Right now is one of the biggest moments for the 1980s, and I’m very much including the actual 80s. Between Stranger Things, the Ghostbusters remake, 80s-inspired bands, the recent Terminator sequel, the upcoming Top Gun sequel, and (of course) the sequel Star Wars trilogy, there’s plenty to make you take a look back at the 1980s (even if you never lived through them). You can add to that list the most recent Cypher System sourcebook Unmasked.
Jade Colossus: Ruins of the Prior Worlds is the latest supplement for Numenera published by Monte Cook Games. It’s a different sort of game supplement, at least in part. The titular location, the Jade Colossus, is one big dungeon delve which is a very important addition to the game line as Monte Cook Games itself has published many of those for Numenera. The other part of the book, though, is what I’m more interested in: an engine for generating ruins from previous worlds. Come for a quick run-down of what each part is like.
We’ve discussed two alien species so far for Dark Horizon: the Jurganna and the dupalans. Both of these are strange and unfamiliar creatures, though their motivations and cultures might have familiar aspects. Now let’s flip things and look at humans, a species we all know pretty well but which sees the galaxy in a very strange way…
Hello, readers. Just a quick update today to link you into some bigger bodies of my work! I recently decided to take advantage of the Cypher Creator System to publish some of my work. I created this website to put things out there for other GMs to use in systems that I really like and I’ve been making things for the Cypher System from the start. So, this isn’t really that new for me and it’s not really that new for all of you since both of my products are Pay What You Want.
I really like this option for products, especially for unknown quantities like myself. The first draft of the Martial Arts Flavor is already available on the blog here, so you already see it for free. If you want a PDF copy with NPCs, or you want my new Cybernetics Flavor, you can still get it for free on DriveThruRPG. If you want, you can follow the example of others and chip in some moneys to help future projects. Eventually I’ll have products up that have a defined cost but I always like the option to check out a project or system for free before I commit dollars to it and I want to keep that up.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I memorized names, watched Jurassic Park on loop, and poured through National Geographic information books. My brother and I had Jurassic Park dinosaur action figures that we gleefully set up massive battles amid the ferns in the yard with raptors stalking the X-Men and pterodactyls swooping down at a Starfleet away team. It was fun and a crazy mash of worlds… and it’s the reason I was so excited when I saw Predation in Monte Cook Game’s lineup of Cypher worlds.
The pre-contact history of the Jurganna is mostly lost in legend at this point, although considering the emphasis that Jurganna put in legend and retelling stories these may be surprisingly accurate. Tales tell of warring states that took their conflict to the stars and fought each other in epic space battles. These squabbling states were conquered by an emperor serving as a divine mandate who forged a single group from these disparate pieces. His conquest was the only thing to survive his rule, however, as both his religious reforms and military focus dissolved soon after his death. The unity that he inspired did not, however, and the Jurganna struck out for the stars again, this time as explorers.
In my post on character creation in Dark Horizon, I explained that your character will have the descriptor, type, and focus common to all Cypher System characters but also a Species and Culture that will make them more unique with more options for abilities. This is the first of those options, a Species template for the octopus-like dupalans. There are five more of these in store so let me know what you think of this one before I get too off base!
Having introduced everyone to the background elements and the long-running history of Dark Horizon, I’m back with some actual game mechanics. Or, sort of. This post is to clue everyone in to how player characters are designed in the setting and why they are slightly different from other Cypher characters.
The character focus Needs No Weapons (Cypher System Rulebook, p. 153) represents a master of martial arts, someone whose entire character concept is based around their ability with unarmed combat. Some campaigns, though, might want everyone to have some martial arts ability which is where this flavor comes in.
I’ve been (belatedly) listening to the One Shot Podcast‘s episodes of Numenera and it inspired me to create a new Session Zero contribution. Like my last outline, this is an active Session Zero which combines the first narrative bit of the story with creating characters for an extended campaign.