For testing purposes we played a one shot Scheherazade. We used the pregenerated characters and after a very brief introduction we jumped right into action. Follow us into an exciting world full of adventures and danger.
- Garion as Abbas the old ghoul hunter
- Carnickl as Armeen the caravan rider and Muz the camel
- Taki as Semir the young bazaar thief
- Gwynedds as Farah the huntress of the desert
- Zantos as Aliyaya the dedicated dervish
Everything started on the bazaar of Al-Dazim, a port city and transhipment point for trades of all kind. The group wanted to stock up to travel through the desert to Nazrin. An old and wise man in Nazrin could be the key to knowledge how to break the curse of Scheherazade. Semir caught this rumour in a café and the group decided to try this opportunity.
Everyone ran their errands but nobody had the resources to buy a camel and so Armeen was the only one with a beast of burden. While they were shopping, they could hear an uproar. Muz was the first to notice this and alerted Armeen. Everyone ran quickly into the direction. A young man ran away and was called a thief by a dealer. Farah looked for a good position, but Abbas was faster and let Armeen lift him on one of the stands and shot the man with his bow. The arrow pierced his arm and the thief dropped the small statue in his arm, which broke into a thousand pieces when it landed on the ground. In the meantime, Semir snuck past the people and pocketed a few little things at the stands without being noticed.
The thief screamed in pain and Aliyaya approached him. In no time at all, the black, obsidian-like shards dissolved in dark fog and enveloped parts of the market. The young dervish grabbed the thief and tried to pull him out of the fog when she noticed movement. She got scared and ran away alone. Abbas used his magic and was able to visualize the being that was moving in the fog. Aliyaya went into a duel and exchanged a few blows. Armeen and Semir kept their distance and watched. Abbas continued to do magic and was able to weaken the being. With a well-aimed shot, Farah put an end to the being and it dissolved together with the fog. The ghoul hunter knew that the statue was a prison and so the group questioned both the trader and the thief. The city guard appeared, but was successfully dismissed. After the young man was treated, they learned that he had been paid to procure the statue; the dealer himself had only recently bought the statue from a traveler.
After a doctor had completely stabilized the thief, the group learned where to take the statue. A ruse was devised and they made a dummy with a bag. Semir scouted the café in which the statue was to be deposited and Armeen positioned himself with Muz in the back yard while Farah took position on the opposite roof. Aliyaya and Abbas watched the alley and the ghoul hunter could spot a scout. Abbas decided that he wants to distract him. After the thief had deposited the goods in the back room of the café, Abbas followed the scout but he lost the trail.
A man snuck across the back yard into the café and came out with the bundle. Muz blocked the way as planned and Armeen ran through the building and alerted the rest of the group. They chased the man who finally managed to squeeze past Muz. They could see the man entering a house and gathered in front of it. Armeen let Muz break the door and they took the man by surprise. The group was in a shop with antique books, vases, statues, and other antiques.
The questioning of the man revealed that his son had sold the statue in high spirits, although it was supposed to be kept safely. The man had come into possession by chance and then learned of its nature. Since the statue had already changed hands and the price had gone up, the thief was supposed to steal the statue. For the inconvenience, the group was provided with enough money so that they could buy another camel and were ready for the journey through the desert.
My group for the adventure was very mixed in terms of the general experience with role-playing games, but none had had any contact with the game or the system. We used the premade characters and after a brief introduction to the rules, we plunged straight into the action.
What was positively emphasized by everyone was the fast and easy-to-understand mechanics. Because the characters have relatively little on their character sheets, nobody had too much ballast. Each player could concentrate on his character and everyone used his or her “gifts”, i.e. talents. Once a moon point to incorporate a story element, which I liked very much.
Scheherazade is a beautiful, rule-light game. It has elements of Ubiquity, Fate and especially the Fate Die brings similar twists and turns as Genesys from FFG. The results of the dice clearly influenced the events and the players cheered. I also find it very good how opponents work, because the fights go very quickly and as a game master I can easily shake NPCs out of my sleeve. The fact that the book has little setting descriptions, adventure hooks and such could be a turnoff for one or the other GM. It is up to you to build the background story and the world yourself. For a game master like me, who likes to take matters into their own hands, Scheherazade is just right. Due to the good and light mechanics, as well as the flexibility and easy adaptability for other settings, Scheherazade is a great game and the Unique System is a great addition to the market. For me personally, Scheherazade is my #1 role-playing game of 2019 and the surprise hit of last year.