Question on the Numenera settung.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by PhilTsen » January 21st, 2016, 6:21 am

1. Majority of the Earths civilization were not human, one of them had the ability of stellar engineering (like in Lem's 'Cyberiada") so why not to create artifacts to stand the test of time?
2. No one know why the humans are back on Earth n the Ninth World, it's a mistery. Stated in the Numenera corebook.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by kilobug » January 21st, 2016, 6:27 am

anonymous6059 wrote:So if its a billion years in the future wouldn't all of the civilizations from oh 500 million years before be utterly destroyed? I mean, all these artifacts wouldn't stand the test of time.
Well, depends of the technological level they did reach - we are speaking of civilizations able to prevent the Earth from being burned by the heating Sun, as it should be. We are speaking of civilizations able to reshape the continents. They definitely have the technology to create things that can last millions of years - be it a swarm of self-replicating nanobots that survive for millions of years the same way some life forms survived from before the dinosaurs until now. Or to make a material so strong that even millions of years can't erode it. Or send things to orbit that stay there for long. Or ...
anonymous6059 wrote:So in reality you'd only be able to find the artifacts from the previous one or two inhabitants of the planet.
People call it the "9th world", because they find ruins and leftovers of what they suppose to be 8 previous civilizations. But we don't know how long in time they spawn - perhaps the most ancient is one million of years in our future, so ~1 billion years in their past, but perhaps the oldest of the 8 was just 100 millions years ago, nothing is known for certain.
anonymous6059 wrote:Another thing is why is the planet even inhabitable by humans in a billion years? Would it not be very likely that the earth's environment of changed so much that it would be highly unlikely be could live on the planet in a billion years?
Actually that's covered by Numenéra corebook. The Earth should not be inhabitable in a billion years - the oceans should have boiled since long. The Earth of the Ninth World is inhabitable because previous civilizations took step to ensure it - perhaps they moved the Earth, perhaps they added nanobots in the atmosphere to shield it, perhaps they rejuvenated or cooled down the Sun itself, who knows what exactly they did. But the Ninth World is inhabitable because the previous civilizations (or perhaps aliens visiting it) made it so, not just out of luck.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by anonymous6059 » January 21st, 2016, 7:53 am

kilobug wrote:Actually that's covered by Numenéra corebook. The Earth should not be inhabitable in a billion years - the oceans should have boiled since long. The Earth of the Ninth World is inhabitable because previous civilizations took step to ensure it - perhaps they moved the Earth, perhaps they added nanobots in the atmosphere to shield it, perhaps they rejuvenated or cooled down the Sun itself, who knows what exactly they did. But the Ninth World is inhabitable because the previous civilizations (or perhaps aliens visiting it) made it so, not just out of luck.
You obviously make a very compelling argument, so thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm still not completely convinced though. The level of technological changes that your suggesting is a bit hard to fathom. For instance, anyone who could move planets or change the sun's temperature would be basically a god. Even if such technology existed at some point in the far and distant future what would be the point of going to such great lengths to preserve Earth? Supposing you did have the ability to create new atmospheres, changes the formation of our Earth's crust, build/repair a Sun, then why not just build a whole new Earth somewhere else. Perhaps somewhere that wouldn't require so much effort?

Don't get me wrong you've done an outstanding job of opening my eyes to the possibilities but it's still just science fiction in the end. My guess is that it just wouldn't be very interesting to find out that in the future we all lived comfortably on a giant Space Cruise ship like in WALL-E. The bottom line has to be that its just a great setting for pen and paper and not cause it makes much sense.

Either way, I'm still really like your point of view. Perhaps just like in WALL-E the humans all really did pack up and use that superior technology to cruise around space and live like pigs. Since Earth was just becoming to much of a hassle to support and maintain. However, a few *rebels* might of refused to leave or x y or z happened. Therefore, the Earth itself has been discarded as a failed experiment and its inhabitants comb through it finding these leftover artifacts....

Hmmm.... You've got my gears turning now.... Thanks!!!

