A downloadable roleplaying game

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**Printed books available now**

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.

Check out this Actual Play video of NOVA being played. Game designer Spencer Campbell sits down with the wonderful people at Plus One Exp for an exciting mission!


NOVA Jam & Creator Kit

NOVA Jam is here! Folks are encouraged to make anything and everything they want for NOVA!

Need help making NOVA stuff? I've released the completely free NOVA Creator Kit with advice on making things for the game, as well as a template you can use for making your very own Spark.

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! 


Updated 14 days ago
StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
(130)
AuthorGila RPGs
GenreRole Playing
Tagslumen, mech, roleplay, ttrpg

Purchase

Buy Now$20.00 USD or more

In order to download this roleplaying game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $20 USD. You will get access to the following files:

NOVA RPG Spreads 32 MB
NOVA RPG Pages 32 MB
NOVA Character Sheet 934 kB
NOVA Character Sheet Print Friendly 423 kB
NOVA Reference Page 452 kB
NOVA Reference Page Print Friendly 39 kB

Development log

Comments

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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!

(+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.