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Cypher Speak

Darcy & Troy talk about Monte Cooks Games and the Cypher system which include Numenera, The Strange, Invisible Sun, and a number of other amazing settings and games. They touch on Game Mastering, Rules, Settings, cyphers, and a number of other topics GMs can use in their cypher system table top games.

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Cypher Speak Episode 39: Focus my Young Padawan

In this episode Darcy and Troy talk about foci, and customizing them for your game. Shout Out to Wednesday Evening Podcast All-Stars Poddities: Troy – Cypher Unlimited YouTube Channel Darcy – Unearthly Twilight on WebDM Twitch Vurt on Twitch The Notion presents The Truth Bleeds at Twilight and The Owl of Liscia – Both available on the Monte Cook Games Twitch Extra Links: Cypher Guide

39mins

12 Sep 2018

Rank #1

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Cypher Speak 18: C’Mon, Fight Me!

Troy & Darcy plot how to run epic boss fights in the Cypher System!(PS: If you get an episode that is mysterious and only 3 minutes long, please re-download Highlights/Shoutouts: Our Favorite Pop Culture Movie Fights Boss Battle Discussion Damage Track Manipulation Creative Armor Use Cypher Use by Enemies Use your Environment Morph your Boss Use your Henchmen. The “Undefeatable” Boss Cypher System Discord The Bridges We Burn – A Numenera Adventure What are your hottest tips? Tweet at us or comment!Keep in touch & let us know your thoughts on the show or anything in the CypherSphere! Tweet at us: @CypherSpeakPod @TroyP23 @DarcyLRoss #CypherSomeone Email us: cypherspeakpod@gmail.com Review us: Cypher Speak iTunes Page Edited by Darcy & Casey Ross Thanks for all the support so far!

41mins

12 Sep 2017

Rank #2

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Cypher Speak Episode 22: Star Wars in Cypher

47mins

21 Feb 2018

Rank #3

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Cypher Speak Episode 29: Cypher System Intruding on Your other games

In this episode Darcy and Troy talk about how Cypher System influences the way they run and play in other games. GM Intrusions Cyphers Not Rolling Dice Story Please! Shout Out to the Wednesday Evening Podcast All-Stars! Poddities: Troy – Christopher West Mapmaker extraordinaire. Patreon Online Store Darcy – Lindsay Ellis – Why is it So Hard to Remember What Happens in Transformers? The Whole Plate: Episode 3

47mins

3 Apr 2018

Rank #4

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Cypher Speak Episode 23: Skill Monkey

37mins

22 Feb 2018

Rank #5

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Cypher Speak Episode 35: Lost in Translation!

In this episode Darcy and Troy talk about running translations in the Cypher System. Topic suggestion from: Blake via Email Shout Out to The Lounge Poddities: Troy – Angry GM Kickstarter Darcy – Welcome to Warda – Amazing Warda Actual Play!

45mins

4 Jul 2018

Rank #6

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Cypher Speak Episode 46: Preparation C

In this episode, Darcy and Troy talk about doing adventure and campaign preparation in general, along with some Cypher specific tips. Shout Out to Panda’s Talking Games Poddities: Troy – Companion’s Tale Darcy – New GM Month

46mins

23 Jan 2019

Rank #7

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Cypher Speak Episode 32: Quick, Think of Something Clever!

In this episode Darcy and Troy talk about allowing for Improv within the narrative structure of your story. What Darcy Does What Troy Does How Cypher Helps Traps and Pitfalls Shout Out to Jiangu Hustle Poddities: Troy – Protean City Comics Darcy –The Secret Cellar

38mins

14 May 2018

Rank #8

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Cypher Speak 12: Shanna Germain Asset Interview

Today Darcy and Troy interview Shanna Germain of Monte Cook Games. We travel back into the past of Predation, and learn some of its secrets. Links: Monte Cook Games Museum of the Earth Shanna Germain: Website Twitter Facebook Keep in touch & let us know your thoughts on the show or anything in the CypherSphere! Tweet at us: @CypherSpeakPod @TroyP23 @DarcyLRoss #CypherSomeone Email us: cypherspeakpod@gmail.com Review us: Cypher Speak iTunes Page Edited by Troy Pichelman Thanks for all the support so far!

