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Novus - Deluxe Version $9.00
Publisher: Firehawk Games
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/28/2011 22:44:57

It is perhaps fitting that Novus's name almost makes one think of "novice", since it is very much geared towards a novice group, in a good way.

My one gripe about Novus is that it's nothing I haven't seen before. It feels like a crossbreed of d20 and Earthdawn, and I'm not sure I like all the d20 elements I see (at least it does use 2d10 dice with exploding and "imploding", which makes the probability curve change a lot, meaning I don't have my normal d20 gripe), but at the same time it deals away with the worst and most encumbering parts.

While it's a tad generic, that can be an upside, since it makes Novus very easy to imagine used for various settings. The point-based character system is a boon to its simplicity and flexibility, and the use of background systems, which at first earned a slight cringe (due to association with typically random-generation heavy works), wound up actually working to permit a truly flexible and dynamic character.

I felt the non-Vancian magic (which sounded a little much like Earthdawn with the talk of matrixes, but still better than d20) added a lot to the setting. Even though point-based magic is a mite sketchier on balance, it feels more natural to me.

With Novus, the keyword is flexibility. It's not a 500-page tome that has all the stuff put straight down in stone. I wouldn't constrain it to being a beginner's game, but as the cover on the back says, it "tried to make a fun and flexible game", and I can definitely see it being used as a fun and flexible game.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Novus - Deluxe Version
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