The Burnt World of Athas

The official Dark Sun website

Dark Sun Sprint

A repost of the DS4 design posts. Rich teases a bit about how the core PHB material will remain more relevant than in earlier DS editions.

Rich has a pattern of addressing several topics in his blog postings. We've elided the non-DS specific content from this one. The original can be found in the internet archive.

We’re working hard to finish up the design and development stages of the two Dark Sun books, and get them over to editing. It’s a bit of a scramble, because we’ve got a lot of crunchy bits by a number of different contributors scattered across the books, including Rob Schwalb, Ari Marmell, Bruce Cordell, Chris Sims, Logan Bonner, and Travis Stout. As you might imagine, Dark Sun demands more crunchy bits than our previous two campaign settings: muls, thri-kreen, gladiators, templars, defiling, world-suitable paragon paths and epic destinies, weapons, items, and of course, buckets full of freakish desert monsters.

At this point I can't say much about exactly how we addressed each of these elements, other than to say that yes, you're going to find all of these classic trappings of the Dark Sun world (and many more) in the new Campaign Guide. One of the things that used to bug me about the old Dark Sun set was that you basically threw out the 2e Player's Handbook and substituted the Dark Sun Rulebook for almost all of your character generation. This time around, a lot more of your Player's Handbook (and PH 2 and PH 3) are still going to be relevant, but just about any "core" character you build should still find plenty of Athasian trappings. Sure, you might be a dragonborn fighter, but we've got ways to make that guy feel like he's just as appropriate in the setting as your thri-kreen ranger or mul gladiator. I'll tell you more when I can!

Rich Baker

Hi, there! I’m game designer and author Richard Baker. I worked on Dungeons & Dragons for TSR Inc. and Wizards of the Coast from 1991 until just this year. Now I’m ready to try some new things! Some of my notable game credits include: Birthright Campaign Setting, Alternity Science Fiction Roleplaying Game, Forgotten Realms 3rd Edition, Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords, Manual of the Planes 4th Edition, Conquest of Nerath boardgame, Axis & Allies Miniatures, Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures, and Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures.