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Cypher System Rulebook (2015 edition)
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Cypher System Rulebook (2015 edition)

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What will your Cypher System campaign be?


A Cypher System campaign of Victorian horror? High fantasy? Espionage? Galaxy-spanning space opera? With the Cypher System Rulebook, running any of those is as easy as running or playing The Strange or Numenera . Take the Cypher System to the limits of your imagination with this hefty rulebook that extends the system to fantasy, science-fiction, horror, modern-day, and superhero settings—or any setting you can imagine!


The Cypher System Rulebook adapts the Cypher System—the critically acclaimed, award-winning rules set that drives Numenera and The Strange—to an unlimited range of campaigns and genres, giving you the complete rules set (along with dozens of optional and genre-specific rules) and hundreds of character options, creatures, cyphers, and other resources. It’s everything you need to play virtually any game using the Cypher System rules.


If you’re already a fan of Numenera and/or The Strange, you’ll find new descriptors, foci, types, creatures, cyphers, and artifacts you can use in your campaign the minute you crack open the book. Many of the optional genre rules will benefit your campaign as well. There are pages and pages of content you can make use of in your existing game, even if you never take the Cypher System into another genre!


The Cypher System Rulebook gives you 416 pages of character options, equipment, game rules, special coverage of key genres, creatures, NPCs, and cyphers.

  • Complete game rules
  • Genre-specific rules and advice for fantasy games, modern games, science-fiction games, horror, and superheroes
  • Systems for issues such as vehicle combat, crafting, and insight, among others
  • Four new character types, each customizable to the needs of your setting
  • Over 50 descriptors and 70 foci
  • Loads of equipment and hundreds of cyphers and artifacts
  • Nearly 70 creatures and NPCs
  • Great GM advice on adapting the Cypher System to a variety of settings, and on running a fun, engaging, fast-paced, easy-to-GM game sessions

Start a new campaign set in a fantasy land of elves and fae creatures, a science fiction setting spanning the galaxy, or a modern slasher horror game—or add scads of new options to your Numenera or The Strange campaign. The Cypher System Rulebook gives you everything you need to run the game you want to play using the critically acclaimed, award-winning, and just plain fun to play Cypher System!



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Reviews (12)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
Andrew C February 20, 2021 10:12 pm UTC
It would really be great to see a mention of how the 2015 edition is different from the current version of the game here
Customer avatar
Tobias P May 19, 2021 11:54 am UTC
Chapter 1 of the free preview explains exactly that: the rules are the same, they reorganized the presentation to be easier to use as a generic system and added a few extensions onto the system. Details, as said, in the free preview you linked, page 4.
Customer avatar
Dean L September 05, 2018 2:21 am UTC
The Cypher System simple put is where Elegance meets simplicity. The mechanic are designed to enahnce the narrative. GM's don't have to worry about rolling dice which frees up time for story. I've been gaming for over 40 years and this system has brought that child like anticipation every time I get ready to touch one of these books. I can't wait to see what's next. This game is nuanced brilliantly.
Customer avatar
Richard J April 24, 2018 4:46 pm UTC
Customer avatar
mark M March 14, 2018 2:12 am UTC
I have been purchasing many systems to find the right system for my supers game, wow, I just read the sample file and I downloaded the game right away. I should have downloaded this game first. Just in the span of 4 pages I understood the mechanics of the game, and its quick, something I have been looking for in a game for a long time. When it comes to my rules lite games, this is my definite go to. I have been reading thru fate, strands of fate, vampire the masquerade, d6 , and other systems trying to hammer down my go to system for a rules lite game. For me, its this one. If I were to run a story based game, this is the system of choice for me. Its simple, its fast, but more importantly, its expandable, with many chapters on how to use or make your own rules for the game. I plan on transferring the ideas from white wolf and d6 into this system to build my own specialized supers games and psion based games. Also, from what I have read in the description of the Strange, there are defined rules for world jumping...See more
Customer avatar
George F August 09, 2017 6:56 pm UTC
What are the combat mechanics like?
And the magic system for Fantasy games?
Customer avatar
IOANNIS D April 07, 2017 6:01 pm UTC
Will ever there be an official Errata/update or rules clarification forum?
Customer avatar
Timothy S June 22, 2016 10:33 pm UTC
Sorry, but I just find Numenera to be crap. Why on Earth would you decide on a difficulty from 1 to 10, only to have to triple it right away for the real target? What's the point? Sure, the game has a wonderful background; very scientific and fantastical at the same time, but I personally just can't over that difficulty number nonsense.
Customer avatar
Jimmy P July 02, 2016 5:44 pm UTC
It is just far easier to measure difficulty from 1 to 10 than from 3 to 30. This is a very small hurdle. You miss on one of the best systems out there! Give it a try - it might surprise you! I really had to play to ''get'' the system.
Customer avatar
Andrew M March 19, 2017 8:52 pm UTC
Why you'd call a system "crap" based on one mechanic is beyond me. Also, if you think about it for a moment, it's much easier to cogitate "Difficulty 6 of 10", for example, than it is "Difficulty 18 of 30". Thus, it's easier for GMs to assign, and for players to assess, a difficulty on a 1-10 scale and convert the target number.

