I say make one last piece of canon which brings back ALL the Sorcerer Monarchs except Kalak (F that guy!) Let’s tie up most of the stupid plot arcs introduced after the Cerulean Storm, and restore some of the fun of the early setting.
Oh, and give us stats for everybody. Let some godkiller PC’s go toe to toe with Rajaat if they want to. Might teach them some humility.
In my opinion, returning the dead Sorcerer Monarch’s locks PCs into the metaplot of the novels without even getting to participate in them. I think a better solution would be to plot out an adventure path that puts the PCs at the centre of a modified Prism Pentad narrative. In this narrative Rajaat does not make an appearance.
The heroes of Tyr go looking for the missing king of Tyr. Tithian is the villain and he has imprisoned the heroes of Tyr within the Dark Les (Rikus, Agis, Neeva and Sadira). The PCs go looking for the missing heroes and King, following their path towards the Sea of Silt and discovering that Tithian has found the Dark Lens and returned to Tyr. In Tyr, Tithian uses the ziggurat infrastructure that Kalak left behind to attempt to become a Sorcerer King, with the added advantage of the Dark Lens. Its up to the PCs to stop Tithian from draining everyone in the arena (now a market) where Tithian has declared a day of free food and wine in the market for the former slaves of Tyr for Emancipation Day.
I think any SM just popping back onto the scene in their home CS and being in charge like nothing happened would generally be boring, yeah.
But if done with interesting plot twists, and having to fight back into power (like the above w/ Tithian), then it could be cool.
I think “not locking the PCs into the PP metaplot” is bull. If a person doesn’t like PP metaplot, whatever, don’t use it. But if its just part of the campaign background (because you start in FY 10+ or something), then you haven’t robbed (my words, not yours) the PC’s of being able to participate any more than with the Cleansing Wars or any other plot point.
Certainly they could have written more Freedom-like adventures, allowing characters to directly participate in those pivotal event. Not doing that was just a waste.
My thing is that people should have various options, rather than be locked into a particular Dark Sun theme. Someone that started a Dark Sun campaign in 1991 would have been very surprised about how the Prism Pentad ended in 1993. Sure, the DM and the players don’t have to go along with it, but may they feel obligated to do so despite themselves.
The 1991 Dark Sun campaign is a very different beast from the 1995 campaign towards the end of the Dark Sun product line. What I am saying is that the various ‘Dark Suns’ should have equal standing. That did not happen in 3E Dark Sun. It was Free Year 10 or the highway. You can say that people had the option of starting their campaign any year they wanted, but as far as athas dot org is concerned, that option was not supported at all. It needlessly split the Dark Sun community.
4E was a different beast altogether (which caused another split in the community, although not only the DS community). Although the setting was reset to the period after Kalak’s assassination, the cosmology was revised to fit into the 4E standard. Inexplicably, half-giants disappeared, replaced with goliaths. Templars were warlocks, instead of clerics. It turns out that there are a lot of people that like warlocks as templars - of which I am not necessarily one. But because people like them, and because I believe in giving people options, I made a warlock style templar. I proposed this modular technique in my call for Mysteries of Athas (and here and here). I am proposing a win-win scenario when these matters are always presented as win-lose.
I thought Paizo did a pretty decent job of restoring the Sorcerer Monarchs in their version and I think it would be hard to do a better job. Since the PCs did not witness any deaths, nor can they get a definitive reason for the missing Sorcerer Monarchs besides an omniscient narrator telling them what happened in the metaplot, it should be OK to hold what happened open to interpretation (if it even happened at all).
I say leave most of them dead with the exception of Andropinis. Since their death in the PP, the campaign has netted two additional SMs (Dregoth and Daskinor). With Andy’s inevitable return plus the addition of Dre and Dask the setting is only down one sorcerer monarch.
I’d rather see new SM level threats that aren’t necessarily SMs.
I’m on the fence about NEEDING to tell DMs and players they can play in different timelines or with different options. Everyone but a (literally) 1st time DM is more than capable of running something else.
Plus, i imagine when the 3e Athas.org stuff came out, plenty of people were already running a 2e “What PP?” game (lots still are), so i don’t know how much support that needed.
Now, on the other hand, if someone then (or now) had a great adventure idea that could (or could only) occur pre-PP, then that should (have) be/have been released.
I’m against forcing my decisions on others. If an adventure idea for the DL (for instance) comes up, I’ll be the first to make sure it is available for many eras of play as possible.
Edit: I also thought the Paizo story advancement was well done.
However you present it, someone will be forced to make a decision. The question is whether they will get some help to make the outcome of the decision go smoothly. In any case, it doesn’t have to be presented in the core product, but it should be presented.
Somewhere else people were talking about making definitive mini-settings to make it clear what the background for a supplement is. I think that’s overkill, if something is important it should be stated in the adventure/supplement background so people know the difference is there if its necessary for the story of that particular supplement.
Something as simple as, “In this story Sacha survived and is no longer bound to the King of Tyr…”
Alright. But if we are going to be precise, 4E is the canonical, most recent version of the Dark Sun setting. That’s where it went. So should only this version be given consideration as it relates to the lore and playing style?
If the situation was reversed, I’d be advocating for the Prism Pentad metaplot to be included as a possible future.
But isn’t the 4E setting retcon canon. So that would be more like an alternative timeline. The ‘default’ if you will for anyone going into DS totally blank w/o any previous experience.
That makes the PP metaplot and the Beyond the Prism Pentad stuff from the 2E Rev. Campaign a possible future, one of many.
The Prism Pentad was republished by WoTC in 2008 in paperback and in 2011 in ebook version.
Especially that last one follows the publishing of the 2010 4E setting material canon.
Given (sure, my interpretation) of your logic, then the 4E wouldn’t even be the most recent. But I’m being pedantic not because I want to be right, but I want to tease out the reasons or arguments we all have here.
I am not sure whether a publication date (which is a business decision really) ought to have any influence whatsoever on what we consider relevant for plot or setting.
4E is not actually a retcon. It merely reset the timeline to a year after Kalak was killed. The writers realized that the Revised (PP) Campaign Setting didnt sit well with many players and so set it back to a time where most people would like it. If you are the GM in 4E the PP events can still happen.