Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 5, 2013.

Update #22

Updated our Journal (22): Creatively Crafting Crises

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TL;DR: Info about Numenera books and the Wasteland 2 Beta; area design process; crafting system design; a design concept we’re calling Crises.

Hi Forgotten Ones,

We have a lot to talk about today. It’s been a very productive summer and we’ve been making great progress on the writing and design. Colin, Adam, and I will fill you in on some of what we’ve been up to. But first, you may be aware that since the last update, Monte Cook Games has officially released the Numenera Corebook, which contains both the tabletop system and the description of the Ninth World—the setting for Torment. We’d like to congratulate Monte Cook and team on the successful launch of their system! Follow Monte Cook Games and read about their future plans via Monte’s blog.

The Numenera pen and paper Player’s Guide and Corebook have been shipping to eligible Torment backers since mid-August, and Monte Cook Games (MCG) informs us all packages have shipped. If you are eligible for the physical books (physical tiers $250 and up) and provided your address before our initial deadline, your books should have arrived by now for US backers, and should arrive for international backers within the next week or two. If you forgot to provide your address before the deadline, no problem, simply register here using your Kickstarter email, fill in your address, and we will get you in on an upcoming shipment. 

If you backed on the digital tiers $75 or $125 and up, you should have received your digital Player’s Guide and (if eligible) Corebook by now. If you did not receive your code by email, or have any questions about the book shipment, please read this update from MCG.

Some Words on Writing

Colin McComb: I have a few updates for you all on our assorted creative fronts. We’ve talked before about some of our process for developing the areas in our game, but this seems like a good opportunity to provide a little more detail. Warning: this first bit is straight process; I’ll get into the creative side afterward.

We’re building a scaffold that allows us to drill down quickly into particular areas of the story, which in turn allows us to define areas more rapidly. The foundational documents for this are, of course, the story summary and the longer-form story doc (which I’ve just redrafted to accommodate our last several months of decisions).

From these, we break the story down into a number of Stages. Each Stage has a number of Zones, which are broad collections of Areas (for instance, the Bloom is a Zone, with a number of smaller Areas attached to it). When we want to prep the Zone for design, I’ll write up a Zone Design Constraints (ZDC) document that covers our goals for the Zone, any particular constraints we have for it, the critical path and story events that must happen there, a descriptive summary in prose that helps define how the Zone should look, act, smell, and behave, a list of level design constraints that define the architecture and characters in the level, and any assets the Zone Designer must use in creating the Zone. (I realize that we don’t actually have “smell” in the game, but thinking about how a place smells really does help focus the description of how the place looks.)

Once the Zone Designer receives this, she’ll write back to me with any questions, comments, or concerns, and when I’ve addressed those, she’ll get to work on creating a Zone Brief (ZB). This is a high-level summary of what’s happening in the area, with quest definitions, encounter outlines, Crisis ideas (more on those below), and a variety of NPCs and other interesting things going on. We review it and look for ways to improve it; we don’t want to spend too much time on review, but it’s important for us all to be focused on delivering the same experience. Once everyone’s satisfied that it meets their expectations, we pass it back to the Zone Designer for an even-more-definitive take: the Zone Design Document (ZDD), which will have all the information artists and scripters need to implement the area.

George Ziets turned over an excellent Zone Brief and is now working on Crisis design and the ZDD. Meanwhile, Shanna Germain and Tony Evans are working on ZBs. It’s our hope that Shanna’s relative newness to the CRPG process will help us iron out the complexities in our preliminary documentation, and that Tony’s depth of experience will help us create a stronger definitions for our requirements. They’ve both been asking very good questions, and I’m confident that we’re going to be impressed.

So that’s the process. Pretty dry, right?

The truth is: it’s not. At all. This is an evolving framework that provides a structure for the creative work, and that’s where the fun really is.

Shanna’s got strong character design skills (and you might check out The Lure of Dangerous Women sometime; it’s very Planescape-y) and her role as the lead editor for Numenera puts her in a unique position to bring some serious Ninth World flavor into our game.

Tony is... well, he’s Tony, and that means that he comes to the world with a truly unique perspective and a lot of outrageous ideas. If you follow him on Twitter, you’ve seen his daily tweets of humorous game concepts.

