D&D 5E 5e has everything it needs for Dark Sun

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Here is my thoughts.

"Magic" manifests in a variety of mechanical ways: spells are the most common but you see things like class features (channel divinity, wild shape, invocations) that are also "magic" but not spells.

D&D used terms like Arcane, Divine, Primal, etc to describe how these effects originate, but they are 100% fluff and have no mechanical weight. Further, they aren't intrinsic to the class itself, as a subclass like the divine soul sorcerer reflavors the normally arcane sorcerer into a divine class.

Psionics is just another flavor description like Arcane or Divine; a way to describe why an ability functions. It can be a "spell" or it can be a class ability (such as the soul knife's psi-blades). And That works just fine in 99% of all D&D settings because it doesn't matter where the"magic" comes from as long as it's effect is balanced.

Except in Dark Sun. Dark Sun cares too much about where it comes from. Dark Sun wants to ban divine, corrupt arcane, limit primal and others and exalt psionics. Which doesn't work with 5e because there is no link between these terms and how the game handles magic.

To whit: most people would argue a sorcerer is an arcane class. It fits the aesthetic and has been described as such. In a Dark Sun game, it would be subjected to the defiling rules (if it were allowed at all, purists are a fickle group). However, not all sorcerers are Arcane. Divine Soul sorcerers are divine powered. Aberrant Mind sorcerers are Psionic. Arguments can be made about Shadow sorcerers using shadow magic or storm sorcerers using primal or elemental. If power source matters, every one of those subclasses could be subjected to different rules, despite being 95% the same class.

So the biggest problem is that classes don't neatly fit into power source boxes anymore. That makes designing rules to interact with them tricky if not impossible to future proof.
The easy answer is to put them in the boxes.

Even if d&d as a base does not recognize a difference between divine magic and arcane magic for the purposes of mechanics we can still use it in Dark Sun by applying that definition.

Also worth noting in Dark Sun? I would consider divine soul sorcerers to be arcane casters even when they cast spells that come from the cleric spell list.

Because the real definition of divine magic is that it can be taken away. If you don't do what your God wants or you break your oath your power goes away. The divine soul sorcerer has that divine spark inside of himself so that power cannot be taken away.

Also I probably wouldn't allow Divine soul sorcerers in Athas anyway.
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
Assuming they even have extended reach. Ogres and trolls are Large and have standard 5-foot reach (even though trolls are usually thought of as long-limbed). Whereas PC bugbears do have extended reach! Even though their NPC kin don't.

(I'm working on a Large-sized heritage for Level Up, and this post made me go double-check to see whether I needed to include extended reach for them. I don't.)
It turns out the reach itself wasnt the problem. The problem was the opportunity attacks being able to target so many opponents.

Because 5e can only have one opportunity attack, the reach itself doesnt matter. It doesnt matter if the one op attack is 5 or 10 or 15 away.

In any case, 5e larger creatures have less reach than in earlier editions.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
So as long as its called magic, you're alright with psionics having their own sub-system?
The Psion is a full spellcaster. So either standard mechanics or Warlock mechanics is appropriate.

(I personally dislike Sorcerer meta mechanics.)

But for an other class, say like the Soulknife, that could have been done without any spells, just class features.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I am sincerely uncertain how to respond to this without coming across as a complete jerk.
Heh, too late.

I think it shall suffice to say that I do not believe you understand how telekinetics work as a concept.

I'm certain you could run it that way in a game that you like. But it certainly does not reflect Athas or d&d in general. Or real world ideas behind telekinesis.

It sounds like you are unfamiliar with various reallife mysticism traditions.

Also, you seem to not understand what D&D psychokinesis is. Do you imagine that invisible tentacles are coming out of the brain to move the object?

A mind can move things, because, in some sense, mind is everywhere.

"Mind over matter", is because the mind is the fundament.

In D&D, the Weave is everywhere. But the Weave is psychosensitive. Psionic mages perceive the Weave as "mind".
 
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The Psion is a full spellcaster. So either standard mechanics or Warlock mechanics is appropriate.

(I personally dislike Sorcerer meta mechanics.)

But for an other class, say like the Soulknife, that could have been done without any spells, just class features.
You dodged my question entirely to say something else.

Why does it have to be done with spell slots if other magical effects aren't? Why does it have to be just class features if not all magical effects are? Why do you draw the line w/ the Psion but not with the monk, etc
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Heh, too late.



It sounds like you are unfamiliar with various reallife mysticism traditions.

Also, you seem to not understand what D&D psychokinesis is. Do you imagine that invisible tentacles are coming out of the brain to move the object?

