A downloadable roleplaying game

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**Printed books available now**

Nominated for two ENNIES including Best Layout and Best Rules!


NOVA is a rules-lite tabletop RPG in a world where the sun exploded, and humanity struggles to hold onto what little light they have left. The players will pilot exosuits, called Sparks, exploring the dark ruins of old earth, searching for the technology and knowledge that may just bring on a new dawn.

The Game

NOVA uses the LUMEN system, which is designed for action-packed combat, equipping the players with a set of powers that bring the power fantasy feelings of looter shooters to the tabletop.

Players will each choose a Spark to pilot, specialized exosuits designed to explore the dangers of the Dusk. Each exosuit was designed by humanity to serve a particular function, and the LUMEN system equips the players with a set of powers and abilities that allow them to excel while on their dangerous missions.


Players roll pools of six-sided dice based on how they are acting in the world, rather that what they are doing. That means there are no skill or action lists. Instead, each player has three attributes that describe how they might accomplish a task.


Combat in NOVA is frenetic, and the players are encouraged to unleash devastation on every enemy that comes their way. The rules are designed to keep fights moving quickly, while also keeping the Sparks powered up and always ready to bring their worst.

To keep things as quick as possible, players don't even need to roll dice during combat. Instead, they need to carefully manage their Fuel, a resource that allows them to unleash their terrifying powers. As foes are taken out, they drop valuable resources that replenish health and Fuel for the Sparks. This keeps the combat moving quickly, and the Sparks feeling deadly.


As the Sparks complete more missions, they will unlock Mods that make them even more powerful. Some mods provide persistent bonuses, while others can be equipped to your powers, allowing you to customize how your Spark acts in the field.

What's included with NOVA:

  • Complete rules for playing NOVA
  • 9 different Spark classes to choose from 
  • Modular advancement system that focuses on builds, rather than "leveling up"
  • Rules, tools,  and guidance for generating missions and ruins of old earth
  • Tons of enemies to take on while you're exploring the Dusk


Testimonials

"NOVA is immediately powerful and (literally and metaphorically) punchy. The action and combat is fast and streamlined, but power sets synergize in exciting and tactical ways to create plenty of depth for those looking for it. I already want to play more of it." 

Josh Hittie. Extracausal, Vibe Check.

"Spencer Campbell's Lumen system seamlessly loads the vibe of the looter shooter genre onto any tabletop. NOVA overclocks & ignites that system into a game of shared world-building that gets players into missions & mayhem in a flash." 

Tony Vasinda. Plus One Exp.

"Five minutes into playing NOVA and the battlefield was a blazing inferno of fire, the sky was full of homing missiles, and a Spark was running around wrecking enemies with a HOT SWORD. If that's not the coolest thing ever, I don't know what is." 

Ty Pitre. Smoke, Fuel, & Fire.

Watch It Played

Check out these Actual Play videos of NOVA being played!

Quick Rundown

Want to see a real quick overview of the game? Check out this  video done by 11dragonkid. Everything you need to know about the game in under 6 minutes.


NOVAverse

Want even more NOVA in your life? The NOVAverse collection on itch includes all of the official games, supplements, and other products related to the setting of NOVA. 

You can also find an amazing collection of third party NOVA content here!

Spread the Love

If you enjoy NOVA, please consider leaving a 5 star rating here on itch. It helps get the game in front of more folks! 


Purchase

Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

In order to download this roleplaying game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $15 USD. You will get access to the following files:

NOVA RPG Spreads 32 MB
NOVA RPG Pages 32 MB
2e Proposal Packet 762 kB

Download demo

Download
NOVA Character Sheet 934 kB
Download
NOVA Character Sheet Print Friendly 423 kB
Download
NOVA Reference Page 452 kB
Download
NOVA Reference Page Print Friendly 39 kB

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

Very neat game, all the Sparks look so cool, and I do love the idea of fast pace combat where players are badass who just slain enemies like in movie! Will run my first game this weekend.

