Numenera providers players with lots of unique options during character creation, but it also features a fairly linear character progression, probably because of its huge list of gears (Artifacts and Cyphers mostly) that work like Skills or Perks. Are you aiming for the same result in Torment? Or will leveling be a more open-ended affair? As a rule, what do you think about gear-centric advancement systems?
Well, first, we are implementing Artifacts and Cyphers as close to the spirit of the tabletop as we can. So Cyphers are planned to be unique (some may overlap in abilities, but each cypher will be different), some of them powerful, all of them one-shot, and all of them encouraged to be used (i.e. we are implementing the tabletop game’s limits on how many cyphers a character can safely carry). We’re even extending the concepts with our crafting design (which you may have read about), giving the player more options for item progression and customization.
As for character progression, we’re aiming for a little more customization than the tabletop provides. We’ll have more class abilities than in the Corebook, a defined set of Skills, and the PC will be able to switch his Focus on the fly. So there should be enough there to give the player a sense of progression and choice at each Tier (plus Numenera’s character upgrades and customizations between Tiers: increasing Stat Pools or Stat Edge, learning a new Skill, increasing maximum Effort Level, etc).
Regarding gear-centric advancement systems in general, what I like about them is they allow the player to adapt to new situations as he finds them. Come across a pack of armor-wearing gorillas immune to your poison attack? Switch out your poison weapons for something that will work against them.
GamesBeat checked in with 10 large Kickstarters on their current status, Torment included. Brian Fargo comments:
Update: Torment is still in heavy preproduction, inXile CEO Brian Fargo told GamesBeat. The team has generated about 800 pages of design documents and a prototype for one of the crisis areas. “We are working on some beautiful new screens, which we hope to show in the next 90 days or so,” he said. “We are thankful for the long design stage we were given thanks to crowdfunding.”