Your Game: Getting Weird in the Ninth World

Your Game is a regular feature here on the Monte Cook Games website, that talks about getting the most out of your RPG experience, including GM and player advice.

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.

Note: Don’t forget about our big Discover Your Destiny sale going on right now – 20% off all Numenera products in our store: glimmers, books, pdfs, miniatures, dice, and more!

Read: Numenera fiction

Listen:

  • Actual Play Podcasts – There are quite a few podcasts that follow gamers playing through the Ninth World!
  • 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.

Numenera: Strand title card

Watch:

Play:

  • 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.

Eat:

  • 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.

Iadace!

Darcy Ross
Darcy Ross

Darcy L. Ross, Community Relations Coordinator for Monte Cook Games, is a storyteller, scientist, and community organizer. Across media, she aims to highlight people doing good things in the gaming community and to bring new people into gaming. She co-hosts the podcast Cypher Speak, has blogged for the award-winning Gnome Stew, and has worked to support marginalized voices in gaming with ConTessa. Darcy lives in a small but powerful aldeia of tabletop creatives in Hyde Park, Chicago.