A mind can move things, because, in some sense, mind is everywhere.

"Mind over matter", is because the mind is the fundament.

In D&D, the Weave is everywhere. But the Weave is psychosensitive. Psionic mages perceive the Weave as "mind".
I do not believe there is anything coming out of a person's head when they use telekinesis. The definition of telekinesis is far movement. Moving something that is far away from you with your mind. That is the long and the short of it. You create a force which affects the object and moves the object. That's it. If you want to get into real world physics on it I guess you could say you are altering its kinetic potential to change direction and move?

Do you think the telekinesis spell has magic tentacles jumping out of your head? Or only functions because every rock you could possibly use telekinesis on is automatically magical?

If that's the case, do rocks count as magic improvised weapons when you fling them at a giant's head?

It doesn't require a mind to be attached to the rock for a supernatural power to move the rock. Nor does it require some sort of magical function to be attached to the rock for magic to move a rock.

I get that 5e is big on the idea of the weave, but it is a really limiting perspective.

Psionic telekinesis is just you making an object move using a force at a distance. You're not interacting with the thing's mind, as that would be telepathy!
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I do not believe there is anything coming out of a person's head when they use telekinesis. The definition of telekinesis is far movement. Moving something that is far away from you with your mind. That is the long and the short of it. You create a force which affects the object and moves the object. That's it. If you want to get into real world physics on it I guess you could say you are altering its kinetic potential to change direction and move?

Do you think the telekinesis spell has magic tentacles jumping out of your head? Or only functions because every rock you could possibly use telekinesis on is automatically magical?

If that's the case, do rocks count as magic improvised weapons when you fling them at a giant's head?

It doesn't require a mind to be attached to the rock for a supernatural power to move the rock. Nor does it require some sort of magical function to be attached to the rock for magic to move a rock.

I get that 5e is big on the idea of the weave, but it is a really limiting perspective.

Psionic telekinesis is just you making an object move using a force at a distance. You're not interacting with the thing's mind, as that would be telepathy!
"The definition of telekinesis is ... moving something that is far way from you with your mind."

And how, exactly, does that happen?

Normally, one thinks of a mind as residing in the brain inside a skull. How is this mind ALSO, at the same time, far away to push an object?

The answer is, the mind is somehow everywhere, even beyond ones own personal perspective.

Compare Hinduism − Atman is the personal mind and Brahman is the universal mind − and the insight is, they are actually the same thing from different perspectives.
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
I'm getting hung up on what changes are really necessary and what is just us die-hards whining.

Races
Aarakocra - as printed
Dray - use dragonborn. Possibly limit their heritage to a specific color.
Dwarf - Hill and Mountain dwarf as printed. Focus could be added, but what does it really bring to the table?
Elf - use Eladrin, High, Mark of Shadow, Shadar-kai, Wood subraces as printed. Nerf their age and boost movement to 35'
Half-dwarf (Mul) - use half-orc. It fits really, really well.
Half-elf - basic half-elf as printed
Halfling - as printed
Half-giants - use goliath. Yeah, I want them to be large too, but goliaths really do work. Replace cold resistance with resistance to heat.
Human - as printed
Kenku - as printed
Ssurran - use lizardfolk
Tari - use either Goblins or Kobolds. I'm partial to kobolds.
Thri-kreen - Should be added as a PC race, but honestly would be fine as a monster only
Yuan-ti - as printed

There are plenty of other races that could be dropped in as native to outlying areas or islands in the Sea of Silt
Sure, everything needs at least a half-page of re-fluffing, but they are doable.

Classes
Artificer - personally, I hate this class, but there is no other reason to exclude it. Both Artillerist and Battlesmith are probably bad fits.
Barbarian - fine
Bard - OMG, no poison! Who cares? Take proficiency in poisoners kit and be done with it.
Cleric - WE DONT NEED NEW DOMAINS! Pick any domain and flavor it as your elemental variant. Problem solved.
Druid - Yeah, this doesn't really fit the old DS lore, but we are going to run with it anyway. Fluff may tie druids to a specific area.
Fighter - fine
Gladiator - this is a background, not a class.
Monk - fine
Paladin - fine. That's right, I said it. Now that the class isn't tied to an alignment these guys should be back on the table.
Ranger - fine. Natural Explorer needs "desert" broken into all the terrains of Athas, but that's it.
Rogue - fine.
Sorcerer - fine except for Clockwork, Divine and Dragon. If Psion never sees print then this is my wanna be. Use spell points.
Warlock - Just add a Sorcerer King patron and presto! We've got Templars. Shucks. You could even use the existing patrons.
Wizard - fine. Every wizard can (choose to) defile for a 50% chance of not losing the spell slot when casting a leveled spell.
Psion - I like don't hate the psionic subclasses, but we need a dedicated Psion with 3 subclasses. Metamorph, Psychic, and Kineticist.

