War of the Burning Sands
Character Creation Rules
(Note: See the Books page for links to any books mentioned in the Wiki.)
- The world of Athas is very different from standard Dungeons & Dragons. Take some time to develop the background, features, values, loyalties, strengths, fears, opinions, memories, and personality of your character. Roleplaying will be rewarded.
- The Gods are dead. Divine classes and powers are not allowed except under very extraordinary circumstances. The Religion skill is now Psionics and is based off of Intelligence. Psionics is used for knowledge of Psionic artifacts, Psionic lore, or Psionic creatures. Additionally, this skill can be used to Detect Psionic (trained only), behaving like Detect Magic (PHB1 p181).
- Though they do exist, Psionics are not as common in Athas as some may believe. Primary psionic classes are not allowed—-with the exception of the Monk-—but hybrid classes, themes, or feats that grant Psionic powers are legal, including multiclassing feats and the Wild Talents described in Dark Sun (p81).
- Choose an alignment based on 3.5E rules (Good/Neutral/Evil, Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic). There is no such thing as true neutral.
- In addition to race and class, you may choose a theme and its associated powers from Dark Sun (p34) or any other allowed source. You may modify the background information of a theme to make it suit your character.
- Class variants, powers, themes, and feats dealing with the elements of water or ice are likely to be ineffective in many areas of Athas. Likewise, in terms of animals, mammals are all but extinct but reptiles and insects abound. Many familiar humanoid creatures have been wiped out, including orcs, gnomes, kobolds, ogres, and more.
- You are welcome to play a Templar character if you wish, but I would discourage it for this campaign. If you do, you cannot be a Templar of Tyr or Urik.
- Each character begins knowing how to speak (but not write) Common and their racial language (Dark Sun p15). Humans speak only Common. Halflings gain a language, Rhulisti, which uses Common script. For each point of Intelligence bonus, you may choose to be able to speak one additional language or to learn how to write a language you already speak.
- Rules are made to be bent. Talk to me if you’d like to adapt something to fit your vision for your character or make a minor adjustment to some requirement or mechanic.
- If your character is from the town of Altaruk (“Gate Pass”), you may choose a bonus Gate Pass feat as described in War of the Burning Sky (p9), except for “The Temples.”
- Arena Fighting feats (Dark Sun p103) and the Wild Talent Master feat (p113) cannot be chosen after character creation unless special training is sought.
- For every two theme feats taken, you gain a +1 to attack with theme powers.
- The Alchemist feat (Eberron p87) also allows the character to use the Brew Potion ritual (PHB1 p301).
- You may take one additional feat of your choice if you are willing to take a character flaw, either chosen randomly or chosen by me to suit your character (from a third-party 4E book). Beware!
- You start with basic clothing, an Altaruk adventurer’s kit (backpack, bedroll, fire kit, belt pouch, hempen rope, five survival days), and 50gp worth of equipment. Life is hard. Use the Dark Sun Price Guide or Campaign Setting (p118) for purchasing. If you are creating a character above level 1, you start with the above adventurer’s kit and gold equal to the value of a magic item two levels lower than your current level (PHB1 p223) to spend on equipment. In this case, magic equipment or items may be allowed with GM permission.
- Metal is exceedingly rare and valuable. Most items and equipment are made from natural (wood, stone) and organic (bone, hide) materials. Very few magic items exist. Currency is measured in metallic-colored ceramic tokens (p14).
- Days spent inside settlements do not require rations, but for each day spent outside you must carry and consume one “survival day” (5gp, 8lb each, craftable; Dark Sun p123) or risk sun sickness or death (p199). Carrying capacity matters (PHB1 p222). Standard ammunition is assumed to be weightless and limitless. The value of ritual reagents is deducted directly from your gold total upon casting or crafting.
- Half-Giant (Goliath)
- Mul (Half-Dwarf)
- Dray (Dragonborn)
- Artificer (Eberron Player’s Guide) – Arcane Leader
- Assassin (Dragon 379 / Heroes of Shadow) – Shadow Striker
- Barbarian (PHB2) – Primal Striker
- Bard (PHB2) – Arcane Leader
- Druid (PHB2) – Primal Controller
- Fighter (PHB1) – Martial Defender
- Monk (PHB3) – Psionic Striker
- Ranger (PHB1) – Martial Striker
- Rogue (PHB1) – Martial Striker
- Seeker (PHB3) – Primal Controller
- Shaman (PHB2) – Primal Leader
- Sorcerer (PHB2) – Arcane Striker
- Swordmage (Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide) – Arcane Defender
- Warden (PHB2) – Primal Defender
- Warlock (PHB1) – Arcane Striker
- Warlord (PHB1) – Martial Leader
- Wizard (PHB1) – Arcane Controller
- Plus any variants or hybrids of these classes from allowed books. Psionics are allowed as part of a hybrid class or through multiclassing.