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Which Cypher System Setting Is Right for Me?

Use this tool to find Cypher System settings or sourcebooks perfect for your game.

Choose the option that fits best.

Choose the option that fits best.

We recommend Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire!

Explore a sprawling fantasy city, presented in amazing detail and steeped in lore and atmosphere. Delve into the extensive dungeons beneath its streets. And maybe, when you’re ready, ascend the Spire that looms overhead, the heart of an ancient and restless evil.

In Ptolus, the supernatural is expected and treachery lies around every corner—or is it that the supernatural lies around every corner and treachery is expected? Either way, the city of Ptolus abounds with danger, magic, intrigue, and above all, adventure.

Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire is an astounding 672 pages. And that’s not all: It includes a packet with a poster map and dozens of handouts, plus another 300 pages of downloadable content—it’s all included with the book. The layout is uniquely accessible and easy on the GM, with multiple indices, heavy cross-referencing, and quick-access tables and summaries. And premium features include multiple satin bookmarks, top-notch art, and abundant cartography.

We recommend Godforsaken!

Dragons. Magic wands. Singing swords and flying carpets. And above all—heroes!

What fantasy worlds inspire you? The classic high fantasy of Tolkien, Zelazny, or Jordan? Modern fantasy like the Harry Potter series, The Dresden Files, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Paranormal romance? The whimsy of settings like Discworld or The Dark Crystal? Wuxia, swords and sorcery, or gritty, low-magic settings?

Fantasy—tales of heroes, monsters, and magic—is arguably the oldest genre of human fiction. It’s also the genre that first inspired us to step into imaginary worlds through roleplaying games, and it remains the most popular type of RPG setting. Godforsaken takes the Cypher System on a deep dive into the infinite variety of fantasy realms, with rules, character options, gear, and a complete, ready-to-use setting that makes the most of the fantasy genre.

Whatever fantasy setting you envision, the Cypher System can take you there. 

We recommend Gods of the Fall!

The Gods are Dead—Now It’s Your Turn

There was a time when gods walked the world. Their magic pervaded the earth and the sky. From their mystical realm of Elanehtar, they brought plenty and pestilence. They judged the living and the dead. Their rule was absolute.

Then Elanehtar fell to earth like a vengeful star, sparking cataclysm and plunging the world into a dark age. The gods are gone, but their works remain—scattered and broken. The world struggles under the yoke of murder, slavery, and corruption. Dark things have squirmed free of their divine prisons, and even the afterlife has become a realm of nightmares.

But a power has awoken against the darkness. A divine spark struck in the hearts of new gods-in-the-making. You have this spark—the seed of godhood within you. Can you restore what was broken before the world vanishes forever into darkness? Can you claim a place for yourself in the heavens?

We recommend We Are All Mad Here!

“You must be mad,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Jack climbing the beanstalk. The little mermaid finding her voice. Alice struggling with the madness of a place unruled by the laws of reality. The queen. The child. The woodsman. The knight. When you think about fairy tales, who do you become? Where does your imagination take you?

Fairy tales tap into myth and archetype, exploring the fundamental nature of the mind and of human experience. They’re filled with magic that’s big, bold, unexpected, and wondrous—and characters who, despite humble roots or broken foundations, achieve feats just as grand.

Run one-shots based on traditional stories or those of your own devising. Or build entire campaigns that take the fairy tale concept in whole new directions. 

We recommend Path of the Planebreaker!

Unlock the mysteries of the planes!

A cursed moon hurtles through the multiverse, crashing from one plane to the next, never at rest, forever fleeing a catastrophe that predates existence itself. Behold the Planebreaker!

The Planebreaker visits all planes, all demiworlds, and all dimensions. Some are known to sages and planar travelers. But in a multiverse stretching across epochs, the number of previously uncatalogued planes is vast. The Planebreaker races through all of them, in time, and the Path that trails behind it creates a route that links them all.

Path of the Planebreaker introduces this enigmatic interplanar object that unlocks access to the planes for characters of all levels. 

We recommend Predation!

A little sci-fi. A little post-apocalypse. A whole lot of dinosaurs.

Welcome to the Cretaceous. Our ancestors won’t climb down from the trees for another 66 million years, but here we are now. Time travel seemed like a good idea. Exploring the ancient world. Building. Creating an entire society here in the jungles of our primordial Earth. Until those SATI guys messed it all up.

We’ve got gear. We’ve got guns. We’ve even bioengineered a few dinos to our liking. And that’s good, because we’ll need it all to survive. History says there’s an asteroid headed our way, and there’s no one left alive who knows how to get back to the future.

We recommend the Tidal Blades Roleplaying Game!

Welcome to Naviri, a peaceful paradise full of promise—and in dire need of heroes

A gorgeous archipelago in which crocs, turtles, humans, and fish-folk trade, travel, and study. A world of cooperation, science, delight, and celebration.