An example of the fun stuff: a short time ago I mentioned that I was researching the rate of human decomposition, because George and I were having a discussion about some of our cults and how long the bodies might retain some of our “essential” nutrients. Then Tony asked if we could maybe have an ongoing siege mentality in a certain area, leading to widespread cannibalism (my answer: probably not. For narrative reasons, not because I discriminate against cannibals). And when I suggested that he base a group of villains on the cover of Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules, he leapt at the idea. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.

About the Companions

We’re tweaking, nudging, and adjusting the companions even now. One of our initial companion ideas has been changed to a major NPC role, replaced with another concept that better serves the narrative and party dynamic. Also, Chris Avellone turned in a proposal for his companion, and as you might expect, the companion has so much excellent potential for the game that we’re thinking of... well, I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say this particular companion is really cool and effortlessly overturns one of the tropes of RPG companions. Which is to say: it’s great, and fits nicely into our roster.

Speaking of which, I put together a starting relationship chart for our companions. You can have up to three in your party at a time and they’ll all make their appearances fairly early in the game. We’ve been thinking about how they’ll interact with the Last Castoff and each other and talking about ways to improve the party’s overall dynamic... and, of course, ways to make the companions’ relationships with one another more compelling. We want to keep the process organic, rather than systematic, so having this starting point on how the characters interact will help push creativity and drive some narrative decisions further down the road.

For instance, we don’t want to have the Cold Jack simply count the number of times you’ve disagreed with her in dialogue before she suddenly becomes a (bigger) jerk. We want to have her relationship with you evolve. Perhaps she and another companion have important matters that they need your help with right away—and if you pick his over hers, she’ll remember that... and that will impact your interactions with her later in your story. Regardless of your relationship with your companions, during combat you’ll have complete control over them. But whether they stay by your side throughout your journey may be a different matter.

From the Depths Novellas

The Gold and Silver novellas are largely complete. Adam’s (Gold) has gone around for wide internal review and the feedback has all been very positive. I just received the final draft of Mur Lafferty’s Silver novella, and I’m looking forward to reading it over the next few days. Ray Vallese is working on the second draft of the Indigo novella and should be done by the end of the month. Tony Evans turned in a strong first draft of the Blue novella, and if I hadn’t saddled him with some zone design just a week before turning the critique over to him, he’d be close to done with that as well.

Nathan Long, who apparently has some other game that he’s working on (you might have heard of it—Wasteland 2), sent the first draft of the Red novella last weekend. Now that I’ve finished the major redraft of the story doc, I’ve got time to read it. And given how much I’ve loved his other work, I’m excited to see what he’s come up with.

The great thing about these novellas is that they’re helping us to build our world, and you’ll see the aftermath of some of these stories in the game. They’re helping to define our Tides. A designer can delve into Ray’s story, for instance, to find answers to their questions about what it means to focus on the Indigo Tide—we’re getting a broad range of behavior defined through these stories.

So we’re having some subtle and not-so-subtle connections between the game world and these stories. You won’t need to read the books to "get" the game, but I guarantee that you’ll want to. This is some good writing. We’ll be printing and shipping the limited edition books with the game, but the digital editions will be available sometime next year (including to those who are getting the physical version). You’re in for a real treat!

Congratulations, Mur!

Speaking of good writing, remember back in Update 13 when we mentioned that Mur Lafferty was nominated for the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer? She told me that of course she wouldn’t win, and given the excellent competition I thought that while she had a good chance, it would be a tough fight. Well, I’m proud to congratulate Mur here on her victory – she IS the Campbell Award Winner for 2013, and it’s well deserved. I hope you’ll congratulate her as well, and maybe consider her book, “The Shambling Guide to New York City”, so that you can see why she won.

Colin out.

Crafting

Adam Heine: One of the things I've been working on this past while is our crafting system (which was part of the $4.25M Stretch Goal). The Numenera game, and the Ninth World in particular, is uniquely suited to crafting. Heck, when you categorize the numenera by origin, all but the first are examples of crafting:

1. Scavenged: Discovered and/or identified items.
2. Cobbled: Two or three parts joined together to make something new.
3. Bonded: Like cobbled, but handcrafted to look like a real device. Some even come with a name or instructions.
4. Fashioned: Unique items made from scratch, usually by studying the numenera for years. The rarest of the four types.

