Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

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Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:21 am

I am contemplating getting this book more sooner than later. For everyone that has it, what are your impressions? What do you like most about it? What do you like least about it? And how much might be raid-able for non-Athasian games?
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby night_druid » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:33 am

IMHO Wind Riders is much better suited as a stand-alone product, not really tied to Dark Sun. It doesn't fit the setting well, introducing tons of techno-organic "magic items" to a setting that was *barely* above the Stone Age. Wind Riders would be better suited as a fallen world similar to Athas in that it suffered an ecological disaster, but different. Similar themes but instead of magic, they had tecno-organics.

Overall, not a bad product although not one I would probably use. Its interesting.

Just IMHO. :)
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:24 am

night_druid wrote:IMHO Wind Riders is much better suited as a stand-alone product, not really tied to Dark Sun. It doesn't fit the setting well, introducing tons of techno-organic "magic items" to a setting that was *barely* above the Stone Age. Wind Riders would be better suited as a fallen world similar to Athas in that it suffered an ecological disaster, but different. Similar themes but instead of magic, they had tecno-organics.

Overall, not a bad product although not one I would probably use. Its interesting.
I'm not really looking to use Dark Sun as a cohesive entity anyway, I plan on strip mining it for ideas that speak to me....like techno-organic technology/technomancy. I could definitely use that for the Orcs and Elves of my homebrew.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby night_druid » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:51 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:I'm not really looking to use Dark Sun as a cohesive entity anyway, I plan on strip mining it for ideas that speak to me....like techno-organic technology/technomancy. I could definitely use that for the Orcs and Elves of my homebrew.


The techno-organics have a very insecty-bug feeling to them, so if your elves have a strong bug-theme going, they'll fit right in. Not sure if they're suited for magic-based societies, but would fit psionic-based ones.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:54 am

night_druid wrote:
Angel Tarragon wrote:I'm not really looking to use Dark Sun as a cohesive entity anyway, I plan on strip mining it for ideas that speak to me....like techno-organic technology/technomancy. I could definitely use that for the Orcs and Elves of my homebrew.


The techno-organics have a very insecty-bug feeling to them, so if your elves have a strong bug-theme going, they'll fit right in. Not sure if they're suited for magic-based societies, but would fit psionic-based ones.

I am sure I will find some way to make it work for my setting regardless.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby night_druid » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:13 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:I am sure I will find some way to make it work for my setting regardless.


Nothing says you can't reskin things, too. That bug-creature in the book could easily be modified to be a wolf or something.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:29 pm

night_druid wrote:Nothing says you can't reskin things, too.
My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Big Mac » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:26 pm

Is Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs from the second-wave of Dark Sun products? It seems to have the second-wave branding on the cover.

I see they have flying vehicles. (I guess that is where the "wind riders" comes in.) How do they work? Are they hang-gliders or something else?
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby night_druid » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:01 pm

Big Mac wrote:Is Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs from the second-wave of Dark Sun products? It seems to have the second-wave branding on the cover.


Yes, I believe that is the case.

I see they have flying vehicles. (I guess that is where the "wind riders" comes in.) How do they work? Are they hang-gliders or something else?


IIRC some operate somewhat like hang-gliders, some operate like hot-air balloons, and some operate as bugs that you can ride upon.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby The Dark » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:19 am

Big Mac wrote:Is Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs from the second-wave of Dark Sun products? It seems to have the second-wave branding on the cover.
Yes, it was the first Dark Sun product released after the revised box set.