So how much work would actually be necessary to do a Dark Sun book right? less than we've seen with Ravenloft.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
"The definition of telekinesis is ... moving something that is far way from you with your mind."

And how, exactly, does that happen?

Normally, one thinks of a mind as residing in the brain inside a skull. How is this mind ALSO, at the same time, far away to push an object?

The answer is, the mind is somehow everywhere, even beyond ones own personal perspective.

Compare Hinduism − Atman is the personal mind and Brahman is the universal mind − and the insight is, they are actually the same thing from different perspectives.
The answer is: It just does.

Your mind doesn't leave your skull. But you cause the object to move. The same sort of effect happens when a Wizard casts Telekinesis. The magic makes the object move in the same way a psionic power does.

There's no connection between mind and object, or object and air particles, or invisible tentacles.

It just moves.

That's what makes Psionics a supernatural effect. It is "Beyond Nature" or "Outside Nature". It doesn't follow the laws of physics.

And... at the risk of getting into dangerous territory: Atman is not the mind or the body or the consciousness, but that which permeates them all. What westerners would largely just call a Soul.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Or only functions because every rock you could possibly use telekinesis on is automatically magical?

If that's the case, do rocks count as magic improvised weapons when you fling them at a giant's head?

It doesn't require a mind to be attached to the rock for a supernatural power to move the rock. Nor does it require some sort of magical function to be attached to the rock for magic to move a rock.
According to animism, the desire of the mind of a rock is, to be a rock.

If a rock is doing anything unusual (such as appearing in peoples dreams or moving around or whatever) then probably something unusual is going on that somehow agitating the rock in some way.

In Dark Sun, many features of nature can be crying out for help.

In animism, there is a sense that the more "significant" a natural feature is to a community, the more "present" it is mentally. The more "power" or "spirit", or influence it has.

So some rocks can be more mentally prominent than others, and exhibit more "personality".

Normally, it is better to avoid personifying the mind of an animistic feature of nature. But it can happen. Sometimes the mind of a natural feature can manifest nearby the feature in the form of a human. But again, the mind of the feature is actually nonhuman.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I'm getting hung up on what changes are really necessary and what is just us die-hards whining.

Races
Aarakocra - as printed
Dray - use dragonborn. Possibly limit their heritage to a specific color.
Dwarf - Hill and Mountain dwarf as printed. Focus could be added, but what does it really bring to the table?
Elf - use Eladrin, High, Mark of Shadow, Shadar-kai, Wood subraces as printed. Nerf their age and boost movement to 35'
Half-dwarf (Mul) - use half-orc. It fits really, really well.
Half-elf - basic half-elf as printed
Halfling - as printed
Half-giants - use goliath. Yeah, I want them to be large too, but goliaths really do work. Replace cold resistance with resistance to heat.
Human - as printed
Kenku - as printed
Ssurran - use lizardfolk
Tari - use either Goblins or Kobolds. I'm partial to kobolds.
Thri-kreen - Should be added as a PC race, but honestly would be fine as a monster only
Yuan-ti - as printed

There are plenty of other races that could be dropped in as native to outlying areas or islands in the Sea of Silt
Sure, everything needs at least a half-page of re-fluffing, but they are doable.

Classes
Artificer - personally, I hate this class, but there is no other reason to exclude it. Both Artillerist and Battlesmith are probably bad fits.
Barbarian - fine
Bard - OMG, no poison! Who cares? Take proficiency in poisoners kit and be done with it.
Cleric - WE DONT NEED NEW DOMAINS! Pick any domain and flavor it as your elemental variant. Problem solved.
Druid - Yeah, this doesn't really fit the old DS lore, but we are going to run with it anyway. Fluff may tie druids to a specific area.
Fighter - fine
Gladiator - this is a background, not a class.
Monk - fine
Paladin - fine. That's right, I said it. Now that the class isn't tied to an alignment these guys should be back on the table.
Ranger - fine. Natural Explorer needs "desert" broken into all the terrains of Athas, but that's it.
Rogue - fine.
Sorcerer - fine except for Clockwork, Divine and Dragon. If Psion never sees print then this is my wanna be. Use spell points.
Warlock - Just add a Sorcerer King patron and presto! We've got Templars. Shucks. You could even use the existing patrons.
Wizard - fine. Every wizard can (choose to) defile for a 50% chance of not losing the spell slot when casting a leveled spell.
Psion - I like don't hate the psionic subclasses, but we need a dedicated Psion with 3 subclasses. Metamorph, Psychic, and Kineticist.

