Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why Stats in Numenera and Lamentations of the Flame Princess

But why male models?

All I've been reading lately is OSR blogs. Well, that and A Distant Mirror, which is a nice reminder that no matter how rose-tinted our view of the past may get, how much it seems like the world is 'going to hell' and 'things aren't like they used to be' and 'garble gabble gabble gabble', it actually was objectively worse in the past in some key areas of human existence. Not everything is wonderful today, sure, absolutely, and not everything is getting infinitely better, or even slightly better. But the 1300s really went out of its way to be totally bananas.

Anyway! OSR! There's a lot of free, interesting material around it. Also, I've found that in running Numenera for a year, I'm really way too much of a softie. There hasn't been enough anguish or fear, enough danger. That's not a fault of the system, really - it's more that my prep needs to focus on some numbers and tactics of enemies, and I am trying to get there. But I do think OSR systems do an amazing job of creating dangerous situations for the the players. From Dungeon Crawl Classic's 0-level funnel to the Giant in Deep Carbon Observatory, there's a lot to learn from.

I came into DnD during the height of 2nd edition, have played some Pathfinder as well. They were never really a good fit, nor was 4th Edition. Numenera pulled me into tabletop games with its interesting setting, the mishmash of past and future, the way PCs could know what a 'democracy' was without it breaking the setting. Then I read, say, Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad and find out that old-school fantasy also has this idea that the future looks bit like our past - civilizations rise and fall like waves, and their detritus lives on, sometimes informing new generations, sometimes trying to eat them. DnD is the apocalypse, after all, and the civilizations of men have just crawled up from the brink of extinction.

I want to bring a bit of that to Numenera. I also want to actually play LotFP with some folks. I imagine in the long term I may move over from the Cypher System to B/X DnD retroclones, but we'll see. I certainly don't want to leave my Numenera players hanging.

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