Numenera Game

Session #5b: Aderyn Meets a Goddess (Aderyn)

After being touched by the Nope, Aderyn finds herself in a corridor with a florescent glowing green floor. No problem. As she walks down the corridor, every room she passes contains numbers, glyphs, and sigils glowing in the air, sometimes flickering and changing.

In the room at the end of the corridor is a woman clothed in a flowing white dress lounging on a chaise. The woman introduces herself as Anevene the Prophetess. After some back and forth conversation in which Aderyn manages not to embarass herself too badly, they establish that Aderyn is lost, doesn’t know what the Nope is or how she got here, but that the fraas and suurs of Saunt Edhar did not have the technology to send her here.

In exchange for returning her, Anevene gives Aderyn a task: near Stirthal, in the next place she would have gone anyway (which remains unnamed), is a room with a useless device: a keyboard connected by wire to a leather bound book where the wires snake into the book to make up the cords for the binding.

Aderyn also receives a series of visions: A pool of slightly glowing blue algae with Mikhail or Romilda stepping into it, the group staring into a chasm so deep that it ends in darkness, Mikhail or Aderyn walking up to an enormous golden sphere reaching out to touch it, and finally her finding the keyboard with the book.

After some more conversation, Anevene bequeaths the Inquisitive descriptor. This gives her +2 to her speed pool, training on all tasks related to numenera computers and electronics, training in decryption, and the ability to read a small amount of writing found through decryption, regardless of the language it is written in. She also gains an inability: she may no longer spend experience to refuse a DM intrusion in which her curiosity got her into trouble.

After 2 and a half hours, she pops back into the room at Sanehar but the rest of the party is missing. She follows their trail through the various rooms, manages to spot and miss the razor blade trap, and eventually comes across them just as they are about to enter a room on the second level of Sanehar.

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Session #5: Curiosity Killed Adair's Ear (Telorses)

We attacked the giant Nope, but not before it touched Aderyn and she disappeared. We tried to stop it to get her back, but it turned into a ghosty thingie and went through a wall.

After it left, we checked the loot and found:

Loot: awesome sword (small short bladed weapon with controls on it – multi dimensional blade – when activated, inflicts damage in several dimensions at once, deals 5 damage, is one of the only things that can hurt a Nope, to use, roll a d20, if not a 1, can use for 1 minute, can use repeatedly until you roll a d20 and get a 1), a device (a handheld device with controls on it and a dish at the end – transdimensional ray projector, long range weapon that fires a beam on many levels of dimensions, is one of the few things that can hurt a Nope, and it does 3 damage, is a rapid fire weapon, light weapon, can fire until you roll a d20 and get a 1), and two cyphers: a small metallic disc (cypher: comprehension graft – tune to a specific language, then when applied to someone’s head, the person can understand a language that is important to the graft) and pair of boots (cypher: sound dampener, dampen all sounds in the immediate area, to allow for stealth actions).

Nope went through the wall at the back of the room, so after giving the comprehension graft to Romilda so that she can learn the mysterious language we’ve been seeing. Mikhail uses the rejuvenator cypher he has to restore Adair’s Might, then takes the boots. Mikhail also takes the ray gun, since he is a Jack and might have some rapid fire shit he can use with it.

Adair takes the sword and goes into the other room that the Nope went into, while Telorses and Mikhail stay in the room they were in with the ray gun. Romilda finds that she can read the words on the walls that say: “They knew many things but had no idea why. And strangely this made them more, rather than less, certain that they were right.”

The Nope touches the sword, draining it of all of it’s power, and healing itself. Mikhail and Telorses run in, and Mikhail shoots it with the gun, and angers it. We act defensively. The Nope attacks Mikhail, coming fully into this dimension, and Mikhail dodges it. We kill the Nope.

Telorses realizes that the riddle means that knowing the ‘why’ is more important than knowing the ‘how’.

