Dark Sun Reconstruction Project


I’ve been really enjoying this conversion, since Dark Sun is one of the more unique takes on a fantasy world.

Unfortunately I can’t offer critiques on rules or anything but I’ve always enjoyed lore and setting. Regarding Dark Sun, I thought it had a copper piece equivalent in the form of lead beads? I remember seeing that in some Dark Sun stuff I thought.

And looking at the abbreviation you use for ceramic pieces, cp, I think a possible issue there might be that people might inadvertantly confuse ceramic pieces with copper pieces. I’ve seen some Dark Sun conversions use Cp instead of cp to differentiate the two.

Finally, looking at the weapons page, wouldn’t something like “longsword” or “shortsword” be more generally replaced by macuahuitl? They sound a little too normal compared to other Athasian weapons. And I thought the greatsword equivalent in Athas was the halfling sword which is a two handed big macuahuitl?

(Mr Eco) #11

As far as I know, only 3.5 presented Athas with the “equivalent” of copper pieces in the form of lead beads. In no other edition have I noticed such a, weird IMO, currency.

The 2nd edition setting, as well as Dragon’s 3e take abbreviate ceramic pieces as cp (4e did away with the original currency). While new players might get confused of this with copper pieces, I believe any Dark Sun fan would tell the difference. Additionally, copper is not used as currency (you have gold, silver, ceramic, and bits). What you’ve probably seen is 3.5e and Gabriel’s 5e iteration, where Cp is used, instead.

Longswords and shortswords in PHB, and subsequently in my Money and Equipment of Athas, are actually generic terms for swords of any type, shape, and weight that fit their range. Historically, the above terms are ambiguous; I haven’t included any of the “specialized” swords for the sake of convenience, and in accordance to 5e’s simplicity. A macuahuitl is a type of sword tied to a specific culture, in our case the city-state of Draj. You could easily call all the swords that the Draji warriors carry around macuahuitl, but use the stats for longswords. Likewise, the elven tribes craft and use long/shortswords but they would call them elfblades or, in their language, uta.

Bear in mind that I’ve substituted some PHB with athasian counterparts. Carrikal, for instance, fits the role of a battleaxe perfectly, Datchi club is actually a greatclub, and the dreaded Impaler resembles a war pick.

Thanks for your comment, I’d appreciate more feedback!


You’re welcome!

I’ve always enjoyed Dark Sun for just how different it is compared to most other D&D settings, in shaking up the faux-medieval/early Renaissance without firearms that many earlier D&D settings like Forgotten Realms did. That’s what made Eberron interesting to me as well.

I have sometimes heard claims that an issue with Dark Sun is that due to its particular themes that that can limit some campaign adventures or ideas. Do you feel that may be the case or nah?

For Dark Sun, if bits are copper piece equivalents, and ceramic pieces are silver piece equivalents, with silver being the gold equivalent and gold being the platinum equivalent, would that make Dark Sun’s economy more akin to a silver standard instead of gold standard setting (if we compare silver versus gold standards for various settings)?

Since you mentioned you felt lead beads were a strange equivalent for copper pieces, if you were going to use another material to be an equivalent to copper pieces, but keep all the other stuff the same but just bumped up one to be like bits at silver and ceramic at gold, what would you have used instead of lead beads to be equivalent to copper pieces?

As for weapons, I imagine most of the generic weapons are easier to break than the specifically Athasian-named weapons? I understand that was the case in earlier DS stuff, both official & unofficial, I think.

As for armor, since braxat plate is the equivalent of plate armor in the DS campaign setting, would metal plate armor have like an even higher armor class or something?

(Roland Bernier) #13

Hello. I’m new to this site so I will have to get some time to get used to the tools and text formatting …

Im a gm at Dark sun 5 edition.

Here is a templar player class I started, based on the second edition books mainly. I used the 5 edition cleric to compare. (It stated in the second edition that templar get less spells at lower level, but due to the sorcerer-kings library they have access, they get more spells at high levels).

