Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Zhackal that Flew. A Dark Sun Fable.

One day, a young zhackal was contemplating his life. He saw the flying creatures swoop through the sky. The young zhackal became sad and discontented. He wanted to see the world, but he was bound to the earth, unlike the nimble creatures who ruled the sky.
One day he met a pair of razorwings and told them that he envied their ability to fly. He explained that he wanted to see the world, but he was bound to the earth.
"We can help you to see the world," said the razorwings. "Grab this stick with your teeth and we will carry you. If we go high enough, you will be able to see the world around us. But keep quiet or you will be sorry."
The zhackal was very happy with his new friends and their plan. He bit the stick firmly with his teeth and the two razorwings grabbed hold of it, one at each end, and away they flew. They carried the zhackal above the city-states and mountains.
Just then a Kes'trekel flew by. He was astonished at the strange sight and cried out: "A flying zhackal! Well, this must be the king of all zhackals!"
"Why certainly—" began the zhackal.
But as he opened his mouth to say the foolish words, he lost his hold on the stick. He fell down to the rocks below. The razorwings then had a great feast of the zhackal's broken corpse.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Cildabrin

There are many creatures from the various monstrous manuals that have been officially added to Dark Sun. I added some unofficially for my game and I'm sure a lot of other DMs do the same.
There is no inherent problem with this, although the flavor text often doesn't fit with the Dark Sun setting. My goal is to list the various monsters that "don't fit" and rewrite their flavor text to make them fit.
I often add a new Athasian variant as well.


Cildabrin Cildabrin, Savage
Climate/Terrain Subterranean Ruins of Kalidnay
Frequency Very rare Very rare
Organization Solitary Solitary
Activity Cycle Any Any
Diet Carnivore Carnivore
Intelligence Low (5-7) Animal (1)
Treasure C or D Nil
Alignment Neutral Evil Chaotic Evil
No. Appearing 1-2 1
Armor Class 5 2
Movement 15 15
Hit Dice 11 16
THAC0 9 4
No. of Attacks 3 3
Damage/Attack 1-12/1-12/1-6 2-16/2-16/1-12
Special Attacks See Below See Below
Special Defenses Nil See Below
Magic Resistance 20% 50%
Size H (13' across, 6'-10' high) H (16' across, 10'-14' high)
Morale Elite (13-14) Fearless (19-20)
XP Value 7,000 12,000

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Trapper and the Little Z'tal. A Dark Sun Fable.

A poor Nibnese trapper, who lived on the game he caught, had bad luck one day and was only able to catch a very small z'tal. The trapper was about to put it in his basket when the little z'tal said:
"Please spare me, Mr. Trapper! I am so small it is not worth the trouble of carrying me home. When I grow bigger, I will make you a much better meal."
But the trapper quickly put the z'tal into his basket.
"I would be a fool," he said, "to let you go. It doesn't matter how small you are, you are better than nothing."

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Session Forty-Four: The Queen of Yaramuke

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

Jessel asked Vashti if her plant half had been defiled. She answered that it had not and they both started at Kalino quizzically. Kalino was still gasping, but told them that he was not a defiler.
Jessel then looked up and with frustration called out, "Now? Right now?" With a look a resignation, he apologized and said he had to go. He opened a dimension door and stepped through.
The cold in Alaxander's chest had become common place, like an old injury, it was easy for him to ignore. But now, the cold began to move. He was alarmed as it moved down his chest, through his left leg and out of the bottom of his foot. For the first time in days, his heart felt warm. He shuddered at the sensation and his left leg gave out.
As he fell to the wet ground, he slid into the black water. He tried to grab the wet rocks, but his fingers slipped. He could not stop his descent and disappeared into the black water.
Vashti leapt toward Alaxander's rapidly disappearing form. She grabbed the back of his breastplate and called out. Shade grabbed Vashti and then Alaxander. He pulled them out of the black water easily.
Vashti asked if Alaxander had drunk any of the water, to which he replied that he had not. Vashti checked him out anyway, to make sure he was not poisoned. After a few minutes, she was satisfied with his condition.
Suddenly, with shock and exclamations, the body of the horned man rose. Vashti was ready to strike with her bone club, but she saw the the horned man's eyes were black, instead of red, and a black mist rose from the corners of his mouth.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Session Forty-Three: The Demon of Yaramuke

