DARK SUN Campaign Setting 2010

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The Dark Sun campaign setting was a truly wonderful bloody experience for me back in my youth. A post-apocalyptic fantasy game where one encountered incredibly diverse cultures and struggled day by day to survive the horrors of the wilderness and intrigues of the cities. Character death was actually expected, with a multiple character tree and higher starting levels touted as the norm for Dark Sun players.

I think 2010 might see the return of Dark Sun in 4e. Psionics were heavily used in the setting and psionic powers will likely be in Player's Handbook 3 so it would make marketing sense to have an exciting setting that supports psionic powers come out in the same year.

Here are some predictions for the Player's Guide.

New Races: Mul, Thri-kreen, 1 other race

New Classes: Defiler (environmental destruction rules for Swordmages and Wizards), Elemental Cleric (alternate Channel Divinity feature + new elemental cleric powers), Elemental Warlock (new warlock pact)

New Epic Destinies: Avangion, Dragon King, Psi Master, Demi-Primordial, Nature Lord


Here's a wild twist for the story of Dark Sun. Probably not going to happen though.

Nanda Shatri, now an avangion, attempts to return life to the wastelands of the world with limited success. The epic ritual does not go unnoticed in the cosmos. Gods and primordials are attracted to Athas once again. New and old sorceror kings make war against the interlopers and suppress the new cults appearing in worship of the divine and elemental beings.


What do you predict for the setting?

What's on your wish list?

How do you think the story will progress if at all?

Will the setting be re-booted like Batman Begins?

Should Dark Sun be the 2010 setting?
I agree that darksun will likely be the next CS. I started D&D in sixth grade (dad bought me the 3.0 handbook).

Anyways because I (and I am sure many others) started after the era of dark sun I don't really know what to wish for or what to tihnk of the story. If they did a reboot I'd never know. I have "aquired" pdf's of all those old books... but I' not sure I really want to take the time to read them as it stands.

From the little I have read on the setting, it is the perfect PoL setting and about as different from FR and Eberron as you can get. In my opinion, based on book volume, darksun is one of the big big campaign settings. And based on the fact that darksun novels are being republished (new ones being written?), I think DS is a safe bet for 2010.
Maybe its just me, and I was never big on Dark Sun (I'd rather see Spelljammer or Savage Coast but I doubt we'll see either in 4e) but I find it interesting that the Athasian Templar didn't make the original posters list for classes or epic destinies, It will probably be at least a paragon path, in my opinion it is among the more iconic things about the setting, though again I was never big on it.
I think it could be, though I won't buy it. Put simply, everything you like about it is everything I hate about it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I'd like to see Dark Sun come out next year as well. As far as races I would add half-giant to your line-up. Racial encounter for them would be Stomp. Hopefully if it is Dark Sun we see the return of wooden and bone weapons.
I sooooo hope that it's Dark Sun!!!

Mul, Thri-Kreen, ...Would we have 1/2 Giants or would they just use Goliaths in their place? We'd have to see some pretty major changes to the Halflings too.

I'd love to see the bone and obsidian weapons. Makes you appreciate the steel that much more. Then if/when you get a magic weapon....wow!

Great setting. I could live with Spelljammer too though.
I enjoy psionics & would like to see Dark Sun return as a setting like a few of the other users here, but I'd much rather have something completely new hit the shelves in 2010.

Not even quite sure what genre/concept I'd like to see covered, but the buzz over Eberron when it first hit the shelves was kinda fun for me & I'd like to do it all over again sometime soon - to boldly go where no geek has gone before, you know?
1/ Yes, Dark Sun, please.

2/ OP's idea about gods coming is bad. Athas is a godless world and should stay as such. It is a very important part of the setting.

3/ PC races in the PH3: Thri-kreen, half-giant, maybe aarakoa or pteran. Mul will be in the setting book, as it is unique to Dark Sun. If I saw a mul in FR, I'd have to kick the DM in hte shin.

4/ As for a Batman Begins or BSG style revisioning, I would be down with that as long as they don't violate the very core elements that make DS so very special: savagry, godlessness, despair, ancient secrets being revealed, etc.

5/ Bone/stone/obsidian: I'd rather they take a route of using different weapons rather than just the same fantasy trappings with different materials. A stone sword is impractical and silly, but the jawbone of a half giant sharpened and strapped to a club, that's Dark Sun. I'd like some realism with weapon design in regard to what you make with what weapons, but still have the brutal looking original weaponry.