I see they have flying vehicles. (I guess that is where the "wind riders" comes in.) How do they work? Are they hang-gliders or something else?
They have three flying mounts. The ber-ethern is the smallest and fastest (one halfling and 25 pounds of cargo at 75 miles per hour), then the yihn-eflan (1 rider and 200 pounds of cargo or up to 3 riders at 50 miles per hour), and the gon-evauth is largest and slowest (1 rider and 2000 pounds of cargo or up to 8 riders at 30 miles per hour). The ber-ethern are insectile, yihn-eflan are oversized avians, and gon-evauth are balloon-shaped. There is also a Glider graft (a type of biomancy) that lets a halfling glide 100 feet for every 10 feet they descend. It's retractable, but the description of it when it's extended makes me think of a flying squirrel.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby apotheot » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:21 pm

Rather disagree with Night_Druid here. First Athas is not 'barely' above stone age, it was just incredibly resource poor, but we know it wasn't always. These problems have pushed their cultural development back to Bronze age levels, though often their ingenuity wins out with tech that even renaissance level societies might envy The inhabitants just had to find new ways to deal with their lack of metal, water and true gods. Examples might include the massive war machines and flying devices depicted in Dragon Kings, or that NPC creating the equivalent to a hot air balloon in Dragon's Crown.
The bug feeling from the life-shaped tech shouldn't be too bothersome either, as they inhabitants rode giant bugs as mounts, and pcs could be bugs.

What the book did, is help solidify that the world was very different than a typical fantasy setting.
I understand that the supplement/ adventure is controversial for those who really loved the original box set, but after the metaplot changes that had been made, some new life (no put intended) needed to be infused into the setting in the form of new threats, weapons, and concepts.
Overall, I loved the book, and hoped that they would have done more with the alluded to 'Lost colonies' further north in future books. Sadly, the setting was soon cut as TSR started to develop financial issues.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:50 am

I guess I'm going to emulate the technomagic in my 4e Dark Sun campaign using the Thingamajigs article from Dragon 410... And maybe add some warforged with chitinous armor and that... lot of ideas.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Big Mac » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:28 pm

The Dark wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I see they have flying vehicles. (I guess that is where the "wind riders" comes in.) How do they work? Are they hang-gliders or something else?
They have three flying mounts. The ber-ethern is the smallest and fastest (one halfling and 25 pounds of cargo at 75 miles per hour), then the yihn-eflan (1 rider and 200 pounds of cargo or up to 3 riders at 50 miles per hour), and the gon-evauth is largest and slowest (1 rider and 2000 pounds of cargo or up to 8 riders at 30 miles per hour). The ber-ethern are insectile, yihn-eflan are oversized avians, and gon-evauth are balloon-shaped. There is also a Glider graft (a type of biomancy) that lets a halfling glide 100 feet for every 10 feet they descend. It's retractable, but the description of it when it's extended makes me think of a flying squirrel.


I don't know if I read the Prism Pentad novels after my last post, or if I didn't notice that this book was about the halflings, but I remember this area now.

I don't actually remember any flying critters, but I do remember that the only way to get up to the halfling lands was to walk up tiny ledges on the edges of cliffs, that were barely wide enough to walk on.

I do remember that the Jagged Cliffs had not been defiled into oblivion (like the region of the Sorcerer-Kings had) and that the halflings pretty much tried to murder anyone who came into their area. If/when I reread the Prism Pentad, I'll look out for flying critters and technology.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:40 am

apotheot wrote:Rather disagree with Night_Druid here. First Athas is not 'barely' above stone age, it was just incredibly resource poor, but we know it wasn't always. These problems have pushed their cultural development back to Bronze age levels, though often their ingenuity wins out with tech that even renaissance level societies might envy The inhabitants just had to find new ways to deal with their lack of metal, water and true gods. Examples might include the massive war machines and flying devices depicted in Dragon Kings, or that NPC creating the equivalent to a hot air balloon in Dragon's Crown.
The bug feeling from the life-shaped tech shouldn't be too bothersome either, as they inhabitants rode giant bugs as mounts, and pcs could be bugs.


I've heard of people in the real-world suggesting that a nuclear war would knock people back to the Stone Age. Athas had that Blue Age (or was it the Green Age :? ) where things were a lot more advanced and then the world got stuffed up. That's got to be a bit like the Dark Ages on Earth, in some respects.

