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

Yaarel

Mind Mage
There were no gods involved in the origin of Athas, and there are no gods there now. But that does not prevent an 'interloper event' where some god(s) found Athas and tried to move in.
First, the mysterious beings could be gods. Second, demigods ARE gods. They're just the weakest kind in 2e.
I honestly dont understand why some players can be so obsessed with gods, and so driven to try force them on other players.

If players enjoy them, great. But why push them?
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
That being said, I love the nonthiestic ideas for the elements you have presented. They have inspired me.
I appreciate it.

What I want from the D&D 2024 edition, is for the Cleric class to become genuinely more accommodating to reallife cultural diversity. There are many different kinds of religion. There are significant ones that are nontheistic.

D&D 5e needs to be gentler and more accommodating about the topic of religion.

Most importantly, the player must have the freedom to decide the religiosity of ones own character.

When it comes to a character, the player and the DM need to both agree, about what concepts make sense for the character concept, and what concepts makes sense for the themes of a setting. The tension needs to lean toward each player to feel comfortable.

And, the DM needs a safespace and real gaming rules that SUPPORT the DM to decide the various religions that are in a particular setting.

It is disingenuous to say "the DM can decide", if it means a sisyphean amount of extra work, because almost every other paragraph keeps on pushing no choice except more gods.

It is a fantasy game, but it feels like religious coercion.

Just like some settings can feel too much like reallife racism, some settings can feel too much like reallife religious coercion.
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
Nobody here, literally nobody, is trying to force them on you. We're showing you what the default setting says. What you do with it after is your own business.
If the page makes gods as objectively existing, and literally every aspect of the story revolves around gods, and almost every other paragraph propagandizes gods again and again, that feels like "forcing" gods on D&D players.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
If the page makes gods as objectively existing, and literally every aspect of the story revolves around gods, and almost every other paragraph propagandizes gods again and again, that feels like "forcing" gods on D&D players.
Um, one sentence talking about mysterious beings and demigods somewhere in the past of Athas is not, "and literally every aspect of the story revolves around gods, and almost every other paragraph propagandizes gods..." Such blatant hyperbole doesn't help you make your point.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Um, one sentence talking about mysterious beings and demigods somewhere in the past of Athas is not, "and literally every aspect of the story revolves around gods, and almost every other paragraph propagandizes gods..." Such blatant hyperbole doesn't help you make your point.
I am talking about how 5e (and to some degree 4e) continues to reinforce rules and narratives that feel religiously coercive.

When fantasy themes of religiosity become genocidal and intolerant, it can even be triggering.

Throwing people into the sun, because they refuse to convert?

No. That is not ok.
 

dave2008

Legend
I honestly dont understand why some players can be so obsessed with gods, and so driven to try force them on other players.

If players enjoy them, great. But why push them?
Yaarel, must admit that you are the one that seems to be the most obsessed with gods. You seem to want to codify them into a narrow definition and say this or that is or is not a god. You instance that their are no gods, is a form of deity obsession.

Crap, I just posted about gods again - sorry!
 

dave2008

Legend
I am talking about how 5e (and to some degree 4e) continues to reinforce rules and narratives that feel religiously coercive.

When fantasy themes of religiosity become genocidal and intolerant, it can even be triggering.

Throwing people into the sun, because they refuse to convert?

No. That is not ok.
I almost did it again!
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
I honestly dont understand why some players can be so obsessed with gods, and so driven to try force them on other players.

If players enjoy them, great. But why push them?
You don't have to understand other players, you just have to recognize that what you desire for your table / DMspace is one of many desirable options. You are describing yours and they are describing theirs.

Third-party readers can pick and choose whatever sounds good to them, or craft their own version.
 

Most published D&D pantheons from established settings are heavily influenced by the Greco-Roman pantheon, because that and maybe Norse mythology are pretty much the major thing that folks back in the day would think of when it comes to representing gods. (outside of the heavy Christian influence that is also all over early D&D settings, of course).