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by kilobug » January 21st, 2016, 8:08 am

anonymous6059 wrote:The level of technological changes that your suggesting is a bit hard to fathom. For instance, anyone who could move planets or change the sun's temperature would be basically a god.
Well, Numenéra base line is Arthur's C. Clarke quote "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.", that gives the tone of it ;)

As for moving planets, it doesn't require to be a god, if you do it slowly over millions of years, it does require advanced technology, but nothing beyond what we can imagine wielding in the next few centuries (if we don't blow ourselves, at least). We *do* have the ability to greatly alter the Earth climate over a few decades, for example, as we can saddly witness it.
anonymous6059 wrote:Even if such technology existed at some point in the far and distant future what would be the point of going to such great lengths to preserve Earth?
Well, it's hard to guess what priorities a far future civilization will have, but we do spend significant amount of resources in order to preserve things - archaeological ruins, natural parks, endangered species, ... It wouldn't surprise me for a future civilization, or an alien race, to try to preserve the Earth as a kind of historical curiosity or national park.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Firkraag » January 21st, 2016, 9:16 am

Well. It is. Unrealustic. Hence 'science fantasy'.

Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
Ragnarok Proofing.

Monte Cook specifically designed this setting to look that way. rule book informs us, there were at least eight civilizations on this planet and, not all of them were humans and their list of technologies is long, that it makes everything possible. Earth and sun can be rebuilt by space engineering and extra-planar shenanigans. Devices can be built around laws of thermodynamics. Wormholes, time travel, godlike AI.

Does it make world presented in a game likely with that premise? Not really. But, still possible.

Though, in IGN video George said something about inhabitants of Ninth World along the lines of "or so they believe".

There's literally no connections between 4,5 billion year Earth and 5,5 billion year Earth. I don't know about Sagus Cliffs, but Steadfast knows no more than 200 years of it's history. People returned to Earth not a while ago. From where? Why? Is it really Earth? Was it really 1 billion years?

My best shot at explaining Ninth World, that it was designed as a testing grounds for humans. Maybe, a giant social experiment or something. That explains preserved layered ruins, fully stocked with one use-only-cyphers, that tend to explode, if one person carries too much, but otherwise perfectly fine in a room, fully packed with dozens of cypher-users and weird creatures, that only make sense in a dungeon crawling game ecology.

In other words - it wasn't supposed to be realistic.
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Verenti » January 22nd, 2016, 10:09 am

vv221 wrote:We are not in the Eighth World, but the First. Our civilization will rise and fall, like many after us.
Eight of these civilizations (nothing says if ours will be part of them) will achieve unbelievable levels of development, mastering things like interdimensional travel or time compression, before falling to dust and leaving only artefacts (the numenéra) that are now a part of the Ninth-Worlders daily life.

I don’t think we’ve built today anything ready to last for a billion years, so I would be surprised to see anything in the Ninth World that’s a remnant of today’s human civilization.
It's actually explicitly said that we are not necessarily living in the first world. A "world" is a civilisation at the height of its power, and what we know of other worlds is that is considerably more powerful than we currently are. We might be to the first world what the Ancient Egyptians are to us.

However, I have a hypothesis that the first world is the world of the Strange, and the golden age of the first world is a product of the ability to create recursions. I think that this is the ability that demarcates worlds and the apocalypse that finishes off each world is actually the world eaters from the Strange who finally hone in on this ability, causing the world's inhabitants to have a genesis moment where they create a new reality to flee into and start all over again. I'm not entirely sure that the Ninth world is the same Earth we are living on, but rather a recreation of a recreation of... usw.