So how much work would actually be necessary to do a Dark Sun book right? less than we've seen with Ravenloft.
Dark Sun 5e Systems Resource Document - The Homebrewery innocent whistle
5e - Psion (KibblesTasty) by KibblesTasty innocent whistling intensifies
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
The answer is: It just does.

Your mind doesn't leave your skull. But you cause the object to move.

"The answer is: It just does."

Heh, in D&D, that answer is called the "Weave".



Despite the Forgotten Realms setting, the D&D 5e rules make it clear that different mages understand and describe the Weave differently.

Psionic mages can perceive the Weave as the interconnectedness of all minds.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
According to animism, the desire of the mind of a rock is, to be a rock.

If a rock is doing anything unusual (such as appearing in peoples dreams or moving around or whatever) then probably something unusual is going on that somehow agitating the rock in some way.

In Dark Sun, many features of nature can be crying out for help.

In animism, there is a sense that the more "significant" a natural feature is to a community, the more "present" it is mentally. The more "power" or "spirit", or influence it has.

So some rocks can be more mentally prominent than others, and exhibit more "personality".

Normally, it is better to avoid personifying the mind of an animistic feature of nature. But it can happen. Sometimes the mind of a natural feature can manifest nearby the feature in the form of a human. But again, the mind of the feature is actually nonhuman.
Cool. Animism is neat.

Animism isn't part of Dark Sun. At least not to the degree you're referring to. Certainly not to the point of defining how the reality of Athas works.
"The answer is: It just does."

Heh, in D&D, that answer is called the "Weave".
In 5e they tried to use a Forgotten Realms specific idea to work universally 'cause... naughty word if I know, honestly? I have no idea why they painted themselves SO HARD into that ridiculous corner that they're gonna have to tear apart to make Dark Sun work.

But yeah. "Wizard Did It" is pretty much how any supernatural power works. It works because it works. No physics. No invisible tentacles. It just... Does.

And, for the record: I choose to compleeeeeeetely ignore "The Weave" as how all magic works 'cause like anything in the PHB you can discard what you don't like and... honestly... that's some of the worst shoehorning I've seen since TSR handed over the reins.

 
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Rikka66

Adventurer
You two are literally just repeating the same argument you had previously for half the thread. With the same points. Over something that neither of you can be right or wrong about.

Food for thought.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Here is my thoughts.

"Magic" manifests in a variety of mechanical ways: spells are the most common but you see things like class features (channel divinity, wild shape, invocations) that are also "magic" but not spells.

D&D used terms like Arcane, Divine, Primal, etc to describe how these effects originate, but they are 100% fluff and have no mechanical weight. Further, they aren't intrinsic to the class itself, as a subclass like the divine soul sorcerer reflavors the normally arcane sorcerer into a divine class.

Psionics is just another flavor description like Arcane or Divine; a way to describe why an ability functions. It can be a "spell" or it can be a class ability (such as the soul knife's psi-blades). And That works just fine in 99% of all D&D settings because it doesn't matter where the"magic" comes from as long as it's effect is balanced.

Except in Dark Sun. Dark Sun cares too much about where it comes from. Dark Sun wants to ban divine, corrupt arcane, limit primal and others and exalt psionics. Which doesn't work with 5e because there is no link between these terms and how the game handles magic.

To whit: most people would argue a sorcerer is an arcane class. It fits the aesthetic and has been described as such. In a Dark Sun game, it would be subjected to the defiling rules (if it were allowed at all, purists are a fickle group). However, not all sorcerers are Arcane. Divine Soul sorcerers are divine powered. Aberrant Mind sorcerers are Psionic. Arguments can be made about Shadow sorcerers using shadow magic or storm sorcerers using primal or elemental. If power source matters, every one of those subclasses could be subjected to different rules, despite being 95% the same class.

So the biggest problem is that classes don't neatly fit into power source boxes anymore. That makes designing rules to interact with them tricky if not impossible to future proof.
Aberrant Minds are not psionic. They are arcane with SOME psionic power to augment it. Their psionic spells consists of a very small list and their psionic sorcery affects only that list.

I also disagree that it would be tricky or impossible to design rules that would appropriately limit what classes are available in Dark Sun. It would actually be very easy.

If they just say that there are no gods or divine magic, so no divine classes or subclasses are available, you get rid of Clerics and Paladins and Divine Souls. You don't need to specify anything that might come in the future, since your general forbiddance will cover those divine classes as well.