Unfortunately the Greek pantheon is one of the worst collections of gods you'll find on Earth. "Ethically problematic" is almost generous as a description of them. The Greeks themselves basically decided they weren't worthy of worship and ended up looking for better gods. So any pantheon based on them as a model is going to turn out rough.

No, just so more much ignorance that statement. First off most ancient Greeks didn't have literalist interptations of Greek Mythology, just like a lot of modern Christians don't have literalist interruptations of the bible.

The Greeks didn't actually belief Zues was running away raping folks.

And the Greeks didn't go in search of new Gods, the Christians forcefully converted millions and killed those who wouldn't convert. Religious genocide isn't going for better Gods. Heck even moderate, reasonable, ethical Christians, were exiled and murdered.

And FR theology is far more complicated then your saying (to be fair its been very inconsistantly protrayed). FR Gods are a mix between Neoplatonist and Mythological theologies, with the ability to draw power from a variety of sources, including worshippers (though FR Gods are NOT Erogores/Thoughtforms) and their Platonic ideal or Logoi.

And the good Gods often object to stuff like the Wall of the False.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I am talking about how 5e (and to some degree 4e) continues to reinforce rules and narratives that feel religiously coercive.

When fantasy themes of religiosity become genocidal and intolerant, it can even be triggering.

Throwing people into the sun, because they refuse to convert?

No. That is not ok.
Read the DMG man. It offers up all kind of options, including no gods and other religious forms that are not the standard. As long as they've written that, nothing is "religiously coercive." Use one of them.
 

I see a potential conflict between the coherence or "orthodxy" with the old canon and the necessary creative freedom. Some players want to be loyal to the old canon, but others would rather to can customize in their way, for example adding martial adepts as gladiators in the arena, totemist shamans (magic of incarnum) who worship Lovecraftian kaijus, sorcerers who cast primal magic, vestige binders and shadowcasters (3.5 Tome of Magic), or psionic "ardents" (a new class from 3.5 The complete psionic. Why not dromites, elans, maenads, xephs or syands (PC races from 3.5) in Dark Sun? Minotaurs, "drays" and tielflings were possible in 4th. even the shadar-kai. If you want there is a crossover with Jackandor thanks special planar gate.

In your tabletop you choose the type of religion in your DS game: deism, animism, cult to the leader, worship of the ancestors, or the nature spirits..

And even if an official DS setting is published again, the metaplot, if this is not rebooted, will be frozen for more years, with the rest of no-FR settings, and what a pity, because I would like to know the fate of Kalidnay
 

dave2008

Legend
No, just so more much ignorance that statement. First off most ancient Greeks didn't have literalist interptations of Greek Mythology, just like a lot of modern Christians don't have literalist interruptations of the bible.

The Greeks didn't actually belief Zues was running away raping folks.
Yes, I often have to remind people that the mythology we have today is not what people believed and worshoped 2000 years ago. It is not like the myths that survived where a "bible" of ancient Greek religion. What people believed and practiced was mostly based on oral traditions and varied widely throughout Greece and beyond. That is pretty the same for any mythology/religion.

EDIT: I did it again - I need to stop!
 

Yes, I often have to remind people that the mythology we have today is not what people believed and worshoped 2000 years ago. It is not like the myths that survived where a "bible" of ancient Greek religion. What people believed and practiced was mostly based on oral traditions and varied widely throughout Greece and beyond. That is pretty the same for any mythology/religion.

EDIT: I did it again - I need to stop!
Yes!! In Dark Sun, there is NO WAY to keep a consistent mythology, let alone a formal religion. It is impossible. Almost every Sorcerer-King portrays themselves as gods, and the people are often times isolated in the wasteland and only passing down oral tradition. This is ultimately why trying to make a solid answer has to be DM dependent. The setting logically does not make cultural sense otherwise. The only thing that the people have truly accepted on Athas, and later in Fyreen, is that the gods have abandoned them (and some ppl prob won't accept that!). This doesn't even mean the gods really did abandon them. I could, on the spot, come up with a host of divinities that were in Athas this whole time not doing naughty word, or doing something else, etc.

