Rediscovered Athas fan site - Silt Archipelago and more

Check it out~!


Neat. I once found some wayback links to some other old, forgotten, dark sun related websites, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one.


Ah, the Silt Archipelago…I particularly liked High Ebe and the connection between the regions chief druid and Borys.


I rediscovered another website. World of Athas.

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Cool! How do you keep finding these?

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I am going through the Pandius archives of the wizards forum threads one by one. Sometimes there is a link to a site.

From the wizards dot come forum archives.

People discuss athas dot org advanced beings.

Cam Banks gives feedback about the Dragonlance spell-less assassin. This is a possibility for the Athasian bard. Add a mechanic for a bonus to perform skills, and you’ve pretty much got an Athasian assassin ‘bard’. I don’t like the magical songs at all.

I think I will post interesting threads I find here.

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Good idea. I’ve already seen the advanced being forum, but the more of these threads that can be reposted the better. Maybe I’ll find some more to post here.

Frankly, I’ve always thought that the athasian bard should just be a rogue with a feat chain or something, same with gladiator and fighter and defilers and preservers as wizards. having individual classes (or even prestige classes) for simple archetypes is the sort of needless complications can remain in 2e for all I care. (can somebody explain what the point of the Trader class in 2e was? anyone?)

This is one of the things that I felt missed in both of its prestige class appendix’s (especially 2). You don’t need a PrC or a new class if all it gives are minor adjustments that could be just as easily gotten with a feat or two.

Looking back on those forums really explains this though, it is clear that many of the templarate didn’t understand how fundamentally broken the 3e system was at the time they were developing stuff. That and the desire to stick extremely firmly within the limits WotC put on them and not cause waves resulted in almost the entirety of options in the official releases feeling lacking, or at least like they brought over some of the stranger decisions of 2e to 3e.

None of this is intended as an attack on the templarate. Frankly, I think they did amazing work, but they didn’t have years and years of experience with the edition, and were for the most part, unable to even try to branch out extensively from what had been written in 2e due to WoTC’s licensing agreement. But then I look at how different the 3e Scorcher is compared to the 2e one and I really wonder if they were actually as tied as far as changes to setting and mechanics as they often claimed on the old forums. I can’t make heads or tails of it.


Prestige class for every minor permutation was the bane of 3E.

The 3E version of that is pointless too. It can be handled through the appraise skill, and perhaps a PHB2 style affiliation.

I had the benefit of hindsight, and STILL made the same mistakes that the templarate, and specifically Xlorp, made with advanced beings. I just had a look back on my posts. I had thought I had been working on my advanced beings for 3 years. It turns out that I have been working on them for FIVE WHOLE YEARS, and went right back to the drawing board after three years.

I came across this assertion in quite a few posts on the forum, and I have to admit it puzzles me. There is no reason that they couldn’t have set an appropriate Challenge Rating for advanced beings. Trying to balance a 35th level fighter against a fully metamorphosed 35 HD dragon is wrong headed in my opinion.

Same. But remember that the Templarate were working as a committee. That means you can’t really push a radical vision. If I was in a committee working on my advanced beings there is no way I could have worked on it for three whole years before scrapping that work entirely. Everyone involved would meltdown. All I had to contend with was my own disappointment before redoubling my efforts.

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You and me both. I brought up the Scorcher because it’s the clearest example that their hands were not as tied as they often claimed, unless somebody in WoTC sent them a warning about the Scorcher or something, which I find unlikely in the extreme.

which mistake in particular?

I agree, but I also think that the dragon should not necessarily be completely superior in every capacity. It’s a two sided coin, 3e is not a balanced system, but also in a party of adventurers, the last thing you ever want is to feel that your character has no role to play.

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Trying to connect advanced beings to templates and prestige classes, instead of producing a framework that can be added on for advanced beings.

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That’s why I wanted to reconnect advanced beings to the level system. Having metamorphosis be the main driver of power overturns the basic assumptions of third edition D&D. The most powerful abilities are connected to leveling through the salient feats.

