Pre-order The CYPHER SYSTEM Core Rulebook
  • Pre-order The CYPHER SYSTEM Core Rulebook


    The Cypher System is the rules-lite system which powers Monte Cook Games' Numenera and The Strange. The core rulebook is designed to present the game engine separately as a generic system able to handle sci-fi, fantasy, supers, and more. It's pitched as a toolkit to build the game you want, along with tons of additional descriptors, foci, types, creatures, cyphers, and artifacts for existing Numenera or The Strange players. You can pre-order the 416-page hardcover which releases in August for $59.99. (thanks to Dahak for the scoop)

    Preorder it here.

    A Cypher System campaign of Victorian horror? High fantasy? Espionage? Galaxy-spanning space opera? With the Cypher System Rulebook, running any of those is as easy as running or playing The Strange or Numenera . Take the Cypher System to the limits of your imagination with this hefty rulebook that extends the system to fantasy, science-fiction, horror, modern-day, and superhero settings—or any setting you can imagine!

    The Cypher System Rulebook adapts the Cypher System—the critically acclaimed, award-winning rules set that drives Numenera and The Strange—to an unlimited range of campaigns and genres, giving you the complete rules set (along with dozens of optional and genre-specific rules) and hundreds of character options, creatures, cyphers, and other resources. It’s everything you need to play virtually any game using the Cypher System rules.

    If you’re already a fan of Numenera and/or The Strange, you’ll find new descriptors, foci, types, creatures, cyphers, and artifacts you can use in your campaign the minute you crack open the book. Many of the optional genre rules will benefit your campaign as well. There are pages and pages of content you can make use of in your existing game, even if you never take the Cypher System into another genre!

    The Cypher System Rulebook gives you 416 pages of character options, equipment, game rules, special coverage of key genres, creatures, NPCs, and cyphers.

    • Complete game rules
    • Genre-specific rules and advice for fantasy games, modern games, science-fiction games, horror, and superheroes
    • Systems for issues such as vehicle combat, crafting, and insight, among others
    • Four new character types, each customizable to the needs of your setting
    • Over 50 descriptors and 70 foci
    • Loads of equipment and hundreds of cyphers and artifacts
    • Nearly 70 creatures and NPCs
    • Great GM advice on adapting the Cypher System to a variety of settings, and on running a fun, engaging, fast-paced, easy-to-GM game sessions

    Start a new campaign set in a fantasy land of elves and fae creatures, a science fiction setting spanning the galaxy, or a modern slasher horror game—or add scads of new options to your Numenera or The Strange campaign. The Cypher System Rulebook gives you everything you need to run the game you want to play using the critically acclaimed, award-winning, and just plain fun to play Cypher System!


    Comments 29 Comments
    1. Kramodlog's Avatar
      Kramodlog -
      Um. How do Monte's rules hold up after using them?
    1. Baumi -
      What is the advantage of Pre-Ordering it?
    1. morgurth's Avatar
      morgurth -
      You get the pdf version included if you preorder it.
    1. Evenglare's Avatar
      Evenglare -
      Easily my most look forward to thing this year. Love the Strange and Numenera.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      The Cypher still hasn't solved a riddle for me. Only the players roll the dice. When a PC summons a monster to have a clap contest with another opponent, and thus two NPCs are fighting, who rolls the dice in the forest?

      Or to be a bit more straightforward and not so silly, NPCs/antagonist are different stat constructs (basically a collection of skill difficulties) compared to PC (a set of point pools that can affect dice rolls and skill difficulties), so it's a annoying corner case.

      YMMV, but I find the official answers to be a bit non-mechanical for my taste (Do what fits the story, no contest -once side automatically wins, etc) as compared to some suggested guidelines on how to make these NPCs into pseudo-PCs or a bonus point pool or flat bonus for summoning PC, etc.

      I'm big into story and rules-lite stuff, but for some reason this particular conundrum bugs me. It's not rational, but until I get mechanical-based suggestion from MCG, I feel like they are avoiding the question.
    1. Evenglare's Avatar
      Evenglare -
      Either you don't have numenera or you didn't read carefully enough. Here's an excerpt from the book under beast master (which covers your summon monster stuff as well). It took me about 10 seconds to find.

