Let me start out this review by saying that, prior to its release, I had been eagerly anticipating Nobilis Antithesis, Minibook 1i for for several months. Ever since I first heard about its potential existence. A book on the Excrucians was something that I very much wanted since 2nd edition, and craved with the arrival of the 3rd edition. This book seemed to deliver on that promise, at least in part, purely from the concept. I was excited! The fact of the matter, however, is that author Jenna Moran both met and exceeded my expectations and delivered a book that completely floored me.
First, this book talks a good bit about Deceivers... where they come from, the kind of power they have over Creation, how the Flower Rite or the Rite of Two Skins function in play. It introduces a Lifepath system to let you flesh out Deceiver antagonists for your game or to actually create them as characters. The same system accomplishes both flawlessly! There's even character creation guidelines for a Deceiver that 'probably' balances well with the Nobilis characters, and numerous nods within the text (and the Lifepath system) to allowing a Deceiver character to co-exist with a Familia of powers. If that is what you want to do.
The book doesn't stop there. It does more than just explain to us what Deceivers are and how you might create one for your game.
It does one better: It gets into the nuts and bolts behind the way that their powers work. It gives us a number of Excrucians in varying level of detail, supplies guidelines on how their Persona-based powers work in game, provides worked up "Persona Miracle Charts" for most of the Decievers mentioned in the book. One of the new Deceivers so mentioned, Morrowen Hollow, is fully developed from concept to full-game stats as an example of the Lifepath system in action. The book even discusses creating Properties for the Excrucians' Pseudo-Estate, while the Lifepath system can help you do something that I've found quite difficult to do on my own. Namely, come up with interesting example Pseudo-Estates for Deceivers.
All of this, and its written in author Jenna Moran's usual voice, which adds color and humor to every page. So, Minibook 1i isn't just a great RPG manual but also a joy to read. Still not done singing its praises though; I was holding off on this review until I got my PoD. Rather than simply commenting on its quality (excellent; great binding, layout, no issues with 'full page bleed' or anything), I find myself once again simply overwhelmed. What was already a beautiful PDF is a breathtaking Print-on-Demand Full Color Softbound book with a very distinct (and gorgeous) art style. The illustrations just leap off the page, artist Miranda Harrell helps the Deceivers breakthrough into our reality through her medium, and her talents are joined by too many other wonderful artists for me to mention (except for Alexander Benekos, because, wow...)
Do you like Nobilis? Buy this now, and buy the PoD. You can thank me later.