What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?
  • What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?


    According to the official Monte Cook Game's Twitter account, recent customer shipments come with a surprise -- handwriten 5e notes on torn Numenera pages. "Some very mysterious notes are being found in a few MCG shipments... We're sure we wouldn't have the faintest idea what those scrawlings might mean. PAY NO ATTENTION."





    At least one of the mods, Alpha Dean, on the unofficial Cypher discord, the Cypher Unlimited, also received a similar note in his MCG shipment.

    For Monte Cooke, who worked on numerous 3e both for Wizards and third party, this would be his first 5e product [although he was part of 5E's design team for a short while]. Other WotC alumnis, Bruce Cordell and Sean Reynolds, also work for MCG and could be likely contributors.

    Numenera is MCG's flagship setting for their in-house Cypher system. It's a science fantasy setting where Clarke's Law (suitably advanced science can appear as magic to the in) where strange Middle Ages/Renaissance cultures are swimming in the cast-offs of eight previous high-tech civilizations.

    UPDATE: Props to dave2008 for reminding us that Monte also worked on at D&D Next, the beta playtest version of 5e and maybe some of 5e itself before leaving to create MCG and Numenera.


    Comments 56 Comments
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      According to the official Monte Cook Game's Twitter account, recent customer shipments come with a surprise -- handwriten 5e notes on torn Numenera pages! :0

      https://twitter.com/MonteCookGames/s...55102632034306.

      At least a couple of gamers from the MCG FB page and l the unofficial Cypher discord, the Cypher Unlimited, have also received similar notes in thier MCG shipments.

      I remember Monte Cooke from his work on numerous 3e books both for Wizards and third party stuff (Malhavoc I think?)

      This would be his first 5e product. Other Wizard alumnis, Bruce Cordell and Sean Reynolds, also work for MCG so they might also be 5e Numenera contributors.

      For those who have not heard of Numenera, it's MCG's flagship setting for their in house Cypher system. It's a science fantasy setting where Clarke's Law (suitably advanced science can appear as magic to the in) where strange Middle Ages/Renaissance cultures are swimming in the cast offs of 8 previous high tech civilizations
    1. jayoungr's Avatar
      jayoungr -
      That's exciting news! I am currently running a high-level world-hopping 5E campaign for my group, and I was considering sending them to the world of Numenera at some point. I'm going to move that down on the priority list in hopes that there might be an announcement forthcoming.
    1. Zardnaar's Avatar
      Zardnaar -
      Clever marketing.
    1. DQDesign's Avatar
      DQDesign -
      It will be interesting knowing if it will be OGL or Wotc-endorsed product, but I would bet on the first.
    1. Birmy's Avatar
      Birmy -
      Quote Originally Posted by DQDesign View Post
      It will be interesting knowing if it will be OGL or Wotc-endorsed product, but I would bet on the first.
      Yup, my money's on something in the vein of Adventures in Middle-Earth. Adventures in the Ninth World!
    1. LuisCarlos17f's Avatar
      LuisCarlos17f -
      I feel curiosity about a d20 version of Numenera, or the Strange, but that would be a true challenge for game designers. Numenera wasn't created for a future d20 adaptation.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      The more interesting notion here is that Numenera comes out with a 5th edition adaptation that then weds 5E with the really cool innovations in Numenera, including cyphers, GM intrusions and other concepts that make Numenera distinct in play. Count me in!
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by jayoungr View Post
      That's exciting news! I am currently running a high-level world-hopping 5E campaign for my group, and I was considering sending them to the world of Numenera at some point. I'm going to move that down on the priority list in hopes that there might be an announcement forthcoming.
      I've never checked out Numenera due to the really high likelihood of not being able to run it and not needing a lot of new books in my house, but I am a big fan of that kind of Gene Wolfe/Jack Vance style so far future its fantasy. So this would be pretty cool for me.
    1. vpuigdoller's Avatar
      vpuigdoller -
      I would be willing to try out a Numenera/The Strange conversion for 5e in the vein of Adventures in Middle-Earth!!! I personally love The Strange, its one of my favourite settings/games.

      Edit: quoted wrong person sorry.
    1. Retreater -
      My group played two sessions of Numenera (plus one at a Con.) I loved the concept and setting, but in execution was a little bland.
      I don't remember all the terminology, but I was a mystic caster type. I had literally one skill, and had one power that could be used often. Compared to D&D 5e, I would've been like a wizard with +20 in Arcana and only the Firebolt cantrip. Was super boring and repetitive.
      So I would look forward to a 5e conversion.
    1. Stacie GmrGrl's Avatar
      Stacie GmrGrl -
      This would be really cool. This would get me to play 5e.
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Von Ether View Post
      According to the official Monte Cook Game's Twitter account, recent customer shipments come with a surprise -- handwriten 5e notes on torn Numenera pages! :0

      https://twitter.com/MonteCookGames/s...55102632034306.

      At least a couple of gamers from the MCG FB page and l the unofficial Cypher discord, the Cypher Unlimited, have also received similar notes in thier MCG shipments.

      I remember Monte Cooke from his work on numerous 3e books both for Wizards and third party stuff (Malhavoc I think?)

      This would be his first 5e product. Other Wizard alumnis, Bruce Cordell and Sean Reynolds, also work for MCG so they might also be 5e Numenera contributors.

