I recently purchased the Numenera starter set. I'm planning on running through this adventure with a group who have no prior experience with Numenera (myself included).

The starter set doesn't have any information on character advancement, so I'm wondering what to do if this comes up. A PC in the starter adventure would have a tough time earning more than 10 XP. Is there anything they can "spend" XP on, or is advancement just a non-issue at this point?


According to the core Numenera rules, XP can be spent in four different quantities. As far as I can see only the 3XP choice is definitely inappropriate for a short game.

  • 1 XP can be spent to re-roll any die roll in the game. Really any roll -- not only a roll made by the player spending the XP. 1 XP can also be spent to resist a GM intervention. Both of these are obviously useful in a game of any length.
  • 2 XP can be spent on temporary benefits of the type "trained in [skill] in [specific location]." I could imagine this could be really useful in a one shot. At the GM's discretion 2XP can also be spent on a numenera item only useful for one scenario. Both of these are specifically triggered by immediate in-game events/needs, so are very appropriate in your case.
  • 3 XP can be spent on a variety of long-term benefits that specifically require considerable time investment first (familiarities, contacts, a home, an artifact), so these are inappropriate for a short game.
  • 4 XP can be spent on a more traditional level up, where there are four options, each of which can only be taken once per tier (so, in the case of a short adventure, only once).:

      1. Increase effort by 1
      1. Spend 4 points on increasing pools (divide 4 points as desired)
      1. Increase one edge by 1
      1. Become trained in a new skill, or specialised in one you are already trained in
  • There is also the option for 4XP to replace one of options 1 to 4 with reducing your armor cost by 1 or increasing your recovery roll by 2.*

The 4XP ones could certainly be useful even in a limited game, though I guess it's up to the GM to call whether such improvements can happen in the middle of an adventure.


* Any of the 4XP level ups can also be replaced by choosing an additional nano/glaive/jack ability, but I'm guessing you can't do this with the starter set as I suppose you're working with pregens.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You can also only purchase each of the 4xp options once per Tier, though that also matters little in a short one-off adventure. \$\endgroup\$ – Longspeak Feb 27 '17 at 5:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Longspeak right, I've added that in \$\endgroup\$ – harlandski Feb 27 '17 at 6:14

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