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Monte Cook’s Numenera Unveiled!!!- Games for Game Masters!

August 7, 2012


The great thing about edition changes is it creats a gap… a period of time when everyone’s favorite game gets set aside, no matter how much they love it, and players and GM’s take the time to test and probe other systems that are out there including the new incarnation of their favorite.  I love trying new games, and Monte Cook has released some information about his new game Numenera that’s got me salivating.

Numenera is a world set in the distant future where the highly advanced society of the past has left the players in a new dark age, with technology being perceived as magic.  Character generation is simple, but promises to have various nuances and variations to keep things interesting.

Players take on the role of:

Glaives – Brutal warriors mastering either heavy weapons and armor or focusing on lighter more mobile fighting

Nanos – “Mages” harnessing the powers of ancient technology to procure dangerous and mystifying results

Jacks – Your standard Jack-of-All-Trades skill monkey

Okay, so we’ve got some interesting things going on here. Fresh look at the old Fantasy genre is always a good thing when you’ve been playing as long as the Skyland Crew.  But wait, there’s more.

Leave it to Monte Cook to create a game that features rules that make the game easier for the GM to run, and where the players can vote for additional rewards (XP, etc.) for clever RP.  Mechanics take a back seat to story and playability, with numbers being reduced in variety, frequency, and complexity.  Anyone who’s dealt with a high level buffed party in various editions of D&D knows the saving grace this will be come play time.

Speaking of which, it’s noteworthy that attributes take on the form of descriptors (clever, tough, strong-willed, etc.) reminiscient of the old Vampire the Masquerade LARP (yeah, I admit it, I did my time as a much younger gamer playing “Bruno” the muscle for Clan Ventrue. I apologize for nothing.). How the mechanics will play out is still an open question, but you can catch summaries of playtests to see what the general flow is likely to be.

I feel like we can safely say this game has promise, and Skyland Games will be keeping a close eye on this one as it nears release.

  1. August 8, 2012 at 3:24 am

    I had a great time running a live Vampire game for three years, and I think the descriptive system was one of its strongest points. Well that and getting to run the game with one of my best mates. http://shortymonster.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/how-i-managed-to-co-op-run-a-successful-game-for-three-years-with-a-little-help-of-course/

    Looking forward to more information coming out on this one at the first teasers look great.

  2. August 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I always hated that the traits went away every time you lost a challenge. I hated more that no one but me ever marked down that they lost a trait when they lost a challenge.

    I’m liking what I’m reading about the setting of Numenera. I’m not sure that there is anything about it that requires a new rule set however. Fighter/MagicUser/Rogue, even in a mega-scifi future is still pretty straight forward.

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