Dark Sun Major Plotlines Thread

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.


But it is a bit of a retcon. Not regarding the timeline and the PP, but regarding the existence of Gods/Primordials.

There’s also the changes to the existing races, as the half-giant, which I’m not sure how to classify.

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What happened to the half-giant in 4E Dark Sun was a travesty. There was a lot of good in 4E Dark Sun, but what happened to half-giants was one of the low points.

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Ah! It’s a good punch @redking . I like that :sweat_smile:


Half-giants were simply a casualty of WizBro’s (very understandable but undesirable) strategy of harmonizing all their settings for maximum cost savings for them and playability by new players.

100% makes sense if you’ve ever worked for a big company and absolute BS for longtime fans.

Dray and Tieflings too (shudder).

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Don’t forget minotaurs and gnolls.

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Gnolls thematically fit DS TOO well. There’s no fun spin on them.

Also Eladrin.


Okay. I’ll walk back on my previous argument stating that business decisions shouldn’t impact our consideration of canon. In this instance they obviously should :zipper_mouth_face:


The changes wrought with the Half-Giant, Thri-Kreen, Eladrin, Tiefling, warlocks as well as the addition of the cosmology are all changes made to fit the current edition at that time.

If a 5E came out it would have similar changes to fit within the mold of what DnD is now. The difference is spin.

Could an additional feat make up for the giants lost size? to make up for its power. Recall the Ancestry: 1 per short rest a giant call spend an action to swell to great size for one round…

Could the addition of just an abdomen make thri-kreen more athasian,

Eladrin as an elf subrace is fine, maybe there are too few to even matter.

Tieflings could be products of defiling stains on the planet. (i.e. pristine tower mutants, defiling gone mad)

Gods/Primordial’s make some sense - lots of temple ruins found in the cities of the ancients, as raaig, moerties worship ancient powers in the 2e books. It can easily be put back into the ‘we dont fully know column’

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Yeah, i mostly agree. For me, the slap in the face was the no-explanation retcon.

“Tieflings have always been there, sometimes people call Dray ‘dragonborn’”.

As if 4e was the only way to play DnD, and we just HAD to swallow whatever they did, no matter bitter a pill. And not even a quick sidenote from the developers as to why they did it.

Like I said- i understand, but don’t appreciate these things.

But, whatever. I’ll reskin the minotaurs to mountain stalkers, steal any good plot hooks and move on!


I appreciated effort put into 4E Dark Sun. It helped that I preferred 4e to 3e, but it still fell short of 2e.

Not to say that there weren’t hits and misses with it, because they were. Half-giants were just wrong, no matter how you looked at them. And thri-kreen could have done with some more work.

I thought the way they incorporated Eladrin and Templars as warlocks was a lever way of doing it. And gnolls just work in Athas - I ran them as not evil but deeply in touched with the spirits of nature while still remaining feral.

And the variety of new classes, especially psionic and primal, were a lot of fun in a Dark Sun setting.

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They did make a good honest effort with a lot of things with 4e.

For a while, I’ve been kicking around the idea of Gnolls as noble barbarians, who use ritual cannibalism for its recycling value - to turn them on their heads, in classic DS fashion.

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I agree about the gnolls. Because of cosmology concerns, I dislike tieflings on Athas, but gnolls are easy to integrate. I wrote some ideas about Athasian gnolls years ago.

I like the idea of gnolls, but I would really need a backstory as to how they survived the cleansing. Perhaps underground or hidden in some far away mountain range or island in the Silt Sea. Anything simple to explain it away is fine with me.

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In my backstory for gnolls, they are one of the New Races that appear from the desert from time to time (from the Pristine Tower). In that case they don’t need to have survived the cleansing because they didn’t even exist at the time.


That checks out since there’s no canonical Champion that killed gnolls (unless I missed something). I rather like the idea of them never having existed in the game though.

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4e was the first time that I remember Gnolls being in Dark Sun. They were included in an image of a gladiator in the Dark Sun 4e creature book. I think they fit, and since they didn’t have a champion I assumed they were a new race.

So I made Gnolls agents of defiling and mutation.
I just posted my Gnolls of Chryn’s Cackle topic with more details…