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I agree, but having had a metamorphosing dragon as a PC, I can say that having tons of power wrapped up in transformation spells does have it’s own appeal, and definitely changes the “approach” to adventuring. One the other hand, I’ve also wondered for a while if a very powerful epic PrC would work well with a “Lynn Abbey style” approach to the metamorphosis. A lot of the reason I want to find Xlorep’s rules so badly is because I feel they probably work a bit like the dragon 313 athasian dragon epic prestige class only more so, and would provide a better baseline for that sort of approach. (and, frankly, if I could go back in time and use that kind of approach more in that epic 2e game, I would. Trying to keep a group of epic level evil pc’s working together is hellishly difficult even without dealing with their very different paths to power)

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Bdmdragon - here is some closure for you. I have a good idea about what happened to Xlorep by viewing what can be viewed on his blog. He lost interest in tabletop gaming after getting into World of Warcraft.

He was working on his advanced being rules, but never finished them. Now you know why you never got those rules reproduced on the forum archives.

The best of Xlorep’s work is exactly what you see in Legends of Athas. The other things, such as clerical advanced beings, were never even started.

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Thank you for the find. I’m not sure precisely what to feel about this, but thank you.

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Out of curiosity, what sort of things did you come up with that you decided didn’t work and scrapped?

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Very similar to Xlorep - prestige class and template. You can actually see one of the templates I posted here in 2015. I couldn’t get it to work because it couldn’t work. I could have worked on it a hundred years and it wouldn’t have worked because the basic assumptions were wrong.

I had to throw everything out except my metamorphosis factors. Some of the factors I was able to rework into the salient feats. Once I had the salient feats plus the factors, I had a clear vision of how to move forward.

I did see the material back in the day. You really aren’t missing anything. Kamelion upthread didn’t even like it enough to keep a full copy.

If you want to do an RaFoaDK style metamorphosis for Hamanu, here is my suggestion. Take my Dragon metamorphosis (or your modified version). Whenever Hamanu casts an arcane spell, roll a d20. On a 1, Hamanu’s metamorphosis advances by a single factor within the metamorphosis stage that he is currently in. For example:

Let us say that Hamanu is the third stage. The factors that change Hamanu are as follows.

Factors: damage reduction 15/magic (+135 DC). Immunity to poison (+25 DC). Immunity to stunning (+25 DC).

Let’s say he already has the DR, so his next metamorphosis after rolling a 1 is immunity to poison. Once Hamanu rolls another 1 and acquires immunity to stunning (the final factor in stage 3), he goes to stage 4.

If you think a 1 in 20 chance is too quick, then make it 2 rolls of a natural 1 to force the metamorphosis. You could also set a number of years when a bit of metamorphosis happens no matter what Hamanu does.

I think that works reasonably well. Hamanu doesn’t need to cast metamorphosis.

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I like your ideas, just want to point out that according to RaFoaDK and Lynn’s notes, that style of metamorphosis was universal. I know that many people try to tie in into continuity by making it Hamanu only (along with accepting his special human killing powers), but even though I use large parts of RaFoaDK in my games, that has never been something I’ve done.

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You could just make it a universal thing, if you like. I mean, I wouldn’t use it at all in my campaign. I just wanted to offer a way to simulate the process.

In RaFoaDK itself, I believe the process is not universal.

Yes it is, I can give page numbers if you like. It’s one of those things where the fan explanation has become so prevalent that people forget that it’s fan made and not how it’s written in the source.

What Hamanu does have that makes him unique in Rise and Fall are his enhanced connection to the sun and human killing powers, though personally I don’t feel he needs those abilities Abbey heaped on him whatsoever, but that’s just another matter entirely, if related. (Abbey has admitted to being overfond of Hamanu, including trying to protect him from the people who made the setting, and disparaging his official stats for not being special enough, and while she did a great job of making him more human, she went too far into fan fiction level character shilling for me. He’s a genocidal maniac, and should not be glorified, nor does he need to be the most special ever.)

People seem to forget that the Prism Pentad actually explains the odd incidents surrounding him, with an explanation very different from Abbey’s, and that he gets seriously wounded by a nonmagical steel knife in the Pentad. (that said, the idea of any sorcerer king being seriously wounded by a nonmagical steel knife is absurd, but I want to set the record straight on what was actually written and implied vs what people believe was written or implied)

Edit: Sorry about my tone, this has just struck a nerve for me. I love a lot about RaFoaDK, and have read many of Abbey’s other works across various fandoms, but while Abbey nailed Hamanau’s personality, history, and even motives to some extent, and Hamanu’s interactions with Windreaver, Pavek, and Sadira are excellent, but her attempt to explain away some of his worst actions and making him the most powerful and special being in the setting are literally the main plot points of 50% of terrible fan fiction and should never have made it to print.

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