Bonus – A Ninth World Q & A

David  

Greetings and welcome to A Ninth World Journal. My name is David S. Dear and I am here with Kyle Decker, who is  the GM and hosts I guess you would say of the actual play podcast- Numenera podcast- Quest Friends. So Kyle, why don’t you tell us a little bit about Quest Friends for people out there who are not familiar with the show. 

Kyle  

Hi, quest friends is run by me, Kyle Decker. You’ve heard my name. I run Quest Friends. This is how all my introductions go. It’s kind of a brand thing. So quest friends is a Numenera actual play podcast. We run ourselves in the same world as the Ninth World Journal. It’s the ninth world. So if you’re listening to this q&a, you’re probably familiar with Numenera, even if it’s just Numenera, as presented through the show that we’re currently doing a q&a for. So quest friends also looks at Numenera it is a much more cartoony Look, I tried to think of the tone is a lot like something like Avatar The Last Airbender, very silly focus on farcical worlds family friendship, but also lots of sads, lots of sillies and lots of sads, so it’s a lot more farcical, a lot more, kind of cartoony look, then you might see in something like a ninth world journal, it’s an actual play between me and four of my best friends. We just- don’t know when this episode is going out- but we are currently on our fourth arc, but you can catch up. If you go on to our website, questfriendspodcast.com. Again, that’s questfriendspodcast.com, where we have transcripts. We have the story so far, we have character sheets.

If you’re just interested in starting right now, that’s probably not where you want to start. But we do have transcripts and we have summaries of the episodes so far. So you can jump right on in.

David  

Perfect.

Kyle  

I never mentioned the plot. Oops.

David  

(laughs) Well, I want to say just one thing about the show before we go into this, and I’ve invited Kyle on to kind of participate in a q&a, some questions that have been submitted by listeners of the show. But before that, I kinda want to talk just a little bit about quest friends, kind of from the perspective of a listener. It’s a delightful show. For those of you who don’t necessarily play the game Numenera, it’s a fun ride. There’s a lot to really gain from it without having to really know the world. You really fall in love with the characters. They’re larger than life. They’re huge. They’re big, and the stories really kind of hold up themselves. It’s just this new imaginary realm you can almost think of it as if you’re not a Numenera player.

I recommend it highly for whether or not you play the game or not. I recommend this show highly, because it’s just got so much great story behind it. I mean, the story is really the backbone of it, rather than just people kind of hacking their way through the strange lands, you know, like a dungeon crawl. It’s a really, they’re really good stories with really good arcs in it. So I just kind of wanted to say that quest friends, a fun, listen, it sits on my regular it’s always on my play next whenever it comes up in the queue. 

Kyle  

Oh, thanks. 

David  

So I’ve invited Kyle on to kind of be the kind of host of this as a way we’ve got a bunch of, we got a bunch of questions from listeners about the show and whatever else about Ninth World stuff. And I thought it’d be kind of make it a little bit more interesting if we had a little bit of a discussion about some of the stuff that’s been asked rather than me just kind of reading it and answering it. So at this point, I’m going to hand it over to you Kyle. 

Kyle 

Sounds good. So I have a grand total of five questions, I’ve got a grand total of five questions. And I’ve kind of pocket them in the two categories. We’ve got a focus on Numenera to start with. And then we’re going to transition from Numenera into just general podcasting stuff. And that’s just because that opens a big wide ol’ net that could go on for a pretty sprawling time. So So the first question is from Kyle from quest friends. And I’m not picking that because I favorite myself. I’m picking that because it’s kind of just a, an explanation for why when David mentioned this to me, I was so excited to jump on. So a quote from me read by me, I’m an absolute sucker for behind the scenes content, where the idea for the show originally came from what the writing and editing process is like, your thoughts on the episodes you’ve released, really anything about the whys and the how’s the show being made. And so that’s what we’re going to focus on today. So the first thing I want to transition to is Numenera. So Numenera is the thing that you’ve heard the name of at the end of every single episode of the ninth world journal. It is a role playing system along the lines of something like Dungeons and Dragons.

And oftentimes, because it’s a role playing system, you see it set up as an actual play something like quest friends, where you just listened to friends play the role playing system together. But something interesting about Numenera is that a couple of kind of scripted audio fictions have arose from it. So a few years ago, there was something called The Signal. And now we have our kind of next big, non actual play Numenera podcast, A ninth world journal. And so there’s something really interesting in that in that we’re taking something that’s a role playing system, and we’re telling stories with it, but not using role playing. And so the first question we got kind of reflects on that so our first question is from Tina, or espressionist on discord and Tina’s question is:

“Why did you choose this game over the others, strictly personal preference or does it lend anything to the story that others wouldn’t?”

David  

There’s… there’s, I would say there’s both. As far as that goes, first of all, as I’ve played a number of different role playing games, and the worlds are all interesting and unique in their- in and of themselves, but I absolutely love Numenera, it is my all time favorite RPG and it’s the one it’s the only one I play anymore. And the world is so vibrant and brilliant and strange and weird and wonderful that it really just sets the imagination on fire. There’s so much you can do with it. And it’s so weird that you can almost cheat in a way creatively because you can you don’t have to worry about so much- well, you can tell the story and try to keep it from becoming you know, too deus ex machina but there’s things you can take liberties with, and it lends the weirdness of it lends to it, it lends to really telling a very colorful and wild story. So that’s kind of why I thought that Numenera was such a great bed, a great bed of creativity from which you can just- anything goes almost. 

Kyle  

Yeah, something you really can’t tell unless you read the rule book. And I really can’t compare this to other worlds as well just because I’ve only really GM this, and then systems that don’t really have a world they let you pick your own. But one of the… it’s telling that Numenera is a system that where you can have something like a ninth world journal and something like quest friends in the same world. Well, they have once a vastly different tones, but very different feelings. And that really comes to the fact that like, the descriptions are very… it’s a very descriptive world with a very strong feeling, but they don’t really describe that much in the core book. It’s just like, like what is it the capital of Navarene, Charmonde? There are a bunch of bridges. The Queen’s palace is like the Palace of 1000 Slaves? 

David  

Yes. Yep. Palace of 1000 Slaves 

Kyle  

House of 1000 Slaves. 

