Adventurers and Explorers
The Ninth World is about discovering the wonders of the worlds that came before it, not for their own sake, but as the means to improve the present and build a future.
You don’t earn XP for killing foes or overcoming standard challenges in the course of play. Discovery is the soul of Numenera.
The game system itself is designed to be quick and easy for beginners, while offering additional complexity for those who desire it.
Now, onto character generation proper.
In a nutshell character generation is all about stacking Templates and a little bit of customization. Numenera relies on the following formula:
“[Adjective] [Noun] who [Verbs]“
Each of these correspond to a given template.
The Adjective is the Descriptor,
Noun is the Character Type, and
Verb is the character’s Focus.
Numenera has 3 primary character types: The Glaive, The Jack and The Nano. Glaives fight, Jacks are all-rounders and Nanos are the ones that do strange feats. For the more jaded types, this represents the 3 basic food groups of adventuring: the Fighter, the Rogue and the Mage.
Glaives are the warriors of the Ninth World. Glaives can wear heavy armor and wield massive weapons, or they can fight with light weapons and armor so they can move quickly.
Nanos are wizard-like characters who harness the numenera to work miracles. These miracles, called esoteries, walk the line somewhere between machine and magic, depending on the Nano’s particular skillset.
Jacks are named after jacks-of-all-trades. They have a lot of tricks in their bags, which makes them skilled at a little bit of everything.
You choose from a number of descriptors like clever, tough, strong-willed, or mystical.
You choose a focus, which really distinguishes your character.
These can vary from crafting illusions to becoming a master of a single weapon, from wielding magnetism to being a great leader.
These three choices help shape your character, providing not only abilities and skills but also possibilities for interesting backgrounds and unique bonds with the other player characters.
In other words, at every step of the way, the story is as important as the mechanics.