37mins

13 Jun 2017

Rank #9

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Cypher Speak 11: Level Up Your XP

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious -Albert Einstein. Darcy & Troy discuss the many uses of XP in the Cypher System, from the usual things like re-rolls & tiering up to things like adding narrative flavor, modifying Numenera, establishing NPC contacts or houses, and more.Short-term Benefits: The Cypher System Rulebook lists the following ideas for short-term benefits: 1 XP: Re-roll any die roll, Decline a GM Intrusion 2 XP: Gain training in a very focused skill, Gain short term use of an item or ability Our other ideas: 1 XP: Narrative flavor for a single scene The shopkeeper has a tell that allows you to negotiate a better price. You just happen to have a crowbar in your bag for opening this chest. Modify the way a cypher works, staying with the original use of the device, but stretching it a little bit. There is particular lighting in this warehouse fight that makes your character look really cool 2 XP: Narrative flavor that lasts a bit longer Characters are able to modify or add a new ability to an artifact, perhaps with a drawback kor additional depletion effects. Recruit a friendly NPC that will help out the group for a short period of time, or is an expert in a specific field. A temporary safe house. Long-term Benefits: The Cypher System Rulebook lists the following ideas for long-term benefits: Familiarity: +1 to the die roll of a given task Contact: Someone helpful to the party that can assist them over a period of time. Home: A residence to call home. Title: A title Wealth: Characters come into some money Artifact: Create an artifact Some of our ideas: Long-term benefits should have a long and impactful effect on your campaign. Allow players to bring in someone from their backstory as a contact. Modify an existing artifact to have additional properties. Sort of a legacy weapon feel, so you have an item that grows with you. That creature you formed a bond with permanently becomes your companion animal. Your tinkering with that device/piece of Numenera allows you to permanently have a Google Glass-like HUD that tells you some extra information of things you look like (Horizon Zero Dawn’s scan ability, for instance) Refunds. If players invest in a long-term benefit and for some reason it’s not applicable anymore, you should consider refunding the XP they invested, or some portion of it. Maybe the contact did work out. Maybe the Title became hollow, Maybe the GM burned your home to the ground. If for whatever reason something you invested 3 XP in no longer has value, or is taken away, think about softening the blow with additional XP. These types of things should be GM Intrusions at least, and Troy would consider giving a bonus XP to the affected player. Poddities Troy: Jade Colossus: Ruins of the Ninth World. Darcy: The CypherCast podcast, run by the amazing David Wilson Brown & Andrew Cady, has picked up one of the most fabulous humans in the Monte Cook Games community as their new co-host: Dani Neary! I love this group already and can’t wait to hear new episodes with this trifecta of awesome. How do you use your XP in a Cypher System Game?  Let us know your thoughts! Keep in touch & let us know your thoughts on the show or anything in the CypherSphere! Tweet at us: @CypherSpeakPod @TroyP23 @DarcyLRoss #CypherSomeone Email us: cypherspeakpod@gmail.com Review us: Cypher Speak iTunes Page Edited by Casey Ross Thanks for all the support so far!

30mins

30 May 2017

Rank #10

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Cypher Speak Episode 1: Pardon our Intrusion

Reposting after the great website crash

18mins

20 Aug 2016

Rank #11

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Cypher Speak Episode 40: Can we salvage this episode?

In this first episode of a two part series, Darcy and Troy talk about using the new salvaging rules from Numenera Destiny. Shout Out to Advantage to Insight Poddities: Troy – Thirteen Demon Princes Darcy – RINGWEB – Numenera Actual Play

38mins

2 Oct 2018

Rank #12

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Cypher Speak Episode 33: It was a dark and stormy podcast

In this episode Darcy and Troy talk about running investigative games in the Cypher System. General Investigative tips Running a mystery in an existing campaign Making investigation the spine of a whole campaign Invisible Sun musing Shout Out to Gnomecast Poddities: Troy – Part-Time Gods Second Edition Kickstarter Darcy – No Thank You Evil Reprint – Kickstarter

42mins

30 May 2018

Rank #13

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Cypher Speak Episode 31: No Power in the Verse Can Stop Us Now!

In this episode Darcy and Troy talk about creating the world of Firefly in the Cypher System. Building Characters Cyphers The Ship! Shout Out to the Hobbs and Friends of the OSR Poddities: Troy – Chris Renshaw (@ChrisTheProf) Boards and Swords Darcy Star Crossed Kagematsu

39mins

30 Apr 2018

Rank #14

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Cypher Speak 15: No Thank You Evil!

