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RPG Codex - Monte Cook's Numenera Review

by Couchpotato, 2014-01-20 04:05:39

RPG Codex member Grunker reviews Monte Cook's pen & paper setting Numenera.

I have tried to review the game as fairly as I could. Still, there are many ways to play RPGs, and while there isn't really a right way to do it, people will still have biases and preferences. In particular, a lot of advice, wording, and rules in Numenera make the game seem pretty clearly geared for "episodic" play, as opposed to "sandbox" play. I won't go into the exact differences here, as there is a whole host of play-styles that can fit under each word, but the basic idea is that sandbox games play more like a wargame campaign, with a greater focus on how things are done, while episodic games play more like a fiction story, with a greater focus on what is done.

Now, I am much more of a sandbox guy myself. Rather than trying to simply ignore my own preferences, however, I have tried to make them clear in my comments. Feel free to ignore these if the mentioned viewpoint doesn't matter for you, though! Furthermore, I am not at all implying that Numenera is awful for sandboxes. In fact, I think it could work great with just a few choice modifications.

For the purpose of this review, I have played this game with a few fellow Codexers (Excidium, Darth Roxor, Jaedar, herostratus, Reject_666_6 and Mystary!). We had only two sessions of play, playing the first introductory adventure that came with the book. I admit this is far from ideal, but I believe even this short play time, coupled with my reading of the book should be enough to make true (if not very deep) criticism of the game.

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