• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

Dark Sun As Planetary Romance

Matthew

SquareMans
Validated User
Spun off from my Dark Sun + Dune thread.

I'm thinking about doing Dark Sun as pure planetary romance. Not fantasy.

TO THAT END I am considering throwing out Dwarves, Elves, and Hobbits.

Humans, ok.

Thri-kreen and Muls, ok.

What other D&D races are both suitable for PC play and sufficiently alien to fit in such a setting?
 

Son of Kirk

Shatnertastic
RPGnet Member
I did something similiar with my Eberron campaign.

Apart from Humans I kept Shifters, Changelings, Tieflings and Halflings as offshoots of Humanity, and then concentrated on the alien stuff such as Illithids, Aboleth and other 'aberrant' races as the main nonhuman races.

There were plenty of other races that could be deemed as offshoots, such as Yuan-ti and I kept Goblins and had races such as Trolls, Bugbears, Hobgoblins and Hags being magically engineered offshoots from them created during the time of their empire.

At one stage I seriously considered using some of the races from the Star Wars d20 Alien Compendium. Some of the races in there would likely work really well for what you are doing.
 

Uqbarian

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
What other D&D races are both suitable for PC play and sufficiently alien to fit in such a setting?
If you're throwing out dwarves, elves and hobbits, I guess goliaths and gnomes are also out? How about goblins?

I'd be tempted to keep eladrin and play up their other-ness a bit. No pupils, a knack for warping space, possible precursor race to humanity etc.

Definitely changelings. Probably lizardmen (though they seem almost too obvious for planetary romance). Maybe bullywug and kenku (shifted a few notches further from 'animal-headed humanoid' and towards 'alien').
 

Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
What other D&D races are both suitable for PC play and sufficiently alien to fit in such a setting?
The two Gith races seem like they'd be a good fit. Possibly Changelings, too. Then there's that...what was it called, Wilden or whatever it was? The weird plant/animal hybrid thing that's supposed to be in PHB3 that has three distinct forms it can change to and from given time?
 

Myth

Southern Mane
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Warforged as androids. Maybe human-made, maybe some alien leftover.
 

Savre

Registered User
Validated User
Spun off from my Dark Sun + Dune thread.

I'm thinking about doing Dark Sun as pure planetary romance. Not fantasy.

TO THAT END I am considering throwing out Dwarves, Elves, and Hobbits.

Humans, ok.

Thri-kreen and Muls, ok.

What other D&D races are both suitable for PC play and sufficiently alien to fit in such a setting?
Why throw them out? Just rename and reskin them.
 

Mangus

Sword & Sanity
I definitely see Dark Sun as a great example of how D&D can be flavored more towards a sword & planet or sword & sandal setting than traditional fantasy. Perhaps this is why it did not have the following it deserved when it initially came out, but now that pulp gaming has a huge fan base Dark Sun is finally getting the attention it deserves. It was way ahead of its time back then.

Removing some of the more traditional fantasy races is not that risky of a move in this case. In my opinion it would help accentuate Dark Sun's uniqueness, and help bring out the rich sword & planet flavor the setting already has built into it.
 

CADmonkey

Registered User
Validated User
What other D&D races are both suitable for PC play and sufficiently alien to fit in such a setting?
Half-Giants work well as a "Planetary Romance" style race: A purpose-bred slave race left behind by a long-lost civilization.
 

BluSponge

Texas Gamer
Validated User
Both Troy Denning and Tim Brown have gone on the record that Burrough's Mars books were a big influence on the Dark Sun setting, so it's no surprise that it's roots in Planetary Romance are visible.

As to what races I would include? We'll I'm a purist, so I would keep ALL the standard DS races. If it makes you happy, rename the dwarf, elf, and halfling to something more appropriate. After all, other than the name and general appearance, these races have little in common with their AD&D counterparts. You could easily rename dwarves dwelfs and be done with it.

Likewise, I wouldn't add ANY of 4e's new races. No dragonborn (though I might allow draj from Valley of Dust and Fire), teiflings, goliaths, gnomes (they were all exterminated anyway), shifters or warforged (who would be deconstructed for their material value almost immediately). No eladrin (who are just redressed grey elves anyway and nicely covered by general Athasian elf). The 2nd edition of the boxed set introduced Pterrans and Aarockra PC types, of which I might keep the latter. The only gith I might allow are the gith from the setting. The Verdant Passage suggests that the Nikaal (DS MC 2) and Tarek (same) are integrated into polite society (?) and might be appropriate for PCs (though the MC versions of these humanoids may vary considerably from their initial introductions, ala the bazraag.

Really, I would look to the setting itself and stick to that. There's plenty to offer without watering it down by shoehorning in concepts that don't really fit.

The bigger question I have would be what is the impact of air ships to Dark Sun, as those are relatively commonplace in the PR genre.

Tom
 
Last edited:

king_kaboom

Benevolent Overlord
Validated User
I think airships would facilitate a lot more warfare, trade, and piracy between the city states. Not necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion. I think that could definitely make what is often seen as a very bleak setting a bit more romantic and suitable for high adventure. It might undermine the danger of crossing the desert a bit, but that would probably be easy to substitute pirate attacks for; then players would have both the threats of being murdered and marooned to deal with. Limiting the maximum altitude might be a good idea as well, keeping them close enough to the ground that ranged weapons remain a threat and potentially make them vulnerable to things living in the silt sea that have sufficient reach to pull them down.

I don't know what races I would reskin to play Dark Sun as Barsoom, but I definitely think it's possible. The harder part would be balancing radium pistols and rifles. Making them high crit/high proficiency crossbows would probably be fine; though in the books they fire explosive bullets that cause insane amounts of destruction.
 
Top Bottom