David  

House of 1000 Slaves. 

Kyle  

Alright, so-

David  

The Empiternal House. Why do I know that? Why do I know that so well? Hmm… we’ll see.

Kyle  

So well they’re a bunch a bunch of bridges paternal House of 1000 slaves. It’s the highest point in the city. And oh, yeah, she’s an extreme germophobe she hates any kinds of germs. Those are really the only four things that you learn about Charmonde and it just has such a vibrant impression you can get to that but there’s such so many directions you can go. And this is why I jumped on to it. 

David  

That’s, that nails it really well. It’s almost like the most brilliant and descriptive adventure or story seeds that you could get. Yes, it’s more than just to kind of basic one sentence prompt. It’s like a, we’re going to give you a very vibrant and colorful one sentence prompt. Now go.

Kyle  

Yeah, no, I that that makes a lot of sense. 

David  

And the great thing about Numenera too is is that because it’s so weird, you aren’t just stuck. It’s called the ninth world. And it’s, you know, the planet Earth a billion years in the future. And granted, there’s only so much land on earth with it. There’s an incredible amount of land on Earth. But even in the land on Earth, there are just so many weird and wonderful things you can do within those little pieces and places. There’s the ocean, which there are complete civilizations of, you know, sentient octopuses that live down there, for example. It’s octopuses now, right? Is that what the consensus was? They changed that, didn’t they? 

Kyle  

I think it might be. I just don’t care. 

David  

Yeah. Exactly.

Kyle  

I believe I just refused to say it in the plural. And that’s how I know. 

David  

There’s an octopus and then there’s a bunch of them. Yeah, exactly. 

Kyle  

I think I think you are  right, I think it’s octopuses. 

David  

But you know, the thing about that is is that when I listened to the actual play, like I listened to yours and I listened to Amber Clave and Player Intrusion and there’s there’s a few I’m gonna forget some some great ones, Origins of  the Fall, those are all so unique and so different and you don’t even have to worry about whether or not you’re in canon like your show is not necessarily in canon where other shows are more, or games are more in canon, but you get that liberty, you get that license and and in fact, Monte Cook Games says, you know, we’re going to give you a little building blocks and then do whatever you want with it from there.

Kyle  

It’s Yeah, I will say one thing that surprised me was I played what was it five minutes of the role playing game the computer one- Torment- and I was surprised, I was baffled by how silly that game was. On just a side note, like the first thing I did is I think I had a computer yell at me and then refuse to talk to me out of like belligerence. Oh. And I was like, when did this get so funny? And why does it feel so? Right? Because when you read it, it’s I mean, it’s there’s a lot of silly prompts, but the book itself feels like pretty standard serious role playing and then in like, one of the official games, you just get a belligerent computer right away, and it feels so right. 

David  

Oh, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They did a good job on that.

Kyle  

Yeah. So something I actually want to I want to dig into so we talked a little bit about like, why Numenera was great, but I kind of want to dig more into where the idea for a ninth world journal came from. And so I’m going to start with a question that asks, theorizes one of the ways that may have come to be but regardless, I kind of want to take it and then expand that to how did it come to be overall. So I’m going to drink some water. My mouth is…

Podcast Reviews Rreviews Podcast. That is the word Podcast Reviews and then that word reverse so Podcasts Reviews Reviews Podcast says, “Was Januae a character you played during a campaign or an original creation for the podcast?”

David  

Januae is completely created for the podcast, the show. I never played this character in any game ever. And actually I get asked that quite a bit.

Kyle  

So in that case, if that, if he didn’t come from a game where did- where was he born? How was he born? Like not in universe in our universe? And Tom would get mad if I said the First World in some time before the ninth world. So where did Where did john wayne Where did the story kind of come from? 

David  

It really came from an idea of how I could tell this, a good Numenera story, or at least what I would like to see is a Numenera story created with a kind of a framework and a backdrop to really explore as much of the ninth world as I could, I didn’t want to have- I mean, the ninth world is such a vast and wonderful and crazy place that you can do so many things with it. I didn’t want to limit myself to one, one land and the Steadfast or one city in the ninth world, I wanted to be able to explore so many places in the ninth world, but do it in kind of a fictional story way. I mean, like you had mentioned The Signal. And for those of you that don’t know, the signal is was kind of the original Numenera podcast. And they had 10 minute episodes where you had Vox. He was who was the jack, something jack who tells tales. And he would tell you about the different places throughout the ninth world, he would describe them. And his was kind of like he took elements out of the core book, expanded on them a little bit, and then you got to see all these vastly different disparate places throughout the ninth world. And he did it kind of as a radio announcer who would tell you all the rumors that he’s heard about these different places. I didn’t want to do that same thing. 2.0, I wanted to kind of like the idea of that and that was the inspiration, one of the inspirations to the concept. But I figured if you have this guy who just ends up in random places that he can’t seem to control, that gives a really good placemat to really kind of find different places to tell the story that don’t necessarily have to be interconnected to make for a good story. Even though there is kind of a thread in this, you still get kind of a huge playground to work with.

Kyle  

Yeah, it was actually- I so I am- I caught up today I finished the last two episodes. And that was actually one of my thoughts, I think. I want to say the last time he teleports, which I won’t say in what episode it is. But the last time January teleports I remember, one of my first thoughts was you in 12 episodes have covered maybe five times the like physical geographical ground that we’ve covered in about 40 episodes. And that was Yeah, and so that’s, that’s really interesting. And that was one of the it just popped into my head. So it makes sense that that’s where a kind of inspiration came from.

David  

Yeah, I wanted to and I really like to try to give, give him different not only different places, but different strange situations that vary quite a bit from one to the next, as much as I can. And also just to kind of beat up on him find ways of beating up on Januae in the process.

Kyle  

It was, there was another thought i was i was like Januae, he leaves every time when someone’s about to die, or he’s about to die. Usually both. But it’s, it’s funny, as a listener it kind of almost feels like you know how you said that the Numenera core rulebook has like one-sentence really descriptive prompts. It feels like the episodes obviously, there’s a lot more to it, but in many ways, it almost feels like a manifestation of those prompts. And because Januae keeps jumping from place to place, it feels like prompts in the way that there, there is clearly a hook, an interesting hook in an interesting location. But, uh, how does the story end, we decide unless you decide in season two? Um, but I think that must, that’s probably part of the reason that whenever I think of something that represents a Numenera podcast or a podcast that represents how Numenera feels I jumped to the ninth world journal.

