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Step a billion years into the future—into the Ninth World, where the remnants of previous civilizations’ technologies are indistinguishable from magic. Based on Monte’s Cook’s Cypher System, a new RPG system that focuses on story and ideas over mechanics.
4,658 backers pledged $517,255 to help bring this project to life.

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No Thank You, Evil!

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Hello, Numenera backers!

As a backer of our first Kickstarter campaign, you helped make something incredible happen—you helped make Numenera a reality.

Today we launched another Kickstarter campaign, for a title we hope will be just as revolutionary to the world of RPGs, if for a somewhat different reason. Today we unveiled No Thank You, Evil!, a new RPG for creative kids and their families!

An Idea that Came from You!

When we developed Numenera three years ago, Monte set out to build a tabletop roleplaying game with a distinctly rules-light, story-heavy design. It was also designed for the typical RPG audience: grown-ups, for the most part. But it wasn’t long after release that we began to hear from some of our fans who weren’t just gamers—they were also parents. They were playing Numenera (and, later, The Strange) with their kids, and having a great time!

We were delighted, if a bit surprised. But reading blogs and social media posts from parents over the past couple of years has been inspiring and informative. Parents have run games of Numenera and The Strange for families, often including children of pretty young age. Older kids have run games with their parents and for their siblings. And non-gaming parents, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents have jumped in. Here are just a few examples we’ve seen:

We’ve received drawings of characters, letters from young players, and papercrafts of scary creatures in our mailboxes and inboxes. We’ve seen Disney princesses, weird Santas, saddle-wearing cat balloons, and all kinds of other super-imaginative ideas. It’s been incredibly inspirational and awe-inspiring to learn that something you had a hand in is bringing families together in such a cool way.

When we were kids, it didn’t seem there were any parents who played roleplaying games. But now that so many of us gaming geeks are old enough to have our own kids, that’s completely changed. Gamer families are looking for ways to bring their children into our amazingly imaginative hobby. And parents who weren’t previously hobby gamers are more interested than ever in activities that feed their children’s imagination while bringing the whole family together.

A Scalable Game for the Little Kids, the Grown-ups, and Everyone in Between

The Cypher System is a great platform for a family game. It’s flexible, story-focused, simple to learn and use, and scalable—easily adapted to the needs of less-experienced players. That’s why so many parents found they could use it successfully with their children, even before the thought had occurred to us. For No Thank You, Evil! we’ve adapted the Cypher System to capture its story-based, ease-of-use strengths in a game that’s optimized for an all-ages audience.

One of the great challenges in designing games for families—especially a roleplaying game—is that the players’ needs are so different. Rules that frustrate a younger child are too simplistic for an older one. And downright infantile for an adult. That’s where the Cypher System shines!

No Thank You, Evil! is great fun for family members of all ages because the scalable rules adapt easily to the abilities of the player. A six-year-old might play, for example, a Princess. An eight-year-old might play a Super Smart Princess. A ten-year-old might create a Super Smart Princess who Experiments With Science. Each of these stages adds a level of sophistication to how the game is played—but all of these characters play around the same table in the same game. After a game or two with the grown-ups, a twelve-year-old might even run games for the other kids!

The gameplay rules are easy for novice or young players to grasp, but nuanced and flexible enough for older kids and grown-ups to enjoy just as much.

On Kickstarter Now

The No Thank You, Evil! Kickstarter campaign launched today, and it’s already going gangbusters. We invite you to have a look! It’s never too early to invite new players into our hobby!

Iadace!
—Charles

Weird Discoveries in the Ninth World

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Hello, Numenera backers!

With the Ninth World Guidebook having shipped in January, we’ve completed all the products funded by the original Numenera Kickstarter campaign—but the Numenera line continues to grow strong! Check this out:

What’s the hardest part of running an RPG? It has to be the preparation. Unlike a board game, you can’t just spontaneously decide to play—because someone has to have spent hours preparing an adventure first.

