Will i like this game?

I love the setting and the fact that the community creates things for it, but there is one thing that i think would really ruin it for me, the classes, i hate rpgs with classes and by this i mean not letting a character take his approach to be whoever he wants,

fpr example Nanos have things that are kinda like spells. are they the only one that can use them? or are they just better at it?

do the classes just make characters better at some things or do they give those character things that the others cannot ever use?

because if i have to choose between a spellcaster and a fighter i just can't ,it takes me out of the game. and what's the deal with jacks?


  • If you want a classless game, this is not for you. Jacks are a mixture of both 'magic' and fighting. But essentially are for players who wish to be skill monkeys.
  • After months of lurking, I created an account to answer your question. Alas, iPad is not the best way to post, apparently, and much of my detailed post was lost.

    Basically, your Type (Numenera's class) is only one of the three primary building blocks of character creation. Your Descriptor and your Focus also determine many of your initial strengths and weakness, and these three building blocks can essentially be combined however a player sees fit.

    Descriptors provide a light mechanical framework for your history, backstory, and/or personality. It "describes" the type of character your playing, and outlines a few strengths (and sometimes weaknesses).

    Your Focus is a much weightier element, and often defines your character's motivation or likely approach to a given situation. Your Focus often grants access to abilities your Type (class) wouldn't otherwise grant.

    As you surmised, your Type (or class) determines the core of your character. Nanos are the caster class, using the numenera to create spell-like effects. Though all of their Type-features are geared in this direction, they are proficient in many weapons, and nothing prevents them from mixing it up in melee, should you choose.

    Glaives are the Figters of Numenera, and all of their type-based features are geared toward combat. No one is tougher in combat than a Glaive. That said, a Glaive can likewise cast "esoteries" (the spells of the Nano), if the character has chosen a Focus that grants such abilities.

    Jacks are the skillful rogues and scouts of the game. They gain extra skill training, and have access to both the "Esoteries" of the Nanos and the "Fighting Moves" of the Glaives. That said, they generally gain access to said abilities later than the Nano or Glaive might, and will never gain access to some of the most powerful abilities.

    Long story short, you may like this game. Character creation is pretty varied, and characters don't feel limited or shoe-horned, in my experience. This is a very narrative-focused game, rather than a rules-focused game. In general, any character can attempt nearly anything they wish, within reason. The features of the various Types and Foci just add variety to how different characters might go about overcoming a situation.
  • Glaives can't learn the esoteries that nanos can without a focus and vice-versa, right?
  • correct. Glaives don't naturally gain any esoteries, foci give them esotery-like abilities. Nanos don't gain any fighting moves, foci can make them fighter-ish (think spellsword)
  • Correct. There are some things are restricted to the three Types. As open as it is, Cypher is still a class-based system. That said, it is extremely easy to create homebrew material and/or houserule, should you choose.

    I was actually attracted to the game in the reverse order you seem to have been. I liked the system, but the setting had to grow on me, a bit. Our Numenera is likely a bit less weird than others', or at least has more pseudo-scientific structure beneath the surface. Weird is fine, but sometimes I like to know the whys and hows.
  • The way Monte is talking about the new Character Options book coming out the end of this month, he offers ways of changing descriptors and focus. I do not believe he mentioned changing type (class). It is a very smooth game and I feel you should give it a try before labeling it as another class based rpg.
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