Elements of this material originally appeared in the Dark Sun 3 document.

Dark Sun characters use skills as described in the Player’s Handbook, with only a few notable exceptions.


Metal items are always considered rare objects, and thus require training in the Appraise skill to identify their value.


Spellcasters may use the Bluff skill to conceal their spellcasting. Many wizards and even some clerics pass themselves off as eccentrics or drunks specifically to help conceal their hand gestures and spoken words in the guise of manic fits or slurring intoxication.

Using the Bluff skill to conceal spellcasting is a move action. Onlookers may oppose the roll with a Sense Motive or Spellcraft check.

Situation DC Modifier
The spellcaster is defiling -20
Spellcraft or Sense Motive
Target is closely observing spellcaster +5
Target knows the character is a spellcaster +5

Metal items count at their full value when calculating crafting times. A metal long sword, for instance, has a value of 1,500 ceramic pieces, and thus will take a significant amount of time for a craftsman to produce, simply because metalworking is a nearly dead art on Athas.
Craftsmen who specialize in metal should take the Metalsmith feat.

Knowledge (Local)

Knowledge (Local) typically applies to one specific city-state and its immediate environs. A character with Knowledge (Local – Tyr), for instance, will have some knowledge of Tyr, the tarn, and the iron mines. Individual slave tribes and villages have their own Knowledge (Local) categories.

Speak Language

Athasian characters may spend ranks in the Speak Language skill in order to gain literacy in a language. Each language’s written form is considered a separate rank.

The following details Athasian common languages and their alphabets.

Table: Athasian Common Languages and Their Alphabets

Language Typical Speakers Alphabet
Aquan Water-based creatures Elven
Auran Air-based creatures, aarakocra Saurian
Common Humans, half-elves, half-giants Common
Druidic Druids (only) Druidic
Dwarven Dwarves, muls Dwarven
Elven Elves, half-elves Elven
Entomic Insectoid creatures, scrabs Kreen
Giant Giants Dwarven
Gith Gith Elven
Halfling Halflings Halfling
Ignan Fire-based creatures Saurian
Kreen Thri-kreen, tohr-kreen Kreen
Rhul-thaun Rhul-thaun Rhulisti
Saurian Jozhals, pterrans, ssurrans Saurian
Sylvan Druids, halflings Halfling
Terran Earth-based creatures, taris Dwarven
Yuan-ti Yuan-ti Saurian

The following languages are considered dead and are restricted, at DM’s discretion: Bodachi, Draxan, Giustenal, Kalidnese, Rhulisti, Saragarian, and Yaramukite.
Characters who speak Common will automatically speak a dialect of their home or nearest city-state. While Common is understandable throughout the Tablelands, anyone can recognize the particular accent of each city-state. Learning another dialect allows the speaker to disguise this accent. A Sense Motive check (DC of the speaker’s Bluff check) can discern the accent of a non-native speaker who has learned the dialect of another region. Non-natives in a city-state should be wary, as they may be subject to persecution by hostile locals.


Terrain types affect the amount of food and water available through hunting and foraging. The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. Compare the task in the Player’s Handbook with those on the following table to determine an appropriate DC.

Terrain Type Examples Survival DC Modifier
Abundant Forests, oceans, gardens +0
Fertile Verdant plains, savannah, swamps, mud flats +5
Infertile Rocky badlands, stony barrens, scrubland +10
Barren Boulder fields, stony barrens, scrublands +15
Desolate Salt flats, sea of silt +20
Void Obsidian Plains +25

Large bodies of water are so uncommon on Athas that swimming is not a class skill for any class other than for aristocrats, some clerics of elemental water, or certain druids.

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The Water Margin JesseHeinig