(Bonus) Prince Gérard of Amber, in Nobilis

Prince Gérard

Power of the One True World


Aspect 0 (5 AMP)
Domain 2 (5 DMP)
Persona 1 (5 PMP)
Treasure 4 (5 TMP)


Paramount Strength

Bonds and Afflictions

[4] Bond: What I can grasp, I can crush.
[4] Bond: I’m loyal to Amber.
[3] Affliction: I’m a simple man.
[2] Bond: I command the navies of Amber.
[2] Bond: I protect the seas of the Golden Circle.
[2] Affliction: Scion of Amber.

The last Affliction is generic; every Prince or Princess of Amber for whom being a Prince or Princess of Amber is frequently problematic has it at some level.

Passions and Skills

(Superior) Sailor 1
Skill: Be the Man Your Man Should Smell Like 3*
Skill: Be Underestimated 2
Skill: Sailing Man 1
Skill: Administration 1
Shine 1

* note that this is at a lower level than the actual man that one’s man should smell like would have.

Gérard’s Strength

I’m not inclined to give Gérard superior strength or stamina because Paramount Strength, Durant, and the “What I can grasp, I can crush” Bond pretty much have that covered. If you want his strength to be non-miraculous for some reason, though, or to have both miraculous and non-miraculous strength, it’s pretty easy to replace either the “Paramount Strength” Gift or the Durant Gift with, say,

Superior Strength 3,
Superior Stamina 1, and
Superior Size 1.

(CMWGE Project Summary)

So the first supplement for the new Nobilis 3e is looking to be

Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine,
Nobilis: Campaigns,
Volume 1: Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
or something like that!

I haven’t formally decided to go all out with the colons and stuff. There’s still time for someone to stop me. I don’t really mean you, although a loud enough voice will matter, I really mean either Hsin or my own conscience. On the other hand, they may push me to do it instead!

You can’t trust consciences.

Their agenda is their own!

There are some key decisions that are yet to be made here. This is because I’m pushing them to the end. For instance, right now, Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is high school anime. I’m still considering pushing the characters older or reskinning the magic to high fairy tale, steampunk, or sufficiently advanced science. The amount of rewriting involved is high but not really much more than I do for any given draft of any project.

Still, we can say this much about what’s in the project.

First, it’s a setting. Technically Nobilis already has a setting, which makes this a variation instead. But where the default Nobilis setting is pretty heavy on the metaphysics and pretty light on the who-lives-where and does-it-have-bus-service, the CMWGE setting is a nice little Town where things like that become defined.

Second, it’s a bunch of characters. That’s not really a big thing. It’s not like Nobilis characters are hard to make. But it’s a nice set of characters for days when you’re feeling lazy or when you want to sit down at the table or stand up at a LARP with a bunch of gaming or Nobilis or CMWGE newbies, hand out the characters, and go.

Finally, there’s a story infrastructure based on the old Projects capsystem, which is basically designed to make sure nobody ever finds themselves going “agh wtf do I do now I can’t think of anything” again, or, at least, that you never have to do it longer than it takes to find the right page in Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine.

You know how once you have the broad outlines of what you’re trying to do, a typical task or conflict resolution system will tell you what to roll to attempt it? This is basically the other side of that, a tool linking the obvious details of what’s going on or what you’re focusing your attention on to its place in the story.

I suspect half of you have now decided it’s some kind of Story Now thing and the other half of you think it’s fruity and/or non-mechanical, but it’s not! It’s not any of that. It’s just a useful tool for knowing exactly what to do, because I wanted to be able to run this thing no-prep in the time it takes for people to familiarize themselves with their character sheets.


Though, speaking of character sheets, I should admit that they have gotten pretty long. I realized that if I lowered the power level a bit and took away “every character has every Attribute” for the space of just one book, I could just write down what each character can do instead of their Traits, and with a minimum of redundancy and/or “see pg. XX for the full rules on this.” So on the one hand, when I say “familiarize themselves with their character sheets,” I really do just mean that; on the other, it’s really closer to a “character packet” than a character sheet.

Best wishes,


(P.S.) Status of the Hitherby Dragons Print Books

Dear friends,

I felt that I should take a moment to update you on what’s up with the Hitherby Dragons books.

When I came to China, Hsin and I agreed that Eos would print a series of illustrated Hitherby Dragons volumes. Discussing this further, we concluded that a mix of illustration and graphic novel format would be best: adding basic illustrations to most of the legends, but converting most of the histories into comic form. The stories are more of an ambiguous case; I’ll discuss what I want to do with them at a later point if at all. (You may just see it when the book comes out.)

