Numenera is about exploration in the far future. There have been eight worlds before ours. Eight times, the people of Earth built civilizations, reaching heights we cannot imagine. They built cities and machines that have since crumbled. The empty landscape is dotted with devices, creatures, and items of wondrous power and inexplicable purpose. Islands of crystal float in the sky. Inverted mountains rise above plains of broken glass. Mysterious abandoned structures stretch across distances so great they affect the weather. Amid the ruins prowl monstrous predators, ancient death machines, stranded extraterrestrial or transdimensional beings, and tribes of vicious abhumans. The Iron Wind scours the wilderness, altering everything it touches. The people of the Ninth World suffered through a dark age, an era of isolation and struggle in the shadow of civilizations millennia gone.
But a new age dawns. Brave explorers who discover and master the works of the past worlds — the numenera — can unlock new powers and abilities, defend the weak, bolster the sick and starving, build a community, and perhaps bring a greater destiny to a struggling world.
Launched in a half-million-dollar 2012 Kickstarter campaign that shattered every tabletop RPG record up to that time, Numenera introduced Monte Cook’s Cypher System, later used in The Strange and many other settings. The 2013 Numenera corebook went through four printings, and spawned 60 supplements and accessories, board games, novels, the Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game, and many foreign translations.
Numenera Discovery isn’t a new edition as such — there are no important rules changes, and all later books still work fine with the original rules. Discovery does expand and overhaul the original corebook, incorporating the Character Options expansions, reworking foci and descriptors, and elaborating on the starting regions of the Steadfast and the Beyond.
Destiny, a new companion corebook, lets characters help shape the future of the Ninth World. Player characters don’t just explore the wonders of the past; they use them to help lift the Ninth World out of darkness. Uncover materials, power sources, and treasures for use in a new, robust crafting and building system. Help a community defend itself — create centers of learning or trade — manage an entire community and help it prosper — or simply create a cool base or vehicle for your group. Make your mark on a billion-year history.
This new offer presented both 2018 corebooks, all three Bestiaries, recent supplements, adventures, maps, and play aids — everything you need to explore and shape your destiny in the weird and wondrous Ninth World. As we said, many of these titles had never appeared in any previous bundle. See the end of this entry, “What’s New in Numenera Discovery,” for a detailed breakdown.
There were nine titles in our Discovery Collection (retail value $93) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete full-color 418-page Numenera Discovery core rulebook (plus the Player’s Guide, the Character Portfolio, and many freebies); the Priests of the Aeons character book; the Ninth World Guidebook; Technology Compendium: Sir Arthour’s Guide to the Numenera; Maps of the Ninth World 1 and Maps of the Ninth World 2; and the full-color Character and Creature Standups.
Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price also got our entire Destiny Collection with eleven more titles worth an additional $146, including the 418-page Numenera Destiny corebook and its campaign expansion Building Tomorrow; all three Ninth World Bestiary volumes with hundreds of weird creatures; the location sourcebook (uhh? sort of?) Voices of the Datasphere; the massive two-part campaign Slaves of the Machine God; the “instant adventures” anthology Explorer’s Keys; and three Ninth World adventures: Forgetting Doomsday; The Thief, the Clave, and the Ultimatum; and Shadewalker.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) went to this Numenera Discovery offer’s pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.
What’s New in Numenera DiscoveryWe presented the 2013 version of Numenera and its early support line in May and December 2014, then again (alongside a new Numenera Ninth World companion offer) in July 2017. Then in February 2019 Monte Cook Games presented a large Numenera Discovery and Destiny offer through Humble Bundle — which (to repeat) doesn’t own and isn’t associated with the Bundle of Holding (though we wish Humble well). What was in this new Numenera Discovery Bundle (with its 20 titles that have a total retail value of US$239) compared to what went before?
Titles in this offer that appeared in previous Bundle offers (5): Both Maps of the Ninth World collections, the first Ninth World Bestiary, Ninth World Guidebook, and Technology Compendium (total retail $52)
Titles in this offer that appeared in Humble Bundle (8): Maps 1, Ninth World Bestiary 1-2, Ninth World Guidebook, Numenera Destiny, Numenera Discovery, Player’s Guide, and Technology Compendium (total retail $116)
Titles in this offer that had never before appeared in any bundle (11): Building Tomorrow, Character Portfolio, Character and Creature Standups, Explorer’s Keys, Forgetting Doomsday, Ninth World Bestiary 3, Priests of the Aeons, Shadewalker, Slaves of the Machine God, The Thief the Clave and the Ultimatum, and Voices of the Datasphere (total retail $121)