Why one should NOT magic

Or is it that clear? Did Nok make the item or find it? It could’ve very easily been an artifact recovered from Rajaat’s laboratories.

Actually yes. Book 3 at least states in no uncertain terms that Nok created Ktandeo’s Cane as well as the Heartwood Spear. I checked 2 hours ago to make sure. He also drains Sadira’s life with an obsidian sphere.

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I don’t have the books handy… but did he say he made the cane? Or did it detail the making?

No, the book, when recapping who is is, basically for the audience, when he shows up for the first time in a while, calls him the creator of the Heartwood Spear and Ktandeo’s Cane. I could check what is said in book 1, but book 3 is at least very clear on the subject.

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My point is the possibility that he’s lying. Especially if he’s a defiler himself and uses the cane to pretend otherwise. It gives him more depth as to why it was so important to recover them and having his actions eventually lead to his death.

I get that, but the narration seems to disagree. Frustratingly, we never see how he casts spells, only the aftereffects (turning a wall of fire to steam, enhancing his warriors stamina) and I could see both of those effects being done either by wizardry or elemental magic, but I feel Sadira would have noticed if he’d defiled to do so.

Anyway, lying or not, he was capable of draining animal life, which is not easily done, hence my annoyance with Denning basically pointing a finger at how unusual something is and then never explaining it. (and lets not get into him turning into a prismatic hued thornbush after his death)

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It makes me really want to rewrite his background though. I need to reread all the novels again. It’s been too long.

Troy Denning has said that he doesn’t always agrees and or follow rules. Be is a story telling and believes in telling a good story even if it breaks the rules. He did say as much in a interview.
He sees him self as a DM and that he can use or not uses what rules he wants to make them fit the story that he wants to tell.
This is why there is some many different things from the Novels vs the Rules Books. I for one don’t totally agree with his thinking, but that is just my opinion and we all have our own.

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As for 2e Defilers I never agreed on the faster leveling. I feel that it would have made more since to have a faster initiative

However for our new project we have decided to have . . .

  • Preservers based on the Wizard class
  • Defilers based on the Sorcerer class

We are also adding in a one damage AoE to all living things around them when they cast a spel.

I also don’t understand the thought of not liking or cant stand magic but yet give players great cleave or spilling flying kicks or anything that its just out there.

I can’t stand all these retarded movies where they doe all this unrealistic combat. I under stand magic but unrealistic combat is just retarded in my book. This is also why I like 2e fart more then later editions. 3e on just took things to a whole new level for players. Its like the game became about making supper heroes instead of being about the story, the adventure, the journey

There should be Wizards/magic in Dark Sun, after all the world is in the state its if due to magic so not having it in Dark sun it just crazy. Just go play your own world at that point.

That said it should be even harder to stay a live as a wizard in Dark Sun
There should be NPCs that track down and kill wizards for bounties.

Just think if played right a wizards needs to find and or buy new spells in a world where magic isn’t just outlawed but you can be killed if anyone finds out your one. So how are wizards meant to get new spells when leveling?

I really hope that you all aren’t just giving your players spells when they level, because that just wouldn’t be good story telling/role playing of the world.

On the note of over the top fantasy combat that defies physics, I tend to subscribe by the notion that high level fighters that pull that sort of stuff have gone from ‘normal person’ to being more akin to mythical heroes akin to Beowulf or Perseus. If you restricted warrior types to just being able to do what was physically possible we wouldn’t have knights slaying dragons. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy fantasy settings where the heroes are just normal people and magic is a far less understandable force. But D&D is not the game for that style, even in 2e (which is my preferred edition as well). PCs in D&D inevitably become able to pull off some insane stuff no matter the edition (though I admit 3e did take it way further). To keep things more mundane would require either retooling the game or putting a rather harsh level restriction in place.

All that aside, I think the point here was more about conventional arcane magic as we know it in d&d. Now I personally think Dark Sun does a good job handling it with defilers and preservers. But I can understand the feeling that psionics takes a back seat to the magic in Dark Sun due to how central the theme of defiling is to the setting. My biggest complaint is I have yet to find a single game system that’s handled psionics in a way I enjoy. I have my own hangups with 2e, 3e, and 5e. But I also enjoy those games well enough that I compromise where I can. The only problem is that often involves psionics taking a back seat to other aspects of the setting. But considering how central psionics is to Dark Sun that’s never sat right with me.


Just in answer to your statement, in my campaign wizards do not automatically get new spells from leveling up. The only ones that do are the Tyrian preserver wizards and even then they have to own property, maintain a small garden and carry around a sapling that they turn over to the city each year to be granted 1 spell when they level up. It’s the Tyrian way of atoning for the damage wizardry usually causes.

I can’t speak for 3e because I have always felt that it makes players OP allowing them to create superheroes. Which is why I haven’t ever played it, even though I bought and own the PHB, DMG, and MM for it.

But as for 2e I feel if it is DMed right using the rules it works really nicely

  • Playing before Kalak is killed
  • rolling initiative
  • using 2e Thaco so wizards have a very poor attack
  • using 2e HPs and Con bonus so wizards have weak hit points
  • No armor for wizards
  • Only weak weapons for wizards per 2e
  • Having to buy and/or find spells
  • Wizards hunted down and killed
  • Having to sit and read over their spell books each day to get their daily spells
  • Wizard spells draining life around the caster weakening all living things, maybe not enough to do damage to NPCs or creatures but kills off plat life.

Will all play a part in keeping Wizards from being over played.
As for Psionic’s well almost everything has Psionic’s, So if DMed right you should come across Psionics almost all the time while running across a wizard would be rare.


Its perfectly alright to tell your players that there will be no PC wizards in the campaign. Perhaps the PCs try to kill any wizard they see, just like anyone else.

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If Dark Sun is DMed correctly anything that looks like magic could get you killed let alone being a Wizard

Has anyone here read “A Little Knowledge” ?

It is a really nice short story that just goes to show you anything that looks like magic can get you hunted down and killed.

I think the problem most people have with Dark Sun is when using other editions that changed the classes, races, and the world.

When comparing the later editions of Dark Sun to the original boxset its just not the same game/world.

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I have. I think it was the first DS short story I had read.

Do you have the various DS short stories compiled somewhere? DM me.

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No I dont have them all compiled some where
I did however start playing and DMing Dark Sun AD&D 2nd shortly after it was released and went on to do so for years back in the day.
We had most of the books back then and just kept buying anything new that
they released.
We my wife and I moved away due to work and I just never played D&D again.
That said we don’t have those books any longer, but I do have just about every Dark Sun book ever made on PDF.
I’m a really BIG fan of the world and enjoyed DMing it for years. Which is why I started the Dark Sun for NWN project
Website: http://darksunsot.com/ - lots of good information
Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/DarkSunforNWN - lots of cool screenshots of our work

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we started putting that together here: Short Fiction that Appears in Dark Sun Supplements or Modules