View Full Version : Dark Sun Conversion

04-28-2009, 05:54 PM
I'm currently framing together a module that would convert not all, but a majority of the Dark Sun setting to 4e. I've decided that the available campaign settings aren't to the liking of myself or to my players, so I've started this project in earnest. The sticking points in my mind are thus: Elemental Clerics, Environmental saves and effects, converting the Mul and Half-Giant races, Rules for Defiler magic, and Weapons and items. I already have at least two incarnations of beta tests for the Psion class, which is a considerable portion of the game setting, but now I've reached an impass with the finer points of the Burnt World of Athas. I have some ideas in mind, but would appreciate a broader perspective. Anything notions are appreciated.

04-28-2009, 06:07 PM
i am not familiar with dark sun a TON, but I know a little.

when it comes to conversion, I try to take the minimalist approach (change as little as you can).

I think mechanically, the goliath of PH2 is close to what you would want for that. Change his size and give bonuses to endurance and athletics.

For half-giants, maybe +2 int +2 str. Maybe the the earthy power you get for earth manifestation with genasi for the encounter power.

Also, I KNOW there is a 3.5 conversion out there (fanmade), so that may help you with ideas. The leap from 2e to 4e is bigger than 3.5 to 4e.

04-28-2009, 07:06 PM
Please share if possible....... Thanks

04-28-2009, 07:48 PM
Here's what i have so far.

As for classes, i'm sticking with those found in 2e:
Wizard (defiler and preserver)

I was thinking either Warlock or Paladin for the Templar class, leaning toward paladin

and the Warlord class for gladiator, but i am also debating having the fighter being the gladiator, and the rogue to be a watered down fighter.

as for races:

and the following write ups for Mul and Half-Giant

Ability scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution
Size: Medium
Speed: 6
Vision: Normal
Languages: Common, Dwarf
Skill Bonuses: + 2 Endurance, +2 Athletics
Racial Abilities:
“Tall and Stout” aka Dual Heritage: (see above)
Sounds cool as flavour, but is only any good if there are dwarf/human racial feats that are any good.
Never Gives up:
Reaction, encounter
When Bloodied: When you have been succesfully dealt damage, you spend a healing surge.
Add your Constitution Modifier to your Healing surge value.
Unbroken & unbent:
If your character becomes dazed make an immediate Con save, if successful, you remove the daze effect.
If your Character is knocked prone make an immediate Con save, If successful you are dazed instead.
Tempered Steel:
Mul’s are renown for their determination as well as their violent tempers.
Gain +2 to intimidate and +2 to will saves.
Mul’s resolve: (Encounter, Free action)
The character gains a number of temporary Hp equal to his healing surge value.
Slow to anger:
When Bloodied Mul’s gain +1 bonus and +2 to damage with any melee weapon strike. The effects persist until the end of the combat once triggered.

Half-Giant (This Large Race cost 1 ’’racial’’ feat)
Average Height: 10’ – 12’
Ability Scores: +4 Str, +2Con
Size: Large
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal
Languages: Common
Skills Bonuses: +2 Intimidate, +2 Endurance
Giant Size: Since you large size, large weapon equip as one-hand but all non-magical equipment is double cost for you. Your normal Reach is 1.
Giant Heritage: Your Healing surge value is equal to 1/4 you max HP + your Constitution modifier.
Brutal Slam: You can use brutal slam as an encounter power.
Brutal Slam: Half-Giant Racial Power
You stretch yourself and slam an enemy with a powerful swing of your arm.
Standard Action Melee 2
Attack: Strength vs. AC
Increase to +2 at 11th level, +4 at 21st level.
Hit: 2d4 + Strength modifier damage, and the target is
knocked prone.
Increase the damage to 4d4 + Strength modifier modifier at 11th
level and 6d4 + Strength modifier at 21st level.

and here is something about the mechanics of defiler magic:

