Contact Me

Use this form to contact me, or send your email directly to



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: CypherHeroes I

Nathan Rockwood

This one was a BLAST to write!

I love superheroes, but I always feel like game systems kind of miss the point by not focusing on the important things. Many heroes are better defined by their villains and their reputation than by their actual abilities. Batman, for example, relies on his persona to strike fear into the hearts of baddies, and would be much less interesting if it weren't for the Joker, or even Catwoman and the other antihero/villain mashups he has to decide how to deal with.

CypherHeroes I focuses on bringing those kinds of things into the Cypher System, using the mechanics of subtle cyphers to make it interesting. Because subtle cyphers have no physical form, we can use headlines, characters from the hero's Rogue's Gallery, and even their signature moves (Dangle From Rooftop by Foot, anyone?) to fill out their list of powers without making all of them constantly accessible.

And... the art just looks so awesome!