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Cloud Empress: Rulebook


Start your journey into an expansive, Nausicaa-inspired fantasy campaign setting ruled by giant Magic Cicadas, for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG 1E. Unleash imaginative magic spells and harness ancient relics to survive the summer of the Century Brood. 

"Cloud Empress is a startling vision bursting with imagination and wonder. watt has pulled off something truly unique - both familiar and unsettling."

  • Sean McCoy, creator of Mothership
"Cloud Empress is unafraid to be subtle and quiet. Filled with fresh ideas and rooted in play, it is a deeply human work."
  • Luke Gearing, author of Hull Breach and Pound of Flesh

Cloud Empress is an expansive, Nausicaa-inspired fantasy campaign setting for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG. Cloud Empress places you in a world ruled by the patterns of giant magical cicadas. Cloud Empress creates a new Earth, thousands of years in the future inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Hiromu Arakawa’s Full Metal Alchemist.

Prince Bug

What's Inside

  • 4 evocative jobs: Sellsword, Lordling, Magician, and Courier
  • 30 unique science fantasy skills
  • 30 magical spells each with amazing effects and dangerous consequences
  • 30 chalk crests capable of unleashing ancient powers
  • 20 new science fantasy tools of violence 
  • 10 strange utility spores 
  • 7 animals, friends, and foes
  • 26 illustrations 
  • And much more!


  • 58 page, Digest size, full color saddle-stitched.
  • Printed in the United States.
  • Fully hyperlinked and bookmarked.
  • Compatible with Mothership 1st Edition.
  • Made by entirely by humans.



Game, graphic design and layout by watt
Illustrations by pbbeta, Garin, imogen, and Juan Gee
Editing and development by Roz Leahy
Additional game development by Christian Sorrell
Sensitivity editing by Monroe Soto
Playtesting by Mary Helen Inskeep, Erica Young, Patrick Frazier, Noel Miller, Kat Miller-Frazier, Dan Frazier, Ashley Nolan, Anna Frazier, Zobot257, Zoe R., Other Jim, ChrisAir, Terry Herc, and Jet McFin.
Special thanks to A & D, Sean McCoy and Luke Gearing

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (6)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Spencer F April 16, 2024 2:39 pm UTC
Beautiful game, I love the art and the setting, and the tone is so perfect , can't wait to play it.

Minor comment in case it was on accident, but the name tables on page 47 and 48 are missing the die result for #19
Customer avatar
isaac R March 05, 2024 8:19 pm UTC
First off, want to say this is probably the best tabletop setting I've read, the art is phenomenal, adore the classes & magic system & the whole flavour.

However, I'm wondering if any of the supplements have any GM tools for creating your own take on the setting, your own adventures & hexcrawls etc. within this flavour of fantasy? The joy of GMing for me, personally, is in worldbuilding and letting my players have ownership over small pockets of worldbuilding too. I'm wondering about stuff related to creating your own takes on the setting pillars within the wonderful flavour presented (i.e. Imago, Crests etc.), but also as mentioned, for creating hexcrawls & adventures; the book explains what the game wasn't built for, but not what kind of adventures (I've been solo playing bean barge, and while it's wonderful, it doesn't seem to give much indication either) I realise this seems like it may undermine the model of selling adventures and setting books, but that's not...See more
Customer avatar
watt W March 20, 2024 8:33 pm UTC
Thanks so much for the kind words and high praise!

I'll have to think about worldbuilding, GM empowerment tools. Something like a worldbuilding guide would be really neat, explaining the design philosophy and essential ingredients could be something I'd enjoy writing.

I totally agree about vehicles. There's a very small summary of vehicle rules on page 57, but we were very limited on space in the book because the first printing was staple bound. The reprint will be printed hardcover giving us additional space for content. I think a spread on land vehicles would be a wonderful stretch goal in the next campaign (live on Kickstarter April 2nd 2024).

For aircraft, the next major part of the setting takes place in the sky and expect a lot more love devoted to airships and thopters (not to delay too long). I also release monthly expansion content on the Cloud Empress newsletter, so there might be intermediate content releases (like character growth in the meantime).
...See more
Customer avatar
Brandon M February 23, 2024 11:33 am UTC
Is there a place to get the solo rules from the Kickstarter campaign if we missed it?
Customer avatar
watt W March 04, 2024 5:44 pm UTC
Yes! You can grab the solo rules and other downloads on the Cloud Empress website:
Customer avatar
Thomas G September 30, 2023 8:56 am UTC
This is an awesome book, the art is gorgeous and I love the setting!
Customer avatar
Eric M September 29, 2023 9:25 pm UTC
I don't know of a more imaginative, engrossing and thoughtful approach to a RPG. Ecological. Science. Fantasy. What else do you need to know? I mean, look at the art!
Customer avatar
Chris A September 29, 2023 7:51 pm UTC
I enjoyed the six month campaign based just on the already fun early version. This final version is so gorgeous and even more complete, so excited to try and get another Cloud Empress game going soon, :)
Customer avatar
Nicholas A September 27, 2023 1:33 am UTC
Does this require a copy of Mothership 1st Edition to play?
Customer avatar
Matt H September 27, 2023 10:55 am UTC
I hear you can get away with just this (pwyw):
Customer avatar
watt W September 29, 2023 3:26 pm UTC
Hey Nicholas, Cloud Empress is entirely stand-alone using this rulebook. A free introductory adventure, setting book and more will be released over the next two months to use with the Rulebook.
Customer avatar
Michael L October 02, 2023 3:45 am UTC
That's,super convenient!
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Product Information
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49.22 MB
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File Last Updated:
October 06, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on September 26, 2023.
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