How have you customized the setting, and what homebrew materials have you created?

(Sebastian Grove) #1

One thing I love about Dark Sun is how there’s not one definitive version, and so there is space in the various published versions to expand upon the setting and take it in the direction you want to emphasize.

I’ve also been wondrously inspired by some of the ideas on these boards, and have developed them massively in my own iteration of the setting. I’d love to hear more homebrew ideas.

To kick things off – I really resonated ,with hints of at least quasi science fiction concepts in the 2e box set and its discussion of the halfling lifeshapers. I decided to combine Athas with the Star Drive universe, and make the progenitor aliens of that Alternity setting the source of lifeshaping, naturebending, defiling, and preserving magic. The halflings were servants of the fraal, who were themselves emissaries of the mysterious Glassmakers.

I also adopted the Violet Dawn 3pp. setting from 3e as the equivalent of the Dawn Cataclysm from 4e. In this setting, the gods all die in a massive war, destroyed by the creator deity, who then goes to sleep or leaves. This entity leaves a race of chaos beings known as xxyth behind, birthed from his nightmares, that work well aesthetically with Athas.

I also made my own maps of a lot of the city-states and added more real-world influences. For example, Yaramuke is based on Angkor Wat and ancient Khmer culture, and includes a criminal organization like the Hong Kong triad.

Tyr is built around a deep lake, and Kalak’s pyramid is a levitating monument, something like a Gould ship from Stargate, which hangs from a sky elevator – something like zalem from Alita Battle Angel. There is a cult dedicated to the xxyth that exists under the city.

I have over 50 pages of notes on my ideas, as it’s grown really complex. I’ve also fleshed out the wider Athasian cosmology with Arcana Evolved, Alternity, Athera, and the Amethyst campaign settings.

Love to hear some other homebrew ideas!

(Zeque) #2

I have been running only published adventures. Freedom!, Road to Urik, Arcane Shadows, Asticlian Gambit and now Dragon’s Crown.
I’m using 2e resources as basis. I cut off late material like halfling life shaping thing or revised box.
So far I used late edition information on planes for the cleric who when on a mission for his elemental lord.
I added, as a not so random encounter, one of the dungeons in kobold press’ book of lairs. There is one desert dungeon I used as an old ruin in the sand wasted. Also added many desert monsters from Tome of Beasts from kobold press too.


I’ve been running DS games since the early 90s so I have quite a bit scattered around but it’s mostly with timelines, locations, and adventures.

  • A cured Black Waters that was resettled, then taken over by Seilba and her twin Ceilbia
  • Dregoth returned as a living dragon and rebuilding a surface city on the coast via called Tyr Storms
  • An Invasion from across the Sea of Silt over Dregoth’s messing with the elemental powers (Adapted from one of the Githyanki invasion adventures in one of the magazines)
  • Druids rebuilding their power base
  • Former champions attempting to return to the Tablelands now that Borys is dead
  • Return of Borys as a Wraith who’s taken over a half elf body
  • Return of Abalach-Re in the body of a descendant child
  • Return of Sacha of Arla in a full body looking for Rajaat
  • A formative “Avangion Council” looking to replace the SMs when they get enough power
  • Dozens of cities/towns scattered about beyond the Tyr region. Since discovering DS I’ve only run a couple small campaigns outside of Athas.
  • Rajaat’s plans are still in motion, everything is still marching toward the return of the Blue Age

My campaigns all sort of live in the same world, even if it’s with different groups, it started in the Age of Sorcerer Kings (Brown Age) and moved into the Decade of Heroism, has had adventures that helped understand the Cleansing Wars (Red Age) and the Green Age, and now is firmly in the Age of Chaos.

(Brent Welborn) #4

My changes seem tiny compared to others.

  • I added a Yuan-Ti culture and hidden settlements for them.

  • I added some monsters, but they don’t change the setting much.

  • I added some artifacts and locations that have to do with the Cleansing Wars.

  • Perhaps the largest change I made was deciding that the Elemental Planes are at open war. Sun, Magma, and Silt are actively trying to destroy Air, Earth, Fire, Rain, and Water.

(nijineko prismaticpsion) #5

My concepts focus on a few points that I consider the main themes of Dark Sun: post apocalyptic, psionics, anti magic, survival, lost civilizations, and isolation.

Post Apocalyptic: this is after the apocalypse, which is not only a change in and of itself, but the aftershocks continue to ripple driving further change. Changes in behavior are common, for example, in the face of a disaster, animals will flee… and not just flee, but actually cooperate in fleeing. Small animals will ride on big animals, carnivores and herbivores side by side, and so forth. How would a world apocalypse change behavior patterns?

Psionics: one of the big changes is Psionics. Everything is supposed to be psionic. People. Animals. Plants. Life should focus around Psionics. In fact, Psionics should be different, unique, yet common. Not at all like magic… speaking of which…

Anti magic: almost everyone hates magic. Magic is bad, magic is wrong, magic is evil. Anyone wko uses magic is almost guaranteed to be bad-wrong-evil. And even if they aren’t yet, they soon will be because magic corrupts. The storyline and plot is practically a case example of this. Magic should be rare and exceptional. It should be a sourcebook, not core.

Survival: this is the apocalypse, even after hundreds of years it’s still the apocalypse. Life is hard, supplies are expensive, food rations, water, and weight matters. A lot of survival is going to revolve around water, how to get it, and how to keep it. Animal and plant behaviors would change in order to optimize survival, not to mention humanoids.

Lost civilizations: Earth is the same, though not many really contemplate the fact, but Athas really brings home the idea that everyone is living in a graveyard.

Isolation: another first… what happens if all the “gods” disappear. Were they really true gods then, or something else? Where did they go, why, and who benefits from it? Who has the power to make “gods” disappear?
Who is the being behind the curtain, the hand pulling the strings? Who would want to cut a world off from everything? Who locked the crystal sphere of Athas? What are they trying to hide? Does Athas hold a great secret worth hiding? Or were they trying to hide Athas from something, or someone, else?
Who would want to destroy… everything? There are only two canon candidates…