Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ambient environments and weather for Numenera

Numenera presents a nice opportunity to create some really weird weather or ambient environmental moments. A basic encounters like "a deer stands in the middle of a field of wildflowers" just doesn't cut it in the Ninth World. Below is a random table of possible ambient scenes to act as a tool or jumping off point for future ideas.

1d6 Ambient encounter
1 Large round black drones slowly meander across the sky in a small pack. Every so often, they all stop in formation and extend four large arms from their middle. Fresh, untainted water rains down. After an hour or so, the drones retract their arms and fly away again.
2 A huge, red flowing manta ray-like creature called a batolec flies through the sky. These creatures filer out nanites from the sky above using its monomolecular filaments in its mouth. The atmosphere passing across these filaments emits a low hum which can be heard for miles. It is said that when two of these creatures meet, they engage in an incredible aerial display and the range of sounds echoing across the surface to be utterly enchanting.
3 Rolling hills of scrapheaps extend for miles. Green fumes waft off of them, the products of hundreds of years of corrosion. The sky is a dark green with motes of yellow dispersed through out. Generally the motes appear fixed in the sky, but every so often they shuffle around in the sky. This shuffling is accompanied by a cacophony of all-to-human screaming and shouting.
4 An immense cloud of nanites and drones float above the land. It slowly moves through the sky, darkening the land beneath. Every so often, a section separates, and flies off on its own to form its own cloud. Broken and de-powered nanites and drones rain down from the sky. This has attracted small bands of scavengers that follow these clouds over the land.
5 In the distance, a flock biotic creatures float in the air, their tentacles hanging down. Called clairedones, they are large, transparent sacks with colors and structures floating and spinning inside. The tentacles grab almost randomly at any mostly biotic organism that might happen by.
6 Water starts coalescing as pools on the surface of the ground. As the pools grow and grow, eventually they start gurgling softly. The intensity of the movement increases with every second until, suddenly, droplets of water start shooting up from the ground. This reverse rainfall continues until all the pools have emptied and the land is left completely desiccate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Alternative forms of wealth in Numenera

Wealth takes many forms through out the Ninth Realsm. While shins are the standard form of currency in Numenera, there are many other forms of wealth and value. Below is a table various different valuable items can be used in trade almost everywhere. Suggested values are provided in parentheses but feel free to use whatever values you want.

1d12 Form
1 Disc of pure, black graphite. There are no traces of synths or biotics. (10 shins each)
2 Many fine synth threads woven together into a small ring. Multiple rings are worn on cords as necklaces or bracelets. (3 shins each)
3 A small transparent globe with shards of minerals and synth floating around inside. When placed on level surface the globe does not roll, and when pushed it does not roll but slide. (5 shins each)
4 Brick of crystalline matrix supported by a fine weave of synth around it. These bricks are commonly used by trade groups and merchants who deal in very large quantities. Worth nothing outside of the Steadfast. (100 shins each)
5 Seskii teeth set in a delicate synth facet with a roundel of seskii scales wrapping around it. (0.5 shins each)
6 Strange fish-like scales which glimmer only under the night sky. (1 shin each)
7 Foot-long rod of scintillating white-yellow light. When touched, small arcs of electricity course up and down the outside of the rod. While they cause a slight tingle, there is no negative effect. These rods can be rigged to power archaeo-tech if necessary. Valued highly by tinkers and artificers. (50 shins each)
8 Small blue flat crystals. When gripped by a biotic, the grip ends at an very small slightly glowing force-field that makes the crystal float in the hand. When not being help by a biotic appendage, these crystals lie flat and behave as expected. (5 shins each)
9 Tiny black marbles. When inspected very closely, tiny human like skulls float inside moving via their own accord. (3 shins each)
10 Autobits. Small synth-steel cubes with random numbers on every side which change every second. If on your person, if they are thought about they automatically appear in your hand. This effect does not persist once traded or stolen. This effect appears tied to "ownership". (2 shins each)
11 Shards cut from biologically grown crystal matrices that naturally occur deep below the Black Riage. These crystals are considered extremely valuable not only for their beauty, but also for their excellent conducting properties. (5 shins each)
12 Half-inch thick woven cords of synth about a foot long. When pressure is applied to the cord, it changes color depending on both the pressure and temperature of the bearer. When placed end to end, these cords automatically splice together to form a longer and longer cord. Long ropes of these cords are traded for very valuable goods. (10 shins per foot)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Alchemical (gastric) brooding frog

The alchemical (gastric) brooding frog is a combination of natural and magical breeding that has resulted in an incredible useful, albeit disgusting, small creature. This multi-colored frog broods its tadpoles in its mouth. Each tadpole, when ingested, produce a minor magical effect. When the frog is squeezed, it shoots out a random tadpole with one of the following colors and magical effects. These frogs can be found for purchase in Sigil.

1d8 Tadpole
1 red: +1 to all damage for one minute.
2 blue: +1 to all saving throws for one minute.
3 green: heal 1d4+1 HP.
4 pink: character can jump extra high once given a successful Strength check, jumping up to twice their movement.
5 yellow: character's palms become extremely sticky allowing them to stick to sheer surfaces without moving for up to once minute.
6 purple: for one minute, if this character is struck with a melee attack, the attacked must make a save versus poison or be blinded for one round.
7 white: breath underwater for one minute.
8 orange: character produces a massive belch and all hostile creatures within 10 feet must make a saveversus breath weapon or be sickened for one round (-2 all rolls).