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D&D 5E Dark Sun Spiritual Successor on Kickstarter: Red Dawn: Into the Dawnlands

I'm pretty much don't like it don't buy it.

Something like this though is a decent contrast to the sanitized boring stuff WotC has been making though. It's not one or the other for me options are good.

Which is what I'm doing. But (especially as someone who's a long time Dark Sun fan who's written many, many words on here about how I'd like a 5e Dark Sun to look), I think it's reasonable to talk about why I'm unlikely to buy/support a product that appears to be squarely aimed at people like me.

And for me, too often the flip side of people trying to contrast with 'sanitized boring stuff', is that you get overwhelmed with juvenile cheap shock value tactics in the name of edginess. I was buying RPGs in the late 90s, the spiral of game publishers continually trying to out-darkness and out-edginess World of Darkness and each other was a trend i personally got tired of a long time ago. Mind you, I'm not quite ready to write off the Red Dawn project as a case of that. But for me, If you're going to have horrible stuff in a game, make it meaningful, seriously engage what it might mean to people who've experienced it in real life, and remember that darkness needs some light for contrast.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
Which is what I'm doing. But (especially as someone who's a long time Dark Sun fan who's written many, many words on here about how I'd like a 5e Dark Sun to look), I think it's reasonable to talk about why I'm unlikely to buy/support a product that appears to be squarely aimed at people like me.

And for me, too often the flip side of people trying to contrast with 'sanitized boring stuff', is that you get overwhelmed with juvenile cheap shock value tactics in the name of edginess. I was buying RPGs in the late 90s, the spiral of game publishers continually trying to out-darkness and out-edginess World of Darkness and each other was a trend i personally got tired of a long time ago. Mind you, I'm not quite ready to write off the Red Dawn project as a case of that. But for me, If you're going to have horrible stuff in a game, make it meaningful, seriously engage what it might mean to people who've experienced it in real life people, and remember that darkness needs some light for contrast.

Sure I read the shorts ofthe Kickstarter. Doesn't seem overly edgy.

Apple doesn't fall far from the tree seems to be the big thing I noticed.
 


Dausuul

Legend
This ... is probably not for me, on first viewing. I love Dark Sun, but just such a naked, transparent ripoff rubs me the wrong way a little, plus neither of the main authors listed seem to have any prior RPG design or writing credits whatsoever and this is the company's first KS, which always makes me a little wary. I've been bitten before.
Agreed.

And all the run-on sentences make me twitchy. I know this is overly nitpicky of me, but... still. I would not flat-out reject a book that was written like that, but it would annoy me significantly while reading.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think this thread got it about right:

In particular I love this bit:

“You can't get new converts to old ideas by keeping them ossified in outdated concepts. (…) You move forward by taking those old ideas and re-inventing them in a new way that is relevant and appropriate to more people. You create a new form that brings in a new audience. You take what's familiar and you make it relatable to more people.”

This is so incredibly true, and it’s why I tire of people obsessing over canon and continuity and decrying changes made to classic settings.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
In particular I love this bit:

“You can't get new converts to old ideas by keeping them ossified in outdated concepts. (…) You move forward by taking those old ideas and re-inventing them in a new way that is relevant and appropriate to more people. You create a new form that brings in a new audience. You take what's familiar and you make it relatable to more people.”

This is so incredibly true, and it’s why I tire of people obsessing over canon and continuity and decrying changes made to classic settings.

1. We know that's not true. Plenty of things have crash d and burned because it doesn't appeal to the old or new.

2. We don't know what their goals are or expectations.

They're not claiming bits a universal RPG or aimed at everyone.

It's essentially gatekeeping? Variety etc don't like it don't buy it it's fairly simple concept.
 

TheSword

Legend
This looks way too similar to Dark Sun... I don't know how I feel about it. I understand "inspiration", but this is just a copy/paste
I agree.
I love Athas, in fact I really love the setting and the style it tries to create.

I think fans creating a 5e update of dark sun is one thing. Whether official or unofficial. Athas.org did this for a long time and kept things alive.

This feels like a cheap way around the IP rights though. By changing just enough to make it different, and essentially copying the key elements of the world. Im not sure I’m comfortable with them making money off someone else’s work.

My preference is to wait until WOC do Darksun.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I agree.
I love Athas, in fact I really love the setting and the style it tries to create.

I think fans creating a 5e update of dark sun is one thing. Whether official or unofficial. Athas.org did this for a long time and kept things alive.

This feels like a cheap way around the IP rights though. By changing just enough to make it different, and essentially copying the key elements of the world. Im not sure I’m comfortable with them making money off someone else’s work.

My preference is to wait until WOC do Darksun.

People gave accused them that they don't get Darksun.

It seems they get Darksun better than Fe. That grittiness is a key part of Darksun.

It wasn't designed as a nice world it's your PG14 or R16 world vs your G or PG realms.
 

It seems they get Darksun better than Fe. That grittiness is a key part of Darksun.
Dark Sun isn't all grit though. Its a world specifically ruined by the actions of a few, ruined by the action of one reaching towards the past he once knew and ruining the lives of thousands to try and get it. Its a world where the player characters are hope, to the point the first big adventure is specifically dethroning one of those people responsible and bringing back some more hope to the world. A world with great evil, but also great heroism to stand against it.

