Nobilis: Persistence

Introduction

N:P is an attempt at conceiving a monstrous hybrid of PbP and LARP type playstyles into something self-governing with the hope of building a persisting game/community around the Nobilis mechanics and setting. It is an effort to coordinate multiple stories and scenes and lifepaths around or through a centralized canon that will develop over time.

This specific instance of this attempt relies on the structure of the RPG.net forums and will utilize under-utilized things like thread tags, subscriptions, polls, attachments, and other things with the notion of organizing an inherently disorganized style of play. The wiki at nobilis.me should come in handy as well.

In practice, this will be a game spanning multiple threads and populated by twenty or more participants. The proceedings will be loosely organized within varying hierarchies.

Tempering the Nobilis Third Edition Source Material

For 95% of what's going on, a simple copy of Nobilis Third Edition will suffice (Eos Press, Kindle/E-Reader, Amazon). Any references to rules or facts originating from that source or its appendices should consult the original works. Our intention is to complement and not undermine the existence of the progenitor!

We'll also drag the noble spirit of the Sovereign Powers LARP supplement into a dark alley and do unsightly things to it but a majority of the insight for this manner of play will be coming from other grass roots attempts with other projects.

Modifications to the Base Rule Set

Meta: Governance and Running the Game

A few participants are noted as the Hyacinth Gods who coordinate major story arcs or weave together many storylines into several intersections. There should be two or three but never one. If they take form in the game itself they may be members of the Locus Court or heavy hitters for the sake of needing heavy hitters.

Other participants will play Imperators (Mimics and/or full Excrucians too) while running the game for a Familia or set of players. In essence, they are the initial concept of Hollyhock Gods in Nobilis and collectively they may be referred to as such. Hollyhock Gods should stick with leading groups on a singular side of the Creation/Excrucian fence so that the efforts of Excrucians in particular may be coordinated to greater effect. Imperators also vet new character sheets for the Avatars they lead which will be up for a double-check by Hyacinth Gods. There should be one per four to six Avatars.

Protagonists and antagonists composed of Nobles or Excrucians will make up the remainder of the player-base as Avatars. They pretty much act at the same level as a traditional game of Nobilis. A certain level of ignorance toward the goings on of the Hyacinth and Hollyhock Gods should be maintained.

NPCs and Anchors may be played by participants at any level. Exchanging the playing of one another's Anchors or familiar NPCs should be encouraged; it could even be rewarded with nominal amounts of Personal Destiny.

Modification: Free Agency

Recent events have resculpted the nature of the Spirit Realm and the balance between Realities.

Whatever grave assault damaged the nature of Realities has also cut away the innate bond between Imperators and their Nobles. The Ymera can instill beings with the nature of their Estates but lack the defined spiritual bond that preceded the world-shaking event.

In effect, Nobles can claim any willing Imperator as *their* Imperator by proposing an Oath of temporary servitude. Like candles on a moonlit night the Ymera yearn to draw in the moth-like wanderings of the Nobilis and fulfill the empty places that now reside in their hearts. A Ymera can be made especially content by acquiring Oaths from the Nobles of its own Estate (they are 'native' to that Ymera).

It requires 1 MP from a Noble to create the link (sign the contract or whatever the Prosaic recourse may be) or break it. An Imperator must also contribute 1 MP to form the link unless that Noble is native to that Imperator in which case it is free. The Imperator can shed any non-native link for 0 MP but must pay 1 MP to shed native links. These are all treated as normal actions.

Forming an Oath with an Imperator grants a 3-point Gift or 2-point combination of Bonds/Afflictions specific to that Imperator for the duration of their loyalty. This alteration to their spiritual form is recognized as that Imperator's Favor - any use of that Favor would give away the status of their Oath to those who recognize the Favor.

An Imperator may work Ghost Miracles of any Estate they are linked to by their contracted Nobles for 0 MP.

Imperators may only contract up to five Nobles at one time. Nobles are under no obligation to form Oaths but gain some benefit from it in the form of the Imperator's Favor.

New: Momentum / Inertia

A certain amount of scarification between the Mythic/Prosaic dichotomy now impedes wide-spread miracles.

'Momentum' is a new quality to miracles like Edge or Penetration. This quality affects the range of miracles - global effects like Level 5+ miracles are now damped to more local yet still potent effects without the expenditure of Momentum.

Avatars possess a pool of 5 Momentum points which are spent like MP. However, the Momentum is only depleted when it is successfully used.

'Inertia' is a global property of the game itself: it is in a sense the Auctoritas that resists massive book-keeping nightmares. Its value varies as it is needed but ranges from 4 (worthless) to 14 (absolute). Any miracle cast whose Miracle Level + Momentum Spent does not exceed the current Inertia is restricted only to the immediate area of the effect for its duration. If Inertia rises above the Miracle Level + Momentum Spent for an enduring effect then it is restricted to current location of its epicenter until the miracle expires.

Imperial Miracles and Words of Command automatically get 3 bonus Momentum applied. An Imperator's Imperial Miracle may receive 3 to 5 bonus Momentum instead.

A miracle may only have up to 5 Momentum.

New: Prime Locations and Thread Structure

To begin the game, each participant may designate one location with Creation as a Prime Location by granting it primacy. During the addition of new players each may also contribute a Prime Location through the power of their enNoblement, first Riding, or other powerful introduction.

Imperators should designate Chancels, Nobles can have sanctuaries or Anchored locations, and Excrucians can dictate the place of attacks or whatever they fancy. Making a random hotdog stand into a Prime Location is perfectly fine and it'll be the most important hotdog stand in Creation. Prime Locations are where big things happen, they are the center stage for main story arches and such.

There may be a few default Prime Locations like Heaven, Hell, Along the World Ash, or the Locus Court.

Stories in Prime Locations are handled differently than non-designated places. Each Prime Location has a central thread which contains any storyline passing through it. If you are in Chicago Prime then you move your posting to the Chicago Prime thread; when you leave a Prime location you go back to the thread of your Imperator for handling adventures in non-specific places.

Multiple groups can be working in a single generic location, say a specific city. If the location isn't Prime then each group experiences separate instances of that city - they may intertwine if they make the effort to meet up but whatever happens to Group A in City X doesn't have to happen to Group B in City X. Imperators will run Imperator-specific threads for anything happening to their Avatars outside of Prime Locations.

If City X is Prime then everyone there is experiencing it collaboratively within a single, universal instance of it and they use a single thread.

The Prime status also means that the location is in as real-time as possible without holding up others. Recollection/memories/time travel and anything else not contemporary to what's going on in a Prime Location defaults back to the Imperator's non-specific thread but it inevitably collapses back into what's happening in the now (all off-chances consumed by Paradox Beasts or Chronocryptic Gnats).

Modification: Destiny / Character Advancement

Modification: Flurries

Clarification: Cooperative Miracles

Cooperative miracles, the casting of multiple miracles into a single powerful miracle, may be performed to increase Penetration but not Miracle Level.

For a given turn, all parties must cast miracles of the same level and designate one main Avatar to direct the effect; the main Avatar uses their Bonds/Afflictions/etc to modify the miracle as normal. Each additional participant beyond the main Avatar grants +1 Penetration (up to +5) that may be used in place of any Bonds.

All participants in a cooperative miracle take one Serious Wound that is not affected by effects like Durant or Immortal.

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