Nobilis Chancel Creation

This page explains the Chancel creation process for the RPG Nobilis, to help those who don’t own a copy of the book. If you’re looking for character creation instead, that’s here.

The characters in a Family of Nobles share a Chancel between them. This is a portion of space set aside by the Imperator, and is said to require a human death on each of 100 consecutive nights to create. Chancels can have any theme, from verdant gardens to high-technology laboratories, bright fairytale worlds to cities of Lovecraftian horror. It can be in a fixed location in the Prosaic Earth, or there can be doorways to it anywhere, or maybe the players can wish themselves there from anywhere in the world!

The players create their Chancel together once they have created their characters. Once they have decided on what their Chancel should be, they can then spend Chancel Points creating it. The Chancel has as many points available as the sum of all characters’ Realm points. As in other aspects of Nobilis, you can also buy your Chancel defects which cost negative points, freeing up more points to spend in other areas.

The Chancel properties in the rulebook are summarised below:


How easy it is to get in and out of the Chancel. Without this property, the Chancel probably has between 2 and 7 entrances within the same local area. By spending points:


Miraculous artifacts (‘Allia’) or troublesome objects (‘banes’) formed within the Chancel at its creation through the glory of the Imperator or through the deaths that created the Chancel. Banes are objects that actively seek to cause the Imperator, the Chancel and its Nobles to suffer. Allia, if found and invoked by name, grant wishes - though their wishes do not last forever, and in naming them, they are destroyed utterly.


The Chancel’s power to actively resist hostile intrusion. This grants it its own Realm miracles, which it can cast as necessary at the rate of one or two a minute. It has an infinite supply of Miracle Points for this. The Borderguard detects all hostile intruders except those with an Auctoritas stronger than the Borderguard’s Penetration Value. It then attacks with Miracles up to the Borderguard’s Strength. One buys the Borderguard’s Power and Penetration Value separately. Power is bought at 3 Chancel Points per level, Penetration at 1 Chancel Point per level. Note that Lesser Divinations are useless to a Borderguard - it automatically sees things it needs to see. Accordingly, Lesser Divination instead lets it notify authorities (militia, police, Nobles) of a threat.

Defender's Blessing

Prevents hostile magic from harming the Chancel or its inhabitants. Each 2 Chancel Points gives the Chancel 1 point of Auctoritas (i.e. damaging miracles require 1 extra level of Penetration to have an effect). When within a Chancel, characters defend with whichever is the higher of their Auctoritas or the Chancel’s.

Extra Landlord

The Imperator has given Noble powers to a non-Noble who has been charged with overseeing the Chancel instead of the characters. On the plus side, their Realm score contributes points to the Chancel, but on the other hand, they may disagree with the characters and may have been given lots of power to enforce their will.

Magical Inhabitants

Individual Chancelfolk or part of the population as a whole possess Earthly magics. Faeries, Unicorns and even high-technology constructs fall under this category. Their magic is nothing compared to a Noble’s, but still potent enough in its own way. 1 Chancel Point allows these things to exist, extra points buy them extra attributes.

Mana Mine

The Chancel is particularly real, more beautiful and strange and glorious than the Earth around it, and it oozes Mana from its less well-formed places. It is hard - though quite possible - for Nobles to harvest Miracle Points from it. On the other hand, the Chancel could be unreal and chimerical compared to the surrounding Earth. These Chancels must be constantly fed by Noble magics lest they drift away from Earth into the lands outside Creation.

Miscellaneous Chancel Blessings

This nebulous category offers possibilities for the Chancel having some particular use amongst Nobles and Imperators, gaining their Family some amount of respect or protection - or notoriety. These cost between -4 and 8 Chancel Points, as agreed with the GM. Examples from the book are:


Generally, Chancelfolk are imbued with a slight loyalty to the Imperator and his chosen Powers. In some cases, however, the Imperator has chosen to make them particularly loyal - or much less so. This is represented in giving the Powers of the chancel automatic gifts as below:


General properties of the Chancel that pervade it and influence the interplay between technology and magic within.

Spirit Pathways

Gateways that connect Chancels to each other, bypassing Earth entirely.


Hi Ian. Thanks for doing this and the other two summaries for Nobilis 2nd Edition (Great White Book). Any chance you'd do a summary of "Conflict Resolution" aka Nobilis Combat?

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