Our crafting system (as of this writing, and subject to change based on future design decisions, your feedback, etc.) will primarily deal with cobbled items – although bonded items might make it in, and certain NPCs may fashion numenera for you. Our goal with crafting is to be engaging rather than tedious, to have an aspect of puzzle-solving as opposed to simple recipe-following.

We're leveraging our item design, and thus also crafting, to support both the narrative and gameplay. I'll focus on the system itself for now. Here's the basic idea. There are items, which include both mundane objects and numenera relics. Most items are useful by themselves, but some are components that can be assembled with other items to confer additional effects, or disassembled to use the components elsewhere.

For example, you may have a disruptor device (component) that, when attached to a sword, adds +10 damage whenever it is activated. Or you have a bounder crystal (component) that, when attached to armor, teleports anyone who strikes the wearer; when attached to a weapon, it randomly teleports the target a certain distance away when they're hit; when attached to ordinary gloves, it enables this ability on an unarmed punch.

But the relics of the prior worlds are not so easily understood. That disruptor device might have been a sparkplug for an unimaginably complicated transdimensional engine, or the bounder crystal might have been some kind of child's toy (why would a child play with such a thing? That's the fundamental mystery of the Ninth World). The point is, you can never fully understand this stuff, and although you can figure out enough to make it work for you, there will almost always be unintended side effects and quirks.

Side effects is our term for semi-predictable consequences. The specific combination of items and components—based on what they do and what they're made of—determines what side effects a device acquires. For example (remember these are just for illustration purposes and may not represent actual, final side effects):

  • You add a biological grip to a mundane sword (perhaps a severed hand that grasps your wrist when you use the weapon, giving you +1 on attack rolls). You also add the disruption device from the earlier example. But the disruption device has a side effect with biological material, causing 1 damage to the user whenever you activate the disruption device. The result is a sword that gives you +1 to attack rolls all the time, but when you also activate the device, it does +10 damage to the target and 1 damage to you. The damage to you is a side effect caused by the combination of two components.
  • You wear a Suspensor Belt which negates gravity enough to give you a +1 Speed Edge. You try cobbling the bounder crystal (from the earlier example) to the belt, so that when someone strikes you, they will be teleported a certain distance away. The belt tweaks gravity, and the crystal uses teleportation. One side effect is that when these two effect types are combined, it increases the potency of the teleportation effect. Now when someone strikes you, they are teleported twice as far away as they would be normally.
  • You have an artifact that summons imp-like creatures when activated. You attach it to your azure steel body armor to see what it will do. It does nothing special, but you leave it cobbled together (because disassembling items has a risk of failure, because you can still use the device, and because it actually saves space in your inventory since the artifact is now part of your armor). But the transdimensional nature of the artifact has a side effect when combined with the otherworldly azure steel material, and now whenever you summon the imps to attack your enemies, additional insect-like creatures are summoned that attack everyone in sight (friend, foe, or imp).

Through lore skills or trial and error, you can eventually determine beneficial combinations, or at least combinations that work for your character build and/or the particular device you've put together.

Quirks, on the other hand, are random, unpredictable, and sometimes detrimental. A quirk might cause the device to make a loud noise everytime it's used; or cause the device to graft onto the user's body, so the character can't unequip it until it has been disassembled (also making disassembly more difficult); or it might occasionally knock down all characters within a set range, whether friend or foe; or strange fish appear in the air and swim around you, harmless, but killed by area effects.

A device can acquire a quirk when it is assembled. The chances of acquiring a quirk are increased by the quantity and power of the items you are trying to combine. The chances are decreased with training in the appropriate skills, access to good crafting tools and/or workstations, and applying the Numenera concept of Effort. An inexperienced, untrained character could slap a component onto their mundane sword with only a small chance of a Quirk appearing, but if the same character tried to cobble three components onto a piece of transdimensional armor, they'd find the resulting hack had one Quirk for sure and maybe even two (assuming they were able to successfully assemble it at all, of course).

This is just the beginning of crafting design, of course. We have a lot of details to hammer out and a LOT of balancing to do, but that's the idea we're working with. We hope the end result is not only fun but also emphasizes the strangeness of the Ninth World.

