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FATE: In Nomine

Page history last edited by Adrian 10 years, 9 months ago

FATE for In Nomine


This conversion was put together a few years ago and uses the 2.0 version of FATE before Spirit of the Century updated the system. I added in a couple of houserules, the first to allow finer granularity in the FATE ladder results, the second introducing temporary aspects, which are now very standard features of the FATE system.


Bonus and Penalty Dice

A bonus die is an extra dF of a different colour that’s rolled with the usual 4dF. If it rolls a ‘+’ add +1 to the total – ignore any other result. A penalty die works the opposite way, with only ‘-’ results counted.


If two bonus or penalty dice apply to a given roll, add + or - 1 instead: a player never rolls more than one bonus or penalty die at a time. A bonus and a penalty die cancel each other out.


Temporary Aspects

Instead of Injured wounds leaving an enduring -1 penalty per box checked, a seriously wounded character now gets temporary Aspects. The character gains one per Injured box checked and two if the Taken Out box is checked (although Taken Out could mean character death, as usual). These temporary Aspects take effect after combat has concluded and behave as normal Aspects except that they are not enduring and can be removed by healing or as time passes. They usually take the form of physical wounds and are invoked accordingly. As they are not an integral part of the character long-term, temporary Aspects convey no skill ranks.




Character Creation



For the most part, In Nomine Forces equal FATE Aspects and the terms are interchangeable. There are a couple of exceptions: starting celestials now get 8 Aspects instead of 9 Forces and there is no longer a distinction between types of Forces apart from special Celestial Aspects, discussed later. Depending on the type of character, a different number of phases are allocated. The number of Celestial Aspects indicated must be bought using some of these phases.


Character Phases Celestial Aspects
PC Mundane 5 0
PC Soldiers and Undead 6 0
PC Remnants 5 0
Saints 7 1
Lower-level Celestials and Spirits 1-7 1
PC Celestials and Spirits 8 2
Celestials and Spirits 10 3
Celestials and Spirits 13 4
Celestials and Spirits 17 5


In Nomine frequently indicates that a character’s Corporeal, Ethereal or Celestial Forces should act as a bonus to certain rolls. In these cases add the character’s number of Celestial Aspects -1 to the roll, with a minimum of a bonus die for those with only 1 Celestial Aspect.


Improvement in In Nomine doesn’t mesh exactly with FATE’s Aspect system. To reflect this, FATE skill ranks are awarded as usual, but when 4 are accumulated they do not automatically award an extra Aspect – this only occurs, as it does in In Nomine, if a being gains a new Force. However, Aspects can be swapped for different Aspects at this point in order to reflect changes to the character even though their Aspect total is capped.


Special Aspects


Celestial Aspect (Celestials, Saints and Spirits Only)

These are compulsory Aspects for all celestials and ethereal spirits, dependant on their total number of Aspects. Every celestial or spirit not a remnant must have at least one Celestial Aspect.


Celestial Aspects reflect the nature of the creature: for angels and demons this means that they reflect the Choir or Band of the celestial, so voluntary and involuntary Aspect invocations should be considered accordingly. Celestial Aspects for spirits would most likely reflect the pantheon they spring from.


The skill ranks from these Aspects are the primary source for the Resonance skill, Sense Symphony skill, and Songs (although not the sole source). In combat the character with the greater Celestial Aspects receives a combat modifier equal to the difference in the combatants’ Celestial Aspects -1, with a minimum of a bonus die.


Superior Aspect

These represent the character’s ties to their Superior. Every character with a Superior should have at least one of these and the number reflects both the importance of the character to the Superior and the degree of interference the character can expect from their Superior. Accordingly, having more than two should be considered carefully for a starting character. Superior Aspects devoted to multiple Superiors is possible, but usually dangerous. These are a plausible source of skill ranks for Attunements and Songs.


Vessel Aspect

This is a compulsory Aspect for all starting characters that need vessels to manifest in the corporeal realm without causing a disturbance to the Symphony. The preternatural toughness of an In Nomine vessel/6 is reflected in FATE by spending skill ranks on vessel-linked Aspects such as Tough. Charisma is handled similarly, as is any trait solely associated with a specific vessel – good looks, unnatural enhancements, and so on. The Vessel Aspect is also the primary source of skill ranks for Roles, which are linked to specific vessels.


