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Nephilim Legende


Ian Absentia

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For those of you who were wondering what the crowdfunded reboot from a few years back looked like -- and for those who are literate in French -- Nephilim Legende is available in PDF via DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/274494/Nephilim-Quintessence


Enjoix!

!i!

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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Note that one sentence in the game's decription is misleading.

Quote

Fondées sur le fameux moteur de jeu D100 (celui qui motorisait les deux premières éditions de Nephilim), (...)

"Based on the famous D100 game engine (the one that was used in the first two editions of Nephilim) (...)"

The game is d100 roll-under, but it doesn't use BRP at all. Skills are replaced with freeform "Past lives", ranked from 1 to 10. To succeed at a task, you roll 1d100 under as "Past life" (sometimes modified by your elemental affitinies) x10. The 10s of the roll determine quality of success, and doubles are criticals (the only reason why you use a d100 and not a d10).

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On 6/22/2021 at 3:57 AM, Mugen said:

Note that one sentence in the game's decription is misleading.

"Based on the famous D100 game engine (the one that was used in the first two editions of Nephilim) (...)"

The game is d100 roll-under, but it doesn't use BRP at all. Skills are replaced with freeform "Past lives", ranked from 1 to 10. To succeed at a task, you roll 1d100 under as "Past life" (sometimes modified by your elemental affitinies) x10. The 10s of the roll determine quality of success, and doubles are criticals (the only reason why you use a d100 and not a d10).

It's a lot simpler than any prior edition. I think that's an improvement and I think any attempts at English revival by Chaosium could take notes.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
12 hours ago, smiorgan said:

I wonder if they modified the setting so that Nephilim don't seem extradimentional predators possessing human victims...which was the major turnoff for me.

That was, more or less, always the approach of the French editions -- I gather this is no different.  But you've more or less front-loaded your disappointment by airing that old complaint.  Have a look at Andrew Montgomery's somewhat revisionist, but spiritually correct approach to the Nephilim's dualistic nature:

 

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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18 hours ago, smiorgan said:

Sounds interesting. I'm tempted by the rules light d100 system, even though the crunchiness of BRP still appeals to me.

I wonder if they modified the setting so that Nephilim don't seem extradimentional predators possessing human victims...which was the major turnoff for me.

 

 

Quote

But you've more or less front-loaded your disappointment by airing that old complaint.

It might be an old complaint, but it's still valid, and people have posted a lot of workarounds. One of the most common is to have the PCs be an awakened Human that will transform into a fully spiritual being, by reaching Agartha, over many lifetimes.

It's my favourite because you can play it from the point when the current incarnation is exposed to something magical or a piece of history from one of their past lives that starts their awakening in this time. When confronted with something that relates to the past life roll to see if it triggers a flashback. Relay the memory and give a past life check. As the past life score progresses you get more of the relevant skills. I plan on using a version of the allegiance rules to handle this.

I don't like the idea of having the human be a willing host/sacrifice that chooses to become a vessel for a Nephilim because there is no guarantee that they haven't been manipulated or coerced into it.

Edited by Greville
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The sacred sentence of science: "I might be wrong: let's find out." - David Brin

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2 hours ago, Greville said:

It might be an old complaint, but it's still valid, and people have posted a lot of workarounds.

I don't think it is valid, but I also think it's a topic for another thread, and one that's been done many times over: The Western Cult of Individuality and Why I Really Want to Play a Different Game That's Actually About Me.  The only workaround that's ever been necessary is to simply ignore p.83 entirely.  The Major Arcana encompass every incarnation model that's ever been discussed or argued, including (ho-hum) the Awakened Human that we find in every other game of the contemporary occult.

Me?  I want to play a game about the annihilation of the Self and the Chymical Wedding of lower and higher natures, not Past Life Pokémon to fuel the Super-Self (talk about "predatory").  But, ignore p.83 and they're both in that book, along with a bunch of other cool takes.  People have been totally overlooking incarnation in aquatic megafauna.  Or incarnation in androids to explore the Macrocosm, or in AIs to explore the Microcosm.