If all you have is a gritty setting with psionics, you don't have Dark Sun. You've just got a pale immitation.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Dark Sun isn't all grit though. Its a world specifically ruined by the actions of a few, ruined by the action of one reaching towards the past he once knew and ruining the lives of thousands to try and get it. Its a world where the player characters are hope, to the point the first big adventure is specifically dethroning one of those people responsible and bringing back some more hope to the world. A world with great evil, but also great heroism to stand against it.

If all you have is a gritty setting with psionics, you don't have Dark Sun. You've just got a pale immitation.

And have you read the book in it's entirety?

You're comparing a few snippets vs post original DS boxed set.
 

And have you read the book in it's entirety?

You're comparing a few snippets vs post original DS boxed set.
A Kickstarter is presented on what they push out. The work presented is indicative of what your full work should be. Briefer, yes, but its at least an indication as to what you'll get for going all in on this one. So, we can summise that what we have is indicative of what the full work would be and can judge accordingly.

But if it isn't indicative of what they're doing? Well, then its not a good intro for a Kickstarter and I'm getting vague shades of another Kickstarter I called out for publishing itself on a well received D&D addon, but was instead being for an MMO
 


Zardnaar

Legend
A Kickstarter is presented on what they push out. The work presented is indicative of what your full work should be. Briefer, yes, but its at least an indication as to what you'll get for going all in on this one. So, we can summise that what we have is indicative of what the full work would be and can judge accordingly.

But if it isn't indicative of what they're doing? Well, then its not a good intro for a Kickstarter and I'm getting vague shades of another Kickstarter I called out for publishing itself on a well received D&D addon, but was instead being for an MMO

Do you remember the original DS boxed set? It was about as grim as this in content.

Now cut that content down to by 95%. See where I'm going with this?
 


TheSword

Legend
People gave accused them that they don't get Darksun.

It seems they get Darksun better than Fe. That grittiness is a key part of Darksun.

It wasn't designed as a nice world it's your PG14 or R16 world vs your G or PG realms.
I agree with the basic principle that publishers should be able to publish their material and then succeed or fail on its merits. If the publishers want to include slavery or gritty survival horror elements then that’s on them. It’s for them to judge the balance and tbe inevitable backlash. It seems short sighted to publish a product that only appeals to a slice of the pie, but that will come down to their marketing decisions and how many people they want to alienate.

Where I do have an issue is that I’d be much happier if it was their material. Replacing defiling with Ravaging, sorcerer kings, city states, pretty much the same races, etc etc is just being edgy with someone else’s IP. It’s disappointing that they couldn’t come up with their own ideas.

Spiritual Successor should not be synonymous with Knock Off.
 

just being edgy with someone else’s IP.
To be completely fair to these guys, I haven’t seen anything like enough evidence to convince me that they’re deliberately going out there and TRYING to be OMGedgy and consciously targeting the market segment that is undoubtedly out there that enjoys seeing people get offended. On their Twitter account they at least claim that they’ve changed the text of the ‘ideal slaves’ thing (I haven’t checked) and that the funding target of the Kickstarter includes hiring a sensitivity reader. Which, let’s be honest, it sounds like they sorely need.

it’s quite possible that they’re just a few old school dark sun fans who haven’t paid any real attention to the various improvements in representation and portrayal that have happened in the rpg community even over the past couple of years. Which again, doesn’t say a lot of their grasp on the modern rpg market or customer base, and which suggests they’ll have a LOT of revising to do if/when the sensitivity reader’s comments come back and if they are taken seriously.

having said that - there are some signs that make me a bit twitchy. The explicit promotion of the ability to play evil characters, for instance, is always a little bit of a red flag to me. But mostly it’s the facts that I dislike that it’s such a blatant Dark Sun ripoff, that they have seemed to have missed almost all of the greater themes behind Dark Sun, and that the people behind it don’t seem to have much in the way of writing chops or game design track records, that are giving me pause. So far, anyway.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
1. We know that's not true. Plenty of things have crash d and burned because it doesn't appeal to the old or new.
I didn’t say it would guarantee financial success…?
2. We don't know what their goals are or expectations.

They're not claiming bits a universal RPG or aimed at everyone.
So? I still think they’re going about it poorly.
It's essentially gatekeeping? Variety etc don't like it don't buy it it's fairly simple concept.
“I don’t like it so I won’t buy it” is literally what I’m saying…
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
People gave accused them that they don't get Darksun.

It seems they get Darksun better than Fe. That grittiness is a key part of Darksun.

It wasn't designed as a nice world it's your PG14 or R16 world vs your G or PG realms.
Sounds like you don’t get Dark Sun either. Yes, it’s gritty, but that grit has a purpose. It isn’t dark for the sake of being dark, it’s dark because it has a message that darkness serves.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Sounds like you don’t get Dark Sun either. Yes, it’s gritty, but that grit has a purpose. It isn’t dark for the sake of being dark, it’s dark because it has a message that darkness serves.

I'm well aware of Darksuns themes. Have you read the final product tthough? Might be good might be crap.

Basically if the villains are being villains I'm basically fine with there actions.

This isn't really doing anything the original didn't. I've often thought about a not Darksun game similar to this.

Currently working on a post apocalyptic campaign basically rping off Fallout4.

Force Awakens and Pathfinder guilty of same thing execution will be the main thing.
 

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