Just before this Christmas I spotted a copy of Monte Cook’s Numenera
RPG in my FLGS (Spirit Games
) and, having read some interesting reviews on the book (and being quite a fan of Monte Cook’s variant D20 supplements) thought i’d treat myself to a copy as an early Christmas present. The setting is an intriguing blend of science-fiction and fantasy sent in a future version of our own world, but many million years in advance of present day; the inhabitants of this world call it the ninth-world since eight great civilisations have risen and fallen back into the dust before the beginning of the game, each leaving their mark upon the game world. A large part of the game involves the inhabitants of the ninth-world digging in the ruins of the past, discovering oddments and technology that can help them survive in their own world.
So how does this relate to character generation in Fate?
I hope to do a full video review on Numenera for my Red Dice Diaries
Youtube channel, I wasn’t massively sold on the rules system, but the background and the blending of sci-fi and fantasy (along with the theme of exploration and discovery) is a great one and extremely compelling.
One of the mechanics that I did like was that a short sentence is used as a character descriptor that takes this form: “I am adjective noun who verbs.”
For example, a suitable description might be “I am a tough warrior who carries a sword forged from dragons scales” or “I am wise shaman who speaks with the spirits of the dead.“
In the Numenera rules the adjective helps to determine your character stats, the noun determines character class and the verb determines your characters focus (the various cool abilities that you can call on during the game).
It will come as no surprise to those who know me that, as soon as I starting reading this, my mind turned to how this could possibly be used in a Fate game; although I plan to give this more thought after the Christmas period, my current idea is that it could be used to aid character generation in a streamlined version of Fate.
So how would that work?
Well the player would start with the sentence and would pick one of the Fate Accelerated approaches as the adjective
, the noun
would be the high concept of the character and the verb
would be a stunt.
For example: “I am a quick pirate who is captain of the ship, the Crimson Dagger.“
The player would get a default skill roll of +0 for all approaches and a +2 for the approach chosen in their adjective, the noun would represent the high concept and could be invoked/compelled in a normal way; the verb would be a stunt using the normal Fate Accelerated rules for stunts (either a +2 bonus in specific circumstances or a 1/game rules exception).
For example: If I created a character with the sentence “I am a sneaky thief
who is deadly when striking from the shadows.
This character would get +0 on all approaches besides sneaky (one which he would receive a +2), could invoke/have compelled the concept of thief as per the normal rules and would have a stunt that allowed them to gain a +2 when striking from the shadows.
This isn’t a 100% foolproof or completely defined method at present, but I certainly think that it has potential.