Numenera’s monster and NPCs handling is surprisingly simple. As demonstrated in the combat rules, the core mechanic of rolling a single D20 against a Target Number set by the Difficulty of the task still applies here.
Monsters and NPCs all have an assigned Level, which determines how powerful they are, and what the Target Number is to hit them, and avoid their attacks.
Monster writeups are written very well, with a description followed by the creatures Motives and Environment before going over their combat stats. The statistics themselves are also simple, with Health, Damage ratings, Movement speeds and Modifications. Combat tactics and special abilities used by the monsters are also given attention.
The Modifications on the other hand are neat ways that the monsters circumvent the general rules of their level. Some monsters may defend or attack as if they were a different level.
The sidebars of this section also detail the various forms that a GM intrusion might take to complicate matters (for extra experience points) to add spice to a combat encounter.
Overall Numenera’s collection of monsters is suitably strange. Offering a mix of the usual beasties to entities with powers that mess with all sorts of phenomena. Some are mechanical in nature, while others are bizarre mutations. The artwork is pretty evocative, and serves to better hammer home the point that things here are very different from how we might imagine the future to be.
Overall the monsters section is an amusing read, with a lot of strange weirdness to make every attempt to explore the unknown fraught with danger and wonder.