Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Battle in Urik. A Dark Sun Fable.

A young man from a small village south of Altaruk set out to explore the Tablelands. He returned a year later and told everyone of his great adventures and the wonderful things he had done.
One of the stories he told was about an army of gith that attacked the city-state of Urik. He told how he marched out in the front of the army and slew a dozen gith himself, with nothing but a stone tipped spear. He said he slew more than any other single man and the King heaped praise upon him. If anyone in the village ever traveled to Urik, they could find out it was true from the many witnesses.
Not long after he told this boastful tale, a dozen gith raiders were spotted approaching the village. The villagers laughed at the small force and did not prepare a proper defense. The boastful young man was given a stone tipped spear and made to stand between the village and the raiders.
As the villagers watched in anticipation of their champions victory, the man broke and ran, not having the bravery to face the gith. He died with a gith spear in his back.
The people of the village were captured and sold into slavery. Their village was destroyed, so they had nowhere to return to. The villagers cried out in anguish, but they all blamed themselves for believing such a fool.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Missing Monsters - Cragor Worm

It was pointed out to me by Rovewin of
Athas.org, that the Cragor Worm is mentioned in the Forest Maker adventure module. However, they are not given stats in that, or any other book. So, in an effort to rectify the situation, I have created the Cragor Worm below.

Cragor Worm
Climate/Terrain: Any, not Silt Sea
Frequency: Uncommon
Organization: Solitary or Swarm
Activity Cycle: Night
Diet: Omnivore
Intelligence: Non- (0)
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 2-24
Armor Class: 7
Movement: 8
Hit Dice: 2
Thac0: 19
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attacks: 2-5
Special Attack: None
Special Defense: None
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: T (1' long)
Morale: Average (10)
XP Value: 35

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

New Potion Fruits 02

 

Durian Fruit
Potion fruits are one of the most interesting differences between Dark Sun and other TSR settings. Although it is a simple difference, I believe it adds something special and unique to the Dark Sun World. Also, the ability to, possibly, grow more magical fruits is a major bonus. In the process of growing more fruits, you risk losing all of them, which is another harsh Dark Sun trait.
I my game, I choose to not have potion fruits rot. This means the group may find them in ancient ruins or modern complexes. If you choose to have potion fruits rot in your game, I would suggest making them rot a lot slower than fruits in the real world.
I had a lot of fun creating new potions in my last potion fruit article and it appeared to be a popular article as well. So, I have created some more using more exotic fruits. All of the fruits are real and more information can easily be gathered about them. I hope you enjoy them.

Use the chart below to randomly choose the type of fruit, color of fruit, and potion type. Roll as many times as you like, or just choose the best combination for your game.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Tigone and the Biting Fly. A Dark Sun Fable.

"Get away from me, you vile insect!" said a tigone angrily to a biting fly that was buzzing around his head. But the biting fly was not scared of the great beast at all.
"Do you think," he questioned spitefully to the tigone, "that I am afraid of you because all of the other beasts are?"
Then, he flew quickly at the tigone and bit him sharply on the nose. Mad with rage, the tigone struck fiercely at the biting fly, but only succeeded in harming himself with his own claws. Again and again the biting fly bit at the tigone, who was roaring and striking out, but only succeeded in harming himself again and again. Even his strength with the way could not stop the mindless insect. At last, worn out with rage and covered with wounds that his own teeth and claws had made, the tigone gave up the fight.
The biting fly buzzed away proudly, ready to tell the whole world about his victory over the great cat, but instead he flew straight into a spider's web. And there, the fly who had defeated one of the greatest of beasts came to a miserable end, the prey of a little spider.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

New Potion Fruits 01

Prickly Pear
Cherries. For some reason when assigning the fruit part of potion fruits, cherries are the first fruit to pop into my mind. It is perhaps because I love cherries, but so many potions being cherries wasn't particularly interesting for my players. In addition, all the fruit I thought of was common to the modern United States.
If you have the same problem as I do, this article is for you. I have decided to write up some random tables for selecting the type of fruit, color, and magical properties for your Dark Sun game. I hope you enjoy them.

