The Genius

Victor Von Dume

Bio

Name: Victor Von Dume
Academics Skill: Thinks knows he's smarter than everyone else
Sports Skill: Poor loser
Favorite Foods:
Blood Type:
Animal:
Age: 16?

XP Emotion: Eye Roll
Will: 8/8
MP: 5/5
Health: 1 Divine, 2 Tough, 1 Normal
Arcs: Knave of Hearts

Issues:

Skills

(Superior) Mental Control 3
My Kung Fu is Stronger 2
Renaissance Boy 2
Knowing When to Stop 1

Perks

Bond: I! Von Dume!
You get a bonus for ACTIONS after declaring that ONLY YOU could accomplish them. But you can't get help on those actions either.
Shine: From Knave of Hearts.

Quests

Basic Quest
Catchphrase; Kneel before Dume!
Propose science/magic theories

Arc Quest
Adventure GET
Major Goals
The HG can award you 5 XP towards this quest when:

  • Trouble starts or gets much worse in a well-staged way—whether that’s accidentally walking backwards into an enemy camp, breaking into a supposedly empty manor during what turns out to be a dinner party, or declaring that everything’s fine as long as there aren’t any werewolves around just before werewolves show up;
  • Someone rescues you;
  • You stand in a shadowed place and tell someone a secret, then run away before they can react.

You can earn each bonus once, for a total of 15 XP.

Quest Flavor1/chapter, you can earn a bonus XP towards this quest when you:

  • sneak into somewhere you shouldn’t go
  • risk trouble by digging into somebody’s secrets
  • drag others into your affairs/arrange their lives for them
  • propose a theory about the underlying situation you’re in
  • tell someone a story related to the underlying situation you’re in
  • get into trouble trying to help somebody else
  • risk trouble in the name of adventure!

You can combine this with an XP Action, but you’re not required to.

Knave of Hearts

Knave of Hearts
Knave of Hearts is a miraculous Mystic Arc. It’s suitable for larger-than-life characters who rope the world into their way of doing things, forcing it to play by their rules. It’s a good choice for players who want to be exuberant heroes or flamboyant villains and pursue a legend that they may or may not be making up as they go along. It’s also a good Arc for characters who have their own sense of what’s important in the world and can convince other people to go along with it.

It offers the following abilities:

Symbolic Logic
Idealize
Somebody Else’s Story (at Arc 1+)
Communion (at Arc 1+)
Shine Bonus (at Arc 1+)
The Dream That Dreams Do Dream Of (at Arc 2+)
Inevitability Entanglement (at Arc 2+)
Destiny Exile (at Arc 2+)
Mythos Complementation (at Arc 3+)
In addition, Main Characters receive the power Frantic (pg. 487, CMWGE) while actively pursuing this Arc.

Foreword
Your dreams have started to come true. Lately, they’ve been telling you things about yourself that you’d never realized before. You’ve seen a vision of yourself as something cool, as someone strong, as someone important, and the dream is coming true. You have a fabulous magical destiny and you’ve started to grow into it. It’s not just true; it’s too good to be true.

…and that’s a problem, isn’t it? Being too good to be true?

You don’t want the magic you’ve discovered in yourself to stop, so maybe it’s truth that should stop instead. Maybe it’s the world that you used to live in, the one where you were nobody, the world where people can be nobodies that ought to turn into a pumpkin when the clock finally strikes twelve.

It’s time for the world to hear your story. Let it listen or beware!

Fictional Inspirations

Jasmine Apocynum, the Ideologue, and Excrucian Deceivers in general
Princess Kraehe (from Princess Tutu) and other dark magical girls
the Ice King from Adventure Time or other characters who are consumed by their roles
Scott Pilgrim and similar characters with a highly stylized form of perceiving the world
Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson (from the Discworld) or Gregory House (from House, M.D.) and other characters who can make the world play by their own rules.
Costumed supervillains, phantom thieves, and anybody else who has a masked alternate identity

Choosing your Mythos
You are lost in a dream of something greater than yourself. This is your Mythos, and it takes one of two forms—

the story of who you are and what your destiny is; or
the world of _.

For instance, you might have a story like

“I have seen the True Thing beyond all things and now I must destroy the world so that everyone else can see it too.”
“I am a magical princess, destined to ride a flying unicorn and slay the unliving Baar-Toom.”
“I run a magical game show now.” or
“I am the heir to the throne of Camelot and therefore destined to be the undisputed ruler of Town.”

