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Fantasy Races As Types (Cypher System)
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Fantasy Races As Types (Cypher System)


This product focuses on replacing the standard types (Warrior, Explorer, Adept, Speaker) with racial types, so that you can play interesting variations of Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings and still have the huge world of potential descriptors open to you.  Now you can have evocative and differentiating titles like a “Mysterious Elf who Cast Spells” and a “Jovial Dwarf who Cast Spells”, allowing players to better imagine and describe their characters.  

Each Racial Type described in this document is designed to add flavor and thematic special abilities for your character.  Dwarves, for example, tend to have very martial abilities but that doesn’t mean every dwarf is a Warrior.  Or does it?   Certainly if you want to learn some martial prowess, you’ll be able to pick that up with dwarven upbringing pretty easily regardless of your primary focus. Learning the ways of magic may require you to choose a magical focus, but some elves and gnomes can just pick up magical abilities on the side, regardless of their true vocation.

Some features of the system:

Descriptors - While no new descriptors are presented here, using these racial types allows your fantasy campaign  to utilize all the descriptors in the Cypher System Rulebook, and possibly many others you’ll find in other Cypher System products.

Thematic Abilities - This product contains many new abilities for each type, some abilities that have been reworked, but most are unchanged abilities that merely reference page numbers in the Cypher System Rulebook.  Special Abilities from throughout the book have been redistributed to present a spectrum of common themes that reinforce the stereotypes of each race, while still ensuring that any Racial Type can be used for any character concept.  

So if you want to play a “Inquisitive Gnome who Stands Like a Bastion”, now you can take delight in playing a nosy defender with some stealth, trickery, and an affinity for speaking with woodlands beings. 

More examples - The Cypher System Rulebook, due to its universal nature, is very sparse and generic when it comes to abilities that require choosing something from a list.  These racial types include abilities with much larger lists and options suitable for a fantasy setting.  

Languages - Languages tend to be a big deal in fantasy literature, and so there’s a greater emphasis on defining which languages you are fluent or literate in.  Just because you can speak a language doesn’t always mean you can read and write in it.  This is an easy detail to ignore, but if you want to use it, it can add a little bit of authenticity and complication to your fantasy games.

Culture - In the default Cypher rules, all elves are trained with the bow.  In these rules for racial types, you decide what kind of elf you want to play and certainly getting training with the bow is one of your options.  Even if you are not a “Carries a Quiver” kind of character, you can still be a trained archer and its much easier to get this training if you are raised among elves.  Similarly, elves are known for stealth, grace, beauty, magical prowess, and many other traits.  These are not automatically given to elves, but are certainly abilities that can be chosen by elven characters.  What kind of elf will you play?  

Cross-culture Upbringing - Another little detail (that is easy to ignore in campaigns that don’t want this level of detail) is that all types have some inherent biological traits but the vast majority are considered cultural or learnable traits and are tied to your Upbringing.  For most characters, their racial type and upbringing will be the same.  But if you want to be an elf who was raised by dwarves, then you’re going to more hardy and martial than most elves.  You’re not going to get the elven affinity for training with bows and magic without intense focus, but you might be tougher and have an eye for details and affinity for getting in and out of trouble. The easiest way to play a “half-elf”, for example, is to make a Human raised by Elves, or an Elf raised by Humans.  

Magic System - Magic is no longer just a matter of simply getting a single supernatural  ability for your character.  Instead of acquiring special abilities, characters can learn spells that can either be cast directly or stored more reliably within “mental archives”.  D&D players will find this somewhat familiar, but it has been built into the special ability and tier system of Cypher.  A sample spell list is provided, which is shared among all spellcasters.  

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September 2nd, 2017
I really love the work put into this. I'm very lazy when it comes to running my games, I just like to run them and concentrate on the story. This supplement reworked the Character Type rules, but in a good way. If you want the feel of old schoo [...]
March 18th, 2017
I'm not a huge fan of this content. I'm lazy so I was hoping someone created a system of races which I could just plug into a Fantasy Cypher system and use. Instead, this book reinvents the wheel and that's just way too much customization for me. [...]
March 1st, 2017
This is my absolute favorite Cypher System product so far. Fantasy races are done up as types - all except half elf and half orc. The idea though is the character chooses which culture they were raised by and uses that for their type. So a half elf cou [...]
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File Last Updated:
September 01, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on September 01, 2016.