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Cypher Shorts

Cypher Shorts are what we call quick and easy adventures for use with the Cypher System. The idea here is an adventure with very quick character creation and minimal GM prep, designed for a one-shot game that can be finished in a single session of three to four hours. If a typical campaign is an ongoing television series, think of a Cypher Short as a movie.

Cypher Shorts is a supplement for the Cypher System. You need the Cypher System Rulebook to play.


This website contains all the information from the Cypher System Rulebook that you'll need.

There are some key concepts to a Cypher Short that you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re playing, running, or creating one for yourself. They include:

  • Very simple characters that are immediately involved in the situation. No long expository lead-ins, no “meet in a tavern” scenes.
  • Characters have clear objectives, and there’s no thought to character advancement. This is a one-shot game, and we aren’t concerned about what came before or what comes after.
  • There is less of a plot than there is a situation. Plot implies a linear direction: “This happens, then this, then this.” Cypher Shorts are meant to be framed more like: “You’re involved in this situation, so what do you do?”
  • Just as players should use improvisation to react to and deal with situations they didn’t know were coming, the GM should be ready to do the same.

Cypher Shorts are described in more detail in the following sections:

The Cypher System is a setting-generic tabletop roleplaying game designed by Monte Cook Games.
This product is an independent production and is not affiliated with Monte Cook Games, LLC. It is published under the Cypher System Open License, found at https://csol.montecookgames.com.
CYPHER SYSTEM and its logo are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. All Monte Cook Games characters and character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC.