You can download Secrets of the Dead Lands for free.
The name comes from an officially announced, but I don’t think ever realised, Dark Suns adventure dating back to 1999. TSR days.
Wizards of the Coast then gave The Burnt World of Athas permission to finish the project. The result is a Dark Sun D&D sourcebook that is both WotC and fandom simultaneously.
The footer at the bottom of Athas provides some more context;
This site is recognized by WotC as the Official Dark Sun site on the internet. Content created on the official website is considered to be derivative work (as it is based on the intellectual property owned by Wizards of the Coast). This means that fan-created add-ons (such as new net books, adventures, etc.) are jointly owned by both Wizards of the Coast and the creator; neither can do anything outside the official website without the permission of the other.
The Dead Lands are a large area in the Dark Sun setting and the Secrets of the Dead Lands will come as a 4 part series of books. Athas say;
- Secrets of the Dead Lands (this book) provides a sourcebook and history of the entire setting. This is where you’ll find most of the descriptions and explanations for the current state of the Dead Lands and its inhabitants.
- Faces of the Dead Lands (Available from April 2022) provides all of the game rules and statistics for the areas mentioned in the other books. This includes NPC’s, unique magic items, and other major rules that might affect play.
- Terrors of the Dead Lands (Available now) provides the rules for monsters and NPCs as they appear in the setting. Since this was released years before the rest of these books, there is an addendum section to this book which has been added to Faces of the Dead Lands at the end.
- The Emissary (Available from May 2022) is the first introductory adventure set in the Dead Lands. Within you will find descriptions and stats for relevant NPCs relisted in their shortened form for efficiency.
Dark Sun is a controversial topic in the D&D community as the setting contains unpleasant elements and tropes. For some, though, that’s part of the attraction. It’s a dark setting.
Original Dark Sun assets are increasingly collectable, and a case in point is this mint condition, with certification, TSR Dark Sun promo print which hit eBay with a $250 bid.
What are your thoughts? Strike up a discussion and leave a comment below.