Invisible Sun – Return to the Actuality

Created by Monte Cook Games

Invisible Sun is an amazing and visionary new tabletop roleplaying game from Monte Cook that introduces new modes of RPG play, a unique and original setting, and an unprecedented physical production weighing in at over 30lb (14kg). "A very different approach to storytelling...Invisible Sun stands out as a revolutionary advancement among roleplaying games" —LA Review of Books Released in the summer of 2018 to Kickstarter backers, and through retail game stores, and on the Monte Cook Games website, it sold out immediately. And so we held a successful Kickstarter campaign to reprint this groundbreaking, but very hard-to-find, piece of RPG history. Reserve your copy today! Once it returns to Shadow, it's, well...gone.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Book M is Coming—with Teratology
2 months ago – Sat, Mar 23, 2019 at 02:50:37 AM

Hello, wise vislae—

We’ve got great news about BookM—and about Teratology.

This week we received the second and final batch of Book M, which means we’ll begin fulfilling it to you next week. That’s a week or so ahead of schedule, so we’re very excited.

But that’s not all: Teratology is also reaching us a bit earlier than expected—it is scheduled for delivery to our warehouse on Monday. So we’re going to fulfill it to you next week as well!

If either of these titles are rewards for you, look for a fulfillment email reaching your inbox early next week. We’re super excited to be getting not one, but two Invisible Sun titles into your hands in the days to come!

—Charles and the MCG Team

Book M PDFs Coming; Print Books Not Far Behind!
3 months ago – Sat, Mar 09, 2019 at 02:12:09 AM

Hello, wise vislae—

This is just a short update to deliver some exciting news: If you’re getting Book M as one of your rewards, your PDF will fulfill in the next few days.

We’ve also just received the first batch of print copies in our Kansas warehouse. These will go out to backers of the original Kickstarter in a week or so. The second batch is currently being assembled, and we expect to receive them before the end of the month. Once we do, we’ll deliver them to backers of this Kickstarter. If a print copy of Book M is among your rewards, it’s getting close as well.

So, if you’re getting Book M as a reward from this Kickstarter, look for a fulfillment email for the PDF in the days to come. And then keep your eye out for the print copy fulfillment email, probably around the end of the month.

Book M has had a tumultuous production process, so we’re really excited to finally have it in our hands—and we can’t wait to get it out to you as well!

—Charles and the MCG Team

Book M, Teratology, and a Big Rewards Roundup
3 months ago – Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 12:39:51 AM

Hello, wise vislae—

This week we fulfilled to you the PDF of Invisible Sun. There is no experience quite like opening the Black Cube in physical form, but we hope this PDF delivers the closest possible thrill in a digital version, with fully hyperlinked books, printer-friendly decks, special items like the form-fillable version of The Guiding Hand, and the full slate of nearly 80 files representing every printed component of the game.

Between that, and the forthcoming Book M, and Teratology on press, and Secrets of Silent Streets recently delivered, it’s been a busy time for Invisible Sun rewards! In this update, we thought we’d give you a roundup on where everything stands.

Book M

Great news on Book M: the first batch is complete and in transit to our warehouses. This batch will go out to backers of the original Kickstarter campaign, and we anticipate fulfilling it to those backers next week. We’ll also send the PDF of Book M to them at that time—and we’ll fulfill your PDF, if it’s one of your rewards from this campaign, at that time too. The second (and final) batch of Book M in print is only a few weeks behind the first, so it’s also coming soon!

As a reminder, this isn’t just a book that expands the magic of your Invisible Sun game—it also includes 200 new cards, and a slipcase that will hold Book M itself along with Secrets of Silent Streets, Teratology, and the forthcoming The Threshold.


Teratology is next up! We shared a few details about this title in a recent update. It’s on press now, and will deliver in April. This is a fantastic book, filled with incredibly imaginative creatures and artwork. We’ve taken preorders for Teratologylive this week—if you missed it during the campaign, this is your chance to grab this inspiring and useful 192-page hardcover bestiary of the Actuality.

All the Rest!

