Seattle-based game designer Monte Cook is a familiar name to many fans of traditional roleplaying games, having worked on titles such as Dungeons & Dragons (3rd Edition) and the d20 edition of Call of Cthulhu. Cook’s latest project — Numenera — is a science fantasy tabletop roleplaying game currently on Kickstarter, where it has raised over $345,000. That is more than 17 times the $20,000 Cook originally asked for, making it a success before the game is even finished.
Numenera is set in a post-apocalyptic world, and focuses on storytelling over rigid rulesets. In Numenera, remnants of old technology and strange bio-engineered beasts make up for the classic magical swords and fire-breathing dragons, and half-forgotten science becomes magic. The project features art by Kieran Yanner, helping players get a feel for the world.
Based on the success of the Kickstarter campaign (which runs until September 17), backers can look forward to several extra goodies beyond the core game itself, including a dedicated app for tablets and smartphones designed to enhance the gaming experience. With so much support, Cook has come up with a long list of stretch goals, and by the looks of how fast contributions are coming in, the next two (a world book containing more background, gear and creatures, and publishing the entire game in color) are likely to be reached. Cook also plans on pouring 5% of the excess contributions back into other Kickstarter projects.
Cook is very conscious of the setting he is creating, aiming for a game that allows for both science fiction and fantasy stories, letting players emphasize the aspects they find more appealing. Those interested in the game design aspects will find the associated blog an interesting read.