Friday, August 14, 2009

Dark Sun Campaign Setting for 4e D&D Announced

After much speculation, including some incorrect speculation from my colleagues and I over at Lords of Tyr, Dark Sun has been announced as the new campaign setting for 4E D&D.

Say what you will, this is an awesome cover! It is definitely an interesting choice.  Dark Sun has a very strong fan base, which should make this book a decent seller.  Dark Sun also has a very distinctive feel, probably more so than the other old school campaign settings.

It also seems to me that the D&D 4E rules are better suited for Dark Sun than D&D 2E ever was.  In general, the classes are less equipment focused, although the plusses from weapons and implements are probably more vital than ever.  I also think the clear demarcation between different power sources, especially the primal power source, will work well with the central druid versus wizard dynamic.  The primordial versus divine split will also probably work well in a game where the gods are dead and primal forces have run amok.

I do wonder if all of the D&D 4E races and classes will be making an appearance in Athas.  Supporting everything published has been Wizards of the Coast’s modus operandi when introducing new settings so far. 

However, according to a tweet from the great RPG blog Critical Hits Bill Slavicsek said “We are going to try very hard not to shoehorn 4e conceits into Dark Sun.”

I am not sure what that means exactly, but my best guess is it means that you might not see an bard in Dark Sun just because they were published in the PHB 2.  Then again, maybe you will.  I suppose we will just have to wait and see.

All and all, I am pleased by the choice of Dark Sun as the new setting for 2010.  I never got into Dark Sun when it first came out in 1991, but I am glad they decided to revitalize an old setting rather than try to create a new one.


Unknown said...

Athas had bards, but they were very different. But a lot of the things in the core books do not work in Dark Sun, and I personally will not accept them (Dragonborne and Teifling to name two). Also, Divine power source should not be allowed. If WotC is willing to put out a setting with such limitations, then they'll have a total win. But if they insist on shoving as much core stuff as possible into the setting, this camper will not be happy...

Medraut said...

@awmyhr I agree with you that the Dragonborn are problematic, probably more so than any other setting but Dragonlance. I can only hope that they will be willing to adapt what core stuff they can without forcing in the stuff that doesn't fit.

I am sure some Dark Sun stuff will start showing up as debut content in DDI soon. So hopefully we will have a good idea what they have in mind before the book is released.

Scafloc said...

Honestly, much of what Rob says makes a lot of sense to me. I would guess that "defiler" will be a paragon path, and that most arcane pc's would be assumed to be preserver types. Honestly, I can see dragonborn in athas as a wartime experiment if they advance time enough. Personally, I have more trouble jiving Eladrin than either dragonborn or tieflings.

Please do not misconstrue the previous paragraph to in any way indicate my support of the existence of dragonborn as a whole. I will admit that pseudo-atlantean tieflings have grown on me a bit (though I think if I ever play one he will revel in it rather than go all emo...)

Dave The Game said...

My prediction that they'll handle a lot of the class/race things by saying that such things are super rare (and your PC may be the only one and definitely needs the backstory to back it up) but they're not specifically disallowed by the rules. WotC was vague at the seminar how they were going to do it, but the roll-out starts immediately, so it should start to take shape over the next few months.

Also, thanks for the plug :)