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Numenera Roleplaying Game: Core Book

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)
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Numenera is a science fantasy roleplaying game set in the far distant future. Humanity lives amid the remnants of eight great civilizations that have risen and fallen on Earth. These are the people of the Ninth World. This new world is filled with remnants of all the former worlds: bits of nanotechnology, the dataweb threaded among still-orbiting satellites, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange and wondrous devices. These remnants have become known as the numenera.

Player characters explore this world of mystery and danger to find these leftover artifacts of the past, not to dwell upon the old ways, but to help forge their new destinies, utilizing the so-called "magic" of the past to create a promising future.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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Beautiful book, loved setting, simple system

*****

Granted, all those three things in title are subjective, but I try to explain them :P

Book is seriously really gorgeous. Granted, I do have only pdf, but I do have drooled after numenera books in store :'( Dem shiny. Even with pdf you get nice art and good layout. Lot of effort has been put to book's shininess I say.

Setting is... Well, I can't sell it good enough. I'd guess I'd recommend checking out upcoming Torment: Tides of Numenera game's teaser? The setting is really really alien and bizarre. Its kinda scary, kinda beautiful and full of wonderful bizarre stuff. Like, the even the world itself is impossible, the game takes place on earth after time during which sun should have died out and supercontinent game takes on place is larger than landmass of earth should allow. And thats not even getting into critters in the world... Its really mysterious setting I'd say.

What I can say is that I love the setting even if I think I can't do it justice. If there is anything bad about it, its that I think for gm it might be really hard to tell story in place were everything is... Weird.

Now on simpleness of the system... Well, reason why I believe it to be simple system is that its been only system I managed to learn through with one reading <_< With all other systems I keep forgetting rules even in the game. It helps that all tasks you do are done with same type of roll and instead of counting bonuses from your skill to your dice, the skills lower goal number you need. So less math that way, if you are specialized in something and you are trying to do difficulty rating 7 task, it becomes difficulty rating 5 task instead.

Even the character creation is easy, you pick class, descriptor and foci and thats it. Okay, granted, you pick a skill and allocate stats as well, but there are only three stats and they don't involve math. And skills can be anything you want as longs its not too broad category, so just pick something you wannabe good at. Much less steps than in other games I have played or read book of...

If there is anything bad about the system... Well, since the game is so simple, I'd think combat could potentially get little bit boring if players are like "I stab the monster/I do this" without flair. The game is rather narrative/story telling suited so if players are more interested in numbers than in rping, I could see it not being for them.

Anyway, I own a lot of different books and Numenera is among my favourites, I'd recommend checking it out, but if you are unsure then get pdf version of it first.


Stay Away!!!

*( )( )( )( )

Read the Corebook and the rules system is very complex...needlessly so.

The Core mechanics works this way...The GM assigns a task a difficulty level ranged 0 thru 10. You than multiple by that by 3 to get the TN (I have no idea of why this step is involved? Why not just have it 1 thru 30?). The player than rolls a d20...with option not to add a bonus to his roll but ways to reduce the difficulty...yeah a bonus is actually a minus. I have not see anything this anti-intuitive since early D&D with Combat Matrix and THAC0.

The character gen system is okay...nothing really new...they just think it is new.

It is also very GM TELLS THE STORY time type game.

The world is good and looks interesting.

But dump the crappy system and run the world using anything else.


The future of GMing is here and it is the Cypher System

*****

I picked up Numenera about 2 months ago because I'm a big fan of Monte Cook's work. His concepts are hyper imaginative and embody outside the box thinking. He didn't disappoint with Numenera. How to describe the premis of the game? Picture a cool combination of fantasy and hard sci fi with a touch of Gamma World and Thundarr thrown in. That really doesn't do the ninth world where the game takes place justice but you get the idea. I'll break my review into a GM perspective and a players perspective.

I've been GMing for over 25 years (mostly D&D and Pathfinder) and Numenera is a GM's dream come true. The elegant, streamlined Cypher System that powers Numenera takes the focus off number crunching and on weaving an engaging story with your players. I don't know about you, but as I've gotten older and busier, I just don't have the hours needed to stat out new monsters and NPCs just to see them taken down in a couple of rounds by a few lucky rolls. My players are also getting tired of long, complex fights that are more math than adventuring. In the Cypher System, a GM can literally stat out a monster or NPC in less than a minute. I'm not exaggerating. As a GM, I find this system incredibly liberating. With Numenera, I get to focus on building a flexible, fun and interactive adventure that is shaped as much or more by my players than by me. No railroading players necessary with this game!

My players jumped on the Numenera band wagon after one session. That's all it took us to wrap our heads around the rules. No steep learning curve here. Players can create their character in minutes by choosing a descriptor (swift, mutant, etc), type(a glaive-think fighter type, nano-like a techno wizard/psionic type, and a jack - good at a variety of areas) and focus (fuses flesh and metal, exists partially out of phase, wields to weapons, etc.). While simple, the character creation system allows for a wide degree if character individualization. Two of my players both wanted to play jacks who fuse flesh with metal and both toons are very different.

Numenera also has a lot of support products either out or in the pipeline. I ran one of the adventures included in the core book and the first half of Vortex and they were both great introductions to the game. A bestiary that adds to the monsters already included in the corebook and a equipment book are in the pipeline. Monte Cook has also teamed up with Bruce Cordell on a new game that is 100% compatible with Numenera. It is called The Strange and is currently blowing through stretch goal after stretch goal on Kickstarter.

Lastly, the corebook itself is a beautiful peice of work. The hardcover has great binding, high quality paper and includes awesome illustrations. What are you waiting for? Grab your battle axe and your phase disrupter and start exploring the mysteries of the ninth world! You won't be disappointed.


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