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Invisible Sun

Invisible Sun

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A roleplaying game of surreal fantasy, secrets, and magic that is truly magical. Wield fabulous powers as you uncover the secrets of reality itself.

Lorcan made a gun out of demon; its bullets only harm possessed people. On his quest to discover the long-forgotten (and perhaps forbidden) number between 12 and 13, the weapon is proving useful as the Enemies of Sleep appear determined to stop him. 

Duri’s face is normally a blur of swirling spiritforms, but occasionally she can make one of them manifest, and she gains its appearance and memories. If she risks keeping the new face too long, however, she can lose her identity. 

Rodir has connections all over the city, and she holds a collection of wicked keys that allow her to unlock any problem by just creating a keyhole to insert a key, turn it, and see what happens. People don’t appreciate it when she does this to them, but that’s what they get for being in her way.

Do you think you live in the real world?

You don’t. This world you see around you is Shadow—a world illuminated only by the Grey Sun. You think it is your home, but that’s because you have forgotten your true self. Awaken, and return to the Actuality and Satyrine, the city under the Indigo Sun. You are a vislae, a wielder of fabulous powers and capabilities, a shaper of reality itself. You sought shelter in Shadow to escape the war, but the war is now over and your home has called you back.

Invisible Sun is a roleplaying game of surreal fantasy. The player characters are vislae—wielders of magical power—recently returned to their true home: the Actuality, a world that seems like a surreal dream to those of us toiling aimlessly in the boring, grey realm you and I falsely believe is the real world. These characters face incredible challenges, visit breathtaking places, and discover secrets so astonishing that the only ones who can cope with them are those who understand the truth that powers the universe: Magic.

Magic: A power that can be pursued, studied, and even mastered, but never completely understood or controlled. It is fluid, unpredictable, and ever nuanced in effect. Its secrets are boundless. But that does not mean it is without rules and methods. There are four orders, major schools of magical thought and training. Vances study their spells carefully, believing they are, in their own way, intelligent in and of themselves. Makers, as the name suggests, use magic to create powerful items. Weavers cast spells with a fluid and improvisational sort of sorcery. Goetics use their magical skills to summon demons, angels, and other creatures to do their bidding. Outside of the four orders, Apostates are vislae who find their own paths and methods for wielding the power of magic, rejecting the hierarchies of the orders.

It is a rare vislae who does not have a house. Your house is as integral to your being as your spells or character stats. The houses of vislae are often haunted, filled with mysterious unknown rooms, bigger on the inside, or possessed of their own intelligence. And in Satyrine, a house is defined as much by what goes on around it as by the contents of its walls (assuming, of course, that a vislae’s house even has walls). Local personalities, sites of interest (or danger), organizations or factions, and ongoing conflicts all affect a vislae’s house and life. And all of this is determined as part of the character creation process.

Bonds, character arcs, echoes of your life in Shadow, a secret Soul, your role within your order, and your relationship to other player characters are all addressed during character creation through a fun, interactive process that engages the entire gaming group. And leads to PCs with incredibly rich backstories, inner lives, motivations, and relationships—and a vast array of adventuring hooks.

Finally, for Invisible Sun characters, even death is not the end. For in the Actuality, death is simply the realm under the Pale Sun, another world along the Path of Suns.

When exiled to Shadow, you probably believed there was just one sun—but there are in fact eight. Nine, actually—but even many learned people don’t know that, for the ninth is a secret. Invisible. As a vislae, that is one of many secrets you know.

The Path of Suns is a representation of the way magic works, the known levels of existence, the stages of a life, and the makeup of the mortal soul, all in one. It is a symbol. A metaphor. A diagram. A map. Each sun represents a different concept, a different “place” and a different fundamental aspect of the universe. These different concepts are signified by the color of each sun, so that color ends up representing the sun and its attendant ideals.

The suns are also planes of existence—literal places vislae can visit. Each realm reflects the nature of the sun that illuminates it, and is guarded by wardens and peopled by creatures great and terrible, mysterious and, very often, dangerous. Magical power flows like a rushing river from the Invisible Sun through the other suns. (Although the main current follows the Path of Suns, not all do.) Powerful vislae travel the Path of Suns to master these different currents and better hone their spells, but to do so they must parlay with the wardens of the Suns and face the perils within their realms.

