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Scott Purdy. LLC.269631 . Erebus. Ben Wootten. George Ziets © 2015 Monte Cook Games. CREDITS Writer/Designer: Monte Cook Additional Designers: Bruce R. Mike Perry. Jeremy Land. David Wilson Brown.businessmanbryan@yahoo. Printed in Canada Bryan Scholting . Cory Trego-Erdner. Bourgeois. Shanna Germain Creative Director: Shanna Germain Editor/Proofreader: Ray Vallese Graphic Designer: Bear Weiter Cover Artist: Roberto Pitturru Artists ´ Jacob Atienza. Brynn Metheney. Laura Wilkinson. Jeremy McHugh. All Monte Cook Games characters and character Chris Waller. Kieran Yanner Monte Cook Games Editorial Board Scott C. Matt Stawicki. Marco Caradonna. Dreamstime. Cyril Terpent. Patrick McEvoy. Milivoj Ceran. Jason Engle. Lee Smith. Marina Wold. Cathy Wilkins. Baldi Konijn. LLC in the U. CYPHER SYSTEM and its logo are trademarks of Monte Cook Games.S. Eric Coates. Gareth Hodges. Grzegorz Pedrycz. LLC. and the distinctive likenesses thereof. Mila Irek. Guido Kuip. are trademarks of Monte Cook Games. Florian Devos. Cordell.A. Brandon Leach. Nick Russell. Danar Worya. David Hueso. Joe Slucher. Eric Lofgren. John Petersen. Robert J. Shane Tyree. chrom. Roberto . Schwalb. and other countries. Tiffany Turrill.

269631 .com .businessmanbryan@yahoo. TABLE OF CONTENTS THE CYPHER SYSTEM Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION 4 Chapter 2: ANYTHING GOES 5 Chapter 3: HOW TO PLAY THE CYPHER SYSTEM 7 PART 1: CHARACTERS 13 Chapter 4: CREATING YOUR CHARACTER 14 Chapter 5: CHARACTER TYPE 22 Chapter 6: CHARACTER DESCRIPTOR 64 Chapter 7: CHARACTER FOCUS 90 Chapter 8: EQUIPMENT 182 PART 2: RULES 187 Chapter 9: RULES OF THE GAME 188 Chapter 10: OPTIONAL RULES 224 PART 3: GENRES 235 Chapter 11: FANTASY 236 Chapter 12: MODERN 244 Chapter 13: SCIENCE FICTION 250 Chapter 14: HORROR 258 Chapter 15: SUPERHEROES 266 PART 4: GAMEMASTER SECTION 273 Chapter 16: CREATURES 274 Chapter 17: NPCs 334 Chapter 18: CYPHERS 340 Chapter 19: RUNNING THE CYPHER SYSTEM 366 PART 5: BACK MATTER 409 Index 410 Campaign Design Worksheet 412 Character Sheet 413 Bryan Scholting .

