Cypher Chronicles, vol. 2023-3

Monte shows us an amazing Lego project. We crow a bit about cool forthcoming Cypher System books. And a journey into a mysterious numenera structure takes you face-to-face with … yourself. It’s all in this week’s Cypher Chronicles!

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Loads of New Cypher System Titles Unlocked!

Look at all these beautiful new products for the Cypher System! Looook. Aaaat. Themmmmmm!

The Adventures in the Cypher System crowdfunding campaign launched this week, and in just the first few days unlocked not just the initial offering, but two entirely new books and a deck. We’re only three days or so into this campaign!

How powerful is the Cypher System these days? This campaign is off to the strongest start of any previous MCG crowdfunding campaign, with the obvious exception of Old Gods of Appalachia. Stronger than Numenera 2. Than Ptolus. Than Invisible Sun. And that’s due not just to the enthusiastic support of thousands of existing Cypher System fans—it’s also due to the hundreds and hundreds of new players joining our ranks. It’s a great time to be into the Cypher System! Here’s a look at the latest title we unlocked:

Adventures in the Cypher System

Showcasing the Cypher System’s elegant handling of different genres and different types of adventures, this anthology includes a variety of adventures ready to use as one-shots or as a part of a campaign. Science fiction, fantasy, horror… it’s all covered here, including adventures that revisit a couple of fan-favorite settings of the past…

What Would Happen If You Met Yourself?

Someone exactly like you? Same personality, same ideals, same memories. Someone who literally thinks they are you—and are just as confused by you as you are by them.

That’s the crisis faced by the PCs in Shards of the Looking Glass, an adventure for Numenera released this week. Duplicates of the living were troubling enough when they began wandering into an isolated aldeia, but now the dead have appeared—and their motives seem much more sinister. When the PCs intervene, they soon begin to meet themselves, too.

This adventure, run in official 2022 Numenera events at Gen Con and Gamehole Con, and was specifically designed to create interesting outcomes that play out differently each time the adventure is run. It’s great as a stand-alone scenario for new or experienced Numenera players (six pre-generated characters are included), or is easily integrated into an ongoing campaign.

What’ll happen when your PCs meet themselves?

MCG Fights Off the Bad Guys

The MCG Shop was targeted by a malicious bot attack early this week. The bots weren’t trying to harm us—they were trying to buy things.

Unfortunately, they weren’t paying with their own money.

As far as we can tell, it was an effort to test stolen credit card numbers—thousands of them! (These cards were not stolen from the MCG Shop—they were stolen elsewhere and were simply being tested at our store.) The MCG Shop was probably targeted because we offer low-cost digital items (the bots were purchasing The Takings, a recently released PDF adventure—an excellent choice, by the way), and they assumed that, as a small business, we might not have the IT capabilities to combat—or perhaps even notice—the activity.

Fortunately, we do have those capabilities in the form of the formidable Jeremy Tolbert—a sixth-tier Perceptive Adept who Talks to Machines—and he shut it down pretty quickly. If you’ve noticed some performance differences at the MCG Shop lately, that’s due to our hard-working defenses—they’re keeping an eye on every transaction. Although the vast majority of attempted purchases were declined, a few hundred were successful (those bots act fast!). We identified those sales, refunded them to the affected cards, and notified the credit card companies.

Graphic header: Recommendations

It’s all fun and games until somebody loses a lung.

Apparently scientists have identified a fungal illness spreading across the United States. It affects the lungs, and it’s a thing now because the fungus has adapted to surviving at higher temperatures—including the temperature of the human body.

This is, of course, exactly the premise of The Last of Us

Momo the gibbon is inventive, a bit kinky, or a bit of both. Two years ago she got pregnant—despite living alone at a Japanese zoo. Turns out nature, uh, finds a way. Momo managed to get it on with a next-door neighbor, despite very difficult circumstances and no known courtship activity.

Monte recently shared a fun side-project with the rest of the MCG team, and it’s super cool:

So this was my 2022 hobby project. It’s sort of a tribute to Arcana of the Ancients, because it’s clearly a Numenera-style ancient structure/vehicle literally embedded into a cliffside, upon which more recent structures have been built. The folks showing up on the boat are dwarves, and the resistance they’re facing are orcs, so it’s set in a fantasy world, though—not the Ninth World.

The stone and wood structures are of different ages, the bottom of which being very old, but still not nearly as old as the ancient artifact.

The whole diorama is about four feet tall. The trickiest bit was actually the aspect that is hopefully invisible, which is that the ancient structure is angled in two axes (forward and to the right) compared to everything else. That’s very hard to do with Lego. The silly little things I’m probably most proud of though, are the wave pattern in the water and the scratch-built dwarven ship.

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