Malfunctioning Cyphers

Published February 7, 2014 by in For Gamemasters


Malfunctioning Cyphers have been damaged, or never worked properly to begin with. Usually you can tell they’re malfunctioning, but it requires a separate more difficult identify action to figure out their new function and some objects appear to work normally even with a successful identify action.

Below is the list of Malfunctioning effects for the Core Rulebook’s Cyphers.

This list is a supplement for the Core Rulebook, so you need that for this list to make sense.

# Cypher Name Malfunction Effect
01 Adhesion Clamps Suctions too well, gets stuck on first surface it attaches to.
02 Antivenom Renders user immune to any healing effects of the same level or lower.
03 Attractor The object you try to pull in is flung in the opposite direction.
04 Banishing Nodule The weapon is banished instead of the struck object or creature.
05 Blinking Nodule The wearer is teleported a far distance instead of immediate.
06 Catholicon Causes vomiting for an hour
07 Catseye Blinds the user for 8 hours
08 Chemical Factory (Appears to function normally) Instead of producing through the sweat the liquid is produced in the saliva and immediately effects the user.
09 Comprehension Graft Instead of working it delivers a sharp shock and then is rendered inert.
10 Controlled Blinking Nodule Teleports in the opposite direction intended. Wearer’s defense is modified by one step for his detriment for one round after he teleports due to the unexpected nature of the teleport.
11 Datasphere Siphon (Appears to function normally) The answer is garbled. It takes a cypher level difficulty intellect action to understand what it means.
12 Density Nodule The weapons density is suddenly dramatically reduced, reducing damage inflicted by 2 points.
13 Detonation Causes an implosion which pulls everyone in immediate radius towards the activation point. Also pulls in unattended objects if they weigh less than 20 pounds (9kg) per cypher level.
14 Detonation (Desiccating) Splashes water in an immediate radius, soaking everything nearby.
15 Detonation (Flash) Bursts in an immediate radius, removing all light within the area and making it pitch black for one minute.
16 Detonation (Gravity) Bursts in an immediate radius, negating gravity and flinging those affected 5 x cypher level meters into the air. Lasts for one round.
17 Detonation (Massive)
Causes an implosion which pulls everyone in short-range radius towards the activation point. Also pulls in unattended objects if they weigh less than 20 pounds (9kg) per cypher level.
18 Detonation (Matter Disruption) (Appears to function normally) The nanites rearrange the matter into a new creature, dangerous but with a short life. The creature dies of natural causes after 10 x cypher level minutes.
19 Detonation (Pressure) The pressure blast goes upwards instead of outwards, causing a small tornado in an immediate radius.
20 Detonation (Singularity) Creates a White Hole, which spews forth random matter and gases.
21 Detonation (Sonic) Creates perfect silence within an short range for 1 minute.
22 Detonation (Spawn)
Causes an implosion which pulls everyone in immediate radius towards the activation point. Also pulls in unattended objects if they weigh less than 20 pounds (9kg) per cypher level. The burst spawns 1d6 additional detonations in the same spot, one every 30 seconds.
23 Detonation (Web) Explodes in an immediate radius and spreads friction-reducing gel over the area, causing the difficulty of movement tasks to be increased by three steps.
24 Disrupting Nodule The burst of nanites affects inorganic objects, attacking armor, items, and possibly your own weapon.
25 Eagleseye Causes you to be near sighted for one hour.
26 Fireproofing Spray Sprays a flammable grease instead.
27 Flame-Retardant Wall The wall increases the size of flames that pass through it.
28 Force Cube Projector (Appears to function normally) The cube is mobile, tossing the contents inside around and smashing into the environment.
29 Force Nodule (Appears to function normally) The force field flickers on and off, alternating each round.
30 Force Screen Projector (Appears to function normally) The force field flickers on and off, alternating each round.
31 Force Shield Projector (Appears to function normally) The shield covers the mouth and prevents the user from eating or drinking for the duration. Breathing is unimpeded.
32 Friction-Reducing Gel The gel becomes sticky instead of frictionless. Might based action to get out, difficulty determined by cypher level. NPCs break free if their level is higher than the cypher.
33 Frigid Wall Projector The air is cooled so much it freezes, causing a wall of “ice”.
34 Gas Bomb Sucks all the air out of the immediate area, causing those in the area to pass out for a number of rounds equal to the cypher level.
35 Gravity Nullifier The user is forced to float upward at a rate of 1 foot a minute for one hour.
36 Gravity-Nullifying Spray The height the object floats at changes every 6 hours.
37 Heat Nodule The weapon catch fire every time it strikes.
38 Hunter/Seeker (Appears to function normally) The missile grows sentient. Different hunter/seekers have different personalities.

