Using Miracles in Nobilis

The Nobilis sourcebook is somewhat confused on the subject of miracles, and manages to contradict itself in places. This page is my attempt at a summary of the rules as I understand them. In the cases where the text disagrees with the examples given, I’ve gone with the examples.

Step 1: What do you want to do?

As always, the first step is figuring out what you want your character to do. If it’s within the realms of normal human possibility, it just happens automatically unless it’s opposed by some other being of power.

Step 2: Is it a Gift?

If you want to do something you purchased as a Gift at character creation (or later, with Character Points earned), it just happens automatically (and for free) unless it’s opposed by some other being of power.

Step 3: Aspect, Domain, Realm or Spirit?

Each Miracle you use is tied to one of your four Attributes, and thus one of your four Miracle Point pools. Which of the four depends on what kind of miracle you’re doing.

Step 4: How hard is the Miracle?

Each potential miracle is assigned a level based on how difficult it is. This will later determine how costly the miracle is to use. Pick a description that matches what you’re trying to do. There are fuller descriptions in the book, starting on page 86 for Aspect.

For Aspect (these are quite woolly):

For Domain, these are all of one of your Estates, e.g. a Greater Creation of Storms:

For Realm, the descriptions (Lesser Preservation, etc.) are as above. Realm Miracles are not tied to your estates – you may Lesserly Preserve or Majorly Create anything – but the effect must take place in and be confined to your Chancel.

Spirit, as previously mentioned, doesn’t really have Miracles in the same way that the others do. Performing the Rituals of the Nobilis will be covered on a separate page.

Step 5: How much is it going to cost you?

Any Miracle of a level less than or equal to the number of dots you have in that attribute is free. (This is referred to as a ‘Simple’ Miracle.) For example, a Noble with 3 Aspect dots can perform “Improbable feats” (or anything lesser) for free. A Noble with 4 Domain dots can perform Lesser Creations for free.

One level more than your number of dots is considered a ‘Normal’ miracle, and will cost you 1 MP of the appropriate type. Two levels more is considered ‘Hard’, for a cost of 2 MP. Three or four levels higher (‘Deep’) costs 4 MP, and 5-8 levels higher requires use of a ‘Word of Power’, costing 8 MP and a wound.

For example: Elsa, the Power of Machinery, has 3 Domain dots and 6 Domain Miracle Points. She is onboard an aerial battleship that has taken heavy damage, and she wishes to use a Miracle to keep it safely flying. For such a huge ship this is a Major Preservation of Machinery, a level 6 Miracle. For a Noble with 3 Domain dots, this is a Hard Miracle, and will cost her 4 Domain Miracle Points. She’ll be left with two spare.

Step 6: Add penetration!

If you’re up against another Noble, an Excrucian or even an Imperator, they will have an ‘Auctoritas’ that prevents miracles from directly affecting them.

If your miracle is directly targetting an enemy, add 1 level of difficulty for each point of Penetration you wish the miracle to have. The Penetration value of your miracle must be greater than the target’s Auctoritas for it to be effective. For this reason, directly attacking other Powers with Miracles is risky, expensive, and rarely a good idea.

Step 7: Roleplay it!

Your Miracle triggers, have fun with it!

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