hard-coded system with rigid rules, as the players grow in power, the system breaks down. It works for a very narrow band of game with expectations that the players will never be awesome. As the characters grow in awesome, as they inevitably do, they are forced to retire for less-awesome characters that fit into the system's ideal mold regardless if their story is finished or not.

FATE, on the other hand, offers precisely two enhancements to the system that open it up for enhanced play: it allows the players to craft the Supers character they envision without artificial balancing agents in the system keeping them back and it scales to higher powers smoothly without compromising weaker characters. Human agents become highly viable — and several together can take down a Celestial — and larger Wordbound Celestials become playable characters.

Anywho, end of rant.

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