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The Translation Codex $5.00 $2.00
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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The Translation Codex
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Bryon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2015 12:43:00

Right now, this is an absolutely essential book to playing the Strange. The corebook, while it features some very creative options, is very limited. Some Foci are tied to specific recursions and you wind up feeling like people are stepping on one another's toes if you are using only the core Foci.

Ryan Chaddock's Translation Codex meanwhile provides a couple of great ideas for recursions, but the real win here is the huge number of Foci for five different flavors of settings: High Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Modern, Science Fiction, Psionics and a number of smaller categories including Westerns and Myths. This is almost essential for folks to put together a really in-depth group and make the characters they really want to.

My only complaint (and it's a small one) is the new Foci don't include starting equipment. The corebook Foci do, so if players are mixing between the Corebook and the Translation Codex, they can get a little muddied on who starts with what. Other than that tiny quibble, this book 100% meets everything I was hoping for.

Final thoughts: If you're either a player or a GM and playing the Strange, snag this. It's worth every penny.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Neal T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2015 11:37:05

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this product from Ryan Chaddock Games.

This is EXACTLY the product I needed for my Strange campaign. I was really suffering from a lack of Foci variety when coming up with recursion ideas. This product fixes all that. It blows my options wide open for creating new recursions and giving my players interesting foci to go along with them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Emily T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2014 09:37:32

I am enjoying "The Translation Codex" The core works of the The Strange were lacking in Foci and this helps fill the void. In addition you get a number of new recursions to pair the foci up with. It lacks a little in the artwork department, definitely not up to Monty CooK standards. But, it packs the pages full of useful and inspiring words to make up for it.

If you play The Strange, you want this book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Andrew R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/21/2014 20:58:38

WOW, MAN. This thing is ACES. There are Foci in here that make so much sense within the context of the game, that I am frankly surprised they're not in the core book.

I'm not crazy about the presentation, and there are a few errors general grammar and vocabulary ("grizzly" in place of "grisly", etc.), but there's also a focus called "Discovers Recursions", as well as one that lets you die over and over again to the benefit of the team -- yes, "Dies" is effectively the Redshirt focus. [Everybody together on three: 1, 2, 3 -- "WELSHIIEEEEE!!!!"]

If you have "The Strange" but not this, you're missing out. PERIOD.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Chad D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/05/2014 17:47:25

One of the greatest supplements for the cypher system ever! My players and I found these foci weave their way into the story much better then anything monty Cook games has created. Some may say that battle wise they are weaker, but when it comes to flavor and story they are amazing. Who doesn't want to be a merchant or be a red shirt (and die all the time).

There is no reason to over look this one, it has more foci then anything else in the market. They are all crafted well and my players love them



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2014 13:25:18

What's In It

The Translation Codex is the first third party supplement for The Strange. It's fitting that for a game based around traveling to different worlds and assuming new abilities for each that the Translation Codex features one hundred new Foci for GMs and players to use. Of course it goes without saying that any fan of Numenera, or any other game using the Cypher System, could use this product to greatly expand the core offerings of Foci for player characters.

From the outset the presentation shows a great deal of forethought. The product is broken into sections of major themes, from paranormal to earthly and more, allowing the GM to quickly find like foci for use with a given recursion. Each foci is formatted for a single page, ensuring that they can easily be printed for use at a table. Chapters also contain a one piece piece of short fiction and a handful of short recursion ideas. Each recursion is only given half a page worth of space and so detail is light, but given that this product isn't geared toward recursions the light detail can be forgiven.

Rather than traditional artwork each foci has an icon, similar in style to the kind of line art one sees on safety signs, and presented in a color that ties it with the themed section to which it belongs. This is an interesting choice, but the art doesn't always sell the foci as well as traditional artwork would. These icons also pose one of the few sore spots in my mind. The oddly shaped icons, are usually placed between the two column layout with text wrapped around them. This results in strange line breaks and a great deal of hyphenated words broken across lines and spaces to accommodate the icons. The focus "Follows the Old Ways" is by far the most guilty in this regard, with the focus' symbol, a crooked staff, being placed in the center of the left hand column, breaking two paragraphs into difficult to read split columns.

But how are the actual foci? Split into five major themes and five minor themes the foci cover a lot of ground thematically. The writing is quite good and with a few exceptions each foci had well balanced Tier 1 offerings. It gets more difficult to assess the utility of the focus powers from higher tiers but none of the foci seemed overly strong or weak. A number of the foci utilized the long term benefits available for purchase with experience as part of their advancement. Gaining a contact or wealth is a nice reward and works well within the foci that utilize such benefits to deepen the thematic tie between mechanics, character, and gameplay.

