Numenera Point Buy Stats

Black Monolith

Black Monolith (source)

Numenera might have the first point buy system for stats that I don’t hate. Usually, I find such systems extremely tiresome because 1) I don’t care much about fairness in starting stats and 2) it takes way too much time and effort to shuffle the numbers and I’m lazy.

The Numenera approach works for me because you get a default profile by class (so Glaives have slightly higher physical stats, for example) and then only six points to distribute between them. The number of options is small enough that it is quick to distribute the points, and the end effect is similar to more fiddly approaches like the old D&D method of trading 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 to improve prime requisites.

It helps that there are only three stats (might, speed, and intellect), rather than D&D’s six. I don’t think the method is directly portable, but the design is still elegant. Aside: might, speed, and intellect are basically the 3E save categories of fortitude, reflex, and will repurposed as stats.

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