Monday, March 30, 2020

Dark Sun Sword & Sandal Style

Dark Sun certainly seems to have an element of Sword & Sandal films in its DNA, either directly or indirectly through the obvious influence of 80s Sword & Sorcery films and art. I feel like that's an aspect that could be played up.

To do it "pure," you'd want to lose some of the Dark Sun grittiness. The desert is less Arrakis and more the arid regions of the Levant or possible Egypt. The struggle for survival is less important than the struggle against oppression and injustice. Luckily, there's a lot of that on Athas. Pretty much everything else can stay: gladiators, city-states, the occasional monster, muscular dudes without shirts.

For the full Sword & Sandal effect (at least in the Italian Muscle-bound hero vein as opposed to the Hollywood Biblical epic), it might work best to use something like Crawford's Solo Heroes rules like in Scarlet Heroes so the protagonists can pummel groups of mooks into submission with just their fists.


JB said...

It was a similar train of thought that eventually led me down the road to (the creation of) Five Ancient Kingdoms. While the game turned out fine, I still didn't get the pulpy sword & sandal game that I wanted. Maybe it's area I need to re-explore...?

Just BTW: don't forget the muscular chicks of Athas...they're as prevalent as the muscular dudes in Dark Sun, and quite as good at pummeling.
; )

Trey said...

Too right! Can't forget them.

I do think it's an area worth re-exploring.

Solomon VK said...

There's something of a Sword-and-Sandal apocalyptic landscape in Darren Aronofsky's Noah, at least to my mind. It at least makes an interesting comparison to other Biblical flicks. - Can't say I thought of Dark Sun last time, but I should have done!

Solomon VK said...

Darren Aronofsky's Noah makes for an interesting Sword-and-Sandal apocalyptic landscape. At least, an interesting comparison with other Biblical pictures. - can't say Dark Sun occurred to me last time, more's the pity!

Trey said...

Definitely! I've got a post on Noah myself!