6/ Templars: Make Templars like the 4e assassin. Not a class, but a classification. This means you can take any divine PC class and strap the title Templar on them. Instead of serving gods, they serve the sorcerer kings. HOWEVER, 4e seems to be getting away from designing NPCs like PCs, and PC templars are shaky at best. My vote is that the only mechanical handling of the templar is as a creature in the DM book.

7/ The Dark Sun Bard: Easily my least favorite element of Dark Sun. It was thrown together with the thinking that they needed a bard, but didn't want to deal with them as an arcane caster w/ all the trappings of defiling/preserving. IMHO, it was silly and I hated it. Note that Bard has been my favorite class since 2e. I'd like the bard to stay as it is in ph2, with the mojo recommended in point 8.

8/ Defiling/preserving: Any and all arcane classes should be allowed, and as a default they are defilers. Defiling is easy. Preserving takes extra time and dedication. make Preserver a Feat and not a class. Make all arcane casters take the Feat as a show of how much harder it is to cast preserver magic than it is to cast defiler magic. Also, allow as a setting mechanic available to all classes a method to empower spells by choosing to defile a little extra. Increase the level of the spell to increase the damage of an attack in regards to the amount of defiling done to the land.

9/ Elemental clerics: Make all divine classes chose an element as a god. Then, to differentiate between the various elements, have Channel Divine feats that add definition to the character, followed by Paragon Paths. I say all divine classes should be open to this. As per my sig, a mul paladin of earth would be damn fun to play.

10/ Advanced beings: Dark Sun was the first D&D setting to have set rules for play up to level 50. 50! How? In order to become an advanced being (dragon, avangion, elemental) you had to go to level 20 as one class (defiler/preserver/cleric) and then dual class to a psion for another 20 levels. THEN you could take a ten level "class" that eventually turned you into a godlike being. Please, Wotc, please keep something like this. No, don't go the easy route that would be very game wrecking and make being a dragon as easy as an Epic Destiny. Make EDs that set the PC up for becoming an advanced being with that going from level 31-40. A level 30 ritual that requires a wizard-preserver with the psion multi-class feat and at least x number of psion powers and x number of psion feats that lets the PC start gaining experience again and taking Advanced Levels. I would also like to see more advanced beings that allow primal and martial characters share the experience of 31-40.

11/ Psionics: Don't know enough about 4e plans, but I love psionics and I look forward to seeing them.
As per my sig, a mul paladin of earth would be damn fun to play.

Paladins in Dark Sun?! Sacrilige! ;)

10/ Advanced beings: Dark Sun was the first D&D setting to have set rules for play up to level 50. 50! How? In order to become an advanced being (dragon, avangion, elemental) you had to go to level 20 as one class (defiler/preserver/cleric) and then dual class to a psion for another 20 levels. THEN you could take a ten level "class" that eventually turned you into a godlike being. Please, Wotc, please keep something like this. No, don't go the easy route that would be very game wrecking and make being a dragon as easy as an Epic Destiny. Make EDs that set the PC up for becoming an advanced being with that going from level 31-40. A level 30 ritual that requires a wizard-preserver with the psion multi-class feat and at least x number of psion powers and x number of psion feats that lets the PC start gaining experience again and taking Advanced Levels. I would also like to see more advanced beings that allow primal and martial characters share the experience of 31-40.

The Epic Desitnies of 4E are a perfect fit for the dragon/avangion progression from 2E. By claiming that the advanced being progression is somehow beyond epic destinies, you are totally downplaying exactly how potent epic characters are intended to be. The most powerful epic destiny is a genuine "demigod", for instance.

Second, they are never going to make 31-40th level play because it would break down the tenuously balanced math of the system even more than it already is. They are already trying to patch the high level math and adding an extra 10 levels would just make things worse. There is also the fact that you'd really need to make a whole extra tier's worth of monsters to make the endever worthwhile. Ultimately, i just dont see them adding more levels.
I believe that defiler will be left out of classes and dragon king will be left out of epicdestinies.

The point of 4th edition is to make PCs into heroes. Defiliers are not that. Also, they have effect, If I remember right, such as causing pain to everyone in the vicinity (not to mention destroying plant life) while casting. This would result in area penalties that would target all creatures rather than allies. Typical of monsters rather than PCs. I like thae thought that the defiler monster could have powers whose use would have the side effect of causing those in the area to lose an action: minor, or perhaps move, do to the pain and discomfort caused.

