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Alera Nova: Rules and Setting

In this online resource you will find all of the rules and setting information necessary to design rules for and play in the evolving world of Terra Nova Alera. Also, a log of all of the playtesting done and changes made will be included somewhere in the files here. The intent is to make these rules and that setting as open-source as possible, to enable and encourage collaboration among and cooperation with people from around the world.

Note: Any page references (other than the title bar and account name, which can’t easily be changed) to Alera Nova rather than Terra Nova Alera indicate that a rules element speaks to the old version of these rules. I will take down this notice when I complete the sweeping rules update.


The world of Alera Nova is one nearing crisis. A generation after the Vord War, after the Immortals, after the treachery of at least two of Alera’s most prominent noble houses, and a generation after the rise of First Lord Tavarus Magnus, the empire is starting to strain from the burden of the many changes it has undergone. The abolition of slavery, the inclusion of the Marat, the integration of the Canim, and the introduction of meritocratic citizenship have not ended and in many cases have only highlighted old prejudices and hatreds. Add to this the growing ambitions of High Lords, and the gradual slippage of First Lord Tavarus Magnus toward his sunset years, and all of the ingredients for turmoil and chaos are in place. Into this mix step a few whose position, heritage, skills or predilection make them uniquely capable of seeing and responding to the pending crisis. The manner of their response will shape the history of Alera, and their actions will be felt, if not remembered, for generations.

Game Design Document

The following chapters are for any collaborators or fellow designers trying to understand the reason that game is designed the way that it is. The Game Design Document lays out in detail the essential design principles and intentions behind the systems of Terra Nova Alera. The intention behind doing this is to make the game as “open-source” as possible, to enable and foster collaborative rules development, and at the same time to keep us all on the same page.

Gameplay Table of contents

The following give the many rules and settings guidelines of Alera Nova, and are the growing, living collection that is the meat of this wiki and this growing game system. They are:

New Table of Contents:

Old Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: Basics – the most basic information, such as the challenge resolution system used in Alera Nova and the various elements of characters played in Alera Nova.
  • Chapter 2: The World – A more in-depth look at the world of Alera Nova: its cities, cultures, people, and history.
  • Chapter 3: Character Generation – How to make characters in Alera Nova, and how those characters grow over time.
  • Chapter 4: Character Types – The ten professions and ten racial classes that comprise the bulk of playable character types in Alera Nova.
  • Chapter 5: Skills – The learnable abilities that characters acquire at character generation and over time with experience points in Alera Nova
  • Chapter 6: Furycrafting and Racial Magic – The special, magical skills that set the races and classes apart from each other, giving each race a unique feel and special advantages that are available to no one else.
  • Chapter 7: Actions – The backbone of the rules, a listing of all the things that you can do with the Skills and Magic that your character develops and learns over time.
  • Chapter 8: Other Rules Systems – The other rules systems which govern how the actions characters take interact with the non-player elements of the world around them.
  • Chapter 9: Gear and Equipment – After you have picked your character’s skills and special abilities, it comes down to picking gear. These choices often go to how they fight, providing new tactical options and enabling them to take a role in combat or in general role-play. Included in this chapter, along with combat-related equipment, are guides on all the non-combat gear and the reformed currency of Alera Nova.

Characters in Alera Nova

As characters get made for the system, I’ll provide links to them here. Right now this section is empty, as the basic character generation systems have yet to be implemented.

Change log and Adventure Log

This section will list any major changes and major steps forward made as playtesting continues. It will serve as a reminder of where we’ve been, and the kind of progress we’ve made, in addition to preserving past work for potential future benefit. Right now, though, it’s just a placeholder.

  • 05 Nov 2013 – Changed two Attributes, Intelligence became Perception, Resolve became Discipline.
  • 16 Nov 2013 – Altered the way that checks between PCs and NPCs work, so that only players roll dice and to streamline how NPCs are designed.
  • 19 Jun 2014 – I’ve been working quietly on this for a while, but not updating the changelog to reflect that. Bad Luke, no cookie. Anyway, the latest revision reflects a somewhat altered design philosophy, and the continuing push by me to be as simple and straightforward as I can be in what you can choose from and what it does. In this iteration, I’ve altered and simplified the effect of Skills, and separate them explicitly from Actions. The former are things you learn, the latter are things you do with the knowledge you have acquired.
  • 09 Mar 2018 – Wowm it’s been a while huh? I’ve revisited this project, as I have been working on iterating the rules designs of this system ever since I was last actively updating this wiki. I will be putting some things up, restructuring others, and taking some things down over the next while. I’m not going to lok those changes, but I will log when they are complete,
  • 08 Apr 2018 – Taking a brief break from my steady updates on this. I’m moving into a new house, and I need to focus on that rather than writing for the time being. I’ll get back to it soon enough.

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