Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[D&D 4E] Dark Sun discussion

travathiantravathian Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Critical Failures
As mentioned on the front page today, Dark Sun is returning as a campaign setting in Dungeons & Dragons. The official announcement here and mentions an ETA of some time in 2010.

I have to say, its about time. This was easily my favorite campaign from 2nd edition, with Planescape being a semi-close second. A pic of a small section of my Dark Sun collection:

1000474.jpg

For those who have never heard of Dark Sun, say hi to 7' tall nomadic elves that run about the deserts.

elfd.jpg

Four armed bugs called Thri-kreen that can leap about a battle field.

thri.jpg

Magic users called defilers, who's very magic saps the life out of the surrounding area.

defilern.jpg

Of course, being Dungeons & Dragons, you gotta have a dragon right?
dragoyc.jpg

Everyone in Dark Sun has a little bit of psionic power, and then you have the true mind benders.
psionics.jpg

Not to mention Githyanki, Githzerai, and other planar travelers trapped on Dark Sun.
dsblac.jpg

Did I mention dragons? This guy is the sorceror-king of a major city. Might be a good idea not to piss of his templars.
dsdss1.jpg

Other unusual things about Dark Sun: lack of metal and extreme heat meant metal armor was out and metal weapons were a luxary. Commerce consisted of using money made of clay. Openly using magic in a city was a death sentence. Traveling between cities unprepared was a death sentence, not only because of the raiders and monsters, but a massive dust storm could leave you without water or having a clue which direction to travel. Clerics worship elemental powers, not gods. Gladiators are killing machines, halflings are cannibals, half-giants are psychotic but their parent's hair makes good rope, an entire sea made of silt, slavery run rampant, having a backup character pre-made is a necessity, and much much more.

Are you excited about Dark Sun yet?

travathian on
«1345

Posts

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm pretty pumped. I posted this in the 4E thread;


    4E races in Dark Sun as of last official TSR publish:

    Human
    Elf
    Half Elf
    Halfling
    Dwarf

    Dark Sun races unrepresented in 4E:


    Aarakocra (bird people)*
    Half Giant
    Mul (Dwarf/Human hybrid)
    Pterran (Reptile race)*
    Thri-Kreen
    Dray (depending on who you ask)*

    *Second edition additions

    4E races that (I feel) would be easily incorporated into the setting:


    Goliath
    Shifter
    Wilden
    Githzerai
    Revenant
    Minotaur
    Gnoll

    I probably missed a few here, going by memory. Things like Eladrin or Warforged seem like they would be difficult to really integrate into the setting without impacting the overall feel that I remember and cherish so. Not that my opinion is really the final arbiter in these things.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • DortmunderDortmunder Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    So excited.

    Also - I never read much of the content beyond what's in the Tablelands and the Silt Sea. I read the Prism Pentad - I remember vaguely about the halfling forest to the west. What other information was published about "what else is out there"?

    steam_sig.png
  • FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm tenatively excited about Dark Sun. I have the same reservations about it that I would about someone trying to do a "low magic" game of 4E. Such things, and Dark Sun, seem to come from a veeeery different design philosophy than 4E which...well, frankly appears to be under the assumption that you are big damn heroes who sweep aside many a foe in your high fantasy adventures.

    Soul Silver FC: 1935 3141 6240
    White FC: 0819 3350 1787
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    I'm tenatively excited about Dark Sun. I have the same reservations about it that I would about someone trying to do a "low magic" game of 4E. Such things, and Dark Sun, seem to come from a veeeery different design philosophy than 4E which...well, frankly appears to be under the assumption that you are big damn heroes who sweep aside many a foe in your high fantasy adventures.
    Well, on the low magic side I'd guess that Psionics will fill the magic slot in a lot of campaigns, and the DMG2 is supposed to have a non-material rewards system that will hopefully keep Dark Sun DMs from needing to hand out tons of +X weapons and such.

    For the big damn heroes thing, I guess that's just a function of the fact that high level heroes have in fact swept aside many a foe in whatever adventures they've had. My memories of DS from 2E are almost universally of third or fourth level characters doing their damnedest not to die horribly. I don't really have any illusions about that being the supported range of 4E Dark Sun, but my hope is that they'll have some way to push that feeling of desperate survival into higher levels.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2009
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    I'm tenatively excited about Dark Sun. I have the same reservations about it that I would about someone trying to do a "low magic" game of 4E. Such things, and Dark Sun, seem to come from a veeeery different design philosophy than 4E which...well, frankly appears to be under the assumption that you are big damn heroes who sweep aside many a foe in your high fantasy adventures.

