Friday, 6 September 2013

Numenera and Age of Scorpio

We started character gen for Numenera on Tuesday evening. The character gen is very quick and satisfying and 7 of us had characters done very quickly.

In Numera you create a character using three main things; types work like class, Descriptors add more detail and Foci give you a bunch of special moves. So you make a [Blank] [Blank] who [Blanks]. You can find more info about it here: http://www.numenera.com/character-creation/.

I created a Charming Jack who Crafts Illusions after discovering that my first two choices were unavailable. I intend to play him like Loki in the Marvel Thor film.

My first choices were A Quick Jack who Cuts People and my second was an Enigmatic Nano who Melts Faces. Both have Foci or Descriptors that were obviously accidently left out of the main book.

In the spirit of satisfying myself (and in case I die to a horribly misunderstood piece of Numenera or the machinations of my rival Robin.)  I immediately contacted Charles  to demand that these oversights be corrected and he assures me that the request has been sent on to the creative department at Monte Cook Games (this is what friends are for!)

Most people get a certain number of cyphers at the start of play, these are useful Numenera which the characters can use for a wide variety of buffs, weapons, items etc. We used the Numenera Cypher deck of cards (that we got at GenCon) to randomly determine what people had for Cyphers; players pick an image card and a descriptor card and choose which of the 2-3 descriptors they use for the item.

While we were making characters for it I was strongly reminded of Gavin’s recent book Age of Scorpio. (There is a short story set in the same universe up on his publishers blog here: http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2013/04/6135/ )

The rest of this post is going to be full of Spoilers for Age of Scorpio. So buy and read the book first, before finishing this post. Or treat it like a preview and go get the book once you finish the blog post.

The story is set in three distinct times; Ancient Briton, Now and After the Fall. Initially there’s no real link between them but as the story builds the knock on effects of each time period begin to appear.  

As the book progresses the magic of the past and in the present day is explained as the ubiquitous tech of the Far Future. This is what got me thinking about it while we were making characters for Numenera. The hook  of the game is the Arthur C. Clarke quote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” which is an underlying theme to Age of Scorpio.

Don’t get too attached to the characters as Mr. Smith has taken a leaf from George RR Martin’s book on how to treat your heroes!

It has some excellent Gun Porn and a fantastic tribute to the Thriller music video that Gav first unleashed on me in a Hunter Game.

So I decided to Numenerasise some of the characters from the book:

Beth is a Tough Glaive who is looking for her sister.

Britha is a Mystical Witch (Nano) who Rages.

Tangwen is a Graceful Jack who hunts with great skill

Vic Matto is a ‘Sect Glaive who is obsessed with Humanity.

No idea what that means? Look here: http://www.numenera.com/character-creation/

I’ll write up descriptions of the Foci and Descriptors I just made up in a future blog post. Or post your versions in the comments for the chance at Prizes (I’ll harass Gav for prizes, at the moment there aren't any.)

Also in related publicity type things for it Gavin arranged for Chloe to shoot a variety of the Characters from the book (that i stole the pictures of for the above characters) and you can see the behind the scenes results of it here.