All of the fruits are real. Use the chart below to randomly choose the type of fruit, color of fruit, and potion type. Roll as many times as you like, or just choose the best combination for your game.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Braxat Beetle, Acidic - New Athasian Monster


Braxat Bettle, Acidic
Climate/Terrain: Anywhere
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Omnivore
Intelligence: Non (0)
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 2
Movement: 6
Hit Dice: 12
Thac0: 9
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attacks: 3-18/2-16
Special Attack: Acid Spit
Special Defense: Acid Resistance
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: L (12' Long)
Morale: Champion (16)
XP Value: 5,000

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Kank Carrying the Templar. A Dark Sun Fable.

A young and beautiful templar of Nibenay was being carried to the Naggaramakam. She was mounted on a kank, which was adorned with garlands and gorgeous trappings, and a grand procession of lesser ranked templars followed it through the streets. As the kank walked along, the people openly gawked, smiled, and waved. The kank thought all of the attention was for him.
With his head full of these foolish ideas, he became so puffed up with pride and vanity that he halted and started to klack his mandibles loudly. But in the middle of his display, the man leading him guessed what he had gotten into his head. He began to beat him unmercifully with a stick. "Go along with you, you stupid insect," he cried. "The smiles and waves are not meant for you but for the templar you are carrying."

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Elemental, Sandman

 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.

Elemental, Sandman



Sandman, Free
Sandman, Slave

Climate/Terrain Any, non Forest Any, non Forest
Frequency Rare
Rare
Organization Family
Pack
Activity Cycle Night
Night
Diet Minerals
Minerals
Intelligence Average (8-10) Average (8-10)
Treasure Nil
Nil
Alignment Neutral Evil
Neutral Evil
No. Appearing 1d6
1d6
Armor Class 3
3
Movement 9 9
Hit Dice 4
4
THAC0 17
17
No. of Attacks 1
1
Damage/Attack Nil
Nil
Special Attacks Sleep, Spells
Sleep
Special Defenses See Below
See Below
Magic Resistance 20% 20%
Size M (5-6' tall) M (5-6' tall)
Morale Elite (13-14) Elite (13-14)
XP Value 2,000
975

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Independence Day 2021


Happy Independence Day to the United States of America. Today we celebrate our succession from Britain in 1776. The United States of America was founded, not on national identity or geography, but an idea. That all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Session Sixty-Two: Gray Plumed Mountain Part 2


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

The group stared at the two-foot diameter glass spheres and were not sure what to do next. Suddenly, the door slammed behind them. They saw that the door had a key hole and was locked tight.
A voice suddenly spoke to them. The voice came from the ceiling and echoed loudly. The voice welcomed the group to his lair of fun and told them one of the globes held the key for the door and the others held their doom. It laughed and said that this was going to be fun, for him.
The group groaned in frustration and proceeded to have a fifteen minute discussion and complain about being trapped for the defiler's amusement. Keraptis' voice boomed and told them to hurry up, but the group was defiant and told him no. Keraptis laughed and told them he would force them to move faster. The group noticed an increase in the rooms temperature. It was a slight increase, but the group knew they were now limited on time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Rat and the Mekillot. A Dark Sun Fable.

A rat was traveling along the High road in Nibenay. He was a very proud Rat, even though he was small and had a bad reputation, as all rats do. As the rat walked along, he kept mostly to a ditch, he noticed a great commotion up the road, and soon a grand procession came into view. It was the Shadow King and his retinue.
The King rode on a huge mekillot, adorned with the most gorgeous trappings and an ostentatious howdah. A great crowd of people followed the procession. They were so taken up with admiration of the mekillot, that the rat was not noticed. His pride was hurt.
"What fools!" he cried. "Look at me, and you will soon forget that clumsy mekillot! Is it his great size that makes your eyes pop out? Or is it his armored hide? Why, I have eyes and ears and as many legs as he! I am of just as much importance, and"—
But just then a slave boy spotted him, and captured him for his families dinner. The rat then knew that he was not as important as the mekillot.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Magical Weapons with Charges

 Most magic items have a bonus to hit and damage and it is permanent. One of the flavorful aspects of the Dark Sun setting is lack of resources. So, I wondered, what if magic weapons had charges? These are my thoughts and suggestions on how charged weapons could work in the AD&D second edition game, tailored toward the Dark Sun campaign setting.
The base rules for magic item creation are found in the Book of Artifacts. These rules should be used to supplement, and not replace, the rules found in this article. If there is any confusion or contradiction, just assume the Book of Artifacts is correct.
This system would require some bookkeeping, just as all magic items with charges do. If the PC is able to determine the number of charges than you, as the DM, may allow them to keep track of it themselves. However, if they do not know, you should not inform them and watch them stare in disbelief when their weapons ceases it's glow, or crumbles to dust.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Session Sixty-One: Gray Plumed Mountain Part 1

