Two new articles are available on the articles page: Rules for botanical enchantment, and an unofficial variant rule on the relation of Magic to Psionics on Athas.
As you might have noticed from the last releases, we’re getting into the state of working on layout for the DS3 core release. What you see in the Races and Classes documents is about the best that Gab and I can do, neither of us being professional layout artists, and both of us stuck using a sub-standard tool for that job (Word2k) …
So, if you think what you see in those two documents is good enough, you're probably not the guy we're looking for. ;) What we are looking for is someone who can do layout work for us<0>. End result is PDF document. Source documents are in Word 2000 at the moment, and we can supply a bevy of images to sort through. (Preliminary versions of the documents didn't include images because they increased the file size of the source docs by *two* orders of magnitude ... no good when you're passing them back and forth a lot.)
DS3 being what it is, you have to be *available* and willing to deal with changes and the like. This go-round is only a playtest, after all. And I'll want copies of the files used to generate the PDFs, so we're not SOL if you get hit by a bus. ;)
The best we can offer for payment is the satisfaction of seeing your name in the credits ... but if that's enough for you, send a note, and a URL to some samples, to email@example.com ...
<0> I know I've gotten offers for this in the past. I lost my mail archives a few months ago, so, sadly, I don't have any of them anymore. Otherwise, you'd've heard from me a few months ago. :/
- The Bard class has been completely rewritten
- Some heavy alterations to the Gladiators
- New Templar core class
- Psionic combat has been restored to Psions and Psychic Warriors
- Druids cast as PHB druids, rather than as sorcerers
I’ve also uploaded a new PDF for the Races chapter. There aren’t any changes to the content in this, however – it just looks prettier.
An errata update to Tyrian Conspiracy has been released.
Also, I just uploaded a new short story, "An Athasian Story" by Siri Khalsa. I'm also in the process of formatting another, which should be posted in a day or two ...
We’re revisiting some of the classes, after feedback and consideration. A quick rundown of some (not all – we’re not entirely done yet) of the changes:
- Psionic Combat has been restored to Psions and Psychic Warriors. (Too many adaptations to the psion class depend on having those combat mode slots available. By dropping them, the classes are cut off from quite a bit of official material)
- Druid spellcasting is restored to the PHB style and progression.
- A Templar core class is being added (This has been the source of quite a bit of the delay)
- Bards are being reworked (any class that people are afraid to even playtest has problems ...)
No promises on the bard, but we’re going to release a new revision of the classes document once the Templar writeup is complete. There’s still some debate over their spells, so no promises on exactly how long. Hoping for sometime in the next two weeks.
An update to Tyrian Conspiracy is available. The changes are minor; some corrections on NPC power points, other minor things.
Getting things sorted out with Verisign took quite a bit longer than expected. However, two weeks later than I’d initially hoped for, the DNS entries are updating, and http://athas.org/ now points to the server it’s supposed to.
In other news, there are some "small" updates to the Races chapter of DS3 -- namely, the Thri-kreen have been replaced with the version that appeared in MM2.
What now lies before you is the end result of a lot of writing and re-writing on my part. I had to learn a new language before this move could follow through, and with me, that sort of thing tends to involve a lot of prototyping (aka, work that I throw away). Athas.org now lives on a new server, graciously provided by 3ip.net. There are a few changes that were brought about because of this move:
- Because I had to rewrite the site, and it's no longer in cold fusion, all of the links to .cfm pages are now broken.
- You may notice that most of the database driven sections of the site are absent. There's actually a good reason for this, and it's not lazyness on my part. More on that below.
- I'm trying to get more of the art that's been contributed to us in use over the site. Actually, what had made that hard in the past was the purely database generated pages ... without those, it's pretty easy to incorporate.
Of major note: To go along with the site revision, we’ve got two releases for you:
- Tyrian Conspiracy a 3e Dark Sun adventure by Jon Sederqvist
- Wisdom of the Drylanders a setting elaboration by Brax.
As mentioned above, my mutterings on why removing the database driven parts of the site. Specifically, the feats, spells, races, classes (was never really a db, but I tried fakeing it), monsters, powers … Once we began editing the items that were going to appear as a part of DS3, it turned out that we were totally neglecting the copies of those items that resided in the database, in favor of the ones in our working documents. Perfectly understandable, that. It’s a natural result of having repeated information in more than one authoritative source. (I’m a software developer by trade, so that’s acutally something I think about more often than I should…) But, the version skew was damaging and misleading. We’re better off without it.
The second aspect is that, while weeding through some of the databases, we encountered a lot of material that was ... shall we say, below par. Quite a few of the spells and powers broke rules left and right, and more than a few of the feats were terribly broken. I belive that to be a result of inadequate maintenance; something the active staff either didn't have the time, inclination, or realization to do. The mantained database, for monsters, was of a noticably higher quality than any of the other databases.
So, there you have it. The database sections were dropped for quality reasons. Until I think I can reasonably expcet that to get better, I don't think that I'm going to be re-implementing them anytime soon.
Wizards.COMmunity asked me to pass this on:
Name of Event: UnCon (UNconventional CONvention)
Dates: October 11-13
Time: Visit http://www.wizards.com/uncon/ for more information and a schedule of events and times.
Room on chat site: Varies by event.
Description of event: It is time once again for UnCon, the UNconventional CONvention held online at the Wizards of the Coast chatsite. This year we have a number of events planned for your gaming pleasure: industry chats, in-character dances, seminars, trivia, online gaming, and much, much more! Please visit the UnCon site at http://www.wizards.com/uncon/ for more information, or contact the UnCon coordinator, WizO_Hydragon, at firstname.lastname@example.org . Want to run a game or conduct a seminar? Please register on the UnCon site.