Oral tradition, individual faith, and the mutation of mythology across Doomspace ought to be a core component of it (should you have an interest in these subjects).
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I am talking about how 5e (and to some degree 4e) continues to reinforce rules and narratives that feel religiously coercive.

When fantasy themes of religiosity become genocidal and intolerant, it can even be triggering.

Throwing people into the sun, because they refuse to convert?

No. That is not ok.
I generally agree with you that the game would benefit from leaving room for more diverse forms of religion. But, I think not being ok is the point in this particular case - the gods of Fyreen are the villains.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Yes, I often have to remind people that the mythology we have today is not what people believed and worshoped 2000 years ago. It is not like the myths that survived where a "bible" of ancient Greek religion. What people believed and practiced was mostly based on oral traditions and varied widely throughout Greece and beyond. That is pretty the same for any mythology/religion.

EDIT: I did it again - I need to stop!
And with Greek mythology specifically, a great deal of what we know of it today comes from plays, which were retellings of famous stories pretty much everyone would have been familiar with, involving popular characters… It’s more comparable to the MCU than the Bible.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
I am talking about how 5e (and to some degree 4e) continues to reinforce rules and narratives that feel religiously coercive.

When fantasy themes of religiosity become genocidal and intolerant, it can even be triggering.

Throwing people into the sun, because they refuse to convert?

No. That is not ok.
So just ignore that bit. The sun just became a black hole through normal means or through magical mishap or through a weird rift in the planes. You never have to have gods in any setting. You can even remove gods from established settings like the Realms, if you like (they're not gods, just powerful beings that people worship like gods). You also don't need to have Doomsphere in your setting, either.
 

Yes, I often have to remind people that the mythology we have today is not what people believed and worshoped 2000 years ago. It is not like the myths that survived where a "bible" of ancient Greek religion. What people believed and practiced was mostly based on oral traditions and varied widely throughout Greece and beyond. That is pretty the same for any mythology/religion.

EDIT: I did it again - I need to stop!

The closest thing to a bible you get with Ancient Greeks is the Chaldean Oracles, which has been lost for centuries, except for fragments mentioned in various commentaries, a lose feels like a hot knife in the soul.
 

rooneg

Adventurer
Dark Sun did things the wrong way around for what they were trying to do. The campaign setting should have represented the status quo AFTER the novels were done rather than selling a boxed set and then immediately invalidating it with novels. But from the numbers Ben Riggs posted last month it looks like they were primarily focused on selling novels and the campaign settings were just there to drive novel sales. So with that perspective they might have viewed the campaign setting as a teaser for the novels first and a game setting second.
Agreed that it would have made more sense to set the boxed sets after the novels, but that would have required a LOT more coordination between the game side of TSR and the novel side of TSR, and it’s pretty clear that didn’t really exist (especially in Dark Sun related stuff, IIRC there are quotes from Lynn Abbey floating around that basically confirm that her novels weren’t even getting read and commented on by the games side of the company). So, yes, TSR was making a ton of money by writing novels set in their game worlds, and their desire to make the novels canonical resulted in unfortunate metaplot updates of the game settings, but this wasn’t some sort of fiendish plan, it was more that it was a pretty dysfunctional company where the right hand and the left hand rarely talked until after stuff was printed and out in the world.
 

If the page makes gods as objectively existing, and literally every aspect of the story revolves around gods, and almost every other paragraph propagandizes gods again and again, that feels like "forcing" gods on D&D players.

That ship sailed in 1e, the D&D multiverse is a Thiestic multiverse, BUT thiestic religions aren't the only ones in D&D, heck they aren't even the only ones in FR.

But yeah the Gods are real in D&D (and in real life, but its fine if you don't believe in them), but in D&D there those who question if they are worthy of worship, and settings were those particular deities are unknown to exist or not, and those who chose to rever other things instead of Gods, such as philosophies, demons, angels, titans, devils, weird Far Realmsian horrors.

This is true in FR, Greyhawk, Dragonlance,Planescape, Spelljammer, Nentir Vale/Nerath, Exandria, etc..., with pre5e Eberron as the only exception.
 
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