Cypher System
  • Cypher System


    It's always an event when Monte Cook Games launches a Kickstarter. As a company, they have mastered the art of crowdfunding, with several well-executed, extremely successful Kickstarters under their belt - the original Numenera in 2012 raised over half a million dollars, and in total the company has run 11 high-profile, slick campaigns. The latest promises to be more of the same - Numenera 2: Discovery & Destiny has launched!

    Monte Cook Games has just announced - live at Gen Con in their first panel of the convention - it's latest Kickstarter, set to launch next month. And it's a big one - Numenera 2, consisting of two core books called Discovery (which revises player character options) and Destiny (which has systems for base building). It will be fully back-compatible with the original (2013) Numenera. More info as I hear it!

    DragonWing Games have added two more old d20 settings to their portfolio with Violet Dawn and The Hunt: Rise of Evil both seeing new editions planned for a variety of systems. DragonWing have made a series of announcements in the past week, making deals to bring back a number of out of print campaign settings and updating them. Read on for more information...


    This week's theme is Cut It to the Core Week, inspired by the release of Third Eye's Pip System, as well as the fact that you can get all kinds of core rulebooks and other goodies for 25% off thanks to it being Christmas in July at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow. Having the core engine of your favorite game is not only a gateway into all the stuff you really like from your favorite publishers - it's a toolkit to begin crafting your own great ideas into a playable iteration for all to share.

    A rundown of the New Releases that should be hitting games stores this coming week! Board games, card games, RPGs, Wargames, Miniatures and collectible games... hopefully something for everyone! For more information about any of the products please contact your local games store.


    What's Predation? It's a campaign setting for Monte Cook Games' Cypher System, written by Shanna Germain. Set a few hundred years in the future, time travellers send scientists to the Cretaceous period ... who become stranded there! Technology and dinosaurs mix! The setting will be available for pre-order soon. In the meantime, writer Shanna Germain has posted a quick look at the book's introduction, which you can see below. I think most of us can agree that dinosaurs are, indeed, awesome.

    It started out as an accident, as many of my Theme Weeks often do. I just noticed I was focused on adventure-related Picks about halfway through, so there you go! Of particular excitement was the discovery that DriveThruRPG is now carrying back-issues of the Paizo-run of both Dragon and Dungeon magazines; I believe I can claim to have broke that particular piece of news, as a matter of fact. Add to that some Cypher system support, an Adventurer's League release, and a couple of Savage Worlds adventures full of fantasy action, and you've got scenario support in every direction. As my sign off always says, "The Adventure Continues!."

    This past Tuesday, I got a bit of time with legendary game designer Bruce Cordell to talk about the Kickstarter for The Strange Boxed Set, which funded in its first day. Bruce tells us all about The Strange for those not familiar with it and explains what's in the box for those who are already fans.


    As you're reading this, I am once again embroiled in the chaos of gaming and schmoozery that is the American gaming convention. In this particular case, it's the much-beloved Genghis Con here in the Denver, CO area. While there's every kind of gaming you can imaging, the Rocky Mountain Savages ensure this is assuredly Savage Worlds territory - and the presence of Shane Hensley, Ed Wetterman, Ross Watson, Carinn Seabolt, Bill "Teh Ebil Bunneh" Keyes, Darrell Hardy, Norm "No Relation" Hensley, and Yours Truly doesn't hurt that idea much. If you ever get a chance to get there, it's well worth it (and a lot less stressful than trying to get a room at Gen Con).

    A rundown of the New Releases that should be hitting games stores this coming week! Board games, card games, RPGs, Wargames, Miniatures and collectible games... hopefully something for everyone! For more information about any of the products please contact your local games store.


    It's another theme week, this time focusing on quality third-party sourcebooks for popular games and game systems. We've got a couple of 5e products, one for Pathfinder, a Cypher/Numenera Pick, and of course something for my personal favorite system, Savage Worlds. If you really want to spice up your games and move beyond the core releases, it's time to look at what third party licensees are doing with your favorite games!