But like any society, Naviri has its share of dark corners, dark dealings, and dark characters. And far out at sea, the Fold, which for years has kept the great sea monsters at bay, is failing. A new generation of heroes is needed to protect Naviri from these growing threats—and whatever else is waiting to break out of the Fold.

The Tidal Blades Roleplaying Game is a standalone roleplaying game powered by the Cypher System. It contains the complete rules.

We recommend The Stars Are Fire!

Galaxy-spanning space opera. Near-future hard sci-fi. And everything in between.

A starship of unknown provenance, adrift and powerless, falls into a nearby orbit. An alien disease causes people to slowly lose interest in life—then take root like a plant. An envoy from another dimension brings warning of a pending catastrophe—but what if its solutions are the real threat?

It’s your campaign. Where will you take it?

The Cypher System is the fast, flexible, elegant game engine that powers any campaign you can imagine. The Stars Are Fire adds creatures, rules, character options, loads and loads of gear, and other tools optimized for your science-fiction campaign. Plus a complete, ready-to-use hard sci-fi setting!

We recommend the Old Gods of Appalachia Roleplaying Game!

In the mountains of central Appalachia, blood runs as deep as these hollers and just as dark. Since before our kind wandered into these hills, hearts of unknowable hunger and madness have slumbered beneath them. These are the oldest mountains in the world. How dare we think we can break the skin of a god and dig out its heart without also calling blood and darkness?

Long before anything human roamed the Earth, the Appalachians towered tall and menacing. The mountains’ might was made a prison and tomb for beings of immeasurable malice and incomprehensible madness. A place to hold them; to keep them, perhaps forever, from dimming the light above.

But time shows no mercy, not even to mountains, and now they lay bare and worn like an old man’s spine. The walls of the prison grow thin, and those that have slumbered soundlessly for millennia begin to stir.

And they call to those who would hear them.

The Old Gods of Appalachia Roleplaying Game is a standalone roleplaying game powered by the Cypher System. It contains the complete rules.

We recommend Stay Alive!

A good scare makes for a great game.

It’s the abandoned corridor, the flickering light never quite reaching the deeper shadows. It’s that cry in the distance—a child’s wail, or some weird animal bleating? It’s the gentle breath on the neck, or that slithering motion just past the edge of the light. It’s horror, and whether it’s a terrifying one-shot adventure, an entire campaign fighting against the darkness, or an edge of tension added to a more conventional adventure, it makes for great roleplaying experiences.

Build an entire campaign battling Lovecraftian cults or surviving the zombie apocalypse. Run one-shots that pit the players against masked slashers, crawling xenomorphs, or sinister spirits. Or just get the most fun out of your lich queen and her minions at the lowest depths of your dungeon. No matter how you use horror at your table, this book gives you all the tools you need to create hair-raising game sessions and nail-biting campaigns.

We recommend The Origin or Unmasked!

Master perilous new powers in a world that is dangerously askew!

In 2017, Oumuamua made headlines as the first interstellar object ever detected passing through our solar system. Everyone remembers that. A web search will tell you all about it.

So why doesn’t anyone remember Nibiru? How it curved out of the night, its trajectory changing so rapidly that scientists could barely track it. How its arc altered, day by day, inexorably toward our own. How the skies blazed when it struck the Earth. How the seas boiled, and the cities burned.

Except the cities still stand, the sky is unburnt, and only an unlucky few of us have nightmares about Nibiru. Maybe we’re losing our minds. Sharing a delusion. And that newfound ability—to turn invisible, to read thoughts, to levitate—is just another shared delusion.

So why are we being hunted down?

Superpowers and Horror in a Dark Eighties

Top Gun is in theaters. “Papa Don’t Preach” is on the radio. Halley’s Comet is in the sky, and Iran-Contra is in the news. The Soviets are in Afghanistan, and the Doomsday Clock is at 3 minutes until midnight. But there’s something else going on—something even bigger. At school, at the mall, down by the 7-Eleven, you’ve started noticing things. Is that troll doll really glowing? Is that cassette tape calling to you? Why doesn’t anyone else seem to notice?

And when you follow that strange compulsion to create a mask from these items, you become . . . someone else. Someone with capabilities the world has never seen and goals that may not be your own. The mask gives you unimaginable power, but can you resist its agenda? And there are others starting to show up, too, who may have embraced their masks’ dark sides. Maybe that Doomsday Clock matters after all . . .

We recommend Claim the Sky!

When things are at their worst, heroes rise!

When menace looms, the best among us don’t flee danger—they face it. With might and powers beyond that of mere mortals, they stand before the forces of injustice with confidence. They leap into dark and daunting dangers. They slip the bonds of gravity and soar. They claim the sky itself!

