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Numenera
 
$60.00 $19.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Numenera
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Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by josiah l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/24/2017 20:37:02

Warning the game is not simple. Advice Play it anyways. Numenera is an idea that has been carved perfectly from the brains of Monte Cook and Co. It's an open sandbox that offers beauty and destruction without making you sweat your beard off counting bonuses and hoarding XP. Numenera is a work of art that doesn't run out. Its only burden is trying to play the game as fast as you can. Nation spanning epics and Lovecraftian horror all find themselves a home here. Do what you want do what you will the game is open to your imagination, and ps, GM's barely need to roll. Hehehe.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Robert P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/11/2016 08:00:09

A very inspiring setting oozing with atmosphere allowing the GM to pretty much do anything in a setting that begs to be explored. It takes the 'traditional fantasy RPG trope' and turns it on its head. But still retains some of the flavour.

The rules are smooth and snappy, and don't get in the way of gaming. The art is lovely and very evocative of the world.

The book is crammed full of useful info. Including some neat adventures to familiarise the GM and players with the wonderful setting.

Quality of the PDF is excellent.

If you want something that's a fresh take on fanstay, with less micro management, and where the rules are modern and light(ish), then this is well worth a look.

Fantastic job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Jennifer W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2015 20:02:25

I have really wanted a copy of this and when it went on sale here I had to get it. The art is lovely and the side notes on were to find things is vary helpful. Now I just need to find someone who wants to play with me. Lol



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Jonathan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2015 12:01:30

Numenera is a really simple game at its core. It's all about setting difficulty levels that the players must overcome on their d20 rolls. The game uses very few dice to accomplish its mechanics, which I think it really excels at. You only need a d20, a d6 and a d100.

This simplistic system becomes quite interesting once you start involving your character. Each character is described by a single sentence: "I am an <adjective> <noun> who <verbs>". The adjective is a trait like "Tough" or "Clever". The Noun is your "Class", as it would be described in most other (d20-based) RPG systems. Numenera has three classes: Glaive (warrior), Nano (wizard-ish) and Jack (rogue-ish). The final, and to me the most interesting, trait of your character is your verb, your descriptor. It can be something as mundane as "Leads" or as strange as "Rides the Lightning".

We have 12 adjectives, 3 nouns, and 29 verbs for a total of 684 distinct character presets in the core book alone! I think the character creation is one of the system's main strength. About the art in this game: it's great! This game has really high production value, in line with most of what WotC produces these days.

The dice mechanic deals with low numbers, and actively strives to lower the TN before adding greater modifiers. It's great on paper, but sometimes I feel like it does noting to actually make the game run faster. PvP is something this system handles quite poorly, as the dice mechanics were designed for one party rolling all the dice (the GM normally doesn't roll any dice what so ever).

A very interesting mechanic of Numenera is the "GM Intrusion" mechanic, where the GM is essentially allowed to screw over a player at any time of his choosing. The downside? The GM must award the player XP for the hideous deed. Players may spend XP to avoid this ill fate. Honestly, I've stolen this mechanic for use in other games.

Numenera's setting is The Ninth World. It's a world with quite a lot of quirks and strange history. It is Earth set in the far far future (about 1 billion years). Technology of the previous eight worlds are not indistiguishable from magic. The wonders of the world are its main strengths, with the legendary artefacts from the previous worlds known as the "Numenera" are the most profilic. There are two main forms of Numenera, Cyphers and Artefacts.

Cyphers are one-time use items that might have great effect. In one game I gave a player a nuke. But they really needed it. Some of the monsters in this setting can be quite horrendous (for better or worse)! Artefacts are another kind of item. These are more like your standard wands, staves, and other semi-permanent magical items. Instead of a set number of charges, artefacts have a depletion roll. It means that you have a chance (like 1-2 on a d100) to have your use of the item be your last. This mechanic is really good for minimizing paper work and I've started using it for wands and staves in my D&D games as well!

If I have to nitpick about the setting, I'd have to say that the political situation among the nations are a bit stale and some of the nations are also somewhat homogenous. But the Numenera are awe-inspiring and stimulates your creativity.

