Scarce sources of precious metals on Athas has led to the development of ceramic currency. Additionally, metal coins such as silver, gold, and platinum are worth much more on Athas due to their rarity. Typically, only extremely wealthy nobles and sorcerer-kings own silver and gold coins, while platinum coins are incredibly rare and only found in ancient treasure caches.
The below table details currency conversion from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook to the Dark Sun setting. The ceramic piece replaces the gold piece in almost all cases.
|Athasian Currency (weight)||PCR Equivalent||Ceramic Pieces|
|Lead bead (bd)||Copper piece (cp)||1/100|
|Ceramic bit (bit)||Silver piece (sp)||1/10|
|Ceramic piece (Cp)||Gold piece (gp)||1|
|Silver piece (sp)||Platinum piece (pp)||10|
|Gold piece (gp)||N/A||100|
|Platinum piece (pp)||N/A||1000|
Special Substances and ItemsEdit
The following items are often, but not always available for sale in the Merchant's Quarter of most city‐states. Contacting someone willing to sell these and other associated goods usually requires proficient use of the Bluff or Diplomacy skills.
Special Substances and Items TableEdit
|Item||Cost||Craft (Alchemy) DC|
|Pre-poisoned darts||Poison cost + 10 Cp||20|
|Liquid darkness||35 Cp||15|
|Liquid dust||25 Cp||20|
|Liquid fire||20 Cp||20|
|Poison||Poison cost x 1.5 Cp||Varies|
Esperweed: This rare and notoriously addictive herb cannot be cultivated, and does not last more than a single week after being picked, unless somehow magically kept fresh (as through the nurturing seeds spell). After esperweed is eaten, a DC 12 Fortitude save must be made. Failure results in nausea for one minute. If the save is made, the eater has managed keep the esperweed down, taking 1d4 points of Strength damage, but you also begin to regain one power point per minute, up to 10% above your normal power point limit (round down). You also gain the empathy power as a psi‐like ability that can be used once per day. Manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st). These benefits last for one hour, after which you lose all remaining power points. These power points are spent first when manifesting powers (much like temporary hit points).
Hypnotic Brew: This is a tasteless, odorless mixture of herbs commonly peddled in Bard’s Quarters. It is typically used by bards and mindbender to “soften up” a target before attempting to manipulate or manifest a power. When a hypnotic brew is imbibed, the drinker’s Will saves suffer a –2 circumstance penalty for 1 hour if they fail a Fortitude save (DC 15).
Pre‐poisoned Darts: Athasian bards sometimes sell especially prepared blowgun darts that contain a dose of injected poison inside a hollow tip, protected with a wax plug. This reduces the risk of self–poisoning to 2% rather than 5%. You can remove the wax plug as a free action while preparing to fire the dart.
Splash‐globes: Splash‐globes are spherical glass jars containing contact poison or up to half a pint of some alchemical fluid. In addition to bursting on impact like any grenade, splash‐globes can be placed in hinged pelota, thus giving the grenade additional range when fired through a splash‐bow or dejada. The following types of splash‐globes are available:
Acid: Standard flask acid can be placed in splashglobes.
Contact Poison: Any contact poison can be placed in a splash‐globe.
Liquid Darkness: Anyone struck directly by liquid darkness must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or be blinded for one minute. Those splashed with liquid darkness have their vision blurred for one minute if they fail a DC 15 Reflex save, granting their opponents concealment. In addition, all natural fires within the splash area are instantly extinguished. Liquid darkness immediately extinguishes liquid light.
Liquid Dust: The liquid from this splash‐globe turns into dust on contact with the air. You can use this liquid to cover up to 20 5‐foot squares of tracks. On impact, liquid dust forms a 15‐foot diameter cloud, ten feet high that lasts one round. Alternately, liquid dust can be launched via slash‐globes. Anyone struck directly by liquid dust must make a DC 15 Fortitude save each round for one minute; failure dictates that they are nauseated for that round. Those splashed with liquid dust suffer the same effect for one round if they fail a DC 15 Fortitude save.
Liquid Fire: Alchemist’s fire can be placed in splashglobes.
Liquid Light: This splash‐globe contains two liquids that mix together when the splash‐globe is ruptured. The resulting mixture glows for eight hours. If you break the liquid light globe while it is still in its pouch, the pouch can serve as a light source just like a sunrod. Anyone struck directly by liquid light must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or be temporarily dazzled (–1 on all attack rolls) for 1 minute, and will glow in darkness for eight hours unless they somehow cover the affected areas. Creatures splashed with liquid light (see grenade rules) also glow in the darkness, but are not blinded.