The Path of Suns connects all eight suns, Silver to Green, to Blue, to Indigo, then Grey, next Pale, and Red, and finally Gold. The Invisible Sun is not a part of the path, but rather outside, above, and around it. There are some, however, who follow the Nightside Path, which is the Path of Suns in reverse. In the Nightside Path, each sun has an altered, often darker, aspect. It would be far too simple—and erroneous—to call the Path of Suns “good” and the Nightside path “evil,” but some do.

As a vislae, you might travel the path of suns, visiting these realms, parlaying with their wardens, encountering the glories and horrors within, and unlocking their secrets. Or your adventures might never take you beyond the borders of Satyrine, a surreal city rife with intrigue and conflict following the terrors of the recently concluded war.

Conventional RPG game play, with everyone gathering for a few hours every week or two, is what makes RPGs a great experience. It’s also one of the greatest obstacles to a successful campaign, for our modern life rarely makes it convenient. Conventional play is the centerpiece of Invisible Sun, but the game also accommodates the realities of our lifestyles, rewards engagement with the game away from the table, and is deliberately made for differing player styles.

Play doesn’t have to stop when the session is over. Players can keep the game going—individually or in groups—by creating side-scenes that describe high level actions that their character want to take. They can also create flashback side-scenes that reveal actions their characters have already taken. This also means that even if they can’t make it to the regular session, they can still move their character’s story forward. A side-scene might cover what Shanna’s character does while she’s absent from the regular session.

Players can even play if the GM isn’t available. A side-scene could involve the entire group taking an action that they discuss in person and then communicate later to the GM. The GM resolves the action(s) by giving them a turn of a Sooth Card and then responding to the players’ actions and intentions. The free Invisible Sun app, for iOS, Android, and web, facilitates these modes of play.

While Invisible Sun is aimed primarily at those of us who love deep, complex characters, there are options for when your cousin shows up from out of town and wants to join in for a session. And whether you’re an out-loud extrovert who’s happy to tell the world about your character, or a quieter player who keeps your character development mostly to yourself, the game is deliberately designed to let you get the most out of it.

The Invisible Sun roleplaying game is an unprecedented production, filled with massive amounts of content for a unique roleplaying experience. The Invisible Sun PDF contains roughly 80 files, including (and this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Four game books totalling over 600 pages:
    • The Key: A 208-page book on character creation and options.
    • The Way: 124 pages on the many ways magic works.
    • The Gate: 152 pages on game rules and GM information.
    • The Path: 148 pages detailing Satyrine, the realms under the eight suns, and other elements of the game setting.
  • Well over 1000 cards, laid out in a printer-friendly format. These cards do not duplicate each other, or content from the books.
    • 242 Ephemera cards.
    • Plus 208 Incantation cards.
    • 201 Object of Power cards.
    • 308 Spell cards.
    • 18 Weaver Aggregate cards.
    • 50 Vance spell cards.
  • The Sooth Deck, a beautiful 60-card tarot-like deck that’s instrumental to game play.
  • The Path of Suns, used with the Sooth Deck.
  • A wide variety of tokens for tracking game info.
  • Several poster maps.
  • The Guiding Hand, GM’s notebook, in both a printer-friendly and form-fillable format.
  • Character tomes (similar in function to character sheets in other RPGs) for all four orders, plus apostates, along with grimoire sheets.
  • Five pregenerated characters.
  • Loads of in-setting handouts and props.
  • A gorgeous art book.
  • And the Invisible Sun app is free from the MCG Shop.

Invisible Sun is a game about discovery and secrets. There may be other content awaiting discovery in your PDF.

Want to take a peek inside? Download the 55-page free preview.

See the entire Invisible Sun line, including currently available supplements and upcoming titles.

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Reviews (0)
Discussions (27)
Customer avatar
Juan J March 20, 2019 8:54 am UTC
$99 for a pdf?