This system also suggested to us some ideas for item identification. We're thinking there might be different levels of identification, including (but not limited to):

1. Basic identification (item description, properties, effects, etc.)
2. Identify Side Effects after two items have been assembled
3. Identify Quirks after two items have been assembled
4. Identify which two items/components caused a specific Side Effect
5. Identify Side Effects before you assemble two components

This system implies that you can use an item even though you aren't aware of all its effects. That means you can cobble a device together using two identified components and see the main effects of your cobbled device, but maybe not the Side Effects or Quirks, but these Side Effects and Quirks would still happen. Furthermore, when you first use the device, you would get a bonus on identifying it, giving you a chance to learn more about the device (like identify those Side Effects or Quirks) through using it.

And if you can use cobbled devices without knowing what they do, then why not artifacts you find in the field? Well, you can! If you scavenge a piece of numenera armor, you can wear it even though you don't know what it does, and by wearing it you increase your chances of learning more about it.

Again, the paint is still very wet on this identification part (seriously, I just wrote the design document last week), so it's subject to change, but this is what we're thinking right now.

Adam out.

Crises

Kevin Saunders (again): I’d like to describe one of the gameplay concepts we are currently prototyping. We still have some more aspects to prove out and many details to work through, but we are excited enough about how it’s developing that I’d like to share it with you.

The explanation is rather lengthy, even for a Torment Update, so we posted this five-page PDF summary about Crises, including a brief description of our prototype's design as an example.

Wasteland 2 Beta

Toward the end of the Torment Kickstarter, we announced access to the WL2 Beta as one of the add-ons. That day is fast approaching: we’ve announced that the WL2 Beta text will begin in October. If you pledged through Kickstarter and planned on specifying the $20 for the Wasteland 2 Beta add-on, please contact us through Kickstarter and let us know so that we can make sure you get hooked up. (If you pledged for the Wasteland 2 Beta through PayPal, then we already have you covered – you’ll receive an email notification about the beta when the time comes.) 

(You may be wondering why we haven’t yet implemented the ability to select your Kickstarter add-ons in the Torment account center. The web developer who created our system is a long-time inXile employee named Joby Bednar. If you’re thinking it would be odd for a small company like us to have a dedicated web developer, then you’d be right! Joby is also one of the area designers for Wasteland 2. (And, in fact, one of his areas won the “Level-Off” and was selected to be used for the demo at Gamescom last month.) So while we’re eager to take the account system all of the way, we’ve had to balance that with Joby’s critical work for Wasteland 2.)

You Too Can Be a Wasteland 2 Slacker Backer

Speaking of Wasteland 2, here's some gameplay footage including a glimpse of combat (18 minutes):

It’s still possible to become a slacker backer for a $25 pledge (or $250 for an autographed Collector’s Edition). We’ll be closing out these offers as we get closer to finalizing the game. Beta access is also still available for the moment. You can simultaneously secure Wasteland 2 and support Torment by pledging for it here (the Wasteland 2 add-ons are at the bottom). 

And if you’re a collector, you may be interested in obtaining a hand-numbered and signed print of the original Wasteland 1 cover. This is a one-time run of 500 high quality prints ($320, shipping included). 

In the News

We have been fairly quiet in the press as everyone is hard at work on Torment. Still, while visiting our studio for an in-depth series of articles on Wasteland 2, Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Nathan Grayson took a moment to talk with me and Brian Fargo about Torment and its writing process. Also, Chris Avellone talks about his entire career with RacketBoy on their 64th Podcast, including both Planescape: Torment and Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Not exactly news, but three of our writing team (Colin McComb, Chris Avellone, and George Ziets) have agreed to contribute to the Accursed tabletop RPG setting (for the Savage Worlds game system) as stretch goals. They're funded at $13K, with Colin coming in at $17K and Chris and George at $20K.

That’s it for now. Remember that if you’d like more frequent Torment news, you can follow us on tumblr.

Hope you all enjoyed your summers! Take care,

Kevin Saunders
Project Lead

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Ayse on September 30, 2013

      Great stuff! You totally sold me on Wasteland 2, even though I never played the first one. I was a little alarmed that the PayPal slacker-backer page didn't give me the option to write a comment, so I'm going to trust that you can connect that identity with my Kickstarter account. I figure you'll write to anyone who seems orphaned. Can't be easy managing 75,000 donators! Good luck to all of you!

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      Creator Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on September 30, 2013

      thx Brad - I'll check it out!!

