The role-playing game known as Traveller has certainly been around a long time, with nearly as long of a history with the gaming community as that of Dungeons & Dragons. Like D&D, Traveller has undergone several edition changes over the years as well as new ownership of the license rights - in fact it beats D&D out for the number of publishers that have had their hands on the franchise by nearly three times!
- The ENnies 2013 voting booth closed last night with a record 13000+ voters! Thank you to everybody who voted - we'll be announcing the winners at the ceremony at Gen Con later this month; we will also be livestreaming the event for those who can't make it. See you there, and good luck!
- 2 Ways To Abandon Roles -- "Got a “Someone Has To Play The Leader (or Defender or Controller or Whatever)” problem? Let the banana fix it." [18 comments]
- Do your campaigns have a theme? by Rel -- "This week I am extending the concept of "what our gaming says about us" to the GM chair. I came to some interesting insights about what is most important to me and how it extends into all areas of my life." [17 comments]
- Check out our big review of the new 3.5 Premium Magic Item Compendium! A useful book, but let down by not incorporating errata. [14 comments]
- The Moondark Mystery -- The tale of the Moondarks is an interesting one, and it contains some mysteries for characters to explore. Ed reveals some of these to you this week!
- Dungeon #216 -- An undead wizard lights a fire beneath the citizens of Starpine Vale. A dead goblin king finds new life in the body of an unlucky ranger. The drow take hostages in the temple of the sun god, and it will take more than diplomacy to get them out alive.
- In this week's D&D Next Q&A, Rodney talks about check bonuses, spell DCs and stat caps. [47 comments]
- Playtest Fatigue? I've heard a few comments recently about folks who have stopped playtesting. It's not that they don't like D&D Next but they are at the point where they're now just happy to wait for the actual book. Then, of course, you have folks who pore over every playtest package. Are you still playtesting? [70 comments]
- The Dragon's Demand PDF is available now. "The Dragon’s Demand" is a deluxe super-adventure for 1st-level characters, and includes 64 action-packed pages of adventure and new monsters, plus a beautiful double-sided, full-color poster map of the town of Belhaim and an important miniatures-scale battleground! Players can expect to reach 7th level by the time they complete this epic adventure—if they manage to survive the wrath of a dragon when his demands aren’t met!"
- Also out is Pathfinder comic #8.
[Update from Monte Cook: "Regarding Numenera PDFs: DriveThru's system can only roll out 1,000 each hour, so it will be late this afternoon (PST) before they're done."]
[Addiional Update: "To celebrate Numenera pdfs going to KS backers, here's a discount link for Malhavoc Press' similar-ish book Ptolus"]
My first (30 second) impressions? Very, very pretty. Character sheet at the back is very stylised and arty, with elements of it arranged in a circular fashion (teeny version pictured above). The book has LOTS of art. It's a big, big book - 400+ pages - so I imagine my full read of it will come when the hardcover arrives.
I'll look at it more later, but we have a thread for those receiving their books. [47 comments]
Note that depending when you download(ed) it, you may not have the poster map file in your download. In that case, you should have an email from DTRPG saying "We have added the Numenera Poster Map file to the Numenera corebook. Please download and enjoy!"
Though I've mentioned my frustration at secrecy involving game releases, I was very impressed by the timely release for a Kickstarter which - let's face it - exploded into a half-million-dollar juggernaught. Most Kickstarters which expand like that get delayed a lot; the extra resources mean extra stuff is being done, which means the originally stated timeline isn't meetable. In this case, Monte promised July 2013, and we got it August 1st - which is pretty much on time in my book! The physical hardcovers are being printed and shipped, and backers should expect those in the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping mine arrives before I leave for Gen Con!
But anyway, let's take a quick look:
417 pages, full colour, including covers. PDF is FULLY HYPERLINKED! Here's what you get (note this isn't a review; just news):
- New World, New Game - intro, foreword, etc. A bit of fiction.
- Getting Started - introduces the Ninth World setting, basic concepts, and how to play NUMENERA (3 pages on die rolls, task resolution, XP).
- Characters - 50 pages including character types, descriptors, focuses (foci?), skills, and equipment.
- Playing the Game - Rules and optional rules. Surprisingly short section; the rules are only about 30 pages long, with another 15 pages of optional stuff.
- The Setting - the Ninth World setting info, organizations, and more. This bit's a hundred pages long.