Are we crazy???
Customer avatar
Geoffrey W March 21, 2019 4:09 am UTC
To be fair, it's $99 for 1000 pages in the form of at least 4 book PDFs and a bunch of card PDFs.

So it's a bundle, really.
Customer avatar
Cassiano C March 14, 2019 10:49 pm UTC
The more I look and read into this game, the more I want to buy it.
But my serious question: will the physical version be available after pre-orders? I've quite the bad habit of not having money just in the right time...
Customer avatar
Jeremey W March 15, 2019 6:48 am UTC
Last time it sold out shortly after pre orders.
Customer avatar
Brandon T March 16, 2019 3:31 am UTC
My friend bought the physical earlier this week and got it today - so it's in stock and shipping right now.
Customer avatar
Jeremey W March 17, 2019 7:54 am UTC
He must have bought it from some place other than montecookgames since they have been out for quite awhile and won't have any in stock until July. That is the only way to buy the physical copy and the pdfs for free.
Customer avatar
Brandon T March 17, 2019 3:53 pm UTC
Nope, it was the main site - completely caught us off guard. He must have got the least they had in stock? Ordered from them on the 12th, arrived on the 15th.
Customer avatar
Jeremey W March 20, 2019 3:13 am UTC
Wow he has good luck. I tried on the 10th and it was out of stock and i had to pre order. They must have had some set aside for a con and then put them back up on the website after.
Customer avatar
Adam S March 14, 2019 4:53 am UTC
$99.00 for a pdf? Suuure--tell me another one.
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 6:22 am UTC
Don't buy Monte Crooks snake oil. 99 dollars for a pdf? Are you kidding me? I hear Battlefront 2 is pretty awesome too.
Customer avatar
Laurent L March 13, 2019 1:55 am UTC
Never see such a price for a rpg pdf in europe, can figure that it may be a good product but the point is that i did not have any information, many talk about D&D books but the point is that you know clearly what you have with D&D. I play in a big goup but nobody will pay such a price for a shadow system that nobody ever try...Ok you have a free preview but this is not much. May have been better with a Policy offering the first complete book at nice price and after you pay for the rest...
Customer avatar
Abraham Z March 13, 2019 7:44 pm UTC
I think that's the main problem, if someone just wanted to participate as a player character, would they really need to buy all of this? It would have been better separated in several books, so that people are given a choice on what they could buy. Right now, it looks as a multi-part pdf that contains player material, game master material, setting material, tools, etc., but not all players, and even Game Masters, will want all of that; if they want in, they need to buy it all.

And from what I understand, there's more material coming up, so the numbers start to add up, and people may look for more affordable alternatives. I also think that the idol worshipping of Monte Cook in the comments is off putting, to say the least.
Customer avatar
Eamon M March 13, 2019 8:18 pm UTC
A player would not need to buy anything. Everything they need to play is included in the Black Cube (this page is for the digital version which contains all the same stuff). If they need the players handbook the GM can just share that PDF with them. So a player could give some money to the GM if they want to help cover the costs of that. Alternatively, they could buy their own physical copy of some of the cards, dice and sheets. MCG has a product for that called the “Vislae Kit”:
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 8:46 pm UTC
Abraham hit the nail on the head. This is a disgusting business practice that is creating a sense of elitism and exclusivity in a hobby that is supposed to celebrate imagination, creativity, and inclusion. And for what? A game that supposedly brings -new- ideas that have never been seen before? How brilliant is the idea to print spells on cards?! Flashback scenarios? WHOA, that's groundbreaking! We've spent most of our lives playing a lie! Thank the gods that Monte Crook is here to teach us all how to properly roleplay. Oh! Now I understand the price point! This is the only system you'll ever need to own! I hope he introduces a season pass idea for 500 bucks a year so I'll always be up to date with the new modules! Yaaaaay!
Customer avatar
Abraham Z March 13, 2019 9:49 pm UTC
What about the GM Eamon M? They would still need to buy the whole thing, unless he convinces his players to "pool in". I, for one, will not go around asking my players to give me some money so we can play a "premium" rpg, when there are so many other options available.

