Net Project: Equipment of Athas
In the '90s a series of Net Projects were coordinated on the Dark Sun Mailing List. This project was about Dark Sun equipment.
Compiled by Carrie Slavin
Cost: perhaps 10 cp, due to the need for knowledge of the Aarakocra body. Belt straps allow size fitting. Also, for an extra 3 cp an add-on net can be purchased
Belt-harness pack that holds/distributes items on the body of an Aarakocra. An Aarakocra body can not hold a typically sized backpack because of its wings. This pack is a harness that straps around the waist, chest, and back of the Aarakocra, placing pouches at strategic load bearing places. In all, 3/4 of the capacity of a typical backpack is gained, and flight is not impeded by the load. . The net attaches to harness at a cross point in the center of the chest, and is worn only during flight, holding the weight below the flying Aarakocra. The net is fine meshed and holds larger items (up to 2.5 cubic feet). This net comes with a quick release strap, and can be used to drop cargo when needed, perhaps for an attack. These items can be obtained only from Aarakocra, Pterran traders, or in New Kurn.
Cost: 2 cp
This is a wooden contraption consisting of two circular pieces, each with a long handle. The long handles are joined on a wooden hinge, so that the two flat circular sections can be banged open and closed. A hungry person can grab each handle with a hand, and swing the flat wooden pieces shut on flying insects. These basic tools are often used to kill or stun locust or other insect swarms, while an assistant grabs the fallen insects and places them in a sack to be eaten later. Often seen in small villagers, and can be a cultural ritual when the whole village uses these to kill as many locusts as possible in an attempt to control the locusts’ grazing on their crops.
Athasian homing bat by Teos Abadia
Cost: 3 cp for a baby bat, 1 sp for a pregnant female,, 2 sp for a mated pair. 1 sp for each day of transportation of one Athasian homing bat by a qualified bat handler. Maintaining a bat over a year costs 1 sp.
There is no pigeon on Athas, but there is an Athasian homing bat. Like a homing pigeon, an Athasian homing bat will always return to the place where it was raised. Thus, a bat can be taken to another place, a message attached, and the bat and message will travel to the place where it was raised. The homing bat travels at night, and during its flight will feed on hundreds of small insects using its sonar capabilities. The bat is capable of growing very quickly, and can live off of very little food during lean times. The meat of a homing bat is also very nutritious, and pleasing to the taste. In addition, homing bats have life-spans of 1-2 years. Because of this, it is customary to keep homing bats with only minimal levels of food. When a message is sent, the hungry bat will feed on route, and will arrive with the message and nearly twice in size. The person receiving the message then eats the bat. This has become a custom, and fatter bats can influence the way the message is received by the recipient (helping to persuade the reader to agree with the sender’s requests, for example). Because of the short life-span, Athasian homing bat handlers exist, who will care for the bats while transporting them to their temporary home. For example, a merchant house might raise homing bats, and once a year have supply young bats to its prime customers and agents. The young bats are transported by the bat handlers. The customers and agents can then use the bats over the next one to two years, sending them with messages back to the merchant’s headquarters. The larger the bat, the more of a chance the bat and it’s message will be well received.
Cost: See below
The Dwarves of Ledopolus have reinvented telescopes to keep an eye on construction of their bridge and the giants that want to stop them. The lenses are approximately 5 and 1 inches wide and the whole contraption in about 1 meter long. It brings objects 3 distance categories closer. ( example: Movement would be ID ) The cost of the lenses are relatively cheap only 3 sp however the Dwarves are loathe to sell them to non-dwarves. The magnification of vision is a big strategic advantage and the leaders of the Ledopoluses do not trust others not to use the device to spy on them. The telescope is very fragile and is easily broken. It is made with a bone frame, glass lenses, and a leather housing. Treat as glass and leather for saving throws. Merchant of all the Houses would pay dearly for the secrets of the telescope for it would be extremely useful for the protection of the caravans.
Theory: Light colors reflect solar radiation, dark colors absorb solar radiation
Description: This is simply a reversible cloak made of light material that is white on the outside and black on the inside. During the day it is worn with the light side out. At night it can be reversed to help conceal the wearer.
Cost:Cost: 3 cp per application, lasts 4 hours, 1 if fighting.
This oil is produced from the Zlrm, a small fat furry mammal that has a fatty hump. This mammal lives in the ringing mountains and in rocky badlands, and in some cases can be found in scrub plains. The mammal breeds very quickly, in its natural surroundings, but does not breed well in captivity. The oil is extracted from a freshly killed Zlrm, and is sold to gladiators and arena managers. When applied to bare skin, the oil makes muscles shine and appear larger and more menacing. The oil is also very slippery, but is not absorbed by the skin quickly. The sheen both lasts a long time and provides a tactical advantage. A combatant with oil on bare arms, legs, and upper body receives a -2 AC bonus while in unarmed combat.
