What is a good starting adventure module for Numenera?

edited January 2016 in Game Talk
Long time gamer/GM, new to Numenera. Looking at the modules, which would be best to start out with. Several guys in the group are experienced gamers/GM's as well. Overall, this particular group has been playing for a couple of years now. Different games, Vampire Darkages, Demon Hunter X, Pathfinder, SW d20.

I'm looking to start with either Vortex or Into the Violet Vale. (Unless someone has a better suggestion out of the adventure modules. Thank you.


  • Those are both good adventures. Either would work well. I had typed up a few paragraphs detailing my recommendations when I came across a discussion that covers this topic so much better than I could in a single post.


    You'll notice the adventure "The Nightmare Switch" is frequently mentioned. I believe it was initially a Kickstarter exclusive, since I totally missed it. I'd never have even heard of it had I not read about it online. A Google search should take you to it. It's a good adventure, and well worth considering, as the linked discussion addresses.

    Best wishes, and welcome to an awesome game.
  • I think it boils down to what kind of experience do you want your players to have really. I think your interpretation of the ninth world will make the biggest impact on whether you as a group enjoys the game. All of my players, and I, are old school D&D and CRPG players so I Interpreted the ninth world like a Final Fantasy world, minus the giant summons - so far. And it's been fairly successful.

    Like Jackoflegend, I missed "The Nightmare Switch" as well, so I cannot recommend that one either.

    For new Numenera players, the adventures in the back of the Core Book, are okay, and do a decent job of showing off the game and its mechanics, if not a little dry. They can all be spiced up a bit, and probably would be through the playing, or the GM's machinations. Not the intrusions, those are different.

    "Violet Vale" is pretty weird, the heart and soul of the game, but the travel mechanics of going through the vale can get out of hand if you let them. It is a fairly well thought out adventure though.

    "The Vortex" is pretty good at showing the ninth world's misunderstanding of technology, but I personally feel that the cult involved needs to have a little more set up than the text shows.

    For All of you, your players and you if you are all new to Numenera, but experienced player/GMs I'd go with something out of the "Weird Discoveries" book. Almost all of the adventures in there need no set up. And you could use elements of the others as hooks to the rest. This is where I looked when I started.

    There is a nifty little adventure called "the Hideous Game" that was recently released. Set in the city of Qi that cold be a good place to start. It's an urban monster hunt / investigative / Roleplay heavy story. I thought about setting it in Uxphon for my players when I read it.

    "The Devil's Spine" has three separate adventures in it that can be used on there own or together, with little to no pre-seeding. All of which are fairly decent - I'll be running the whole story for my players soon. I thought the characters needed more credibility before starting the full story, so I obviously didn't want to start with this one.

    Unless you want to start your game like an old school Spelljammer story, don't go near "the Nightship". Don't get me wrong, I think the mechanics and the potential for weirdness and everything it represents are excellent, But I'm still not sure how to incorporate it in to my game without it feeling like a rip-off.

    There is always the option of coming up with something on your own with the hooks provided throughout all the books. Or porting your personal back pocket adventure in to this setting is always an option. You know the one, the one adventure you have thought about or have run so often, you could run it in your sleep, yea that one. You love that one, and you have probably loved it for so long and so much that it could use a new coat of paint and have the screws changed out.
  • edited January 2016
    Thank you JackOfLegend and Stolentime. I actually read up on all of those supplements that you both talked about. I had got The Devil's spine, The Nightmare Switch, and Vortex earlier, and then I just got Into The Violet Vale and Weird Discoveries. I like what Weird Discoveries has for it.

    I do think Vortex is good, but it could have used a little more set up and details. I read up on The Nightship, and I agree in that it is difficult to incorporate. That module seems like something that is part of a long game campaign. So does Devil's Spine. I know I won't start with those.

    I thought The Hideous Game and Into The Night were more mid-game modules that you can throw into an overall long campaign.

    And yes...there is one that I've had in my head, but I really need to plan it out. Basically it's this castle that is immense. From the outside it looks like any normal castle. There is only the front door to enter into. When you enter, you enter into a room. There is no other door but the one that was entered into. If the players go back through that door, they don't go outside, they enter into a different room.

    Only with very close inspection of the back side of the door will they see faded etchings of symbols, in a ring, with 3 lines of etchings of symbols in the middle of the ring. Overall, they have to figure out with 3, 4, or 5 series of symbols to touch to navigate the castle. While the players can explore other rooms in the castle, there are many, the main room they would need to get to is in the shape of a Calabi-Yau manifold.

    Anyway, thanks again. I plan on reading up on Weird-D and maybe I'll start with that one. It's really about getting everyone used to the world and the mechanics. I really like that idea of thinking about it as a FF setting. It really kind of is. Granted, another explanation deals with what you're were talking about with "Vortex" in that there are pockets of people with dogmatic ideologies. This can help explain why there is this strange mixture of old and modern.
  • I'm glad to hear that you have Weird Discoveries. That's actually my favorite supplemental release, so far. They've all been good, but I think that one is particularly good for both its design concepts and the adventures themselves.

    There is so much good material out there it is really tough to narrow it down to just one good choice. That's a nice conundrum, no? As Stolentime said, it's all about the individual group.

    One idea I don't think we've mentioned yet, but that may prove helpful, is to look up a few live-play vids or recordings online. A great many of them seem to feature original, homebrewed adventures. It's sometimes helpful and inspiring to see how other GMs are running their games in the setting. A great many of us are coming to Numenera from similar gaming backgrounds. I think it could be helpful to see how others are introducing and "selling" the setting to their groups.
  • I used Beale of Boregal for one group and Seedship for the other- of the two I think Beale is the better one, if only because it can lead to some really cool and weird interactions, particularly if you manage to befriend Boregal.

    Glad to hear that the Weird Discoveries is a good one as well- I just picked it up and am looking to run a few games from it!
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