Athisian Magic
All Athisian magic come from the life that surrounds us. Whenever a Character uses a Wizard attack or Utility spell the ground around him visibly darkens and dies turning to ash. This is a burst around the character equal to 1/2 the level of the Wizard power being used. All wizards have access to the following at-will power:
Defile the land
At-will, Arcane
Minor Action Burst Special
Effect You may double the burst area of your Athisian magic to gain a +2 power bonus to attack and a +1d6 damage for the next use of a Wizard attack power.
Arcane Implement Mastery
Choose one of the following forms of implement mastery. You may retrain this choice upon reaching a new level as if it were a feat or power with your GMs permission.
Preserving: You know how to best draw the arcane energies from the earth around you without destroying the life it supports. As a minor action you can reduce the burst of your Athisian magic to 0.
You know how to hide you magic from the eyes of those that may wish you harm. you gain stealth as a trained skill and you may make a stealth check to hide any use of a power from the people around you.
Defiler You trade the life of Athas for power, any time you use Defile the Land the power bonus is increased by have of your level.
Because of your callousness towards the life of your world you have found a quick path to power. Once per encounter you may move your alignment one step closer to Chaotic evil to regain one of your daily powers.

As for the clerics, there is information in the 2e DS book Earh, Air, Fire and Water that lists minor powers for clerics that they can choose at various levels; i think they'd work well as utility powers. In addition there is one major power that is gained at the fifth level that would work well as a daily power choice.

A word of notice; these are not my write-ups and i will in no way take credit for someone else's work...these ideas were put forth by the folks at athas.org...and are very well thought out. I'll refine them and make them more unique to my players and play test them. There is much work to be done, but i thought i would share.

If anyone else has anything to contribute let me know.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
As for Horror's suggestion, i've spent the better part of three weeks working on conversions from 3.5 to 4, but it would involve changing all of the wizard and cleric spells, plus creating new ones from levels 21 through 30. It's been my experience that creating a layover, or patch taking the basics of racial and class exclusives to put on 4e, as opposed to pulling up 2 or 3e to 4th edition standards. It ends up requiring as much if not more work than just creating a new setting from scratch, its a real nightmare.

04-29-2009, 12:32 PM
I know you said you found a psion class, but I wanted to add my two cents on psionics.

I think how it will/should be handled in 4e (while retaining the flavor) is by using PP to augment/recharge. You spend y points to increase dam a bit, or you spend x points to increase the area of the blast, or you spend z points to change it from dazed until end of your next turn to dazed (save ends), or spend n points to exclude m targets from being affected by your power.

Also you can spend pts to recharge spent powers or recharge spent action points or HS.

Figuring out how many pp to charge and how many to allocate at each level is TRICKY at best, but this seems like the best way to retain the feel of psionics.

Also, that +4 to str on half-giant is dangerous at best. I think a bonus +2 to an ability is worth much more than a feat.

04-29-2009, 01:55 PM
Of the modules that i've seen, they have taken the Psionic abilities and divided them between daily, encounter, utility and at-will. They also have psionic feats...pretty straight forward stuff, similar to any of the arcane classes. The point system, would bring balance to the class, but i don't think it would be consistent with 4e, with the elimination of the Spells per Day, statistics...

As for the half-giant's strength modifier...I know it seems a major step to be a +4, but the half-giants on Athas were magically created for slave labor for the sorceror-kings. Their size, being almost twelve feet tall, alone dwarfs that of the goliath race, being seven feet tall. It seems excessive, but unfortunately, that's part of the allure of Dark Sun is its harsh climes. (Characters are forced to make survival roles being exposed in the open environs of the desert.) Even in 2e, beginning characters were instructed to start at third level. If these half-giants were in the standard game world, i wouldn't advocate such extremes, but being where they are, it seems appropriate.

04-29-2009, 02:00 PM
in that case, I would have JUST have a +4 to Str, and no other bonus. Maybe the encounter power could reflect their high int.

I think it could be consistent with 4e. They would still have @wills, utilities, dailies, and encounter powers, but the PP would allow them to make the powers "better" and to retain the concept of unlimited use as long as you have PP would be incorporated by allowing some sort of recharge mechanism. You may not need to do recharge (because encounters recharge frequently enough, and daily's are really powerful and don't need recharging) but I do think the augmentation wouldn't be out of line for 4e.

04-29-2009, 02:29 PM
I agree with keeping the +4 and no other bonus; (but maybe keep the racial bonus?)

As for the power point system, perhaps give the system the following revamps:

Power Point usage allows for encounter, or utility power to be used more than once. Points can be used to recharge without rest...

