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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
 
$49.95 $19.95
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by william p. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2013 17:17:32
I never read or played Nobilis 1st or 2nd editions, but Nobilis 3rd edition is excellent. It is not like most RPGs, in a number of ways, but I feel it gives more freedom than the average RPG as well. I have never felt more capable of designing a PC whose concept is whole and compelling than when I used the diceless systems in this book to create sample characters.

Others have said all of the big details better than I have, so I will leave it at this. Buy Nobilis, read it over a few times, give it a chance. You won't regret it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Jason L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/12/2012 16:40:47
I think it's hilarious that the largest complaint about this book from existing Nobilis fans is "They changed the art!!!" Why? Because this (third) edition changes so many major things. Literally half of the attributes have been replaced (goodbye Realm and Spirit, hello Persona and Treasure). Bonds and restrictions have gone from a mild weakness to one of the most expanded and important systems in the game. Chancels and Imperators are designed more loosely now, with no point system to min-max. Everything works BETTER in so many ways!

And I guess that's why people whine about the art. Because it's the only possible thing to complain about. (Well, that and the organization. I think this core book can be a little schizophrenic or ADHD in how it presents sections, even if those sections themselves are very clearly written. But that's not enough to knock off more than half a star, at worst.)

Well, I'm here to say that the art is GREAT! The relaxed, anime-style approach is exactly what Nobilis needed -- it's a wonderful change from the Serious Art Pieces of the second edition. I think it will help to dispel this notion that Nobilis is some pretentious, serious, intimidating game. Seriously, there are a LOT of gamers who look at Nobilis and think, "I can't run that. I wouldn't even know where to start!" and a large part of that is presentation. When the truth is, at heart, Nobilis really boils down to, "OMG I'm a demigod now. I can do cool miracles and stuff! I'M GONNA GO DO COOL STUFF!!! :D"

Nobilis can be played seriously or lighthearted, but no matter what, it's supposed to be FUN, and this new edition really puts that in the foreground. So five stars from me for taking an RPG I already loved and making it better, clearer, and more accessible. Thanks, Jenna and everyone involved!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by carlos f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/05/2011 18:55:10
The game itself is worth 4.5 stars, but mrs Moran hauntingly beautiful style of writing is worth half a star more. Each little entry , based on fictional books, which adorn the game has more sense of fantasy and wonder that most rpgs manage to cram in the whole work. One of those rare rpg books that can be readen once and again, even if you never intend to play it. It reminds me somewhat of Amber Diceless, another of my old time favourites. If you liked that game, youll probably like this one too.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Loris G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2011 07:36:36
The text is _excellent_ and the game is a fine one.

However, the illustrations have burnt through my eye to devour my soul and spit it into the far-beyond-the-world abyss. The horror. The horror of it all...

A text-only version with only the layout kept (logos, frames, etc) would be real good news.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Craig N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2011 14:37:50
I hesitated between four and five stars, but the presentation problems are sufficient to knock a star off any book, even one this good. I've posted a fairly extensive review here
http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15366.phtml
if you want an extended overview. As far as the style of the book, the free download Preview will clarify that better than my or any other review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Roland H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2011 17:41:21
I was a fan of 2nd edition Nobilis - out of the RPG:s I've tried, it was the one which had the greatest potential for making weird and fanciful characters, and character creation is one of the things I really enjoy.
And Nobilis 3rd edition is, I'm happy to say, more than twice as awesome as its predecessor when it comes to character crafting.

The new Attributes are better than those they replaced, the Estate Properties really helps define what your estate IS, the lifepath system makes you examine your character and give it depth - and above all, Bonds and Afflictions take your character's personality traits and codify them in a way that provides awesome game-mechanical advantages.

Now, this book does have some flaws, the prime one according to me is that it needs MORE STUFF.
More example characters, more background story, more Gifts, more Treasures, more gameplay examples - an example session play-through like in 2nd edition would be excellent - more details about Excrucian tactics, more campaign ideas, more example Projects...

HOWEVER, these gaps can be filled in - there's stuff available on the net, like the play-through or rule question threads on the rpg.net forums, or the example characters on nobilis.me (I contributed a page of example Estates there myself, and quite a few example Bonds and Afflictions).

That is to say, what we've got in this Book is - as the title says - The Essentials.
Everything else can be added later. (I hope for a volume 2, myself.)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Sascha K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2011 13:05:54
It is still Nobilis. You will love or hate it, there is no middleground. The art is...let's say unconventional for the theme of the book. Maybe it is a chinese thing, but it didn't help the product. But the rules are better organized and many things are clarified.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Jim H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2011 23:29:55
Nobilis 3e is the latest edition of a cult classic, but it's a great game in its own right - by far the best and most playable edition yet. If you liked PLAYING the earlier editions you'll LOVE playing this one. If the previous edition seemed somehow too austere and self-contained to you to imagine using, you should find the new edition positively welcoming. If you valued the Hogshead edition for its style and atmosphere, you'll do best approaching the EOS-Sama edition on its own terms. If you're new to Nobilis, you've picked the right edition.

