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Novus Fantasy Roleplaying Game
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Developer(s) Tim Dugger
Publisher(s) Firehawk Games
Release April 11, 2012
Genre(s) Fantasy
Mode(s) row 2, 10 sided die

Novus is a fantasy role-playing game created by Tim Dugger for Firehawk Games (FHG).

Basics

Novus uses a 2d10 dice mechanic. Each die is both explosive and implosive. Explosive means that rolling a 10 on the die allows for an additional roll and adding its result to the previous total, continuing as long as 10s are continued to be rolled. Implosive means that if a 1 is rolled on a die, that die is rolled again and subtracted from the previous total. As long as 1s are continued to be rolled, this continues. If one die rolls a 10 and the other rolls a 1, this is called a Nova Roll, and the explosive/implosive numbers cancel each other out, and are read as simply 11. Other things, such as the gaining of a Fate Point also happens on a Nova Roll.

If a roll's total is more than 10 points above or below the target number of the roll, the roller will earn either Snag or Boon Points (think of these are critical failures or critical successes). The roller of the dice then spends these points, purchasing options from those available due to the type of roll (and whether or not these are snag or boon points).

Character Creation

Character creation is broken down into several other sections, starting off with character concept and then moving into the following sections"

Race

Player characters in Novus belong to one of a set of fantasy races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Half-Elf, and Half-Orc.

Each racial description contains a physical description of the race, along with stat modifiers, and one or more racial abilities that members of the race possess (such as Elves possessing Nightvision).

Background

Players choose one of 8 different Backgrounds which describe the basic culture that their character comes from. Each culture is pretty generic, allowing room for customization, and gives the character 20 ranks spread out across various skills. These are skills that it is considered that a character from that culture would have learned while growing up.

Character Class

Novus contains 8 Character Classes to choose from. However, 2 of those character classes allow for the player to select one or more Schools of Magic for his character. This small amount of customization brings the actual total number of different possible Character Classes up to 27 in total.

Stats

A system of eight statistics are used for characters featuring Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Speed, Willpower, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. Stats range from 6 to 20 normally, some humans may have a maximum stat of up to 22, while some of the other races may have a maximum stat of up to 24 or so.

Novus allows for 3 main methods of stat generation

  • Roll 2d10, rerolling any 1s or 2s until 8 numbers within the proper range have been generated. Then place as desired.
  • Use a point buy system that allows the player to purchase the stat values that he desires, within certain limits. Higher stats cost more to purchase. Then place as desired.
  • Use a stat array of pregenerated stats, which were actually made using the point buy system. Place as desired.
  • Players are also allowed to tweak these stats slightly, using specific rules for doing so, prior to the start of play.

The stats are used throughout play. The stats generate bonuses which are added to various skill rolls. They also generate Saving Throw Modifiers which are used to resist various effects.

Skills

Novus contains 19 core skills. However, several of those skills, such as the Combat Skills, must be specialized into specific instances of the skill.

Skills have 2 classifications, Favored and Standard. Skills are purchased by expending Character Points. The costs are based on whether or not the skill is Favored, and on how many ranks of that skill that the character still has.

Players are not allowed to purchase more than 5 skill ranks per level in a given skill when starting out. If the character has a number of skill ranks equal to or greater than the stat value (not stat bonus) of the stat associated with the skill, he is restricted to purchasing only 1 rank per level.

Talents

Talents are special abilities or skills that need not be improved upon once learned. Novus has 38 talents to choose from. Some talents may only be purchased during character creation. Others may be purchased whenever the character goes up a level.

A number of the talents are part of the Character Classes as well. For example, a Fighter has Combat Training II, but a Mage character, who does not have this talent, may purchase it if they wanted.

Equipment

Each character will start the game with a list of predetermined equipment as well as a bit of money that can be used to purchase additional equipment.

Combat

Combat follows the basic mechanics of Novus, and then extends them accordingly.

The character makes an attack roll against the target’s DEF, if he succeeds, he does the Base Damage for the weapon he is using. For every point that the attack roll was above the target’s DEF, the character delivers another point of damage. Plus, for every 10 points above the target’s DEF, the character earns a Boon Point.

Armor protects a character from damage. It will reduce the amount of damage a character receives from an attack. However, heavier armors also reduce its Dexterity (and Speed if a character is untrained in it), and impede spellcasting.

Magic

Magic in Novus is divided into Schools. Each school has its own unique spells and its own unique way of looking at and casting magic.

In order to cast spells in Novus, a character needs a Spellcasting skill for the appropriate School of Magic and knowledge of a specific spell. The individual spells, which have no levels, have a single, one-time cost that must be paid for them to be learned. However, once learned, they may be cast at any time, so long as the caster has enough Spell Points and the player can make the Spellcasting roll.

In addition to the various Schools of Magic, there are also Universal Spells which any character, and even non-casters may learn.

Most spells also contain Casting Options, which allow the caster to scale up the power of the spell in various ways at the time of casting. Casting Options do make the spell harder to cast and cost more Spell Points.