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Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 01:07 AM
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Numenera: Solitary Excursions

Game Title
A Solitary Excursion
Solo game(s) run by Aeternis using Monte Cook's Numenera
Reopened! closes November 4.
The Creature in GlassThe night's storm, as predicted by the village's resident Aeon Priest, had been fierce and violent. All night, the winds had howled and clawed at the sturdy brick and stone buildings clustered around the town's life-giving harbor, and grey waves, lit fitfully by bright tongues of lightning, crashed onto the pebbly beach, battering the slips where the town's fishing boats would have been stored on any other night. This night, however, with the timely warning of the priest, the villagers had moved their vessels well inland, and the only things in the path of the storm's fury were a few empty sheds and the all but indestructible chrome-walled lighthouse at the harbor mouth.

Dawn broke grey but calm, and barely a ripple disturbed the water from shore to the western horizon. Between the village and that horizon, though, something quite strange had appeared, blown in on the storm's wild gale. Blocking the mouth of the harbor, a monstrous piece of floatsam lay mired in the shallows. Longer than all eight of the village's fishing boats laid end to end, the perfect cylinder of clearsynth could have almost contained the town's sturdy lighthouse within itself. One end of the cylinder was capped with a metallic plug, like the lid of a titanic jar. Inside, a creature as big as any house in the town floated motionlessly. It wasn't quite aligned vertically - it seemed to have its own idea of "up" which was indifferent to gravitational pull.

right-aligned image
The commotion raised by the early-rising villagers who first beheld the gargantuan glass enclosure and its prisoner in turn roused the town's venerable Aeon Priest and the few travelers the town had given refuge from the oncoming storm. The priest, seeming unconcerned with the danger, soon hobbled out onto the breakwater, approaching the anomaly, and daring the visitors to follow.

The entrapped creature's huge, featureless head turned to briefly follow the priest's hobbling approach, but it seemed to quickly lose interest in him. Other than that it had a definite head, the creature was difficult to classify. Below its bulbous cranial mass, the entity had a smallish body, from which hung with a number of appendages, some jointed like an arthropod's and some ropy and fluid like a squid's. The lack of sensory features and its coloration - an oily grey-black that seemed to push back against even the muted colors of beach and waves - made it apparent that the creature was not native to the shore on which it had landed.

A closer look at the massive glass-like habitat revealed that it was divided by interior walls of the same transparent material. The creature occupied a sealed-off space within the cylinder comprising only about a third of the total length, bordered on one side by the thick, metallic plug, and on the other by a bulkhead of some sort near the device's midline. The space beyond that bulkhead was a confusing jumble of smaller, thinner barriers, all transparent and refracting the light of the morning sun into a thousand rainbows.

As the priest approached as close to the cylinder as he could while keeping his feet dry, the creature's slight restless motions ceased. It wasn't facing him, but it seemed he had its attention.

"Greetings!" The old priest eventually called out, waving to the creature. If he was nervous, he was doing a good job of not showing it. "Do you need assistance?"

The entity did not speak, but a subtle change in the motion of its body suggested it had heard the question,

"Do you need help..." The priest made a wide pushing motion toward the sea. "Getting back to sea?" He had, it seemed, concluded that the enclosure was not a prison, but a vehicle, though the onlookers could see no reason for this conclusion. Perhaps it was merely an excuse for not offering to try to open the glass cylinder and release the creature within.

The creature became very still for several seconds, then drifted closer to the wall of its enclosure. Its expressionless head seemed to be gazing not the Aeon Priest who had addressed it, but instead the onlookers standing on shore. Despite seeming not to have its attention, the priest stumbled and fell to his knees, and it was several seconds before he pulled himself back to his feet.

"It wants... a volunteer." The priest announced shakily, half-turning to address the villagers and visitors clustered behind him. "For some sort of unspecified service. I was deemed not suitable."

The onlookers murmured restlessly among themselves. A volunteer for what, some asked? And what would the titanic creature do if it was denied?
 
About this GameI am looking for one player to play in a Numenera solo game, or possibly two with a joint application.

I do not have a lengthy plot teaser or foreshadowing for this advertisement, because I wish to tailor my plot plans to the player and character I eventually pick to play with. That does not mean this is a sandbox game - it isn’t. There will be a plot, but I can't exactly tease it if I'm going to adapt my plans based on the character(s) I take on. There are several plot threads I am considering that start at the scene presented, and what character I have to work with will help me choose which one(s) to use (or whether to create some new ones), and how to approach them. To some extent, the application process revolves around applicants telling me what sort of plot they want.

