Friday, September 14, 2012

RPGs, Fantasy Fiction, and Monte Cook's Numenera

I played a lot of RPGs as a kid: AD&D, Gamma World, Top Secret, Star Frontiers, Gangbusters, Boot Hill, Call of Cthulhu, and the James Bond Role Playing Game. I haven't gamed in years (pen & paper that is. I'm 97 hours into
Skyrim on the PS3). But for some time the relationship between RPGs and fantasy fiction, especially sword & sorcery fiction, has been fascinating me. Moreover, I'm very interested in the number of fantasy authors who are gamers and the effect that has on their world (hint: I think it's a positive one).
Lately I've been collecting and perusing RPG manuals again, even if I don't have time to play them. Here's a shot of the bookshelf next to my bed:

I'm also in pretty deep to Monte Cook's Kickstarter project Numenera. For those who haven't heard, this is a new role playing game being done by one of the shining lights of the RPG world. I am a sucker for world-building and campaign settings anyway, and his "dying earth" style sci-fantasy really pushed my buttons. Monte has said he's drawing on the works of Jack Vance, Mike Moorcock, and others for inspiration, and I was curious enough to pitch in. But this campaign has gone crazy big--it's currently over $375,000 with three days to go ($75,000 of that was raised since Monday), and Monte keeps throwing in stretch goals. The amount of Cool Stuff you get as a backer has just gotten unbelievable. Here's what $60 gets you:
App (Android, iOS, or PC)
Name in the back of the corebook
Player's Guide PDF
Numenera corebook PDF
The Devil's Spine 32-page adventure PDF
The Mechanized Tomb 32-page adventure PDF
The Other Side of the Maelstrom 32-page adventure PDF
The Ninth World Bestiary 160-page PDF
Sir Arthur's Compendium 160-page PDF
Numenera 3D Paper Fold-Up Terrain PDF
GM's Screen PDF
Cypher, Creature, and XP Deck PDFs
Numenera corebook in print
Ninth World Guidebook PDF
That's 16 pieces of content -- 14 in PDF form, one 400 page full-color hardcover, and an app! And there are all kinds of optional add-ons, like mats, cards, GM screens, and (the one I picked) custom dice!
If you are a gamer, you probably already know about this. But if you don't, you've got three days left to get in. Monte's kickstarted a whole product line now--so you'll be able to get all this stuff commercially later--but not for anything like $60!


Paul Weimer said...

I love to peruse RPG books--even for games I don't run.

You know me well enough, Lou, to know that's not precisely news...

(And yeah, I'm backing Numenera too. Again, no surprise!)

JP said...

I was looking at this tonight. I had almost talked myself into supporting Mr. Cook, then realized we never play RPGs anymore and so backed out.

Now you're talking me back into it. Darn you, Lou!

Lou Anders said...

I need to make sure I'm always responsible with my Power of Persuasion.

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