Oddities

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Oddities are things that are interesting but have no real game value - they don’t help in combat, don’t give you amazing powers, don’t protect you. Not everything the ancients created was a combat device. In Numenera these things are called oddities and they serve a number of purposes.

First, they’re just there for verisimilitude. Not everything is suited for an adventurer. Second, they’re there to be interesting. Weird little things that can be sold or used for barter or gifts. They’re the 100 gp gems of Numenera. Third, and perhaps most importantly, they add more mystery and feelings of the unknown to the game. Because oddities are really odd.

List of oddities[edit | edit source]

Name Effect Location
These seem like plain, red leather boots, but when you touch them, a wave of sadness and disgust at the greed of humanity repulses you. You can't even consider wearing them.
This transparent glass sphere encloses a miniature scene of a river of tar running through a wasteland. It also contains a mystical blue liquid, which seems like it would mix with the tar if the globe were shaken. You notice ancient, indecipherable writing around the outer base.
This brightly-colored aquatic creature has a short loop of elastic material running through one of its seven legs. The chromavulum can be interacted with and worn as an eye patch, allowing you to perceive colors in an unique way – useful when it comes to solving the color puzzle at the Order of Truth.
Cyclonic Cube Light moves strangely through this glassine cube, forming square patterns of blue and purple colors.
This tiny stone ball appears completely ordinary. No amount of close inspection reveals anything that stands out, nor any signs that this is anything more than it appears. Yet at any sign of mirth near the Antagonist, the stone ball will start howling at an ever-increasing intensity until it completely drowns out the laughter.
You caught this creature from a fountain (of sorts) in Government Square. Small, fishlike, and constantly squirming, it never requires food or other nourishment, and it gibbers constantly in an indecipherable language.
This synth globe clearly depicts an unknown world. The more you look at it, the more details you discover... as if the globe somehow enhances and concentrates your vision as you examine it.
When you insert this set of plugs into your ears, you can suddenly hear through the ears of another being. Pulling out the earplugs and reinserting them into your ears links you to a different individual. Overheard speech seems to be completely incomprehensible and alien each time, so the target individuals are probably distant in space or time... or both.
  • Sticha Lair: Found in a small alcove by the exit to the Crossroads.
These six-fingered gloves are completely and utterly achromatic. Their singular lack of color is nearly hypnotic.
When a living animal is placed inside this birdcage, the device automatically activates, putting the creature into stasis. Theoretically it could preserve a living being indefinitely, though the cage's size limits this to very small creatures. This cage is inactive, and you do not have the means to reactivate it.
This mechanical cube is about twice the size of a fist, tightly packed with components, and warm to the touch. Tiny lights and soft, slow vibrations emanate from within - you have the distinct sense that it is dimly aware of you.
  • Reward for helping Lan Uring become an Aeon Priest.
This inert little figure of metal and synth was cobbled together from parts of the Crippled Foreman, making it one of the construct's "children." With your help, the Foreman transferred some of its energy into the little creature, but for some reason it never came to life.
  • Reward for completing Foreman's Brood. You can take the dead construct without taking other children.
This drinking cup changes color depending on its contents. With careful years of study, a person could craft a reference book and use the cup to identify all kinds of liquids... perhaps even poisons. Indeed, it's possible that someone has already compiled such a book, but if they did it was separated from the cup long ago.
  • Reward for completing A Call to War by recruiting all three warriors.
This small polished disk looks like a handheld mirror, but anyone who looks into it sees an image of their father - or their species' equivalent - looking back at them, mirroring their every move.

When you hold it, though, all you see is your own face.

This dark mask appears to be made of wood, yet it feels like cold metal to the touch. When you put it to your face, you hear the sound of wardrums beating in the distance.
Walur This is a finely-made armband, or perhaps a bracelet for something larger than most humans. It is made of ordinary golden metal and encrusted with useless gems. If you focus your gaze on it for a few seconds, it disappears from sight and can no longer be felt against the skin. It reappears at its last location once no one is looking there.
This dusty ball is whiter than anything you've ever seen. At the merest touch, it swirls with a myriad of colors that shifts to different hues as you move your fingers.

Examples of oddities[edit | edit source]

  • A glass plate that shows an aerial view of a city that no one’s ever seen.
  • A egg-shaped metallic bauble that occasionally spins and speaks in a language no one knows.
  • An aerosol can that sprays sparkling paint that hangs in the air.
  • A device that emits a projection of a human face that changes expression depending on what direction it is facing.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cyphers, oddities, artifacts and discoveries