Use the material in this book to supplement your current games. you’ll see how to use the game system you already love in any setting and any genre. cyphers. what if gamers want to use the system for fantasy. rules in addition to the If you’re new to the Cypher System entirely. And rules for king. and then another called The Strange. then it works! If you’re already a fan of both Numenera and The Strange. Still. game. You can’t take a Numenera nano and plop her down in any genre. you’ll find new descriptors. and thus you can’t really get superheroes—characters who break all the other rules. or it can be used check out the rules for Insights (page 216) to stretch the system into any genre you wish when you’re finished with your current and the optional genre campaign. . and cram it all into one book. options. artifacts. Oh. right? We’d just need to grab stuff from both games. this can supplement your existing game. and superheroes—those throw a big wrench into things. it wouldn’t fit into a science fiction one. the story is from starship battles to the rising dread of horror. New cyphers. I realized that the way both games handled character types was entirely idiosyncratic to those settings. a science fiction setting spanning the galaxy. These were quite popular. Again. and and advice. creatures. In other words. If it works for your game. many of the specifics here will be familiar. while the Cypher System Rulebook is partially a compilation of game material from both Numenera and The Strange. different from anything you’ve played before. Promise. Of course. or something else? Wouldn’t it be nice if they could have the system material from Numenera and The Strange with all the setting-specific material stripped out? And doing that would be easy. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION A cypher is a secret. it also has a whole lot of new stuff. or start a new game set in a fantasy land of elves and fae creatures. It’s something that not everyone understands. They shared the same basic game engine: the Cypher System. and thus you can’t really get the rules wrong. The Cypher System Rulebook came about because we published a game called Numenera. then it works! 4 Bryan Scholting . types. horror. New descriptors and foci to make different genres work.businessmanbryan@yahoo. along with four new character types. you’ll find a ton of material The Strange should here that is new to you. The rules are simple. and rules. But remember that in the Cypher System. but this book includes plenty of character and setting foci that are brand new to this book. types. the story is king. Fans of Numenera and If you’re a fan of Numenera or The Strange. both for their settings and for their rules. It might seem overwhelming at first. So it occurred to us. Mostly. If it works for your What you’ll take away from this book depends on your context. already finished. though. the rules wrong. It holds potential. once I started working on it. you’re really in for a lot of great information descriptors. Lots of new rules for handling everything In the Cypher System. but not both. New creatures and NPCs. And if you tried to make the type fit more into a fantasy setting. No problem. or a modern slasher horror game.269631 .

gets what they want out of the game. the experience of being terrified by zombies You can pull out whatever you want and swarming around a character’s home. Just have a fun game. but categories are: fantasy. and so forth. you. Bryan Scholting . foci. Some need new it first. you want superheroes (maybe them a try. Some Rulebook is not meant to be used that way. Sometimes they can be constricting when they should be liberating. system is designed to help you portray any I say “experience” because in many ways. You have to put something of your own into artifacts. a fundamental decision that perhaps the Speaking of worlds. Those players and GMs will use this book. Use some now So really. If you want to convey the use everything in it. a genre and pick types. Put back the ones that don’t suit with a dash of science fiction). of these genres require unique equipment. or just design is vital because it ensures that everyone something from scratch. If you want to capture Think of this book as a chest of toys. Pull out some pieces and give from aliens. world or setting you can dream up. Both in this book as a starting point. What you hold in your hands is a With those broad strokes.269631 5 . horror. fiction. You won’t you want horror. The rules to convey the experience you’re after. what you’re choosing here is and save others for your next game. which has need to read through it once you’ve chosen Part 3: Genres. will Take a look at Part 3: Genres. modern. There is no setting or world here. I’m talking directly These are broad categories. based on what genre other players what genre they like and what you want. and . Pick your kinds of experiences they want to have. I cover most guidebook. because the Cypher System you can run with the Cypher System. It can be anything. and I use them to the game masters out there. You the experience you want to have—and that have all the freedom in the world (many you want the players to have. You can’t just sit down (but probably not all) of the kinds of games and start playing. A how-to. and try different ones. or descriptors. play with it however you want. page 235 a number of chapters devoted to genres. not everything in this book is GENRES suitable for every genre. at least not all at once. Ask the what setting to use. Don’t worry too much about being a genre purist. This favorite book or movie. Of course. actually).businessmanbryan@yahoo. that’s what a genre is. Anything Goes Chapter 2 ANYTHING GOES F or just a moment. This is such worlds. You. experience of being extremely powerful and You’ll use parts of it to build the game you using those powers to protect the world want to play. science more than likely the GM will look at it first. you get to decide whole group should be in on it. Genre categories are difficult. the GM.

