Review: CypherCaster Issue #1

The Cypher System now has a FanZine called the CypherCaster, produced by David Wilson Brown. The CypherCaster promises to be a great resource for any fan of the Cypher System. The first issue includes information on upcoming releases, an article on incorporating Space in your Cypher game, a short story set in Numenera, a Numenera adventure for tiers 1-3, a series of reports from The Estate reporting on a new recursion, and a new gothic recursion to use in your campaign.

I keep up on news from MCG and their new releases, but CypherCaster has everything gathered in one place, including information on the No Thank You, Evil! Kickstarter campaign (you can read about that here in my interview with Shanna Germain). One piece of this that was especially interesting to me was an interview (by Andrew Cady) with the creators of Shotgun and Sorcery, a new third party game utilizing the Cypher System by Outland Entertainment that was kickstarted earlier this year.

Exploring Cypher Space by James Walls delved into one GM’s experience in adapting the Cypher System into his own unique scenario and campaign. I think in general this is going to be easier when the Cypher System book comes out, but the author has a lot of great advice, and some plot ideas that are tempting to introduce into my own campaign.

Shapes in the Sand by Jim Ryan is a wonderful short story that really seems to capture the weirdness of living in the Ninth World and what you can encounter. I kept waiting for Ryan to state flat out the character types for the protagonists, and it was great just to sort of figure it out yourself.

Hunting for Krofwarton by Chris Fitzgerald is a short adventure that is well-written, and I really loved the portraits that were drawn for all of the NPCs. I wish the maps had been a little better drawn, but they clearly show what’s intended. In this adventure, the PCs are approached to help a con-man recover some stolen goods. Fitzgerald intends for it to play out like a Guy Ritchie film, with several groups of bad guys all trying to get the same thing.

The Norse Recursion Cluster field report by Marc Ploude is a great way to give some details of the story without giving us everything. I think this has a great potential for getting your own ideas from the recursion that is introduced in pieces. I especially love that some of the reports are redacted. The report is intended to give the GM seeds for using the recursion in their own campaign, with some details of the people and creatures found there.

I love Holstenwall, a gothic horror recursion by Scott Robinson. It’s nice and spooky and introduces points of interest within the recursion. I wish they had included some foci that were made just for this recursion, but all the information they do include is great. I also appreciated the list of resources they provided to get your own ideas of what to have present in this recursion.

The Fanzine concludes with MCG news and events for MCG fans.

I definitely think that this zine is a great investment for Cypher fans. It’s full of great information and ideas, and is only $4 on DriveThruRPG. The next issue will be out in July, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it as well!

Megan loves RPGs, cephalopods, robots, dice, and Kickstarter campaigns related to the above. She is a co-founder of The Redacted Files and runs our Numenera, Pathfinder, and Horror on the Orient Express campaigns, as well as the Trail of Cthulhu one-shots.

3 thoughts on “Review: CypherCaster Issue #1

  1. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the Holstenwall article. I am planning that as part 1 of at least 3. The second part will be an example adventure (with some new monsters). The third may include a toolkit of additional cyphers, foci, etc. for the recursion. I will put you down as a vote for foci. Out of curiosity, would you prefer entirely new foci or some tips on adapting existing ones?

    1. I would love to see entirely new ones, though I think adapting the existing could also be interesting. Though no that you bring up new cyphers, that could also be pretty cool. The recursion looks like a lot of fun. I don’t run the Strange game atm for TRF, but I definitely want to use Holstenwall in any future games I run.

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