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      Creator Nameless Knightshark on September 29, 2013

      Now, after having read the whole update and skimmed through the Numenera Core Book i am very curious about the cRPG implementation of the base rules.
      In particular, concepts like Edge, Effort, Stat pools, and 4-stage recovery (sounds great, btw!) seem key to Numenera mechanics on the one hand, but very "unusual" as classic cRPG mechanics on the other hand. They are key, because being able to invest different amounts of Effort appears as one of the main systems to distinguish characters. For instance, in combat base difficulty (=hitting chance) depends only on the enemy level and base damage is identical for all light, medium, and heavy weapons, respectively, and independent of PC level/tier/stats.
      Level differences come from the increased Edge and Effort value that, for instance, enable higher level characters to reduce hitting chance or increase damage output. Of course there are skills as well, but they seem to act mainly on top of these systems by including modifiers on stat pools and Edge values.

      Since the update mentions effort i presume it will be part of the game. But for a 1-1 implementation of Numenera rules this would mean that each attack and defense-move of each player controlled character would need to be micromanaged. Moreover, the player would need to keep track of all three stat pools for each character (i.e 12 pools in total for one PC and 3 companions) and manage the 4 stage recovery of each character's stat pools.

      Certainly there has to be some room for simplification, but i am really wondering how to translate the Numenera rules into a viable cRPG mechanic without making all characters feel mutually interchangeable. There simply doesn't seem to be anything in between Numenera and IE/ADnD mechanics. I can perfectly imagine that a 1-1 implementation of the Numenera rules with all the micromanagement would be a lot of fun, at least with a streamlined UI at hand. It's just that it would be very different from the classic IE experience, i guess. But, since "weird" seems to be the main Numenera descriptor anyway, why not? :)

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      Creator Rolan Storm on September 29, 2013

      Laughed when read 'corpse decomposition rate'. Impressive attention to detail. Everything looks very promising and interesting.

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      Creator Quantomas on September 28, 2013

      Fascinating document you have released about the CRISES there -- it would be amazing to have highly reactive environments and encounters like that.

      However, this design has one flaw. The different actions/skills/choices, as evident from the flow chart, all need definitions what can happen in which order, requiring a writer to give the script coherence, and because of the complexity growing exponentially with the number of different actions, effectively only so much can be done. Instead I'd highly recommend a dynamic system where each action/skill/choice is defined context-sensitively, i.e. everything can theoretically interact with each other but the context determines what will actually work. This way you could cover a much wider spectrum: actions, skills, the Tides, companion attitudes, artifacts you have crafted, random events, context-sensitive NPC behaviour and such can all form part of a living interactive space and react in nearly infinite ways. You'd need an AI to pull this off though. If I have a bit of free time and get around to it I could implement an AI that manages (similar to a GM) the entire context-sensitive interaction matrix and controls the flow of actions. If you are interested in this, please let me know.

      Either way I believe you are on the right track with the CRISES design to exceed the bar Planescape: Torment once set. Keep going!

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      Creator Bumvelcrowe on September 28, 2013

      Very exciting! My numenera corebook came today (mmmm, hardback!) and I'm trying hard not to drool all over it!

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      Creator pirx on September 28, 2013

      Now, that's an update...
      Having read only through roughly half of it, got to say that even the update(s) live up to the image of the game(s) you guys create. Touches on a few very interesting topics re game design.
      For example, trying to liven up relationships with NPCs and/or party members. Machine has only calculated, binary logic in the end anyway, so for me you can't really get away from it, no matter how you try. So I would rather go with a simplistic approach rather than an overly-complicated one. Should be easier to implement and more shall I say, honest with the gamer.
      The ability to have total control over the party in combat is another interesting matter. The Fallout system where Vic and Co were on their own was mighty funky (if explosive at times, but hey, it's Fallout!) and def. had it's charm. On the other hand, there are cases like Wizardry (No. 8 for me, sorry hardcore fans), where the ability to use every party member's full potential was quite amazing and a lot of gameplay (er, combat is pretty much most of the gameplay in W) relied on it. Or take for example another SirTech diamond JA. Have to add though, I've always found *computer* AD&D games' combat system rather boring.
      And I really look forward to how you will handle adding more materialistic substance to the dialogs/narrative (MI-style (s)words fighting, anyone?), if I of course understood correctly your intentions. This for me was the weaker point of PS:T, but understandable due to the games' nature. Hoping you can do smth about it - could really add another dimension to the gameplay.
      Now off to the rest of the humongous upd. By the way, Wasteland 2 Beta news are welcome.
      Cheers!