Here’s a complete roundup on where we are with every deliverable in this campaign.

Items delivered so far:

Here are the items that will deliver in July with or very close to your Black Cube:

  • The Black Cube (of course)
  • Vislae Kit
  • The Key in print
  • Sun medallions (the individual medallions that come with the Black Cube, and the sets)
  • Order medallions
  • Character tomes
  • Extra dice set add-on
  • Signed plate

And here’s the status on everything else:

  • Book M in PDF: As mentioned above, next week.
  • Book M in print: Late March, probably.
  • Prop-crafting kit: This will also go out in March!
  • T-shirt: Look for this in the Spring.
  • Sooth Deck: Spring.
  • Prop set in PDF and print: The PDF will fufill in late Spring, with the physical components following by a few weeks or so.
  •  Teratology in print and PDF: On press now!
  •  The Threshold in print and PDF: This summer.
  •  The Nightside in print and PDF: This summer.
  •  Essence of Invisible Sun: Late summer.
  •  Enchiridion of the Path in print and PDF: 2020.
  •  Art of Invisible Sun 2 in print and PDF: Look for this one this summer!

That’s quite a list. It’s possible I’ve overlooked something in penning this update—if so, I apologize. If you see a fulfilled item above, and you haven’t received yours, log into the MCG Shop (using the email address you gave us in BackerKit), go to your account, and click on Coupons. Click the coupon to add the item to your cart. Repeat for all items before checking out. If you don’t see a coupon, contact us at 

We’re really excited to be moving toward fulfilling your rewards on schedule. Thanks for supporting Invisible Sun—we hope you’re really enjoying the PDFs, and all your rewards!

—Charles and the MCG Team

Monte Cook Is a Jerk
3 months ago – Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 01:48:46 AM

Hello, wise vislae—

Now that we have your attention, we should say that we don’t actually think Monte is a jerk. Far from it, in fact. But he did have a specific vision of what he wanted Invisible Sun to be, and he stuck to his guns in ensuring that the game we made fit that vision.

From the very beginning, when Monte was designing Invisible Sun, he had an uncompromising idea for the form he wanted the game to take. He envisioned not just a game that was fun and compelling, but also an amazing box to open and explore. He wanted to really celebrate the game group as an entity that gathered together around this physical object—the Black Cube.

But then we ran into a problem. (Not a terrible problem for a game company to have, but a problem nonetheless.) Demand for Invisible Sun was far higher than we’d originally anticipated. By the time the Black Cubes were finally assembled (no small task!), on a ship, and making their way to North America, the game was already sold out. We did a Kickstarter campaign to fund a reprint—because it’s a very expensive game to make, as you can imagine—and we began doing the math. When we compared the ever-increasing demand with the real world limitations (time, materials, shipping, etc.) of physically producing this incredibly deluxe game, we realized that we would probably never be able to keep up.

People had been asking for PDFs of the Invisible Sun game since we first announced it. Was Monte going to stick to his guns and insist that MCG retain his vision? Was he going to continue to be a jerk who kept the digital version of the game from existing, in light of all these people who simply weren’t going to ever get the game otherwise?


The deluxe nature of the Black Cube itself was keeping it out of the hands and away from the tables of many people who wanted to explore the surreal world of the Actuality. Presented with this fact, Monte ultimately had to relent, and admit that making a digital version of this game was necessary. Monte’s a gamer at heart, and wants nothing more than for people to play the games he makes. The play’s the thing, and while the digital version might not be the absolute optimal version of the game, it’s more than enough to get people started playing Invisible Sun. And that’s what's important.

But Monte insisted on one caveat: We had to be true to the people who had faith in this game. That meant that our Kickstarter backers (and those who preordered the game from MCG) had to be rewarded for seeing from the start that this was going to be something special. So Monte proposed—and we all immediately agreed—that the digital version of the game should go to all of those people, automatically and for free.

The upshot of all this is that after much deliberation, we’re going to release Invisible Sun in PDF, and if you backed this campaign for a Black Cube, you’re going to get a copy of Invisible Sun in PDF.

