Mike Mearls tweet: Is the Known World of Mystara coming to 5e? (What's Cool About Mystara?)

The Glen

Hero
Well let's be honest, who doesn't the Glantrians dissect? It's their formal introduction of choice.

The one thing I learned converting Mystara to Fifth was dealing with a large number of disconnects in the modules. So many of the gazeteers included bits of history or mechanics that are never mentioned or explained in any other sourcebook. Ethengar for example mentions how important the spirit world is in Mystara, even having a class devoted to them. However spirits are never mentioned again in any other source. Northern Reaches gives us runes and Modrigswerg, again only mentioned there. It's hard enough to balance the options in each gazeteer, trying to put them into 5E required some serious tweaking.

There's a lot in Mystara's history that gives it flavor but doesn't work with all of 5E. There are no drow at all. You've got shadow elves, but they share no traits at all. They aren't more magical, they don't take sunlight penalties, they aren't normally evil or even dark skinned. The Mystara dwarves as discussed are extremely magic resistant at the cost of being unable to use arcane magic. This makes them unique, they aren't just Forgotten Realms dwarves shoehorned into every setting. I don't mind the lack of variety as long as it pushes the narrative. Rockborn dwarves are borderline xenophobic, too often blinded by greed, and tend to fill the arcane engineer role normally filled in other settings by gnomes. Elves Mystara has in droves. You've got not just the elves of alfheim and the shadow elves, but you've got Belcadiz in Glantri, Water elves of Minrothad, the Vyalia in Thyatis and several others that you can use existing rules for. As far as the half races, in most of the canon half races require pretty much divine intervention to create an actual new race. Take the N'djatwa, which were merged by two different immortals. The half elves of the Savage Coast were effected by the Immortal powered Red Curse, keeping with the theme. The fact the races aren't very genetically compatable makes them much more unique than the regular settings. Settings without specific species is the norm in D&D, Mystara should be no different.
 

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The Glen

Hero
  • Forest Elf (the term "forest elf" is used in at least one of the Gazetteers to refer to the "generic" elf of Mystara)
  • Shadowelf
  • Rockborn Dwarf
  • Shire Hin
  • Mongrel Lupin
  • Alley Rakasta
  • Tortle (I don't have Bruce Heard's tortle article in front of me; what's the generic tortle breed called?)

As far as the lupin/rakasta go, there are several subraces that were presented in Dragon Magazine, but they were so numerous as to be not good to convert to 5th. There's about 2 dozen lupin variants all based on real dog breeds. When I converted them I just went with small/medium/large for lupins and domestic/feral/greater for Rakasta. The Hin and Rockhome dwarves are the only sub races in Mystara at least presented in the game. The hin are largely concentrated in a single area, and the Rockhome dwarves were specially created to survive the Great Rain of Fire that seemingly killed off the other dwarves. There is only one type of Tortle in Mystara, unless you count the Snapper but that's just a meaner and evil version of it.

I added the sidhe and phanaton to the Mystara Player's Handbook, since the Sidhe in Tall Tales of the Wee Folk were a very iconic race and one of the best written. Phanaton came from Isle of Dread and were reprinted as a playable race in other books as well. Orcs of Thar gave you all the humanoid races as playable, but it was hammered home that they are not welcome in civilized lands and they don't want to be. Gnolls are pretty much shot on sight in Karameikos for example. The creature crucibles also added about 3 dozen playable monster races, to varying success. The sphinx for example was a bit of a joke since you were stuck at 2d8 hp for 3,000,000 xp.
 

Talking 5E for Mystara

Edit: I added the Diaboli to the OP as a suggested "core Mystaran" subrace. (BTW, I made them a Human subrace!) :)

As for converting BECMI to 5E...

Guachi said:

"Mystara was very additive and only rarely subtractive."

Remathilis said:

"The world is generic enough that I could see dragonborn, tieflings, half-orcs, warlocks, sorcerers, and such fitting in with little problem."

The Glen said:

"I actual prefer Mystara with restrictions based on its history."

Havard said:

"Many things from the BECMI rules are closely woven into the setting. Removing all of those features would leave you with the rather bland version of the setting that appeared in its 2E form."

These are all good points. And good examples all around.

