Ninth World Guidebook

So, as you probably know, the last big Kickstarted supported Numenera book is the Ninth World Guidebook, which expands upon the setting material in the corebook. Keeping in mind that the book will feature both these things, which of the two are you MORE interested in:

1. Additional material about locations in the Steadfast and the Beyond

2. Material that opens up even more of the Ninth World (in other words, locations outside the Steadfast and the Beyond)
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Comments

  • You've given us a great deal within the Steadfast and the Beyond but I would like more. Leave the remaining world less defined for custom creation. The classic worlds like World of Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms and so on gave great detail for the major homelands and left the rest of the world to do with as you like. I like this approach! Thanks Monte!!!
  • I would much rather see more official material written about the Steadfast and the Beyond. I prefer that setting material goes for depth instead of breadth.
  • 2 over 1

     

    however a couple steadfast locations in great detail. Major city or two. Could be of great help.

    but more interested in culture guide. Customs rites. Common occurances. Stuff that helps us gms make the steadfast feel more of a real community
  • Quite frankly I want both. I want more depth gone into on what we already have in order to make the world feel more weird and wonderful rather than what I've heard a lot of people saying, which is "its stock fantasy with uber tech which realistically might as well be magic so therefore its actually just DnD reskinned". I love the setting, but whilst I love the ability to use my own imagination to create cool stuff, a good book shouldn't force me to create that all on my own. Guides are good especially in a world so big.(timewise and scale)



    That being said I also want a map of the entire world and detail of locations of import across all of earth because I really don't want to have to make it all up. It's one thing to grant me the tools to create whatever I want if I choose, and another thing entirely to essentially force me to create the world. There is way too much left for GMs to decide by themselves. Give more examples of how future tech has shaped the world and also everyday life for ninth worlders, as well as some deeper looks into the kingdoms. Also when giving us huge old-world 'discoveries' for our players. its nice to let us decide their original and current use but at least give 1 or 2 ideas of what you were thinking when you created them. Not every GM is a creative genius and while freedom is nice, too much freedom with little to no guidance is akin to saying "here's some rules, you create the setting", which shouldn't be my job to that extent. A great RPG setting book gives GMs the source material to work a wonderful world, whilst also giving the tools to make it their own. The biggest complaint I've heard for this book is that it only does the latter and barely that (essentially saying our tools to create the world are just use your imagination), which I don't entirely agree with but I can definitely understand.



    I don't want this to come across as hate because this is my favourite setting ever and I love Numenera to bits (GM'd 3 games of it so far and love it) but I cant ignore people's fully justified complaints on the game.



    - More detailed areas/cultures/steadfast.

    - People and places of import in greater detail

    - more weird/tech influences in the world

    - more world



    P.S. sorry for the long post. Look forward to getting future products as an MCG Superfan :)
  • I'm more interested in number 2.  I'd really like to learn more about the world beyond the Steadfast and the Beyond that's detailed in the core book.

    I like the way the locations are described in the corebook--we're given enough to get started, but not bogged down with a lot of details.  This really works for me as what's given gets my imagination going, but there's not so much given that I feel there isn't room to fill in with my own creations.  I'd like to see more locations in more parts of the world given this treatment in the World Guide.

    While I'm wishing, I'd also like to see a "world map" in the World Guide, showing the extent of the entire supercontinent.  Even if the whole thing isn't detailed between the core book and World Guide (I don't expect it to be), it would be nice to see what is detailed in relation to the entire supercontinent--where places are in relation to each other, where the undetailed places are, and where the undetailed places are in relation to the detailed places. 

    I also think it would be great if you took a similar approach as you did with the current map, where there are the "brown" areas that are "hands off" for MCG.  It would be great if the world map had some areas like this (a couple countries or more that are "brown" and will never be detailed would be awesome).  That way if a GM like me wants to create their own country, but have it fit with the canon Ninth World, we can put it in one of those "hands off" areas on the world map.