      ""You and the GM must work out the details of your creature, and you’ll probably make rolls for it in combat or when it takes actions. The beast companion acts on your turn. As a level 2 creature, it has a target number of 6 and a health of 6, and it inflicts 2 points of damage. ""

      Again, the system doesn't change at all. The player rolls for the monster, and if it succeeds then it deals X amount of damage. If I'm attacking your monster as the GM, then you must make a defense roll of some kind. Literally nothing changes except you are controlling a monster instead of your character in this case.
    1. Dark Kain's Avatar
      Dark Kain -
      Yeah: if you need the battle between NPCs to be random you just have them rolling against their respective target numbers (lower the level of both a couple of points if they are high leveled to reduce the chance of both missing every round).
      Add in a couple of their special intrusions to emulate the use of skills and you are done.

      That said I like more the narrative approach.
    1. Dragonmarked DM -
      Another option that works well for player controlled NPCs is that they act as advantages for your PC in combat and drop the difficulty of your attacks or defense due to tactical help instead of having them attack individually. The advantage could be 1 or 2 levels depending on number of controlled NPCs or their level (and 2 is the max advantages a character can gain, no matter the source). They can also be directed to help other PC's in your group and give them advantage in combat or perhaps even other task if it makes since.
    1. Grimjack99's Avatar
      Grimjack99 -
      Mispost
    1. Grimjack99's Avatar
      Grimjack99 -
      My friends that like role-playing loved it. My friend that like roll-playing hated it. In our groups it seems to have appealed least to the Warhammer/Shadowrun gamers who like complex rule sets, and tons of dice rolling each turn. Not surprising since there mostly one dice to roll in the Cyper System.

      I think it's a great genetic system, much needed. The gamplay has been more dynamic than GURPS, and seems very expandable. I'm thinking of using the rules set in a new Torg campaign.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dark Kain View Post
      Yeah: if you need the battle between NPCs to be random you just have them rolling against their respective target numbers (lower the level of both a couple of points if they are high leveled to reduce the chance of both missing every round).
      Add in a couple of their special intrusions to emulate the use of skills and you are done.

      That said I like more the narrative approach.
      This idea seems the most elegant.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      Quote Originally Posted by Evenglare View Post
      Either you don't have numenera or you didn't read carefully enough. Here's an excerpt from the book under beast master (which covers your summon monster stuff as well). It took me about 10 seconds to find.

      ""You and the GM must work out the details of your creature, and you’ll probably make rolls for it in combat or when it takes actions. The beast companion acts on your turn. As a level 2 creature, it has a target number of 6 and a health of 6, and it inflicts 2 points of damage. ""

      Again, the system doesn't change at all. The player rolls for the monster, and if it succeeds then it deals X amount of damage. If I'm attacking your monster as the GM, then you must make a defense roll of some kind. Literally nothing changes except you are controlling a monster instead of your character in this case.
      So without its own dice pools, Edges, or Effort, a player sacrifices any way to manipulate the beast's die roll for two points of damage. How would you figure out the defense roll?
    1. Dark Kain's Avatar
      Dark Kain -
      Quote Originally Posted by Von Ether View Post
      So without its own dice pools, Edges, or Effort, a player sacrifices any way to manipulate the beast's die roll for two points of damage. How would you figure out the defense roll?
      The defense roll is a straightfoward roll vs the attacker target number, so without any asset any beast even if high leveled will fail a lot against resourceful enemies of level 6+
      For defense is not too problematic (npcs, even pets, are not there to steal the spotlight from the characters, going down after ~2 attacks of a major villain is reasonable) but for attacking can be underwelming and a waste of rolls, this is the reason of the "The Strange" version of the pet rules that I like better (pets do not attack, but are an asset to relevant attack rolls of their master)
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dark Kain View Post
      The defense roll is a straightfoward roll vs the attacker target number, so without any asset any beast even if high leveled will fail a lot against resourceful enemies of level 6+
      For defense is not too problematic (npcs, even pets, are not there to steal the spotlight from the characters, going down after ~2 attacks of a major villain is reasonable) but for attacking can be underwelming and a waste of rolls, this is the reason of the "The Strange" version of the pet rules that I like better (pets do not attack, but are an asset to relevant attack rolls of their master)
      I keep missing that, what page is it in the core Strange book.

