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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Zehnseiter

Adventurer
Bolded the problem.

You won't make money selling a game where you can't be good in 2023.
A TV show or Movie where everyone is grey or evil , sure.

But a game has to have the good option in 2023 to make money.

If you try to be good in Dark Sun, a Sorcerer King, their templars, or one of the other eleventy seven evil or morally gray groups and individuals will kill you.
It's only fun for people who are playing just to be killed in funny way.

Well the official Dark Sun adventures I have on my shelves tell a different story then you.
There it is assumed that your adventure group is made up of good people and you actually can win in them and survive to tell the tale. Where do you get the idea that you can't play good characters in Dark sun ?

We are talking about a game setting here where your player characters fight it out directly with a Sorcerer King at level 13 in one adventure.
 
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Bitbrain

Lost in Dark Sun
If you are tired of waiting on timid wotc designers that fold like wet cardboard give the Midnight setting from Edge Studios a go, they have released it for 5e.

Runs off to look up…

🤯

That looks AWESOME! Like Dark Sun meets the Witcher or something!
 

BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
Yeah, I remember at the time being honestly shocked at how well the D&D 4E Dark Sun book was at integrating the system with the setting and remaining mostly faithful to it. It's still one of the few 4E books I regret selling.
 

Zehnseiter

Adventurer
Runs off to look up…

🤯

That looks AWESOME! Like Dark Sun meets the Witcher or something!

Go for the old 3E stuff here. It is actually way better and there is way more stuff then for the new 5E version.
Like with Dark Sun I have almost everything for it on my shelves and I will keep it. :)
 


Eubani

Legend
Go for the old 3E stuff here. It is actually way better and there is way more stuff then for the new 5E version.
Like with Dark Sun I have almost everything for it on my shelves and I will keep it. :)
True as far as the 5e version has only been recently released so give them time.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Well the official Dark Sun adventures I have on my shelves tell a different story then you. There it is assumed that you adventure group is made up of good people and you actually can win in them and survive to tell the tale. Where do you get the idea that you can't play good characters in Dark sun ?
The 2 Dark Sun campaigns I played in and the stories that if read and heard back in the day. All the Good PCs in both campaigns were killed or enslaved.


Might have been bad luck playing or hearing of multiple cruel AD&D DS DMs.
 

Zehnseiter

Adventurer
The 2 Dark Sun campaigns I played in and the stories that if read and heard back in the day. All the Good PCs in both campaigns were killed or enslaved.


Might have been bad luck playing or hearing of multiple cruel AD&D DS DMs.

Well I don't really care what individual DMs did in their Dark Sun adventures. The official adventures were full of heroic stuff the player could do.
Also a lot of them aren't dungeon crawls. The intention of Dark Sun as setting based on the official material available for it is that while things are bleak there are heroes who will change things and make a difference.

Dark Sun offical adventures didn't bother with waiting until name level before giving the characters command over men. There you started to build up an army an go fight against another Sorcerer King's army in about level 5-7 if I remember Road to Urik correctly.
 

{color=red]Mod Note:
Please follow your own advise.

Sarcasm is generally failed communication - it only seems funny to people who already are on board with it, especially in plain text, which loses nuance of delivery. Sarcasm seems funny when it comes from a comedian or a friend you understand, but in this venue, it sets yourself up to b misunderstood.

Please don't accuse others of being on a high horse when you use sarcasm, and it fails.[/color]
First, sarcasm like all connotative speech is richer, it brings more meaning than denotative speech. That is the literal and denotative sense of the use of figures of speech.

Second. If I got the delivery wrong, other people would have got it wrong. It is very difficult to understand correctly what was said wrong.

If ONE person misses the meaning, the problem is obviously in the reception of that ONE person.


Third. It would be ok if you had asked me what I actually meant. Do you believe that using an accusatory tone is proper?

Fourth. When someone starts to make a moral speech about how something is wrong without anyone defending it. What name do you give it?

Fifth. If he HONESTLY believed that I made light of genocide. When he found out it wasn't, I can only believe he felt relief.

Having said all that. OK. I will remember and perform a more direct speech.

It's just that I understand RPG among other things as a type of literature and killing connotative language kills that.
 

shadowoflameth

Adventurer
It's true that it's their call as a business, but they seem to think it would be a bad choice for the business even though the setting has been published profitably before in prior editions. Still their call, but if they want to better monetize as they've stated before, they should take a good look and properties that have been successful and that they're hearing demand for.
I might also point out that I have not heard anyone saying, 'We don't want Dark Sun to be published. and if it is, we're switching to Pathfinder.' Apparently, these 'Sensitivity' specialists that WotC hires are telling them that slavery, genocide, racism and cruelty are bad things (spoiler, they are), and that even done by the bad guys will damage the brand if they publish it. Even though they've done so before without that damage. I've never heard of a player or DM quitting D&D because, 'they published a book that I didn't like.' No one quit in protest of the Hadozee lore, or the Book of Vile Darkness, or Oriental Adventures, and they won't do it because of Dark Sun. Apparently, it's safer to cater to this fear of being 'Cancelled'.
 

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