    A guy on rpg.net had a good post about that, which I'll reproduce here:
    It's a good thing that we are unlikely to see 2E's breakable weapons and penalties to hit. Those didn't make the game more fun. There are other ways to reinforce the setting than trough the combat mechanics. You could have skill challenges that are centered around survival, which would be much more powerful and actually fun. You could also place the survival and poverty entirely in the hands of NPCs. Destitute commoners, barely surviving villages, hard and bitter nomads, and have the PCs mostly not directly affected by any of it. The adventures they go on to help and interact with these people will also paint what the world is about.

    But I object to the idea that Dark Sun was about that in the first place. It was a factor of the setting, and a big one. But it's not what the game was about. To me, it was about fantastic evil and underdog heroes. It's about where the evil is power itself, and the path of the hero is to resist corruption while combatting it. A landscape that's a mix of primitive and post-apocalyptic. Tribal life reigns outside of the few cities, and mutant magical horrors abound. There are no gods to save you, or even to look up to. And also one of fantastic heroism. The heroes are tougher, stronger, and more over the top - by comparison to the common people if not other settings (the latter seems unnecessary in 4E unlike 2E). With access to powerful abilities and unmatched prowess. Where the mind and the bare hand can kill as easily as the sword and spellbook. Underground movements of the forces of good serve as metaphorical oasises, reflecting the environment of the world. That's the Dark Sun I know, and that's the Dark Sun that will shine in 4E.

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Penalties to hit/damage were lame, but breakable weapons were awesome. If you had a basic enchanted weapon, you didn't need to worry about it, either.

    In any event, this could very well be the first D&D related product I buy in nearly 10 years. I haven't bought anything D&D since the 3e players handbook/DM guide.
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    I'm tenatively excited about Dark Sun. I have the same reservations about it that I would about someone trying to do a "low magic" game of 4E. Such things, and Dark Sun, seem to come from a veeeery different design philosophy than 4E which...well, frankly appears to be under the assumption that you are big damn heroes who sweep aside many a foe in your high fantasy adventures.

    Darksun has always been confused, itself. It presents itself as a survival horror type setting, but then fills its splatbooks with epic level classes and epic level monsters. So really, its whatever. I prefer the survival aspect personally, and then rape the heroes with the high level stuff if they get that far.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I liked the material penalties and weapon breaking rules, but I agree with the designers that they weren't really fun in and of themselves.

    Hopefully there's some sort of ruleset for differentiating metal and nonmetal weapons, though. Otherwise the distinction is kind of pointless.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I have been saying it was going to be Dark Sun for ages and I was honestly going to be disappointed if it wasn't going to be.

  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    As a player of DnD through the last 20 years, I gotta say Dark Sun has been one of my favorite settings. I played through Wake of the Ravenger and Shattered Lands so many times, I didn't even need my manual for the pass phrases for a while.

    Seriously though, anyone else here play Shattered Lands in the arena until your eyes bled?


    I want my Thri-Kreens. I want my halfling cannibals. Give me!

  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I've already got a character idea. Well, two. Though I will say I like the idea of divine characters following the elements. Should be pretty interesting.

    Sig1.png
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Does 4e handle class in a similar manner to 3e? Thats a problem I always ran into when converting Dark Sun to 3e. Dragons ended level 40+, which is just a little excessive. 20 wizard/20 psion then +1 for each level of Dragon as a prestige class. By comparison, most dragons were just over level 20 in 2e.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • Jason ToddJason Todd Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I know next to nothing about Dark Sun, but the cover art on the new book is red hot.

    filefile.jpg
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Thats because Brom is the fucking man.

    Also, the covers in the OP. How did that Thri-kreen book get published with art that bad? D: There's another adventure that has atrocious art, too, I think its the one with the rogue Dragon.

