One of two things is true...

...either the Eighth World nearly completely obliterated the worlds that came before it in the process of becoming the Eighth World, or it did not.

Likewise for the seventh, sixth, fifth, back to the Second World.  It doesn't matter whether the First World did or not.

To me, it's more interesting if each one did not completely transform Earth in the process of becoming what they became. It's more interesting if each one, for whatever reason, preserved some of the worlds that came before.

This raises the question: Why?

If your civilization has mastered all the forces of the universe, then why not transform the world to your liking, erasing all that came before?

There are lots of possible reasons for this, but I consider "They couldn't" unacceptable. If those worlds were as powerful as they're portrayed, then they would have had that power.

I think it's more interesting if they found the structures and technologies of previous Worlds to be valuable, and incorporated them into their new Worlds, building on what had been left behind rather than bulldozing it.  I like this because it indicates that the Ninth World can do the same, climbing up onto the skeletal shoulders of giants to become something that is worthy of the name "Ninth World."

This is the reason that Ninth Worlders can take bits and bobs of technology and plug them in together and make them do stuff; each World has done exactly the same thing, creating their bits and bobs deliberately flexible and adaptable. If you took modern 21st century technology and tried to fit pieces together at random without understanding how they worked, you'd rarely get anything useful. For this scheme to work, then it had to have been deliberately set up that way.

As such, I'd like the Worlds to be somewhat identifiable. Nine different styles of construction and technology, that I can use to guide me when I create descriptions of the stuff people find.


  • So you're asking for a definition of the eight worlds before?  That's already been stated that MCG will not do that which would limit GM creativity, but you could do it yourself.

    For example:

    Eighth World - a race of hyper-intelligent AIs that utilized "life" as it's hardware; said life does not have to be sentient.  Thus the artifacts from the 7th world were left to their own, as they were useless, and the world plunged into effectively a dinosaur era, with only animal and plant life existing and some structures built by the various automaton servants to "caretake".  Unable to coexist with colonists from the fifth world (below) and thus degraded; the AIs roaming amongst the satellite networks and in various random places are all tha'ts left, and ninth worlders are descendants from those colonists who lost their technology and knowledge.

    Seventh World - a race of enlightened but reclusive humans.  The focused more and more on gathering knowledge, building vast AIs to be their servants (the precursors to the 8th world) and they withdrew more and more, extending their lifespans to further enhance their knowledge.  They let their numbers dwindle some, and allowed Earth to regenerate it's ecosystem from the 6th world, with their highly advanced technology sustaining them with minimal resource use.  Eventually they found a way to ascend to another plane of existence, merging into a collective, singular entity of thought, and left their technology behind.

    The Sixth World - a race of industrialists and strip miners, they scoured the planet for resources, and when the surface was scoured they went deeper for more.  The wealthy overseers stayed above, letting the poorer class labor below, living their entire lives there.  Eventually after millenia they have evolved into two separate paths, with the underworld people shunning the light but hating their overworld masters.  They eventually just stopped sending them resources, choking them off entirely.  The above worlders fell into chaos and anarchy, fighting amongst themselves and wiping out their civilization; what few were left focused on using what little resources they had to sustain them, becoming the Seventh World.  The 6th world retreated underground, never to be seen again (or not?)

    The Fifth World - a human race that oversaw a massive interstellar empire.  Again, strip miners for resources, they eventually left Earth as it was devoid of resources; the few that were left began digging deeper forming the 6th world.  The Fifth world migrated across several worlds for millions of years, stripping a planet and then moving on.  After finally circumventing the galaxy, an outlier colonist ship found a planet teeming with life and seemingly uninhabited by anyone, but with a peculiar network of satellites surrounding it (the Eight World AIs).  They landed and colonized it, but eventually their technology began failing on a massive scale (the AIs trying to get rid of them).  They realized the problem was from several large monoliths (what they AIs used to oversee the planet) and destroyed many, wiping out the 8th World, but in the process the 8th world eliminated most of their libraries (data as a target would make sense to an AI), their ships, and most technology.  They descended into near medieval level of technology, their descendants form the 9th world.

