The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady is a Numenera supplement produced by Dread Unicorn Games and written by John WS Marvin. It continues to develop an entirely new location in the Ninth World, an underground tunnel system that has yet to be fully explored or understood. Along with the new location, bestiary, foci, descriptors, and Numenera, there is a short campaign to run for your players that introduces and delves deep into this new location.
A great deal of the set up of this game deals with characters and locations that were introduced in a previous supplement – The Sun Below: A City on Edge. However, running that scenario is not necessary for running Sleeping Lady, alternate introductions are given and the adventure is careful to assume that you might not have prior knowledge.
One thing I think is great in this adventure is that they have it set up to run for characters of any level. Monster stats are modified by the level of the party, so that the GM doesn’t have to put a lot of work into sorting out altering the difficulty of an encounter themselves. There are also instructions on building up crowds of minions, called mooks here, to swarm up on your characters. They provide different ways to create your mooks so that they can last just a little longer. I really like the way they developed this idea for Numenera and think it would be great to adapt to my own games.
The adventure begins with the party getting a plea to help save the city of Bursang, part of The Sun Below. However, the situation is more complicated then has yet been realized, and the fate of the Ninth World will end up in the hands of the party. This is a nice and neat campaign, and there are several possible ways for the PCs to try to save the world. The easily modifiable levels of difficulty come in handy with this, as neither you as the GM or the creators of the scenario can predict in what order the party will choose to attack.
I think the creativity in a lot of points of this book is great. For instance, one artifact, The Mind Sword, causes the user to laugh evil when they hit on a roll above 17. Adding quirks like this to artifacts really personalizes them to your character and can introduce great reoccurring jokes and character traits.
The supplement seems to be intended for new GMs, as there is some handholding as you read through it for want to do as a GM. I think this can be great, especially for GMs who are unsure of themselves. The layout is in the same style as the other Numenera books, which makes it easy to recognize when they’re pointing out things like GM intrusions. There are some points were it is a little harder to follow, but for the most part flows very smoothly. There is a lot more art then I was expecting, and it really illustrates the creatures and characters you meet throughout the adventure well.
Sleeping Lady is a great campaign to pick up and run for your party, and is easy to use for the GM. I like several concepts that it introduces, such as quirks on artifacts and mooks for swarming fights. It is available on DriveThruRPG for $7.99. You can also visit Dread Unicorn’s website for more information on their supplements and materials.
*The Redacted Files received a free copy of this supplement for review purposes.