I'm guessing that some people would be able to retain modern skills, but the lack of metal would mean that metal-working skills could not easily be handed down to the next generation. And if you look at Dark Sun, a large amount of the population has been enslaved, so they wouldn't have access to schooling that people would have had access to in the past. I think the Sorcerer Kings could decide who they are going to allow to keep modern skills and then kill off people who refuse to work for them, to make sure that nobody else has the knowledge they want to control.

Another thing that you have in D&D, that I'm not sure people always take into account, when comparing D&D to the real-world, is that some things that are impossible in the real-world (like magic and alchemy and...in the case of Dark Sun...psionics) are possible in D&D. So the people of Athas could be using alchemy or magic to improve Stone Age weapons beyond what they could be in the real-world.

The Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs area is different, because the entire area is outside the zone of control of the Sorcerer Kings. And it's outside the area that has been mostly destroyed by defiling. So two of the factors that could have been knocking the rest of Athas back to the Stone Age would not be limiting factors here. :)

apotheot wrote:What the book did, is help solidify that the world was very different than a typical fantasy setting.
I understand that the supplement/ adventure is controversial for those who really loved the original box set, but after the metaplot changes that had been made, some new life (no put intended) needed to be infused into the setting in the form of new threats, weapons, and concepts.
Overall, I loved the book, and hoped that they would have done more with the alluded to 'Lost colonies' further north in future books. Sadly, the setting was soon cut as TSR started to develop financial issues.


I wonder if the Prism Pentad set this area up, or if it was an area mentioned in passing in earlier Dark Sun products that was expanded in the novels and this product.

Either way, the Jagged Cliffs are almost a sub-setting of Dark Sun. I'm still learning about Dark Sun, but the areas around the city states of the Sorcerer Kings are almost like the convenient impassible barriers that computer game designers put around the play area to stop the players leaving it.

There is the Sea of Silt in one direction (and you die if you go that way) the Jagged Cliffs in another direction (where the halflings try to murder your PCs) and some sort of land of undead in another direction. If I recall correctly, the Last Sea is in another direction. I don't recall the control mechanism for that, but basically there is only a small part of Athas that the Sorcerer Kings, their templars and the defilers have control of.

We know that Athas is a big world, so if the product line had continued (or if the 4e product line had done more than only just start to reinvent the wheel) we might have seen other areas of Athas...maybe including a "frozen desert" to the far north or far south.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:44 am

Zeromaru X wrote:I guess I'm going to emulate the technomagic in my 4e Dark Sun campaign using the Thingamajigs article from Dragon 410... And maybe add some warforged with chitinous armor and that... lot of ideas.


If you are going to have warforged, they need a totally different backstory.

They also should probably have no metal parts (unless they are relics of the past, that just got woken up).

Maybe they could be some sort of obsidian construct.
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Re: Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs - Your thoughts?

Postby apotheot » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:37 am

Big Mac wrote:
apotheot wrote:Rather disagree with Night_Druid here. First Athas is not 'barely' above stone age, it was just incredibly resource poor, but we know it wasn't always. These problems have pushed their cultural development back to Bronze age levels, though often their ingenuity wins out with tech that even renaissance level societies might envy The inhabitants just had to find new ways to deal with their lack of metal, water and true gods. Examples might include the massive war machines and flying devices depicted in Dragon Kings, or that NPC creating the equivalent to a hot air balloon in Dragon's Crown.
The bug feeling from the life-shaped tech shouldn't be too bothersome either, as they inhabitants rode giant bugs as mounts, and pcs could be bugs.


I've heard of people in the real-world suggesting that a nuclear war would knock people back to the Stone Age. Athas had that Blue Age (or was it the Green Age :? ) where things were a lot more advanced and then the world got stuffed up. That's got to be a bit like the Dark Ages on Earth, in some respects.

