member, 1309 posts
Fri 2 Dec 2016
at 22:21
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
Drat! Monte Cook has come up with a brilliant setting for Numenera... and then, he ruined it all by creating a really bizarre and non-traditional ruleset for this game. It's supposed to be easy... well, it's so easy that I can't grasp it at all. :(

For once: the characters have three stats. But what do these stats exactly mean? Pool, Edge, Effort... these things are completely abstract to me. How to translate character concepts into them? Let's say I want to create a character of average intelligence... how do I do that?

Also, how good stats-wise are the PCs in relation to the rest of the world? I don't know how to judge this, as the NPCs and creatures only have difficulty levels, not stats. So, I know that an average warlord is Level 5... but how does he / she relate to the PCs? Are they more powerful than this warlord, or less powerful?

 member, 1332 posts
Fri 2 Dec 2016
at 22:41
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
The stats themselves are pretty straight forward: Might, Speed, and Intellect.  Each stat then has Pool, Edge, and Effort.

Pool is how much of that thing you have.  A Might Pool of 16 is a guy that's physically stronger than someone with a Might Pool of 12, in terms of raw strength.  You spend points out of the pool to do stuff or when you get damaged in certain ways.

Edge is how efficient you are at using what you have.  You reduce the cost of something by your Edge.  Edge is all about efficiency and endurance.  While Might Pool 16 is stronger than Might Pool 12, if 16 had an Edge of 0 and 12 had an Edge of 2, the character with 12 is going to have a lot more staying power.

Effort is one of the things you can spend Pool on (and is reduced by Edge).  It represents putting forth extra potential to get something done by trying really hard.  Your Effort stat is how many levels (which cost a base of 3 points from the pool each) of Effort you can apply.

And that's basically all I know about the game system, since I've never quite managed to play it.
 member, 2 posts
Sun 11 Dec 2016
at 05:42
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 1):

A level 5 warlord is about average and probably capable of threatening the entire party, especially at lower tiers. Remember 5 translates to 15+ with at most +2 bonus on die rolls, so odds are without skills, equipment or effort he is tough to hit, and hard to defend from.

Most basic NPCs are going to be levels 2-3, with most humans having 6-9 HP. NPCs have health, but Might, Speed and Intellect represent a PC's health. Edge is just an advantage in helping reduce the cost to a stat pool to do something. Effort is just a way to expend a bit of a stat pool to enhance a roll or increase damage or add an effect.
 member, 1311 posts
Fri 16 Dec 2016
at 23:11
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
Hm. So, let's say an average PC has Might of 10. An average, completely ordinary NPC would have Might of..?

I mean, I know that NPCs doesn't have these stats, but if they had, then..?
 member, 407 posts
 Gone but Never
 Truly Forgotten.
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 01:06
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
You frankly don't even have to think about it that way. Since all checks are based on difficulty, it would be more "How difficult would it be for the PC to overcome the NPC's strength" in whatever contest is there. You're not going to have contested rolls, so knowing the Might of the NPC is pretty much extraneous.
Sir Swindle
 member, 127 posts
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 01:43
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
Ok then, what is the difficulty of a real world task that just some dude can accomplish?

He's trying to be able to picture how X his characters are. Presumably he can just follow the rules once he has a frame work for the fiction.
 member, 3 posts
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 19:47
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 4):

NPCs don't have Might like a PC. A normal person is probably just level 2-3 all around. A PC would need 6+ to beat someone at something. If someone had training, or is skilled naturally, or has an asset or soemthing you as the GM want them to have, you can raise the level for that specifically. The system is flexible like that.

I had a captain of the Guard for a campaign as:
Level 4 HP: 12 Armor: 2
Combat as 6
Damage: 6
Note: The Captain's skill with a blade is so good, he can attack at level 4, dealing only 4 in addition to dropping 1 level on the damage track.

He is level 4 for me, because normal human 2 + incredible training 2. That is his base 4. Adding good gear and weapons 2 for solely combat as above.

You can go more or less detailed as you want.
 member, 4 posts
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 19:50
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 4):

Following my post above, the Captain's Might is unimportant, but he is a decent solo threat to noncombat characters and is good enough alone to take on most other NPCs whose levels are lower than his.

A beginning PC could seriously be hurting in a fight against him, but with some luck, cyphers and some Effort, he is only human.....

