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Harsch-Realities: Update on Narosia Cards

posted Jan 19, 2017, 11:12 AM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Jan 19, 2017, 11:15 AM ]

Shane talks about the new direction for cards (and how your current decks will work) with NOVA6. 

We are excited to have streamlined the divine intervention card system for NOVA6 but also simplified the logistics and reduced cost all at the same time.

May all Droth’s trials be fair.

Computer Hacking & Cyber Infiltration Hotsheet

posted Jan 11, 2017, 8:20 AM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Jan 11, 2017, 8:23 AM ]

Shane attends Metatopia by Double Exposure every year and in 2014 started a talk track about Computer Hacking in Games. Clark Valentine and Tim Rodriguez joined in as Shane kicked it off with a 15 min on some of the high-level basics of the attack lifecycle. The goal was to establish some vocabulary and also demonstrate that the Gibsonian hacking model used by many cyberpunk games is, by and large, no longer a very good model (if it ever was). Clark and Tim helped me explore this topic, and we had great audience participation.

At the end of this 2014 session Shane committed to creating a Cyber Infiltration Hotsheet in 2015 to help GMs plan, at least conceptually, what a target profile might look like. 

In 2015 this session did happen, with Tim Rodriguez of Brooklyn Indie Games reprising his role on the panel and this time adding Green Hat Designs' own Mark Richardson, author of Headspaceto the panel as well. Shane kicked it off again with a discussion of the most significant aspects of a target's profile and a resulting "hotsheet" for use in recording this profile for your games. This is a bit of insight into some of the work being done on cyber infiltration for Novapunk for NOVA6

Below are links to recordings of the sessions as well as copies of the presentations. 

Computer Hacking in Games (Metatopia 2014) Recording
Cyber Infiltration Hotsheet (Metatopia 2015) Recording

NOVA6 Quick Reference Updated

posted Nov 11, 2016, 9:21 AM by S Harsch

We've updated the website to give a better preview of NOVA6. While it's not the full beta rules release, it does give you some insight into how it has come together.

GenCon Events - Games On Demand

posted Jul 16, 2016, 1:20 PM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Jul 18, 2016, 9:41 AM ]

NOVA6 will be fully engaged at Games on Demand at GenCon 2016. We will be running every morning from 10am to 2pm, and we will be ready to demo both Narosia and RADS: Retrofuture Atomic Desolation. Hopefully we will see you there. 

Legendsmiths Supports Matt Jackson's Patreon

posted Jun 22, 2016, 8:49 AM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Jun 22, 2016, 9:16 AM ]

A continuous source of great maps is essential for ongoing campaigns. While Legendsmiths would love to have staff artists and cartographers, that's just not realistic. However, by backing Matt Jackson at the Publisher level, we will have the ability to select some of his maps for publication. Matt's vision for underground spaces maps so well to the concept of Deepland Halls in Narosia, that most of these maps are ready for use as-is, and the adventure seeds associated with these maps almost leap off the page. 

Matt provided us with the map to the Ruins of Baradahm adventure

Narosia Quick Summary

posted Jun 15, 2016, 1:51 PM by Shane Harsch

As we go into the summer con season I like to have ready reference materials. Especially with campaign settings you have to strike a balance in the amount of information you present. You want it to be useful, but not overwhelming. Especially for a setting like Narosia that can have a lot of fiddly bits once you get into it, I've worked hard to present the information in a way that is most useful at the table:  
  • 1 page summary of the world
  • 2 page summary of the gods—The Enaros
  • 1 page summary of how the cards work & now a slick quick reference of NOVA6 since it is pretty slim rules-wise
  • 1 page map—cuz maps
If you aren't joining me at a table this summer, please enjoy this intro to the setting, or dig deeper using the links on the right. 

NOVA6 Sample Characters - Talisker's Company

posted Jun 15, 2016, 1:32 PM by Shane Harsch

Here are the core setting characters re-imagined in NOVA6. This is a first pass using the current playtest rules, so they are certainly not perfect but they will definitely give you a sense of what a NOVA6 Fantasy Character will look like. I'm sure after Origins there will be some tweaking. 

NOVA6 Teaser

posted Jun 12, 2016, 6:38 PM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Jun 15, 2016, 2:00 PM ]

So, we've been quiet quite a while. Apologies for that. The main reason is we've been heads down playtesting our new system called NOVA6. This has been in the works, in earnest, since we published Narosia. 

There are a whole host of reasons for our shift in focus, which I may share in a future post, but suffice to say we want to bring Narosia into NOVA6 and make NOVA6 available to everyone. 

What is NOVA6?

Well, that's both a short and a long story. The short version is Fate + Hero System. Don't ask questions, just assume we have your best interests in mind and it will be cool. I ran four 2-hour playtests at the last Metatopia (including 2 high tests with other designers). Consensus was the system was ready and that it was firing on all cylinders, hitting our objective of:

Action at the Speed of Narrative

That may sound cheesy, but that's the driving vision for the system. That's a little different than the vision for both influencing systems, which contribute many elements to that vision. 

What's Next?

That's a little more complicated. We have merged our development plans for Narosia with NOVA6. Our original plan this year was to prepare a Free RPG Day supplement that introduced both Narosia and NOVA6. However, the system wasn't quite ready (despite the earlier consensus) and we needed more flexibility than some of the requirements of Free RPG Day participation require. 