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

It surprised Vashti that the giant reptile spoke Balican.
"I do not hunt for treasure. Only for a green gem that will assist me in destroying Kalak." Vashti explained.
Vashti could barely see the massive lizard through the darkness, but she guessed its body was over thirty feet long. It showed no expression on its massive face, but it did obviously look Vashti over. She was wondering if it was going to try and eat her.
"There are many green gems in these ruins." The monster spoke condescendingly, "What makes you think it is here?"
"I have good information that the gem is here."Vashti began. "It is very obvious, because it speaks to your mind when it is touched."
The lizard sighed heavily, "Ah, yes. I know of the gem you seek."
The giant creature turned into the darkness and as it did so, Vashti could see more of its body. She decided she had been incorrect about its size. Its body was likely closer to forty feet long.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Clawed Horror - New Athasian Monster

Clawed Horror
Climate/Terrain: Anywhere
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Solitary or Pair
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Average (9-10)
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral Evil
No. Appearing: 1-2
Armor Class: -1
Movement: 15, Fl 15 (A)
Hit Dice: 8
Thac0: 13
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attacks: 2-8/2-8
Special Attack: Nil
Special Defense: Nil
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: M (5'-6' tall)
Morale: Elite (13-14)
XP Value: 2,000

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Session Sixty: The Ruins of Kalidnay

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

The group rested and explored for much of their time at the oasis. Kalino asked Shade to stealthily take some cuttings of a few of the plants. Kalino showed Shade where to trim the plants, as to not harm them. Shade did so, but was caught by Hakim.
Hakim was confused why Shade was pruning the plants and asked him to discontinue his actions. Although Shade was not harming the plants, Hakim preferred to let nature take care of itself . He explained that if a caravan came to a well pruned oasis, it would be obvious that people lived there. Shade understood and apologized.
The clippings Shade did acquire, he gave to Kalino. It was fewer clippings than he wished, but it was enough. Kalino secretly used his magic to preserve the clippings for planting elsewhere.
The group slept under the greenery that night. They kept their usual watch cycle.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Session Fifty-Nine: The Ogre Doom's Goal

 

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

The group ate a meal in Ziad's home, with his family. He had a wife, Shala, whom they knew, and two sons. Salim joined them as well. Both of the boys were fascinated by the type of creature Vashti was. Vashti explained that she had been cursed. The boys parents quieted them before they could ask more questions.
The group thanked the family for their hospitality and set up their sleeping arrangements on the families large main room rug. The family retreated to their rooms, with Salim sleeping in the kitchen area, away from the group.
Julius stayed awake to keep watch and woke Shade after his watch was up. Shade waited until Julius went to sleep and then went back to sleep himself.

Day 29, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

Upon waking, Vashti preached her sermon and summoned water. Zaid and his family were amazed and gladly took the water Vashti offered them. Zaid and Salim left for work and most of the group departed for the city. Julius stayed behind to carve weapons from some tari bones he was carrying.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Session Fifty-Eight: He Who Fights

