Age Nova

Written by Uskglass.

A ruleset for sci-fi, futuristic and modern campaigns based on 13th Age Archmage Engine ( and inspired by the Nova Praxis game setting (

Here are some of the main differences from the 13th Age base system:

Classes: there are  5 classes, designed around this ruleset. The archetypes they refer to should be  fairly evident.

'Sleeves': these are the types of bodies available to characters. They work as races.

Augmentations: those are available according to the sleeves. They kind of cover a space in between 'magic items' and feats.

Multiclassing:  the system allows multiclassing freely between any two of the classes, which should allow for a fair degree of flexibility in characters building.

Scaling: to achieve a more 'realistic' feel, scaling of health and damage is flatter, with increases per tier rather than per level. Progression across levels is mostly horizontal (talents, powers...).

Action Points system: this is a new system to allow generating and spending those points during the game, as a resource to utilise for various outcomes.

Battle+ powers: Daily powers have been (mostly) replaced by special Battle powers which require Action Points expenditure. 

Health and Healing: there is Shields System (think Mass Effect) providing for self-recovery through temporary hit points.

Cover system: to provide a simple way of modelling shootouts type of combat within the 13th Age framework.

Feats: there are no feats. However nothing prevents from writing some and integrating them into the system.

FileDescriptionCreatorFile sizeDownloadsLast modified
Download this file (Age Nova_Character Sheet_v10.pdf)Age Nova - Character SheetCharacter Sheet for Age NovaUskglass57 kB23102015-02-05 13:38
Download this file (Age Nova_v3_5.pdf)Age Nova - RulesetRuleset for sci-fi, futuristic and modern campaigns based on the 13th Age Archmage EngineUskglass1075 kB34972016-08-18 13:10
Download this file ( Nova - PregensPregenerated characters for the Age Nova rulesetUskglass1354 kB19792016-08-18 13:10

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  • v2.3.1 changelist:
    - Option added to play without Action Points
    - Weapon Talent proficiency revised
    - Ghost Walk (Professional Talent) revised
    - Shock Trooper (Professional Talent) streamlined
    - Alter Features (Augmentation) limited to a scene duration

    v2.4 changelist:
    - General pass to bring the ruleset more in line with 13th Age core
    - Weapon system revised in 13th Age style
    - Armors reduced to Light and Heavy only
    - Extra background points per class removed
    - Combatant: Marksman (feature) to use Opportunity attacks (instead of Interrupts)
    - Combatant: Peripheral Vision and Steely Stance revised
    - Engineer: Energy Conservation (feature) values tweaked
    - Engineer: Dynamo Charger (feature) changed to trigger on 11+ (down to 16+)
    - Engineer: Armorsmith and Weaponsmith talents replacing Shieldsmith and Handyman respectively
    - Engineer: Electrocution circuit tweaked; Sonic Whip card corrected to match description
    - Professional: Do Stuff See People doesn't require an Action Point anymore
    - Savant: Gizman talent clarified
    - Savant: Synaptic Flayer revised to use the Hampered condition
    - Strategist: Commanding Presence redesigned to allow extra Interrupts/Reactions
    - Augmentations: Shield Generator Backup replacing Personal Shield Generator

    v2.5 changelist:
    - Surprised status removed
    - Shield given their own armor group and only granting AC protection (as per 13th Age rules)
    - Combatant: Explosive Chef shield properties revised
    - Combatant: Heavy Duty redesigned to increase minimum damage rather than maximum
    - Combatant: Shifty Stance redesigned to allow for a more defending use
    - Engineer: Energy Conservation features revised and rebalanced
    - Engineer: Armorsmith revised to grant minimal Shield Points recovery on a failed check too
    - Engineer: Energy Affinity revised to provide an alternative damage type, not an additional one
    - Engineer: Flame Jet turned into an at-will attack (instead of per battle)
    - Engineer: Gravity Bomb revised and streamlined
    - Engineer: Solvent Spry renamed Solvent Splash and revised to work as an area attack
    - Engineer: Sonic Whip given change to make prone instead of ‘save ends’ duration
    - Professional: Wreaking Blow values tweaked
    - Professional: Dance of Ice and Fire miss damage tweaked
    - Savant: Allowed use of Explosives
    - Savant: Mash Tap (for information) revised to be more flexible and less punishing
    - Savant: Mesh Guru simplified to grant one extra Recovery
    - Savant: Several Utilities revised. Trojan Scam replaced with Leverage Point