    Finally, I'd love to see a couple or few isolated islands (or small continents) that have broken off the supercontinent tectonically, and are far enough from it that these areas are truly isolated, so that they would be their own ecosystems with independent evolutions of lifeforms over millenia, completely separated from the rest of the Ninth World.  I know it would be easy for us to add these in, but it would be great to see one or two created by MCG.
  • I would prefer more of the "outside" world (and other dimensions, planetary bodies, and spatial installations).
  • Outside. We already have enough about the Steadfast and the Beyond to have an idea of how they work so we can fill in the blanks for ourselves. I'd like to hear about what's in the oceans, on faraway island chains, in orbit, in the solar system, and in completely alien places still somehow accessible from locations in the Ninth World. There were hints in the Corebook but it'd be cool to get a bit more.
  • That being said, as according to the OP I would prefer outside to be the focus. The full world needs detailing to some extent, and that certainly is more important than further detail to what we already have. It would just be nice to have lots of both.
  • I would rather see more material about the world outside the Steadfast and the Beyond. The level of detail about those areas is about right for me. Leaves lots of room for GMs to fill in the details.
  • Also later on as either a glimmer or a book in itself, I would like to see a brief history/vague description of each of the 8 prev. worlds. I don't need the Ninth world to be fully fleshed out, but it makes tech/cyphers/artifacts way more interesting to players and better to design if we have a rough idea of what the previous civilizations were like. They're dead but they have influenced what the ninth world has become and so I think to really take this World to the next level a vague idea of them would be nice. 
  • I would not. I much prefer that the deep history is left wide-open so we can fill it out ourselves without violating canon.
  • I don't want the prior Worlds 'officially' fleshed out at all, That leaves the GM free to define them at not as he pleases. Once you define something in canon, that leaves the GM less room to define them himself, since the writing of canon creates player expectation.

    Heck, I decided last night that one major city had newspapers, for crying out loud!


    Anthony Martin said:
    Also later on as either a glimmer or a book in itself, I would like to see a brief history/vague description of each of the 8 prev. worlds. I don't need the Ninth world to be fully fleshed out, but it makes tech/cyphers/artifacts way more interesting to players and better to design if we have a rough idea of what the previous civilizations were like. They're dead but they have influenced what the ninth world has become and so I think to really take this World to the next level a vague idea of them would be nice. 



  • I'd like to see more info about the Steadfast and Beyond, and see broader world stuff end up in a separate sourcebook, personally.

    My rationale stems somewhat from Earthdawn. Barsaive is the main focus there, and has a geographical footprint similar to The Steadfast+The Beyond. The reality is, that's a big enough area, that there's a ton of room to make that part of the world where most people will play much richer, rather than providing what would likely be basically a skeleton for stuff outside. Then you just end up with players clamoring for more of both to fill out what was left out.

    That doesn't mean the stuff "outside" doesn't exist. And there's value in alluding to it all to set up the future expansions. For instance, in Earthdawn, we knew about areas beyond Barsaive such as Thera, Cathay, etc. But those ended up being books unto themselves in the end (Cathay had 2 just to cover all the stuff). Which is part of the balance, because really there were parts of Barsaive that never got the attention they deserved - like Iopos (a militant oligarch state run by a family of intense magic users that regularly aligned with Thera against Throal). I would have LOVED to see that part of the world fluffed out. But when you start branching off into the "outside" stuff, you needfully neglect the things in the core space that need more detail in their own rights.

    So I'd say, make our existing world as rich as possible first. And maybe slip in a chapter of what the world is like beyond The Beyond so we can create our own stuff in that space for now, but don't feel compelled to outline anything too specific that doesn't play into geopolitical plot threads of the game itself.
  • Number 1.

    As much as I want the rest of the world to be fleshed out more I'm also looking forward to that being a bit of a blank canvas that I can make mysterious and unknown. Having no maps of that area lets me be as crazy as needed with the areas found.
  • Definitely 2. The level of detail just feels right for a game like Numenera, so it would be nice to see further areas of the world. Unless of course you do something big on Nihliesh, the Matheunis, Seshar and the Ba-Adenu Forest. :) Then depth would be more appreciated ;)
  • I would be more interested in #2.

