Numenera Saves Blogger or How I Learned to Relax and Focus My Adventure
For someone who was so hot and bothered about running Numenera I’m sorry to say that I haven’t… yet. As I gear up to start thinking about planning to running a game I’ve been casting about for advice, tools and magic bullets to get me started. I came across this blog and like others before it the main point was completely missed by me. Instead I’ve focused on a small portion which turned a little light on in my brain.
In his blog post Ed Gibbs describes how when his planned game night fell apart he used Numenera and an old adventure he had written to save the day. Great, good for you, buddy. His point was that having such on hand is a good idea. Sure, I can’t argue with that. Who’s arguing? Not me, that’s who.
What really caught my attention was the adventure which he described as “short… and not very good.” I read that and his description of the adventure and thought it sounded like a really good idea. Well, maybe not his adventure. I guess he isn’t great at describing things because heroes on hang-gliders fighting flying sathosh to save a small village doesn’t sound “not very good” to me.
It wasn’t the specific adventure that caught my attention. It was the short, focused nature of it. In comparison I find my own adventures overwrought and overblown. Not every adventure needs a crazy plot twist. Sometimes you can throw the players in a situation, give them an obstacle and just let things happen. In my experience players are their own plot twist and the less you try to artificially introduce your own the more room you’ll have for theirs.
Another advantage of this focused style of adventure is that for what seems like a majority of people completing a massive multi-year campaign just isn’t feasible. I certainly haven’t been able to manage it. I don’t know if I’ve ever finished a campaign. I had a Dungeon World campaign that came really close but sputtered out just at the last moment. I might have even finished it if I hadn’t become so excited to run Numenera.
On to the practical part of the article: how to put this new idea into practice. I don’t want to give too many details but I plan to start my campaign in a specific part of the Steadfast with a specific problem effecting the people of the area. I will find out from my players what motivates the group and lay that out as my hook. Sure, it would be good to think as the game progresses what could be the root cause behind the specific problem and lay those seeds. However my “campaign” is going to begin and end with this one adventure. Any continuation will be optional and decided at the end of the proceedings.
Just one more read through the setting section of the corebook and it will be time to start writing out the adventure.
How about you? Do you like to run long, elaborate campaigns full of misdirection, mystery and murder? Perhaps the sound of a shorter campaign appeals to you? Let me know in the comments, especially if you have any experience running these kinds of short campaigns. You can also hit me up on Google+ or Twitter. In fact, I’m still looking for players for my Numenera campaign and I’m planning to run it via Google+ Hangouts so drop me a line if you are interested. I will likely blog about the adventure, either in advance, or following sessions, so be sure you’re subscribed to the blog to not miss out.
Numenera is a game by Monte Cook and is published by Monte Cook Games. The art used in this article is used according to Monte Cook Games’ Fan Use Policy and in TM and Copyright 2014 Monte Cook Games, LLC. I want to point out how much I appreciate how Monte Cook Games enables fans to use their art while maintaining the necessary control over their IP.