Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Game

Ran my first game of Numenera Saturday night. It went well for the most part. The only real problem was the fact that so many nat 1's were rolled. It seriously threw off the difficulty and dangerousness of the fight. Anyway, let me start at the beginning.

I have four players:
Xavier Van Ark, a Mystical Nano who Works Miracles,
Wemm Lee, a Charming Jack who Wields Two Weapons at Once (actually doesn't, but anyway),
Mageneus, an Intelligent Jack who Talks to Machines, and
Vash, a Learned Nano who Rides the Lighting.

All the characters looked finished so I had everyone roll on the "Random Power Origins" table and give me a few things about their background.
Xavier rolled "Natural Mutation" for the origin of his miraculous powers of healing, because of them he joined a monastery outside of Neverlost as an acolyte. He began wandering when he met Wemm in Neverlost, he is accompanied by his friend Vash whom he met studying at the monastery. He is also currently searching for an artifact or oddity that he can gift to the Order of Truth to join as a full member.
Wemm rolled "Abduction by a Machine Intelligence that Experimented on You", this machine intelligence downloaded an extensive knowledge of martial arts into his brain and altered him in such a way as to make him a natural leader. Though before this he was peasant in the City of Bridges he is now wandering the Steadfast (and possibly into the Beyond) looking to start his own fighting order using unarmed combat instead of the heavy arms and armor so commonly used. He has started training Mag in his fighting style, though she's only picked up the very basics.
Mageneus (Mag for short) is a bit of a special case as the player really wanted to play a clone created by aliens (extraterrestrials). So when she rolled "Followed by a Cloud of Nanites" as the origin of her power we decided that her creators, in addition to leaving out some basic human interaction protocols and instilling in her a drive to build (or repair perhaps?) a starship, implanted her with a device that attracts the local nanites. This also explains how she uses her floating skill, it being something that she picks up from the datasphere via he friendly nanite cloud. She is part of the group by dint of luck, when she was dropped back onto the world she was greviously wounded but was happened upon by Xavier who used his powers to heal her. She now views him as a messianic figure who must be brought back to her creators in her starship, though he doesn't know that...
Vash is arguably the most mysterious of the bunch, having to roll twice on the origin table he got "Unexpected Viral Reconstruction of your Body" and "Implant or Mutation that that Provides Knowledge from the Datasphere", to combine them we decided that the viral reconstruction changed him in such a way as to plug his brain into the datasphere. This new connection drove him to the monastery from the Cloudcrystal Skyfields to learn with the monks there where he met Xavier and they became close friends.

Our intrepid band of adventurers were headed somewhere, we didn't specify where, when came upon a small farming village. Xavier immediately went to the clave to speak with the local head priest. Wemm went to speak with the village headman. Vash headed to the tavern to secure lodgings and food. Mag went into a small general store to look at wares and see if they could restock some supplies. When Mag walked into the store, she slapped her hand down on the terminal the store owner was using and it promptly exploded/caught on fire. (This was the first 1 rolled of the night.) The shop keeper pulled out a crossbow and was marching Mag out of his shop when Wemm came down with the headman to see what the hell was going on. Wemm talked the guy down, Vash and Mag fixed his terminal and Xavier helped organize the bucket brigade to keep the rest of the town from burning down. When everything was under control Wemm found out about some missing prospectors and sightings of margr near a set of ruins called "The Pit" locally. They headed out to look for the prospectors and try to drive out the margr.

While walking to towards the Pit, a 3 day journey, the party was ambushed by a hunting party of margr. It went very well both in and out of game. Combat actions were decided on quickly, turns went fast and smooth. The whole thing went very well. Vash's player did roll a nat 1 for his initiative roll, leading him over a nearby hill and away from the rest of the party but into another three margr. He killed one with a cypher of injectable explosive and other party members killed the other two but not before I used a GM Intrusion (XP went to Vash and Wemm) to give one of the margr a hunting horn which it used to signal others nearby.

The hunting horn led them into another ambush which went much for them. Together they rolled no less then ten nat 1s in this fight which really put them on the bad end of the fight and stretched my ability to come up with GM Intrusions that would make the fight interesting and challenging and not just a death trap. It worked out in the end though this fight took about an hour versus the ten minutes or so the first fight took. Vash also used both his other cyphers (something that took him slightly out of phase and a crystal that dilated time around him, both items boosted his defense). The plus side is none of the margr ran or sounded horns so their hoping that the rest of the tribe won't notice they've slaughted about a third of it before they can find their den and scare them off...or something. Currently the group has camped out in the lee of a hill about an hour's hobble/walk from the path and though everyone else is fully healed Xavier really got the crap beaten out of him (he got debilitated, ie- two of his pools reduced to zero) and he's still injured somewhat. Despite how poorly this fight went they're hopeful about how the rest of the trip will go, banking on not rolling up so many free GM Intrusions next game.