In a world that could use a few heroes now more than ever, you can join their ranks. Claim the Sky takes the Cypher System into the realm of superheroes, with rules, character options, genre advice, and a complete, ready-to-use setting that makes the most of the superhero genre.

Whether creating your own heroes or playing your favorites from comics or movies, Claim the Sky makes you the hero.

We recommend First Responders!

Not all monsters are make-believe…

A fire roars through an apartment building. Rescuers struggle through surging flames to reach stranded families—but meanwhile, sparks drift over the nearby gas station.

A train derailment has toppled a truckload of nuclear waste, exposing trapped passengers to the dangerous radiation. But reaching them risks shifting the wreckage—and spilling even more.

A grumbling volcano threatens efforts to rescue lost hikers. When the lava begins to flow, whole towns are suddenly at risk!

Floods. Pandemics. Earthquakes and other crises that put lives and communities at risk. These are monsters of a different sort—and they call for a different kind of hero. First Responders puts a new spin on adventure gaming, introducing systems for mega-challenges that let you take on disasters of all sorts.

We recommend The Strange!

Recursions. They’re like little pocket dimensions with their own laws of reality. Some of them seem just like our Earth—you might not even realize you aren’t in our world, at first. But others are different—often very different. Magic. Weird tech. Ancient gods. Recursions spawn from the myths, legends, and fiction of humanity, so you might discover any mythical realm or place of legend. Or the setting of virtually any story, film, or novel that’s ever existed.

They aren’t entire parallel universes—they’re rarely larger than a continent and sometimes not much bigger than a city block. Often the denizens are little more than automatons going through the motions of their fictional world.

But sometimes, in the larger or more mature recursions, some of them have the spark: Self awareness. Sentience. The ability to form their own motivations and agendas.

And some of those beings understand that they aren’t alone in the Strange. Some of them know about Earth, and the limitless universe beyond it. And some of them are very, very dangerous.

The Strange is a standalone roleplaying game powered by the Cypher System. It contains the complete rules.

We recommend Rust and Redemption!

Civilization is in ruins. Now what?

Venture into the hardscrabble world of a post-apocalyptic future. Whether the end came through war, climate crisis, pandemic, or even alien or supernatural invasion, this book—like our other genre books before it—delves both broadly and deeply into the genre.

Rust and Redemption offers players new options to create characters up to the challenges of a world gone to ruin: new descriptors, foci, abilities, cyphers, artifacts, gear, and more. For the GM, there’s campaign-building advice discussing the cause and historical distance of the apocalypse, themes of despair and hope, and a ready-to-use setting—plus, of course, creatures, advice, adventures, and loads more!

Whether you’re inspired by tales that are fairly realistic and perhaps a bit hopeful, like Station Eleven; a bit grittier like The Last of Us; farther into a grim future with white-knuckle action like Mad Max: Fury Road; or even a bit offbeat like Logan’s Run or Love and Monsters, Rust and Redemption will be your go-to resource for Cypher System gaming amid the ruins of our world.

We recommend It’s Only Magic!

You love the mystery and wonder of magic…

…but another wizard in a pointy hat just makes you roll your eyes. Drinking ale in a medieval tavern? Done that, to death. But what if… what if you had all the wild possibilities of a magical world, but that world was the world outside your window?

Welcome to the world of It’s Only Magic. This book covers every aspect of GMing and playing the Cypher System in a world of spells, glamours, ghosts, and demons—but that world is the world you know so well, because you live there. Modern magic, interacting with today’s society, technology, and culture, is there for the taking. But it’s your campaign, so it’s exactly what you want it to be: a cozy witchcore setting, or a world of dark, supernatural forces threatening existence itself. Or maybe just a bit of both. A setting where magic is right out there in the open, or where it’s a secret known only to a select few.

It’s Only Magic gives you rules and options for mysticism and spells, new foci based on blending magic with the modern world, magical creatures and NPCs—it’s all here for you, alongside a complete setting ready to use if you don’t want to create your own. Love Gaiman’s Sandman, the spellcasters from The Magicians or Charmed, or maybe just want to have a little more Wanda Maximov and Dr. Strange in your game? This is your magical guidestone.

Whatever your game, you should also check out The Darkest House.

The Darkest House is an mega-adventure that takes you into a unique realm of horror. It’s made for the game you’re playing right now, to be integrated into your campaign regardless of the setting or game system. And it’s uniquely optimized for a rich, powerful experience that’s immersive for the players and easy on the GM—whether you play face-to-face or online.

The Darkest House will chill and frighten your players like no other RPG experience. But along the way their characters will have experiences that make them stronger, deeper, richer, and more powerfully bonded as a party.

Whether you game face-to-face or online, the unique format of The Darkest House makes the GM’s job easy while providing an amazingly immersive experience for the players.

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