RPGaDAY Day 7: Most Intellectual Game Owned


Today’s topic is a difficult one for me to write about, namely because I see most any Tabletop RPG as an intellectual endeavor.  Problem is, if I just said “all the games I own” I would consider that a cop-out, so I guess for my own benefit I need to choose something.  So… I choose you Numenera!

You'll quickly discover the artwork is strikingly beautiful.

You’ll quickly discover the artwork is strikingly beautiful.

Numenera is a fairly new RPG out there, and I’ll wager most of you have heard of it.  Likely from its wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and the star power backing its three main creators.  That being Monte Cook, Shanna Germain, and later addition Bruce R. Cordell, all pretty heavy hitters in the world of RPG’s.  It is a setting placed so far into the future that eight previous civilizations (well eight known ones) have risen and fallen, the current civilization calls themselves the “Ninth World”.

Numenera NomadsJust the concept is fairly heady to begin with, not to mention it gets its kicks from being utterly alien to anyone who sits down to play or run the game.  The system itself is fairly straightforward, actually makes it easier on the GM to an extent by having a system that doesn’t have them ever roll.  In very simplified terms the players do all the rolling while the GM sets a variety of target numbers to exceed.  No, the “intellectual” part comes from the game’s style of play and alieness (not a word) of its world.

The artwork is also as awesomely weird as its concepts.

The artwork is also as awesomely weird as its concepts.

I have actually found this game hard for me to run, which may be part of the reason I respect its intellectual nature.  I’ve never been one for far future Sci-Fi really and though a point is made that this setting leans as heavily to fantasy as Sci-Fi (an often utilized quote comes from Arthur C. Clarke, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”) I still can’t shake the immensity of eight civilizations having come and gone.  Maybe I think to much on it.

I was about to write a little on the game-play itself and then remembered this isn’t meant to be a game review, perhaps I’ll write on sometime.  I do like Numenera and hope to one day polish myself a bit as a GM for the system.  Like I stated above I’m likely over thinking things.  It is certainly a game worth checking out.  Check out Monte Cook Games for more information, and you can even check out their new game coming out called The Strange which utilizes the same system Numenera does.

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