I’m not sure anyone else but me cares, but I’ve discovered that the various versions of “Eight Characteristics of Athas” from the 4e reboot are not identical. I’ve found three versions: Fury of the Wastewalker, Bloodsand Arena, and the Dark Sun Campaign Setting. That was the order they were published in, but from the look of the changes, the DSCS version came first, followed by FotWw, then BsA, with some fairly extensive editorial cleanup on the latter. I’d post the text files for you to do “diff” on them if I could, but I don’t see a way to here, so I’ll post a few images with the biggest changes:
Dark Sun Campaign Setting on the left, Fury of the Wastewalker on the right:
I find the change from “ageless” to “immortal” (or, possibly, vice-versa) interesting. Also note that they decided not to capitalize “is” and “are” in the headings.
Fury of the Wastewalker on the left, Bloodsand Arena on the right:
Here the editor changed “deep” to “ancient” red sun, possibly implying that Athas’ sun is a dying red giant.
There were a significant number of editorial changes in the BsA version; they’re essentially all improvements, leading me to conclude that this is the latest version. This is just a few of them.
The editor decided that it was not necessary to point out that slavery is a “vile institution.” Also “Is” and “Are” are (correctly) capitalized in headings again.
As I said above, it seems clear to me that the Bloodsand Arena text is the most recent. Luckily, that’s what I happened to use as a basis for the setting info in my own campaign. Is anyone aware of any other materials in which the Eight Characteristics of Athas appear?
If anyone wants to see the original text files, let me now; I’ll be happy to send them along.