Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

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Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Sun May 14, 2017 4:53 pm

Heya fellow Athasians,

I wanted to show you a project I've been working on for the past few months that attempts to adapt the world of Athas to 5th edition rules. I've named this work (for lack of a better name) Dark Sun Reconstruction Project. It is more a set of proposed rules and mechanics than a definite rulebook, a modular project you may call it, to suit various playstyles.

What I hopefully plan to do is, getting the lore, fluff and stuff, and applying it on 5th edition rules. So I'm building classes, backgrounds, mechanics etc. for 5e, based on 2e approaches. It is harder that it looks however, since 2e and 5e utilize different core concepts, one being the asymmetrical vs. balanced powers, another being the different class design. The wizard in 2e started off as some pathetic weakling, only to reach god-like levels with higher-level spells. In contrast, the wizard in 5e was a capable class at all levels, the only difference from the rest of the other classes being in terms of gameplay. Likewise, the Athasian clerics are clearly distinct from the typical clerics of PHB.

A note of worth: While most of my work is based on 2e sources (and especially the Original setting), I've also consulted 3e, 3.5e, 4e, even home-brewed stuff, to better understand the concept behind a given mechanic or how to convert more effectively a feature or power.

Following, is a list of what I've worked on (or still working); there's plenty of stuff to be done, and I'm going at a slow pace so please bear with me:

1. The Bard: Background, Subclass, Class
2. The Gladiator: Background, Subclass, Class
3. Money and Equipment of Athas
4. Races of Athas --- EDIT 03/06/17
5. Social Ranking (WIP)
6. Athasian Fighter: The Strategist --- EDIT 25/05/17
7. Magic on Athas --- EDIT 29/09/17
8. Priests of Athas --- EDIT 10/01/18
9. Other classes (TBA)

These are but proposals in an attempt to reconstruct Dark Sun. Feel free to post your comments, any feedback, or ask for a desert cookie.

---------
You can find a detailed post about my thoughts on the bard class here, and on the gladiator class here. Also, for the races of Athas, I have this post. You can read some of my thoughts behind the design of arcane magic on Athas here. There's also a post about priestly/primal magic on Athas here.
Last edited by zontoxira on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sun May 14, 2017 8:24 pm

Maybe this will help you with your project.
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Sun May 14, 2017 9:51 pm

Ah yes, I've seen that. Based on Gabriel's work, which in turn is based on the (un)official 3.5e take, found here. This was one of the unofficial material that I've also consulted, thanks for the mention!
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Tim Baker » Sun May 14, 2017 9:52 pm

You're off to a good start!
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Big Mac » Sun May 14, 2017 10:47 pm

Hi Zontoxira. Welcome to The Piazza. You might want to pop into the Introduce yourself here topic, say "hello" to everyone and let them know what stuff (including Dark Sun and 5th Edition) that you like.

It's great that you are doing this. I don't play 5e, so I'm not sure I can give you any feedback, but I hope that it goes well.
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Mon May 15, 2017 2:04 pm

Tim Baker wrote:You're off to a good start!

Thanks mate, trying my best and would appreciate any feedback :mrgreen:

Big Mac wrote:Hi Zontoxira. Welcome to The Piazza.

Heya there, pleased to be here (finally)!
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Corsair14 » Tue May 16, 2017 1:59 pm

Is there a psionics book or rules set yet for 5th?
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Tue May 16, 2017 4:06 pm

So far we've only got the Mystic class from Unearthed Arcana.
You can check the second version and third version. IMO, second version resembles more the psionicist of 2e (and I like it more); third version seems more like the psion of 3e.
This is the main reason I'm not touching on psionics yet.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Havard » Sun May 21, 2017 7:46 pm

Wow, this looks like a very ambitious project. I love it! :)

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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon May 22, 2017 9:12 pm

Are you going to include stuff from the 4e version of Dark Sun into this project?
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Tue May 23, 2017 4:04 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:Are you going to include stuff from the 4e version of Dark Sun into this project?