David  

Um, well, I’m glad for that, because I feel like I’ve accomplished that, that mission, really trying to kind of paint what the world is like and, and even though it changes so drastically, that is the ninth world and I’m glad that that really comes through. 

Kyle  

Yeah. Alright, so the next question is from Dylan, or bardic geek on Twitter. “Maybe give us a little behind the scenes and some of your processes and inspirations”, which I’d love to dig into more. But the kind of unique things to jump off what we just talked about was, “as well as maybe a character sheet breakdown if you use one, or if it wouldn’t give spoilers” . So do you do you have a new book on you? Or do I need to send you a link?

David  

Um, I do have one on me. Yes. 

Kyle  

Well, Dylan wants us to build, build us a nano here.

David  

Build a nano. Okay, well, let’s hop over the nano to the Numenera book. And we’re going to go to… and here’s what I have to say this is kind of an interesting thing is he starts out as an am priest. And then as the story goes, maybe I’ll just say there’s a little bit of spoiler in here because I’m assuming people have listened to the whole season up to this point. But I’m going to say it anyway. So there’ll be a couple of spoilers in here, so feel free Kyle to kind of throw anything out there that you that you want to, we can, you know, gives a little bit more license for us to talk about stuff. But he starts out as an Aeon Priest and their, Monte Cook was like, came out with this book called Priests of the Aeons in the middle of when I was doing the show and I’m like, thank you gift of the you know, Monte Cook Games gods this worked out so well. And the Aeon Priests have a lot of abilities in and of themselves and there is some blur between them and Nanos, because Nanos understand Numenera, Aeon Priests understand Numenera, but I Aeon Priests are kind of more trained in certain ways where Nanos, a lot of them, sometimes it’s just accident, the way they kind of develop their abilities and whatnot.

Kyle  

They feel like a mix between Nanos and I can’t remember the Destiny classes. But isn’t there a Destiny class? What’s the Destiny class that builds things?

David  

That would be a wright.

Kyle  

They feel, at least to me from the little I read kind of like a mix between a nano, wright and maybe a delve, like a much more scientific look? Or in d&d terms of difference between, I guess, like a wizard and a sorcerer or something? I don’t know,

David  

Right, yeah, no, that’s a good comparison. There, and as a result of that, what I had to do is just kind of, I mean, there are, we could say that there are Aeon Priests that have left the priesthood and just become Nanos, or just, you know, walked away from it all together. But I wanted to, for people who don’t role play the game, when you’re playing a nano, you’re playing with someone who understands Numenera and kind of knows how to work with it and knows how to kind of mess with it, and has a better idea of how to kind of make something out of it, not create not craft something, but to actually make it do something that they want it to do without it blowing up in their face, which sometimes it does. (laughs) It just works that way. Where, so I wanted to kind of have Januae go into that become this guy that has to do more than just study the Numenera and kind of figure out how it works, actually have the Numenera be kind of part of how he tries to survive, because now he’s in constant survival mode. And as it’s gone on, he’s discovered that Oh, my goodness, I have this ability where I can force push, somebody, I have this ability to jaunt that I didn’t have before, I can’t really control it, but I do do it. And now I can kind of force push somebody, which is a, which is a nano ability that he’s discovered along the way. So that’s kind of what’s been happening to him.

Kyle  

That’s interesting. I’ve never- it makes sense now that you say it- but I’ve never thought of the jaunting as like some sort of activated nano ability. Because like, as it’s introduced in the text, it’s introduced as here’s something that happens because of some Numenera device. And until you said it right now, I never thought about the idea that Oh, what if it was just it activated? The jaunt was in Januae all along. I just got the name. And that’s that is that is really interesting. I had not thought about that before so now question what he have because the when you’re making a character you do a descriptor, a type and then a focus. And in the Ninth World Journal it is “I am Januae, a Lost Nano who Jaunts Uncontrollably”.

David  

So yes, his-

Kyle  

Before starting would he have considered himself a nano?

David  

Would he have considered himself a nano?

Kyle  

Yeah, I want to know, I’m curious now, since he like he calls himself at as time goes on. But would he have like, wanted to use that term? Or what do you been more like? No, no, I study things. I’m an Aeon Priest.

David  

That’s the way I see him as the latter. He considered himself an Aeon Priest. He studied the Numenera, he wanted to learn about these crazy Numenera items and effects and he didn’t- Nanos are just crazy, crazy wild people who, you know, do stuff with the Numenera, but I think he’s more, he was more clinical about it. Well, you’d think but he got slimy. But yeah, so I would say that he definitely said I’m an Aeon Priest, he did not consider himself a nano until he realized it was more convenient to do so.

Kyle  

Also, off the record, the more as we talk about abilities, I’m just noting these down for the Halloween special. 

David  

Oh, okay.

Kyle  

So jaunting is a nano ability.

David  

Actually they do, they do talk about jaunting. I’ve actually seen the word “jaunt” In one of the texts, I can’t remember which one it is if it’s Discovery or whatnot, but it is actually a nano ability.

Kyle  

I definitely know there’s a teleport one because Tom wants to take that at the end of our campaign. He gets a lot of restrictions placed on that. (laughs). Yeah, 

David  

So yeah, it’s definitely, a it would be a, definitely a nano ability. For sure.

Kyle  

Alright, so he considers himself more of a nano so all right, we got we got to build our Januae here. So we’re going to build episode one or Episode 12 Januae? 

Let’s build… Let’s build Episode 12. And I guess… yeah, we’ll build Episode 12 where he is now.

Right. So he’s a nano, we got his type down. Do we want to throw in the lost and jauts uncontrollably for the other parts?

David  

Yes. 

