Races

As we get closer to releasing this project things will get tweaked and cleaned up.

There for all the models that you see here on this page are subject to change.

  • All the text on this page was taken from the AD&D 2nd Edition Dark Sun Boxset Books.

Human

Humans are the predominant race on Athas. Human characters are not restricted in either the classes they can choose or the levels they can attain. High-level humans can easily become the most powerful characters in the campaign. Although humans can not be multi classed characters, they can be dual class characters as described in the Player’s Handbook.

An average human male stands between 6 and 6 1/2 feet tall and weighs 180 to 200 pounds. A human female is somewhat smaller, averaging between 5 1/2 and 6 feet in height and weighing between 100 and 140 pounds. The colors of skin, eyes, and hair vary widely

As in other AD&D campaign worlds, humans are generally tolerant of other races. They can easily adapt to situations involving elves or Dwarves, and even more exotic races such as half-giants and Thri-kreen. Where other, less tolerant races come into contact with one another, humans often serve as diplomatic buffers.


Elf

The dunes and steppes of Athas are home to thousands of tribes of nomadic elves. While each tribe is very different culturally, the elves within them remain a race of long limbed sprinters given to theft, raiding, and warfare.

An Athasian elf stands between 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 feet tall. They are slender, lean, and generally in terrific physical condition. Their features are deeply etched into their weather toughened faces, and their skin made rugged by the windblown sands and baking sun of the wilderness. Elves typically dress to survive in the desert environment. Even when at an oases or in the cities, elves tend to prefer their native garb, designed to wrap the wearer against the brutality of the elements

Elves are all brethren within their own tribe, but regard all outsiders as potential enemies. There is no racial unity among the elves—an elf from outside the tribe is just as much a foe as a human, halfling, or thri-kreen. Acceptance of an outsider by an individual elf can be achieved, but trust will only develop over time. Acceptance of an outsider by an entire tribe is also possible, but rare. It is usually only awarded after some great sacrifice has been made on behalf of the tribe—many outsiders have been accepted posthumously into elven desert tribes


Dwarf

Playable Classes:

  • Cleric
  • Fighter
  • Gladiator
  • Psionicist
  • Templar
  • Thief

Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, +1 Str, -1 Dex, -2 Chr

Dwarves are short but extremely powerful. Athasian dwarves average 4 1/2 to 5 feet in height and tend to have a very large muscle mass—a full grown dwarf weighs in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. Lives of hard work in the hot sun leave them with a rich tan and rugged, calloused hands and feet. Dwarves can live up to 250 years.

By nature, dwarves are nonmagical and never use magical spells, just as described in the Player’s Handbook. This restriction does not apply to cleric or templar spells. So an Athasian dwarf can be a cleric.


Halfling

Just sharing another screenshot of the work that Acidchalk and Draygoth are doing with all the new Race and new armor/clothing models for this project.


Half-Giant

Just sharing another screenshot of the work that Acidchalk and Draygoth are doing with all the new Race and new armor/clothing models for this project.


Mul

A mul (pronounced: mul) is an incredibly tough crossbreed of a human and dwarf. They retain the height and cunning of their human parent, plus the durability and raw strength of their dwarven heritage. Muls are usually the products of the slave pits—owners recognize the muls’ assets as gladiators and laborers, and so order the births of as many muls as can be managed within the ranks of their slaves. Muls are born sterile—they cannot perpetuate their kind.

A full-grown mul stands 6 to 6 1/2 feet tall and weighs 240-300 pounds. They are fair skinned, sometimes tending toward a copperish coloration. Their dwarven ancestry gives them a well-muscled frame and an incredible constitution—mul laborers can perform heavy work for days at a time without stopping. Muls have stern facial features. They are unmistakably human in appearance, though their ears are swept back and slightly pointed. Most muls, whether male or female, have no hair or beard.

Born as they are to lives of slave labor, with the taskmaster’s whip taking the place of parents and family, muls are given to a gruff personality and violent reactions. Understandably, many never seek friends or companionship but live out their lives in servitude, driven by hatred and spite. Most, however, learn who to trust in the slave pits and who not to, gaining favor and reputation among the other slaves.


