EMPEROR OF THE FADING SUNS

NOVA

The New Start

Last updated: September 5, 1999

Balancing the House Traits

[Note: this page has been updated since it was first uploaded. So make sure that all players are using the latest version.]

Up till now, we have discouraged Nova players from using the House Traits, because they are so unbalanced and a few of them are broken. However, Dag Stålhandske and I have now devised a system for balancing the traits.

Each trait is assigned a positive or negative value, and a player may select any combination of traits whose total value does not exceed some limit agreed upon by all the players. For example, if the players agree on a limit of 4 points, one player might choose Noblesse Oblige (+12), Tyranny (4) and Spendthrift (4).

Clearly, it's not possible to state definitively what a trait is worth, but the values below are based on careful consideration.

Some traits have been given alternative values [in brackets] to be used when playing my alternative scenarios ("It's War!" and "Escape From Earth").

When using this system, you need to set the difficulty level to Easy. In Nova, this allows you to select any combination of traits. In a multiplayer game, we recommend that players inform each other of their choices, and attempt to role-play their character according to their traits.

 

Positive Traits

Noblesse Oblige: +12 [+8]. Adds 10 to both city loyalty and unit loyalty. A player should always reduce his tax level sufficiently to make his city loyalty 100% anyway, so the city loyalty bonus translates into a tax increase. The one exception to this is when a player is excommunicated. In that case, he cannot keep his city loyalty at 100% by reducing taxes alone, so this trait really will increase it. The unit loyalty bonus means that leaderless units will rout less easily, while units accompanied by an officer or noble will never rout.

Noble Scholars: +4. Increases food production by 10%.

Enlightened Nobility: +1. Increases research output of labs by 10%.

Rule of Law: +12 [+8]. Same as Noblesse Oblige.

Warrior Ethic: +3. Newly built units are Expert instead of Green.

Charismatic Leadership: not allowed. This trait is badly broken.

Administration: +1 [+0]. Increases tax income (not tax rate) by 10%.

Mercantile Savvy: +4. Prices 10% higher when selling, 10% lower when buying.

A Friend in the Church: +1. Increases chance that Patriarch will agree to a contract.

A Friend in the League: +0. This seems to have no effect, as the League never agrees to any contracts anyway.

Ancient Documentarium (Bioengineering): +1. You start the game with Microbiology, Pharmaceuticals and Hospitals.

Ancient Documentarium (Advanced Physics): +1. You start the game with Physics, Energy Physics and PTS Missile Launcher.

Ancient Documentarium (Psychosocial Engineering): +1. You start the game with Psychosocial Engineering, Meditation and Alien Psychology.

Internal Security Apparatus: +0. Almost irrelevant as rebellions only occur when unit loyalty is below 25%. The only time this happens is occasionally when capturing a rebel unit.

Battlemaster: +2 [+4]. Adds 20 to the armor rating of units stacked with a noble (including the noble himself).

 

Negative Traits

Despotism: 4. Reduces food production by 10%. (Note: the manual and the trait screen describe this trait wrongly.)

Inbreeding: 0. Almost irrelevant as rebellions only occur when unit loyalty is below 25%. The only time this happens is occasionally when capturing a rebel unit.

Insanity: 4. Reduces production of resources in each city by 5%. This is rounded in your favour, so that, for example, a Fusorium producing 10 Monopols per turn will not be affected. Does not affect research.

Inept Military Training: 2. Subtracts 1 from the accuracy of all your weapons.

Tyranny: 4. Subtracts 10 from unit loyalty, so they rout more easily.

Spendthrift: 4. Prices 10% lower when selling, 10% higher when buying.

Anti-trade: 1 [0]. Reduces tax income (not tax rate) by 10%.

Decadence:1 [0]. Same as Anti-Trade.

Disdains Trade: 4. Same as Spendthrift.

Enemy in Church: 1. Reduces chance that Patriarch will agree to a contract.

Enemy in League: 0. This seems to have no effect, as the League never agrees to any contracts anyway.

 

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