Hi, I'm Mike Selinker of Lone Shark Games. Let me tell you about a game I fell in love with. Actually, let me tell you about two of them.
While my team and I were designing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and The Maze of Games, our friends down the road at Monte Cook Games made the best new RPG of the century. Monte and his team created Numenera, setting their game a billion years from today, after civilization rose and fell eight times. In the Ninth World, adventurers explore a mindbending landscape of bizarre creatures and unfathomable technology. This world enriched a line of fiction, many supplements, and an upcoming digital game called Torment: Tides of Numenera. I was smitten.
Meanwhile, as we were starting the Apocrypha Adventure Card Game, my co-designer Paul Peterson showed me a game he and Boyan Radakovich were working on. It was a new kind of card game called a "skillbuilding game" that they had set in the world of Numenera. They'd taken the Numenera RPG's brilliant core character concept—a character boldly described by an adjective, noun, and verb phrase—and painted it as a tight card game engine. You wouldn't get a deck of cards; instead, you'd get a hand of cards that you'd improve over the course of the game. You'd build your skills as you explored the Ninth World. I knew we had to make it.
We've now made something weird and fantastic, and we call it The Ninth World: A Skillbuilding Game for Numenera. One part deckbuilder, one part Eurogame, and one part RPG, The Ninth World is something Lone Shark Games and Monte Cook Games want to bring to your table. Take a look and you'll see a game that goes beyond your expectations.
The Ninth World is a card game for 1 to 5 players. It can be played competitively, cooperatively, or in solo mode.
The game is designed by Paul Peterson, Boyan Radakovich, and Mike Selinker, with graphics by Shane Tyree and the artists of Numenera. The team at Monte Cook Games is also deeply involved in making this game what it is today.
Our game is set in the Numenera universe, where heroes explore the nine kingdoms of The Steadfast, each a very different place to adventure. They discover strange relics of the past, trying to discern which are powerful cyphers and which are just weird oddities. And they fight creatures of all shapes, sizes, and limb arrangements. Outside of the Steadfast is The Beyond, a wild and remote realm. And there are even places beyond The Beyond, awaiting your discovery.
If you want to learn by experience, download the playtest rulebook and the print-and-play demo version. When you play, enter your results into this Google form so we can learn what happened in your adventure.
If you're interested in a tutorial, Paul and I are happy to provide one:
To continue our journey, meet Nlixa, a Nano who will serve as our guide.
Nlixa is one of 12 characters in the game. Nlixa's a Nano, a master of using relics. That's one of the 3 classes in the game. In addition to the Nano, a Jack is a skilled explorer helping the settled towns with their quests, while a Glaive is ready for combat against the growing danger of the roaming creatures from the wilderness.
You can see how we describe Nlixa: with an adjective ("I Am a Learned..."), noun ("...Nano..."), and verb phrase ("...Who Rides the Lightning"). Each of those parts describes a different element of Nlixa's character. The first two parts show what cards Nlixa gets and can use best, while the third describes a special power that changes gameplay.
Nlixa and the other characters will explore one of the nine kingdoms of The Steadfast—or they may venture into the even stranger lands of the Beyond. Each kingdom is illustrated with a set of 5 region cards, such as Malevich shown here.
Over the course of a quick 5-round game, Nlixa and friends will simultaneously explore the starting region on round 1, and then continue out to the Voil Chasm on the far reaches of the kingdom. In a standard game of 9 rounds, they'll then head back home on the other side of the card.
Each round, Nlixa and the others will choose how much time to spend performing actions with their 5 skills—scouting the wilderness, tinkering with cyphers and oddities, charming allies, combating creatures, and focusing on skill advancement—and then bid against the other heroes for the choicest cards.
Each phase, you can adventure in the town, where rewards are predictable and creatures not so dangerous. Or you can head out to the wilderness, where strange cyphers have unpredictable powers and the creatures look to bash you into oblivion.
Gameplay is simultaneous and every action is rewarded with victory points. Whoever has the most points at the end is the most legendary adventurer.
That's in competitive mode. In co-op mode, you can work together to defeat the creatures and garner the relics, but there's a catch: the wilderness is trying to kill your town. Cards flip off the wilderness deck whether you want them or not, and you have to take them out before the creatures destroy your town locations and the relics and quests make it impossible for you to win. It's a battle against time to see if your entire adventuring team can master the chaos of the wilderness. Or you can go it alone in solo mode, which is like that except no one is there to help you.
The base game contains:
- 12 character tableaus (4 Nanos, 4 Glaives, 4 Jacks)
- 45 Steadfast region cards (5 each in 9 kingdoms)
- 54 town cards
- 54 wilderness cards
- 115 skill cards
- 15 wound cards
- 5 bid cover cards
- 50 powers cards
- 1 co-op threshold card
- a gamebook
- a turn marker
- 50 player markers
- scoring markers
- a monolith token
Plus, if you pledge for The Game and Beyond (or any higher level):
- 55 unlocked Beyond region cards—The Black Riage, the Plains of Kataru, Seshar, the Cloudcrystal Skyfields, the Frozen South, Vralk the Red Kingdom, Lostrei the Spiritlands, Rayskel Cays, Corao, Bruul, and the Lands of the Dawn
For those who want more than one copy of the game, you can get an additional copy by adding $50 to your pledge, or $60 if you want the Beyond preview cards. You don't need to add anything else for shipping if you pledge for two copies of the game; any additional copies each require additional half as much as the regular shipping amount. So if you wanted three copies sent to the USA, it's $12 shipping ($8 + $0 + $4).