This would explain that the artefacts of the ninth world, the numenera, are remenants of stories of the old worlds, rather than actual artefacts produced in the previous worlds. They'd be people trying to remember a better life and eventually those stories would fade away and all would be left would be those fragments. That said, after a billion years of science, maybe they've created materials that can endure a few hundred million years of neglect.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Drool » January 22nd, 2016, 12:22 pm

anonymous6059 wrote: For instance, anyone who could move planets or change the sun's temperature would be basically a god.
That's barely stepping through the door of a Stage 2 civilization.
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by vv221 » January 22nd, 2016, 1:04 pm

Verenti wrote:It's actually explicitly said that we are not necessarily living in the first world. A "world" is a civilisation at the height of its power, and what we know of other worlds is that is considerably more powerful than we currently are. We might be to the first world what the Ancient Egyptians are to us.
You’re 100% right here ;)

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Firkraag » January 23rd, 2016, 12:46 am

That's one absurd cathegorization. If humanity isn't the First World, then what gave inhabitants of Numenera setting a gall to call themselves a Ninth World? Haight of it's power? Hah! They barely left the bronze age!

More like bugs, infesting the junkyard of the old city to me. It should be called Twiligt ZoneAge, instead.
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by cyseal » January 23rd, 2016, 2:14 am

Drool wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote: For instance, anyone who could move planets or change the sun's temperature would be basically a god.
That's barely stepping through the door of a Stage 2 civilization.
At which stage could there be Numenera's civilizations?

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Firkraag » January 23rd, 2016, 2:45 am

cyseal wrote:
Drool wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote: For instance, anyone who could move planets or change the sun's temperature would be basically a god.
That's barely stepping through the door of a Stage 2 civilization.
At which stage could there be Numenera's civilizations?
Kardashev's Scale covers energy-consuming in-universe civilizations, which may not apply to previous 'Worlds', because a) they can can be energy-economic and b) they may discover time and inter-universe travel way before stellar engineering, so they can be anything ranging from Type I to Type IV.

Also, if we have so much leftovers from Eighth World, it is not unreasonable to assume, that older civilizations scavenged and reverse-engineered old tech, as much as Ninth Worlders do now.

Also... what is interesting. What is now scattered across Ninth World surface is leftovers of Eighth World or all of previous Worlds. Because I kinda can believe in cycles of civilzations rising and falling, I find it funny, that the leftovers will be all mixed up and never were gathered, cleaned, turned into museums, repurposed and disassembled. I can't believe, that new civilization just will leave their world as finely preserved ruin. Because in real life, humans build on top. They add and shuffle things.

So that means, that only Eighth World was that weird? Maybe there portal using civilization, who left the earth and then portal were break down and everything just looks to be in disarray. For them their logistics was in order and simple.
Last edited by Firkraag on January 23rd, 2016, 3:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Omeganian » January 23rd, 2016, 3:13 am

At a certain point in the Beta, you look into space and feel quadrillions of superhuman minds. Perhaps these are running an experiment or just trolling.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Drool » January 23rd, 2016, 1:01 pm

Firkraag wrote:Kardashev's Scale covers energy-consuming in-universe civilizations, which may not apply to previous 'Worlds', because a) they can can be energy-economic and b) they may discover time and inter-universe travel way before stellar engineering, so they can be anything ranging from Type I to Type IV.
Well, if they're doing inter-universe travel, Type IV is all but assumed :P

My point was more that turning back the clock on the sun or moving the Earth, or whatever was done to avoid the sun going red and eating the Earth isn't the province of gods. A civilization with the technology to produce/harness/use enough energy to classify as Type II, is likely to be highly advanced in many other areas as well. A Dyson Sphere doesn't just represent an energy demand, it also represents highly advanced materials science, super engineering, mastery of local space travel, and any number of other advancements; as well as quite a few intangibles, too. It requires a certain level of ego to build a warehouse around a star.

That said, I have to admit that Numenera is an interesting intersection of Kardashev and The Great Filter.
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by omphaloskepsis » January 23rd, 2016, 2:48 pm

Firkraag wrote: Also... what is interesting. What is now scattered across Ninth World surface is leftovers of Eighth World or all of previous Worlds. Because I kinda can believe in cycles of civilzations rising and falling, I find it funny, that the leftovers will be all mixed up and never were gathered, cleaned, turned into museums, repurposed and disassembled. I can't believe, that new civilization just will leave their world as finely preserved ruin. Because in real life, humans build on top. They add and shuffle things.

