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A Game of Greater Powers

What is Nobilis?

Reprinted from R. Sean Borgstrom's Nobilis page, who summarizes it far better than I can.

Nobilis is a diceless roleplaying game. In it, you play one-time humans who guard the concepts that define the world. You serve a great spirit, called an Imperator. You govern a pocket universe created by that Imperator. You venture into the outside world to fight a behind-the-scenes war for the fate of Creation.

Nobilis focuses more on social interaction than combat. Even in the war, most battles concern themselves with a handful of human destinies, rather than violence and raw power. The anti-miracles employed by Creation's enemies makes a loss on these battlefields a blow against reality. Outside the war, characters spend their time engaging in politics within the supernatural society, managing the affairs of their pocket universe's inhabitants, and protecting the interests of their mortal loved ones. The system provides support to make all of these activities interesting.

Characters in this game operate at a very high power level. Experienced characters or characters with a strong leaning towards one flavor of power can change the whole world in a matter of moments. Mortal antagonists are virtually nonexistent, and most supernatural beings in the world are comparatively insignificant. However, characters have a limited supply of "miraculous" energy and must often conceal their powers to avoid harming the humans around them. Moreover, the principal antagonists equal or exceed the characters' competence.

What is this website?

This site serves two functions:

Its primary purpose is to serve as advice and guidance for players in my Nobilis game. This is a place where they can come and learn about Noble society and the cosmology of Creation, when I'm not available to discuss it with them.

In addition to that, a secondary purpose for this site is to provide other Nobilis GMs and players with some thoughts, inside, and possibly resources for their Nobilis games. If you fall into this category, I highly recommend that you read my house rules -- a few small but significant changes that I've made for my Nobilis games. If you like any of my house rules, please feel free to steal them; they're intended to be a resource for you as well.

What can be found within?

Knowledge useful for any player...

Everything You Wish You Never Knew About Reality: An atlas of creation and the Imperators that embody it

Of Dark Law and Darker Truth: The ruling Council of the Nobilis and the Codes they require you to live by

I Transcended Existence and All I Got Was This T-Shirt: Guidelines to creating your Noble, with some very basic rules to do so

For the Noble Who Has Everything: New, interesting Gifts, created by authors from around the Internet

Resources designed for, but not exclusive to, gamemasters...

Character Reference Sheet (MS Word format): A companion to the character sheet, this page covers what miracles the Noble can perform and their cost, along with a few indepensible Rites (note that my "Realm" house rule appears on this sheet, but can be easily edited out)

Gamemaster Reference Sheet (MS Word format): A quick reference guide to all the important tables in the Great White Book (created by White Crow and Jonathan Walton)

Official Nobilis Forms: Just in case you weren't aware, Guardians of Order has many Nobilis PDFs available on their site (new window)

What happens next?

No, this question is for you, reader -- I've answered enough of them.

What happens next?

There's a woman in Arkansas. She's having the galaxy tattooed onto her arm. The tattoo artist is asleep, but he's still going. He's put on most of the galaxy, and it's beautiful, and perfect, and real, but there's a shadow on the stars. He's starting to tattoo in the thing that casts that shadow.

The phone rings. He startles. He blinks. He's impressed by what he's done so far, but he can't imagine where he was going.

He's lucky.

From The Lucky Ones, R. Sean Borgstrom

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