Making 4e Dark Sun more lethal

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I'm starting up a new dark sun game for my local gaming group and I want to make 4th editions combat more lethal to better fit the feel of dark sun. I want to avoid just increasing monster damage or reducing PC health or defenses and instead I tried to focus on what I think makes players in 4th so durable: healing surges.

So far my plan is to reduce healing surges across the board by 2. Originally I was thinking of cutting them by half, but I think that's too much because some strikers in that situation would sit at only 3 surges per day and I want the game to be more lethal, but I don't want it to be unfun.

My second house rule is that during an extended rest a player only recovers half his lost healing surges provided they can spend survival days (rounded down, minimum 1). This means that fully recuperating takes several days instead of just 8 hours and that dungeon rests aren't as effective at maintaining party longevity.

My last rule is that during a short rest everyone may spend 1 healing surge for free, but every surge after that costs 1 survival day. The idea is that the strain and work of combat requires you to drink more water and use more resourses than if you were just marching. This would make players more cautious in choosing combats and also in healing between encounters.

I just want to get some of your opinions on what you think of these rules. Do they seem okay? I'm not terribly interested in if they're fair but instead if they fit with Dark Suns theme of being grittier and more lethal than most settings. I really want the players to feel how bad their characters are off after a difficult fight, how beat up battered and bruised they are.
You could use the optional rules that are in the book. ie Weapon breakage rules, Sun Sickness, and so on.

I had my players actually hunt for their food and water. If they found an oasis they usually had to fight off animals or bandits that took roost there.

Remember a Survival day is 1 ration and 1 water put together, I believe. Also maybe you can make it so that 2 survival days fully heal, but 1 only does half. That way the players will have to choose eating all of their supplies right away or saving them to survive. It takes 6 days to get to this location but you only have 5 survival days, do you really want to use 2 of them up today?

As a DM let them know that hunting for food and water might be more dangerous than they expect, example a Kank isn't just going to let you kill it for food. You might lose more healing surges than gain from the fight.
Ant Farm
I think this really depends on your style, the players' style, and how your current games are going. I approximate a TPK with just about any encounter I write. I tend to tone things down after my initial draft, in part because I'm a very tactical DM and I tend to pull together strong monsters with synergistic powers (and synergistic terrain). So I'm often doing the opposite.

The players really matter. You want them to agree that it should be harder. Otherwise, they will feel you are being unfair, braking the rules to beat up on them. Constantly bleeding out can be un-fun. How can you best achieve a brutal Dark Sun feel while still being fun?

Healing surges regulate how long you can go before you run out of the ability to heal. Shaving a few off won't matter if they have a lot of daily rests. They will matter if you usually present several fights before they get a daily rest.

I'm not a huge fan of halving the healing surges regained during an extended rest. The reason is that it can end up meaning being at half your surges quite often (and you also lost 2 due to the previous rule). That's a small number for several classes. It seems too easy for this to feel like they can never get a breather. It might work fine if your campaign involves travel and other ways to often get back to 'normal', but I worry it would dictate your campaign pace.

The survival day rule is cool, but it would involve spending a lot of survival days. What if the rule was: You can always spend one surge during a short rest. To spend more, you must spend 2 surges to get the benefit of one, unless a survival day is consumed. Then, institute a limit on how many survival days a person/mount can carry. That might work okay. It is more micromanaging than I like, but perhaps the players will dig the resource tracking/strategy?

Personally, I solve any lack of brutality through damage. Lower the defenses of foes (players always hitting is actually pretty fun in Dark Sun) but up their damage as if they were two levels higher. Take any elite monster and shave a few HPs off and instead give them even more damage. Have some ideas on special monster theme powers you can use whenever a fight needs more punch, such as: monster spends 5/10/20 hit points and gets to make an extra attack, or monster loses 1/4 of its total HP value but all attacks until the end of the encounter gain +x damage, etc.

A big part is also terrain. Terrain works beautifully in Dark Sun. Set up encounters so the foes have a terrain advantage. They know about the silt pit, they have powers to push PCs into the sharp obsidian in the ground, they resist the lava, etc. Let the terrain deal extra damage. It is fun to have the world be against the PCs.

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Hm I get what you all are saying. I think I'll drop the -2 surges rule. The idea behind the half surges regained during a long rest is to make the situation seem more dire and I anticipate a good deal of desert survival so this rule would make desert survival seem much harder than it is in a regular temperate climate most settings assume. I'll test it out and see how it works, if it just slows down the game I'll toss it out. Alpha I like your suggestion for short rests, but I do want to avoid just pumping monster damage. I don't want to really mess with the single combat balance but I want players to really feel like they're taking damage between fights instead of just healing up during short rests.
I don't really play 4e Dark Sun; I have the book and it's awesome (you have no idea how long I've waited for makes of Urik, Balic, Raam and Draj and have to make my own (I got Urik and Draj kind of right...)).  I've tried changing the hit point system to a system based off of your constitution and other ways, but it never worked out (usually played 2e).

Now I run Dark Sun to Cyberpunk's 2020 rules.  Everyone has 40 hit-points, lose over 12, start to roll for death.  You can die from an infection.  A wound is a wound and there's no abstract concept of hit-points really.  Magic is more difficult and more ritualized but psionics is easier and skills are awesome. 

Maybe I've given you ideas. 
Famous Athasian last words: "Hey, you're wrong. I know elves, I've played AD&D for eight years. They're noble, sylvan creatures who will honor their word." In the desert, everything's further than it looks.
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