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Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition
by Thorsten D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2014 15:59:27
Greetings from Germany (and therefore please excuse my rather bad english).

I found Nova Praxis while i was searching a SciFi/Cyberpunk setting as an alternative for Shadowrun. No SR bashing here, but after nearly 25 years of playing, SR and me drifted apart.
I was looking for a leaner system and a darker, more gritty... more mature setting.
The description intrigued me and the reviews encouraged me to buy it. Sadly at that time, Nova Praxis used the FATE rule set. A great system, i am certain of it. But i just fell in love with Savage Worlds shortly before.
Then, a few weeks later, Nova Praxis went savage! I bought it and i got more than i was looking for!
It is like Sean says in the prologue. You have to delve into the setting of NP. The singularity, the nearly post-scarcity economy, the shadow wars and, my star of the setting, the concept of transhumanism is mind-blowing.
The authors did a great job creating a credible society founded on the veneer of seemingly safety and prosperity, if only you behave and think like the powerful want you to, buy what they say, and sacrifice your freedom. Sounds familiar? Look out of the window.
The possible campaign styles are awesome. Play a mercenary for the six houses, enforcing their will with mighty war machines. Eliminate the enemies of the coalition as an agent of shadow. Be an enemy of the coalition playing a rebel freedom fighter or just try to make a living by smuggling contraband to help the outcasts. And there is so much more. Did i mention the Fallen?
If you need more information read the reviews for Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF].

This is my first review of a RPG. I wrote it to thank Void Star Studios for creating that wonderful game and i'm looking forward to Machinations Savage Worlds Edition.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition
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Machinations: The Nova Praxis GM's Companion [FATE]
by Stirling W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2014 12:29:59
To put it bluntly, I was disappointed with this product. I have some players who have asked to play in the Nova Praxis setting, and so I've been reading through the main book, plotting out ideas for stories. This has been very frustrating as the main book contradicts itself, has huge exploitable loop holes in the setting, and basically describes a society that is inconsistent with the technology that sustains it. My notes on how to make things make sense keep growing hourly.

Perhaps it was too much to hope that a GM's add-on product would acknowledge and/or attempt to fix some of these flaws, but there is no evidence of that. Instead there is some more background info on the Houses which is useful and adds color, but causes confusion as well, as it fails to answer the one question that I have about every adventure:
why isn't House X handling this itself?

Basically, if you have a shadow war, you need some reason for the houses to involve outsiders. Plausible deniability is fine, but that can only take you so far. When a house can modify identities and change records, you have to wonder why they don't just have shady internal groups of ninjas doing all their dirty work. Why take on the PCs?

And given that the main premise is that the players are minor characters in the shadow wars, why is so much of this book devoted to having them work as (essentially) government agents? These plots are of no practical use to me in this setting.

Other questions I wanted answered that weren't: What are interplanetary ships like? How fast do they go? What weaponry do they carry? Just how many jump gates are there (the main book says both 2 and 'hundreds') and what prevents them from being used as a terrorist weapon? Why doesn't any pre-mimir technology exist in the apostate colonies? Why are vulcan swarms so damn important when eveyone already knows how to build buildings?

