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Author Topic: [Nobilis - OOC]The Recruitment Office and the Peanut Gallery  (Read 6750 times)

One Horse Town

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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2007, 01:32:18 PM »
Quote from: GrimGent
Hey, that's not so odd: I've used "the Power of Bunny Slippers" as an example on several occasions... Evolution is more immediately useful, of course.


Ah, sorry, that was a Spinal Tap joke. :D

Evolution or hair i think. Hair has it's appeal, simply in a rapid growth, swinging around on it or suffocating kind of way, but is a bit banal. So Evolution i think.

The Yann Waters

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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2007, 01:45:02 PM »
Quote from: One Horse Town
So Evolution i think.
In the sense of organisms and ideas adapting to the current circumstances, rather than the purely genetic definition? That should work.

Incidentally, there seem to be two distinct approaches to chargen in Nob. Some players start out with an idea for the Domain and only later begin to consider the human side and personal history of the character: "What would War be like if you met her on the street?" Others come up with the personality first and then almost as an afterthought think of a suitable Domain for someone like that to guard. 'Tis another matter of taste, apparently.
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One Horse Town

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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2007, 01:57:54 PM »
Quote from: GrimGent
In the sense of organisms and ideas adapting to the current circumstances, rather than the purely genetic definition? That should work.



A couple of examples of what i was thinking of perhaps.

1) A cruise missile is coming towards us, i devolve the circuitry in it from state of the art to it's inception, maybe moon landing equivalent. Boards go fizz pop, GPS is a no no, maybe the ciruitry expands into the size of a living room, making the missile go pop.

2) Annoying git is reverted to an ape.

3) Get plunged into water, rapidly evolve gills.

4) Able to spontaneously come up with improvements (evolution) of design or ideas such as equations etc.

Do they seem approapriate for this sort of domain?

The Yann Waters

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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2007, 02:02:40 PM »
Quote from: One Horse Town
Do they seem approapriate for this sort of domain?
Certainly. The trick with the gills was the first thing to pop into my mind when I thought about appropriate miracles.
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hgjs

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« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2007, 03:28:00 PM »
This sounds quite interesting, and I would like to participate in this.

As to whether to detail things in advance or relying on player-generated content, both approaches have their advantages.  I have no firm preference in either direction.
 

The Yann Waters

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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2007, 05:30:00 AM »
Quote from: hgjs
As to whether to detail things in advance or relying on player-generated content, both approaches have their advantages.  I have no firm preference in either direction.
In any case, the Imperator which the PCs will serve is going to be the embodiment of all the Domains that you choose for your characters, as usual. Also, early on during the chargen it might be worth considering just what this being is, even if it won't spend much time in the spotlight later: for instance, "Evolution" doesn't really fit in with the agendas of Hell or the Dark nearly as much as it does with those of the Light or Aaron's Serpents, since the Imperator in question would undoubtedly care about improving life, and those first two factions... don't. Of course, you could always go with a True God as each one of those has its unique goals and pursuits, although that might lead into slight problems if you have to spend any greater lengths of time away from your own world.

There are a number of ways to enter the service of an Imperator, as well, and not every member of the familia necessarily did so at the same time. Perhaps the most common one of these is simply being caught up in the creation of a Chancel, and for one reason or another attracting the attention of its maker. Others have been in the right place at the right time to witness the death of a Noble and ended up inheriting his Domain. A few resourceful mortals have even discovered on their own the existence of an Imperator and then sought it out in order to offer their talents. And at least one Noble simply popped spontaneously into existence one night, much to the surprise of her new master.

About that last one: Nobles don't have to be human to begin with, and even if they are, they may become something else during the Commencement, the moment when they begin their new lives as Nobilis. For example, the Power of Evolution might be an elderly biologist or a plucky street urchin. He might also be a smart dinosaur from a hidden corner of the world which managed to avoid their extinction, or a swarm of cockroaches which sometimes gathers together into the shape of a man, or a mutant engineered in a secret government laboratory, or the pinnacle of human evolution who fell to the present day through a temporal rift and now cannot find his way back to the end of time...
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hgjs

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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2007, 06:08:03 PM »
I'm having a hard time imagining what an Imperator of Evolution (in the more general sense used here) might also be an Imperator of.
 

