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Sailor Moon/Nobilis
Sailor Moon/Nobilis
Ryuugi just posted a Sailor Moon/Nobilis snippet over on Spacebattles (, and I figured some people in this thread may like to read his follow-up post about Usagi as a starting Nobilis character:

Quote:For those who don't know, Bonds, Afflictions, and Imperial Miracles are major parts of Nobilis and how it's played, in that they are used to define aspects of the story, as well as elements of the character. Bonds are things the story is trying to prove true. Afflictions are things the story accepts as true. And Imperial Miracles are broad strokes, summaries, and asides--statements on the general direction of the story. To use the example of the Trojan war, Odysseus' wits are a Bond, as something the story is trying to demonstrate and express, whereas Helen's beauty is simple a fact that it accepts; there's a woman who's face could launch a thousand ships, the end. An Imperial Miracle, then, is something like Eris throwing the apple, to cause things to escalate and break down.

Going into this story, I gave myself some rules--there were things that had to happen and things that couldn't happen and I'd just build everything around that. First, I wasn't going to give her any extra points at 'chargen', because I don't think I need to, but I was still going to make sure Usagi herself was appropriately absurd. Second, the goddamn theme song has to play into the Bonds and Afflictions somehow. So here's what I did.

Bond: Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight, never running from a real fight—I'm the one named Sailor Moon! 5

That's a Bond. It's something Usagi tries and strives for, something she works at, something you can generally accept about her--she fights evil, wins love, doesn't run away when it counts, and is Sailor Moon. Those aren't inherent facts of the setting, they're things you can try to contradict, but be advised, she will punch through just about anything that tries to say this isn't true.

Affliction: I will never turn a back on a friend, I am always there to defend, I am the one on whom you can depend—I’m the one named Sailor Moon! 5

This, on the other hand, is something the story accepts as a fact. She's someone who stands by her friends, someone people can and do trust in, is always there to protect people, and, again, is Sailor Moon. This is stone-cold fact, up there with the laws of thermodynamics, and unless it's backed by serious mojo, it'll ignore anything that says it isn't entirely, up and including reality. But oh, the villain says, how can she always be there to defend when she's here on Monday and goons attacked the previous Sunday? Except she can get from Monday to Sunday, if needs must, as if she had Perfect Timing, if needs must, because she's always there to defend. It's that level of True.

But both those things aside, a lot of it's tied up in her power, too. Usagi's a Persona-based Power, because I couldn't really see Usagi creating or destroying Love, of her imposing it on someone or taking away. But she's still the Power of Love, the shape of it, and the proof of it's power and I felt that was important, so I gave her Persona 3, such that she can Emulate love freely, but a Lesser Enchantment would take a bit of power and a Greater Enchantment would take a lot. Persona 3, in and of itself, may be middling as Persona Powers go, but something I try to stick to was what Jenna Moran said about Passions and Skills; namely, there's no point in using more skill points, when you can just choose better skills. I try to stick to that and that's why I also chose to build Usagi as a chargen character, rather than some vast Excrucian. Persona 3 is enough, if you know how to use it.

Except it's more complicated than that. See, Persona 3 cost nine skill points out of twenty-five, but where are the other sixteen? They're in her Gifts. Or rather, her Gift.

Treasure Gift: The Sailor Senshi: 16 Points
Treasure 9-level miracle, automatically activates when appropriate, effective almost anywhere, and has a flexible, loosely defined ability. Uncommon. Three Strike.

Yeah, some min-maxing might have been involved, but in this case, it made sense to me--I wanted most of Usagi's effective power to be in her friends, in her regalia, and in the miracles they can make happen through who and what they are. Because a Treasure 9-level Gift like that opens up a lot of options for her, as it allows her to use any Treasure miracle up to that level*, but it's biggest, subtlest effect is the Imperial Miracle it leaves running. For them, this isn't an active, constant thing that they're constantly enforcing, either, it just is.

Because when you get right down to it, that's what Usagi's power boils down to--a general statement on what the story is about. It's something fundamental, but also vague, like all Imperial Miracles--a statement of direction and fact, but an open-ended one. Needless to say, it can't say anything like 'Everything will work out in the end,' because that's a result and not a direction or story. But she can say that this is a story where things can work out in the end, if people try hard enough, if they fight for it and believe in it and hold on. And, what's more, she can give those who fight for love and justice and never give up a pretty heft edge over those who don't**.

