Nobilis kvetch – Temporality

So, after spending a bunch of time tooling around with Nobilis, I’ve realized a major hurdle to the kind of deity-level campaign I want to run:

Linear time.

I was really hoping the “being a fundamental element of the universe” thing would stretch into fun rules about time and existence, but no. Like any other RPG, time runs in a straight line. Nobilis is basically set up like any other RPG, except your characters are “powers.”

What do I mean by non-linear time?

Fundamentally, that you don’t have to wake up tomorrow. You could wake up yesterday, next week, at the birth of the universe, or a billion years from now.

This might require specialized mechanics so that you can’t “re-roll” everything you don’t do successfully, even after leveling up. But it would allow for amazing kinds of adventures, where the basic tenets of existence are malleable.

The game would be like a never-ending denoument to a Bill and Ted movie, where changing the past and the future simultaneously are the key to moving ahead.

If I get bored with all 800 of my other creative projects, I might try to make that RPG. I think it would have a Chrononauts-style aspect that the history of the universe relevant to the characters is laid out on cards, but those cards change as the universe itself is changed.