Hi Adam, very nice of you to provide this channel into your brain. :P
Gm intrusions... how about achieving them through gameplay itself. You mentioned a simple example of getting a sword knocked out of players hands so im going to stick with that (because its easy). How about it is done by some enemy or some monster in the game? Or an environmental event, or some artifact in another scenario or situation... and so on?
You also mentioned player being able to revert his latest action? Is that like some quick time travel backwards... like some kind of Prince of Persia sands of time mechanic - trick?
Great to hear that changing Foci will cost something - and even better hearing you dont like respecing... respeccing? (what an awful word too). I was afraid that might be included.
A brief definition for those new to Numenera: GM Intrusions are a means for the GM of a Numenera game to spice up a situation by introducing a difficulty, without making the players feel like he's screwing them over just because. This is accomplished by giving players an out; if they accept the complication, they gain 2 XP, or they can refuse the intrusion by spending 1 XP.
In Torment, this is trickier to pull off because there is no GM and because intrusions have a way of reminding the player he's playing a game (a thing we'd rather not do in a CRPG).
Your suggestions, Surface, are pretty much along the lines of what we've been thinking. As I said in that interview, we haven't solidified how GM Intrusions will work in Torment yet, but we do have some goals that give us a framework:
- Intrusions should be cool (not "good," but cool), something the player wants to accept. Of course, giving them XP is a major part of this.
- Intrusions should change an encounter in interesting ways, not just make things harder for the sake of making things harder.
- Intrusions should be framed as complications arising from external events, not from the PC screwing up (pretty much what you said, Surface).
In my mind, the real hard part is not what the intrusions will be, but how they're presented to the player. We have yet to delve into that UI in depth.
Reverting an Action
(Surface's question here is in the context of the interview again, where I mentioned that the player might be able to spend XP to undo a recent action.)
The tabletop game doesn't explain how this mechanic works narratively, probably because it's easier to immerse yourself in a story told around a table. We haven't talked about how this will be explained in-game for Torment. It might not be explained at all, simply something you can do, just like how you can use "renown" in Banner Saga to purchase items and food.
But the way you describe is not out of the realm of possibility. Numenera does actually have an "Undo" ability that lets you do exactly what you describe, taking back a character's most recent action. For Torment, we're talking about additional abilities along these lines as well, ones that let you fiddle with time in interesting ways.
The Ninth World is a strange and magical place, where nanites live in the air and dirt, where mysterious forces can be called on by someone who knows what they're doing -- or even some people who don't. It's entirely possible that this XP mechanic is one such situation.
Got a question? Ask me anything.