In this other thread
Big Mac asks, beyond the other things, if there's water beyond the mapped portion of Athas.
I was just re-reading this and a strange thought crossed my mind: what if on the other face of Athas, across the Sea of Silt, Thri-Kreens and Pterrans builded an Oriental-like civilization?
An Oriental Dark Sun would be an interesting concept.
There was an Oriental Dragonlance Project (later renamed Shattered Lands of Royodo
) that set out to create a crossover between Dragonlance and Oriental Adventures. It has had a couple of reboots over the years, which seems to have held back completion.
You might want to take a look at Royodo, to get some inspiration on how you might create an Oriental area on Athas.
And then came the questions:
- What will be the view on magic of such a civilization?
- Will preservers be respected or feared?
- Will they have some rulers on the same power level of the Sorcerer Kings? Are there beings in Asian folklore that are good candidates for the role?
- How will the common assumption of asian fantasy be twisted by the harsh lands beneath the Crimson Sun?
I wonder if you could go about this the other way and turn spellcasters from Oriental Adventures into the sort of spellcasters you get on Athas?
You also need to take the past into account. Would you have races morph in the core Dark Sun area and then migrate to an Oriental Dark Sun area as a set of Athasian races? Or would you have halflings migrate to the Oriental area long before the end of the Blue Age or the Green Age.
"What will be the view on magic of such a civilization?"
- My basic assumption would be that Athas would turn any sort of arcane spellcasting into defiling or preserving. I suppose that if you have a society where certain people are allowed to chop off the head of a peasant who is disrespectful, then they could also claim the right to suck the magic out of the land they own.
Perhaps villages are supposed to provide a tithe of their crops in a more literal way, with the spellcasting overlords drawing away one tenth of the life of the plants in the areas they rule.
"Will preservers be respected or feared?"
- Good question. I guess you could go either way with this. What sort of spellcasters does Oriental Adventures have that might be most like preservers? How do people react to them? Maybe you could just stick with that and twist it a bit.
"Will they have some rulers on the same power level of the Sorcerer Kings? Are there beings in Asian folklore that are good candidates for the role?"
- I think you would have to make the power level about the same.
They do have dragons in Oriental fantasy. They are slightly different, but it might be fun to go with them.
"How will the common assumption of asian fantasy be twisted by the harsh lands beneath the Crimson Sun?"
- This is the "Six Millon Yen question".
I think a lot of this comes down to how you start off the timeline.
One way to do an Oriental Dark Sun would be to start off with a socity of Asian halflings and have them mutate when the halflings in the core area mutate. If you wanted to go with that assumption, you could extrapolate other things from there. But if you didn't like that idea, it would make certain things work differently.
But assuming you like the idea of a Blue Age and a Green Age for an Oriental Dark Sun, I think you could set the stage with all the older races (as well as halflings) give them all similar roles to the roles they have in Oriental Adventures, and then have the effects of the changes in the core area happen to this alternative area too.
If there is no direct relationship between the two areas, then the events that transform Oriental Dark Sun into whatever you want it to become today could be seen as some sort of great world changing event. Perhaps distant earthquakes are detected on a earthquake weathervane
and then people start to mutate at some point.
One thing I think you would probably need to look at is paddy fields
. Would you make them the remaining way to eat, or would you have old-style paddy fields with water turn into some sort of silt fields, that grow some sort of rice if they are made damp. Do some stuff like that and you could start to create an Asian desert culture.
You might also want to look at some real-world places, like the Lop Desert
, Ordos Desert (aka Mu Us Desert)
and the Taklamakan Desert
to see how people live there.
For example, the Lop Desert used to have a sea called the Lop Nur
Sea in it. That sea has now dried up and become a salt lake. Maybe you could have salt seas (rather than silt seas) in our Oriental Dark Sun.
XstarkillerX wrote:What do you guys think of all this? Is it worth expanding on? Is there already work on an Athasian version of Oriental Adventures? Suggestions?
I don't know of any Oriental Dark Sun project. I assume you searched on The Burnt World of Athas.
Glassteel-like obsidian katanas!
(OK, It's obviously late. I'm going to bed now.
Hmm. Glass that is folded a thousand times. I like it!
night_druid wrote:There could easily be an early oriental-adventures style city-state across the Sea of Silt. Their culture would probably be VERY early Chinese/Japanese, though; the cultures of Athas are in the style of Babylon, Sumar, Bronze-Age Egypt, and the like. I think Nibeny could be considered Chinese-inspired, by the artwork, although I want to say its supposed to be Egyptian-inspired.
Just the one?
agathokles wrote:Nibenay does indeed have a Chinese inspiration, with a recluse "emperor" (Nibenay himself) surrounded by an extensive bureaucracy (his templar wives). Raam has a partial Egyptian inspiration, OTOH.
I think they are all humans. What do you think of Thri-Kreens and Pterrans that have an Chinese-inspired culture?