In short. 20 Your father is a high-ranking officer in the military with many connections. 6 You served in the military with honor. 16 While exploring a remote location. 9 Your best friend from your youth is now an influential member of the government. Your students remember you fondly. gathers knowledge to share with others. Now they seem to want a lot more from you. trailblazer. explorer. The explorer frequently skills. You travel Advanced Explorers: Higher-tier explorers to strange. traipsing through the wilderness or poking wanderer. 8 You went to a prestigious university on an athletic scholarship. and dangerous places. 5 Your parents were missionaries. The case still has some notoriety. but those were the glory days. an explorer xenobiologist is a teacher. 15 When you were young. You’re still in great shape. also likely to stop and investigate anything it’s used in Chapter 8: spelunker. but not all opportunities to capitalize on them have panned out yet. 14 You were kidnapped as a small child under mysterious circumstances. drifter. and foremost interested in action. but far more often they operate in teams starting equipment is as important as his starting mystery seeker with other characters. 10 You used to be a teacher. about an old ruin. able to deal with be academics or well studied. investigative intriguing she stumbles upon. you were addicted to narcotics. 19 Your sister owns a store and gives you a hefty discount. Learn more about Modern/Horror: athlete. an explorer bravely faces new challenges and You are a person of action and physical ability. crimefighter investigative reporter. 38 Bryan Scholting . fearlessly facing the unknown. 18 You published a book about some of your exploits and . leads the way. Roll a d20 or choose from the following list Roll Background 1 You were a star high school athlete. routine part of life. This means you’re a number of abilities that allow them to deal physical but also probably knowledgeable. 2 Your brother is the lead singer in a really popular band. which paid for your schooling. some combat abilities. adventurer. 17 You own a small bar or restaurant. 13 You belong to an exclusive organization of explorers whose existence is not widely known. 3 You have made a number of discoveries in your explorations. although you were recovered safely. and it has achieved some acclaim. 12 Your greatest discovery to date was stolen by your arch-rival. Equipment. However. delver. adventurer. man. and now you are a recovering addict. Sometimes. she’s what you carry and how adventurer. 7 You received assistance from a secretive organization. alone. detective. so you spent much of your young life traveling to exotic places. they become more Individual Role: Although explorers can and more well-rounded. and and discover new things. reporter Societal Role: Not all explorers are out Science fiction: explorer. They face Background Connection: Your type helps grave dangers and terrible obstacles as a determine the connection you have to the setting. but you gave it up after encountering corruption on the force. scholar. blazing the trail. after which you tried to go straight. you saw something strange you’ve never been able to explain.269631 . with danger. a scientist. or an Superhero: adventurer. In any event. a detective. exotic. 4 You were a cop. but you excelled in class as well as on the field. they are first any challenge. 11 You worked as a small-time criminal operative until you were caught and served some time in jail.businessmanbryan@yahoo. gain more skills. planetary specialist. EXPLORER Group Role: Explorers sometimes work Your character’s Fantasy: explorer.

com . two moderately priced your own fact. you can hold it for one Bryan Scholting . Special Abilities: Choose four of the EXPLORER STAT POOLS abilities described below. You can also create expensive items. Action to initiate. You can’t choose Stat Pool Starting Value the same ability more than once unless its Might 10 description says otherwise. message. increase the difficulty of the if the typical person can hold his breath attack by one step. Action to You get 6 additional points to divide initiate. If you wield a whichever is better for you. items. First-tier explorers have the following abilities: Decipher (1 Intellect point): If you spend Effort: Your Effort is 1. Danger Sense (1 Speed point): The difficulty of your initiative roll is reduced by Initiative. page 197 FIRST-TIER EXPLORER one step. of 1.269631 39 . For example. one minute examining a piece of writing or Physical Nature: You have a Might Edge code in a language you do not understand. weapons without penalty.businessmanbryan@yahoo. Speed 9 Block (3 Speed points): You automatically Intellect 9 block the next melee attack made against you within the next minute. Character Type to determine a specific fact about your Starting Equipment: Appropriate clothing background that provides a connection to and a weapon of your choice. based on the complexity of Cypher Use: You can bear two cyphers at the language or code) to get the gist of the a time. heavy weapon. a Speed Edge of 0. among your stat Pools however you wish. Practiced With Light and Medium Endurance: Any duration dealing with Weapons: You can use light and medium physical actions is either doubled or halved. Enabler. for thirty seconds. plus two the rest of the world. Enabler. and an Intellect you can make an Intellect roll of difficulty Edge of 0. 3 (or higher. and up to four inexpensive items.

