The Water Margin
Elements of this document are originally from the athas.org Dark Sun 3 document.
Dark Sun characters have access to a wide range of feats, including several feats specific to the setting.
In addition to the feats described in the Player’s Handbook, Athasian characters may find particular value in feats from certain other sourcebooks.
Expanded Psionics Handbook
DARK SUN characters may select the Hidden Talent feat (XPH, p. 67) as a 1st-level character. This option represents a character with a particularly strong psionic wild talent.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Each time, add an extra number of performance categories equal to your Intelligence bonus -1 (minimum 1) to your highest Perform category for purposes of determining your effective Perform skill ranks.
The Sandstorm sourcebook includes several desert-themed feats such as Heat Endurance and Sandskimmer that may be useful for survival. These feats are generally available to Athasian characters. As there are no gods on Athas, though, none of the feats associated with gods or divine patronage are available.
Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords
Although Athas does not include the training necessary for crusaders, swordsages, or warblades, characters may still choose feats from this sourcebook. The Martial Study and Martial Stance feats in particular may allow characters to use a limited number of martial maneuvers. These are considered to be special tricks developed by the warrior in question or passed down as secret knowledge from a mentor, rather than the result of any organized system of study.
Tome of Magic
Though Athasian characters do not have access to training as binders, shadowcasters, or truenamers, the use of magic tapping the Gray and the Black allows a limited form of shadowcasting. Athasian characters may choose feats that grant access to shadow mysteries. They may not choose feats that grant access to binding or truenaming.
Armor Optimization [Fighter]
You’ve developed a knack for gaining the most benefit from what little armor you can scavenge, primarily by making sure that you’re always positioned in a way that puts the armor between you and your opponent.
Prerequisites: Proficiency in any form of armor or shield.
Benefit: When wearing armor or carrying a shield, you gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC. You lose this bonus when denied your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.
Special: A fighter may select Armor Optimization as one of his fighter bonus feats.
Botanical Enchantment [Item Creation]
You imbue a fruit-bearing plant or tree with a magical essence that takes hold in one of its fruits, thereby storing a spell into the fruit.
Prerequisites: Caster level 3rd.
Benefits: You may use botanical enchantment to cause a fruit-bearing tree or plant to absorb magical energy into a fruit, which then functions as a potion storing a spell. This feat is otherwise identical to the Brew Potion feat, with the material costs representing the special essences and liquids necessary to cause the plant to absorb the magical energies. Botanical enchantment may only be used on a plant that is currently fruiting. The magician does not automatically know which fruit absorbs the magical essences, although a detect magic spell will readily reveal which fruit is now a potion fruit.
Special: Potions are too volatile and subject to evaporation to be useful on Athas. As a result, the Brew Potion feat does not exist. Spellcasters must make potion fruits instead.
Time spent in the shadow of the city-states has inured you to the difficulties of being trapped indoors.
Benefits: You no longer suffer a penalty due to claustrophobia.
Normal: Aarakocras suffer a -4 penalty to all attack rolls and skill checks when in an enclosed area.
Elemental Freedom [Divine]
Your connection to your element allows you to briefly ignore all danger posed by it.
Prerequisites: Cleric level 5th.
Benefits: You may expend one of your turn/rebuke undead attempts to temporarily gain the ability to completely ignore the presence of your element. This lasts for up to one round per cleric level. Thus, a cleric of water may move through water freely, and one of earth may pass through stone walls as if they were not there. Force exerted on a cleric by the element may also be ignored—a great wind will not affect a cleric of air, flames will not burn a cleric of the flames. This protection extends to everything that the cleric is carrying on him at the time.
Elemental Gate [Divine]
By calling for the aid of your element, you cause a quantity of the element to appear, conjured directly from one of the elemental planes.
Prerequisites: Cleric level 7th.
Benefits: You may expend one of your turn/rebuke undead attempts to gate in a quantity of your patron element. The amount of material gated in is up to one cubic foot per cleric level above 6th. The material is a pure specimen from the plane in question—earth, air, fire, or water. The exact nature of the material will be raw and basic; stone (not metal) from the plane of earth, air, flame, and liquid water from their respective planes.
