There you are, all popped out of your stasis, in your spiffy new body, in some city newer than your last incarnation, living out some insane science fiction dream. One minute you were being skewered by Templars in the late 15th century and next thing you know, you’re standing on the streets of New York (or Atlanta or LA or San Francisco or Seattle…) Things are weird but it’s better than being held in suspended animation in your Babylonian sword. Speaking of your stasis…
… where is it, exactly?
You didn’t think you were waking up in a new Simulacrum with it in your hand, did you?
Right off the bat, you have yourself a problem. Or, more to the point, a set of problems.
1. Your Stasis is not sitting around in a convenient, low security location.
Babylonian swords don’t hang around waiting for Babylonians to come along and sword with them. That sword is a precious cultural relic that goes for millions at auction. It’s either sitting in a museum, in a private collection, or in an archeological dig. And if you didn’t just wake in a Simulacrum in Iraq — which would have it’s own fascinating set of problems — it’s in a museum or a collection. And you’ve got to find out which one it is, in the middle of an unfamiliar city, in an unfamiliar century, full of unfamiliar stuff.
You’re going to need some serious help.
2. You’ve got to get the crew together.
You cannot possibly be the only Nephilim in this God forsaken century and in this stinking, loud, insane city. There must be other Nephilim wandering through the dark, strange, and Starbucky places, those places where the occult and the hobo codes meet. And interesting enough, other Nephilim do wander the same occulty gatherings hoping to bump into other Nephilim. Wouldn’t it be fortuitous if you happened to meet Nephilim you knew?
Along the way, picking up some of the gossip about the various Arcana is helpful. Who is fighting with whom? And who has the Tower stabbed lately? How have things changed since you last walked the Earth?
But now you have a few… not so much friends as Nephilim with some plans in common (for now) so now it’s time to locate your Stasis.
3. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s being held by the damned Templars.
With the help of a crazed Chariot Angel with his head wired and plugged into the Internet while he does some strange ‘net-based Alchemy you hardly comprehend, you locate your stasis. You didn’t think it was far away: it’s in a swank expensive location owned, as you find out after some serious research and casing of the joint, a prominent Templar. A Templar who believes a Good Nephilim is a Dead Nephilim. The kind of Templar who has guards and security systems and friends.
Good thing you and your friends uncover an upcoming gala/an antiques auction/a huge benefit at a local museum where lots of people will be around the stasis. You and your friends can maybe sneak in with a few well-applied spells and summonings and waltz out with the Babylonian Sword in hand and a few other occult and highly mystical trinkets.
4. Getting it has some operational issues.
Not only is the Stasis well guarded, a Babylonian Sword doesn’t slip into a convenient pocket. Getting it out of the gala/benefit/giant well guarded fortress without riling up the Templar who owns it — and knows what it is — isn’t going to be easy. It will take planning, and prepping spells, and intelligence. And even then, something always goes wrong. Because that’s what happens. It goes wrong.
Even if the crew gets out of the Heist with the Stasis in hand and only a minimum of complete mayhem and a smallish body count, it will leave a pissed off Templar in their wake. A Templar who knows Nephilim are running around. And he wants them dead… before they interfere with his plans. Maybe for World Domination! But maybe also just for pie.
Nephilim can be run as a full on Occult Heist game. Stasis, Athanors, Focii, Secret Mystical Tomes, Freeing Homunculi, foiling ancient enemies… Nephilim, as an underground occult street species breaking reality for fun and profit, are natural thieves, hackers and grifters. The world is full of stuff to steal, enemies to rob, and marks to screw. Nephilim don’t turn to the temporal human authorities to follow through on their plans. Instead they break into houses, run savage burns on marks, and sneak off into the night with the new magic book full of the secrets of the Higher Planes of Summoning in hand.
A fantastic source for inspiration in running Heist games is the Leverage RPG. Sure, this is a direct plug of a pretty good game. Also, the chapter on running the game has a great flow for building Heists in general. Nephilim are made for Heist games. And for Nephilim, the Mark? He’s probably some god damned Templar.
(I could add much more on this subject but this post is already getting long.)