      Quote Originally Posted by Evenglare View Post
      Either you don't have numenera or you didn't read carefully enough. Here's an excerpt from the book under beast master (which covers your summon monster stuff as well). It took me about 10 seconds to find.
      10 Seconds to find how to summon a monster, but whole different RPG to get an RAW rules answer on how to implement it. That was sorta my point. Both games, as a milieu greatly intrigue me. But that niggling bit annoyed me beyond reason.
    1. Dark Kain's Avatar
      Dark Kain -
      Quote Originally Posted by Von Ether View Post
      I keep missing that, what page is it in the core Strange book.
      It is stated and repeated in the basic summoning skill of every single "The Strange" summoner focus.
      For example in the skill "friend in yourself" of the "spawn" focus (page 80 of the "The Strange" corebook)

      I totally agree that is the most confusing rule of the Numenera corebook and should be updated in some sort of official free supplement. (they pointed to the rule change in the "when world collides" supplement, but that one has a price attached)
    1. Yaarel -
      I wish D&D 5e was setting neutral.

      So far the Cypher rules system looks good. If it proves robust, I will probably switch over to Cypher for all of my games.
    1. Evenglare's Avatar
      Evenglare -
      Quote Originally Posted by Von Ether View Post
      So without its own dice pools, Edges, or Effort, a player sacrifices any way to manipulate the beast's die roll for two points of damage. How would you figure out the defense roll?
      It sounds like you have the mindset of D&D type of games where pets have largely the same complexity and builds of player characters. This is no so in Numenera. You are right, these pets aren't built like PCs and therefore don't have those pools. The defense roll is just like any other defense roll for a monster. Example.

      You have a dog as a pet. Let's say he's level 5.
      I (as the GM) have a cat which is level 3.

      If and when you decide to attack my cat, you need to roll a 9 (3*3) or better. If you succeed your dog does 5 Damage to my cat (assuming that it's an unmodified basic attack, remember many creatures may specific attacks or defense as a higher level). Now let's say that my cat is going to attack your dog. In this case you (again) need to roll 9. If you succeed then my cat does no damage to you. If you fail my cat does 3 damage to your dog (again assuming my cat doesn't have it's attack modified).

      I guess I don't understand your qualm with this. It's literally the exact same as anything else in the game. Yes you don't have pools for those animals, but that is by design for simplicity as well as being "lesser thematically and mechanically" than the PC characters.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      Intriguing, but sounds like it might not be an ideal choice for GMs who like to roll dice too.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      Quote Originally Posted by Evenglare View Post
      It sounds like you have the mindset of D&D type of games where pets have largely the same complexity and builds of player characters. This is no so in Numenera. You are right, these pets aren't built like PCs and therefore don't have those pools. The defense roll is just like any other defense roll for a monster. Example.

      You have a dog as a pet. Let's say he's level 5.
      I (as the GM) have a cat which is level 3.

      If and when you decide to attack my cat, you need to roll a 9 (3*3) or better. If you succeed your dog does 5 Damage to my cat (assuming that it's an unmodified basic attack, remember many creatures may specific attacks or defense as a higher level). Now let's say that my cat is going to attack your dog. In this case you (again) need to roll 9. If you succeed then my cat does no damage to you. If you fail my cat does 3 damage to your dog (again assuming my cat doesn't have it's attack modified).

      I guess I don't understand your qualm with this. It's literally the exact same as anything else in the game. Yes you don't have pools for those animals, but that is by design for simplicity as well as being "lesser thematically and mechanically" than the PC characters.
      That's an oversimplification of most of DnD's/retroclones design over the years. Some editions/clones have monsters with different stat blocks than PCs. You couldn't make a PC monster per second , but they did operate on the similar enough rules that you readily figure NPC ally vs enemy combat.

      Even though you're late to the party, your example I find intriguing because I'd just cutout the second roll. One roll, the bad guys damage on the fail, the good guys damage on a success.
    1. Evenglare's Avatar
      Evenglare -
      I'll conceed that. I completely apologize. The pet stats being like PC stats HAVE only been for the past 15 or so years. My mistake.
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