A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Not sure if this is the best section for this question. I apologize if it isn't.

    I've been scouring the internet for clues. I haven't read any of the old TSR Dark Sun paperbacks. And I can't find my Advanced 2nd Edition Dark Sun book. =(

    Anyone have any idea what dragon type Kalak was aiming to transform into?

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Dark Sun dragons aren't one of the standard types - they're their own thing. Dragon Kings details how defilers and psionicists turn into them.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by chipelp3 View Post
    Not sure if this is the best section for this question. I apologize if it isn't.

    I've been scouring the internet for clues. I haven't read any of the old TSR Dark Sun paperbacks. And I can't find my Advanced 2nd Edition Dark Sun book. =(

    Anyone have any idea what dragon type Kalak was aiming to transform into?
    Dragons in Darksun are more like 15 foot lizard men with advanced psychic powers instead of winged crocodile monsters that breath fire.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Dragons in Darksun are more like 15 foot lizard men with advanced psychic powers instead of winged crocodile monsters that breath fire.
    I seem to recal the breath was like a sand blaster.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Dragon Kings (I'm not affiliated with DTRPG in any way) has the details for turning into a dragon on Athas.

    You must be a 20th level psionicist and a 20th level defiler (wizard that damages the environment with every spell they cast) to become a dragon, and you slowly transform from a human/half-elf at 20th level to a full, 40-foot long scaled and winged beast with yes, a sand-blasting breath weapon at 30th level.

    Starting at 21st level you can cast 10th level psionic enchantments (OK, technically at 20th level you can cast Dragon Metamorphosis). And each time you cast one of those, you drain life from animals as well as plants. You get various features of the dragon at various levels (wings, flight, breath weapon), and your AC improves and you gain about 60 extra 4-sided HD, magic resistance, and immunity to non-magical weapons.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    I believe the core rules and Dragon Kings actually disagree on a couple of aspects of Athasian Dragons (I believe the presence of wings is one of those). But yes, not one of the standard types, more a giant lizard with even better defiling magic than a 20th level mage and immense psychic powers. At that point a breath weapon and winged flight are more things that are nice to have than strict prerequisites (Borys has the former but not the latter).

    Note that antidragons are also a thing in Dark Sun. Sadly none have ever been created,so we don't know if they annihilate with dragons in a burst of hard radiation.
    Last edited by Anonymouswizard; 2021-07-15 at 09:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    The original MC entry for Dragon of Tyr makes no mention of wings, and Baxa's illustration also shows no wings, but the beast does have a 45 Fly speed.

    Dragon Kings says you get your wings at 29th level. The Dragon of Tyr is supposed to be 30th level.

    Also, regarding the 'anti-dragon', or avangion (non-defiling version of the dragon), Dragon Kings said there had never been one, and then TSR goes and promptly invents one that had been around for quite some time in their second published adventure (Arcane Shadows), and invent another couple in the short stories. Still don't know if they annihilate each other on contact (like a xag-ya and xeg-yi), though.
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2021-07-16 at 09:43 AM.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Dragons in Darksun are more like 15 foot lizard men with advanced psychic powers instead of winged crocodile monsters that breath fire.
    Thanks! That was what I was surmising but wanted to glean from more knowledgeable folks.

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    And thank you all! I learned more than I was expecting. You guys are awesome!

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Dark Sun went out of its way to subvert most of the tropes around, which is why you get cannibal halflings and thieving, grifting nomadic elves. The dragon was just another one. As stated, it wasn't your typical dragon. And could kick the butt of any regular dragon anyway. The Valley of Dust and Fire, which covers Ur Draxa, the city where the Dragon lives, point blank says you should never be able to defeat it. In fact the whole module is pretty much the most impossible fortress ever released by TSR.

    Dragon slaying weapons are noted to actually work on dragons though, so it is, technically, classified as a dragon.

    And yeah, there is at times some disconnect between different rule books about descriptions and history and what not. This was because at that stage TSR was in terminal decline and was desperately releasing as much stuff as quickly as they could to try and recover. (Spoiler: it didn't work.) That meant the various writers of modules often had only a limited knowledge of the setting they were writing for and having to write quickly with limited editorial oversight to insure consistency.

