Monday, March 11, 2013

Numenera Game Setting

...So the new Torment game is gonna be set in a new setting (as in, not Planescape). The setting was also funded via Kickstarter:

First impressions are fairly positive. I generally like fantasy with a side of sci-fi (it's what I'm working on, after all), and this pushes some of those buttons despite being more soildy in the science fantasy camp.

It does look pretty appropriate to the "Torment" ... franchise-apparent. It's got a lot of the vast magical weird shit from that first game, just with a different justification for it.

My main nitpick so far: "Jack" is a pretty neat reskin of "Rogue" or "Thief". But on first impressions... "Glaive", while cool sounding, is an unnecessary rename of "Fighter", and "Nano" is just "Mage" but sillier-sounding. I do like the concepts from what I've seen of them, but... Yeah.

A lot of the rest of the game seems pretty appealing. Especially the part where it's designed to be a deep setting that's easy to use without a ton of 100% necessary math, unlike, say, any version of D&D ever.

No idea if I'll play it though. I recently tried to restart D&D, but... didn't get incredibly far before having to give up due to schedule complexity.

I don't really think I've seen an RPG quite like it before. It's set on Earth a billion years in the future. I think what fascinates me most about it is that it's supposedly during the ninth great worldwide civilization, of which we were maybe eventually the first. (As far as I can tell.) It's taking the billion years seriously (or as serious as you can get considering people still look like people, although I guess that's technically possible). It has a lot in common conceptually with Dying Earth (which D&D of course ripped off of - or so I'm told because I have yet to read it) and Book of the New Sun (which I have read, and which I quite enjoyed). It's taking the 'sufficiently advanced technology' idea to its logical extent, and making a science fantasy world from it. And re: the ninth civilization - it seems that some of those other civilizations may have gone through other sci-fi tropes: abandoned Earth for the stars long ago, gone to other dimensions, ascended to become higher beings... and yet humanity kept on anyway, and magic is mastering what's been left behind.

I tangented a little. I think what's generally not grabbed me in previous post-apocalyptic worlds is the fact that there was just one apocalypse, just one great civilization that fell, and it's one that we as a reader understand completely. Here, we have the ruins of a billion-years' worth of humanity and eight previous completely fallen civilizations. It's those layers that make it work for me, I think; much more potential.

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