First of all, let's be conscious that when converting a world to another rules system, there is a spectrum of approaches. Anyone who's converting Mystara to 5E (or any other rules set) has to choose exactly what spot on the spectrum feels right. Converting a setting is both an art and a science.


  • One pole would model BECMI Mystara setting *exactly*, even to the extent of severely bending the 5E rules.
  • The other pole would stick to the 5E rules system *exactly*, even to the extent of severely bending the Mystara setting.

Though the "best" conversion surely wouldn't stick totally to either of those poles, the exact middle isn't necessarily the best...sometimes the middle is just a compromised wishy-washy mediocrity. To make a conversion that really captures the essential gesture of Mystara, while fully utilizing the 5E mechanics (and 5E customer expectations), would take a deep "scientific" knowledge of the setting and both rules sets, plus an equal amount of artistic sensibility or inspiration.

If WotC (or we) had all the time and resources in the world, ideally, WotC/we could release various versions of 5E Mystara, each with a slightly different gradation, suited to each customer's favorite spot on the spectrum. We'd release one version of 5E Mystara that respected the letter of every bit of fluff which justified the BECMI rules (e.g. Dwarves cannot cast arcane magic), and where there were no Dragonborn or Sorcerers or Warlocks at all (e.g. in-story fluff says you can't cast spells in Mystara without a spellbook!)...and this pole would even make 5E Mystara have 36 character levels, since there are in-story implications of having 36 levels instead of 20, since, IIRC the Plane of Mazakeen (sp?) has 36 levels which correspond to the 36 character levels!

And we'd also release another version of 5E Mystara where everything in 5E has a place, and the fluff is completely rewritten. And we'd release various other versions 5E Mystaras in between, which catered to all tastes on the spectrum.

But WotC (and we) do not have all the time in the world. Whoever does a 5E conversion has to make artistic/scientific decisions about what feels right, taking into account who are their audience/customers.

The concept of rules edition-based Realities:

One thing that frees up some design space in my mind is the concept of "game universes" (a.k.a. Realities) which Bruce Heard described in his "Up, Away, and Beyond" article in DRAGON mag. He says that the BECMI D&D "game universe" is in a completely different Reality than the AD&D "game universe". They are two totally different Realities...two totally different Multiverses. A character can only cross from one Reality to another by invoking a Reality Shift, granted by a Greater God of the AD&D Reality or a high-level Immortal of the BECMI Reality.

Bruce wrote this before Mystara 2E came out. But to take his thought further, surely the Mystara we saw in 2E products was a depiction of the other Mystara which dwells in the "Second Edition Reality". In that Reality, all AD&D worlds are part of the Great Wheel.

Presumably, the two Realities are nearly identical, but do have "as minimal as feasible" (but still significant) in-story fluff differences which are necessitated by the two different "game universes" (rules systems). For example, we found out that a few of the Thief NPCs from PWA were really Bards in the 2E PWA. And a few of the Fighter NPCs were really Rangers or Paladins. (This can help inform us about the BECMI version too...since the "bardic" Thief probably does play an instrument and have the musical skill in the BECMI Reality, even if they don't have Bard class abilities or Bardic spells in that Reality. And the "ranger" Fighter probably has the tracking and hunting skills in the BECMI Reality, and the "paladin" Fighter (even if they're less than Name-Level) is probably a knight-like follower of a Lawful Immortal, even if they don't have the Ranger or Paladin class abilities in that Reality.)

Anyway, just to say, in accordance with Bruce Heard's article, the 5E D&D Multiverse, too, must be an entirely different Reality than the BECMI Multiverse. And so, in this Reality, not only will the "rules system" be different, there will be a certain amount of fluff (in-story) changes. Without publishing an entire 5E conversion myself (thank you Glen!), I can't say exactly where I'd draw the line, but I offer that the Realities concept does provide a "canonical" explanation of why the 5E Mystara may actually have in-story differences. It gives the converter a bit of "design space". For example, there must be some in-story fluff about how Sorcerers and Warlocks fit into 5E Mystara (and presumably always have, since 5E Mystara has "always existed" in that Reality). And as for Dwarven arcane magic, the converter could say that the story about Dwarves survival of Blackmoor happened somewhat differently, and resulted only in a cultural aversion to magic, not a physical resistance to magic. (Or not. I kinda like the idea of giving the 5E Rockborn Dwarf magic resistance, but I'm just giving that as an example.)

