Dark Sun 4e

Yeah, I’ve got D&D on the brain.

Some vague ideas about D&D using 4e:

– Skill challenges for travel between cities

– Dehydration: not having enough water eating up healing surges

– Jim’s nice one: Sorcerer King Epic Destiny

– Psionic Encounter Powers for everyone!

– Obsidian weapons that shatter when you…I dunno: roll a 1, roll a 20, do too much damage, hit certain kinds of shelled critters?

– Explicit remnants of a fantasy world gone very wrong that was eventually sealed off by the gods and left to the elements…or, OR, there is some way to link Dark Sun’s planar isolation to the war with the Primordials. That would rock.

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56 thoughts on “Dark Sun 4e

  1. I love the sound of this, a lot.

    For obsidian weapons maybe something like M&M health brackets would work: chipped, nicked, and so on, with increasing chances of breakage.

  2. I love the sound of this, a lot.

    For obsidian weapons maybe something like M&M health brackets would work: chipped, nicked, and so on, with increasing chances of breakage.

  3. Maybe Athas is what victory looks like, for the Primordials. It could be an alternate universe where all the astral deities were slain in the war. Life struggled on, on Athas, and for a while was a riot of unrestrained creation (the Blue Age, etc., if you like the official mythology, which I happen to hate). But the universe was ultimately uninterested in life, and so there was no one to stop the sorcerous wars that blasted the planet. Athas isn’t without its own harsh beauty, but it doesn’t have the kind of environment necessary for life, and is bound to be torn apart and returned to primal chaos when the Magma Elementals finally get their way. The Sorcerer-Kings are just re-arranging the deck chairs.

  4. Maybe Athas is what victory looks like, for the Primordials. It could be an alternate universe where all the astral deities were slain in the war. Life struggled on, on Athas, and for a while was a riot of unrestrained creation (the Blue Age, etc., if you like the official mythology, which I happen to hate). But the universe was ultimately uninterested in life, and so there was no one to stop the sorcerous wars that blasted the planet. Athas isn’t without its own harsh beauty, but it doesn’t have the kind of environment necessary for life, and is bound to be torn apart and returned to primal chaos when the Magma Elementals finally get their way. The Sorcerer-Kings are just re-arranging the deck chairs.

  5. Maybe Athas is what victory looks like, for the Primordials. It could be an alternate universe where all the astral deities were slain in the war. Life struggled on, on Athas, and for a while was a riot of unrestrained creation (the Blue Age, etc., if you like the official mythology, which I happen to hate). But the universe was ultimately uninterested in life, and so there was no one to stop the sorcerous wars that blasted the planet. Athas isn’t without its own harsh beauty, but it doesn’t have the kind of environment necessary for life, and is bound to be torn apart and returned to primal chaos when the Magma Elementals finally get their way. The Sorcerer-Kings are just re-arranging the deck chairs.

  6. Maybe Athas is what victory looks like, for the Primordials. It could be an alternate universe where all the astral deities were slain in the war. Life struggled on, on Athas, and for a while was a riot of unrestrained creation (the Blue Age, etc., if you like the official mythology, which I happen to hate). But the universe was ultimately uninterested in life, and so there was no one to stop the sorcerous wars that blasted the planet. Athas isn’t without its own harsh beauty, but it doesn’t have the kind of environment necessary for life, and is bound to be torn apart and returned to primal chaos when the Magma Elementals finally get their way. The Sorcerer-Kings are just re-arranging the deck chairs.

  7. Re: Breaking Weapons

    Maybe a simple one- or two-step modifier.

    I admit it: I just like the idea of using chipped and nicked obsidian weapons in moments of crisis.

  8. Re: Breaking Weapons

    Maybe a simple one- or two-step modifier.

    I admit it: I just like the idea of using chipped and nicked obsidian weapons in moments of crisis.

