The game system itself is designed to be quick and easy for beginners, while offering additional complexity for those who desire it. To start with, character creation involves making three basic choices. The three features you choose combine to create a unique, well-rounded character. Players wanting the ability to configure their character more completely have that option as well.
First you choose one of three types:
- Glaives are the warriors of the Ninth World. Glaives can wear heavy armor and wield massive weapons, or they can fight with light weapons and armor so they can move quickly.
- Nanos are wizard-like characters who harness the numenera to work miracles. These miracles, called esoteries, walk the line somewhere between machine and magic, depending on the Nano’s particular skillset.
- Jacks are named after jacks-of-all-trades. They have a lot of tricks in their bags, which makes them skilled at a little bit of everything.
Second, you choose from a number of descriptors like clever, tough, strong-willed, or mystical.
Third you choose a focus, which really distinguishes your character. These can vary from crafting illusions to becoming a master of a single weapon, from wielding magnetism to being a great leader.
These three choices help shape your character, providing not only abilities and skills but also possibilities for interesting backgrounds and unique bonds with the other player characters. In other words, at every step of the way, the story is as important as the mechanics.