Isn't the concept of "rules system" Realities helpful?
 
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cbwjm

Legend
One thing about Mystara is that it is actually very easy to fit in the newer races if you really want to. There have been a number of races that have arrived from different dimensions, elves came from the sylvan realm (I think of this as the Feywild, but I'm not 100% sure this is a different dimension or just somewhere else in the known world), Alphatians from their own dimension, diaboli from the nightmare dimension. Alphatian history has a battle between the followers of air and fire, so it makes sense to me that genasi could have been fairly common with the current empire having more than their fair share of air genasi. The Flaems in Glantri are the descendants of the followers of flame and could have a proportion of fire genasi.

If you want to have dragonborn in the world then a similar event could have happened. A rift opens and a 1000s of dragonborn flee into the world escaping an unknown event that decimated their world. They then set about establishing themselves in this new land.

Immortals have made races in the past, it might not be too surprising to find that Goliaths were crafted from the mountains they call home by an immortal who desires a stronger race of followers more suited to his temperament.

Tieflings could be the result of a wizard experimenting with infusing humans with the sphere of entropy. In this case the tiefling may be unique in the world.

Having said that, I do like the feel of restrictions, saying what races don't exist can make the world just as interesting as throwing in anything and everything and considering all of the races that are fairly unique to Mystara, it seems that there would be plenty of them to keep players occupied anyway.
 

The Mystara dwarves as discussed are extremely magic resistant at the cost of being unable to use arcane magic. This makes them unique, they aren't just Forgotten Realms dwarves shoehorned into every setting.

Greyhawk dwarves shoehorned into every setting is what you mean, right? Hill, Mountain, and Gray Dwarves predate the Forgotten Realms by quite a bit. And if you're meaning "dwarves who are more prone to use arcane magic than they were at the beginnings of D&D", that's a 3e change, when Greyhawk was again the closest thing to a default setting....
 

elves came from the sylvan realm (I think of this as the Feywild, but I'm not 100% sure this is a different dimension or just somewhere else in the known world]

There was no Feywild as such in BECMI or 2nd edition. It came in round about 3.5.
 

cbwjm

Legend
There was no Feywild as such in BECMI or 2nd edition. It came in round about 3.5.
I didn't say it was, just that's how I think of it. I can't recall much about it, there may not have been much even written about it and if I wanted to fit it into Mystara, using the sylvan realm as the mystaran analogue would be the way I'd do it.
 

Coroc

Hero
[MENTION=6788732]cbwjm[/MENTION] #84 Your ideas to "shoehorn" different races into a classic Setting are great, also for DMs who want to do something like that with their official or homebrewed setting, but let me ask you and the rest of the Forum (although it had been asked before): Is this the biggest Problem we got in converting new Settings to 5e?

Maybe i do not see things like that because i get old and stubborn but for me the biggest Goal to achieve when converting classics like DS, ebberon, DL or Mystara to 5e is:

Do i get the same feel from the Setting like when i played it Long ago with a different Version of the rules and would even someone not familar with the Setting back then but starting to Play it with a 5e conversion get the same vibe?

That is the hardest Thing to achieve and imho this requires something which seems to be outlawed by at least some of the Forum These days:

Cut it out, leave it, do not allow it, restrict reduce: classes, spells, equipment allowed/ available, Combos, alignments etc etc.

E.G.:
Atm if i had to do a DS conversion to 5e halfgiants would not be included in the playable races because i have not found any means to make them fit both fluff and mechanics (yet). That makes the conversion loose some options but stay true to the Feeling and BA of 5e at the same time. Halfgiants would still exist as NPC or Mobs.

Otoh in my example: What i would not care the least about is: Can i somehow shoehorn tieflings as playable race into a DS conversion because simply they are
NOT NEEDED FOR THE FEEL of the Setting.
 

There was no Feywild as such in BECMI or 2nd edition. It came in round about 3.5.
There was a proto-Feywild in the Seelie Court, in that it was its own plane that wasn't quite connected to the other planes in the normal way. Of course, in 2e it was accessible from several Outer Planes (most notably the Beastlands, Arborea, and Ysgard) instead of the Material Plane, but otherwise is was fairly similar...
 