12 HP is higher end for most NPC humans, but he is tougher and has learned how to take a hit.

If you have any other questions...
 member, 5 posts
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 20:24
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
In reply to Sir Swindle (msg # 6):

Most people are level 2, so most without Effort, training, assets OR something else they will not succeed on tasks 3+.

Tasks higher than 6 are beyond regular humans, without extreme circumstances.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the user at 20:24, Sat 17 Dec 2016.

 member, 1312 posts
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 22:05
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
Hm. Right now, I'm actually thinking of PC creation.

When I'm creating a PC, I need to decide on this character's Might etc. So, it would be nice to know some benchmarks, i.e. what which value of Might means? Let's say I want to create a PC who is of average physical strength (average in comparison to normal human beings) - what Might would appropriate for that?
 member, 6 posts
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 23:44
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 10):

Ok, so an Average PC human might have a Might stat of 10, with 0 Edge. More Edge represents stronger or more mighty characters. Higher Might just means you can take a beating. (Since is basically represents your physical health. That is why it drains first on most attacks.)
 member, 7 posts
Sat 17 Dec 2016
at 23:49
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
A PC with Might 18 and 0 Edge isn't strong, but has more of a pool to use for trying physical things. This might be an endurance runner or athlete that doesn't do lifting stuff. But they have the pool to use plenty of Effort, so that just depends on their Tier.

A PC with Might 10 and Edge of 3 might be like Bruce Lee. Lean, maybe not the heftiest but so physically in tune with himself he uses little of it to accomplish amazing feats. He has normal "health" for a trained human man.
Sir Swindle
 member, 128 posts
Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 13:01
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
So converting to something that has a more intuitive nomenclature. WOD has stats broken into Power, Finesse, and Resistance.

Would it be a fair approximation to call your Pool your Resistance (Endurance or Willpower) in that thing, Edge your Finesse (Dex, Wits), Effort your Power (Strength, traditional Int)? Nuances aside I think that is what I'm getting out of this.

For Bench-marking NPC stats are relevant. If I wanted to play as a member of the guard organization you mentioned what would my stats reasonably be. Seems like Might 10, Edge 2?
 member, 8 posts
Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 16:32
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
In reply to Sir Swindle (msg # 13):

Remember, in thr Cypher system a basic 1 tier PC is already way advanced moreso than a NPC. Starting stat values total near 28+ and you have a ton of options available.

All the stuff PCs have doesn't really translate to NPCs. They have only a health stat.

Edge for a PC represents an ability or training or power or something the PC has that helps lower the cost of Effort of using your Stat pools. The higher it is the the less Effort used to power your moves.

Now that being said, Might is all the physical stuff. Anything body related.

Speed is dexterity, but only in movement. Certain kinetic draining effects will drain your Speed, such as a tripwire, a raygun that steals speed energy etc...

And Int is your Mind, Will and everything mental. Most powers are based on the Int stat because it requires a decent willpower to manifest them. You can also train and specilize Skills to enhance your attacks with special abilities.

As for NPCs, again they are as detailed as you want. For me, most are level 2 9 HP at max.

The table in the book shows it best:
1- with Effort or training anyone can succeed
2- with no training or skill, success is pretty standard
3- needs skill, or training but can succeed with good Effort. Max for most Human NPCs.
4- without skills, assets or Effort, 50% failure likely
5- 75% chance of failure without any adjustments
6- limit of basic human capabilites 85% chance of failure.

As a GM, or player, judt think in terms of... "Ok, so if a normal person can do it with training, that is 3. A trained gymnast with effort can succeed reasonably at a 5. The strongest man with great effort can lift a level 6 weight.... etc.

Does that help?

This message was last edited by the user at 16:36, Sun 18 Dec 2016.

 member, 9 posts
Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 16:43
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
If you do the math you can see the difference between a PC and NPC.

A NPC is limited by level. A level 3 NPC will NOT beat 4+ challenges without aid.

A PC can apply Effort.

Taking my strongest man example.
World's Stongest NPC- level 3 HP: 9
Lifts, and counts as Strong vs lvl 6 (specilized training + plus we can guess some Effort)

A tier one Mighty PC. Might might be 20+ Effort 1, Edge 2. Let us also say specialization in lifting as well for 2.

If the test was 6, then -2 for Skills, -1 for Effort (cost is 1 Might (3 Normally - 2 Edge)). That means a basic tier 1 PC with good training and some effort can reasonably succeed at lifting the human limit. Level 3 = 9+ (doable solo, easy with help or assets)

A more "normal" human PC might be Might 10, 0 Edge. Let us assume some training. Same test as above.

