Angels - the Game of Divine Stories (coming March 2012) is a game where players portray the servants of God in a war for human souls. Even before making this game, the topic of God's Angels have always been something of a cool concept to us. So, for those interested, here's our list of blatant influences on the game world and general reading that helped shape our thoughts about these beings.
*** In Nomine ***
Aaron has been a fan of Steve Jackson Games since he went looking for a game that he could GM a space game with for his players in high school. Stephanie has raised in a Christian home and church and believes in Angels. So, when Steve Jackson Games announced a game about Angels, there was something there for both of us. We started playing In Nomine the day it was released, met the author of the game at GenCon before it arrived in stores, and made it our go-to fun game for years. We have all the supplements, read every book 3 times, and even wore out a copy of the core rulebook. Eventually, we started moving the story forward in our games, blew up the world, started over again, and morphed it into something so non-In Nomine, we almost forgot what the original game was like. In Nomine is a very strong influence for Angels, and if you are familiar with both games, you will likely find a few familiar elements in it and some winks and nods to the great game that we spent so much time playing.
*** White Wolf Games ***
When we went looking for how to write the game book, we had a few options. We thought about doing it like our 2011 release WyshMaykers with a story telling about the world, but we couldn't get it to work right (we have lots of stories thought out of the deal). We thought about making it 3 book (rules, Setting, and Print2Play) each as a separate item. That didn't feel right. We even through about just putting the Setting book out as a supplement to -U- the Game of Stories. Finally, Aaron picked up an old Vampire the Masquerade book while going through stuff in the basement. From then on, he was determined that the book be a factual, "this is our world, differnetly" type style of writing and layout, with the rules being sectioned off a little more. This one worked... especially with the influence below.
*** Lucifer, the comic book ***
The Lucifer comic book from DC Comics / Vertigo Comics is one of the best representations of the character of Lucifer we hae ever read. No, really. He is a beautiful, blond, blue-eyed, selfish monstronsity that does as he wants in hopes to be his own being and not one of God's pawns. Mike Carey and Peter Gross nailed it, and we truely believe "L", as we call him, acts and look just like he did in the comics.
*** The NOOK ***
Stephanie has a Barnes & Noble Color NOOK. She loves her NOOK. She reads a lot more on her NOOK than she does real books these days (outside of comic books, that is). Because her NOOK has allowed her to read more, we decided to cater to that. When we were designing a layout and fonts and whatnot for the PDF of the book, we loaded it on her NOOK and checked out what it looked like. 8.5 x 11 inches was too big for the page, especially with sidebars. So, we opted for a smaller size. In effect, the NOOK made the decision for us to make a tablet edition of the Angels book. We're working on how it will work for the Print On Demand side of things.
*** The Bible ***
Angels is non-abashadly a game about Christian ideals. It has the death of Christ being a major turning point in the war. It tells about the creation of the world from an Angelic point of view. It even goes as far as saying that if you don't know God, you go to hell. A lot of the philosophy behind the game world comes from the Holy Bible. Above all of the things listed above, the Bible had the the most influence on the game. Because of this, Angels is a game for mature audiences who can handle a a point of view that may not reflect their own. Of course, the great thing about role-playing games, is that you can morph them into whatever you want, or use them to explore ideas. Hopefully you'll do both.
Next Time: More about the biblical influences.