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Tales from the Ninth World
 
$2.99
Average Rating:4.2 / 5
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Tales from the Ninth World
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Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Christopher G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/14/2014 15:15:05

NO Spoilers here. :) Great teasers, but very short. It makes me want to find out what happens to the characters. I hope they make full length novels. So I give the writing and uniqueness 5stars and the length 3stars. Round it off to 4.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Michael R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2014 00:56:32

Entertaining and enlightening tales about the nature of Numenera – particularly the strangeness of the world, and the uniqueness of this setting. Shanna Germain's "The Taste of Memory" is easily the best story here, offering a vibrant and revealing insight into characters and personal circumstances that tantalise the imagination.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Juan P. C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/21/2013 08:18:41

It is a nice anthology, the engagement with the tales is quite varied. I personally felt more immersed with the one written by Shanna, her characters are perhaps deeper.

The stories are all interesting. For its price, it is highly recommended!

It was a nice way to get into to the universe of the Ninth World. I am looking forward to play Numenera, though i am lacking partners... :D



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Jesse S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/20/2013 14:51:08

Decent stories that are helpful in getting a feel for the world.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Tim W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/14/2013 21:48:35

I thoroughly enjoyed these 3 short tales to get a better sense of the world and style of Numenera! 8')



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Tyler M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2013 17:29:02

I picked this up as a supplement to the other material that is available for Numenera to get a better idea of the setting and how far alien some on the scenarios could be. I found the short stories (because that's what they are and expecting otherwise is just silly) to be quite captivating and helped fleshed out the world of Numenera in my mind. While some of them ended abruptly, I didn't find issue with it, seeing as they were moreso glimpses into the world than full fledged stories. Each could certainly be used as plot hooks, either before or after the events of each, and have great variation. The preview not a buying point for me, as I already own the core book, and was looking simply for supplemental material to help me flesh out the Ninth World in my mind, which in turn will hopefully help my players enjoy the game more. I know others found the price to be a negative point for them, but I honestly had no issue with it given the quality of the content, limited as it was.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Timothy S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/16/2013 12:34:27

In purchasing Numenera, the setting was so broadly defined, I wanted to go to the source for ideas. I highly recommend these three short stories to help define just what can be done with the setting. If I could define an "Appendix N" for Numenera, this would top the list, if only for the author credits so closely linked with the game. But I would add Fritz Leiber and Jack Vance.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Tim C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2013 14:38:41

The three stories are well-written but they end too abruptly and without any resolution to their main plots. Perhaps they are meant to be plot vehicles for players in a Numenera campaign?



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Jason M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2013 11:26:19

A great glimpse into the ninth world, and a good example of the diverse stories that can be told. Looking forward to the core book release next month.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/26/2013 09:08:26

Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/06/26/book-review-tales-of-the-ninth-world-numenera/

I passed on the Numenera Kickstarter when it occurred because just had too many other crowfunding programs I was backing at the time, but trust me when I say I’ve been regretting it ever since. I’ve found the core concept to be a fascinating one, and I happily backed the Torment video game that will be using the setting. The core rulebook and the Player’s Guide come out in August, which I am looking forward to devouring, reviewing, and of course – playing. The first public release for Numenera is not a game book for the system, but rather a collection of three short stories followed for a three page exert from the first chapter of the rulebook. I didn’t know what to expect from Tales of the Ninth World. The short stories could have been simple paint by numbers pieces to explain the setting, or they might have been pieces where you had to be intricately familiar with the world in question otherwise much of the book won’t make sense – like some Warhammer 40,000 novels. What I found is that even if you are completely ignorant of what Numenera is about or what the system has to offer, you can still find all three stories highly captivating and immensely entertaining. Things aren’t explained AT ALL, but the writing is done in such a way that it doesn’t need to. Your understanding of each tale grows organically and by the end of the collection, you might not know a lot about the Ninth World, but you will know enough to be intrigued and you’ll want to learn more.

The first short story is, “The Smell of Lightning” and it gives us a strong look at the concept of both science and magic in the Ninth World and how both just may be the same thing; it only depends on one’s understanding of what it in front of him or her. The story, in fact all three short stories in this collection, lean heavily towards everything being such an alien science that the people encountering it sometimes call it magic simply due to a lack of understanding or vocabulary, and I like that. It’s a very different take and one that opens up realms of possibility (literally). “The Smell of Lightning” revolves around a young bored noble named Faber who lives in a castle that seems to have a mind of its own. The castle grows, contracts, changes the form of a room and almost seems to pulsate with life. A castle can’t be alive and it certainly can’t be self-aware, right? That doesn’t stop the help from having the occasional rumour about the castle being haunted and it certainly doesn’t stop Faber from his daily trek through the castle to see what has changed or is new. Faber downplays his passion for the castle as well as his knowledge of intricate details of each room that he keeps track of, coming across as somewhat of a dullard to his father. Faber’s father seems to view the castle as a source of eldritch power and seeks to use the unique structure in which they live for some shadowy purpose. All things in Faber’s life seems to change when one of his mother’s servants, an intelligent young man named Kiri, seems to have the same interest in the castle’s growth and changes that he does. Together the two form a bond and try to figure out some of what makes the castle tick. What they discover and the end result of their forays leads Faber to find his true purpose in life and a goal with which he commits to wholeheartedly. A great read from beginning to end.