Alright. So Januae is a lost nano who jaunts uncontrollably. I won’t do everything. But let’s do, let’s just do a few things. Let’s do like a skill and an ability. But before we get there, so Januae, the next thing we got to do is we got to figure out his tier so there are tiers which are six levels. The leveling system in Numenera there’s just six of them because there’s more kind of nuance to how you level up. So tier one is the lowest, you’re very good at stuff, but not the best. And then tier sixes is mythological, you know, mythological figure level. So where do you feel Januae is at this point in this life?

I think Januae is not even a level two yet. Well, no, actually, I would say that he’s, he is… I’m going to say he’s still level one. And the reason I say that is because these abilities are so new to him. He’s very, he’s got almost like a level two or more knowledge of Numenera, just because as you may notice that in the series, and it comes even more clear in season two, he’s familiar with a lot of stuff in the ninth world, he’s a really intelligent guy, he’s very well learned about a lot of things in the ninth world, different, some places, some creatures, he’s he’s just, he’s just got that kind of knowledge. So I would say he’s kind of a tier two knowledgewise, even though the game system doesn’t really work in that way. But his abilities, he’s definitely just learning them and just discovering them. So he’s definitely a tier one.

Kyle  

I think maybe the way we could reflect that is, so he’s tier one, just learning his abilities, he’s got the resolve now, at the end of, at the end of Episode 12 to become tear to go on that training montage. Maybe a way we could reflect that additional knowledge is because two other things you can do is you give a unique abilities, which are just things someone can do. So like jaunting would be one of them or force pushing. But another thing is skills, things you’re just good at. So you can be trained, which is pretty good at it or specialized, which you’re very good at it. So perhaps the way we reflect that as knowledge of Numenera is something that’s commonly a skill, so maybe give him a specialization in that?

David  

Yeah, I definitely say that. Cuz he spent years working with it with the priesthood and working with Numenera. So he’s got pretty good knowledge. I mean, this is a guy who created a, who designed a prototype for a teleportation device, which is a crazy difficult thing to do, which generally a wright would be the type to do, but there are Aeon Priests do kind of have some of that bleed through. Some of them do design and he just happens to be one of them.

Kyle  

Yeah, it’s like where a wright might do it because they’re more methodical. And that’s kind of you know, maybe what Januae thought is like, Oh, yeah, I know this because I know all the knowledge all for him. A lot of it was just he just knew put connect this part in this part together. And you got teleportation.

David  

Right. Yeah. 

Kyle  

Alright, so he specialized in that. Let’s talk about- before we before we wrap up, let’s talk about abilities here. Let’s give an ability. And let’s give them a cypher if we were going to make him a character. 

David  

Okay. 

Kyle  

Alright, so ability- we got our jaunting, we got our force pushing, we could do one of those. Or we could pull- is there another ability that you think if you were playing a Januae you might give him from the rule book?

David  

Ah, well, let’s take a look. Let’s take, so we got a first tier. Let’s see, we gave him push already. I’m going to say, you know what I think I would do? I would actually.. (laughs) no I better not do that. I better not do that!

Kyle  

I want know what it is even if you don’t do it.

David  

Well, there’s a… Okay, there’s something I  have in mind. But I’m not going to say because I… that’s part of his, part of his development we’ll say, 

Kyle  

Okay.

David  

But if I were to give him another one, I would probably give him onslaught because it gives, onslaught is where you can attack basically using kind of this power. It’s it’s like not having a weapon being able to attack without a weapon. Like , I don’t know, like, I’d say fire- like a first level magic user would-

It’s like, it’s like Magic Missile or Fireball, but it can also be mental as well.

Yes. And that way, he’s not so defenseless. If I were to give him something, that would be the next thing I would give him. I mean, the push is something he already has. And it’s not really an attack. It’s almost kind of like buy you some time or kind of, you know, it’s to me, it feels like a defensive ability. So I would say onslaught for an offensive ability.

Kyle  

Yeah. And onslaught, I feel like onslaught feels really right, because one of the things about it is well, first the name, but also the fact that you can attack someone in the mind and it feels like an ability that someone who doesn’t necessarily control their powers might be able to do. You know, that movie when someone’s gaining their powers for the first time and they accidentally, like give someone a headache or something like that in a superhero movie? I feel like on slot is the that kind of ability in Numenera?

David  

Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. That you just kind of discover you can do it and you realize that it caused someone some pain, and you’re like, Oh, wait, there’s this is kind of an attack thing I can do.

Kyle  

You follow up with the American way? How do I weaponize this. 

David  

(laughs)

Kyle  

Alright, so a Lost Nano Who jaunts Uncontrollably, he’s tier one. He’s got a specialization in knowledge, numenera, his abilities are push and onslaught. There’s the jaunting, but really, that’s a higher here ability that he has to master. And then finally, let’s give them a cypher. So cypher are single use items that you use once and they go away. Um, so you can’t really have like, Oh, this is my cypher, because you use it once and it’s away. But I’m curious if what kind of trinkets Januae might find if you were, if you were like bringing him in, and you got to choose any cypher to start this character with, which feels in line with some sort of bauble or something he would have picked up, what would you give him?

David  

I would give him… Let’s see here… If I know Januae, Januae would kind of want some kind of item that would, he could, something that could kind of temporarily cache an item in kind of a non space or a pocket dimension. And squirrel it away until he needed it later. Because I think there is a cypher that does something similar to that.

Kyle  

If there isn’t there so common that it feels like there should be 

David  

Oh, sure. Yeah, exactly.

Kyle  

See the think that scares me there is it’s a pocket dimension item and as we said cyphers are one use. So is it a pocket dimension when you put it in? Does it break when you put it in? Or when you pull it out?

David  

I think it would be when you pull it out or, or… (laughs), or it’d be something where it would just, whatever’s in the pocket dimension just reappears and then the dimension just kind of collapses.

Kyle  

Okay. Yeah. I feel like in either case he’d use it. It’d be like, well, it might break. But I’ll store my priceless heirlooms in here. What could go wrong? 

David  

Right. 

Kyle  

I’m still very mad after the portal episode, where he looks at this portal. And he’s like, hmm… now I think it’ll let me back through. Now, usually, I’m wrong. But I think it’ll let me through. So I’m gonna go in. And I was just like, well, I it didn’t happen. I thought he was gonna find out he couldn’t go back in and then jaunt, and everyone’s stuck. You didn’t, you weren’t that mean to them. But I was kind of betting on it. (laughs)

David  

Now which one was that? That was that the last episode?