5e is a rulings over rules edition, so it doesn't need to get specific. Let the DM/table decide which future classes and subclasses fall into the ban.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Cool. Animism is neat.

Animism isn't part of Dark Sun. At least not to the degree you're referring to. Certainly not to the point of defining how the reality of Athas works.
Animism is a part of Dark Sun and could easily be extended a bit without breaking with what Dark Sun stands for.

"The druid is a priest tied to a particular feature or aspect of Athas. Unique geographic features are guarded by spirits when druids serve. For example, a pooled oasis has its own spirit and a single druid will reside there to protect it and preside over its use by humans, demihumans, and animals."

And...

"Druids associate themselves with the spirits that inhabit special geographical locations on Athas every oasis, rock formation, stretch of desert, and mountain has a spirit that looks over it and protects its use. A druid will ally with a particular spirit, acting as that spirits earthly counterpart, drawing his magical energy from the spirit in question."

That's a lot of animistic activity going on.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
You two are literally just repeating the same argument you had previously for half the thread. With the same points. Over something that neither of you can be right or wrong about.

Food for thought.
Hey, now... I can be right about Dark Sun not having every rock be a Psionic Animistic Entity so brain-powers can move it.

Animism is a part of Dark Sun and could easily be extended a bit without breaking with what Dark Sun stands for.

"The druid is a priest tied to a particular feature or aspect of Athas. Unique geographic features are guarded by spirits when druids serve. For example, a pooled oasis has its own spirit and a single druid will reside there to protect it and preside over its use by humans, demihumans, and animals."

And...

"Druids associate themselves with the spirits that inhabit special geographical locations on Athas every oasis, rock formation, stretch of desert, and mountain has a spirit that looks over it and protects its use. A druid will ally with a particular spirit, acting as that spirits earthly counterpart, drawing his magical energy from the spirit in question."

That's a lot of animistic activity going on.
Special Geographic Locations having spirits is one thing.

The discussion was every rock and plant and grain of sand having a mind that a Psionicist could interact with to make the object move because "Psionics is all about Minds"

There's a significant difference between the two.

Hence why I added the clause "At least not to the degree you're referring to."
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Aberrant Minds are not psionic. They are arcane with SOME psionic power to augment it. Their psionic spells consists of a very small list and their psionic sorcery affects only that list.

I also disagree that it would be tricky or impossible to design rules that would appropriately limit what classes are available in Dark Sun. It would actually be very easy.

If they just say that there are no gods or divine magic, so no divine classes or subclasses are available, you get rid of Clerics and Paladins and Divine Souls. You don't need to specify anything that might come in the future, since your general forbiddance will cover those divine classes as well.

5e is a rulings over rules edition, so it doesn't need to get specific. Let the DM/table decide which future classes and subclasses fall into the ban.
According to the Weave generalization − Druid and Ranger are also counted among the divine power source. So a divine power source ban would remove these classes too. If so:

Dark Sun
Wizard → Wizard
Ranger → Barbarian
Druid → Bard (!)
Elemental Cleric → Sorcerer (?)
Templar → Warlock
Gladiator → Gladiator Fighter
Minstrel → Minstrel Rogue
Psion → new Psion



Actually, not bad as a 5e approach.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Hey, now... I can be right about Dark Sun not having every rock be a Psionic Animistic Entity so brain-powers can move it.


Special Geographic Locations having spirits is one thing.

The discussion was every rock and plant and grain of sand having a mind that a Psionicist could interact with to make the object move because "Psionics is all about Minds"

There's a significant difference between the two.

Hence why I added the clause "At least not to the degree you're referring to."
It's not just special locations. Every freaking rock formation has one. That means every a desert with 7 "stretches"(no idea how much desert constitutes a stretch) and 3000 rock formations in it will have a minimum of 3007 spirits. I live in California which is mostly desert. There are MANY rock formations within just a few miles of my house. And those are just examples. A ravine in the desert would be sufficient to have its own spirit. A grouping of 12 hills in the desert will have 12 more spirits.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
According to the Weave generalization − Druid and Ranger are also counted among the divine power source. So a divine power source ban would remove these classes too. If so:

Dark Sun
Wizard → Wizard
Ranger → Barbarian
Druid → Bard (!)
Elemental Cleric → Sorcerer (?)
Templar → Warlock
Gladiator → Gladiator Fighter
Minstrel → Minstrel Rogue
Psion → new Psion



Actually, not bad as a 5e approach.
That could work, as could a specific exemption for elemental druids of the subclass listed in the Dark Sun book.
 

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