I just got schooled today. While again surfing my favorite spot on the net, DriveThruRPG.com, I noticed that there was a notification for me. I’d never seen one of those before, so I checked it out. Turns out someone was pretty irate with my off-the-cuff dismissal of Numenera, and that fact that I called it crap. Until that moment, I did consider Numenera crap. Only, he was right that I based that opinion on only one small part of the whole game.
In Numenera (and its sister publications, The Strange and The Cypher Core Rulebook) , the GM decides the difficulty of action your player might take on a scale of 1-10. As a player, you must take that difficulty rating, and multiply it by three to find the number (or higher) you must roll on a d20 + Modifiers to succeed. When I first saw this mechanic, I was confused. Why on Earth would you have to bother with that second step? Why not just have the GM establish the difficulty at the higher range first?
I admit that such a small aspect really turned me off the game right away, and since I was too arrogant at the time (and still am), I didn’t even bother reading the rest of the book, and I went online and gave it a horrible review. That was the worst possible thing I could have done. I attacked a game for no good reason at all, and that review might have prevented someone from purchasing that product.
Our hobby is dying already… I don’t want to push that timeline forward any. With the proliferation of file-sharing, sales of print or PDF RPG books are falling. It’s already hard enough to make money in this business. So the last thing I want to do is promote not buying a game.
Don’t get me wrong, though… I won’t support products that are truly awful, regardless. There are plenty of examples of very poorly put together games and supplements out there. There’s no need to slur the good ones.
So I’m going to take another good look at Numenera, try to overcome my own bias and read it from another perspective. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do, too.