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Machinations: The Nova Praxis GM's Companion [FATE]
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Publisher Reply:
Hi Stirling, I\'m sad to hear you were disappointed. But I\'d be happy to try to address some of your concerns. And please feel free to contact me at mike@voidstarstudios.com with any questions/concerns that I don\'t cover below. \"Why isn\'t House X handling this itself?\" It does, often. The PCs are generally a mix of House members and Auxiliaries, but there are certainly Auxiliary teams that work exclusively for certain Houses. And the Houses also have their own internal groups entirely loyal to the House, check out the \"Enforcement\" section in each House\'s write-up. Cipher, The Red Sun, Reaper Teams, Wendigos... all of these are serve the role of the House\'s \"internal groups of ninjas\". :) \"Why take on the PCs?\" Use of internal organizations like those listed above would still require some degree of consent within the House leadership. But often times, Shadow War activities are initiated and carried out by factions within a House that may be at odds with another faction. Within the Houses, the \"sanctioned\" groups listed above would still operate somewhat on the record. Mixed team Auxiliaries (like the PCs usually are) can operate fully in the shadows, and their missions are likely only known to very few people. \"Why is so much of this book devoted to having them work as (essentially) government agents?\" We wanted to present a few new campaign styles as options for the GM. While I felt that the Shadow War stuff was a good, familiar, jumping off point for GMs in the core book; I wanted to show that there was more to the setting. Campaigns based around Phalanx Formations and Scholae Palatinae offer opportunities for the GM to offer up different sorts of missions. And as you can see in the Arcs, they sort of roll into each other., offering crews opportunities to advance and grow. So you could play as Auxiliaries, eventually become a Phalanx Formation, and then one day get \"promoted\" to become Scholae. \"What are interplanetary ships like? How fast do they go? What weaponry do they carry?\" In addition to the Silverpike in the core book, Machinations contains a new sample ship (The Chickenhawk). Speeds and weaponry are covered in the vehicles chapter of the NP core book. Is there something more specific you\'d like to know? \"Just how many jump gates are there (the main book says both 2 and \'hundreds\')\" Any properly equipped star ship can produce a jump gate. If you mean Jump Rings, there are two in the Sol system, but many more in the network between Sol and the other planets. \"...and what prevents them from being used as a terrorist weapon?\" Nothing. Sounds like a good plot for a campaign. :) \"Why doesn\'t any pre-mimir technology exist in the apostate colonies?\" Some do, but it depends on the type of technology. Mimir-tech became common before the Exodus, so most pre-Singularity tech was left behind on Earth. That\'s not to say that someone couldn\'t come along a start producing pre-Singularity weapons and vehicles again, but few Apostate enclaves have the resources to do it. \"Why are vulcan swarms so damn important when eveyone already knows how to build buildings?\" Vulcan swarms allow you to build things designed on the spot, very quickly, out of the surrounding natural materials. That means you don\'t have to acquire and ship much, if any, raw materials to the build site. This is very useful if you want to build something in secret, and/or need it done very quickly. I hope that helps. I always feel bad when I hear that someone is disappointed in one of our books, so please feel free to contact me with any additional questions. Thanks! Mike
Machinations: The Nova Praxis GM's Companion [FATE]
by Francesco C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2014 09:44:29
Extremely well done book! It is full of hints, plot hooks and ideas for us GMs, and for players too (for them the part in wich each House gets an in depth description)! The story arcs and the pregenerated adventure are great too!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Benjamin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/26/2014 12:58:52
Absolutely fantastic. I love the system and the game world. Very well written and the PDF itself is a step above others

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
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Machinations: The Nova Praxis GM's Companion [FATE]
by Jonathan K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2014 14:50:33
Gorgeous, fascinating setting meets well-crafted supplement.

A deeper look into the world of NP, its factions and politics, and how its society functions. There's a lot of stuff here for GM's to use; overall, I'm very happy with it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Machinations: The Nova Praxis GM's Companion [FATE]
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Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Paul M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2014 07:26:21
Have been looking at Eclipse Phase for quite awhile now, but couldn't get my group to bite, nor could I get into the rules system for the game. Then I started getting into the Fate system, and was really impressed with it's ability to handle any setting. I was already starting to think of ways to convert EP when I came across Nova Praxis. Man, it was exactly what I was looking for! I was happy to see that it used skills instead of Void Star's Strands of Fate style of using Abilities. I makes it more compatible with other Fate systems. Needless to say, if you play any kind of Fate, and want sci-fi, transhuman, or cyberpunk elements in your game, then you couldn't go wrong with Nova Praxis.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
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Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Sean R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2013 22:15:58
I enjoy this game and the background that went into it, although it's sad that more people haven't heard of it, I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by seth b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2013 08:38:51
Quite possibly the most useful and beautiful PDF ever created for gaming, and the setting/genre is something something desperately need for the Fate rules.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Joseph M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2013 12:03:25
A fine pdf. One of he first few that really attempts to embrace tablets. Wonderful!

However reading it it seems cluttered with links. Chapter headings are messy, and a lot of the functionality could have been folded into simplier hyperlinks in the text itself. Take at look at GURPS pdfs with easy to use page references for more information to understand what I'm talking about. Still the effort here was nice. Really nice.

The setting is transhuman...but comes at it timidly. The advanced tech shows up in very much a "wizard did it" style of AI handwaving. And that's my fundimental issue with the setting. Mimir tech, the technology that's pushing humanity forward was handed to them. They didn't develop themselves, and the various factions in the setting seemed written to prevent the players from breaking the limitations of the tech. Transhuman upgrades are packaged and tightly controlled.

If anything it seems to be a Cyperpunk game that has taken layers of Transhuman elements and plugged them into the core setting. Much as Cypepunk 3.0 was...but handled WAY better.

Mechanically it's FATE, a mix of FATE Core and Strands of Fate. Strands of Fate is the only flavor of FATE I personally can stand. I dislike systems that are mechnicall as soft as FATE is. I'm sorry, too much of a GURPS head.

It works and simulates the action well enough, but takes a steady head on the GMs part to handle setting aspects and tagging.

So...fair. Not my taste, but fair.

