Cypher Chronicles, vol. 4-2020

Darcy showcases her RPG shelfie, waxing nostalgic about her Dungeons & Dragons roots. We squee about great 5e and Cypher System content to come, and recommend videos and podcasts to trip your cyphers. All in this week’s Cypher Chronicles!

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When I was a protogamer, I pored over the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition Player’s Handbook, desperately trying to infer the rules of how to run this tantalizing game. (I hadn’t yet figured out that you needed the Dungeon Master’s Guide.) Years of gaming joy brought me to Vampire the Masquerade, Call of Cthulhu, and later on a torrent of delightful indie games. These days, a portion of my non-MCG gaming shelf looks something like this:

Can you spot Ptolus?

I love RPGs far and wide, but like many people I tend to lean upon my system of choice, the Cypher System. For many of my friends, D&D 5e content is their comfort zone, their starting point, or their sole preference. I’m so excited to be able to talk to those friends about the new 5e content coming from MCG!

Arcana of the Ancients is on preorder now (along with a free preview!), which takes the science-fantasy weirdness of Numenera and brings it to a 5e ruleset. There is a lot of support in here for taking a more standard fantasy campaign and introducing the discovery of an ancient, technologically-advanced past, which is perfect for gamers who are already deeply invested in their current campaigns. I’m looking forward to Where the Machines Wait, an adventure path funded by the Arcana of the Ancients Kickstarter that will be playable both in 5e and Numenera/Cypher System games!

As another gift to my protogamer childhood, Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire is coming to 5e and the Cypher System! This campaign setting originally came out for 3rd edition D&D, and was like a mythical beast to my gaming group. From rumors on the internet, we drooled over details of the setting (a city designed around the presence of high-level magic users!) to the outrageous production quality (600+ pages, handouts, ribbons, embossed cover). A decade later, I was able to save up and grab a highly-coveted copy off of eBay—a prized possession!

Next month, we’ll be launching a Kickstarter to bring this incredible book and setting to more people. We’ll be converting it to both 5e and Cypher System, and you can expect the gorgeous quality of the original printing to be matched—we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sign up to be notified when the Ptolus Kickstarter launches!

  • The Massive Damage Adventures podcast is currently running a campaign called Rise of the Ancients, set in Exandria (the setting of Critical Role) and using preview materials of Arcana of the Ancients! Get a taste of some of the good content to come and check out their show. Start with the episode “ROTA S1E01 – Winter’s Crest in Kymal (Part 1/3).”
  • Looking for more New Gamemaster Month content or advice? The Cypher Unlimited Discord organizers have a YouTube channel, and they’ve been releasing videos with advice for each week of the program! Check out their videos for week 1, week 2, and week 3.

Darcy Ross
Darcy Ross

Darcy L. Ross, Community Relations Coordinator for Monte Cook Games, is a storyteller, scientist, and community organizer. Across media, she aims to highlight people doing good things in the gaming community and to bring new people into gaming. She co-hosts the podcast Cypher Speak, has blogged for the award-winning Gnome Stew, and has worked to support marginalized voices in gaming with ConTessa. Darcy lives in a small but powerful aldeia of tabletop creatives in Hyde Park, Chicago.