Character Creation

Athas is a cruel, harsh, and unforgiving land. The gods do not exist, or they have all chosen to turn a blind eye. History has played out in a way that many of the normal DnD races have been brutally killed off in bloodsport, or simply grew extinct because they couldn’t cope with the world. PvP is an option in this game!

Because of this there are restrictions on what races and classes one can play.

Restricted Races:

  • Deva
  • Drow
  • Eladrin
  • Githzerai
  • Gnome
  • Half-Orc
  • Minotaur
  • Shardmind
  • Shifter
  • Tiefling
  • Warforged
  • Wilden

Also any races from Heroes of Shadow or Heroes of the Feywild

Restricted Classes:

  • Any Divine class
  • Bard
  • Sorcerer
  • Warlock (other than Sorcerer-King Pact)
  • Wizard
  • Classes from other Campaign Settings

The DM will consider any of the restricted classes and a few races as possibilities if you have a very good back-story to justify playing it. If you are particularly curious why any of the races do not exist feel free to message the DM. Dragonborn are considerably different on Athas, and are known as Dray. If you are interested in playing one please consult the DM to help you with a character background.

Trained Skills

Any skill that you train your character in must make sense for it’s background. If your character is an illiterate half-giant he wouldn’t be trained in history. If your character is a halfling from the forest, he wouldn’t be knowledgeable in the ways of streetwise.

Religion on Athas represents knowledge of Sorcerer-Kings. Train yourself in it if you feel your character has a vast knowledge of their history and politics.

Wild Talents

In the absence of magic, many Athasians have adapted a prominence for psionics. It is so prevalent that sometimes a cactus in the wastelands could have the ability to scramble your brain if you get too close to it. Often times characters can be gifted with a wild psionic power.

As described in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting. Your character may select a wild talent in lieu of a background benefit (PHB2). If you decide to have a wild talent roll a d10 to randomly select the talent (it is called a wild talent, afterall).

Background Benefits

If you opt out of a Wild Talent, you may select a background benefit for your character, however in your character’s description it must be clear what the background you selected was and what the benefit is, and how it is actually worked into your character.

If you so choose to not take either of these, you can automatically be literate in one of your known languages. See House Rules for more information on Literacy.


All themes in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting are allowed and encouraged to enrich your character with the exception of Elemental Priest. Please consult the DM before choosing that theme.

Ability Scores

Any of the methods of generating ability scores on p. 17-18, PHB are allowed, but Method 3: 4d6-drop-the-lowest, is preferred. As the text on p. 18 says, if the total of your ability modifiers is lower than +4 or higher than +8 before racial ability adjustments, consult the DM before putting the character into play. However, don’t be too afraid of rolling low scores. As the 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook says (p. 18):

Don’t give up on a character just because he has a low score. Instead, view it as an opportunity to role-play, to create a unique and entertaining personality in the game. Not only will you have fun creating that personality, but other characters and the DM will have fun reacting to him.

Use your ability scores as a base for determining who your character is and how you will roleplay him. If you want some of your ability scores to be lower than what is allowed by the methods in the PHB, talk to the DM and something will be worked out (this sort of thinking—being willing to sacrifice game advantages for the sake of story—is strongly encouraged, and will likely be rewarded in its own way).


Any alignment is ok. PvP is permitted and sometimes even encouraged. If you are playing a character that absolutely detests magic users and has set out to kill all magic users and finds out a member of your party is in fact a magic user, well… you know what should happen.

Player Secrets

If you wish for your character to have a secret that is kept from other players message the DM and he will save them on his computer for future reference. Secrets make the game more fun! is often used to post characters, but it is not required and if you prefer not to make that sort of thing public that is OK.

Character Death

If your PC dies in a dramatic way – such as being eaten, slowly dying of thirst, etc. – you will be granted a ‘Veteran of the Wastes’ XP bonus to your next character. A replacement PC for your recently deceased starts off with the same amount of XP plus 15% of the total XP it takes to get from your current level to the next.

For example: It costs 1225 XP to progress from Level 2 to Level 3. Assume your character is at level 2 when he or she dies, and had 2100 XP. 20% of 1225 is 245. Your new PC would start with 2345 XP. That would make him or her level 3! You won’t automatically level this way, but it is a possibility, and is treated as a bonus for being a good sport and making a new PC.

A few more things to be noted:

  • Due to Athas being as rough as it is, your characters will start at level 2 to represent their upbringing and overall superiority over most mundane city-dewllers or farmers.
  • There is a scarcity of magic items, so you may not start off with any of them
  • To compensate for this scarcity, Fixed Enhancement Bonuses are in effect from the Dark Sun Campaign Setting (See the chart in House Rules)
  • It is highly possible that your character will die. The DM recommends always having a backup character in mind or created. If you create it before your character dies the DM can incorporate it as an NPC, making the transition easier.

Character Creation

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