So that means, that only Eighth World was that weird? Maybe there portal using civilization, who left the earth and then portal were break down and everything just looks to be in disarray. For them their logistics was in order and simple.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. I apologize if I misunderstand, but I think you're operating under some idealized assumptions.

The real world has thousands of ruins, not to mention junkyards, salvage yards, ghettos, slums, barrios, etc. There are plenty of real world cities that are unmaintained too. Even cities with good economies will have bad roads with potholes, gravel roads within city limits, etc. The real world is about variety, so I don't see why a 5 billion year old world would have less.

I don't know if anybody can tell the difference between Eight World and previous epochs. Maybe some of the weirdness is mixing different styles. There are several machines in the game that are described as being a mix of multiple different techs. Also, some of the weirdness is just different aesthetic values (see real world culture and history) and in some cases, literally alien aesthetic differences.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Firkraag » January 23rd, 2016, 3:28 pm

Actually it was never explained what kind of filter Monte was using to get rid of civilizations, so they could leave a conveniently placed eternal one use only devices...
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by CottonWolf » January 24th, 2016, 4:57 am

There's a very vague list of facts about the prior worlds in the corebook if I remember rightly, but I don't think it lists any options for how even one of them extinguished themselves. For all we know, one of them could have done a 'dwarves in Morrowind'-type thing and ascended to a higher plane of existence. There's literally no filter than can be ruled out. Maybe one of the worlds is just out of phase with Ninth World Earth and just observing the entire universe as a massive science experiment... I might use that idea for my next tabletop campaign.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Firkraag » January 24th, 2016, 5:59 am

CottonWolf wrote:Maybe one of the worlds is just out of phase with Ninth World Earth and just observing the entire universe as a massive science experiment... I might use that idea for my next tabletop campaign.
Or some kind of entertainment.
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by GasMaskFan » January 25th, 2016, 12:09 am

Just to note that Numenera isn't scifi setting per say, its scifi fantasy. Whole point is that world is littered by super technology that is so advanced it might as well be mystical magic in any other setting. Its what makes setting really weird and sometimes hard to comprehend.

And yeah, nobody in setting knows what previous worlds were like or why they did what they did. They can figure out from numenera some aspects of them, but its not exactly easy to figure it all out. I mean, for example, how would they notice that the super continent has larger landmass than should be possible by physic laws? Or how would they know that their world is so old that by now sun should have died already? How would they know that mercury doesn't exist in solar system anymore since they never knew such planet existed in first place?

Its also fun how there are hints about setting that don't get answered in the books. For example, why one of creatures in the bestiary is automated butcher machine(that takes in meat and packs it) that seems to prefer human targets? : D
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by GasMaskFan » January 25th, 2016, 12:12 am

Also, on distinguishing the previous worlds... Yeah, they can't.

The list of previous words isn't list, its "At least one of civilizations did/didn't [x] thing" and lists achievements that definitely one of them did(like terraforming, genemanipulation, interstellar empire, ascending beyond physical flesh, etc)
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Sardaukar » January 27th, 2016, 9:28 pm

anonymous6059 wrote: Another thing is why is the planet even inhabitable by humans in a billion years? Would it not be very likely that the earth's environment of changed so much that it would be highly unlikely be could live on the planet in a billion years?

Not that I can't suspend my disbelief or anything. I love the setting! Its just not realistic that's all.
Only someone -from- that future could tell you if it's realistic.

By the time of the Ninth World, there have been periods where the Earth didn't support human life. And periods after that where it did. Civilizations have existed that can reconstruct planets and move suns. Yep.

As for device survival, some of the numenera are insanely tough and/or regenerative. Nanotechnology is omnipresent, ( literally everywhere, it's what allows people to do what we wthink of as "magic") and much of it is not human in origin either.

Oh and far from all the tech is from Earth..or from this dimension...or ancient.

From here we can no more understand the mechanics underpinning the Ninth World than a trilobite could understand Jersey Shore. And trilobites were only 500+ million years ago, not a billion.

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