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The City-States of Athas are ruled by the tyrant Sorcerer-Kings who answer only to The Dragon.

The Wanderer’s Journal has this to say (pp. 4 and 7):

This is a land of blood and dust, where tribes of feral elves sweep out of the salt plains to plunder lonely caravans, mysterious singing winds call men to slow suffocation in a a Sea of Silt, and legions of slaves clash over a few bushels of moldering grain. The Dragon despoils entire cities, while selfish kings squander their armies raising gaudy palaces and garish tombs.
Athas is a barbaric shadow of some better world. Like men, the elves, dwarves, halflings, and all the demihuman races are but brutal descendants of worthier ancestors. The Dragon, the lions, and the other great beasts are horrible abominations of their noble progenitors. Even the plants, such as the blood-blossomed tamarisks, are deadly scions of the foliage that once blanketed the land.The essence of every living thing, from the highest to the lowest, has been warped in some grotesque way that makes it more vicious, more cunning, and more terrifying than its forbearers.
Hello edit top

This page is designed to serve as a navigation portal and introduction to the remainder of the wiki. There is a lot of content on the wiki, and it can be inundating, so I suggest checking the guest or player areas for recommendations and reading order. The wiki design is split by two types of content: in-character and out-of-character. In-character content presents the world as its denizens understand it, is wholly concerned with narrative and flavor material, and is presented in papyrus font (depending on your browser) with a papyrus image tiled background. Out of character content concerns compaign goals, house rules, etc. and is presented like this main page: serif font on a white background.

Players edit top

This campaign is a departure from the types of games I’ve played in the past. That makes it experimental in certain aspects. That also means it is not for everyone. I am putting a lot of effort into building a custom, intricate world with altered mechanics to fit. For this experiment to work, I really need my players to match that effort with well devoloped, intricate characters.

I’d appreciate it if players would familiarize themselves with the ideas on this wiki, to understand the campaign I’d like to play. Then, I’d like those players to start posting (on the Forum, on their own wiki pages, wherever) their opinions and reactions, so the experiment can start to grow. As such, I think the best place for players to start reading is the Campaign Goals. The entire campaign goals page is a monster, so don’t try to take it all at once (don’t read all the in-text links at first, for example). To get the best “feel” in a reasonable amount of time, I suggest the player goals section followed by character goals, and group cohesion. The next time you hit the page, take in story goals. Beyond that, get to the rest as convenient.

Next I recommend reading in-character setting content and house rules. Whatever order you choose, I suggest sticking to the Society and City-States pages for the fastest way to the “feel” of the campaign’s setting. On the rules side, the implemented house rules are important, and 4E Lite is key to understanding how this campaign will function mechanically.

Players are expected to know the setting info and house rules once we start playing. That’s not to suggest there will be a test or reprimands. Rather, I (as the DM) assume that all characters know everything from the setting pages. I hope to use that knowledge base both to create a good roleplaying experience and also as a foundation for laying down story elements. Players that don’t know the base material well may fail to understand the importance of things that arise in game play, won’t be able to direct their PCs as well, and will find NPC references to the material difficult to understand. Not knowing the house rules is like coming to the game without ever reading the PHB. It is rude, and makes game play unacceptably slow.

A final, very important, point: this wiki is your only source of information about this campaign. Do not buy the Dark Sun 4E campaign book. Sell any old books, or lock them in the basement. Forget anything you remember from 1994 when you tried a Dark Sun adventure with your D&D group. My story is similar to and different from the official canon. Overlaps may be confusing, and if brought to the game table may ruin another player’s (or my own) immersive gaming experience.

Guests edit top

Warm regards to any campaign passers-by. While the wiki is designed with the players and DM in mind, it is purposefully left public for anyone to discover and explore. I am the constant beneficiary of content posted by others in the online gaming community, and the least I can do is to keep my work available for others to encounter.

The wiki generally has three sections: in-character setting info, out-of-character rules info, and the goals that surround the creation and direction of this campaign. Those familiar with Dark Sun may recognize the majority of the content here as similar to the world from the 1990s. Everything is re-written from my perspective on that world. From the rules to the setting to the goals, the only claim I make is that I uploaded the material. Nearly everything is some sort of derivative product of material and ideas I read about somewhere else. Visitors are encouraged to borrow, and compliment about, anything they like. They are similarly encouraged to discuss and critique anything they don’t like (from design to content). Thank you for taking a look.

Spoiler Alert! edit top

General Advice for Avoiding Spoilers

The wiki is your sole source of content for this campaign! If you are a player in this campaign, please do not read through any Dark Sun material, past or present. When the 4E source books come out, I will purchase them and then distribute the necessary content as I see fit. I won’t be posting mechanical info from said books on the wiki for copyright reasons. We’ll cross that bridge when the time comes.

Story Spoilers

I am trying to build a cool setting. And I personally think it will be more fun the less you know about the world coming in. Hence, if you have any Dark Sun material I think you should stay out of it. My implementation won’t be exactly according to official canon, but close enough. Just my thoughts. I can say this: you will get smacked down if you bring some “knowledge” to the game table and try to tell me how things are “supposed” to be. But there’s no reason to be confrontation about any of this, right? =)

Mechanical Spoilers

Is there even such a thing? Sort of. Giving WotC a plug here, but they deserve it. I’ve gotten a bunch of great ideas off of the D&DI web content, especially the ongoing Ruling Skill Challenges series. That is probably obvious, as reading through this wiki there are lots of places skill challenges are mentioned. I will use that mechanic a lot, and I think it is one of the best ideas to come out of 4E I’ve seen. If it has its origins elsewhere, and the dirty Wizards stole it, my apologies to the original authors. Anyway, the bottom line is that you might want to stay out of the DM-oriented D&DIcontent to avoid spoilers. Since they are separating Dragon and Dungeon magazines to be player and DM specific, respectively, this should be easy.

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