D&D 5E What do you need for Dark Sun that is already out there?

TheSword

Legend
So with Dark Sun looking increasingly less likely (or more likely, depending on your viewpoint) what do we have already?

If I wanted to run a Dark Sun Campaign what resources do we have published, that could come in handy?

  • Psychic Spells
  • Some psychic subclasses
  • Variant / customisable races.
  • Gladiator background
  • Magic Initiate Feat
  • The Psionic Soul in Unearthed Arcana.

What else do we have? I’m more than happy to reskin stuff to fit the aesthetic.

[Edit: Adding to the list as we go]
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

We would need PC lineages, of course. I hope the return of the Athasian genasies.

Why not gladiator as a variant class? Something like the archetypes in Pathfinder. We would need only an optional list of class features. Athasian gladiators can't be like the rest of fighters because these aren't used to heavy metalic armours.

Other point is optional materials to craft no-metalic weapons, for example by animal shells.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
It's easier to go the other way. We're only missing a few things. Full psychic class, wild talents, a few races (muls, half-giants, dwarfs, and elves), how templars work, weapon breakage, and defiling. Everything else is already there. I have run Dark Sun games in 5E. The biggest sticking point is the full psychic class.

And most of those have a close enough already.

Psychic Class. There are 3PP for that, or homebrew something.

Wild Talents. Give everyone a free feat at 1st level and have the player describe that as a psychic power.

Races. Muls can use the stats for orcs from MotM. Half-Giants are goliaths. Dwarfs and elves are mostly cultural differences, unless you want to be strict about 2E mechanical conversion.

Templars. A lot of people want them to be warlocks, but I see them as clerics and paladins. Order Domain works perfectly for a templar. So does Oath of Conquest.

Weapon Breakage. Natural 1 any non-metal weapons break. Or you can do something like an opt-in break, so the player can re-roll and their weapon breaks after the re-roll. No one will opt-in to that. They never do.

Defiling. Keep the ranges from 2E, add in a line for cantrips at 1/2 the range for 1st-level spells. Then decide what the benefit is. Some options are advantage on attacks, disadvantage on saves, free upcasting, etc.
 

TheSword

Legend
It's easier to go the other way. We're only missing a few things. Full psychic class, wild talents, a few races (muls, half-giants, dwarfs, and elves), how templars work, weapon breakage, and defiling. Everything else is already there. I have run Dark Sun games in 5E. The biggest sticking point is the full psychic class.

And most of those have a close enough already.

Psychic Class. There are 3PP for that, or homebrew something.

Wild Talents. Give everyone a free feat at 1st level and have the player describe that as a psychic power.

Races. Muls can use the stats for orcs from MotM. Half-Giants are goliaths. Dwarfs and elves are mostly cultural differences, unless you want to be strict about 2E mechanical conversion.

Templars. A lot of people want them to be warlocks, but I see them as clerics and paladins. Order Domain works perfectly for a templar. So does Oath of Conquest.

Weapon Breakage. Natural 1 any non-metal weapons break. Or you can do something like an opt-in break, so the player can re-roll and their weapon breaks after the re-roll. No one will opt-in to that. They never do.

Defiling. Keep the ranges from 2E, add in a line for cantrips at 1/2 the range for 1st-level spells. Then decide what the benefit is. Some options are advantage on attacks, disadvantage on saves, free upcasting, etc.
Awesome stuff.

The magic initiate feat also works well for wild talents I feel.

I agree that we just seem to lack a full psionic class. I think Sorcerer is the closest thing to it. With a focus like a gem or dorje to get around the question of components. Though I would happily just say sorcerers/psions don’t need to use them either way.
 

gorice

Hero
It's easier to go the other way. We're only missing a few things. Full psychic class, wild talents, a few races (muls, half-giants, dwarfs, and elves), how templars work, weapon breakage, and defiling. Everything else is already there. I have run Dark Sun games in 5E. The biggest sticking point is the full psychic class.
How did you handle survival in the desert? Or was that not a focus in your game?