Remathilis

Legend
[MENTION=6788732]cbwjm[/MENTION] #84 Your ideas to "shoehorn" different races into a classic Setting are great, also for DMs who want to do something like that with their official or homebrewed setting, but let me ask you and the rest of the Forum (although it had been asked before): Is this the biggest Problem we got in converting new Settings to 5e?

Maybe i do not see things like that because i get old and stubborn but for me the biggest Goal to achieve when converting classics like DS, ebberon, DL or Mystara to 5e is:

Do i get the same feel from the Setting like when i played it Long ago with a different Version of the rules and would even someone not familar with the Setting back then but starting to Play it with a 5e conversion get the same vibe?

That is the hardest Thing to achieve and imho this requires something which seems to be outlawed by at least some of the Forum These days:

Cut it out, leave it, do not allow it, restrict reduce: classes, spells, equipment allowed/ available, Combos, alignments etc etc.

E.G.:
Atm if i had to do a DS conversion to 5e halfgiants would not be included in the playable races because i have not found any means to make them fit both fluff and mechanics (yet). That makes the conversion loose some options but stay true to the Feeling and BA of 5e at the same time. Halfgiants would still exist as NPC or Mobs.

Otoh in my example: What i would not care the least about is: Can i somehow shoehorn tieflings as playable race into a DS conversion because simply they are
NOT NEEDED FOR THE FEEL of the Setting.
In the end of the day, the question comes down to what do you want to be more faithful to: the original setting as initially designed or the current system it will be played on.

If setting purity is important, most settings would be stuck in 2e assumptions (or whatever setting it was originally made for). If system compatibility is important, then settings need to adapt to the current status quo as much as possible. Obviously, either extreme is unwanted, but how much do you err on the side of system vs setting canon?

Imho, I'm past setting purity over system. I want as much phb stuff in my settings as possible. I want a place for dragonborn on Krynn, tieflings in Athas, and warlocks in Eberron. Restrictions should only be used sparingly, only when the setting demands it's exclusion to function, and idealy offer new options to replace those taken away. A d&d setting should try to use as much if the core game as possible first, then add changes.
 

havard

Adventurer
There was a proto-Feywild in the Seelie Court, in that it was its own plane that wasn't quite connected to the other planes in the normal way. Of course, in 2e it was accessible from several Outer Planes (most notably the Beastlands, Arborea, and Ysgard) instead of the Material Plane, but otherwise is was fairly similar...

Mystara had its own version of the fairy world. In PC1 - Tall Tales of the Wee Folk, it was referred to as the Feywood. I have made a map of it here.

Elves OTOH are said to be the creation of the Immortal Ordana, although the Dragonlord Trilogy suggested yet another creation story for the elves of Mystara.

-Havard
 

QuietBrowser

First Post
Just to insert my two cents...

When it comes to Lupins, my introduction to them was the distinctly wolf-people take on them in Dragon for 3e, which I think was based on the Yazhak Steppes tribes? But, anyway, I find the 2e "many breeds" interpretation to be clunky and kind of hokey; for a 5e update, I would follow in 3e's steps and make them wolf-people with the subrace split being Civilized, Tribal and Nomadic.

Rakasta... well, actually, I'm not sure how I'd do them, but one thing that immediately suggests itself to me is perhaps subraces based on the breed categories - thus, the actual stats are for Ancestral, Greater, Wild and Domestic Rakasta, and what kind of cat your rakasta PC happens to resemble is up to you.

I definitely would not do Diaboli as a human variant/subrace, because the two races have nothing in common; Diaboli are devil-like humanoids from the Plane of Dreams who regard humans with as much instinctive terror as humans regard them.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Just to insert my two cents...

When it comes to Lupins, my introduction to them was the distinctly wolf-people take on them in Dragon for 3e, which I think was based on the Yazhak Steppes tribes? But, anyway, I find the 2e "many breeds" interpretation to be clunky and kind of hokey; for a 5e update, I would follow in 3e's steps and make them wolf-people with the subrace split being Civilized, Tribal and Nomadic.

Rakasta... well, actually, I'm not sure how I'd do them, but one thing that immediately suggests itself to me is perhaps subraces based on the breed categories - thus, the actual stats are for Ancestral, Greater, Wild and Domestic Rakasta, and what kind of cat your rakasta PC happens to resemble is up to you.

