In Numenera, when a player rolls a 1, the GM gets a free intrusion (Core Rulebook, p.88)

The GM makes a free intrusion (see  below) and doesn’t award experience points (XP) for  it.

However, it does not state anything about paying experience to negate it, such is the case when the GM offers an intrusion.

So can I pay experience points to negate the intrusion caused by rolling a 1?

The reason I ask this is because in my group, I'm not sure if this is house-ruled or not, but it's the way the GM plays it, and always has: when a player rolls a natural 1, the GM gets a free intervention. The player can then choose to re-roll the one, but the intervention stands. If they roll another natural 1, the GM gets another intervention. I would like to clarify if this is house ruled, or if this follows the rule book.


"Free intrusion" is not a game term and no other rules reference it. Thus beside the rules written on p.88 there are no other restrictions. The general rules for negating intrusions, from p.18:

the player can refuse the GM intrusion. If he does so, he doesn’t get the 2 XP from the GM, and he must also spend 1 XP that he already has. If the player has no XP to spend, he can’t refuse the intrusion.

are still in effect. Yes, you can refuse a nat1 "induced" GM intrusion by paying an XP.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It may actually be a good idea to mention the possibility of simply rerolling the nat 1. The roll of a 1 means you'll fail the task, even if the GM doesn't get an intrusion and with a reroll you could still succeed; there's a high chance of avoiding the intrusion (95%), but there's a small chance(5%) that the xp is wasted. \$\endgroup\$
    – fabian
    Mar 7 '20 at 9:14

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