The Cypher System Roundup

Monte Cook Games has a license to create original content for their in-house tabletop system dubbed the Cypher System Creator program. This option augments their offerings by allowing crowd-sourced adventures and supplements. Are you looking for a solid set of Cypher System adventures?

Then let’s decipher Radulf St. Germain’s Samurai of Kaiju Island, a 28-page adventure for the Cypher System. “A stand-alone Cypher adventure on a mystical island off the coast of feudal Japan.” The adventure includes locations, NPCs, monsters, pre-generated PCs, and maps. This is a sandbox setting masquerading as an adventure. The party can work through a variety of elements that could be grown into an organic campaign. On this dimension-traveling island, you’re tasked to rescue a general that was trapped on the island three-and-a-half decades ago. The island is populated with several unique villages (zombie village, kenku village, tigerman village, etc), run by NPCs detailed in the back of the book, and pre-gens incase this adventure is run at a convention.

Are there opportunities to expand on this story? Yes. [Major spoilers follow.] The general that you’re sent to rescue has been lost for thirty-five years, and the warlock he was fighting has never been seen off of the island. There’s no reason that the warlock could not be masquerading as the general in order to get off of his own madhouse island. It’s not in the adventure, but if you don’t mind the cliché, this could turn the one-shot into the focal point, or mcguffin (an island that can jump dimensions), of a campaign.

SoKI does not lack for art, however, it’s all concentrated on the cover and in the seven maps at the end. The art style of the maps, while stylized, help develop the feel of the setting even as the images ground the locations described throughout the adventure. The Kenku Tree Village map gives the basic design of the giant tree that the island’s kenku inhabit and a cross-section of the chief’s hut in the trees.

Let’s decipher a bonus adventure, Josh Heath’s Cat's Meow: A One Page Adventure for the Cypher System, a 4-page (don’t let the title throw you) product for the Cypher System. This is an interesting product because you’re getting two items in a quick document. A fun, quirky fantasy adventure, and a new player descriptor (race/heritage), the Chatoulim. The adventure, while rudimentary, offers a coherent story and a tour of the world of cats that might exist in your setting. It also presents a unique reward at the conclusion. If you have a game to GM tonight and no idea what to do, this adventure is a good option.

For a short production, there’s a lot of production value to be found. The cover is professional-grade art, the layout is outstanding, even the font choices are well considered. Add to that, Cat’s Meow is available for other systems like, D&D 5e and 3.5e, Pathfinder, 13th Age, and Savage Worlds, so if you think this idea is cool, you have a number of system options for it.

Where these two adventures, SoKI and Cat’s Meow, work best is that one can be placed within the other. Both being fantasy settings, both involving feline-humanoids, they can be blended together to help lay the foundation for your campaign.

contributed by Egg Embry

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