Update the NOVA6 Intro on this Site

Yeah! Get on it! Seriously! Well, I will try to get this done before Origins, but my focus is on Origins. If I don't get it updated before Origins, it will happen soon thereafter. 

Heavy Testing at Origins Game Fair

We are running 10 NOVA6 events at Origins this year (2 for each of Narosia, Skyrim, The Division, Fallout, and Novapunk). That will hopefully be about 30 introductions of the system. 

Release the Rules Under Creative Commons

Many of the core rules come from Fate and we will absolutely observe their CC license and pay it forward as it were. 

Release the Quickstart Rules (with Adventure)

Narosia includes a great adventure, written for the Hero System, that is perfectly sized for a free product. Additionally, we will bundle that with the core rules as a low-cost physical product with a target price of $10. Given our experience in producing Narosia, I'm confident that hitting that as a viable retail price point will not be difficult. 

Re-Release Narosia Second Edition Using NOVA6

I currently have 2 playtest campaigns running. One for Narosia NOVA6 and the other for Novapocalypse. The first is obvious, but the second is, well, a guide to a retro-future atomic wasteland. Let's just say that research for that one has been very entertaining. 

Continue Development

Whew! Once we get all that taken care of, we will continue to support development and publication of settings and toolkits for NOVA6. In addition to Narosia, we want to push Novapunk, Novapocalypse (Novatomic?), and a couple other ideas. In pursuit of that, I'm going to bury a call for writers and artists all the way down here. Grab one of us (Shane or Ryan) at Origins, GenCon, GrandCon, Metatopia, or U•Con. Or Contact us

NOVA6 Quick Rule Reference and System Highlight

This isn't really meant to get you that far with the system, but it is the brief overview we share with new players. There is some jargon in there, but I think you are all very smart readers and can figure it out. 

The basics of the system are 3d6, roll high, versus a target number. Success is simple, and quality of succes only improves with "Stunts." All modifiers (environmental, advantages, disadvantages, circumstances, etc.) all simply provide bonus or penalty dice to that set of 3d6 dice. To get your total, you only ever choose 3 dice, regardless of the number of dice you rolled. 

We also wanted to reduce dice fingling, so our approach puts all the deliberation over what type of awesome move you would attempt to be a deliberation of how awesome your success is. They acheive the same result (sweet narrative), but avoid spending 2+ minutes weighing the options and describing an action only to fail. There's a lot of math behind it (remember my affinity for Hero System), but the flow and narrative control are just so much fun (and hopefully you will see for yourself). 


Invoke your character aspects to influence your actions.

· Add a +1d bonus and +1 to the Action Total (before you roll)

· Invocation counts as a “Price of Success” when failing forward

· Accept a plot point when aspect invoked to create complication


Declare your actions at the start of your turn: attack, create advantage, defend, move, or overcome.. Take -1d penalty to all actions during your turn for each action you declare beyond 1.


Circumstances that could help you succeed provide a +1d bonus, while those that make it difficult to succeed impose a -1d penalty.

Action Dice

The basics of any action are a 3d6 roll + your Ability score. If you have skill, circumstances, or other penalties follow these steps:

Step 1. Gather your bonus dice. Everything from skills, talents, perks, advantages, disadvantages, and circumstances.

Step 2. Remove one bonus die per penalty die, and then gather any remaining penalty dice.

· Bonus dice remaining: you are at an advantage.

· Penalty dice remaining: you are at a disadvantage.

Step 3.
Add 3d6 to the remaining dice and roll—all the dice are your Action Dice.

· At an advantage: choose any 3 dice to be your Roll.

· At a disadvantage: choose the lowest 3 dice to be your Roll.


If you succeed on your action you can perform a stunt, but doing so requires stunt points.

· Spend a plot point (+1 stunt point)

· Roll of doubles (+1 stunt point)

· Roll of triples (+2 stunt points)

· Trade basic effect (e.g. Trauma damage) for 1 stunt point

· Perks and talents can upgrade specific stunt options, or provide a bonus stunt option in addition to the stunt chosen

Each stunt point increases damage, duration, scope, adds 1d to the effect, or adds an additional effect. Of course, all stunts must be possible with the base action and effect.

HERO Designer Character Pack Available

posted Oct 19, 2015, 10:23 AM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Oct 19, 2015, 10:35 AM ]

Narosia: Sea of Tears HERO Designer Character Pack includes all the files necessary to create Narosia characters using the HERO Designer software, including:
  • Racial Templates
  • All Narosia Character QuickStart elements
  • Cultural Templates
  • Archetypes, Vocations, & Backgrounds
  • Characteristic Templates
  • Complications
  • Talents, Perks, and Heroic Abilities
  • Equipment
  • Spells
  • Bestiary
Additionally, we have included three custom Export Formats:
  • Writer's Guidelines RTF
  • Compact RTF
  • Character Summary (similar to the book layout) RTF - Sample Character

Envoy Gateway

posted Oct 16, 2015, 10:23 AM by Shane Harsch   [ updated Oct 16, 2015, 10:32 AM ]

We are a part of the Envoy community and we are kicking this off with some new events in support of Narosia. 

First, we have the Heralds game event where we present the setting and an adventure to would-be Envoy Heralds. If you are interested in running Narosia events at a local store or con, this is the way to start. 

We also have a Narosia Quickstart where we introduce the world (briefly), make characters, and then maybe get into a little action. 

If by chance you've missed out on these events, keep checking the calendar for things to come. 

See you there!

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