It's not what I was hoping for. It's not bad, but it's the best FATE powered sci-fi product out there. The effort that went intot this book shows and the the price the pdf is very much worth it.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2013 17:01:50
I give Nova Praxis high marks for organization, appearance and ease of play. Unfortunately, I've already been playing in a world like this with Eclipse Phase. So much of what I find in Nova Praxis seems very similar and I'd rather have the more comprehensive rules and worlds of EP. Nova Praxis would certainly work for those who need something simpler, however.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Matthew T. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/09/2013 14:54:05
The Nova Praxis universe is one of omnipresent technology, transhumanism, and covert war. The game is visually attractive, with a blue/black computerized motif and evocative photorealistic illustrations. The “augmented” PDF includes a comprehensive table of contexts and index and hyperlinks that make navigation simple. The PDF bundle includes a low-res version of the game, character sheets, a handsome map of the Nova Praxis solar system.

The year is 2140 and while humanity has lost the Earth, it has colonized the solar system and beyond. The setting is hard(ish) space fiction with AIs, cyborgs, and uploaded minds, à la GURPS: Transhuman Space, but with more FtL and artificial gravity. Most of these “impossible” technologies are black box systems courtesy of a defunct super computer thus allowing the author to include beloved SF staples without breaking the realistic feel of the setting while at the same time precluding players from fiddling about with possible game-breaking science.

The old governments of Earth have given way to mega-corporations and exist only as disgruntled remnants fighting a terrorist’s war. These mega-corporations, called Houses, rule over a post-scarcity trans-nation but they are also fighting a secret war against each other. Further conflicts exist between citizens and non-citizens and between augmented and non-augmented humans.

The basic technologies (computers, nanotech, broadcast power, etc.) are discussed in detail as well as the culture of the setting. The setting is loaded with potential plot-hooks and interesting locales, including most of the solar planets or their moons as well as half a dozen “exoplanets”. Other “locations” include a number of “virtualities”, simulated realities where uploaded minds meet, vacation, and play.

The game assumes that players will be special agents employed by the Houses to fight their “Shadow War”. Thus they will function outside society most of the time. This makes sense as a post-scarcity society with near constant law-enforcement, while nice to live in, would be a bit boring for your average “adventurer”. Default PCs will be mercenaries, malcontents, and misfits engaged in espionage, surgical strikes, and general underhanded mayhem. PCs can be as “simple” as pure, un-augmented humans or as exotic as intelligent software unconstrained by mere flesh.

The game uses a streamlined version of FATE (itself a elaborated version of FUDGE). Fans of FATE can expect the same kind of character creation and game play as Spirit of the Century, The Dresden Files, and other FATEful games. For those not familiar with it, FATE is a narrative system that stresses story structure and player input. The key component of the system is “Aspects”: narrative descriptions of a person, place, or thing that have a direct mechanical effect of the game. Aspects work like modifiers in other systems but must be “invoked” by GM or players before they come into play. Aspects are invoked using “Fate Points”, a renewable resource that players receive through handicaps, roleplaying, and between sessions. Players create their characters by choosing 5 aspects that define a character’s motivations, beliefs, and talents such as “Graduated Top of My Class” or “Never Leave Anyone Behind”. At first glance, such a loose system may seem ill-fitted to a hard SF setting but I suspect that it will serve SF just as well as it does pulp of supernatural adventure.

Nova Praxis is a well thought-out game, with an easy and established system and an innovative setting with lots of provocative ideas and technologies. I would have liked a bit more examination of the implications of theses elements in play, perhaps a sample adventure or two. Still the stage is set for all kinds of science fiction strangeness and plenty of shadowy excitement too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Frankie B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/09/2013 10:32:32
Once in a while, a product is released which doesn't necessarily redefine the medium, but takes advantage of current trends to present a product that ties those trends together into a packaged whole. NOVA PRAXIS does this. One of the holy grails of tabletop gaming is a sci-fi rpg that is easy to learn but has the complexity to handle all levels of scaling, combat and system design. In short, a near impossible task, but one which NOVA PRAXIS navigates well. The layout is groundbreaking inasmuch as layout of a pdf looking like a computer or web page. This is how pdf's should be presented IMO, and we should be seeing more of this. I would love it if the new D&D or World of Darkness was presented as elegantly and as easy to understand as this game is. The rules here are FATE derived, specifically Strands of FATE, which cleans up and streamlines the version of FATE presented in the Dresden Files RPG. If you have been curious about FATE or just not wanting to purchase a pdf that is little more than a book, then this is a truly worthwhile investment.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Yohann D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2013 15:59:00
Wow, this is game looks really cool, and it's powered with Fate, so it can't be disappointing!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Eirik G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2013 15:22:43
A cool setting, a great game system in which to play that setting, and a great augmented pdf with which reading about both the setting and the system is very easy. It is such a timesaver - usually you're no more than two clicks away from anything you want to find.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF]
by Adam A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2013 09:59:56
While Nova Praxis has a good integration with the FATE system the background requires that people not act like people. Simply put it breaks verisimilitude in order to produce the end state that the authors wanted by assuming that people would act in utterly implausible manners. A setting is bad when you repeatedly say "What the hell, why would anyone do that?" without explanation beyond, "just because."

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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