Tools and Skill KitsEdit
The items described below are particularly useful to characters that have certain specific skills or abilities and are used in specific situations.
Tools and Skill Kits TableEdit
|Candle of rejuvenation||50 Cp||-|
|Concealing weave||5 Cp||2 lb.|
|Meditative kit||35 Cp||3 lb.|
|Navigator kit||75 Cp||10 lb.|
Candle of Rejuvenation: This item allows a manifester to recover power points as if he were resting at night. The manifester recovers 10 power points at the end of each complete hour spent within 10 feet of a lit candle. By making an Autohypnosis DC 15 check, this amount increases by one‐half. Each candle burns for a total of eight hours.
Concealing Weave: This kit is composed of one or more related articles of clothing specifically made to camouflage a caster’s arm and hand movements while casting a spell. This kit grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Bluff checks made to conceal the casting of spells with a somatic component.
Meditative Kit: This small and delicately carved crystal container produces a hypnotic rainbow‐like effect while filled with clear water and struck by light. After 1 minute of uninterrupted observation of the rainbow pattern, the kit provides a +2 circumstance bonus to the next Autohypnosis check made by the viewer within the next 10 minutes.
Navigator’s Kit: Prized possessions of many trading houses and frequent wanderers of the wastes, each of these kits is composed of a set of maps made of straight sticks representing roads, and small stones for villages, cities and others special locations, all lashed together by strings. If you succeed at a Knowledge (geography) check DC 10 while using this kit, you gain a +4 bonus on Survival checks made to keep from getting lost.
In addition to the various outfits available in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Athasians can benefits from wearing some other types of outfits detailed below.
|Elven||30 Cp||5 lb.||+3 Stealth in desert terrain|
|High templar||100 Cp||5 lb.||+2 Diplomacy for Secular Authority|
|Royal defiler||80 Cp||5 lb.||+2 Intimidate towards non-templars|
|Slave||2 bd||1 lb.||-|
|Wastelander||20 Cp||6 lb.||+2 Stealth in appropriate terrain|
Elven Outfit: Although varying greatly from tribe to tribe, all elven clothing is based around two concepts: functionality and flattery. This set of clothes most often includes a hooded cloak or stylized robes, although some outfits make do with tight leather wrappings or other heat‐shielding and water‐retaining materials. In regards to its other aspect—visual appeal—every elven outfit is, no matter how functional, also designed to complement the wearer’s form. Each outfit is tailor‐made by elves, following a particular tribal pattern, and are normally not for sale. In addition, various portions of this outfit—such as a cloak, thick shoulder scarf, or even an entire tunic— are colored, patterned, or designed to be reversible in such a way as to blend in with the Athasian landscape, helping the wearer to blend in with the terrain in sandy areas: this provides a +3 circumstance bonus on Stealth checks while in desert terrain. For twice the listed price, this outfit can be made to fit over light armor.
High Templar’s Outfit: High templar’s outfits differ for each of the Tablelands’ cities. This set of clothing is made of the best material produced by a city‐state’s artisans and exemplifies that city’s templarate. Wearing the proper high templar outfit for a city’s templarate gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy checks in contests of Secular Authority made within that city.
Royal Defiler’s Outfit: Royal defilers, who practice sorcery with the full legal backing of a sorcerer‐king, must clearly indicate their protected status if they are to be spared the mob’s wrath. This set of clothing is made from the best materials available to a city‐state’s artisans, and is second in quality only to a templar’s outfit. The outfit varies greatly from city to city. In Raam, for example, this outfit is a checkered silk robe adorned with a silver brooch denoting royal defiler status. Wearing the proper defiler outfit for a city gives a +2 circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks against citizens who aren’t part of the templarate.
Slave’s Outfit: This simple set of clothes consists of a loincloth, or a short skirt and sleeveless tunic, all made of rough‐hewn materials.
Wastelander’s Outfit: Similar to clothing worn by the many elven tribes dotting the Athasian landscape, this set of clothes commonly includes a large hooded cloak, multiple layers of heat‐resistant, porous cloth, and reinforced leather padding designed to protect against blowing sand, sharp rocks and the ever‐present cacti needles. In addition, this outfit is colored to blend in with whatever environment the wastelander has chosen as his home, helping the wearer to blend in with rocky surroundings. This provides a +2 circumstance bonus on Stealth checks while in the appropriate terrain; each wastelander’s outfit provides this bonus for a single terrain type only. For twice the price, this outfit can be made to fit over light armor.
