D&D 2E 2E Darksun Observations

Zardnaar

Legend
The first boxed set was amazing with cool sorcerer-kings and The Dragon. Then the novels immediately messed with core parts of that boxed set and the modules followed suit. If you stick with the core boxed set and rules supplements like the monstrous compendiums and the splats you have a lot of cool aspects to draw from. Dragon Kings has a lot of great stuff for high level D&D. My magic user was happy to get his hands on protection from time and improved haste.

One drawback of the core setting though is that it is specifically a different power level from base D&D. Stats going into the 20s, and everybody a wild talent makes it hard to mix and match in a balanced fashion for say a ravenloft game that draws characters from different worlds (not that Dark Sun characters would generally be a good mix for gothic horror, despite the Kalidnay(?) Dark Sun realm).

Ravenloft scary? Lol. Try being stuck in the wastes under the dark sun, waters running out and there's a circle of ash on the ground....
 

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The first boxed set was amazing with cool sorcerer-kings and The Dragon. Then the novels immediately messed with core parts of that boxed set and the modules followed suit. If you stick with the core boxed set and rules supplements like the monstrous compendiums and the splats you have a lot of cool aspects to draw from. Dragon Kings has a lot of great stuff for high level D&D. My magic user was happy to get his hands on protection from time and improved haste.

One drawback of the core setting though is that it is specifically a different power level from base D&D. Stats going into the 20s, and everybody a wild talent makes it hard to mix and match in a balanced fashion for say a ravenloft game that draws characters from different worlds (not that Dark Sun characters would generally be a good mix for gothic horror, despite the Kalidnay(?) Dark Sun realm).
I never blended them. I didn’t even used stuff like Kalidnay
 


Kalidney is just a ruin.
I like the original set, things that don't advance the metaplot eg Dune Trader.

I ignore everything outside things like that for the most part.
These days I stick with the realm of terror boxed set and early stuff like Feast of Goblyns. I used to run it though with the red box and domains of dread . I started when the 2E line first came out so ran the whole metaplot
 

Staffan

Legend
Kalidney is just a ruin.
I like the original set, things that don't advance the metaplot eg Dune Trader.

I ignore everything outside things like that for the most part.
I'm a bit of an oddball among Dark Sun fans in that I think the revised box set is a better setting for an actual game. The original setting is amazing in its descriptions, but the setting as portrayed is both static and somewhat repetitive, in that all the cities are mostly the same with different cultural paint jobs. Revised kicks that anthill over, giving you different cities coping with the absence of their sorcerer-monarchs in different fashions, as well as presenting at least three large-scale threats (Dregoth and his New Giustenal, the Kreen empire, and the Obsidian Plains undead, and apparently there were plans for returning life-shaper halflings as well, which may or may not have been linked with the Kreen empire). I wasn't a big fan of how the changes happened, but the end result was good.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm a bit of an oddball among Dark Sun fans in that I think the revised box set is a better setting for an actual game. The original setting is amazing in its descriptions, but the setting as portrayed is both static and somewhat repetitive, in that all the cities are mostly the same with different cultural paint jobs. Revised kicks that anthill over, giving you different cities coping with the absence of their sorcerer-monarchs in different fashions, as well as presenting at least three large-scale threats (Dregoth and his New Giustenal, the Kreen empire, and the Obsidian Plains undead, and apparently there were plans for returning life-shaper halflings as well, which may or may not have been linked with the Kreen empire). I wasn't a big fan of how the changes happened, but the end result was good.

I don't hate the revised set. Not a fan of the journey getting there.

I did run a DS game advancing tineline even further and restoring Athas was the main idea. It was partly done already eg with water running under the elven bridge
 

hoffrg86

Explorer
Running an ad&d 2e Dark Sun[1st release] game now, pretty much by the book - with complete psionics. Been going for about a year now, and enjoying the rules as is, and smooth over quirks as needed. The bone/obsidian/wood weapon modifiers/breaking was meh, so changed them to decrease a die size instead. ex. a steel longsword 1d8, an obsidian would be 1d6, and bone say 1d4, to min 1 dmg.
 

AnderNGmx

Explorer
The solution for 2e psionics is to retro-convert the 3.5 psionics and do whatever other modifications are needed for balance with the other spellcasterrs. Dark Sun is the best setting ever from the non-classic fantasy ones but the 2e psionics are quite lame.

Also i would ignore the 2e Dark Sun Revised Boxed set as it suggests some general changes that can create huge mess and confusion, such as changing the ability score charts etc.
 

ldvhl

Explorer
Converting psionics to the Vancian casting system never made sense to me, it ruined the flavor of Psionics working differently.

If anything, divine magic/miracles also should have been a different system than Vancian arcane magic.
 

Converting psionics to the Vancian casting system never made sense to me, it ruined the flavor of Psionics working differently.

If anything, divine magic/miracles also should have been a different system than Vancian arcane magic.

The best way to do Psionics is treat them just like spells, but put no limits on memorization. Instead there is a cumulative percentage chance with each casting (equal to the psionic ability's level) that your head explodes during the casting (and this chance resets to zero after a full night's sleep). So a 1st level psionic ablity would be a 1% chance, but if you cast another 1st level psionic ability or the same one, you then have a 2% chance. If you followed that up with an 8th level psionic ability you would have a 10% chance of your head exploding.
 

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