Personally, I think 5e is a bad fit for DS. Depending on what someone wants from the setting, they may find it in 5e, but I think the general lack of serious danger, poor support for wilderness adventure, and ubiquitous magic all tend to undermine the setting's themes. But then, I don't think 2e was a great fit, either... Maybe Pathfinder, or some OSR system?
 

jgsugden

Legend
If I were going to run a Dark Sun / Athas Game soon, I would want:

1.) Psionics: I'd need a psionic system that included mechanics that PCs and monsters could use. I'd likely spend a day formalizing the really rough one I have which updates elements of prior ones. I use it already, despite it not being fully fleshed out for 5E.
2.) Psionic Classes: At a minimum, I'd need a psionicist/psion class and a psychic warrior class. Again, I already have my rough versions, but I would formalize them to present to players.
3.) Athasian Races: Some thin reskinning would be fine to get by, but I would likely make some race options with substance for Half-Giants, Athasian Elves, etc...
4.) Athasian Monster Stats: Some stats for the unique Athasian Monsters. A lot of the flavor of Athas comes from the unique monsters. I'd need to stat up commonly experienced monsters as well as anything they might encounter (wnadering or planned) in the early adventures.
5.) Better Environmental Rules: A lot of the 'charm' of Athas is how dangerous the environment is. I'd need to get rules in place to handle the setting and make it feel like Athas - exposure, dehydration, etc....
6.) Defiling: There needs to be real and meaningful rules for defiling. They need to give you a huge advantgae ofr using them, and a huge cost that might not necessarily be paid directly by you. I actually have them in my setting. You can learn to defile with study, and once you do you can enhance your magic by despoiling your environment. This has a lot of impacts. However, there are groups that can sense defilining - and are insanley powerful - and will kill you for doing it. My defiling sucks the life and elements from the world around you (leaving the area devoid of the magical weave, water, clean air, life sustaining soil, and chemically active deposits). It also corrupts the user with an addicitive twinge that makes their non-defiling magic weaken over time (some spell slots get earmarked to only work when defiling, some spells stop working if you do not defile them, etc...).
7.) Lore Decisions: Are we starting with Freedom? Are we starting with a a post storyline Athas that survived all of the prior adventures? For me, the best games have started in Athas at the time of Freedom, but have ventured independent of the modules. In otherwords, I think the Athas of the boxed set is a fun setting, but the adventure paths waste it.
8.) A Kick-%@# Plotline: You really need to sell Athas. Whether the game is fillned with new players or experienced Dark Sun fans, in my experience you can easily lose any player in Dark Sun if you do not draw them in right away. New players may not gronk the setting's charm. Experienced players may compare you to their rose-colored memories of the setting and feel like it isn't what they wanted. You need to pull them in and get them excited to see the world unfold around them. Your typical, "you meet in a tavern and ..." won't be enough.
 
Last edited:

overgeeked

B/X Known World
How did you handle survival in the desert? Or was that not a focus in your game?
It very much was. Lots of house rules. Anything that gave food and water was banned or house ruled. It’s always hot on Athas so drinking water was doubled. Outlander was expertise instead of auto-success. Foraging DCs were higher. Rangers had to pick the Tasha’s alternate to favored terrain. There’s a more, it’s just been a year or more since it stopped.
Personally, I think 5e is a bad fit for DS. Depending on what someone wants from the setting, they may find it in 5e, but I think the general lack of serious danger, poor support for wilderness adventure, and ubiquitous magic all tend to undermine the setting's themes. But then, I don't think 2e was a great fit, either... Maybe Pathfinder, or some OSR system?
Same. But if you’re house ruling anyway, might as well go whole hog and beat 5E into shape for Dark Sun. Remove some healing spells. Give exhaustion for dropping to zero and failed death saves. Slow level progression. Start combats at deadly and go up from there. Remove Leomund’s Tiny Hut. Make long rests hard to come by. Use the gritty realism rules. There’s a lot you can do.
 
Last edited:


TheSword

Legend
I’m looking at adapting Paizo’s Hells Rebels AP. Translated into Tyr. It’s about the party Re-forming a secret society (The veiled alliance) to overthrow a powerful authoritarian magic user ruler. I’d throw out the Prism Pentad and make the PCs the star of the show. The characters and elements of the PP could still be incorporated but events would proceed differently.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I’d throw out the Prism Pentad and make the PCs the star of the show.
I always do the same. Start with Athas as presented in the original boxed set. Kalak lives, is sorcerer-king of Tyr, and his plans are very much still in progress. If there’s any hope in Dark Sun, the PCs have to make it.
 
Last edited:

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top