Review: Worlds Numberless and Strange

What will you find as you venture into Earth’s shoals?

Witch covens battle in the mammoth city of Halloween. Nazis struggle to master mythological relics in the Eleventh Reich. T. rexes hunt hominids on the tropical island of Mesozoica, while skyships fend off pirates and predators in the tempestuous cloud seas of Seishin Shore.

In The Strange, recursions—limited pocket dimensions with their own laws of reality—are seeded from human fiction and mythology. A recursor might discover Atlantis, Oz, the Victorian London of Sherlock Holmes, or places even more bizarre and perilous. Worlds Numberless and Strange takes you to dozens of new recursions, where supervillains, dinosaurs, space troopers, killer robots, gods, and other dangers guard wonders and treasures few people on Earth have ever seen!

This week has been an awesome time to be a fan of MCG. The PDF of for the Cypher System was sent out to those who pre-ordered, the Numenera Reliquary boxes are being shipped out, and Worlds Numberless and Strange was released. WNS is a supplement for The Strange, a game that we love quite a bit here at TRF. The Strange imagines an Earth with an unimaginable number of recursions that the adventurers can travel to, including the fantasy world Ardeyn, the sci-fi world Ruk, and more including 221B Baker Street, Innsmouth, and Crow Hollow. There are recursions for almost any imagined fictional world, and all you have to do is imagine it.

Worlds Numberless and Strange provides 70 new recursions to add to your game. Seventeen of these are very well fleshed out with detailed information, history, cthulhuindividuals you might encounter, and artifacts that are present within that recursion. The others are just seeds that the GM can use as a starting point for their own ideas. I really love the table at the beginning of the chapter that the GM can roll on to determine which recursion they might accidentally translate into. I think the recursion seed Aser and I were both the most excited for was R’lyeh, which you can get shot by your superiors for visiting. If you survive that is. No one wants Cthulhu gain the spark and become able to translate.

The new recursion I was most excited about is Microcosmica, which I microdescribed as those episodes of Magic School Bus where they go inside various students to learn the inner workings of the human body. Aser likened it to Fantastic Voyage, and since they used a quote from the movie at the beginning of the listing, that might be the more accurate representation. But if you think there won’t be a yellow school bus zooming around if I have players show up in Microcosmica you are sorely mistaken. Plus there’s the new descriptor “Becomes Bacterial” which I want with every bit of my biochemist’s heart.

Aser really enjoyed the Rebel Galaxy recursion, inspired by all of your favorite space operas. Since we just encountered Darth Vader in our Strange game, and have recently decided we need a Star Wars game in the Cypher System this recursion is full of some pretty helpful ideas in setting that up. One of the most valuable set of rules provided was those for ship to ship combat, which included ways to take out the enemies ship without necessarily shooting them down.

rebelOther recursions include an alternate reality where the Nazis won, a steampunk Camelot, Atlantis, Zombies, Superheroes, and Dinosaurs. There are plenty more, but I don’t want to give away all of the awesomeness included. Besides this, there’s more information about regions and organizations within Ardeyn and Ruk, as well as new artifacts for those worlds. There are a handful of new descriptors that are tied to the new recursions, including Becomes Bacterial, and some new creatures.

If you’re looking for some new places to take your group, or just some inspiration for your game you should pick up Worlds Numberless and Strange. It’s a beautiful, informative book with lots of plot hooks, individuals to encounter, and worlds to explore. I can’t wait to head to some of those recursions in our own game. It is available from DriveThruRPG and the MCG Store. The PDF is $16.99 and the book is $44.99.

Megan loves RPGs, cephalopods, robots, dice, and Kickstarter campaigns related to the above. She is a co-founder of The Redacted Files and runs our Numenera, Pathfinder, and Horror on the Orient Express campaigns, as well as the Trail of Cthulhu one-shots.

5 thoughts on “Review: Worlds Numberless and Strange

  1. Can I ask, does the book include incursions that use the new character options from In Translation or is that something you are left to work out yourself?

    1. I didn’t see it deliberately assigning foci from In Translation. The book says “FOCI FROM OTHER SOURCES: The foci described for each recursion represent only the base options available there. If the GM has a source for other foci that she decides are appropriately themed (such as other foci from the corebook, from In Translation: The Strange Character Options, from third-party publishers, or adapted from the Numenera corebook and Numenera Character Options), she should feel free to allow them in a given recursion on a case-by-case basis.”

      It does give you the laws for each recursion, so you can pretty easily assign the In Translation foci to the recursions in the book.

  2. Thanks for the review!

    Do you happen to know if the Sherlock Holmes London is one of the recursions that are described in detail in this book?

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