Session 1 of Dark Sun in the Cypher system was a great success. We were down 2 players but had a surprise player with my friend’s fiancee showing. Good enough to start the campaign.
The characters are:
A lucky Thri-Kreen warrior who rides the lightning,
A human exiled explorer who controls beasts,
and a serene Eladrin adept who howls at the moon (by turning into an air drake for five nights per month)
They began in the slave pits of the Urik arena, put here for various crimes and are told by a relative of the Eladrin through the bars that she’s organized to get them out with a distraction during the fight, and have safe passage to the free city of Tyr, but their benefactor needs a favor from them.
The fight with 4 gladiators begins and while they take a bit to get going, the experimental initiative worked great - they could continue taking actions as a group until someone failed a roll, and the enemies would do the same until they succeeded a roll to defend themselves. Never had too many successes or failures.
After a grueling knock down drag out fight, they were victorious - but rescue wasn’t coming until the next round. They looked up, beleaguered, and see the massive tentacled Gaj goaded into the arena, psionically shrieking into their minds. They weren’t going to win this fight. Thankfully, after a close call with some tentacles an explosion rocked the stands followed by a cloud of green smoke as a rope ladder is thrown down to them. They escape in the confusion to meet their ticket to freedom.
Their benefactor is an elf merchant named Shirall, who wants them to steal an obsidian orb from the local sorcerer king’s private villa. They accept and go under cover of night, using the mage’s air drake form to distract the templars guarding the place while the others sneak in from the roof. The templars prostrate themselves before her draconic form, believing her to be their sorcerer king in his full glory, having never seen him in this form before. The nomad and gladiator enter through the roof and descend the rafters to reach the orb, held in the talons of a draconic hand statue. Stealing the orb triggers a psionic alarm that alerts the templars, but they are held back by the intimidating Drake.
The party escapes in moonlight with the orb, delivering it to Shirall. He takes them aboard his sand barge and they sail 3 days south to Tyr.
Overall it was a great first session. I learned that rolling in the Cypher system against a set difficulty is quite different to the room difficulty I used in ICRPG, they spend points to Lower difficulty rather than add to a d20 every roll, so suddenly those lower numbers are hit more often. I went a bit overboard on the enemies but it was good to learn from and I was glad that they circumvented the tower. I also need to hand out gate/doom points more liberally to keep things fun.
Next session: All Roads Lead to Tyr.