This class of items has a symbolic function, conveying authority or permission. No price is listed for these items, because their value is not inherent.
Letter of Marque: This letter bears the personal mark of the sorcerer‐king, and bestows limited secular authority on the bearer, as if the bearer were a templar. The bearer of a letter of marque gains the authority to contest the actions of templars, using the bearer’s Diplomacy check. If the bearer is already a templar, then having the letter as additional authority grants the templar a +4 circumstance check towards authority contest checks. The letter of marque does not grant the authority to Intrude, Requisition, Accuse or Judge, but does grant power to contest such actions by templars. A letter of marque is limited by time. After a specified period (usually one year, and never longer than seven years) the letter loses its effectiveness. A sorcerer‐king can also declare the letter invalid. Forging or fraudulently using a letter of marque is an unpardonable offense that brings a death sentence. Obviously, only the templars and other servants of the sorcerer‐king that issued the letter of marque will honor its terms. A person who is caught with a king’s letter of marque within another sorcerer‐king’s territory will have some explaining to do.
Letter of Reprisal: Like a letter of marque, this letter bears the personal mark of the sorcerer‐king, and bestows limited secular authority on the bearer, as if the bearer were a templar. Unlike a letter of marque, a letter of reprisal has a limited scope to carrying out a specific mission, usually a reprisal or retaliation against a specific group of the King’s enemies, for example, killing or capturing a specific enemy officer, capturing a particular enemy fortress or silt vessel, defiling a stretch of key farmland, or annihilating or enslaving a designated village. Depending on the bearer’s Diplomacy ranks, she can Requisition, Intrude, Accuse, Judge, but only if she can show that her request relates to fulfilling her assigned mission. She can attempt to contest the actions of other templars, but takes a –4 circumstance penalty on such attempts, since the opposing templars can argue (even if it is not true) that she is acting outside of the scope of the assigned reprisal mission. The –4 penalty also applies if templars contest any of her Requisition, Intrude, Accuse, or Judge actions.
Food, Drink, and LodgingEdit
Many Athasian travelers are lodged by merchant houses, elemental temples, psionic academies, or family. Adventurers, however, pay for hospitality.
Food, Drink, and Lodging TableEdit
|Broy (Mug)||4 bits||1 lb.|
|Broy (Gallon)||2 Cp||8 lb.|
|Inn (Good)||200 Cp||-|
|Inn (Common)||5 Cp||-|
|Inn (Poor)||1 bit||-|
|Meal (Good)||5 bits||-|
|Meal (Common)||3 bits||-|
|Meal (Poor)||1 bit||-|
|Water (Mug)||1 bd||1 lb.|
|Water (Gallon)||2 bits||8 lb.|
Broy: Broy is made from fermented kank nectar. Spiced broy and watered‐down broy are also available. When served plain, it is potent and foul tasting. However, broy can be served warm and spiced with a pungent herb that disguises its sourness, as well as enhancing its enrapturing powers.
Mounts and Related GearEdit
Getting across Athasian wastes is always a dangerous adventure. Many Athasians use mounts for just this reason.
|Crodlu, riding||200 Cp|
|Crodlu, warmount||400 Cp|
|Kank, herding||50 Cp|
|Kank, riding||125 Cp|
|Kank, warmount||250 Cp|
Crodlu: A crodlu is a large bipedal lizard mount, resembling a scaled ostrich. A crodlu is appropriate as a mount for a Medium humanoid creature. Crodlu are hard to control in battle, while war crodlu can be ridden into battle easily. Crodlu benefit from stabling, can wear barding, and require feed like normal mounts.
Erdland: These creatures are large, flightless birds used as mounts or to pull caravans. They weigh around 2 tons and can stand up to 15 feet tall. An erdland is appropriate as a mount for a Medium humanoid creature. Erdlands can be ridden into battle easily. Erdlands benefit from stabling, can wear barding, and require feed like normal mounts.
Erdlu: Erdlus are a smaller variety of erdland, mostly used as herd beasts. They stand 7 feet tall and weigh around 200 lbs. An erdlu is appropriate as a mount for a Medium humanoid creature. Erdlus are hard to control in battle. Erdlus benefit from stabling, can wear barding, and require feed like normal mounts.
Inix: The inix is a large, 16‐ foot long reptile commonly used for riding and as a beast of burden. An inix is appropriate as a mount for a Medium or Large humanoid creature. Inixes can be ridden into battle easily. Inixes benefit from stabling, can wear custom barding (specially constructed, adding an additional 50% to the price), and require feed like normal mounts.