- Creatures & Characters - 40 pages of monsters, and a section on NPCs. One or two critters to a page; colour art. Stat blocks are short - only 4-5 mechanical entries (health, damage, armor, modificiations, movement), plus a bunch of descriptive items. Each critter has a "GM Intrusion" sidebar which says something like "GM Intrusion: The culova sprays venom without warning—even on the same turn that it attacked with a weapon." I'm still not 100% clear on the GM Instrusion mechanic, but we have a thread about it. [18 comments]
- The Numenera - 40 pages of technology, cyphers, artifacts. Tech from previous ages appears supernatural and is called "the Numenera". Cypers are one-shots, and there's about 100 of them. Things like Force Cube Projectors and Gas Bombs. Artifacts are unique permanent items left by prior civilizations - amulets, armor, weapons, cloaks, etc.
- Running the Game - GM advice, about 30 pages. Settings DCs, GM Intrusion, using NPCs, etc. Building stories, pacing, describing, prep work, play examples.
- Adventures - four adventures, 5-10 pages each.
- Back Matter - appendices. Character creation walkthrough, bibkiography, list of Kickstarter backers, gloassary, index, character sheet.
So what else is coming for NUMENERA? Lots. You probably heard about the video game. We have a wiki page summarizing upcoming releases. And don't forget, we have plenty of NUMENERA discussion already! Jump in!
||August 2013||416 pages|
|Numenera Player's Guide||August 2013||64 pages (included in corebook); "Just like it sounds, this is a guidebook aimed at players. It’s short–only 64 pages–and includes only material for the corebook. In other words, there’s nothing in the Player’s Guide that isn’t in the corebook. It’s very useful, because there’s no need to hand a new player a 416-page rulebook to get them started. It has only the material that a player needs to get a feel for the game and the setting, and to create a character. More or less, it’s a distilled version of the first three sections of the corebook."|
|The Devil's Spine||October 2013||Three adventure set; three 32 page adventures, "The Devil's Spine", "The Mechanized Tomb", "The Other Side of the Maelstrom"; "The three adventures in The Devil’s Spine will be linked, but easily played alone. They take PCs all over the Ninth World (and beyond…but that would be telling), and get them involved in all kinds of strange, cool, and hopefully mind-bending experiences. While the corebook adventures set the stage for what a Numenera scenario might involve, The Devil’s Spine will stretch the boundaries in different ways."|
|The Nightmare Switch||August 2013||Exclusive Kickstarter supporter adventure; PDF|
|The Ninth World Bestiary||2014||160-pages|
|Numenera Creature Card Deck||2014||Cards representing Numenera creatures|
|Technology Sir Arthour's Guide to the Numenera||2014||160-pages; A collection of Numenera cyphers, oddities and artifacts|
|Numenera 3D Paper Fold-Up Terrain PDF|
|Numenera GM's Screen||August 2013||Four-panel, landscape format vinyl GM's screen|
|Numenera XP Deck||August 2013||Cards representing a character's XP points|
|Numenera Cypher Deck||Augist 2013||Cards representing cypher Numenera available in game|
|Ninth World Guidebook||2014||A setting book about the Ninth World, its locations and denizens|
|Thunderstone: Numenera||Deck building card game from AEG|
|Tales from the 9th World||Available||Short story book in PDF and epub formats|
|Torment: Tides of Numenera||Video game from inXile|
|The Amber Monolith||Available||Free short story; PDF (included in corebook); "The Amber Monolith, the first short story from the 9th World setting and one of the stretch goals of the Numenera Kickstarter, is now free and available to everyone. You can read it in your browser as a flip book, or download the PDF Version of The Amber Monolith."|
|Numenera Short Film|
|Glimmers||"Highly responsive e book format releases to augment the hardcover releases already slated for the game".|
|3rd Party Products|
|Poster Maps of the Ninth World||September 2013||Kickstarter by Christopher West; fully funded.|
The mad gnome inventor Tinker Oddcog is a wanted man. The colossus he crafted has gone berserk, and while the Royal Homeland Constabulary wants to know how to stop it, the conspiracy he built for it wants him silenced.
Tinker has fled to Ber, a nation of savages trying to make themselves civilized. It minotaur ruler needs the gnome's inventions to keep his orc, gnoll, and lizardfolk rivals at bay, and he thinks it'd be a fun game to have the constables and conspiracy compete for first shot at their quarry. But there's another game afoot in Ber, and machinations at work only a madman can perceive.
A fantasy adventure for enlightened heroes of levels 13-14 available in PDF format right now! (EN World silver subscribers can download it from the subscriber area).
- There are 55 days left to back the Medieval sword fighting game, Audatia on Indie Go Go. Audatia is not only a sword fighting game, but also a useful way to learn actual sword fighting moves and tactics.
- CorSec Engineering has released a number of useful bits, bobs and add-ons for the X-wing Miniatures game. Location markers, ship dials and more are available.
- Starlit Citadels has posted a review of Quarantine. Quarantines has players operating hospitals and trying to cure patients before they must be quarantined.