Dark Sun Psionics

In today’s History of the Classes article, I’m examining Dark Sun’s use of psionics in AD&D Second Edition. As far as I know, it’s the only 2e setting – out of the glorious variety of 2e settings – that deeply embraces psionics and makes it a centerpiece of the setting. My resources are the revised Dark Sun Campaign Setting (the one reworked to fit Skills and Powers), Dragon Kings, and The Will and the Way. I also have a copy of the 4e Dark Sun Campaign Setting on the shelf, but I plan to fold that into my article on 4e.

(Part One, Part Two, Part Three)

Experiment: How To Play D&D With Two Dungeon Masters

A few years back a friend and I had an interesting thought: what if we co-dungeon mastered a D&D game? That is to say that we would both be DMs at the same time, within the same campaign, to the same group of players. It was a fascinating concept that came out of our discussion on how my friend thought he was really good at running combat but disliked roleplaying and how I felt that I was the opposite. Unfortunately, our idea was never put to the test. But still to this day I often think about how it could work and how it could be something unique and amazing.

UPDATED: D&D to Release Two Storylines a Year Through 2018

Since I wrote this article in November 2014 quite a few things have changed, so I thought it was time to update the original article.

  • In a recent interview, Jeremy Crawford commented that the official setting of the D&D tabletop RPG “is the multiverse, which includes all D&D worlds.
  • On Twitter, Chris Perkins revealed he has something in the works for 2016, which just might be a new setting based on his own world called Valoreign.
  • Errata documents will be released this spring.
  • It is likely that the Warforged race (from Eberron) and Kender race (from Dragonlance) will be covered in an upcoming article on the Dungeon & Dragons site. Comments by Mike Mearls have pretty much confirmed this, with Warforged “up first”.
  • Previously, Mike Mearls let us know that they are ” looking at two storylines a year” and have “plans laid down for stories up through 2018.

High Power Races: Thri-Kreen

Along with the aarakocra, the thri-kreen are one of my favorite non-standard races to play. Unique and alien, thri-kreen provide for unusual roleplaying opportunities and unusual flavor at the table. The challenge? Thri-kreen are a powerful PC race (see Behind the Development below). Converting them to a standard PC race while maintaining their flavor and popular, race-specific powers was a challenge and even with this conversion DMs should consider before allowing them in their campaigns. If used, DMs and players should play up the thri-kreen’s social disadvantages as much as possible, including limited communication and insight into humanoid motivations and feelings. Though I follow Monte Cook’s design rule that “fluff does not balance crunch”, if you have decided that thri-kreen are usable in your campaign, you can use these disadvantages to build interesting stories and social interactions while balancing some of their physical benefits. Remember that 5th edition emphasizes combat, exploration, and social interactions in equal balance.


Thri-kreen are nomadic, insectoid humanoids typically found in deserts and savannah. They communicate with a species-specific combination of clicks, body movements, and antennae waves, though it is suspected that pheromonal communication allows for more subtlety than most humanoids can decipher. Though non-thri-kreen can learn to understand the basics of thri-kreen communication, it’s impossible to speak. Most thri-kreen understand Common with the same level of understanding. Unless a thri-kreen has spent significant time with non-insectoid humanoids, they make all Insight and Persuasion checks at disadvantage. The same is true of mammalian humanoids when dealing with thri-kreen.