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I've loved Nobilis since I picked up the Great White Book. But I've wanted something a bit more granular in the character awards system, instead of "one more CP per story." Below, revised and expanded from the original post on the Nobilis mailing list, is a session-based experience system for Nobilis.

The justifications behind these choices can be found on the Organic Foundations page.

Organic Nobilis

Character Rewards

In the original rules, players received 1 Dynasty Point each session, and a choice between 1 Character Point (each) or 1 Chancel Point (per Familia) at the end of each "story" (along with a resetting of Miracle Points). In Organic Nobilis, players earn XP (for lack of a better term) by meaningfully interacting with their Bonds, and then use these XP to purchase the other rewards.

In Organic Nobilis, Bonds exist in two states - 'charged' and 'uncharged.' Bonds begin 'charged' and, as they are used, become 'uncharged' (giving the player XP equal to the Bond's rating). While a Bond is in an uncharged state, the points in the Bond are 'locked' and cannot be redistributed until the Bond is recharged. Bonds regain a 'charge' whenever the player uses a Dynasty Point to do so.

A Bond is "used" when it has a significant, story-active role in a scene (or across scenes), rather than an incidental sidenote or color (in other words, not every manifestation of one's Estate, or every appearance of one's Anchor, is a "use"). The final decision of whether or not something qualifies as a "use" rests with the Hollyhock God, although being Nettled always qualifies.

Playtesting will determine whether or not these numbers are good and accurate. Note that "F" is the size of the Familia.

  • 10 XP = full MP refresh(*)
  • 15 XP = one character point
  • F XP = one Dynasty point (can be co-purchased by numerous players)
  • 1 Dynasty Point = all Bonds recharge
  • 10 Dynasty Points = one Chancel Point
  • 25 Dynasty Points = one Imperator Point
(*)A full MP refresh can only be done between scenes or sessions, and should have some good narrative reason (either related to dramatic necessity, or an opportunity to take a respite). All MP pools below their permanent limit are raised to that limit, and Limits/Restrictions can be swapped around, if necessary. In "Dynamic Nobilis" this costs 5XP, and gives 5+Spirit MP.

Chancel Properties

These use the Mana Reservoir rules (otherwise simply remove Mana Mine and the associated flaws):
  • Strong Chancel (Replaces Mana Mine): "Whenever a Noble refreshes their Miracle Points, one Miracle Point is added to the Reservoir." The cost is 3.
  • Weak Chancel: Change rules to: "Every time a Dynasty Point is purchased, 1 Miracle Point is lost from the Reservoir"
  • Dying Chancel: Change rules to: "Every time a character takes a full MP refresh or purchases a Character Point, 1 Miracle Point is lost from the Reservoir"

Imperator Properties

  • Harvest - Replace the rules with: Instead of spending F XP, players need spend but 1 to get a Dynasty point. They may do this once for each scene spent gathering the Harvest (note that when not gathering the Harvest, they must still spend F XP to get 1 Dynasty point)
  • Great Harvest - Replace the rules with: Instead of spending F XP, players need spend but 1 XP to get 1 Dynasty point when gathering the Harvest. They may do this once for each scene spent gathering the Harvest. (note that, when not gathering the Harvest, they must still spend F XP to get 1 Dynasty point) In addition, every time a Noble improves themselves by buying a Character Point, the Imperator earns a Dynasty Point.
  • Failing Imperator - Replace the rules with: Start with 10 Dynasty Points. Whenever a player purchases a Character Point, the Imperator loses one Dynasty Point. If there are no dynasty points left to lose, the Imperator loses one Imperator property point. If no positive properties remain to be lost, and there are no appropriate negative properties to gain, then each Familia member immediately loses a character point. After this loss, the Imperator has 24 dynasty points available, and the decline begins again. In addition, players may not purchase Dynasty Points for their Imperator, unless they have a Harvest and are performing it (see above).


    With this system, players get more control over the development of both their characters and their Familia. They can choose to invest more in their Imperator than themselves (through additional dynasty points), they have more control over where they'll get their next wind (MP refresh), and they also get to choose when their characters will improve themselves (CPs). They get to choose which is the most important, individually. On the downside, this means the HGs relinquish some control they had over their stories. Players now decide amongst themselves how often their Nobles regain MPs, and they can even forsake regaining MPs in order to force character advancement.

    I don't find that a bad thing. In fact, I quite like it, but one should keep that in mind before switching to this system.

  • Last modified: Thursday January 01 1970 00:00:00, by Alexander Cherry