It’s time to talk Kids Games!  This week we cover Monte Cook Games RPG for Kids, No Thank You, Evil! by Shanna Germain.  Gaming with kids is really great, and if you are looking for a good introduction to play an RPG with kids, look no further than No Thank You, Evil! Links: I Live for Crits Living for Crits Youtube John Harness on Modifier Big Bad Con Gamehole Con Keep in touch & let us know your thoughts on the show or anything in the CypherSphere! Tweet at us: @CypherSpeakPod @TroyP23 @DarcyLRoss #CypherSomeone Email us: cypherspeakpod@gmail.com Review us: Cypher Speak iTunes Page Edited by Casey Ross Thanks for all the support so far!

32mins

25 Jul 2017

Rank #15

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Cypher Speak 9: Numenara’s Marine Factions — The Beach Episode

Under the sea. Darcy & Troy discuss two of Numenera’s delightful aquatic organizations, the piratical Red Fleet and the underwater city guardian-scientists, the Conflux. Both organizations inspire countless adventure hooks and can be pitted against the party or in cahoots with the party with equal pleasure. The Red Fleet: Schtick: Pirate/explorers who eschew man-made/Numenera artifacts and seek out natural wonders of the sea with their mystiously-grown “submergines” Described in the Numenera Core Book The Conflux: Schtick: Respected guardians and caretakers of underwater cities that hold breathable air, they seek Numenera to help them in this important duty. Described in Character Options 2, and references the oceia (underwater cities) and races detailed in Into the Deepand the glimmer Octopi of the Ninth World. Question to the listeners: What’s extra weird about the Brine Hierarch?! Is she a lich? Shout-outs: “There is no peace, there is only FASHION.” A take-off on the Sith Code, this sentiment echo’s Darcy’s strong assertion that the most important aspect of a faction is their fashion. The Mandalorians of Star Wars have cute-fancy armor, the Aeon Priests of Numenera have their silly orange robes, and bisexuals have their magical invisibility cloaks. It Is Known. This is a favored saying of Maddie Ray‘s, who is an amazing audio editor when she’s not literally being Rey from The Force Awakens or being a professional photographer or being generally amazing in every way. It is also a fabulous occasional segment on Never Tell Me The Pods, the best Star Wars podcast on the HoloNet and supportable on Patreon! The Protector of Concord Dawn (Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Episode 13) is about trying to secure a hyperspace route for the Rebellion that is currently held by Mandalorians… via diplomacy!  Darcy gets a ton of inspiration for Numenera through the Clone Wars and Rebels animated Star Wars series. Poddities Troy: Blue Planet by Jeff Barber. Inspiring RPG worth reading even if just to steal for your Into the Deep Numenera games! It is also highly recommended by the subject of Darcy’s poddity…. Darcy: Rich Howard is my go-to expert in the RPG world on aquatic gaming, and frankly my go-to marine biology expert more generally! Rich & Darcy chat about Aquatic Gaming on James Intracoso’s Tabletop Babble. Into the Deep gets rave reviews! Related to this chat, Rich ran an AMAZING D&D 5e Aquatic Adventure for Tabletop Babble’s Youtube Channel. See his advice in action! Rich writes a column for Tribality called From the Depths, which gives GM advice, mechanical builds of aquatic races and creatures for D&D, and much more! He has also written loads of award-winning material available on DriveThruRPG. If you want to support these endeavors and get cool pdfs and writing, support his personal Patreon! Rich also founded and co-hosts the amazing podcast Whelmed: The Young Justice Files about Young Justice, the DC Comics animated series about the “sidekicks” of superheroes, such as Batman’s Robin and Martian Manhunter’s Miss Martian. This show has broken my heart over and over again, and makes Aqualad one of the COOLEST CHARACTERS EVER and painfully Numenera. Watch it, and listen to Rich on Whelmed because he translates the byzantine world of DC comics and continuity and delivers impassioned, fascinating storytelling to flesh out the already great shot. They’ve also got amazing guests by voice actors and other creators related to the show! I can’t recommend it enough. If you love Whelmed (and you will!), support its production on Patreon! Keep an eye out for an Actual Play here with maybe me in it! As maybe one of my favorite characters! Keep in touch & let us know your thoughts on the show! Tweet at us: @CypherSpeakPod @TroyP23 @DarcyLRoss #CypherSomeone Email us: cypherspeakpod@gmail.com Review us: Cypher Speak iTunes Page Edited by Casey Ross Thanks for all the support so far!