pounds. of two expensive items. It’s far more can vary. fuel and upkeep in generalities rather than specifics. Hauling a unlike saying immediate or short distance few passengers from Epsilon Eridani back rather than giving precise numbers. we talk of adventure and profit. In a fantasy setting. the exact important to focus on what you can amount will matter. . we to Earth might earn enough to purchase talk about goods and services in terms of six expensive items but cost the equivalent inexpensive. game. no one has to talk in pennies. gold pieces. Not for the ship might be expensive. indicating currency just of different currencies might be used in as flavor now and then. Chapter 8 EQUIPMENT E quipment in the Cypher System require gold on the table. where money only means keeping an inexpensive item might be 1 or 2 copper the ship flying. or exorbitant. sometimes detailed price list for her setting. expensive. In a space opera your game. often ignoring the terms inexpensive. to keep things simple and use only the Martian solval beads. leaving the crew very expensive. provide prices for any kind of item that you has at her hip. depending on the setting and game. Characters might refer 182 Bryan Scholting .269631 . bottle caps—a lot general terms. The exact amount plays only a small role. catalogs or it’s important to know if you’ve got enough will track their money on their character shopping websites can rope. and in many campaigns. and players present day. You should use whatever you starship blazing about the galaxy in search like. with the means to refuel and maintain the The GM can figure out what those things ship for two further voyages. CURRENCY AND PRICES Of course. moderately priced. credits. where the PCs are the crew of a the genre. might need. or what kind of gun your space pilot sheets to determine what they can afford. some GMs might want Dollars. In such a mean in her setting. The GM will develop a For any game set in the do than on what you have. In the Cypher System rules. moderately priced. Still.businessmanbryan@yahoo. and so on. while an expensive item might specific amounts.

100 times the cost of a A moderately priced item is something moderate one. services. A major piece of price categories in a variety of ways. A character sheets. can afford two extra moderately priced A very expensive item is probably out things at the start of the game. you can use the Rent on a simple apartment. A new outfit. furniture. Extremely expensive jewelry or art. Equipment to “galactic credits” or something similar. A very nice outfit. an expensive one. An expensive meal. The cost to travel It’s easy for a GM to say to a player. PRICE CATEGORIES That is to say. ship. An expensive item is 10 times more costly An inexpensive item is something that than a moderately priced item.000 times the cost of that common people buy. A small piece priced 10 times beyond that. with prices and currency. An exorbitant item is something only the but amounts might not be tracked on the very rich can afford. A drink in the bar. Plus. A very nice .” She can of the reach of most people except in very look on the list and pick two moderately special circumstances. A simple meal or a times the cost of something inexpensive. Think of the categories as powers of 10. A major entertainment. A pen and some paper.businessmanbryan@yahoo. a moderately priced item is ten There are five price categories for goods and times more costly than an inexpensive item. and 1.269631 183 . USING THE PRICE CATEGORIES An expensive item is something that Regardless of how precise you want to be would strain a common person’s finances. this approach makes it clear that Bryan Scholting . Luxury priced items without worrying about their furnishings. An exorbitant item is and not in great quantities. of furniture. A very expensive item is 10 times the cost of book or magazine. “You a long distance (if appropriate to the setting). cost. Jewelry. and thus 100 common people buy. but not too often an inexpensive one.