    The blue dude with the bell is a Belgoi, not really a defiler.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • AriviaArivia Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Does 4e handle class in a similar manner to 3e? Thats a problem I always ran into when converting Dark Sun to 3e. Dragons ended level 40+, which is just a little excessive. 20 wizard/20 psion then +1 for each level of Dragon as a prestige class. By comparison, most dragons were just over level 20 in 2e.

    Sweetcheeks, 4e lets you do it any way you want. No, in all seriousness you can either stat them up as real classed NPCs or just create a level 20 stat block for one. 4e doesn't care - it's not simulationist in NPC lives, thank god.

    huntresssig.jpg
  • UtsanomikoUtsanomiko Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Does 4e handle class in a similar manner to 3e? Thats a problem I always ran into when converting Dark Sun to 3e. Dragons ended level 40+, which is just a little excessive. 20 wizard/20 psion then +1 for each level of Dragon as a prestige class. By comparison, most dragons were just over level 20 in 2e.

    You don't build monsters like you build PCs in 4th Edition. You have general roles like 'artillery' and 'soldier' that direct how many hitpoints and defenses it has at a given level and then you add attacks and abilities that are similar to ones similar monsters have or invent your own. It's much more about how the monster should function and relate directly to the PCs than being an objective simulation of... class systems or something.

    hmm.gif
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Arivia wrote: »
    Does 4e handle class in a similar manner to 3e? Thats a problem I always ran into when converting Dark Sun to 3e. Dragons ended level 40+, which is just a little excessive. 20 wizard/20 psion then +1 for each level of Dragon as a prestige class. By comparison, most dragons were just over level 20 in 2e.

    Sweetcheeks, 4e lets you do it any way you want. No, in all seriousness you can either stat them up as real classed NPCs or just create a level 20 stat block for one. 4e doesn't care - it's not simulationist in NPC lives, thank god.

    My main problem was that I wanted it as a sort of carrot to the PCs as a theoretically playable class (yeah right). And to go that way, you really had to do the level 50 thing. The Dragon, while a hardcore motherfucker, isn't a god.

    Setting them as level 20 monsters would probably work better for game balance. When I ran a 3e Darksun game, the PCs only got to level 13 over the course of several months. I really emphasized the "survival" part, though my personal rule was that PC death would only occur from player stupidity. Of course, they didn't know that, and I had them scared shitless of me dropping Braxat on them and whatnot.

    Anyway, because they haven't been mentioned before, these fuckers are one of my favourite monsters in Darksun:
    kaisharga.jpg

    Sure, they are pretty much just a fancy kind of Liche, but style is everything.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    For the most part the color artwork for DS was pretty damn good, though yes, there are some exceptions. A lot of the pencil/line drawings within the books, was, uh, interesting. That said, the modules in general were really put together nicely, excellent, quality, a tad pricey though.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Does 4e handle class in a similar manner to 3e? Thats a problem I always ran into when converting Dark Sun to 3e. Dragons ended level 40+, which is just a little excessive. 20 wizard/20 psion then +1 for each level of Dragon as a prestige class. By comparison, most dragons were just over level 20 in 2e.

    No, 4E is much different from 3E in that and many other regards. Monsters don't take class levels; instead, their HP, defenses, and offensive abilities are determined by their combat role (artillery, brute, controller, lurker, skirmisher or soldier).

    You can add class abilities to NPCs and monsters, but it's handled as a template.

    Friend Code: 1590-5696-7916
    Friend Safari Type: Rock
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well, in response to those comments, thanks for the clarification. I honestly haven't been interested in 4e until now. Sounds rather similar to 2e's philosophy of not fleshing out monsters as much as PCs, because its a waste of time in 99% of cases.

    The main problem is that Dragons aren't monsters per se, they are ascended Defiler/Psionicists. Which, while working fantastically in 2e, does not translate well at all to systems that don't dual class (every other RPG ever made).

    1208768734831.jpg
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well, in response to those comments, thanks for the clarification. I honestly haven't been interested in 4e until now.

    The main problem is that Dragons aren't monsters per se, they are ascended Defiler/Psionicists. Which, while working fantastically in 2e, does not translate well at all to systems that don't dual class (every other RPG ever made).

    If the PCs are likely to only encounter a being (monster or otherwise) when they are fighting it to the death then the creature will probably be designed the same way.