Templar class for Dark Sun Dungeons & Dragons 5 edition

Class : Templar
hit dice : 1D8(or 5) / level
level 1 : 8 + constitution bonus


wisdom : 9
intelligence : 10


skills : choose 2 from :

Athletic (str)
Insight (wis)
Perception (wis)
Intimidation (cha)
Religion (int)
Somatic concealment (dex)

Weapons profiencies

simple weapons
martial weapons

Armor proficiencies


All spheres (cosmos + elemental)

(got to format this …)
Templar level cantrips 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2 2 2
3 2 3 1
4 2 4 2
5 3 4 3
6 3 4 3 1
7 3 4 3 2
8 3 4 3 3
9 3 4 3 3 1
10 3 4 3 3 2
11 3 4 3 3 2 1
12 4 4 3 3 2 1
13 4 4 3 3 2 2 1
14 5 4 3 3 2 2 1
15 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
16 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19 5 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
20 5 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2


  • Power over undead (control or destroy)
  • Call upon a slave to do whatever he wants
  • Pass judgement upon a slave at any time

level 2 : Enter legally into a freeman house
level 3 : Requisitionnate soldiers : 1d4 / level (1 level 2 centurian and others level 1 templar)
level 4 : Accuse a freeman of disloyalty
level 5 : gain access to all areas in palaces and temples
level 6 : Draw upon the city treasury for official investigations
Create scrolls
level 7 : pass judgement on a freeman (1 time / week)
level 8 : Create potions
level 10 : can accuse a noble
level 15 : pass judgement on a noble (1 time / week)
level 17 : grant pardon to any condemned man (1 time / week)

Tell me what you think. I know Im missing perhaps some things, but its a start …

(Roland Bernier) #14

I began to convert the sorcerer-kings to 5th edition

I based this on the wizard of the coast Conversions to 5th edition D&D guide and my second edition knowledge and fourth edition stats of the sorcerer-kings in the Dark Sun Creature Catalog

(its a work in progress and only basic stats are there)

I compared to the Out of the Abyss book with Demogorgon stats and I find that Dregoth or Borys could challenge Demogorgon so far…

Level : 20 Dragon
HP : 448
Armor class : 19
Con : 26
Dex : 20
speed : 15 on ground

Level : 20 undead dragon (dracolich ?)
HP : 492
Armor class : 22
Con : 20
Speed : 18 flying

Magic resist : Dregoth got advantage for saving throws vs spells and others magical effects

Borys (Dragon de Tyr)
Level : 22 Dragon
HP : 662
Armor class : 22
Con : 30
Speed : 45 Flying

Magic resist : Borys got advantage for saving throws vs spells and others magical effects

(Mr Eco) #15

Your take is interesting Roland, even though I admit that I haven’t worked on templars or the sorcerer-kings for the simple fact that 1. Templars make for inconvenient PCs, and 2. I never had plans for the PCs to confront any of the sorcerer-kings, so no need to convert them.

Many have stated that templars would be fine as reflavoured warlocks, to differentiate them from the elemental clerics. That said, they could be tailored for NPCs - villains or allies.

A few notes:

  1. Ability score requirements are not necessary. Obviously, a templar character would place its best scores at Int and Wis.
  2. What you’ve presented here is a new class, not a reflavoured one, which I like.
  3. Its traits are bit weird; while they copy the powers from 2e templars, they might feel underpowered in 5e. Unless you can work out social rules, like entering one’s house or accusing others of crimes and/or passing judgements, I can see little effect on gameplay.

Thanks for your time and effort posting your ideas!

(Mr Eco) #16

It all comes down to gaming group preferences, I should say. If yours fancies dungeon crawling, go ahead and have fun crawling into ancient ruins of dangerous secrets! If you’d rather play urban settings, the city-states teem with any kind of adventure ideas - murder mysteries that the templars want to investigate or cover up, the Veiled Alliance trying to thwart the sorcerer-kings’ plans etc. And if you’re into epic adventures, well, the official modules offer this kind of epicness - kill the sorcerer-kings and the dragon of Tyr (among others)! But yea, DS does discourage the usual sort of themes common in other worlds. That was also one of the reasons it stood apart from the rest of the settings.

Actually, gold and silver are the same as in other D&D worlds. If you took an Athasian gold piece, it’d have the same value in the Dalelands or Karameikos (more or less). The thing here is that the standard currency in Athas is the ceramic piece, which is supposedly the equivalent of gold piece, but only to make things easier to translate to. A leatherworker in Baldur’s Gate might earn 2 gp per day; Accordingly, a leatherworker in Raam would earn 2 cp per day. But if you take ceramic pieces outside of Athas, they become useless. Same with Dragonlance: the steel coins are equivalent to gold coins, but they have no value outside of Krynn. What I would say is, treat ceramic pieces as copper, so you could have an easier comparison of economies throughout D&D worlds. Yes, that makes Athas a dirt poor world, with cheap goods, for the common folk. Upper classes would still use silver and gold pieces for their transactions.

