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This is the blog of Larcenous Designs, LLC, through which I (Nathan Rockwood) will be publishing thoughts and ramblings related to my business' projects, which may include anything related to games, game design, and the use of gaming in education. 

Comments will be moderated without mercy.

Design Notes: Cypher System: UXP Deck

Nathan Rockwood

Please note that I am in no way affiliated with Monte Cook Games, and am not endorsed by them in any way, save through the licensing agreement that is part of their Cypher System Creator program, and that the product being talked about below is an upcoming release of mine using that system and license.  

Gaming with many different groups of people, I've seen quite a few 'types' of role player over the years. Despite the many stereotypes and how they encourage us to deal with gamers who seem to be 'out of synch' with the rest of their group (the rules lawyer or combat munchkin ruining the game for their friends, etc), I've found that it is often easy to tweak game systems and rules to discourage 'problem behavior' without breaking anyone's sense of fun.

With the Cypher System, I've been running into two types of player who are having trouble with the XP system. The first type refuses to fail any rolls, ever, and will spend XP constantly to ensure success, even when failure isn't that bad (and might make the game more fun, sometimes!). The second type never spends XP on anything but upgrading to the next tier, grinding after those 'levels' as fast as they can.

And so, to help modify those behaviors, I've created my own version of the XP Deck, adding bonuses and penalties to encourage more diverse spending patterns! Each card is unique (though the special effects on the '1 XP' cards do repeat, they appear in different combinations), and so I thought I'd call it the Unique Experience deck, or UXP. Examples below, and the deck itself on drivethru, thanks to the Cypher System Creator project!