The Burnt World of Athas

The official Dark Sun website

30 Days of Dark Sun 1: Favorite Setting Element

Favorite Setting Element

The first day of #30DaysofDarkSun is here and the first question is "What is your Favorite Setting Element?". Here are the Eight Characteristics of Athas from the Dark Sun Campaign Setting(4e) in case you need a refresher.

My favorite setting element is the harsh desert wasteland. To me the post apocalyptic feel of Dark Sun is one of the major reasons Dark Sun is different from other Dungeons & Dragons settings. In Phoenix Arizona, in 1991, I was just starting high-school and we were graduating from Basic D&D to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition. I needed a campaign setting to set my games in. I wasn't comfortable enough to make my own yet, but when I saw the first ad for Dark Sun in the August 1991 Dragon Magazine, issue #172, I was in. A world of desert and sand instead of trees? Being from Arizona, I knew deserts!

Dark Sun 3 panel ad
The 3 pages of Dark Sun ads, combined together from Dragon Magazine #172
Dragon Magazine #173
Dragon Magazine #173
Dragon Magazine #173 Cover by Brom
Dragon Magazine #173 Cover by Brom

The following month, September, Dragon Magazine #173 came out and featured some iconic Brom imagery of a Belgoi looking over an unsuspecting caravan. That magazine was chock full of post apocalyptic deserty goodness and my fate as a fan of Athas was sealed!

Fun fact, Dragon #173 was also the place the name for this website was born. One of the pages had a portion of a Brom image with the text, "The Burned World:Athas"