    Friend Code: 1590-5696-7916
    Friend Safari Type: Rock
  • FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well, in response to those comments, thanks for the clarification. I honestly haven't been interested in 4e until now. Sounds rather similar to 2e's philosophy of not fleshing out monsters as much as PCs, because its a waste of time in 99% of cases.

    The main problem is that Dragons aren't monsters per se, they are ascended Defiler/Psionicists. Which, while working fantastically in 2e, does not translate well at all to systems that don't dual class (every other RPG ever made).

    I was going to make a comment to the extent of "Well, you could always just make it an Epic Destiny if you really want to even kind of sort of entertain the notion that the PCs could ever ever be one" but even then it doesn't work. In 4th Edition, Epic levels tend not to work out the same as in older systems. Even the greatest most power built 4E character cannot carry the party, cannot reach unbelievable heights of individual invulnerability like say...well...previous editions' casters.

    Soul Silver FC: 1935 3141 6240
    White FC: 0819 3350 1787
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    <3

    Joyous joyous hallelujah

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    Even the greatest most power built 4E character cannot carry the party, cannot reach unbelievable heights of individual invulnerability like say...well...previous editions' casters.

    PCs in 4E are designed to be interdependent. Many powers are also designed to have secondary effects that aid an ally. For example, while a Cleric in 3E would have to choose between using a spell to attack or using a spell to bolster an ally, a Cleric in 4E can use a power that allows both at once.

    Friend Code: 1590-5696-7916
    Friend Safari Type: Rock
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'd honestly be fine with flat out telling the PCs "lolno, you can't be a Dragon unless you want to play a campaign that spans several hundred years", but its nice to have that there as something that the suckers think is possible. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    A level 20-30 monster that counts as a level 20-30 wizard and psionicist at the same time is a fair enough approximation.

    In my views, after a very long campaign, where the PCs have risen to becoming epic heroes, slaying a Sorcerer King is a possible and epic goal. They are, after all, level 21-24 in 2e terms. The Dragon is essentially demi-god with an inner circle of level 20+ Kaisharga.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    Even the greatest most power built 4E character cannot carry the party, cannot reach unbelievable heights of individual invulnerability like say...well...previous editions' casters.

    PCs in 4E are designed to be interdependent. Many powers are also designed to have secondary effects that aid an ally. For example, while a Cleric in 3E would have to choose between using a spell to attack or using a spell to bolster an ally, a Cleric in 4E can use a power that allows both at once.

    Pretty much what I was getting at yeah.

    Soul Silver FC: 1935 3141 6240
    White FC: 0819 3350 1787
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'd honestly be fine with flat out telling the PCs "lolno, you can't be a Dragon unless you want to play a campaign that spans several hundred years", but its nice to have that there as something that the suckers think is possible. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    A level 20-30 monster that counts as a level 20-30 wizard and psionicist at the same time is a fair enough approximation.

    In my views, after a very long campaign, where the PCs have risen to becoming epic heroes, slaying a Sorcerer King is a possible and epic goal. They are, after all, level 21-24 in 2e terms. The Dragon is essentially demi-god with an inner circle of level 20+ Kaisharga.

    What I would do (keeping in mind all I know of Dark Sun is what's been said here) would be to make an Epic Destiny of "Draconic Ascendant." From levels 21 to 30, the player begins to gain some dragon-like attributes. At 30, though, he's still not really a full dragon. That comes in the "Immortality" section of the description.

    Sig1.png
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    I'd honestly be fine with flat out telling the PCs "lolno, you can't be a Dragon unless you want to play a campaign that spans several hundred years", but its nice to have that there as something that the suckers think is possible. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    A level 20-30 monster that counts as a level 20-30 wizard and psionicist at the same time is a fair enough approximation.

    In my views, after a very long campaign, where the PCs have risen to becoming epic heroes, slaying a Sorcerer King is a possible and epic goal. They are, after all, level 21-24 in 2e terms. The Dragon is essentially demi-god with an inner circle of level 20+ Kaisharga.

    What I would do (keeping in mind all I know of Dark Sun is what's been said here) would be to make an Epic Destiny of "Draconic Ascendant." From levels 21 to 30, the player begins to gain some dragon-like attributes. At 30, though, he's still not really a full dragon. That comes in the "Immortality" section of the description.