I say this as someone who owns Numenera but doesn't much like it.
Customer avatar
Timothy S March 29, 2017 4:57 pm UTC
Andrew and Jimmy, you're both right. I was out of line, and I went too far based on very little research. I am going to give it a second look. I've been playing long enough to be able to "get over myself" and give this a fresh look not based on prejudices.
Customer avatar
Andrew M July 02, 2017 8:16 pm UTC
Well said, Timothy. Not that I think I had some kind of apology coming or something, or that I'm sure I'm right -- simply kudos for setting a good example of an open mind.
Customer avatar
Daniel K February 24, 2016 9:19 pm UTC
For someone who already owns The Strange and many of the PDF supplements, how much new information is there in the Cypher System Rulebook?
Customer avatar
bastien B March 04, 2016 6:35 am UTC
There are a few more character types (like vector, nano, spinner, etc ), descriptors, tables mapping world type to focus, guides on how to build worlds.
Think of it more like a bundle of strange + strange options + numenera + numenera options + some more options. Added value is somewhat limited, but it's practical. with a nice hyperlink model
Customer avatar
Nathan R June 01, 2016 10:39 pm UTC
Where the two differ mechanically in big ways
1. The addition of the Explorer Type (from Numenera), so you have 4 base types.
2. Change to how Armor works (instead of draining Speed pool)
3. Removal of currency, using an abstract purchasing system.
4. The addition of "flavors" which layer with Types (which really helps you hone in on the tone of your own game).
5. Rules for using Cypher for most any Genre. (The horror ones would work great in the Strange)
Customer avatar
Michael U June 20, 2017 9:25 pm UTC
So if I would be use the Cipher Core Rules, I add/use The Strange and Numenera things/books without problems?
Customer avatar
Benjamin N November 12, 2015 1:08 pm UTC
I understand that the system is geared for exploration over combat. But I was wondering just how gritty this system can get in combat?
Customer avatar
Megan T October 12, 2015 9:49 pm UTC
We reviewed the Cypher System for our website, The Redacted Files -
Customer avatar
Nina B October 07, 2015 1:50 pm UTC
Anyone know if this pdf is bookmarked and hyperlinked?
Customer avatar
December 09, 2015 10:58 pm UTC
You have purchased so you know, this is for anybody else that reads the question.

The book is bookmarked, and you can add bookmarks as well.
It is hyperlinked as well.
Customer avatar
Robert R August 10, 2015 8:56 pm UTC
The Cypher System is a great tool for building YOUR game. However I was thinking that The Cypher System would also be great for building recursions in The Strange. If you are familiar with TS you know what I mean.
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This title was added to our catalog on August 05, 2015.