Dark Sun Conversion Rules Discussion
I’m restructuring my previous attempts at a 5E conversion.
- Start a discussion on how to convert the Dark Sun setting to 5th Edition
- Propose ideas to deal with various aspects especially Races, Classes and Psionics
- Improve ideas with feedback
- Combine ideas into a complete set of conversion rules (open source PDF’s)
This could eventually result in more:
- An Athas.org rules set with a semi-official Dark Sun status (including copyright / trademark content like Thri-Kreen)
- Updated versions based on feedback from WotC and gamers playtesting. Eventually resulting in an official setting.
Some parts focus mainly on mechanics (aka crunch) like the original Rule Book, while the other chapters focus more on the story and role-playing aspects (aka fluff) like the Wanderer’s Journal.
I intend to create rules that fit with 5E in a modular way, so each subset of rules can be combined with the regular rules or other modules. I may split each module into three parts, Quick Rules, Detailed Sections and Notes.
Chapter 1: Character Creation
This can be split into six parts:
- Ability Scores
- Race: Size
- Dark Sun setting bonus
- Race: Special Abilities
- Subrace (Origin)
- Background (Profession)
Chapter 2: Character Progression
Deconstructed classes: benefits in a point based system
Mixing classes: Main Class and Subclass
- Multiclassing and variants
- Conversion of old editions
First level: saves, skills and other proficiencies
- Psionic Power Points
- Ability Scores, Feats and Wild Talents
Starting level and Character Creation
High level characters and Advanced Beings
Chapter 3: Game Mechanics
Basic and Variant rules for Overland Travel, Fatigue and Hitpoints, Combat, Weapons, Armor and Encumbrance.
Chapter 4: Setting Conversion
- Races of Athas
- Classes and Society
- Tyr Region
Chapter 5: Magic and Psionics
- Revision of spell and power lists
- Arcane magic and Schools
- Divine magic and Domains
- Psionics and Disciplines
- Other magical abilities and feats
Chapter 6: Dungeon Master Guidance
- Campaign themes
- Adventures, Stories and Campaign hooks
- Rule variants and extra options for (house) rules
The first chapter, Character Creation, contains all steps before class selection. It rebalances all choices to a fixed total point value and includes a way to properly portray size.
This setup should result in balanced characters where players choose scores, race and background based on what they want to play. It should give options to optimize a character without encouraging min-maxing.
The second chapter rewrites character progression, combining the benefits of classes in 5E (with subclasses) with the flexibility of multiclassing in previous editions. This system integrates psionics in an elegant way. Any class, or elements of one, can be converted in an easy, flexible and balanced way. For magic users mixing classes no longer ruins the character (trading high caster levels for low mundane levels) and mundane characters can easily add some magic or psionics allowing them to stay relevant at high and epic levels.
Later chapters are still (or even more) a work in progress. Various expansions can be integrated and the setting can be improved a lot by including how various game mechanics reflect on the world. Often settings have a focus on a very limited number of extremely high power individuals among a huge irrelevant mundane mass. What if those masses where all at least medium level and psionics really common? Anything minor to typical DnD can still have a huge impact on society.