Adventures in the Cypher System

Adventures in the Cypher System

The Cypher System is about to become your new favorite TTRPG. With a new Starter Set, a DELUXE Cypher System Rulebook, and two striking new genre books, this campaign has something for everyone—new fans and Cypher System veterans alike!
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The world is over. Now what? Just simply survive, or maybe find a way to build something new? The world is just like you think it is--except for all the magic. How are you going to use your unique mystical abilities to make this place your own? How can both of these things be true? Because you're playing the Cypher System! The Cypher System is the critically acclaimed game engine that powers any campaign in any genre. Lauded for its elegance, ease of use, flexibility, and narrative focus, the Cypher System unleashes the creativity of GMs and players with intuitive character creation, fast-paced gameplay, and a uniquely GM-friendly design. It's easy to learn, but offers all the depth, nuance, and complexity you want. While far more flexible and less rules intensive than other games, it still has the power and sophistication to create any story or adventure you can imagine. This campaign funds exciting new content for Cypher System fans new and old. The Cypher System Starter Set is a great way to jump into the game. If you’re already into it, check out two new genre books—Rust and Redemption and It’s Only Magic. There’s even a new DELUXE version of the Cypher System Rulebook. And that’s before we start unlocking new titles through stretch goals!
The system is notable for its elegance, dynamic table play, and emphasis on adventure through player creativity. -Nerdist

The Cypher System will be your new favorite tabletop RPG. (Already your favorite? Skip ahead to the new stuff!) Here are just a few of the many reasons you'll love it:
You make characters with a three-part sentence. You’re a Rugged Warrior who Stands Like a Bastion. A Guarded Adept who Keeps a Magic Ally. A Charming Speaker who Bears a Halo of Fire. Or perhaps a Graceful Explorer who Moves Like the Wind. There are dozens and dozens of options for that three-part sentence, and each contributes to your abilities and stats—and even suggests elements of backstory and connections to other PCs. Character creation is fast and intuitive! Here’s an example of a Cypher System character you can check out (and use in play, if you like) right now.
It’s soooo easy to run! The Cypher System is amazingly easy to GM. If you can decide how hard something is on a scale of 1 to 10, you can resolve anything in the Cypher System. The GM sets a difficulty, the PCs’ skills, tactics, and choices might reduce that difficulty, and then the player makes a simple die roll. (And it’s always the player—the GM never rolls!) It’s fast, effortless, and focused on narrative and choices rather than numbers and math. The GM’s bandwidth is freed up for making the game interesting and fun, rather than managing mechanics. Here’s a quick explainer from Geek & Sundry, showing how quick and intuitively this works.
Which means it’s really easy to prep for. It’s Friday and the players will be here in 15 minutes? If you have a cool idea and a number between 1 and 10, you’ve got an encounter. You can build sophisticated stat blocks in less than five minutes. You can run completely on the fly! The GM’s imagination is freed up to make your game cool, interesting, and fun—you’ll spend almost no time on the mechanics. Here’s an article about building stat blocks in minutes.
Built-in tools help GMs and players forge the story they want to experience. Want to add a fun twist or unexpected curveball to a scene or storyline? Punch up an encounter or entire adventure? Throw in a GM intrusion—a mechanic that lets you turn the tables on the PCs a bit, but in a way that’s fair and fun for them. They have their own tools, including player intrusions and Effort (to increase their odds in a clutch situation). XP is a currency that players can expend for story benefits as well as character advancement. Here’s a short article about how GM intrusions can really make a game memorable!

Almost anything you imagine can receive basic game mechanics in seconds, letting you pick interesting set pieces, tweak them, and assemble them for play…. a dream for the GM. - Escapist Magazine

Gameplay is fast-paced and fun. Things move quickly in the Cypher System--a typical game session might cover twice as much ground as a more mechanics-heavy RPG. But it’s not just about fast-paced encounters. Task rolls—all tasks, even combat—start with a negotiation between the player and GM, not a math exercise. This keeps the focus on the players and the narrative, not the character sheet. Check out this actual play to see this in action!

Cyphers keep things fresh. Cyphers are single-use special abilities. In some genres, they may be physical items the PCs come across—potions or scrolls, or bits of inscrutable alien technology. In other genres, they may be less tangible—blessings, inspiration, or simply a meta-game benefit for the player’s use. Either way, a cypher gives the PC a one-time, often unusual, boost—easing a roll, or enabling a cool and dramatic player action. Here’s an article about how cyphers keep your game fresh and exciting.

