Torment: Tides of Numenera Post-funding Update #34: Gullet, Character Advancement, Ossiphagan

The latest post-funding update for Torment: Tides of Numenera contains a reminder about the upcoming deadline for the inclusion of the newest stretch goal for the title (a new area from George Ziets called the Gullet), some information about character advancement in the game, and some lore tidbits about Ossiphagan, a ring of volcanoes that have been keeping pouring rivers of magma since ages long past, created by an ancient civilization.

Here's a snippet on character advancement:

Experience Points are gained primarily by accomplishing critical path tasks: progressing quests and solving Crises and other major encounters. Each character gains their own XP individually, though usually if the party completes a Crisis or a quest, all party members will gain the XP. (SIDEBAR: Sometimes you can leave a Companion behind and pick them up again later in the game. In these cases, they will gain their own XP outside of your influence (they don't just sit around waiting for you, after all). So if you pick them up again, you will find them close to your level.)

Each character spends their own XP on character advancement steps, each of which cost 4 XP. These advancement steps include:
1) Increased Stat Pool
2) Increased Stat Edge
3) Increased Maximum Effort Level
4) Additional Skill Training
5) Improved paincasting ability (Last Castoff only)
6) Additional Class Abilities (beyond what you get for your Tier)
7) Reduced Armor Penalties

Every four advancement steps, the character will advance to the next Tier. The first five can only be advanced once per Tier, and #5-7 are really optional steps (the Last Castoff's paincasting ability will be improved in other ways in the course of the game).

Typical character advancement might look like this: (gain 4 XP) add a new Skill, (gain 4 XP) increase Might Edge, (gain 4 XP) increase Maximum Effort Level, (gain 4 XP) distribute 6 new Stat Pool points. Then as soon as the fourth one is done, that character advances to the next Tier they gain new abilities from their Focus and choose new abilities and Skills from their Type (glaive, jack, or nano). They can also then use XP to purchase any of the advancement steps again toward the next Tier.

We're planning on balancing the game out to 6th Tier (the maximum Tier in the Corebook), though completionists may still be able to purchase certain advancement steps beyond that if they collect enough XP.

Discovery Points are primarily gained through (wait for it) discovery: figure out how to communicate with an ancient (and alien) intelligence, access a memory abandoned by the Changing God in your brain, or decipher the tale told by an ancient set of moving cave drawings.

DP can also be gained by accepting Intrusions. These are opportunities to make an easy encounter more interesting, rewarding the player for dealing with an added complication. For example, say you're taking on the Sorrow directly (it's not a good idea, but let's say that you are). You discover it's weak against fire damage and, with the help of a flamethrowing artifact you found, are actually doing pretty well against it.

Then an Intrusion occurs. The Sorrow begins to shifts its own molecular make-up so that it's weak against something else but fire barely hurts it. This Intrusion won't always happen: most Intrusions will only trigger when an encounter is already proving easy for you, and many of them have additional conditionals that must be met. Now that this one has triggered, you have a choice: you can spend 1 DP to stop the Intrusion (how that works out narratively depends on each Intrusion, for example maybe you strike a lucky blow, doing little or no damage, but disorienting the Sorrow long enough that it can't finish the shift), or you can let it happen to gain 2 DP.

DP is gained and used by the whole party, and it is spent on short-term benefits. We haven't finalized what all those benefits will be, but some examples might include:

'¢ Refusing an Intrusion
'¢ Making a recovery roll without needing to rest
'¢ Gaining an extra level of Effort on a task for free
'¢ Taking extra movement during a Crisis
'¢ Performing an extra action during a Crisis
'¢ Retrying a failed action during a Crisis
'¢ Crafting special items that require a crafting cost