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      Creator Gavin | Waiting for WL2 on September 28, 2013

      Congrats, Mur! That is not a trivial award! :)

      Also, I love the part about not being discriminatory against cannibals. These are the little moments that bring us all together! :D

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      Creator Brad Warren on September 27, 2013

      @Nameless Knightshark and @Tobi - are you familiar with the Ninth World Hub: http://ninthworldhub.com/ that's definitely the Numenera RPG forum to start at

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      Creator Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on September 27, 2013

      Nameless Knightshark - if you find such a site let me know :) (Ruhrgebiet here!)

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      Creator Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on September 27, 2013

      You guys may have been quiet over the summer but what a productive last few months.

      So much to take in from the update; am going over the crisis pdf right now....very interesting reading.

      Also, very much looking forward to the physical Numenera corebook; will help to bring this backer up to speed with the Torment world.

      Keep up the great work!

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      Creator Steve Dozniak on September 27, 2013

      Hmm, I'm kinda ruined my Numenera Player Guide thingie, by registering a random account, redeeming it and then forgetting the account details.

      Do you think this can be reconciled and fixed somehow?

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      Creator Nameless Knightshark on September 27, 2013

      Yay, got my signed Numenera books yesterday and bought the ebook versions, too. Now i only need to find a local group of players (Munich, Germany). Are there any forums were i can look for groups?

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      Creator Roman Leser on September 27, 2013

      I. Am. So. Goddamn. Hyped. O.o

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      Creator Azriel on September 27, 2013

      Not a big fan of the "organic" (really hate that buzz word, usually means a crappy design will be implemented..right up there with streamlined) design of interaction deciding how characters react to you. How is this ANY different from dialog interaction? It is STILL using a karma system to keep track of weather they like you or not. Its just instead of dialog you are using actions instead. It would make more sense if it was a combination of both instead of one or the other. I mean, How do I interact with people in the real world? Through talking AND actions. You know, bioware tried the second approach with dragon age 2, it was horrible In my opinion. I much preferred dialog affecting people because it allowed you to get to know them and build a connection with them. It made them. Dragon age origin, I got to KNOW the characters and they got to know me. I actually cared about them. DA2? Did not learn jack about anyone or build any connection, and honestly did not cared they died or not at the end.

      Crafting? Sounds pretty bad honestly. Throw random stuff you do not understand together and watch it either work or fall apart and lose your stuff. Sounds more annoying than fun.

      And I also caught the change in wording. We were promised we could go through the game with a non-combat option, now its changed to mostly no combat (or something like that). I hope that was a mistake and we will still have a non violence option.

      Sorry for sounding negative, better to say it now than not say it and regret it later when the game comes out.

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      Creator aleksandar stossitch on September 27, 2013

      Got the core book and players guide this week and very impressed ..only problem being I want the rest of the books

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      Creator Silver on September 27, 2013

      Thanks for the update! Great stuff going on at inXile. :)

      Note: Personally I think that it would be prudent to to limit the side-effects and quirks to only certain items (not item types, classes etc.) to preserve their unique nature and unpredictability.

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      Creator Torgamous on September 26, 2013

      Why wouldn't a child play with the bounder crystal? That sounds like an amazing addition to the usually stagnant game of Tag. I can think of no better use for a device that teleports people unpredictably.

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      Creator Adam Heine on September 26, 2013

      @Zombra: Interestingly enough, my brother said the same thing when I pitched the system to him :-) Some comments on that:

      1) You will definitely know the primary efffects of two components before you slap them together. That is, you know what sort of cobbled artifact you are *trying* to build.

      2) For a complex device, a completely untrained character might not know the Side Effects until after he's slapped it together and used it, but those side effects wouldn't overwhelm the primary effects (like in one of the examples above, the primary effect might be to add 10 damage, while the side effect only does 1 damage to you, or changes the damage type, or temporarily increases/decreases your Might by 1, etc).

      3) A trained character will know what he's getting into beforehand and doesn't have to waste as much time with "guess and check."

      4) I *didn't* tell you about our crafting log idea that keeps track of what you've combined (and lets you take notes, if you want) so you don't have to worry about remembering what side effects happened in the past.

