Failed RPG Experiments – Bring in the dragons!

This week I brought the Numenera campaign I was running for the Kanda group to a halt.

Numenera is a recent game written by Monte Cook. The premise is a Sci-fi Fantasy in a post-apocalyptic world millions of years in the future. Sufficient advenced technology of former generations and civilizations did become magic. The system is extremely light weight, with only three attributes, and a very interesting free-form character creation.

At first these modern design decisions felt like a breath of fresh air. The basic idea of the setting is also something that really appeals to me, as “alien technology behind mysterious magic” is a trope I like. However, after running about 2 months worth of games, I started feeling limited by the system. All players started playing the same, and there was not a lot of good guidelines for balancing encounters or rewards on the core book. This made creating adventures a real shore, and I ended up spending way less time prepping than I should.

I must say, the general idea and setting of the game made me create some adventure hooks that I’m proud of. But the game just didn’t have enough crunch to help me make sessions that used those hooks to their full potential. Oh well.

At the same time, a number of my friends started commenting and praising the new (5th) edition of Dungeons and Dragons I decided to take a plunge and bought the Player’s Handbook in my local game store (DayDream). After leafing through it the past few days I must say: I’m pumped! 5th edition feels a lot like good old 2nd edition AD&D, but with a lot of the improvements that modern RPGs have developed over the years.

I’m looking forwards to writing dungeons again!

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