Would you like to buy some esperweed? Of course you would. All the cool psions are using it.


Dark Sun products feature several components and ingredients – usually harvested from some horrible monster or other – which characters can imbibe in order to gain various advantages. Today we’re giving you a list of these, compiled from and inspired by various sources, for you to use in your game. In my own Dark Sun game I use the term metempiric components for these, but call them whatever you like – they’re substances that augment or alter the use of magical or psionic powers when incorporated into the casting of a spell, manifestation of a power, or similar effect. Handle with care.


Metempiric Components


Metempiric components augment or alter the use of magical or psionic powers when incorporated into the casting of a spell, manifestation of a power, or similar effect.


Blood, Beasthead Giant: When beasthead blood is used as a component in any alteration spell, saves against that spell suffer a –1 penalty. Inexplicably, only druids and preservers may use beasthead blood this way; it provides no benefit for other types of spellcasters.

Blood, Drake: When imbibed during the casting of a spell, drake blood adds a +5 bonus to the caster level of the spell for the purpose of resisting dispel attempts. All other aspects of the spell remain unchanged.

Blood, Id Fiend: Dried id fiend blood is used in creating a potion concocted by psionic researchers; when consumed in the round prior to manifesting a telepathy power, it increases the power’s effective level by +2.

Crystal, Dagorran: When used as a component in a potion or spell that affects the mind, the dagorran’s crystal imposes a –1 penalty on saves against that spell.

Esperweed: When the esperweed root is eaten, psionicists (single and multi-/dual-classed) have their psionic powers boosted the equivalent of five experience levels, gaining additional PSPs and powers. The player should calculate the additional PSPs the character gains and determine which new powers are gained (roll on the Wild Talent Tables if needed). The character does not gain any additional disciplines. Eating esperweed also gives a psionicist character more control of his powers. All power checks are increased by +3 for the same duration as the psionic power boost (1 turn).

Wild talents who eat esperweed also gain a boost in their psionic power. Their power checks are increased by +2, and the character receives an additional 20 PSPs.

Repeated use can be detrimental. Creatures can eat esperweed and enjoy its psionic boosting capabilities a number of times equal to their Hit Dice (or current experience level) without any ill effects. For each use beyond that, the creature’s or character’s psionic ability rapidly fades. Each excess use reduces the creature’s psionic ability by the equivalent of two experience levels. This reduction is permanent, but each reduction can be reversed by use of a restoration spell. Once a creature’s psionic ability is reduced to 0-level, the creature permanently loses its psionics.

Esperweed only retains its psionic boosting properties for a limited time. A root will retain its effectiveness for one week after being picked, after which time its potency fades quickly into nothingness.

Eyeball, Hej-kin: The withered eyeball of a hej-kin is prized by clerics of elemental earth. When used as a material component in a spell from the Sphere of Earth, it increases the effective caster level by +1.

Eyeball, Rhaumbusun: When used as a material component in a hold person spell, the glittering eyeball of the rhaumbusun doubles the duration of the spell.

Feather, Beasthead Giant: The feathers of an eagle-head giant can be used in feather fall and other flight-oriented spells, doubling the spell’s duration.

Feather, Roc: Roc feathers are a key ingredient in the manufacture of wings and brooms of flying. Using roc feathers in a fly spell will add 1d20 rounds to the duration of the spell. Not as well-known is the fact that if a mage is scribing a fly spell on a scroll, using a perfect roc feather will allow him to double the number of spells that may be scribed with the same amount of ink. (A roc slain in combat usually has no more than 1d20 perfect feathers left, for they must be undamaged and perfectly clean to serve this purpose.)

Grave Dust: Gathered from burial sites, this dust is blessed by the elements. When scattered as part of an attempt to turn or command undead, it adds +3 to the priest’s turn or command roll.

Horn, Nightmare Beast: The horns of a nightmare beast, although extremely hard to obtain, are much sought after. The horn can be ground and mixed with water to create a paste. When consumed, it grants the consumer 30 additional PSPs and two wild talents. Its effect lasts for 5 rounds.

Muzarich Root: When ingested, this rare herb allows a character to cast a more convincing illusion. Anyone seeking to disbelieve the illusion suffers a –2 penalty to their saving throw.

Remorhaz Thrym: The heat secretion of the remorhaz, known to alchemists and wizards as thrym, can be used as a material component in any spell that deals fire damage. When added to the spell in this fashion, a single dose of the thrym adds +1 point of damage per die rolled.

