Nobilis or Chuubo's?

wormmonda

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So I'm interested in getting into a diceless RPG, and I know that Nobilis and Chuubo's are both diceless games (by the same designer, even); while I have some basic knowledge of the 2nd edition of Nobilis, I have no knowledge of the 3rd edition, and no knowledge with Chuubo's at all; so my main questions are these:

How are the systems of Nobilis 3E and Chuubo's similar or different, both being diceless games from the same creator?

What exactly is Chuubo's about? What kind of story does it tell? What kind of characters are the PCs? Any similar media?

Thanks!
 

Isator Levie

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How are the systems of Nobilis 3E and Chuubo's similar or different, both being diceless games from the same creator
Both use a collaborative system of action resolution, in which players have certain traits in which their narrative authority is somewhat absolute within the defined structure of that trait's level, and limited resources per story to extend that authority. Chuubo's is a lot broader in what kinds of narrative and dramatic devices it's traits can convey, and the system is much more intricate.

wormmonda said:
What exactly is Chuubo's about? What kind of story does it tell?
Being an inhabitant of a whimsical town in which the magical and mundane cheerfully, and somewhat awkwardly, co-habitate, isolated from the rest of the world (assuming it still exists) by the reality corrosive outside. Tell stories ranging from childhood slice of life to epic clashes of heros and gods, some of which can cross over (and where the advantage might go to slice of life). Stories where wishes can have profound power. Stories driven more by the narrative and emotional beats than tactical accomplishments.

wormmonda said:
What kind of characters are the PCs?
Almost anything you might want. There are a lot of guidelines for genre and personal nature.

wormmonda said:
Any similar media?
Studio Ghibli films are a big influence.

wormmonda said:
Oh don't thank me; thank the Earth's gravitational pull.
 

Jeremy Kopczynski

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So I'm interested in getting into a diceless RPG, and I know that Nobilis and Chuubo's are both diceless games (by the same designer, even); while I have some basic knowledge of the 2nd edition of Nobilis, I have no knowledge of the 3rd edition, and no knowledge with Chuubo's at all; so my main questions are these:

How are the systems of Nobilis 3E and Chuubo's similar or different, both being diceless games from the same creator?

What exactly is Chuubo's about? What kind of story does it tell? What kind of characters are the PCs? Any similar media?

Thanks!
Chuubo's can be viewed as a sort of cozy post-apocalyptic alternate setting to the default Nobilis one. Mechanically it is by default lower power versions of what nobles, imperators and excrucians can do. Ever want to speak imperial miracles? Well some Chuubo characters can!
 

Snoof

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Chuubo's can be viewed as a sort of cozy post-apocalyptic alternate setting to the default Nobilis one.
I tend to view it as the High School Alternate Universe.

(Power-wise, a starting Chuubo character typically has 0 to 3 miraculous arcs, which are worth roughly 3 Nobilis 3e character points each.)
 

jsnead

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Both have fascinating settings. Nobilis 2e is a very traditional (and excellent) RPG that happens to be diceless RPG, Nobilis 3e is mostly a traditional RPG with somewhat more storygame elements than 2e, but it's still mostly plays like most other RPGs.

Chuubo's is from my PoV very odd and demands very different ideas about play than any game I've ever played - if you want something that runs at all like a traditional RPG, it likely isn't for you, but it's also clearly exactly what a number of people want.
 
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m111

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I've only read Nobilis 3e. But I've played a fair amount of Chuubo's. It's honestly...in theory it's a pretty broad game. Setting wise, as noted it's about a quaint town in the middle of nowhere where adventures happen. Mechanically it's...well got three things going on.

Thing 1 is a fairly normal "Spend Will to make things happen" sort of system. It's a little bit of resource spending to make things feel like "You can only do so much."

Thing 2 is the miraculous system. This rides above 1 and is for powers, and tends towards some more resource spending, but with a focus on doing cool fantastic things, that often cause more plot threads than they resolve.

Thing 3 is the XP system which...is where people tend to get a little bit confused. Basically it's about encouraging the things that are in genre and in setting. Basically, Characters get XP for things that Support the Genre you're in (for example, a big thing in chuubo's is the pastoral setting, where (about 2-4 times every session), you can declare this is an emotional attempt to reach out, or to marvel at something. And it gives you XP. (In other settings its things about making big decisions, or being in trouble). It's...basically declaring something the in-genre high point of the session. There are also quests, which give you XP, and are sort of the main engine. They're about tracking the progress of... long term things, is how I'd put it. You get XP by going through (player and GM chosen) milestones and bits of flavor which sort of...are decided to be the thing people in that situation do? It's mostly about pacing, and bringing things to the forefront.
 

Maxen M

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Chuubo's has the entire Nobilis 3 system inside it, with some technical improvements to the wounds system, clearer explanations of what traits do, and better "balance" in terms of the effectiveness of different traits.

It also has a new xp/quests/perks system instead of Nobilis' point buy that is really clever.

I think a lot of people don't realise how similar chuubo's and nobilis are because they're still wrapping their heads around the new stuff, but systemically, you can already run nobilis in chuubo's as is. In fact one of it's strengths is that it provides a foundation for properly stat'ing out the opposition to the player characters and various other groups that aren't nobles, whereas Nobilis 2 and 3 mostly rely on trying to stretch the abilities designed for Nobles to all the other types of godlike things in the setting.

A downside of Chuubo's is that even though it gives far more information about how to play the game, with the books, Jenna's tumblr etc. this support means that there's also a lot more stuff to process. It isn't a complicated system, but there's lots of possible genres, optional rules, alternative quest patterns, all sorts of stuff that you could add to your games but don't have to, so it can seem intimidating to get into.

On the other hand, the authorial voice is pretty friendly and low stress, and if you don't go in trying to "understand everything" and just enjoy the setting and the writing style, you can still have a good read, even if you don't get everything first time. On the other hand, it isn't actually a zen thing you need to just "get" either, everything is actually explained in black and white, so it's also possible to go in like a robot with no appreciation for style and just methodically put the pieces together.
 

wormmonda

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I think I'll go with Chuubo's, then. Thanks everyone, you've been really helpful!
 

thenorm42

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One thing I would say with Chuubo's is that the miraculous stuff with all the Arcs is completely optional. You can have a great game of Chuubo's with just the mundane rules. I actually prefer it - there's something about the Miraculous Arcs that won't stick in my head properly. And it's certainly simpler if you're starting out.
 
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