As a text, Nobilis 3e is lively, inviting and personal. As a set of rules, it's usable, simple, and surprisingly deep. As a revision, it's downright bold. Like previous editions, Nobilis is a diceless, resource-management system. Like previous editions, Nobilis PCs are defined by four attributes.

Two of the four attributes are completely different. I wouldn't expect that radical a rethinking by any designer, especially not of a game that seemed as "finished" as Nobilis. But the changes are excellent. The new Persona attribute is the game's killer app, not least because you can finally turn someone into a frog (if you're the power of Frogs!). Treasure replaces Realm, which will be a relief to every player who ever put points into Realm and then had trouble using it in-game. The conflict system has been completely overhauled, and is a lot of fun now. The Projects system provides a way to pace and resolve player-driven plot lines. The Lifepath character-creation system is first of all a creative prompt for players, but it's also a fantastic generator of player-hooks for the GM.

I've enjoyed playing this edition, beginning in the playtest period and continuing past the end of playtesting because it's just too enjoyable to stop. If you like hidden-reality fantasy - Roger Zelazny; Neil Gaiman; Stephen R. Donaldson; Jack Kirby et al; If you enjoy games ranging from White Wolf to Amber to Over the Edge; If you like armchair philosophy AND a good kung fu flick; if you think game sessions should be able to move freely among comedy, majesty and tragedy; there's a very good chance you're going to like this game.

I'll ding the book for the following things. I wish there was more GM advice and explicit tools. The lifepaths and Projects system are, truth to tell, awesome GM tools, but they're not quite called out as such. The campaign-prep chapter that Jenna Moran guide; I'd kill for something on that level in Nobilis 3e. The much-debated art is hit-or-miss with me. I'm not part of the manga generation, so a lot of it is just outside my wheelhouse. It does have some nice pieces, and others that aren't to my taste, and some that probably count as bad on their own terms. I care a little about this, but you don't play the art. You play the game. And the game is solid.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2011 17:20:56
At long last, it is here! I have awaited Nobilis 3E for many years now. My copy of the 2E Great White Book holds a precious place upon my shelf, coveted and treasured. When I first heard that a new Nobilis was to come, I was overjoyed, and promised copies to all my friends that they should share my marvel. And now, the time has finally arrived... and I find my feelings, mixed.

For the unfamiliar: Nobilis casts the players as guardians of Creation, mythic lords of concepts and classes of things. One might be "the Power of Fire", with the ability to ignite a forest with a whim, or to ignite the metaphoric fire in a faltering ally's heart. They have been entrusted with these powers by godlike beings known as 'Imperators', the true rulers over these ideas, beings whose death would erase their Estates from Creation entirely. The players must wield their gifts to advance their own personal interests, defend them from the petty whims of other Nobles, and (if they are most unfortunate) to defend Creation from the Lovecraftian horrors who have come from outside to take it all away.

Mechanically, the game has improved immensely since the second edition, and it is truly a brilliant and modern RPG. While many of my gamer friends express hesitation and reservations at the notion of a a diceless RPG ("but how do you know when you fail?!"), the system WORKS spectacularly, utilizing resource management in the stead of dice-based uncertainty. Throw enough power at a problem, and you WILL succeed... but perhaps without the strength to overwhelm your next obstacle.

What distresses me, however, is that I believe the utterly fantastic setting is rather poorly conveyed, which is absolutely tragic for inducting new players. Many of the broad strokes of the setting, it's unique cosmology, the Excrucian War, *why* the Imperators created Nobilis, are either mentioned in odd places or omitted entirely. I must admit that without my knowledge of 2E, I'd have a very difficult time understanding what I was reading. The emphasis seems instead to be on what Nobilis are capable of, and instances of particular concerns that they might have. This lack of top-down material is a serious problem, and one that results in both a huge loss of points and disappointment... everyone I showed the GWB to 'got it', but I've had much more responses of confusion and uncertainty with this new edition.

Despite these failings, it is still a must have! Just, obtain a copy of the GWB for reference, if you can. I still eagerly await future books in the line (ye gods, an entire Nobilis LINE!) in the hopes that they shall rectify this oversight, and add even more amazing wonders to the setting. :)

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Scott A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2011 17:08:47
I originally stumbled across the Great White Book in my local hobby shop. Although fascinating I was unable to find others to play the game. It has stayed on my shelf for these many years and from time to time I get it down and read it. The text and presentation is beautiful but the system bits always proved a little too elusive for me.

