Question on the Numenera settung.

For discussing Torment's story, setting, and characters. Ninth World discussions encouraged. Spoilers allowed.

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anonymous6059
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by anonymous6059 » January 28th, 2016, 6:33 am

Sardaukar wrote:
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.

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.
That's not exactly true. Like I was pointing out before almost everything on this planet breaks down. I'm no scientist but by doing a few google searches you'll find out that everything would break down after a few million years. Nothing we have made could be found after a few million years. Therefore, any technological relics from this time would be impossible to find in a billion years. You couldn't even hope to find evidence as far as I can tell, not even fossils! Therefore any relics that "could" be found in this setting would have to be made from a substance that doesn't even exist on our periodic table! I'm not saying its impossible, maybe all the relics that are found are made out of some sort of nano-reproductive substance that reconstructs itself or something else of the like which doesn't exist yet.

Another issue is being able to uncover these relics from the past. Would they not be buried under several miles and miles of earth? How is it that these item from different time periods would just so happen to conveniently be available? It'd be like everyone walking into their backyard and finding caveman/native American tools and weapons. Its not going to happen very often if ever because almost all of those items have been destroyed by time or are way under the ground. Sure, sometimes we uncover something trapped in amber, tar pits, or glaciers or whatever but its usually even then just a fossil. You don't just go out for a jog and stump your toe on a ancient axe. Time is very destructive and nothing we can do right now can prevent that. Its like the game setting underestimates WHAT A BILLION YEARS really means.

Lastly, why in the world would the planet be in such a disarray? If at any point we did have the technology to rebuild planets, create stars, and engineer the entire earth why would it be is such a horrible jumble of a mess? It would seem like someone would make it uniform at the very least. However, THIS IS A RPG SETTING and its not trying to be realistic. Its trying to be fun. Sure you can come up with interesting ways to explain how this or that happened but in the end its really not realistic at all. Its just for fun, just like a totally unrealistic medieval settings with dragons would be.

Again, I'm not saying that I don't like the setting. I'm currently reading the Dying earth because I'm very inspired by the setting. My point is that it does have some glaring issues which are hard to over look. Several of the issues I don't I've even noticed myself. Those issues I pretty sure were made on purpose though. They had to make the setting fit the requirements of a PnP world because that's exactly what it is.

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by kilobug » January 28th, 2016, 7:34 am

anonymous6059 wrote:That's not exactly true. Like I was pointing out before almost everything on this planet breaks down. I'm no scientist but by doing a few google searches you'll find out that everything would break down after a few million years. Nothing we have made could be found after a few million years. Therefore, any technological relics from this time would be impossible to find in a billion years.
And they aren't - our current civilization isn't part of the previous Eight Worlds of Numenéra. The Eight Worlds where much, much more advanced than we currently are. They did build things that can last for millions of years, either because it's self-replicating/self-correcting, or because it's just so strong, or because it time traveled (using relativistic effects or using "beyond Standard Model" physics).

And while it's billion of years in _our_ future, it doesn't say much about how old the Eight Worlds are. Probably much less, at least for some of them.
anonymous6059 wrote:Therefore any relics that "could" be found in this setting would have to be made from a substance that doesn't even exist on our periodic table!
Actually, the "substance" or our periodic table, apart from the heaviest elements like uranium, are stable over the course of billions of years. It's the atoms that break down, but the molecular links. And there is no saying that some kind of molecular links (like carbon nanotubes) can't last for very long. Or that you can't have self-replicating systems, we do have species that survived for hundred of millions of years. The nautilus is thought be around 500 millions years old, and still alive - not the same individual, but the same species, reproducing itself for half of the time between now and Numenéra's world.
anonymous6059 wrote:Another issue is being able to uncover these relics from the past. Would they not be buried under several miles and miles of earth?
That's probably true for some of them - but some fall from the sky as they were in orbit and were knocked out, some are exposed after an earthquake, some are digged by strange lifeforms, some are actually active and moving themselves, ...

And it's also very likely that most of the Numenéra you can find are among the most recent. The giant megastructures can be very old, but most of the cyphers you can find are probably from the last two or three civilizations.
anonymous6059 wrote:It'd be like everyone walking into their backyard and finding caveman/native American tools and weapons.
Well, a major difference is that caveman (or native Americans) were quite a few and didn't produce that much of their tools and weapons - they didn't have mass production.
anonymous6059 wrote: Lastly, why in the world would the planet be in such a disarray? If at any point we did have the technology to rebuild planets, create stars, and engineer the entire earth why would it be is such a horrible jumble of a mess?
Because either they moved on and abandoned it for whatever reason, or they self-destructed in a way, or they got wiped out by even more powerful enemies, or they are doing a sociological experiments, or they are having fun watching a gigantic "reality TV" show, or... One main theme of Numenéra is "mystery", the motives of many creatures and factions are not explained - you can just let your mind speculate endlessly.
anonymous6059 wrote:However, THIS IS A RPG SETTING and its not trying to be realistic. Its trying to be fun.
It's not "hard scifi", sure. It doesn't try to be totally realistic, it's "science fantasy" and mostly care about being fun, interesting, weird, rich while maintaining a minimum amount of verisimilitude. But it's not as impossible as it seems on first glance.

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anonymous6059
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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by anonymous6059 » January 28th, 2016, 9:04 am

@Kilobug I must agree with everything you've said. I suppose most of my objections can be explained without to much of a stretch. Now I really want to find a Numenera Role-playing group. :)

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Re: Question on the Numenera settung.

Post by Reslon » January 29th, 2016, 7:04 am

Something to point out I didn't see mentioned that I want to say as a GM for the tabletop Numenera game, most of the big numenera pieces seen in the game are more akin to what the rulebook calls artifacts. Working, full pieces of technology that have survived the ages in some manner.

Cyphers on the other hand range from random orb you overload to turn into an explosive that probably was intended for something different(Maybe that 'sonic' explosive cypher was actually meant for land surveys till you amped it up with a few buttons to override it's programming) to things cobbled together out pieces of A, B, and C monster or broken numenera. Some cyphers may actually have survived eons pending where they were, such as deep in the formerly airtight bunker under random hill till adventure group Y bumbled into it looking for a big score.

Some artifacts in the rulebook are also cobbled together like that. So not all the numenera you use or see necessarily actually survived eons, just enough pieces did to be put together into something.

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