- What level character should I make?
The campaign started with players making 4th level characters in October 2005. As of February 2008 new characters should be made to match the rest of the party at 7th character level.
- Tell me, are the Athas.org resources pretty good?
Athas.org (aka The Burnt World of Athas) and the Dark Sun forum on Wizards.com are the best 3.0 and 3.5 resources for Dark Sun. You’ll still need access to one of the campaign boxed sets (either the original or expanded and revised edition), as they’ve only updated game mechanics or released new supplements and new adventures. I’m very pleased with almost everything from The Burnt World of Athas, which is why you’ll note that the majority of their work is cited in the campaign character creation guidelines.
There are two things I strongly disagree with in their DS3 rules. First is the choice to not make player character generation the same. Abilities should be higher than average (the old campaign used 4d4+4 instead of the 3d6 of standard campaigns) and characters should have a psionic class or psionic wild talent. Athas.org chose to not have higher than average abilities, nor require all player characters have psionics. I think that robs from the original campaign’s feel, one of the few things Paizo covered in their version of races (in Dragon and Dungeon magazines). They give ability adds to everyone, including humans, plus give everyone either psi-like abilities or power points and known powers. I wasn’t really happy with either Athas.org or Dragon Magazine, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough with the d20 system to create the races from scratch. That’s why I took the lesser of two evils. I probably could now, but I’m not going to change the campaign races this late into the game.
Second is the choice to not have enough mechanical penalties for defiling, considering the many mechanical benefits. The t’liz-thing of Paizo was way out there, so I just combined the two to meet the campaign needs.
Other than that the DS3.5 stuff is very useful, and many of the people on the boards have added many other cool things which players and GMs can cherry pick. That’s where I stole one of the cleric classes I use for this campaign (the one with elemental-specific spell lists).
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