(+1)

I finally got to play rather than run and I had a blast. The way each Spark is unique yet synergy between Sparks is tactically so advantageous is a delight. The GM says she'll run more. Couldn't be happier.

Heck yeah, thanks for sharing!

(+12)(-2)

Hi, its possible to have a community copies?

(+3)

hey! Bought the Italian version and we are playing it obsessively xd

We managed to create an open table built around the development of the "east NYC".

This game is nuts. It's easy to build upon and we are connecting all missions

since, no matter the table, they're all members of the same team: the spark you pick helps a lot in defining your shelter as men and, thanks to the free form approach, we are free to focus on some private life matters.

Absolutely one of the most surprising games I've ever played ( and I play lots of them).

Kudos mate!

Hi where can I find the Italian version?

(+1)

it's sold by the Italian publisher Grumpy Bear 

Thanks. I know them. I wonder how I missed it. 🤷🏻‍♂️

(+1)

So, I ran Nova for my second RPG group. They to loved it. Having some players who love tactical options in RPG combat it was reassuring to see just how impressed they were at the depth of tactical play alongside such fast and accessable rules. The highlight, however, was the player whose Voyager pilot was an uplifted dog. They ran with the idea that, like our space program, early testing was done using animals. The truly great bit was though they had human intelligence, their instincts and behaviour was that of a dog. Some of the best roleplaying I've seen in ages.

So post game assessment has brought up a rules question. The character sheet seems to indicate that 5 is the maximum health or fuel you programme your mech with at the start, obviously persistant mods could alter this, is this correct?

There are faint lines between each of the darker lines, that you can draw in to add more segments. That way you can have up to 10 each.

Brilliant, thanks for the clarification. One of my players was so inspired she's going to run it. First time I'll actually play a Gila RPG, I run them a lot. Thanks for some great gaming!

(+1)

Ran my first session tonight. Only one of the players was a battlesuit, mecha, anime aficionado, so I was very curious to see the response I got. They loved it. The whole narrative creation process of the pilots, sunwell, factions etc really drew them in. What can I say about the combat: fast, fun, full of flavour, synergistic, it flowed fantastically and everyone really engaged with it. The core design principles of Lumen are great and this game highlights them spectacularly.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, I'm glad the players had a good time!

Just purchased this and 'Rune', and as a TTRPGer and also a console player of a certain game, I am really looking forward to playing and featuring on my channel. However, is there any chance of a print-friendly version without the black background available to those of us who print out the pdfs? Cheers

(1 edit)

I'll test NOVA this week-end with some friends, I'm very excited! I'm translating the Sparks in french for them and I've noticed a small inconsistency for the Warden Spark. In Courier Flare, it's written ...when using Bull. I suppose that is ...when using Rush

Is there any chance of a more EU friendly shipping option of the harcopies any time in the future and/or a reprint of the hardbacks?

I don't have any connections with EU retailers right now, so unfortunately fulfillment still comes out of the US. There will be a reprint in the near future.

Would you like some suggestions for a mail blast to? I think there are plenty that would be happy to stock your games.

If you're in the UK,  Secret Cat shop have it in stock

https://thesecretcatshop.co.uk/

Alas, the UK isn't in the EU any more, so shit's a lot more complicated.

is there any chance that the character sheets could be made separately available as a pee dee eff? i have the hardcopy of this (its lush btw) and want some sheets to print without risking cracking the spine

Just got those sheets posted here so you should be able to download them now!

(+1)

Awesome thank you!

So I recently lost access to a account that I bought a few ttrpg on but still have the pdf on my PC so I'm try to see if it would be possible to get a copy connect to this account instead I understand if that's not possible 

(2 edits) (+2)

Badass game, Gila RPG team!


I highly recommend NOVA to you guys who loves combat teamworks and fast paced action, yet still really light and easy to play for the players and easy to prep for the GM!