It’s all compatible! Need a giant oceanic kaiju for your supers campaign? Grab one from the Tidal Blades RPG. No conversion, no work. Introduce a weird Numenera artifact into your sci-fi game. Pull a creepy monster from Ptolus into your Cthulhu campaign. Grab a character option from The Strange for your modern character. If you’re playing Cypher System, the entire Cypher System is your toolbox. No muss, no fuss! For example, the Ninth World Bestiary 2 contains over 160 creatures easily used in any Cypher System game. You can grab eight of them, ready to go, when you download the free preview for that title.
Any genre. Any campaign. Any character. Got a cool idea for a new campaign? The Cypher System will run that game. Aliens-inspired space horror? Sure! Whimsical light fantasy, a la The Princess Bride? Yeah, that works. An old-West zombie apocalypse? Swashbuckling pirates on the high seas? Reality-hopping dimensional travelers? Classic fantasy? Hard sci-fi? Superheroes? You got it! (You can even publish your material, through the Cypher System Open License.) For just one great example, take a look at Predation, where futuristic time travelers are trapped in the Cretaceous era.

The Cypher System is the backbone for many award-winning, critically acclaimed, popular RPGs including Numenera, The Strange, the Old Gods of Appalachia Roleplaying Game, the Tidal Blades Roleplaying Game, VURT, Shotguns & Sorcery, and more. There are also many published campaign settings, such as Predation, Unmasked, The Origin, and Gods of the Fall. And the Cypher System Open License allows third-party publishers to release their own Cypher System content and even complete games.

I love the system, the ease of use, character creation, the cyphers themselves, how much of a breeze it is to GM, just so much of it is great. -Cease one on reddit

Want a first-hand look at the actual rules? Download the free Cypher System Rules Primer. It contains the core rules along with a short adventure and pregenerated characters. Read through it to see how the Cypher System works, or gather a few friends and play a game!

Download the free Cypher System Rules Primer Now! by clicking here


The 448-page Cypher System Rulebook, available now in print and PDF, gives you everything you need to power the campaign you want to run—any campaign—with the Cypher System: complete game rules, zillions of character options, equipment, creatures and NPCs, cyphers and artifacts, and great GM advice on adapting the Cypher System to a variety of settings.

Don't have the Cypher System Rulebook? Every pledge level includes the 448-page Cypher System Rulebook in PDF, delivered early, for free!

Another highly polished product from MCG. -The Gaming Gang

But the true beauty of the Cypher System is how you make it your own. While the Cypher System Rulebook makes it easy to play any campaign, our genre books dig deeper and explore new territory. Each 224-page tome looks at the full breadth of the genre, explores ways to make great campaigns in that milieu, offers optional rules and GMing tricks, gives you creatures, cyphers, and character options, and presents a ready-to-use campaign setting and a couple of adventures. A range of these titles is already available, covering science-fiction, horror, fairy tales, fantasy, and superheroes.
5 white books: The Stars Are Fire, Stay Alive!, We Are All Mad Here, Godforsaken, and Claim the Sky


Image of a boxed starter set, the deluxe version of the Cypher System Rulebook, Rust and Redemption, It's Only Magic, the Cypher System Bestiary, the Adventures in the Cypher System book the Cypher System Creature Deck 2, and an open book showing pages of the Cypher System Rulebook
The Cypher System Starter Set: Gather your friends, open this box, and begin playing right away! The Cypher System is easy to learn and fun to play—and this is the perfect set for getting started. The Cypher System Starter Set includes the game rules in an easy-to-learn format, along with pregenerated characters and several adventures. You'll need the Cypher System Rulebook to build your own campaigns, but if you just want to try it out—or teach it to new players—this is a fun and inexpensive way to learn the game.
The Cypher System can make life really easy for the GM. -Strange Assembly

