The Paranoid Automaton is my Numenera RPG adventure campaign which I’ve been constantly working on and has since started play testing with a group of people, some of whom were not familiar with Numenera.
Without giving too many spoilers away, the campaign briefly begins in Mulen, the capital of Iscobal in the Steadfast. It starts out pretty straightforward with an ambitious duchess and her twin princess daughters seeking to find a mysterious relic they say will bring about the return of the true rulers of their kingdom which has been tearing itself apart by internal politics.
The campaign includes, but is not limited to, a variety of unusual NPCs and antagonists, perplexing modes of transportation (two of which are organic with one of them requiring an insanity roll), a great festival of sound, a nano’s cypher-art hybrids, mysterious groups (humanoid and “other”) and a hidden world that defies logic thanks to one of the largest cyphers in the Ninth World.
Last weekend, I started play testing the campaign, which I continue to work on. The players were nearing the midway point when we ended which is a good thing since that’s where I’m at in terms of writing. The basic layout of the entire campaign is written, but the details from the middle to the end need to be ironed out.
The players in this group had a wide range of experiences with RPGs, some experienced and some not, which contributed to some memorable moments during the game. I intend to dedicate a post on my experience with this group, who switch between games every other weekend, in an upcoming post. During the game, there was a slight deviance that I hadn’t expected, but happily agreed to since I had mentioned it in passing and a couple of the players were curious enough to get the other players interested in investigating “something” I had mentioned.
Below is the starting scene of The Paranoid Automaton to which I read to all the players. Omitted is how the players witness the scene.
THE PARANOID AUTOMATON
Tiny purple dust particles fly in the air as a light grayish human automaton with short yellow hair wipes away metal shavings from a large work bench filled with odd elongated tools, some with clear liquid colored balls connected to their ends.
On the work bench is a silver box contraption holding what appears to be a winged creature the size of a humanoid hand, made of bright blue purple and gray metal. The automaton begins to carefully use thin knife like tools to plunge into the winged creature’s head which then begins to move.
The automaton drops its tools, quickly gets up, brushes off dust particles from its dark brown robes and begins to pace back and forth as the the winged creature begins to fly. As the creature flies higher in the large greenish circular chamber, the automaton begins to pace faster around the room, mouthing something inaudible.
As the winged creature begins its escape out of the room through a thinly oval shaped window, the automaton walks quickly to the creature as if its going to catch it, but then draws back and appears to think it over as the creature flies away.
The automaton walks away, looks out another window and has a thoughtful look on his face as he places a finger on his chin and smiles slightly and says,”I’ve forgotten something.”
The winged creature flies away from the circular green tower and makes its way to a deep valley where rivers of humanoid bodies lie while a battle continues on.