[Numenera] Need Weird Science-Fantasy Inspiration? Try Masters of the Universe

Posted: January 27, 2015 by pointyman2000 in Numenera, Roleplaying Games
Tags: ,

One of the bigger difficulties that new GMs tend to have when first encountering Numenera is how to adequately convey the weird science-Fantasy nature of the setting.

I’ve found that one shorthand that helps people get it right away is to basically explain that Numenera’s setting is very much like Eternia from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

How so? Well, let’s go over the details:

Wind Raider Box Art, from http://www.grayskullmuseum.com

1) Swords and Shields next to Blasters and Flying Vehicles

Numenera assumes that there are various magical artifacts that can do all sorts of wondrous things because of their magical nature. How they work is often poorly understood, but activating and operating them is something that the people of Numenera are good at.

In the MOTU world, you’ve got a lot of barbarians in loincloths armed with swords and shields, riding flying vehicles as if it was second nature.

2) The Ancient Past had a lot of Technology

Hordak and crew had a lot of strange technology to pull from, resulting in heroes armed with magic, weapons and strange technology.

Check out this write up for Wun-Dar, one of the ancient warriors of the He-Man Prehistoric setting of (I kid you not,) PRETERNIA.

“One hundred years before Prince Adam was born, Wun-Dar, a warrior from deep in the savage underground city of Tundaria, rescued a young woman who turned out to be the Goddess of Eternia. Providing him with cosmic battle armor and a sophisticated ray gun that could tap into almost unlimited power, the Goddess tasked Wun-Dar to protect both halves of the sword of He and keep them apart so as not to fall into the hands of evil. Like many warriors before him, Wun-Dar became known as “The He-Man”, battling in a savage way to keep evil from obtaining the key to the great power hidden inside the long-forgotten Castle Grayskull.”

3) Nobody finds this all that strange

Numenera is a game of discovery and adventure, where the player characters run amok in the setting digging up strange relics and ancient places (or occasionally running into ancient creatures / monstrosities) but none of them find the discordant nature of all the weird elements as particularly strange. To them, this is as normal as it gets.

MOTU also has this, with He-Man running into new and bizzare creatures and monsters, and he just engages them without really stopping to question himself if this is odd in any way. It’s this sort of accepting nature of both universes that helps as GMs then get license to throw in pretty much anything in a Numenera Game.

  1. Fabs says:

    Of all the things you can compare Numenera with, it just had to be He-man. Haha. Now I’m itching to make an Igorot in Numenera. Hahaha

  2. vishalicious says:

    Thundarr the Barbarian might also fall into this category. The intro said something about “savagery, super-science & sorcery” .

  3. Holy crap, I need to look at Numenera again.

  4. Haxar says:

    Thundercats as well makes for good inspiration, in fact they could easily have landed on Earth sometime in the setting’s past, when it was between Civilizations. Now imagining my players finding things from the show…

  5. RuroniDM says:

    Galtar and the Golden Lance too man :))

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