Thanks for suggesting the Vislae Kit Eamon, I know you mean well, but I also wouldn't tell my players to go and buy a bunch of cards, dice and sheets to play, when I can run another rpg where we can pass the dice around, and use an inexpensive player's guide with the complete core system if needed, or use the system reference document available for free.
Customer avatar
Abraham Z March 13, 2019 9:50 pm UTC
I know Tr0b3 M, it's all quite bizarre.
Customer avatar
stephen G March 11, 2019 11:03 pm UTC
No mention of mechanics in the summary. Can someone give me a rough idea of how combat works, and how death & dying works?
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 6:25 am UTC
This is why it should be renamed to "Invisible Game"
Customer avatar
Brandon T March 13, 2019 2:23 pm UTC
Here's a pretty detailed video on it -
Customer avatar
Eamon M March 13, 2019 8:19 pm UTC
@Tr0b3 M
Don’t be ridiculous. There are whole playlists of mechanics explanation videos and multiple full campaigns you can watch on Twitch or YouTube.
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 8:55 pm UTC
@Eamon M
What's ridiculous is the ludicrously expensive blind faith surrounding this system. I wouldn't be surprised with the likes of EA, Activision, or Bethesda pulling something like this, but I've never seen it within the tabletop world. Keep this garbage off my table.
Customer avatar
Brandon C March 11, 2019 2:54 am UTC
Out of curiosity, how would one translate the Sooth Deck into online gameplay? I usually use Roll20, but theres no sheets or anything for this sort of game. I also lack a printer IRL. It looks really interesting, and I love the art.
Customer avatar
Brandon T March 11, 2019 12:55 pm UTC
the invisible sun app @ handles this well!
Customer avatar
Brandon C March 11, 2019 4:25 pm UTC
Oooh, okay! Ty.
Customer avatar
Jeremey W March 11, 2019 2:20 am UTC
Seeing that they decided to give Black Cube preorder customers the pdf for free finaly broke my reservations and caused me to buy it. The product is quite expansive and while at first I thought that I would hate their decision to not have just one or two large core books but 4 small ones plus tons of cards but after reading it I do like how it is presented.
All of that being said I do feel like the price for the pdf is a little high for everything you get. $99 is not that unreasonable but it feels like $75 would have been a better price point to get people to buy the game and is more in line with my opinion of its worth.
Customer avatar
Ben W March 10, 2019 5:36 pm UTC
Had a friend buy this and show me what you get. Totally worth the cash with all the things you get. However, I wouldn't recommend if you don't have access to a nice printer.
Customer avatar
Jacobo B March 05, 2019 7:42 am UTC
Like many others, I'm a bit disappointed/shocked by the price, but I think that Monte Cook has produced some of the most interesting games and settings around nowadays.

I think I will wait until I have some spare cash around, or it goes down in price. And I will be playing Numenera while I wait. Just sayin'
Customer avatar
Darius S March 08, 2019 12:54 am UTC
Average pdf for one book is $20. This contains 4 books, $80, plus over 1,000 cards of items, spells and objects of power, the Sooth deck a narrative and mechanical tool, which would be worth over $20.
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 5:09 pm UTC
If you can't buy the books separately, it may as well be *one*. Perceived value based on quantity should not be the driving force to purchase a game - however, that's exactly what Monte is hoping for. And anyone out there that feels this is a good deal should really step back and evaluate their life choices with more scrutiny.
Customer avatar
RAFAEL B March 04, 2019 6:25 pm UTC
This is just ridicule. 100 dollars for a pdf file!
Customer avatar
Christopher J March 05, 2019 2:53 pm UTC
More like 75 pdfs
Customer avatar
Kelly D March 04, 2019 3:20 am UTC
Like rock stars charging $300 for a concert ticket. Rock is dead.
Customer avatar
Robert G March 04, 2019 12:10 am UTC
I sort of imagine that people would want to buy this as a companion to the Black Box, I mean playing with just pdfs, or having to print it all out are both sort of insane propositions. However pdfs to read up on rules, and prep between games makes sense.
So in my mind I sort of see this as an additional $99, which is a bit much? I would probably pay $50 to have all the rules in pdf format to accompany the Black Box. The sort of competitive value of pdfs/digital and physical books right now is like DnDBeyond, don't want to pay twice pattern.
Customer avatar
Eamon M March 04, 2019 2:08 am UTC
Black Cube owners got it for free.
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 5:12 pm UTC
Actually, they paid $252 for it. What a steal!!!
Customer avatar
Eamon M March 13, 2019 8:24 pm UTC
Nope. That money was for 4 books, thousands of cards, a resin sculpture, two cloth maps, hundreds of tokens and counters, an art book, a poster, some metal keys... plus the costs of developing all that since it’s a brand new game.

