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


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Scribe

Legend
I'm unapologetic in my love of 40K and it's brand of grimdark. I want my fiction to ask questions by taking things we accept and extrapolating them to absurd satire.

The classical pessimist in me loves dark fantasy, cosmic horror, sword and sorcery, not because of any 'edge', but because those settings reflect what I fear is true, and they give the hero something to deny, to stand against, and in their last breath, spit in its face.

That said, if a setting isn't asking you to think about the why, think about what the hero stands against, and is in opposition of, then...what's the point?

I don't know what this setting is trying to say, but it was clearly trying to be Dark Sun, to the point that I thought they had acquired the rights.

I'm interested in the questions dark sun may be asking, but I'm not sure this product is trying to do that.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
[...] I’m also not convinced the authors fully understand the concept of a tidally locked desert world and just how uninhabitable it would be. Yes, sure, maybe the magic of the “Sorcerer overloads” keeps the planet habitable, but still … I think I would struggle to suspend my disbelief.
Yeah, I was a bit puzzled by that too.

Tidally locked means it's the same temperature and time of day (well our construct of time of day, anyway) all the time. But that temperature and time of day still varies depending on what part of the astronomical body you're on. There'd be a side of the Dawnlands planet that's in a frigidly cold night all of the time and a band between the hot and cold sides that is more livable (in which case, why the hell do people live on the hot side?).

There are people who think livable tidally locked planets exist, but I don't really know enough astronomy to appreciate how plausible the Dawnlands scenario is. I guess, potentially, it could be tidally locked but far from its sun, such that the sun facing side is only unpleasantly hot and not face-meltingly hot, while the non sun facing side and terminator zone are both unlivably cold. But that's a really specific scenario, especially if the planet was, at some point, not that way. (and, if that's what the alluded cataclysmic event was--and a wizard did it--well... yeesh)

A tidally locked planet is a cool idea--I've seen homebrewed D&D settings that have fun with it--but Red Dawn only seems to be using it as a pretext--just as it appears to be using Dark Sun's tone and aesthetic as a pretext without really appreciating or exploring the nuances.
 

Yeah, I was a bit puzzled by that too.

Tidally locked means it's the same temperature and time of day (well our construct of time of day, anyway) all the time. But that temperature and time of day still varies depending on what part of the astronomical body you're on. There'd be a side of the Dawnlands planet that's in a frigidly cold night all of the time and a band between the hot and cold sides that is more livable (in which case, why the hell do people live on the hot side?).

There are people who think livable tidally locked planets exist, but I don't really know enough astronomy to appreciate how plausible the Dawnlands scenario is. I guess, potentially, it could be tidally locked but far from its sun, such that the sun facing side is only unpleasantly hot and not face-meltingly hot, while the non sun facing side and terminator zone are both unlivably cold. But that's a really specific scenario, especially if the planet was, at some point, not that way. (and, if that's what the alluded cataclysmic event was--and a wizard did it--well... yeesh)

A tidally locked planet is a cool idea--I've seen homebrewed D&D settings that have fun with it--but Red Dawn only seems to be using it as a pretext--just as it appears to be using Dark Sun's tone and aesthetic as a pretext without really appreciating or exploring the nuances.
My understanding is that a tidally locked planet that wobbles on it's access might still have areas that experience some kind of day and night - although this would be more like perpetually pre-post sunset or dawn then day or night as we think about it.

At first I thought they were going for something like that by calling it the "Dawnlands".
 

pukunui

Legend
Yeah, it’s possible they are intending to set the “Dawnlands” in the twilight zone between full day and full night but if so that wasn’t made clear to me.

Even so, I don’t think a sun-blasted, waterless world could sustain life for a thousand years without some hefty magic keeping its atmosphere in place and the like.

It feels to me as far-fetched as the “two years without sunlight” premise of Rime of the Frostmaiden.
 

It might be possible on a planet with strong ocean currents and a thick atmosphere to contain heat that is otherwise a decent distance from it's sun.

On a desert planet? No. But it's fantasy - it doesn't really matter that much.

To my mind a bigger issue is that perpetual day just messes with a lot of game elements and potential actions ("we wait until night and then try and sneak in" is no longer possible - ecoystems don't make any sense, shelteing during the day and trekking across deserts by night doesn't work) for not really any clear payoff.
 

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