As long as I’m posting a bunch of Numenera hacks all at once, I might as well be thorough. Here’s how you can make use of a bunch of the ideas in your Numenera books with the much looser MinimalD6 rule set, which has spawned a bunch of other simple hacks. This post includes the MinimalD6 rules for play, but is written with the expectation that you’ll be able to draw on the lists of character options, creatures, and items from Numenera books (or come up with your own).
Choose Character Concept
“I’m an [adjective] [noun] who [verbs]”
Descriptors (the adjective) may be advantageous in limited circumstances. Examples: Calm, Charming, Clever, Creative, Graceful, Honorable, Impulsive, Inquisitive, Intelligent, Jovial, Kind, Mechanical, Mysterious, Perceptive, Spiritual, Stealthy, Swift, Tough, Vengeful, Weird.
Classes (the nouns) each have a list of specials to choose from, and some drawbacks they typically face. Whenever you have the option to choose a new special, you may instead cross off a drawback. Start with one special (or without one drawback) from your class. The classes are glaive (fighter), nano (magic-user), and jack (multiclass).
Foci (the verbs) have a list of specials just like classes. Start the game with one.
Specials marked with an asterisk are especially challenging. They are always performed at a disadvantage, or require taking 1 damage to use.
Glaive specials: weapons master, comfortable in armor, graceful when unarmored, no need for weapons, bash, pierce, lunge, trick shot, feint, snipe, spray, jump attack, parry, finishing blow*, spin attack*, carries an extra cypher (3), carries an extra cypher (4). Glaive drawbacks: inept with numenera
Nano specials: skilled with numenera, energy onslaught, force push, hedge magic, scan, stasis, adaptation, flash, hover, mind reading, barrier, sensor, true senses, invisibility*, mind control*, reshape*, teleportation*, control weather*, carries an extra cypher (4), carries an extra cypher (5). Nano drawbacks: inept with all weapons, inept in all armor (replace these when crossed out with “inept with all but light weapons” and “clumsy in all armor,” which can’t be removed)
Jack specials: skilled at [anything outside combat, can pick repeatedly], graceful without armor, bash, hedge magic, pierce, brute finesse, no need for weapons, force push, hover, energy onslaught, transdimensional weapon, feint, snipe, trick shot, true senses, invisibility*, mind control*, spin attack*, carries an extra cypher (3), carries an extra cypher (4). Jack drawbacks: inept with heavy weapons, clumsy in heavy armor
Focus specials: Here’s the part where you need the Numenera rule book. Use the foci in there, with the special ability names shown as specials. Some may need to be rephrased to make any sense at all (like how I added “force” to “push” to narrow down what “push” does, above). Some are more obvious, like how the “bears a halo of fire” focus could have specials like “hurl fire,” “fiery hand of doom,” “fire blade,” and “flame servant.” Don’t worry about tier orders, but feel free to mark some with an asterisk (as noted above) if they sound pretty likely to get tiresome with repeated use, or would discourage players from using any other specials at all.
Record Other Characteristics
Attributes include Might, Speed, and Intellect, ranging from 1 to 6. Roll a d6 for each, or assign 1, 3, and 5 as you please. Higher is better. Having a high or low attribute might grant advantage or disadvantage to rolls.
Cyphers are single-use devices with seemingly magical effects. Glaives and jacks start able to carry 2 at once, and nanos start able to carry 3; add 1 every time you take the corresponding special.
Health starts at 5 for nanos, 6 for jacks, 7 for glaives.
Equipment includes one weapon the character is able to use (a light weapon for nanos and jacks, a light or heavy weapon for glaives), armor or clothing the character is able to use (clothing for nanos, light armor with 1 defense for jacks, light armor with 1 defense or heavy armor with 2 defense for glaives), and as many cyphers as the character can safely carry.
Level starts at 1.
How to Play
Rolling: Roll two 6-sided dice to do something you might fail at; you succeed if either die shows a 5 or 6. Roll only one die if you’re at a disadvantage, or up to three if you’re at an advantage from attributes, descriptor, or any specials.
Combat: Everyone takes turns describing what they do. When anyone attacks, they roll as indicated above. (Note: Your attribute only grants an advantage if it’s higher than an opponent’s attributes or difficulty level.) When an attack hits, it deals 1 damage by default for small, light weapons like daggers and slings, 2 damage for one-handed or medium-sized weapons like swords and bows, or 3 damage for two-handed, heavy weapons. If you roll multiple dice as part of your attack roll and you succeed with at least one die, you can use the result of one of the other dice for your damage instead of the weapon’s default damage if you want. In any case, subtract the target’s defense value from the damage dealt before subtracting whatever damage is left over from their health (0 without armor, 1 with light armor, 2 with heavy armor). At 0 health, a target is taken out.
Healing: Regain 1 health by resting. Each time you rest, it takes longer than the last time: several seconds, several minutes, an hour, several hours, a day, several days.
Advancement: Gain a level when the GM thinks it makes sense, probably after a major discovery or expedition. Gain a special from your class or focus when you gain a level.
Enemies: Feel free to use creatures with levels as indicated in Numenera, or assigning them their own attributes using levels and description as a guideline. Enemies have as many health points as their level, and roll as many damage dice as their level, taking only the highest result (or just use the damage rules as written above).
Conversion: If you use cyphers or artifacts directly from Numenera, try to approximate as best you can what they do. Anything that does damage should probably halve or quarter its damage value; anything that restores points to pools basically just restores health.
This is a fan work only and not officially endorsed by Monte Cook Games. References to Numenera rules texts are TM and © 2019 Monte Cook Games, LLC, used under the Monte Cook Games Fan Use Policy.