After not knowing what to do next, the party decides to descend the stairs, hoping that they’ll find something to get Aderyn back. The party is really unobservant, and they all get attacked by the spinning wall of razor blades. The party stops to heal for a bit, then presses on. They find a door on the right side of the hallway. The room that they enter has walls of some kind of synth material and is covered with equations and numbers and stuff. In the room, there is a strange musical instrument, that looks kind of like someone turned a piano into a barrel.

The equations deal with music, and the musical instrument sounds kind of like the instrument in this video after about 1:10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGOqIYo9cBE

Mikhail goes up to it and presses the keys. There’s not much else in the room, so they leave.

The hallway branches into a ‘T’, and the party decides to go left. There are two rooms off of the corridor. The first one looks to be a crafter’s workshop. Inside is some more cyphers, a couple of oddities, a seashell (that has faint whispering), and 30 shins. The oddities are a ceramic ring that makes you feel like gentle hands are caressing your body, and a sphere that produces vigorous bubbles when placed in water. The cyphers are a Density nodule, a disrupting nodule (can be affixed to a melee weapon, every time it lands a hit, nanobots come out and attack organic matter. The defender takes 1 extra point of damage and lose their next turn), and a complex metal and glass device (we don’t identify it). Adair listens to the seashell and feels a searing pain, and Adair loses his ear. Adair takes the complex metal and glass device. Telorses picks up the disrupting nodule for now, and the oddities so that she can sell it. We split up the shins evenly.

We leave and go into the other room in the hallway. The door is made from the synth material. There is a framed blank space on the door. The frame is the same sort of material that is like a chalkboard covered in chalk, and we think we have to draw something with our finger to get in. Telorses figures out that a right triangle opens the door (due to Pythagorean theorem), and the pictures on the wall look like a flowchart with a few destinations. There are also a lot of maps in here, and Mikhail recognizes that one of the maps looks like the the steadfast (the 9 civilized countries on the continent), with 12 locations marked out. Romilda takes the bubble sphere. Mikhail takes the map with him.

We leave and go to the right side of the ‘T’, and there is one more door, and then there is a section of the floor marked off by a 10 × 10 grid. We go in the door. We find another room with less ornate paintings, and in the corner we find a glass plate that seems to show a live image of the moon but closer.

We leave and go to the grid. Beyond the grid, we can see that there is a corridor that goes for a bit, then turns to the left. We toss the seashell, and it lands in the middle, and the pressure plate glows with a ‘1’. We toss another rock, right to the left of the ‘1’, and the square explodes, thus proving that this is a 10×10 minesweeper game (probably). After figuring out a safe path, we decide to cross it safely.

We go down the corridor to the left. The next room is an important room, so we’ll see that next time!

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Ramblings from the Mind of an Insane DM

So Numenera tags itself as a science fantasy game, and that’s part of the reason why I liked it originally, because I’m more of a science person than fantasy. Now that we’ve played a couple of sessions, I sort of think that claim may be exaggerated. You can have the trappings of science fiction like ray guns and giant lasers, but you can’t have actual science, because the whole point is that the characters don’t understand anything so it’s all weird to them. Nonetheless, when designing the game so far, and Sanehar in particular, everything has an explanation. It might never come out in gameplay, but it’s there. And some of it is really fucking cool. These occasional ramblings will be my attempt to highlight some of the cool stuff in case anyone out there is interested.

Sanehar, or the Concent of Saunt Edhar, is based on the book Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. It is a hefty read at just under 1000 pages, but it is one of my all-time favorite books. Every time I read it, I come away with something new. On the surface it has the trappings of a fantasy novel, but really it is about the intersection of math and philosophy. Now, I’m not saying that one of the previous 8 civilizations in Numenera is the civilization from Anathem, but I was reading it at the same time that I started designing this game and I knew right from the start that it HAD to make an appearance.