A local artist, Tokyo by name, proved to have an extremely fitting style. The language barrier is problematic, so not *every* piece is like I’d like it to be, but her work is charming, and many of the pieces actually add something to the story, improving on my original vision for both the legend and the accompanying art.

The graphic novel portion proved more problematic.

I was discouraged to find that I’m bad at scripting comics, specifically in the sense that it takes me about as much time to script a page of comic as to write 1,500 words; and the result isn’t awesome; and then, after translation into Chinese and being handed off to a local artist, all of my attempts at doing awesome visual things are ignored, all my attempts at clear explanation are lost in translation, and nothing terribly awesome gets added.

Practice may make perfect in timing, and we have access to more artists now than back in April when I tried this; but it was horribly discouraging on every level.

I sought out help from an experienced comics scripter in my friends circle.

He told me that there was too much conceptual depth; that I needed to spend serious time with the artists nailing everything down and making sure they understood at least as much about the story arc as, well, regular readers, before it was feasible to even do The Monster (I/IV).

Right now, accordingly, it’s on hold until Eos has budget to solve these problems, which is to say, until we find either:

* a manga artist with enough English fluency to read Hitherby;
* a manga artist, plus a translator for Hitherby and myself into Japanese or Chinese as appropriate;
* a Western-style comic artist, plus someone to help me through the scripting process, plus a translator for Hitherby and myself into Japanese or Chinese as appropriate;
* someone smart enough in all relevant areas (Hitherby, comics production, project stuff) to help me figure out a fourth/fifth answer.

An alternative is to give up on including comics sections.

That leads to another issue with the illustrated books, which is, Hsin is increasingly interested in doing it *as* comics/graphic novels, if we manage to find solutions to the above. I’m not sure how I feel about that; on the one hand, it’s the awesomest thing ever; on the other, it’s going to cost a lot of the coolness that is only in the language and not the events, and it’s going to take like twenty years rather than six to get the currently-written part into print if that happens.

It’s a little stupid that these things are problems. I feel a little bit like someone’s given me five million dollars inside a meter-thick pizza box and said I can only have it if I eat the whole box. But that I can have as many years as I need! I’m also not sure whether the problems mentioned above are reasonable or because of failings and/or arrogance on my part.

Anyway, I put the project on hold while trying to get Nobilis *out* already, but I’ve been assured by various parties that all the zillion things not done there are happening in the next two weeks, so this’ll be on the front burner soon.

(P.P.S.) Status of New Entries

While I’m at it: I’m not going to think about new entries, for the most part, until the following things have happened:

* I finish annotating/categorizing the archives. (5/6 complete, but slow.)
* I review/finalize that part of things.
* I finish making the necessary changes to build coherent publishable volumes out of the archives. This is mostly done for chapter 1 & 2 and barely started for chapter 3—the only part of it I’ve been doing as I go for chapter 3 is occasionally removing a site status or me status note or moving an entry to the compilation of removed entries.

Part of me is eager to get back to doing entries, but I need to have it all clean and clear in my head first so that I can actually get back to Liril and Micah rather than just writing random legends, and that’s hard even for me. (I want to hit the ground running if I do start posting again.) However, I can’t say for sure that *all* I need to do to start doing entries again and finish this thing up is have it all clean and clear in my head; maybe there’s other conditions that I don’t know of because I haven’t jumped that wall.

Best wishes,



I’ve done some more archive work. I’m not sure how to get a reliable First link right now, but “next” and “previous” should be working almost everywhere from http://imago.hitherby.com/?p=4 through, well, past the end of Island of the Centipede, at least. I’ve only done major cleaning through chapter 2, but I’ve done minor cleaning up to Island of the Centipede.

This probably matters to very few of you, since you’ve either been reading since the beginning and saw the entries when the archives were in better shape, or you’re new here and have no idea why you should care or even that there’s a zillion words of story hiding back in the 2003-2006 sections. ^_^

Best wishes,


(Bonus) The Doctor, in Nobilis

The Doctor

Saint of Hope


This is another response to an rpg.net request.


