Dark Sun 5E conversion - draft

squibbles

Visitor
Version 1.3 looks great, the parchment background really brings it together. I like the equipment prices and optional vitality rules.

I have a couple suggestions:

1.) the black and white pictures don't gel as well with the new background, you might try different ones.

2.) I think you could put the fighter and monk sections together on one page, since both only take up a half-page each. You might also try putting the ranger, rogue, and warlock on the same page, though I realize all three might not fit that well.

3.) There are lots of historical stone slashing and piercing weapons, i.e. stone spearheads, axes, arrowheads, knives. It's kind of weird to limit stone to bludgeoning weapons--even if the old Dark Sun devs might have done so.

4.) You could retain some of the spells that you removed by making minor alterations instead, i.e. Create or Destroy Water -> Destroy Water; Water Walk -> Silt Walk; Simulacra are made from sand rather than snow, etc. You could put them in a new/altered spells section with your anti-defiler spells.

5.) The exhaustion penalties for going without food or water, particularly water, are really steep. I know how important survival is to the feel of Dark Sun, but just 2 or 3 levels of exhaustion can lead to a death spiral. You might consider inventing a separate thirst and/or starvation mechanic, with lower penalties but the same outcome (death). That way, PCs could spend more time in a state of starvation/dehydration before the mechanical penalties become unmanageable.
 

toucanbuzz

Explorer
Any chance of seeing the content (even in draft format!) on HomeBrewery (https://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/)? It lets you preserve the formatting, but allowing viewers to see the raw text. I'm trying to use bits-and-pieces from your guide in a custom character sheet data file for my group, and it's so much simpler to grab text/tables from raw data than formatted PDFs.

It appears the formatting is already identical!

Here's the GM Binder link to view the source, create a clone and modify it for your table, etc.


https://www.gmbinder.com/share/-LX4yHeg3_fD-cb5AYlb
 

toucanbuzz

Explorer
1.) the black and white pictures don't gel as well with the new background, you might try different ones.
Fixed to color. I've always loved that black and white half-giant... Athas thri-kreen art (as previously discussed the thri-kreen keeps getting a body and size makeover) is hard to find, but cropped and edited the thri-kreen Athas supplement for a pic. Voila. Also I've started using Chrome as I read GM binder works better on it (true), so working on cleaning it up.

2.) I think you could put the fighter and monk sections together on one page, since both only take up a half-page each. You might also try putting the ranger, rogue, and warlock on the same page, though I realize all three might not fit that well.
The fighter and monk fit on the same page pretty well. I considered a bunch of class graphics for flavor, but might make this too graphic intensive.

3.) There are lots of historical stone slashing and piercing weapons, i.e. stone spearheads, axes, arrowheads, knives. It's kind of weird to limit stone to bludgeoning weapons--even if the old Dark Sun devs might have done so.
Yeah, fixed that. Stone available for all, removed slash from wood altogether, removed its disadvantage mechanic.

4.) You could retain some of the spells that you removed by making minor alterations instead, i.e. Create or Destroy Water -> Destroy Water; Water Walk -> Silt Walk; Simulacra are made from sand rather than snow, etc. You could put them in a new/altered spells section with your anti-defiler spells.
Yeah, redid Water to Silt Walk, kept Simulacrum and moved notes on alternate components using it as an example. Still want to have Create Water for the Water Cleric, but at such a low volume that we can explain how water clerics can't single-handedly save the land.

5.) The exhaustion penalties for going without food or water, particularly water, are really steep. I know how important survival is to the feel of Dark Sun, but just 2 or 3 levels of exhaustion can lead to a death spiral. You might consider inventing a separate thirst and/or starvation mechanic, with lower penalties but the same outcome (death). That way, PCs could spend more time in a state of starvation/dehydration before the mechanical penalties become unmanageable.
I actually kept this pretty close to the rules as written. I changed "Food" to get rid of the "eat every 6 days" loophole for starvation. I did modify water back to its original rules, removing the "half day" option. In Dark Sun, if you're playing it right, the search for water can be an adventure and a threat, and increasing that more isn't necessary.
 

toucanbuzz

Explorer
(updated version 1.5, using GM Binder link so you can print to PDF, copy source, etc.) https://www.gmbinder.com/share/-LX4yHeg3_fD-cb5AYlb

Changes:
- Formatting and grammar changes
- Half-giant toughness reduced from 3 to 2
- Half-giant resizing costs (double the 10 to 40% cost of resizing)
- Thri-kreen venom immunity removed
- Black and white pics replaced with color
- Druid beast list will continue to be updated as I convert monsters and will likely be the last thing before the draft is complete
- Skills, sleight of hand to hide spells added for wizards, religion covers psion lore, no one but the water cleric knows how to swim (if you find yourself diving into a cistern), insight to determine one's city origin
- Language chart revised for Athas. Yuan-ti added (based on dark sun computer game, and thematically they fit however the DM wants them to fit, perhaps as servants of the original giants as the old "pristine tower" angle may get old)
- Weapon materials merged into "non-metal," metal armor causes auto-fail on breakage roll
- Prices adjusted (simpler reading, no math conversion for 3%, 5% prices) on weapons to match
- Armor simplified, added types under description for various materials padded armor may be constructed from
- Removed "bulky" as the DMG already has a heat rule for wearing medium or heavy armor. Athas armor constructed of non-metal is designed to be worn in the heat, but not all day
- Spells, added planar spells to list of banned spells, a few more altered ones, added name change list
- Spells, (per 3rd edition conversion) magic that dispels/counters also affects psionics to give it a counter as it has no natural one
- Survival rules, water changed back to normal. It's already solid. Starvation remains default except closing the starvation loophole.
 

Evilhalfling

Adventurer
Looking starting a PbP Darksun game, considering using some of these rules.

I had the most trouble with Psionics & defiling:

Psionics - Create a list of exisiting spells for a psion. Psions can use mostly charm, divination and Evocation
then everyone starts with a cantrip or 1/day 1st level spell
(similar to Mage training Feat)

1573161968482.png
 

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