But what if running a great game didn’t require any more time for the game master than it does for the players? What if you could just say, “Let’s play an RPG,” pull a book off the shelf, and be playing five minutes later?

In Weird Discoveries, Monte has turned his eye to the venerable adventure, a format that hasn’t seen much innovation in four decades, to create something new that makes this all possible. Weird Discoveries makes prepping for an RPG no more difficult or time consuming than setting up a board game, while showcasing the wonder, mystery, and awe of the Ninth World.

These aren’t adventure seeds or sketchy ideas: They’re complete adventures with all the maps, encounters, NPCs, fleshed-out storylines, show-‘em illos, and everything else you expect—but the innovative new layout and approach means a GM can run them without hours of prepping beforehand.

Use these adventures when you don’t have time to prep for your regular session. Or string them together for a campaign that will give you months of effortless play. Weird Discoveries also includes six pre-generated characters, so you can run a pickup game any time you have a few friends and a few hours handy!

You can download a free preview—including an entire, fully-playable adventure!

News About the Numenera Short Film

We mentioned the Numenera short film in our previous couple of updates. If you didn’t follow along, here’s the short version: We’re working with an awesome production company out of Sweden to make the short film promised as part of the original Numenera Kickstarter. Filmmaking is crazy expensive, especially when trying to realize a setting as unique and mind-bending as the Ninth World, and our funding could only take it so far. So the filmmaker crowdfunded some additional funding to further improve and possibly lengthen the movie. The campaign closed successfully last month, and post-production is well underway. The film will premier at Gen Con, and it’s going to be (warbly high-pitched voice) so awesome!

A Numenera Board Game!

We just got back from the Game Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA) annual trade show, and one of the cool announcements there was a forthcoming Numenera board game from the good folk at Lone Shark Games. Some of the names associated with the design and development of this game include Paul Peterson, Boyan Radakovich, and Mike Selinker—if you’re into board games, you know that’s a pretty heady list! We’ve played early versions of this game, and it’s both lots of fun and very Ninth World. Release of the game is probably a year off, but we thought you’d find the news interesting!

The Cypher Chronicles

We try not to spam you with too many Kickstarter updates, but we have interesting news to share every week. If you’d like to keep up, check out the Cypher Chronicles, every Friday on our web site. (Go to the News section.) You can subscribe to ensure that every issue goes to your inbox, and never miss an interesting MCG tidbit!

Getting In Touch With Us

Kickstarter messages and comments are a great way to reach us during the campaign, but a horrible way to reach us afterward. If you need to hit us with a question or issue, the absolute best way is to use our Contact Us page. For general conversation, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

Iadace!
—Charles

Happy Valentine’s Day to Our Numenera Backers!

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Hello, Numenera backers!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If there’s a special gamer in your life, we have what you need: A set of lovely Valentine’s Day cards themed around Numenera, The Strange, and gaming in general. What gaming belle or beau wouldn’t be touched by sentiments such as these?

You can download the full set in high resolution to print and cut out. Or feel free to share them around social media if you have gaming friends who might get a kick out of them. They’re our way of telling our fans how much we love you!

The Numenera Short Film

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a Numenera short film on the way! We’re working with a fantastic production company in Sweden to produce Numenera: Strand—a short film set in the Ninth World. Although we’re funding a complete production, we simply can’t afford to bring the director’s total vision to the screen—movies are just crazy expensive to make. So he’s running a Kickstarter campaign to raise additional capital. If it’s successful, the film’s production values will be on par with anything you see coming out of Hollywood.

We think this movie is super-important, and not just because we promised we’d make one way back at the end of the original Numenera Kickstarter. Here's why:

  • A compelling Numenera film will be a great way to draw new players in to the Ninth World. A film can convey so much vision and atmosphere in such a short time, even to non-gamers.
  • A successful short film could open doors to a larger production. Wanna see a Numenera feature film some day? This is a great way to generate interest.
  • And not just in movies. We’d love to see the Ninth World in, say, comics and other media. Again, a film will help draw the attention of other creators.
  • And, finally, it’s bigger than Numenera. There have been gobs of great movies based on comics over the past decade or two. Wouldn’t you like to see gaming move into that realm? Not just Numenera, but any of the great tabletop games we love. That’s a ways off, for sure, but big things have small beginnings. (When I was a kid, people would have openly scoffed if you told them some of the biggest, coolest movies of all time would be based on Spider-man, the Avengers, or the X-Men.)

