Game masters looking to add something truly striking to their collection can sign up starting Tuesday for the BackerKit campaign for Monte Cook Games’ Invisible Sun, the now legendary tabletop role-playing game that comes packaged in a 30-pound black cube.
A surreal fantasy setting, Invisible Sun takes place within a vibrant multiverse with eight realms with their own suns, people, rules, and sinister parallel dimensions. Our world is just a pale shadow of this universe, where a sea captain can ferry talking fruit on a ship made entirely of books, an explorer might find a key that lets them access an ancient library that no longer exists, and the days of the week have physical embodiments you might find commuting alongside you on the train.
First released in 2018, the game quickly sold out and the copies printed in a second run in 2019 were gone within months. Despite an increase in production and shipping costs since then, the price has been held at $252, which is still a hefty cost for a RPG.
But there’s literally a lot to unpack in the Black Cube, Invisible Sun’s box set. It contains four hardcover books totaling 600 pages of rules and setting content. There are also 1,000 cards with unique spells, objects of power, or incantations not found in the books.
Magic is key to Invisible Sun, wielded by every player character. They’ll explore the many realms to learn the secrets of reality, including uncovering information about the recent war that took place in Satyrine, the City of Notions. All of the player characters will be connected to the conflict, though few people actually remember what happened.
Invisible Sun uses the Cypher system developed by Monte Cook for Numenera but with some unique mechanics, most notably a tarot-like Sooth Deck. Used to divine the past, present, and future, the cards are placed on a Path of Suns game board, with the ascendant card held in a resin-cast hand dubbed the Testament of Suns. The placement of the cards is used to adjudicate magical effects. All of these components are included in the Black Cube.
You’ll also find 220 wooden markers used to track character stats, custom crystalline dice, and a sheet of tokens representing other game elements. There are character envelopes with tips and rules, reference sheets for each of the game’s classes, and a separate envelope of pre-generated characters.
GMs also receive a notebook, two maps — one of Satyrine and another showing the Path of Suns — and in-setting handouts and props to fully immerse players in the world. There’s also an art book just to show off some of the game’s surreal imagery.
The BackerKit campaign will reprint not only the Black Cube but the Vislae Kit, a smaller box that just includes what players need for the game, so they don’t need to use their GM’s copy. No substantive changes have been made to either product since the original printing.
Monte Cook will also be reprinting limited quantities of Invisible Sun’s supplements. These include Secrets of Silent Streets, a plot-hook-packed guide to the 17 districts of Satyrine and the people who live there, and the 192-page bestiary The Teratology.
The BackerKit campaign introduces a brand new resource, The Wellspring, which is focused on helping to launch Invisible Sun campaigns. Monte Cook chief operating officer Charles Ryan said the product is a response to new players who have found the ambitious game to be overwhelming. It can also help anyone looking to return to Invisible Sun since COVID lockdowns made it particularly tricky to play the game that relies so heavily on impressive physical components.
The BackerKit campaign for Invisible Sun begins Oct. 31 and runs through Nov. 17, with the Black Cube sold for $252 and the Vislae kit costing $43. All six supplements are available in a bundle for $232, or $481 with the Black Cube. Every pledge level will get the Wellspring as part of their rewards. Delivery is expected by late spring 2024. Monte Cook is not planning on bringing the product to conventional retail.