  9. Skill challenges for lightweight travel between cities. Treating travel to more remote or dangerous locations as Traps/Hazards? Teh win. (“Oh! You strayed too close to the Screaming Desert, take 2d6 Thunder damage…” / “I figured out how to disable the Travel To Far-Sands hazard! Come follow me on my shortcut…”)

    This all said, this is me, over here, mulling Mu 4E.

  10. Re: Breaking Weapons

    Your weapon is Flawed (save ends). First failed save: your weapon is destroyed on the next successful hit (no save). If you do not hit anything with your weapon by the end of the encounter, you are able to effect repairs.

  11. Re: Breaking Weapons

    Yeah, I’d probably list that as the Critical: block on the weapon, maybe pair it with +1d10 per plus, to represent the fact that these things are lethal but fragile.

  12. Re: Breaking Weapons

    Yeah, I’d probably list that as the Critical: block on the weapon, maybe pair it with +1d10 per plus, to represent the fact that these things are lethal but fragile.

  13. I’d be careful about dehydration removing healing surges. In 4E characters tend to rest not when they’re out of daily powers but when they’re low or out of healing surges. If you want more rests then that works fine, but you’ll discover that the characters have access to daily powers far more often than you would otherwise expect. This may make it difficult to offer encounters that aren’t always dialed to “risky.”

    • Risky and Brutal

      Making Dark Sun deadly, I think, is being true to that original boxed set. That was why players had a character tree, after all.

      Risky is where we want the Dark Sun encounters at.

      • Re: Risky and Brutal

        I know, I’ve played plenty of Dark Sun. 😉

        Let me know how it works out. I won’t touch healing surges since doing so results in undesirable game play for me, but maybe I’ve simply overworked a new way to approach it.

  14. I’d be careful about dehydration removing healing surges. In 4E characters tend to rest not when they’re out of daily powers but when they’re low or out of healing surges. If you want more rests then that works fine, but you’ll discover that the characters have access to daily powers far more often than you would otherwise expect. This may make it difficult to offer encounters that aren’t always dialed to “risky.”

  15. I’d be careful about dehydration removing healing surges. In 4E characters tend to rest not when they’re out of daily powers but when they’re low or out of healing surges. If you want more rests then that works fine, but you’ll discover that the characters have access to daily powers far more often than you would otherwise expect. This may make it difficult to offer encounters that aren’t always dialed to “risky.”

  16. I’d be careful about dehydration removing healing surges. In 4E characters tend to rest not when they’re out of daily powers but when they’re low or out of healing surges. If you want more rests then that works fine, but you’ll discover that the characters have access to daily powers far more often than you would otherwise expect. This may make it difficult to offer encounters that aren’t always dialed to “risky.”

  17. Risky and Brutal

    Making Dark Sun deadly, I think, is being true to that original boxed set. That was why players had a character tree, after all.

    Risky is where we want the Dark Sun encounters at.

  18. Re: Risky and Brutal

    I know, I’ve played plenty of Dark Sun. 😉

    Let me know how it works out. I won’t touch healing surges since doing so results in undesirable game play for me, but maybe I’ve simply overworked a new way to approach it.

  19. Re: Risky and Brutal

    In the spirit of musing, then.

    One thing to keep in mind with healing surge mechanical changes is that the healing surge is a pacing mechanic. Removing healing surges says “I only want one or two fights a day” or something similar based on how many have been eaten up by mechanics.

    This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if the characters are more focused on survival or uniting elven desert tribes rather than delving into “dungeons” or having a sequence of easy to moderate difficulty encounters culminating in a fairly tough one. I think it’s just important to keep in mind that if the currency was called “Pacing Points” instead of “Healing Surges” you may not be so inclined to touch it in the same way.

    This comes from messing with healing surges briefly in one of my two games (Forgotten Realms) to try and award benefits for appropriate rest and penalties for inappropriate rest. It just didn’t have the impact I thought it would and quickly discarded the mechanic.

  20. Pingback: Dark Sun Tweets « The Githyanki Diaspora

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