I definitely would not do Diaboli as a human variant/subrace, because the two races have nothing in common; Diaboli are devil-like humanoids from the Plane of Dreams who regard humans with as much instinctive terror as humans regard them.

I mostly agree with you on the "animal-head" people, including Lupins and Rakasta, I prefer to avoid matching subraces to real-world (or fantasy-world) animal breeds. I hated those articles breaking Lupins and Rakasta down into tons of silly subraces, no offense to Mr. Heard or anyone who digs that goofy aspect of Mystara. In my campaign, Lupins are canine (canoid?) but don't correspond to species or breeds like wolves or domestic dogs, likewise for Rakasta and even Tortles.

Diaboli are similar to Tieflings, but different enough I'd rather design a new race to represent them.
 

cbwjm

Legend
[MENTION=6788732]cbwjm[/MENTION] #84 Your ideas to "shoehorn" different races into a classic Setting are great, also for DMs who want to do something like that with their official or homebrewed setting, but let me ask you and the rest of the Forum (although it had been asked before): Is this the biggest Problem we got in converting new Settings to 5e?

Maybe i do not see things like that because i get old and stubborn but for me the biggest Goal to achieve when converting classics like DS, ebberon, DL or Mystara to 5e is:

Do i get the same feel from the Setting like when i played it Long ago with a different Version of the rules and would even someone not familar with the Setting back then but starting to Play it with a 5e conversion get the same vibe?

That is the hardest Thing to achieve and imho this requires something which seems to be outlawed by at least some of the Forum These days:

Cut it out, leave it, do not allow it, restrict reduce: classes, spells, equipment allowed/ available, Combos, alignments etc etc.

E.G.:
Atm if i had to do a DS conversion to 5e halfgiants would not be included in the playable races because i have not found any means to make them fit both fluff and mechanics (yet). That makes the conversion loose some options but stay true to the Feeling and BA of 5e at the same time. Halfgiants would still exist as NPC or Mobs.

Otoh in my example: What i would not care the least about is: Can i somehow shoehorn tieflings as playable race into a DS conversion because simply they are
NOT NEEDED FOR THE FEEL of the Setting.

The feel of the setting is important to me as well. I think Mystara is made for adding new races and new options just based on the history of the world. For a setting like Dark Sun, however, I'd be fine with not having certain options at the start if I was converting. I'd leave out certain races, but be inclined to include others. Athas is cut off from the outer planes so it makes sense to me to say there are no tieflings or aasimar. The elemental planes play a big part so I'd probably include genasi in the setting. If I don't have a good substitute for some of the original races then I'd leave them out until I find/homebrew something that fits in well so the race may not start off with half-giants or thri-kreen and I'm not sure I'd want to include dragonborn as dray either since I like them as potential enemies, not allies. I'd also be inclined to let players know what races aren't in based on the history of Athas, I'd let the players know about the cleansing wars wiping out orcs and gnomes so that they aren't available. I think I'm firmly on the side of restrictions for a setting, often times what a setting removes helps make it memorable.
 

I definitely would not do Diaboli as a human variant/subrace, because the two races have nothing in common; Diaboli are devil-like humanoids from the Plane of Dreams who regard humans with as much instinctive terror as humans regard them.

Diaboli are said to be the "humans" of the Nightmare Dimension. They are devil-like only in appearance. They are usually Chaotic Good. They regard their human-counterparts of the Multiverse Dimension with instinctive terror. Our brownish-peachish skin, hornless heads, and tailless rears are horrible to behold.

Some have speculated that in the Nightmare Dimension, the "good" Immortals are Chaotic Good Devils. The whole array of named Devils (Asmodeus, Dispater, Mephistopheles, etc.) are probably the Chaotic Good Immortals of the Diaboli. (Devils don't exist in the BECMI cosmology, only Demons.) The Demons of the Nightmare Dimension are probably Lawful Evil Eladrin. They look like Eladrin, but are Lawful Evil. The racial powers of the Devils and Eladrin are probably switched.
 

Coroc

Hero
[MENTION=7635]Remathilis[/MENTION] #90 Please do not get me wrong, i do not want to stick to e.g. 2e anachronisms for the sake of Tradition, which were already bad rules back then and often changed by houserules.

What i did want to Point out was that the vibe of these nonvanilla worlds often came by leaving out some options of the Standard game and adding new stuff.