Vessels need not be bought as Aspects, but to limit players from buying their characters endless cheap vessels, vessels bought using skill ranks should be disallowed in most cases. Of course, having a vessel as an Aspect means if the character is deprived of it, Fate points are awarded.

Artefact Aspect

Sense Symphony skill allows the owner of an artefact to detect its presence as though celestially attuned to the artefact. Only corporeal artefacts must be bought as an Aspect. The others could be bought solely with skill ranks.


Corporeal: An artefact bought as an Aspect, but with no supernatural powers.

Ethereal: Skill ranks are spent to give the artefact supernatural sub-Aspects, such as Crack Shot for a gun or Infravision for glasses.

Celestial – Relics: An artefact that includes a Song and contains Essence. Each skill rank spent on the relic gives the Song within either one skill level or one Essence to fuel it, up to a maximum of the Essence the Song requires to be sung. For example, 3 skill ranks spent on a relic containing the Song of Thunder could buy the relic Good skill but no Essence or Fair skill and 1 Essence. It couldn’t buy Average skill and 2 Essence as the Song of Thunder only requires 1 Essence.

Celestial – Reliquaries: Each skill rank spent allows the reliquary to hold a point of Essence, up to a maximum of 6. Reliquaries regenerate 1 Essence each day.



Discord is a special kind of Aspect that rarely conveys skill ranks – only when chosen at character creation does Discord bring any other benefits. Otherwise Discord is handled exactly as in standard In Nomine: three points of Dissonance may be traded for a Discord Aspect.






All skills used in challenges should either have a corresponding counter skill or be countered by the opponent’s ability in the same skill – for example hackers compare Computer to Computer skill, while a liar compares his or her Deception skill with the target’s Read People skill.


Agility: Used whenever speed is a factor – sprinting, tumbling, dodging. This can be used in lieu of a combat skill, as described on p.44 of FATE.


Alertness: In addition to generally spotting things, this is used in challenges against Stealth.


Charm: Used for flattery, general sycophancy and seduction. Self-Mastery or Read People are appropriate counter skills.


Deception: Covers lying, bluffs and fast-talking. Used versus Read People in challenges.


Fighting: Used for melee combat, with a separate skill needed for each of the realms: corporeal, ethereal and celestial.


Firearms: Covers all guns, although unusual and unfamiliar weapons, such as heavy weapons, might incur a penalty.


Intimidate: This is a form of social combat and works in the same way as physical combat, albeit the consequences are retreat, coercion and temporary Aspects such as Fear instead of physical wounds. The loser is cowed on a Taken Out result. Usually this is an Intimidate versus Self-Mastery challenge, but could be Intimidate versus Intimidate if both parties are trying to unsettle each other. Presence could also be an effective resistance skill to Intimidate attempts.


Medicine: Used to allay the effects of temporary wound Aspects. An Average success temporarily negates the effects of one temporary Aspect for the current or following scene, while a Fair success is required to remove the temporary Aspect permanently. For each additional temporary wound Aspect the patient has, raise the difficulty one level – so a character with two temporary wound Aspects will be healed of one temporary Aspect permanently on a Good success, and temporarily on a Fair success.


Multiple treatments or better facilities can remove more than one Aspect, while basic First Aid conditions only allow the temporary negation of one temporary wound Aspect. A serious failure could result in the temporary Aspect becoming permanent.


Presence: Making a splash when you enter a room and being noticed – whether as a stunning beauty or someone to respect. Better than Intimidate in many ways because people welcome your authority rather than fear it, but more difficult to direct than Charm. This could be handled as social combat if necessary, following the guidelines found under the Intimidate skill. You use either Presence versus Presence to outshine each other or Presence versus Self-Mastery to win someone over. Suitable consequences for losing such a challenge could be temporary Aspects like Low Self-Confidence or Shame.


Read People: How to spot a liar or to determine a person’s true feelings on a matter.


Resonance: All celestials have this skill, at least at its default of Mediocre. It is used to activate a celestial’s Resonance instead of In Nomine’s Perception or Will. Demonic Resonances are resisted with the Self-Mastery skill in most cases. Apply the following situational modifiers:


Situation Modifier
Physical contact +1
Distant -1
Audio or video reproduction -1


Distant and audio/video reproduction may be cumulative penalties.


Standard difficulty for angelic Resonances is Fair. MoF of 4+ (7+ for challenges) indicate the Resonance is useless for several hours – this is usually a Terrible roll for angelic Resonances.


