Torment: Tides of Numenera Post-funding Update #46: Narrative Character Generation

In the latest post-funding update for Torment: Tides of Numenera, the developers at inXile talk briefly about the upcoming "CLASSIC RPGs FOREVER!" panel at PAX Prime, their choices in terms of UI, and character generation through narrative. Also, backers who are eligible for the Alpha Systems Test will be glad to know that the first of them will be launching soon, though the developers give no hard date.

An excerpt on character generation:

Instead of walking you through a standard, step-by-step character generation process, we wanted to get you into the story as fast as possible. For TTON's themes, we felt it was appropriate to have character creation occur in-game, but we didn't want to compromise the narrative to do this.

At the start of the game, the only immediate choice you'll make is what gender you want to play. Like PST, your name and appearance are predetermined, and you'll start with 9 in all three Stat Pools (Might, Speed, and Intellect).* With that, you'll be dropped immediately into the world.

Early in the narrative, you explore several memories and, in doing so, allocate 6 additional Stat Pool points while also showing a leaning toward what Descriptor best applies to you. The way you will do this is entirely in-world and part of the story. Your Descriptor gives you a few first Skills and some Stat adjustments, defining a flavor for everything you do. TTON has seventeen different Descriptors for the PC to choose from. That's too many to sift through in an RPG conversation. Instead, the opening of the game will pay attention to the choices you make and how you decide to handle the situations you come across. As you interact with the environment (through scripted interactions), you'll be given a subset of TTON's 17 Descriptors based on those choices.

You'll have a chance to review your choice after the fact, and even choose a Descriptor outside the subset so you can still face the full fury of 17 Descriptors if you want to. Our method of having gameplay decisions guide character creation does not mean you will be locked into the options the narrative provides for you. You can freely pick between all options if you wish.

Choosing your Type (i.e. class) and Focus will be similar, though simpler. Unlike PST, you can't change your Type whenever you want. Instead, all three are presented at once in a unique part of your mind created (presumably) by your sire. The Numenera Types Jack, Nano, and Glaive are pretty straightforward, so handling them in the narrative is relatively simple (before this choice, your Type is "Castoff"). As with the Descriptor you will have opportunity to review your choice and study the details of each Type if you want to do that.

Last is your Focus the abilities that make your character unique. You will be able to change your Focus throughout the game (for a cost of course, though the first one's free), and you can discover and unlock additional Foci later. You'll unlock the first set in the opening quarter of the game and choose your initial Focus there. Learning about the Foci and choosing your first one will be wrapped in the narrative like Descriptor and Type.