The Yann Waters

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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2007, 06:32:26 PM »
Quote from: hgjs
I'm having a hard time imagining what an Imperator of Evolution (in the more general sense used here) might also be an Imperator of.
The connections between the various Domains don't necessarily have to make any earthly sense: Imperators can be rather ineffable, so it might remain forever a mystery why a warrior god's areas of influence also include Cauliflowers... Still, with Evolution, some associations which come to mind include Chains (of events as well as steel links) or Flies (commonly used in genetic experiments) or Ambition (becoming better suited for what you want to be) or Age (for the generations which the evolution of a species requires) or Oceans (where life began, at least according to the prosaic view of things).
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The Yann Waters

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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2007, 09:46:27 AM »
In other words, whatever your choices might be, the Imperator itself will form the connection between them. That's not really something you need to be concerned about. Start out with simple ideas, come up with a concept that you'd like to play, and the rest will grow out of that.

Were you shanghaied or seduced into Nobility, or did a messenger give a choice, or was it all an accident? What kind of a creature would do that, and should you think of it as "it", or "him", or "her"? What does it want? Is your Imperator a kind and loving mentor who protects and helps you at all times, or is it a cruel and sadistic master who treats you like slaves and constantly gives you impossible tasks to perform just for the hell of it? Is it almost indistinguishable from any ordinary human being, or does it resemble a celestial clockwork that perpetually rearranges and improves its own design? Does it interfere with even the most insignificant aspects of your personal life, or spend all its time asleep in the heart of the Chancel only to emerge once a year (if even then)?

And the Chancels? For the most part, the world outside them (the Earth on the Ash) isn't in the end all that different from our modern reality; but within each of these secret realms, reality is defined solely by the will and whim of the Imperator and its Familia. Do they rule over a barren wasteland or a thriving metropolis, or do they instead of ruling in an obvious manner choose to live quietly among the local population? Has this little pocket universe been around for thousands of years, or did it appear only yesterday? Does it serve a greater purpose for the society of the Nobilis, like education or research or combat training? Is it a primitive jungle island where evolution has taken a different course and tyrannosaurs fight against giant apes, or a futuristic arcology where technology is centuries ahead of the present day on the outside and having yourself genetically engineered into something new is no more uncommon than shopping for a new jacket? Does bizarre magic or superscience hold sway there, or do all the same laws of nature apply as outside its gates? Is the place completely isolated from everywhere else, or are its borders open to any tourist who might wander in? And are those borders defended by sophisticated arrays of devolution rays which reduce their targets to primordial ooze, or guarded by gun-toting gorillas?

All you need is a starting point.
Previously known by the name of "GrimGent".

The Yann Waters

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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2007, 09:16:25 AM »
(Incidentally, I'm updating the original post. If there's something that anyone interested in playing really should know but that hasn't been mentioned already, this would be a good time to ask about it.)
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hgjs

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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2007, 09:28:04 PM »
Quote from: GrimGent
All you need is a starting point.


That's the rough part for me.  There are so many possibilities, it's hard to know where to begin.  Tell me how this sounds as an idea for an Estate:

Fire, both in the sense of physical burning and in the sense of passion or obsession.
 

The Yann Waters

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« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2007, 04:47:15 AM »
Quote from: hgjs
Fire, both in the sense of physical burning and in the sense of passion or obsession.
The Domains usually allow for at least some metaphorical leeway, so the Power of Fire might cause someone to burn with passion just as the Power of Hearts could urge another to follow her heart, although the Power of Emotions would still have a far greater scale in that sense than either of them... Still, I'd recommend taking Obsession as an actual Secondary Domain of its own. Your character could be based around the theme of "moths to the flame": that's flexible enough to range from luring others to their destruction (which is very Dark) to sacrificing yourself for a moment of beauty (which is in keeping with Heaven), depending on what sort of a Noble you want to play.
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The Yann Waters

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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2007, 08:43:24 PM »
...And then there is the prospect of burning away those who prove too weak to withstand the fire, which ties in rather neatly with evolution. Consider how any of those possibilities might suit the background of the PC: is that an alchemist who sought obsessively to understand the mystery of the blue flames which surround the universe, or a popstar who was an obsession to others and never safe from stalkers? Or for something a mite stranger, the character might be a virtual idol designed to be irresistable for commercial purposes, an old oil painting brought to life by the passion of a sorceror, or an incubus/succubus from Hell.

One vital piece of information about the backgrounds in general is deciding how long these Nobles have been serving their Imperator. Does the game begin with the Commencement of the Familia as a new Chancel takes shape around them, or are they already completely familiar with its every nook and cranny after decades or centuries of service? If it's the former and the Imperator is only now claiming its realm, are they all unsuspecting mortals caught up in the last of the hundred nights which the creation of a Chancel requires, or have some of them been around longer than the others, perhaps secretly making preparations for the arrival of their lord and master? And even if the Chancel itself is old as hills, have the PCs lived there ever since its beginning, or are they merely the latest generation in a long line of Nobles, perhaps elevated to their position after the recent and suspicious deaths of their predecessors?