And for the most part, that's what she does. She makes a statement about the story and world around her, about light and love and hope, to the general effect of 'This is a magical girl story.'

And a lot of other people can comment on that! She's not the only one with Imperial Miracles to throw around, after all, even if her's is a bit ridiculous. They can append elements or add to that to shape the story further. Lord Entropy, for example, could set his own Imperial Miracles into motion, and say it's the nature of things to get worse and go wrong. He can color that story, saying it's a Magical Girl story, yes, but that it's like PMMM or one of the many dark magical girl shows--hell, he could make it like Sailor Moon, where everyone she loves periodically dies or is turned against her. They can hurt her that way. Potentially, they can even kill her.

But no one can look at Usagi's story and just outright say it's not a magical girl story. No one can look at her and say love and hope and friendship aren't powerful or important with her around, because they're important in general, but she enforces their importance and preserves it. Usagi's far from the only voice speaking, but she is a voice, and a powerful voice and she shapes the story she's in as a result.

So, for example, circa just before the start of this story, Usagi turned aside a major incursion by the Excrucians, a full on assault that nearly broke through, and got a great deal of attention as a result--and she did it by shuffling through her Estate Properties, drawing on the power of her Bonds and Afflictions, and shaping the story of the Sailor Senshi into a weapon that says 'As long as stars can continue to be born, war won't end. The darkness calls to the light, and the light calls again to the darkness. Is this the will of the galaxy? Saying I'll end the war...Will that be the end of everything? I won't give up. Everyone always told me... At the end of war there is hope and the future. I'll make our future. So don't you abandon hope. Believe. Our star of hope will never disappear. As long as it keeps shining, we'll be all right. We won't be defeated.'

And someone can turn around and just say 'Actually, you will be.' They can! But they better bring their A-Game and prepare to take some hurt, because you will start running into free, 8-Strike attacks and cheap greater miracles if you ride that train. It's much easier to play with the story, to shape and guide it like any other Imperial Miracle, but if you run head first into that thing, can be unpleasant.

So Orderic Nuestry wielded Loss against her, to try to tear those she loved away from her, to try wipe away everything great about her, to try to unravel her. Raginhart Tribunas tortured her beyond words with Agony, hurt her beyond mortal definitions of pain, and kept doing so to try and break her. Teja Heimerich left her breathless in the Void, stripped everything away, and cursed her with breathlessness, tying the Not around her like a noose and leaving her to die. Marozia Carolin tried to twist her against herself and the world and everything she loves with Harmfulness, poisoning her and trying to corrupt her. And, hell, even Iolithae Septimian Lied to her about the world.

And it hurt. It hurt her terribly. She walked away from that fight near death, with all the Afflictions and Bonds to show for it. She's still suffering from a curse of breathlessness and for awhile, she was suspicious that it might have been a lie when Iolithae Septimian told her she wasn't Iolithae Septimian, until she remembered that she was the one named Sailor Moon. Orderic and Raginhart left her bedridden after the battle and Marozia made her jump through hoops in a battle to define natures. It was a bloody, drawn out fight and by the end, she was on the verge of death and in recovery for weeks.

But she still won that fight.

*Which, long story short, means the Senshi are still around and, as a whole, they and Usagi are fuck off dangerous, particularly when they're in tune with her Bond or their own Imperial Miracle, which isn't really hard. As a rule, they can justify their way to Usagi's side from basically anywhere and throw down just fine in miraculous combat with free Level 6, 7, and 8 miracles with some permanent Strike behind them. Dat shit's scary, yo, but also rule's legal.

**Specifically, something like a persistent 3MP discount on everything she does, which can mean a pretty abrupt jump in ability; roughly equivalent to having a 3 in Aspect, Domain, and Treasure, in fact, at least in the proper circumstances, and a much heftier boost to Persona that changes things a lot. Usagi's Persona 3, is normally just enough for a Lesser Emulation, but can reach a Greater Enchantment with a major effort--4MP, essentially, in a vacuum. But if an Excrucian menace lays waste to the people of such and such place and Usagi's fighting them, Usagi could spend a single point to pull out a Greater Enchantment and go 'Love never dies' to raise the fallen, no problem. Or, she could pull off a Lesser Enchantment or Lesser Emulation and just pump a lot into Strike--particularly if you run ashy of her Bond, in which case that miracle will punch through damn near anything.

