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I'm hoping to create a Nano who Controls Gravity, and as part of my character advancement, I want to become specialized in the offensive esoteries provide by the focus (Gravity Cleave and Weight of the World).

Which of the following is the most balanced/RAW approach to this:

  1. Spend 16 XP to train/specialize in each?
  2. Spend 8 XP to train/specialize in "gravity esoteries"?
  3. Spend 8 XP to train/specialize in "esoteries that alter gravity's pull on another creature?"

While the last two are mechanically identical, I'm listing them as separate due to Numenera's 'story-driven/light-rules' approach.

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You may train/specialize special abilities from your Focus, but each is separate.

Quoting from Page 25 of my core rules, the boxed section on Skills, emphasis added:

If you gain a special ability through your type, your focus, or some other aspect of your character, you can choose it in place of a skill and become trained or specialized in that ability. For example, if you have a mind blast, when it’s time to choose a skill to be trained in, you can select your mind blast as your skill. That would reduce the difficulty every time you used it. Each ability you have counts as a separate skill for this purpose. You can’t select “all mind powers” or “all esoteries” as one skill and become trained or specialized in such a broad category.

So, 16 points to specialize in each using Rules as Written. However, you won't be specialized in Gravity Cleave until some time after reaching Tier 4, and you will only reach Trained in Weight of the World some time after reaching Tier 6. It's a pretty long road.

That said, you will have many tools to help you reduce your difficulty by this time which will offset the lack of specialization. By Tier 3 you should have 4 Edge. If it's all in Intellect, you use the Gravity Cleave for free with a point to spare to apply toward Effort. By Tier 6 you should have an Edge of 7, which could let you use Gravity Cleave and two levels of Effort for a single point from your Intellect pool.

Such tightly focused training might be useful, but may not be necessary to make you a formidable character.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't believe I missed that last sentence in the book =P. Thanks very much for sharing your insight, it is really useful! \$\endgroup\$ – Khashir May 30 '18 at 4:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way, I also realized that the Tier 3 Esotery, Targeting Eye, should mean I can be specialized in GCleave at L3, and WoW at L6. More importantly, could you say more about what could be necessary to become a formidable character? \$\endgroup\$ – Khashir May 30 '18 at 4:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ My book says Targeting Eye is 5th Tier, and your GM may decide the Gravity abilities are not physical. But we can talk about it in chat sometimes if you want. I bet a mod will helpfully move these comments to a chat room soon. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Longspeak May 30 '18 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would the downvoter like to let me know how to improve the answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Longspeak May 31 '18 at 1:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Targeting Eye 5th Tier? I just re-downloaded my copy of the Corebook, and it appears right before the Tier 4 Nano section. What page are you looking at? Naturally a GM can decide otherwise, but given that the example provided refers to Onslaught's force attack, it seems incoherent to rule that Gravity would not benefit (Gravity is the quintessential force, after all--both GC and WoW are about using gravitational force to physically affect a creature). \$\endgroup\$ – Khashir Jun 2 '18 at 6:12
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You can specialize in that specific ability

You don't have to specialize in something cryptic, you can specialize in that specific ability of your focus, as described under the Skills block at the character creation chapter (pg 25):

If you gain a special ability through your type, your focus, or some other aspect of your character, you can choose it in place of a skill and become trained or specialized in that ability. For example, if you have a mind blast, when it’s time to choose a skill to be trained in, you can select your mind blast as your skill. That would reduce the difficulty every time you used it. Each ability you have counts as a separate skill for this purpose. You can’t select “all mind powers” or “all esoteries” as one skill and become trained or specialized in such a broad category

So if you want to be specialized in Gravity Cleave, you simply pick that as a training and/or specialization and you gain the benefits just as if training on a skill.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How did I miss this before posting mine? :p Well, I add some useful advice, so I'll let mine stand, but I mightn't have bothered if I'd been paying attention. \$\endgroup\$ – Longspeak May 28 '18 at 17:04

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