Apart from lore and fluff, I can't say I will include much stuff from 4e Dark Sun, perhaps due to the very different game mechanics each edition works on (and because I'm a sucker for 2e things, but hey, don't tell anyone).
That being said, I've incorporated the breakage rules straight from the book, designed the bard as background, mainly inspired by the Athasian Minstrel, and based the Mul and Thri-Kreen on the 4e equivalents (ability scores, traits, skills etc.). I'm sure I have borrowed more stuff than I'm aware of, but not something groundbreaking.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed May 24, 2017 12:34 am

That's good :D I know the rules are different, and the 2e version have the weight of nostalgia, but the 4e did its good stuff as well (like the breakage rules or the non-magical enhancements)
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Fri May 26, 2017 10:47 am

Heya all, I've added a subclass suited for the athasian fighter; since the 2e equivalent was a class resembling more a commander, I decided to design it accordingly.
The process behind it was simple enough. I first had to scrap all the 2e fighter's abilities. Commanding armies and attracting followers? We need some official Mass Combat rules, I'm afraid. Training others? I believe anyone can do that now. Able to operate war machines? Same thing, and I've always found it weird that fighters had the luxury of knowing how to use siege equipment; I thought the fellas behind catapults, cannons etc. were engineers, or their helpers. You would have fighters under a battering ram, of course, but I don't think it was that difficult to operate. Supervise construction of defenses? Isn't that supposedly an engineer's job? I could see a fighter doubling as an engineer, which actually gives me a small idea of modifying this subclass.
Borrowing from the battlemaster and the bard (again), the strategists gain a number of Tactical dice, a sort of bardic inspiration issued as a command. But instead of using it for themselves, the strategists expend one use and hand a tactical die to each of their allies; they in turn may use the die until the strategist's next turn. I thought that by reversing the abilities of the battlemaster I would achieve a more tactician fighter, one who gives more effort in benefiting their allies than themselves.
You're more than welcome to have a look and share any comments or feedback.
A note: each command description refers to each individual's action, not the strategist's. So when a cleric receives the Bombard command, they add the Tactical die to their damage roll, and the saving throw DC takes their proficiency bonus and Strength or Dexterity modifier into account.
Another note: I suspect the whole text needs better wording. It looks to me kinda obscure at times, and I'd like someone to verify that.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:04 am

This bump is to inform you that I've finally completed my work on the Races of Athas, and thus can proudly present to you. I've also included my thoughts and the design process (in the first post). Have a look and give me your.. err, feedback :)
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Zeromaru X » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:45 pm

They look good. Too bad is in homebrewery.... I'm a Firefox user :/
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:31 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:They look good. Too bad is in homebrewery.... I'm a Firefox user :/


I feel you, I'm a Firefox user myself, too. I guess if you just Save as PDF, you can get a viewable document. Or I'll try and upload them to Google Docs.
I only use Chrome when working on Homebrewery.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:05 pm

I've updated the original post to include my latest work, arcane magic of Athas, aka defiling magic. As with almost all my projects, this one presents three options for using defiling magic in your Dark Sun campaign.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:37 pm

Lo and behold, my latest work about "priest" classes and their magic, namely primal magic. I present you with different iterations of the cleric, druid, and templar class. Well, the druid is mostly unchanged, the cleric is a reworked warlock, and the templar is a reskinned paladin. Included in the document, you will find spells and a few critters.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Tim Baker » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:25 am

zontoxira wrote:Lo and behold, my latest work about "priest" classes and their magic, namely primal magic. I present you with different iterations of the cleric, druid, and templar class. Well, the druid is mostly unchanged, the cleric is a reworked warlock, and the templar is a reskinned paladin. Included in the document, you will find spells and a few critters.

Thanks for sharing all your hard work on this.
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:13 pm

Tim Baker wrote:Thanks for sharing all your hard work on this.


Thanks :D I can't say I have much free time to spend on this project, so things will go at a slow pace.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Phoenixmcl » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:49 pm

Outstanding work.

This is the rule set I will be using for my next 5e campaign. Great work. Though the classes do not mirror the previous 3/4th edition they are the closest 2nd edition translation in 5e.

I will be using the UA Mystic rules for psionics.

My recommendation is that players start at 4th level and use their first feat as the wild talent. Also do 32 point build...this mimics the 4d4+4, psionics, 3d Level start the 2nd edition box set suggest.