    v2.5.1 changelist:
    - Hampered status extended to prevent Shield Refresh too
    - Engineer: Electorcution Circuit revised
    - Engineer: Pocket Jumpgate clarified
    - Savant: ESP damage clarified and applicable once per round
    - Savant: Backdoor returned to previous implementation
    - Savant: Broadcast and Wear clarified
    - Savant: Optimized redesigned as an at-will
    - Savant: Slash revised and streamlined

    v2.5.2 changelist:
    - General text cleanup pass
    - Strategist: Intel Gather redesigned

    v2.5.3 changelist:
    - Combatant: Close Combat Expert revised (to enhance 'stickyness')
    - Combatant: Steely Stance revised to provide better synergy
    - Professional: Wreaking Blow clarified and formula tweaked

    v2.7.2 changelist:
    - Fragmentations system added
    - Area attacks mechanics revised
    - Engineer: Firearms weapons reduced by 1 die step
    - Engineer: Several powers damage increased: Cryo Gun, Electrocution Circuit, Sonic Whip
    - Engineer: Gravity Gun revised
    - Engineer: Flame Jet tweaked
    - Engineer: EMP Nova revised
    - Professional: 2hd melee weapons returned to d10
    - Professional: Shock Trooper wording revised
    - Savant: Typo fixed in progression chart on number of Talents at level 7
    - Savant: Overload replaced by Spook
    - Savant: Scatter revised
    - Savant: Drain (ESP) revised to provide HP instead of SP
    - Strategist: Backup Plan replaced by Lead by Example
    - Strategist: Guerrilla Warfare tweaked
    - Strategist: Promptness now giving boon to Initiative too
    - Strategist: Pulling Strings revised
    - Multiclassing: Powers progression reduced by one overall
    - Augmentations: Custom-made Biosleeve tweaked and clarified
    - Augmentations: Drones Passive Mode actions revised and damage tweaked

    v2.8 changelist:
    - Starting Hit Points and HP/Recoveries progression revised
    - Shield and Recovery system overhauled so that now Shield Refresh use Recoveries
    - Rally turned into a Daily use (with Recharge)
    - AP not refreshing Daily powers anymore and only refreshing Battle/Battle+ once per battle
    - Suppressive Fire revised to cause Dazed (instead of Hindrance)
    - Grenades area of effect tweaked
    - Cover system overhauled to work in a reactive way
    - Social Contests revised, also allowing Icon Dice use in them
    - Bulletstorm adjusted
    - Get off my Lawn and Quick to Hanger balanced
    - Heavy Duty tweaked
    - Last Stand and Spartan Disciple effects swapped around and tweaked
    - Peripheral Vision trigger revised
    - Retaliation replaced by Resurgence Strike
    - Several attack powers turned into flexible attacks
    - Energy Conservation: slightly increased and clarified
    - Calibration revised
    - Tech Retriever tweaked
    - Knacks renamed as Techs
    - Cornering Shot renamed as Cornering Aim and tweaked
    - Shock Trooper streamlined
    - Specialist revised
    - Progressive Assault swapped with Lunge (Combatant)
    - Mesh Tap revised to use Fragmentation instead of Recoveries
    - Mesh Madness (Talent) added
    - SINC Raider (Talent) removed
    - Mesh Guru (Talent) revised
    - Drain (ESP) replaced by Equalize
    - Slash (ESP) damage dice reduced to d6
    - All Utilities revised
    - Tactical Focus: mechanics revised and AP transfer split and merged into Contingency
    - Master Planner streamlined and reworded
    - Lead by Example (Talent) revised
    - Resourceful clarified
    - Apocalypse Now renamed as Alpha Strike
    - Inspiring Presence rewritten
    - Only Live Twice replaced with Overrule
    - Scram tweaked
    - Outmaneuvering replaced with Rescue Mission
    - Adrenal Boost tweaked
    - Cortex Plug-in revised
    - Fast Heal Boost revised
    - Fibro-muscle Waive (Cyber) tweaked
    - Auxiliary Power Module (Cyber) now granting 1 extra Recovery
    - Perpetual Motion Engine (Cyber) now using the APM effect, with tweaks
    - General revision

    v2.9 changelist:
    - True Born (with Mindset), Biosleeves and Cybersleeves starting with one more free augmentation
    - Strider Mode (Cybersleeve augmentation) revised and streamlined