The PCs are probably normal well as horrific ones.269631 . as in a modern setting. is more of a style. Suggested foci. but for our purposes. Think about every special treatment. spooky cemetery.businessmanbryan@yahoo. 258 Bryan Scholting . in which scenes of horror are setting. People need rising You could easily have horror in other and falling tension. Chapter 14 HORROR A lthough it’s very likely a subset of the horror-themed game is that if everything modern genre. A . so that when those PCs are in to remember when preparing to run a jeopardy. Chapter 12: Modern. the players will be frightened. The key is the contrast. types. at Whatever the setting. not secret agents or special by hordes of zombies needs to offer investigators (although being a part of a moments of respite for the characters. Horror paced nicely with scenes of normal life. Unlike the other good horror movie you’ve seen or story genres. nothing is. Consider these tips. the main thing least a little. Running a good horror game is difficult. An approach. horror as a genre gets is terrifying. Even a world overcome people. and events as modern day. or mysterious ruin. so refer to Chapter Give the players time to develop their page 244 12: Modern for that information. CREATING A HORROR SETTING Let them get attached to the characters. encounters. Any setting can be horrific. and additional You’ve got to maintain mood and atmosphere equipment for a horror setting are the same at almost all times. horror doesn’t necessarily suggest a you’ve read. the story. characters before going to the haunted house. or they will break from times and settings. So you need a setting that has we’ll deal with a default setting in the ordinary scenes. secret agency that deals with monsters in the shadows could make for a fine horror RUNNING A HORROR GAME game).

but not in the middle of a happy Make the players sense it without being fully religious ceremony or family gathering. Shake things and calm moments between the horror. There must be respites than conventional lighting. Don’t hesitate to use you want. As you describe a scene in the Focus on the startling and unexpected game. Maim characters. remember that you need rising candles or flashlights in a dark room rather and falling tension. Make it seem like other words.269631 259 . as though you hear context in which they are unexpected. shout that scares them the most. occasionally glance out the window when possible. and the environment campaigns. characters. It’s the thing the PCs don’t see When the monster finally appears. Do something shocking. when you run sessions in other genres. Unnerve your players as well as the Kill characters. Bryan Scholting . Horror Use music. especially if—other in the basement for your horror game. of it. but only in a one or more players. play even if—or rather. primal fear. up—if you normally play in the dining room Horror needs to be brutal and ruthless. but it’s possible. they might be expected on a creepy things are going on. If that’s what to help create a mood. Take your time at the top of your lungs! Turn out the lights and allow them to hear the horrific creature suddenly. Fear of the unknown is the greatest. Blood and gore can or toward the door. In something . Let them react to the unknown threat They are very difficult to run as long-term before they can identify it. Let Horror games are often one-shot them see its shadow before they see the rest sessions or a short arc of a few sessions. most Startle the players as well as the characters. particularly if it’s behind be shocking sometimes. aware of it. lighting. games you run are relatively safe for PCs. but be subtle. approach before the encounter begins. battlefield.businessmanbryan@yahoo.

consider the following Explorer. or military units particularly suited for And so on. But Think of the PCs as the main characters of Tough. (explorer) who Solves Mysteries.” Character sentences might into it. page 151 holding powered criminals. page 80 Dimensionar is a Mystical warlock (adept) Before you dig in. many ways. page 98 System is a strange fit for superheroes. have the players create characters Strength. the superhero genre is really Adept. defending the city for years. special prisons for Moves Like the Wind. Chapter 15 SUPERHEROES CREATING A L Brash. it might appear that the Cypher superhero games are all about the PCs. and special laws for superpowers (is it a crime to rob a bank 266 Bryan Scholting . Bears a Halo of . page 22 Cypher System makes all genres a little bit have the players make superhero PCs to fit Performs Feats of “superhero-ish. page 122 King Brick is a Tough warrior who a new group or the heroes who have been Performs Feats of Strength. In Even by roleplaying game standards.businessmanbryan@yahoo. page 156 look like the following: first and build the world around them. Mysterious. the the show. superpowered threats. They Mystical.269631 . how has page 167 Speedburst is a Fast crimefighter the world adapted to this idea? Police Fast. page 29 a subset of the modern genre with SUPERHERO SETTING extensive special considerations. page 73 (explorer) who Moves Like the Wind. page 65 ike horror. page 81 Firebrand is a Brash energy projector are the superhero team that the setting (adept) who Bears a Halo of Fire. They are the stars of Halo of Fire and Wears a Sheen of Ice. should revolve around. page 87 if you think about it. in the world? If they’re common. whether they are Exists Partially Out of Phase. with foci like Bears a their own comic book. Rather than create a world and Warrior. page 38 who Exists Partially Out of Phase. Dark Ronin is a Mysterious crimefighter How prevalent are superpowered beings Solves Mysteries. topics.