Kyle  

That was the last episode where there was that portal to a pocket dimension? 

David  

Oh, yes. Okay. 

Kyle  

And he was going to go in? And he said, Oh, well, you know, hopefully this will let us go back out of this pocket dimension. And then he, he explicitly says, I’ve been wrong a lot lately. And then he does it anyway. And like, then he comes in as these people are starving because they’re not getting any food. And he implies that he thinks, you know, oh, they just think this portal is a god and food comes from there. But the second he got in and people were starving. I’m like, that’s it. He’s stuck there. He brought his two friends there, they’re going to starve to death, and he’s going to teleport away. Hooray. Adventure.

David  

Yeah. Yeah, poor Januae. He’s kind of, he’s, his fatal flaw, he’s, I don’t know if this has come through in the first season. But he’s kind of arrogant. And he is presumptuous. And that’s what’s got him in this whole mess in the first place is is that he really thinks that he can accomplish things that he didn’t. And this is why actually, if you kind of think about it, he’s got the intelligence to make a great Aeon Priest, but he does not have the discipline. He’s, I mean, Aeon Priests are extremely methodical. They’re just, they are your scientists, they’re your, they call them priests, but they’re your quintessential scientists in their research, study, research, study, proceed with caution with everything. But he doesn’t do that. And that’s kind of his folly. And I think there- and now he’s kind of starting to find that self discovery of, You know what, I’m not wanting to do this, I have my impulsive side. And it kind of shows up there.

Kyle  

I know I wanted, that was something I originally wasn’t going to talk about till I finished the episode was the fact that he just he’s got the protagonist thing where he just keeps getting himself almost killed and scrapes out of the nick of time. Um, but unlike most protagonists, and like, you know, like, I don’t know, like a teenage protagonists and something where they get everyone gets out. And every time this happens, he leaves a place pretty bad. Not worse, but still pretty bad. Um, at least it came through to me that the idea that he recognized by the end when he had like that long montage on the beach, not montage, the monologue on the beach, where he’s like, I need to get my stuff together because I’m not helping anyone. 

David  

Right, yeah, that was his kind of, you know, his, his unfolding kind of his kind of his little dark night of the soul. I mean, it’s not as darkest, I mean worse is to come. That was a really kind of a big-

Kyle  

Oh no! Why?

David  

I love the guy and I’m beating him up. It’s just it’s, he has this moment where he’s just like, what has happened to me why is you know i, it’s granted I can get out of sticky situations, not by my own hand, obviously. But well, you know that this serves nothing. What is this serving? And it’s really kind of feels like a really empty kind of affliction in a way. 

Kyle  

Yeah. No, it’s- I’m very, I’m, I was excited to listen to season two and see him get his stuff together. Now, I’m excited to listen to season two and figure out how that doesn’t happen.

David  

Right.Yeah, yeah. 

Kyle  

Oh, no. Oh dear. Alright, so there’s Johnny Wait, he’s the lost night know who jaunts uncontrollably, he is tier one. He has knowledge of numenera, he has push and onslaught. He has a pocket dimension item. And we didn’t talk about the three pools but I feel like he pretty clearly to me is someone who dumped all their pools into the Int(ellect) and maybe some into Speed.

David  

Yes, a little bit, but it talks about this more in the- and I will, I will give this away just because it’s when I, when I created- I created Januae a little while back and I have to give credit to DJ Silvis who is the creator of Moonbase Theta Out- love this show! People listen to Moonbase Theta Out. He had kind of talked about character development. And he, somebody gave him a sheet where he basically asks a bunch of questions about your character. And this is kind of a very much a, a writing tool, creative writing tool, and asked questions about him, like, you know, things like what’s his family? What’s his sexuality? What are his preferences? What are his dislikes, you know, that kind of thing. And I did that, I sat down and did that. And one of the hobbies I gave- one of the things I came up with Januae, because he’s from the City of Bridges. It’s this sea port, and it’s just a bunch of tiers and bridges. But he’s on the ocean, and he loves to swim. And that’s what he does for exercise. And he keeps in really good shape. Because he swims a lot. And as a result, he’s kind of that that tier for Might is going to be a little bit- it wouldn’t be as low as you would think he’s not just this kind of like bookworm nerd that’s, you know, frail that will collapse to the punch necessarily. He’s physically pretty, pretty well in shape physically.

Kyle  

No, that would actually, that makes a lot of sense thinking about it, especially because as like a player, he feels like someone who has survived a lot of hardship, because he just has so much Might to spare. And that he, because when I think of all the things he does, like, especially casting his abilities, his esoteries so push, it always feels like stuff that happens accidentally, which in a role playing world would be a character saying I’m going to cast this esotery and not putting any points towards it, and just rolling the dice and seeing what happens. So yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. No, that’s super cool. Now the people will demand to see that, that sheet with information about Januae and by the people, I mean me.

David  

It’s my- Actually, it’s been my goal to create a character sheet for him. And people have asked, you know, what, it what it would look like bardic geek says he’s kind of curious about that. And so I think I need, I owe it to myself to kind of create a character sheet for him and see kind of where, what he looks like on paper.

Kyle  

Well, I’m just saying, and you can cut this… you’ll need one by October. And then I’m gonna, I’m going to move on to the next question. 

David  

All right, you got it. Done and done. 

Kyle  

Um, let’s see. Alright, so the next one, the next question. So you mentioned collaborating with other folks wasn’t another writer, but I think it segues still good to this question, our penultimate question. Let me just get the mouth… Steven LaFond, the creator of the Witchever Path podcast asks-

David  

My boy, Stephen.

Kyle  

“How do you plot out your season? And when it comes to writers how do you collaborate to get to your end points?”

