Dark Sun: Shards of a Broken Crown

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Hello All, I'm a long time reader of D&D Forums but I rarely post. I've been running a Dark sun game for nearly a year now and wanted to leave a link for all those interested in reading my Campaign. http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shards-of-a-broken-crown The campaign is straight forward more or less. I took the easier route and crafted a "Save Tyr" heroic campaign. It includes elements of other types of Campaigns, a little bit of merchant house intrigue, some stuff on the Gray(one Pc is a revenant and another a Shade). I use the books Verdant Passage and Death Mark for material. I also have run or plan to run most of the published material on DDI. I'm a fan of Alphastreams's blog although I haven't played any AOA. I also use Sly Flourish blog to help run a better game. If you live in southern Ca i might even have room for a new gamer. I'm probably gonna post some sketches on adventure design or campaign story arcs next, it'll motivate me into organizing this stuff more. Also if you are currently playing my campaign I will write spoilers in this blog so beware.
My Dark Sun Campaign "Shards of a Broken Crown" http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shards-of-a-broken-crown
Thanks for sharing! I always like to read up on other Dark Sun games.
Thanks for sharing!
My Dark Sun adventures published in Dungeon magazine.
Ok first post. I named the Campaign "Shards of a broken crown" after the idea that every faction in Tyr wants a bigger slice of the pie now that Kalak is dead. I am using Teos Abadia's excellent Article "The True" www.wizards.com/dnd/article.aspx?x=dnd/d... for the skeleton of my campaign. I have added on encounters and adventuers, tacked on locations and Npc's, omitted certain things, shifted events, basically I made it my Group of Players story. My playstyle is very relaxed, I usually don't have much prepared other than a short "Previously" summary and a rough idea of things that might happen. I'm always looking for aids other DM's have put on the net and I use alot of handouts to help me run a very organic campaign. Here is a picture of my DM folder. 
From the left to the Right of the picture, I use monster stat blocks that I cut out and Level up or down with The Perkinsian Approach www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4... . I use Post-it notes next to the stat block to write the adjustments and track Hp and effects. I have a 3x5 card I wrote a Homebrew Arcane defiling Rule that I found here neokannon.blogspot.com/2011/08/reworking... The only way I changed it is by replaceing all instances of "Intelligence" with "Primary ability Modifier" , I plan to adjust it again like so, as part of the trigger "You Roll a 1 while using a power with the arcane keyword." Add on the Effect, " Reroll the attack or damage etc." It might be overpowered but It makes the game more enjoyable and I have only one arcane class player. Sly Flourish's Dm Cheat sheet, never leave home without it 
 slyflourish.com/ A Dark Sun Map from the 4e Campaign Setting. Teos Abadia's Article on the True www.wizards.com/dnd/article.aspx?x=dnd/d... I refer back to that from time to time to see where my campaign might head. To keep track of my groups progress and to create new Adventures I use Dave Chalker's method critical-hits.com/2011/03/04/the-5x5-met... It has made planning story arcs a breeze, especially when I can use a Rumour or two as one of the 5 points, Chatty DM came up with that one. Under my Campaign sketch guide is a few pages I found on Random Encounters, they are very exhuastive lists and Lastard made them www.twinmooncircus.net/random.htm Thank you. I keep one or two printed out Adventures handy in case the story hits a lull and the Players feel like Exploring. In the top left of the picture I have Character sheets with Companion character statblocks under them in case we are short a body or someone new wants to play. On the outside of my folder I keep a printout of the rules for Sun Sickness, it reminds me to keep the world brutal but fun. That's it, next time I'll show you my revision of my campaign sketch guide using the 5x5 method for Dark Sun. I'll also write two new Story Arcs for PC's in my world (one has connections to the Gray the other a Tiefling from Tyr).
My Dark Sun Campaign "Shards of a Broken Crown" http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shards-of-a-broken-crown
Thanks so much for sharing that! I love seeing how you have used all these different resources in your Dark Sun campaign! The information in that screen shot looks super-fun. I wish I were part of that campaign!

I'm very glad that the article on the True is helpful. The team at Wizards sent the article back to rework the campaign information, since it was not sufficiently useful in the draft I submitted. It took a while for me to understand that and figure out how to make it more useful. To see someone actually using it is just a fantastic feeling for me. Thanks!!