Now with the long awaited 3rd edition I feel I finally understand not only the world of Nobilis but how to actually play the game. The lifepath system helps you create interesting characters that have a real investment in the setting. Our group is very excited to see this finally become available and we will definitely be playing this game soon. If you have not picked up Nobilis before this game is much more accessable than the previous versions. If you have seen the game before but didn't 'get it' I'd look this one over it definitely helped us understand the game better. If you an old hand at Nobilis the lifepath system, mortal components, and projects are well worth checking it out.

Thanks EOS and Jenna we are so excited to get to play your lovely game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Kier R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/15/2011 17:12:04
Ok I'm really sorry but this entire game is really poorly put together, there are some good bits and some interesting ideas but then it's followed by a mix of really bad anime stereotypes confused setting background that wasn't fully explained it was more like something you would find for free online rather than a professional RPG that you have to spend quite a bit of money on. Really don't shove a mix of random anime and manga ideas together and hope it makes a good RPG but if you do at least try to make it understandable every bit of character creation is so convoluted and mixed up I still don't know even after making a character and trying to play the game if I've done it right. Finally really its a talk based RPG I'm sorry but you shouldn't have to pay money for this trust me if you and your friends are into RPG's and have any imagination just make up a game based on the description it will be far better and less confusing than this.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Andrew K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/15/2011 12:52:05
I've been playing Nobilis since the 2nd big-white-book edition. And while I'm thrilled to see one of my favorite games returning to the spotlight, there are some serious changes between editions and not all of them are good. The most obvious criticism that many have already made: the art is awful. For a game centered around the existence of beings that control and embody aspects of the very essence of Creation, cute anime cartoons seem grossly inappropriate.

But what of the rules? A lot of the structure present in 2nd edition has gone by the wayside in favor of less rigid, more narrative character/Imperator/Chancel creation. Gone are the Limits, Restrictions, Virtues; replaced instead with Afflictions and a modified version of Bonds, poorly defined and wordy narrative tools that may or may not grant Miracle Points to characters over the course of a session.

A kind of supplemental character creation tool, the Lifepath system, is included in 3rd edition. It's useful in sketching out characters and providing plot points in their background, potentially providing the character with Contacts gleaned from their mortal and mythic lives. Again, however, the results of the Lifepath system have no mechanical effect in game. It's an exclusively narrative exercise.

I'd encourage everyone interested in Nobilis to pick up the 2nd edition. 3rd edition has its merits and its problems. I'll always consider it a supplemental book to the game I love.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Brand R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2011 20:45:47
I've been playing Nobilis since the 1st edition in the hoary days of yesteryear, and have a long time love of the game with a profound since of its limitations and difficulties.

Every edition of Nobilis has changed the look of the game, and every edition has made it more playable. The difference between first and second editions was massive and all positive. The difference between second and third is less huge, and more mixed.

In terms of the game aspects of Nobilis, Third Edition is almost entirely an improvement. There are better points of integration between levels of play, better balance between stats, a closer power gap between the "types" of the game (which means that its interesting to play across boundaries rather than flatly pointless), and a generally improved sense of "how this actually works as a game." There are new mechanics that help you actually move through a campaign, giving focus and common understanding, and all of them are vast improvements over second edition.

In terms of tone and look, however... I'm not going to say that the look of third edition is bad, but I will say that I hate it. Part of that hatred comes from a distaste for the anime-esque inspirations of the art, and part of it comes from the overly busy layout and occasional pieces of bad fan-art that fill the book.

Part of the issue is that the book clearly isn't targeted at me. Its a funny thing to realize that you're old and out dated, but looking at this book I realize that I am, and that its probably a smart choice to target an audience that's younger, hipper, and into the kind of bishonin-centric crap that I so loathe. There is a big demographic thats often untapped in RPG publishing that none the less role plays, especially online, and I think this book does a good job of marketing itself to those folks. I wish Eos luck getting into that market, but damn do I hate the way the book looks. ;)

My consolation is that I won't be playing the book, I'll be playing the game. And third edition as a game is a clear improvement over previous editions.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Publisher: Eos Press
by Todd M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2011 16:59:05
"I make meaningless random girly statements while cutesy anime people pickpocket 20$ from the margins".

WTF? Pretentious nonsense. What is this. Wait, lemme guess. "Some people just don't 'get it'."

Far left end of the spectrum from other EOS products. Wow. Clothespin.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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