“The Taste of Memory” in this second tale is about a thief named Marseyl that returns to her home port of Kaparin after many years away. The tale revolves around Ink, a strange narcotic in the Ninth World that comes in every colour of the rainbow and causes its imbibers to recall memories that never actually happened. Ink leaves swirls of color in the skin of those who take it, leaving them with a heavily tattooed appearance. Our main character in this tale is an ink addict, although she tries very strongly to avoid thinking about the origins of Ink – a byproduct of a race of sentient giant cephalopods. No, they aren’t Star Spawns or anything Cthulhu-esque. “The Taste of Memory” seems Marseyl drawn into a strange conspiracy where a new version of ink is released on the market and her attempts to reconcile who she once was with the woman she has become and whether or not there is still a place for her previous loved ones in her new existence as a thief, scraping by for her next hit. “The Taste of Memory” feels a lot like a fantasy story that you could find in many other settings, but the characters are very well done and I really enjoyed how the plot unfolded. From a weird avian automaton to a climax where more is left unsaid than explained, “The Taste of Memory” feels like it is merely to the start to a series of stories about Marseyl rather than a single one-shot.

The final story in Tales of the Ninth World is The Sound of the Beast and I think it is my favorite (although I really liked all of them). The tale begins in the middle of an adventure, where a party of three characters are transporting their captive to a nebulous location. The party aren’t friends by any means, but they work together and they’re surprisingly kind and respectful to their alien captive who treats his captors equally well. It’s an odd and unique dynamic and I loved it. The main character refers to the beat inside him which he keeps in check. At first I felt like the Beast was a metaphor ala Vampire; The Masquerade, but as the story went on, the main character’s description of his inner creature reminded me of a lycanthrope. The truth however, is both and yet something completely different. I wasn’t expected this but I loved it, as Numenera showed it could take tried and true fantasy concepts and turn them into something completely its own. I’m hoping the main character’s condition is something playable in a PC or that there are at least rules for it, because I would love to get some clarification on it.

The main character isn’t the only new take on a horror concept in The Sound of the Beast. In transporting their prisoner, the party is caught in a natblak, a strange killer storm filled with black jellyfish that get almost hentai style invasive. I loved this freakish alien storm as, once again, it really sets the Numenera setting apart from pretty much everything else out there. The party then takes refuge in a strange crumbling tower in the middle of nowhere. It’s lone inhabitant allows them to sit out the storm, but it soon becomes abundantly clear that nothing is what in seems in this location and that the party might have been better off whether the storm outside. The Sound of the Beast is the most action filled story, but it’s also the one I feel gives you the best look at what all Numenera has to offer. Like all the Tales of the Ninth World, this one is a blast to read, from beginning to end.

If anything, reading Tales of the Ninth World has me all the more excited for Numenera‘s upcoming release. With a price tag of only $2.99, you’re only paying a dollar a short story, which is in line with a lot of short enovellas these days. Even if you haven’t heard of Numenera or you’re not a big tabletop gamer, I’d still strongly encourage you to track down this story collection as I absolutely loved it and I’m convinced you will too.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2013 10:43:47

Tales from the Ninth World is a mini-anthology of three stories set in the world of Numenera, the Ninth World. The product is about 75 pages and the stories run about 20, 28, and 25 pages each. For $3 this seems pretty reasonable but I backed the Numenera Kickstarter campaign, and as a result this anthology was "free" (depending on how you look at it I suppose). Either way the $2.99 price tag was never a thought in my mind. Instead I was eager to dive into the Ninth World and get a bit more cohesive view of the upcoming game I've been awaiting.

The Smell of Lightning tells the story of a boy living within one of the artifacts of a prior world - a castle that seems almost alive, and is capable of it's own growth. The central theme of the piece seems to be the lost knowledge of the prior worlds, and the lack of understanding on the part of the current world's inhabitants.

The Taste of Memory tells the tale of a thief returning home. We learn that the protagonist is an addict, and her "drug" of choice is called ink. Where the first story's main character was the castle itself (even if the tale was told through the eyes of the boy), this story is much more about the people, the thief and those who enter her life as she scores her next fix, and the repercussions that come. This story gives a good idea of the culture of part of the Ninth World, where the prior had been a more focused study of an piece of ancient technology.

The final story is called The Sound of a Beast. It is easily the most "traditional" piece of RPG fiction, telling the story of a group of adventurers hired to escort a prisoner of sorts. The scale of this part is the grandest of the three, covering four characters in some detail, and dealing with the Ninth World in terms of weather, beasts, and numenera (the term used for all items from prior Worlds). We get the most insight into what an adventuring party of player characters could look like from this story and what kinds of special abilities they could bring to the table.

The three page preview of the core book that is included gives us a very high level introduction (it being the first few pages of the book's first chapter). Most interesting to me was to see the layout, with sidebars on every page to allow for quick definitions or cross-references without gumming up the main text. Likewise it demonstrated that we can expect a clean layout with a variety of artwork styles.

Overall the quality of the stories was high, and each gave some nice insight into the Numenera world in different ways. As an appetizer for the upcoming RPG Core book (due in August) this has done its job to whet the appetite well. The preview gave us only a teasing glimpse into the forthcoming book, but what it showed is promising.

Rating: 85% - An excellent first taste of the Numenera setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Ninth World
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Chad S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2013 07:31:27

I'm a little torn on this. The stories were very good, but it just doesn't seem like there was enough. I'm on the fence about the value, even though it was only $2.99 to begin with.

Also, I wouldn't recommend letting the rpg preview content be your deciding factor in buying. It's really just the first few pages of the intro chapter in final layout form. If you've been following Numenera's development, you won't see much new.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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