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

Alaxander teleported to Abu's pile of ash and belongings. He began rummaging through the items, looking for the gem. One of the four henchmen did likewise. A portal to the Plane of Elemental Earth opened and Jessel fell through it.
Another henchmen, who was robed in brown, reached his hand toward the ground and the sparse vegetation around him crumbled into ash. Vashti screamed in pain, as a portion of her body crumbled to ash as well. The defiler then shot a lightning bolt from his fingers and electrocuted Shade and Kiara, who had rushed forward to attack. Kalino shouted a warning to Alaxander, who dove to the ground, then launched a fireball at the group of four henchmen.
Vashti rushed forward to heal Shade. Julius drew his finely crafted bone longsword and rushed forward as well. Two of the henchmen fought in tandem, one of them striking with his iron scimitar and the other, shooting with his short bow. Their first target was Alaxander.
Alaxander grabbed Abu's pile of belongings and teleported two-hundred yards away, so he could search the items without interruption. Shade and Kiara began fighting as a team, concentrating on the henchman with the iron scimitar. Julius rushed the defiler and Kalino assisted him.
The defiler drew energy from the plant life around him and from Vashti's own plant-like body. He created four illusionary duplicates of himself. The henchman, who had previously been searching through Abu's belongings, turned to Julius and stared at him. Julius' skin grew red and hot. Shade and Kiara continued to fight the henchman with the scimitar. The scimitar wielding henchman attacked Shade in return and the archer henchman joined him. Julius slashed at the defiler, but struck one of his duplicates instead. The duplicate vanished. Kalino tried to strike the defiler, but missed completely. Vashti magically healed herself.
As the battle raged, the group kept switching targets and not teaming up together. The henchmen fought more as a group. The defiler was devastating to Vashti, who would collapse, be healed by Kiara, and then collapse again. Fearing the defiler would kill her, Shade eventually grabbed Vashti and ran. Kiara covered his retreat.
Kalino and Julius turned on the way using henchman, who was cooking Julius and Kalino. They wounded him badly enough that he fled. They then turned their attention to the defiler. They managed to destroy all of the defiler's duplicates, but the defiler's last act was to cast a spell that allowed him to fly away.
Even though they were badly wounded, Kalino and Julius turned on the fighter henchman with the iron scimitar.

They fought, but the archer and fighter henchmen were working together well. Kalino became to badly wounded and had to retreat. He apologized to Julius, as he ran away. Julius stayed for a while longer, but then he too had to retreat. The archer took one final shot, but had to let Julius go. The henchmen were in no condition to give chase.
The group reconvened away from the intact area of the fortress ruins and caught their breath. Kiara revived Vashti and Alaxander showed the group the second gem. It looked very much like the Lord of Arms, but introduced itself as the Lord of the Mind. The Lord of Arms thought he was superior to the group, but his arrogance paled in comparison to the Lord of the Mind.
Even though his personality was insufferable, the Lord of the Mind was incredibly useful. He provided mental energy and access to telepathic powers of the way. He told them the directions and rough distance of the other gems. He also told the players that each gem could also sense the direction of him, so anyone with a gem could find the group.
With this new information, and enemies still present in the area, the group decided to leave the area sooner rather than later.
Using the way, Julius mindlinked Vashti and Alaxander. Vashti used the way to look at the base of the mountain and Alaxander was able to open a large extra-dimensional doorway for the group. They walked through it and emerged into a large rocky badland area.
Shade began looking for a place for them to stay and found a cave not too far from their location. The group limped to the cave and found it cool and dry. It went deeper, however, so the group explored further.
They heard noise ahead of their position, so Shade sneaked ahead of the group and peered around a corner. He saw a dozen elves sitting around a small fire, where they were cooking a large rodent of some kind. They appeared to be hunter-gatherers. Shade observed that all of their equipment and clothing came from animals and plants in the area.
Shade stepped forward and told them in elven not to be afraid. He told them he was a traveler and was just looking for a place to rest and recover. The elves were cautious, but the group showed their good intentions by laying down their weapons. They also offered the elves fifty feet of hemp rope, a set of bone crotalum, ten pounds of dried meat, some honey, and a bottle of common wine. The elves agreed to let the group stay, as long as their left their weapons were they were laid.
The group rested for the rest of the day and slept through the night. They kept watch, of course.

