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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 (1)
Discussions (38)
Customer avatar
Kenneth S June 09, 2019 1:36 am UTC
People complain about the price line, which I think is justified if you don't know what you are actually getting. I own the physical black cube along with Secrets of Silent Streets, Teratology and Book M. So before I get slammed for not presenting anything substantial about the game here it is:
This game is definitely not for everyone. To work, it requires an investment by the players into who their characters actually are beyond the mechanics and, to a greater degree, it requires an investment by the gamemaster to cater to those characters along with prodding or guiding or providing them a cohesive storyline, the latter, while it might be necessary early on considering how different the setting is, being the least desireable. I knew this after my first few days of delving into the Black Box. Out of our larger group of role players there are only 5 that I would consider running this game for, and I have 4 now. All that said, I believe it is a great game.
Mechanically the game is simple, as a...See more
Customer avatar
Kenneth S June 09, 2019 1:49 am UTC
I also would go so far to say that this game- the first time- should only be played tabletop. So if you are into the surreal and you have the desire to run it and the players to play it, buy the damn cube.
Customer avatar
michael F April 19, 2019 5:09 pm UTC
Way to sell only a very limited number of physical copies so you can excuse hiking the price WAY up for the digital release.
The marketing for this game has it going as the next generation of RPGs, but I've yet to hear anything good about it from any one who's actually played it.
Customer avatar
Todd M May 03, 2019 11:36 pm UTC
Thirty-seven discussions, at time of writing, with ZERO reviews.

I smell hype and tripe.
Customer avatar
Kenneth S June 09, 2019 1:56 am UTC
What I posted above, while not a review, I think is a fair assessment of my experience with the game. I love it, but it is definitely not for everyone. I don't think it is hype, I just think it is a niche market- specifically a niche that hasn't been given attention before.
Customer avatar
Carl B April 17, 2019 8:14 pm UTC
So, I'm someone who is currently playing in an Invisible Sun game. It is a very refreshing take on RPGs. You craft your character in details, not numbers. For instance, my character is Niruel, a child Vislae in the weavers faction. Their quirk is that people cannot tell what gender they are. They live in a nearly abandoned neighborhood of Fartown with the other members of their cell, all of them orphaned Vislae except for their "Mother" who is their leader and teacher. In the shadow (That's what you and I call the real world) Niruel was a con artist who ran for political office and won. They still have a fancy pocket watch they keep as a momento from that shadow life. They now live in an abandoned toy shop, hawking toys that have absorbed the broken dreams of their former owners to make a living.

The process of creating your character is a big part of the game, and the other players help you come up with details about your neighborhood. Also, each player chooses a connection to at least...See more
Customer avatar
Joseph W April 19, 2019 7:43 pm UTC
Nothing you described here is a new concept in RPGs. Narrative style RPGs driven by character goals, descriptive rather than numeric character building, personal stories are part of most Indie RPGs coming out. If $99 is a worthy price for this, there has to be something beyond what you have described to make this worth most people's time when there are free games(and low priced games) doing the same thing and probably doing it better.
Customer avatar
Carl B April 21, 2019 1:33 am UTC
Then go play those. Why bother posting on the discussion page here at all? You've made up your mind already so what are you still doing here? I don't understand why people are upset about something they aren't forced to get. If you don't want to pay the price and you think you can get similar for free or cheaper, then do so. I think you all are spoiling for an argument because this is a high profile game and it's perceived as cool to be mad about things.
Customer avatar
Matthew W April 17, 2019 12:27 am UTC
If they fill the page with enough junk hopefully people won't scroll down far enough to see how many people are pissed off about the price of this...:)
Customer avatar
Ross K April 02, 2019 6:39 pm UTC
There's been a lot of debate over a $99 PDF bundle. not one file - BUNDLE. comprising 4 rulebooks and pdfs of *all* the content of the Black Cube - this is a lot of pdf.
The game itself is magical, wonderful and is seriously one of the best ttrpg's that I've played / run in 30 years.
its not for everyone. no way, no how. it cant be.
want an OSR hexcrawler? nah. not this game. want tactical turn by turn action, crunchy weapon stats and a monster manual longer than your arm? look elsewhere.
but if you want a player driven, magical surreal world that is boundless and allows players to tell the stories about their characters that they want to tell?

call the Black Cube, Vislae.
Customer avatar
Dario T April 01, 2019 7:22 am UTC
This is a wonderful game for some, but I don't think everyone will like it. I got it through Monte Cook store and so I cannot review it here, but if you're interested in a deep look, I leave mine here:
Customer avatar
Nicholas B March 27, 2019 8:56 pm UTC
I haven't picked up the PDF but it inspired me to get the actual physical game, which is a massive box filled to the brim and well worth it if you're in to the kind of game Invisible Sun happens to be. Lot of teeth gnashing about the price, which is honestly more than I'd pay for PDFs, too....but I don't use PDFs for much more than quick references online, and this game may just be worth another $99 so I may pony up soon.
Customer avatar
Nikolas B March 26, 2019 2:11 am UTC
1000 pages plus cards for setting and rules just seems like bad optimisation. There's no reason for the prohibitive price point. Anyone able to articulate the supposedly revolutionary mechanics this thing presents?
Customer avatar
Nikolas B March 26, 2019 2:09 am UTC
Customer avatar
Matthew W March 25, 2019 10:39 pm UTC
Thank goodness there are lots of free wonderful RPGs available online these days. 100 dollars for a 1000 page pdf. That is the absolute very last zero nope zilch thing I want in my gaming life. :) Google Basic Fantasy, download, play with free rules for the rest of your life. When does the 200 dollar pdf come along?....where are my ribbons of shame. Shame, shame, shame. What a slap in the face to the entire gaming community.
Customer avatar
Nicholas B March 27, 2019 9:01 pm UTC
Massive and bizarre over-reaction. If there's no market for it, it will fail. If there is a market for it, then it will succeed within the scope of what it is, and the only reason to be upset is if you want to be in on that too but can't (due to price point).

Basic Fantasy is awesome, but it is a fundamentally different experience and game, and great for what it does, but hardly a one-size-fits-all experience. There's room for free BF RPG and Invisible Sun, the two barely overlap in terms of audience. It's like criticizing someone for buying a drink at Starbucks when you can get a perfectly good $1 bottle of instant coffee at the Dollar Store, or wondering why anyone would drive a sports car when there are Honda Civics in the universe.
Customer avatar
Cassiano C March 28, 2019 12:37 am UTC
Each system is pretty much unique. Basic Fantasy and Invisible Sun are so different systems that I cannot see how one can substitute the other. The comparison is just not true.
Customer avatar
John L March 21, 2019 3:46 pm UTC
Lots of freaking out about the price going on and frankly I understand that on a site where a ton of materials are free, a buck or a few bucks. If you can't afford it, don't buy it until it inevitably drops in price. If you don't have a group that would be interested in role playing inspired by surrealism, don't get it at all: it is an unusual setting.

The $100 didn't bother me because I knew going in that it is the core rules, character creation, four caster disciplines and a setting book all bundled together with a large number of add-ons. I had watched it played on Twitch and liked what I saw. I'm going to use them in a virtual tabletop, so the printing costs are not an issue.

However, if you wanted the Monte Cook experience a lot cheaper, the Numenera Humble Bundle was insane value and I think that Numenera is an easier universe to get people interested in. Still, it seems a lot of people would prefer to be insulted by the fact it exists at all, which is mildly amusing, but not terribly...See more
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
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.
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