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As mentioned before [personal profile] peaseblossom and I are running a 1:1 Nobilis game, He's the GM, I'm the Player. We're doing this as a podcast which is fun, though I must be honest I'm not so great at that part.

A listing of the episodes so far:

Episode 1The God GangThe God Gang: Recap
Episode 2The Feathered SerpentThe Feathered Serpent: Recap
Episode 3Punching Out Fires 

I recently posted our social contract.

I am pretty excited to do this. It feels different than past 1:1 games we've done together. We're keeping it to an hour because we aren't sure anyone would want to listen to anything longer, so feedback is definitely appreciated.

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The last time I posted even regularly on live journal it was when [personal profile] peaseblossom and I last played Nobilis seriously. We have decided that this is a game we want to play together again 1:1 and as such I have decided to resurrect the medium.

Why Nobilis? Good question. Jess and I haven't done a lot of serious roleplaying in a while. Don't get me wrong, we've told lots of stories to each other but they've lacked the formality that moves it into a roleplaying session. We've decided that it would be fun to try this again, and then we started brainstorming systems.

To be honest neither of us are all that into current game design. We're both about 4-5 years behind so our options were limited (Nobilis, Gumshoe, and whatever older games might have survived the great rpg cull). At the end we came down to a NBA style game (Frankenstein files cries out to be told) and Nobilis and Nobilis was just the best choice for both os us.

Jess is still debating estates. One we have that we will sit down and plan the world.
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Some key Individuals

Roxanne, Power of Photography: our protagonist

Time: Time’s an androgyne and not on the same timeline as everyone else. Which makes hir seem like a scatterbrain, but they aren’t. Time is fascinated by creating little alternate realities, in snow globes. It seems to treat them as bonsai-like art forms. Most others don’t get it. Hu is Roxanne’s sibling.

Elena, Power Resonate: Roxanne’s other sibling. She dwells in a night club where the dream forms of important 20th and 21st century artists/musicians/thinkers mix and mingle. The first time Roxanne met her she was watching a performance of Coltrane, Gillespie, Hendrix and someone who is currently 5 perform some very out-there Jazz.

Jason, Power Thunder: Arrogant and thousands of years old. He claims to have been born in Thule. He’s a pretty boy and seems to know everyone and everything. He is sibling to Max.

Max Ernst, Power of Signifiers: He’s from Babylon, or something. Less arrogant than his sibling they may have been lovers at some point. Might still be. He’s a player and a manipulator and a powerful sorcerer. He also strives for an apocalypse. But only his apocalypse. He doesn’t like other’s. He’s only started wanting an apocalypse in the last 60 years.

The ErlKing: King of the Los Angeles Fae. He’s dangerous.

Llewleyn: Master thief and scion of a noble house of the fae. Past lover of the ErlKing. Irreverent and probably a little too influenced by movies of the rat pack. And Hudson Hawk.
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[ profile] peaseblossom and I have been running a Nobilis game with the numbers field off and its probably past time I detailed the basics of cosmology a little more. This is incredibly rough.

The Cosmos (Creation/Universe/Stuff-where-we-live) can be thought of as a large n-dimension medium, sort of like water, sort of like gas. Let’s call it Aether (mainly because I’m a sucker for the term). Somewhere far away from us is a light source. Call that the point of creation, the Source, or even anthropomorphize that as a creator. It is not the only light source, there are others, but it’s the brightest and most important (the other light sources will become important later).

The light is possibility. As it travels through the aether and interacts with it in several ways (and not exclusively just one).

When the light refracts it changes. Sometimes like a prism, other times like a lens, and even in other ways. This refines, enhances, and changes properties; usually in ways that refine the possibilities of the light. Some of these have a type of sentience (it’s highly possible that everything has a some sort of sentience). The way the rays of light act on the aether often self-generates these (there are probably other factors involved, call it gravity or quantum flux or what have you) and so the rays pass through one, are transformed, pass through another, are refined, etc. The ones closest to us are Patrons/Imperators.

There are some places where the aether coalesces, usually because they are nexus of many, many strands of transformed light. These opaque places take on the colors of the light and are worlds. Many worlds take spherical or platonic solid shapes. Many have tails. These tails are many-world/timelines/branching-worlds. Often they have multiple tails. Sometimes they shed smaller selves.

Transformed light from the imperators can coalesce on a given world. These are the powers. Differentiated rays of light from the same light are considered siblings.
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[ profile] peaseblossom and I have been playing, for a while, long road to when, our Nobilis game. A bunch of things have happened --go and look at her write-ups if you are interested.

One of the many things that happened during the game was her character gaining a secondary estate so here's the write-up.

