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Numenera Logo.png
Numenera Logo
Designer(s) Monte Cook
Publisher(s) Monte Cook Games
Publication date 2013
Genre(s) Science Fantasy
System(s) the Cypher System
Playing time Varies
Random chance Dice rolling
Skill(s) required Role-playing, improvisation

Numenera is a science fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) set in the far distant future, written by Monte Cook.[1][2][3][4]



Numenera is set on Earth approximately one billion years in the future. The setting is called "The Ninth World" due to the fact that eight civilizations have risen and fallen prior to the current era.[5]

Character Creation[edit]

Character creation has been simplified by having players fill in the blanks to the statement:

"I am a __________ __________ who _________s."
  1. The first blank, the adjective in the sentence, is filled in by a character's "Descriptor", a way to describe the character's strongest characteristic.
  2. The second blank, the noun of the sentence, is filled in by a character's "Type", which is either a "Glaive" (a warrior type), a "Nano" (a technology adept type), or a "Jack" (as in jack-of-all-trades).
  3. The third blank, the verb of the sentence, is filled in by a character's "Focus", or what the character is most known for or their special talent.[6]


The name "Numenera" is a reference to the bits of technology leftover from past civilizations. With a nod towards Clarke's Third Law, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic",[7] the setting treats technology with much the same approach as magic in a fantasy setting. The native tech level is roughly medieval.[8]


The Numenera Team[edit]

Lead Designer: Monte Cook[9]
Lead Artist: Kieran Yanner[9]
Lead Editor: Shanna Germain[9]
Contributing Artists: Scott Purdy, Lee Smith, Patrick McEvoy, Eric Lofgren, Guido Kuip, Matthew Stawicki, Keith Thompson, Jeremy McHugh, Jason Engle[10]
Cartographer: Christopher West[10]


"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." - Monte Cook[11]


Numenera was launched via a Kickstarter campaign, that set a record for "most money raised for a tabletop role-playing game" at $517,255 by 4,658 backers,[12] surpassing the previous record set by the Kickstarter for Traveller 5th edition.[13] Originally intended just to fund the initial Core rulebook, the campaign more than doubled its fund goal within the first 24 hours."[14] Stretch-goals" that were announced as the level of funding grew increased the output of products, ending up producing an entire game line.[15]


Core Products[edit]

Title Authors Date Pages Formats ISBN
The Amber Monolith Monte Cook August 2012 18 PDF Only ISBN N/A
Introductory short story to the Numenera setting; included within the Corebook 
Tales from the Ninth World Monte Cook June 2013 79 epub, mobi, PDF ISBN N/A
Collection of short stories set in the Numenera setting 
Numenera Corebook Monte Cook August 14, 2013 416 Print, Deluxe, PDF ISBN 1939979005
The main rulebook for the game 
Numenera Player's Guide Monte Cook August 14, 2013 64 Print, PDF ISBN TBD
Book focused on the player characters; subset of content from the Corebook 
Numenera GM Screen Monte Cook August 14, 2013 N/A Print, PDF ISBN N/A
Four-panel, landscape format vinyl GM's screen 
Numenera XP Card Deck Monte Cook August 14, 2013 30 cards Print, PDF ISBN TBD
Cards representing a character's XP points 
Numenera Cypher Card Deck Monte Cook August 14, 2013 120 cards Print, PDF ISBN TBD
Cards representing cypher Numenera available in game 
The Nightmare Switch Monte Cook August 14, 2013 32 PDF Only ISBN N/A
A Kickstarter exclusive adventure 
The Devil's Spine Monte Cook October 2013 96 Print, PDF ISBN 1939979025
Three 32 page adventures, "The Devil's Spine", "The Mechanized Tomb", "The Other Side of the Maelstrom" 
The Ninth World Bestiary Monte Cook & Bruce Cordell February 2014 160 Print, PDF ISBN TBD
A collection of Numenera creatures 
Numenera Creature Card Deck Monte Cook February 2014 100 cards Print, PDF ISBN TBD
Cards representing Numenera creatures 
Numenera Character Options Monte Cook May 2014 96 Print, PDF ISBN TBD
Cards representing Numenera creatures 
Technology Compendium: Sir Arthour's Guide to the Numenera Monte Cook August 2014 160 Print, PDF ISBN TBD
A collection of Numenera cyphers, oddities and artifacts 
The Ninth World Guidebook Monte Cook (January 2015) 200+ Print, PDF ISBN TBD
A setting book about the Ninth World, its locations and denizens 

Related Products[edit]

There have been several announced tie-ins to the brand:


External links[edit]