Cypher System Rulebook DELUXE EDITION: A stunning limited edition of the Cypher System Rulebook, this contains all the content of the standard edition but delivers it in opulent style! It includes a vegan leather cover with foil stamping and debossing, edge gilding, and a satin ribbon bookmark. This is the only sure-fire chance to get this limited edition—it will not be widely available except through this campaign. And it's delivered early, so you can jump into your Cypher System game soon!
Rust and Redemption  Civilization is in ruins. Now what? Venture into the hardscrabble world of a post-apocalyptic future. Whether the end came through war, climate crisis, pandemic, or even alien or supernatural invasion, this book—like our other genre books before it—delves both broadly and deeply into the genre. Rust and Redemption offers players new options to create characters up to the challenges of a world gone to ruin: new descriptors, foci, abilities, cyphers, artifacts, gear, and more. For the GM, there’s campaign-building advice discussing the cause and historical distance of the apocalypse, themes of despair and hope, and a ready-to-use setting—plus, of course, creatures, advice, adventures, and loads more! Whether you’re inspired by tales that are fairly realistic and perhaps a bit hopeful, like Station Eleven; a bit grittier like The Last of Us; farther into a grim future with white-knuckle action like Mad Max: Fury Road; or even a bit offbeat like Logan’s Run or Love and Monsters, Rust and Redemption will be your go-to resource for Cypher System gaming amid the ruins of our world.

The game is great at getting out of its own way, and letting players just play. -Eternity TTRPG

It’s Only Magic  You love the mystery and wonder of magic, but another wizard in a pointy hat just makes you roll your eyes. Drinking ale in a medieval tavern? Done that, to death. But what if… what if you had all the wild possibilities of a magical world, but that world was the world outside your window? Welcome to the world of It’s Only Magic. This book covers every aspect of GMing and playing the Cypher System in a world of spells, glamours, ghosts, and demons—but that world is the world you know so well, because you live there. Modern magic, interacting with today’s society, technology, and culture, is there for the taking. But it’s your campaign, so it’s exactly what you want it to be: a cozy witchcore setting, or a world of dark, supernatural forces threatening existence itself. Or maybe just a bit of both. A setting where magic is right out there in the open, or where it’s a secret known only to a select few. It’s Only Magic gives you rules and options for mysticism and spells, new foci based on blending magic with the modern world, magical creatures and NPCs—it’s all here for you, alongside a complete setting ready to use if you don’t want to create your own. Love Gaiman’s Sandman, the spellcasters from The Magicians or Charmed, or maybe just want to have a little more Wanda Maximov and Dr. Strange in your game? This is your magical guidestone. Whether you want to play supernatural detectives, witches, witchhunters, magical anti-corporation freedom fighters, or fashionistas that use glamours to get Instagram-famous, It’s Only Magic has what you need.
Character creation is delightful! -The Tabletop Almanac
Cypher System Bestiary: What could every Cypher System campaign use? Why, dozens and dozens of brand new creatures of course! True to the breadth of the game’s possibilities, creatures here fit into many different genres. This book offers a brand new presentation style of Cypher System creatures showcasing not just the basics, but everything you really need to use them—maps of lairs, sample organizations, adventure frameworks, goals and schemes, names for individuals, equipment loadouts, pets, and more.
Cypher System Creature Deck 2: Populate your encounters with challenging, creepy, and imaginative creatures quickly and easily. Generate them randomly from a selection you build. Or create encounters on the fly. Then give your players a look at the foes they face. This 100-card deck contains creatures from the Cypher System Bestiary and elsewhere, with stats on one side and an image to show players on the other. You can also get the first Cypher System Creature Deck (with creatures from the Cypher System Rulebook) as an add-on.
Adventures in the Cypher System. Showcasing the Cypher System’s elegant handling of different genres and different types of adventures, this anthology includes a variety of adventures ready to use as one-shots or as a part of a campaign. Science fiction, fantasy, horror... it’s all covered here, including adventures that revisit fan-favorite settings of the past like the Strange and Predation.
In the Cypher System, players earn XP for making discoveries, facing unexpected challenges—and, most colorfully, from GM intrusions. And they spend XP not just to advance their characters, but to reroll dice, enact player intrusions, and other at-the-table activities—so XP trades hands fairly often during play. This deck gives you a set of handy tokens to represent XP, and each card features unique art from across the breadth of the Cypher System.

And More? The Cypher System offers unlimited possibilities. What else will this campaign unlock? We anticipate adding more titles to this lineup—be sure to pledge at a level that includes all stretch goals to get these additional books added to your rewards at no extra cost!
Image of all of the currently unlocked products, with a mystery product showing question marks
Cypher System is amazing. Truly amazing. -Jeff Fa Fa on


No problem! Every backer level includes a copy of the complete Cypher System Rulebook in PDF. This 448-page book is a $22 value in PDF, but it's free with every reward and delivered early.

Sooo much stuff to develop characters with! I find it hard to think of a character that can't be designed with the material provided.