31mins

2 May 2017

Rank #16

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Cypher Speak Episode 47: Bring Me a Dungeon!!!

In this episode, Darcy and Troy talk about creating a dungeon or ruin quickly with some helpful tips and sources. Poddities: Troy – Eberron: Shadows of the Last War $1 Adventure Frameworks is creating RPG Mini Adventures & Side Treks Darcy – http://blog.trilemma.com Streams! Friday 4pm Pacific: Callisto 6, Season 2 episode 1 on twitch.tv/geekandsundry Friday 7pm Pacific: Mortal Spheres (The Strange RPG run by Asset Team member Jess), twitch.tv/scratticus Sunday noon Pacific: The Lost Girls premiere, Cypher System vampires on twitch.tv/webdm

33mins

6 Feb 2019

Rank #17

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Cypher Speak 8: High Powered Games

Turn it up to 11. Darcy & Troy discuss high-powered play, both through leveling up to higher tiers and through power shifts, which enable play with superheroes and gods.Shout-outs: Inspiration for supers games: Whelmed: The Young Justice Files – A brilliant, moving, funny, accessible podcast that elaborates on the fantastic animated TV show Young Justice, which is streaming on Netflix and recently had a 3rd season announced! Hosts Caleb (of The RPG Academy) & Rich (of Tribality) are fabulous humans who bring to life the DC Universe and the excellent storytelling of YJ, even for people who had never touched that universe of media (like Darcy). They also have the support of many of the YJ creators, artists, voice actors and so on, and have really high profile guests with excellent conversations (except for Darcy’s). Support their Patreon if you like it! #HackWeekGang: Troy & Darcy play at hacking, but these podcasts are where to go for real discussions of hacking games! Some of the best hosts in the land, as well! Modifier Podcast (Twitter) is an interview-style podcast hosted by Meghan Dornbrock on the One Shot Network that focuses on “cool ways people alter games and gaming in the pursuit of better storytelling and a super fun time!” Stop, Hack, and Roll (Twitter) hosted by the fabulous James Malloy and Brandon Leon is a discussion-based podcast “about modifying, hacking, and houserulesing games.” Poddities Troy: Brandon Sanderson’s superhero book series, The Reckoners (and many other excellent books!). The Reckoners is about superpowered people who experience a darkness the more they use their powers, turning them further into villains. The Reckoners are non-powered people trying to take down these supervillains. Great inspiration for playing with the “high power at a cost” trope! Darcy: ConTessa is an organization that promotes and supports leaders in gaming who identify with historically marginalized or edged-out groups (such as women, LGBTQA+, people of color, people with disabilities, and more). Our events are run by people who identify as “other” in some way, but we welcome EVERYONE to participate in our events and play in our games! We’re looking for more gamemasters at Gen Con, and you can get your badge reimbursed if you run at least 6 hours of games and volunteer for 4 hours. We also are running an online convention weekend around International Tabletop Day – come play or run things! I’m hosting an RPG Brunch discussion and am running a one-shot of Numenera! Keep in touch & let us know your thoughts on the show! Tweet at us: @CypherSpeakPod @TroyP23 @DarcyLRoss #CypherSomeone Email us: cypherspeakpod@gmail.com Review us: Cypher Speak iTunes Page Edited by Casey Ross Thanks for all the support so far!

30mins

18 Apr 2017

Rank #18

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Cypher Speak 10: Flavors Galore

