Announcing the Cypher System Rulebook

What will your Cypher System campaign be?

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A Cypher System campaign of Victorian horror? High fantasy? Espionage? Galaxy-spanning space opera? Soon, any of those will be as easy as running The Strange or Numenera. The Cypher System Rulebook is the next big corebook release from Monte Cook Games, and it’s coming in the summer of 2015!

(You probably already know this, but just to be clear: the Cypher System is the game engine behind The Strange and Numenera.)

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Why a Cypher System Rulebook?

We get a lot of questions along the lines of, “When are you going to release a superhero RPG?” or a science fiction RPG, or a medieval fantasy RPG, and so on. We could make a dozen games based on the Cypher System, but what we’d rather do is give you the tools you need to play the games you want.

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We first started thinking seriously about this idea back in the early days of working on The Strange. We knew the Cypher System was flexible, but we figured we’d have to do a fair amount of kitbashing to make it work properly with The Strange’s setting (or settings, as the case may be). As it turned out, we made virtually no changes to the core mechanics, and creatures and character abilities from one game pretty much work great in the other. We’ve played in-house campaigns in other settings using the Cypher System, and they’ve also required few modifications beyond adding new types, foci, descriptors, and other game-specific elements. The game system is really flexible.

With the system able to handle pretty much any genre and a wide array of play styles, the next logical step was to open it up to gamers in a way that makes it easy to adapt the system to your own ideas and campaigns.

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So what will it be?

The Cypher System Rulebook will be a hefty hardcover rulebook with all the rules you need to run Cypher System games in a wide range of genres, along with advice on using the system to build and run those campaigns. It will draw in part from content already published in Numenera and The Strange, but tailor that content for play in different genres, and add hundreds of new genre-specific and genre-spanning types, descriptors, foci, creatures, cyphers, and rules elements. It will feature the incredible artwork and production values for which Monte Cook Games is becoming legendary.

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What about those settings?

Unlike Numenera and The Strange, we don’t currently plan to make a full game line out of this. These tools are for you. But as with all of our games, we’ll support the fan community as you create and share content with each other.

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And you might see some settings adapted to or created for the system from other publishers. We’ve had talks with other companies about officially licensed campaign sourcebooks that give players fleshed-out settings for use with the Cypher System Rulebook, as well as complete, standalone games using the Cypher System engine.

Either way, look forward to bringing one of the most flexible, easy-to-run RPG systems ever to the campaign of your choice. Next summer!

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Charles Ryan
Charles Ryan

Charles M. Ryan has written or contributed to titles in nearly every class of tabletop game—board games, card games, trading card games, miniature games, and roleplaying games—over a 20-year career in the game industry. He has also served as the global brand manager for Dungeons & Dragons and headed up the marketing department at the UK’s Esdevium Games, one of the world’s largest game distributors. He is the Chief Operating Officer at Monte Cook Games.