Kank: A kank is a large, 8‐foot long insect, commonly used as a personal mount. These insects cannot be used as food, for their meat smells atrocious, but they produce highly nutritious globules of honey. A kank is appropriate as a mount for a Medium humanoid creature. Kanks are hard to control in battle. Kanks benefit from stabling, cannot wear barding, and do not require feeding.
Mekillot: A mekillot is a huge, 6,000‐lb. lizard, used for hauling large cargo or serving as transportation for troops. These beasts are hard to control in combat and usually require a psionic handler. Mekillots benefit from stabling, can wear barding, and require feed eight times more than a normal mount.
Sometimes it is too hard or too dangerous to ride a kank—you’ll need some other form of transportation. Some vehicles, such as the chariot and howdah, are moved by muscle power. The Handle Animal skill is used only if that power comes from a team of draft animals. When the team consists of creatures with Intelligence scores of 3 or higher, the operative skill is Diplomacy. When they are slaves or forced labor, the operative skill is Intimidate.
Transport Services TableEdit
|Chariot, two-person, transport||50 Cp|
|Chariot, two-person, war||125 Cp|
|Chariot, four person, war||250 Cp|
|Howdah, inix||10 Cp|
|Howdah, inix, war||100 Cp|
|Howdah, mekillot||20 Cp|
|Howdah, mekillot, war||500 Cp|
|Wagon, open, 1,000 lbs capacity||20 Cp|
|Wagon, open, 2,500 lbs capacity||35 Cp|
|Wagon, open, 5,000 lbs capacity||50 Cp|
|Wagon, open, 10,000 lbs capacity||100 Cp|
|Wagon, enclosed, 1,000 lbs capacity||40 Cp|
|Wagon, enclosed, 2,500 lbs capacity||70 Cp|
|Wagon, enclosed, 5,000 lbs capacity||100 Cp|
|Wagon, enclosed, 10,000 lbs capacity||200 Cp|
|Wagon, armored caravan||1,000 Cp|
Chariot: A chariot is a two‐wheeled vehicle used for transportation, racing, war and processions. Transport chariots are very small and simple, requiring only a single animal to draw it. A war chariot built for two riders is slightly larger, but significantly better constructed. Generally one person will drive the chariot while the other uses a bow or other ranged weapon. A war chariot built for four is much larger than the other two kinds of chariots and requires at least two mounts to drive it. A war chariot offers cover to its occupants.
Howdah: A howdah is an enclosure mounted on a riding animal containing space for one or more persons. Howdahs can be fitted on inix or mekillots, and provide shade and cover from the elements. An inix howdah usually has room for only one person, though the war howdah, built much stronger, can hold four. A mekillot howdah can hold one or two persons, but a war howdah is much bigger, consisting of two levels and holding up to sixteen warriors.
Wagon: Wagons are an essential part of Athasian economy, as they facilitate the caravans that make life in the wastes possible. Open wagons are basic, open–topped wagons that can carry a certain amount of cargo. As Athasian wagons are built using little or no metal, there’s a limit to how much cargo they can carry. Open wagons generally require two beasts to draw them, but sometimes a single erdland will work. Enclosed wagons are more commonly used to transport people or fragile cargo that would otherwise be damaged by exposure to the elements. Armored wagons are primarily used by caravans traveling through areas plagued by dangerous monsters or raiders. It is an enclosed wagon with agafari wood used to strengthen the wagon throughout. There are also mount points for fixed crossbows on each side of that wagon that can swivel 180 degrees. Anyone using the crossbows or firing out of the rear of the wagon (when it is open) receives cover. Armored wagons require at least four smaller mounts to draw it, two inixes or one mekillot.
Spellcasting, unless divine, is rarely, if ever, for sale on Athas. However, the manifesting of psionic powers for cash is much more common.
Additional Services TableEdit
|Power, 0-level||Caster level x 5 Cp|
|Power, 1-level||Caster level x 10 Cp|
|Power, 2-level||Caster level x 20 Cp|
|Power, 3-level||Caster level x 30 Cp|
|Power, 4-level||Caster level x 40 Cp|
|Power, 5-level||Caster level x 50 Cp|
|Power, 6-level||Caster level x 60 Cp|
|Power, 7-level||Caster level x 70 Cp|
|Power, 8-level||Caster level x 80 Cp|
|Power, 9-level||Caster level x 90 Cp|
Dragoman: The fee for a dragoman ranges from five ceramics to a silver a day, depending upon the importance of their contacts, their level of expertise, and availability. Dragomen are typically used as interpreters and guides for foreigners in a given city-state.