Or you might be consumed by

the world of football
the world of martial arts
the world of science!
the world of the sailors or
the world of candy-making

Whatever it is, story or world, it’s stolen your heart. You can’t help believing in it. You can’t help loving it. And as you follow the path of the Knave of Hearts, you’ll share more and more of that belief and that enthusiasm with the world. Maybe you’ll start out as the only person in Town who actually cares about football, but over time it’ll become increasingly important in the game. Maybe when you first get this Arc that story about how you’re the heir to the throne of Camelot doesn’t really matter, or isn’t even true … but as time goes by, you’ll find that the powers of this Arc make that story a little more real.

When you first take up this Arc, make up a sentence or so that describes the role you’ve staked out for yourself in your own legendary. You can develop this slowly in play, as well as deliberately manipulating it with your powers to add new wrinkles such as designated minions/sidekicks, destined rivals or love interests, and tools ripe for exploitation!

Line Developer’s Notes
My first time developing someone else’s work! I intend to talk about how other people can write for Chuubo’s once the Horizon book is out, which is admittedly looking awfully far in the future as I struggle to get the Arcs ready so I can finish the rats book.

You can think of “the world of X” type Mythoi as the way to capture Nobilis-style Persona. If you want to have Persona (Dogs), then get into “the world of dogs!” It’s probably the more powerful option, but also the more obscure one—there really aren’t many fictional characters who do Nobilis-style Persona, even in Town.

Symbolic Logic
Type: Miraculous Action[ with free Strike = Arc level ]
Cost: 0 MP

You have devised a pattern behind the ordinary events of your life, leading you upward towards apotheosis and beyond. Invoke Symbolic Logic and you can look directly at that pattern and see how each piece fits into the greater puzzle. While this power is active, you can determine whether any given object or person fits into your Mythos, and how. If it doesn’t currently have a place in your Mythos, you see how it could.

If you’re destined to set villainous schemes into motion, for instance, you might be able to judge an individual’s capacity to thwart your plans or their usefulness as a sidekick. If you’ve been drawn into the world of martial arts, you might be able to see that someone took a few aikido classes when they were younger but didn’t stick with it for very long—just by looking at them!

While you’re lost in symbolism, the ordinary details of the world are harder to see—there’s a level 1 Obstacle in the way of making them out.

Idealize
Type: Miraculous Action
Cost:

1 MP at Arc 0
0 MP at Arc 1
Invoke Idealize to bring things a little more into line with your Mythos. Over the course of a short (2-3 second) break from reality, you can reshape and redecorate things to match your aesthetics, bringing them into line with your story or your world. Alternately, you can strengthen your Mythos’ influence on something—just a tad! You might turn your friends into fabulously-dressed minions, fit football gear onto a random bystander, or refine someone’s martial arts stance. Idealize functions as a level 3 magical Intention, and it’s unnatural enough that resisting or seeing through it is typically Obstacle 0—but if not resisted, you can make substantial cosmetic changes to the world around you, changes that’ll tend to linger until roughly the end of the next chapter.

This power can be used in reverse to undo the transformation you caused, if you see the need. You can even use it on yourself, which is convenient if you need to quickly change into a special costume or return to a “civilian” identity!

Shine Bonus
Arc 1+
Type: Special
Cost: —

If you have a spare Perk slot for it, you receive a free level 1 Shine Perk.

Arc 2+. If you have a Shine Perk, it automatically powers up to your Arc’s Trait level.

Somebody Else’s Story
Arc 1+

Type: Miraculous Action
Cost:

1 MP at Arc 1
0 MP at Arc 2+
This is a power to share someone else’s spirit—to be with them, spiritually, experiencing life as they experience life, and to be subtly bound to them, a part of them and they a part of you, forever after.

Let’s start with how it works if your Mythos has people, animals, or spirits in it. If that’s the case, then those are the lives that you’ll usually share. You can let your focus drift over the course of a few minutes, taking an Obstacle 2 to perceiving with your normal senses, and invoke Somebody Else’s Story to share your spirit with one of them. For instance, if your Mythos is a story, you might share the spirit of your nemesis, or your sidekick, or your romantic interest. If your Mythos is (the secret world of) cats, you could share the spirit of a cat! You don’t automatically get a census of all viable targets, but you can just kind of summarize what you’re looking for, and this power will shift your consciousness into the closest equivalent in the local Region. Once there, you’ll live their life. You’ll experience the world as they experience the world, as they think their thoughts, as they feel their feelings, and all with only the subtlest of influences from you.

If your target is a PC, then you’re just a passenger in their life. If your target is an NPC, but they’re interacting with a PC or a plot-relevant scene, the HG might allow you to play them or they might restrict you to the role of passenger—it’s their choice. If your target is just an NPC living out their life somewhere—say, a random wind-spirit, blowing around the roofs—then the default expectation is that you’ll narrate what’s going on in their lives. You’ll talk about, well, skimming low over the roofs, and whirling high, and rattling the eaves. You might even take an XP Action in their skin! You’ll probably finish up pretty quickly, having summarized whatever you were interested in—but the HG might intervene if there is something interesting out there for you to see.