Also use Resonance to assume celestial form (plus 2 Essence) and to travel from the corporeal realm to the celestial realm and, for a celestial, to and from the ethereal realm. The usual difficulty is Fair.


Role: A celestial’s or spirit’s role enables them to blend in and occasionally prevent their disturbances to the Symphony – the higher the skill, the more worked into the Symphony their role is. If the offending action could conceivably fall under normal actions for a human performing the role (e.g. a policeman shooting a bank robber), then the player rolls using his or her Role skill against a usual difficulty of Fair to Good, varying depending on how ‘in role’ the character is behaving. Role skill also represents knowledge of how to perform authentically while acting in that role.


This skill is only necessary for celestials and spirits and is tied to a specific vessel. High status roles may require additional skill ranks to be spent as extras to act as Aspect-like check boxes when used – for example, Role-dependant wealth.


Self-Mastery: Used in situations requiring resolve – for example, dedication to a boring task or facing one’s fear. Because of its wide application in In Nomine, each level of this skill costs two skill ranks instead of the usual one.


Sense Symphony: Only purchasable by those made aware of the Symphony and defaults to Mediocre if skill ranks aren’t spent. Used to detect disturbances, identify artefacts, and to perceive abnormalities such as celestials in celestial form on Earth.


Stealth: How to move without being heard and hide without being seen. Routinely matched against Alertness in challenges.


Vigour: Represents a character’s overall physical fitness and stamina and is used for long-distance running, swimming, feats of exertion, and so on.






In most cases the difficulty to cast a Song is Fair.


Songs are bought like skills with the exception that they are not part of the skill pyramid and are bought as part of their own skill column, as described in FATE p.35. Songs of the same type, e.g. the corporeal Song of Form and the ethereal Song of Form, are considered grouped: when a skill rank is spent on a new Song that is part of the same group, take the highest known skill -2 or Average as the proficiency, whichever is greater. The new Songs must still form part of a balanced Song column, however.


For example, with the celestial Song of Form at Superb level both the other Songs of Form can be bought at Good level for one skill rank each, provided the Song column can support this. This advantage replaces the In Nomine increase to check digit.


Use the following guidelines for performance requirements:


Song Ability Performance Requirements
Average Hand motions and vocal performance
Fair Physical or verbal rituals required
Good As above, or mental invocation if activated the following round
Great + Mental invocation only


Some Songs, such as the ethereal Song of Dreams, give bonuses to subsequent rolls. Use the following table to determine the bonus awarded:


MoS Subsequent Bonus
0 – 1 Bonus die
2 -3 + 1
4 + + 2


It isn’t worth converting every song from In Nomine to FATE. For the most part conversion is fairly simple.


Charm: This gives the target a temporary Aspect depending on the realm of the Song: corporeal gives either a Weak or Clumsy Aspect; ethereal gives a Slow-Witted or Distracted Aspect; celestial a Weak-Willed or Oblivious Aspect. If the target has unchecked opposites of these Aspects, such as Strong, check these Aspects as if they had been voluntarily invoked instead. A MoS of 4+ awards two such temporary Aspects to the target. All three types affect the target for a scene.


Entropy (Ethereal): A form of combat with the victim gaining Terror temporary Aspects instead of physical injury. Match the Song level versus the target’s Self-Mastery, with extra Essence spent boosting the attack, as normal.


Form: Corporeal just gives the ‘superior armour’ bonus and is superior to any mundane personal armour. Ethereal is a dynamic test between the Song level and the observer’s Alertness, with a +1 situation modifier in combat, even if spotted.


Harmony: Corporeal is very like the Songs of Charm. Ethereal requires a dynamic test of Self-Mastery versus the Song level to take violent action.


Healing: Each performance now costs 2 Essence and wipes away one temporary Aspect appropriate to the Song’s realm per performance, two with an MoS of 4+. With celestial damage, this means temporarily lost Aspects can be restored, but the Song is useless if the damage is permanent.


Motion (Celestial): At Average skill, range equals MoS x 2 metres, with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 8. Multiply the distance by 10 for each Song level above Average.

Numinous Corpus: these require no roll to activate and are bought like an Extra that costs 1 Essence to activate. They automatically rate as ‘superior weapons’ against any mundane weapon. The Numinous Corpus can be bought multiple times to increase its potency and unusual manifestations, tentacles for example, can be represented by appropriate sub-Aspects. The number of skill ranks spent is treated as Song skill level for the purposes of determining their effect on the Song column.