About weapons, no such thing was stated; there was instead a rule about certain weapons bearing tiny portions of metal that were easily replaceable, thus keeping their price at minimum. From Revised’s Age of Heroes, pg 54: “Obsidian, bone, and wood weapons are prone to breaking.” Obsidian also meant stone, so the rule encompassed all kinds of weapons. Which is weird, given the wooden weapons made in other worlds never broke (at least, according to core rules).

As for armour, it is stated that types of armour heavier that scale mail must be made with metal components (like chainmail, breastplate, plate etc., Age of Heroes pg 57). That meant half of medium and all heavy would have their price sky-rocketed. I felt it somewhat unfair, given the character types who rely on heavy armour (i.e. fighters) would never get the chance to wear them. There were also descriptions of monsters whose scales, chitins, and bones could be used to fashion armour equivalent to these types. I believe though that these armour types should be rare, due to the creature components being rare themselves, and there’s also the Bulky rule, which makes them highly impractical during daytime.

Thanks for your remarks wellis, I’ll note these down for upcoming updates.

(Roland Bernier) #17


I know I got some work to do.

For the roleplay part, one of my player is a templar. All players are evil aligned (loyal to neutral). Its interesting for a templar to have thoses powers given by their sorcerer kings. There should be others powers also.

In my story, the templar player did an accusation on a guy gambling in a tavern. (prohibited in the city -state of Nibenay).
He got the guy send to the slave pit by his superior and that accusated man is now a slave gladiator…

I like templar to be power hungry like Tithian in the pentalogy of Dark sun Novels and this player like his role too.

Templars have specials spells too, given by their sorcerer-kings. I have to convert them also.

Its a begining. Thanks for your feedbacks


I love your work so far. I will be incorporating a lot of it into my next campaign. Thank you for your hard work!

(Mr Eco) #19

Somehow, I can’t edit my initial post here, hence my reply.
I’ve uploaded the pdf files on Dropbox, where you can download them:
Athasian Bard
Athasian Fighter: The Strategist
Athasian Gladiator
Money and Equipment of Athas
Races of Athas
When I have more stuff to show, I surely will post again. Till then, enjoy!

(Mr Eco) #20

It’s been some time, and I’ve been having some hectic months, but here it is: My take on Wizards of Athas, or better, the practitioners of arcane magic on Athas. You are more than welcome to comment and post your feedback.

Starting off, I’ve gone my usual route of presenting three viable options, to cater for most players. You shall find rules about defiling magic, defilers and preservers as arcane traditions, and as separate classes. I’ve left clerical (or primal) magic out of this paper, due to time restraints. What is also missing is the way for a preserver to turn into defiler, and vice versa. Lastly, what I haven’t included, because I assumed as given (my bad), is that cantrips are too minor spells to affect the ecosystem, thus they neither defile the land nor can they be the subject of defiling magic. I don’t have any plans for introducing the paths to dragon/avangion metamorphosis, as well as the other forms of energy drawing, apart from the Gray. As you can consequently tell, this work is bit unfinished; consider it the first draft of Athasian magic reconstruction.

As always, I design my iterations with 2e in mind. So, no other arcane casters, except wizards, even though the first option can be incorporated in any setting that features wastelands and areas with differing levels of vegetation.

So, option #1 includes rules for defiling under two circumstances, in a similar vein to what Defilers and Preservers introduced: when preparing spells and when casting spells. This option is pretty much self-explanatory, and is the only one that presents some risk when defiling. For the two other options, I’ve opted a more simplified method, as defiling is deeply ingrained in the (sub)class’s power. This option might be the most popular, especially for non-Dark Sun campaigns.

Option #2 deals with what I would consider the most preferred way of playing, the arcane traditions of defiler and preserver. As Athasian wizards do not specialise in schools of magic (only the Original setting contradicts that), they instead follow one of the two available paths from the Threefold Path, the third one being the middle way that both defilers and preservers utilise. Borrowing from the original arcane traditions (how unoriginal), it was actually a simple process. I also made them more focused on respective magic schools (conjuration and necromancy for defilers, aburation and divination for preservers).