Dragon kings are powerful creatures who cast great spells killing thousands. I don't see that made as an option for the hero oriented 4th edition.

Mentioning the gods brings up an important point. People did worship them in the past of Athas as was evident in the areas beneath Tyr, I believe. There were statues to them, etc. So, perhaps they might make available a feat such as 'servant of the lost ones' or whatever which would give a cleric like ability for tose who take it. Then later supplements could possibly give a paragon path or perhaps an associated epic destiny. Just a thought there.
The point of 4th edition is to make PCs into heroes. Defiliers are not that. Also, they have effect, If I remember right, such as causing pain to everyone in the vicinity (not to mention destroying plant life) while casting.

Sounds exactly like the Darkspiral warlock though. In fact, many of the powers of the Dark pact warlock that have him inflicting pain/damage on his allies in order to boost his spell damage are just like defiling magic.

Dragon kings are powerful creatures who cast great spells killing thousands. I don't see that made as an option for the hero oriented 4th edition.

I cant think of a single 20th level character that hasnt killed thousands. ;)

I'm sure they will put the dragon transformation in as an epic destiny but they will explicitly state that using the powers for good or evil depends on the character, not the innate nature of the destiny. Just like we have the devil-pact making warlock and the blood-draining dhamyr as character options, so will we have the dragon transformation destiny, though i wouldnt be surprised if they changed the transformation ritual or left it vague.
1/ Defilers: Rumplestix hit it on the nose, something I should have thought of already, consider my comments on Templars. Duh.

2/ Advanced Beings: While I ahve not experienced EDs in play and have only read through them, none of them compare to the power of an avangion. If allowing for levels 31-40 (something I believe should only be done for this setting and not other if done at all) is that taboo and unworkable, then I'd like to see advanced beings kept out of reach of PCs or redesigned to be at an equal power level to EDs.

3/
I cant think of a single 20th level character that hasnt killed thousands.

: Not in one action they haven't
1/ Defilers: Rumplestix hit it on the nose, something I should have thought of already, consider my comments on Templars. Duh.

2/ Advanced Beings: While I ahve not experienced EDs in play and have only read through them, none of them compare to the power of an avangion. If allowing for levels 31-40 (something I believe should only be done for this setting and not other if done at all) is that taboo and unworkable, then I'd like to see advanced beings kept out of reach of PCs or redesigned to be at an equal power level to EDs.

3/ : Not in one action they haven't

I say allow Dragon King and such as epic destinies I mean there is already an epic destiny for becoming a devil lord. So yeah dragon king isnt that much better.
I would be very happy with Dark Sun 2010.
I'll add to the agreement that I would love to see Dark Sun and think there is a good chance for it being in 2010.

Was it next month they said there would be some hints of what the next campaign setting would be in Dragon.
I too would love to see a dark sun campaign setting, although I believe that PC options for being defilers and templars should be included-after all in the core books (and in dragon) we have:

Warlocks (who make pacts with entities that range between amoral and utterly evil)
Dhampyr (the sons and daughters of vampires and the common races, who drink blood and have unholy powers)
Tieflings (an entire race cursed by an ancient devilish pact)
Necromancy (included in both open grave and in the Secrets of the city entombed)
One channel divinity feat for an evil god (Namely Bane, the god of warfare and tyranny)

So antiheroes and villain protagonists are at least somewhat supported in 4th edition (it's just that it's specified that you should talk to your DM before playing an evil character).

Defiler magic could be handled by dark-pactesque mechanics that cause minor penalties to creatures in a given area and that are described as blighting the land. The area of effect could start small at heroic, move up to a larger area at paragon, and become something like a burst 5 at epic. There could then be a feat called "Preserver" which would remove the defiling effect and allow you to exclude a single ally from the effects of a burst or blast once per day or something like that. So there'd be an element of strategy there-do you spend a feat and gain more control (and a rp advantage) or do you stay as a defiler and gain an uncontrollable debuff. Heck, there could probably be a multi-class only class that focuses on defiling (allowing you to draw power from creatures and what not).
Dark Sun was an "acquired taste" and I never acquired it. I do not want to see it return for 4th edition. I'd rather see a 4E version of Birthright.

If you have to resort to making offensive comments instead of making logical arguments, you deserve to be ignored.

Dark sun never had gods. people made up gods, and that's what you're thinking of in the ruins beneath tyr. The lich dragon king dregoth wants to become a god, but is doomed to failure.

