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Dark Sun Summer
D&D Play Spotlight
by Chris Tulach

Summer’s almost here, and as usual, we have a lot of D&D fun ahead! Yes, you should get outside and enjoy the weather, but when you need your D&D game fix, we have it in spades. There’s so much to talk about, but let’s just start with what’s coming up in June for now . . . .

June 9: D&D Encounters: Dark Sun Begins!

If you haven’t heard the news, our D&D Encounters in-store play experience is taking off, and a new season begins on June 9. We started off with Undermountain, which is nearing its season finale in the next few weeks. Response to our new Wednesday D&D program has been overwhelming. Players from around the world are participating in a weekly in-store campaign that plays out in one-encounter sessions, taking one to two hours each. It’s a great way to play in a regular D&D game without straining your schedule.

For those who haven’t yet experienced D&D Encounters, love Dark Sun, or are veteran players wanting to continue their in-store play, you’ll want to mark June 9th as the day to head to your local store. That's when we launch an exciting preview campaign of the Dark Sun campaign world! Return to the fan-favorite world of Athas, explore the savage environment and terrible dangers of a blasted land, and do it all months before the books are available.

This upcoming season, you’ll receive pregenerated characters to play for the duration of the 15-week campaign, which ends on September 15. Every five sessions of play equals one chapter in the story; you can take a short rest between sessions but can take an extended rest only after the chapter concludes. You’ll want to show up every week, because we have a compelling adventure in Fury of the Wastewalker. This adventure will take you all around the Tyr Region, giving you a classic Dark Sun feel of gritty survival and bold action. Here’s a little bit more on the adventure to whet your appetite:

Fury of the Wastewalker

On a trade road to the city-state of Tyr, a caravan is assaulted by a deadly obsidian shardstorm. The survivors are forced to band together and navigate the wastes to safety. But the force of nature that destroyed the caravan is under the malevolent control of the being known as the Wastewalker, who will stop at nothing to see the end of those that escaped his initial wrath. Can the heroes reach the Ringing Mountains before it’s too late?

Characters will be provided for this season, and will include all sorts of great previews of new races and other cool rules options that will appear in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting. The thri-kreen and mul are back—and they’re playable characters in this season! Every character also has one of the new theme options (like gladiator or wasteland nomad), which better define a character’s role in the setting. Since you’ll be playing these characters for the duration of the season, we’ve also given them great backgrounds and roleplaying hooks that help to integrate them into the story of the adventure.

Want to DM? D&D Encounters is the best way to jump into it. With only one encounter a week to prepare and the materials you need to run it (adventure, maps, and tokens) all provided, DMing couldn’t be easier. In addition, DMs get cool and useful rewards to help them run their games just for providing players a good time! In D&D Encounters: Undermountain, we gave DMs a pack of cards with all the conditions in the D&D game on them, and the demand has been so overwhelming for more that we’ve included this reward again in this season’s kit!

Our kits for the first season of D&D Encounters ran out, so make sure to remind your local store to ensure they’ve signed up for this season—it will be hot!

If you need more information on the D&D Encounters program, you can check out the D&D Encounters website or head to the D&D Community Group page for basic program information. Make sure that a store near you is participating!

June 19: Free RPG Day

If you want even more Dark Sun goodness before the books hit in August, head back into your local participating game store for the Free RPG Day giveaway! Free RPG Day is a hobby game industry event that allows you to pick up a cool game adventure from some of your favorite publishers. Wizards has participated in this event since 2008. This year, each store participating in Free RPG Day will receive a new Dark Sun adventure folio called Bloodsand Arena, which includes two mini-adventures, character cards, and a double-sided poster map featuring a gladiatorial arena!

That’s all for this month. Next month, we’ll talk about our upcoming big summer conventions and how we’re supporting smaller ones with our new convention support! Stay cool while you’re exploring Athas!


About the Author

Originally thought to have been raised from a humble Midwestern family, Chris Tulach actually fell to Earth in a meteorite-shaped capsule flung from a planet far outside our galaxy. While under the yellow rays of Sol, Chris’s nerdity far surpasses that of any normal human. Using this precious gift only for good, he has become the D&D Organized Play Content Developer, responsible for the development and deployment of Dungeons & Dragons organized play programs. He is also the co-author of E2 Kingdom of the Ghouls.

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