Dragon Kings (1992)

When Dark Sun was initially under development as War World, TSR was looking for a high stakes campaign setting catering to high-level PCs. The hardcover Dragon Kings was the book intended to guide those characters beyond level 20.

There’s some great material here. Perhaps most central to the campaign setting, it details the process by which a defiler wizard can transform into the devastatingly powerful and ecosystem-destroying Athasian version of a dragon (or, the angelic, vaguely New Age-y Avangion, for preservers). There are also rules for psionic enchantments, some sweet war vehicles (Brom’s illustrations of which are **chef’s kiss**) and new high level spells (at least one of which defies the unexplained fact that Athas is cut off from the outer planes, but we get a sweet Baxa glabrezu, so whatever).

This is the Dark Sun book I flipped through the most over the years. Also the one got the least use. The published Dark Sun metastory adventures tapped out around level 15 and, because of the strictures of the metastory, supplements that allowed for a more traditional custom-written campaign that could get to level 20 and beyond didn’t start to appear until after my group’s Dark Sun interest faded in favor of the billion other things TSR was publishing at the time. Once again – 90s-era TSR shooting itself in the foot.

I’d be keen to hear stories from y’all about Dark Sun campaigns that DID make it to the epic levels, though! Surely someone out there turned into a dragon, right?

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