The estate of the Purple Thought covers a deep reverie of decadence that leads to renewed energy, vigor and life. This estate covers a senescence so deep that from it comes a deep and true creativity so powerful that it can penetrate the secrets of reality. This estate covers aspects of sexuality, inspiration and the arts.

The Imperator of this estate, Itari hails from the world of the Ten Thousand Orchids. This world is inhabited by a graceful race of intelligent, humanoid, flowers. As such this is an understanding of life that can be very difficulty for outsiders to grasp, most can only understands two of its aspects: the decadence and the naked sexuality; and the inspiration that forms community. But to truly understand the Purple Thought one much capture the inter-textuality between the two.

Miracle chart )
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From the old Lexicon of the Lost 500 Years (I should really figure out a way to host that again someday). Included here for reference and thought in my current Nobilis game

Read more... )
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So [ profile] peaseblossom and I have been playing our Nobilis game, a long road to when, she has some summaries of play up to know on her livejournal (she's not caught up yet!). These don't match 1:1 a given session, but we've been keeping sessions pretty short, about 1:30 to 2 hrs. Its easier because we do it after the kids go to bed and then we just play until we reach a nice point to stop.

Some things I should write more about when I get a chance include:
  • Silence as flow in the narrative

  • Erotic undertones in gaming (and when its not just an undertone)

  • Developing npcs you think your spouse will find attractive

  • As should become rather clear to the few who have read the entries and are familiar with the old Lexicon of the lost 500 years is I'm mining that old fertile territory for this game.

    Basically she's doing a backwards alchemical rite across the world tree touching on places important to events that never happened except to the miraculous. So far it seems to be working.
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This Nobilis game (stealing from [ profile] peaseblossom's playbook) is about a member of a Noble family from earth (the Power of Breath I believe) who died on a world far from earth and was re-Nobled in an inhabitant of that world. Said inhabitant was sort of human, a vestige of a lost colony from the Lost Five Hundred Years (and yes time issues is important here). She must find out what is happening, without aid of Imperator of Familia and navigate a long way home.

This will be a game of exploration. Exploration of the physical world of the Ash, of the social worlds of Nobilis and of the interior landscape.
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Darnalia is a world on the World Ash, not that the average inhabitant knows that. To them it is a system around an average enough star that at some point had strange gravitational anomalies which caused the various planets to crumble so that know the system is a series of asteroid belts with large planetoids (Pluto size) scattered about. All surrounded by an extensive Oort Cloud-Sphere. This system, if it ever developed life, had none when it was colonized by the brave aether ships of the Terra 300 years ago. But then the aether ships fell from the heavens and civilization became a lot harder, fragmenting into a million different enclaves, most barely scrabbling to survive. Over the eyars technology has grown, altering as it takes advantage of the unique metals and crystals of the system. The humans have developed nanotechnologies and more, splintering and combining in heady combinations. Even striving to step beyond their system. To them earth is but a dim dream of a fallen state.

The Miraculous: I’m just barely sketching this here as more will be discovered in play. First a general principle of this world is potential. Thing of it in a hermetic light, the metals and crystals have potential and can be used in ways that earth substances can only dream of (crystal growth are used in a similar way to flowers by the Nobles of this world-fruit). There are Imperators, but fewer than on earth. From Heaven and Hell, the Wild and the Wyrm most certainly; and ancient, barely recognizable True Gods. But there isn’t any correlation to Light and Dark.
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After some starts and stops and stops again [ profile] peaseblossom and I have finally decided to try 1:1 gaming again. I think one of our problems was trying to develop a world and a game system (even if a variant) at once and that we would be better just starting with something we know. Since [ profile] peaseblossom has been thinking of Nobilis a bit lately, and because I'm always up for a game of Nobilis, we've decided on it. Which should be fun.

In doing my prep I decided to go look at the old Lexicon of 500 years (yes its relevant). Now I have a zip of the wikli at the state it went down, butthese are txt files and a pain in the neck to read. Is there a way for me to get these in a better format? Maybe point a wiki at them on my computer? Or some such? Its in PhpWiki 1.3.4 if it makes a difference.
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So this summer has not been the best for gaming for me. But I do have a bunch of ideas swirling about. It looks like Alexander's March won the polling which is cool, its a very solid idea, though I'm still debating overruling democracy and running my last minute un-entry, Drink and the devil had done for the rest. Probably my biggest issue is the inability to find mechanics for the unstoppable hoplite army marching into weirdness game. Didn't like Shadow of Yesterday, didn't like Active Exploits, feeling a little uncertain about Hero or GURPS, etc.

Luckily [ profile] peaseblossom has brainstormed and come p with a creative mechanic solution, which I'm currently muling over.
Read more... )


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