Ideas for Cyphers

Hey Scoundrels.

If you’re part of band called the Déshérités, stop reading right here !

For real, stop !

Okay, my players recently realised they didn’t really interact with the Cyphers, whom they chose as an ally during crew creation. I take part of the blame, because I’m having trouble fleshing them out from the little we have in the books.

So I’m fishing for inspiration. Did you ever meet the Cyphers in your game ? What do they really do ? What’s their agenda ? What’s cool about them ?

Thanks in advance for any help here !

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I’ve only really used them as flavour when messages need delivering :stuck_out_tongue:

What did the players say when they picked them as allies?

After checking old notes and scratching the rubbles in my memory, something like :
“It would make sense for us, as subtle shadows, to have good relations with messengers ! And they’re the most likely to have given us our thief rigging upgrade. We probably did a mission for them and they let us keep some of the gear.”

… Yeah now that I say it like that, I’ll have to dig into that “mission they did for them”, it’s a great entry point. Thanks !

Do they sub-contract? Did messages get lost? Messangers captured or killed? Infiltrators in the Cyphers?! :scream_cat:

All of that, and… whom did they cross? After all, in Doskvol, the only way to climb higher is to step on someone else.

I always figured that if I needed to expand a little known faction into something bigger I would use the faction descriptions starting on page 286 as a template. You gave me an excuse to go through that exercise with the Cyphers. Below is my crack at it. It should be considered a draft and it might not fit everyone’s game. But I think it is a good method for fleshing out Factions.


Cyphers (II): The messenger guild of the city. Cyphers swear sacred oaths of secrecy—never revealing the contents of their messages or the identities of their clients—or so they claim.

Faction Clocks:
Deliver the message - 4 (reoccurring)
Extract Fellow Cypher from Bluecoat interrogation - 8

Turf: An Office in Charterhall on the canal (HQ), routes on canals and streets, the quickest way from here to there.

NPCs: Lamond (leader, professional, ethical, connected). Staven (master coder, genius, eccentric). Phin (fastest courier, confident, risk taker). Econe (in custody of Bluecoats and knows important secrets, proud, defiant)

Notable Assets: So many secrets of others, kept very secure. A trusted reputation by many Factions and Citizens. A large safe full of profits.

Quirks: The Cyphers take great pride in their professionalism and trust building with clients. They seem quirkily ethical yet will still code and deliver any message for the right price. Can smell a rat or a con artist from a mile away if those efforts are directed at them. Hate the Bluecoats and Inspectors for interrogating them for information on their clients or the contents of their messages.

Allies: Gondoliers, Cabbies, City Council, Citizens.

Enemies: Bluecoats, Inspectors, Ink Rakes

Situation: Econe is in custody of the Bluecoats and is being interrogated for knowledge and details of a crime. The Inspectors are involved because the crime is political in nature and may affect the City Council. The Cyphers are angry and insulted and even many others across Doskvoll find interrogating Cyphers controversial. The Ink Rakes are sensationalizing the situation to no one’s benefit except gossips and the sales of tabloid newspapers.

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