Episode 31 – Numenera RPG

Numenera RPG

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The GROGNARD files is back with the latest episode which looks in-depth at Numenera RPG based on the Cypher System which was the first new-fangled game that we played when we returned to the hobby.

There’s a great First, Last and Everything from Kaye Elling (make sure you follow the progress of her Judge Death model on Twitter).

Also included is an update on the latest projects. You can support us via Patreon.

Author: Dirk

Host of The GROGNARD RPG Files podcast. Talking bobbins about Runequest, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, T&T, AD&D and others from back in the day and today.

7 thoughts on “Episode 31 – Numenera RPG”

  1. I was introduced to Numenera by Blythy as part of Virtual Grogmeet 2018, and again face-to-face with Blythy at Grogmeet 2018, and thoroughly enjoyed it both times, the Cypher System really appealed to me with a nice balance of “crunch” and roleplay. You’ve done a great job in this episode detailing all its interesting concepts. I should mention that, as a GM, Blythy does a great job of letting players get on with it and somewhat dictating the narrative (as per his “character agency” philosophy), and Numenera dovetails this style of play perfectly.

    Blythy’s assurance that the Cypher Deck would not produce anything game-breaking described the old school method as too predetermined, but remember that the magic item tables (normally used for monster loot) in most D&D editions were badly conceived and this is what probably drove module designers to define the items rather than resort to the tables, in my experience the tables were rarely used, even for regular non-magical monster loot, this is a feature that Cypher has corrected and is most welcome.

  2. First of all, yes the ‘thesis-antithesis-synthesis’ thing is Hegel.

    My problem with NUMENERA is the world not the system. (I’m not immensely keen on the system but without the world attached to it I’d give it a try.)

    There you are, a ridiculously large amount of time in the far future. There have been civilizations that your puny minds cannot conceive of and they have left behind all their junk to complicate, poison and pollute your lives. You can’t get away from them. Most of you may have a human shape but it’s clear that you and your friends aren’t much like the humans of the first world otherwise.

    All of this is hard enough. But what is worse the setting doesn’t seem to provide you a sense of your own world, the Ninth World, what for you is the here and now. And apart from ‘weird shit happens regularly’ and ‘black rain falls from the sky and fucks things up’ I can’t think of anything to tell my players about their normal lives because as far as I can tell they don’t have normal lives.

    Just at the moment I’m running RUNEQUEST: GLORANTHA and my players are liable to go off and decide that the weird chaos monsters that bubble out of Dorastor are related in ways I hadn’t thought of. Sometimes I can say to myself ‘yeah that’s a good idea’ and incorporate them but only because I have an overall sense of what the setting contains.

    Be damned if I can do that for NUMENERA.

    Your enthusiasm has managed to prompt me to try to read it again… But the strangeness is just too strange. And I say that to a certain extent with regard to THE STRANGE too.

  3. Oh, and I knew there was something else I meant to say: If you think defining your character with a sentence is cool look at HEROQUEST where one of the options is to write a drabble, a 100 word description of your character and basing his stats off that.

  4. Listening to the section about scalable easily defined oppononts by level made me grin a little. To me this appeared you talked about it as “novel” , if I understand you correctly. And I can understand that, looking at RQ stat blocks for NPC’s it’s a blessing. I’d say that the T&T Monster rating sounds very similar. How hard is this monster…ooh… just give him an MR of 40 and be done with it!. Great little game, that T&T thing… (as you ourselves commented in the T&T episode 😉 )

  5. I can’t get my head around the ‘The GM intrusions’ rule either. They sound a bit like a sugar coated way of railroading players into doing what they want. But also a lot of it just sounds like Gming to me.

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