Tomb Frost: A fungus that grows only on the bones of the dead, when tomb frost is smeared on an individual as part of a healing spell, it ensures that any die rolls for restoring hit points with that spell yield the maximum possible result. So a cure light wounds automatically heals 8 hit points, for example.

Warp Crystal: A crystal infused with psychic energy, when crushed while manifesting a psionic power, it adds 50% to that power’s range.

White Lotus: When burned as part of a conjuration/summoning spell, any creature summoned with that spell gains +1 hit point per Hit Die.

Yathax Sap: The sap of the very rare yathax bush can be refined into an elixir which, when imbibed as part of casting an enchantment/charm spell, doubles the duration of that spell.


Metempiric Components
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The elan are a race of constructs made to imitate humans but possessing innate psionic powers. Originally created as covert agents by the mysterious group of psionicists known only as the Order, some elans are now breaking free of their programming and forging new lives for themselves. This week, we’re giving you the AD&D 2e version of the elan.


The elan race originally appeared in the 3rd edition Expanded Psionics Handbook, where they are presented as a race made from volunteers who undergo a strange transformation. When Dragon and Dungeon magazines tackled Dark Sun for 3rd edition, they added the idea of the elan being created by the Order and that’s the interpretation we’re using in our games – along with the idea that not all elan chose to become what they are.


For more on the Order, see Dragon Kings, and check out this cool blog from Jesse Heinig, which gives advice for using the Order in your Dark Sun game and includes the Order Operative kit for 2nd edition and background for 5th edition, and some Order-related feats for 3rd edition games.


As always, there’s a pdf version of the elan writeup at the end of this blog.


Elan

Originally created as a secret network of court agents by a powerful society of psions known as the Order, elans are not born; they are made. It is said that the Order erred when it created the first elans because it gave them too much free will. Some elan enclaves still owe allegiance to the Order, while other elans have turned their backs on the Order and are determined to forge their own destinies in the harsh lands of Athas. The average Athasian has never heard of an elan, but most noble families, merchant houses, and high-ranking templars have learned of their existence within the last few years.


Elans all have one thing in common: an origin as a human. A special elan council screens living humans from a pool of possible volunteers and targets who have been identified for replacement with an elan. Those who are approved for replacement are taken to one of several hidden elan enclaves, where organic life is replaced with psionically-energized animation. The elan replaces the original individual, who is usually slain.


Newly created elans retain the basic memories and personalities of their previous lives, but they keep none of their class skills, powers or spells (if any), or previous class abilities. Elans are a secretive lot in this regard, and they do not publicly reveal their enclaves or places of making. If one is to be replaced by an elan, he is usually selected. Thus, elans do not reproduce biologically, but rather psionically, through the transition life power changing humans into elan. Even then, their “children” are usually fully-grown adult humans.


Non-human elans are never created, and it could be that the transition life power simply doesn’t work for any other creatures but those who were originally human.


Personality: Elans are nearly as adaptable, flexible, and ambitious as the humans from which they are made. Because their state of existence sometimes leads other races to think the worst of them, elans practice a certain restraint, especially In regards to their origin. Otherwise, their personalities vary widely.


Physical: Elans typically stand just under 6 feet tall and weigh about 180 pounds, with men sometimes taller and heavier than women, but not always. Elans vary in looks as widely as the humans they have been chosen to replace. Elans dress in the styles similar to humans, including the adoption of unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, body piercing, and the like. Elans have unlimited lifespans – as long as they are not destroyed, their mental arts could conceivably continually energize and rebuild their bodies for over a thousand years.

However, the Order only recently established the first elan enclaves, so no known elans are more than twenty five years old (not counting their time spent as humans before being transformed into an elan).


Elans do not sleep as members of other races do. Instead, an elan meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day. An elan resting In this fashion gains the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep. While in trance, an elan concentrates on suffusing his body with psionic energy, healing the hurts and random lacerations of the day, and restoring animation and resiliency to his tissues.


Relations: Elans mix well with members of other races, especially humans. It is probable that their relations would undergo a shift should their true nature become widely known, so one of the essential tenets of elan existence is secrecy.


Lands: Wherever humans are found. there, too, are elans.


Language: Elans speak Common. They typically learn other languages, including obscure ones. and they are fond of sprinkling their speech with words borrowed from other tongues: pterran curses, elven musical expressions, thri-kreen military phrases. and so on.