I'm guessing that some people would be able to retain modern skills, but the lack of metal would mean that metal-working skills could not easily be handed down to the next generation. And if you look at Dark Sun, a large amount of the population has been enslaved, so they wouldn't have access to schooling that people would have had access to in the past. I think the Sorcerer Kings could decide who they are going to allow to keep modern skills and then kill off people who refuse to work for them, to make sure that nobody else has the knowledge they want to control.

Another thing that you have in D&D, that I'm not sure people always take into account, when comparing D&D to the real-world, is that some things that are impossible in the real-world (like magic and alchemy and...in the case of Dark Sun...psionics) are possible in D&D. So the people of Athas could be using alchemy or magic to improve Stone Age weapons beyond what they could be in the real-world.

The Wind Riders of the Jagged Cliffs area is different, because the entire area is outside the zone of control of the Sorcerer Kings. And it's outside the area that has been mostly destroyed by defiling. So two of the factors that could have been knocking the rest of Athas back to the Stone Age would not be limiting factors here. :)


True that in the real world, we would revert to the stone age after a nuclear war due to several factors. One is the above mentioned lack of resources, similar to Dark Sun. In the real world there is not enough left in order to re-start the Industrial Revolution. I also agree that there would be the sorcerer kings or other powerful forces keeping certain skills secret....but as you point out, one thing they have over us is the fantasy aspect. Psionics, and magic (both divine and the more restricted arcane) have helped shape their world.Even mass domestication would be unlikely in the real world post-nuclear war, but through the use of these tools kanks, and mekellots have become incredibly useful beasts of burden. Things such as the flying expedition to the far side of the Sea of Silt (depicted in one of the short adventures in Dragon's Crown) would never happen in a stone age society. I also cannot think that people there had as little understanding for however advanced their technology was pre-cataclysm as people in the real world do our own.

I completely agree that isolated areas may have greater tech levels that haven't been forgotten or destroyed.
Overall, my assesment: Real World Post Nuclear Apocalypse (+100 years or so) would be A LOT worse off than current era Dark Sun.

Big Mac wrote:
apotheot wrote:What the book did, is help solidify that the world was very different than a typical fantasy setting.
I understand that the supplement/ adventure is controversial for those who really loved the original box set, but after the metaplot changes that had been made, some new life (no put intended) needed to be infused into the setting in the form of new threats, weapons, and concepts.
Overall, I loved the book, and hoped that they would have done more with the alluded to 'Lost colonies' further north in future books. Sadly, the setting was soon cut as TSR started to develop financial issues.


I wonder if the Prism Pentad set this area up, or if it was an area mentioned in passing in earlier Dark Sun products that was expanded in the novels and this product.

Either way, the Jagged Cliffs are almost a sub-setting of Dark Sun. I'm still learning about Dark Sun, but the areas around the city states of the Sorcerer Kings are almost like the convenient impassible barriers that computer game designers put around the play area to stop the players leaving it.

There is the Sea of Silt in one direction (and you die if you go that way) the Jagged Cliffs in another direction (where the halflings try to murder your PCs) and some sort of land of undead in another direction. If I recall correctly, the Last Sea is in another direction. I don't recall the control mechanism for that, but basically there is only a small part of Athas that the Sorcerer Kings, their templars and the defilers have control of.

We know that Athas is a big world, so if the product line had continued (or if the 4e product line had done more than only just start to reinvent the wheel) we might have seen other areas of Athas...maybe including a "frozen desert" to the far north or far south.


Apart from the Revised Box Set, and a tiny bit in the contemporary Thri-Kreen of Athas, I cannot recall the region being mentioned at all anywhere else. One thing I was mildly annoyed at (not the books fault); was the death of the setting made it unlikely for any followup on the hints of other settlements somewhere to the north along the cliffs.
I am sure you have seen the maps that were done on the old WotC boards about other areas in Athas...hosted on http://ds.daegmorgan.net/
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