Nephilim was a short lived game from Chaosium about disembodied spirits who can only interact with the physical word by possessing living beings. The Nephilim itself is made up of a combination of elemental energies. These energies both enhance the physical attributes of their simulcra,(the human bodies they possess) and allow them to manipulate this energy to perform magic.
Nephilim are effectivly immortal thanks to an artifact each owns called a stasis. If the Nephilim’s physical body is killed, the stasis attempts to draw the Nephilim in to it, from where the Nephilim can later be released. It is possible however for a Nephilim to resist the pull of their statis, and immediately incarnate into a new host. With out a stasis, a Nephilim would cease to be when their body is killed.
Nephilim are not completely indestructable however. A form of magic energy called Orichalka destroys the other elements it come in contact with. Humans who know of Nephilim and fear them, have learned to forge weapons impregnated with Orichalka. A Nephilim struck by such a weapon is wounded both in body and in soul.
Nephilim seek a higher form of existence known as Agartha. Whether it is a physical place, and alternate universe, or simply a heightened state of awareness is greatly debated. Nephilim pursue this goal in secret, for while humanity does not share the Nephilim’s immortality, they have created secret societies that pass on occult knowledge from generation to generation, and many of these societies see Nephilim as a threat that must be destroyed.
The game as written was designed to be played in modern times, with the PCs past lives determined by dice roles in character creation. I ran a short lived campaign back in the 90s, but was unhappy with it. One of the issues was that it was hard for the players to get into the midset of being a half human, half immortal entity that has lived for thousands of years. So on my second attempt to run the game I decided to actually start in antiquity, and have the campaign play out the PCs previous lives. Its become a far greater undertaking than I expected. As of this writing, the campaign is nearly 10 years old. We started around 2800 B.C. and are currently in the year AD 1125.
History buffs can have a field day pointing our the errors and anachronisms in the historical events. Some of it is due to dramatic license, the rest is due to poor research on my part. I won’t point out which is which. Just remember: its a game, not a documentary.