What if your Mythos is something like (the world of) “love” or “football?” Something that people are involved in, but not really a literal part of?

Then you can still share the lives of people, animals, and spirits—but in this case, you’ll only get the part of them that’s actively experiencing your world. Or you’ll share the spirit of some multiple-person part of your Mythos, like a football game or family bond, and get the part of all of the participants that experience your world. What this means, in practice, is that you’ll only see and hear the stuff that’s most relevant to your Mythos, but you’ll also feel the stuff of your Mythos directly—like, for the world of science, you’ll get to witness scientists at work, and you’ll also understand what they’re doing and discovering. For the world of love, you’ll only see a family’s moments of greatest togetherness … but you’ll also be able to directly apprehend their affections! The last thing you might be able to do with this kind of Mythos is share the spirit of an inanimate object, like a football or a beaker—you won’t be able to see the world around it, but you’ll get its sense of itself, its rough physical shape and status, and the way that it experiences your Mythos over time.

There isn’t a hard limit on who can use which form of this power—you can use whichever version fits a particular need. For instance, if your Mythos is “I am the heir to Camelot,” then you could do all of the following:

experience the life of your nemesis, Mordred’s heir
experience the life of a random Arthurian scholar, but only the part that’s actively about Arthurian scholarship
cast out your senses in search of Caliburn, the sword in the stone—and if it’s in your current Region, discover your spirit tied to a sword embedded in a stone. You’d have a hard time seeing the area around it, so actually finding the stone would be difficult, but you’d get a sense of the sword sharpness, its strength, and the way that it is waiting for some hand to pull it free.

Somebody Else’s Story (Powered Up)
Arc 3+

Type: Miraculous Action
Cost:

2 MP at Arc 3
1 MP at Arc 4
0 MP at Arc 5
Starting at Arc 3, you may invoke Somebody Else’s Story to—

reach beyond your current Region, and/or
sift through the experiences of dozens or hundreds of lives at once.
This otherwise functions as it does above.

Communion
Arc 1+
Type: Miraculous Action
Cost: —

If there’s any chance you’ve touched someone or somewhere with Somebody Else’s Story, even off-camera or between stories,

you receive a +1 Tool bonus to Connection Skills with them;
they receive it with you.
This bonus rises to +2 at Arc 4.

Designer’s Notes
Somebody Else’s Story is a complicated power! I think it’s worth its cognitive footprint, though, because I think it really connects you to your stuff, making your connection to your Mythos/Estate procedural instead of declarative for the player and subjective rather than objective for the character. I think it really puts you in tune with your deal.

I’m pleased with myself about Communion. I didn’t want to cover your character sheet in Connections, but I couldn’t figure out how to avoid it while keeping the sense of permanently increased togetherness… . Then I figured out how! This version also keeps the Connections you do have as Perks or traits proportionally valuable.

You can, of course, recognize these powers as the equivalents to Persona 0-2 in Nobilis.

I’m not 100% sold on the Shine Bonus, in either game, but I’m leaving it in for now. ^_^

There are a lot of little features of the Arc—e.g., the Obstacles to perceiving the regular world while using Symbolic Logic or Somebody Else’s Story, the concrete manifestation of Idealize as an Intention—that could probably be applied in Nobilis as well, but weren’t because they were below the scale of the action there and aren’t in Chuubo’s. Maybe they make things too complicated, but I hope that they won’t!

The Dream that Dreams Do Dream Of
Arc 2+
Type: Special (invokes an Affliction when used)
Cost:

1 MP—invoke a rule for the first time in a given chapter
0 MP—invoke a previously-used rule for the second or later time that chapter

You are a law unto yourself, and you play by your own rules. But what if the world doesn’t want to let you?

Not. A. Problem.

Choose up to three rules that you’ll live by—three rules inspired by the nature of your Mythos. You can buy additional rules beyond them for one Recharge Token each. Invoke The Dream That Dreams Do Dream Of and one of those rules—your choice—becomes an Affliction for as long as you sustain this action.

If your Mythos relates to being a medical marvel who keeps his job in spite of numerous personal failings through supreme doctoring prowess, you might invoke a rule like “I must be exempt from the censure of medical ethics boards.” If you are a magical princess on a mission, you might choose “I must be recognized as royalty by all.” Once The Dream That Dreams Do Dream Of is invoked, the systems of the world are forced to accept your tiny bubble of personal reality and work around it, shielding you from malpractice claims and allowing your claims of royal blood to pass without anybody asking to see your ID.

And that’s just two of the many possible rules that you could have!

