The Cypher System Creator Roundup
  • The Cypher System Creator Roundup


    Welcome to the Cypher System Creator Roundup! Unlocked during Monte Cook Games’ Worlds of the Cypher System Kickstarter campaign, the Cypher System Creator program is an option to distribute and/or sell official Cypher System crowd-sourced content. Setup within DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, the model is similar to the Storyteller’s Vault (World of Darkness), and the Explorer’s Society (7th Sea) in that individual creators can share their Cypher System content as long as it conforms to the content guidelines for the program, which can be found here.


    To kick this column off, let’s decipher Christopher Robin Negelein of Ganza Gaming’s Mortal Fantasy, a 46-page players handbook-style collection of new types (classes), player races, alternate rules, and an adventure.

    Monte Cook’s Cypher System is broad enough to build a variety of characters with the core rules default types (classes) – warrior, adept (magic-user), explorer (less a fantasy RPG class and more for horror/modern RPGs), and speaker (bard) – designed to allow you to customize your perfect character. For the system’s fantasy setting, Gods of the Fall, there are unique types to work with, but they aren’t quite the familiar D&D tropes. Mortal Fantasy steps in to offer common versions of D&D and Pathfinder classes like the barbarian, druid, elf (listed as a type/class here in the tradition of Basic D&D), and others. Using these, you should have a simpler time adapting your existing setting to the Cypher System or developing a more familiar world.


    Want to play as a unique race like a goblin, gnome, not-tiefling, or another kind of monster? This book offers brief descriptions, stat bonuses, additional powers, and hooks for how to incorporate these races into your adventures. Again, a great time-saver if you want to convert an existing D&D-esque setting to the Cypher System.

    It’s clear that a lot of the book is meant to create the feel of D&D, including a brief section on how to work your Gygaxian (or, perhaps, Tolkien) elves and dwarves into Cook’s Gods of the Fall. Due to the nature of Gods of the Fall – the gods are largely dead – clerics can feel out of place in the existing setting. Mortal Fantasy offers some options on how to easily blend that class into the world.

    However, not all of this product is designed for those looking for a D&D/Pathfinder experience within the Cypher System. There are thoughts on how to address 0-tier (0-level) characters, and how to grant greater powers at higher tiers. The book includes an adventure, the Ruins of Memri, for first tier characters. The adventure has hooks, a new creature (the Nephilim), a detailed two-page map, and options to do more than fight making it an excellent introduction to this system.

    The art and layout look right for the Cypher System. Monte Cook Games offers a variety of free art packs and design templates to support this program and it pays off here. The art in this product is exceptional with some of it coming from the Cypher System Creator Resource - Art Set 1 Gods of the Fall and other free resources “for products published under the Cypher System Creator program.”


    The only challenge this book has is its focus on making the Cypher System feel like D&D or Pathfinder, which may not be desirable for those that gravitate toward the Cypher System to get away from D&D. However, if you’re looking for a way to adapt your existing D&D campaign, or to make a new, familiar option, Mortal Fantasy is a must have book.

    conributed by Egg Embry
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Connorsrpg's Avatar
      Connorsrpg -
      This looks interesting.
      I like the idea of some standard fantasy using the Cypher system. (It would be a nice comparison).

      I also love the idea of publishing material (I just wish I had the 'production' skills for these things).
    1. Connorsrpg's Avatar
      Connorsrpg -
      What I don't like is race as Descriptor. We created some hybrid rules where you can combine them

      It is a shame you can't have a Doomed dwarf, a Strong dwarf or a Wise dwarf... just "dwarf".
    1. Aldarc's Avatar
      Aldarc -
      Quote Originally Posted by Connorsrpg View Post
      What I don't like is race as Descriptor. We created some hybrid rules where you can combine them

      It is a shame you can't have a Doomed dwarf, a Strong dwarf or a Wise dwarf... just "dwarf".
      I kinda like this though, since it leaves the player to define their sense of what constitutes "dwarf." Are they Tough, Resilient, Hardy, etc.? It's up to the player. Then one could easily take a cue from the CSR and turn race into a Flavor that allows the player to pick up racial-themed abilities as desired.
    1. curium247's Avatar
      curium247 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
      I kinda like this though, since it leaves the player to define their sense of what constitutes "dwarf." Are they Tough, Resilient, Hardy, etc.? It's up to the player. Then one could easily take a cue from the CSR and turn race into a Flavor that allows the player to pick up racial-themed abilities as desired.
      I wrote a supplement that does that, making races into flavors called Fantasy Ancestries as part of the Cypher System Creator. I really like that flavors let you pick and choose what part of the stereotype you want to bring into your character, so that not all elves are the same, or all dwarves.
    1. Connorsrpg's Avatar
      Connorsrpg -
      I love the idea of FLavours too. I think race should get something. Especially if trying to recreate 'classic' fantasy tropes. Then again, making descriptor is like basic D&D (if that is how you like it). I didn't and prefer race to be a little more.

      I saw races as flavours in CypherCaster Mag I believe. Trialled that with our Cypher System Star Wars game, but we felt there is a lot of racial stuff you should start with (and for droids pretty essential). Flavours still take away from your Type.

      For Star Wars species we simply came up with some rules for combining a species Descriptor with a normal Descriptor. You don't have to. If species is enough for some players = fine. For those that wanted to add a descriptor like other players, we covered that base too
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