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    If you consider the novel "Rise and Fall of a Dragon King" canon, a real Athasian dragon would be even more powerful than the one listed in the Darksun MM.
    According to Hamanu, the protagonist of the novel, one was supposed to undergo a ritual involving the Dark Lens and several spells known only to Rajaat, before starting the transformation.
    This ritual was only ever performed on Hamanu, so Borys and the other kings were not true dragons, only dragon hybrids.

    Then again Dragon Kings are notorious liars, so who is to say if Hamanu was telling the truth.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misereor View Post
    If you consider the novel "Rise and Fall of a Dragon King" canon, a real Athasian dragon would be even more powerful than the one listed in the Darksun MM.
    According to Hamanu, the protagonist of the novel, one was supposed to undergo a ritual involving the Dark Lens and several spells known only to Rajaat, before starting the transformation.
    This ritual was only ever performed on Hamanu, so Borys and the other kings were not true dragons, only dragon hybrids.

    Then again Dragon Kings are notorious liars, so who is to say if Hamanu was telling the truth.
    Who decides what a true dragon is? If Borys wants to be a dragon I'm not going to argue with him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Who decides what a true dragon is? If Borys wants to be a dragon I'm not going to argue with him.
    Rajaat apparently, whom I don't want to argue with
    Last edited by Misereor; 2021-08-12 at 09:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misereor View Post
    Rajaat apparently, whom I don't want to argue with
    Huh, and it's hard to get a Raise Dead in Athas. Guess I need to work out who's more likely to eat me.

    Although at the end of the day what a dragon is is rather arbitrary, especially if we draw on the various things that have been called a dragon instead of sticking to one version. But at the end of the day Borys is a big lizard with magic powers, even if he's not a 'true dragon' he's a dragon in all practical ways.

    There's a bit more merit to 'Borys isn't a dragon' than to the 'only monks are martial artists' idea. But at this point we're getting into Dark Sun Magic/Biology technicalities that maybe one or two people care about in universe. At this point it's easier to fall back on descriptivism: people say it's a dragon, therefore it's a dragon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Let the magic items decide! If you're wielding a Sword of Dragon Slaying (yes, they exist on Athas) and you get the bonus against your target, they it's a dragon!

    (Per Dragonkings, all psioncist/defilers who have cast Dragon Metamorphosis at least once count as dragons)
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    What always weirded me out was the obsidian orbs they had to eat. 1d20 inches in diameter. A foot and a half is fine for a full 100' long dragon, but... the lack of detail on when you determined the size of your next orb caused some concern.

    Although I suppose there's nothing stopping some enlarge/shrink hijinks going on. Still, two or three high rolls when you're just starting down the dragony path... Beware of anitmagic fields or suffer a tummy ache you'll need regeneration to get over.
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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Rise and Fall of a Dragon King. Yeah, from all I have heard that isn't particularly well regarded by fans of Dark Sun. Kind of ties in with what I said earlier - people with limited understanding of the setting and limited editorial oversight dashing out as much as possible to try and keep TSR afloat.

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    Default Re: Kalak (Dark Sun) Dragon Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    Rise and Fall of a Dragon King. Yeah, from all I have heard that isn't particularly well regarded by fans of Dark Sun. Kind of ties in with what I said earlier - people with limited understanding of the setting and limited editorial oversight dashing out as much as possible to try and keep TSR afloat.
    Apparently, neither was the Prism Pentad, but I liked it. However, one thing that struck me as odd in RaFoaDK was...
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    The main character is tasked with killing trolls. In the end, the trolls he is hunting have fled up on a high cliff, where they choose to commit suicide by jumping off rather han be killed by the protagonist. Well, either someone forgot that falling damage would not have any particular long-lasting impact on regenerating creatures, or Athasian trolls were not mornal trolls. Probably the first, but it is not hard to make a case that all Athasian creatures are different from your standard D&D variety, so keeping your cosmological model intact isn't all that hard
    Last edited by Misereor; 2021-08-13 at 03:49 AM.
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