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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
$49.95 $19.95
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by James I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2011 11:11:20

The unfortunately long period of waiting since the last edition is finally over, and the 3rd edition of Nobilis has arrived! This is most certainly a cause for celebration, because this edition improves on the last in almost every manner; the rules are far tighter and better explained, the setting and factions within it are incredibly evocative, and the new lifepath method of character creation is a real blast. It's not a complete improvement; while the way the tone has shifted to be more whimsical and wondrous isn't a problem, the art can be almost too childlike at times, and unfortunately some of the pieces are of somewhat low quality. Additionally, some sections feel like they could have done with a lot less art; they mediocre pieces subtract from the truly evocative ones, and the whole layout sometimes feels a little busy.

Even so, this is a game that is a beauty to run and play, and an incredible setting. I heartily recommend it!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Nikodemus S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2011 11:00:23

3rd edition of Nobilis doesn't change any of the fundamentals of the game, but rearranges the whole very nicely -- which is not to say that there aren't any mechanical or setting changes, just that core of the game remains intact.

Good Stuff:

  • Descriptions of Heaven, Hell, Light, and Dark have been adjusted. They aren't incompatible with the old ones, but reflect a different side -- a more playable and more interesting side, I think.

  • Persona and Treasure replace Spirit and Realm. This is an excellent change. Spirit and Real were always a bit bland, whereas Persona and Treasure are full of flavour.

  • I absolutely adore new Bonds and Afflictions, and Chancel and Estate Properties, and the way they work with the rest of the mechanics. This is the way it should always have been. Want your character to "always win"? Can do. Want your character to "be known by name to everyone he meets". Can do. Great, great stuff.

  • Destiny and Projects system replaces character advancement rules, and also provides a robust seeming way to handle proper Noble projects like "free all souls from Hell". This rocks.

  • Mechanics for Mortal actions and Imperial Miracles -- a substantive improvement over the old "mortals don't really matter, and Imperators are hand-waved". (Imperial Miracles aren't completely out of PC reach, either.)

  • I like that it is written for players more than HGs. I like that it makes the game approachable. The majesty still lurks in the flores, but the main text is more driven by energy! and whimsy. You get the feeling "WOW! I MUST PLAY THIS AT ONCE!" not the "Oh, awasome. I must think about this and then I may be worthy of running a humble game. Maybe"

Mixed Bag:

  • Some of the art is great, some I don't like at all. Tastes will wary. Some of the things I didn't like at first are growing on me, though.

  • Zu. I like the concept, but a tiny bit more detail would have been nice. ProTip: http://imago.hitherby.com/?attachment_id=3089

  • Minimal number of examples makes the book quick and easy to read, but a few more things could have used an example, but none of these things are show-stoppers. Maybe we'll get a webified FAQ down the road.

What I didn't like or missed:

  • No Chancel Properties for Locust Court. Dionyl left out almost completely.

  • Imperator creation could have used more detail.

Overall, I give it 9 points out of 10 -- or 5 stars in this case.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Rand B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2011 15:27:52

For the first time since 2006, the Nobilis RPG returns to print in a third edition. The new full-color book is quite a change from the over-the-top elegance of the second edition, but it's colorful and has quite a few amazing pieces of art. The new rules replace Realm and Spirit with Persona and Treasure, two new attributes that provide greater granularity to a Power's embodiment of their Estate.

Taken as a whole, the new edition of Nobilis is a rousing success for fans of the gameline and an excellent starting point for players who have wanted access to the game for years but were unable to find it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Ian H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2011 11:54:59

I have no idea whether this review will ever see the light of day, since this is related to the PDF copy of Nobilis that I got when I managed to snag approximately copy #90 from the limited-edition run that was sold for the author's birthday.

This product contains 80% of all you require for true happiness!

For the other 20%, you will need a physical copy.

Nobilis 3. It's nearly as much better than Nobilis 2 as Nobilis 2 is better than the lack of Nobilis in the world. It seems to have addressed (and elegantly!) the problems that I've heard other people had with Nobilis, and spends time discussing things like 'so who -are- nobles?' and 'so what do they -do-?' The system contains a bunch of what I would call next-generation tech if I were talking about consumer electronics or software, rather than an RPG.

The layout of this full-colour three-hundred-plus-page PDF is good, easy to read and everything; the art is attractive but less so than in the previous edition, ranging from 'comparable to Nobilis 2' to 'decent fanart' in quality. There is a good and useful table of contents and a more than serviceable index, both of which are sources of joy to anyone who's ever had to look anything up in a White Wolf book (or, if I'm being honest, Nobilis 2nd edition).

The book is approachable in the same way that a lot of those little pamphlet-style roleplaying games from indie publishers try to be approachable. It is not written with the assumption that you know how to play roleplaying games. But at the same time it manages not to be patronising.

I would have bought the book even if it didn't contain a roleplaying game. There is a strong authorial tone to this book which is absent in most RPG manuals, which gives the whole thing a strong 'this is an IC document' feel to it. I think this is great; I have been a fan of Dr. Moran's writing style since I was first referred to Hitherby Dragons many years ago. If there were someone out there who disliked the writing style, I think they'd have a great deal of trouble with the... no, I just can't do it. I can't criticise this book. There's nothing bad about it. If you are wondering whether you should buy this book, rather than picking up a second-hand copy of the previous edition: you should buy this book. You will get your money's worth.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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