Do the PCs already have arch-foes? If so.269631 267 . how will sooner than anyone expects. often ending in an Are aliens. Doctor Vengeance may stop them.” If you really want to do something have adventures that take them around the different. In other words. Stories are told in arcs impossible technologies at play in the over multiple issues. You can play with this concept further and accept them? and have special “double-sized” issues for Superhero games are usually confined to epic confrontations with a lot of “splash one major city. series.) If so. and exciting cliffhanger. magic. does the majority of the world starts while the previous arc is still going know about these things. but he’ll be are all obvious issues that will come . understand them. PCs? With shock and awe? Fear? Respect? Each session is an issue. unlike others. playing sessions with just one player. but sometimes those setting? (The answer is almost certainly arcs overlap. have each PC have his or her own globe or even into space. but occasionally the heroes pages. flavor. If you can occasionally find ways Bryan Scholting .businessmanbryan@yahoo. Superheroes while under the effects of mind control?) have been defeated this time. Think of your ordinary people react when they learn of the superhero game as a comic book series. Here are some other tips to consider. back with a whole new plan of conquest If superbeings are not common. There’s a danger that superhero PCs RUNNING A SUPERHERO GAME become entirely reactive. a new story arc yes. They wait for the Superhero stories. rarely have villains to do something and then try to a definitive end. mutants. and then have crossover issues where all developing a bit of history of their previous the characters come together to defeat a battles and adventures can add a lot of powerful threat. on.

GM Intrusion: Doctor Dread uses a function influence. armor that is the perfect Alicia Coleridge is Doctor Dread’s secret identity. understands. and cutting- edge biological research equipment. Indeed. Loot: Most of Doctor Dread’s considerable wealth is tied up in online accounts.businessmanbryan@yahoo. DOCTOR DREAD 7 (21) Dread’s robot minion: level 3. She is an egomaniac but will negotiate in return for a promise of wealth or biomedical lore she doesn’t already know. food. and technology from the rich and powerful. two or three secret fortresses. or magnetism (one at a time. or water for up to ten days at a time. but that’s normally disguised by her amazing brilliance. and Alicia was disfigured and driven slightly insane. Motive: Accumulate wealth. teleporting away. She promises to let them go once sufficient wealth is paid into her offshore accounts. effects of radioactive substances on living tissue. cold. repairs. whether her victims are individuals. Doctor Dread has become the most feared terrorist on the planet. slain. and the range laser attack inflicts 4 points of damage robotic armor she uses to enhance her otherwise normal abilities. or superheroes. She uses her abilities to extort money. including the following: Plasma Blast: Long-range heat and electricity blast that inflicts 7 points of damage Fade: Become invisible for one minute. These Environment: Wherever money can be extorted shifts are already figured into her modifications Health: 40 and other stats. and crafts advanced technology as level 10. she solution for her current predicament: healing received a full scholarship to the Russell Institute of Technology.269631 . Damage Inflicted: 7 points Armor: 4 Movement: Short. built into her robotic governments. She plows the vast wealth she accumulates through terrorism into Assume that Doctor research into the rejuvenation of dead flesh. two-dimensional field of transparent force 10 feet by 10 feet (3 m by 3 m) for ten minutes Energy Cloak: Create an energy field that gives her +5 to Armor against heat. long when flying Modifications: Resists mental attacks and deception as level 8. Armor 1. Alicia’s fiancé was disintegrating a barrier. where she studied the herself. Doctor Dread is usually accompanied by a handful of robot minions. She hopes to one day bring back her dead love. Combat: Doctor Dread’s armor allows her to exist without outside air (or air pressure). so much so that she built the or whatever is needed. long- Doctor Dread is larger than life thanks to her brilliant mind. her media savvy. and two in resilience. reanimate dead flesh see page 270. corporations. chosen when she uses the power) for ten minutes Interaction: Doctor Dread is slightly mad. Born into relative obscurity. 318 Bryan Scholting . or until she makes an attack Barricade: Establish an immobile. Use: The PCs are called to handle a hostage situation at a party in which many of the city’s wealthy elite are being held captive by Doctor Dread. Doctor Dread armor. Dread has three power shifts in intelligence whose body she keeps in suspended animation. She can call on her robotic armor to accomplish a variety of . In a freak lab accident.

