Interest Check: An AD&D 2nd Edition Game of DARK SUN?


Hello folks!

With my schoolwork starting to even out a bit and my current DARK SUN campaign progressing kinda slowly, I've gotten a hankering for some old-school campaigning. I'm curious to hear if there's any interest in a prospective DARK SUN campaign using AD&D 2e rules.

It will be my first time using the old system, but I think I can come to grips with it.

I'm down, I love 2e and Dark Sun. What sources are you allowing?

Love Dark Sun. One of the longest PbPs I've done here was on Athas. I'd be up for PF2e, but wouldn't touch ADnD 2e with a THACO.

P.S. Are we gladiating soon? Kaxatja et al are waiting... ;)

Attack, PF2e: 1d20 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 2 + 3 = 15 dice roll + proficiency + ability
Attack, ADnD2e: 18 - 1d20 - 3 ⇒ 18 - (5) - 3 = 10 thac0 - dice roll - ability

Really is it so alien? One subtracts, another adds. Thac0 is basically the old school prof bonus, or attack bonus.

And the kewlest Dark Sun stuff is already in 2e, so DM doesnt have to convert.

Heh, THACO is the least of my problems with ADnD 2e. I lived through it. I'm really looking for some PF2 games to learn the system...

mishima wrote:
I'm down, I love 2e and Dark Sun. What sources are you allowing?

I'll be using the original boxed set rules and pretty much every sourcebook except for Windriders of the Jagged Cliffs. I'm planning on sticking with the original psionics and arcane casting rules instead of those introduced in the Revised setting, simply because I'm a bit more familiar with them.

Dark Sun was one of the settings I always wanted to play as a kid but never got the chance. My experience is limited to the CRPG Dark Sun: Shattered Lands and the NWN fan remake of Dark Sun: Online.

I'm on the fence about committing to anything. I'm full up on games atm and don't really want to go back to AD&D. But Dark Sun.

Dark Sun: Shattered Lands FTW. :)

I'll make a couple of tweaks to the AD&D ruleset if it'll make the game more fun. The main reason I'm going with AD&D rules is because I really don't want to go through all the hassle of converting adventures and material from AD&D to PF1 or 5e--I've got a lot on my plate already.

Coolness, I like the original boxed set more than the revised rules. Count me in, I'll likely be a thief...or preserver.


So far, I've got one confirmed interested player...

I'd probably do a psionicist. I never liked what happened to those rules on later editions. Is the Psionicist's handbook valid? I'd have to dig it out.

Yep, the Complete Psionics Handbook is valid.

As is the Complete Gladiator's Handbook.

Shall I make an official recruitment thread, then?

I'm also interested, though more in AD&D in general than Dark Sun in particular.
I'm only vaguely familiar with Dark Sun, since I never played in it back in the day. Looking around the net, it looks like there are a lot of variant rules? Do we need those original boxed set rules? I've got my old 2E books, just not any of the setting stuff.

Won’t be able to make a more in-depth post until this afternoon, but short answer is yes.

Alright, for a more in-depth explanation of why the DARK SUN boxed set rules are necessary...

DARK SUN made a lot of radical changes to how traditional D&D races and classes functioned, in addition to adding a few new ones. For instance, elves aren't the long-lived, quietly noble and ponderous race they would be in other D&D settings: here, they're tall, untrustworthy beings who run everywhere and prefer to live life as fully as they can in the present instead of waiting for the future to unfold. Dwarves have no body hair whatsoever and have a cultural practice of focusing entirely on the completion of a single goal at a time, to the exclusion of just about anything that doesn't have to do with its accomplishment. Half-Elves are mistrusted by both humans and elves, forcing them to be almost entirely self-reliant. And halflings are headhunters and cannibals who dwell in the few remaining forests and jungles of Athas. Gnomes were hunted to extinction on Athas a long time ago.

In addition to those races, there are three new ones for players to choose from: the mul (a cross-breed of human and dwarf, bred as slaves to be laborers and warriors without peer), the half-giant (a cross-breed of human and giant with great resilience, simple minds and no culture of their own, preferring to imitate charismatic people and adopt their customs), and the thri-kreen (mantis-people whose culture revolves around the pack and the hunt).

Clerics don't pledge themselves to gods on Athas, for it has no gods. Instead, clerics gain their power from the Elemental Planes--planes of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Druids are much the same, pledged to one of the Elemental Planes in exchange for their power--and a duty to guard a particular piece of land (or wind pattern, or body of water, or some other natural phenomenon), keeping it safe from those who would destroy and defile it.

And speaking of defilers, arcane magic is drawn not from the Weave, as with the Forgotten Realms, but from plants. Every mage spell cast can damage the environment in some way. Some wizards choose to learn how to cast spells without harming the environment--these wizards are called preservers. Others choose the quicker and easier path of the defiler, gaining power and experience more quickly than preservers but at the cost of killing plant life and irreversibly damaging the environment around them a bit more. The general populace of Athas hates preservers and defilers alike, blaming mages (not wrongly) for the state of Athas: a dying, almost barren world of sand, sun and misery.

Also, psionics are a cornerstone of Athasian life. Every creature on Athas has some degree of psionic ability, even if it's only a wild talent.

Whoof, that was a lot of text... I hope I've answered your question to your satisfaction, thejeff. :)

Kind of. :)

I mean, I'd found most of that, but most of that is fluff - other than the new races and maybe the arcane casting. It wasn't entirely clear to me how much actual rules changes were tied to any of that.

I assume at least some basic characters are mechanically the same, maybe with the addition of a psionic talent. Could I build a straightforward human fighter using standard 2E rules or are the changes more pervasive than that?

Or maybe I'll just pick up the pdf. It's on sale at DriveThru. :)

Yeah, the PDF would be a good idea.

Welp, time to open a proper recruitment thread. :)

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