David  

Okay, so how do I plot out a season? Anybody- I just was listening to Sarah Rhea Werner, who is the creator of Girl in Space, which many, many people know. And she had talked about, and actually  I just listened to- I’m dropping a lot of stuff I’m listening to lately. There’s a, there are two shows, fantastic shows. One’s called Relativity, and one’s called OZ-9. One’s a drama. One’s a comedy, both set in space. And they were talking today, they had a conversation, the two creators had a conversation today and they’re talking about writing. And Sarah Rhea Werner, she talked about there are pantsers and there are planners for writers, the planners are the ones who say, okay, you know, the Stephen Covey begin with the end in mind, they have the ending, they know, they know how they’re going to get from the start to the end. And they have these waypoints that they know exactly what they’re going to be. Then you have the pantsers, and the pantsers are basically like, Okay, what are we going to do next? This, well, how are you going to end it? I don’t know, I all know when I get there. And I’m pretty much kind of like I would say, 60%, no 70%, pantser, and 30%. planner. So plotting out my seasons, I did not know how season one was going to end until I was halfway through the season. Season Two was the same way. But I didn’t know how that was going to end till I was probably two thirds of the way through writing it. And I still have a couple more episodes to officially write. But I know what those episodes are going to be about. But I didn’t know what they were going to be about until I got close to them. I’m usually like, where the episodes are going to go. I don’t know till probably like maybe two or three episodes before that.

Kyle  

So I guess two questions I have with that is do you- no, that’s that’s the big fun one. I’ll ask that after. So that’s kind of how it works on a season level going a bit smaller. The first season is comprised of a couple of multiple episode arcs, like Januae’s in this place for a couple episodes that he’s in this place,. Do you usually have an idea of how those are going to go when you start it? So like, for example, Cloudcrystal Skyfields, that was I think, two to three episodes. I can’t remember off the top of my head. When Januae went to the Cloudcrystal Skyfields did you know what that little mini arc was going to look like?

David  

You mean to the to the Lostrei? The Spiritlands?

Kyle  

Yes. Sorry. I just remember the Cloudcrystal Skyfields the first place he went? 

David  

Yes. That one I did. I would say that the the… that one I did. I knew that I wanted to get him up there somehow. And then actually, believe it or not, it wasn’t till the… the third episode is when he jumps out of there. And I didn’t know how I was going to get him out of there until I’d written the second episode. And in most of the times the most, I would say the episode that I really knew how was going to go start-to-finish was the Araskas. That that one I knew pretty much when he showed up to when he jaunted to the great degree, I didn’t know what- I had trouble figuring out how I was going to, what I was going to do once he got off the island. But I pretty much knew how he was going to get off the island and how he got there. And then I was- there is a person named Pakkrat, who is on the Cypher Unlimited discord, which is all- I know you’re familiar with it, which is you know all about all things Cypher and such. And I had talked to him and I said, Hey, you want to kind of help me develop some ideas for this. And, and he did, he kind of helped formulate some of the ideas, like we kind of flushed out the whole thing with him getting what to do with the Araska wings I bounced some ideas off of him with that. And also, a lot of the Nihliesh thing he he was pretty much the vehicle of that very first jaunt into the machine city Matheunis, in Matheunis. But for the most part, I really don’t know how I’m going to wrap up that particular location. Usually, until I’ve already started writing that piece. I most of the time don’t have any idea.

Kyle  

So it’s basically you know, going in, he’s in this place, this is what’s going on. How it ends, ehhh…

David  

Right. Yeah, I kind of let, it’s weird because I kind of a lot of times, I’ll just start writing I, I’m like, Okay, he’s here. Let’s see what happens. And I just start writing. And then what happens to them is created during that the writing process, you know, I’m not sitting kind of in a chair going, all right, now this is gonna happen. I mean, every now and then they all have like little things I want to see happen. And then I just kind of shape and build around that.

Kyle  

I on an intellectual level, I understand that. And that makes a lot of sense on an emotional level I don’t get it.

David  

(laughs) Are you, are you a planner?

Kyle  

I’m a planner all the way. That’s one of the things that I think lends actual play well to me, because I can plan things out. But then all of the actual writing has to be improvised. And it’s improvised from the players and myself. So because one of my drawbacks as a writer is that I’m a lot better at thinking about pacing, and how to get from point- and I’m a lot better about thing about pacing and linking things together. And all the structure stuff. But I really kind of falter when it comes to the actual writing line by line. How I think, so with an actual play, I don’t have to do that. Because all the dialogue and all the like meat and filling is done by the characters and me improvised. 

David  

Perfect. Yeah, then it’s the perfect vehicle for you then.

Kyle  

Yeah, so the other question, I had the big picture one, I think I know the answer already, which baffles me. But I want to ask anyway… how strong of an idea do you have, of where the ninth- where A Ninth World Journal is going to go? From now until the end of time, at the end of time. But how strong an idea? Do you have the overarching arc of the show?

David  

I would say that I’ve got, if you’re going to give a scale of one to 100 kind of earn a percentage, I would say I’m probably between I’m going to say like 55 to 60% at best. And that could change. When I started this I had I had maybe, I’m like, maybe you can do this or that or that or that. But as I’m writing it, I have a better idea of what I kind of want to do. And I have this, I finally found kind of a core of what I want to see, how I want to see this unfold. And I don’t have an ending. I don’t. I don’t know how it’s going to end. I know where I want him to… I know where I- want point I’ve wanted his growth to be by the time I get him kind of in the vicinity of what the end would be. But… I… yeah.

Kyle  

That’s cool. So kind of got yourself up to where is this character arc going? And kind of vaguely where in the direction are we going for the finale, but we’ll figure out piecing all those pieces together when we get there.

David  

Right. And actually, I got to tell you that my process is a little tricky, because I do work better from this pantser thing, because I found that weird little things in- season two really did this a lot where I will be writing something and I just kind of throw something in there just as kind of like dressing and flavor for the story. And then what I threw in there, just so conveniently works in the following episode. And I didn’t, I didn’t write it going, Well, I’m going to put this in there. Because later on this will come in handy. It’s more like I’m like, wow, I think I’ll just use that that I wrote earlier for this. And this happens a lot. So as far as arcs go, the same thing is happening with the arc, I’m just like, well, all these things are unfolding. To me, it’s almost like me going through my life. I’m like, Well, I didn’t expect to, you know, I kind of had an idea where I wanted to go in my life. I didn’t know that I would take this road to get there. And then now I’m finding I want to go this direction now, now that I’ve gotten here, and the writing in the process is the same way. For me, it’s like, these things seem to be so accidental. The arc is creating itself accidentally, I don’t even feel like I’m driving this bus in a way. It’s just like driving itself and finding myself on odd roads. But it seems to be working. (laughs) We’ll see though.

