AMA with Monte Cook (Numenera, D&D, Monte Cook Games, Malhavoc Press)
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  1. #1
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    AMA with Monte Cook (Numenera, D&D, Monte Cook Games, Malhavoc Press)

    Starting August 10, 2015, I will be holding an AMA right here on EN World! So, what would you guys like to talk about?

    Of interest to ENWorlders, I've been professionally designing games for 27 years, and have worked on Rolemaster, Champions, and D&D 2E, including Planescape, and a little Dark Sun and Forgotten Realms. I was a co-designer on D&D 3E, and worked for a time as lead designer on 5E. I am the designer of the award-winning Numenera and HeroClix, and co-designed the now (!) ENnie-award winning The Strange with Bruce Cordell and the upcoming No Thank You, Evil! with Shanna Germain. I also just got inducted into the Academy of Adventure Design's Hall of Fame, which was a big honor for me. I am the co-owner of Monte Cook Games, but also ran the d20 Studio, Malhavoc Press for a time where I published stuff like the Book of Eldritch Might, Arcana Evolved, and Ptolus. I worked full time at Iron Crown Enterprises, TSR, and Wizards of the Coast.

    In short: Worked on a lot of games.

    Believe it or not, I also do stuff that isn't related to tabletop games, but who cares about that?

    Bring on the questions!

  2. #2
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    Hi, Monte!

    Love you guys, love the Cypher System.

    While it was initially billed as a standalone product, is there now a chance we'll see support books for the Cypher System Rulebook? It seems like there would be room for the equivalents of Numenera and The Strange's key sourcebooks: a bestiary, a techbook, and perhaps an expanded genre book instead of the worldbooks.

    And now the hard hitting question: do you expect any Nibovian Wife/Thunder Plains-like resistance to the witch creature in the CSR?

  3. #3
    What's one tabletop project you dream of doing, but haven't been able to do?
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  4. #4
    Hi Monte,

    1. If you were tasked with building your most bad-ass character ever, what would it be and what music would you have on (Artist and Album) while you were writing it up?
    2. Can we count on Into The Night being a return to the ideas/paradigms of Planescape?
    3. What question do you get asked most often at conventions?
    4. What question do you wish someone would ask?
    5. Do you get spotted as a gaming celebrity much outside of conventions?
    6. Do you ever wrestle with fans desires to be actual friends with you vs your personal need for privacy?
    7. I'm still a proud owner of the autographed version of Ptolus. I cant help but notice the inside cover symbol leeks very much like the cover symbol on the Deluxe Leatherbound Edition of Numenera (which is also the shape of the super-continent). Where does this symbol come from and can you talk about its importance to you.

    ~Desh-Rae-Halra

    PS. I still insist you are this generations' Gygax!

  5. #5
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    First, let me say I'm a big fan of your work.

    1. It's touched on in the rulebooks, but how do you personally deal with players that don't simply roll with the "weird" in Numenera? In my Numenera game I had players that behaved more like Starfleet scientists and bristled at being told things were beyond their comprehension.
    2. In "weird" games like Numenera, how do you allow for characters with complex backgrounds tied to the game world without giving the players too much information about all the oddities and secrets of the world?
    3. Do you have an detailed story bible for Numenera's prior civs, or are they just painted in broad strokes?
    4. Given that you had some input in 5e, is there any interest in MCG doing a product for 5e? (Also, where is my pipe dream University of Doors/City of Doors crossover? The Lady can't keep this going forever, some of the faculty have already noticed that the headmistress is playing hooky.)
    5. Do you feel that people are more sensitive about how sexuality is portrayed in RPGs these days? Is it harder to put some of the bawdier elements into products now?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by neobolts; Wednesday, 5th August, 2015 at 10:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    Support for Numenera in Spanish

    First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to you for all of the amazing hours of truly wonderful gaming your products have brought to me and my friends. Your work is responsible for more hours of imaginative exploration than any other author.

    Having recently moved to Mexico and finding myself in a difficult situation due to the fact that there are few here who speak English at the level to read through Numenera, I was curious if there will someday be a version released in Spanish? Perhaps another Kickstarter?
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  7. #7
    Hypothetically, if the gaming industry utterly collapsed, what kind of job would you have instead?

    Also, if you were to re-write Numenera today, would we still have Glaives, Jacks, and Nanos, or would it look more like the Cypher System Rulebook (with Speakers and Explorers instead of Jacks)?

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    I have been a huge fan since your work on 3rd edition D&D

    I am a backer at the Reliquary level for the boxed set Kickstarter for Numenera. I never got my rewards because I failed to receive the email explaining the order process that occurs after paying. After getting no responses to my email inquiry 10 days ago about the missing coupon code - and seeing the posts recently about selling the leftovers at GenCon - let's just say I am very scared that I will never get my rewards. But I also know GenCon is a busy time for all of you over at MCG. Am I SOL/are the Numenera Reliquary boxed sets all gone?

    I read before on the Numenera site that MCG was not interested in licensing the Cypher System for use with additional games at one time. However, the Cypher System is now licensed to new games. Has that stance changed?

  9. #9
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    I enjoyed your Geekseekers show with Jen Page. Do you have any plans to do more of that, or any other shows? Do you have a wish-list of stuff in that vein you'd like to do, or people you'd like to work with?

  10. #10
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    In Ptolus--which I understand was the actual campaign you ran for a long time--the final dungeon at the end of the whole campaign contains a lot of basically numerically-intense monsters, like: x levels of fire resistance plus an amulet of lightning resistance plus immunity to necrotic damage plus...

    ...suggesting that the endgame for that era of your campaigns was basically players finding largely system-specifc (as opposed to genre-specific) ways to counter system-based problems. i.e. "We need to find something that gives us at least a +15 frost attack here...".

    1. Is this an accurate view of how things went down at the end of your Ptolus campaign?

    and

    2. Is this still what you're into?

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