We’re putting thousands of dollars into this movie, but we simply can’t take it all the way to its full potential. Can we convince you to pitch in five or ten bucks to help it get there? Please drop by the Kickstarter campaign and give it your support!

The Ninth World Guidebook Is on Its Way!

If you backed for the Ninth World Guidebook in print or PDF, your copy should be in your hands or on its way! PDFs were issued a couple of weeks ago, and primary shipping of the physical books wrapped up this week. We’ve heard from lots of folk on Facebook and elsewhere who’ve received theirs and had great things to say about it. We’re really proud of this book and hope that you, as a backer who helped make it happen, are too!

(Don’t have yours yet? Remember, it’s been like two years since we originally asked for your info—so we’ve changed the process to ensure we’re shipping to a current address. You should have received codes to redeem for your books via email. If you’ve received and redeemed your code but don’t have your physical book yet, it’s on its way. If you didn’t receive a code, check your spam filter. If the email isn’t there, drop a line to Tammie (tammie@montecookgames.com) with the words “HELP! I didn’t get my NWGB code!” in the subject line. BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT: The same people (mainly Tammie) who answer customer service emails are the ones shipping books—so we’re a bit behind on email responses. If you’ve already emailed Tammie once, give her a few more days before emailing her again. Otherwise, you’ll just gum the works up further and create additional delays. You should have a response to your original email in another day or two as we get caught up.)

We hope you love the Ninth World Guidebook as much as we do. It's a great bookend to the line of titles funded by the Kickstarter campaign, and we're really pleased with it!

Iadace
--Charles

Numenera short film rough cut!

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Ninth World Guidebook, Weird Adventures, and even a Movie!

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Hello, Numenera backers!

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks here at MCG, and we have a lot of news to share. I’m going to hold the most exciting news for last, so bear with me!

Ninth World Guidebook on its way!

First, the Ninth World Guidebook has become a reality! It hits stores tomorrow, but if you backed for a physical copy, yours is already in the shipping process. The NWGB is the biggest, and possibly most beautiful, book we’ve released for Numenera since the corebook, and we’re really pleased with it. We think you will be, too.

We used a different fulfillment process this time around. That’s largely because it’s been so long since you provided your shipping details that we needed to make sure what we had was up to date. So we asked you to log into our store, update your details, and “buy” the book there (using a code that made it free). We also made changes behind the scenes that give us greater accountability, lower error rates, and the ability to offer tracking on some shipments.

If you backed for a PDF, you should have received your code for it last week as well, and hopefully you’ve already downloaded and enjoyed it!

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check your email. You should have received a code from us last week that lets you place your order for the book at the MCG store. If you didn’t get it, send a note to Tammie at tammie@montecookgames.com with the words “HELP! I didn’t get my NWGB code!” in the subject line.)

Looking forward to Weird Discoveries

The Ninth World Guidebook is a milestone for us not just because it’s such a big, art-heavy book. It’s also the last game product reward offered as part of the original Numenera Kickstarter campaign. It’s hard to believe it’s been over two and a half years since Monte launched that campaign, but it’s also incredible to look back and see how much great stuff you helped make a reality. The Devil’s Spine, the Ninth World Bestiary, Sir Arthour’s, the Player’s Guide, the XP Deck, Cypher Deck, and Creature Deck—all of those came directly out of the Kickstarter campaign.

But the success of that campaign, and of Numenera in general, also enabled Numenera Character Options, the Cypher Chest, the Character Sheets in print, the Cypher Deck 2, and over a dozen glimmers including In Strange Aeons, Vortex, and Love and Sex in the Ninth World. There are over 30 Numenera products available now. As a backer, you have a lot to be proud of!