Elan Society: Elan society is an artificial thing, growing around elan enclaves that have been created and put in place to further the desires of the Order. Still, elan are life forms and cannot help but build culture as they continue to grow. One area that elans take great interest in is that of names.


Elan names vary greatly and often are simply the same as the human name they possessed before they crossed into their new existence. This is particularly true when an elan wishes to pick up his old life where he left off. Others view their second chance at existence as an opportunity to start anew and might pick completely new names.


On the other hand, titles are important to the elan, although they are used only among themselves. Freshly transitioned elans have the title of Newmade, those who have had at least a few years of animate “life” have the title Made, and those over two decades old have the title of Eternal. Those that belong to the group that chooses new elans have the title of Culler (although any elan who knows the power transition life might take this title, whether part of the Culler Council or not).


Role-playing Suggestions: As an elan adventurer, you are akin to humans in their daring and ambition. Because some effects that afflict other races leave elans unscathed, you sometimes seem extraordinarily brave to those who do not know the secret of your existence.

This secrecy is paramount. You were made from a human, either willingly or at the behest of the Order, and they can unmake you as readily as they gave you life. Always remember that the Order is watching. If you are a loyal servant, then act to impress your distant masters. If you seek freedom from their control, focus all your thoughts and deeds on winning a new life for yourself and discovering who you truly are.


The following game statistics apply to the elan player character:

Ability Adjustments: +1 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom, –2 Charisma. Elan are mentally powerful, yet their status as constructed beings means that they lack a strong sense of identity.

Movement Rate: 12.

Construct: Elans are created beings, and thus are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only, such as charm person or hold person.

Naturally Psionic: Elans gain 2 bonus Psionic Power Points (PSPs) at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as a wild talent or levels in a psionic class.

Resistance: Elans can use psionic energy to increase their resistance to various forms of attack. At any time, an elan can spend 1 PSP to gain a +4 bonus on saving throws until the beginning of her next action.

Resilience: When an elan takes damage, she can spend PSPs to reduce its severity. At any time, she can reduce the damage she is about to take by 2 hit points for every 1 PSP she spends.

Repletion: An elan can sustain her body without need of food or water. If she spends 1 PSP, an elan does not need to eat or drink for 24 hours.

Trance: An elan meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day. An elan resting In this fashion gains the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.


Elan Racial Ability Requirements

Strength: 5/20

Dexterity: 5/20

Constitution: 5/20

Intelligence: 8/20

Wisdom: 8/20

Charisma: 5/20


Elan Class and Level Limits

Bard: 16

Cleric:

Druid:

Fighter: 12

Gladiator:

Psionicist: U

Ranger:

Templar: 14

Thief: 16

Trader: 16

Wizard: 16

Elan Rogue Skill Adjustments

Bribe: -10%

Climb Walls:

Detect Magic: +10%

Detect Illusion:

Detect Noise:

Escape Bonds:

Find/Remove Traps:

Forge Documents: -5%

Hide in Shadows:

Move Silently:

Open Locks:

Pick Pockets:

Read Languages: +5%

Tunnelling:

Elan Height and Weight

Base Height in Inches: 60/60

Modifier: 2d8

Base Weight in Pounds: 150/150

Modifier: 6d10

Elan Age

Starting Age: varies – the elan is created from an existing human

Variable: 1d4

Base Maximum Age: none – elans are immortal

Variable: N/A


Elan
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Last week we shared with you some kits for new Dark Sun races. This week we’re presenting 26 new kits for the standard Dark Sun races, namely aarakocra, dwarves, half-elves, half-giants, halflings, and pterrans. Kits for elves and thri-kreen can be found in Elves of Athas and Thri-Kreen of Athas.


Here are two of the kits we’re sharing this week – the half-giant brutal thug and the pterran pterrax rider. The others are all in the pdf attached at the bottom of the blog. Enjoy!


Brutal Thug

Half-giants have an unfair reputation for being dim-witted bruisers who only care about pounding smaller folk into the dust. Not all are lumbering oafs, good for little more than casual murder, their fists several times larger than their brains. The brutal thug, however, is exactly that kind of half-giant.


Brutal thugs have taken enthusiastically to their stereotypical role in life. They know that they are bigger and stronger than anyone else around and they love it. These half-giants make the most of their incredible physical prowess, and take a grim delight in demonstrating it at the slightest provocation.


Many brutal thugs make their way into the employ of individuals or organisations keen to take advantage of these tendencies. Crime lords, bandit chiefs, and even merchant houses have these startlingly aggressive half-giants on the payroll. More discerning employers know that half-giant thugs are more trouble than they are worth, and steer clear.


