Still going through my RPG resources, finding good additions to Dark Sun campaigns. Here’s my newest round of ideas…
City of Strangers- by Paizo. Most the material in this book is wild, awesome and unsuitable to Athas. While elements could be adapted and altered, but if you are interested in playing in Kaer Maga, it makes a lot more sense to just play in Kaer Maga. The Godsmouth Heresy is a cool module. Excellent example of how to make an exciting adventure at level one.
There is one fascinating exception. The bloat mages. It’s a prestige class available to wizards and sorcerers. It’s an alternate way to power your magic. You use your own blood to power spells. The possibility of this existing in Dark Sun is a fascinating one. Arcane magic has always depended on drawing power from life in Athas. Would this be a good system to implement? Burning through your own blood supply to power magic?
Inner Sea Codex- Of the monsters in this tome, there are two of particular note.
Minotaurs- I mention them because they are a chimerical creature. Athas doesn’t have cattle or bulls. So minotaurs would need another animal head. I tend to think mekillot. They aren’t known for charging quickly though. Functionally, I would suggest a minotaur as a singular encounter, rather than a fully functional race. I am of the mind that keeping the races of the setting to a minimum helps emphasize the brutality of the Cleansing Wars…
Girtablilu- These are basically centaurs, but their lower halves are scorpion bodies, complete with pinchers and stinger laden tails. Looking at the history of Athas, we know there used to be centaurs and wemics, so the idea of these half scorpions is not out of place. One would have to question why Rajaat didn’t have a champion to kill them too.
What does draw my attention especially, is their culture. They guard ancient desert ruins, protecting them from outsiders. They do this mostly out of a sense of guardianship and territoriality. This can easily be shifted to something else, like an oasis. Girtablilu can be depicted as more hostile, or more reasonable, allowing outsiders to access their charge under supervision.
That element does make me wonder, could they have been made later by sorcerer monarchs?
Cyclops- In the Pathfinder universe, the cyclops are the remnants of a fallen empire. They are now degenerate and barbaric. While there is much that wouldn’t gel with Dark Sun lore, it does bring a question to mind. What culture did the giants have prior to the fall? Did they have kingdoms? Where did the beast head giants come from? At any rate, if you want to depict the giants as once having a civilization, the pathfinder treatment of cyclops in this and other books is excellent.
Derro- Makes no sense in Dark Sun. However, I just wanted to mention them because I love this version of Derro. Dero. Tero. Whoot.