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

Thanks so much for sharing that! I love seeing how you have used all these different resources in your Dark Sun campaign! The information in that screen shot looks super-fun. I wish I were part of that campaign!

I'm very glad that the article on the True is helpful. The team at Wizards sent the article back to rework the campaign information, since it was not sufficiently useful in the draft I submitted. It took a while for me to understand that and figure out how to make it more useful. To see someone actually using it is just a fantastic feeling for me. Thanks!!



Thanks Alot Teos! Reading the true article made me want to play AOA but i haven't been able to travel to attend the sessions at the cons. I'm looking forward to attend Pax Prime this year, hopefully they'll be some AOA available.

I really liked how I could tie-in other published adventures to the True article. Specifically "Lost Cistern of Aravek" and "Cruel as a Desert wind"

I've used the True article for the majority of the heroic tier. I plan to show case the final confrontation with Obadias in the Zigguraut at 11th level. 
My Dark Sun Campaign "Shards of a Broken Crown" http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shards-of-a-broken-crown
The series of events that have formed the frame of my campaign have been interesting in that the players have chosen to help the True at times and  other times oppose them. 

In the beginning...
The lost Cistern of Aravek - The heroes chose to complete the quest with Murter Dyan as their patron. They went so far as searching Araveks decendant Varun's dilapidated estate for  extra research on the creation of magical cisterns. This information has strengthened Murter Dyan's position among the noble caste. In a moment of greed the heroes attempted to give the same information to Agis Asticles and managed to upset him. There is a running joke that his surname is Pronounced [Ass-Tickles]

After the previous adventure the heroes entered into the gladiator matches to earn fame and coin. The matches entry fees were being collected to sponsor the construction of a nearby magical cistern but were interrupted by a swarm of freed beasts. The true were behind this terroist act and I reasoned that Murter wants to portray himself as a benefactor to tyr but secretly wants to make the city desperate enough to re-instate a SK (himself).

The True used the attack on the arena to simultaneously sabotage the Kiln of the First Flame in the Brickyards. Reason: Further destabilize Tyr by cutting off the ability to employ freed-slaves. More importantly the True recovered a primordial shard from the Kiln that is key to Obadia's ritual. The shard's ambient power was used to fire the kiln but it is now in the hands of the True. Also survivors at the kiln reported seeing a group of adventurers in combat with Brickers (True members) just before an explosion rocked the brickyards. The heroes had to lay low and chose to head out of Tyr to help a Dray Pc Coterie out of a jam.

The Dray member had wanted to find his coterie since the beginning of the campaign when he and other members were captured by The True (posing as VA) during a arcane reagent trade. He learned that House Tsalaxa had recently aquired Dray slaves fit to fight as slave soldiers and were being held for inspection in a desert fort (Cruel as a Desert Wind Adventure). The party busted in, pissed off Arra when she wanted to kill a young man and got in a tumble with her guards. After that fight a large Dray emerged from inside the fort building who was arguing with his coterie. Gough, Leader of the Pyracanth Expeditionary Juveniles, PEJ, had agreed to mercenary work for a secret benefactor in Tyr. His surviving Coterie members did not agree with his decision as it was blackmail and the sudden appearance of Abraxus (player-character) put a further wrinkle in the situation. The Dray demanded a change of leadership as that would void any previous agreements of the current leader, Abraxus stepped up to challenge Gough and a duel to the death ensued under High Sun. Abraxus Being a Lazy-lord had trouble bringing Gough low and almost was knocked out but a stupid move by the tsalaxa overseer pushed the other members to support Abraxus. All while Valruun the Tempest tore across the wasteland to stomp everyones **** out. The heroes survived the adventure and headed back to Tyr.

