The Burnt World of Athas

The official Dark Sun website

Desert of Athas tiles set review

4e Dungeon Tiles review

Today I stopped into a FLGS and was pleasantly surprised to find two copies of the Desert of Athas Dungeon Tiles sitting on their shelves.  I didn't think they were supposed to be out until next week so I scooped them both up and hurried home.  Normally I would only buy one set of the tiles, but this is Dark Sun, I figure I'll be using them a lot!

 Getting hope I ripped off the plastic and dove in.  This set has six sheets included.  Four of them are grid marked desert terrain and the other two are of the 3D variety. 

 The Good:

  1. The detail on this set is great.  The tiles seem really high resolution, good quality stuff. 
  2. The 3D building and stairs are pretty cool, as well as the table. 

 The Bad:

  1. Flat?  Deserts are rarely flat, I know I'm from a desert (Arizona).  Wind and water shape the landscape into canyons and valleys.
  2. What's with all the water?  Sure, I can understand that maybe a few of the battles in the desert are over water, but I surely don't need a boat(!?) and I don't need several pieces with just water on them.
  3. This is not Athas, this a plain desert tile set with the words Dark Sun on it.
  4. The 3D wharf, cart and table are pretty weak in my opinion.  A section of wall or another building would have been better.

 What I would have done differently

  1. I love the Caves of Carnage set.  In a short Dark Sun game I ran a while ago used the caves of carnage as a set of steep canyons, that's Athas!
  2. As I said I loved the Caves of Carnage…this is Athas…where are some desiccated corpses?  A few pieces of Thri-Kreen chitin here and there would have been cool.  How about some broken weapons?
  3. Where are the Athasian terrain pieces?  I could use some brambleweed walls/thickets or how about even a couple of ruined walls, nothing major, just something other than boulders and open space.  How about an ancient bridge crossing a barren wash?  A nice obsidian flow beneath a bridge?  Some slat flats?  Come on people!
  4. Making one of the larger pieces look like a ramshackle little area would have been perfect.

 Overall I like the set and I would have bought it if were called "Desert Set" instead of the Deserts of Athas, but I am a bit disappointed that they slapped the Dark Sun logo on it.  I sort of feel cheated even though I like the set and will definitely use it. 

 

 

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Raddu

Original creator of The Burnt World of Athas back in 1995 or so...