Also, there remains the little matter of genre preferences: should the game be influenced by Sword & Sorcery, Cyberpunk, Horror, Espionage, Romance, Western, Pulp, Noir, Wuxia...? When they are not out defending their Domains, are the PCs diplomats, teachers, mercenaries, spies, investigators, thieves, or just all-around party animals? What do you want to see in the game? And what don't you want to see?
Previously known by the name of "GrimGent".

hgjs

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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2007, 11:17:37 PM »
Quote from: GrimGent
...And then there is the prospect of burning away those who prove too weak to withstand the fire, which ties in rather neatly with evolution. Consider how any of those possibilities might suit the background of the PC: is that an alchemist who sought obsessively to understand the mystery of the blue flames which surround the universe, or a popstar who was an obsession to others and never safe from stalkers? Or for something a mite stranger, the character might be a virtual idol designed to be irresistable for commercial purposes, an old oil painting brought to life by the passion of a sorceror, or an incubus/succubus from Hell.

One vital piece of information about the backgrounds in general is deciding how long these Nobles have been serving their Imperator. Does the game begin with the Commencement of the Familia as a new Chancel takes shape around them, or are they already completely familiar with its every nook and cranny after decades or centuries of service? If it's the former and the Imperator is only now claiming its realm, are they all unsuspecting mortals caught up in the last of the hundred nights which the creation of a Chancel requires, or have some of them been around longer than the others, perhaps secretly making preparations for the arrival of their lord and master? And even if the Chancel itself is old as hills, have the PCs lived there ever since its beginning, or are they merely the latest generation in a long line of Nobles, perhaps elevated to their position after the recent and suspicious deaths of their predecessors?

Also, there remains the little matter of genre preferences: should the game be influenced by Sword & Sorcery, Cyberpunk, Horror, Espionage, Romance, Western, Pulp, Noir, Wuxia...? When they are not out defending their Domains, are the PCs diplomats, teachers, mercenaries, spies, investigators, thieves, or just all-around party animals? What do you want to see in the game? And what don't you want to see?


It's a lot easier to look at a proposal and say "yeah, that sounds cool" or "I don't want to play that" than to come up with something.  This is is a game I've never played before; any of the things you suggest sound like they could be fun, but it's hard to get any traction when the foundation is so undefined.
 

The Yann Waters

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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2007, 06:49:02 AM »
Quote from: hgjs
It's a lot easier to look at a proposal and say "yeah, that sounds cool" or "I don't want to play that" than to come up with something.  This is is a game I've never played before; any of the things you suggest sound like they could be fun, but it's hard to get any traction when the foundation is so undefined.
That's not an uncommon problem with settings that sometimes seem "too open", and certainly Nob can without much trouble out-gonzo the old World of Darkness in that respect ("your sister is a sentient virus from outer space, your brother is an alcoholic minotaur, and you all run a ramshackle motel alongside a highway which leads through time"). By default, it's a high-powered modern fantasy RPG in which a family of demigods defends their godlike master, their home in a hidden miniature world and the pieces of reality entrusted to them against both the machinations of their rivals and the assaults of the outsiders, in a universe in which any myth or fable may turn out to be true: although all of that is rather easily negotiable, working with those basic ideas is a good way to get a better grip on the game. The Estates, the Chancel and the Imperator that the group picks in the beginning do much to define the tone, of course, so that's yet another reason to make everyone's expectations clear from the start.

For someone who is more or less unfamiliar with the workings of the game, it's probably for the best to have the PC too be ignorant about it all and recently enNobled (perhaps just as the first scenario begins). Even if the character was originally something like a computer simulation or a demon, what he remembers of that earlier existence may consist of little more than vague memories of tranquil calculations in the first case or rage/lust/hunger all rolled into one in the second: receiving the soul-shard of an Imperator brings with it a human-level intelligence and a sense of personality also to things that used to be rather mindless before, so for them that is literally the beginning of a new life. That should make all but the oddest character concepts more playable.

Consider someone who is both Fire and Obsession. What about him, if anything, actually resembles fire and obsession? If he was mortal or mundane earlier, how much has he changed since then and how does he feel about the change? What do the people on the street see when they look at him while he's wearing a human face, and would they notice anything extraordinary? What do they see when he isn't, and how would they react? What comes to your mind when you think about the things that such a creature might do for fun and profit? What would he care about, and what kind of an effect would that have on the object of his attention? Where did he come from, and what sort of a place could he live in and fit in?

There's no need for an elaborate background to start with, necessarily: just a simple notion or two about the character that you'd like to play will suffice, and it really can be just about anything except a common mortal. The concept can then be fine-tuned as required.
Previously known by the name of "GrimGent".