One of my original objectives with Narosia was to create a pantheon of gods that were actively involved in the world and the story of the characters, all the while retaining the trappings of fantasy roleplaying that decades later we still enjoy. I did this by keeping the size of the pantheon small (12 gods), establishing threats in the world that were not controlled by the gods (the Fel and the Qliphothic), and creating a system of cards that enabled the players to control the influence of the gods in the current adventure.
This has been fantastically fun for all Narosia players but I’ve always run into a logistical problem with the cards—there’s too many of them.
Seriously, there were over 160 cards. Not only did this make them expensive to print (retail $30), it also meant that DriveThruCards couldn’t package them (no tuck box), and no deck box was large enough for the Narosia deck without going to a double-sized box.
Enter the NOVA6 Revision of Narosia
Work has been progressing solidly on converting Narosia to NOVA6, and one of the things that absolutely had to change were the card mechanics because of the way NOVA6 works. Now, this isn’t a drastic change mechanically, but it is a shift. And therein lies the opportunity to streamline and simplify the card system just as we have been the rest of the game.
Maximum deck size is now 102. Realistically, for most campaigns, it will be in the 83-90 range. This is exciting on multiple levels (well, as much as getting excited about card deck production logistics can get):
- The deck now fits in a standard size deck box.
- The deck fits in a standard size deck box, even if you print and sleeve.
- The deck is easier to shuffle.
- The retail on the deck should be $20.
- We can do a tuck box! Tuck box may increase retail cost, offer not valid without shirt and shoes, your mileage may vary, do not take more than 4 doses in a 24-hour period, seek medical help if cards remain unshuffled after 4 hours
- You can convert your current deck, by hand for no monies.
- Downloadable do-it-yourself deck will be available (soon) for no monies as well.
Plus, the deck is easier to manage with respect to which cards should be in the deck and which players get what.
Quick Summary of Rules Changes
This is still in motion (we’ve even renamed our internal mailing list to “quicksand” because of fluid the rules can be at times), but we are quickly approaching “pencils down” (the damage system redux was a curve, but has been resolved).
Since NOVA6 uses levels to track how many character development advances you get, we have tied the expansion of divine interest in the characters to level advancement. For every level you will add one Divine Favor card to the main deck. That card is basically a wild card, making it easier to play and use, or you can use it to draw from the Enaros deck and get a more potent but specifically aspected card. More levels means more Divine Favor cards.
Additionally, every 5 levels you will also add a 3-pip Celestial Favor to the Enaros Deck. This is the same wildcard it was, but now there is a level-based cadence associated with its introduction. Of-course, you can always award them based on milestones rather than pure level, but if nothing else the level association is a guideline for the magnitude of adventure required to get Celestial Favor (i.e., about 5 levels worth).
Multiple Card Play
Instead of having single cards be worth more influence, the basic deck is just about a single point of influence per card (Enaros cards are now worth 2 on their own, and Celestials are worth 3). However, you can play multiple cards for greater effect (up to 3), and the narrative required for the greater influence increases with each step.
|1||Aspect||Inspiration. Invoke a personal aspect (i.e., high concept, background, hook, motivation), a situational aspect (e.g., difficult terrain, weather conditions, roaring fire, etc.), or how the Enaros on the card could help you via the domain on the card (but not why).|
|2||Card||Influence. Invoke a specific Enaros and explain why helping you via the associated domain on either card or a personal or situational aspect is in their interest.|
|3||Divinity||Intervention. Invoke a specific Enaros and the associated domain listed on one of the cards and explain why helping you is in their interest.|
This is more or less how we have been playing of late and it has been working well. A single card is basically used to invoke an aspect of some kind (personal, situational, or divine). For two cards (and 2 points of influence) you have to explain the Enaros’ interest in you and combine it with either the domain on the card or an aspect in play—you gain flexibility in justifying the card play but now have to involve the god in some way. Finally, with 3 cards you have to be very specific as to how and why and it is 100% tied to the aspects of the particular god.
Enaros cards and Celestial favor cards always have to involve divine justification but come loaded as single cards with more influence. You could play an Enaros card with any other card to get 3 points of influence, and Celestial favor can also be combined with a single other card for 4 points.
Converting Your Current Deck
Converting your current deck is pretty easy as long as you are willing to write on your cards. If you aren’t, then you will be happy to know that we will make a conversion deck available via print on demand for $5 (unless my math is wrong). Yay! $5!
This is easy, although per the new rules you technically won’t have enough for higher level campaigns. Just add a number to the card (as seen in the picture) and increment from 1 to 20 (1 number per card). Our playtest campaign is just now at 7th level so you should have enough cards to get you through most campaigns.
The is even easier since the cards already have a space to write on them. Grab 4 and label them level 5, level 10, level 15, level 20. Oh, and now they are only worth 3 instead of 4.
Well, nothing to do here really. You won’t need the watcher cards anymore, but the Enaros cards do show 3 pips instead of the new level of 2. shrug I think you are all smart cookies and can know that they are now 2 pip cards. If you don’t like that, sleeve them and use gray stickers to mask out the extra pip.
Or buy the conversion kit for $5 and get new printed cards that match the set with the right pips and level labels. I have the do-it-yourself print at home versions done now, I just want to playtest them a bit more before I share so that I don’t make someone frustrated that they went through the work of downloading, printing, trimming, and sleeving only to have me change the rules—Lookout, QUICKSAND! Seriously though, I don’t really see it changing I just want to be cautious.
Summary and tl;dr
I’m excited that I was able to not only streamline the divine intervention card system for NOVA6 but also simplify the logistics and reduce cost all at the same time.
May all Droth’s trials be fair.