Day 28, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

In the morning, Vashti preached her sermon to the group and the elves. She created water for everyone, allowing the elves to keep the excess. The elves were grateful.
Vashti and Kiara then healed the group, so they were not on death's door, but were only moderately hurt. The group thanked the elves for their hospitality and that they were leaving. They gathered their weapons. Alaxander used the way to transport everyone to Urik, by creating a large extra-dimensional door.
Upon arriving outside of Urik, Kiara pulled her templar medallion out from under her clothes. She led the group past the line of people waiting to be allowed entrance into the city-state. Kiara approached the guards at the gate and told them to move aside, which they did. They all went inside.
Kiara was walking taller and acting much more serious. She led the group into the freeman's district and then to a decent sized home. She knocked on the door and told the woman occupant that she was required to house the group. The woman quickly agreed and invited the group inside. Kiara told them that she was going to report to the templarate and that she would return in two days. She then warned the woman that she should treat the group well, or face Hamanu's justice.
The group assured the woman that they would not be a bother and Alaxander gave her a silver piece for their lodging. The woman was astonished and happily served the group her best vegetable stew. She offered both bedrooms to the group, but the group said the main room would be fine.
A few hours later, Kiara had a lower rank templar drop off ceramic disks that gave the group permission to buy and sell items in the market district. The group went to the market district and bought new armor, a pack kank, a barrel of water, new clothes, and also sold various items.
Upon returning to their temporary lodging, they discovered that the man of the house, Ziad, was an obsidian carver. He owned a slave, Salim, but treated him well. Going so far as to compliment him on his work and saying he didn't know how he would do things without him.
The group questioned Ziad and Salim. They discovered that Salim was a slave due to unpaid debts. The group paid Salim's 75 ceramic piece debt and got a templar to certify the transaction. Salim was now a free man.
Ziad was worried that he could not keep up with the demand of his obsidian business, but Salim offered to come work for Ziad for a share of the profits. Shade helped negotiate the deal between the two men. Ziad and Salim came to an agreement rather quickly, as they had known each other for years. The shook hands and became business partners.

Join us in two weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures Under the Dark Sun. 
2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast of Player Characters 
Julius: Human male psychokinetic. 22 years old. Played by Dave. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Giant. 
Alaxander: Human male psychokinetic. 18 years old. Played by Ben. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Elf. 
Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. 20 years old. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese, Gith, Tyrian, Balican, and Urikite. 
Shade: Half-Elf male ranger/thief, 18 years old. Played by Chad. Speaks Balican, Elf and Tyrian. 
Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. 20 years old. Party NPC. Speaks Rammin, Tyrian, and Balican.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Session Fifty-Seven: Sudden Crisis


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

After making sure all of the former slaves were comfortable, the group decided to keep watch. Back with the tari, the former slaves had generally worked at night, so they were not very tired. Most of them decided to keep watch with one member of the group.

Day 27, Week 2, Fortuary, Friend's Vengeance, 190th King's Age, Sun Descending

Long before the sun rose, the Lord of Arms woke Shade by screaming into his head. The Lord of Arms screamed for Shade too awaken. Shade asked what was wrong and the Lord of Arms replied that the gem that they were closest to was being moved south, toward Tyr.
Shade groaned and rose. He woke the rest of the group, except for Alaxander who was keeping watch, and told them what the Lord of Arms had told him. They were upset and did not want to abandon the slaves. The Lord of Arms said that the Ogre Doom kills more slaves everyday than live in the village. In addition, the gem was now in someone's possession who could track the group.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Session Fifty-Six: Pro Libertate

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

Kalino and Jessel used their giant lizard hide to drag everyone, and their equipment, away from the battlefield. They traveled on top of the canyon walls, so their movement was slow going and they often ran into deep canyons that were impassable. Jessel led them to a dead end canyon with a large rocky overhang to hide from the sun and scouts.
They laid everyone out and set up a temporary triage, with Jessel serving as their healer. Kalino nervously kept watch. When camp was set up and secure, Kalino laid down and fell asleep. Jessel barely managed to stay awake to keep watch.

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 of 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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Session Fifty-Three: Vermin in the Light