Choir or Band Attunements of the celestial’s own Choir or Band are free. Choir or Band Attunements of other Choirs or Bands cost 2 skill ranks and Servitor Attunements cost 3 skill ranks to purchase.


Unlike in the In Nomine rules, in most cases Attunements require a Resonance roll to succeed, either at difficulty of Fair for angelic, perceptive Attunements, or in a challenge against the target’s Self-Mastery for dominating, demonic Attunements. Examples are Gabriel’s Attunements (excluding Malakim) and the Balseraph and Djinn Attunements of Malphas.


When an Attunement indicates the character’s corporeal, ethereal or celestial Forces are to act as a bonus, use the character’s Celestial Aspect -1 as the new bonus, with a minimum of a bonus die.




For the most part conversion between In Nomine and FATE is straight forward and is explained under the Resonance skill description. If using the additional rules from the Angelic and Infernal Players’ Guides, halve any target modifiers.


Calabim: In the corporeal realm the challenge is Resonance versus Vigour and the Calabim’s Resonance normally counts as a superior weapon unless faced by something supernatural, such as Numinous Corpus: in this case neither side is usually considered to possess a superior weapon.


Habbalah: Inflicts the appropriate Aspect on the target for the duration. An MoS of 7+ indicates two temporary Aspect levels are inflicted. If enhancing existing emotions make a Resonance roll of difficulty Good. If successful lower the target’s MoS by the Habbalite’s Celestial Forces -1 (minimum a penalty die).


Shedim: The bonus for a check digit exceeding the target’s resistance changes: if the MoS is 1, no bonus; 2-4 +1 bonus die; 5-6 +1; 7+ +2. The reverse is true if the host notices the Shedite (Read People versus Deception).


Lilim: The MoS of the Lilim’s Resonance roll indicates the strength of the Geas. The strength indicates the complexity of the favour required and the difficulty for the Geased individual to resist the Lilim calling in the Geas – which is a Self-Mastery static test. If the individual fails, every time the Geas duration is exceeded the individual suffers 1 Dissonance if a celestial or a temporary Geas Aspect which acts like a curse of bad luck if a non-celestial. If they succeed, the Lilim incurs Dissonance but can try again in a few days, although this time the Geased individual needs to beat a difficulty two levels less than before. Remember that Geas are a form of ethereal Discord and penalise Resonance rolls as usual.


MoS Geas Strength
0 Average
1 Fair
2 Good
3 Great
4 Superb

Impudite: A Cherub, Elohite, Kyriotate or Mercurian spots a ‘sucking’ Impudite using their Resonance skill.


Ofanim: Their Resonance usually helps with subsequent checks – use the following chart to ascertain the bonus:


MoS Bonus
0 – 1 Bonus die
2 – 3 + 1
4 + + 2


A MoF of 4+ generates Dissonance. If trying to increase corporeal movement (Angelic Players’ Guide), failure incurs a temporary wound Aspect.


Cherub: The Self-Sacrifice option from the Angelic Players’ Guide is an Agility skill roll, usually with difficulty of Fair.


All other celestials have fairly self-explanatory Resonances using the FATE rules.






Superior Celestial Forces

In combat, the character with the greater Celestial Aspects receives a combat modifier equal to the difference in the combatants’ Celestial Forces -1, with a minimum of a bonus die.


Ethereal Combat

Just like corporeal combat except that ‘death’ means unconsciousness, ejection from the ethereal realm and gaining one permanent ethereal Discord Aspect.


Celestial Combat

Unlike usual combat, the loser does not gain temporary Aspects with Injured or Taken Out results but instead loses Forces (Aspects). On an Injured result a celestial temporarily loses a random Aspect per Injured box checked. On a Taken Out they permanently lose one Aspect and temporarily lose another. Unlike usual combat, celestial combat does not end when one side is Taken Out: the -2 penalty remains, but each level worse than Taken Out reduces another two Aspects, one permanent and one temporary Aspect, until the character has no Aspects left, whether temporarily reduced or not, and is finally destroyed.


Skills and Extras associated with the permanently lost Aspects are also immediately lost, and if all Celestial Aspects are lost the celestial becomes a remnant. A character suffering from temporary loss of Aspects cannot spend any more skill ranks until they are sufficiently healed to balance out their Aspect/skill rank ratio of 1 Aspect per 4 skill ranks spent.