Various research groups theorize that Magnetar is an alien. Motive: Revenge. hoping that a display will draw out whoever or whatever made it the way it is. its most potent ability is its level 11 control over all metal within 300 feet (91 m). which is fortunate since reducing it to 0 health through an old-fashioned beating could release an uncontrolled neutron star chunk on the Earth’s surface. but then again. Combat: Magnetar’s fist packs a wallop. has decided to blame the humans. After see page 270. Interaction: Morose and gruff. and self-regulating nucleus of a neutron has three power shifts star that is able to rein in its immense electromagnetic signature. Magnetar generally would rather be alone. but it can’t remember what. These shifts are already figured millennia. It and other stats. and more. Magnetar constantly feels the drag of emotional loss.269631 319 . attacks. and structures infused with rebar that it can see within its area of influence. Given become stuck to a nearby Magnetar’s vaguely humanoid shape. but it doesn’t know why (it doesn’t realize that the feeling comes from the loss of its twin). so is Magnetar. vehicles. into its modifications Magnetar knows that something was taken from it (its twin). One of two such beings in its magnetic power an advanced alien race created from a single magnetar (a type of neutron star with an and two in resilience. since it can selectively add mass to the punch. it goes on a rampage.businessmanbryan@yahoo. When it throws such a large object as part of an attack. but every so often. Creatures MAGNETAR 8 (24) GM Intrusion: On a failed Might defense . sentient. man with a mutant ability so powerful that it burned out all memories of his former self. Magnetar was sent on a mission of exploration. searching for what it has lost Health: 50 Damage Inflicted: 10 points Armor: 8 Movement: Short. Magnetar’s only weakness is psychic attacks. or even some kind of manifestation of a fundamental force. Bryan Scholting . Magnetar is the animate. Having lost most of its memory data. Use: Doctor Dread has put a bounty on Magnetar’s head because she wants to study the advanced technology woven through its body. including walls. it crashed on Earth and was damaged. all of the character’s Not much is known about Magnetar other than its powerful ability to generate and control loose metallic items (including weapons) are magnetic fields. a sentient and stripped from him and self-improving robot. regain memory Environment: Almost anywhere. tasks related to controlling and shaping metal through electromagnetic manipulation as level 11. Magnetar can lift bridges. However. long when magnetically levitating Modifications: Speed defense as level 5 due to mass. extremely powerful magnetic field). a few people even suggest that the villain is actually a metallic buttress. the target and everything within short range of the target takes 10 points of damage. The bounty amount is outrageous. pincers. which it uses to create anything it can imagine. Assume that Magnetar In truth.