Short Summary: At some point in civilization they separated out their intellectuals and forced them to live in monasteries called Concents where they spent their whole lives studying and debating with restrictions on the things they were allowed to research to keep them from being a threat. This is related to the legend of Cnous who had a major insight/vision. His two daughters told different versions of the event: Deat said that he had a vision of a perfect world (heaven) and thus religion was born. Hylaea said that he had a vision of perfect mathematical truths (geometry, called the Hylaean Theoric World in the book) and thus the Concents were eventually born. Anathem is about a young fraa (monk) at Saunt Edhar who deals with growing up and a sort of alien invasion at the same time.

Stuff from Anathem that has made an appearance so far:
The clock: Even the picture I drew doesn’t quite do it justice. It’s a fucking awesome clock. It will make an appearance again and hopefully it will be more understandable, because it does actually work as written in the book. Because all of the gears and mechanically things create huge amounts of static friction, the concent would actually sing at just the right frequency in order to vibrate the clock mechanism in such a way to overcome that. They would also sing to solve math problems. Someone actually made a CD of it and you can preview the tracks here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidstutz. I would recommend tracks 3,5, and 7. The others are a little “Wow, I would never listen to that unless I got to actually see the clock also.”

The statues in the entry hall were of Cnous and his two daughters. The invisible force fields around them acted as secondary columns and that’s why the ceiling fell when Mikhail turned one of them off.

Mikhail called it when he said that the revolving wall trap shot all of you with heavy Argon gas which is why you couldn’t see it when it was bruising you.

The Pythagorean Theorem proof on the wall in the one room was considered one of the universal truths in the book. As evidenced by the fact that Romilda, a being from one civilization, played by a being from another, both recognized it as such. This is the idea of mathematical Platonism: the idea that mathematics represents a higher truth that transcends reality. See for more info: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism-mathematics/. Since most of the players reading this are scientists and engineers, they’re probably all like, “Yeah, duh”, but there is actually serious debate about this in the book and in real life.

There is more, but this is all you guys have discovered so far, and I don’t want to spoil anything.

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Session 4: The mysterious Sanehar (Aderyn)

We get to Sanehar and meet one of the older head priestess’: Meryn who is this older, nun-like woman in green- gold robes. She tells us that there has been another explorer to visit Sanehar recently: Donellen from Navarene.

From talking to Gavir, one of the junior priests, we learn that the twins were definitely planning a trip here and that they were interested in a particular type of numenera dealing with memories. More specifically, a pool or storage of memories which could create a sort of shared experience.

At this point, Mikhail pulls the group aside and pulls out a small metal nodule attached to a cord. He found this oddity in the woods and thought, “obviously a necklace.” He put it on and felt constricted, tied to a throne, floating in an endless void with the only light as millions of stars. (Out of Character: he experienced a memory of piloting a starship). He believes that it is connected to dreams and something of times long past.

Next we go to talk to Janess (Master Chief) as the expert in the language and learn that Sanehar was originally called the Concent of Saunt Edhar. Saunt Edhar as a mathematician (the concent was dedicated to science and math). We also hear the legend of Cnous, the stone mason. The legend has two version because he had two daughters, Deat – a glimpse into a perfect world/heaven and Hylaea- saw a world of geometry and perfection.

Romilda finds that Donollen was interested in a book of names of explorers from about 40 years. We find in the registry a person who is formerly from the Council of Knowing Paths who visited about 39 years ago (i.e. after the rebellion and dethroning). They went up the mountain to explore, Donollen went up the mountain to explore, so we decide to as well.

Once inside: we save an etching of the language through a charcoal etching. We enter, it is a dimly lit path. We have Mikhail try to determine what path Donellen may have taken. He NAILS it and we go right. There is an entrance hall with statues…Mikhail pushed a button and caused a partial cave in above the statue.