E.G. Darksun had no Paladins. Every one back then was thinking : Oh thats interesting, no shining Knights of good, this makes the campaign world even more gritty.
No one was crying about not being able to play a thrikreen Paladin or a Kender from Krynn and nobody was crying about not using the Standard phb Options to create his e.g. human character because the attributes were created with a different method to achieve higher averages and the starting Level was three , to counter the deadliness of the Setting.

Darksun is about survival it is not about diversity and inclusion, one of the principles of the setting is that it is excluded and almost impossible to reach from other planes and other prime worlds. If some one decided to bring his character from another world, and the DM would allow it there were rules back then to do this. but they were so that every divine caster had to adopt to the elemental spheres or the Pally would become a fighter etc. and it was generally not recommended to use characters from other Settings.

Darksun is such a good example because it lives of exclusions and altered Basic asumptions, imho it is impossible to use your philosophy on a believable conversion. There is no Problem at all in using every 5e mechanic that does not contradict the Basic Parameters. But you Need some adjustments e.g. for defiling.
Your Standard 5e rules just cannot resolve this.

So what is worse in your eyes or lets say what is the heavier toll on staying true to a System: Leave out some classes and races or alter the math mechanic to introduce defiling or weapon breakage? To me the math is what makes the System unique and do not get me wrong i love the 5e mechanic over any other System especially 2nd ed and prefer it anytime for tabletop.

A race or a class is just a construction which works with the Basic mathematical rules and in the end it does not matter if you call it athasian bard with the or Standard PHB rogue assasin with a poisoner Background and proficiency in Musical instruments.

It gets even better 5e allows to use Standard things for easy adaptions e.g. the mul works perfect as a slightly reskinned halforc. The Attribute modifiers can stay, the only Thing to Change is some mechanic which gives Advantage on Exhaustion checks instead of some of ist standard skills.

5e DMG explicitely recommends to use such replacement e.g. when not having stats for a given mob in the MM just use something similar and Change the Name.

And nothing else is done here, you do not alter the integrity of 5e by leaving out a race or a class or a spell.
 

Remathilis

Legend
[MENTION=7635]Remathilis[/MENTION] #90 Please do not get me wrong, i do not want to stick to e.g. 2e anachronisms for the sake of Tradition, which were already bad rules back then and often changed by houserules.

What i did want to Point out was that the vibe of these nonvanilla worlds often came by leaving out some options of the Standard game and adding new stuff.

E.G. Darksun had no Paladins. Every one back then was thinking : Oh thats interesting, no shining Knights of good, this makes the campaign world even more gritty.
No one was crying about not being able to play a thrikreen Paladin or a Kender from Krynn and nobody was crying about not using the Standard phb Options to create his e.g. human character because the attributes were created with a different method to achieve higher averages and the starting Level was three , to counter the deadliness of the Setting.

Darksun is about survival it is not about diversity and inclusion, one of the principles of the setting is that it is excluded and almost impossible to reach from other planes and other prime worlds. If some one decided to bring his character from another world, and the DM would allow it there were rules back then to do this. but they were so that every divine caster had to adopt to the elemental spheres or the Pally would become a fighter etc. and it was generally not recommended to use characters from other Settings.

Darksun is such a good example because it lives of exclusions and altered Basic asumptions, imho it is impossible to use your philosophy on a believable conversion. There is no Problem at all in using every 5e mechanic that does not contradict the Basic Parameters. But you Need some adjustments e.g. for defiling.
Your Standard 5e rules just cannot resolve this.

So what is worse in your eyes or lets say what is the heavier toll on staying true to a System: Leave out some classes and races or alter the math mechanic to introduce defiling or weapon breakage? To me the math is what makes the System unique and do not get me wrong i love the 5e mechanic over any other System especially 2nd ed and prefer it anytime for tabletop.

A race or a class is just a construction which works with the Basic mathematical rules and in the end it does not matter if you call it athasian bard with the or Standard PHB rogue assasin with a poisoner Background and proficiency in Musical instruments.

It gets even better 5e allows to use Standard things for easy adaptions e.g. the mul works perfect as a slightly reskinned halforc. The Attribute modifiers can stay, the only Thing to Change is some mechanic which gives Advantage on Exhaustion checks instead of some of ist standard skills.

