[4e] Dark Sun


I’m honestly very surprised. Mainly because a year or so ago I tried and failed (“they tried and DIED!”) to make the old Dark Sun setting work with 4e. Defiling/Preserving and elemental “clerics” were the biggest challenge. It sounds like they may tie the Primal source into elements so I’d expect the elementalists to be worked in there with a new class or two (actually they may put some of the classes into PHB3 as each of the setting books has only had 1 class in it so far, right? I could see an Elementalist class in PHB3 and save Templars or something for DS), but I don’t know what it will mean for existing Primal classes like Druid or Shaman. Divine I’d imagine as being limited to worship of the Sorcerer Kings, which has pretty awesome implications. No idea how preserving and defiling will be handled, especially across the great variety of Arcane classes.

So I have an intense academic interest in seeing how they pull this together.   I know the developers have said they really wan to push the limits of what 4e is capable of in the next year with PHB3, so this is going to give them a chance to really shake it up a bit.

Anyway, neat. The guessing is over, let the impatient speculation begin!




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8 Responses to “[4e] Dark Sun”

  1. Bryant Says:

    We are so much better at 4e now than we were then.

    Defile * At-Will
    Free Action * Arcane, Necrotic
    One or two targets
    Effect: Reduce any ally’s current healing surges by one. Add 1d6/1d8/1d10 (Leader/Defender; Controller; Striker) to the damage done by a successful attack on the target(s). At level 21, add 2d6/2d8/2d10. If the attack hit more than two targets, you may add two targets to the effect for each additional healing surge drained from your ally.

    • Christopher Tatro Says:


      And I assume Preserving would reduce your OWN surges instead?

      The question of the global ecosystem impact of Defiling could be tricky. Some sort of ratcheting-upward global warming mana depletion tracker.

      • Bryant Says:

        Nah, optional class feature. Not limited, you can do it every time you attack. Preservers do not get a similar feature. Defilers are clearly better but the price is appropriately huge and important to the players.

        Did the original Dark Sun really track the global impact?

        • Christopher Tatro Says:

          For some reason I thought there was that kind of global tracking in the original boxed set, but now I’m not sure. Have to dig it out tonight to look. I know defiling had an immediate local environmental impact of killing any plant life and making the land barren around the caster but not sure of the larger scale implications.

          hmm, athas.org (which was one of the best sites I used for DS info last year) seems to be offline as of 8/10. Wonder if they were “encouraged” to not renew the domain.

          • Bryant Says:

            The plant life/barren bit is easy to handwave; I think that’s the simplest thing to do. The tough part is presenting the option of more power without making it unappetizing to be a preserver, so the price of defiling needs to be significant.

        • Christopher Tatro Says:

          I took a look and there wasn’t anything on a global scale, but there was a LOT of emphasis on how much area around the defiler would be turned to ash. Complicated table based on the terrain type (grass, desert, rocky, etc) vs the level of the spell being cast.

          The only impact on characters in the radius is that it penalizes their initiative order – narratively it causes any living thing great pain, mechanically it bumps them down the init chain a bit. I like your idea of sucking up healing surges better, frankly, and would put money down that’s how they’ll go.

  2. Bryant Says:

    4e Dark Sun update/tidbit: no new classes, but a new mechanic.

    “For example, when we started Dark Sun design, we had a lot of discussions about what class we should include in the book, because we had introduced a class in each of our previous two campaign setting Player’s Guides. But first we had to ask the question of whether a new class was the right thing to add to the game in Dark Sun, and ultimately we decided no. So instead, Dark Sun is going to offer an entirely new mechanic that will take you by surprise. Stay tuned!”

  3. Dark Sun Redux « Claw/Claw/Peck Says:

    […] Sun Redux By Bryant Cause the old post is a long way […]

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