    That being said, I like Lex's idea that locations, even big locations, be "browned out," to allow for my own development.  I'm always thinking about the three towns on the Wyr River, one in each of Draolis, Iscobal, and Malevich.  Tell me there's not some serious political intrigue and spying going on there.

    Also, please don't limit your creative mind to the Ninth World.  Orbital stations, the Moon, other planets, even virtual territories in the datasphere should all be considered. 

    I also like discrete locations that are "placeless," and can be easily dropped wherever I need a quick ruin or tribal territory.  A map and a couple of possible hooks to be detailed at the table would be great.  Maybe this is a better idea for a Glimmer or two.

    I also feel the prior worlds should not be detailed.  Last week in my game, the players entered the complex beneath Uxphon following the Lily.  I said it was some kind of residential complex, but clearly not built for humans.  The players consulted Boregal (a sort of datasphere consigliore, always vague and slightly confusing) about for what kind of creatures this complex was made.  I thought back to the aliens at the end of the "Well of Souls" novels by Jack Chalker, and described those.  This interaction may have been stifled by a too-detailed description of the prior worlds.
  • Monte said in this interview that they will not be detailing the 8 previous worlds.  He even suggested against doing that in your own game, and I totally agree with him and his reasons.

    Although I really like the idea of getting info on space stations, other planets, moons, etc., I think this would work better as a separate supplement ("Beyond the Ninth World" perhaps?).  I doubt that they will even be able to talk about the entire rest of the Ninth World in one book, so I'd prefer a focus on that.  Considering that the size of what's covered in the core is about the size of the US, if the rest of the world is comparable to the land mass on Earth today, there is a LOT more to cover.

    I really like the idea of some "placeless" things that we can plop down wherever.  Brilliant!




  • Jeremy Land said:
    I would prefer more of the "outside" world (and other dimensions, planetary bodies, and spatial installations).



    +1
  • Don't flesh out the previous worlds as that would run counter to the 'describe, don't define' ethos you've set for the Numenera line. Most if us don't really know much about the past 4,000 years beyond the broad strokes we learn in school. It makes sense that those living in the ninth world won't know that much about the last billion.
  • I prefer more about the outside world, but specifically more weird.  I can create (or find) medieval city states with tech access variants all day.  I love the stuff that gives us a moment through the looking-glass, a glimpse into what was normal for someone else.  I really enjoy the things that give my players that realization of walking carefully through someone else's backyard...as well as the ones that give them a moment to take something from the past and make it relevant to the present, or the future.  That holds them, in game and out: the part of the setting where they experience the wonder, then make themselves part of its story.

    So guidebooks for the outside stuff, please :)
  • +1 to all of this....

    Dwayne Schueller said:
    I would be more interested in #2.

    That being said, I like Lex's idea that locations, even big locations, be "browned out," to allow for my own development.  I'm always thinking about the three towns on the Wyr River, one in each of Draolis, Iscobal, and Malevich.  Tell me there's not some serious political intrigue and spying going on there.

    Also, please don't limit your creative mind to the Ninth World.  Orbital stations, the Moon, other planets, even virtual territories in the datasphere should all be considered. 

    I also like discrete locations that are "placeless," and can be easily dropped wherever I need a quick ruin or tribal territory.  A map and a couple of possible hooks to be detailed at the table would be great.  Maybe this is a better idea for a Glimmer or two.

    I also feel the prior worlds should not be detailed.  Last week in my game, the players entered the complex beneath Uxphon following the Lily.  I said it was some kind of residential complex, but clearly not built for humans.  The players consulted Boregal (a sort of datasphere consigliore, always vague and slightly confusing) about for what kind of creatures this complex was made.  I thought back to the aliens at the end of the "Well of Souls" novels by Jack Chalker, and described those.  This interaction may have been stifled by a too-detailed description of the prior worlds.



