Dragon 388 - Design & Development: Returning to Athas, Part 1

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DnDi_Large.png  Dragon 388
Design & Development
Returning to Athas, Part 1

By Richard Baker and Rodney Thompson

In this first Design & Development article on the finalised Dark Sun setting, we look at the core assumptions of 4e Athas, as well as how the setting was adapted and updated from 2nd Edition to 4th Edition. 

Talk about this column here.
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Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Ug, that artist makes everything he touches look the same. Give us BROM!
-- Claytonian
What do you mean no clerics, there are supposed to be clerics, but they worship elements, like Caelum the dwarven Sun Cleric.  Are there going to be a system in place for doing something like him?  Also I was wondering if there was a way to use a Sorcerer King as a pact for the warlock?  I hope these will be addressed in the next article. 
I think the idea was to represent the elemental priests as primal classes, and I was pretty sure I heard that the Sorceror kings are going to be a new warlock pact.
Check out my new Gaming Blog: Josh's GM Thoughts
There are several new "Character Themes" which can be used with ANY race and class option, however, the themes do have Power Sources of their own.  The ones we know about are the following:

Martial: Gladiator
Arcane: Templar, Veiled Alliance
Primal: Elemental Priest
Psionic: Noble Adept, Wilder

In addition, there will be at least 3 new class builds in the book, and at least 2 new races.  The confirmed races are Thri-kreen and Mul.  The builds we know about are follows:

Arena Fighter (Strength/Dexterity, possible Constitution as Tertiary; likes Combat Superiority)
Animist Shaman (Wisdom/Constitution, likes powers that conjur Ancestor Spirits like Ancestral Warrior)
Sorcerer-King Pact Warlock (Charisma/Intelligence, likes Necrotic Powers, Fell Scorn Pact Boon)


Divine is not normally playable in Dark Sun.  As they said, they're not going to tell you what you can and cannot do.  It's your game (though the DM has final rulings).  However, Divine won't be mentioned AT ALL in Dark Sun, outside of the Gods being dead.  Elemental Priests, as seen above, are generally Primal, though any character might choose the Theme. 

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I really can't say anything good about bipedal thri-kreen. Please, get them back to their old mantis stances! More bug, less human... that's the point!!!

And, yeah, I miss Brom and Baxa.

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Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

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