Of course in any such collection of foci there will be those that stand out and make people want to play them. For my part, I was delighted to see "Brandishes a Death Ray" most of all due to prior gaming experiences. Meanwhile foci like "Bears a Holy Symbol," "Just Won't Die," and "Dies" (yes, you read that right) are all standouts that I would like to try in future games. The foci also go a long way toward showing the flexibility of the Cypher System, with entries like "Dons a Power Suit", "Controls Weather", and "Wields Cosmic Power" showing that the Cypher System could host a superheroes game as easily as it can low fantasy and high concept science fiction.

Closing Thoughts

One of the most common complaints I have heard about The Strange since launch is that the number of available foci within the game is small when split across the three major recursions. With the release of The Translation Codex that shouldn't continue to be a problem. Containing one hundred new foci this third party supplement ensures that GMs and players will have access to a wealth of foci for nearly any recursion they could hope to visit. Some formatting issues do create some clumsy word and/or line breaks, but only in rare cases is this more than an annoyance. The quality, variety, and number of foci this product provides more than make this product a worthwhile (and value packed) addition to Cypher System games.

Score: 90% - A fine addition to the Strange (or any game using the Cypher system).

Author's note: A complimentary review copy of this product was provided for the purposes of this review.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Henry d. V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2014 16:21:57

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this for review purposes but have no other connection to Ryan Chaddock Games.

In a nutshell: wow! Just plain wow! This is a very useful supplement, fully in line with the high quality I'm coming to expect from anything from Ryan Chaddock Games. You aren't likely to use every single one of these options over the course of your group's flirtations with the Strange, but there's bound to be something that will come into play for your group.

I'd put this down on list as a must-have for the GMly toolbox or reference library!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by Simon E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2014 04:11:58

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of The Translation Codex free as a review copy, other than that I have no connection to Ryan Chaddock Games.

SUMMARY: If you want extra foci and genre-based recursion ideas for your ‘The Strange’ game, buy this pdf, it’s a bargain and has a great deal of useful content.

WHAT YOU GET: As it says in the description, there are 100 foci, grouped thematically together in a variety of genres. The format and layout is as per the preview, although what that doesn't show you is the 1-page-per-foci layout. Each of these 1-page layouts follows the format of foci from The Strange core book and is illustrated with a unique icon, colour-coded for the genre/setting. These illustrations are basic, and some are better than others, but they are consistent and give the pdf a unified look and feel. WHAT I LIKE: The Translation Codex is useful on a couple of levels. Firstly, it provides a set of pretty interesting new recursions, of the 18 described I’d certainly use half of them with no alterations whatsoever. Secondly, it not only provides a lot of new foci, but it also categorises them by recursion/genre and also references the existing foci from the core book.

This plugs a gap in the core book, I found the number of Earth foci a little low and although a great number of other recursions are mentioned, the small number of foci available from the core book means that the recursions don’t have enough to distinguish them from each other. By adding selected foci from The Translation Codex, I feel I’d be able to further distinguish between the recursions listed in the core book.

This actually goes to a slightly hidden aspect of The Strange that this pdf really made me consider – the ‘distinctiveness’ of a Recursion is partly in its overall description, also in its Traits, but from a player perspective, the key differentiator is in the available foci –these really bring the genre of each recursion to life.

WHAT I WAS LESS SURE ABOUT: Some foci seemed a little underpowered, but that’s hard to assess without actually using them in play. My overall feeling was that I’d want to select the available foci for a given recursion quite carefully, depending on its genre. For the most part I think The Translation Codex has done this quite well.

OVERALL: This is a very solid product, absolutely great value and intelligently put together. If this was available in POD, I’d get myself a hardcopy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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The Translation Codex
Publisher: Ryan Chaddock Games
by John-Matthew D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/24/2014 16:34:49

Excluding the obvious cross-use for a Numenera game, or the fact that you could use it to play in your own setting before the Cypher System Rulebook comes out, The Translation Codex provides a lot of meat for your Strange game. The foci are as useable with the recursions in the main book as they are useful in creating your own. It stands alone, and provides a much needed expansion for The Strange line. At .05 cents a foci, The Translation Codex is an amazing deal.



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