Monday, August 23, 2010
Is Dark Sun Worthwhile?
I've been talking with the people over at the official Dark Sun website and there have been some mixed reviews about the new world. This has caused enough of a discussion that I figured I'd talk about it here.
To begin, I love this re-image of Dark Sun. I really believe that it boils down to this...it is a re-image of the world. I've been hearing things like, "where are the pterrans?", "Why are the descriptions so vague?", etc etc etc.
Well folks there are many reasons to bitch if you loved Dark Sun in second edition and don't want it to change. But it has changed. Dark Sun is a huge world and people who are obsessed with the original version of the campaign world are going to be like Star Trek geeks, they nit pick on everything. Grow up, move out of your mother's basement and accept that change happens.
This new image of Dark Sun is more vibrant than its predecessor. Is it a little less detailed? Sure. The first book is a campaign intro book. It's purpose is to describe the world of Dark Sun. In short, it is a summary book. This book is supposed to introduce new people to Dark Sun without overwhelming them with details that will just make them think, "you know what? I already know Forgotten Realms, I don't need to cram all this shit into my brain."
However the new Dark Sun has things in it like themes and details on new races and new ways of handling old races. It has more customization and lets face it, if you've played 2nd edition you know that customization was in short supply in that edition of D&D.
What does 4th edition Dark Sun offer? It offers a chance to bring Dark Sun into mainstream D&D again. It was a side world that few people played in 2nd edition, much like Spelljammer or Birthright. It was so unpopular that it was never reprinted in 3rd edition. However, the devoted fans of Dark Sun kept it alive and its now in 4th edition. So let's stop bickering about what this version doesn't have and focus on what it does have. Not to mention that it's been out for like 2 weeks now and it took 2nd edition Dark Sun several years to get all the books out. Stop expecting miracles.
If you haven't checked out Dark Sun yet, now is the time to do so. The world is rich and has lots of unique ways to play D&D. The books are new and there's lots of room to grow with the world without being overburdened with too much cannon. For the veteran Dark Sun players out there this is an opportunity. This is the chance to change the cannon and create entirely new things that will only add to the greatness that is Dark Sun. I recommend going to your local gaming store and participate in the monthly D&D game day. The one for Dark Sun has already come and gone, but there's plenty of opportunity to talk up the world and to show players how great this campaign is.
So stop bitching, accept change and roll with it. Change is good, and we're in a great position to affect the change in Dark Sun.
Until next time...