What was your introduction to Dark Sun?

I’m curious about when people were first introduced to / started playing in the setting.

I’m also curious to see if I can figure out how to build a poll.

  • Dark Sun Boxed Set (DS1)
  • Dark Sun Expanded and Revised (DS2)
  • Dark Sun 3 (Athas.org)
  • Dark Sun Campaign Setting (4th edition)
  • Other

0 voters

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I started Dark Sun as my first time DMing AD&D 2nd Edition. It was coming out just as I was wanting to run AD&D 2e. I lived in the desert (Phoenix) so I knew a thing or two about blasted wastelands.


Trying to remember why exactly I picked up the first boxed set way back in the day. Was it just the gorgeous cover art? Had I read a review? I honestly don’t know any more.

All I know is that as soon as I opened the box I fell in love :slight_smile: The longest campaign I ever ran - two years - was set in Athas (although using Fantasy Hero instead of D&D). I’ve written and drawn bits and pieces on the old Dark Sun boards that have even ended up in Athas.org products :slight_smile: Still love Dark Sun to this day, although I don’t know if I’ll ever get to play or run it again…


For me it was the video games-- Dark Sun 2 Wake of the Ravager first, and then I went back and played the first game. Then the novels, and finally the tabletop setting. I feel like I kind of did it in reverse! Wake of the Ravager still remains my #1 game, and I replay it every year or so.

I was in high school and went to a buddy’s house who asked if I would be interested in a new D&D game. It was the Freedom module, which turned out to be a lot of fun. After that we ran through Road to Urik and several other of the adventures until we thought we knew the world well enough to start homebrewing stuff. I remember when Dragon Kings came out, I wanted to become an Avangion in the worst possible way. Fun stuff.

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I think that I first saw Dark Sun via one of the adventure modules. A friend had acquired Asticlian Gambit, and handed it off to me. I was intrigued enough by the adventure to track down the original boxed set, and went from there; I’m not sure I could say what it specifically was that caught my attention though … probably some combination of the art, and this utterly hostile setting.

A very badly recognized scan of DS1 rules book.

DS1. I don’t like the direction the setting took with the Defilers and Preservers the Wizards of Athas supplement and the Revised boxed set.

For one there were now wizards with sources of power that were inexhaustible and have no impact on the ecology of Athas. So awesome were these new sources of magical power that it meant the the path of the preserver is completely unjustifiable. Any risk of putting plants and soil at risk is too much risk. So with these new power sources preservers are just hypocritical defiler-lite.

The Revised boxed set introduced lore and continuity issues that resulted in a mini cleansing war on the wizards forums. Probably quite a few of us participated in that.

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Hello All, I thought it was best to introduce myself here, as the welcome thread seems to have no replies?
My main forum home is the Mystara forum at The Piazza (http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewforum.php?f=3) but I’ve had an interest in Dark Sun since I bought the boxed set.
I bought DS1 maaaany years ago. I own a lot of 2ed modules and I bought the 4ed products too, but I’ve never had the chance to play in the setting so far…
I’ve read the Prism Pentad and own the other novels too, but I haven’t read them yet.

A DM friend of mine wanted to run it as a changeup from our regular Ravenloft campaign. None of the players at the table (including myself) knew even the slightest bit about this setting, so the first couple sessions was entirely based on familiarizing ourselves with the world, the history, and character creation.

I found the setting to be so original and interesting that I soon branched off into reading the novels to increase my knowledge of Athas.

My first experience started with the PC Gold box set of games which included Wake of the Ravager, Blood and Magic, and Stronghold. I was instantly in love with the Dark Sun world in Ravager. I’ve been hoping for another PC game ever since… About eight years ago, a group of us tried remaking the PC games with Dark Sun: Age of Heroes, but it fell apart midway into development. It would have been amazing…

I was in high school, around 15 years old. I was at my small brick & mortar store browsing the psionic handbook to buy it. I turn my head and see a box with a bad ass looking guy in the desert that cought my eyes. Reading the back, I was so inspire that I put it on reserve for a week to pile my money for it. That was my first setting as a DM, we play all summer long in it. 20 years now and DMing it in 5E with my original players (they have 4 characters each) and we switch character/cities in the campaign each 6 months. One of their character is their original.

My first introduction to Dark Sun was actually from Athas.org. I was curious to see what campaign settings there were, so I searched around and found DS3. I have been fascinated with the setting ever since.

Hi Folks,

i started playing Dark Sun in 1991 with the 1.Edition as a Player.We played 3 Years and then my Group broke down.Last Year i have reactivated a new Group and i hope they will playing with me a while.
Now i have select the Time short before the Brown Age started.At Campaign starts when the Champions claimed the Cities.I dont know if it will funktion because i must make the World and the Timeline self.There are no Information for this Period.But the Time will see.