Thri-Kreen

Just sharing another screenshot of the work that Acidchalk and Draygoth are doing with all the new Race and new armor/clothing models for this project.


Pterran

Just sharing another screenshot of the work that Acidchalk and Draygoth are doing with all the new Race and new armor/clothing models for this project.

The Wander

I live in a world of fire and sand. The crimson sun scorches take life from anything that crawls or flies,
and storms of sand scour the foliage from the barren ground. Lightning strikes from the cloudless sky, and peals of thunder roll unexplained across the vast tablelands. Even the wind, dry and searing as a kiln, can kill a man with thirst.

This is a land of blood and dust, where tribes of feral elves sweep out of the salt plains to plunder lonely caravans, mysterious singing winds call men to slow suffocation in a Sea of Silt, and legions of slaves clash over a few bushels of moldering grain. The dragon despoils entire cities, while selfish kings squander their armies raising gaudy palaces and garish tombs. This is my home, Athas. It is an arid and bleak place, a wasteland with a handful of austere cities clinging precariously to a few scattered oases. It is a brutal and savage land, beset by political strife and monstrous abominations, where life is grim and short.

Athas is a desert—sun-scorched and windscoured, parched and endless. From the first moments of dawn until the last twinkling of dusk, the crimson sun shimmers in the olive-tinged sky like a fiery puddle of blood. It climbs toward its zenith and the temperature rises relentlessly: 100 degrees by midmorning, 110 at noon, 130—sometimes even 150—by late afternoon.

A man cannot drink fast enough to replenish the fluids he loses. As the days drag on, he feels sick and feeble. If he does not have enough water, he grows too weak to move. His mouth becomes dry and bitter, his lips, tongue, and throat grow swollen. Before long, his blood is thick and gummy. His heart must work hard to circulate it. Finally his system overheats, leaving him dead and alone in the sands.

The wind does little to help matters. As hot as a
forge’s breath, it blows up sandstorms that last 50
days at a stretch, speeding the evaporation of water
from skin and soil alike. A storm can darken the sky
at high noon, carrying so much sand that it reduces
visibility to a pace.

Breezes on Athas are suffocating and dust-laden,
caking everything they touch with yellow-orange silt, spoiling food, and filling a man’s eyes with pasty mud. Even still days are perilous. Columns of superheated air can rush upward in terrific whirlwinds, carrying dust, plants, and men to great
heights—then suddenly dying away and leaving
their reluctant passengers to fall to a horrible death.

As dangerous as it is, the wind is merely an inconvenience when compared to the greatest danger of Athas the lack of water. In most places, it rains no more than once a year. In some places it only rains once in ten years, and the only available water lies in brackish, minerai-crusted oasis ponds. Aside from a handful of streams that trickle less than fifty miles before drying up, there is not a single river on the planet—though I have crossed plenty of ancient
bridges and know that rivers were once common. What the world was like in those days, I cannot imagine.

I have already noted what the lack of water can mean to a thirsty man, but the dry climate affects Athas in other ways. It allows the sun to shine down unreflected on the barren ground, which is why it grows so hot during the day.

At night, the low humidity has the opposite effect. The day’s heat escapes into the sky, plunging the temperature to 40 degrees or less—and in the mountains, even to zero.

As far I as can tell, all parts of Athas share the blazing sun, the dangerous winds, and the lack of water. Nothing I have seen in my own explorations or heard from the hundreds of travelers I have interviewed points to any other conclusion. Athas is an endless wasteland, spotted by tiny oases of fecundity, inhabited by brutal predators. It is, for all intents and purposes, a land of mortal desolation.

Though the picture I have painted so far is of a stark and rugged land, I do not mean to say that Athas is dreary or monotonous. To the contrary, it has a majestic and stark beauty. When first light casts its emerald hues over the Sea of Silt, or when sunset spreads its bloody stain over the Ringing Mountains, there is a certain feral beauty that stirs the untamed heart in all of us. It is a call to take up spear and net, to flee the city, to go and see what lurks out in the barrenness.

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