Arc 4. Starting at Arc 4, you can spend MP for a stronger effect. Where the baseline version of this power lets a magical princess Knave force the people around her to recognize her royal title, sufficient MP here will allow her to force her legitimacy on the world, e.g., ensuring that her birthdays are mentioned in newspapers in Paris and allowing her to send little notes on foreign policy to the President in the expectation that they’ll be read. The HG will ask for 1-4 MP here based on the kinds of effects that you desire.

Inevitability Entanglement
Arc 2+
Type: Miraculous Action
Cost:

2 MP at Arc 2
1 MP at Arc 3+

Sometimes you’ll find something in the world that calls to you—someone or something whose exceptional quality marks them as a potentially valuable element in your Mythos. When that happens, the only reasonable action is bind them to you for all eternity with the unbreakable chains of destiny. Henceforth, you become an official OTP and fate will conspire to keep the two of you together no matter what—

… or, y’know, whatever suits the role that somebody like that should have.

Invoke Inevitability Entanglement and either:

You seal the target to one of the rules you developed for The Dream That Dreams Do Dream Of, which will fall upon it as an Affliction while the power is sustained and a mundane characteristic thereafter; or
You permanently bring the target into your Mythos, making it a part of your story or your world. This power is limited to making a reasonably good match—a person might discover themselves the reincarnation of Lancelot, and a random hockey stick might become their sword, but not the other way around. You could turn a bingo game into a football game and a bingo token into a football; cooking skill into football skill, and a frog into a football player—but again, it won’t work the other way around. You’ll choose basically what happens as long as it’s reasonable, but if it’s unreasonable or if there are factors you’re not aware of you must work with the HG to determine the actual final result.
This power is limited to the personal scale—you can affect a few blocks or a handful of lives.

Destiny Exile
Arc 2+
Type: Miraculous Action
Cost:

4 MP at Arc 2
2 MP at Arc 3
1 MP at Arc 4+

Invoke Destiny Exile to cast something out of your Mythos. This ability parallels Inevitability Entanglement, with two possible effects—

You can free it from one of the rules you developed for The Dream That Dreams Do Dream Of—that rule is simply no longer binding upon it. For instance, if there’s another doctor who keeps getting away with medical ethics violations, you can use this to strip them of their apparent immunity to censure. If you have a general-purpose rule like “I must be quiet,” you can use this to make a cat more loud. This suppresses an existing Affliction, if it’s similar enough; otherwise, it simply imposes appropriate Obstacles and effects upon their life.
You can make something not a part of your Mythos. It becomes whatever it would be if it weren’t—you can suggest what this is, but you don’t really control that IC and so the HG has the final say. For instance, if your Mythos is the world of martial arts, you can point at someone’s martial arts uniform and turn it into something that’s not a martial arts uniform … but it’s up to the HG whether it becomes a casual outfit, a School sports uniform, or a white bathrobe. If your Mythos is a story, and you cast out your nemesis, some of their motivation and ability to oppose you should logically dissolve away, but it’ll be up to the HG just how far that goes. You can cast out something that’s only vaguely connected to your Mythos, but there’s a proportionally smaller effect—for instance, if you cast the martial arts out of a football game, the only effect will be a slight decrease in each tackle’s grace.
This power is limited to the personal scale—you can affect a few blocks or a handful of lives.

Mythos Complementation
Arc 3+
Type: Miraculous Action, Major
Cost (Arc 3)

4 MP—grant something a new role in your Mythos
Cost (Arc 4)

2 MP—grant something a new role in your Mythos, 1/book
4 MP—invoke this power a second or later time per book
Cost (Arc 5)

1 MP—grant something a new role in your Mythos, 1/book
2 MP—invoke this power a second or later time per book
4 MP—invoke this power as a true wish-level effect

You are a story that is writing itself. You are the storm that has emerged from the cracks in the world’s truth. You are the future, happening now. Everything you are is the human-shaped expression of an idea, and by invoking this power, you share that idea-nature with the world.

Invoke Mythos Complementation to expose someone to your memeplex directly and write a new fate for them into the stars—

And it is thus.

You can specify a fate or role a couple of sentences long—anything that fits the genre and style of your story, or anything reasonably connected to your world. Are they destined to fall at your sword or to be a guardian of Town’s football spirit? Are they written into the books of your Mythos as your truest friend or bound to suffer at your Mythos’ hands?

This power over fate is similar to a wish, but less powerful, with the following differences:

resisting is easier;
outright ignoring the effects inflicts a single Deadly wound instead of two;
the actual miraculous effects are awesome but understated;
the power of the effect is that of a Major miracle while sustained;
once you stop sustaining the miracle, the power level tends to fade into a set of mundane coincidences and Obstacles.

At Arc 5, you may spend 4 MP to implement this as a true wish-level effect.

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