Author Topic: Dark Sun?  (Read 243 times)

Offline hans

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Dark Sun?
« on: May 13, 2017, 11:07:52 PM »
I thought about Dark Sun, the other day...

Steve Syrek wrote (in the early days of UA, like 1994-ish) a Dark Sun mod (darksun.zip), unhacked and with no new art.  It was unbalanced (3rd level PCs vs Bulettes, etc.), with many of the usual first-time author weaknesses.  [edit: I misremembered, PCs start at around level 6; see below]  I had stopped playing it, not because of those problems, but because without hacks or special art it was too much like Forgotten Realms instead of true Dark Sun.  Some day I may go back and play it, without my earlier (much too lofty) DS expectations. 

James Rand assembled an ambitious Dark Sun hack set several years later (also named darksun.zip, but which today can be found in the hacks folder rather than mods folder of the UA File Archive).  It was not a full Worldhack, and the Ckit hacks were a little wonky, as I recall.     

I know that there have also been lots of PicPacks for the DS genre. 

So, some questions:

Are there any other Dark Sun mods than Steve Syrek's? 

Have there been any later attempts at Ckit & Item hacks for DS after James Rand's pioneering one? 

I got to thinking about Dark Sun for UA as I've been working on an expanded SHUA hack.  James Rand's attempt, I remember, had to make some hard sacrifices and compromises with the milieu.  Is DS too different from FRUA for a really faithful Worldhack?   
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 11:25:10 PM by hans »

Offline Donnie Ewald

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 06:51:42 AM »
hans, I played hopscotch through the archives and I'm not finding any later attempts. Beyond the pictures that you've already come across, the many mentions in the digests (that I didn't read; but, I could link if you want to skim sometime), a few other things beyond that:

http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/uanews/nlhtm12/athas.htm

A started module with a preview in a newsletter:

http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/uanews/uanl22/defiler.htm

... his linked site isn't live; but, the Wayback Machine had a copy that you might bounce around and see if it's hosted there or was simply one of the many started and unfinished FRUA designs:

https://web.archive.org/web/20021122070847/http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Dunes/1692

http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/sound/dsunxmi.txt
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/sound/dsunxmi.zip

http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/hacks/uafont2.txt
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/hacks/uafont2.zip



Offline Null Null

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 08:10:32 AM »
I thought about that quite a bit, it's a neat setting. You have no way to implement psionics and there are more than six major classes. A lot of Brom's work has ironically been scanned in already, though.

I can't even handle hacks anymore, really, what with all the Windows version changes and having to apply extra programs to incorporate direct Ckit hacks (probably the #1 reason I had to drop production on Pool-from-the-monsters-point-of-view). How do you go around it?

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 12:13:18 PM »
The Gamma World World Hack includes Psionics.

I would set up the 6 classes as follows:
Cleric (Elementalist) = Cleric
Dune Trader = Thief
Fighter = Fighter
Gladiator = Paladin
Psion = Ranger
Wizard (Defiler or Preserver) = Magic-User
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Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 03:09:16 PM »
Yeah, I have a vague recollection that I might have played something similar to Dark Sun but when I look at my Hall of Fame list, I see nothing there to back up that memory. I think I listed every design I played and liked to some extent, sorted by setting, and I tried to play most promising hacked designs, so the chances that I overlooked a great hacked Dark Sun design are slim.

I wonder if maybe one of the Realms designs has a bit of a DS flavor? At least by the looks of it?

Offline hans

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 08:29:13 PM »
Wow, Donnie, thanks for that great research!   :)

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 11:47:02 PM »
Best idea is to play the two Dark Sun games from SSI!
See my topic:    
Dark Sun 1: Shattered Lands
http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=3458.0

This provides links to the Gog forum and game purchase page.

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 02:50:23 PM »
I like Dark Sun I think, though I never had played it. But definitely would like to see psionics in DC :) and FRUA eventually :). I am hoping to learn to mod with FRUA, lately I was reading Unfinished Tales from Tolkien and would like to see some MERP in it too :)

Offline hans

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 03:07:25 PM »
I have, and have played, both of SSI's Dark Sun games.  Although it's been awhile. 

I remember much preferring the first, Shattered Lands, overall, but Wake of the Ravager had some great music.  Both had some very nice overhead landscapes that I could imagine being converted into Dungs & Wilds for UA.  James Rand did a bit of that, but only scratched the surface.

The combat engine was pretty good too, as I recall, but tho technically an advancement, I much preferred the GoldBox style. 

Offline hans

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 11:33:10 PM »
I misremembered about Steve Syrek's Darksun mod.  In my defense, it had been awhile.  I've been taking a fresh look at it.  Characters start out around level 6, not level 3.  However, magical plus weapons are available in abundance.  This is quite different from the Dark Sun milieu where just plain metal weapons are rare.  Instead, most weapons are bone, wood, or rock, like obsidian.  The poor weapons & armor are just one factor in making Dark Sun one of the most deadly RPG worlds TSR ever created. 

If I continue playing it, this time, I'll have to put my DS expectations aside, and play it without any preconceived notions... 

Edit: No, I don't think I will continue to play it.  The first quest is an interminable series of random Pick One combats (like every 4-6 steps) against such monsters as Basilisks and Hell Hounds with hardly anyplace to rest. 
 :angry4: :blob8: :angryfire: 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 12:11:26 AM by hans »

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 04:59:19 AM »
Does it have provision for Mirrors? They took care of Basilisks and whatever in Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness.
Sounds like the random encounters need to be made a lot less frequent...

Offline hans

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 11:24:31 AM »
Does it have provision for Mirrors? They took care of Basilisks and whatever in Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness.
Sounds like the random encounters need to be made a lot less frequent...
 

No, no mirrors were on sale in the one Shop. 

I'm not against random combats, but a mod shouldn't rely so heavily on them.  Players should have the sense that they are making progress through an interesting plot.  Even if that plot is combat heavy, having some (if not most) of the combats as set events (which are written in a way as to add to the story or background or atmosphere) will give the player that important sense of progress. 

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 07:18:33 PM »
I would like to see a Dark Sun module that embraces the campaign setting and has a decent story. I was always more drawn to Planescape, with its roots in mythology, the lower planes, and planar travel, but I also see the appeal of a brutal and unforgiving desert campaign with warped magic, low technology, and gladiators.
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Offline hans

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 10:14:17 PM »
I would like to see a Dark Sun module that embraces the campaign setting and has a decent story. I was always more drawn to Planescape, with its roots in mythology, the lower planes, and planar travel, but I also see the appeal of a brutal and unforgiving desert campaign with warped magic, low technology, and gladiators.
 

I'd love to see one, too.   :glasses9: 

Sounds like a lot of work for anyone who tries, tho.

Offline Dorateen

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Re: Dark Sun?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2017, 03:34:09 PM »
In Hearkenwold II, there is an area the characters visit that is very much Dark Sun inspired. I know this thread is more about creating hacks for the mechanics from Dark Sun such as psionics and classes/races. But I found that with the default Adobe and Wasteland wallsets and backdrop, one could make a suitable Dark Sun themed adventure. And as mentioned, there is some good custom artwork for pics and combat icons available.

Would love to see more Dark Sun style designs.






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