The creator toolset is great, the mechanics encourage and support multiple playstyles, and the game has become a cult hit for a reason. -POC Gamer

Cyphers create a steady and ever-changing stream of cool things players can do in a game in addition to their own innate powers and abilities. -Andrew Logan Montgomery


All add-on print products also include the PDF, where applicable.
DELUXE Cypher System Rulebook $120 A beautiful addition to your gaming shelf or game table! All the content of the standard edition in a stunning deluxe limited edition made just for this campaign.

Cypher System T-shirt $25 The photo says it all! Screen-printed on a soft, durable, high-quality cotton-poly material, this shirt shows your Cypher System love in style!
Cypher System inspires you to create something wondrous.
Bundle of three CSRs for retailers $105 RETAILERS ONLY! Distribution is struggling, so here’s three copies of the Cypher System Rulebook, delivered early, at a retail-friendly discount.


Cypher System inspires you to create something wondrous.

Here's the expected delivery timeline for this campaign's rewards. The world is still experiencing a lot of post-COVID upheaval in supply chains and freight transit, so we're padding this timeline to allow for slippage—we may be able to beat some of these dates, but there's also a chance we may see unanticipated production or shipping delays. We appreciate your flexibility!

Early April (as soon as we close the pledge manager): Standard Cypher System Rulebook, existing genre books, and other existing add-on items. May: Deluxe Cypher System Rulebook. January 2024: Rust and Redemption. Early 2024: Cypher System Starter Set. Early 2024: It's Only Magic.


Legendary TTPRG designer Monte Cook has written or contributed to literally hundreds of products. He was a codesigner of D&D 3rd Edition, and designer of HeroClix, Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Ptolus, Arcana Evolved, a number of Planescape products, Numenera, Invisible Sun, The Darkest House, the Cypher System, Stealing Stories for the Devil, Call of Cthulhu d20, Monte Cook’s World of Darkness, a whole bunch of d20 stuff, and—going way back—products for Rolemaster and Champions. He’s also written fiction, comics, and non-fiction, including Your Best Game Ever, a guide for RPG players to making every game session awesome! A 30-year game design veteran, award-winning Bruce R. Cordell has hundreds of RPG credits—including The Strange and contributions to dozens of Numenera and Cypher System titles. He’s also contributed to four editions of D&D, and authored ten novels including Myth of the Maker and several books set in the Forgotten Realms. Shanna Germain has been a writer and editor for over 30 years, and has ten books, multiple games, hundreds of short stories, and myriad other works to her name. She’s won numerous awards for her work, including multiple ENnies, the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game of the Year, the C. Hamilton Bailey Poetry Fellowship, and the Utne Reader award for Best New Publication. With decades of design experience, Sean K. Reynolds has worked on a couple hundred books for a half a dozen RPGs (including Numenera and three editions of D&D), designed videogames, taught classes on game design, written plays and musicals, run online game conventions, judged international talent-search contests, and had bit parts in geeky movies like Gamers: Dorkness Rising and Attacking the Darkness. Dominique Dickey is a writer, editor, cultural consultant, and Nebula-Award-winning RPG hooligan. In addition to their own designs including TRIAL and Tomorrow on Revelation III, Dominique has written for Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Dungeons & Dragons, and Sea of Legends—and of course MCG products including the Old Gods of Appalachia RPG. In addition to our designers, our mighty team includes Art Director Bear Weiter and Graphic Designer Javier Beltrán, who make our products beautiful. Managing Editor Teri Litorco wrangles the words and projects. Jennifer Walls, Tammie Ryan, and Charles Ryan interact with our fans and customers and keep the business rolling along smoothly. Our team is small, but we deliver big!



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All backers pay for shipping when they redeem their rewards. We offer a variety of domestic and international shipping methods from which you can choose. As of this writing, basic domestic shipping is $9 per shipment, but we do not control future postal rates, so that cost is subject to change. International shipping is based on postal and shipping rates at the time of the order, and varies by destination and shipment weight.

For detailed information on shipping, visit our Crowdfunding Reward Fulfillment page.

Combat is fast and narrative-led…. and the focus is more on description and imagination than dice rolling and rules calls. -Scroll for Initiative

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  • Canadian Backers: Your rewards will be fulfilled by our shipping center in the United States. You will be responsible for import duties, taxes, and brokerage fees (if applicable). Please note that our books are printed in Canada, and thus are not subject to import duties; however, they are subject to GST. Items not manufactured in Canada, such as dice and decks of cards, are subject to import duties and GST.
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This is the one book you should take to a desert island (plus a dice set, of course!), and you will be able to play RPGs for many, many years... any kind, any type! -G.P on
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