Advice on creating an "anti-technology" character

edited March 2016 in Game Talk
Hello all,

I'm interested in creating a character that is religiously opposed to using numenera. She is an abbess in a religion that preaches mutant superiority and thinks that tech failed us and should not be used. She is a Mutant Glaive that is Constantly Evolving.

Is there a creative mechanical way to keep this character on the same plane as my teammates while they find cyphers and stuff and I am not using them?


  • other pertinent information: She has savage bite, eat anything, extra eyes, and debilitating telepathy
  • There are rules in the Cypher System Rulebook for use with settings in which cyphers, as they exist in Numenera, would be entirely inappropriate. Since this is the "Cypher System", you obviously don't ditch the cyphers, but reflavor them.

    The CSR suggests "Subtle Cyphers", which operate more like inherent abilities than discovered items or technology. In the case of your character, I'd recommend giving you "subtle cypher" temporary mutations that grant one-shot powers. These wouldn't have any effect upon your PC's appearance, unless you described them as having such.

    I think this is the easiest way to handle your situation, and it is still flavorful as well.
  • Adding some to Jack's post: She can Eat Anything right? maybe make the subtle cyphers she collects biological in nature, such as an eye stalk from something that emits rays, then allow her to eat it and temporarily incorporate it into her form. Once she uses it, her body rejects it and it falls off or bursts or whatever. She can bypass all of the mechanical or technological cyphers and artifacts that she wants in favor of the ones that are basically bits and pieces of meat.
    An Avatrol can reflect energy beams with their hide, she could eat the skin of one and temporarily grow their feathers as an armor, a Balinka's passive camouflage ability or a tentacle from a Travonis Ul. She is Constantly Evolving, the ability/appendage/extrusion growth time would be linked to her Might score, maybe a Might vs. Numenera roll to see if she could incorporate (Identify) it. You could use the creature's natural difficulty rating as the cypher rating.
    Since she would be growing these things from her body she would have to watch her cypher count closely. Giving the GM the added enforcement of the GM Intrusion if she tries to incorporate more than her limit, make her sick or give the tentacle free will to slap her during combat. Nothing would be funnier than seeing her try to choke out her own tentacles.
    Because characters have to eat to survive, make the incorporation of the ability linked to particular parts of the creatures so if she avoids those parts she won't gain those abilities. Or she has to eat those bits raw for the incorporation to work. Cooking the pieces kills natural enzymes that she needs for it to work.
    This ability would have to be discussed with your GM before being implemented in game. Maybe replace the cypher handling tier abilities with this one like a flavor ability.
  • In the huge collection of DnD rulebooks there would be alternative rules for characters who would refrain from using magic equipment or any equipment at all. Basically they would gain inherent abilities to emulate the gear they would be wearing at that point.

    That is of course not possible in the world of Numenera. It beats the whole one shot mechanic of the cyphers and in Numenera there is no way to match the equivalent power to the character.
    So why make all the cyphers a work of technology. If the PC finds herbs that can heal wound, or make him levitate or breath fire or water, why not treat them as cyphers anyway. I´m with stolentime on how you have to talk to your GM. Any way you´re going to handle it it will probably influence your sessions, either by mutating your Char or by finding non-technological alternative to cyphers.
    Btw. I REALLY like that mutation idea stolentime proposed. Gonna steal that so hard.
  • These are all great suggestions! Thanks!
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