New Rules


As PCs adventure, one overriding consideration will almost certainly be the supply of water. Quite often in DARK SUN campaigns, characters will be in situations where the supply of water has no impact on the adventure. These dehydration rules are intended for extreme situations only and should only be enforced when a lack of water could be lifethreatening.


Athas is a desert-sun-scorched and wind-scoured land, parched and endless.

From the first moments of dawn until the last twinkling of dusk, the crimson sun shimmers in the olive-tinged sky like a fiery puddle of blood. It climbs toward its zenith and the temperature rises relentlessly: 100 degrees by midmorning, 110 at noon, 130 - sometimes even 150 - by late afternoon.

At night, the low humidity has the opposite effect. The day's heat escapes into the sky, plunging the temperature to 40 degrees or less-and in the mountains, even to zero.

Water Consumption

How much water a character needs depends upon his schedule of activity, race, and his size. Medium-sized characters require 1 gallon (4 quarts) of water per day. Travelling at night reduces this requirement to half.

A character wearing a full suit of metal armor requires twice as much water each day to avoid dehydration.

Shelter or shade grants a +1 to +4 bonus to Vigor rolls to resist the heat, depending on how windproof and covered it is. With a suitable fire, the temperature inside a sealed shelter at night rises to a comfortable level.

Unusual Races

Thri-kreen, halflings, and half-giants suffer from dehydration differently than humans and normal demihumans.
Thri-kreen: Thri-kreen can go for one week on the amount of water it takes to sustain a human for one day. Thus, thri-kreen characters only roll for dehydration once per week without water.
Half-giants: Due to their great size, half-giants need 7 quarts of water per day (+1 quart per size modifier).
Halflings: Due to their small size, halflings require only 2 quarts of water per day.


Athas is a world where the intelligent races come from a wide variety of species - the humans and demihumans are very different than the insectmen and beastmen. Each intelligent race has its own language, sometimes even its own approach to language and communication. For instance, the thri-kreen language is a combination of clicks and whines that come very natural to their pincered mouths - humans find it very difficult to reproduce these sounds, but the task is not impossible. DARK SUN adventures are not quite as language friendly as other campaign worlds - characters will tend to rely more heavily upon magic or interpreters for communication.

Characters begin play with a number of languages equal to half their Smarts die. They must purchase their racial language first. Any additional languages must be approved by the GM, and be appropriate to the character's background.

The Common Tongue

There is a standard language (known simply as common or the common tongue) that all humans, dwarves, elves, half-elves and muls speak. It is important to note that halflings and thri-kreen do not generally speak common. It is strongly recommended, however, that player character halflings and thri-kreen use one of their starting languages to obtain the common tongue.

Other Languages

All other languages are identified with their race name (such as halfling, thri-kreen, giant, gith, and others). Characters begin the game knowing their racial language. Other languages, including common or other racial languages, must be assigned during character creation.

The following is a list of possible languages available to newly generated player characters. GM's may wish to expand or reduce this list to accommodate their own campaigns.

  • Aarakocra
  • Anakore
  • Belgoi
  • Braxat
  • Dwarven
  • Elven
  • Genie
  • Giant
  • Gith
  • Halfling
  • Jozhal
  • Kenku
  • Pterran
  • Sign Language
  • Thri-kreen
  • Yuan-ti
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License