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Ex Novo
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Ex Novo


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Ex Novo is a playable city-generator that helps you construct fictional villages and towns.

This role-playing game can be played alone or with up to 3 friends. Playtime ranges from 1 to 3 hours. Meet with your friends and collaboratively draw the map of your city as you explore the conditions that led to its founding and the events that shape its development. Ex Novo helps you bulid settlements that you will be itching to play in! Complete with map and turbulent history.

Playing Ex Novo

You (and up to three friends) take on the role of the guardian spirit of a freshly founded settlement. Its founding just brought you into existence. And with it it brought you your purpose: to witness its growth, shepherd its development and remember its stories.

As you play you will make sense of the events happening as you draw and plan on a collaborative map of the settlement and its changing shape. In the end you will have created an interesting fictional place with a sense of history.

An example Ex Novo sketch of a coastline

Sequence of Play

Play begins with a brief discussion phase. Here each player shares their assumptions and expectations. You will also determine city size and age in this phase.

Then we move to the founding phase. Taking turns, each player defines some of the basics of the settlement, such as its purpose or the surrounding terrain. Whenever a feature is determined the acting player will draw it onto the map. By following the predefined sequence of turns you will end up with an interesting starting situation.

After this you enter into the development phase. Here each turn adds an interesting event that needs to be interpreted by the active player. During this time the settlement will grow, change or even shrink. This is where the exciting history of your city is played out, its shape evolves and the map grows.

The final phase is the topping out phase. Here a few quick turns are all that's needed to wrap up the development of the city and tie off all loose ends.

And finally you'll be left with an interesting settlement that you can enjoy or use as a jumping off point for something else, like a role-playing campaign.

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Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
David B July 16, 2020 10:11 pm UTC
I have seen other games like this. What does this one bring to the table that is new?
Customer avatar
Martin N July 21, 2020 8:22 am UTC
Most other games focus on only providing a fun play experience. The big draw of Ex Novo is that it's both a fun time to play but it also generates a city you are itching to play your favorite RPG in.

If that's a bit too vague, I'd love to provide more details but then it would help to know what to compare against, so if you've got similar games that you have in mind, let me know!
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Product Information
Electrum seller
File Size:
5.67 MB
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File Last Updated:
November 02, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on July 15, 2020.