Cost: 3 sp
This is a large net (about 10’ circumference at least) that is thrown like a cast net. However, it is thrown through the air to catch locusts, not fish. The weave is very small, to catch even the smallest of insect swarms, and has heavy rocks on the edges of the net to hold the swarm down. A single person can cast the net without a proficiency, and will be moderately successful after some time of practice. Proficient casters can feed about 3 people a day at the height of a locust swarm season. Those without proficiency can feed themselves. About 3 hours of casting is required for this level of food production, and then 3 hours of cleaning and net mending must be done. Mending can be done by a proficient user or with a weaving or similar proficiency.
Monster Lure by Carrie Slavin
The villages out in the wilderness have always had a problem with creatures of the desert being attracted to their waste. The human settlements in the desert have come up with this trick to deceive predators. Not only do they keep their waste in covered pits away from the settlement they gather all the Erdlu entrails and keep them in leather bags on 3 foot sticks. When a Terror enters the village a chosen few will distract the monster with the decomposing flesh and run from the village hoping that the creature will follow. Then the villagers follow the creature with spears and set for charge in case the creature decides to return. The poor volunteers are forced to dodge the creature and attempt to get the monster to feed off the carrion-sticks and run behind the wall of spears.
Good growing soil can be hard to find in the tablelands, and is often collected by merchant houses from the foothills of the Ringing Mountains or in relatively fertile areas of the scrub plains. Here fertile soils accumulate more readily, and can be dug up and placed in sacks, often hurting the land. Because of this, druids often attack such merchants. Potting soil is also taken from the Crescent forest, but halflings view this as a taking of their resources and are likely to eat any merchants taking this soil. Price should be high, dependent on the perils encountered at the specific source and distance from the vendor's location to the source.
Pterran Fire Starter by Teos Abadia
Called a "Rassur" in Pterran, this is a complex and fragile gadget favored by upper class merchants and nobles that travel or collect interesting devices. A Rassur has a wooden base with a shallow depression in the center. On one side a wooden support rises 6 inches to a glass lens. When a fire is needed, dry grass or other tinder is placed on the shallow bowl, and the sun is focused manually through the lens, placing a focused beam of light on the tinder. A fire starts in less than a minute on most Athasian days. Add cost if the lens swivels or the item is carved or decorated. The item is almost exclusively sold by Pterrans, although cheap copies have surfaced in a few elven tribes. These are often claimed to be blessed by fire priests.
Sand Net by Gerald Lewis
Cost: 25 cp
Weight: 10 lbs
The sand net is a 20' by 5' net that is used by Athasians to comb through the sand, which is done either to find treasure, or food. Sand nets are made of a very fine mesh, capable of screening out sand but leaving behind coins and other small critters that live in the ground.
Utilizing a sand net is pretty difficult. First, a trench is dug into the ground, measuring 20' long and 5' deep. The mesh net is careful placed into the ground. Two to three people then stand 3' away from the trench, and press poles through the ground that hook onto the bottom of the net. These people then lift their poles through the ground, dragging the net upwards. When the net comes up, so do all objects larger than a small clump of sand.
The entire process takes around 6 hours, and needs a supervisor to run the whole ordeal that has a proficiency in the sand net Dragging the net upwards requires a combined strength score of 40, as the sand is quite heavy. While this may not seem to be worth the trouble, a few lucky souls have struck it rich, finding hordes of treasure due to the net. It is rumored that a Merchant House owner came to his position because of the sand net. At the least, the operator of the net will find enough food for the day (and usually enough for 2-6 others).
This is a drill tool that drills into any ground less than rock and sucks out the water. This all depends on the locale of where the drill is on whether you hit water:
- Dead Land 0%
- Forest 40%
- Mountains 30%
- Misty Border 70%
- Oasis 50%
- Salt Flat 10%
- Sandy Wastes 20%
- Underground 90%
Whether this water is safe or not roll 1d8 if you roll a 1 or 8 than select a random poison to determine the effect.. It's about 10' long when compacted and can extend up to 30' long. It appears as a normal drill but of gigantic proportions.
by: Brandon Quina
Elven Water Catcher
Theory: Urine comes out of the body bacteria-free. In emergency situations, a person may drink their own urine for several days. With some way to reduce toxins, the time limit might be extended to a week or two.
