What is Nod’s Way?

Dvarsh oracle dice, used to consult the ancient wisdom text, Nod's Way.

It occurred to me that many of you may not have a clear picture of what Nod’s Way is. To call something an oracle is to tell nothing of its detail. A few of you have traveled with me long enough to remember an early version released by a small commercial house some years ago. My habit is to report as though every reader of the Stikmaniacal knows that false start. Apologies to anyone left behind.

Unlike much of what I create, Nod’s Way has a definable marketing category, supplied by game designer Steve Jackson. Years ago, when the oracle was in its first elaboration, I left my best sixty-second description on Mr. Jackson’s voice mail at Steve Jackson Games. He returned my call. Saying he was intrigued, he spoke with me at length, asking really good, helpful questions. At last, he pronounced that what I have is “a fantasy divination system.” He also suggested that I would not be the first novelist to get public notice for something other than narrative fiction. Steve Jackson is one of the nicest human beings I have never met. I have never met some very, very nice ones.

The Nod’s Way system has two parts, the book titled, Nod’s Way, and a set of special dice. Eventually, there will also be a deck of cards representative of Dvarsh esoteric tradition, but that is not yet. Upon release in October, the system will consist of book and dice. In context of Dvarsh civilization, the book is its core wisdom text, and as such has a presence in the main cycle of Habdvarsha fiction. Describing the product of my mental workshop, it is equal parts imaginative literature and conceptual art, organized as a game with chance. Chance, you know, is always ready to play.

Design of the coming publication is all new. In fact, pretty much everything about the new book distinguishes it from the old. The text was revised, then translated into Dvarsh, and then translated back into English, a process that matured the Dvarsh language and shifted meaning in some of the English. Coining idiomatic expressions was an activity I loved in the recomposition process. Of course, Dvarsh must have them. Of course, some must trace to a source as key as Nod’s Way.

The dice are not new. At the time of the earlier version, I contracted personally for manufacture of the dice, rather than granting license to the publisher of that book. Happily (one hopes), there are around 4500 sets in one of the closets, and about nine hundred drawstring dice bags to go with them. A set will ship automatically with every copy of Nod’s Way purchased directly from Stikmantica. Dice sets will also sell separately, but exclusively in the stikmantica.com Market.

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