Starting Cyphers

When generating/rolling/picking starting cyphers for players, what happens when you get an Occultic cypher, one of the ones that count as two cyphers for the purposes of Limit. Is it okay for a character to start with Occultic cyphers that push the character past their limit before they even start the game? Do you reroll until you get only anoetic ones? Or do you say that if they roll an Occultic cypher, then that's the only cypher they start with (unless they're a Nano).


  • edited August 2015
    Personally this is how I run it, if a players rolls for an occultic cypher, that is the only one I let them start with. But I see no problem with a GM letting a player roll for an additonal Cypher, they will just have to roll to see if anything bad happens from being over the cypher limit.
  • The way I decided to handle it in the end is that its okay if the PCs start with occultic cyphers that push them above their cypher limit. I'm okay with assuming that they rolled a 1-60 on their cypher overload roll. However, if they gain further cyphers without expending the ones they've got, then we'll make a roll. The players seemed fine with this.
  • How do you decide for cyphers anyway? Do you actually roll? I´ve made the experience that there are a lot of very usefull cypers, but someone gets stuck with some cypher they never get to use sooner or later. Like waterbreathing in the desert, or healing in a court intrigue.
  • Both of which can be useful in those situations is given the right circumstances, the healing one can prevent death from being poisoned and the waterbreathing could help during sandstorms and/or being buried alive, if it is like a scuba mask / rebreather of some sort or you have to go to the bottom of an oasis' lake. Or you sell them at the first opportunity for some quick shins.
    I use Sir Arthur's, the core book and the Cypher Collection books and have the players roll for their starting cyphers. What they do with them after that is up to them, but the rolls stand, especially if they are stupid. That is mostly because "we" don't know what the world was like in the previous ages, that desert might have been a coastline or underwater or the basement that the healing cypher was found might have been part of a hospital or those cyphers were family heirlooms, handed down from when Great(x4) grandpa used to scour the weird sites for bits to sell. It gives the player a chance to be creative with the cypher's use.
    I don't personally care if the cypher is Anoetic or Occultic (even if it does drive them over their limit) at the start of the game, mostly because I know they will be used, sold or just chucked out in fairly quick order.
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