A few months ago, when Monte Cook split with Wizards of the Coast, he mentioned a new project that was in the pipeline. He opened the garage this week to let us see what he’s been working on — a far-future Earth RPG where ancient technology looks like magic, with a streamlined game system focused on story and character. He calls it Numenera.
The Numenera website is currently pretty bare bones, but there are a few pieces of killer art and some ideas about how the world and the game will look when it’s released next summer. Cook also promises designer diaries and art previews over the coming months (he’s actually been talking about the game on his blog for a while now, even describing early playtest sessions).
The world of Numenera is described as, “set in the far distant future. Humanity lives amid the remnants of eight great civilizations that have risen and fallen on Earth. These are the people of the Ninth World. This new world is filled with remnants of all the former worlds: bits of nanotechnology, the dataweb threaded among still-orbiting satellites, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange and wondrous devices.”
That sounds…well, just awesome. Like a more serious, cohesive Gamma World. I feel like that world will have mysteries to uncover and weird locales to explore. There’s a bunch of new RPGs coming out in the near future, and I might be looking forward to this one the most.
The game system uses a D20, and there’s a story-centric XP system. Character creation looks pretty smooth, with a few basic choices. “The game system itself is designed to be quick and easy for beginners, while offering additional complexity for those who desire it,” according to the site, and that’s pretty much the Platonic ideal for RPG systems (and a lot harder to pull off than it sounds).
If you’re looking for more Monte Cook info, a few weeks ago our pals at The Id DM did a great interview with him.
Update: The obligatory Numenera Kickstarter campaign has launched. It’s been up for about a day, and as I’m writing this it’s less than $100 away from it’s $20,000 goal. It will probably be funded by the time I finish this sentence and hit the “Update” button.