RPG Review: The Ninth World Bestiary (Numenera)

The Ninth World Bestiary
Author: Monte Cook & Bruce Cordell
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
Year Published: 2014
Page Count: 160
Available Formats: PDF and Print
Cost: PDF – $14.99 or Print – $39.99

PREMISE:
Heroes require something or someone to beat in either a contest of will, mortal combat or out smarting. This book does just that, it presents gamemaster with a menagerie of beasties to best your players. The Ninth World Bestiary is a companion book to Monte Cook’s highly acclaimed Numenera RPG.

PRODUCT QUALITY:
I own this book in both hardcover and PDF versions. If you’re at all familiar with other products published by Monte Cook Games, then you’ll not be surprised at the high production value of this book. This full-color book is gorgeous with its beautiful art and superb layout. The binding of the hardcover is nicely constructed and is holding up nicely to repeated use.

CONTENT OVERVIEW:
The bestiary contains 130 different creatures and characters to pit against players regardless of their tier. Each entry is populated with all statistical information needed to incorporate the creature or character into a game. Additionally, there are a considerable amount of GM tips, both in the text and in the sidebars that will aid any GM. The book contains far-future transdimensional creatures, odd parasites, weird automatons and so much more.

The Bestiary contains the following:
Introduction
Designing Numenera Creatures
Ecology of the Ninth World
Creatures of the Ninth World (Random Encounter Tables, Creatures, Characters, etc)
Creature Index

The world of Numenera is so vastly different from many of the existing games out there and this bestiary is just another great complimentary product to this amazing and exciting game world.

PROS:
Beautifully Illustrated
Detailed ecology, demographics, and stats
A wide variety of creatures and characters
Size comparison artwork is very helpful
Every entry includes GM Intrusion ideas allowing the GM to keep the action going
People of Renown chapter presents interesting NPCs

CONS:
Information overload
Ecology of the Ninth World and Domesticated Creatures sections have limited value

PARTING SHOTS:
This book is a must have for any Numenera or even The Strange gamemaster. The artwork is stunning and you will surely get repeated use out of this book. When I get ready to run another Numenera game there are two books I reach for, the core rules and The Ninth World Bestiary. If you are presented with the option of purchasing one, and only one, Numenera supplement, this should be the one you buy! Although the others are very good as well, this one specifically is a must!

Ninth World Bestiary Front Cover Ninth World Bestiary Back Cover

~ Modoc

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