Power points increase damage on offensive strikes maybe raise the damage by a die...

Power points used to raise attack mods against psion, and/or increase defensive rolls for the psion...temporary hit points? Maybe even an ability that generates a defensive shield, similar to the Swordmage?

The only problem is creating a matrix for points per level, and point usages per abilities, after the abilities are ironed out.

I also read up in 2e that some Clerical abilities cannot be recharged without being in contact with their patron element. Perhaps this could be worked in that your at-wills, encounters, utilities, and daily's can't be recharged with just five minutes, or eight hours of rest, but they have to be in contact with the elements.

Also, wizards, both defilers and preservers have to have contact with the ground in order to cast spells. The weakened condition of the planet's ambient magic source will only allow casting while in touching the ground. We could implement a rule stating that spells could be cast without contact, but with a penalty against casting, and at higher levels, after 21st, tertiary contact isn't necessary...

04-29-2009, 02:43 PM
i think the main thing to keep in mind on HOW a power can be augmented is by keeping in mind the role.

For dam boost (only for strikers)

For range area boost (only for controllers)


As for how to boost dam. Maybe not a whole dam die, but maybe add in secondary, tertiary, or primary ability mod. I.e. if spend x pts, the power does additional damage equal to str mod.

For leaders, maybe if spend x points all adj allies to enemy get +2 to atk enemy (but make it compatible with what power primarily does).

For defenders, maybe some way to boost marking. I.e. if a fighter type marks a bad guy, he can spend pp to make the mark have "marked (save ends)" instead of marked until end of your next turn.

Also, there was a dragon article on gladiator stuff. It wasn't bad, and it probably is worth looking into.

For 1/2 giant, he looks fine except, no +2 con, and I would look at the bugbear racial profile in the monster manual. They are allowed large weapons, so they could be a "guide" on how to define the 1/2 giant. The encounter power is appropriate though.

04-29-2009, 03:00 PM
I was under the impression WOTC had already started this in their online pay for articles. But heh nothing wrong with a good old free fan conversion :D

04-29-2009, 03:56 PM
First to Horror:

Sounds like an excellent way to go. The two variants the beta tests give are Psychic Warrior and Wilder, Striker and Controller respectively. I'll go ahead and implement your ideas into a future play test, if i could borrow your idea.
I've also been having trouble with the Mul race. They are supposed to be stronger than dwarves, but are more renowned for their endurance. Maybe have more a constitution mod? As it stands they seem statisically equal to dwarves.
Other than a few sticking points with Clerics' spells and psionics i think i've got things covered. But i'm always in the market for new ideas...

Finally to Horton: I've heard such news of WotC coming up with Dark Sun related articles. I appreciate the input. But if i could be blunt, they have a bad habit of taking great ideas from earlier campaign settings and cannibalising them for the sake of a quick buck. Sandstorm, and Heroes of Horror, for Dark Sun and Ravenloft respectively...not to mention the Expedition to Castle Ravenloft for 3.5 states that Barovia can be placed in either Faerun or Eberron...which as a Ravenloft veteran is infurating...I'd rather take my chances with something i and my fellow gamers come up with. Faerun and the cataclysmic spellplague? Strahd as a level 10 wizard/necromancer? Can't wait to see what they do to Eberron...

06-08-2009, 01:10 PM
I play a half giant barb in a 3.5 version. One thing our DM did was use the sandstorm book. I'm not sure how well waste barb will transfer to 4e but i highly suggest it.

Also a cool thing to remember is the half giant alignment change. We play that it basicly only happens at night while I'm sleeping. So its fun to to go to bed c/g and wake up c/e.

06-09-2009, 05:09 PM
That's one way to do it, but i usually played it off as occuring during the day...especially after a hell-a-fied battle...i'm always a big fan of putting the players at unease against each other, especially in high tension situations...always great fun...especially in a world like Athas, where getting from one place to another is already a problem, but then compounding it with a half-giant with issues...

good times...

06-10-2009, 08:13 AM
thats how I wanted to do it, but its easier for the dm to do it the other.

06-10-2009, 04:33 PM
There you go, DM's decision is final; but you could pose it to him/her as an alternative course of action. Not really for every change, but just to shake things up a bit...