Just stumbled onto Numenera. Looks pretty streamlined + clean, setting looks interesting. Doesn’t look like it’d be that hard to code at first glance, either.
I didn’t see any MU*s using the system when I took a glance – anyone have experience w/ it?
IoleRae last edited by
It is a phenom system for tabletop and online tabletop (I’ve run both) but troupe play is built into chargen, where part of your stats literally depend on how you know other PCs. Removing or changing that changes the best things about the system, though I think it could be carefully done.
Removing or changing that changes the best things about the system, though I think it could be carefully done.
Yep – that looked like the one area that would need a little nip/tuck.
I’ve found (but could be wrong and everyone’s individual experience may vary!) that on a MU*, some kind of Group/Organizational memberships out the gate of chargen can help foster (what I’m guessing would be) similar interconnectiveness and relationship dynamics.
But cool – so, sounds like you enjoy the system. What have you liked about it the most as a player / GM?
@IoleRae Another thought could be to gate character advancement on establishing, rather than starting with (edit for clarity: starting the game with), one or more of the connections articulated.
Requires less upfront coordination during character generation to streamline the process, but then incentivizes interesting roleplay.
IoleRae last edited by IoleRae
My favorite part of the system is also the problem with it that I mentioned. It’s that the stats/chargen itself builds (really good) relationships between PCs that encourage troupe play. It makes pretty much everything about being a DM easier, from ready-made story seeds through the characters coming out the gate with bonds so that you don’t have to struggle to find their niche/how to get them involved.
There’s a lot of ways it could be addressed; what is done is of less import than something intentional being done at all. The whole system hinges on this mechanic (imnsho), so the changes need to be REALLY intentional, taking the RESULTS into consideration – what is the change going to encourage, what are the repercussions that has on other rules and balance, that sort of thing.
Not here to tell you how to do it, just pointing out the pain points I personally discovered. MUSH takes troupe play games and turns them into MMOs all the time, but Numenera is VERY VERY troupe focused (more than even Werewolf with packs or Vampire with coteries) and the troupe format doesn’t work for a full scale mush without massive adjustments being made.
Like, the game was laser-focused created to support a party of 5-6 characters. Scaling that up changes a LOT. Not the least of which is that you really don’t want people having duplicates too much.
@MisterBoring It’d probably need to be something incentivizing but not overly heavy-handed.
Perhaps that before the advantages of a specific Rank can be conveyed, some milestone of thematic criteria is necessary to establish? Something with sufficient structure to give characters a nudge, without creating an unreasonable burden.
As an aside, I’ve often been a fan of low-friction CharGen systems where players don’t languish for days in the “Background Approval” queue, and Staff members are subjected to pages and pages of… well, you know. So maybe a replacement for a traditional background approval process is that sometime between game-entry and a major milestone advancement, some story beats have been negotiated between staff/player.
I don’t know – I’m just thinking out loud. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions, @MisterBoring ?
MisterBoring last edited by MisterBoring
@Reason So I have a few ideas on this.
For the random connection for Type, let that be an NPC. It’s not specifically supposed to be an PC, and it represents your characters connection to the larger Ninth World, so just let it be a NPC, and run with that.
For the Descriptor connection to the adventure, let those just sit as a pool of character hooks for GMs and PRP folks to use to bring characters into plotlines. Maybe incentivize having used all four of them. (Perhaps award a bonus 2 XP or something upon crossing off that fourth hook.)
The Focus connection to another PC is the trickier one. You are only required to fill one of those four options, and I actually have a couple of ideas on that:
Have the person creating the character make another character that they are cross connected with. That character is available as a roster character, but if it’s unoccupied by a player, exists as an NPC in the larger game.
Have people apply in pairs with their connections to each other.
Create a Connections Required bboard. As each PC is created, they post their connection list for their focus, and indicate which ones they’d prefer be filled. Any other PC may reach out and work out the fine details of the connection. Give both characters 1 XP for forming the connection. A single player may earn 4 XP total from this incentive.
I think I could come up with some other options as well, but that’s just what I had on the top of my head.
@MisterBoring You’ve definitely given it more thought than I have!
All of those options could be viable.
If there’s a way to set up the system so a player doesn’t become dependent on another player without first having an opportunity to make sure they can gel together, that’s likely ideal.
…meanwhile… How compatible does that XP system look with a MU*? Looks like it’s about 100 XP or so to take a character from chargen to its maximum? Unless I’m miscalculating? Might need an overhaul to fit into the typical character lifespan of a MU* along w/ some incentives to promote character rollover.
@Reason So that player dependency is only for a single bit of character creation. After they enter play, it’s not required anymore. It’s just a method to get you connected to at least one other PC, so if you wanted to ignore it, you probably could. I would definitely incentivize it though.
The XP system would only need minor adjustments I think for a MU. To gain a Tier (Level), one must buy four “steps”, each costing 4 XP. Since you start at Tier 1 and go to 6, you only need to repeat this 5 times to hit the end game for a character, so… a total of 80 XP.
XP is awarded through three methods and would need some minor tweaks to be MU* viable.