All in all: would I recommend Numenera? Definitively. I think it adds a lot of different elements to the gaming table. The system and the setting is very good for bringing in the weird and extraordinary to your tabletop gaming. Some of its mechanics are worthy of stealing for use in other games, while others are mere novelty. Character creation is one of the system's greatest strengths. But one might want to change things up in the nations if the GM wants to have a politically inclined campaign. This system is not for you if you expect any kind of PvP action between the players. Tactical combat is poorly supported in this system, favouring a cinematic approach instead.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Joseph M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2015 16:25:13

Numenera is something very new built using some very old ideas in a creative way. What I mean by this is at it's core you could argue it is a dungeon crawl game set 1 Billion Years in the future. That said, you'd be right and VERY, VERY wrong.

Numenera is about emergent play using the tropes of dungeon crawling but wrapped in it is post-apocalyptic junk culture, cargo cult style Clark's 3rd Law cultures, and yet it also has this very Mobius zeerust aesthetic mixed with punk ultra tech deco. Did that make sense? No? Let me break it down.

The game pulls from a LOT of cool inspirations that sounds like a who/who's of Monte Cooks years of writing and inspiration:

  1. Mobius Comicbook Art Styling
  2. Gamma World random junk and gadgets
  3. Cyberpunk trans/post human ideas.
  4. Narrative effort mechanics
  5. Kitchen Sink D&D ala Plansecape meets Spelljammer

The list goes on, but what Monte does and does well here is mix it all together into a very convincing setting called the 9th World. It's a very much next age of man ala Thundarr The Barbarian if seen though the lens of David Lynch's Dune with bits of Heavy Metal (Both movie and comics) mixed in. And this is a VERY, VERY, GOOD thing!

Mechanically it uses a system where the GM doesn't roll but sets difficulty and sometimes steps in to dictate the play of a roll but this later option is tied to a benie mechanic to keep it nice for the players. GM Intrusions are basically Hero Points from M&M but with mechanical backdoors tied to how the dice roll. (Roll a 1 and trigger a NON benie based Intrusion.) Higher rolls result in small to larger benefits and everything runs off of a single d20. Damage id static, but can be boosted by spending your pools of points (basically stats represented by energy pools) to nudge difficulties and results in your favor. And the difficultity range is a 1-10 scale while the PC's operate at a 1-6 one. That keeps them from out leveling challenges and starting and higher level characters all have the rough chance to pull stuff off but higher tier (aka level) characters get more pool to spend and other mechanical benefits to offset costs and to lower difficulty with out taping their pools. It works really well but does have a slight meta feel to it...and that's okay!

Where the game both shines and confuses/frustrates players is the Cypher System (the core mechanic) character creation options. It's I'm the Adjective Noun Who Verbs. Which works out as I'm the (status bonus) (class) who (character focus/growth area). The adjective is your native starting bonus. It usually is a stat pool boost, skill, and unique intro gimmick all rolled into one. The Noun/Class element is 3 classes in the game. Glaive (warrior), Nano (wizard/priest), and Jack (rogue) and they have 1-6 tiers and powers and skill bonuses for each tier of play. You'll be spending most of your exp HERE to flesh out your character as they grow. Your Verb (focus) element of the character is where it is awesome and can suck.

When I say is awesome and can suck is because you can misunderstand why some options are there and pick them and then later discover they feel more limited in scope than others. This is working as intended actually. The various focuses are what I call character rounders. Each character has 3 areas they can make themselves unique. The class options, their focus, and finally their items. A player can pick up "Carries a Quiver" and go on and on about why this option is only so-so compared to something more flexible like "Controls Gravity" and I'll point out the option is there specifically to round out characters who are Speed Focused (one of the 3 stats) who want a fire and forget long range attack option that levels up as they do.

(for example) A Glaive who's spending most of their exp on picking up skill specialties, and combat options who really just wants a fire and forget skill in Bows so at least one area is focused and of appropriate tier to every thing else. Or a Nano who specializes in defense and information skills but wants to be combat effective with the party. Or finally a Jack who much like the skillful Glaive is so spread out in their esotaries and tricks they welcome a nice and easy option like Carries a Quiver.

