Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Campaign Construction: Dark Sun (Session 1)

As I mentioned earlier, in Meet the PC, a few years back I took my first foray into GMing by running a Dark Sun D&D campaign for my friends. Since it was my first time behind the screen, I wanted to bring a little something else to the table: Custom minis for encounters.

Dark Sun is a unique world, and to sell the setting I wanted authentic feeling encounters. It's a desert world without Gods, and without metal, and where arcane magic corrupts the natural surroundings. So finding the right minis, and painting them properly posed an interesting challenge.

Each week I'd make sure at least one fight featured a specially prepared enemy. This sometimes had me painting a mini up until my buddies showed up on my doorstep.

The very first encounter took place in a gladiatorial arena, where they were pitted against dangerous desert monsters. The first was a Winged Snake (Warlord's Couatl) that I painted to look like a rattlesnake, and a pair of Drakes who sported a Gila Monster motif (minis are Crested Fellrakes from the WotC Chainmail game).

The second fight in the arena had the PCs facing off against a Mul (Dwarf-Human hybrid, bigger than either, Kinda like a Liger). Looking at the art of Dark Sun, most of the characters are lightly clad (due to the oppressive heat) and since Muls are massively strong, I decided that Dark Heaven's Goldar (I named him Dru'ul in the game) would be the way to go.

Like I mentioned earlier, There's no metal in Dark Sun, so I replaced painted things that would normally be metal as though they were hide, leather, bone, stone, or wood. Most notably, I made his axe bone, and tried to get his plate armor to look like it's reptile hide. This was the mini that helped me realize that this would actually work.

I figured as a gladiator would be in the sun all day, then get oiled up before a fight, like how professional body builders look during competitions, hence the tan and shiny nature of the skin.

Incidentally, if you ever name a Mul gladiator Dru'ul, be prepared for your players to rename him "Drool the Mool"



  1. I still think it's strange it was decided to make muls human+ sized in 4E. Also, that's a badass coatl and Bones arrived today. Bones!

    1. Weren't they always larger than usual humans?

      Also, woo! Bones! I'll have to check them out & bask in the geeky mini goodness. Perhaps this is the wrong time to mention it, but I found several of your wife's minis at my house.

  2. I remember being so impressed by that first session. You really knocked my socks off with the effort you put into painting these great minis.

    1. Yeah, and it was all downhill from there. :P