In another room we see a geometric thing on the wall. Romilda recognizes it as a proof the Pythagorean Theorem. Also find an odd numenera of blue sand. A revolving hallway/door nearly kills half of us Scooby Doo style. Another room has writing all over the walls and a ggghhhooooosssttt. I make him corporeal, take an etching of the wall, and then see a sword and approach it. Next time we will have to roll for initiative….

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Session #3: A Very Grumpy Romila Indeed (by Telorses)

We decided to join up with a caravan to travel to Sanehar instead of taking a boat. In essence, we decided to take on land pirates instead of sea pirates. We went for about 12 days without incident, but on the second to last day, Romilda noticed a bit of cloth rustling in the treeline. She points it out, and Telorses and Adair decide to investigate. Weapons drawn, their approach to the forest is greeted with a hail of arrows coming from both sides of the caravan.

The party springs into action, Mikhail, Romilda, and Aderyn taking the right side of the caravan while Telorses and Adair take the left. Telorses and Adair both have frustrating starts against their enemies, Telorses fighting one, and Adair fighting two. Mikhail tries arrows first, having no luck. Romilda attempts to catch a bandit on fire, and catches the forest on fire instead. Aderyn decides to lure the bandits out by attacking them head on, and is one of the first (if not THE first) of us to actually land a hit. Sadly, during his next attempt to shoot an enemy, Mikhail shot Romilda in the back, which made for a very grumpy Romilda indeed. However, she kept her wits together and sprayed the aneen and caravan with fire retardant liquid.

The caravan guards are essentially retarded, and after two or three rounds, they finally decide to join in the fight and help out.

Back on the other side of the caravan, Telorses is doing much better, but Adair is just caught up in a failstorm. After several attempts to hit miss, Adair’s own ice armor turns against him, freezing the ground beneath his feet and making him fall prone. Telorses “eeps!” (Her mighty battle cry of intimidation) away at her attacker, until she has dealt enough damage for him to decide to run away.

Romilda uses her migraine powers to deal heavy damage to the dudes left on her side, while Mikhail manages to throw a javelin into a dude’s gut, and Aderyn impales a dude with her dagger (right under the armorrrr!! FIRST CRITICAL OF THE ENTIRE GAME!!!). The turn after, Mikhail crits, decapitating another dude. Both decide to run over and help out Adair.

Telorses turns as they are taking down one of the dudes trying to kill Adair. He’s at least able to defend himself on the ground, but even Aderyn tries and fails to hit this mothereffer. Aderyn (or someone?? Maybe Mikhail?) deals a little bit of damage to the bandit, and Telorses delivers a blow worth 6 points of damage, kicks him over epically and finishes him off. At this point, all enemies are either dead or run away. Mikhail loots the bodies, finding 17.5 gold to be split among us (he gives his portion to Romilda as the beginnings of an apology… AND A ROMANCE??? hahaha jk). We also find a crystal nodule and some antivenom. Adair keeps the nodule, offering up the antivenom and his old shocking nodule for trade. We each have to pay 1 shin less for our trip as a result.

We finally arrive in Sanehar, grab a meal and head to sleep, planning to investigate the next day!

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Session #2: Adair learns many things about girls
(And the rest of the group learns things about the plot)

A very very short summary from the GM for continuity purposes:

Awakening on their first morning in Mulen, the group decides to investigate the disappearances. Because Romilda’s player was late and unable to make the first hour or so of the session, Aderyn’s player joked that Romilda was abed with “that time of the month”. This led to an incredibly touching and awkward scene where Adair visited an apothecary to buy her medicine. It’s a trap, Adair.

Sernys was the first to disappear and he was last seen at the Shrine of the Golden Ladies. Despite the INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS NAME FOR A BROTHEL, the group decides that it is a religious temple and sends the guys: Adair, the innocent warrior monk, and Mikhail, the simple country boy. It was pure comedy gold. Adair was unable to do any investigating, as the ladies were much charmed by his naivete and determined to rid him of it. None the less, Mikhail discovered a ring left behind by Sernys with an unknown sigil on it.