5e DMG explicitely recommends to use such replacement e.g. when not having stats for a given mob in the MM just use something similar and Change the Name.

And nothing else is done here, you do not alter the integrity of 5e by leaving out a race or a class or a spell.
Then I'd argue, as I have in the past, that Dark Sun isn't a D&D world but it's own game that happened to use some of 2e's mechanics and the D&D name. It's as much "Dungeons and Dragons" as d20 Modern or Star Wars Saga was, a separate game that shared some mechanics with D&D. Dark Sun would ideally benefit from all removal from D&D and to be a separate system with it's own player and GM guide and free of the assumptions of D&D. It could even go farther by completely redesigning classes, races, monsters, equipment, and combat rules to reflect the harsh and less magical world.

Honestly, the best thing for Athas is someone gets the liscence from WotC and makes a stand-alone game. Because in an era of limited splat, WotC will never do it justice and keep forcing Sophie's Choice: setting purity or system compatibility.
 

Coroc

Hero
[MENTION=7635]Remathilis[/MENTION] Well then Ravenloft is not D&D either for you? (Some still say it worked best with AD&D or AD&D 2nd rules btw.)

To enhance this, Eberron is also not very Standard D&D, i mean Orc Druids being the good ones and an elven dragon being one of the big bad bosses?

I never Play modern games like star wars, and to Label them as D&D would be unfitting eventually, but in the case someone would use 5e rules and adapt them for star wars and call that D&D next Star Wars i would see it as what it is : a brand Name.

On your third Party idea: Well there is something close to this for darksun i believe athas.org has soem rights in this, although i don't know how far they are entitled.

I still do not see the Problem to use 5E for darksun. There are no official 5E greyhawk products, i use old stuff, convert it and adapt it and voila it works for me and my Group. I do not see the absolute need on darksun being totally different System though, if it were that way it would not have worked out with 2E or 4E.
 

Remathilis

Legend
[MENTION=7635]Remathilis[/MENTION] Well then Ravenloft is not D&D either for you? (Some still say it worked best with AD&D or AD&D 2nd rules btw.)

To enhance this, Eberron is also not very Standard D&D, i mean Orc Druids being the good ones and an elven dragon being one of the big bad bosses?

I never Play modern games like star wars, and to Label them as D&D would be unfitting eventually, but in the case someone would use 5e rules and adapt them for star wars and call that D&D next Star Wars i would see it as what it is : a brand Name.

On your third Party idea: Well there is something close to this for darksun i believe athas.org has soem rights in this, although i don't know how far they are entitled.

I still do not see the Problem to use 5E for darksun. There are no official 5E greyhawk products, i use old stuff, convert it and adapt it and voila it works for me and my Group. I do not see the absolute need on darksun being totally different System though, if it were that way it would not have worked out with 2E or 4E.
My metric is simple: how much of the core rules can I use with only minor changes. Let's look at the PHB in relation to Dark Sun. Chapter 1 is changed as Dark Sun PCs need higher ability scores to survive. Nearly all races in chapter 2 would need changing because they don't exist (gnomes, half-orcs) or are radically different. You'd have to remove several classes in chapter 3 (bard, paladin, monk, maybe cleric?) And modify most others. You'd have to create mostly New backgrounds as most of the PHB ones aren't appropriate. The equipment in chapter 5 is a joke for Dark Sun; it's nearly entirely useless. The magic chapter would need changing to account for defiling and the spells chapter would need extensive cuts to remove named spells (Bigby, etc) as well as "cheat spells" like create water.

What's left? The adventuring and combat chapters? Nearly 70% of the PHB is invalid.

Contrast that to Ravenloft; nearly all the races exist (naturally or as "guests"), all classes exist with all subclasses, all backgrounds, spells and equipment do too. The only changes are some modifications to certain spells and class abilities, so maybe less than 5% is invalid. Eberron literally allows "everything in D&D" to exist in Eberron and then just gives you more options like artificers and warforged.

There is only two settings that are defined more by what isn't allowed than what's added: Dragonlance and Dark Sun. Even Dragonlance doesn't come close to requiring an alternate phb to play. Dark Sun literally redefines everything in the core D&D books. You can't play Dark Sun with the PHB the same way you can play every other setting; that to me says it really should be it's on thing.
 


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