the basic mechanics for the numenera cypher system are straightforward. the player always rolls a d20 against a set of difficulties scaled from 1 to 10 based on the difficulty of the task as set by the GM or determined by a number between those numbers, say the level of the monster you are fighting. you then add your current score from one of three possible pools, Intellect, Might and Speed. Intellect, might and speed respectively represent your characters mental capabilities, physical endurance and strength capabilities and finally their reflexes, dexterity and overall agility. It is important to note that the difficulty levels are not the numbers from 1 to 10 but rather go up in threes. anything ith a rating of 0 is immediately doable without a roll.
these three stat pools act as both the characters health and a resource. in a resource sense, these pools can be depleted to reduce the difficulty level of a task, known as applying Effort, for a cost of 3 points from that pool initially, and 2 points from the pool every level of effort subsequently applied. your characters have a set score called an effort score that they cannot exceed that shows what the maximum effort a character can apply on a given task is. in addition to effort, skills in a related area will reduce the difficulty of the task automatically, once for trained, twice for specialized (there are no higher levels than specialized)
finally, there is Edge, the simplest of these mechanics. Edge allows you to reduce the cost of an ability associated with the given pool by however much your characters edge score is or do the same for a single expenditure of effort on a given task. this does in fact mean that a character who has an ability that costs points, such as a 'spell' whcih costs 1 intellect, they can use it at its basic level with no cost if their intellect edge is more than 1. when your character reaches edge 3 in a given stat (Intellect, Speed and Might) you may apply one level of effort for free.
characters are granted xp rewards for discovery, completing tasks, performing story actions, combat and can be awarded xp for (or spend it to counteract) a GM Intrusion, which is GM interference in a given action. 4 xp can be spent increasing ones stat pools by 4, getting a new skill or increasing a skill from trained to specialized or increasing ones edge or effort scores by one. If and when a character has bought all four of those options, their Tier increases. Tiers range from 1 to 6, with 6 being the maximum, but XP can still be used to buy new abilities in the within the tiers, create new cyphers and artifacts, reduce the costs for wearing Armour and even re-roll a failed roll once per action.