  • In regards to detailing the previous worlds. If it was done from an in character perspective it and offered contradictory facts and theories then it could be interesting and not constraining.
  • I don't see Numenera going away anytime soon. With that in mind, I say expand the world with the next book. Go back in other books and give more info on the Steadfast and the Beyond.
  • This could be really interesting. One of the things I really liked about Tribe 8 was that the a lot of the fluff text felt like it came from the game world.

    Fasturian said:
    In regards to detailing the previous worlds. If it was done from an in character perspective it and offered contradictory facts and theories then it could be interesting and not constraining.


  • Hate to be the one to tell you this, but: http://ninthworldhub.com/xn/detail/6601152:Comment:13255

    Anthony Martin said:
    Also later on as either a glimmer or a book in itself, I would like to see a brief history/vague description of each of the 8 prev. worlds. I don't need the Ninth world to be fully fleshed out, but it makes tech/cyphers/artifacts way more interesting to players and better to design if we have a rough idea of what the previous civilizations were like. They're dead but they have influenced what the ninth world has become and so I think to really take this World to the next level a vague idea of them would be nice. 



  • I agree with what Lex says, #2 and would love to see a world map!
  • I am definitely more interested on number 2.  It would be great as others have said to have a full world map too.  
  • Frankly I think that is a weak answer. We might as well not have been told there were worlds before, because unless the GM goes to a buttload of effort to create them him/herself, they really dont exist. All they need to give us is a snippet of the kind of technological impact each of them had and we'd be fine. Without that kind of info anything we create, be it cyphers, artifacts or discoveries have no real context in the bigger picture.



    Everyone keeps saying just make things weird and they'll be good, but weird is subjective and if players dont have a context for what influenced these technologies then they get very old very fast.



    My players love the setting, the system and the tech i give them, but it doesn't change the fact that because I cant give them context for the tech it feels just like random cool crap.



    The fact of the matter is if they don't want to restrict us with canon, sell it as a glimmer, like the strange Aeons one. That is not considered canon but it would provide some insight to those who want some, and wouldn't hurt those who didn't

    Jeremy Land said:
    Hate to be the one to tell you this, but: http://ninthworldhub.com/xn/detail/6601152:Comment:13255

    Anthony Martin said:
    Also later on as either a glimmer or a book in itself, I would like to see a brief history/vague description of each of the 8 prev. worlds. I don't need the Ninth world to be fully fleshed out, but it makes tech/cyphers/artifacts way more interesting to players and better to design if we have a rough idea of what the previous civilizations were like. They're dead but they have influenced what the ninth world has become and so I think to really take this World to the next level a vague idea of them would be nice. 




  • That's not entirely accurate. There is recorded history. Most people in the Ninth World just have no clue how to get at it. Case in point, the Datasphere. It likely is host to billions of terabytes of data on the past. But how do you get at it? How do you translate it? You don't. Like you said, at best, maybe you get "visions," or inspired flashes of visual representations, but it's only blips and entirely reliant on your ability to process that into something useful.

    The comparison I've used is that the Ninth World is, by itself, about as technologically, culturally, and socially advanced as Native Americans in the 1600s. Or maybe Renaissance Europe. The tech around them is little more than magic, except to the handful of tinkerers out there that see the patterns.

    If you went back in time and took an iPad to Molière with a copy of Wikipedia on it and said that the entirety of our recorded knowledge was encased in this device, that'd be awesome. And he'd have no idea what to do with it. Technology is easy, it's the flow of information that is impossibly hard. Because even if you can preserve the data, accessing and making it useful requires certain technological advances that the Ninth World hasn't yet made.

    Now multiply that by a billion years. All that data folding in on itself over and over. More noise than anything truly meaningful.

    All of that isn't to say that you aren't right though, that there's no reason there couldn't be sourcebooks on past worlds. IMO, I think I'd like to see them tied specifically to events or locations that for some reason are coming back to bear on the Ninth World. Basically, adventure hooks.