Air so gated comes in the form of a terrific wind, capable of knocking down all huge or smaller creatures; it lasts one round.
The shape of the gated material may be dictated by the cleric (a stone wall one inch thick, a sheet of flame surrounding the altar, etc.), but it cannot be gated more than 50 feet from the cleric.
This feat allows an Athasian wizard to acquire a new familiar from a nonstandard list, but only when they could normally acquire a new familiar (Player’s Handbook, page 52). The feat presents a way to obtain familiars more in line with the power level of the master.
Prerequisites: Able to acquire a familiar.
Benefits: When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed below are also available, in addition to those listed in the Player’s Handbook. A spellcaster may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each of the alignment axes. The list below presents only a few possible improved familiars. This feat otherwise uses the rules presented in the Player’s Handbook, with two exceptions: If the creature’s type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind.
Familiar Abilities: In addition to the special abilities presented in the Player’s Handbook, familiars are immune to the effects of their master’s defiling.
|Familiar||Condition||Arcane Spellcaster Level|
|Black/Gray Touched1||Ability to channel energy from the Black or the Gray||3rd|
|Boneclaw, lesser||Neutral alignment||3rd|
|Pterrax||Reptilian subtype or ability to manifest psionic powers||3rd|
|Elemental incarnation||Matching element2 or preserver||5th|
|Paraelemental incarnation||Matching element2 or defiler||5th|
|Elemental, Small||Preserver or matching element2||5th|
|Paraelemental, Small||Defiler or matching element2||5th|
|Boneclaw, greater||Neutral alignment or ability to manifest psionic powers||7th|
|Tigone||Neutral alignment or preserver||7th|
|Tembo||Defiler or ability to manifest psionic powers||7th|
|Wall walker||Neutral alignment or defiler||7th|
|Psionocus3||Ability to manifest psionic powers||7th|
1 Apply the appropriate template to a familiar from the standard list.
2 Character must possess the appropriate elemental subtype or patron element.
3 The master must first create the psionocus.
Your templar sigil has been imbued with special powers.
Prerequisites: Sigil ability, Diplomacy 9 ranks.
Benefits: Choose two 1st‐level divine spells on your spell list. You can use them each once per day as a spell‐like ability. You must grasp and hold your sigil to use this ability. The save DC for these spell‐like abilities is 11 + your Charisma modifier.
You have received an advanced literary education, either as an important slave overseeing accounts and ledgers, as a templar, or as a patrician. As a result, you are familiar with the principles of reading and writing.
Benefits: You are automatically literate in all languages that you can speak, without having to spend additional ranks on the Speak Language skill.
Drawbacks: Literacy among anyone outside of the templarate is generally a criminal offense in the city-states. Wealthy merchants and patricians usually sidestep this restriction by claiming that their employees serve purely in an accounting capacity, but this is a tenuous defense at best, especially if bribes to the appropriate templars are not forthcoming. Displaying knowledge of literacy can result in enslavement or execution.
Normal: Athasian characters are not literate unless they spend skill ranks in Speak Language for each alphabet that they wish to be able to read.
Special: A wizard may select Literacy as one of his wizard bonus feats.
You’ve learned the secret lost arts of working in metal.
Prerequisites: Craft (any metalworking) 4 ranks.
Benefits: When making Craft checks to construct items, you can treat the value of metal items as if they were priced in ceramic pieces. For example, a metal long sword would count as an item that costs only 15 ceramic pieces.
When making Appraise checks to identify the value of metal items, you may make such checks untrained.
Normal: When crafting a metal item, count the full value of the item when computing its price. For example, a metal long sword wound count as an item that costs 1,500 ceramic pieces.
Path Dexter [Wizard]
Preservers tend to lean towards spells of protective nature and those that increase knowledge.
Benefits: Choose two spells at every spell level. These spells must be selected from the abjuration and/or divination schools. You gain +1 caster level when casting the chosen spells.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new set of spells from the abjuration and/or divination schools.
