When do Special Abilities need a roll?

Hello everyone,

My gaming group recently picked up The Strange and are having a blast. However, our GM recently began require rolls for more and more of our special abilities, even when they do not call for a roll. He says any ''Action'' ability requires a roll, while ''Enablers'' do not. I can not find a rule that confirms or contradicts this. However, many of the abilities don't even imply what kind of difficulty they might be.

A Specific example, I recently began using the Spinner ''Efficiency'' to boost our Vector's weapon. Now every time I do so, he has me make a roll [often equal to what I assume is the level of of the item].

Can anyone direct me to this ruling or something that contradicts it?



  • GM section (Using the Rules) - its page 331 in the Numenera CR. Basically, it suggests that rolls need only be made if it seems like success or failure might make a difference. It gives some examples of a nano using Flash (which might need a roll) and going invisible (which is an Action, because you have to concentrate or switch on the device etc) but probably doesn't need a roll.
    Again, a rule of thumb is that if you're trying to affect something that doesn't want to be affected, then you probably have to roll.
    Also, see Action: Activate a Special Ability (page 99) which basically says the same thing
  • edited March 2016
    I usually have the players roll to find out how well the actions works. E.G. the nano wants to hover above the heads of the enemys and out of reach so I have him roll not to find out if he can hover but if he can hover fast enough to be out of reach.

    P.S. I just read that you´re playing The Strange instead of Numenera. To clarify, the nano would be similar to the paradox but the principle is the same.
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