Wonder building

I'm currently running an extended Numenera campaign, and have been toying with this idea for my storyline.  The idea is to make a type of numenera that falls above artifacts in the game.  I'm currently calling them Wonders.

The idea here is that there are a few rare items in the world that extend the abilities of a character beyond what a artifact could, but that come with a cost.  I intend to make these costs mostly storyline driven as adverse to penalizing the characters rolls or abilities.

So, if you were going to build something like this, how would you do it?


  • Make sure they are location-bound, or time-bound.

    In that they only function as part of a location, or only function for a limited amount of time.
  • I intend to be more creative with the drawbacks than that.  For instance, I have a character that is desperately trying to save his sister.  He has been searching ruin after ruin and constantly driving the party forward in this desperate search to cure her from a fatal incurable disease.  What I'm planning on doing is making it to where, when he heals her, she will be affected by a powerful numenera effect.  This will allow the character to literally produce a powerful weapon from her soul.  This causes her to go catatonic, but grants the player a massively powerful weapon.  The character can then use the weapon, and any of it's abilities, freely.  However, each use of the weapon drains health from the sister.  If the character is careless or inattentive, he will kill her simply by using the weapon.  It is limited, but in an unusual way.  I'm also designing a system that will make the weapons power dependent upon the state of their relationship.  If they don't get along, the weapon will become harder to use, and may eventually stop altogether.  This puts limits on the item, but in a whole different way than usual.  If the player isn't careful with both the item and the NPC, he will definitely loose this item.  However, if he continues to sacrifice for the sister and uses the weapon sparingly, he may have it for the duration of the campaign.

    So, what I'm basically asking is:  If you were going to design this kind of an item, what would you come up with?
  • Well, whatever four devices produce the sonic walls of Charmonde spring to mind.

    Large enough to wall off an entire city (3-4 miles square I'd hazard).

    Produces vibrations that hurt like hell and can make your head explode.

    Nobody knows how to recharge the power source they run from.
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