The world of Numenera, the Ninth World, set a billion years in the future, is a strange place. It’s a land of enormous floating obelisks, of tiny golden beetles that sing in forgotten tongues, and of mysterious and deadly octopi queens.
By reading the corebook and supplements like Into the Ninth World or Ninth World Guidebook, you can get a pretty good sense of Numenera’s specific flavor of weird. However, you may want to experience a more zoomed-in view of life in the Ninth World, or hear how other gamers have brought it to life at their table. This research can be really helpful to both game masters and players!
In the four years since Numenera was released, all kinds of people have created myriad ways to engage with the setting. Mediums may differ in their ability to inspire you, but there is likely something for everyone on this list.
Read: Numenera fiction
- Amber Monolith – a free short story
- The Poison Eater – the first full-length Numenera novel written by Shanna Germain
- Anthologies – Tales from the Ninth World, More Tales from the Ninth World, Tales Beyond the Ninth World (from our Into the Ninth World books that explore the Ninth World’s deep oceans, its stars and galaxies, and its parallel worlds)
- Weird of Numenera – a twitter account bringing you weekly bits of weird Numenera fiction and story hooks
- Actual Play Podcasts – There are quite a few podcasts that follow gamers playing through the Ninth World!
- Fandible’s short adventure as well as a quite long-running Longshot of Numenera
- The Redacted Files campaign Mysteries of the Ninth World that starts in The Devil’s Spine and branches out
- Knights of the Night’s mid-length actual play called Sandswept
- One Shot Podcast’s zany short playthrough of Beale of Boregal from the corebook run by yours truly!
- In-world audio fiction – The Signal is a broadcast from a character calling themselves Vaux Jack who broadcasts news and warnings throughout the Ninth World. This podcast has a fantastic Welcome to Nightvale feel.
- Atmospheric soundtracks – Wes Otis has created a ton of amazing looping audio backgrounds for specific locations in and around the Ninth World. These would be perfect for gameplay as well as game prep! The tracks were funded through Kickstarter but are being added to DriveThroughRPG.
- The Strand – the Numenera short film by the Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter, now free to watch on Youtube!
- Actual Play Videos – RollPlay R&D, Invictus Stream, DiceStormers (including a Jade Colossus game), and the Monte Cook Games crew playing Numenera in Doorway to Eternity!
- Digital – Torment: Tides of Numenera – the acclaimed roleplaying game for PC & consoles that is both a spiritual successor to the game Planescape: Torment and a new, rich storytelling experience that captures the delightful weird of Numenera.
- Tactile – We’ve been talking a lot about books and podcasts and digital experiences – if you’ve got to touch and perhaps paint something, check out the gorgeous Reaper miniatures of Numenera characters and creatures.
- While there isn’t yet a Cookbook or Craft Cocktails of the Ninth World, Charles Ryan’s Gen Con 2015 Seskii birthday cake is a delightful inspiration.
If you’re looking to get a sense of the weird of Numenera, there are lots of resources, but don’t forget that everyone’s depiction of the setting will be a little different. Darcy’s games skew toward the feel of Hayao Miyazaki films, while Torment: Tides of Numenera leans into some of the darker elements of the world. Sean’s Numenera games often involve mutagens and weird biology—fascinating topics for his comic book nerd and science nerd selves. Lately, Bruce has exploring some a bit of horror with his weird, as a few parts of Jade Colossus demonstrate. Shanna leans toward dark, complex scenarios, drawing inspiration from the likes of The City of Lost Children, Pi, Ex Machina, and Fringe. These differences are all perfectly valid! We’ve intentionally left blanks in the map and the setting so you can make the world your own.