Plot themes that appear in every Numenera game include exploration and learning. Your character constantly finds new things to learn about in the world, be it strange, mutated plants, gleaming, incomprehensible artifacts, or alien visitants. Depending on the character and thus the plot, this game could take on elements of Lovecraftian monsters might or might not drive your character mad.cosmic horror, Certain things might force unasked-for transformations or mutations on a characterbody horror, Heist adventures and the likepicaresque, Noble warrior riding out to find the one relic that can break the curse and rescue his true love, etc, etc.high fantasy, Your character might end up on the battlefield in one of many border wars between kingdomswarfare, sleuth activity - this might include chasing human criminals or sinister, Lovecraftian goings-oninvestigation, Repairing and operating an ancient spacecraft and using it to explore distant worlds, getting lost in a maze of star portals and trying to find your way back home, etc.space opera, and more.
About You, the ApplicantThe requirements for this game are as follows:
  1. You haven't played in one of my games before, and I haven't played in any of yours. Bonus points if we've never played together in any context, but if we've been co-players in someone else's game and you're far and away the best app, I'm okay with that.
  2. You are probably a more recently joined site member, perhaps in the last year. This is not a requirement, but I have had the best solo game results with newer members, historically. I am not sure why this is, but I'm not going to question it.
  3. You appreciate the relative freedom of a solo game and the deeply strange possibilities of the Ninth World appeal to you. Perhaps you had Numenera on your radar for a while but were just needing an excuse to try it, or perhaps this is the first time you've heard of it, and are interested in learning a new system.
  4. You tend to be a "quality over quantity" poster who makes reading your posts rewarding and believe that the narrative aspects of RPGs should take precedence over the rules aspects when the two conflict. You can roll with the unexpected in-game and even hit back with sometimes unexpected but deeply characteristic responses and actions.
  5. You write the application that best fits my preferences as a GM among those complete when I close this advertisement, on Saturday, Nevember 4, 2017 at 10:00PM PST. (About 15 days after this is bumped to the top of Games Seeking Players.?) after it appears in Games Seeking Players.
Application FormatThe following sections should appear in your application.

Descriptive Sentence: A sentence of the form "{NAME} is a {DESCRIPTOR} {CHARACTER TYPE} who {FOCUS}". This sentence represents your high level mechanical choices in the Cypher system - Character Type, Descriptor, and Focus are all choices which influence both character lore and mechanics.

Mechanical Strengths: A phrase or at most a sentence describing your character’s capabilities during an adventure. For example, “strong, durable warrior” or “nature-savvy mystic” would do nicely. I don’t want a paragraph here. After you complete this section, you can stop thinking about mechanics for a while. No mechanical details should appear in any part of the application below this point.

First Impression: Come up with a paragraph or two describing your character. This section includes both appearance and personality details. Be specific and try to avoid using hedged contradictions. A Character portrait is optional, I encourage you to provide one if you have a good one. A good portrait will help your app, but a bad one will count against you.

Character Lore: A brief blurb about your character’s life to date, where it is relevant to any future plot. 1-3 paragraphs should about do it - you can expand as the game progresses if you’re accepted. Don’t pad this - really focus on details you think would be relevant to my plot planning.

Plot Suggestions: Because I am recruiting for a solo adventure, the nature of the character to some extent drives the plot. Please provide some hints (bullet points or a paragraph) about what sorts of plot elements, adventure hooks, or story arcs would fit your character the best. You can also note any setting details you'd like to see explored, any places you would like to have your character go, etc. I can’t promise I’ll use all of your suggestions, of course, but this is your opportunity to tell me what you think your character would be best suited to doing.

Finish the Scene: This part is the meat of your application. Finish the scene I opened the post with (The section titled "The Creature in Glass"). What happens next is entirely up to you, within reason. What does the creature want? What makes a person a suitable volunteer? What will volunteering entail?

This particular solo game hook was created with the Numenera "Into the Night
Into the Deep
Into the Outside
Into the..." expansions in mind, though it doesn't necessarily have to lead to a game that uses them. You don't need to own those expansions to play a Numenera game using them - they're setting guides with material for the GMs to use - but if you have ever picked one of these books up and like the idea of one of the places or things you saw there, by all means incorporate it here. Similarly, while I have some preconceived ideas about what the Creature might be and what it's doing, I will adjust what I have to match your scene if the details contradict.
 
