What does Nefertiti Overdrive do?
That’s probably the most important question anyone interested in this game could ask, and I’ll try to answer it as succinctly as possible.
Nefertiti Overdrive motivates colourful and exciting scenes within an extremely light mechanical environment.
But what does that mean?
First off, the rules motivate colourful and detailed descriptions of character actions by rewarding such descriptions with better dice. Rather than penalize someone’s outrageous description of a character action, Nefertiti Overdrive rewards it meaning that the outrageous and extravagant is more likely to succeed than the mundane. A character simply attacking with a sword is going to be harder to achieve than that same character jumping up, bouncing off the wall, spinning over the head of the opponent, landing behind him, and driving the sword through his sternum.
So the rules motivate colourful and exciting scenes, but it also does so with very few rules. I like playing with fewer rules because to me that allows a wider range of action. However, I like customizing my characters. I want my character to be very different. This is what I tried to achieve with Nefertiti Overdrive.
You don’t need a lot of rules because everything uses the same mechanic, and there are no need for limits and restrictions, because the idea is to be as outrageous as a Jackie Chan stunt sequence or a Donnie Yen fight sequence. Remember the fight/pursuit through the bamboo forest in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Remember the fight between Jet Li’s Nameless and Donnie Yen’s Long Sky in Hero? These are the kinds of scenes Nefertiti Overdrive was built to replicate, except setting them in Ancient Egypt rather than historical China.
Also, it’s important to note that the mechanics in Nefertiti Overdrive are there only to derive success or failure. How a character succeeds or fails is immaterial. In Nefertiti Overdrive, a character can overwhelm a group of Assyrians by leaping into their midst, smashing into one’s face with the character’s foot, and then sweeping out with the character’s spear to slice through another’s throat, impale a second with the spike on the spear’s butt, and then throwing that body into the fourth Assyrian, knocking him flat. One can also say one brings lightning from the sky to explode among the four. Further, one can intimidate the four into surrendering by haranguing and threatening them. The mechanics of all those approaches are the same. What is different is the narrative.
There is no need for weapons’ lists, spells, or skills. The dice used for the test are based on the character’s Attributes. It does not matter if the character uses a glaive, a sword, a magic wand, or the power of her mind – all that matters is that the player provides a great description.
You can find the free Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart rules here.