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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.