Note of worth: in a Dark Sun campaign, it is recommended that characters start at 2nd-level, as the inhospitable wastelands and their hazardous denizens will be overwhelming to total newbies. My reconstruction project is designed under this notion.

Option #3 is the closest to 2e feel, but was also the most troublesome. Due to lack of available resources, I had to improvise and use my imagination, with a little bit of inspiration from the various editions, as well as homebrewed sources, to work on the two classes. As mentioned, the defiler and the preserver are actually reworked sorcerer and wizard, respectively. In fact, the whole defiling concept was inspired from the sorcerer’s font of magic feature. For the dragon path, I borrowed from the dragonborn race and the sorcerer origin. Likewise, the avangion path borrows many features from the paladin class, and also bears a modified channel divinity feature. The necromancer path is similar to the necromancer arcane tradition, and the restorationist path looks like a cleric/lore master breed.

Homebrewery works best with Chrome. I’ve also included a Dropbox pdf file, in case you’re not fond of Chrome.

(Alexandre Gilbert) #21

Hello zontoxira.

I’ve downloaded all the files you’ve made available so far and intend on looking them over in the future (Read: I’m a father of a 15-mth old baby girl… won’t be immediately, so expect it to be SOME time in the future, not like this evening or tomorrow :wink: ).

That being said, if you are still working on this project and accepting feedback, I might be happy to provide some comments.

Only thing I can say at this point from the very quick perusing I’ve done is that Humans getting a +1 to all ability scores – even though they otherwise don’t get much in terms of benefits – seems to be… a little unbalanced. I’d be curious to hear the rationale that went behind such a change, if you’re open to discussing?

Either way, thanks for all the work you’ve done so far! Looks excellent.

(Mr Eco) #22

Hi Alex, thanks for taking an interest in my work. Any feedback is welcome, at any time. My warm wishes to your newborn as well :slight_smile:
As for humans, this is the standard trait they receive from 5e’s Player’s Handbook. I’ve also reflavoured the variant human with mutations (cosmetic only). Do you find it over- or under-powered?
Make sure you use my Dropbox links, in case you don’t fancy Homebrewery and/or Chrome.

(Alexandre Gilbert) #23

embarassed face palm Well… I’ve demonstrated how little I know 5th edition, haven’t I? Fairly new to it, was always a AD&D 2nd Edition before. :slight_smile:

I’ve looked at the variant and do like the concept a lot; I also find it balances well with the other races.

I have lots of reading left to do but am thoroughly enjoying the material so far. Thank you for making this available at large!


Zontoxira, how are you wanting to tackle elemental priests? I’ve been doing a lot of research into them and have come up with the following rough guidelines on how they could be handled.

The class would be based on the cleric just to keep things simple, with an elemental domain provided for each element.

The domains would be mostly structured using existing rules from 5e books, but with some minor flavor tweaks introduced.

To start with, I would re-use the following existing domains as a basis for each element.

Forge = Earth
Life = Water
Tempest = Air
Light = Fire

Since my current group only has an earth cleric, I’ll start with the changes I made to that domain.

The Forge domain spells were tweaked a bit to give a more earthy feel. Searing smite was replaced with earth tremor, heat metal replaced with spike growth, wall of fire replaced with stone shape.

Domain abilities were mostly fine as is, but I changed Soul of the Forge, Divine Strike and Saint of Forge and Fire to affect bludgeoning damage rather than fire damage.

(Mr Eco) #25

I’d say go for it! What I’ve been (sluggishly) working on for the past month or so is a somewhat radical take on the priest classes (namely, clerics, druids and templars). Hopefully, I’ll have it ready (but not playtested) before the turn of the year.

Your version might be more acceptable and, since you have people to playtest, balanced out, so you should definitely work on that.

(Mr Eco) #26

My busy months always have time to interfere with my project, but I have managed to complete this: My take on Priests of Athas, all those who claim an elemental patron, nature itself, or the sorcerer-kings/queens of the Tablelands as their source for primal magic. As always, you are more than welcome to comment and post your feedback.

What this file contains is meatier than the rest of my work: 30 pages of classes, spells, and creatures for you to peruse. I’ve been working on this for a couple months now, and hoped to have it ready by December, but oh well, better late than never. Of the three “priest” classes presented here, only the templar has not been playtested - it might look unbalanced, despite my best efforts, however I make it clear that templars are intended as villainous option, so that DMs can use them at their discretion.