I'm frankly worried about defiling and divine casters. It's eminently likely that they will simply call warlocks defilers and be done with it, which would be awful. Also, the current divine classes are simply unsuited to dark sun, with all their radiant and thunder damage. What we need is the upcoming elemental power source, which at best estimate will probably not be out until 2011. unless they just make the phbiii psionics and elemental, which would basically confirm dark sun. Also, they'll never take out a power source, so I guess we're just doomed to have the 4th ed divine flavor jammed into the setting, probably with little or no thought to the flavor.

I think we'll definitely see dragon kings as epic destinies. And I think they will screw it up.

4e doesn't really work well for dark sun. Or a lot of campaign settings, for that matter. it has a lot more hard-wired assumptions in the rules for both characters and monsters. Even if one doesn't agree with the idea that it has more, at the very least, they are substantially different from previous incarnations of D&D, and that will make a lot of difficulty for adapting it to old settings.
I think Dark Sun makes sense. My reasoning is that there was a Dark Sun environments PDF back in Dragon 364. Just makes sense they wouldn't let something like that go to waste.


And why is no one pointing out that if we're getting Ki classes in the PH3 (Monk is confirmed, and we know that is ki), why would we not also get Githzerai and Githyanki as races? Noticeably, one deals with ki and the other psionics. It'd make sense for them to be in the book, if it has both ki and psionics (and it'd make sense to have githzerai even if there weren't psionics, though I could see githzerai being in a PDF in the same month instead).

Don't know anything about Dark Sun, but it sounds like a neat sort of place. Hopefully it'll come with a core class when they publish it. So by the time it's out, we'll have 27 classes. I don't intend to buy it -- didn't buy Forgotten Realms, and won't buy Eberron --, but the compendium will give me the info I want to know.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I don't think you guys have tow orry about classes and such.

The divine power source will simply be refluffed in the campaign guide. As for Defiler and what not, thats a title that anyone (arcane?) can assume, therefore at most it'll be a PP, but will likely be just a fluff title. As for a feat to -not- be a defiler... that's no reason punishment on the system, it's likely that every "heroic" wizard will not be a defiler by default, and the npc's will be a bit buffed for going the easy route.
I'd like to see DarkSun developed exactly because it's not 'safe' and familiar.

That however is the core reason it never made it into the mainstream of dnd.
Its highly challenging on a personal level to take on the hardships and challenges it offers, instead of just whipping around in a more standard setting free to do pretty much anything you like without restriction or consequence and certainly without the vast swaths or moral greys and ethical mires common on Athas.
(Defiling is part of that moral dilemma aspect, as illustrated even in this brief thread, there aren't many people who realise it- despite having been a contentious issue for so many years).


A few years ago I would love to've seen it re-created in a way that more people could appreciate (ie: not as harsh) but (and I'll sound condescending here though I don't mean to) the target audience of dnd isn't mature enough to handle it.... hell, most people I know regardless of actual age can't handle the setting, well before even tackling its moral aspects (aside from treating it as a bloodbath & power-gaming through it).

It was mentioned a while back that DarkSun's original concept was to release a setting in it's Blue Age time-frame. It could be truly awesome if that's the current goal - but its a sci-fi setting and potentially even more niche than the current incarnation of DarkSun and on top of that could easily put existing fans off-side for reasons outlined below.

The truly great thing about DarkSun is that the core idea of the whole thing is that it's ground-breaking and evolutionary, a Blue Age version could be truly amazing if it were done right... fans of other settings would want similar treatment though.

The die-hard fans have for over a decade developed their own games; athas.org have gone out of their way to produce mountains of material purely in their own personal time & take the extra time to publicly test & present them in a professional manner... that alone I think deserves a little kudos or special mention like say in a DMG.

It's never wise to make anything purely to please fans though, they've each got their own idea of how things should be and extremely high expectations - even if you please a few, the rest tend to be even more critical than people new to the setting/product.

A half-arsed attempt that as Azazyll suggested, might see a core feature boxed into an existing mechanic (defilers as warlocks for example) would guarantee its failure amongst fans and engender a great loss of respect from all quarters.

I'd recommend they evaluate what it is they've got worked out best, what really captures the imagination of their whole team and make it the highest quality it possibly can be - preferably with supporting tools to help DM's and players alike.

From my point of view SpellJammer is their best bet, particularly as its open to linkage from people who want to incorporate it into their existing settings while it still stands up on its own merits.

