Bloodsand Arena Revised

I’ve been busy prepping for LemurCon recently. I’ve managed to convince some old friends to give 4e a slot and we’ve gone with Dark Sun. This is a one shot, so I wanted to hit as many of the setting’s key notes as possible, while also telling a self contained story, and having the traditional elements that make any D&D game great. In 5 hours. No easy task. At time of writing, I don’t know how this eventually went down, but here’s some of the things I’ve done in the making.


I almost exclusively DM so I haven’t done much more than dabble wiith characters. I have the builder, and I wouldn’t attempt anything above 1st level or non-Essentials with pen and paper.  I wanted 6th level, it’s just right for one-shots in my experience. I fired up the builder and tried out a few things. I don’t know why but I was a bit surprised that Essentials classes and races don’t really suit Dark Sun in the main. I’d polled my players on their wants (I sent them a little primer on race, class, theme and the world) and they wanted Thri-Kreen, gladiators, Sorcerer-King warlocks and all the rest. Great stuff, but it meant using the classic 4e set up. Mostly not a  problem, just had to take care to pick powers and abilities that didn’t have too much conditional stuff. I like themes, but I don’t know if I went overboard with them and thus didn’t get enough original class flavour in. We’ll see. Feats. Oh my god,  feats. There is an absolute skipload of them, and after 15 minutes of reading I wished I didnt have to take them at all. I’ve tried to go for something DS in feel, but lord only knows if they’re in the slightest bit effective. Again, we’ll see.

I do like the inherent bonus system. It’s quick, and effective, and saves adding in a bunch more power cards for my newbie players. I hit auto-select for shopping to see what I would get, it’s pretty random, I got Eberron items and things for water breathing! Not recommended. I had to delete them all, and when I tried again I got different items, so it’s definitely random.

I’ve also been looking at character sheets. The internet failed me, as it looks like people really don’t do their own sheets so much anymore. I’m not a huge fan of the ones the builder currently offers, and the classic one is too busy. I wanted to keep the power cards though, so there wasn’t a lot left to do. I customised my old Word doc sheets, and picked an appropriate colour scheme, and it’s done. Some manual input needed, but that’s not particularly onerous.

I’ve added in one of the sheets to the Free Stuff page.

Next: The Scenario


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One response to “Bloodsand Arena Revised

  1. Pingback: Bloodsand Arena, revised | Treehouse:

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