I also plan to use the cubicle 7 adventures in Middle Earth wilderness exploration rules to simulate the exhaustion from travel.
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby zontoxira » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:10 pm

Phoenixmcl wrote:Outstanding work.

This is the rule set I will be using for my next 5e campaign. Great work. Though the classes do not mirror the previous 3/4th edition they are the closest 2nd edition translation in 5e.

I will be using the UA Mystic rules for psionics.

My recommendation is that players start at 4th level and use their first feat as the wild talent. Also do 32 point build...this mimics the 4d4+4, psionics, 3d Level start the 2nd edition box set suggest.

I also plan to use the cubicle 7 adventures in Middle Earth wilderness exploration rules to simulate the exhaustion from travel.


Thanks mate :) I didn't want to give that extra 'oomph' characterised in Dark Sun 2e, so I just toned things a bit down. Also, I recommend characters start at 2nd level, cuz everyone and their mom knows total newbs can be 1-shot; at least at 2nd, you can withstand the first blow. I believe, though, that by increasing the difficulty of enemies/monsters, setting a harsher wilderness exploration, you can match the increase in your suggested 32 point build. Please do that, and let us know of your results.
As for ME wilderness exploration rules, I'd like a few words as to how it works.. like a synopsis of the mechanics.
Have a look at my Dark Sun Reconstruction Project at Homebrewery or Dark Sun 5e files at Google Drive
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Phoenixmcl » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:23 pm

Traveling in AiM basically works like this:

1. Players assume roles:
Guide
Scout
Hunter
Lookout
They work together to point out a planned journey using the player map.

2. DM Determines the peril rating of the journey. Uses a calculation based on terrain, dangerous territory etc.

3. Guide rolls his embarkation roll. This determine the number of random events (good or bad) that happen during the journey. (Wondering monsters, special encounters, etc) amount of events are determined by rolls and length of journey.

4. Other roles react to and roll to determine outcome of events and may receive bonuses from Guide. For example a lookout may roll with advantage due to a high embarkation roll. Say he succeeded with a high roll he may give his allies surprise on a group of wondering monsters.

5. Finally the arrival roll is made by the guide. This will determine the effects of exhaustion on the party.

This is a rather simplified version since tables are required.
Some may prefer the hex crawl. Probably because they are use to it.
The benefits of this process is that the travel moves faster than hex by hex. Also the joint planning on a map allows the players to feel they are apart of the story. It is just one more opportunity for the players to get involved in the setting. Where hex crawling could deter players that get frustrated that they are unfamiliar with the setting.

Having the players arrive with exhaustion promts the players to adjust their game plan. “A good example is in the Crimson Legion, Rikus changes his game plan to surrender to Meatan based on the exhaustion of his army. Only to trick the enemy into helping rejuvenate his people. Ultimately a Trojan horse solution.

Exhaustion is an excellent tool in 5e that effects game play seperate from hit points and constitution checks...leave that stuff for combat. This method also encourages using skills and reinforces a survival element. Finally exhaustion rules should be different from other D&D games.

The hour rule found in the DM Guide emulates what I would expect of characters that come from temperate climates and are not climatized to the heat. Creatures of Athas would be climatized to heat around 120. 150 still should be treated as hot, but it would be culturally ingrained that it is madness to be out in the sun at that time. So part of traveling would be the rest in the day and travel at dawn/dusk as common place. Players would still need to plan and purchase water but it can be assumed instead of tracked...keeping a role playing survival journey from becoming a hex Monopoly game.

A good thing for DMs to do would encourage a kind of “daytime midnight” that many of the inhabitants would be choosing to sleep or eat quietly and could be exploited by players that are willing to take the risk of exertion over the chance to be seen. For example a thief character may choose to do Day Ops just because many of the guards and Templar choose to stay out of the sun at that time.

So I would recommend journey based exhaustion be an exercise in how well the players get from one point to the other. Hex crawling can always be an element it just may not be the best use of skill checks and exhaustion in 5e mechanics.
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Re: Dark Sun Reconstruction Project

Postby Zeromaru X » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:45 pm

Wasn't aware you had uploaded this to Drive. Ohh, I'm going to check. Didn't had before because I don't like homebrewery dependency to Chrome.
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