I'm reading old Dark Sun books
for inspiration right now, so this is a thread where I will post some of those ideas in rough form, and probably some commentary, too.Dark Sun World
That's what the logo on the box set says. There's at least a couple of Dark Sun World hacks out there.
edit: one two three four five
Anyway, that moon on the cover is fucking huge. I guess there's no oceans, so tidal insanity isn't much of a thing. What else would a moon that close do? Gravity would pull you toward the planet less if that moon was overhead, right? Maybe that's how you can leap around like John Carter on Mars.
I don't understand why the light in all the colour pictures seems pretty normal even though the sun is "dark" or whatever. It's supposed to be huge and red with veins all over it right? Just like in the art? I prefer the 3 suns of Planet Algol, because then I can assume that when all 3 (or just the main 2) are in the sky, light is normal and when only one is in the sky, the light is all weird and fucked up. So there can be Psychedelic Happy Hour once or twice a day.
The racial stuff is a bunch of weird ideas from biology transposed onto sentient people, which is how we got scientific racism in the first place. So Dwarves are obsessive-compulsive. So much so they continue to be obsessive after they die, because they come back as ghosts. Elves are white Kenyan sprinter-hobos who never ride but still get a Constitution penalty, and the Mul are basically Gladiator: The Species. I mean, sure, we can go for a more nuanced look at race and stuff, or we could do something awesome and say that OCD people can swear magical oaths to get shit done and if they die first, they come back as ghosts in order to get it done, dwarf or no dwarf.Oath Stones
There are these monolith stones scattered across the land. Some are in cities, some are in the wilderness, some are next to desolate roads, whatever. Probably there is some long-ago history reason for why they exist, and they used to have sacred groves growing around them but then the earth was defiled.
If you go to an oathstone, you can shed your blood on it and swear an oath to the ghosts of the oathstone. They will hear you and touch you. When you make efforts to pursue your oath, the ghosts will aid you, if they can. They are fickle and sometimes useless, so there is no real guarantee. But that is not why people use oathstones.
If you die before completing your oath, you are still tied to the world of ghosts. Their hands will stop you from passing on and disappearing from the world. You become a ghost, instead, and continue to work to fulfill your oath. Since you are a ghost, you don't have all that much influence upon the world, but there are those who would come to you for advice and knowledge, and there are occasions where you can have a physical effect on the world that is even more powerful than what mortals can do (without magic). Maybe I will think of some of those instances later, maybe I won't. Anyway, as a ghost, you can bargain your services in exchange for mortals fulfilling your oath, or trying to. You can try to fulfill your oath using your limited influence, after all, you have forever. Unless someone else dying makes it impossible to fulfill your oath, in which case you are stuck in ghost-land.
So that's why people use oathstone: to cement bargains they want to be super-binding. Or if they really, really, really want revenge on someone.