The first, GM Intrusions, award 2 XP to the player, and they give one of the two to another PC in the scene with them. I believe it’s recommended that this not happen more than once a session in the books, so for a MU* you would need to set a house rule on how often you can be the target of a GM Intrusion, as well as how many times you can receive the XP gift for someone else’s Intrusion.
Second is Discoveries. You get XP for discovering things, be it Numenera, Information, or other bits of technology. Numenera represent the highest potential XP gain of anything in the game, as you gain XP equal to the level of the device (which ranges from 1-10). There would need to be some guideline set for how these are used in game, especially if you wanted PCs to advance at a certain pace, one Crimson Polyhedron (a Level 10 artifact) can easily push someone into a new Tier from XP gain. Information and other technology discoveries earn 1 XP per, so those can be used more freely by the people GMing in this hypothetical game.
Third we have the catch all category of “GM Awards”. 1-4 XP can be awarded per session for other tasks, be it quests given by NPCs or personal goals of PCs. I think this would require nothing more than a help or news file describing the level of activity required for the increased amounts of XP.
The game expects you to get between 2-4 XP in an average session, more if there’s a major discovery or a major event for a main plot. Ideas I’ve had for how to manage lifespan of a PC include stuff like a monthly XP cap, requiring staff sign off on certain types of XP gain events (Numenera discoveries more than anything), or putting timers on XP spends.
I don’t know how I would incentivize turnover. There’s a limited amount of things to spend XP on, so once you hit Tier 6, you can buy four more steps, and then nothing. I know character sheet stagnation can generate some rollover for some players, but not a majority. It’s really hard to offer more than 1-2 XP in total incentives without throwing off the lifespan of a character by a lot (since 4 XP = 1 Step & 4 Steps = 1 Tier).
@MisterBoring Without going into any of the math of it, I’d say do something along the lines of ‘have a pool of points for intrusions, add to the pool when GM does it, take away from pool when players do it’ or something, since it IS a resource players can spend to influence the narrative.
… incidentally, this IS something else that players can spend XP on, so something something dinosaurs. Players could also spend XP on settlement upgrades? As always, it’s going to depend.
@MisterBoring Interesting and thought provoking – you seem to have given this more than some passing thought.
Either allowing fraction rewards, or multiplying the required XP for an advance by some value (Perhaps a multiple of the current tier?) were other thoughts that crossed my mind.
Have there been any MU* attempts at Numenera already? I kind of live under a rock with respect to all things MU*, so forgive my ignorance.
I don’t think there has been any attempt at it yet, at least not one advertising anywhere.
As far as @Jennkryst and the idea for a pool of intrusions per player, that could work possibly. I’d have to re-read whether you get rewards for player intrusions.
Ultimately it depends on how fast you want the “fastest” earners to earn XP on the game.
@MisterBoring Much like a player spending XP to go ‘um actually, that GM Intrusion does not happen!’, Player intrusions cost 1 XP, but do not go to another player. So it’s a spendable resource that doesn’t count towards your Tier stuff?
May also want a way to spend XP to re-train/pick different skill trainings,/whatever, in lieu of advancing.
DOUBLE POST, but I spent some time re-skimming the book and watching a lets play or three while at work.
So players can spend XP on character advancement, preventing GM intrusions, performing Player Intrusions, or re-rolling a dice roll and picking which roll they want to keep.
Spitballing ideas here; tier cap is easiest, players just can’t progress past it for balance. You still get XP which you can spend on re-rolls or Intrusions, or the retraining ides I mentioned in the previous post. Since there is a theoretical cap here, you can slow down progression of everyone, because newcomers may start out behind, but are more than capable of catching up after enough time. Or don’t slow down progress at all, people can blitz to Tier Cap or not, at whatever speed they choose.
Also also there is mention of short-term and long-term benefits, which are distinctly different from character advancement things. This would be the ‘spend XP on settlements to help society’ or whatever.
I dunno, it has potential for fun times, since two identical sheets could still seem entirely unique because the fluff is separate from the mechanics, which is one of my favorite approaches to RPG rule stuffs.
… also also includes lots of variation for when it inevitably devoles into lewdly smut-filled shenanigans, everyone join up now for silliness!
@Jennkryst Does this mean you are starting a Numenera MU?
@MisterBoring It means I am shrugging my shoulders and offering to help with the book-keeping and +job work and maybe give plot ideas to people far more capable of actually doing stuff than I.
Like, I’m still trying to climb out of the funk and RP on characters that already exist, on games that already exist, so this might help, or it might boot me back into the pit, who can say for sure?
The more I skim over these books and like … spend actual monies on the things because the FLGS had the Bilbo Baggins Birthday sale and junk…
We got a great generic system that is entirely thematic for weird shit to happen in. You want Horizon Zero Dawn robot animals? Thematic. You want cool cybernetic stuff? Thematic. You want wilderness majik? Thematic. You want Spelljammer (thematic) that isn’t a hot mess (5e design team just dropped that ball big time)?
Sammich last edited by Sammich
@Jennkryst Now I want all of those things :C