Back at the gates of Tyr the templar were searching for non-humans that looked like the ones who were seen right before the explosion in the brickyards. Abraxus and the dray figured it was a good time to head back to their secret home and report someone wanted to blackmail them into recovering Artifacts from Tyr. Abraxus as a character faded out of play and the player made a new hero- Azzer, A tiefling noble that needed to enter the City for a meeting that he couldn't be late for. The heroes Followed Varis (Elf PC-Tooth Cutter member) suggestion of entering through under-Tyr. Most of the heroes have roots in Tyr. Varis and Marcupio are Tooth Cutter members. Sindr Parchwater is a genasi looking for lore to strike back at a primal spirit who caused the destruction of his homeland. Sandra is a brothel owner and is a shade (took a gloom-pact with the Collector), Abel is a Revenant who died and was animated by Temmnya Shom. He was used by Shom to raid caravans that travelled to Tyr- An act that the True asked of Shom to make the city state desperate.
 
The group explored Under-Tyr through the Tembos Teeth and found the hideout of Temmnya's forces. They were away but Temmnya had just completed a ritual to seek an Audience with a Entity from the Gray. Temmnya wants more power and was in the process of completing the ritual Trail of Five darknesses. Sandra's Patron requested Tem's soul as a gift because the Shom scion was now a minion of his rival (rival is the Tormentor) in the Gray. She got away through a teleportation circle (Adventure House of Pain) for now. While exploring under-Tyr the heroes met a group of Tyr's eyes led by jossi who were stuck after being driven under by Templars looking for criminals. She says conditions in the city are getting worse and a lot of the passages have been caved-in by templars. A old blind dwarf named Ofeen Nole chose to travel with the heroes so that he could relay info to Tyr's eyes if the heroes find a exit to Tyr first. Tyr's Eyes went on their way, happy the moody dwarf was gone (he is a companion character Ardent and betrayer of his VA cell, now a true member).

The heroes are on their way to the surface and will emerge at night in the middle of a riot between brickers and Templars. Ofeen guides them to a secret exit in the cellar of his VA cell to check if any survivors remain. He tipped off his True buddies right before fleeing into under-Tyr as an Alibi. 

I'll post my session write up in the structure Chris Perkins uses in the article Act 1, 2, 3 on the Dungeon Master experience. www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...
My Dark Sun Campaign "Shards of a Broken Crown" http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shards-of-a-broken-crown
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

Previously in Shards of a Broken Crown...

 The brickers have begun a riot in response to the king's decree that all criminals and indebted freed-slaves will be used to mine iron. The brickers are hoping to cause enough damage to reopen the brickyards which have closed due to a terrorist attack. The need for civil repairs will hopefully delay opening the iron mines. Meanwhile  the heroes disrupt Temmnya Shom's ritual in the Tembos Teeth cavern. They see evidence of herding a large force of zombies in and out of Under-Tyr by Shom's cronies-Aeris and Loren. The heroes make their way to the surface dangerously close to the skirmish between Brickers and Templars. Unknown to them, their guide plots to pin the murder of his allies on the unsuspecting heroes. 

Cast of Characters


Abraxus, male Dray Warlord played by steve (away in tablelands)
Abel, male revanent human Battlemind played by Jon
Azzer Lirin, male Tiefling Psion played by Steve
Marcupio, male Elf Thief/Wizard played by Nick
Sandra the scourge, female shade gloom-pact hexblade played by Rob
Sindr Parchwater, male genasi shaman played by Jose
Rawwr!, male beast-man (bugbear) Ranger Scout played by Rob
Varis, male Elf Thief played by Travis

Important NPC's
 
Ofeen Nole, male dwarf ardent secretly true member
Erdane, male human Sorceror Templar of Tyr (formerly a PC played by JP)
The Collector, Patron from the Gray
Jamie, young boy member of Veiled Alliance cell, Survived by Defiling, gifted with telepathic projection
Lumbros, male dwarf Obsidian weapon crafter, member of True organizing raids against VA
Jossi, female elf member of tyr's eyes and former lover of Marcupio and Varis
Flea, male teifling mirage weaver scarred in blast at Kiln of first flame

Episode Summary
 
The heroes emerge in the cellar of a massacred VA cell while a riot consumes this sector of the Artisan District. 

