(Bonus) Martin, in Nobilis


Excrucian Warmain


Aspect 1 (5 AMP)
Domain 2 (You) (5 DMP) [2] You deserve me.
[2] You could be better.
[1] You could say that.
[1] You make me laugh.
[1] You don’t even know.
Persona —
Treasure 3 (5 TMP)


[4] Bond: Suffering transforms. Glorious
[3] Bond: I trust Jane. Eternal
[3] Affliction: I love the great and awful things. Elusive
[2] Affliction: I create what I know. Worldwalker
[1] Affliction: I’m Jane’s brother. Skill: Making 3
[1] Bond: I care about the tower. Skill: Fixing 3
[1] Bond: I care about my people. Skill: Theater 2
[1] Bond: I never take off my cynicism goggles. Not even for winking! Cool 1


Now that I have Nob3 complete, a quick take on Martin! I couldn’t find anywhere to write his health levels without making the page look bad, so I guess you don’t get to kill him. ^_^

In theory it is still possible that playtesting, editing, or waking up in the night going “ack I forgot that Martin does (a thing, such as Martin does)” will require that something change. But it seems unlikely!

Best wishes,


14 thoughts on “(Bonus) Martin, in Nobilis

  1. first reaction: Nobilis stats for martin! fun!
    second reaction: Nob3. oh! wow! i hope that means what i think it does. *faints with joy*

  2. If you think it means “Jenna has spent the past three months writing a new edition of Nobilis, and it will be out as soon as playtesting, editing, art, and printing allows,” then it does!

    I’m going to say up front that I’m planning for a fairly aggressive supplement schedule. It’s a solid one book game but I didn’t try to keep the campaign in, for instance, or Ianthe’s bits, or every last flore, or a couple of other things. They can show up later if we want them.

    That, and the loss of the stately majesty of the GWB—those are the only things I can imagine anyone will think of as negative. The rest is a straight shot to awesomeville ^_^

    Best wishes,


  3. A new Nobilis? Sweet! Here’s hoping that Eos’s return from the dead is triumphant.

    Also, the nob stats for martin are great! Can we get stats for Jane?

  4. Awesome! I am incredibly happy right now, though it means I’ll probably have to decide between Dreaming Waters and Nobilis 3rd edition for the next campaign that I write/run :D

    Interesting stat card! Realm appears gone, and Domain appears to have some aspects of the Fairies magic system added in (the creation of Stipulations). But, I guess we’ll find out what the new attributes mean when the game is done :)

    Also, Martin analogues to an Excrution Warmain? A being from beyond reality that is attempting to destroy all of creation through the most direct means possible, and theories state that Warmins do it because they believe that everything they destroy, they take into themselves so that when all of creation is destroyed, they can transform it, and them, into something new? So appropriate, and so horrible ^_^

  5. It’s true — Martin -had- to be an Excrucian–he’s always (well, post ruby glasses days) been a monster partially humanized by love and duty.

  6. I’m glad to hear a new edition is in the works. I think that a game as wonderful as Nobilis really deserves a book design as good as the GWB. Perhaps you might consider a Kickstarter-like pre-order model to gauge and defray the costs of a Deluxe edition of Nob3. I’m sure I’ll snap it up in any format it comes out in (and then I’ll need to get your autograph in it!), but the lush presentation of the GWB is a bar I’d like to see Nobilis surpass with each new edition.

    Where are you at in terms of playtesting? I’m actually hoping to get a new game of Nobilis started soon and the opportunity to do some playtesting sounds great.


  7. You are correct that Realm is gone. ^_^

    I was writing it up and I thought:

    You know, is this really any good? Is it pulling its weight? I didn’t think so. Possibly it was just unexciting to me, but I wasn’t getting a ton of feedback from people who loved their Realm; a few people liked playing The Tempest or The Chancel Person, and that was it. It seemed to me that that was as much “here is system potential to explore” as anything else, too.

    I wanted it to exist to attach people to their Chancels. I did that a different way this time. ^_^

    I also performed an act of backwards compatibility so it’s probable that porting a Tempest will make them more powerful rather than less, even inside the Chancel, but it’s no longer the point. ^_^

    Best wishes,


  8. Realm was always a tricky bit of Nobilis, for me. I always felt that a high-Realm character would either overpower their peers – a Tempest for most purposes has five in every Domain while in the Chancel, after all – or be vastly underpowered when out in the rest of the world.

    I liked the idea of the stat, but it was tricky to make it equally useful to the others.

    In more important news, W00T! New Nobilis is awesome, and this glimpse of it makes me love it already.