Aspect 1 (5 AMP) Active Immortality, Luck
Domain 0 (5 DMP)
Persona 2 (5 PMP) [3] Hope goes beyond the impossible and kicks reason to the curb.
[2] Hope makes people stronger.
[2] Hope finds a way.
Treasure 3 (5 TMP)


[3] Affliction: I burn at the center of time and
can see the turn of the universe.
[2] Affliction: Last of the Time Lords.
[2] Bond: I have a slight flaw in my character. Passion: RUN! 3
[2] Bond: Technical Pacifist Superior Quality: Science! 2
[2] Bond: TARDIS Shine 2
[2] Bond: Companions Cool 1
[1] Affliction: Time’s Warrior Superior Quality: Health 1
[1] Affliction: Nameless Passion: Compassion 1
[1] Affliction: I can’t actually possess my Anchors. Skill: Sonic Things 1


The Doctor, as it turns out, is quite hard, specifically because you could very easily make a good case for or against every last decision I’ve made here.

I should probably note that his Bonds and Afflictions are not 100% legit; in a game, rather than a cool character sheet, you’d want to quantify them by explaining what they actually require of him. For instance, “Last of the Time Lords” isn’t simply a truth, but a mandate that he is unable to hide his alien nature very well or for very long. There’s a reason that everybody knows about him and a surprising number of people spot him as what he is. But if I wrote that you’d look at the character sheet and go “hm, is that true?” instead of “yeah, he’s the Last of the Time Lords!”

This is a companion-centric version—the version of the Doctor that can pluck some random kid off the street and seven years later that kid is blowing up Excrucian-run alternate universes. Or whatever. Other interpretations and builds would exist!

(Note on Nobilis)

We are running behind.

To be specific: I’ve had to push some art and layout deadlines into late October, and there is a solid chunk of art I don’t know how to get done in that time. We’re trying to pull in another 3-4 artists to fix that, but sometimes it takes a while to find out that an artist isn’t actually interested.

I’m told that we have a good relationship with a local printer and that it will be shockingly fast and that none of my fears of “yay it’s gone to print!” *seven years pass* “yay it’s out!” will come to pass. I’m also told that there’s also some kind of way to do even more shockingly fast but also expensive small-run printing that we may use for promotional purposes if there’s a con sometime between “final electronic document” and “on shelves.”

I’ll offer a new release date when someone in the office tells me one and I believe it. There’s a date I am grimly determined to make but I’m afraid if I formally declare it that I’ll jinx it and invite a printing boondoggle.

In the meantime, you now have more or less the same capacity to guess as I do. ^_^

On preorders: I want to make it available for preorder pretty much the exact moment it goes to print, unless that’s like 2am on a Sunday. I don’t know how much power I’ll have to produce that outcome.

Best wishes,


(Bonus) Mrs. Schiff, in Nobilis

Mrs. Schiff's Imperator Bubbles!

Mrs. Schiff

True God(dess)


Aspect 0 (6 AMP)
Domain 3 (Becoming/Unfurling) (6 DMP)
Domain 0 (Form, Motion, Sacrifice)

Persona 0 (Form, Motion, Sacrifice, Becoming/Unfurling) (6 PMP)
Treasure 1 (6 TMP)


[3] Affliction: I make gods when emptied. Active Immortality
[3] Bond: I am stronger than this. Glorious
[3] Bond: Mr. Schiff Skill: Theatre 3
[2] Bond: Ascetic Passion: The Practice of Austerities 3
[1] Bond: Dreams Passion: Storytelling 2


I feel guilty on what amount to feminist grounds that Mrs. Schiff is less interesting, in current canon and currently-thought-through secrets, than Mr. Schiff. But her character sheet is not the place to fix that.

Best wishes,


(Bonus) Mr. Schiff, in Nobilis

Mr. Schiff's Imperator Bubbles!

Mr. Schiff



Aspect 0 (6 AMP)
Domain 2 (Destruction) (6 DMP)
Domain 0 (Storms, Astronomical Objects, Truth, Control)

Persona 1 (Destruction, Truth) (6 PMP)
Persona 0 (Storms, Astronomical Objects, Control)
Treasure 1 (6 TMP)


[3] Affliction: Invincible. Active Immortality
[3] Bond: Untainted. Glorious
[3] Bond: Mrs. Schiff Skill: Geology Teacher 3
[2] Bond: Renunciate Passion: Mild-Mannered 2
[1] Bond: Divine Regalia Passion: Student of Kings 2
[1] Bond: The World Cool 1
Shine 1
Skill: Theatre 0


Nobilis is out of playtesting, updated accordingly, and off to editing. ^_^

Best wishes,