[AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves

  • 9 Replies
  • 7261 Views
[AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« on: July 14, 2010, 08:38:24 AM »
I ran Michael Pfaff's Dark Sun hack this evening with my younger cousins. Not knowing a lot about Dark Sun, I ignored pretty much all the setting apart from the description at the start of Michael's hack. Despite my worries that the game might fly over their D&D-driven teenage minds, they actually got into it quite a bit.

The characters were, in no particular order:

Anton the human Elementalist, with his cult of dirt-scratchers on the edge of a largeish town run by the templar Calvar. Anton is trying to bring life back to the soil, and in the process provides about half the food for Calvar's Crag.
Marta the giant Warrior, Anton's muscle.
Azru the elven Defiler, disguised as a blow-in wanderer working on Anton's Patch. He's far older than his appearance suggests - he drains the blood and lifeforce of innocents to extend his lifespan far beyond even that of an elf.

The game starts with Anton's followers simultaneously in want:savagery and surplus: violence, so I set them raiding the outskirts of Calvar's Crag, looting and pillaging the ramshackle stone huts in anger at Calvar's control of the crag's only water supply. We then establish Azru's thirst for blood, and he takes advantage of the chaos by stalking and slaying an elderly halfkin woman, slicing her throat with his dirk and consuming her blood. Meanwhile,Anton calms the cultists with a sermon from Marta's shoulders, calling them back to his farming patch, on the edge of the Thunder Wastes.

In the morning, they feel the sting of the previous night's violence. Calvar's brutes show up, demanding blood for blood, and claiming that the cult had defilers amongst them. With surprising speed, Anton gives up the wanderering elf as blood payment to Calvar. Azru, sensing that this situation is worth separating from, weaves a shadow spell to escape. He rolls a 7-9 and ends up escaping, but revealing to the whole cult and to Calvar's brutes that he is a defiling sorcerer.

In the Thunder Wastes, Azru somehow finds water and sustenance. While wandering, his acute hearing picks up the sound of elven battle horns - the Thunderstorm clan, swarming for a raid on the Crag. He senses opportunity and danger, and turns back west.

Meanwhile, the situation at Calvar's Crag degenerates. The cult doesn't have enough water to grow its new (opium) crops, and Anton ends up marching into town with a righteous spirit at his back. Marta goes aggro on the guards at Calvar's Temple, who gingerly let them into the temple. Calvar, a strangely thin and weedy man, isn't happy to be interrupted while spending quality time with one of his women. He tells Anton he won't get the water unless he turns over control of the Patch to the Sorcerer-Queen or her duly appointed representative.

Things get charged, fast, with Marta facing down against Calvar's legion and Azru showing up mid-standoff to rob Calvar's temple. Azru's appearance and subsequent disappearance keeps the standoff from breaking out into an all-out brawl, letting Anton and Marta retreat to their compound.

They decide, on the spot, to seek out a devil's bargain with Azru: if Azru helps them take down Calvar, they'll let him feast on the life force of Calvar and his enforces. The mysterious elven defiler agrees, and they return to the Patch to gather strength.

They return, in fact, to a rapidly cooling dead body with a bone dirk embedded in its chest. One of the cultists (Grigori) has been slain by another (Karkan) over the matter of a woman. Karkan has fled into the desert, and Grigori's brother is about to stride into the wastes and hunt him down. Anton persuades him to wait, and opens his psyche to the dragon to try and find Karkan's whereabouts.

All he gets from the dragon is vague images of elves which they interpret to mean that Karkan is somehow in league with the Thunderstorm elves. The idea that he's simply been killed and eaten by them never crosses their mind, and they decide to set off into the desert to hunt Karkan down.

In the desert night, they find little evidence of Karkan but plenty of evidence of landsharks, which swarm and attack the party. Azru takes 3 harm, leaving him dangerously weakened, while Marta easily dispatches the rest of the landsharks with her enormous metal sword.

They return quickly to Anton's Patch, which is now, unfortunately, being menaced by Calvar's legion...
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse

Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 11:42:35 AM »
This sounds like a lot of fun, with the system delivering the right cues in spades.

I'd love to hear more about your cousins' reactions, after they've had time to reflect on the experience. Especially vis a vis their DnD exoeriences.

Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 12:47:12 PM »
Wow. This sounds like an awesome session. It seems like you really made the world come alive considering you have little prior knowledge of the Dark Sun setting. Thanks for giving it a shot.

I'd love to see the character sheets for Anton, Marta and Azru. You mind posting them up?

How did the everything go as a DM? Any refinements or additions to the current rules you'd like to see based on the gameplay?

Are you guys planning a follow-up session at all?

~Mike


Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2010, 11:42:57 PM »
It was an awesome session. My cousins are generally fairly... young and munchkin-y, so to see them get into this game with such enthusiasm was a lot of fun.

The influence of more traditional RPGs certainly was clear in the way they responded to the world... immediately assuming Karkan was some kind of elvish spy, for instance, rather than just a murderous bastard... but overcome in others, as when Anton threw another PC to the wolves with little hesitation.

The only custom rule I appended during the game was a mechanic for Azru to stalk mortals and drain their blood, which was simply "when you kill someone and drain their blood, restore 3-harm and take +1 forward." However, it did become evident during the session that there is probably a need for some kind of journeying-through-the-desert move - certainly press on or dig in could be appropriated for the purpose, but something more like Tony Dowler's journeying move from Apocalypse D&D might be more useful.
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse

*

Chris

  • 342
Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 04:16:50 PM »
Yeah, more charts!
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2010, 05:31:21 PM »
This may be mostly cosmetic, but damn if it isn't a good job!

I love "You're a fucking giant" (possibly even more than I love "Not to be Fucked With" as the original name).

Should the templar have a gig option that includes slaves? I seem to remember slavery being a huge part of the Dark Sun setting.

Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 10:37:53 AM »
This may be mostly cosmetic, but damn if it isn't a good job!

I love "You're a fucking giant" (possibly even more than I love "Not to be Fucked With" as the original name).

Thanks, bud. Hopefully I'll get some more work done on it in the next couple weeks, including tweaks and new content.

Should the templar have a gig option that includes slaves? I seem to remember slavery being a huge part of the Dark Sun setting.

This is great advice. I'll look into this more. Slavery is definitely present in Dark Sun. In fact, one of the Trader's stuff should be dealing in slaves. Good stuff.

Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 12:23:44 PM »
Okay, when I posted that, I was mostly just thinking 'yeah, slaves should be more present for color', but I just now realized the amazing power of combining a game mechanic for generating barter with real, human NPCs. Man, oh man, could you get some juicy story out of that stuff.

*

Chris

  • 342
Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2010, 08:36:42 PM »
When are we playtesting this, Mikey P? You talk to Colin?
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: [AP] Dark Sol: Anton's Patch and the Thunder Elves
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2010, 10:53:51 AM »
When are we playtesting this, Mikey P? You talk to Colin?

Not yet. I've been supremely busy the last week or so. I'm gonna try to swing in there maybe Sunday and have a talk with him about setting up a time slot for his back room.

I know Matthew is interested, so we'd need just one or two more players.