(+1)

thank you so much!

(+7)

Hey, did you know there's a review video on this RPG? Go check it out!

(1 edit)

Just read the LUMEN SRD and it seems super cool! I've heard this described as a sort of sequel to Light and I'm not sure exactly what that means. Do they both have strong suits or is Nova designed as a complete improvement on Light?

Edit: having read some posts on Patreon it looks like they're being developed concurrently so I'll assume they serve different purposes. Looking forward to learning more!

(+1)

Gonna try running this as a One Shot with my group tonight, I'll be sure to post some deets about how it goes.

Is there a reason you changed from 1-3, 4-5, 6 to 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 for the Dice Mechanic?

(+1)

Changed it from what?

The probabilities are different between Light and Nova, I was just wondering if there was a reason.

NOVA's range is based on the LUMEN system, which was an evolution of LIGHT.  

The design is to make the characters more consistently successful and feeling powerful.

The site to buy a hard copy appears to be down. FYI!

Thanks for the heads up! I just updated it.

(+1)

Thank you!!

Does Engulf power(p.14) deal 1 Harm to anyone Close to the target , including allies?

Engulf only affects enemies.

Erupt deals 1 to everyone around the target, allies included

(+1)

Oh, Thank you. I mean Erupt :)

I don't have the game, but am curious. What happens if a spark runs out of fuel. Are there options for combat they can do without fuel or they have to "power down" and wait for some fuel to drop?

(+1)

Hi! If a Spark runs out of fuel, they have two options. One, they can grab some fuel that drops, like you mentioned. Two, they can continue to do things in combat that aren't Powers by doing any actions that could be resolved by rolling their Attributes! Lift up a heavy rock and throw it with Sun for example.

Gotcha. that makes sense. thank you

(3 edits) (+2)(-2)

I'm sooo happy to have found Nova and realising where it all came from. Don't ask me why but I just love turning  into ttrpg some of those shooter games that have no brain but great lore. I've hacked dozens of rule systems to make some crazy as f***  rpg thing with big guns jumping all around. Sometimes it was good, often quite bad. But with Nova you've got me pumped up . I dunno what I'll be ripping next, but I sure will be. Thanks again and kuddos to you.  In the end you win ;)

(3 edits)

Hi, I would like to ask some questions.

  1. A Spark can install two Flare mods at a time, right?
  2. Does an installed Power mod apply to every power which a Spark have? (i.e. If a Spark chooses “+1 range”, does it apply to passive and all the active powers?)
  3. Why does Drifter have some mods looks like penalty? (-1 Fuel, Gain 2 Fuel from Empty Clip) I suppose the less Fuel Drifter have, the more often you can use Bullet Hell, right?
  4. Does Drifter go dormant after Empty Clip?

And thank you for making such a wonderful game!

(+1)

Hi!

1. They start with 2, but can have more as they earn more mods. 

2. A power mod is installed on a specific power, so it only affects that power, not all of them. 

3. Exactly right, to get to Bullet Hell faster!

4. They do not go dormant after Bullet Hell. 

Hope that helps!

Deleted 146 days ago
(+2)(-1)

A very cool and dynamic game!

(-1)

thank you for the kind words!

(+2)(-1)

looks like very cool

(+3)(-1)

Okay I can't buy it right this second but holy heck I want to try this

(+12)(-1)

In the first nine pages, this book manages to:

  • Sum up the core gameplay loop.
  •  Convince me that it delivers on the vibes it promised. 
  • Sell me on the setting.
  • Have at least one idea that's easily importable to other rules lite systems and both so simple and so genius that I don't know how I haven't thought of it before.

    I can't speak to the GMside stuff or the full extent of the character creation but from the snippets I've seen I am confident this deserves a look if you're at all interested in the premise it sets out.
(+4)(-1)

Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words! I'm so glad to hear the game is hitting right away in those first few pages.