      For those who have not heard of Numenera, it's MCG's flagship setting for their in house Cypher system. It's a science fantasy setting where Clarke's Law (suitably advanced science can appear as magic to the in) where strange Middle Ages/Renaissance cultures are swimming in the cast offs of 8 previous high tech civilizations
      MC was actually a part of the D&D Next / 5e team before he left to work on Numenera.
    1. darjr's Avatar
      darjr -
      Oh!

      Yes, this!
    1. NaturalZero's Avatar
      NaturalZero -
      Quote Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
      I loved the concept and setting, but in execution was a little bland.
      Same. The flavor and setting is awesome, but I really couldn't get into the mechanics which were too bare-bones yet still oddly broken. Every character gets hit and takes physical damage to the same stat, even the character who specifically relies on using points out of that stat for their features to function, which leads to finesse and brainy characters getting beat up without effecting their abilities while the tough guy characters get their core abilities gimped when they're hit physically. It's super simple, and only uses 3 stats, but STILL manages to be intrinsically imbalanced.

      I would love a Numenera setting with 5e mechanics.
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      I've played the Numenera CRPG. The world is interesting, but if the PnP rules are anything like the CRPG rules, they are horribad! It would be much better with 5e rules.
    1. Olaf the Stout -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zardnaar View Post
      Clever marketing.
      Monte's marketing has always been pretty on point. The guy definitely knows how to sell to his market.
    1. Wraith Form's Avatar
      Wraith Form -
      Quote Originally Posted by NaturalZero View Post
      Same. The flavor and setting is awesome, but I really couldn't get into the mechanics which were too bare-bones yet still oddly broken.
      Thirded! (Fourthed?)
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      Quote Originally Posted by NaturalZero View Post
      Same. The flavor and setting is awesome, but I really couldn't get into the mechanics which were too bare-bones yet still oddly broken. Every character gets hit and takes physical damage to the same stat, even the character who specifically relies on using points out of that stat for their features to function, which leads to finesse and brainy characters getting beat up without effecting their abilities while the tough guy characters get their core abilities gimped when they're hit physically. It's super simple, and only uses 3 stats, but STILL manages to be intrinsically imbalanced.

      I would love a Numenera setting with 5e mechanics.
      That's a bit strange (pun unintended) since Edge makes your current Tier abilities free and your Trained weapons makes it even easier without spending points from your Might Pool. So your hit points are still your hit points unless you want to do something extraordinary at Tier 1 (Essentially Level 4 for D&D.) And as you go into higher Tiers, those extraordinary things also become free.

      It may be that the "rhythm" of Numenera is off for a lot of folk. You start off competent, but then do something crazy comes with a direct cost instead of gamble on the dice.

      In essence for Numenera and the Cypher system, all of your resource management like healing potions (d8 HD in a bottle), spell slots, and Inspiration/luck points, are all tied into one system.

      Oddly enough, I've taught people new to the hobby Cypher and they groked it much faster and they had loads of fun compared to people who have been in the hobby for years and get tripped up with how they thought a game "should" be compared to how it was. I've had the same sort reaction to Savage Worlds too.

      Quick reminder, there's no badwrongway to have fun at the table.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      If he does release a conversion of Numenera for 5E, I wonder if he'll released it under his Malhavoc Press label (since that was his D&D OGL company) rather than Monte Cook Games? Not that it matters either way, I'm just slightly curious.
    1. NaturalZero's Avatar
      NaturalZero -
      Quote Originally Posted by Von Ether View Post
      That's a bit strange (pun unintended) since Edge makes your current Tier abilities free and your Trained weapons makes it even easier without spending points from your Might Pool. So your hit points are still your hit points unless you want to do something extraordinary at Tier 1 (Essentially Level 4 for D&D.) And as you go into higher Tiers, those extraordinary things also become free.
      Right, but dipping into your Might pool to do special stuff still comes at the cost of your basic "hp" while the other 2 archetypes don't have to worry about it. The fact that Edge reduces the effect and that it's not as bad at higher level is cool, but it still is a basic issue and seems like a fundamental flaw in a system which is theoretically pretty basic.

      It may be that the "rhythm" of Numenera is off for a lot of folk. You start off competent, but then do something crazy comes with a direct cost instead of gamble on the dice.

      In essence for Numenera and the Cypher system, all of your resource management like healing potions (d8 HD in a bottle), spell slots, and Inspiration/luck points, are all tied into one system.
      I really don't mind extraordinary things drawing on a limited resource or being tied into one system but i think the way it was handled felt sort of half-tweaked. If everything really did draw from single pool, that would be little more fair across the 3 archetypes, but what you wind up with is a Might character not really being able to tap into Intellect and Speed in many cases, while the Intellect and Speed immediately benefits from their chosen pool AND the Might pool. You could have resource management and have a single system without making it as lopsided.

      Oddly enough, I've taught people new to the hobby Cypher and they groked it much faster and they had loads of fun compared to people who have been in the hobby for years and get tripped up with how they thought a game "should" be compared to how it was. I've had the same sort reaction to Savage Worlds too.

      Quick reminder, there's no badwrongway to have fun at the table.
      I think people who are experienced and mechanics-conscious are going to be more likely to notice mechanical issues instead of just focusing on character concepts and open roleplay. This is basically the same thing that happens in DnD when new stuff comes out. The mechanics guys will recognize that the beast master ranger is underpowered while the person who loves dogs will just be excited to have a dog, not noticing or caring that the option is subpar. Nether way is badwrongfun, but there's no reason we can't aim to have something balanced for those who care about mechanics and flavorful for those just want to jump into roleplay.
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