Last week I posted about the two GM and six to twelve player Numenera adventure I put together and ran with Troy Pichelman. This week I'm bringing you all of the notes, encounters, character sheets, and table tents that we used to run the game. If any of you run this, or put something together that's inspired by it, tell me about it. I'm really curious to see if anyone gives this a shot, and I'd be more than happy to answer questions and chat about it if anyone wants to.
You can download The Idealizer to get all of the character sheets, table tents, and text. You can also read through it here.
A Numenera adventure for two GMs and six to twelve players. Created by Dave Hanlon and Troy Pichelman.
Running The Idealizer with two GMs
This adventure is going to be different than most other adventures you may have read through in the past. We put this adventure together with the intent of having two game masters and two groups. The two groups represent two different versions of the same characters, and they are from different dimensions. During the course of the adventure, characters will be swapped, the groups will get mixed together, and they will ultimately face a difficult (or not so difficult) decision.
We recommend having at least six players, and topping out at twelve. You’re also going to need another game master with whom you can work with. At times you’re going to be running the game together, so it’s good to have an understanding of who will be running what.
This adventure will be broken out into two sections which will be referred to by their appropriate group. One group will be the flawed characters who are kind of dysfunctional; this group is referred to as the Flawed Group. The other group is the better version of those characters and are referred to as the Ideal Group. At times during the adventure the groups will interact. Those interactions will be noted and located in their own section of the adventure.
We’ve structured this like the Instant Adventures, but with far less detail. Our GMing style is to roll with what the players are into, and make difficulties up as we go along. We’ve used the structure here to guide things along, and the Dimensional Shifts as the events we need to get to.
Setting up the Groups
Split your players up randomly into two groups. Send one of your groups to their room, then have the other group select their characters. The characters that are selected are the characters that will be available for the other group to choose from.
For example, you split your six players up into two groups of three then have the Ideal Group select their characters. If they choose Bird Staco, Veland, and Xyzzy, then those are the only characters the Flawed Group will be able to choose from.
Dealing with an Odd Number of Players
If you have an odd number of players, there’s an easy solution for you. Split the groups up randomly, then have the group with the extra player select their character first. Those will determine the characters the other group can choose from, as normal. The character that is not selected will then be dead for the small group. When somebody notices that their dead friend is alive just tell the group that the character had died on one of their previous adventures and let them fill in the details.
Table Tents and Character Portraits
The table tents have character portraits on them, as do the character sheets. This is specifically to help players assume that their characters look the same as their counterparts in the other group. When you start doing the dimensional shifts this visual cue will help the players roll with the change rather than getting hung up on it and getting paranoid.
The Flawed Group Adventure
An ancient facility is activated and begins replacing the characters with better copies of themselves from another dimension.
The Idealizer is an ancient facility from a previous world that has a very peculiar function. It is able to comb through countless parallel dimensions, locate someone’s perfect version in one of them, then bring that perfect version into this reality and replace the flawed version. Over the millennia the facility has fallen into disrepair, though it is still functional.
The group found their way into the bowels of the facility and one of them managed to activate it. The Idealization process was started and the adventure picks up with the group realizing that things are beginning to activate around them. There is a massively powerful creature stalking them through the facility, and they witness its power in another dimension. This threat should sufficiently motivate any group interested in self-preservation to find their way out of the complex.
The flawed group will make their way through the abandoned complex via maintenance tunnels, or empty corridors. On their way through one of their members will change subtly. They will also get ahold of information that helps them understand the purpose of the facility.
Eventually, the flawed group will encounter their ideal group in a security room. Once the groups activate the security protocols they will be able to exit and enter an escape pod. Once half of the group enters the pod it will jettison and potentially leave the groups mixed.
On their escape pod the mixed Flawed Group will meet Hebd, a Jack who has been trapped in the facility for a long time. Hebd is more than happy to talk with the group, but if there are any pairs together in the group he will be rather apprehensive. Before the pod ride comes to an end, Hebd will produce an artifact he has been using to avoid the creature in the facility. If he isn’t stopped he will activate the artifact and slip into another dimension, though he will eventually get pulled back to this one.
The escape pod takes the group to a security scanning room where a Dimensional Husk created by Hebds from other dimensions is waiting for them. This is a mostly mindless creature and will attack the party.
Once through the security room, the Flawed Group will once again be reunited with the rest of the characters. This final room is the last defense against allowing paradoxes to escape the facility. There is a capsule in the middle of the room that is large enough for one person to enter. Once inside, the capsule will scan the person to make sure releasing him or her won’t allow a paradox to leave. If the scan succeeds a button will light up which will complete the process and teleport the person out while their copy will begin to fade away.
The Idealizer is working on replacing the Flawed Group PCs with the Idealized Group PCs.
Hebd can provide the PCs with information about the facility if they need it.
The creature shows up to keep the PCs moving forward. Don’t have the creature fight, use it as a GM Intrustion to have bad things happen.
The facility in this dimension looks like an abandoned high tech structure.