Isn’t

Published January 7, 2014 by


Description

Sometimes it feels like you don’t exist, like you don’t belong in this world. People you’ve known for years suddenly have no idea who you are. Your home is owned by somebody else, has always been owned by somebody else. You’re a stranger in your own life, invisible to your closest friends. The world just seems to want to pretend you were never born and by now, you feel inclined to play along. Reality abhors a vacuum though, and so often the results of your deeds remain, even if no-one remembers why or how they happened.

You live a lonely life, unable to belong anywhere for long, unable to form any meaningful relationship. Any effect you have on the world is ephemeral at best but you’ve figured out how to turn that to your advantage and perhaps when you cease to exist in this world that doesn’t want you, with your new found talents, you can take something with you to the oblivion beyond.

In many ways, the party you travel with thinks you might be the most useless member of all. You never seem to do anything or have any real effect on their adventures at all. In fact, who are you anyway?

Details

GM Intrusion: You never tried, so you never succeeded - you lose any benefits of your last action.

Connection:

Pick a PC. You are related, perhaps parent/child or siblings or maybe you were married. Then one day that wasn’t true anymore, as if it had never happened. You remember your life before the world forgot about you but the player remembers nothing of this life that never was.

Additional Equipment:

An oddity that can record up to 5 minutes of video and audio in a glass tablet. The tablet retains it’s recordings, even if the world forgets those events.

Esotery Effects:

Absent Esoteries

All your esoteries are invisible and undetectable. In fact, it’s like their effects were always there and you did nothing at all.

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You don't exist - your target becomes confused for one round as they try to work out how they were injured.
Major Effect Suggestions:
Regain the last XP spent on a reroll or the last points spent on any 2 previous actions - you never spent them in the first place...
Tier 1:

Nobody

People often forget who you are or what you have done, as if you never were at all. You are trained in lying about your past and going unnoticed. Enabler.

Tier 2:

That Never Happened (3 Int)

If something bad happens as a consequence of an action you took, you can make the world forget you ever tried. For 3 intellect, your previous action never took place. You do not regain points spent on the action and you can not use this power again to keep retrying the same action over and over. Enabler.

Out of Nowhere (2 Speed)

You appear as if out of nowhere as the world forgets about your presence, allowing you to attack your opponent when their guard is down, inflicting 2 extra points of damage. Action.

Tier 3:

Forgotten Injuries (4 Might)

As the world forgets about you, the consequences of actions performed on you fade away, since you were never there to be injured. By focusing on your body and expending 4 might, you can force the world to forget about your injuries, restoring your might pool to maximum once per day. Enabler.

Tier 4:

Traveller of the Void (4 speed)

The un-place, the nothingness behind reality calls you back and the world gladly pushes you towards it. Through an expenditure of 4 speed, you step through the void to travel a short distance, bypassing any physical or energy barrier. Enabler.

Nevertouched (5 int)

Just as you are forgotten, so too can others be. By your touch, you can make the world forget about an item or a person for up to 5 minutes, the world moving on as if that object or person had never existed. Enabler.

Tier 5:

Neverborn

You were never born, you never existed at all. All memories of your past are erased from existence. No-one remembers who you are, no-one remembers what you have done. If not already, you are now specialised in lying about your past and remaining unnoticed. Enabler.

Tier 6:

Cease to Exist (Int 8)

On a successful check to beat the target’s level as a difficulty, you grab the target and plunge you and it into the void, both ceasing to exist. However, you know how to step back out and return in 1 round. As for your target. Well, you never had a target… Action.

  • tskaiser

    I was listening to emotional and slow background music when I clicked my way here and read this.

    Now I’m all melancholy. This focus would be great for a solo adventure (1 gm, 1 player), but hot damn all the existential sadness. I have a hard time seeing how it would work for more players than one without a really solid gaming group, as the fluff of the focus makes interplayer interaction… strange at best.

    And maybe that is just really brilliant.

    • Thanks! I think the focus can work in a group, but as you said, it’s fairly heavy on fluff so it requires a group that can cope with that. Then again, I like to think Numenera encourages a fluffier game than most, so hopefully it isn’t too much of an issue.

      It’s an interesting focus because it shuns the ego. Most of your powers are about losing the recognition of others and at tier 5, everything you’ve achieved together with your party is erased from memory, you are just another stranger to them (and everyone else). Most things in a roleplaying game tend to be pretty egocentric so I thought juxtaposition of this focus could be really interesting.

      This focus can also works incredibly well for a bad guy, as long as your group can separate player knowledge from character knowledge. It’s like the characters are chasing a ghost. Bad stuff seems to happen and/or follow them around but they don’t know why…

      • tskaiser

        The problem is how to keep interplayer dynamics rolling if the other players don’t quite remember the player most of the time. Especially at higher levels this can get iffy as their connection with reality slips.

        I am actually considering this focus as a single-shot for the group. One of the players get their “existence” stolen by a portrait, switching focus to this one (with all that implies. You used to Fuse Flesh and Steel? Well, you never really underwent that operation after all…), and has to find out how to get it back. Strong implication that simply destroying the portrait (who is now depicting their former self) would be a very bad idea.

        Meanwhile the other players are at this old deprecated noble mansion, with this strange person who seem to insist that they know each other…

        Should note I have actually gone over this with the prospective player. But it won’t be for a while since we are still running the Devil’s Spine 🙂

        • That sounds very interesting! I’d love to see a write-up of that when/if you get around to doing that.

  • BetaRyan

    This Focus seems perfect for a solo campaign, however I think that it would be a great challenge to the tables role-playing ability in a group session. Especially upon hitting tier 5, where all memories are erased, suddenly the entire group dynamic changes. Friendships forged over sessions and sessions of play are, and the table has to ‘re-learn’ the character in a sense. I can’t wait to roll up somebody with this focus for a group game.

  • Nobilis

    How does Forgotten Injuries work? Do you spend the might and then immediately get it all back? Or do you get it back and spend the might?

    • DaDainz Speculatorius

      I use this focus for my character, and i agreed with the gm that you dont spend might, but intelect instead!

  • tygertyger

    There is a lot of interesting stuff in this focus! Like others I agree that it makes group play very difficult. I can suggest a couple of changes that can help with that, however. Which, if either, of these you incorporate into your edit is, of course, entirely up to you.

    Connection (alternate): Pick another PC. That PC remembers you, no matter how much the rest of the world forgets.

    Tier 5 (additional ability): Message in a Bottle (6 Int)
    You write or record a message to a person with whom you had a close connection before the world forgot you. After reading, listening to, or viewing the message that person is able to remember you for a number of hours equal to their current tier. You can leave such a message once per day per person.