Nobilis Small Steps

Game Masters
Game Information
  • Created Feb 19 '09
  • Last Post Mar 12 '09 at 4:57am
  • Status Aborted
  • System Homebrew

Game Description

Nobles are beings of mythical power, immense responsibility, and possibly capricious whimsy. They have been entrusted with the care of one of Creation's fundaments, Fire or Strength or Stone, Love or Fuel or Weapons. While their overlords, the enigmatic Imperators, defend all of Creation against enemies from beyond the Weirding Wall, the Nobles they create must ensure the survival and prosperity of their Estates and navigate the treacherous ground of the Society of Flowers, making enemies and allies, occasionally both at once.

They do all this so that rain may fall on the good and bad alike, that all may prosper, or suffer, and survive. Some Nobles are Bright, or owe Allegiance to Heaven; others are Dark, or swear fealty to Hell; some of them are Wild, knowing no mastery save that of their own wills, while others hold to Codes stranger still. One Code they hold in common: the Code Fidelitas, laid down by the bloody-handed Lord. They must not love. They must do no harm to the innocent. They must tolerate no defiance, insult, or superiority from their inferiors - and all mortals are inferior to the potency of a Noble. They can offer no Power protection from Lord Entropy's justice. They owe allegiance to their Imperators before the War, and the War before themselves.

Nobles are capable of - and required to perform - great deeds. Their voices can shatter mountains; their love can shatter souls.

But they are also capable of - and invariably are responsible for - small ones. A kindly touch, a cruel word, all constitute an integral part of the Nobles' existence.

Here, we shall examine them.Nobilis is the closest thing to a god-game I'm aware of. Players take charge of elemental Estates, and the system imposes no moral judgement on their actions. The Viscount of Evil might be a perfectly nice man who suffers daily in the execution of his duties; the Power of Healing might be a psychotic sadomasochist, who sees his work as a necessary but distasteful part of the further pursuit of his pleasures. This combination of immense power and flimsy accountability makes for an intoxicating elixir, to which I must confess myself addicted.

While the game lends itself well to epic deeds, it also encourages attention to minutiae. Players must conduct themselves at all times like Nobles. They cannot speak words of affection, even in passing, to those close to them, for such words are weapons in the wrong hands. They must punish those who offer them insolence, be they a treasured ally or random mortal. The Code makes the execution of their duties hard; it makes their daily lives harder.

My interest is in allowing players to explore the personal and occasionally insignificant aspects of Noble life as well as pursuing their epic destinies. As such, I'll be conducting the campaign as a series of 'small steps': potentially episodic narratives that have as little or as much to do with one another as is helpful and appropriate.

I hope that it will be fun to play and even more fun to run!

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