Kyle  

Because of the fact that they are, you know, very short kind of self contained stories. And again, this is only season one I know for sure is you don’t have to worry about this, you know, master weaving of like this thing connects to this, which connects to this and having this giant board of pieces. And I think one of the benefits that I’ve heard pantser has, and you kind of really described well, is the idea that bringing things back feels a lot more natural, because it happens naturally. Instead of you having to like be like this thing has to appear here so that it can be used later. It’s just oh, this thing was here. Oh, I guess I would use it at this point. And it like it weaves itself together naturally. And you don’t have to worry about things kind of falling apart if they don’t meet up in a certain direction, just because all of the little stories are little they’re short. And there they go kind of back to back.

David  

Exactly, exactly. I actually do fear sometimes if I get too much of a really solid arc planned out that anything I want to kind of fit in between there, I have to kind of try to find a way of kind of squeezing it into that spot. Because that I’m really not very good at. And it looks like it It always looks like somebody slapped a patch on something somebody just kind of slapped it in place. So yeah, it doesn’t feel it. For me. It’s not as organic as a process where there are other people. other writers like planners like yourself that are craftspeople and can know how to craft to get all those right pieces in the right place.

Kyle  

Yeah, everything. If I have a script, everything is coming- as a GM It is one of the things that haunts me, because I have this erroneous belief that everything must come back. And it is, it is death. It is agony,

David  

Everything, everything that that went into that story or into that planning or must come back? 

Kyle  

It’s kind of like the best example I can think of is the movie Wreck-it Ralph. Did you ever see that? 

David  

I have not seen that.

Kyle  

So at one point, it’s a very good movie in that every minor thing they mentioned comes back. So like the joke about this one, there’s this one like, basically, a volcano, for all intents and purposes a candy volcano. And it’s just like a fun gag in a fun location. And it ends up being the crucial thing to win the day. And it’s so that kind of effect that like if I mention something, it needs to be important. I mention that item that item has to come back. Which is how when you play with characters who don’t use their items. 

David  

It’s the Anton, it’s the Anton Chekov idea. With the gun in the room.

Kyle  

Yeah, and I’m the kind of person who will see everything, everything in the room is a gun. Like in his example. Yeah, you have the gun hanging on the wall. And then you have the furniture? No, no, in my mind. The gun is a gun. The chair is a gun, the desk is a gun, the flowers are guns. Has it appeared? It needs to come back? And and it’s not great. It’s, it’s, it’s a bit of a failing philosophy sometimes.

David  

Yeah. But that gives you so much to work with too you can create an intricate beautiful mind kind of like web network of, you know, pins, two strings. You know,

Kyle  

There’s there’s a benefit. And then there’s a downside.

David  

I think you could say that both for both. I mean, that’s like the pantser method. There’s the definite downside is is that you’re like, Oh, no, you know, how do I explain this? I have to go back and kind of read through the last six episodes to say, Well, this is making I’ve done that and caught myself and like arrgh, You’re trying to fly without a net here, or what’s it? Something without a net… do something without a net…

Jump with a…? No, no, no. Fly without a sail? No, that’s not it.

It’s yeah, there’s something without something that’s going to keep you from dying. (laughs)

Kyle  

(laughs) I will say that’s one of the nice things about Numenera is that plot holes don’t exist yet. Because there’s always an item to make up for it.

David  

Exactly. Here’s a Cypher, go.

Kyle  

And someone could just be like, Oh, man, that’s a Deus Ex Machina. It’s like it’s Numenera. Things are supposed to randomly appear all the time. 

David  

That’s right.Yeah, 

Kyle  

it’s just, it’s,  it’s genre storytelling. It’s fitting the genre.

David  

Exactly, exactly. And it works because because it allows for that so you, but you know that they throw the weird in there, which is what to me makes that work so well, is that it doesn’t just happen and people go oh, it’s the Ninth World the people go, whuu… what just happened because they’re just you know, workaday people they just want to survive on the land and you know, go about and have their kids and you know, get something to eat. And then weird things happen and to them, they’re really freaked out and they don’t trust it at all. They’re like, I don’t want to have anything to do with numenera and Nanos they’re spawns of the devil, keep them away from me, you know, and the Aeon Priests are God like creatures, we, you know, they know something about the universe that we don’t know.

Kyle  

I’m so very mad, that in my version of Numenera, Nanos are considered normal. Because now I just really want like a little old lady saying that they’re the spawn, Nanos is on the spawns of the devil!

David  

I could see that as one of your NPC characters , yeah.

Kyle  

They just go to like a house and then Xoc just has to sleep outside? Or no no better yet. There’s like she like pulls out the Bible and forces him to sit down and read it. 

David  

Oh my goodness… try to exorcize all these nanos out of ’em…

Kyle  

All right, I gotta… all right let me just note down “nano racist old lady, Nanos are Satan.”

David  

(laughing) I love that!

Kyle  

That’s great. All right, I’ve got that noted down. Alright, so we’ve been going I don’t know how long it’ll be short, how long it’ll be when edited but um, we’ve actually gone in basically hit our time limit here. So I’m going to move on to our last question, if that’s all right with you. 

David  

Yeah. 

Kyle  

Alright, so I’m going to double check that all the questions are taking care of… Kyle… Podcast Reviews, Espressionist… Steven LaFond, and then Dylan. Alright, so our last thing is concerning your icon, which we can’t pull up on the screen because this is an audio format. No wait we can, because if you’re listening, you can see the, I think, I don’t know how podbean works, on how Patreon works… anyways, first question go look up the the logo to a ninth world journal, because their final question is Tavius from Spooning in the Apocalypse podcast asks “is the image for your podcast representative of the world that takes place in?”