    v3.0 changelist:
    - Damage types revised and streamlined into Direct and Environmental only
    - Social Contests tweaked and streamlined
    - Misdirection revised (Professional)
    - Reverted extra augmentation for TB, Bio and Cybersleeves (from 2.9)
    - True Born (no Mindeset) not getting 2 extra background points anymore
    - SIM now vulnerable to Software damage
    - Sleeve Serial Models added
    - Added Enhanced Augmentations
    - Light Screen Camo clarified
    - Custom-made revised
    - Gravity Warp Module tweaked
    - Toxin Filter (Bio) removed
    - Resilience Module (Cyber) removed
    - Hulking Size (Bio & Cyber) added
    - Prehensile Whiptail (All) added
    - Endurance Suite (Bio) added
    - Glamour Suite (Bio) added
    - Fibro-Muscle Waive (Cyber) revised
    - Ego-cryption (SIM) revised
    - Warframes tweaked for balance and streamlined

    v3.5 changelist:
    - Cover system actions economy revised
    - Removed Battle powers refresh via AP (made into an Engineer feature)
    - Added Mass Skirmish module to handle large scale conflict
    - Added Vehicle Chases module
    - Icon rolls use in Social Contests revised
    - Clarified some talents and powers allowing multiple attacks not granting Action Points beyond the first one
    - Aim action revised and streamlined
    - Grab streamlined
    - Grenades and RPG streamlined
    - Logic grenade added (software)
    - Shotgun tweaked
    - Combatant: Marksman (feature) now activating on all kind of attacks (including area ones)
    - Vantage Point (feature) replaced by Combat Surge
    - Combatant: Bulletstorm (talent) revised and functioning with area melee attacks too (Bladestorm)
    - Combatant: Explosive Chef (talent) revised
    - Combatant: Spartan Disciple (talent) renamed as Spec Ops
    - Combatant: Close Combat Expert (talent) tweaked
    - Combatant: Resurgence Strike trigger changed to 16+
    - Combatant: Whirlwind replacing Weight Transfer
    - Combatant: Flanking Strike revised to suit new cover actions economy
    - Combatant: Peripheral Vision clarified
    - Combatant: Solid Stance tweaked
    - Combatant: Steely Stance tweaked
    - Combatant: Lockdown Step renamed as Pushback Strike
    - Combatant: Progressive Strike replaced by Swerve Strike
    - Combatant: Resurgence Strike trigger revised
    - Engineer: Calibration (feature) replaced by Power Source
    - Engineer: Armorsmith (talent) revised
    - Engineer: Tinkerer (talent) revised
    - Engineer: Spark (talent) revised
    - Engineer: Warframer (talent) removed
    - Engineer: Tinkerer (talent) added
    - Engineer: Cornering Aim revised
    - Engineers: Electrocution Circuit revised
    - Professional: Wreaking Blow (feature) renamed as Onslaught
    - Professional: Specialist (talent) replaced by Skill Monkey
    - Professional: Cold weapon master (talent) reworded and tweaked
    - Professional: Trickster Stance tweaked
    - Professional: Weak Spot replaced by Blind Spot
    - Savant: Boost FX (feature) renamed as Boost and additional options added for it
    - Savant: Slash (ESP) revised
    - Savant: Wear (ESP) revised
    - Strategist: Resourceful (talent) replaced with Sensei
    - Strategist: Swiss Army Knife (talent) renamed as Selective Meddler
    - Strategist: Alpha Strike tweaked
    - Strategist: Intel Gather revised
    - Strategist: Cunning Presence effect moved to Inspiring Presence
    - Strategist: Cunning Presence and Commanding Presence redesigned
    - Strategist: Initiative Shuffle replaced with One Step Ahead 
    - Strategist: Point Break tweaked
    - Augmentations: Auditory Amp tweaked
    - Augmentations: Claws clarified
    - Augmentations: Gravity Warp Module tweaked
    - Augmentations: Fast-Heal Booster (Bio) revised
    - Augmentations: Fibro-muscle Waive (Cyber) streamlined
    - Augmentations: Strider Module (Cyber) revised
    - Augmentations: Flight, Passwall, Teleport (SIM) tweaked

    Comment last edited on about 7 years ago by Uskglass
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  • Guest - Ash

    13th Age was designed not to need healing classes. So, if you play without a cleric or a paladin, it doesn't hurt you. It's balanced around not having those heals. Because of this, the addition of shields makes combat very unbalanced. It's a cakewalk for PCs in most circumstances. Not worth playing for this reason alone.

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  • We've done some more playtesting and came through this too. So in the latest revision (v2.8), the Shield system has been radically revised and now works much more in line with 13th Age standard healing (for instance now Shield Refresh uses a Recovery, so the pressure is back on). Of course it is always possible to crank up enemies' damage for more threatening battles, but now we are finding that can be accomplished by Double Strength or a Triple Strength mobs, as in standard 13th Age.

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  • Guest - Ron

    Big thanks to author of article!

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