Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dark Sun

Illustration credit: Don Dixon Cosmographia

Thinking about new campaigns for the new house and new year. I'm drawn to DarkSun. A setting I've never run or played in. But, I have and/or read most the books. I started adapting Pathfinder but got quickly fed up. Now I'm working on an Old-School Burnt World I'm calling Bone & Blood.

So what is Dark Sun? Opinions vary. I've looked over web resources and severalblogs. Most the old schoolers want to ditch psionics and subsume gladiators into fighter class. Both "iconic" Dark Sun for me. Here is my seven +/- two list in no particular order.

Death is Easy and Life is Cheap

Slavery, bloodsports, sentient sacrifice, literacy is illegal, oppression by despotic tyrants. All morals are relative and situational i.e. NO alignments.

Survival is a struggle. Outside of cites and major trade routes water and food will be issues. How much one can carry and how fast they can carry it overland are issues.

Gladiators and Templars Dammit!

Gladiators are distinct from Fighter. Templars are the (anti)paladin servants of the Defiler Tyrants. Befitting a world were might makes right and were one must fight to survive there are a preponderance of martial classes. Fighter, Gladiator, Hunter(ranger), Templar. Along with Preserver(elemental cleric), Psychic Sorcerer, Rogue(thief).

Wasteland Races

Bio-engineered slave races; human-dwarve hybrids called dwim (instead of mul to keep the IP lawyers at bay) and Half-giant. Not sure if big guys should be called hulks or mesh. Raider/trader running wasteland elves, the jdar. Dwarves, just cause. Halflings are wasteland savages. They are the enemy. Probably reskin them as jawa/tusken/fremen. I always thought three-keen were stupid, powergamer munchkin bait. Might have them as the enemy, might just ignore them completely.

Defiler Magic

Magic is evil, m'kay? Wizards are the enemy. Defiler magic's easy power is seductive and is a temptation for everyone. But there are no player wizards or defilers (well maybe the templars).

Psychic Sorcery

Bitchin psionics and Psychic Sorcerer class from "Under the Dying Sun".

Burt World

The expected sand dunes, wastelands, silt sea, boulder fields. All of it is deadly. No forests, jungles, lakes or rivers. The Seven Cities ruled by evil, despotic, Defiler Tyrants. These city-states are the only "safe" places to live. Escaped slaves, isolated Dwarven mountain villages and the nomadic wasteland elves life outside of the city-states but their existence is precarious. No free Tyr! There is no hope or happy place. Trade & Commerce (mining, manufacturing). Each city-state has unique resource or "thing" they produce.

Breaking Weapons, Shattering Armor!

Lack of metal. Wood is rare and valuable. Bone, chitin, stone(flint/obsidian) common. Which are all fluff for the mechanics of armor and weapon wearing out or breaking. This ties into survival as one of the major challenges

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