House Rules

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House Rules and Special Rules

There are a few special rules of which you should be aware- so far all of them come straight from the Campaign Guide, so nothing too crazy. The whole goal is to maintain a fun game while more fully exploring the gritty, savage world that is Dark Sun.

Without further ado, here are the special rules we’ll be playing with:


Weaker Materials

Stone, wood, obsidian, chitin, leather, hide- these are the common materials of Athas, and they are a poor substitute for precious iron or steel. Your weapons and implements are likely to break, either with the force of an impact or the sheer energies of focus or arcane force coursing through them. To represent this, if you are wielding a weapon or implement not made of metal, each time a critical fumble (a natural roll of 1) is made on an attack roll as the final result, roll 1d10. If the item is magical in nature, add the enhancement bonus of the item to your result. Compare the result to the following chart:

Critical Fumble

A magical weapon broken by results marked with an asterisk (*) can be repaired for 1/5th its listed price. A shattered weapon is beyond repair.

1d10 + Enhancement:

Result Effect
1-5* Your weapon breaks, and now counts as an improvised weapon – See page 219 of the Player’s Handbook.
6-7 Your weapon or implement flies from your hand. Roll 1d8 to determine the direction- it lands 1d6-1 squares away.
8-9 Your weapon is lodged into something, or your implement is overloaded with energy. You may free or correct it by spending a minor action to make an easy skill check.
10 Your attack throws you off balance. You retain your weapon, but you grant combat advantage to your target until the end of your next turn.
11-13 Your attack misses wildly, but the fine craft of your weapon allows you to keep control. No ill effects.
14* Your weapon breaks, but the power within it allows a measure of your attack through. Your enemy suffers 5 damage per tier from your attack. Your weapon now counts as an improvised weapon.
15 Your weapon shatters, but not before your attack strikes your enemy. Resolve your attack as a hit, and your weapon now counts as an improvised weapon.
16 Your weapon shatters, and the ancient powers stored within erupt. Resolve your attack as a critical hit, and your weapon now counts as an improvised weapon.

Low Magic

Dark Sun is an ancient world, and magical items are scarce. You will find fewer magical items in the treasures you uncover, and all but the simplest such items will be nearly impossible to purchase. Any money you earn, loot, steal, or are paid will probably go towards purchasing survival supplies, consumables and alchemical items, replacement mundane equipment, or transportation and services.


Many groups on Athas are quite powerful, and even relatively small organizations can provide some aid. If you complete a quest for someone affiliated with such an organization, you may find that, rather than a monetary reward, you are given “Favor”- a monetary equivalent (tracked in a gp amount) that can be used for many purposes, from simply acquiring necessary goods, equipment, and supplies, to eliminating resistance on a quest or providing powerful services unavailable anywhere else.

Echoes of Power

Despite the rarity of magical artifacts, Athas is an ancient world, and many areas are either poorly explored or virtually unknown. In certain remote areas, great deeds can awaken the attentions of powerful primal spirits or earth-shattering elementals. If they judge you worthy, you may find yourself the recipient of a measure of their power for a limited time. In more civilized climes, other attentions may be cast upon you; a templar to the sorcerer-king, a grizzled mercenary veteran, a powerful master of the Way, or a hidden arcanist of the Veiled Alliance may decide to take you under his or her wing, teaching you an exploit, spell, or power to aid your quest.

Fixed Enhancement Bonuses

Despite the rarity of such items, and the tendency of even the most magical weapons to break eventually, hope is not lost; the harsh nature of Athas breeds heroes just as harsh and formidable.

At each level, Dark Sun characters naturally gain an enhancement bonus to both their attack and damage rolls. Upon scoring a critical hit, you deal +1d6 extra damage per point of your fixed enhancement bonus: a level 7 player would deal +2d6 damage. These bonuses DO NOT stack with magical equipment, and magical equipment both scales faster and breaks less frequently, making it more attractive than using mundane equipment. However, when a bone sword is all you have, or your +4 Axe shatters, know that you can always fall back on your own innate strength to prevail in battle.

Fixed Enhancement Bonuses
Level Attack/Damage Defenses
1st +0 +0
2nd +1 +0
3rd +1 +0
4th +1 +1
5th +1 +1
6th +1 +1
7th +2 +1
8th +2 +1
9th +2 +2
10th +2 +2
11th +2 +2
12th +3 +2
13th +3 +2
14th +3 +3
15th +3 +3
16th +3 +3
17th +4 +3
18th +4 +3
19th +4 +4
20th +4 +4
21st +4 +4
22nd +5 +4
23rd +5 +4
24th +5 +5
25th +5 +5
26th +5 +5
27th +6 +5
28th +6 +5
29th +6 +6
30th +6 +6

House Rules

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