On a side note, I'd point out that dnd needs to offer more than hackNslash alone (which I believe wizards recognize) - console & computer games have that aspect of gaming covered better than any non-computing platform could ever accomplish.
Having said that, a greater focus on employing artists (good artists) to visually flesh out the various settings, official adventures, supplements and novels would be a huge help.
The thing that is disappointing to me is that they are definately going to want to include everything 4E, including things like tieflings. Im nostaligic for the original boxed set and the players that have never seen it are going to be ****** when i try to cut out everything that wasnt in the original.
I've reach the point that I'm just going to wait and see. I'm kinda tired of arguing over the setting we're going to get. Until new credible evidence shows up we're spinning our wheels on this one.
Quick Dark Sun notes for 4E:

Defilers. Not a class but a mechanic. All arcane power sourced magic is by default defiling magic (as per the original boxed set), you have to learn to preserve. Preserving is slower and/or harder to do. A simple mechanic of a -1 penalty on some aspect (to hit, damage, etc) would be a quick fix, but not necessarily a great one. And I definitely don't want it to be literally slower, i.e. extra actions to cast the same spells. Blerg. I would only want a Preserver feat if it eliminated that difference, essentially making standard 4E magic that characters default without any penalty.

Templars. A divine leader with something akin to the warlock pact. Not that hard. Definitely a PC class.

Elemental priests. I would love to see elemental priests done with an eye toward the para-elementals as well. The silt and sun priests were so wonderful in flavor. A lot of powers can easily have their flavor text rewritten and their damage type changed to make any kind of powers you want.

Gladiators. A paragon path would work really well for these guys. I know anyone, at any level, could technically be a gladiator in the original, but unless they were well suited to arena life / fighting, they didn't last long. Which is why I think it should be a PP. Those that last in the arena can claim the title. When it boils down, they're just extremely specialized fighters. I don't see a need to generate a full list of all new powers just for these guys.

Wild Talents. Everyone had psionics. The quickest way would be to give everyone the half-elf Dilettante feature. Change the descriptor to "psionic" and change the damage type to psychic.

Weapons. Please keep the weapons breakage rules. There can be a mix of "battle ax" made from a club and a sharpened jaw bone lashed to it and new weapons. The flavor weapons just have to be in there.

Armor. The only ones you really have to worry about are the chain, scale, and plate guys. For these just make similarly protective armors out of different materials or give them a free feat that boosts their AC.

Half-giants. Goliaths make a decent stand-in, for now.

Thri-Kreen. Please. Oh, please.

Dark Sun in 2010!
I agree with TharDuus that defiling should be the norm and all arcane classes would be subject to it. If you want preserving, than take a free feat (instead of Ritual Caster or Alchemist). There could be feats that boost defiling, but not too many, as it should be reserved for supplemental material on evil content (I do think that unaligned characters would use it's really about ignorance - not knowing there is a better way or returning Athas to a lush land).

I don't think gladiator needs to be a new class. 4E rules are perfect for arena fighting and we already have new stuff for martial characters becoming gladiators. (Although a martial controller would be perfect for this setting.)

Templars should either be a PP or NPC monster, or both. If there would be templar rules, it should be in an evil supplement, although, again even unaligned characters would choose it because of the ignorance/social class issue.

Even though Dark Sun has always been my favorite setting, I can see the inclusion of divine classes and the new races. With the changes that occured in the novels, hope and faith can make mighty changes. Paladins can follow ideals, just like clerics, monks, and others can. That has already been used in Eberron and a few other worlds. I am reluctant to say that the old gods can come back. I would actually see it closer to vestiges and worshipping spirits of the land (or the more powerful primordials). Granted the elemental source would fit better, but there can be a place for the divine.

Races is even easier. First, Athas was hardly as explored as the other campaign worlds. Even with their one expansion, it still left a lot (especially with the assumption that there would be no oceans). There is a lot of run to insert new races. And speaking of 'new races,' Athas was choke full of them. Creatures were literally being created in the past as well as the present.

As for what should appear in the Dark Sun Player's Guide: Muls and Thri-kreen. There would obviously be sections that pertain to the fluff changes of the other races (age and height changes for the elves don't change any of the mecanics of the game, for instance).

