D&D 5E "Doom Sun" − reconstructing a 5e Dark Sun setting for the DMs Guild

Yaarel

Mind Mage
The DMs Guild is unlocking the Spelljammer setting for its 5e fans to create indy options for the Spelljammer setting.

The 5e Spelljammer setting is the astral plane. It is an astral sea with spherical regions called wildspaces that each overlap a solar system somewhere in the material plane.

One of the wildspaces is called Doomspace. Apparently, the 5e designers originally intended this to be the Dark Sun setting, "Athasspace". In this timeline, the gods of the Forgotten Realms destroyed Dark Sun, turned the crimson sun into a black hole, while the hapless planet hurtles toward the black hole annihilation. However, Doomspace walks back the identification. Officially, Doomspace isnt Dark Sun.

Nevertheless, Doomspace still has many if not all of the features that describe the original Dark Sun setting, including unique Dark Sun creatures, a Defile mechanic, psionics, and so on.

It is possible to use the features that have been unlocked to reconstruct the original Dark Sun setting for options that can be published in the DMs Guild.

For the purposes of this thread, use the term "Dark Sun" when you mean the original 2e Dark Sun setting published in 1991 and in supplements afterward. Use the term "Doom Sun" when you mean a 5e version of it that is publishable in the DMs Guild.

Also, DMs Guild hasnt actually Dark Sun itself. So circumlocutions are sometimes necessary. For example, "Athas", the name of the planet of the Dark Sun setting is probably off limits. I suggest referring to a different planet called "Ashta" instead. Ashta is a planet (or rogue moon) that is tucked away somewhere in Doomspace. You decide where it is. The personal names of Dark Sun, like Rajaat, Borys, etcetera are probably off limits. But somewhat generic terms like "sorcerer kings" and "dragon" are probably fine. As far as I can tell, the "mul" race is still off limits, but a "half-dwarf" is unobjectionable.

Happily, psionics is an official part of core 5e. So all psionic related options are good.

Spelljammer even unlocks the term "Defile". So any VARIANTS of the Defile mechanic are also totally ok in DMs Guild.



The purpose of this thread is to describe what you yourself like about the original Dark Sun setting. And. How you would convert this into 5e options for a "Doom Sun" that can be made available in the DMs Guild via the Spelljammer setting.

This is a thread where all points of view are welcome. Add your own voice about your own concerns about Dark Sun. And get a sense of what other players think about Dark Sun.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Two words.

Time Dilation.

It gives you time and is also a trap.
That’s the opposite of how time dilation works. Time always moves “normally” from the observer’s perspective. To an observer on Toril, the time it will appear to take Fyreen to fall into the black hole approaches infinity as Fyreen gets closer to the event horizon (and eventually Fyreen will disappear from the Toril obsverer’s view because the time it will take the light reflected off Fyreen to reach Toril also approaches infinity). Meanwhile, to an observer on Fyreen, it will only take days to fall into the black hole.
 

That’s the opposite of how time dilation works. Time always moves “normally” from the observer’s perspective. To an observer on Toril, the time it will appear to take Fyreen to fall into the black hole approaches infinity as Fyreen gets closer to the event horizon (and eventually Fyreen will disappear from the Toril obsverer’s view because the time it will take the light reflected off Fyreen to reach Toril also approaches infinity). Meanwhile, to an observer on Fyreen, it will only take days to fall into the black hole.
I think the idea is to just change the lore a bit. Fyreen is decades from falling into the black hole, but on Dark Sun it feels like a year, then a month, then a week, then a day, which imo would be an amazing adventure premise.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Here are references for the official 5e Spelljammer.

DOOMSPACE
Spelljammer Doomspace description - Screenshot 2022-08-08 161128.png


DEFILE
Ssurran Defiler - Medium Monstrosity (Lizardfolk).png
 

darjr

I crit!
That’s the opposite of how time dilation works. Time always moves “normally” from the observer’s perspective. To an observer on Toril, the time it will appear to take Fyreen to fall into the black hole approaches infinity as Fyreen gets closer to the event horizon (and eventually Fyreen will disappear from the Toril obsverer’s view because the time it will take the light reflected off Fyreen to reach Toril also approaches infinity). Meanwhile, to an observer on Fyreen, it will only take days to fall into the black hole.
Ope!

But it’s still a trap. Only a year goes by for you on the planet but years and years go by “outside”

It’d be like you were “killed” by Dr Who Angels.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I think the idea is to just change the lore a bit. Fyreen is decades from falling into the black hole, but on Dark Sun it feels like a year, then a month, then a week, then a day, which imo would be an amazing adventure premise.
I mean, saying Fyreen is any amount of time from falling into a black hole is a meaningless statement by itself; from who’s frame of reference is it that amount of time away? The book says it’s days away, so the maximum amount of time we can give it is if we assume that’s days away from Fyreen’s frame of reference. If it was days away from a frame of reference outside the black hole’s influence, it would be an immeasurably short amount of time away from Fyreen’s frame.

