Homebrew Rules

While Novus Infinitas is most like Fate RPG, I (Smoothesuede) have never heard of Fate before writing Novus, and had come up with much of the rules in a ground-up, homebrew fashion. After seeing the resemblances between Fate and Novus, after others had pointed them out to me, I adapted a portion of the homebrewed rules to be more recognizable. Unique rules are outlines below.

All rules are prototypes at this stage (December-2009) and have yet to be significantly playtested. Details and mechanics are subject to change. When warranted, this page will be redone to overview all rules (not simply unique ones) applicable, and will get its own portal-style layout.

Difficulty Zero

The Difficulty Zero rule keeps all rolls, predictably, at 0 difficulty rating. Using a number of FUDGE dice, determined by a character’s Aspect or Aptitude rating being invoked by the roll, the player tallies the net result. If the total is in the positive, the roll is successful. If the total is in the negative, the roll is failed. A total of 0 is considered just barely achieving the goal of the roll, perhaps while narrowly avoiding a possible negative outcome. For example:

Obediah peers over a sheer cliff face, spying on a small settlement of adventurers. He notices the banner they fly bears the mark of his sworn enemies. Feeling particularly merciless, he climbs into his Terrestrial Explorator and speeds over the cliff, trying to control the vehicle’s trajectory directly over the unsuspecting party.

It seems Obediah has some adventurers to squash. The Player rolls against his Vehicles aptitude, which is 4, and rolls 4 FUDGE dice. Some results are outlined below.

-4) Negative Critical. Something unexpected or terrible happens.
-1) Slight Negative. Almost a success, but not. Character experiences a slight negative consequence.
0) Minimal Success Character experiences desired effect of roll, but just barely.
2) Moderate Success Character comfortably achieves his goal, although perhaps at 70-80% efficiency.
4) Positive Critical Character safely achieves the roll’s full desired outcome, and perhaps more.

As shown, the distance from 0 defines the outcome of the roll. Scaling will obviously granulate with higher leveled Aptitudes, such as 10, however GMs may feel free to constitute ranges such as ’’-1 – +1’’ as the Minimal Success range, or “+7 – +10” as the positive crit range. Creativity on the GM is encouraged, especially in the Crit numbers. Our friend Obediah, for instance, let’s say has crit negatively. The GM may say that his trajectory was spot on, but the party saw him from the start, and maneuvered out of the way, encircling him has he landed, and drawing their weapons toward him. OR the GM may say that the takeoff was unstable and had landed on one wheel, flipping his vehicle and missing the whole party of adventurers. Conversely, a positive crit could range anywhere from perfectly executing a wheelie on landing and running over the group from there, or squishing them all and landing in front of a previously unnoticed arms cache.

A clear problem with Difficulty Zero is that character advancement has little effect, and may perhaps harm your chances of getting good rolls. To solve this, a second homebrew rule is in effect:

Mastery Points

Mastery points work along side all Aptitude rolls and allow a degree of control over their outcome. It works thusly: After every roll, you may spend a total of your Aptitude’s rank in points to modify the roll’s results at a static cost. When in the negative, adding +1 to your result can be done at a cost of 2 points. The cost is increased to 3 points if the roll total lands you in the negative-crit range, and remains at 3 points until you leave that range. Increasing a total by +1 when in the positive can be done at a cost of 4 points. Cost increases to 5 points if a purchase will put you into the positive-crit range, and remains that way for every point thereafter. For instance:

Obediah’s roll turned out to be a -2. He’s unhappy with that, obviously, and decides of course to spend his Mastery points to modify the outcome. Since he’s got a Vehicles Aptitude of 4 (which, again, dictated the amount of dice he rolled to begin with), then he’s got 4 Mastery points to spend. He then can change his roll outcome form a -2 to a 0 by spending all of his points(2 points to neutralize one negative die a piece). He is now left with 0 Mastery points, and cannot modify into the positive. But that is okay. He managed to pull together and avoid injury on landing, and even squished a few baddies!

The advantage is clear. Now let’s take a look at the same roll with a different outcome.

Obediah’s roll turned out to be a 0. It’s an okay result, but he could do better. He really wants those fellas in the dirt. Realizing there’s a full 4 Mastery points to play with, he spends them all to modify the result from a 0 to a 1 (4 points to modify +1 point into the positive.) He now hits a little more of them, giving him a good start to the fight.

Pause that result. It shows a peculiarity which will undoubtedly come up. This doesn’t specify whether the 0 net total was a result of a (1,1,-1,-1) roll or a (0,0,0,0) roll. Do not be confused into thinking this matters. The points do not correspond with changing the dice’s face outcomes. They change the net total value of them. This is an important distinction to make to prevent +1 increases to the total value at 2 points a piece when the original total is at a 0 with equal – and + individual dice.


Carry-Over is an optional rule that states any unspent Mastery points can accumulate for the player to be used on other rolls later, building up to a maximum of some GM determined number, or lasting for a maximum of some GM determined number of rolls. This allows some control over the outcomes of rolls. If, for whatever reason, a player decides he can live with a bad roll, he can elect to take it, and keep the Mastery points to use in a more dire situation. Carry-Over effectively behaves very similarly to Spin, the classic Fate rule.

Homebrew Rules

Novus Infinitas Smoothesuede