This feat can be selected only by preservers.
A wizard may select Path Dexter as one of his wizard bonus feats.
Path Sinister [Wizard]
Defilers tend to lean towards spells of a darker nature.
Benefits: Choose two spells at every spell level. These spells must be selected from the conjuration and/or necromancy schools. You gain +1 caster level when casting the chosen spells.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new set of spells from the necromancy and/or conjuration schools.
A wizard may select Path Sinister as one of his wizard bonus feats.
You can use your authority within your city‐state to order slaves to do your bidding, requisition troops, enter the homes of freemen and nobles, and have them arrested.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, Diplomacy 6 ranks, Negotiator, accepted into city‐stateʹs templarate.
Benefits: This feat grants four new uses for the Diplomacy skill. None of them function during combat.
Requisition: You can draw upon the resources of your city, gaining the use of any slave, overriding the wishes of its owner.
Intrude: You can, at any time, search the home, person or possessions of a slave. You may search and impound any evidence of wrongdoing, if found. Your authority does not extend to confiscating items for personal use.
Accuse: You may have a slave imprisoned indefinitely, awaiting the gathering of evidence against him. You may only imprison one suspect in such a manner.
Judge: You may pass judgment on a slave. This includes setting fines, prison sentences, death sentences or anything else you wish, within the laws of your city‐state.
As you gain more ranks in the Diplomacy skill, you gain the authority to take these actions against progressively higher social rankings, as described on the table below.
|3||Intrude on slave|
|6||Intrude on freeman|
|10||Intrude on noble|
|14||Intrude on templar|
Failure to comply with these demands is usually sanctioned with fines, imprisonment, outlaw status, and possibly execution. Any of this ability can be contested by another person with the Secular Authority feat, and move to have the action reversed with an opposed Diplomacy check. If the challenger wins the opposed roll, the defending templar’s action is reversed (for example an imprisoned freeman is set free). If the defender wins the opposed roll nothing happens. Secular Authority can be contested in a particular case only once. A defending character who loses the opposed roll may not contest the result. Nor can he use Secular Authority to repeat the action that was contested against the same target.
You may use Secular Authority once per day for every four levels you have attained (but see Special), but only within your city‐state.
Special: A templar automatically gains Secular Authority as a bonus feat. He need not select it. A templar may use Secular Authority a number of times per day equal to his templar level, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in classes other than templar.
Somatic Concealment [Wizard]
You are highly skilled at disguising your spellcasting gestures and words as mumbled nonsense or drunken stumbling.
Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus to Bluff checks made to conceal your spellcasting. You may conceal your spellcasting as a free action.
Normal: Making a Bluff check to conceal your spellcasting is a move action.
Special: A wizard may select Somatic Concealment as one of his wizard bonus feats.
Whether it’s a tiny brackish pool under a rock or a green fluid squeezed from a cactus plant, you have a knack for finding just enough water to survive.
Benefit: You can locate enough water to sustain yourself for a day. This takes one hour of time, during which you may only travel at half your normal speed, as you are occupied with looking for sources of water. This finds just enough moisture to sustain you. Unlike the use of the Survival skill, you cannot find water for other people, but there is also no roll necessary to use this feat.
Normal: Finding food and water in the wild requires a Survival skill check with a DC of at least 10.
Weapon Training [Fighter]
Your expertise in weapons is sufficient enough for you to instill some measure of that prowess in your students.
Prerequisites: Fighter level 3rd.
Benefit: You can train small groups of students in the use of one weapon with which you are proficient. A group may consist of a number of students up to your fighter level. Training requires a full month of practice taking 8 uninterrupted hours per day. At the end of this time, each student may make a DC 11 Intelligence check. Success grants the student proficiency in the weapon that you chose to instruct.
A student may only attempt to gain proficiency once for any given weapon with which you offer training. If the student fails to learn to use a weapon under your tutelage, the student will gain no benefit from further attempts to train in that weapon under you.
Special: A fighter may select Weapon Training as one of his fighter bonus feats.