Which begs the question: What’s next? Rest assured, we aren’t done! Next month we’ll be announcing Weird Discoveries, and we have a title called Into the Night planned for early summer. And another book or two later in the year. The best way to keep up is to follow us on Facebook, and to check in often at montecookgames.com.

The Ninth World Guidebook is the last product funded by the Kickstarter campaign, but it’s not the last promise we made to you. And that brings us to perhaps the most exciting part of this update:

A Numenera short film!

Cast your mind back to the heady final days of the Numenera Kickstarter campaign. The last stretch goal hit? “At $500,000, I'll produce a Numenera short film.” Movie-making (even short film) operates on completely different time and budgetary scales than RPGs and publishing, so it’s taken a while to find the right partner and bring this to fruition. We came close a couple of times, but the plans never came together in exactly the right way.

But late last year we connected with an incredible filmmaker—Joan Manuel Urquiaga Valdes—who had already embarked, with his own time and money, on a really cool Numenera short film. He and his producer run a production company in Sweden that produces high-end commercials for big clients—so they know a thing or two about highly polished productions, and have great resources. But they also produce short films on subjects that they love—and they love Numenera!

Joan (pronounced sort of like John, but with a softer J) came to us asking if we would help fund the completion of the film—he’d already done all the pre-production work, and progressed to the principal photography and a rough cut. And he had a teaser trailer of finished scenes that looked great. It was a match made in heaven: We were looking for a filmmaker, and he’d already started on a fantastic Numenera film. Of course we said yes, and the film is moving forward. It will be complete by this summer.

But, as I said, filmmaking operates on budgetary scales completely unlike the world of publishing. Many effects-heavy feature films cost well over a million dollars per minute of movie (sometimes several million per minute). The MCG budget for this film is healthy, but several orders of magnitude smaller. It will be a great looking film, but more funding will make it even more awesome (and perhaps bulk out the story with a little more filming). So Valdes/Eriksdotter (the production company) just launched a Kickstarter campaign to increase their budget.

We’re so excited about how this film looks! We’re so excited about what it can do to help Numenera—and RPGs in general—reach a broader audience! We’re so excited about what doors it might open for future productions! So excited, in fact, that we’ve backed the Kickstarter campaign, even though we’re already providing a big chunk of money to complete the film. We hope you’ll do the same!

In the mean time, to wet your whistle we have an exclusive just for you: A look at the film’s rough cut. Nobody else, outside of Valdes/Eriksdotter and MCG, has seen this. A couple of caveats:

  • Please don’t share the link or password. Valdes/Eriksdotter has provided this just for you, the original Numenera backers.
  • If you’re not familiar with the concept of a “rough cut,” it’s basically a first pass at assembling the raw footage for a movie. The final may have a different tempo or changes in how its edited.
  • The music is just there as a placeholder—it will be different in the final. Most of the effects are temporary, or missing altogether.
  • We and Joan have some great ideas for fleshing the story out with additional scenes, if the Kickstarter funding allows for it. So the final could be somewhat longer!

To view the rough cut, follow this link. You'll need a password, which we'll email to all backers in a separate mailing tomorrow. The link will only be live for a short period, so have a look as soon as you get the password. And remember: No sharing!

We’re so excited about this film. We hope you’ll help it reach its full potential!

Are You Visiting Our Website?: If you don't visit the Monte Cook Games website regularly, you might want to check it out. Monte and/or Bruce blog there regularly (visit the Latest News section)--so you'll catch their thoughts on gaming and design, as well as updates on all of our products, activities, and appearances.

Communicating with MCG: Trying to reach us? Please don’t rely on the Kickstarter comment threads. These are awesome for keeping everyone up to date during the Kickstarter campaign, but afterward we focus our conversation on the MCG, Numenera, and The Strange Facebook pages. Commenting on Facebook is a much more reliable way of getting in touch with us!

Iadace!
--Charles