Artifacts, Cyphers and Oddities

Those who study the relics of the older worlds group them into three categories:

Artifact
Any large device that can function multiple times and produce the same result. This term is almost always used to describe an item that has an obvious purpose- a weapon, a defense, a mode of transportation.

Cypher
Generally smaller devices that can only be activated once before breaking or becoming depleted. Cyphers are dangerous when gathered together as they create radiation that is harmful to living beings.

Oddity
Relics that serve no obvious purpose, oddities generally have odd or at least curious functions.

Artifacts, Cyphers and Oddities

Numenera JoeDunham