01-50 Falls in love with the sky, flies directly upwards to try and reach it.
51-80 Loves poisoning stuff, continues attacking its specified target.
81-90
Is disgusted with its existence and kills itself by self destructing
91-95 Becomes loyal to one of the PCs, attacks the first thing to attack them.
96-00 Hates water, finds the nearest body of water and goos it.
39 Image Projector (Appears to function normally) Takes an embarrassing memory of the users and plays it on repeat for the hour.
40 Inferno Wall Projector Causes an ever outwards expanding fire to start, expands by 1 m every 30 seconds and lasts for ten minutes.
41 Infiltrator The capsule scans the user instead, providing information on your biology and equipment.
42 Instant Servant (Appears to function normally) The automaton does nothing except follow the user and talk. It speaks only in riddles and/or puns.
43 Instant Shelter The shelter is completely transparent and has no door.
44 Intellect Enhancement Reduces Intellect Edge by 1 for one hour.
45 Invisibility Nodule The invisibility extends to the entire person.
46 Knowledge Enhancement The character become completely incompetent in the selected skill.
47 Lightning Wall Projector Functions as a reverse lightning rod, shooting lightning bolts at the tallest thing within 30 feet. Lasts 10 minutes.
48 Living Solvent (Appears to function normally) The organic slime is terrified by its own existence, and screams the entire time its alive.
49 Machine Control Implant (Appears to function normally) Instead of controlling a device the implant causes you to hear mysterious voices that tell you to kill the organics.
50 Magnetic Attack Drill The drill attaches itself but the drill faces away from the attached user and can be used as a weapon for 1 attack.
51 Magnetic Master Causes all nearby metal objects to fly towards the user.
52 Magnetic Shield
Causes all nearby metal objects to fly towards the user.
53 Memory Lenses Plays a random memory from a nearby person.
54 Mental Scrambler Those inside the field have their Intellect Edge increased by 1.
55 Metal Death Hardens any organic substance into a steel-like substance.
56 Monoblade The blade goes into the hand of the user, causing equivalent damage as if the person had been attacked with it.
57 Motion Sensor (Appears to function normally) Functions the same but there are phantom readings on it (it says there is movement when there really isn’t.
58 Personal Environment Field (Appears to function normally) The temperature of the field is unpleasantly hot or cold, not enough to cause damage but enough to grate on the nerves of the user.
59 Phase Changer Phases you into an alternate dimension, similar to the one you hail from but ever so slightly different.
60 Phase Disruptor Brings forth a piece of an alternate dimension, similar to the one you hail from but ever so slightly different.
61 Poision (Emotion) Victim is unable to feel emotion for one hour.
62 Poison (Explosive) Instead of traveling to the brain it travels to a limb, causing only 4 damage and crippling the limb.
63 Poison (Mind-Controlling)
01-20 Jumps up and down for one minute when told to do so.
21-40 Fights with deadly intent for one minute when threatened.
41-60 Answers questions untruthfully for one minute
61-75 Kisses close friend for one round when within immediate range.
76-85 Obeys next non-verbal (hand gesture, written word, etc.) command given (if it is understood)
86-95 For 28 hours becomes violently ill.
96-00 Moves away from next blue object seen in lieu of all other actions, ignoring self preservation.
64 Poison (Mind-Disrupting) Adds cypher level’s points to the victims Intellect pool.
65 Psychic Communique (Appears to function normally) Projects the message to everyone within short range.
66 Ray Emitter
The ray becomes a wave of energy capable of effecting multiple people, covering an area 10 feet wide and 100 feet long
67 Ray Emitter (Numbing)
The ray becomes a wave of energy capable of effecting multiple people, covering an area 6 feet wide and 100 feet long
68 Ray Emitter (Paralysis)
The ray becomes a wave of energy capable of effecting multiple people, covering an area 6 feet wide and 100 feet long
69 Reality Spike The spike never stops moving, even if it hits something it slowly starts burrowing through it. A Might action can stop the spike, but then it is ruined.
70-71 Rejuvenator Drains the selected pool instead.
72 Remote Viewer The second part of the device is missing. Who knows where it is and what you might see.
73 Repair Unit (Appears to function normally) Malfunctioning Repair Unit leads to Malfunctioning repairs. The device you choose to fix becomes a Malfunctioning Cypher
74 Retaliation Nodule The nodule also reacts to verbal assaults.
75 Sheen The veneer increases healing effects (all recovery rolls gain +1) but makes you more vulnerable to damage (-1 to armor).
76 Shock Nodule The electricity surge is constant, and can be used in new and interesting ways.
77 Shocker The shock also effects the user.
78 Skill Boost Makes it nigh-impossible for the user to complete the selected activity, increasing the difficulty by 3 steps.
79 Sleep Inducer The sleep lasts until the person is kissed, putting them into stasis until then.
80 Sonic Hole Causes a high pitched baby scream for the duration.
81 Sound Dampener Enhances all sound within immediate range, providing an asset for listening attempts.
82 Spatial Warp The spatial warp remains after use.
83 Speed Boost Reduces Speed Edge by 1.
84-85 Stim Increases Difficulty of the next action taken by three steps.
86 Strength Boost Reduces Might Edge by 1.
87 Subdual Field Increases aggression of those within the field, forcing them to fight each other.
88 Telepathy Implant Someone or something is listening in on your communication.
89 Teleporter (Bounder) Teleports everything and everyone within immediate range.
90 Teleporter (Traveler) Teleports everything and everyone within immediate range.
91 Temporal Viewer The display lacks image or sound.
92 Time Dilation Nodule (Defensive) The device transports the user 28 hours into the past.
93 Time Dilation Nodule (Offensive) The device transports the user 28 hours into the past.
94 Tracer The tracer provides information about the tagged persons health and only their general location.
95 Visage Changer (Appears to function normally) The change lasts for 1 week.
96 Visual Displacement Device Each holographic image has its own personality. Falmboyant, funny, angry, musical, etc.
97 Vocal Translator Translates everything the user hears into a language they can understand.
98 Warmth Projector The warmth is kind of uncomfortable. Not enough to cause damage but enough to grate on your nerves.
99 Water Breather User can only breathe underwater for the duration, trying to breath gases causes them to choke as if they were inhaling water.
00 X-Ray Viewer The panel sees through 20 feet of material.

Malfunctioning effects for Cypher Collection 1 coming soon…

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