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Into the Ninth World, Monte Cook tells us about exploring Numenera

Posted on August 18, 2015 by Flames

Go beyond the boundaries of the fantastic, award-winning Numenera setting.

Monte Cook Games is currently running an exciting Kickstarter campaign that will expand the Numenera RPG into new vistas, giving characters a chance to explore further than they ever dreamed. The campaign reached the origianl funding goal almost immediately after launching and now new stretch goals are offering backers expanded content, fiction, maps, and more.

Flames Rising is pleased to have award winning author and game designer Monte Cook drop by to tell us a little about some of the design goals of these new supplements and content being offered in this Kickstarter project.

Into the Ninth World

    The Ninth World, setting for the Numenera rpg, is a weird and wondrous place. Set a billion years in the future, after many great civilizations have risen and fallen, it is filled with the detritus of the past. The inhabitants of the Ninth World consider these technological leftovers to be magic, but they are, in fact, the products of extraordinarily advanced science.

    Although the setting has its kingdoms, its rulers, its political intrigues and so forth, it’s meant to be a place of isolated communities. Travel is difficult and dangerous. The inhabitants of a village on one side of a hill might not be entirely certain what lies on the other. The intention is to create a game setting filled with mystery and places yet unexplored. When the Player Characters venture into the wilderness, they may encounter things that no one of their era has ever seen before.

    The other intention in creating the Ninth World in this way is to ensure that it is easy for the GM to create his or her own material and insert it into the world without worrying about upsetting any intricate balances. As a designer and a gamer, I’ve little patience for the stifling of individual creativity to serve a publisher’s need for releasing additional supplements. If you’ve got an idea for an ancient ruined complex, a quirky village, or even an entire city there’s little reason you can’t plunk it down anywhere in the setting. Even—in fact, especially—right in front of where the PCs are headed next. The GM never has to worry that he or she’s getting some setting detail wrong or creating something that will contradict information in a future published book. Because once you start a campaign, the Ninth World belongs to you and your group, not us.

    So with this approach, how can we ever produce additional setting material? Players clamor for more on the Ninth World all the time. How do we serve these two needs at once?

    Well, there are ways to provide more to a setting without simply diving downfurther into details or solving all the mysteries proposed in the Numenera corebook. One such way is precisely what we’re doing with the Into the Ninth World Kickstarter campaign.

    With this campaign, we’re creating a whole new line of sourcebooks, each one taking the setting in a brand new direction.

    Into the Night takes off—literally—and explores the reaches of space. Because those same past civilizations that left their mark on the Earth did so on the Moon, Mars, and so on as well. Into the Deep takes things in the opposite direction. It provides interesting setting material for locations deep beneath the surface of the ocean. Into the Outside goes even farther beyond, venturing into other dimensions—again, places we know that the people of the prior worlds explored in their eras.

    Each of these expansions will be as mysterious and weird as the existing Ninth World setting material, because they’re designed with the exact same paradigm. In every case, the GM and the stories the GM and the group create are paramount and take precedence over all else. These new books merely provide new places, new challenges, new creatures, and new wonders to experience.

    Venture farther. Delve deeper. Go beyond.

    Monte Cook

    Find out more information and back this project at

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