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In Numenera, it mentions that difficulties are on a scale of 1 to 10. However, effects or abilities might modify this difficulty 1 or more steps in a direction.

For example: A dazed character attacking a level 10 foe would need to make a difficulty 11 task... or is it capped at 10? So if he applied 5 levels of effort to reduce the difficulty of the task, is the task now difficulty 5 or 6?

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    \$\begingroup\$ "For the determination of difficulties shalt thou count to ten, no more. Ten shall be the maximum number thou shalt count, and the maximum number of the counting shall be ten. Eleven shalt thou not count, neither count thou nine, excepting that it be the chosen difficulty level, or that thou then proceed to ten. Twelve is right out." \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Mar 19 '14 at 15:22
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It would apply - think about it this way; a task is impossible to achieve whether it is difficulty 10 or 11 so the question is purely academic at that point. But if a character applies 5 levels of effort and is also dazed, the net modifeir to the difficulty is -5 + 1 = -4 i.e. difficulty 6.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The task is still level 10, it's just modified (down to five by the character putting in effort) then back up to six because despite their effort they're still dazed. I'd think a task that was normally nigh on impossible should still get a bit harder if you're dazed when you try it so I think I'd rule a difficulty ten task may become a difficulty eleven (or higher) after modifiers. \$\endgroup\$ – Haegin Aug 4 '14 at 7:57
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According to the description here and elsewhere, the maximum difficulty level is 10. Which already means "Impossible - a task that normal humans couldn’t consider" so that's a clue. I have never seen a Numenera roll adjudicated at a higher difficulty level than 10. Even a 7 is getting toward the impossible.

"The upper levels of difficulty, 7, 8, 9, or 10, are all but impossible, since the target numbers would be 21 or higher."

Another clue is provided in the following paragraph (notice that upward mods are not described, only downward mods):

"It’s quite common for players to modify the difficulty of a task. Using training, assets, working together, or–perhaps most importantly–effort, difficulty levels can be moved down multiple steps to make them easier. In other words, rather than adding to the die roll, the number you need is reduced."

By this reading, your dazed character would be rolling against a difficulty level of 5.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "I have never seen a Numenera roll adjudicated at a higher difficulty level than 10" is not useful knowledge. Numenera is a new game, and I assume you don't actually play it for a living, every hour of every day. \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Mar 19 '14 at 15:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ More to the point is the following phrase: "the GM determines how hard the task will be, on a scale from 1 to 10". \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Mar 19 '14 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ The effects of Dazed are that the difficulty of all tasks it performs is modified by one step to its detriment. Is this therefore applied to the initial 10 and has no effect, or applied to the final difficulty in which case it is counted? \$\endgroup\$ – Conor Pender Mar 19 '14 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ConorPender that's a good question. I don't recall cases in which such an effect should be applied to the "final" difficulty. \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Mar 19 '14 at 15:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Adriano is right on all three counts. Maybe not all of my sentences are useful :-) but we are in agreement on the ultimate determination. \$\endgroup\$ – As If Mar 19 '14 at 15:40

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