    Under that series of scenarios, the 6th world's tech would have developed from the 5th, but as they were digging would have left the 5th's stuff behind.  When they expelled their masters and banished them to the surface, those masters formed the 7th world and wanted to do nothing but commune with nature and live within their limited means, so their technology would be entirely different as it would be focused on resource management, not resource waste.  Eventually they leave, and their AIs develop technology that's more suitable for them, biotechnology that can power and sustain the AI's society.  The 5th world returns, scattering their tech all over the place.  Thus, 4 civilizations right there who while granted evolved from the tech left behidn by each, essentially left the tech of the previous world alone and built their own, and why tech from the last 4 worlds is more common than the first 4.
  • As a second thought, i would focus on making it not understandable.  I have my players find a ray emitter, and it's a series of nanites that they ingest and form around their eye; firing it off with just a thought (fires a laser from the eye, fire damage).  THe next time they find a ray emitter, it's a complex crystal formation that, based on the facets, they can tell if they shine sunlight through it in such a way, it'll refract and create emit a ray at a target (fire damage).  The next time they find a bulbous creature with 5 legs about 6 inches long that wraps around their wrist, crawls around occasionally, and when prodded in a certain spot it expends all of it's bodily fluids at high pressure (up to long range) while igniting a spark that lights it on fire (fire damage).  Same item, completely different tech.  Just make it weird, and each time different, and not explainable at all.  It's worked really well for my game.
  • YOINK!

    Muton said:
    So you're asking for a definition of the eight worlds before?  That's already been stated that MCG will not do that which would limit GM creativity, but you could do it yourself.

    For example:

  • I'm not asking for anyone to supply it, though you have great ideas.

    No, I plan on writing something like this for myself...though I'm going to keep it where my players will never find it.
  • Sorry, I misunderstood your point with the post.

    I had the same problem; I was wondering what the prior 6 or 7 civilizations were like if the Ninth Worlders have all 8 to draw from, then in theory 8 had the prior 7 to draw from, 7 had 6, etc., but then tried to think of a world where 4 may have connected all at once; and this is one thing i came up with; so I went through the same thought experiment.

    I personally like the idea of one civilization building on another, but I chose for my game to not even go with it.  I just gave them more and more weird descriptors, picking randomly each time that this time they're finding crystal stuff, this time bio-technology, this time it's mechanical, this time it's nano-technology, etc.  That way they keep guessing, and they'll never figure out the answers because I don't have any; it's totally random, and that mystery is adding a lot of flavor to the minds of my players.

    Nobilis Reed said:
    I'm not asking for anyone to supply it, though you have great ideas.

    No, I plan on writing something like this for myself...though I'm going to keep it where my players will never find it.

  • If you look at today, our cities are often built on the bones of older civilizations. Rome is still Rome, Paris has all these catacombs that have been there for hundreds of years. Bagdad was once upon a time Babylon. Nothing exists in a vacuum. I'd be ready to bet that if you dig far enough in Numenera you'll get the 8 other worlds layered like a cake.

    The reason why they just didn't convert everything is the same as to why the catacombs are still under Paris, they simply haven't worried about them. When you have wormholes to everywhere with the possibility of spanning the universe, are you really going to worry about what's under your feet, at best you'll make a wildlife and heritage reserve and at worst you'll just forget about it while ohhing and awwing at stellar nurseries.  I'm sure the end of many civilizations ended in very long "dark ages" where history and knowledge was lost. Maybe the last 7 worlds evolved exactly like the world of numenera did, throwing around pieces of machinery from the past at things they didn't like. History is nothing without context.
  • I've been nurturing a theory that the current world is the result of a grave error in judgement. I suspect the reason for artifacts from multiple "worlds" is either a temporal catastrophe... or a blending of neighboring "parallel" worlds. Probably both, to be honest. One triggering the other as equipment in operation was torn from its original location. Kind of impossible to tell how or where that would have started. Which is enough of an answer for me to work with.
  • I like that one, Dan.  The different worlds don't have a timeline, they all happened at the same "time" sort of.

  • There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. - Douglas Adams

    Maybe a few times? :)
Sign In or Register to comment.