the cyphers discovered by the leads to fun game moments where a player when they return. This is because of characters that existed. I’ve got an X that might help WHY CYPHERS? Cyphers are (not surprisingly. abilities that the players don’t choose. this aspect makes it unique.269631 . like the last session. use them at a steady pace. then. Although many things separate the game give out cyphers that enable the characters to take a system from others. attacks. or produce effects such as nullifying these come in the form of items. But once? That’s just fun. This is true in many RPGs. There will always room for new ones. 340 Bryan Scholting . “Well. they’re more esoteric. she can their use. However. based on the name) found in dungeons) was really the only customization the heart of the Cypher System. PCs can have only a small number of be more. with the GM and the players both is going. she can do of two things: these things without worrying about the long-term 1. and they’ll have different benefits. their assignment. it’s built right into the game’s core. she can use cyphers to help guide the having a role in their choice. This that doesn’t mean the cypher will still be there In theory. A device that lets you fun and exciting. giving the PCs a cypher time it was because you could create an explosion that will allow them to teleport far away might be a that would level a city block. It means that the drive to characters in this game have abilities that rarely or go out and have adventures is that you can discover never change and can always be counted on—pretty cool new things that help you when you go on the much like in all games—and they have abilities that next adventures. Perhaps most important. cyphers are less extra cypher elsewhere always finding more. in teleport multiple times might really mess up the fact. magic potions or bits of alien technology. like consumed when used. They are the major reason why no Cypher 2. In the majority of games.businessmanbryan@yahoo. For example. characters gain over the course They have cool powers that can heal. and since they’re This means that in gameplay. In the early days of roleplaying. Because the GM has an idea of where the story abilities are fluid. but in the are ever-changing and inject a great deal of variability Cypher System. like gravity or turning something invisible. PCs are determined randomly. but solve the problem by walking through walls. but last some do not. Cyphers are single-use items and are always In others. secret adventure seed placed by a forward-thinking The Cypher . Cyphers Cyphers are found with such regularity that to be used to make are designed for frequent discovery and the PCs can use them freely. Chapter 18 CYPHERS C yphers are one-use abilities that GM can place them intentionally as well. more proactive role (such as teleporting anywhere because cyphers recognize the importance and value they want). if the GM is open to it. It’s perfectly acceptable use. Letting the GM have a hand in determining System game session should ever be dull or feel just PC abilities makes the game move more smoothly. for the PCs to stash an cyphers at a given time. is a game where PC GM. Cyphers don’t have inspirations or divine blessings. Of course. make of play. This week your character can Some GMs prefer to generate cyphers randomly. they’re encouraged to like gear or treasure and more like character for later use. treasure (usually in the form of magic items game over the long term. Alternatively. “Treasure” as character abilities makes the game ramifications of the power. the can say. and path. in play.

it is a separate task. If PCs are hoarding and more cyphers. The GM can prepare a list ahead of time of what successful searchers . X Scavenging is not the only way to obtain might be an explosive device. but it is usually 1 play. or a force field. based on Intellect and be used regularly and characters can learn how to safely carry more modified by knowledge of the topic at hand. the PCs might find four different magic potions in the same location in a warlock’s laboratory. seem more like abilities and less like gear. hidden in a secret room. so the devices really do In a fantasy setting.businessmanbryan@yahoo. the GM sets the difficulty of the task. For example. it might be technology. or sometimes powerful magnet or an injection that will cure purchased in a shop. and sometimes there is some logic behind it. Bryan Scholting . disease. If a character ever attempts to is automatic. Thus. Over time. These cyphers are not recoverable. probably be magic. Cyphers in this situation. They can also be given as gifts. If the PCs can’t identify a instantly until she has cyphers equal to her maximum. Sometimes this list is random. a short-range cyphers. that knowledge would or saving their cyphers. teleporter.” and X is always different. and scavenging can take fifteen minutes to an hour. The process takes one to possess more. random cyphers disappear ten minutes. Cyphers keep Once the PCs find a cypher. even the smallest amount of cyphers they can have in their possession at knowledge means that cypher identification any one time. often. If the characters search for cyphers.269631 341 . It is usually 3 or 4. or scattered amid the wreckage of a crashed starship. The GM sets CYPHER LIMITS out and put them into the difficulty of the task. It might be a traded with merchants. FINDING AND IDENTIFYING CYPHERS Cyphers are often found in groups of one to six (the GM can roll 1d6 to determine the number). It could be anything. usually because the PCs are looking for them. All characters have a maximum number of or 2. They might be among the possessions of a fallen foe. identifying Cyphers are meant to the game fresh and interesting. but in a science fiction feel free to give them a reason to pull the devices setting.