Dark Suns: Mapping the Athasian Night Sky

There are very few references to the heavens in Dark Sun material so I thought it would be interesting to see if we might determine what the Athasian night sky looked like in celestial map form. At first I was going to find a vector map of our world’s night sky and make changes, however all maps I could find had to be bought. So using a watermarked celestial map jpg I traced it in Inkscape. Having that as a starting point I was then free to make the adjustments I wanted to implement.

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Urik’s Coins and Nibenay’s Banner

Polyhedron 99’s article “Coin Collecting Under Athas’s Hot Sun” by Carlo Anziano and Tina Brown primarily describes the coinage of the Tyr Region’s seven city states. It’s the kind of article that adds a level of detail you never knew you needed and gives the Dark Sun setting a touch of realism.

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Monsters for Dark Sun Dungeon World

There is talk, or rather a phenomenon, of “The Lazy DM” whereby DMing is made simpler in planning and execution. One facet of this is reskinning monsters already published to meet a game’s need, and it is a noble tradition to carry on. Here is a reskinning or posting as written Dark Sun themed monsters. It doesn’t have all the monsters found in Dungeon World nor does it preclude their inclusion into a game, but I needed a set for many adventures and so here we are. Continue reading “Monsters for Dark Sun Dungeon World”

Dark Sun Dungeon World Characters

I have a love of lore. A consistent lore enables a world to be a common language among fans and a setting where players have a reasonable understanding of what to expect. So voluminous and rich was the 2e Dark Sun lore, the 4e Dark Sun could not match it. Instead, 4e hinted at people, places, or events covered more extensively in 2e. For example, 4e has a short section on the Kreen Khanates in the Hinterlands but is a far cry from the depth of the 2e Thri-kreen of Athas. The reason for 4e Dark Sun’s limited lore was in part so players and DM’s could explore and create the world. Extensive lore however is often seen as doing that for players.
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Dungeon World Defiling

Dungeon World is a game changer. It brings the focus of the fantasy rpg back to being immersed in the story rather than needing far too many reference books just to move a character. Since that’s what D&D was long ago, I suppose Dungeon World is a game changer-backer. No surprise then that I made the switch and am now using Dungeon World for a Dark Sun campaign. With so much lore available for Dark Sun (preferably from 2e) it was an easy switch, but I made a point to not make any rules that weren’t necessary. Continue reading “Dungeon World Defiling”

Rajaat: Reskinning Cryonax

Dark Sun adventures need more epic level action, so as a grand finale to a high level epic campaign why not pit players against the Athasian end-game?: Rajaat.

He stood twice as tall as any giant, with a crown of lightning crackling around his head. A constant crash of thunder belched forth from his fang-toothed mouth, and whenever he exhaled, billowing blue fog shot from his gaping nostrils and dissolved in a torrent of rain. His entire body was swaddled in roiling clouds the color of turquoise, and great torrents of salty water poured from the claws at the end of his gangling arms. Even his shadow was part of the tempest, causing the water to chum and froth wherever it fell.

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Merchant’s Calendar Readme: Lore Unlooked For

The great thing about 2nd edition was that there was a great focus on the lore of the campaign worlds. So much so that some supplements were completely dedicated to it. J.R.R. Tolkien explained this phenomenon best in “Unfinished Tales”:

It is, I suppose, a tribute to the curious effect that a story has, when based on very elaborate and detailed workings, of geography, chronology, and language, that so many should clamour for sheer “information,” or “lore.”

And so we find the likes of The Ivory Triangle, Veiled Alliance, and Elves of Athas describing the world in so much detail there few rules to be found in them. The Ivory Triangle especially expounded on a specific region of Athas in enough detail that it came in boxed set form. Of particular interest in Ivory Triangle was the description of how Athasians measure time using the Merchant’s Calendar.

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