Nova Legends: Dev Log #1
“Nova Legends, what the heck is that!” If that is your first reaction, well then you should follow us more closely on social media! But for those who don’t know, Nova Legends is a scifi tabletop RPG that the Goblin Gazette crew is currently working on. We actually had quite a few people who were interested in more information. So I finally sat down to give everyone some more details. As for these Dev logs, I will do my best to keep them coming, but I can’t promise a consistent schedule. With everything going on with the site, and my personal affairs (baby #2 this summer!) I’m pretty busy. But without further ado, here are some details on Nova Legends.
What is Nova Legends
First, I need to throw this disclaimer out: we are still in the early stages of play-testing and even writing rules. So it is very possible stuff that you see here is updated, altered, or outright removed from the game. With that being said, what exactly is Nova Legends? The idea first came to me as I was lamenting the fact that in D&D dual wielding weapons is just not viable. So I began thinking of some other tabletop RPGs I could play. I had heard of the Star Wars RPG Edge of the Empire, but I really didn’t feel like shoveling out the money to pick it up. Then the idea struck me: why not create your own RPG! May seem like a silly reason to start, but the idea intrigued me. So I sat down and began writing. Before I knew it, I had a concept, a few classes, and a world for this new RPG to exist in.
Now I had this idea, but it needed a name. For those who don’t know me, I am really big on lore. I think it sets the foundation for anything to take place, so I looked at the lore I had created for this universe and began thinking. I eventually stumbled across the word nova which I believe perfectly captures the feel I am trying to create with Nova.
The universe of Nova is dark and full of unknown, but within this universe are small points of light that shine a thousand times brighter than normal before fading. These small points of light are your characters. Whether you are saving a small village from a roving band of marauders or engaging some enemy fleet in a dogfight among the stars, you, as the player character, have a chance to shine bright. Through your deeds and actions, you can become radiant in a universe of darkness or you can allow the darkness to consume you, embracing its ways. Whether you are selfish or selfless, your deeds will become known to many. So the question is, who will you be?
What Makes Nova Legends Different?
This was a question I asked myself. What purpose is there to create another RPG? Well aside from doing it for fun, I believe I had some really cool ideas. And, while I believe D&D gets a lot right, there were a few things that I’d like to see in Nova. As I mentioned before, dual wielding in D&D is not really viable, but I’ve always wanted to play a dual wielding character. This by no means prevents me from doing that, but I just did not care for how it required your bonus action (though I completely understand it as it has been something we’ve gone back and forth on how to balance!). Additionally something that always bothered me as a DM was how my players properly spent their gold. I didn’t want to lavish them in magical items, but at the same time I needed to give them something rewarding for their hard work.
What You May See
In Nova Legends we want to create a system that allows players to play the character they want. We are hoping to make any fighting style viable. Want to dual wield pistols, go for it! Want to wield a big ‘ol rifle, that works! Even odd combinations like a pistol and a sword. We’re working on a system we are calling “mods” which allow you to upgrade your weapons and armor with cool things like a magnetic mod for your weapon so you can pull it back to you, or even a jetpack allowing you to fly. These mods will allow you to personalize your gear, and give you something to spend your coin on.
Additionally we’ve included grenades as well as a category of weapons called “special weapons”. These special weapons are things like flamethrowers, grenade launchers, or even rockets. And the cool thing about special weapons is they can either be a separate weapon by themselves or they can actually be a mod for your weapon or armor, each have their own pros and cons. So for example, getting a flamethrower mod would allow you to install it into your armor giving you a flamethrower on your wrist like Jango Fett!
Something we are toying with is allowing characters to access the skills of your sub-class that you really like as soon as you want. So instead of getting a specific ability and a specific level, you can choose which ability you get when you reach a certain level. So for example at level 5 choose between these 5 sub-class abilities. But don’t worry, you can pick the others at a later level. And finally we are in the early talks of a morality system that would have an impact on your character based on the choices you make!
The Magic of Technology
I’ll be the first to say, I absolutely love fantasy settings. Scifi has not always been my favorite genre, but if you combine these two things, you get something really cool. Star Wars is a great example of this combination. You have extremely advanced technology, but also have parts in the universe where people literally farm moisture. This feel is what we’d like to create with Nova Legends. On the one hand you will have advanced technology allowing you to fly or shoot rockets, but at the same time you will encounter locations in the universe that are primitive. And even with technology, they still struggle to survive.
The really cool part about having technology is that it acts like magic from a fantasy setting. Instead of casting fireball, you can shoot a rocket. Instead of casting invisibility, you activate your personal cloaking device. In this way, you still get the magic of a fantasy game, but you are able to do this with space ships, guns, and aliens.
The Road Ahead
We have a long road ahead of us. It certainly isn’t going to be easy but we are looking forward to it. We currently have a game going with the Goblin Gazette crew as well as some friends so we can playtest. Our hope is to eventually release our rules to the general public to playtest as well. And who knows where we may go from there. Keep an eye out for the next dev log, can’t make any promises when it will be, but I think the next post will probably be about the Nova universe. At least where it stands from a lore standpoint. Like I said before, I feel that lore is extremely important as it gives you a strong foundation. And we definitely want a strong foundation!
Also, keep in mind this is completely new ground for us. We’ve never created a game, but we are going to try and see how it goes. So wish us luck and thank you for the support!
Scott “Karthas” Sanazaro