I began Dark Sun with the AD&D 2e Original Box Set (version 1). I became an absolute fan after reading through The Rules Book, The Wanderer’s Journal, the flip-book adventure, and the huge color map. As TSR released new Dark Sun products, I purchased them and digested everything over and over again. I had to buy one of those 3" 3-ring binders to keep all my notes in, and kept all the published material in an old plastic milk crate (pre-internet days).

There was a time during college that I had neither the time, nor a group, to play Dark Sun with, but afterwards (when the internet was finally invented!!) I began searching for like-minded people who also had an appreciation for the Dark Sun setting. I joined athas.org, and the (old) arena, as soon as I found it, and felt fortunate to have been a part of that community for so long. Unfortunately, I only visited the forums every once in awhile due to life moving on, getting a real job, raising a family, etc… I was surprised when one day I logged in and found all that material people had posted for years was gone!

I kept creating my own material, however, and re-reading all the novels, just because I could never get enough of Dark Sun.

Throughout the years, I never really gained interest in the progression of D&D from 3.0 to 3.5 to 4, but for some reason I kept a close eye on the development of D&D Next, and 5th Edition. I like that WOTC has tried to get back to “the basics” of D&D role-playing, and are reviving some of the old settings (especially Dark Sun). I am curious to see what they release. I am also very excited to find that athas.org has revived the Arena, and hope to spend more regular time here. To the administrators, THANK YOU!!

My first introduction to Dark Sun was through the Penny Arcade podcast.

I avoided D&D for the longest time because I disliked Fantasy settings that were too close to Tolkien. 4e was technically my second introduction to D&D as my friends tried to start a 3.5e game, but it fell through when the DM didn’t like our shenanigans.

I played the last 5 chapters of the Fury of the Wastewalker. And grew attached to the pregen Thri-kreen Battlemind that my DM gave me.

Since then I’ve run one successful Dark Sun campaign in college and have been looking to try to get one going with 5e as soon as the setting is re-released.

I’ve almost bought the 2e Campaign box twice. But own the City State of Tyr and Dragon King for fluff reasons. I also grabbed the Ashes of Athas adventure(4e) once it was completed. Its my hope that another Living Campaign will start again in 5e.

I think it was 1993 or 1994. I had the AD&D 2e player’s handbook and there were advertisements in the rear of it for Dark Sun. I lived in AZ as well and the desert environ spoke viscerally to me. It was so well-composed and unique I couldn’t stop pursuing it. It was a healthy addiction. In 1996, I got involved in a healthy play group that’s really just pushed one another to grow. We are still running that DSun campaign with the same PCs and advanced beings galore. It’s tough to make time nowadays, but we still do, somehow.

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A young one here. When dark Sun came up I didn’t know how to walk or speak… So many many years later I started playing pathfinder then moved to 5ed. In the way I become close friend with a guy who used to play 2nd ed “back in the day”. This guy wanted to start playing against after “I don’t know how many years”. I put the place and some friends for the party and he started DMings a super fun Dragonlance campaign. We played 2ed Dragonlance because he knows everything about it (I still have waiting for the next adventure, that wizard is the only “survivor” from that game). Anyway… we keep playing and the guy started to play for the first time 5ed in one of my games and then he decided to update his game to 5ed. Months later half of the party had exams but we decided to meet up anyway as good friend. My friend said “ok since half of you are not here let’s do an one shot”. I already knew a few things about dark sun, like it was desert and sun, nothing more. He told us, I may not know Athas the way I know Krynn, but my elf have run many many kilometers in the tablelands so trust me. That was it, brutal and merciless Athas received me. I created Gro’thok the mul that killed a thri-kreen with his fists while both were working at kalak’s zigurat. It blew my mind in a way that I started to investigate and reading about it.
Many months later I scheduled a pathfinder one shot because I found a great convertion and was awesome. The struggle to survive was huge.
Time keep passing, and when we finished an official forgotten realms campaign I was dming I knew it was my time. Gentlemans, we are moving to Athas.
We use some fan adaptations and been running the most awesome campaign for a year now.

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The first year it ever came out and we played the very first boxset AD&D 2nd Edition Dark Sun. We did get all the 2e Dark Sun books over time even the revised boxset. To be honest once we started playing Dark Sun it was all we played for years.

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My intro was the first novel. The idea of a sterile half-dwarf gladiator slave being one of the main characters enticed me into buying everything DS i could find(at the time that was the box set, dragon kings, and some modules). Loved it ever since