Meanwhile, the girls are investigating the next two disappearances: the twins Ryns and Eria. At their house, the girls discover a secret research workshop where they learn that the twins were interested in an Aeon Priest temple named Sanehar, built on the site of a cloister from an ancient civilization. Thanks to a sharp eyed Romilda, they also learn that the old queen of Iscobal, Queen Whenith Sarromere, had an organization of dream researchers called The Council of Knowing Paths who were also planning a trip to Sanehar right around the time of the rebellion.

Upon meeting up, the group discovers that Sernys’ ring matches the sigil for the Council of Knowing Paths. Dun dun dun.

The last disappearance was Nuis and other than learning that he was originally from Ancuan, the group doesn’t appear to give two rats about him. Poor Nuis. It’s okay, I still love you, Nuis. I have great plans for you. Mwahahahahahahaha.

The group will set out for Sanehar at the start of session 3 to see if they can learn anything more.

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Session #1 from Aderyn's PoV

(Aderyn) Day one: So Aremor’s a dick…….

We got a mission to find these missing nobles in return for 100 shins up front and another 100 after finding the information. In addition, we will each receive a Numenera for the safe return of one noble with another for all four. We will have to receive the other 50 shins from a man in the apothecary in Mullen.

We discover that our employer, Korbin, was attacked and totally kicked ass (except a tall amazon woman who was just warming up really). Convinced that we could retrieve information from a half-living ruffian, we decided to take him to an apothecary in order to heal him enough to talk. Even though Aderyn could heal him, Adair paid to keep the ruffian there so that we could also keep him contained in a room and watched. Seemed a little weird but alright at the time. That night, we all go out and buy clothes. Just about everyone spends as little time as possible to do so. Aderyn took the opportunity to really explore and enjoy a new city and what it offers. She got clothes, a pretty necklace, a bracelet, and an oddity that makes her smile and think of home (to be determined).

We all take turns watching over our ruffian in the apothecary, and he happens to wake up with our fire nano, Romilda, as watch. She tries to get the apothecarian to stop treating him and she ignores her. The ruffian, Aremor decides to lie and accuse. Then our warrior, Telorses, comes in with breakfast and also tries to get him to talk – again he lies and the apothecary continues her work. Romilda gets the rest of us, and Mikhail decides to try a different tactic in order to get Aremor to talk. He juggles a knife between his fingers in an attempt of intimidation. This was always an odd, bad decision. The apothecarian immediately stabs him with some sort of cypher which knocks him out and insists that there will be “none of that in her store.” We do not even consider being angry at the apothecarian, instead getting madder that this lying, thieving, hateful man is getting better attention than us. Telorses drags Mikhail back to the inn after Aderyn determined that he is basically unharmed.

Adair, continuing with his quest to remain the noblest, rational leader of the group steps forward for some gentlemanly talk. He may (definitely) be too nice. Aremor again lies, accuses us of madness, and decides that Mikhail must be Romilda’s boyfriend. She explodes in a, pardon the pun, fiery rage. We finally give up, and let the apothecarian and Aremor fall madly in love and stop preventing their attempts at children. We eat lunch together as a group and then head on the road towards Mullen. On the first night, we got to enjoy the quiet stars and open air that Aderyn was quite comfortable with. Most of us go to sleep, but Adair notices Telorses attempt to speak with some strange object before realizing it was private and politely turning away.

We arrive at Mullen the next day, where we see a young boy quickly dash off into the city as we approach the gate. We find a decent inn to stay for the night, and even though the room was for the boys Aderyn will pay for it, feeling a little badly for Adair spending 10 shins on a failed venture. But her father would have done something similar, and for her this is all about the adventure rather than the money anyways. She hoped that she will be able to collect some more pretty things, oddities, and Numenera to show her friend when she gets back home.

Total experience gained: Telorses- 3, Mikhail – 2, everyone else is 1.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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