For Gamemasters Archives

Creature Highlights: Philethis

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Enigmatic, mysterious, incomprehensible; are by far one of my favourite creatures from the Numenera corebook. Few things are known about the Philethis, part of what makes them so appealing, but what little is known is that they have a mastery of the numenera and can appear and disappear at will. While they do not commonly […]

Creating Foci

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Designing a Focus is a lot harder than writing a Descriptor.  There’s a lot more to balance and the Focus, by its very nature, has more impact on the character than a Descriptor does.  On the other hand, there are so many Foci and they take so many different tacks that it’s hard to compare […]

What Does This Thing Do?

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Premise:  Numenera PC’s don’t know much about prior world technologies and can’t identify Cyphers.  Hilarity ensues (and people probably die). Ok, here’s the idea- let’s strip off all the identifying characteristics from Cyphers and make them really just a shot in the dark. Sure it sounds crazy, but here’s the catch: when you activate a […]

Keeping it Weird

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Keeping it weird is one of the most important jobs of the Numenera GM.  It’s a weird setting, with a lot of potential, and players expect a lot from us in the way of strangeness.  Here are a few tips I’ve come up with for doing it, in no particular order.  For advice from the […]

Protective to a Fault – Varjellen

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Tucked away in the optional (what Monte Cook calls the “advanced”) rules chapter are a couple of playable non-human races for player characters, one of which are the reddish-violet Varjellen.  Harsh and alien, I find the Varjellen extremely compelling as they just don’t value things in the same ways that humans do.  First off, Varjellen […]

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