Saturday, November 22, 2008

GURPS Dark Sun!

Seventen years after I first played Dark Sun with Doug, Aaron, Herb and Jim, I'm breaking out the boxed set and running the setting again!

My Runequest group spent the last night talking about the Sandstorm campaign they just voted for, and the question of what game system to use came up. We knew we wanted to aim for a system that reflected the gritty swords and sorcery style world, where life was cheap and survival was a challenge.

I brought up a laundry list of systems, from MnM, Storyteller/ing, BRP, True 20, Reign, and GURPS. They unanimously picked GURPS, so GURPS it is.

Adam is playing a thief who possesses a few psychic tricks, such as the reoccuring vision of his last days being endlessly tortured by a Sorcerer King. (Kind of a bummer destiny, if you ask me.) Either his mother or father is the black sheep of an wealthy merchant house, and knows that Marc's character is actually a distant cousin.

Robin is playing a former templar who was magically augmented by a Sorcerer King into being a highly skilled soldier. Something happened, and his memories were stripped and he was cast into the slave pens. From her character's point of veiw, she only remembers life from the slave pits, but retains some basic knowledge about how templars act.

David is playing a former-templar spy who was sent along with a small group of other templars into a nearby city by a rival Sorcerer King. When the templars discovered a large amount of money, they betrayed David's character and sold him off to slavery, rather than give him a cut of the loot. David's templar only has his fellow escaped slaves as allies, but he still remembers the location of where that large treasure is buried...

Marc is playing a member of a wealthy merchant house, who has recently been discovered to display magical talents, and since sorcery is illegal outside of the Sorcerer Kings and their templars, he joined an underground "Mages Guild", the "Veiled Alliance". Unfortunately, shortly after he joined the guildhall was raided by Templar agents. The more powerful members were put to death, and Marc's character was identified as one of the knowing servants or ignorant apprentices, and joined them after being cast into the slave pits. He has some talent at healing, and his family has ostracised him.

I'm looking at psychic powers being relatively low-key and fixed, with sorcery being more powerful and flexible. Sorcerers have a moral dilemma when they cast magic, as they can defile the life around them for even more power, or use only what energy they can for weaker effects ... but will preserve the life and land around them.

I haven't figured how how the mechanics of magic and psionics work yet, but with GURPS Thaumatology and Powers at my side, it should be resolved fairly quickly. :)

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