Level 6 - 1 for Effort (However this costs us 3 Might from 10 which is hefty...) and - 1 for training drops this task to 4. That's a 12+

Not impossible but unlikely. So even a first tier human PC with 0 Edge with some Effort and basic training can succeed on difficulty 6 tasks. Which again borders on human limit. PCs are meant to start stronger. They've done things, and have experiences.

So you can see... PCs and NPCs are not in the same class really.

This message was last edited by the user at 00:57, Mon 19 Dec 2016.

 member, 1313 posts
Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 22:37
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
Okay, I... don't understand it. My simulationist-trained mind reels :(
 member, 11 posts
Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 22:57
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
However you are going about creating your PC, his base Might will depend on their choice of Glaive, Nano or Jack. And maybe their Descriptor. Finally they will have 6 or more points left to distribute as they wish.

This will mean you might have a base PC who is normal human at Might 10 and 0 Edge, and another in the same party who is a normal human who has some more bulk maybe, or physical skill at Might of 18 and Edge of 1.

I've spent a long time digesting all the various little pieces of this system and I love it for its flexibilty, but it can be hard to guage a difficulty or threat to PCs.

Most NPCs in the book, and monsters as well, have special modifications to damage or attacks to 'balance them'. A level 2 human with a level 8 weapon that does 10 damage and stuns is very dangerous! Not likely to hit, but considering you as a GM are also balancing PCs and NPCs through good use of Intrusions.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:57, Sun 18 Dec 2016.

 member, 1314 posts
Wed 21 Dec 2016
at 23:19
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
Let me clarify something first: Might 10 *would* be the Might value for a PC that is a human being of an average strength, right?

Another thing: I don't understand why the damage rules are so different for the PCs and the NPCs... An 1st-tier PC would have, effectively, 30+ points of damage coming from their attribute pools. Meanwhile, a supposedly-dangerous NPC such as level 5 warlord would have only 15 points of health. So, wouldn't it make him quite easy to kill?
 member, 12 posts
Thu 22 Dec 2016
at 00:32
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
Not necessarily, he could have armor 3 (which is like heavy armor). That would make him very durable. And remember the biggest rule of this system: the GM isn't supposed to be rolling.

As for the first part of your question. Yes, 10 is average normal human. Since most human NPCs range from 6-12 this is fair. 0 edge is also normal.

Now for the second part. As I said above, since the GM isn't rolling, the players or PCs are doing it all. They have amazing stat wells because they do so much more than an NPC should be doing. They have to choose to use stats to hit better, or enhance damage or abilities. They sometimes have to pay a base cost of 1-5 as a 'initial cost' (which characters with high Edges can choose to lessen this as per the rules but then cannot use it for lessening further effort or whatever on the same task roll, also per rules.)

To make an NPC deadly, just give them a cool ability, cap damage at 20 (and that is for level 8-10 stuff) or add a ability drainer or debilitated state as penalty for failing to dodge or overcome. Which is encouraged, if you feel the need to do so.

Also the warlord probably has minions and a cool weapon or good armor, or something per a warlord.
 member, 1 post
Wed 17 May 2017
at 16:25
Curse you, Monte Cook! In need of Numenera help
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 18):

Numenera, and any of the Cypher games, are the easiest games in the world for a GM to run.  This is one game system, I can sit down at a table with no ideas in my head, and just spin off of what the PCs want to do.  So easy.  BUT, it took me about a month of readinga nd re-reading the rules to get it.

As Lucaswolfox stated, a character's stat pools are so much more than just hit points.  If a character wants to use a cool power, they have to spend some of their stat pools.  If they want to try harder to succeed on a test, they have to spend some of their stat pools.  If a GM really wants to hit a character hard and make them feel it, they will go straight for the Damage Track and knock a PC down to Impaired.

Yes, the system is different, but it actually is quite easy once you figure out it's not d20.

When I first started running, I wasn't sure what a group of 4 Tier 1 characters could handle.  I threw 3 Level 2 thugs at them.  It was actually harder than I thought it was going to be.  Next encounter was 1 L5.  Due to a lot of nat 20s, it was easier than I thought.  Next, 1 Level 4 almost wiped the floor with them due to, I kid you not, 14 nat 1's over the course of the combat.

Also, remember, Numenera, and any of the Cypher games, are more aimed toward exploration, investigation, and story telling, than killing things and taking their stuff.