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

Vashti, Julius, Shade, and Kiara finished packing up their camp and began walking through the scrub plain. As the evening grew close, they could see the rocky badlands close by. Shade and Vashti stopped them and whispered to the rest of the group that a group of bandits were waiting to attack them on some of the cliffs above the ground.
They moved a bit closer, with their weapons drawn. As the got close enough, Julius used the way and made the rocks beneath the bandits explode. The bandits tumbled to the rock strewn ground. As the bandits started to rise, the group could see that they were people with the features of rats.
The rat folk rushed toward the group, with bone tipped spears, bone machetes, bone longswords, or bone battle axes. One of the rat folk stayed back and started chittering loudly, like a battle cry. The attacking rat folk swarmed Shade, Vashti, and Julius.
Two giant rats and three rat swarms came rushing from the rocks in the canyon. Julius used the way to explode the ground and kill most of the normal rats. The rat folk were very confident, at first, but the battle quickly turned against them.
The group killed the giant rats, normal rats, and most of the rat folk. Two of the rat folk dropped their weapons, dropped to all fours and fled deeper into the canyon. The group found a couple of nets among the rubble of the rockslide, that Julius caused. The group decided that the rat folk may have wanted to capture them alive and keep them as slaves.
Thinking they might have slaves in their settlement, they decided to track the rat folk back to wherever they called home. Shade agreed to track the rat folk. Suddenly, the lord of arms started screaming at Shade and telling him that he was extremely offended that Shade doesn't care about the purpose of the lord of arms existence, but will go help some slaves at the drop of a bit. Shade brushed off the lord of arms complaints, which made the lord of arms even more angry.
Meanwhile, Jessel had returned to the elemental plane of earth and was sent with Riv back into the ethereal plane. Their goal was to find a misty curtain to the Gray, find Kwala, and bring him back to the plane of earth. Jessel wanted to find Kalino and Alaxander too, but the forces of earth did not care too much about them.
Riv and Jessel found a misty curtain, after a few hours, and they both felt that it lead to the Gray. Jessel passed through the curtain and found himself in the Gray. He closed his eyes and began feeling for life energy. Upon feeling a pin prick of life, he flew toward it. The feeling grew stronger and, after a couple of hours, he saw Kwala, Alaxander, and Kalino floating in the Gray mists.
Alaxander and Kalino were thrilled to have been found, as they were having difficulty navigating the plan of the dead. Jessel explained to them how to feel for the energy they are seeking for and Alaxander thought he could feel Riv calling out to them. Jessel and Kalino felt nothing and Kwala was still unconscious, so they followed Alaxander's lead.
A few hours of floating through the Gray and Alaxander could feel Riv near them. He reached into the gray mists and pushed them aside, revealing the ethereal plane. They passed through and saw Riv waiting for them. Riv greeted them warmly and took Kwala into his arms. Riv began leading them back to the plane of earth.
Upon arriving in the plane of earth, Kwala awoke. He was weak, but was able to use his magic to help Jessel, Kalino, and Alaxander breath. Kwala and Riv used their magic to shape the earth around them and walk through the plane of earth.
A few hours later, they arrived back near the front and they reported to the dao Gaul. Gaul thanked Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino. He asked them what was their wish. Jessel didn't know what to wish for, so Gaul gave him a smooth, flat, black stone. He said that when they knew what they wanted to wish for, to speak it to the stone. Jessel thanked him and he lead Alaxander and Kalino back into the hall.
Jessel then asked Riv if he could get them food, water, and a place to rest. Riv agreed and lead them to small room, where there was bland tasting bread and water with a lot of minerals. Riv then retrieved some cushions for the group to rest among.
Riv gave Jessel a bag or rich soil. Alaxander asked Riv for a gem that he could store mental strength inside. Riv pried a ruby from his sword's crossguard and gave it to Alaxander. Alaxander thanked him profusely. Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino then took a nap.

