NWN2 - Dark Sun (adventure)

Just some bits! I’ve been continuing to experiment with salt flats using ice-placeables, and focusing on trying to make Tyr feel genuinely big - two rows of fortified walls and a ziggurat that actually towers over the streets.


It looks like you’re using some of my arid pack (walls at least), nice to see my stuff getting used! There are tintable versions of the adobe buildings as well if you need some color variety.


I am, and thank you as ever for the fantastic assets!

I’m also a habitual user of the boardwalks and bridges from your TCK kit - they’re a great way of adding height to an area and a sense of construction taking place.

So a couple of important gameplay considerations that I’m mulling over.


I’m planning on having interconnected wilderness zones, rather than using an overland map. My reasoning here is fairly simple: in Dark Sun, getting to the dungeon itself should be an adventure.

The player should be able to get lost, stumble into trouble, and generally wonder if they’ll make it to safety on the supplies they have (none of which really works when you’re watching a top-down avatar jog cheerfully over a tiny desert!). Feeling like one small group of travellers in a huge wasteland is crucial

However, I also need to make sure that the module isn’t incredibly irritating to traverse back-and-forth. There are a few options here:

Option 1: Caravans for infrequent fast-travel

Simple enough. The main hubs of the adventure have traders who can offer to take you to one of the other hubs for a fee. It fits the lore, but it’s quite stingy.

Option 2: Kank riding

Not a real mount system, sadly - but a fudge of one. The player can purchase a kank from trade hubs (giant rideable insects) and use it to fast-travel to landmarks that have previously been discovered.

The downside is that kanks require feeding, and the player may attempt to ride them only to be beset with some new challenge via conversation (perhaps the kank is sick and needs healing, or becomes suddenly aggressive and attacks its rider) - potentially leaving them stranded in the desert if the kank dies.

Fun, but fiddly?

Option 3: Portals

The ‘to hell with it’ option. The old SSI games just had fast-travel portals at key locations in the wilderness. It’s not very Dark Sun, but it is convenient.


I’m still currently picturing a rest-based hunger & thirst system for this adventure, rather than anything timer-based.

The basic principles would be:

  • AC is hard to come by in this adventure. Even overleveled players should find their hit points being chipped away at by a standard encounter.
  • Healing items are few and far between, and paladins / clerics are discouraged as part of the setting.
  • In most cases, to reliably replenish hit points and spells, the party will need to make camp. (This will not be possible in certain locations, like the streets of Tyr, etc. There will also be penalties for camping out under the baking sun.)
  • In order to camp and rest, the party will need to have sufficient food and water supplies for every member, or suffer increasingly damaging penalties (and finally death).
  • Water and food is heavy and can only be carried in limited supplies; in the desert, it can often be found in the lair of some beast / a bandit’s hideout, providing the party with an incentive to take risks and explore if their supplies are running low.
  • Wandering encounters de-incentivise the player from schlepping back to town every time they need fresh supplies.
  • Resting can sometimes be interrupted by new encounters or threats (like the strangling vine encounter above.) But it can also result in fun party banter over the campfire.

My rationale for this approach was that it ties neatly into the existing gameplay loop of ‘fight, rest, fight, rest’ rather than creating a separate resource management problem for the player, and it prevents hunger and thirst from popping up at moments that case frustration (you shouldn’t start dying of hunger because you spent too long in a conversation tree with the local merchant).

Does that all sound sensible? Or is there a crucial consideration that I’ve missed?


what’s the hours-per-day set at ? i like a slow day btw

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Right now, it’s just the standard rate - I imagine you could slow it down a fair bit and still have a viewable day/night cycle, as resting would move the clock on by a good few hours each time.

try adding +2 to the period, then forget about it for a while, continue to develop and test …

/revisit later


There’s been a NWN Dark Sun project and discussion thread for the past couple of years. Some of the content might be worth porting…


Yeah, they actually reached out to me last week to say hi, which was kind! There’s also some nice items and creature models in the Dark Sun NWN1 Custom Content Challenge from 2013 - actual crodlu, gith, and thri-keen (right now I’m using axebeaks, Batiri and Formians as stand-ins.)

Right now I’m trying to stick to what I can do for the sake of maintaining momentum - I’ve never ported anything before so keen not to get sidetracked. But maybe something for the end of the project?

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Githyanki can be made to use the human body with a quick 2da edit. That will give you dynamic gith unless dark sun gith have a crouch as their default pose or something like that.


Yeah, they’re specifically described as stooped (bent almost double, I think) which is why I went with the batiri instead rather than the gith!


Just some more shots! The top one is intended to be the ruins of Kalidnay, for anyone familiar with the lore…


Love it ! :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:


Really nice work on your areas. They evoke the atmosphere of Athas very well.


If anything from my Bedine module fits, feel free to grab it. It’s set in the Anauroch desert, so the exteriors are predominantly desert based.



Some really great screen shots there!

If you want to see another fatigue/hunger system, my own module, The Scroll, has such, based upon a 15 minutes to one game hour. You need rations, which weigh, and there is also Create Food spell.

It also has a weapon degrading system, dependant on weapon type based on my campaign setting.

Continue the great work.

Cheers, Lance

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