    Monte Cook Games has just announced that on February 20th, it will be launching a Kickstarter for a deluxe The Strange boxed set. They did one for Numenera a couple of years ago, raising over a quarter-million US dollars. In addition, they mentioned that the Predation rules are with playtesters, Invisible Sun is about half designed, Unmasked is in playtesting, and more. You can watch the full video announcement below.

    Once again, I am overwhelmed by the sheer variety of games and settings available to us as a hobby, and the immense quality of those offerings. When I first started as a gamer (1977, folks), it was almost all D&D, and anything else out there was black-and-white, often photocopied or printed in simplest fashion. The standard for what we see now is far-and-away amazing, gorgeous, and engaging. Great time to be a gamer!

    It's a wide array of genres this week - far-flung future sci-fi; epic high fantasy; classic steampunk; and a place where all that and more comes together. I've said it many times, but I think it bears repeating - it's a glorious time to be an RPG fan! There's more amazing stuff to play with, from so many creative and talented people. The greatest downside? How do we get enough time to play it all!

    Fantasy Grounds has sent along its latest usage stat for 2016, showing which games folks are playing on its platform. As usual, 5E is out way ahead with a whopping 57% share, followed by Pathfinder. Then come Savage Worlds and D&D 3.5, followed by D&D 4E - essentially several versions of D&D, plus Savage Worlds hold the top five spots. Other notable contenders include FFG's Star Wars, Call of Cthulhu, Iron Kingdows, and Rolemaster Classic. In the below charts, "Core RPG" is Fantasy Ground's default core module which allows you to play a range of different games, rather than one of the specific packages.


    So, some of you might have heard about this little Kickstarter I am involved in? Heh, yeah, things are a bit insane for me right now, but fear not! The Picks of the Week march on, and I've got some good ones for you. Have some troubles figuring out a good backstory for your favorite character? There's a great product designed specifically to help you. Want to explore publishing that really cool stuff you've created for Cypher, D&D, Cortex, or Traveller? There's a new venue and set of tools just for that! All that, and the world of Earth AD, the old school Black Hack, and the infinity of the Suzerain Continuum as well!

    The Cypher System Creator Program (which I mentioned before) has now been officially announced by Monte Cook Games. Like the DMs Guild, it's a partnership with OBS (which runs DrivethrRPG and RPGNow) and is designed to allow third parties create Cypher System materials and sell them. It's not clear if it will look like DMs Guild, with it's own storefront, as the announcement mentions selling the material "at DriveThruRPG and its family of sites". The plan is to go live in Spring 2016 (which is any time from now until late June). It includes free publisher resources - logos, templates, art, etc.

    As the extended GM's Day Sale rolls on (until March 16th, friends), there's a ton of great titles out there, and pretty much all of them are marked down 30%. If the Million Dollar Kickstarter that is 7th Sea tells us anything, it's that gaming is nowhere near dead. In fact, it's more alive and well than it's ever been. Seriously, everywhere I go, if I am wearing the right shirt or carrying the right book, someone knows what it is and wants to talk about it. We are everywhere, and we are legion, and this hobby is the greatest it's ever been.

    Monte Cook Games' latest Kickstarter is still going strong and has three weeks left to run. A new stretch goal was recently announced, and it's a little different to the usual ones. "If we hit the 24 achievements milestone, we’ll work with our good friends at DriveThruRPG to launch the Cypher System Creator program. Through this program, players of the Cypher System will be able to publish their original Cypher System-related adventures, supplements, creatures, settings, and so on in PDF format through DriveThruRPG. You’ll be able to sell your publications, if you like, or make them free for others to download." It sound very much like a Cypher System version of WotC's Dungeon Master's Guild.

    Today marks an incredibly important and special day in our hobby. Early on, it might be said it was something of a whim, but over the years, the RPG culture truly embraced the idea of celebrating our Game Masters on an annual basis. After all, no GM, no game! In 2008, the holiday took on an even greater and more powerful meaning, as one of the Godfathers of Gaming, Gary Gygax, went on to other realms of adventure. Sites like DriveThruRPG are holding massive sales for those wanting to celebrate by buying tons of gaming stuff (and maybe, you know, giving something nice to their favorite GMs). Here's a bunch of great Picks, as well as a link to the DriveThruRPG sale page at the end.
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