    Jay said:
    Exactly. +1

    Isn’t it a bit odd that, in the Numenera setting, the inhabitants of the 9th world are surrounded literally by the relics, artifacts and detritus of a billion years of history (By that 1 world, 9, 24 or 24 thousand – The number isn’t important and is just as likely from something fleshed out or vaguely conceptualised as it is a number plucked from thin air because “9th World” sounds better than any other number…) but that at no point in that billion years (Which is a metric fuck-ton of time by anyones measure!) has anyone ever thought to document/record anything at all?

     Am I saying that we, or any inhabitant of the setting, know the totality of the history? No. Of course not. Their brain would be mush with such a vast amount of information, even a cursory/surface listing of events.

     Am I saying that we, or any inhabitant of the setting, know large amounts about the history? Again, no, as above. We’re still studying the small amount of time we’ve been on this planet and recorded our history.

     Am I saying that some savvy Nano, lucky Jack or driven Glaive stumble upon an artifact/relic/source of information (Remember, these items from the past ARE still there, that’s the point of the setting, explore, reclaim and re-use!) that gives them some knowledge of some small time in the past? Yes. Very much so. That would be epic.

    Some Nano by accident connects to just the right part of the Datasphere and the “spirits” give them a vision of a mighty empire descending on the world, slaughtering the inhabitants and taking it for their own, neither side appearing human but instead being two alien races who both use bio-organic technology. That would be awesome. That Nano would look at every cypher, artifact, installation and location for bio-genetic origins never sure whether it was part of the world that was taken over or something the conquering species brought with them.

    How long a time period did the above potentially cover? Even if that’s as long as our two AD millennia world that’s barely even going to register on anyone’s chronological radar. It’s snippets of things that happened in the past, freeze-frames of stuff, that I want to see to give context and a degree of consistency to the 9th World. Would those snippets be of the prior “Worlds”? It’d never be stated – they could be or they might just be massively unimportant, inconsequential pointless little moments in the planets history that have zero relevance to anyone or anything else. But they’re still bloody interesting and awesome. To me that’s VERY Numenera and it doesn’t spoil anyone’s homebrew elements, own histories etc. They wouldn’t be canon and strictly enforced in other supplements and the like – they could even be alternate timelines or versions of Earth that exist out in the multiverse.

    For me excluding the prior worlds actually does a complete disservice to the 9th. Not revealing anything at all about them is a waste of so much potentially awesome plot material. Let’s face it, with a billion years of history, even if for half of that time the planet was a desolate wasteland devoid of life, you could still release sourcebooks yearly detailing huge tracts of time and still never actually scratch the surface of what went on. I think people hugely under-estimate just how vast a time period a billion years is. The information would give some amazingly great source material though – and nicely illustrated, well written and produced etc.

    Looking through there are small elements of this in the various bits of source material already – the Oorgoolians, the Latos etc in the bestiary. I’m not even saying provide information on those, but any snippets of small times in the past would enrich things without detracting from anyones 9th World due to the amount of time that’s passed.



  • It's nice to hear I'm not the only one that thinks so. By the logic I've heard around here, if detailing the previous ages in any amount of detail would ruin GM freedom, by that same logic detailing ANY part of the ninth world would also limit such freedom, yet I don't hear anyone claiming the corebook should be just the rules set and then blank sheets of paper with insert your world here written.



    It's ludicrous the amount of info that has been left out about the setting. Freedom is great and I applaud MCG for allowing such freedom in the material they have created so far, but too much freedom is as much a prison for a GM as detailing an exact world is. If you detail too much the GM has no leeway to create his own take on a world, but with little to no detail, which is what we currently have for the previous civs, it is close to impossible to create anything susbstantial because we have nothing to build upon. We literally have to create each era from scratch, and I simply cannot accept that as ok.



    To me that is akin to saying here are the mechanics, YOU go make the game's setting. I honestly cant believe that any GM wants such a thing. 
    Jay said:
    Exactly. +1








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