Description: This is a hollow bone tube packed with charcoal, gravel, and plant fibers. It is meant to be used once only so it's a good idea to carry several with you. For emergencies only.
Elven Water Trap
Theory: Piles of stones (for whatever convection/condensation reasons) tend to gather moisture. Though this can be built on a large scale to trap moisture in the air, this item is a small portable version that will not produce much water, but may be useful in emergency situations.
Description: This is simply a light colored piece of waterproof material (oiled leather, for instance) wrapped around a bundle of smooth, light colored stones. To operate, in the evening dig a small pit and line it with the material. Stack the stones in a pyramid-shaped pile. By morning the water should gather at the lowest point of the material. The amount of water will depend on the water present in the air. A larger though less cumbersome model is made of the square of material only and is useful in areas where rocks can gathered from the terrain.
Cost: 8 bits
This is your traditional canteen. It is favored by travelers everywhere-- although on very long journeys you usually need some other source of water as well, or you'll have to carry too many of these.
This is a larger waterskin, designed to hold more water. Its also quite deluxe, made of leather and with a handy carrying strap. It carries about 3 gallons of water. It is a bit bulky, however.
This is a small ceramic jug, and is commonly used to store house water. It holds about 5 gallons of water. Some travelers use these jugs to carry their water, but they are not overly popular because they have a habit of breaking and spilling the precious water.
Cost:The entire setup (pouches and harness) costs 1 sp and 6 cp for the 10 gallon pouches, or 2 sp and 6 cp for the 15 gallon pouches.
Despite the diminutive nature of the name-- this item is actually quite large. Its designed around a harness, and has two large sets of pouches that are then at either side of your mount. Each of these pouches caries 10 to 15 gallons of water, depending on the size. These are commonly carried on larger journeys, and even have a small place from which waterskins can be refilled. It is quite a lifesaver.
This is the traditional water storage device of merchant caravans. The barrel is mounted inside of the wagon, and holds a total of 30 gallons. They are, however, hard to carry around so are almost unused outside of the caravan wagons.
This is a simple ceramic item designed to your mounts water when there not at an oasis. Its a bit bulky, but usually required on long trips. It holds 4 gallons of water, ready for drinking.
Alran-ell Body Meshby Teos Abadia
Called Alran-ell, this is a light cloth serape made from the thread produced by some Athasian insects. It is expensive due to the manufacture required to make this fit and work. Elves often trade inferior Alran-nells that either don't work or fail after a short time of use. Well-made Alran-nells cover a traveler's body offering protection from wind-blown sand or silt. These are particularly helpful in sandstorms. Some templars of Balic wear these to avoid dirtying their clothes. Because of this, nobles near and in Balic often favor Alran-nells. Travelers that frequent the sandy wastes or silt sea often wear these outfits, which offer both function and style (commoners will stare in wonder at a solitary traveler of the wastes that wears one, amazed at anyone that can survive the wastes/silt alone).
Allows the wearer to see through windblown dust or silt as if normal vision is not being impaired. Made for different races. I.E. 1/2 giant could not wear 1/2 elf goggles.
Dust Maskby William Faulkner
Allows the wearer to see and breathe normally in a dust or silt storm. Made for different races as the dust goggles. Is worn like a helmet but does contribute to heat exhaustion. The mask is self-sealing once it is put on. If submerged in dust or silt the wearer will still suffocate but in double the amount of time normally allowed. This item also contains the goggles built in also.
Cost: See below
Called a Kre-nell, this mask is made from the light cloth produced by some Athasian insects. It is a very fine mesh, allowing almost no sand to pass through the weave. It is carried by travelers of the sandy wastes to wear in the even of a sand storm or sudden dust storm. 2 cp, 3 cp for the version with leather straps, 4 cp for a version with leather straps and a neck mesh that prevents sand from entering the person's shirt through the neck. This later version is favored near the silt sea, and is popular in Balic. It is seldom found elsewhere, and would sell at a higher price if available.
Tyrian Sand Shoes
Cost: 2 cp
Weight: 2 lbs/ea.
Function:Tyrian sand shoes make treading through the sandy wastes and such a simple task. When utilizing a pair of these shoes, an adventurer can effectively add 2 points to his or her movement rate, thus, an average human could move at a movement rate of 14, and in turn could add an extra four miles to a walking day. Fighting in Tyrian sand shoes is extremely hard to do, and so the To-Hit number is modified by +1, as is the wearer's AC.
Construction: Erdlu leather is stretched tight over a bone frame.
These are cloth strips that go around the boots or sleeves of clothing to keep sand out. They are usually not effective against silt.