Tell Me About the Cypher System

How do you feel about the Cypher game system, by Monte Cook Games?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 9 10.3%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 14 16.1%
  • Meh, it's okay.

    Votes: 15 17.2%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 17 19.5%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 3 3.4%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 28 32.2%
  • What's Cypher?

    Votes: 1 1.1%

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I've only played Numenera and a couple of sessions of the Strange with it. I'm solidly in the "wonderful setting concepts, kind of shame about the game engine" school of thought. Which is something I've come to expect from Cook's work, really. Great creative ideas, often let down some by the mechanical stuff behind them.
I love the Strange setting. That's got Bruce Cordell involved in it and his stuff is often great.
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I noticed there had been a lot of new votes and discussion, so I updated the "grade" in the original post. Cypher has a GPA of 2.23 (a solid C grade).
99% of voters have heard of it, and 65% have played it.
Of those who played it, 17% love it, 25% like it, 25% are lukewarm, 32% dislike it, and 2% hate it.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Cyphers are a great mechanic and easy to port to other systems, I think. Magic items are more-or-less single-use abilities, and hoarding too many of them causes actual physical damage from the body being unable to handle carrying that much powerful magic around with them, which encourages players to use them regularly.

Oddly enough, this was one of the bits that struck me as most intrusive, as I can't imagine even wanting a mechanic similar to it in most games. I thought it sort-of made sense in Numenera, but stuck out like a sore thumb in The Strange.
 

demoss

Explorer
Oddly enough, this was one of the bits that struck me as most intrusive, as I can't imagine even wanting a mechanic similar to it in most games. I thought it sort-of made sense in Numenera, but stuck out like a sore thumb in The Strange.

I think the key is to consider "semi-unique single use thing, total number you can have is limited". Being OP or useless isn't a big deal since it's a single use thing, and you can't hoard them.

For non-magical games, it could be eg. specific favors and contacts. You'll probably need to handwave the limit instead of giving it a rationale, but eh. "The mayor will help someone get a job." "The gardener will loan you their tools." "The bartender will invent a named cocktail." "The president will pardon you." "The don will loan you an assassin."

For magical games the sky's the limit. Potions. Scrolls. Charms. Spirits.

Love 'em.
 


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