Epic Destinys play right into Dark Sun. A Dragon ED would need to be included, along with Avangion, just for the reason that player's are going to want it, even though it is evil. Mechanics can be changed so that it doesn't require mass genocide. But, in an evil artile in Dragon, the Dragon ED could be flushed out more for an evil campaign. If it is not an ED, it would definitely need to be in the Campaign Guide as an epic level monster.

Last, but certainly not least, is psionics. Everybody should have a wild talent. I don't think 4E rules will have it (just a suspicion), so it would probably be something like backgrounds. You would get a small bonus or effect and the fluff would be psionic in nature. Another option is a free feat. Feats are perfect tools for creating psionics for non-psionic class characters.

Last word for now: Starting at 3rd level and having a character tree. It's silly, but that was my biggest complaint about Athas.org's 3E rules. It wasn't in the rules at all. I know it has nothing to do with mechanics. It is just something anybody can do, but I think it immediately gives Dark Sun the feeling that it is harsher and more powerful. No matter what setting I play or DM in, I always start at 1st level, expect Dark Sun. Charater trees and 3rd level should just be the rule. (I know that 4E 1st level charaters are tougher than any other edition, but it still should be done. You get the utility power and a second encounter attack power).
With the avangion and dragon king epic destinies I imagine that it will go more the way of demi-god, with the epic destiny being the equivalent of the 1st level of dragon or avangion from the original setting material.

The process of transforming to a full dragon or avangion would mean becoming a higher level "monster", then an elite higher level "monster", and finally a solo higher level "monster".

The whole gods coming back thing was a joke by the way. Perhaps the change in edition may involve the return of Rajaat or previously unnamed followers of Rajaat, since that malevolent being "invented" magic in the setting and there needs to be a reason for the change in how spells are cast on Athas.
The thing that is disappointing to me is that they are definately going to want to include everything 4E, including things like tieflings.

Yeah, I really don't see anyone in this thread enjoying Dark Sun. I would, but then again I'm pretty flexible in what I like. Also I was already playing a Dark-Sun inspired before coming to D&D. I came to D&D for a few reasons, one of which was I wanted a high-magic game which this didn't allow.

I'd personally love to see what Wizards do with Dark Sun. I just don't think anyone here is going to like it because any deviation from what they see as "Dark Sun" will be considered sacrilege. If you thought the FR fans kicked up a storm at the changes, its nothing compared to what Dark Sun fans will kick up.

I think everyone in this thread should simply wait for the psionic classes and then make their own 4th edition Dark Sun campaign.
That isn't necessarily the case, I am a fan of Dark Sun and I am perfectly fine with elements being added. It is simple enough to go, such race is gone, and such class is gone.

I rather the books give me options and material so that I can include whatever I wish, into my own version of Dark Sun. So as such, I rather they not either through fluff or some mechanic completely block something from inclusion.

Also, one of the benefits of 4e, is that since fluff and mechanics are separate from each other. The classes and races that didn't exist in Dark Sun can be easily refluffed/reinterpreted to fit quite well into it. Especially when you consider such things like Keywords (ala Radiant) is considered valid refluffing in 4e.
I started playing D&D about six months before the release of 3e. I remember the first campaign I ran was in Dark Sun, because a friend of mine had given me the setting. I really enjoyed it then, and I would love to see the setting released for 4e. I would probably buy it because I love to read campaign settings for adventure and world ideas (following my short run with Dark Sun, my group and I made out own gaming world and we still adventure only in that world).
I could actually see gladiator as a whole new class. A brutal fighter who relies on jeers and taunts to lower his opponents defenses. The two builds could even be a one on one gladiator and a gladiator who specializes in fighting groups of enemies. A martial controller perhaps.
I'd personally love to see what Wizards do with Dark Sun. I just don't think anyone here is going to like it because any deviation from what they see as "Dark Sun" will be considered sacrilege. If you thought the FR fans kicked up a storm at the changes, its nothing compared to what Dark Sun fans will kick up.

As long as they include everything that was in the old boxed set, people can always take all the 4E stuff out pretty easily. Personally, my issue is that none of the people i play with know anything about dark sun, so they will ***** and moan if i say "no gnomes" or "no tieflings" simply because they're used to every option being in every setting.

BTW, I think the FR fans had more to complain about than DS fans might because their whole world got a reboot, leaving out 4E rules for anyone who wanted to keep on playing in the older time frame. If WotC doesnt mess with timeline much and simply injects the 4E stuff, then i dont think DS fans will have anything reasonable to complain about.
then i dont think DS fans will have anything reasonable to complain about.

