Dark-Sun: Cypher System

Sample Character
"The Locust"

Here is a sample character write up y’all can look at to get an idea for how to go about making the character you want.

I’m using one of Mische’s old characters “The Locust” because they were awesome and most of us are familiar with them.

So lets remember what The Locust looked like in AD&D. They were a Mul Gladiator with a lot of Con and Str, and they had a wild talent that allowed them to fuse weapons to their body, which they used to create bronze knuckles out of shackles.

okay, so thats pretty cool and a lot of stuff. But we’re going to distill what constant thing made the character bad-ass from encounter to encounter.

Okay, so we’re gonna start by choosing a type. We’re gonna go with Warrior on this one. For descriptor let’s choose Hardy, and for a focus lets go with Needs no Weapons, because really, The Locust didn’t bother with swords or any of that. Now we already know that they’re a Mul Gladiator, so our shifts are chosen as well. One way we might phrase this character sentence is

The Locust is a Hardy Mul Gladiator who Needs no Weapons

Effort 1
Might- 15 edge 1
Speed- 13 edge 1
Intellect- 10

Armor 1
Recovery Rolls- 1d6+1, 1 Action x2, 5 Min, 30 Min, 5 Hours

(From Type)
_Extra Edge _ (enabler)
No Need for Weapons (enabler)
Physical Skills: Running, Jumping (enabler)
Trained Without Armor (enabler)
(From Descriptor)
Fast Healer 1/2 time for recovery rolls, minimum 1 action
Unstoppable Ignore Impaired Condition, treat debilitated as impaired
(From Focus)
Fists of Fury (enabler)
Flesh of Stone (enabler)
3 in Accuracy, 1 in Strength, 1 in Healing

Skills w/Step Modifier
Might Defense- 1 Step
Speed Defense 1 Step
2 Steps
Running- 1 Step

Attacks w/Step Modifier and Damage
Bronze Knucks: 3 steps, 9 damage

This can come later

Character Builder
Dark-Sun Specific Rules and Character Creation Guides

If you’re here it means you’re interested in making a character who fights to survive under the dark sun!

For the purposes of Dark-Sun we are renaming the cypher types to match their AD&D class-counterparts.
Warriors-Stay the same actually, but
Adepts-become Wizards or Psions

The biggest difference however, between Dark-Sun Characters and other cypher characters are their possession of Power Shifts. These are optional rules presented on page 270 of the core rule book. Normally reserved for super heroes, I think they adequately represent the way AD&D Darksun Characters were a step above the PHB guys.

Basically, you build your character as normal, but there’s a sort of “meta template” if you will on top of all that. This is your AD&D race/class combo, and it determines your power shifts. Your race will give you 2 shifts, and your class will give you 3 shifts. Most of the time characters wont have more than 3 shifts of a single type, but there are exceptions. This is also an opportunity for some of that good ol’ fashion min-maxing if that tickles your fancy.

so the original box set races and their associated power shifts are

Dwarf-1 in Resilience, 1 in Healing

Elf-1 in Dexterity, 1 in Intelligence

Half-Elf- 1 in Healing, 1 Any

Half-Giant- 2 in Strength

Halfling- 2 in Dexterity

Human- Any 2

Mul- 1 in Strength, 1 Any

Thri-Kreen- 2 in Resilience (This is to represent their non-humanoid metabolism and their thick carapace)

The Dark-Sun classes are each associated with a certain type, but that is as always a guideline not a restriction

Fighter 1 in Single Attack or 1 Accuracy, 1 in Strength, 1 in Healing
Gladiator 3 in Accuracy
Ranger 1 in Accuracy, 1 in Dexterity, 1 in Healing

Defiler 1 in Intelligence, 2 in Power
Preserver 2 in Intelligence, 1 in Power

Thieves 2 in Dexterity, 1 in Accuracy
Bards 1 in Dexterity, 1 in Intelligence, 1 Any

Templar 1 in Intelligence, 1 in Power, 1 in Any
Elemental Cleric 1 in Intelligence, 1 in Power, and one according to element: Fire-Accuracy, Water-Healing, Air-Dexterity, Earth-Resilience.

Psions 3 in Intelligence

Obviously if your character doesn’t have a “power” they want to amp up they should choose something else, but most wizards and priests will want to boost their onslaught or other 1st tier offensive spell.

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.


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