Cypher Chronicles, vol. 19-2019

Get lost on a strange planet, step into the upside-down, or contemplate a googol googols. All in this week’s Cypher Chronicles!

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150 New Creatures from the Ninth World

The Ninth World Bestiary 3 hit game stores and went live on the MCG Shop this week! We think the creatures in this book are some of the wildest, weirdest, and most imaginative yet for Numenera (and of course they’re compatible with all Cypher System games).

A Quiet Week at the MCG Warehouse

Is it really news when there’s no news? Perhaps not, but it makes us happy so we’re sharing: For the first time in months, our Kansas warehouse isn’t fulfilling a new Kickstarter reward, preparing to fulfill a new Kickstarter reward, or recovering from fulfilling a new Kickstarter reward. After a very, very busy winter and spring, we’re (briefly) back to business as usual.

Of course, the Numenera Creature Deck 3 is just a few weeks away. And then there’s Your Best Game Ever (along with the Player Notebook and GM Notebook) a few weeks after that. And Explorer’s Keys, and It’s Raining Cats and Dinosaurs, and the reprint of Invisible Sun, and of course the Numenera Deck Box and Numenera bookends—and then we’ll be closing in on the new Cypher System Rulebook. So it’s nice to get a little breather in while we can!

Gearing Up for Origins

We’re only a month away from Origins! I’ve been putting the finishing touches on Castaway, a science-fiction Cypher System adventure that channels a bit of the Ancillary Justice and Leviathan Wakes book series with perhaps a touch of the Lost TV series. We playtested it at last week’s summit, and it came together nicely. If you’re headed to Columbus next month, check out it or the Numenera adventure Trailblazer Trials—we’ll be running several sessions of each!

Look Out—Here Come Tariffs

We usually focus on good news here in Cypher Chronicles, but here’s some bad news we need to call out: It seems very likely that a new round of tariffs on goods manufactured in China will hit US companies soon. Existing tariffs don’t include game products, but this next round, according to the best current information, almost certainly will.

MCG’s book products are generally manufactured in North America, and won’t be affected. But like almost all game publishers, we do manufacture a substantial amount of our non-book products in China. The new tariffs will hit on or sometime after June 24th, and it so happens that most of our current products are slated to ship from China in June. Will we beat the tariff deadline? That’s hard to tell. If we don’t, will it affect the price you pay for MCG products? Not if you’re a Kickstarter backer or preorder customer—you’ve already paid us. Future prices may be affected, though. We simply don’t know yet.

But here’s something else to keep in mind: Somewhere around a third of all US consumer goods are manufactured in China, so we won’t be the only company trying to ensure our products get on a ship before the tariffs hit. We anticipate shipping delays and port congestion, and that could create delays in getting product out on time. Again, we simply don’t know yet.

For now, there’s nothing we can offer except this heads-up. As we learn more about the impact of these tariffs on our products, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

  • Do you find courage and perserverance inspiring? A lot of us at MCG have been fans of Eddie Izzard for years. He wasn’t just a pioneer for transgender people decades before society began to consider transgender rights. He also learned a whole new language so he could deliver his comedy routines in it—and then did it again two more times. And he recently ran 27 marathons in 27 days for a good cause. He talks about all that in a really fun extended interview with Trevor Noah.
  • Monte has been thinking a lot lately about big numbers. Well, he’s been thinking about thinking about big numbers, and has brought up some cool ways of conceptualizing them. (Is this part of some secret project Monte is working on? If so, the rest of us are as in the dark about it as you are.) For instance:
    • The difference between a million and a billion: 1 million seconds is nearly 12 days, whereas 1 billion seconds is almost 32 years.
    • How big is a googolplex (a 1 with a googol 0s after it)? Take the whole observable universe—every star, every galaxy, and all the millions of light years of empty space in between—and fill it with sand. Then write 10 billion zeros (really small zeros!) on each grain. That’s what it would take to write out a googolplex.
    • Say, how big is the observable universe, anyway? Grab your laptop, hop in your time machine, and head back to Roman times. Set the computer to assign a name to every galaxy (that’s galaxy, not star) in the observable universe, one per second, and leave the laptop in a safe place (with a topped-up battery). Hop back in the time machine and return to the now. Your laptop isn’t even close to being done.

  • We’re just gonna put this riiiiight here:

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 25-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.