Back on Athas, Shade lead the group through the canyons and heard the sounds of civilization nearby. Hs left thd group and proceeded, sneakily, toward the noise. From the shadows, he spotted a group of large buildings constructed from bone, stone, and mud. Moving among the buildings were a couple dozen rat folk. He watched for a few minutes and could see the rat folk abusing some dark-orange skinned humans.
Shade sneaked back to the group and reported what he saw. After a brief discussion, the group decided to attack the settlement and free the slaves. Vashti used the way to get a bird's eye view of the settlement.
The settlement consisted of three small buildings and three large buildings. She saw, at least, three dozen rat folk and two dozen of the orange skinned humans. The humans were obviously enslaved. The group of buildings were built at the base of a thirty-foot cliff. She told the group what she had seen.
On the plane of earth, Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino were woken by Riv. He told them that now was the best time for them to depart. They rose and followed him. Kwala was in the hall, still recovering from his ordeal. As they passed, he reached out and grabbed Alaxander's arm.
He looked pained, but finally and obviously reluctantly said, "Thank you for rescuing me. It is humiliating to be recused by mortals, but I suppose that can't be helped."
Alaxander asked if there's anything else they can do for him. Kwala answered, "Kill every silt cleric you find."
Alaxander and Jessel agreed to do so.
Riv lead Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino down the maze-like passage. He stopped and pointed to a solid looking stone wall. Riv thanked them and indicated the wall. Jessel walked into the wall and passed through it. Although they were surprised, Alaxander and Kalino quickly followed him.
They emerged into a dark canyon and could see Vashti, Julius, Kiara, and Shade. There was much rejoicing.
Shade explained the situation and described the rat folk. Alaxander explained that they're called tari and commonly lived in the sewer systems of Balic. The group began making plans to attack they village. Alaxander thought he and Julius could use the way to block the settlement entrances and rain death on the village from above. The plan sounded good, but was ultimately abandoned because slave lives would be lost.
Shade and Alaxander decided to scout the village again and see if there's a way to let the slaves escape, before their attack. Shade lead Alaxander slowly through the canyon. Alaxander tried to use the way to decrease the sound of his footfalls, but caused a loud popping sound instead. The two companions ran to another part of canyon and hid again.
Two of the tari came running to investigate the sound. Shade sneaked up behind one of the tari and ran him through, with his obsidian broadsword. Alaxander used the way to silence the second tari's screams. Shade then slashed the second tari and got attacked in return. The tari missed and Alaxander used the way to mentally punch the tari to death.
Approaching the village once more, Shade and Alaxander decided to use the way to teleport to the top of the cliff and spy on the village below them. Upon teleporting, the tari guards on top of the cliff were surprised to see the two men appear. Shade and Alaxander were likewise surprised to see the tari guards.
Shade and Alaxander engaged the tari. One of the tari attacked Shade, but the other fled down the trail. The tari started screaming as he ran. Alaxander tried to use the way to teleport in front of the fleeing tari, but miss teleported and appeared thirty feet above the ground and thirty feet away from the cliff. With nothing underfoot, he plummeted toward the ground. Alaxander used the way to phase himself and sink into the rocky ground below. Shade killed the tari he was battling with, dropped his sword and then took out his bow. He fired at the fleeing tari, the arrow striking his thigh.
The village was alive with activity, armed tari moved toward where Alaxander fell. Using the way, Alaxander rose from the ground with with arms outstretched, he laughed madly and frightened some of the tari.
Alaxander saw two figures push through the crowd to see what was causing the commotion. One of the figures was a large, muscular tari wearing a tattered purple and gold silk robe. The other was a dark-skinned bald human that Alaxander recognized. It was Mohamed, the slaver he had killed. They locked eyes and Alaxander could see the hatred Mohamed had for him.

Join us in two weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures Under the Dark Sun.
2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast of Player Characters
Julius: Human male psychokinetic. 22 years old. Played by Dave. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Giant. Alaxander: Human male psychokinetic. 18 years old. Played by Ben. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Elf. Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. 20 years old. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese, Gith, Tyrian, and Balican.
Shade: Half-Elf male ranger/thief, 18 years old. Played by Chad. Speaks Balican, Elf and Tyrian. Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. 20 years old. Party NPC. Speaks Rammin, Tyrian, and Balican. Special Guest Star: Jessel: Half-Giant male earth cleric. 30 years old. Played by Nate. Speaks Giant and Tyrian.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Dwarf, the Man, and the Coin Purse. A Dark Sun Fable.

A dwarf and a human were walking along the road near the dancing gates of Nibenay. The dwarf became excited and picked up a large purse from the side of the road.
"Look how lucky I am!" The dwarf exclaimed. "This purse is full to bursting and must be full of ceramic pieces. Maybe even a silver or two."
His human companion looked at him irritably. "Don't you mean look how lucky we are?"
The dwarf pressed the purse closely to himself. "No. There is no we. I found it and it belongs to me!"
Suddenly, a shout was heard from within the gates and fingers were pointed at the pair of travelers. Cries of "thief!" could be heard and some guards and a templar were moving quickly toward the dwarf and his companion.
The dwarf looked around in a panic. "What are we going to do? They think we stole this purse!"
The human stepped away from the dwarf and replied, "No, there is no we. You found the purse and it belongs to you."
In a panic, the dwarf tried to run, but was quickly caught by the guards and templar. Unburdened by the full coin purse, his human companion was able to flee easily away from the city.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Frilled Flame Lizard - New Athasian Monster

Frilled Flame Lizard
Climate/Terrain: Anywhere Hot
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Solitary or Pair
Activity Cycle: Day
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Animal (1)
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1-2
Armor Class: 7
Movement: 12
Hit Dice: 2
Thac0: 19
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attacks: 2-5
Special Attack: Breath Weapon
Special Defense: Fire Immunity
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: S (2' long)
Morale: Steady (11-12)
XP Value: 120