Automatic Weapons

SMGs and the like allow the firer to attack multiple times. In most cases they allow an additional target to be attacked or 4dF to be rolled twice against a single target, keeping the higher role. They do not automatically count as superior weapons – assess this based on factors such as calibre and range.




With the exception of using Essence to boost a roll, Essence is used more or less as it is in In Nomine. Using FATE, Essence spent increases the chances of success as follows:


Essence Spent Bonus
1 bonus die
2 + 1
4 + 2
8 + 3
16 + 4


In a challenge both characters are informed whether the other character is spending Essence, although they shouldn’t know how much. Find the difference between the two characters’ secret Essence bids and apply the bonus from the table above to the character that spent the most.




Symphonic Disturbance


Symphonic disturbance is detected by the Sense Symphony skill, rolled in a static test against a difficulty relating to the strength of the disturbance. Overall the system below should be simpler than the one found in In Nomine, which is a little unwieldy for my tastes.


First determine the disturbance’s base difficulty. If there are multiple sources of disturbance, add the number in parenthesis to the lowest difficulty.


Disturbance Source Base Detection Difficulty
Low-disturbance Song (check digit)* Fair (-1)
Medium-disturbance Song(X Forces x 2)* Average (-2)
High-disturbance Song(check digit + total Forces)* Mediocre (-3)
Entering/Leaving the Corporeal Realm Fair – 1 per Celestial Aspect (-(1+1 per Aspect))
Superior Appearance - Corporeal Terrible (-5)
Superior Appearance - Celestial Abysmal (-6)
Injury to a Living Being Fair (-1)
Killing a Living Being Mediocre (-3)
Killing a Human Terrible (-5)
Spending 1-3 Essence Fair (-1)


  • This disturbance includes the minimum Essence spent – only decrease the difficulty if additional Essence is spent to boost the Song.


Then apply the following modifiers:


Circumstance Detection Modifier
Every 3 Extra Essence Spent - 1
Same Room as Source (0-5 m) + 0
Same Building as Source (5-50 m) + 1
Same Area as Source (50-200 m) + 2
200-1,000 m + 3
1-5 km + 4
5-20 km + 5
20-100 km + 6


The type of information detected is based on the MoS:


Margin of Success Information
0 Direction of disturbance
1 Direction and magnitude
2 Direction, magnitude and general nature
3 Direction, magnitude, general nature and distance
4 + Detailed description of the event, naming Songs, skills, etc.


I decided not to bother working out a system for echoes and instead just use what feels right.


Detecting a celestial in celestial form is a Great difficulty static test, with the difficulty modified as follows:


Circumstance Modifier to Difficulty
Per Celestial Aspect of target -1
Observer in celestial form -1
Target leaving a mortal host -1






When a character rolls a natural +4 or -4 intervention occurs. The intervention is from the opposition on a -4, the character’s own side on a +4.




Dissonance is accumulated, lost and handled exactly as in In Nomine, even using 3d6 to determine whether an angel falls or a demon acquires Discord. Fate points and Aspect invocation cannot be used to influence Dissonance rolls.


Dissonance penalises Resonance rolls as follows:


Dissonance Penalty
1 1 penalty die
2 - 1
3 - 1 and 1 penalty die
4 - 2
5 - 2 and 1 penalty die
6 - 3


Invoking Superiors


Invoking Superiors requires a roll of Average or better. The invoking character’s base chance depends on the Superior’s Chance of Invocation:


In Nomine Chance of Invocation Base Chance
0 Abysmal
1-2 Terrible
3-4 Poor


Halve the bonus of the In Nomine listed invocation modifiers and subtract them from the difficulty and also apply the universal modifiers here:


Circumstance Modifier to Base Chance
Superior is not Celestial’s own* - 4
Futile demands - 1
Less than a day since last invocation - 2
Less than a week - 1
Less than a month Penalty die
Over a year Bonus die
Vessel at risk of death + 1
At a Tether to the Superior invoked + 2
Vassal/Knight of Superior Bonus die
Friend/Captain of Superior + 1
Master/Baron of Superior + 2
Word bound + 2
In presence of enemy Celestials + 1
In presence of enemy Superior + 2


*Unless on a mission for, or hold an Attunement to, that Superior



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