Monte Cook’s Numenera Kickstarts the Distant Future

It didn’t take long for Monte Cook to find something to do after his much-discussed departure from the D&D Next design team. He’s launched a Kickstarter to fund Numenera, a rules-light, far future role-playing game

Here’s how he describes it:

I’m really excited to announce that I’m working on a new game. It’s called Numenera, and it’s a far future, science fantasy, post-apocalyptic game with streamlined rules that prioritize the story, the action, and the wild ideas. If you’re a fan of outside-of-the-box gameplay such as that found in Planescape, Dark Space, or Chaositech, the far-future stories of Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, or Jack Vance, or mind-blowing visuals like those found in the work of French artist Moebius, you’re going to love Numenera.

Damn. That sounds really, really cool. And not only that … it’s actually going to happen! Cook’s original goal was $20,000, which covered creating an printing the core rule book. He’s far outstripped that goal however; as of today the number stands at $182,850, contributed by 2,048 backers. This means he’s achieved his first 10 stretch goals with 19 days to go.

These stretch goals include:

  • a special pdf of Numenera 3-D paper fold-up terrain for those who gave $50 or more
  • Expanding the core rule book from 300 to 400 pages
  • Three 32-page adventures for Numenera
  • 300 copies of the corebook to be given to libraries and educators
  • A 96-page, full-color Ninth World Bestiary
  • a Numenera short story
  • A character creator app for iOS, Android, and Windows
  • Wallpaper art for Kickstarter patrons

There are a bunch of future stretch goals as well, including a technology/magic book called “Sir Arthur’s Compendium”, free books for military basis, a GM screen, custom dice, and more.

I’m a big fan of Monte’s work on Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, and I loved the work he did re-imagining those rules and using them to build out a world Arcana Unearthed. The sort of world he describes — one that exists a billion years into the future, after numerous civilizations have risen and fallen — appeals to me, as does the idea of a lightweight, straightforward rules system.

I’m planning on backing the project at the $60 “Real Deal” level, which includes PDFs of the core rule books, the character creation app, a print copy of the book, and a bunch of nifty extras. I don’t know if I’ll ever run the game, but it seems worth having a copy of it on my bookshelf … just in case.

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