The digital stuff was released free to owners of the physical Black Cube once they desired that’s something they wanted to release.
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 8:58 pm UTC
I think you completely missed the point lol
Customer avatar
Nanouk H March 03, 2019 3:15 pm UTC
If I wanted to print out the handouts and cards etc, which seem essential for tabletop play, how much would that cost?
I understand that the books etc can be contained on tablets and laptops, but which bits do you need a physical copy of?
Customer avatar
James D March 03, 2019 5:52 pm UTC
Spells, magic items, and temporary magic (ephemera) are only detailed in the card decks. There is a list of them in one of the books (the Way?), but your players will need access to cards to know what their magic does.
Customer avatar
Nanouk H March 03, 2019 5:58 pm UTC
So you'd need to print all the cards out?
All 1000?
Customer avatar
Brandon T March 03, 2019 10:01 pm UTC
this also includes a text document that I think has them listed. You don't have to print them, but you do need a way to randomly pick some, often.
Customer avatar
Eamon M March 04, 2019 2:11 am UTC
I recommend printing out a subset of the cards as your “core set,” and revealing the rest incrementally through play. That way players aren’t drowning in choice right from the get-go, and there’s room for discovery. I’m putting out a blog post about this concept on The Magniloquent Moth eventually.
Customer avatar
James D March 04, 2019 3:46 pm UTC
The general spell and ephemera lists are in the books, but the actual details of what the spells & items do is only listed on the cards. The books just have lists of them by level.
Customer avatar
Darius S March 08, 2019 12:55 am UTC
I run Invisible Sun online. Only thing I printed out were character sheets.
Customer avatar
Cassiano C March 02, 2019 3:17 am UTC
Just the sheer fortitude in setting such a high price for a digital product already makes me interested. I checked the pre-orders for the physical thing: 252 dollars. Wow.
Color me impressed, but I cannot buy this without giving up many other games. I'll check out other products by Monte Cook Games if they are something I'd be interested.
Customer avatar
Jason R March 01, 2019 5:11 pm UTC
I own this product, and am a few weeks into my home game. I am /so/ excited about it.

As far as pricing, I will only say that this is not “a PDF” — I think I counted something like 75 PDFs in the ZIP file? This includes core books, printable and fillable character sheets, maps, props, something like 1,000 cards, a gameboard, and clearly-written instructions about how to self-print any or all of it if you wish… It really is ALL OF THE STUFF in the physical 30-pound product, except, yeah, that creepy hand.

Is it an investment? Absolutely — it's like buying a whole line of books at once. It is also, IMO, a spectacular value.

For anyone curious, MCG does offer a good preview PDF (free) here:

This ^ gives a pretty good taste of a lot of the setting, tone and rules you'll find in the corebooks.
Customer avatar
Cassiano C March 02, 2019 4:09 am UTC
I certainly believe you all saying it's worth the price. It's Monte Cook we're talking about, after all. I think people like me just got an instantaneous reaction: that's not a value we see a lot here. If I get the chance, I'll buy it :)
Customer avatar
Eamon M March 13, 2019 8:26 pm UTC
Btw you can buy the “creepy hand” (Testament of Suns) on it’s own from the MCG website.
Customer avatar
Tr0b3 M March 13, 2019 9:08 pm UTC
How can anyone believe this is "worth the price"? There is hardly any discussion about the game itself! The main topic is whether or not the quantity of stuff in the box or number of pdf files is "worth the price". Anyone want to chime in on anything about the game? Like, is it fun? If so, why? What about the system is satisfying? Is the content QUALITY worth the price?
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This title was added to our catalog on February 27, 2019.