  9. I would like to preface this post with saying that I do not disagree with the removal of the Realm stat, and I am not arguing for it to be kept in. However, I wanted to give a different viewpoint from someone who integrated Realm heavily into his games. I look forward to integrating whatever chancel-tying mechanic has replaced it! You just seem to have heard only from people who use Realm as a dump stat, and I don’t.

    Because of the existence of Realm and me wanting to make all of the stats equally relevant, the way I’ve been running Nobilis includes having 50-70% of the game take place in the players’ Chancel, which the players create on their own. Realm is not only Omni-domain in their Chancel and the points they get to make their chancel, it also heavily effects how their chancelfolk, Erus, banes, the chancel itself, their Imperator (the Chancel is his body after all), and Noble visitors all treat them. And, more importantly, how much information about how their chancel works and what secrets are occurring there I give them in the Chancel bluesheet. Due to the above, I consider Realm 0 to be the same as the Hated limit as far as how much chancelfolk like you, and Realm 5 to be more or less redundant with the Devoted Populous gift on that front.

    When antagonists are sneaking around in their chance, (which happens often with over half the game there), the characters who bothered spending points on Realm to get Realm 2 are suddenly glad they did so, because divination-spam overcomes even the greatest of Auctoritis if you know how to use it. When the antagonists cause chaos in the chancel, the players who have Realm 3 stop any harm from happening, period. Realm 3 is insanely fun if you know what you’re doing when 50-70% of the game takes place where you have your omni-preservation.

    In the game just before my current game, the entire plot was shaped by players’ Realm scores, which were five players with Realm 0 and one amnesic with Realm 5. That’s a plot right there!, and a fun one to pursue as long as the Realm 5 player doesn’t realize just how powerful Realm 5 is and hog the game (which was a problem once or twice, but the player appeared to keep forgetting what she could do, which was good for the game and strangely appropriate).

    So, the existence of Realm in its current form, combined with the “Players create the Chancel and Imperator” rule (which I treat like the High Summoning rules – the players give me as much as they want, and I fill in the details and possibly change around a bane or gate or something for great effect without telling them the details) led me to “players create the majority of the setting that they will be playing in.” Then, with Realm, it’s like the players could put points into how much they love this setting they created, and how much they want to continue shaping it after the game starts. As a staunch lover of the Constructive model of roleplay, I consider this an awesome dynamic to have.

    Also, as a random note, the way I explained the stats to the players in my interpretation of Nobilis v2 was that they measured the strengths of their four Noble connections:

    Aspect is one’s connection to one’s transient body (the self that dies in death).
    Domain is one’s connection to one’s Estate.
    Realm is one’s connection to one’s Imperator.
    Spirit is one’s connection to one’s immortal soul (the self that survives death).

    I’ll have to see if I can come up with an in-role explanation for the v3 stats ;)

  10. I think that’s a really good model of game play, and I can totally see how you get there from Nobilis. I’m not sure whether it’s a flaw in my thinking process that I’m not immediately sure how to make it work in the general case, or if it’s just that there are enough social contract issues in it that it’s outside the scope of game rules. See, the thing is, I don’t know how to do rules where the default meaning for a buy-in is “I love this part of the game.” (I suspect I’m contradicting previous things I’ve said and thought and done here; very well! I contradict myself!)

    Or maybe I can dig at that, a bit, but—

    See, it’s been years since I’ve been able to buy RPGs. It’s horrible but true. I had two weeks of prosperity one December and squeezed in a Dogs in the Vineyard purchase in between catching up on people’s Christmas presents for a few years and getting an electric kettle, and people sent me Sorcerer and Burning Empires as random gifts, and Brad loaned me Agon and a few other things, but basically I feel like I’d like to at least run/play In a Wicked Age, and Shock:, and PrimeTime Adventures, and 3:16; and read, at least, most of Evil Hat’s stuff; and probably much else I don’t know I should be running or reading, before I poke at stuff with buy-ins like that.

    In 2e the buy-in in Nobilis was closer to “what I want to be able to make effective statements about.” Which differs subtly.

    To be sure, anything you buy in chargen is a declaration of player interest and investment. But Nob3 tends to treat that more instrumentally: these are the tools you’re interested in using to talk about what you’re invested in. These are the words you’re buying for the language of your heart. These are the ways in which you’re going to approximate expressing this inexpressible vast thing.

    In 3e I think you’ll be able to reimplement your Chancel ideas, probably repurposing Bonds and Afflictions as a statement on player investment, and possibly using some of the more mechanically on-point elements too; and I won’t say it’s unintended, because it’s awesome, I just think it relies on a certain kind of GM/HG and a certain kind of players, rather than being purely and precisely embedded in the rules.

    Best wishes,


  11. Re-reading these after getting the actual Nobilis book has me looking at the Excrucians in a much more sympathetic life than the book does on its own. Which is probably good.

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