99

You are creating your own problem As mentioned in Thomas' answer, rules are the way the game provides consistency and sets the expectation of the outcomes of the players' actions. If you arbitrarily dismiss them as you want, you are creating your own problem. In particular, "because I am the GM and I want to" is a very poor justification, and will ...


37

The rules are the primary tool a player has for aligning their expectations with realistic outcomes. As you state in your introduction, you "discard rules left and right in favor of what feels right during the play." Because you have established that you are capricious in your rulings, you have taken away the primary tools a player has for managing ...


26

Numenera is not more strongly tied to party size than any other trad style RPG. Like any trad style RPG, however, it's going to have trouble, or at least require special techniques, when dealing with, in this case, less than three or more than six characters. Why Less Than Three? There are three character classes - glaives, jacks, and nanos. In class ...


22

Numenera 2 has two corebooks. Discovery, and Destiny. Numenera 2 works now in the Cypher System. The main change it brings to Numenera is related to armour. The costs in might and speed associated with wearing armour is replaced with an increase to how much Speed needs to be spent to use Speed Effort when wearing armour. Light takes +1, Medium takes +2, ...


21

Edge (p. 20) doesn't give you free levels and let you spend it to reduce the Effort spent. When the book says "Once a stat’s Edge reaches 3, you can apply one level of Effort for free," it just means that 3 Effort - 3 Edge = 0. That's what it means by "free". So, the reason your math isn't working is because you're applying Edge twice instead of once. For ...


18

The rules on page 94 specifically say "The first time you rest each day...", "The second time you rest each day..." and so on. This means you have to take the rests in that order.


17

Exploring is fun! For me, dungeon crawling is not about choices, it is about thriller, mystery, and discovering new stuff. It is not about choosing between Door A or Door B for a goat or a car, it is about finding out what is behind each and every door. Ultimately, I will open all doors, whatever the order I choose. Simply stating There is a long corridor ...


16

Sometimes, when you win, you really lose This is a common theme throughout literature and cinema, and it often produces some of the best content. To quote Robert Burns, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley." So what if the players kill the villain? What happens next? Who was the villain? Obviously, the front-man for whatever ...


14

I had asked this directly to Monte Cook and Shanna Germain, and, straight from Shanna's keyboard: Not at all. It likely depends on how many people the GM is comfortable having around the table more than anything. All adventures can be scaled up or down by adding additional challenges and creatures, or by raising or lowering the levels of creatures ...


14

I think that neither yourself nor your players, are playing Numenera. Warning signs such as "dungeon-making skills" and characters able to use 5 level of effort (wow!) makes me think that you are trying to play D&D with a different world and system. This will not work, as you clearly found out. This is an paradigm problem. In any case, the true path to ...


13

The cypher system is extremely simple, which is one of it's great strengths, and I think the system by itself can stand up just fine without cyphers. After all, ultimately they are just items, and there is an upper limit on how many you can carry anyway, so they aren't required to be able to play a normal game. However, virtually any of the existing written ...


13

"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 ...


12

I'm going to answer this question in a system-agnostic manner, as the question posed is one I've had to address a great deal in my own games despite never actually running Numenera specifically. (I tend to run superhero games, so it's quite a regular occurrence that I have to balance combats for a diverse group of character abilities.) Your first priority ...


12

Before you make the roll. It's very easy to miss the rule, as it is on page 21, and rarely spoken again through the book. You don’t have to apply Effort if you don’t want to. If you choose to apply Effort to a task, you must do it before you attempt the roll—you can’t roll first and then decide to apply Effort if you rolled poorly.


12

A success need not be the success they intended The character successfully slips on the invisibility cloak without being noticed by their mark (but...) They sneak up on their mark, and go to slice their throat. At the last moment, the villain's hand comes up at just the wrong moment, and bumps the would-be assassin's hand. Because they rolled well, the ...


11

If you become trained in a skill, it exactly cancels out any inability in that same skill. This is effectively the long-term gain you call out - though you should note that becomming trained in this way counts as one of the four improvements you can take per tier.


11

The answer to the title question is a simple "No." Not according to the rules, as written. You need to refer to the section on Actions (p198): Anything that your character does in a round is an action. It’s easiest to think of an action as a single thing that you can do in five to ten seconds... Putting away your bow and pushing a heavy bookcase ...


11

I contacted the author of that cheat sheet through e-mail and they directed me to page 349 of the Numenera core book: As a general rule, for every four creatures working together, treat them as one creature with a level equal to the highest of them plus 1, with a minimum of a +2 damage bonus. So a level 4 bandit who has three level 3 allies ...


10

Cyphers require an attack, usually Int-based (with a few exceptions). From the Numenera Corebook, p84: Each character gets one turn each round. On a character’s turn, she can do one thing—an action. All actions fall into one of three categories: Might, Speed, or Intellect (just like the three stats). Many actions require die rolls—rolling a d20. Every ...


10

This is from page 84 of the corebook: The GM doesn’t have to tell the player what the target number is, but he can give her a hint, especially if her character would reasonably know if the action was easy, average, difficult, or impossible. This is from the Numenera GM Screen: It’s okay to tell players—particularly starting players—the difficulty ...


10

From the margin notes of p26 of the Cypher System Rulebook: Might defense: Used for resisting poison, disease, and anything else that can be overcome with strength and health. Speed defense: Used for dodging attacks and escaping danger. This is by far the most commonly used defense task. Intellect defense: Used for fending off mental attacks ...


9

I've been in this situation. Or rather, I've been in a situation similar enough: One of the PCs had started flying ("Who manipulates gravity"), and all the thugs attacking them were bound to the ground. I hadn't prepared for that situation, as that character had only just joined the group. Fortunately, Numenera has a convenient mechanic that works perfectly ...


9

Your girlfriend's birthday has almost certainly passed, but this seems to fit your requirements so well, I'll answer for future Googlers. Monte Cook games recently released Weird Discoveries: Ten Instant Adventures for Numenera. They are self-contained short adventures, specifically set up for minimal prep and pressure on the GM, and have pregenerated ...


9

Page 88 of the core rule book lists Knock Down as a possible major effect (it's listed again in optional rules on Page 113). About that, it says: The foe is knocked prone (see Position, page 95). It can get up on its turn if it wishes. So getting up takes an action. In the spirit of the sort of cinematic adventure I like, I'd call it "Moving a Short ...


9

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 ...


9

No, they cannot. Combats in Numenera move quickly enough that a GM should not hesitate to use large groups of creatures as challenges for PCs, particularly powerful PCs. A screaming, squirming horde of thirty abhumans is a possible encounter. A swarm of fifty laaks could also be used. To make things easier, the GM can take any creature and have a group of ...


9

I posted this same question on the Monte Cook Games Asset Team Chat page on Facebook. That page is used by MCG to communicate with volunteers who demo their products in stores. Sean K. Reynelds confirmed that huraths are not included in any other book. He just made them up as an interesting detail for the adventure. I have a group playing through ...


9

Choices are interesting when you have some idea of possible outcomes of those choices. If there is no way to deduce consequences from a choice, it's essentially just picking a random outcome, which is not really a meaningful choice at all. Your example of seeing two doors and having to pick one is a great example - if it's really just two identical doors, I ...


9

Other answers are all good, but missing one key pragmatic element: Don't be afraid to call a temporary recess. Basically, be perfectly open with the players by looking surprised and saying "… I did not actually expect that. Ten minute break while I figure out what the heck this means." Take that time to sit back and think through things, figure out ...


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