Some of these half-giants try to find other paths in life, striving to leave behind their uncaring past. Of these, a fair few make their way into the ranks of adventuring parties, where they find ample opportunity to put their skills to use in service of a more meaningful cause.


Recommended Weapons: Half-giant thugs begin play with only two weapon proficiencies, one of which must be a greatclub. The thug acquires weapon proficiencies at the normal rate thereafter. Thugs favour large weapons that convey their message swiftly and simply. They are not given to flashy, gladiator armaments. A huge stick or overly large rock will do fine, thank you very much.


Recommended Non-weapon Proficiencies: The brutal thug begins play with only one non-weapon proficiency, which he receives free of charge – see below. Following this, the thug acquires non-weapon proficiencies at the normal rate.


Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: None.


Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Intimidation.


Equipment: The brutish thug begins with padded or leather armour, usually a little more than a large hide with a hole in the centre, slipped over his head to hang down his body. A brutish thug rarely uses a shield; it interferes with smashing things.


Special Benefits

Mental Resilience: The brutish thug saves at +2 vs. mind-affecting magics, due to targeting difficulties.

Thick Hide: The brutish thug receives a +4 natural Armour Class bonus.

Wild Brawl: When unarmed, the brutish thug can fly into a rage, flailing madly at a single target. Roll to hit once to determine if these attacks find their mark. Damage is 2d6 plus Strength Damage Bonus.


Special Hindrances

Language Limit: The brutish thug can only ever learn one language.

Limited Magic: A brutish thug cannot use magical items that require command words or concentration.

Lumbering: The brutish thug has movement 12.


Wealth Options: Standard.


Pterrax Rider

Pterrax riders are pterran warriors who dedicate their lives to becoming the ultimate mounted combatants aboard their pterrax steeds. Seen as heroes and daredevils by other pterrans, they enjoy an exalted status among their people.


Pterrax riders have a close kinship with their mounts, hand-rearing them from eggs. The close training they undergo means that the pterraxes and their riders develop an uncanny bond with each other. The pterrax rider’s specialisation in aerial combat means that he is of limited use in other areas, but when the pterrax can come into play, these warriors are potent opponents.


The pterrax rider is the elite warrior, and commands a lot of respect among his own kind. Outside pterran lands, however, pterrax riders are very definitely outsiders. Their unusual mannerisms and obvious and very unusual friendship with their mounts set them apart from most societies. Because of this, the pterrax rider may become especially attached to adventurers (if they treat him as an equal and not a freak), even if he’d never admit it.


Recommended Weapons: Pterrax riders favour weapons commonly associated with mounted warriors, such as bows, cavalry flails, maces, and picks, lances, spears, swords, and the pterran slodak and thanak.


Recommended Non-weapon Proficiencies: Animal lore, healing, hunting, survival, tracking.


Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Any one fighting style specialisation from the Mounted Fighting Style.


Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Animal handling, riding (airborne).


Equipment: At start of play, the pterrax rider may only have light armour. Later in the campaign, he may switch to more advanced forms of armour, so long as his mount can carry him and the armour both, of course. When first created, he may have only weapons from the recommended weapons list above.


The pterrax rider also starts play with a pterrax mount.


Special Benefits

Animal Empathy: The pterrax rider receives a –5 reaction bonus with all pterraxes. On a die-roll result of 9 or less (on the Hostile column of the Encounter Reactions Table), he can even persuade attacking pterraxes to leave him and his allies alone.

Psychic Link: The pterrax rider has a telepathic rapport with his steed. When in contact or visual line of sight with his mount, he can tell what it is feeling and thinking. He and the mount can communicate with one another without appearing to. When the two are not within sight of each other, each knows the other’s emotional state, whether or not the other is hurt, and the direction and distance to travel to find their friend.


Special Hindrances

Psychic Vulnerability: Should the pterrax rider’s mount ever die, the pterrax rider immediately takes 2d6 points of damage and must make a saving throw vs. spells. If he fails, he behaves as if he were a magic-user hit with feeblemind for the next 2d6 hours.

The pterrax rider can seek out another pterrax mount, but this must take place through play.

Reaction Penalties: The pterrax rider is out of place in most societies and suffers a +3 reaction penalty when meeting NPCs from any culture but his own.


Wealth Options: Standard.


As noted above, here's all 26 kits in a single pdf. Have fun!

Dark Sun Race Kits
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