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Nobilis Elegant Discussion Thread, v11.0

zenten

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One advantage Chuubo's has for me is that "thematic changes to your character" and "mechanical changes to your character" are clearly marked as being the same thing through quests and arcs; seen as players can only plausibly earn so much destiny at one time, I think there's an advantage to letting the players who put time into shifting their character concept by using their avatar diagram as a project to also get character trait improvements from it, particularly in terms of treasure or aspect gifts tuned to what has happened.
How well does Chuubo's handle "changes outside your character"? That's the important part of Nobilis projects to me, especially in Nobilis.
 

Maxen M

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How well does Chuubo's handle "changes outside your character"? That's the important part of Nobilis projects to me, especially in Nobilis.
Good question, I think less well, in the sense that the structure of "quest miracles" sort of replicates projects, and sort of replicates level 7-9 miracles, but because it isn't as open ended, can't really capture the same strange "feel your way along" meandering feel of a project chain.

I think my sense of that might come down to a difference in setting design de-emphasising certain things; we don't get the same sense that there are these immediate injustices in the structure of the setting that your player characters will make a start in overturning (especially if they are playing excrucians), there are characters seeking to break down the anchors of reality, but the attitude of the setting and the game seems to be that maybe that is something they should be a little less ambitious about, and the kinds of narratives it constructs are more resonant and "mythic" rather than "critical".

But that's not a strong difference, just a subtle one. And I'm sure it's absolutely possible to run bigger, intentionally world changing games in it too, just as it was in Nobilis before projects existed. There might just be a little more focus on what this means in terms of your character's personal development than "we will strive until our eternal bodies tire, to end the suffering of hell, so how do we actually do that??" kind of things.
 

Skycroft

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Chuubo’s Quests are an evolution of Projects, they can replicate what Projects can do. If you do a Quest to build a house, for instance, you build a house. You might take the house as a perk, but even if you don’t, the house is still built. Making it a Perk does give it a permanence and protection it wouldn’t otherwise have, but it still happens either way.

Quests handle non-goal oriented stories and character development a lot better than Projects do, but you can and should be using them, just like Projects, as means of accomplishing large scale things, especially in the Epic Fantasy genre.

(This is slightly genre dependent; not because Quests are more able to affect the world in some genres, but rather because it is more likely that you will take such Quests in some genres, whereas in others you are more likely to take less goal oriented Quests)
 

Maxen M

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Aha yes you're right, I still feel like there's something else there in the nebulousness of projects, that they don't set out the reward outcome ahead of time, but could be said to snap into one particular chuubo's quest or another near the end of finishing one bubble. But I suppose you can always just go "actually I think this is an ___ quest" and shift things about.

Edit: And also, that phrase I just proposed for the Nobilis one, is basically the start of a yellow quest set.
 

Rabbit Éclair

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There's one bit of rules stuff that I'm not certain if I'm understanding correctly (and I also don't have my book with me right now, so forgive me if some of this isn't phrased the best.) I have an NPC with an affliction that's... outwardly-facing, and they're about to meet the full group of PCs. For the purpose of this example, let's say that the NPC has 'Affliction: Everybody loves me.' Mechanically, what does this look like in practice? As I understand it right now:

The NPC is just innately lovable to begin with. But, when they meet Character B, who doesn't love them for whatever reason, the Affliction can exert itself through a miracle, trying to make that person love them.
  • If Character B's player doesn't want this to happen, they can take a Wound to control how this manifests.
  • If Character B's player doesn't mind it, then... Character B loves the NPC now, but it's just kinda a fact of existence, with no mechanical enforcement.
  • Regardless, if at some point Character B manages to shrug off their love for the NPC, the affliction can reassert itself through a new miracle at a later time. I believe this would basically be when it's next dramatically appropriate, really, judging by the whole 'afflictions are like water waiting to rush into the scene' metaphor.
Does this all sound correct?
 

Skycroft

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Well, yes, though a step is missing. Players will get a chance to resist even before they take a Wound. Whether they can take advantage of this largely would depend on how good they are against emotional attacks, and of course they would have to overcome the miracle and the Auctoritas of the Affliction (though if you have enough strike for the latter the former is less of a problem). The Auctoritas Magister would also block it pretty well, since Afflictions have no inherent Strike.

So the target gets a chance to resist. If they don't or can't, they take a Wound, though a partial resistance can mitigate the damage and thus lower the level of the Wound. Or if they choose not to take a Wound, the effect just happens.

I wouldn't say that if the player chooses not to take a Wound, the resulting love has no mechanical enforcement as such. If you choose to accept the effect, but then your character does not reflect that love in their actual actions and behavior, the HG has the right to call shenanigans and force you to take a Wound anyway. Arguably that's more of a matter of table etiquette than 'mechanical enforcement' but then arguably all mechanical enforcement is table etiquette so...

But when you claim an effect is unobjectionable, you have to reflect in your PC the effect exactly as the player whose effect it was intended or retroactively take a Wound. You are partially ceding control over your character. That is, you can't just say that your PC loves the person but is, say, capable of putting the love aside for other important things, unless you take a Wound. I mean, the player with the Affliction might be OK with that, in which case you can, but the point is that it is their opinion about how the love manifests, not yours, that takes precedence. Unless you take the Wound.
 
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zenten

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The Affliction has the force of a Miracle, so they can resist that way in addition to taking a Wound. Also, especially in this case I would give the players pretty broad discretion what "love" means regardless of them resisting.
 

Rabbit Éclair

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Well, yes, though a step is missing. Players will get a chance to resist even before they take a Wound. Whether they can take advantage of this largely would depend on how good they are against emotional attacks, and of course they would have to overcome the miracle and the Auctoritas of the Affliction (though if you have enough strike for the latter the former is less of a problem). The Auctoritas Magister would also block it pretty well, since Afflictions have no inherent Strike.

So the target gets a chance to resist. If they don't or can't, they take a Wound, though a partial resistance can mitigate the damage and thus lower the level of the Wound. Or if they choose not to take a Wound, the effect just happens.
The Affliction has the force of a Miracle, so they can resist that way in addition to taking a Wound. Also, especially in this case I would give the players pretty broad discretion what "love" means regardless of them resisting.
Right, yeah. For the purposes of simplifying things, I was assuming no active resistance. The case where the player just accepts the effect was the main one I wasn't sure about. That clarifies things, thank you both.
 

Felix

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But when you claim an effect is unobjectionable, you have to reflect in your PC the effect exactly as the player whose effect it was intended or retroactively take a Wound.
I might be mistaken about this, but a) aren't afflictions actually under the control of the HG? And b) is the the result as the player intended or the result as the player stated? Since a large part of Nobilis is about nailing down, what, precisely, is this thing we call love. Or cheese. Or Red Hat Linux. Or whatever the miraculous noun in question is.

I'm not saying I object to the player saying "No, falls in love as in 'wants to marry me,' not 'BFF love'" and rewriting the affliction to reflect this retroactively. But if they aren't clarifying the affliction that way, their intention doesn't matter and the victim gets to decide what love is. Though anything designed to twist it would require taking a wound. (The example in Chuubo's is someone who is the victim of a love spell. When the caster comes in and asks if you love them, you respond by saying yes, but you're in the middle of a video game right now, love.
 

zenten

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In this case though it's an NPC with the Affliction. But in general yeah, Afflictions should be more about what works well for the game than you would get from a player directed miracle.
 
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