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Character types are roughly equivalent to classes. Your choice defines your character's abilities, skills, and stat pools. Your Type is similar to a character class in other role-playing games. It defines your statistics, and determines Abilities and Skills available throughout the game, though it does not radically change the storyline. Once you have selected your Type, it cannot be changed.

The original core rulebook of the Numenera tabletop RPG introduced the three core Types, which also appear in Torment: Tides of Numenera:

  • Glaives focus on Icon Might small.png Might and Icon Speed small.png Speed, as warriors. They receive training in weapon skills, but have very limited access to general exploration skills.
  • Jacks are flexible characters closest to the thief archetype, with a balanced stat pool and access to all exploration skills.
  • Nanos are mages best served by a high Icon Intellect small.png Intellect. They have access to exploration skills and magical abilities.

The supplement book Character Options 2 introduced two new Types.

  • Glints are similar to a bard. They are experts at persuasion, charm, and manipulation. Glints get a slight bonus to Intellect.
  • Seekers are the best at finding remnants of past Worlds. They can also repair, modify, and improve the numenera they find.

Numenera 2 took the form of two new corebooks, Numenera: Discovery and Numenera: Destiny. Destiny expanded and modified the two added Types above into three new Types. Moving forward, the game of Numenera focused on 6 core Types: Glaive, Jack, Nano, and:

  • An Arkus (plural: Arkai) is a politician and orator, adept at inspiring large groups of people and building communities. Arkai fit well with the new theme of building new things that can last.
  • Like Seekers, Delves are adept at finding and salvaging numenera. They are agile, rogue-like characters who can avoid ancient traps and deal with the dangerous creatures of the Ninth World.
  • The Wright is a crafting Type who can tinker with numenera, and even build new ones with components of the ancient technology. They work well when teaming up with a Delve, using the spoils of a Delve's exploration for useful ends.