Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Session Fifty-Five: Vermin at War

 Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.

 The tari raced forward, the swarms of rats rushing in front of the horde. Kalino watched the mob surge toward Kiara and himself. Kiara's breathing was measured and calm, she was obviously well-trained in the templarate of Urik. Kalino could see Shade on top of the cliff, smoothly drawing arrows from his hip quiver and firing them into the oncoming rush of vermin.

Suddenly, the ground erupted in the midst of the rat swarms, tossing chunks of earth and rat corpses through the air. It was obvious hat Julius was using the way and Kalino was amazed at the power the mind could unleash. Kalino was a preserver and could unleash destructive and wondrous energies, but he had to take the power from vegetation and shape it into what he desired. The way didn't work like that and Kalino, in that moment, thought it would be wise to develop his will into the way at a later date. If he survived.
Kalino spotted Mohamed pushing in front of the tari, charging toward Julius' position above him. The undead man had a few arrows sticking out of his body, but the arrows did not impede his movement, nor seem to cause him any pain. He was unarmed, which made Kalino even more uneasy. Foes who chose to be unarmed were generally very powerful and undead were unpredictable.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Athasian Mutations Part Two

In part one of the athasian mutation exploration articles, I created a list of one-hundred appearance mutations. Those mutations had no influence on game statistics or rolls. In part two, I will be writing about beneficial mutations. These mutations will impact the human in a game-related beneficial way. Abilities are not changed, but ability checks may be. Also, it is important to note that the benefit must make sense. For example: A character that has lizard eyes loses all benefits from this mutation when blindfolded. Often, these beneficial mutations will be accompanied by a change in appearance.
It is important that dungeon masters strongly consider the impact granting a player character these beneficial mutations will have on their game. Some of these mutations could make a human player character far more powerful than anticipated. You have been warned.
DM's should feel free to roll 5d10 to determine the beneficial mutations of a human, or human group. Fell free to roll as many times as you wish and alter any mutations as you see fit. Combined with wild talents, this is a good way to surprise a group of player characters with an enemy possessing unexpected abilities.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Session Fifty-Four: Vermin in the Dark

Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.

Shade backed away from the cliff edge, as the tari continued shooting arrows at him. He hid in the shadows and waited to see if Alaxander would teleport back up to him. When Alaxander failed to appear, Shade sneaked away along the clifftop.
Meanwhile, Alaxander was goofing off below. He teleported a large rock into the midst of a group of tari, damaging some of them. He got stabbed with a bone tipped spear for his trouble. Mohamed said he could feel where Alaxander had gone and ran around the building to find him. Mohamed had not healed from their last encounter, but did not seem disturbed by his many wounds. Alaxander attempted to summon his mental strength, but was distracted by his fear of the undead. Mohamed then punched Alaxander twice and had obviously been imbued with supernatural strength. Alaxander teleported back to the top of the cliff. He began searching for Shade among the rocks. Alaxander attempted too use the way to dampen the noise he was making, but created a loud boom instead. Knowing he had already been discovered, he used the way to raise his voice and attempted to frighten the tari. Alaxander then used the way to increase the light levels on the top of the cliff to try and find Shade. Alaxander could see a group of tari soldiers and swarms of rats rushing toward him. He tried frightening them away again, by increasing his voice with the way. It did not seem to have the desired effect. The tari had a difficult time striking Alaxander, but one of the rat swarms covered him and wriggled into his armor. He was getting bit and scratched, so he teleported away. He left the rats behind.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Gorak and his Shadow. A Dark Sun Fable.

A gorak left his lair one evening and was in an extremely good mood. As he ran, the setting sun made his shadow appear very large on the ground. To the gorak, it looked as if he were a hundred times bigger than he really was.
"Look!" exclaimed the gorak proudly, "See how big I am! Who wouls I ever run away from a puny tigone! I'll show him who is the biggest and most ruthless creature in the desert!"
Just then an immense shadow covered him and his shadow. In the next instant, a tigone struck him down with a single blow.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Poison: Class Q

Class Q poison is a light gray powder that must be ingested to take effect. The onset time is 1d4 x 30 minutes. When the onset time elapses, the victim on class Q poison must succeed at a saving throw vs poison. If the save is successful, the victim feels nauseous, pain in their stomach, and may vomit. The victim will suffer 2d4 damage, but should fully recover. A failed save indicates that the victim will suffer from severe stomach pain, vomiting blood, and vertigo. The victim will suffer 2d4 x 10 points of damage. If left untreated, the victim must make another saving throw vs poison after another 1d4 x 30 minutes. If this second save is successful, the victim will still feel terrible for 1d4 days, but can expect to make a full recovery. If this second save fails, the victim will die.
Class Q poison is useful for poisoning food or drink and then making an escape. The victim will not know they are poisoned for sometime later, which will allow the poisoner to get far away and to avoid suspicion.
The ingredients for class Q poison are somewhat difficult to find, but are  most available in the rocky badlands. Long term physical contact with class Q poison will cause redness and swelling to the skin, but will not cause the loss of any hit points.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Athasian Mutations Part One

In the original core boxed set, page thirteen under the Humam heading, the text mentions that humans have been twisted by magic. In the rules book, it mentions that this twisting changes human's appearance, but has no additional effect. While this does allow for a variety of strangeness, I thought it might be interesting to explore these mutations further.
I recently introduced a tribe of humans with burnt orange skin. This skin is a harmless mutation due to the magical contamination of the drinking water. So, if a human lives off of this source of water for an extended period of time, their skin will eventually become orange.
I thought it might be helpful to create a chart of random visual mutations that humans, or a human group, may possess. These mutations do not provide any game rule changes, they only change a character's appearance and make them more unique. Encountering a group of humans with green robes and blue keffiyehs is interesting, but it might make your players think twice if they all also have pale violet eyes.
DM's should feel free to roll 1d100 to determine random aspects of a human, or human group. Fell free to roll as many times as you wish and alter any mutations as you see fit. In addition, player character's may manifest a mutation if damaged in an area of twisted magic.
Please note that white and black indicate ranges of color beyond the spectrum of normal human skin tones.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Hurrums Who Wished for a King. A Dark Sun Fable.

After being free for so long, the hurrums of the scrub plains grew tired of governing themselves. They had too much freedom, they complained, and it had spoiled them. They didn't have enough food, because no one wanted to work. They would just lounge around all day and hum about how bored they were. They wanted a government who could organize them and make the lazy among them work. So, they cried out to *Badna to send them a king.
Badna knew that the hurrums were foolish creatures, so Badna sent them a large block of obsidian. The block fell from the sky and the hurrums thought it was a fearful thing and hid themselves. However, they soon discovered that their king was peaceable and tame. The younger hurrums would climb and glide from their king and the older hurrums would hold meetings atop it.
They hurrum became even more spoiled and lazy. They would not get food to feed each other, or defend themselves from the easiest of predators. All the hurrums did was complain about their lackluster king. Badna saw this and decided to show the hurrums mercy.
Badna knew the hurrums could not care for themselves, so Badna instead sent them a Z'tal for their king. The Z'tal was cruel and occasionally devoured one of the hurrum, but the z'tal was a much better king. He organized the hurrums into a proper civilization and forced them all to work, which provided food for everyone. The hurrums were much happier with this new king and thanked Badna, for they knew they could not rule themselves.

*The deity in question differs based upon the city-state where the fable is being told. For example, Badna is used in Raam, the Oba in Gulg, Tectuktitlay in Draj, etc.
This fable is promoted by the sorcerer monarchs of every city-state.