In the days to come, look for a redemption email coming your way. When you receive it, follow the instructions to claim and download your copy of Invisible Sun in PDF. (If you didn't back for the Black Cube, and would like to purchase Invisible Sun in PDF, it will be available in the near future.)

Monte’s original vision for Invisible Sun remains, in our minds, the ultimate way to experience the game. The tactile nature of the many great components—the cards, the tokens, the counters, the dice, the Sooth Deck, the props, the board, the Testament of Suns, and on and on—make the physical game by far the best experience (and, for the money, the best value). But even for owners of the Black Cube there’s a benefit to having hyperlinked PDFs of all of the books, printable files for the props, and many of the other digital elements. And as Monte pointed out, there are thousands of gamers for whom the physical Black Cube is simply not a practical option.

Thank you again, wise vislae, for making Invisible Sun a reality. We hope you enjoy the PDF!

—Charles and the MCG Team

Sooth Deck, Wicked Keys, and All the Creatures of the Actuality
3 months ago – Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 01:12:50 AM

Hello, wise vislae—

Here in Shadow today we’re celebrating St. Valentine’s Day, and we certainly hope you’re having a pleasant one. Elsewhere in Shadow—China, specifically—Spring Festival, which runs for about two weeks following the Lunar New Year, is underway. Spring Festival, which sees most factories in China close for up to two weeks, will end in the days to come, which means work on the reprint of the Invisible Sun Black Cube (along with the Vislae Kit and other components) is about to begin in earnest. As we’ve reported in earlier updates, we completed the proofing approvals process last month, and some of the longer-lead components were ordered then as well. But the bulk of the component production, to be followed by the lengthy assembly process, starts in the next week or so.


Secrets of Silent Streets shipped to those who backed (and redeemed) for it over the past couple of weeks, and the book hit retail stores recently as well. The next title in the pipeline is Teratology, which recently went off to the printer. This 192-page tome is the masterwork of vislae Taramoc Eslin, a compilation of her research across all the worlds and half-worlds, and the authoritative bestiary of the Actuality. When asked how many beings live in the Actuality, Taramoc answered with characteristic aplomb: “All of them.” No book could possibly catalog every creature to be found across the Actuality, but the Teratology is the most comprehensive attempt to date.

Here’s a look at some of the page spreads, to give you a quick taste of the book:

A look at a few page spreads. That's Taramoc Eslin herself, there at the top, giving a lecture on her studies to a number of fortunate vislae.
A look at a few page spreads. That's Taramoc Eslin herself, there at the top, giving a lecture on her studies to a number of fortunate vislae.

Book M

With Secrets of Silent Streets out, and Teratology on the way, clever vislae may be wondering: What news of Book M?

In our last update, we mentioned that slipcases and cards were somewhere in transit between port and the book printer, but terrible winter weather in Canada threw the rail and trucking schedules into disarray. The first container of components did eventually reach its destination, and those books are completing the assembly process right now.

However, that’s just the first batch. A second batch remains in transit to the printer, and is expected to arrive (barring any additional weather-related flux) early next week. Assembly of those books will begin as quickly as possible, so they should follow the first batch by just a couple of weeks.

We will fulfill Book M to backers of the original Kickstarter campaign first, and that will probably use up the first batch. When the second batch arrives, we’ll fulfill your copies before we ship to preorder customers, or make it available to (non-backer) retailers or for sale on the MCG Shop. That should all happen within a matter of weeks.

Sooth Decks and Wicked Keys!

Did you add on an extra Sooth Deck, or perhaps a set of Wicked Keys? If so, we’re fulfilling right now. Check your email—you should have received a message today with instructions on claiming your reward.

(If you didn’t back for these extras, keep an eye on the MCG Shop. Both items will be available for purchase soon!)

There are a number of other add-ons still to come, of course: Extra dice, character tomes, medallions, T-shirt, prop sets, and so on. Some of these will deliver with the Black Cubes when they ship, and others will come a bit earlier, over the next couple of months. Keep your eye out for news on those items in future updates.

—Charles and the MCG Team