Beneath our visible reality is a powerful alien network that forms a series of pocket universes, each with its own physical laws and bizarre denizens. It’s called The Strange, and this new tabletop RPG from Monte Cook Games will take you there.
Fresh off the success of Numenera, Monte Cook Games has begun development of a new RPG called The Strange. It takes place in a contemporary Earth, but this Earth exists in parallel with a network created by an ancient alien race. This network, (which is known as The Strange) allows users to create small worlds known as recursions, each of which needs its own internally consistent set of laws and rules.
The Strange is built using the same rules set created for Numenera, a streamlined system based on straightforward D20 rolls. The Kickstarter funding The Strange has already tripled its initial goal. It marks the first official collaboration between longtime friends and RPG veterans Monte Cook and Bruce Cordell. In fact, the setting was originally pitched by Cordell as a place to set a series of short stories or novels.
Beings and creatures from The Strange try to reach “prime worlds” like Earth. The biggest threats are planetovores, creatures that seek to scour Earth and other prime worlds of all life. But humans who know about The Strange can travel through recursions and access astonishing powers.
Initially, two large recursions will be detailed. The first, Ardeyn, is actually a massive online computer game that was used to contain The Strange when Earth first became connected to it. It is a world of fantasy and magic with an ancient history, but at the same time it’s a modern computer game that’s only existed for a few years. The second recursion, Ruk, is a sort of recursion traveling ship that “crashed” unfathomable ages ago. It’s home to all manner of bizarre alien and extradimensional creatures.
Players can potentially create their own recursions (which brings to mind the old Lords of Creation RPG), and this setting could theoretically contain every fictional universe you’d care to visit. It’s certainly a great opportunity for genre hopping, and I'm looking forward to seeing what strange worlds Cook, Cordell and company conjure up.