      5) As said above, this is all still on paper and is very subject to balancing. If we play it, and we look at each other and say, "You know, Zombra was right. This isn't as fun as we thought." Well, then, we'll change it. That's what prototypes (and alpha and beta testers, for that matter) are good for :-)

      6) Yes, you can ignore the crafting system and it won't wreck the game for you at all. There might be a couple NPCs and Quests that use crafting, but they would guide you, give you what you need, and not assume you're trained in crafting at all (though if you were, it would benefit you in those kinds of quests).

      Hope that makes sense!

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      Creator Zombra on September 26, 2013

      Nice update!

      I'm not crazy about what I'm seeing in the crafting system ... mostly because it seems like possible results will be incredibly opaque to the player. What happens when I stick this ancient crystal onto the end of a hose and stick the other end down my cat's throat? It turns into a magic slingshot that drains energy from another dimension to shoot giant hairballs that do double damage underwater. This doesn't seem like puzzle solving at all; just complicated, time-consuming "guess and check". The fact that disassembling can fail and cause you to lose components certainly doesn't help.

      I don't know. It just seems like the game world is already going to be so crazy crazy crazy that expecting players to make any sense at all of a crafting system like this is equally crazy. Am I the only one who's preemptively sighing in exasperation, already planning to just look everything up in an online guide to sort through all the nonsense?

      I'm hopeful that the crafting system can be completely ignored without damaging the rest of the game.

    21. Avatar158_4.gif.small

      Creator gandalf.nho - Huntress OOoE/WoOS/Torment on September 26, 2013

      Some idea when we will see the Torment sourcebook?

    22. Missing_small

      Creator cursedseishi on September 26, 2013

      I just have to say...

      Something based off of anything Black Sabbath would be quite epic. Yet Mob Rules...? Dear lord...
      http://renownedforsound.com/wp-content/uploads/BlackSabbathMobRules.jpg

      Look at that! Just look at it! I can't dig this any harder, even if I was given a giant adamantium drill to dig my way to China with.

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Richard on September 26, 2013

      Absolutely awesome update. Congratulations to all and thank you for your efforts so far, gonna be great. :)

    24. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jim Davey on September 26, 2013

      Hi, still waiting for my PDFs .....

    25. Mandateavatar.small

      Creator Anaxphone- Follower of The Mandate on September 26, 2013

      Both the crafting and crises systems are looking very promising. Thank you for the update on their designs' progress.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Noam Cvikel on September 26, 2013

      Now this is some crafting system! O.O

    27. Missing_small

      Creator atomtengeralattjaro on September 26, 2013

      I think I will LOVE the crafting system!

    28. Forum-avatar-finallyanime-new-new.small

      Creator finallyanime on September 26, 2013

      Yeah...I definitely didn't get any players guide or anything...and I'm at the $75 mark.

    29. Missing_small

      Creator AstralWanderer on September 26, 2013

      Any information on code-sharing with Wasteland 2? Given the two games are coming from the same developer and are in the same genre, it would be interesting to know how much the coding burden can be reduced (allowing for more plot design and scripting) by borrowing from Ranger Central.

    30. Rem_cover.small

      Creator Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on September 26, 2013

      great update, thanks for letting us get a glimpse on how you develop the game, with the ZBs, ZDCs and ZDDs and all that! I love those structural/technical/project management details. crafting sounds very good, really looking forward to that! keep it up guys and gals!

    31. Candidbyallaninpergamon.small

      Creator Sam Brown on September 26, 2013

      I like the notes on Crises. Any thought going into how-to-build meaningful non-combat challenges in games is a step forward in my book.

    32. Missing_small

      Creator Abstraction on September 26, 2013

      That's weird.
      I only got "Free Electronic Copy of Numenera Player's Guide from DriveThruRPG.com".
      No corebook was there, and my pledge level is NUMENERA SCHOLAR 2 ($130), so it ought to be.

    33. Photo.small

      Creator Jan Bosman on September 26, 2013

      Hello to George Ziets! Had no idea he was a part of this project. I remember him back when he was "Chicken George" at Turbine.

    34. Cton.small

      Creator Helena - Ordo Draconum on September 26, 2013

      A very interesting update, thanks! It's good to see the focus on non-combat skills and the integration of Tides into gameplay.

    35. Sl1.small

      Creator Stefan Leonhardt Weresheep of Sin on September 26, 2013

      A lot of great information to digest.