If you are building a character and you want to make up for the lack of scope influence as a Glaive, or prehaps add a edge that most people wouldn't expect as a Jack, or even a Nano who wants to add even more semi-magical tricks to their skills...pick a focus more esoteric than the fire and forget options like "Carries a Quiver" or even "Wields Power with Precision" which is basically "I cast magic better". The uber limited focuses are there for a reason...but I can see why people will call them traps if they don't look at the bigger picture of character development.

I would ding Monte for not explaining this, but in a book as THICK as this and with so much setting information (and there is a TON), rules options (decent amount), and just well Gm advice and starter adventures (check). I'd say this omission was more oversight than malicious design.

The game offers a very polished setting (which is nicely fleshed out in the World Guide recently released), enough character options, and a mechanic that screams to be used in online games that I think it's pretty much worth every buck I spent on it.

Love the game so I went all in and got the print copies and GM screen...among other books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2015 09:04:40

An excellent addition to any gaming library! The Cypher system is both unique and easy to use with brand new players. It puts the story in the hands of the players, rather than have them fear the GM. This turn of the table also lets the GM concentrate on telling the story, which heightens the players experience. First rate product in pdf and hardcover.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Daniel H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2014 15:30:19

Full disclosure: I am a MCG Asset Team Member

There are plenty of thorough reviews of Numenera online, and I'm not going to try and replicate them. What I will note are a couple of major strengths of the game:

1) I demoed the system at a FLGS, and it took about 30 minutes to create characters and explain the rules. By the first go-through of actions, everyone around the table had grasped the core mechanics. This is a very accessible system. 2) The GM really doesn't roll much, if ever. Not only does this give the players more to do, but it grants the GM more time and freedom during encounters to look things up/explain what's going on/otherwise get stuff done. This is a very liberating system to run. 3) The world encompasses a bit of everything, from medieval to sci-fi, from steam punk to Lovecraftian. As a campaign progresses, you can introduce new elements to keep things fresh. So this is also a very wide-ranging system.

Monte Cook has plenty of experience in the game design world, and Numenera uses a stripped down version of more complex games and ends up with something more like Fate which focuses on the story rather than the rules. This is a good thing!

Buy it, try it. Even if you hate the rules, there is so much to plunder within the corebook for your other campaigns that it's money well spent!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Chase W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2014 02:15:12

This game is one of the coolest, most original games I've played in a very long time. The system is fast, fun and cinematic. It's loose enough so that players have freedom to do what they want but structured enough so that storytellers can react without having to refer to the book too often. I love how the book gives you enough of the setting so that you can take it and run, creating what you need to make a personalized world. I find that really helps create an intimacy with the setting so writing for it becomes more instinctual than anything.

The Cyphers and Artifacts are fun. Having a revolving array of abilities and effects adds a nice randomness that has lead to some exciting scenes and some great moments when a player just realizes they have a cypher that can do just what is needed.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2014 22:15:34

Numenera employs a system both too complex and too simple to fit the ambitious concept. The problems here are well papered over with top notch artwork. Set against the idea of illustrating a world so old, so repeatedly transformed that living itself is done in a completely different way than we know, you are given wizards, knights, and thieves with kewl powerz and a medieval set of human kingdoms and religious cults that somehow keep themselves going in the face of monsters that should pretty much eat anybody who goes outdoors.

Take for example an encounter that happens in a free sample dungeon offered here on DTRPG. Hey, if you go down this corridor there are webs build by cyberspiders, the webs made of nanosteel silk or some such thing, walk into them and you're dead. OK, so what happens if I go into the basement of my local Green Griffin pub in the oh so normal kingdom of Griffendoria or whatever? Are there butcher nanospiders there too? No? Why not? How come all these walking meatbags get to survive in this monstrous era of nanoparticle killer winds and giant abominations? Everything in the world is so bizarre and deadly, and you're supposed to combat this with a bunch of punching skills, lists of d100 tables to figure out what your magic pocketwatch will do 1d3 times, and your jack, who's essentially half of your fighter and another half of your magic dude, who are themselves called, instead of fighters and mages, glands and gonads or something.

