So one thing that isn't clear to me is: does the general public know about the datasphere? Do aeon priests? Do either group know the source of "glimmers"?


  • The Datasphere is one of the immersion breakers for me, at least so far.
  • It's up to the GM. What is clear from the core book is that many people will think of it as a supernatural force instead of technological one and treat any happenings as such. Give the nature of the Ninth World, I would say that most people have heard about a datasphere-linked event.
  • edited July 2015
    In my games, I consider that the average joe knows very little about the datasphere. They would rather call it "the world of the spirits", "the other side" or something like that. Only the aeon priests or people having academic knowledge about the numenera would use the word "datasphere" and even then they would almost see it as somekind of parallel world inhabitated by strange entities (think "shadow plane" in D&D).

    In this respect, glimmers would be akin to spirits contacting someone or demons eager to posses someone etc.
  • In my game, members of scholarly organizations like the Order of Truth and the Convergence certainly know of the existence of the Datasphere. Some of the members of these organizations would be "experts", in the sense that they focus their studies specifically upon the Datasphere, and are therefore slightly less ignorant than the rest of us.

    Varying degrees of knowledge of the Datasphere could also be assumed among unaffiliated Aeon Priests and various learned individuals across the world. Amongst the general population, though, I'd imagine the term "Datasphere" would be a head-scratcher, and the concept a new and/or unsettling one.

    The cyphers and artifacts we find in the pages of the official supplements sometimes have scientific sounding names, and at other times have more superstitious or fantastic names. This is a result of who named them, a learned Aeon Priest, or a drit-tiller turned adventurer who unearthed the thing in some ruin or another. I mention this to highlight that the general populace, while fully aware of the omnipresence of the numenera, is a lot less aware of the specifics of what they are seeing and how things work.

    An Aeon Priest or a Jack who learned his skills through careful study sees a glimmer, and he knows it's a result of the Datasphere. The Nano who learned his skills through shamanistic traditions, who sees the same glimmer, believes he's seen something of the spirit world. A common citizen may believe he has seen a ghost, or just shake it off as 'something strange' and move hurriedly along.
  • In my games it has varied from town to town. One town had everyone mentally linked at all times so they knew about the datasphere but didn't actually have a word for it- it was just a fact of life.

    Generally unless they have a reason to know about it average folk don't except in a passing notion as "that thing that occasionally beams images of weird monsters or random facts into my head" and try to stay away from it. People that deal with the numenera or sell/repair knowledge cyphers know of it, but it's still dealt with trepidation- after all, if you can look into it, that means that somebody else can probably use it to look at/access you.
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