Taste the rainbow. Darcy & Troy deliciously discuss the character option mechanic “flavors,” introduced in the Cypher System Rulebook; how to use them, how to make new ones, and some of the coolest new ones we can think of.Flavors: Schtick: Packages of abilities you can select from instead of your Type abilities so that you flavor that Type a little differently. In the Cypher System Rulebook (CSR) are four base Types: Warrior, Adept, Explorer, and Speaker, and five flavors with which to modify them: Stealth, Tech, Magic, Combat, and Skills and Knowledge Using Flavors: Gamemaster makes custom types for the campaign, selecting type & flavor combinations for the players to choose from. There is a Campaign Design Sheet in the CSR that lets you write out your custom types and delineate suggested Foci and Descriptors that make sense for your setting, which is helpful to communicate to the players what kinds of stories you’re intending to help tell. Cypher Harry Potter: Perhaps give all the Types a magic Flavor so everyone can use magic, but perhaps also some basic abilities like Onslaught – making some kind of magic shoot out of your want to hit things. For players, anytime you get a Type ability (as an Advancement or as you Tier up), you can opt to choose off your Flavor list instead of your Type list. It’s never forced, but it’s an option! Commitment Issues. It seems natural to be able to add a flavor later on if you’re starting from a “vanilla” or base Type. If you see your character turning more stealthy, this is a great way to easily support the character that emerges. Good for people who have trouble with commitment *cough* Darcy. Creating Your Own Flavors: Easiest way: Steal abilities from other Types of the same Tier, to easily keep the rough balance in line. Lots to choose from, outside of the four base Types in the CSR! 3 in the Numenera Corebook: glaive, nano, and jack 2 additional Numenera Types in Character Options 2: glint and seeker 3 Types in the Strange Corebook: vector, paradox, and spinner 4 Types in the Gods of the Fall setting: champion, shaper, destroyer, and savior. These are all flavored Types from the CSR, so there are not really new abilities from which to steal. They are good examples of creative ways to remix Types, however! More Types coming from the other Cypher System Worlds: Predation (releasing soon!) and Unmasked. Second easiest way: Reskin abilities to fit your flavor. Turn Onslaught from a force blast into shooting a fire arrow. Where a Glint convinces someone to do something with the Complete Lunacy ability, but if you steal that ability for a Warrior, perhaps it is done via Intimidation, and perhaps is powered by points from the Might pool. Beyond that, feel absolutely free to craft your own packages of abilities and skills to make the flavor you want. The above options are just the shortcuts Our Ideas for Flavors: Small: built for small creatures like Hobbitses! Perhaps bonuses to stealth, bonuses to hitting a bigger creature. Jeremy Land also wrote an excellent essay in CypherCaster Issue 4 talking about this exactly! Go buy it here, the whole issue is fabulous. Mundane: This flavor removes everything that smacks of having a power, and replaces it with things we use in our everyday lives as everyday people. Perfect for sitcom storytelling. Onslaught became skinned as an ability where someone used jargon so overwhelmingly that the target gave in to the demands of the assailant. Shout-outs: “FLAVORTOWN“: “Flavortown is a game about community, competition, and American Myth.” Check out this amazing, quick micro RPG by Quinn Wilson called Flavortown, inspired by shows that involve a lone folk hero visiting diners and other establishments, accepting the dishes crafted by nervous artisans hoping to impress the fiery folk hero. Conan the Salaryman: an inspiring mashup. Jeremy Land’s wonderful essay, Races in a Cypher System Game, in the magazine CypherCaster Issue 4, tells you exactly how to use flavors to represent your species instead of taking the place of your adjective, so you can still be a Feisty Argonian Maid [Type] who Blushes Madly, or you can be a Bashful Lizard-person Warrior who Never Says Die. Poddities Troy: Honing his storytelling craft through the Misdirected Mark episode 249 – Lay Down the Beat… Structure, which draws on the book Hamlet’s Hit Points by Robin D. Laws that ports screenwriting beat analysis techniques to roleplaying games. Darcy: Cypher System’s supplement Expanded Worlds is out now! It doesn’t have new flavors, but it does give you some recipes for custom Type/Flavor combos you may want to try out for playing in the different genres the book lays out: Post-apocalyptic, Mythological, Fairy Tale, Childhood Adventure, Historical, Crime & Espionage, and Hard Science Fiction. A bunch of the Foci from this book are amaaaazing too – highly recommended. I immediately swapped out my Gods of the Fall Focus to “is Hunted by Moths” from this book! Keep in touch & let us know your thoughts on the show or anything in the CypherSphere! Tweet at us: @CypherSpeakPod @TroyP23 @DarcyLRoss #CypherSomeone (Ask for it SPICY if you want a flavored character sentence!) Email us: cypherspeakpod@gmail.com Review us: Cypher Speak iTunes Page Edited by Casey Ross Thanks for all the support so far!

31mins

16 May 2017

Rank #19

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Cypher Speak Episode 38: It’s our GenCon we’ll cry if we want to.

In this episode Darcy and Troy talk their GenCon 2018 experience! Shout Out to Misdirected Mark Podcast Poddities: Troy – Domina Magica Darcy – Vurt on Twitch The Notion presents The Truth Bleeds at Twilight and The Owl of Liscia – Both available on the Monte Cook Games Twitch Extra Links: Vurt Descent into Midnight Scum and Villainy Cooperatives Podcast Audrey’s Store Burn Bryte View Scream

36mins

21 Aug 2018

Rank #20