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Could someone sum up briefly (or provide a link to a similarly brief summary of), please, the metaplot of Engel, a German-language RPG (whose English translation was published by one of White Wolf's studios until its rather early cancellation)?

Years ago I read (though never played) the Corebook, Dreamseed and Pandoramicum, and would now be interested in a brief summary of what happened / has been revealed in the rest of the German product line published after these three books. (I'd gladly buy the books and read them myself, but I do not speak German, unfortunately.)

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The German wikipedia page has some more info than the English one, but nothing resembling a metaplot, just a summary. –  migo Mar 18 '11 at 10:41
    
When I first heard of this German game Engel, I thought it was a philosophical RPG based on the works of Friedrich Engels. Maybe it reveals some prejudices I had about the German gaming industry. ;) –  Jakob Aug 7 '11 at 9:27
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I added a bounty because while Jakob's answer is good, I'd love to see a real answer that didn't require me to go hit Google Translate. If anyone manages to write an English summary of the metaplot within the next 12-15 hours, I will give them the bounty. <=) –  Adam Dray Aug 13 '11 at 23:08
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Man I wish they had kept making this in English... –  mirv120 Dec 14 '13 at 6:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I found a German-language timeline of the setting's metaplot. It's far too long to recount here, but the part of the timeline that describes events since the beginning of the game is fairly short. Since I don't know anything about the setting I'm afraid I can't summarize even that part for you. However, a Google translation should give you a pretty good overview. Judging from older copies in the Internet Archive, the timeline has been expanded greatly since the release of the game.

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Most of the answers are actually in the core book, but they're buried in the bits of fiction and flavor write-up sections about the world: basically the Infernos are massive nanotech factories that scour the biomass of the earth and convert it into living weapons--the dreamseed.

The Engel are in fact the same children the grim riders tithe from communities throughout Europa. They are taken to underground facilities beneath Roma Aeterna and are converted into Engel, space marine style--muscle is grafted in, wings are bult on. The whole time the kids are drugged and brainwashed into forgetting their old lives and believing they are angels. The final part of the process is they are tattooed with a special nanotech ink that imbues them with potestae.

So long as they stay loyal they are fed mana from heaven--a foodstuff laced with drugs inhibiting physical development, instilling feelings of bliss and confidence, and making them suggestible. As soon as they are away for any length of time they start suffering withdrawl, which they are taught equates to losing their grace. They begin to mature physically and their wings go from white to whatever color their hair is--becoming dark Engel. Any engel who come to question the church are returned to "heaven" which is really a big incinerator in the lowest levels of the himmel.

There you go.

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I've upvoted your answer, because it can be useful to new GMs of Engel, however this is not the info I was looking for. These are the core secrets, which are, as you yourself have said, included in the core book. The metaplot is the official, grandiose story the writers/publishers are telling through their sequential publications. See (SPOILERS!): the Death Star is a huge space station capable of destroying entire planets, Vader is a cyborg ex-jedi turned evil, etc, but how the former gets destroyed and the latter saved by his rebel son over, etc, is the metaplot... –  OpaCitiZen Apr 14 at 7:22

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