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Last edited by Aeternis; Oct 23rd, 2017 at 12:20 PM.
  #2  
Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 10:42 AM
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I played in a very short tabletop Numenera game a few years ago; it was extremely enjoyable. Unfortunately, I don't own the book.
  #3  
Old Mar 22nd, 2017, 08:00 PM
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Looks interesting
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Old Mar 23rd, 2017, 11:31 PM
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Were-Xeno-Cthulhumorph?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2017, 11:36 PM
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If you can find a descriptor and focus for that, I'll allow it. Except I'm in one of your games, and you've been in several of mine, so you'll have to pass that idea off to someone else.
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 09:10 AM
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Descriptive SentenceLexana is a Learned Jack who Explores Dark Places

Mechanical StrengthsGifted amateur explorer

First ImpressionLexana is a wide-eyed girl with a head filled to bursting with stories of adventure and a life long desire to make some of her own. She is delicate of build, short of stature, and quick of wit; being barely more than five feet tall and always eager to share her prodigious wordly "knowledge". She is at once both highly educated, and astonishingly naive, as despite her learning she lacks the common sense to be able to reliably separate fact from fiction. Her mousey blond hair is as short and unruly as her temper (though her hair is arguably the more attractive of the two), and her choice of clothing demonstrates a belief that more is definitely more (at least where pockets, pouches, and straps are concerned). She loves calyptors, repairing broken things, and the colour teal. She hates being told she cannot do something, losing things, and sitting down for too long.

Character LoreLexana was born twenty-three summers ago. Her father, Taris, is a tinkerer by trade, a gifted inventor and repairer with a steady business buying whatever he can from scavengers and selling to people from all walks of life; from tools and tricks for the scavengers, to novelties for aristocrats. Her mother, Yana, was one such scavenger, who made a living delving into the lost spaces of the Ninth World with her many companions until she retired when this business relationship became much more.

When Lexana was only ten years old, her mother contracted a mysterious wasting illness after handling a contaminated artifact. Yana's death was slow and painful, but she left behind a carefully handwritten book detailing the many adventures that her daughter had loved to hear at bed time. This book became the young girl's most prized possession. After Yana's death, some old friends took an interest in the girl and over time, Noore and Dell provided even more stories to add to the tome.

But there are still many blank pages left to fill and Lexana has always dreamed of filling them with her own tales. Taris disapproved of Lexana's wonderlust, which over time has soured their relationship.

Now "grown up" (at least in her own opinion), Lexana has left her father's workshop behind. On his bench she left a note, and a small box. The note explained what, in his heart, Taris already knew; that Lexana had to see the world for herself, and find her own stories. The box contained a small and opalescent, egg-shaped mechanism attached to a long silver chain. The note also explained that Lexana had with her a matching pendant. The two stones share the peculiar property of feeling to the touch, the same temperature as their counterpart. Lexana promised she would return, and until then she would wear her pendant so that her father would always know that she was alive and well. Conversely, she hoped that he would do the same.

Plot Suggestions> Finding people suffering from the same wasting illness as her mother
> Her father's pendant growing cold (trouble at home?)
> Losing her own pendant somehow
> Coming into contact with people who knew her mother
> Noore / Dell not who (or what) they seem
> Discovering that the stories she has do not paint a full picture (deliberately misleading / incomplete / protecting from darker elements)
> Any locations, although I would expect her to try and track down some of the locations mentioned in her stories.

Finish the SceneEventually, the mechanist noticed his guest and extracted himself from the machine. Shoving a complex eyepiece up and out of the way with one grimy, lubricant-stained hand, Garrot squinted at the travel-worn figure in the shadowy margin of the orrery enclosure. “You’re back.” He observed gruffly, voice echoing in the arched room. “I hope you’ve had some success. The grand procession is the day after tomorrow, and the Empress will have my head if the Orrery isn’t ready by then.”

Caught by the allure of the familiar blue-green model, a single exploratory digit was drawn irresistibly towards the miniature planet. At the sound of Garrot's voice she snatched back the offending probe and clenched her hands behind her back, shifting her weight from side to side uneasily whilst avoiding his suspicious gaze.