      One question: I added $12 to get the Numenara Sourcebook as an addon ... this book is not yet "published", is it?

    36. Wilson_facebook_draft.small

      Creator Wilson Bilkovich on September 26, 2013

      The Crisis PDF is very interesting. Thanks for the update!

    37. Godzilla.small

      Creator Al on September 26, 2013

      Crafting sounds amazing!

    38. Officer_b.small

      Creator Tomimt on September 26, 2013

      such a huge, meaty update.

    39. Planescapetorment_n.small

      Creator Torment- The Enduring Exile on September 26, 2013

      @mike You can register there and vote for game ideas. Inxile have had it up since the KS started.

    40. Missing_small

      Creator Karthik on September 26, 2013

      This is a whale of an update! I appreciate you guys going all the way each time you communicate with us.

      I just read the crises document, and it looks like it will get incredibly (and pleasingly) complex. I have two questions, though:

      1. The non-combat options seem, on a basic level, to function like point and click adventure game puzzles, albeit with a lesser focus on the usual bespoke (and often bizarre) item combinations. Will the non-attack options ("augment red automata", for instance) be performed simply by clicking on them in a menu, or clicking an object on the screen?

      2. Do you plan to have just one animation to cover every kind of interaction? I can't imagine any other way of depicting this many unique authored actions in the game.

      Traditionally, combat in RPGs is more engaging as a mechanic because it is more granular and allows for greater moment to moment player agency. I'm wondering if you have something in mind to bring the same level of player expression to non-combat resolutions to crises.

    41. Affd59215fc011dfb51b000b2f3ed30f.small

      Creator jimmywolf on September 26, 2013

      thank you for update also

      @Torment Superfan - The Enduring Exile

      the link you post very awesome! if we had a option to vote on ideas too add, i would spam vote up till my mouse clicker broke.

    42. Planescapetorment_n.small

      Creator Torment- The Enduring Exile on September 26, 2013

      This caught my eye in the Crisis design doc:

      "Advancement and character customization is a core element in many CRPGs..."

      Does that mean we'll be seeing this?

      https://torment.uservoice.com/forums/197950-game-ideas/suggestions/3749447-character-appearance-changes-as-story-evolves-con

      Which is related to appearance customization?

    43. Archlich.small

      Creator Eero Salonen on September 26, 2013

      Excelent update. Crafting and crises seem very intresting.

    44. Planescapetorment_n.small

      Creator Torment- The Enduring Exile on September 26, 2013

      @Colin Sorry, didn't mean to put you on the spot there.

    45. Colin%20juice_face0.small

      Creator Colin McComb on September 26, 2013

      I should add that my side project is a one-sheet adventure - nothing too serious or time-consuming!

    46. Beacon.small

      Creator Siobhan Mooney on September 26, 2013

      I had no idea that I'd receive my digital corebook until I read this. A quick gmail search and it turned up in an obscure folder, having been sent to me last month. Never saw it until now! Thanks. :) This also caused me to search gmail for a digital reward from another kickstarter that I felt was well overdue... and it was there was well! Feck's sake, gmail - you put every single backer update straight into my priority inbox, but actual rewards going into "non-important" - basically one tiny step up from my spam folder? Anyway, thank you again for alterting me to this. <3

    47. 49.small

      Creator Khanach - Obsidian Order sWoOSbuckler on September 26, 2013

      Wow, this is a loooong one! I only read the fist section, but I'll read it all in detail as soon as I find out what happened to my digital Numenéra Corebook, which apparently I should have gotten by now and I didn't. So hard to check so many projects and rewards! Thank you for keeping us informed.

    48. Planescapetorment_n.small

      Creator Torment- The Enduring Exile on September 26, 2013

      Thanks for the update. I'm going to go read the Crisis document. You guys seem really busy with all those side projects. Hopefully Torment gets the love it should.

      Also thanks for lack of spoilers even though saying Avellone's character has something special about him probably wasn't a good idea :)

    49. Missing_small

      Creator Liz. T. on September 26, 2013

      This was an amazing update and very enjoyable to read! I loved it! You even inspired me to pledge an extra 250+20$ for the Autographed Collectors Edition of Wasteland 2 as I missed that chance last year.

    50. Brian2.small

      Creator Brian Black on September 26, 2013

      Wow...what a great monster update! So many great RPGs coming up thanks to Kickstarter! Keep up the great work!

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