Games to backers in the European Union will be shipped from the EU.
At our $75 level, you will also get a very cool double-sided Ninth World playmap specially designed for this game. At the $125 level, your map will be signed by Mike, Paul, Boyan, Monte, and Shanna.
On one side, it'll show all the locations in the Steadfast and where they appear in the card game, so you can chart your progress during the game. (The map below is from the RPG, and shows the Steadfast and its environs.)
On the other side, it'll have a playmat in which you can array your region cards, skill cards, and town and wilderness cards.
And if you want to see why everyone in the RPG fanbase is over the moon about Numenera, we've also made available some RPG PDF starter packs. At the $110 and $125 levels, you can get a Numenera Core Rulebook, the Ninth World Guidebook, and the Weird Discoveries adventure pack. You'll get these right after the campaign funds. This is the material that inspired our card game, so check it out if that's your thing.
We've got some higher levels too, including getting into a swanky exclusive party at Gen Con with us and our friends, getting yourself illustrated into the game, and more. Check them out. (FYI: Anyone who pledges above the $300 level will get an invite to our Gen Con party.)
The more this campaign evolves, the more places we will take you. As we reach certain goals, we will open up more locations like the Frozen South and the far-flung Lands of the Dawn. These new realms will be packaged as extras with your game, but may appear later in future expansions. If you pledge for The Game and Beyond level or higher, you'll be playing with them before anyone else.
Stretch goals we unlocked:
- Beyond region cards for the Black Riage ($60K), an intimidating mountain range east of the Steadfast
- The powers deck ($65K), 25 cards that let you customize your characters
- The DriveThruCards online card creator ($65K).
- Beyond region cards for the Plains of Kataru ($70K), a wild land to the east of the Black Riage
- Three new nonhuman characters ($75K)
- Beyond region cards for Seshar ($80K), the area southeast of the Steadfast
- 18 more town and wilderness cards ($85K)
- Turning the world map into a double-sided playmap ($85K)
- Beyond region cards for the Cloudcrystal Skyfields ($90K), the land of floating monoliths north of the Steadfast
- Fiction by MCG's Shanna Germain ($95K)
- Beyond region cards for the Frozen South ($100K), a frigid region south of the Steadfast
- 25 more cards in the powers deck ($105K)
- Beyond region cards for Vralk the Red Kingdom ($110K), a fiery wasteland north of the Steadfast
- Three new mutant characters ($115K)
- Beyond region cards for Lostrei the Spiritlands ($120K), an egalitarian realm north of the Steadfast
- Beyond region cards for Rayskel Cays ($125K), an archipelago west of the Steadfast
- Beyond region cards for Corao and Bruul ($125K), faroff regions northeast of the Steadfast visited through a portal
- Beyond region cards for the Lands of the Dawn ($130K), the strange regions neighboring Corao and Bruul
Italicized stretch goals are available for those who pledge at those levels. Those backers who pledge for The Game and Beyond ($60) or higher will get the Beyond region cards, while those who pledge at levels which have a world map ($75 and some others) will get the double-sided playmap. All non-italicized stretch goals will go to all backers.
As we explore this campaign, you can help us share the game with your friends and the world. Here are some things you can do.
- Post comments on our campaign describing anything you like about the game.
- Go to the Lone Shark Games Facebook page and hit that blue Like button. Post on the page what you think of The Ninth World.
- Go to our BoardGameGeek page and make an account if you don't have one. Download our playtest rules and cards, print a set, and play it, posting your feedback in our Google form. Then post a session report in the forum (go down to "Forums" and click "Session Report").
- Follow the @lonesharkgames Twitter account and retweet our official posts about this game using the hashtag #TheNinthWorld.
- Put these badges on your profiles: Kickstarter profile, Facebook profile, Facebook banner, Google profile, Instagram profile, Instagram lightbox, Pinterest profile, Twitter profile, Twitter shared photo, and Twitter header.
Everything you do can help. If you want this game to be as rich as it can be, tell folks and they'll come over to see what all the fuss is about.
And if you bought this game for someone else, give them this holiday card.
Risks and challenges
Lone Shark Games has created or co-created some of the biggest games in the tabletop industry, including the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Lords of Vegas, Unspeakable Words, Pirates of the Spanish Main, and the upcoming Apocrypha Adventure Card Game, as well as the interactive puzzle novel The Maze of Games. We know how to write complicated and interconnected rules, commission fantastic pieces of art, and send a massive game to production. Our team is one of the most experienced in the world at making these types of games, and we feel confident about this one.
On Kickstarter, we've created and fulfilled two big projects--The Maze of Games and its audiobook--and are on our way to fulfilling our third, the Apocrypha Adventure Card Game. As of now, Apocrypha has gone through systems design and is getting its final card text and art in place. We bring high production values to everything we create, and we polish our work down to its most painstaking details.
There are often possibilities of delays or hiccups in the process, but we've weathered them before. We're making a lot of art and testing the game thoroughly, and that takes time. Something could always go wrong. But we're going to do everything in our power to keep this game as cool as possible while getting it to you as soon as we can. We aim for awesome, and we rarely fail to hit it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)