    You really should check out the "Preservers and Defilers" book, the rules for Dragons are insanely cool. Basically, if you reach level 20 in the defiler class, then dual class to psionicist and hit level 20 in that as well, while having high enough stats, you can perform a ritual with crazy high requirements (including hundreds of hitdice worth of willing living sacrifices) that switches your class to level 21 Dragon. The Dragon class counts as a defiler and psionicist at the same time. Each level of Dragon has the normal xp requirements (which, because its 2e, are astronomical) as well as a ritual similar to the first one, with increasing requirements.

    As the Dragon gains levels, the former human slowly turns into a Dragon so that by 23 they can only appear human with illusions, and at 30 they are a full sized monster.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Monsters go up to level 35 in 4E, so it's easy to make high level antagonists.

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Now, I know D&D games suck these days, but anyone thinks this might mean a chance for a new Darksun video game? Shattered Lands is one of my favourite games ever, and I'd be able to stomach even a shitty NWN 2 style game if it were in the Darksun setting.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • Helix09Helix09 Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Very happy about Dark Sun.

    The theme of heroes against impossible odds, in a game where they would take Brom's paintings and try to make them part of the world was awesome.

    Templars being Clerics beholden to the Dragon King's will was a great idea. They made great antagonists and conflicted pc's.

    The whole psionic emphasis also gave Dark Sun quite a western theme. In effect, everyone was armed and you never knew if the bartender or the shopkeeper you were buying from had a quicker draw than you.

    D&D setting work in Progress: http://infernalcity.wikispaces.com/
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Erich Zahn wrote: »
    Heroes? In MY Dark Sun? Who the fuck thought that was a good idea?

    If you want to, go for it. But its going to be small time heroism.

    When I DM'd it, the PCs were opportunistic mercenary scum, only interested in self-preservation. Assorted rabble rousers, madmen, and thugs. Their paranoia eventually did them in, however, as they killed the king of Tyr (Tithian, not Kalak) believing that he would turn on them and died in the wastes, on the run from the law. They were the type of players who would start riots for fun, though, and its surprising they lasted as long as they did. Probably because I did a poor job with the Half-giant and Thri-kreen 3e conversions, and they wrecked shit for quite a few levels before I realised my mistake.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • AriviaArivia Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Probably because I did a poor job with the Half-giant and Thri-kreen 3e conversions, and they wrecked shit for quite a few levels before I realised my mistake.

    Don't worry. 3e's designers didn't do much better.

    huntresssig.jpg
  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Now, I know D&D games suck these days, but anyone thinks this might mean a chance for a new Darksun video game? Shattered Lands is one of my favourite games ever, and I'd be able to stomach even a shitty NWN 2 style game if it were in the Darksun setting.

    I'd just like to see a Shattered Lands that worked on current systems... dont even need to pretty up the graphics that much...

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    feeddannow wrote: »
    Now, I know D&D games suck these days, but anyone thinks this might mean a chance for a new Darksun video game? Shattered Lands is one of my favourite games ever, and I'd be able to stomach even a shitty NWN 2 style game if it were in the Darksun setting.

    I'd just like to see a Shattered Lands that worked on current systems... dont even need to pretty up the graphics that much...

    Get a graphic interface for dosbox. Turn cycles up to 15,000+, and sound IRQ to 5. It will run perfectly after that.

    1208768734831.jpg
  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Im getting problems with saving the game, unfortunately. And as Hardcore as I am ... Shattered Lands with NO saving... a little ridiculous.

  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Oh fuck. I find myself really interested in D&D for the first time in almost a decade.

    Pre-Prism Pentad, no less (or so it seems). Conveniently, I've already had a Dark Sun signature for months.

    snm_sig.jpg
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Morskittar wrote: »
    Conveniently, I've already had a Dark Sun signature for months.

    Poseur!

    1208768734831.jpg
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Morskittar wrote: »
    Conveniently, I've already had a Dark Sun signature for months.

    Poseur!

    Maybe I knew ahead of time and have been carefully laying a plan for stret cred.

    In Nibenay.

    snm_sig.jpg
  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I am hoping the renewed interest in DS will get people (the artsy ones... you know who you are) to start drawing more cannibal halflings that I can stea...er...borrow for my own characters.

«1345
Sign In or Register to comment.