RPG Review: Numenera

Cynthia: Imagine rising to the top of a valley and discovering the above vista: green hills, snowcapped mountains, seemingly pristine waters, and an obelisk, tens of thousands of years old, humming with magical (or mechanical?) power. You could be the first to learn all of its secrets, or simply find out how it works, and harness its power. And that could be just the beginning of your earthly adventures.

For this uncanny place is our Earth, far, far, far into the future, after our civilization and seven others have climbed, peaked, fallen, and been rusted over. More than one alien invasion has occurred, and more than one alien species has mingled genes with humanity. A new civilization has arisen, but hasn’t really gotten past the middle ages. The perplexing debris of past civilizations, from humming obelisks and transdimensional portals to enchanted amulets and portable CD players, is everywhere. The people of earth call these weird objects “filled-with-power-things”: numenera.

Welcome to the Ninth World, the setting of Monte Cook’s Numenera. I would say, “come on in, the water’s fine,” but it’s probably filled with flesh-eating microdroids or laced with bubble-gum flavored psychotropic drugs or something. But forget the water, there’s so much here. This place is so ancient, and vast, and tremendous. Let’s explore!

Read moreRPG Review: Numenera

Numenera

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Set in a far, far distant future, the Numenera RPG puts a new spin on traditional fantasy, creating something unique to reinvigorate the imagination of gamers everywhere. Player characters explore a world of mystery and danger to find leftover artifacts of the past: bits of nanotechnology, the datasphere threaded among still-orbiting satellites, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange and wondrous devices that defy understanding. Numenera is about discovering the wonders of the worlds that came before, not for their own sake, but as the means to improve the present and build a future.

Each world stretched across vast millennia of time. Each played host to a race whose civilizations rose to supremacy but eventually died or scattered, disappeared or transcended. During the time each world flourished, those that ruled it spoke to the stars, reengineered their physical bodies, and mastered form and essence, all in their own unique ways.

Each left behind remnants.

The people of the new world—the Ninth World—sometimes call these remnants magic, and who are we to say they’re wrong? But most give a unique name to the legacies of the nigh-unimaginable past. They call them…

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