Dark Sun- Pathfinder’d

Oooh Dark Sun

First, sorry for being absent all last week. I was away back in my native Montana hanging with my folks and friends imbibing large amounts of good Montana Micro Brews, howling at the moon, and sleeping with my cousins.. Wait.. Nevermind.

Anyways, the day before I left for my trip, August 22nd, I went and picked up the Dark Sun Campaign Setting. I have to say it is pretty snazzy. It gives you some good info and not overburdening you with it. The maps of each city are gorgeous, and they are something I REALLY appreciate about this book. Honestly I hate doing city/town maps.

Reading through the setting made me think that it is something my players will enjoy. I have a few players with character moral compasses that always lingers more in the gray to darkish area while a few others are grey to the lightish area. The problem we always run into in other settings where there is divinity and law and etc, there tends to be a stifling problem with their actions (the whole Paladin in a group kinda crap).

With Dark Sun my players can linger more in the grey and explore what they want.

So On With the Show


This is something that everyone seems to feel a bit disappointed in, and I will admit for something that supposedly devastated the WHOLE world.. The actual ability of it seems pretty lackluster.

I tried to change it to be a bit more potent and “alluring” so feel free to contribute if you feel it could be pumped up a little bit.


Prerequisites– Ability to cast Arcane Spells, level 6

Standard Action

Any spell can be empowered by the act of defiling. The caster must roll a Spellcraft Check DC 15 + spell level. If successful you leach life out of a 20 square radius. Roll 1d3 and add that number of d6’s to your damage, bonus (such as Mage Armor or Bulls Strength) or duration (rounds).

Each target in the effected area must make a Fortitude Save DC 10 + spell level + ½ your caster level. Success equals ½ damage and not stunned. Failure means target(s) are wracked with terrible pain, taking 3d6 damage and are stunned for 2 rounds.

The defiling energy must be used the next round or it dissipates.

If a 1 is rolled on spellcraft check, caster takes 3d6 x2 damage and is stunned for 2 rounds.

Focused Defiling
Prerequisites– Ability to cast Arcane Spells, Defiling Feat, level 6

Standard Action

You are able to draw the life energies off of a single living creature within a 15ft line of you. Roll a Spellcraft Check DC 10 + spell level. If successful the creature must make a Fort Save DC 10 + ½ caster level or take 1d6 damage and stunned for 1 round. Success takes ½ damage and is not stunned. You add 1d6 to your next spell, as Defiling (see above).

Improved Defiling
Prerequisites– Ability to cast Arcane Spells, level 9

You receive a +2 to Spellcraft Checks when Defiling and a +2 to Damage, Bonus, or Duration.

Strengthened Defiling
Prerequisites– Ability to cast Arcane Spells, level 12

Standard Action

Change d3 to d6 to determine bonus number of d6 to roll and damage goes from 3d6 to 5d6 to all targets in 20 square radius.

Master Defiler
Prerequisites– Ability to cast Arcane Spells, Improved Defiling, level 15

When you harness the energy to defile you can hold the energies within your body for 2d6 hours. While this happens you receive +2 to movement, +2 to AC, +4 to attacks and your fists now due d6 negative energy (magic) damage (for overcoming Damage Reduction)


MulThese are Half Dwarf/Half Human that are used as slave labor in many of the metropolises throughout Athas.

Size- Medium; Vision- Normal; Speed- 30

Ability Scores- +2 to any one stat
Languages- Common, Dwarven
Mul Vitality- +2 to Fortitude Saves against fatigue and exhaustion.
Tireless- A Mul only needs to sleep 6 hours (consecutive) in a 72 hour period to feel rested.
Incredible Toughness- +2 to all Fortitude Saves. This effect stacks with Mul Vitality.

Thri-KreenThis bipedal insectoid race has 2 sets of arms and the head of a praying mantis.

Size- Medium; Vision- Low-Light; Speed- 40

Ability Scores- +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Charisma. Thri-Kreen are extremely strong and agile, but their perception of things and behaviors are alien to outsiders.
Languages- Common, Thri-Kreen
Multiple Arms- Same as book
Natural Jumper- Same as book
Thri-Kreen Claws- Your claws are strong and deadly. They do 1d6 + strength damage.
Thick Hide- +2 Natural Armor


I’ll address this now, I suppose. I’m honestly not a big fan of the themes in the book. It may be my old school way of thinking, but I’m used to want to be a gladiator, you achieve it through story/role-playing, or begin as one. Same if you want desire to be a Desert Trader, a Templar, or a Raider.

However if it is something you like, I was thinking the best way to handle it is to give a +2 to a skill and a feat that makes sense (can be players choice- just has to make sense for the profession).

Example: Gladiator #1– Takes Intimidate for her +2 and chooses Two Weapon Fighting as her bonus feat.

Gladiator #2– Takes Acrobatics for his +2 and chooses Endurance as his bonus feat.

Gladiator #3– Takes Sleight of Hand for his +2 and chooses Weapon Finesse for his bonus feat.

So that’s what I have for Pathfindering Dark Sun. Any ideas, comments, etc? No trolling.

Author: wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn.

5 thoughts

  1. We did a Dark Sun game a long time ago with 3.5 and used some of the stuff from http://www.athas.org/ and it was a blast. It can be a lot of fun because it isn’t just another cookie cutter setting. Speaking of which right now we’re doing Spelljammer with Pathfinder. Fun!

  2. This is a great example of win for everybody. The publisher wins (when they produce interesting stuff, people buy it), the players win (they get to explore Athas but use rules they’re familiar with), and the GM wins (because Mike did a bunch of conversion work already!)

    I’m starting play in a Dark Sun campaign next week and really looking forward to it. No matter what rule set you use, it’s a change of pace well worth exploring. That said, I know it isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea. If you’re in to the survival RPG thing, check out books like the SAS Survival Guide (British Special Forces), for inspiration on surviving extreme conditions.

  3. @anarkeith- Thanks 🙂 Yeah.. The rules I laid out for Defiling can be used in 4e as well. I love the world and flavor, but man.. That defiling mechanic in the book was just SO lackluster to me.

    I debated back and forth on defiling now being “default” and preserving being something that a spellcaster must roll a check for, and then there still would be the feats for stronger defiling and etc, but I never got around to mulling that over fully.

  4. dude, the mechanics you use for defiling is too slow, and will make lot of game stooping. should you try what we do, youll find it. easier to keep track of, and defiling gets powerfull. When you defile, the spellscasting time is equal to a move action (this makes any spell more powerfull), however you cannot cast defensecely on this manner; additionally, you deal 1d6 nonlethal damage to any living creature or 1d6 damage to plants, there is no save for this and the radius is related to the spell level, say 5foot per level. Oh, yeah, those who save againstndefiling must roll twice and take the worse result. guaranteed hate for defiler npcs and quickly gaming!!

  5. I love the Dark Sun campaign setting, and am currently running a pathfinder version. It is a lot of fun, and all the players seem to enjoy it. I have a whole host of rules I use, that you can find at http://www.underableedingsun.Wordpress.com. I used a lot of material from across the web, and put it together in the format that made the most sense. I also have extensive rules on how magic and psionics interact together, for any who are intrested. I run a combination of old 2e modules and 3e modules from athas.com, which is a great resource.

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