"The altar was right where you said it would be. But you never mentioned anything about it being guarded! I barely made it out alive!", Lexana replied with indignance. It was hard to tell, but perhaps there were a few more holes in the girl's garments than when she had first presented herself to him.

"Yes, yes.", Garrot replied impatiently. "What did you expect? That the ruins of the Arnuth Sanctum would be entirely abandoned? If that was the case it would have been picked clean by scavengers decades ago. Now, did you manage to retrieve anything suitable for powering the orrery, or not?".

"Of course! I've got it right here.", Lexana reached into one of the pouches hanging from her belt and her eyes widened with shock as her hand emerged from a fist-sized hole. "Um. I've got it here somewhere!", she said with feigned confidence, but the frantic search that followed was not in the least reassuring.

"You do realise how important that power supply is? Without it the Grand Orrery is little more than a grand pile of scrap metal!"

Lexana did not look up. She dropped the ragged pack from her back and unceremoniously dumped the contents onto the floor. Half-eaten packets of food, tools, scraps of wire and other less immediately identifiable pieces of junk were soon scattered all around her like a ring of debris surrounding a manic planet.

"Ah ha! Exactly where I thought it would be.", she exclaimed, thrusting her hand triumphantly into the air and causing the apple-sized orb to fly straight out of her grease slicked fingers. The greenish pulsing orb went arcing through the mechanical solar system. Garrot quickly ducked behind the great central sphere whilst Lexana sprinted off on an intercept course, her eyes fixed firmly on the now rapidly descending item. "I've got iiiiiiit", she yelled as one foot came down on a small collection of moons which had been carefully arranged in size order, ready to be affixed to the machine.

Lexana careened across the marble floor and landed on her back with a loud thump, just in time for the artifact to fall onto her stomach where it came to rest.

"I believe this is what you were looking for?".
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Last edited by mrBumbry; Mar 28th, 2017 at 11:50 AM.
  #7  
Old Mar 24th, 2017, 09:20 AM
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I'm interested in this but have 0 knowledge of the system. I'll gladly apply but will take me a while to fully post it.
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Old Mar 24th, 2017, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrBumbry View Post
Sounds intriguing! I'll be back with a character concept.
Interested to see what you come up with. Let me know if you have questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruney View Post
I'm interested in this but have 0 knowledge of the system. I'll gladly apply but will take me a while to fully post it.
Coming into this with knowledge of the system is not required, provided you have enough access to the rules to complete character creation. I've got a workable reference for the Cypher system that covers most things required for day to day gameplay.
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Last edited by Aeternis; Mar 24th, 2017 at 12:09 PM.
  #9  
Old Mar 24th, 2017, 01:05 PM
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I know Cypher and the Strange and have been itching to try out Numera so I will try and get something up by the deadline.
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 04:31 PM
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One thing I should mention but which isn't in the ad (though it will be shortly) is that, since this is a solo game, I don't necessarily need to autogenerate your starting numenera. Usually, a GM randomly generates or selects characters' starting cyphers and oddities after character creation, but for a solo game, I am willing to bend that rule. If you want your character to start with a specific cypher or oddity (or more than one) that is related to character plot elements, that will be fine.
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Old Mar 27th, 2017, 07:58 PM
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My original plan was (and is still is) to close this ad late Friday night (An exact GMT time and date of the currently planned closure is listed in the ad itself.?). I probably still will, as this is an ad for a solo game, unless I'm given good reasons to do otherwise. Light turnout for Cypher ads is pretty much what I expected (The lack of an SRD really hurts the system's online adoption, I suspect), so at this time I have no plans to extend the schedule.
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  #12  
Old Mar 28th, 2017, 10:26 AM
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I'm going to retract my (unwritten) app. I don't think I will be able to keep up with the level of detail you want, hope you find someone awesome though
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Old Mar 29th, 2017, 11:52 PM
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That's all right, Pruney. Happy gaming out there, I hope you find the game you're looking for.

Anyone else want to come along and challenge mrBumbry's quite solid application? There are a couple of days left.
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Old Oct 20th, 2017, 12:07 PM
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This game has been reopened - check the advertisement post at the top of the thread for the new "finish the scene" prompt, and revised wording in general.

I am hoping to select a new solo game participant by November 4, 2017.
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  #15  
Old Oct 20th, 2017, 06:15 PM
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I have no experience with this system but exploratory games in beautifully written settings is my jam. I’m also really interested in a solo game so expect an application in the next few days.
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