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

"Normally, it's fifty years before some greedy fools come down here looking for treasure. You're here early, so you must have found the secret to making the palace appear." The horned man began.
"Every fifty years?" Vashti questioned, "How long have you been here?"
 "I'm not sure," the horned man began, "at least five hundred years, but likely many more. I've lost count."
Shade heard the talking and rejoined the group.
"If the palace appears, why don't you go home?"
"I can't." The horned man pouted."I'm stuck here on this little world."
"You're not from Athas?" Shade questioned.
"No," The strange man answered, "I am from another plane. And before you ask, no, not an inner plane. There are so many planes, your little minds cannot comprehend them."
"Planes that aren't the inner planes?" Vashti asked, "I heard of the possibility, but I never knew."
The horned man laughed, "Yes there are other planes. There's an infinite number of them. Unfortunately, you can't send me home, so I won't be giving you want you want."
"We want the gem you're holding." Vashti stated.
The horned man smiled, "I know."
"What do you want for it?" Vashti asked.
"I get very bored, so you're going to play a game with me." The horned man said pompously.
"We're not here to play games." Shade interjected.
"Well," the horned man smiled, "you don't have a choice."
The horned man disappeared with a loud bamf.
Alaxander complained, "Hey, he stole my move!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Dragon Mountain

I was so busy this week, I had little opportunity to work on Dark Sun ideas. So, I decided to share some thoughts about a recent acquisition of mine, the AD&D Boxed Set, Dragon Mountain. This is not a Dark Sun product, but let's not hold that against it.
I have not read it in it's entirety, yet, but I did look through the three books and various other items. The adventure reminds me a great deal of the JRR Tolkien book, The Hobbit. I am convinced this was not a mistake.
I imagine this could be adapted to Dark Sun, by using a drake as the main antagonist, or some other powerful foe.

Below I have included the character tiles that came with this boxed set. I must point out that the kobold minis have pictures of goblins on them. I find this funny.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Kes'trekel and the Lirr. A Dark Sun Fable.

One hot morning as a lirr was using his sharp senses to track prey through the rocky desert, he saw a kes'trekel on the lip of a large boulder overhead. This was not the first kes'trekel the lirr had seen. What caught his attention this time, and made him stop for a second look, was that the lucky kes'trekel held a fat dead rat in her beak.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Session Forty-Two: The Palace of Yaramuke

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

Jessel got the familiar, far away look in his eyes and bid his friends farewell. He opened a dimension door with the will and explained that earth was summoning him. He stepped through and vanished.
Knowing that time was short, the group began searching the palace as quickly as they could, while staying together. They cautiously moved down the corridors, with weapons at the ready. They saw a couple more of the pillars with the women carved into them.
They first found a large banquet hall, with worn and tattered tapestries hanging on the walls. They marveled at one that showed a forest and stream. The table, although badly worn was constructed of a strange red wood.
On the side wall of the room was a door. Through the door was a large kitchen. The tables and cabinets were still standing, and layers of dust covered every service. A large fireplace dominated one wall. They searched the kitchen and found some tin plates, bowls, and cups. They all grabbed a set for themselves.
In addition, they found many jars; most of which were empty or filled with unidentifiable fragments. They did find a couple of jars of preserved kank honey, a jar of whiskey, some salt, a little bit of stale water, and a fresh cherry. They were baffled that the cherry was still fresh and contemplated that it might be magical. Vashti also grabbed some empty jars, because they might need them later.
They continued their search and found three small bedrooms. Inside they found a silver comb and a small brass bowl. The fact that these treasures were left behind was shocking to the group. The rooms also each had a tattered rug and an ancient bed. One of rooms even had a silver and obsidian mirror, but it too large and cumbersome to carry.