Numenera actual play and discussion

It’s been a long while, but I thought I’d pop by with a recording of a game that’s been headscratched at a few times on IRTD: Numenera. This was our group’s attempt to work out how to use it, which resulted in similar amounts of head-scratching.

Much like Michael, I feel like there’s something there but I cannot for the life of me work out how to run anything satisfying with it. There’s a lot of individual interesting - well, trivia really - about the setting, but I didn’t get any coherent sense of what the setting would be like to exist in.


Should there be a link here?

Yes, there should! Thank you for pointing that out. I started posting it in the wrong forum by mistake, and it seems I lost the link when I copied it over.

Might be easier for people to pop over to Archive dot org, and download it from there.

Hmm… Looks like the recordings were originally posted back in 2013, eh? Classic audio, then.

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Ouch. I hadn’t realised it was that long! How time flies… Probably more dated than classic, honestly, but given the game has come up a few times I always meant to post it.

And thanks for the correct link, I’m not sure what I managed to do wrong.

I tried linking the MP3 files here directly so that people could use this site’s player/downloader, but doesn’t like that.

Listening to the character generation, my first thought was: “Oh, that’s a rather pretty bit of intro music.”

Then, you moved on to the next tune… The TRUE Numenera song. Yes. Perfect.

I was going to make a comment about pronouncing it wrong, but I don’t think they actually tell you how to pronounce it in the rulebook. It was just always “obvious” to me that it was “NOO-men-AIR-uh” and not “noo-MEN-er-uh.” Interesting.

It’s bad form to make up new words and not tell us how to pronounce them. Shame on you, Mr. Cook!

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There is a post on the Numenera website about the meaning of the name. Based on that, the “proper” pronunciation might be: “Numen era”. (On top of that, there’s the divide between pronunciation in the UK, the US, Australia etc., so you could argue over whether it ought to be “New-men eera” or “Noo-men error”…)

Traditionally it’s “chumley-fanshaw”.

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Re: Numenera character creation - not sure whether making a random roll for starting equipment and getting a magic vibrator is better or worse than having your Traveller character dying during chargen, but it’s certainly memorable…

Really? I thought it was “Throatwobbler Mangrove”.

Have to say I have never managed to engage with this game either.
But I love Dying Earth and In Viriconium so maybe that’s the route I should take?

The impression I got from this - trying to separate the adventure content from what the group did with it - is that there’s all this really interesting lore, but when it comes down to it the actual game play is more “fetch me nine rat tails” and “escort this person to there”.

A game’s introductory adventure should, I feel, show off why this game/world is special, and this one didn’t feel as if it did that.

That’s very much the feeling I got from the game. To be honest, it seemed like the aesthetics could be very readily peeled off to reveal a traditional fantasy underneath.

  • person riding [beast] asks you for help
  • escort person to [cleric]
  • go to the [swamp, graveyard] and fight the [giant rats] to gather [guffinberries]
  • go to the [plot location] and find a [ghost] which you can placate or exorcise.