See, I believe similarly about FR fans, and yet they moan and gripe.

We've already had people say they better not include Tieflings with much consternation about how Defilers will be handled. The more details that are leaked about 4e Dark Sun, the more complaining we'll see.

After all, anyone can simply play pre-Spellplague Forgotten Realms using the 4th edition rule system. Just as anyone can use the original Boxed Set for the fluff rather with the 4e rule system.
My current speculation (and nothing more) for campaign settings (I've included existing ones for completion’s sake):


-2008: Forgotten Realms (traditional fantasy)

-2009: Eberrron (non-traditional fantasy)

-2010: Dragonlance (traditional fantasy)

-2011: Dark Sun (non-traditional fantasy)

-2012: Greyhawk (traditional fantasy)
I forgot two points that I think are very important, yet have nothing to do with the rules.

1. Brom. He has to do most of the art. It made Dark Sun for me. Braxa . . . not so much.

2. Do not advance the timeline too far. Keep the events of 2E current. That article in Dragon that had advanced DS 100 or 1,000 years was just wrong.
Dark Sun was and is (in my opinion) the most imaginative, innovative, creative and unique campaign setting ever developed for the D&D game. I think it may be the most popular setting, after Forgotten Realms- at least judging from the number of threads that have been started in support of it. Whenever I see a thread like this, I always try to chime up in support of the setting, in the hope that it will be rereleased.

I honestly do think there is a good chance of this. The artwork for the Goliath race has a very Athasian flavor to it, and Warlocks with a "Dragon King" pact would work splendidly as Templars. The way that fighters exploits work in 4th edition would work excellently for exciting, brutal gladiatorial combats. And, as many have pointed out, Psionics looks like a good bet for inclusion in Players Handbook 3. In fact, almost everything about 4th edition D&D seems almost tailored to mesh with a setting like Dark Sun.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed ( and a little cash saved back ) for the revival of this awesome setting in 2010!
See, I believe similarly about FR fans, and yet they moan and gripe.

We've already had people say they better not include Tieflings with much consternation about how Defilers will be handled. The more details that are leaked about 4e Dark Sun, the more complaining we'll see.

Oh, im sure their will be complaints but if the elements are easily removable then they wont be reasonable complaints. ;)

After all, anyone can simply play pre-Spellplague Forgotten Realms using the 4th edition rule system. Just as anyone can use the original Boxed Set for the fluff rather with the 4e rule system.

I think its going to be much easier to run a traditional DS game by removing a few things than it is to run an old time line FR game with 4E. With FR there are so many organizations (paragon paths), monsters and NPCs that do not have the appropriate stats. It seems like a lot more work.

1. Brom. He has to do most of the art. It made Dark Sun for me. Braxa . . . not so much.

Lol. This is pretty much a universal sentiment among DS fans, Everyone loves Brom and Everyone hates Braxa.
I think the "classic" Dark Sun gladiator (Rikus, Neeva, etc.) will be probably be a paragon path.

If it is presented as a base class, then I think some kind of Striker is likely. Perhaps one of the special features setting gladiator apart will be proficiency with all weapons including superior weapons.
a dark sun release of any kind would be a victory, however i don't think it would be wise on what should or shouldn't be allowed so soon. attacking teiflings was the quickest way to turn me away with what i was initially on this band wagon. (i've read many of the darksun novels, and have the second box setting.) i think most players are going to have to understand there is going to have to be a similar retcon done to thier beloved dark sun "officially" to not alienate would be players. restrictions don't really envite anybody.
Since I'm old and my memory is failing me, I forgot about Dragon magazine which did a wonderful bit on... wait for it... gladiators. Dragon 368 did a whole long bit on gladiatorial combat, a gladiator PP, feats, fighting styles, weapons, etc. There's no question left in my mind what it'll be. Gladiators are already in 4E, they're a style and a PP, not a class.
Since I'm old and my memory is failing me, I forgot about Dragon magazine which did a wonderful bit on... wait for it... gladiators. Dragon 368 did a whole long bit on gladiatorial combat, a gladiator PP, feats, fighting styles, weapons, etc. There's no question left in my mind what it'll be. Gladiators are already in 4E, they're a style and a PP, not a class.

Style does not preclude class.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
Muls: +2 Str, +2 Con

Thrikreen: +2 Dex, +2 Con

Since Half-Giants on Athas are Large creatures, I suspect they will be monster entries only in the campaign setting book.