D&D 5E WotC: Why Dark Sun Hasn't Been Revived

In an interview with YouTuber 'Bob the Worldbuilder', WotC's Kyle Brink explained why the classic Dark Sun setting has not yet seen light of day in the D&D 5E era. I’ll be frank here, the Dark Sun setting is problematic in a lot of ways. And that’s the main reason we haven’t come back to it. We know it’s got a huge fan following and we have standards today that make it extraordinarily hard to...

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In an interview with YouTuber 'Bob the Worldbuilder', WotC's Kyle Brink explained why the classic Dark Sun setting has not yet seen light of day in the D&D 5E era.

I’ll be frank here, the Dark Sun setting is problematic in a lot of ways. And that’s the main reason we haven’t come back to it. We know it’s got a huge fan following and we have standards today that make it extraordinarily hard to be true to the source material and also meet our ethical and inclusion standards... We know there’s love out there for it and god we would love to make those people happy, and also we gotta be responsible.

You can listen to the clip here.
 

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There was a really great Reddit thread about this where a recent DS fan came on asking about why the 4e version was so unpopular (is there some internet meme about this that makes people think it?) and tons of us old DS diehards came out of the cactus pile and were like no actually it's pretty cool and listed all the things we love about it :)
I think a lot of people conflate the ... controversial reception of 4e itself with the reception of the Dark Sun book. Just cos i disliked the ruleset doesn't mean I don't think the DS setting book was good. I mean, I had my minor quibbles with it, but no setting book is perfect, with the possible exception of the ones in my head, safe in the knowledge I'll never get around to writing them down and proving them flawed...
 

I think a lot of people conflate the ... controversial reception of 4e itself with the reception of the Dark Sun book. Just cos i disliked the ruleset doesn't mean I don't think the DS setting book was good. I mean, I had my minor quibbles with it, but no setting book is perfect, with the possible exception of the ones in my head, safe in the knowledge I'll never get around to writing them down and proving them flawed...
Totally. Incredible maps. Some great art. A handful of really imaginative additions to the setting - locations, NPCs, threats, plots. And a decent overview of the world. As a 2e player, I found several of the backgrounds and themes to be great sources for kits. Good stuff (y)
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Totally. Incredible maps. Some great art. A handful of really imaginative additions to the setting - locations, NPCs, threats, plots. And a decent overview of the world. As a 2e player, I found several of the backgrounds and themes to be great sources for kits. Good stuff (y)
Yep. And the Tyrant’s Pyramid was a great combat challenge to throw at people. There’s a lot to love in that book…even if there are a few quibbles about lore.
 


I don't want to cause troubles, but I am going to await about the lost caverns of Ixalan to know the reaction by certain people.

Any things aren't only stupid words said by a school bully, but remains of a propagandistic war started centuries ago, literally centuries, and not ended yet.

DS is distopian, but always there was a space for the hope. It was about to start from zero again and to fix all the wrong one.

In 4th the metaplot was totally frozen or untouched.

There should be no problems but when the players and DMs can be potentially toxic.

* If DS was unlocked in DMGuild somebody could publish a sourcebook about the "biotech" life shaping by rhul-thaun.

* The cover by Brom of the sourcebook "Elves of Krynn" inspired me to imagine a mash-up where Dragonlance and Dark Sun were mixed. I know it sounds a crazy idea, and maybe it is, but some times the best ideas to start with previous failed attempts.

* Some times even in children cartoons there is some episode about the main characters are in a distopian alternate timeline/future.

* Maybe there is an alternate timeline where the ecosystem of Athas could be saved, but the chronomancers had to face the menace of a evil lord who had been killed by Rajaat in the "original" timeline. Or an aternate timeline the region of the tablelands didn't suffer the defiler magic, but a planar invasion by the sheens, biomechanical horrors.

* Would you allow vestige pact magic, ki martial adepts (crusader, warblade, swordsage) and incarnum soulmelders (totemist shamans) in a rebooted version of DS?

* There is an option: a reboot set in a "clusters of wildspaces" and the original Athas and the "Tablelands" would be the "far forbidden zone".
 


Back in the 4e day, I saw a bunch of DS fans keep saying they hated 4e Dark Sun and it's changes and lightening.

But I guess it may have been a vocal minority or people projecting 4E hate on it.
I think there's probably a rehabilitation factor at play as well. Like some people might rage at tieflings or the Feywild or whatever in their Dark Sun and then over time can distance themselves enough from that reaction and come to appreciate the content more. Time can be kind like that.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think there's probably a rehabilitation factor at play as well. Like some people might rage at tieflings or the Feywild or whatever in their Dark Sun and then over time can distance themselves enough from that reaction and come to appreciate the content more. Time can be kind like that.
And that's another reason why WOTC might not want to do it. Because many fans might vocally hate the changes, not buy the books, give bad reviews....


... then love it 10 years later.
 

Zehnseiter

Adventurer
4e went lighter and softer and killed a Kalak to give you a haven. And a temporary one because soon after slaver enemies come from everywhere.

And DS diehards hate 4e Dark Sun.

Do not presume to speak for me.

And as others already said: You are very wrong about Kalak. I have the novels in my shelves where it happened.

Edit: Oh I shouldn't post while being angry. Other Dark Sun fans already made their opinion very clear here. :)
 
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