Numenera - The Devil's Spine
Jacks are intrepid explorers and adventurers. They are jacks of all trades — hence the name — although the word also hearkens back to fables involving a wily, resourceful hero who always seems to be named Jack. Used as a verb, “to jack” means to steal, to deceive, or to get out of a tight scrape through ingenuity or luck. Jacks don’t use one skill or tactic exclusively; they use whatever weapons, armor, esoteries, or anything else that might help them. They are hunters (particularly treasure hunters), con artists, skalds, rogues, scouts, and experts in a variety of fields.
Jack Stat Pools
|Stat||Pool Starting Value|
You get 6 additional points to divide among your stat Pools however you wish.
You might hear people say that a jack is just the typical everyman (or everyperson), but don’t believe it. You aren’t like anyone else. You can do things that no one else can do because you do so many things. You’re a warrior, you’re a thief, you’re a diplomat, you’re a sage, and you’re a spy.
When you choose jack as your character type, come up with an explanation for how you learned your wide variety of talents. Choose one of the three options described below. It will provide the foundation of your background and give you an idea of how you can improve. The GM can use this information to develop adventures and quests that are specific to your character and play a role in your advancement.
You seem to be better than most people because you are. Your ancestors were part of a genetic experiment, and your genes are superior to those of the average human. You’re smarter, stronger, more dexterous, and able to learn mental and physical skills more quickly. Folks might call you charismatic, blessed, divinely gifted, or just plain lucky. They probably said the same thing about your parents, their parents, and so on. Some of your genetic advantage might even grant you low-level psychic abilities that greatly resemble the “miracles” performed by nanos.
Advancement: You might be a superhuman, but you’re still limited by what you learn and experience. Therefore, you must continue to train and study. Practice is the key—it just comes easier for you than it does for others. When you improve, it’s because you have honed your natural abilities or unlocked heretofore unknown genetic traits.
School of Hard Knocks
You learned things the hard way—on your own. Adaptive and canny, you express the true strengths of humanity in your ability to adjust quickly to circumstances, pick up new tricks to succeed, and ultimately survive when you probably should be dead.
Most likely, you grew up on your own, perhaps on the streets, in the wilderness, or amid ruins. The details don’t really matter. What’s important is that you taught yourself how to overcome whatever challenges came along.
Advancement: Just keep on keeping on. You got to where you are by observing, learning, adapting, and adopting. To advance, you need to do more of the same. Constant wariness coupled (somewhat paradoxically) with constant curiosity allows you to hone your skills and new capabilities.
A Cobbled Jumble
You’re the product of generations of eugenics, bolstered by minor cybernetic enhancements, a few small psychic abilities, and the lessons of secret masters. In other words, you don’t have one source of power or one explanation for your abilities — you have many, and as far as you’re concerned, that’s the best formula for success. You don’t put all your eggs in a single proverbial basket. To really get ahead, you must rely on multiple strengths.
You’ve always got an unexpected trick up your sleeve or a fallback contingency. For example, you might have subdermal implants that make you more resilient, your training might let you sense a foe’s attack before he strikes, and your psychic abilities could allow you to push your enemy’s blade slightly to the left so you can just barely dodge it. In the end, you’re simply hard to hurt.
Advancement: You have chosen every path, so you must travel each of them. Training and drugs fuel your body and mind, brain implants grant you additional skills, and devices hidden in your palms give you fresh abilities. Advancement means new teachers and technicians, strange substances and radiations, and an ever-increasing need to discover the secrets of the past that will prove essential for your future.
Choose or roll on the Jack Connection table.
Return to Character Creation entry.