But in story, she's not her getting a discount--she's drawing from shocking, unseen depths of power in the face of adversity, as a magical girl.


Fun fact, I honest to god wasn't kidding about Jenna Moran dropping a Sailor moon example. In the Story of Treasure, as an example of a Level 8 miracle, she said ‘If you’re a sailor-suited warrior of love and justice, and you have a magical grail, maybe you can use this to flood the grail with love energy and bring a bunch of dead people back to life or redeem the hosts of Hell.’ And at that point, I just had to.

But I decided to go with the classics for Love; namely, 1 Corinthians 13:

Estate Properties:
  • Love is patient and kind
  • Love does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud.
  • Love does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.
  • Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
  • Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
  • Love never fails.
  • Love never dies.
Some of those might seem like a bigger deal than others, but honestly, all of them can really stand out once they get some miracles behind them--as always, Nobilis is a game that rewards creativity over simple power. Being tortured by Orderic or Raginhart? Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Being turned into a horrific monster? Love does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. Being strangled to death? Love never dies. Pop a Lesser Enchantment or Emulation and you can get a lot of mileage on Afflictions alone, and with an Imperial Miracle, suddenly those are Greater Enchantments and Emulations, for the same cost. And in a pinch, while following the principles of her own story, she can even do stuff like a Sacrifices of her Estate to make an enemy envious, boastful, or proud, and lead them to fall into story traps and such.

TL;DR: Nobilis is all about finding your niche--and abusing the hell out of it.
“I really hope I’m behind this convoluted mess; at least that way I’ll be able to get revenge by doing this to myself. I won’t even have to feel bad because it’ll be all my fault.” - Harry Potter, The Master of Death by Ryuugi.
RE: Sailor Moon/Nobilis
You know, even without a grounding in the game system being used, this is such a spot-on summary of the way I see Usagi that I wonder if he's managed to look at my notes file. <grin> Even -- especially -- the I Corinthians quote. Usagi's not a paragon -- she has her jealousies, her laziness, and other faults -- but that passage is like a touchstone for everything she can be -- and sometimes is, to godlike levels.

Thanks for posting this! I'm going to copy it directly into my dev file.
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
RE: Sailor Moon/Nobilis
Oh, is this 1 Corinthians day?  Cool.  (Sorry Trump, I know how much you love "Two Corinthians".)

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 Wrote:⁷Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  ⁸To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, ⁹ to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, ¹⁰to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  ¹¹All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Let's see, that's Mamoru, Ami, Makoto, Usagi, Hotaru, Rei, Setsuna, and Minako.  Honestly I'm not so sure about the speaking in tongues thing, was glossolalia some kind of classical era meme?  Let's just say that Setsuna was good at not conveying meaning, and Minako knows the language of the heart.  Chibi-usa was good at speaking with her tongue out, does that count?
"Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
RE: Sailor Moon/Nobilis
Glossolalia was one of the ways by which one may know someone is in contact with the gods/spirits. Mostly because it was strange, nonsensical and often a result of hallucinogenic drugs.
RE: Sailor Moon/Nobilis
(02-01-2018, 12:39 AM)hazard Wrote: Glossolalia was one of the ways by which one may know someone is in contact with the gods/spirits. Mostly because it was strange, nonsensical and often a result of hallucinogenic drugs.

You realize, of course, that this sounds like a description and name of a Sailor Moon "monster of the week"... Big Grin
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
RE: Sailor Moon/Nobilis
But unlike the usual monster that could only speak its name, this one never sounds the same way twice! <grin>
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
RE: Sailor Moon/Nobilis
(02-01-2018, 08:31 AM)Bob Schroeck Wrote: But unlike the usual monster that could only speak its name, this one never sounds the same way twice! <grin>

*Shatter*   Love..... ly.....
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to rock the sky?
Thats' every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry!

No Quarter by Echo's Children

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