And so you have this world of great age and mystery, a bizarre lovechild of Lovecraft and CA Smith, reduced to a set of ways to dungeon delve and beat stuff up using a mystery nano-wand of wonders, roll 1d100 to turn the giant dandelion monster into a boat.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/16/2014 07:53:36

I started playing rpgs in 1981 and became a serious gamer in 1984. Since then I have played a wide variety of games and their various editions and expansions. There have been many of them that are spectacular, and many that failed to hit the mark.

Numenera hits that sweet spot where the game has depth and mechanical stability, but is smooth and transparent allowing a group to lose themselves in the narrative. I haven’t played a lot of D20 based games since the advent of the OGL and its iterations. Frankly the rules were simply too cumbersome and I turned to other systems. But with Numenera I find myself remembering the joy of playing some of those old games. It is a game that includes arcane knowledge, strange races that may be of alien origin, lost and misunderstood technology, mutated races and odd creatures that are both organic and inorganic in origin. All of this reminds me of battles fought, won, and lost in the blasted remnants of every post-apocalyptic game and story I have ever read.

The tradecraft is superb, the art so evocative the books almost don’t need text. The thing you should know is that I haven’t read ANY of the setting material, just the system pertinent sections, and the gm and story design chapters. I am tempted to read the rest, I have skimmed a bit here and there, but I can’t give in to it. I am sure it is so good that without knowing it I would be side tracked from my goals.

I have my own projects to work, my own worlds to build and this system speaks to the work I have brought forward with me since I was a teenager. This is the system that I could have used to tell all my stories throughout all my years behind the screen.

And one day, when it won’t color or derail the projects I have in mind, I know I will.

Well done and thank you for all your work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Francois B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/04/2014 15:06:28

Great book! Great system. The artwork is gorgeous. Can't wait to play it with a group



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Geoffrey C S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2014 22:41:49

A well written core guide and very fun to read through.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Gary S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/19/2014 03:21:52

Despite being aware of a Monte Cook game launching through Kickstarter and hearing of it's success, I never looked into Numenera until very recently. I guess part of me didn't want yet another new game on the shelves. Well now I have looked into it, I'm kicking myself. I love this setting and the rules are a blast of fresh air!

For the first time in years I've read all the way through a core book, every chapter, every page. The rules are simple, designed to keep the game flowing and the story being told. The setting is well thought out, very detailed, but with plenty of room to encourage GMs to add to it. And with the easy rules, doing that is a breeze!

Planning to start running my first game next week and I hope my players will love the game as much as I do.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Andrew R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2014 15:41:26

I purchased this download on sale and I have to say it is well worth it.

Some background: I'm a D&D 3rd edition player and GM as well as having experience with Deadlands, Star Wars 2nd edition, and Mechwarrior (back in the 90's). My players range from brand new to pen & paper RPG's to experienced AD&D dungeon masters.

I've now run a short Numenera adventure and I can say we all enjoyed it immensely. The system is intuitive and simple making it accessible and function in a way that I more or less run my other games anyway, that is to say, streamlined to make them as fun and playable as possible.

My only criticism might be with the book itself which doesn't have a strong glossary of useful tables at the end. This might be fixed with the GM screen which I did not purchase.

Over all I really enjoy the game system and the world. My players were particularly engaged by the "cypher" system of one-use items with strange effects. As we played I found myself making up more and more of these items to really fun effect.

As a GM this game was a dream, with such a simple core system improvising creatures, encounters, and NPC's was a breeze, making the adventures very flexible and opening up the possibilities for my players to go WAY off the rails.

In the end the feed back from my players was overwhelmingly positive, they enjoyed the speed of play and the flexibility of adventures which made them feel like I could handle any curve ball player behavior as if I had planed for it.

They already want me to develop a longer open-ended campaign which is the best review I can give any game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Sven A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/24/2014 12:42:27

Medium complexity rule set with some interesting ideas. Not as rule driven as DnD or Pathfinder but definitely in the same category. The setting is kind of interesting but unfortunately doesn't click for me. Happy I bought it for the fresh ideas it bring but I don't think I will play it much.

I believe how you perceive this game depends much on your gaming history and taste. If you are leaning more towards DnD-style games, I think you will really appreciate this game. If you (like me) is more used to story driven games, I think you will not be as impressed.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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