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.