“I live in a world of fire and sand. The crimson sun scorches the life from anything that crawls or flies, and storms of sand scour the foliage from the barren ground. Lightning strikes from the cloudless sky, and peals of thunder roll unexplained across the vast tablelands. Even the wind, dry and searing as a kiln, can kill a man with thirst.” ―The Wanderer’s Journal
Athas is a world of many races, from the gith who wander the deserts, to the tareks, too stubborn to know when they have died. Giants terrorize the Silt Sea, while belgoi steal grown men in the night. The magic of the Pristine Tower produces the New Races; most never see a second generation. Despite the variety of intelligent life, only a few races have the numbers to significantly impact the politics of the Tablelands.
Though the races of the Dark Sun campaign setting resemble those of other campaign worlds, it is frequently in name only. The insular elves roam the Tablelands, trusted by no one but their own tribe‐mates. Halflings are feral creatures, possessed of a taste for human flesh. Hairless dwarves work endlessly, their entire perception of the world filtered through the lens of a single, all– consuming task. Unsleeping thri‐kreen roam the wastes, always hunting their next meal.
- Humans, While not the strongest race, nor the quickest, humans have dominated the Tablelands for the last three thousand years.
- Aarakocra, avian freedom–loving creatures, but extremely zealous and xenophobic.
- Dwarves, Stubborn and strong‐minded, dwarves make good companions, even though their usual focused nature can tend to be bothersome.
- Elves, a long–limbed race of trading, raiding, thieving sprinters.
- Half-elves, Unlike the parents of muls, elves and humans are often attracted to each other.
- Half‐giants, a race that combines great strength, but dull wits, from their giant heritage; with the agility of their human forbearers.
- Halflings, small, quick and agile creatures steeped in an ancient and rich culture that goes back far into Athas’ past.
- Muls, a hybrid race that combines the natural Dwarven resilience and stubbornness with the adaptability from humans.
- Pterrans, reptilian nature–worshipping creatures that are always in the pursuit of their “life paths”.
- Thri‐kreen, insectoid creatures, these natural hunters roam the Athasian wastes in search for prey.
Athasian Racial Summary
|Race||Type||Ability Adjustments||Automatic Languages|
|Human||Humanoid||+2 Any Attribute||Common|
|Aarakocra||Monstrous Humanoid||+4 Dex, -2 Con, -2 Str||Auran & Common|
|Dwarf||Humanoid||+2 Con, +2 Wis, –2 Cha||Common & Dwarven|
|Elf||Humanoid||+2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Con||Common & Elven|
|Half-elf||Humanoid||+2 Any Attribute||Common & Elven|
|Half-giant||Humanoid||+4 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Int||Common|
|Halfling||Humanoid||+2 Dex, +2 Wis, –2 Str||Halfling|
|Mul||Humanoid||+2 Str, +2 Con, –2 Cha||Common|
|Pterran||Humanoid||+2 Wis, +2 Cha, -2 Dex||Saurian|
|Thri-kreen||Monstrous Humanoid||+2 Dex, +2 Wis, -4 Cha||Kreen|
Racial Physical Characteristics
Your character’s age is determined by your choice or race and class, as summed up on Table: Random Starting Ages.
1 This category includes barbarians and rogues.
|Human||35 yrs.||53 yrs.||70 yrs.||+2d20 yrs.|
|Aarakocra||—||—||36 yrs.4||+1d10 yrs.|
|Dwarf||100 yrs.||150 yrs.||200 yrs.||+4d20 yrs.|
|Elf||50 yrs.||75 yrs.||100 yrs.||+3d20 yrs.|
|Half-Elf||45 yrs.||60 yrs.||90 yrs.||+2d20 yrs.|
|Half-Giant||60 yrs.||90 yrs.||120 yrs.||+1d100 yrs.|
|Halfling||50 yrs.||75 yrs.||100 yrs.||+5d10 yrs.|
|Mul||30 yrs.||45 yrs.||60 yrs.||+2d10 yrs.|
|Pterran||—||—||40 yrs. 4||+1d10 yrs.|
|Thri-kreen||—||—||25 yrs. 4||+1d10 yrs.|
1. –1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
|Race||Base Height||Base Weight||Height Modifier||Weight Modifier|
|Human, male||4’10”||120 lbs||+2d10||x2d4 lb|
|Human, female||4’5”||85 lbs||+2d10||x2d4 lbs|
|Aarakocra, male||6’4”||70 lbs||+2d8||x1d4 lbs|
|Aarakocra, female||6’2”||60 lbs||+2d8||x1d4 lbs|
|Dwarf, male||4’3”||130 lbs||+2d4||x2d6 lbs|
|Dwarf, female||4’1”||100 lbs||+2d4||x2d6 lbs|
|Elf, male||6’8”||130 lbs||+2d6||x2d4 lbs|
|Elf, female||6’5”||110 lbs||+2d6||x2d4 lbs|
|Half-Elf, male||5’||130 lbs||+2d10||x2d4 lbs|
|Half-Elf, female||4’10”||90 lbs||+2d10||x2d4 lbs|
|Half-Giant, male||10’||1400 lbs||+2d12||x3d4 lbs|
|Half-Giant, female||10’||1000 lbs||+2d12||x3d4 lbs|
|Halfling, male||2’8”||30 lbs||+2d4||x1 lbs|
|Halfling, female||2’6”||25 lbs||+2d4||x1 lbs|
|Mul, male||4’10”||130 lbs||+2d10||x2d6 lbs|
|Mul, female||4’6”||100 lbs||+2d10||x2d6 lbs|
|Pterran, male||4’10”||130 lbs||+2d10||x2d6 lbs|
|Pterran, female||4’7”||110 lbs||+2d10||x2d6 lbs|
|Thri-kreen1||6’10”||450 lbs||+1d6||x1d4 lbs|
|1. Thri-kreen are 48 inches longer than they are tall.|
Region of Origin
In Athas, where you character comes from can help dictate his speech, clothing, world view, and values. In the context of the game, these cultural differences are expressed in the choices of class, skills, feats, and prestige classes that characters from different regions make.
This section describes the most common choices of game‐related options for several known regions of Athas. These choices are not meant to be restrictive, since exceptions always exist to such general rules. They simply offer guidelines for making a character seem like a true representative of his native culture.
See Region of Origin for more details