What to steal from?

I admit it. I steal from stuff all the time, or since its sometimes more than three sources, its research.

Anyway, it occurs to me that ideas for sources of weird cultures might not be a bad idea for Numenera, so here are a few that look likely to me. Of course renaming them to confuse the players is highly suggested.

Places and Cultures

  • GURPS Planet of Adventure - from Jack Vance's series. In it, you can get a fairly large number of space fantasy style cultures and locations that look like they would fit in well in Numenera.
    The Dirdir, Blue and Old Chasch look to make for interesting visitant challenges. The Pnume might fit right in and might have been on Earth as long as a few hundred million years...

  • GURPS Planet Krishna - game adaptation of the series by L. Sprague De Camp. The Osirians, Thorians and Thothians could be good visitant PCs or opposition, to say nothing of the Krishnans and Ormazdians.

  • GURPS Banestorm for the Sahudese. Come to think of it, an adaptation of Sahudese Fire Drill might make for an interesting game.


  • GURPS Planet of Adventure

  • GURPS Planet Krishna

  • After Man by Dougal Dixon.

  • The World of Kong by Weta Studios

  • Tuf Voyaging by George RR Martin. The critters that Haviland Tuf has stashed away in his seedship could provide a lot of opposition.

  • Gamma World if only for the Comrade, Nemesis, Mystery chapter with the Brutorz, Centisteed and Rakkoxen for mounts. 

  • Gamma World Machines and Mutants - for all of it. Some of the machine life ought to be memorable.

  • Gamma World: Out of the Vaults - particularly the Undersea Biopod and Personal Wing. Though I have to admit the City Sphere (flying city) has a lot of appeal...

So, what else can we steal from for Numenera?


  • GURPS Bio Tech - lots of possibilities to look at.
  • In the introduction in the core rulebook, Monte mentions Gene Wolf's The Book of the New Sun as one of the main influences for Numenera.  After reading this I purchased The Book of the New Sun.  It can be kind of an exhausting read, so I looked online for some help getting through it and was directed to the GURPS Book of the New Sun supplement.  It contains spoilers for the book series, but is a great overview of the setting of the Book of the New Sun, and I think will be a fantastic mine of ideas to steal from.
  • Some great examples listed here.


    And though it is Hard Sci-fi I stole some ideas fro Scott Westerfield's Risen Empire books (some great stuff on nanotech and "datasphere' type stuff). And for some lighthearted fun a thing or two from Thundarr the Barbarian.
  • I believe the "The Book of the New Sun" by Gene Wolfe seems to fit the Ninth World perfectly, I did not find it exhausting reading but more intriguing and thought provoking.

    I love the use of archaic or archaic sounding real world words through out the novel; it really lends to the mood (it does make it hard to read).  Words like "Zoanthrope"; basically a man who game up his humanity to become bestial again; really add to over all mood. Wolfe could have just called them "Beast men" or  "Savages" but he made a conscious choice in the words he used to weave an incredible world. There is even a lexicon that in my eye could be used to help get the same feel in your Numenera game.


    He also weaves a very intricate plot that is told from the narrators view point, it leaves so much room for the imagination of the reader. I found that I not only read the book but studied it, trying to decipher the hidden meanings and understand the connections not presented by the narrator. I t allowed me to fill in the empty spaces, to speculate and draw conclusions. In my eyes once again a very Numenerain (if that is a word?) concept. Here is my favorite quote about the plot...

    If Gene Wolfe had written The Sixth Sense, the twist would not have been revealed at the end. He would simply assume that his readers were smart enough to figure it out and if not, too bad. --Heathcliff02:16, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

    I am not sure this helped, but I would not ward you off  "The book of the New Sun" if you are looking for more then stat blocks and creatures. It has the feel that game captured in my opinion and will give you a wealth of ideas, locations and plots.

    I am moving on to "The Dying Earth" Series next....which sounds like another good read to fill my head with great ideas.
  • Silverberg's Majipoor, Bradley's Darkover, Gentle's Golden Witchbreed, Norton's Witchworld, the Myst computer game series, and Saberhagen's Empire of the East and Books of Swords all come to mind.

    The rather odd D20 setting called Oathbound has some elements that, if you can get through the dense style, could drop right in.

    The older anime (in both OAV and later series) El Hazard is loaded with old tech as new magic.
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