David  

Oh yes. Oh, yes, it is. Anybody who’s listened to the episode, the bonus episode prior to this where I kind of do the ninth world deep dive, I talk about that. And it’s, it’s very much this supercontinent where all the landmasses have kind of joined together in this kind of baseball diamond shape, surrounded by this vast ocean. And that’s exactly what the current day planet earth or whatever iteration of it is, a billion years in the future.

Kyle  

So I have two questions with that. The first one is, um, why did you choose to make this your, your icon and that kind of how did you land on name even a ninth world journal?

David  

I’ll answer the name first, because that was a tricky one. I wanted to really emphasize that this was about, even though it’s Januae’s journey, it’s, his journey illustrates the ninth world itself. And I really wanted to encapsulate that. And I figured, how is he going to tell about this, I’ll make it kind of like he’s journaling his, his adventure, or his, whatever he’s going through. So I figured that would be kind of a nice way of telling it. And the ninth world, I liked it, the land mass because it- number one; it encompasses the world. And the other tie in, that kind of blew my mind is, is I at some point, I really want to kind of show people what the the Order of Truth medallion looks like it is these are, it’s four pedals that are kind of interwoven, and it creates the order of truth symbol, the symbol that they all of the Aeon Priests are are constantly wearing. But you could take that symbol in interpose it over the ninth world. And it’s like the Priesthood and Monte Cook Games brilliance on your part. It, like it interposes that landmass the continent, the shape of the continent itself, which I like the idea of kind of tying those two things together. That kind of symbol of the Priesthood and the ninth world itself and having one reflect the other and I thought it would be a perfect kind of symbolic cover art on a few different levels.

Kyle  

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. Like it’s a ninth world journal, because that’s one of the stars and then you put the, you you put, you know if movie stars Brad Pitt, you put Brad Pitt on the cover of your poster? Podcast stars the ninth world? Well, better put that on the poster.

David  

Right, exactly.

Kyle  

Alright, another… now just a side question. Do you know those? Uh, round thing if you’re looking at this now, you know, those circles, they’re like, they’re four circles? like kind of white circles…

David  

In the, in the…

Kyle  

On the map?

David  

On the map? Oh, the white circles? Yes. Yes.

Kyle  

Yeah. So I always kept on thinking they’re watermark but looking at my map now I realized they’re… What are they?

David  

Well, one of them ties to the Clock of Kala, for people, just kind of explained for people who are not familiar with- the Clock of Kala is, is not, it’s just it’s outside of the Steadfast, it’s in the Beyond. And it’s this giant wall of ice, a huge wall of ice that’s that that is goes miles or kilometers high. It’s very, very big. You can’t climb over it by any means. It is ice isn’t it? Or maybe it’s just a wall. There’s something about it, where it’s this large… It’s a round, kind of it’s, it’s it’s round. But it has these gaps in it, these two gaps, and people can walk in and out. But the gaps are, the gap is really wide. I mean, it’s as wide as a city, but the walls are, you can’t. They’re just really high. And there are four of those that are, as you can see on the map or oriented in different parts of the world. Nobody knows what they were for or why they were there. But it’s really interesting. And, in fact, in the, in the book, they talk about a race of people that that live in a city in the ninth world that have lived for very, very long time. And they’re almost genetically superior in a way. So there’s something odd or unique about those, whatever they were created for they were created for something by one of the prior world civilizations, but no one knows what they are. But I think that’s what they represent on that map.

Kyle  

Yeah, that was, and that was, that was just struck out to me because I saw them. And I was like, wait, there are four of them? And that just- I don’t know. That’s neat. I feel like if Numenera had seasons, they would be the big final season of all of Numenera.

David  

Right! Yeah. Like there’s some giant control mechanism that they have that was dormant that somehow gets woken up.

Kyle  

Now I’m just thinking of the old Lego series by Bionicle, which was also on an island and also very weird. 

David  

Oh, yeah yeah.

Kyle  

But I think something… so I think we should probably wrap up. I’ll see if there’s anything else you want to talk about. I could ask questions all day. But I think kind of going back to our original point about Numenera. Being something you can really make decisions on, you can really be creative about and they inspire you. What, How did you describe the Clock of Kala? What did you think that was? You said it was like an ice range or what…

David  

I am not I’m confusing the ice part. It is I see it as this this giant wall of stone or something. Just this giant vertical wall in a ring shape that covers hundreds of miles. 

Kyle  

Yeah, yeah. And that’s the thing I think was interesting is the second, even if you confuse it with second something else the second it was mentioned, there were all these different speculate about it could be this, it could be this, it could be this. In the core rulebook, it’s literally just described as this “impossibly tall, impassable mountain range”.

David  

Okay.

Kyle  

And I just think that’s really cool. 

David  

Yeah, yeah. And I mean, look at how much you can do with that. Just that in and of itself. Bravo, Monte Cook. You guys are brilliant as far as that goes.

Kyle  

Alright, so that hits all the questions we got. And again, I don’t want to hold up listeners too much longer with my own personal questions about the Clock of Kala and the secret for ring conspiracy. But check out my YouTube channel where it’ll just be a still image of… I don’t know some guy looking intellectual as I just ramble about it for 40 minutes.

David  

Well, I want to thank you Kyle, for throwing me these questions and having these great conversations just about the ninth world, and Januae and the story itself. It was great being able to talk to you about it and I do want to remind everybody- check out Quest Friends if you go to- is it questfriendspodcast or questfreinds.com, what’s the URL?

Kyle  

questfriendspodcast.com. questfriends.com was taken by somebody else.

David  

Really? Those bastards.

Kyle  

It’s a very common name. (laughs)

David  

Yeah, yeah, maybe. But questfriendspodcast.com, definitely subscribe and listen to it, you will have so much fun listening to the show. So thank you, Kyle, once again for for participating in this fun Q&A. And thank you to all the people who sent in your questions. And for all you listeners, hang out and kind of keep your ears to the grindstone… that’s a weird expression. “Ear to the grindstone”…

Kyle  

Sounds very painful!

David  

Very painful. Yeah, I’m like, Okay, I won’t recommend that. But keep your ears open for the next bonus episode, which is on its way and that one’s going to be kind of a little bit of a Numenera backstory of Januae way before the jaunting so it’s gonna be a fun one. So everybody once again, thanks for listening. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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