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Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 12:37 am
by Tim Baker
Have you taken a look at the playtest document for the Dying Star retroclone of Dark Sun? It's based on Swords & Wizardry Continual Light (SWCL), which is itself a simplification of OD&D. But its tailored to Athas with the serial numbers filed off.

Would Dark Sun benefit from simpler rules? Do you think SWCL is a good fit for play in Athas?

Re: Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Sat May 30, 2020 8:32 am
by KtA
Interesting... I've thought about Dark Sun with OD&D before, but more from the perspective of the three alignment system (Law/Neutrality/Chaos only). In Dark Sun both civilization and the wilderness are very harsh, so it would fit fairly well with a 'Moorcockian' kind of model where both Law and Chaos are deadly taken to extremes.

I have to say if I were doing a simplified version of Dark Sun, I'd get rid of the breakable weapons bit. It never made that much sense to me in the first place... does a stone handaxe or stone-headed mace really break that much more easily than a metal one? Just make large blades (swords, battleaxes, greataxes) rare/expensive.

I'd also simplify the classes a bit... Either psionics would be wild talents only and not a class, or psionicists would replace clerics (and there would be psionic healing powers).

Re: Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:26 pm
by Corsair14
I actually like the weapons breaking bit but I completely agree on the alignment and psionics things. Years ago when I ran DS I only allowed wild talents anyway and saved full psionics for the badguys(and I cannot recall actually using them either)

Re: Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:31 am
by CrossPlanes
I can't wait to take a look at this.

Re: Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:21 am
by talsine
I am likely the odd one out here, but i really like the 4E take on Dark Sun where they removed the Divine entirely and it was replaced with the Primal power source, so clerics where replaced with druids and shamans. i felt it fit the setting really well.

That aside, this looks interesting enough, though it's so lean that I can't imagine using it for much more than the occasional con game or one shot, which is an issue i have with a lot of OD&D hacks.

Re: Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:50 am
by Tim Baker
talsine wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:21 am
I am likely the odd one out here, but i really like the 4E take on Dark Sun where they removed the Divine entirely and it was replaced with the Primal power source, so clerics where replaced with druids and shamans. i felt it fit the setting really well.
We can be the odd ones out together, then. Overall, I liked 4e's take on Dark Sun. There were a few things I would've done differently, but I thought 4e's mechanics were a good fit for the more heroic, less-gritty portions of the setting.

Re: Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:55 am
by talsine
Tim Baker wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:50 am
talsine wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:21 am
I am likely the odd one out here, but i really like the 4E take on Dark Sun where they removed the Divine entirely and it was replaced with the Primal power source, so clerics where replaced with druids and shamans. i felt it fit the setting really well.
We can be the odd ones out together, then. Overall, I liked 4e's take on Dark Sun. There were a few things I would've done differently, but I thought 4e's mechanics were a good fit for the more heroic, less-gritty portions of the setting.
I just didn't like the meta plot for 2E Dark Sun, and especially the parts where almost all of the Big bads are killed off screen in books, leaving you with nothing in the setting to do. I mean, i get that it was mostly about just surviving in that world, but hero's need goals, and having most of the villains killed by NPCs steals the groups thunder.

Re: Dying Star retroclone for Dark Sun

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:01 am
by Tim Baker
talsine wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:55 am
I just didn't like the meta plot for 2E Dark Sun, and especially the parts where almost all of the Big bads are killed off screen in books, leaving you with nothing in the setting to do. I mean, i get that it was mostly about just surviving in that world, but hero's need goals, and having most of the villains killed by NPCs steals the groups thunder.
I agree. I think a 4e game run in the early-2e timeline might work well. That might be worth its own topic, though. We've strayed pretty far from the OP. :)