Where to start to get players excited and "feel the weird"


I'm fairly new to the whole GM thing, let alone Numenera. In the past I runned a game or two for my gaming group and we spend a long time creating characters. Well it was pretty difficult to start the creation itself, because the players simply didn't want to. But after we run the game they were talking about it for hours afterwards(in a good way :D ). Not sure if I'll play this one with the same players or I'll try to look for new ones with a bit more "enthusiasm" but I want to make sure they'll get the feel of Numenera and the weirdness, with characters that I prepare so they will just to choose and play. So far I came with ideas for 3 characters of each type. I will hopefully edit the post as I progress with their stats, backstory etc. The most appealing adventure so far for me is Into the Violet Vale, as it has that weirdness in it, but if you can suggest another alternative that is great and would fullfil my needs I'm open to it. So here are the characters so far (suggestions are welcomed):

<b>#1 Graceful glaive who performs feats of strength</b>

The idea is for quick and agile "ancient greek"-like athlete that can just wreck hawoc on the battlefield.

#2 Drunk glaive who fuses flesh and steel

Glaive as a living weapon who needs to get a sip of alcohol every now and then to handle the modifications that she's doing to her body.

#3 Doomed glaive who throws with deadly accuracy

I wanted to have some kind of "ranged" character, and a thrower seemed like nice turn on classic archer character, with doomed descriptor as flavour to the RP aspect.

#4 - Wealthy jack who controls beasts

Here I was deciding between wealthy and noble, both can work for a character that even when he has lots of money lives a rugged life in the wilderness with his companion, but if needed he can get things done, either with money or influance

#5 - Charming jack who exists in two places at once

Someone who can talk is always useful and if you have two of those characters that's even better, and potentialy can lead to some funny situations

#6 Impulsive jack who fights with panache

"Hey, that's a great opportunity and look how fabulous I'll look doing it!" character.

#7 Blind nano who sees beyond

Another Ninth world assassins descriptor I chose (other being the drunk) because it gives nice depth to the character, especially combined with this focus. Can't see normaly but through other senses and most likely through the past influance of numenera can percieve more than there is normally to be seen. Philosophycal character.

#8 Vengeful nano who masters insect

Wanted to bring some change to the roster with this one. Someone who seems cruel but there is reason for that. And instects. Why not :)

#9 Honorable nano who works miracles

And lastly the healer for the group, who can also talk, which I felt this roster was somehow lacking.

I would appreciate your opinion on this characters and the adventure I should run as the introduction. Thank you very much.



  • I think you shoud seperate the game mechanics from why the players should feel weird. It is very rewarding to play a well-built character, whoose background story fuses with the game mechanics but it´s very easy to loose perpective of that and let the game mechanics run the game.

    E.g. a so and so jack who fuses flesh and steel. Imagine an cyborg who wakes up in a scrapyard without memoreis or identification. you can create a whole campain on finding out who that guy is, but take that character without that background you you just have some dude with gadgets.
    I want to say you can take any combination on descriptor, type and focus and make it weird, but that is based in the background and roleplaying of the actual player.

    Also, I have made the experience that players get stuck in a role if you assign one to them. If you just hand one of your players the honorable nano who works miracles he´ll probably do what he´s supposed to (too? idk), which is healing. But that takes away a lot of exploring what your character actually WANTS, like playing out psychopathic urges, lying, cheating, beeing a smartass and so on.

    Just don´t worry about that. Seriously. Just don´t. If your party is not good at something, like healing or sneaking, then let them figure it out somewhat differently. It´s far much more interesting to play a group who has severe weaknesses that a group that can do virtually anything because there´ll be no obstacles tor that group. Just let your players pick something they think is cool, let them think of something weird backstory-wise and play it out.
  • I agree with Joe, you don't need to lock the players into characters or types that are weird to get the point across. For things to be weird you have to focus on the mundane. You make the strange and unusual things the world has to offer into the commonplace, so when something that is truly weird/otherworldly comes up the characters take notice.
    Thumans roaming the streets of Uxphon yelling at each other over territory is something that the characters would have grown up hearing and is commonplace. A Thuman stopping, stepping on to a device and actually talking into it while watching a particular house is weird.
    A merchant using the wild energy from a cypher to light up his stall's sign, commonplace. That same sign projecting the images of his wares or other things into your head, weird.
    Players will be players they can take the most weird thing you can think of and just go "meh" and then turn around and be completely fascinated with a pencil with a pink eraser on the end. Let the setting be your weird. The players will fill in the rest regardless of their background, type or foci.
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