While I’ve designed most of this project with 2e in mind, I’ve borrowed enough from 4e’s take on Dark Sun. To group clerics, druids, and templars into one category, I used the term primal magic to refer to magical abilities that are drawn from the elementals and not from nature itself (as is the case with arcane magic).

Note of worth: At the time of writing this, XGE wasn’t out yet, so I didn’t have access to the new spells and consequently, haven’t included them. When time allows it, I’ll have a better look at them.

So, clerics are a modified reflavoured warlock. This fits neatly since in almost all 2e books about clerics of Athas, we get references of elemental patrons. That, coupled with the restricted list of spells they had, gave me the idea to remodel the warlock class into something more… primal. Elemental clerics choose one Elemental Patron from amongst the four core: Air, Earth, Fire, or Water. I decided not to include paraelementals (Magma, Rain, Silt, Sun), because I wanted to keep things simple. That said, it’s not difficult to design a patron based on the four paraelementals.

Druids have been adapted to Dark Sun setting, but they are mostly unchanged. Instead of Druidic Circles, we now have Druidic Paths, due to druids going nearly extinct and their circles shattered. The wild, shape-changing Path of the Moon has been dropped in favour of the Beast, which is actually the Shepherd refluffed to look more like totemic, spiritualist druid. For the table of expanded spell lists, credits go to azlath’s magnificent post.

Templars are heavily modified paladins. I’ve chosen this route for a few reasons:

  1. Templars are fierce loyalists and devout followers of a certain sorcerer-king/queen (deity).
  2. Templars begin spellcasting at 2nd level.
  3. I once read someone suggesting using a paladin template to build the templar class and found it inspiring.

Since there was no option for paladins as a class on Athas, characters who would enjoy playing a holy warrior, sworn to uphold his or her monarch’s tenets could opt for a templar. To add to the bureaucratic nature of this class, I’ve replaced the Oaths with Devotions, merely different departments of the templar hierarchy: War deals with guard duty, patrols, enforcing law and order, and commanding armies. Clergy deals with administration, taxes, law-making, ceremonies and customs. Sorcery deals with diplomatic matters, policies, and espionage.

What follows after the classes is a list of new (actually, modified) spells suited for Dark Sun, and a few beasts the druid can shapechange into. What is not included are spells that needed alteration due to different conditions on Athas, like create food and water or control weather. I will update the document when I have enough material to include them.

Homebrewery works best with Chrome. I’ve also included a Google Drive pdf file, in case you’re not fond of Chrome. You can find all of my material (updated, as of today 10/01/18) in my Dark Sun 5e Google Drive folder.

Due to my busy schedule, I might not be able to continue my DSRP. I have drafts of social ranking (and backgrounds) on Athas and an alternate take of gladiator (a reskinned barbarian) left to be completed, but eventually I’ll get to them.

(Richie Castle) #27

These are incredible. They are on the level of a professionally done sourcebook. If you placed these in front of me and told me it was unearthed arcana, I would not be able to tell the difference.

I’m considering running my own 5e version of Dark Sun, and feel like this would be an excellent piece of work. I can help by playtesting, crunching numbers, research, or writing a separate feature.

Examples: warrior path for specific races, building a larger bestiary, defiling rules.

Please let me know.

(Mr Eco) #28

Thanks mate, I’m trying my best to deliver as highly polished a material as possible. That of course takes some time, even more so when it goes through some playtesting.

Please do that, it’d be awesome to hear a different perspective. My like-minded group occasionally has its opinions skewed in favour of whatever my intentions are for each project, and that might affect the game.

(Richie Castle) #29

My first issue I’ve run into is a proper monster pool. I try to reskin monsters that already exist in the monster manual and volo’s guide. I wrote an almost identical Baazrag entry, the key being that pack tactics differs them from other animals. As far as the races, I planned to use the basic monsters in the appendix for humans, like bandits.

The second part was how to make psionics integrate into the setting. For monsters, I was going to use spells without components. The unearthed arcana for the psion class was helpful, but I don’t have a framework for making psionics feel distinct from magic, similar to how each spell caster feels distinct in some way despite all being arcane.

I will reply later with some crunch on what I worked from my end.