That said, I don't don't get the impression that that's what Nephilim Legende has in store. 

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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13 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

 Have a look at Andrew Montgomery's somewhat revisionist, but spiritually correct approach to the Nephilim's dualistic nature:

 

Thanks @Ian Absentia, that's a pretty interesting take, which I wish were more explicitly suggested in the Chaosium edition.

Getting back to the topic of the thread, the d100 system of the "new" French edition, looks a lot like the d100 Lite system of Barebones Fantasy with past lives instead of "classes".

 

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On 10/7/2021 at 8:10 AM, smiorgan said:

Sounds interesting. I'm tempted by the rules light d100 system, even though the crunchiness of BRP still appeals to me.

I wonder if they modified the setting so that Nephilim don't seem extradimentional predators possessing human victims...which was the major turnoff for me.

Such a change would have been very badly received in the French fanbase, to be honest.

However, 3rd edition introduced Ar-Kaïms, which are magically modified humans. They were not very welcomed, as French fans usually think of them as an attempt to appeal to manga/anime fans. But after reading many comments like yours on English language forums, I think it was an answer to complaints like yours.

It would be possible to run an Ar-Kaïm campaign, but I don't know if you can play them in the core Légende rules.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I like how the 5th edition heavily simplifies the rules. Rather than separate attributes and Ka, these are condensed into the same traits. Rather than complicated past lives with associated skills, past lives are treated as skills. This would make it much easier to recall new past lives during play. Over on my blog I'm using that as a model for my suggestions to simplify the rules for the English adaptation.

With regard to the Ar-KaIm... according to the new lore they all just vanished because metaplot. It's very disappointing, but I guess it was done to appease the market that never liked them?

I'm using the suggestion from Montgomery's blog where the elemental spirit doesn't have a distinct personality due to a lack of soul/Sol and instead each of the incarnations has a distinct personality. More like the Kwisatz Haderach, Golden Path, and ego-memories in the Dune series. (Fun fact: the French version actually used "Kwisatz Haderach" and "Golden Path" several times in reference to Dune.) So you wouldn't really need the Nephilim vs Ar-KaIm distinction anymore; unless you need some unified rules for handling characters with non-standard elemental configurations, I guess. The French version was full of stuff like that, such as the rejects and grafts created by the 666 and whatever the heck the Orichalquiens were doing.

I've heard several people mention they played games from the perspectives of the secret societies fighting the evil body-thieves, and quite frankly I got sick of it. There's still the quest for Agartha, because having all those ego-memories changes your perspective on life and the universe, but I think the reframing of nephilim as sums of souls and elemental fusions makes them more sympathetic to players (even if the RPG community is hypocrites who have no problem playing cannibal cults) and makes the secret societies unambiguously evil or at best deluded.

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1 hour ago, MoonRightRomantic said:

I've heard several people mention they played games from the perspectives of the secret societies fighting the evil body-thieves...

Which is like the double-reverse of the classic "Call of Cthulhu from the Monster's POV" complaint.  Which is also, essentially, the premise of Delta Green, so knock yourselves out with another very good game, folks!

1 hour ago, MoonRightRomantic said:

...I think the reframing of nephilim as sums of souls and elemental fusions makes them more sympathetic to players [...snip...] and makes the secret societies unambiguously evil or at best deluded.

One hopes, though it can be a bumpy road for player and character alike (see Philip K. Dick's VALIS).  Minus the elemental metamorphosis, this is the approach I'm taking with White Rabbit Green.

!i!

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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  • 5 months later...
On 11/4/2021 at 4:03 PM, MoonRightRomantic said:

[...] Over on my blog I'm using that as a model for my suggestions to simplify the rules for the English adaptation. [...]

Hi @MoonRightRomantic, you briefly cited your blog and your work on rule simplification for Nephilim... Would mind providing the URL for your blog? I'd be very interested in this topic!

Thanks in advance

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