I’m working on a Numenera hack for Freebooters on the Frontier and my thought is to have the three base classes…

I’m working on a Numenera hack for Freebooters on the Frontier and my thought is to have the three base classes…

I’m working on a Numenera hack for Freebooters on the Frontier and my thought is to have the three base classes reworked as Glaives, Nanos, and Jacks (pretty straightforward) and adding moves from chosen Foci at first and even levels. Do you guys think this goes against the spirit of FotF too much? Do you think it’d be too much of a balance issue?

15 thoughts on “I’m working on a Numenera hack for Freebooters on the Frontier and my thought is to have the three base classes…”

  1. I’m not familiar with the nuts and bolts of Numenara, so I don’t know how focus works, but I wouldn’t worry about “going against the spirit” of FotF. If you like your changes and they seem to work for you, run with it! Oh, and one thing I definitely don’t worry too much about is balance, beyond trying to make sure that each of the classes is fun to play in its own way.

  2. The only options on the poll were “only one focus move” or “double the number of moves PCs take,” though I’d go for more of a middle ground if it were me. (I’d be less worried about balance than about overwhelming players with too many moves.) I might say something like, replace one of your starting moves with a focus move, and when you gain odd levels, choose either a class move or a focus move. If your players don’t mind long character sheets, though, what the hey, new move every level!

  3. Jason Lutes In Numenera, Foci add additional abilities (Moves) to the characters. Characters have a core Type (Class) and a Focus which is almost like a miniature class in itself, resulting in something like a gestalt. Examples include giving characters the ability to control gravity, dual wield, rage like a barbarian, etc. I noticed you trimmed moves down to odd levels only. Was this driven by simplicity, encouraging diversity, giving more of an OSR feel, or something else? I really like what you’ve done with FotF. I came across your work because Numenera has a gorgeous setting and artwork, but I found the rules lacking in exploring it. You might want to give it a look if you like far-flung science fantasy.

    Jason Tocci I thought about this shortly after posting, treating Foci more like a locked-in multiclass option. I think that might be the best option for keeping things simple, but expanding options. I’d probably still give one basic move at 1st, but not something as expansive as most of the core class basic moves.

  4. Jason Tocci On a lot of them I’ve been able to file the serial numbers off of DW counterparts. I’m considering eliminating some of them like Explores Dark Places because it enters the Thief’s (Jack in this case) niche too much.

    The Nano has involved the most re-envisioning, because I want to keep FotF’s magic system over DW, which would be a more natural port. In this case I’m treating the Esoteries like computer programs that the characters memorize through whatever means the player determines. They mentally execute them to get the desired effect. The complexity of these “programs” is the limiting factor on how many can be memorized per day. As far as how the character studies these programs, it could be through a journal, eReader, smartphone, diagrams, computer terminal, etc.

  5. How about single use cypher move, kinda like old “use magic device”skill and make cyphers from MU scifi reskined spell generator as scrolls. Helm of force wall, technobracers of plasma manipulation and such.

  6. My plan is for Use Cypher to be a basic move, either 2d6+INT, 2d6+WIS, or 2d6+LUC (undecided if I want to give options, just have one or two be available, or make others available through Advanced Moves). On a 10+ Cypher works with great effect. 7-9 Cypher works with reduced effect. 6- Cypher backfires either in a Wild Magic style effect or specific to its design (I’m undecided). Regardless, the Cypher is used up after one use. The 7-9 isn’t so much a succeed at a cost, but my goal is for the Cypher’s to be strong and for PC’s to want to use them instead of hoarding them.

    I also plan on having a Cypher Load similar to encumbrance, but probably without a stat affecting its cap. If the load is exceeded -1 ongoing, if it’s doubled probably explosive results.

    The Cyphers themselves will either give narrative options, +X forward, damage, or healing. I want their mechanics simple enough for a GM to cook up on the fly.

  7. That is definitely a valid route for a cypher usage move! Personally, though, the one thing I do like about the Cypher System is how cyphers work (which I think is easily tacked onto just about any other system). Some might require an “attack” roll or something similar (which in this system would just mean replacing your normal weapon for “fight” or “shoot or throw” battle moves with the cypher as your weapon instead), but otherwise, they just work because UX design is apparently super awesome a billion years in the future. (And from a game design perspective, you’re encouraged to burn through them and replace them very frequently.) That’s what keeps things feeling weird and variable and frenetic. I’d be a little concerned that introducing 6- possibilities via a universal move would curtail that frequency of use and encourage hoarding.

  8. Jason Tocci Good point on the attack Cypher. Perhaps the weaponized Cyphers would roll+DEX or possibly +STR. I’m undecided on 6- results. I definitely don’t want them to be so bad that they discourage usage. I’m thinking more like: “Your skin turns brilliant green for the next day.” “Your hair is singed off.” or “You smell like chemical waste until you are able to fully immerse in water.”

    I definitely want them to feel stronger than a traditional move so that players are rarely dropping or selling them, but I also like the narrative possibilities of 6-. Perhaps they still a reduced effect and one of the wild backfires mentioned above. My only hesitancy on this is players saving their Cyphers for a boss fight and blowing through them without any risk.

    I like my idea of a load limit better than an immediate hard cap, because that feels less gamey to me. I could definitely see a player suffering a -1 ongoing in exchange for holding onto a really strong Cypher.

  9. Okay, glowing in the dark is fun. 🙂 IIRC, Numenera got wishy washy about what might happen when you hold too many cyphers—it definitely felt like the kind of thing that would benefit from PbtA style moves like you’re discussing. They have some half-baked explanation about why you can’t hold too many at once, but it gets a lot easier when you can say something more concrete like, “When you use a cypher and you’re not exceeding your cypher threshold, they don’t interact too badly; treat a 6- as a 7-9 with a weirder side effect.”

  10. well cyphers equate to what was potions and spell scrolls of dnd, and limits to how many you carried where because, they figure its more fun use them instead of hoarding them, which is what usually happens. and there is a big gap in thinking to switch from one mentality to other. we had hard time using them in pace game wanted us to. especially some are very niche, so we always tried to hold on to more universally useful ones, like damage and healing and if any capacity was left over at that point, some utility .

    If you want to limit how many maybe use int mod +x, where x is limit per class. 3 casters,2 rogues,1 fighter or something similar. anything over cap adds -1 on use cypher move

  11. Arturs Leitans I’m hesistant to link Cypher Load to INT because a Nano could get a cap of 5 pretty commonly right out of the gate. My thought is to have Nanos start at 3, Jacks and Glaives at 2 and for them to increase their Load twice (possibly levels 5 and 10, for ease). This would put them at their Numenera caps.

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