Returning to Athas, Part 2

Hmm...I seemed to have missed out on Part 1 (Edit: I went back and realized that I already knew everything about Dark Sun and so didnt care). Anyway, we learn in this Dark Sun Design & Development article that there will be ten themes present in Dark Sun Campaign Setting, and for those that lack a DDI subscription, those themes are (in a particular order):

  • Athasian Minstrel
  • Dune Trader
  • Elemental Priest
  • Gladiator
  • Noble Adept
  • Primal Guardian
  • Templar
  • Veiled Alliance
  • Wasteland Nomad
  • Wilder

Things that we already knew was that a theme gives you an extra encounter power at level one and serves as a gateway drug for feats, paragon paths, and theme-specific powers that you can choose instead of your class ones (akin to skill powers, which are also awesome). You can also upgrade them by slotting them into a higher level position than normal when one opens. For example, fearsome command at level 3 deals 2d6 + what-the-fuck-ever ability modifier you want damage, in addition to slowing for a turn. You can boost the damage to 3d6 when you hit level 13, and finally at level 23 you can make it deal 5d6.

They don't cost anything to take, but I guess you can opt not to take one and miss out on free shit. It's like a background on steroids. The article provides insight as to why the designers made certain concepts like gladiators themes instead of classes or class builds, and its recommended reading if you were considering inventing your own themes (which I plan on doing for my Eberron game). Here's hoping they make "generic" themes as well as other campaign-specific ones.

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