Power: The indicated amount is how much it costs to get a manifester to manifest a power for you. This cost assumes that you can go to the manifester and have the power manifested at his or her convenience. If you want to bring the manifester somewhere to manifest a power you need to negotiate with the manifester, otherwise the default answer is no.
Furthermore, if a power has dangerous consequences, the manifester will certainly require proof that you can and will pay for dealing with any such consequences (that is, assuming that the manifester even agrees to manifest such a power, which isn’t certain). In the case of powers that transport the manifester and characters over a distance, you will likely have to pay for two manifestations of the power, even if you aren’t returning with the manifester.
In addition, not every town or village has a manifester of sufficient level to manifest any power. In general, you must travel to a small town (or larger settlement) to be reasonably assured of finding a manifester capable of manifesting 1st–level powers, a large town for 2nd–level powers, a small city for 3rd– or 4th–level powers, a large city for 5th– or 6th–level powers, and a metropolis for 7th– or 8th–level powers. Even a metropolis isn’t guaranteed to have a local manifester able to cast 9th– level powers.
Most of the typical special materials can be found on Athas, albeit in alternate forms. In addition to those described there, there also exist unique materials that have their own uses and unique properties.
Adamantine: While weapons and armor made from adamantine, also called “dwarven steel”, can be found on Athas, they are quite rare. Nearly all items made from adamantine are relics from a long past age, scavenged from ruins by elves and treasure hunters. Raw adamantine cannot be bought on the market, and weapons and armor constructed from adamantine are considered priceless relics.
Agafari Wood: This sturdy wood comes from the Crescent Forest surrounding Nibenay and many craftsman profit from creating weapons out of it, the next best thing to bronze.
Blood Obsidian: An exceedingly rare stone formed from volcanoes resulting from powerful defiling magic.
Dasl: Dasl is a special kind of crystalline material created by thri‐kreen and often used to manufacture their weapons. An item made from dasl is treated as if it was made from iron and is not considered to be made from inferior materials. However, for purposes of harming creatures with damage reduction, a dasl weapon is not treated as being made from metal. An item made from dasl costs ten times what it normally would. Thus, a dasl chatkcha costs 200 Cp instead of the 20 Cp a stone or bone chatkcha would.
Dasl has a hardness of 7 and 15 hp per inch of thickness.
Drake Hide: The hide of a drake is of such value that most sorcerer‐kings forbid their sale. They have instructed templars to confiscate any such items that appear in the market in the name of their sorcerer‐king. Because drakes are so rare it is easy for templars to claim the item was stolen from the sorcerer‐king and have the seller put to death. Elves, of course, defy these edicts at every turn, and make a fair profit selling drake materials while just one step ahead of their templar pursuers. One drake produces enough hide for four suits of masterwork hide armor, three suits of masterwork banded mail, two suits of half‐plate, or one suit of full plate for a Medium creature. Drake hide otherwise has the same qualities as dragonhide.
Drake Ivory: Drake ivory is extraordinarily strong and easy to work compared to the bone that most Athasian weaponsmiths use. Since it can only be obtained from the claws and teeth of deadly drakes, it is rare, expensive, and forbidden (see drake hide, above). Weapons made from drake ivory cost an additional 2,000 Cp to enchant. Weapons crafted from drake ivory cost twice what they normally would. A double weapon that is only half crafted using drake ivory increases its cost by 50%. For purposes of damage reduction, drake ivory is considered equivalent to cold iron. For weapons affected by the materials rule, drake ivory is considered inferior. Drake ivory has a hardness of 10 and 30 hp per inch of thickness.
Giant Hair: Giant hair is very strong and frequently woven together to form a very strong cord. While sometimes used in armor, it is most frequently used to create rope. This rope costs 50 Cp for 50 feet, has a hardness of 5 and 2 hp per inch of thickness.
Iron: Iron (and most other metals) is rare on Athas, but weapons and armor made of iron can still be found. In all of the city‐states, there are at least a few craftsmen that are able to work iron. The only fresh source of iron is the mines in the city‐state of Tyr. Many of the iron weapons and armor available for sale have been scavenged from ruins. Weapons made of iron (including iron‐based compounds like steel) can bypass the damage reduction possessed by some Athasian monsters.
Silver, Alchemical: The process of binding silver to weapons has been greatly refined on Athas. Very little silver is actually needed in the process, and it can be bound to weapons crafted from dasl, obsidian and bone, as well as those made from iron.