Setting Information

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Player Materials

 

Character Creation

Characters in Dark Sun are different than those in other campaign settings: races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and even the rules for magic and psionics are different from other worlds. Download the Dark Sun Player's Guide for special setting rules for characters. 
 
STARTING SETTING
The adventure begins in the great gladiatorial arena of the City State of Tyr. Kalak, the Tyrant of Tyr, is hosting the greatest arena event the city has ever to inaugurate the completion of a towering ziggurat built in his honor. Some PCs will start the campaign as captives forced to fight in the headlining event while others will be spectators in the stands. Whether your PC is a fighter or audience member depends on their background, class, and the chaotic whims of the DM. 
 
STARTING LEVEL
All characters will begin the campaign at 3rd level. 
 
CHARACTER TREE
Each player is encouraged to create 1-2 backup characters if they have the time and patience. Athas is a brutal and violent world – so having a backup character helps the game keep moving in the event that your PC is slain and torn apart by savage beasts, expires due to dehydration, is eaten by a tribe of halflings, or meets one of the thousand other deaths the DM has been cackling madly over while planning this campaign.
 
You can also swap out your active character if the story permits. Maybe your rogue would be the best choice for infiltrating a merchant emporium while your ranger is best for exploring the wastelands beyond the shelter of the city states. Whenever your active character gains a level so does one of your backup characters. 
 
CHARACTER RACE
The races in the Dark Sun Player's Guide replace those in the D&D Player's Handbook. Even familiar races are very different in Dark Sun. 
 
- Dwarf
- Elf
- Half-Elf
- Half-Giant
- Halfling
- Humans
- Muls
- Thri-Kreen
Aarakocra and Genasi (Elemental Evil Player's Companion) and Tabaxi (Volo's Guide to Monsters) are also available in this campaign without any changes. 
 
CHARACTER CLASS
The Dark Sun Player's Guide has expanded descriptions and options for the classes available in this setting. The class options available to each class are listed here:
 
- Barbarian: Path of the Berserker, Path of the Totem Warrior, Path of the Pit Fighter (new)
- Cleric: Air Domain (new), Earth Domain (new), Fire Domain (new), Water Domain (new)
- Druid: Circle of the Land, Circle of the Moons
- Fighter: Battle Master, Champion, Gladiator (new), Warlord (new)
- Mystic: Order of the Avatar, Order of the Awakened, Order of the Immortal, Order of the Nomad, Order of the Soul Knife, Order of the Wu Jen
- Ranger: Unearthed Arcana Variant – Hunter Conclave, Beast Conclave, Stalker Conclave (new)
- Rogue: Assassin, Thief, Mastermind (Sword Coast), Swashbuckler (Sword Coast), Athasian Bard (new)
- Wizard: Path of the Defiler (new), Path of the Preserver (new)
 
CHARACTER BACKGROUND
All new backgrounds are provided in the guide, these are the only ones available in this campaign. 
- Anchorite
- Artisan
- Highborn
- Initiate
- Merchant
- Outlaw
- Slave Hero
- Warrior
- Wastelander
 
MONEY & EQUIPMENT
Hold off on buying equipment, the DM will let you know how much money you will have for your character once your role in the initial adventure is decided.  
 
Metal is extremely scare on Athas so weapons, armor, and tools are most likely made from bone, obsidian, stone, wood, chitin or other natural materials. Weapons made from these inferior materials have a tendency to break and armor becomes damaged over time.  Metal arms and armor are treasured for their durability and increased effectiveness. 

The money and equipment chapter in the guide replaces the info found in the D&D Player's Handbook. 
 
PSIONICS
Every PC has some psionic ability. Most just have a "wild talent", essentially a psionic cantrip that can be used at will. There is also a feat called "Psionic Initiate" that allows a PC to use a psionic discipline as if they were a mystic.
 
MAGIC
Magic is different in Dark Sun. Clerics draw power from the Elemental Planes, not gods. Druids and Rangers are empowered by the unseen "Spirits of the Land". Wizards on the other hand must utilize the life force of plants to cast spells. Preserver wizards take only what energy they need while Defiler wizards destroy all plant life in an area in order to overcharge their spells. 

 

Dark Sun 5E

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