5e D&D DS Homebrew

I’ve created a home brew Dark Sun 5e rule set. It’s minimalistic, and the races probably need a decent amount of tuning. Given that Wizards seems to have abandoned the mystic class, I think taking a different tactic - bringing Dark Sun to 5e instead of vice versa - is probably a better option. Along these lines, I’ve taken Sorcerer and created origins for it that make it into a mystic/psion class, starting with Psionic Casting at level one giving the class its iconic “hands free” manifesting. I’ve also created a Gladiator archetype for Fighter, to try and capture a warrior who is motivated by the audiences approval, and made several archetypes to turn the warlock into a templar, with each Sorcerer King being a different patron.

A big one IMHO are the archtypes for wizard. It’s really hard to have Dark Sun without having Preservers and Defilers.

Feedback, comments, and suggestions are welcome. It’s basically just a word document, so please forgive the lack of polish.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DNioRzfFpf-EIIv48Du0It3lgtMTU3oc/view?usp=sharing

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I like the idea of Psions being sorcerors of a fashion, and Templars being handled like Warlocks.
Are your clerics elemental?

Yes. I made Domains for each of the elements and paraelements. The classes are alphabetized, so they’re at the top of the document.

Did i miss Bards, or did you just fold them into Rogue?

I removed bards and paladins. There’s a note at the end of the document, but the kind of theme bards represent, and their use of magic, doesn’t fit Dark Sun very well. They also have never been part of the original setting. I considered making a Rogue archetype for the Athasian Bard, like the Fighter’s Gladiator archetype, but when I was looking over abilities for benchmarks, everything Athasian Bards had was already present in the Assassin Archetype’s 9th and 13th level features. Either take a tool proficiency with an instrument or Performance as a starting proficiencies, or take the Performer background, and you’ve got the complete package.

I am making a home brew 5e Athasian bard, but it won’t be part of this document. This document is focused on bringing Dark Sun to 5e, and making a new 20 level class is more along the lines of brining 5e to Dark Sun.

I do need add a Dune Trader Rogue archetype.

Removing paladins is reasonable. Removing Athasian Bards will probably be conceptually controversial but makes complete mechanical sense to me.

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I don’t see a good way to make the base bard an Athasian bard with a Bard archetype, and it’d take more than an archetype to make the rogue an Athasian bard. I’m not terribly thrilled about it myself - hence the class I’m building - but when the entire core concept of the Athasian Bard is entirely encapsulated in an Assassin Rogue, it’s really hard to justify anything less extensive. It’d be largely redundant.

No, forget Bard, i think Bards as Rouges is fine. Honestly, I’ve never looked into it deeply, but Trader seems like it should fold into Rogue nicely as well.

I agree. I think features that involve organizations would be good for at least a few levels. I’ll have to read over organization’s rules and brain storm some ideas.

I really like a lot of what I’ve read of your work. Good Job!

About other comments, I feel that bards could just be a slight variant or a subclass of rogues. I don’t feel they really warrant an entirely new class. Finally, while most people go with warlocks as templars, I will go out on a limb here and say that I think that, while conceptually paladins don’t make sense in Dark Sun, mechanically 5e paladins with certain oaths (conquest and oathbreaker in particular) are also great templars.

I’m just not sure what a bard sub-class of rogue would look like that’s not almost identical to what the Assassin archetype offers. It has proficiency with poison kits, the ability to set up cover identities, the ability to mimic others - everything an infiltrator needs to get where they shouldn’t be without arousing too much suspicion. But that doesn’t leave room for bard things.

I’m OK with just giving bards the axe and pointing at the assassin, but I know people who like having an Athasian Bard. I built the class and posted it in another thread, if you want to take a look, but it departs from the design philosophy of this document, so I kept it separate.

The Paladin framework could work for a type of Templar. But I think the framework would be better converted to a Psychic Warrior. Replace Oaths with Meditations representing mental training, give them different spells/powers, and change out or re-package some of the less appropriate class features, and you have a solid mental warrior. Since they don’t get high-level spells, converting their spell casting to power points and psionics is very easy. From a design perspective, like the Athasian Bard, this falls more into the “bringing 5e to Dark Sun” instead of “bringing Dark Sun to 5e”. At that stage, I’d just design a 20-level Templar class, repackaging Sorcerer as a Divine caster, and making a Psion class that mashes together Sorcerer, with something like a Warlock’s Mystic Arcanum for high-level spells.

That being said, I originally considered changing the Templar’s archetypes from Patrons to Temples, and having the Temples revolve around a role instead of a specific Sorcerer King - Necromants, Inquisitors, Priests, and Champions, with Champions receiving the Paladin-esk features and spells that Tectuktitlay’s Templar ended up with. I ultimately decided to focus on Sorcerer Kings and Patrons because it’s closer to the original 5e Warlock concept.

I made Athasian Bard a rogue subclass for my game. Keeping it a base class and replacing spell casting with other abilities is wasted effort IMO.

Nice! What features did you end up giving your subclass?

The Athasian Bard I made (in a different thread) is a half caster, with abilities keeping it up to par, but not with the same flexibility, as a full caster. It also let me convert the class over to psionics easily, which is an improvement for a Dark Sun campaign IMHO.

I gave it a blend of bard/assassin abilities.

Here’s a link to it if you’re interested in the specifics.

It’s a good archetype, overall. I think the disconnect I’m running into is that I really liked the Athas.org 3.5 bard’s class features related to poisons. The expanded poison system you created is great, but it’s not really tied to your Athasian Bard archetype. Instead, it’s something anyone who can get proficiency with a poisoner kit can use. I like that a great deal, but it feels like it’s missing the flavor from the Athas.org version.It could also use the infiltration features that Assassin gets at 9th and 13th levels, but moved around.

What do you think about this:
3rd - Bonus prof with Poisoner Kit, Disguise Kit, and either Performance or One Musical Instrument
3rd - Infiltration Expertise (per Assassin)
9th - Expert Poisoner: Instead of the listed save DC for a poison you apply, you may substitute 8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus, if it is higher. You have advantage on skill checks and ability checks to harvest poisons and brew them.
13th - Impostor (per Assassin)
17th - Master Poisoner - Your poisons treat immunity to poison as resistance to poison, and creatures you effect with a poison suffer disadvantage to any saving throws they make to resist the affects of that poison. You create twice as many doses of poison when you brew poisons, and receive twice as many ingredients when you purchase them.

What do you think?

Also, what program did you use to make your document? It has a great look.

Thanks :slightly_smiling_face:

I hear you on the poison, but I’m in the camp that anyone should be able to make it and that bard’s are just better at it.

Good suggestions for abilities, but think I’m sticking with what I’ve got for now. I tried to stick with the build themes of the other rogue archtypes. My goal was to keep bard and assassin subclasses distinct from each other. In my mind there’s a place for both in DS.

GMbinder has a program to format content as well as Homebrewery.

Heres a link https://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/

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Thanks for the link!

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Also, do you mind if I link your document in my material? With appropriate credit.

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Absolutely! Don’t mind at all :+1:

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You don’t need a 1:1 mapping of classes, you need to hit all the character tropes.

I feel like the 2e DS Bard was necessary because of the 2e Thief class. 3e switching to Rogue makes a DS Bard less necessary.

I feel like there might be room for Paladins and Warlocks being templars. As much as 4e is sometimes reviled, i really liked their use/addition of Character Themes. The idea that a Psion, Defiler, Rogue and Fighter could all map to be different kinds of Templars went really well with DS in my opinion (in 3e: Moon Priest, Royal Defiler, Kuotagha, and Templar Knight prestige classes).

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