Act 1:The Bad
The heroes emerge in the cellar amidst a bloodbath of VA members. They find a secret room broken open and looted. A small boy survived the but had to defile to survive the attack. Ofeen is identified as a senior member of this cell, but judges the boy a dangerous defiler and attempts to silence him before the boy retells events of the attack. If the group does not come to the childs rescue and drive off Ofeen the events of act 2 might change.
Act 2: The Ugly 
The riot spills over to the heroes location as torches get thrown thru windows and screams are heard outside. Nearby A group of half-Giants are having trouble moving a stubborn Inix laden with tomes and other Arcane reagents mixed in with much more mundane objects that they mistook for important relics. A scarred tiefling Mirage weaver (Flea) leads this group of half-giants. Jossi is tied and gagged and being carried by a goon. She tailed this group after her Tyr's eyes members exited Under-tyr near Lumbros's Compound and was caught. She suggests the heros go to Athas Revealed to purchase a map of under-tyr if they seek the attacker's hideout.
Act 3: The Good
Erdane a templar of Tyr mistakes the heroes for rioters. He explains the results of the events at the brickyards weeks ago. All criminals and indebted citizens are being forced to pay off their debt working in the Iron mine which will soon open. He suggests the heroes lay low before confronting Lumbros as he is a well respected buisness man with many connections.
My Dark Sun Campaign "Shards of a Broken Crown" http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shards-of-a-broken-crown
"True Machinations"

Previously in Dark Sun: Shards of a broken crown

The heroes followed Ofeen to the cellar of his veiled alliance cell. There they see the aftermath of a True attack that targeted the recovery of magic items the VA found inside the ziggurat after the fall of kalak. A boy was overcome with hysteria but after being calmed down he psionically projected the events of that night as images from his perspective. The attack came suddenly and with precision. A man formed of sand materialized in the complex and created giant fists to smash the VA. Behind this elementalist burst in a group of half-giants and a Tiefling with a badly scarred face.  Ofeen judged the boy as evil as those who attacked the VA and chose to end the boys life right there. The heroes argued that the group that attacked the VA was getting away and Ofeen was wasting time hanging the defiler/boy.

The heroes followed the trail of the half-giants but were caught in the smash of people rioting through this sector. Ofeen seperated himself from them at this point. The group stumbled upon a group of half-giants struggling with a stubborn Inix down a back alley. The fight was brutal and quick, but without a leader the heroes faltered and the enemy escaped with the Inix. The heroes managed to save jossi who tells them of her escape and spying on a group of half-giants that exited the same Under-tyr passage as her group. She suspects they might have a lair in Under-Tyr and suggests the adventurers purchase a map at Athas Revealed. She also comments that during their flight under Tyr Ofeen bonded with one member of Tyr's eyes and offers to send that young man to the weeping widow.

Erdane and his templars catch the group in a sweep of this district. He recounts the events after the attack on the Kiln of the first flame. He suspects a Conspiracy and petitions the heroes to seek out the true enemy in tyr. He suspects Lumbros the supplier of the weapons these half-giant mercenaries used. Sandras pact brand burns in response to her patron wanting to contact her in secret.

 Cast of Characters

Abraxus, male Dray Warlord played by steve (away in tablelands)
Abel, male revanent human Battlemind played by Jon
Azzer Lirin, male Tiefling Psion played by Steve
Marcupio, male Elf Thief/Wizard played by Nick
Sandra the scourge, female shade gloom-pact hexblade played by Rob
Sindr Parchwater, male genasi shaman played by Jose
Rawwr!, male beast-man (bugbear) Ranger Scout played by Rob
Varis, male Elf Thief played by Travis
Mercenary Gladiator, male human Defender companion character played by John

 Important NPC's
 
Ofeen Nole, male dwarf ardent secretly true member
Erdane, male human Sorceror Templar of Tyr (formerly a PC played by JP)
The Collector, Patron from the Gray
Lumbros, male dwarf Obsidian weapon crafter, member of True organizing raids against VA
Quaan, male human Templar in charge of the brickyards True member
Lefty, male dwarf member of Tyr's eyes Offered membership into True by Ofeen 
Don Vuente, male human Leader of yakuza gang, Owner of Weeping Widow 
Brobak, male Half-Giant True Enforcer

Episode Summary
To be continued...
My Dark Sun Campaign "Shards of a Broken Crown" http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shards-of-a-broken-crown