And don’t get me wrong, “you only have a few days to escape Fyreen before it falls into the black hole” is a very cool premise for an adventure. But it’s pretty limiting to Fyreen’s usability as a long-term campaign setting.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Ope!

But it’s still a trap. Only a year goes by for you on the planet but years and years go by “outside”

It’d be like you were “killed” by Dr Who Angels.
Yeah, time dilation could be interesting to play with in a larger Spelljammer campaign. I believe though that the purpose of this thread is to use the elements Doomspace has in common with Dark Sun to cobble together a bootleg Legally-Distinct-From-Dark-Sun setting that you could put content for on the DM’s guild. And I don’t think Fyreen would be suitable for that purpose, given the ticking clock that’s built into the planet’s lore.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The DMs Guild is unlocking the Spelljammer setting for its 5e fans to create indy options for the Spelljammer setting.

It is possible to use the features that have been unlocked to reconstruct the original Dark Sun setting for options that can be published in the DMs Guild.

Use the term "Doom Sun" when you mean a 5e version of it that is publishable in the DMs Guild.

Also, DMs Guild hasnt actually Dark Sun itself. So circumlocutions are sometimes necessary.

For example, "Athas", the name of the planet of the Dark Sun setting is probably off limits. I suggest referring to a different planet called "Ashta" instead. Ashta is a planet (or rogue moon) that is tucked away somewhere in Doomspace. You decide where it is. The personal names of Dark Sun, like Rajaat, Borys, etcetera are probably off limits. But somewhat generic terms like "sorcerer kings" and "dragon" are probably fine. As far as I can tell, the "mul" race is still off limits, but a "half-dwarf" is unobjectionable.

Spelljammer even unlocks the term "Defile". So any VARIANTS of the Defile mechanic are also totally ok in DMs Guild.
There is a mountain of assumptions involved in this post. A lot of which might get people in quite a lot of trouble if followed without verifying these assumptions with WotC beforehand.
The purpose of this thread is to describe what you yourself like about the original Dark Sun setting. And. How you would convert this into 5e options for a "Doom Sun" that can be made available in the DMs Guild via the Spelljammer setting.

This is a thread where all points of view are welcome. Add your own voice about your own concerns about Dark Sun. And get a sense of what other players think about Dark Sun.
The four biggest bits for a 5E Dark Sun are psionics, defiling, templars, and muls.

Psionics. WotC has a half-baked psi system currently that leaves a lot off the table. Namely the full psionics class. This would be the most work. Unfortunately, WotC seems to have zero interest in pursuing psionics any further. Fortunately, several 3PP have made or are making psionicists.

Defiling. As presented in Spelljammer it's not quite defiling as Dark Sun fans are familiar with. But it's an easy enough mechanic to make. Give arcane casters the ability to gain a free upcast to any leveled spell in exchange for defiling the vegetation around them. Area affected is determined by the upcast spell level. This is minimal work to do. Just write the thing all pretty like.

Templars. In the original, templars were priests of the sorcerer-kings and had the spells available to priests/clerics. Including healing and throwing lightning. So to keep the fiction consistent they'd need to be clerics in 5E. The order-domain cleric is a really tight thematic match for their function in the setting. Though a lot of people seem to want them to be warlocks. Which makes sense, but abandons the original fiction. Depending on preferences, this is already done (the order-domain cleric) or would require a patron and a subclass along with invocations and spells, etc.

Muls. There's a dozen ways to do this. Take the dwarf race and the human race and smash. Literally and figuratively. Use the new orc stats and rename it. Anything goes, really. Just depends on one's preferences.
 


---

I guess the ambiguity is intentional. It is like in the tale of the "little prince".

EZq7nmcXsAE2gEd.jpg



They want to test the reaction by the fanbase. There is an opened door for the future, but the age of DS 5ed hasn't arrived yet. We can enjoy some piece of the "crunch", but the metaplot will be frozen for a long time. It also allows to add new options, for example PC races and classes they weren't in 2nd Ed.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
From 5e Doomspace.

Valt is a rogue moon ripped from its orbit around the planet Fyreen.

Valt is days away from annihilation.

Fyreen itself is a "volcanic world despoiled by dragons." Like 2e Athas, 5e Fyreen had two moons. It seems like Fyreen was intended to be Athas.

The other moon, Crios, is about to become a rogue moon in about a month.

The situation for Fyreen itself seems uncertain. It will be "swallowed up by the Eye of Doom". But when remains unspecified.

Altho Fyreen is a volcanic world with "enough heat on its own to keep it from freezing", its "temperatures plunged dramatically". The planet of Fyreen is COLD wasteland. There can be regions where geothermic heat is unusually warm. Yet, without the sun, all plants presumably are now extinct. Is this suitable for a 2e Dark Sun flavor?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Yeah, I wouldn’t want to risk a project like this, personally. Seems doomed (heh) to get C&D’d
There would be no C&D. This isnt actually a copywrite issue. It is a licensing issue. DMs Guild has unlocked certain trademark content to allow its users to produce content for the DMs Guild. The DMs Guild can likewise choose to deny publication of a certain content. There is no real challenge. The DMs Guild can decide whatever wants.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Fyreen, Under a Doomed Sun

The Gods destroyed the Sun in an act of desperation when they were fighting (and losing) against the Dragon Lords (Hi there, Sardior!) since they asked their submission. Sardior was killed, yada yada, but the Dragons also killed the God of Sun and Time. The gods then detonated the sun and created the Doomed Sun, a Supermassive Black Hole. The BBEG, an ascended Dragon (arcane sorcerer becomes chromatic dragon, psionic caster ascend to gem-dragon) drains the remain of the Sun God to gain more powers AND stop their planet from falling into the void. Magic doesnt ''drain'' the natural world: it pollutes it The Weave is not a renewable resource. The skies of Fyreen is choke-full of fiery cinnabar (red mercury)-colored mist. Trying to escape the planet means trying to somehow pass through the Entropic Mist without dying from the poison.

Defiling cause all living creatures within X to becomes Poisoned for X hours.

The Ssurans are draconic Zealot at the service of the Dragon Overlords, developing more and more psionic powers the less their mind is ''human''.

Races:
  • Humans
  • Dragonborn
  • Thrikreen
  • Shardmind: animated crystalline sand said to be the remnant of the Sands of Time composing the body of the God of Sun and Time)
  • Wilden: psionically-animated patch of nature acting as an immune response to the Defiling.
  • Elves: Long-limbed nomads able to hold their breath for a long time to avoid being choked by dust storms.
  • Halflings: Cabalistic dinosaur riders (similar to the Green Pact Bosmer from E.S.O)
  • Goliath: Stone giant-kin used as emissaries between the City-States and the Valley of Stone Mummies (think Ikanna Kingdom from LoZ: Majora's Mask. A region governed my half-petrified stone giants immortal seers). Called Dwarves by their giant lords.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
From 5e Doomspace.

Valt is a rogue moon ripped from its orbit around the planet Fyreen.

Valt is days away from annihilation.

Fyreen itself is a "volcanic world despoiled by dragons." Like 2e Athas, 5e Fyreen had two moons. It seems like Fyreen was intended to be Athas.

The other moon, Crios, is about to become a rogue moon in about a month.

The situation for Fyreen itself seems uncertain. It will be "swallowed up by the Eye of Doom". But when remains unspecified.
Ah, I misremembered; it was Valt that was days away from the black hole (presumably from Fyreen’s frame of reference). So that does make Fyreen itself a bit more gameable.
Altho Fyreen is a volcanic world with "enough heat on its own to keep it from freezing", its "temperatures plunged dramatically". The planet of Fyreen is COLD wasteland. There can be regions where geothermic heat is unusually warm. Yet, without the sun, all plants presumably are now extinct. Is this suitable for a 2e Dark Sun flavor?
So little of Athas’ geography has been detailed in any product. You could certainly say that the tablelands happened to be situated over a pocket of intense geothermal heat, and most of the rest of the planet is cold, without contradicting anything from official Dark Sun material.

Although frankly, it’s kinda weird that the sun becoming a black hole would have caused the planet’s temperature to drop. The disc of material orbiting a black hole should be plenty hot enough to warm a planet orbiting it (depending on the distance, of course).
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Although frankly, it’s kinda weird that the sun becoming a black hole would have caused the planet’s temperature to drop. The disc of material orbiting a black hole should be plenty hot enough to warm a planet orbiting it (depending on the distance, of course).
The physics of fantasy space are not going to be the same as in our universe. I wouldn't assume that it's an actual black hole that follows the laws of physics - I'd assume at most it's a black hole in a story that follows the rules of science writing in a non hard-SF narrative (i.e. accurate as far as the person writing about it understands it).

It probably leads somewhere. Like to the Negative Material Plane or something.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Ok, obviously I haven't seen the final product, but how much is Fyreen just "Athas with a different name"? Is it hot or cold? Mostly dead or still full of life? Psionic rich or magical? Barsoom or Dying Earth?

It sounded at first to Shmark Shmun, but the more I hear, the more it sounds like a different post-Apocalyptic world borrowing some DS ideas and monsters rather than a find/replace name change.

Anyone want to elaborate how close these two worlds actually are?
 

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