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Month Index: June, 1996

From:     Teos Saa Abadia <tsa1@?????.????.edu>
Date:     Sun, 30 Jun 1996 18:44:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:  Re: Athasian Clerics
**Note: please do not quote my entire, huge reply! Please quote only
what is necessary! I would appreciate it if this were the norm on the
group. Also, please remove the many "Re:" that subject headers accumulate.**

Wow, what an explosive thread!  Let me make a couple of points that TSr
would say are inarguable:

1. Athas is a closed sphere, with no Spelljamming vessels in it.  No
Spelljamming vessels can enter it, either, since there is no way to open
a portal in the Athasian shell.  Thus, if you are a stickler for rules,
an Athasian cleric would never be in the flow, and someone who can get to
the flow would never bring a helm into Athas.

2. Yesterday, the Dark Sun online rep, also author of Preservers and
Defilers of Athas (PDoA), said that the material in EAWF is still, for
all intents and purposes, official, untill the proposed (and not yet
accepted) product release for clerics in 1998, which would then replace
EAWF. The new Dark Sun Boxed set made no mention of EAWF material. PDoA
supersedes planar material written elsewhere for the Dark Sun world.

3. The Grey and Black encase Athas, preventing contact with the Ethereal
plane.  To reach an elemental plane, you must first breach the gray (very
hard to do), then the black (absolutely deadly), then the etherial, then
the elemental plane.  This means that EAWF and the concept of the Grey
and Black do not coincide.  DMs must make a personal choice to settle
these issues.

IMHO, I would say that the elemental transformation would tie directly
into the elemental plane, via the same type of conduit that enables
elemental spells to work, and would not cause the cleric to be in an
ethereal state.  Also IMHO, the elemental transformation would not work in
the flow, and the priest (if it could be in the flow to begin with, which
I don't think should be allowed) would have to enter a shell, then atone
to the elements for the time spent without transformation.

4. By my reading and what has been said on the Dark Sun list, the
transformation on Athas is mandatory, daily, and by EAWF _does_ require
becoming ethereal, not merely "transparent" or "ghostlike".  It makes no
sense to argue the meaning of EAWF otherwise.  It does, however, make
sense to argue that a DM using the concept of the grey and Black would say
that clerics do not become ethereal. The Grey and Black are official for
Dark Sun, as of PDoA!

> Thomas O. Magann Jr. wrote:
> > As we are refering to bodies that are making the change outside of the DS
> > Sphere, I thought that the sources that covered these areas to be the
> > important ones, although the fact that there is nothing contradictory in DS
> > sources doesn't hurt either.

5.  Not true, there is plenty of contradiction, and TSR acknowledges this.
The Grey and Black are only present in Athas, and are not mentioned, to my
knowledge, in Planescape.  The material in Dragon Kings and EAWF is
written before Planescape, and is in direct conflict with Planescape ideas
in several instances (the view of how planes work in the EAWF and DK uses
Manual of the Planes, not Planescape).  Individual DMs have to decide what
set of rules they like as far as which set of rules to use (Manual of
Planes/DK/EAWF or Planescape or PDoA).

-----Following is my opinion based on TSR stuff/ my opinion, TSR may

By my reading, EAWF tells us that the transformation is a physical one,
with the connection to the ethereal plane transforming the cleric by
providing a conduit to the elemental plane and infusing the cleric with
elemental energies that transmute the cleric's body. The reason why this
is mandatory on a  daily basis is that the daily transformation advances
the cleric towards becoming an elemental creature rather than the
original race.

> Is there something in
> the EAW&F book that indicates if an elemental priest is denied access to the etherial
> plane, that his manditory change may be forgone.

This is not addressed.  I would treat it as a violation of the priests
vows and obligations, which would require penance depending on the reason
behind the crime (exploring space would be an outrageous reason, requiring
lots of punishment.  Imprisonment in a place where one can not reach the
ethereal plane, would not require much punishment at all).  Also, since
the daily transformation is part of advancing levels, I would require a
loss of experience points, plus no new experience gained, for every day
that transformation is not possible.  Just my house rules...

> From: "Thomas O. Magann Jr." <tomjr@???.com>
> >However, in Preservers and Defilers (which I read today) it says that the
> >Grey and the Black prevent access to all other planes, so that blows that
> >theory of yours right out of the water. (at least I think so)
> Well, I haven't read the book, but I do gather from the title taht it address
> mages, not clerics, and I have read PS, and know that some folks have managed
> to get out, so I do that some folks have managed to get out, so I doubt it's
> a fool proof system.

Again, the material Thomas is quoting is viewed by TSR to be official
only until they can rewrite it, because it is in conflict with the Grey
and Black.  Preservers and Defilers of Athas addresses the layout of the
planes in Athas, and is applicable in its almost complete, if not
complete, entirety.  PDoA supersedes, for the Dark Sun world, the
Planescape, EAWF, DK, and other works, wherever conflicts arise.  I do
not yet own PDoA, but my comments reflect what the author has said.

So what do I think, in a paragraph?  Dark Sun is a closed sphere.  If I
_had_ to DM otherwise, I would let Athasians out, never let others into
Athas, since this would ruin the world.  If I _had_ to DM a cleric that
left Athas, an elemental transformation would, per the Grey/Black theory,
not need a connection to the ethereal plane, but rather to the elemental
plane.  The transformation would still be mandatory, but I would make it
instantaneous for the sake of simplicity. The cleric would have some
serious atoning to do for the first voyage through the flow, and would
need a valid reason to ever break contact with its elemental plane again!
Failure to have a valid reason for breaking contact with the element
would mean that the cleric was stripped of all clerical powers.
Permanently. Athasian clerics would never want to lose contact with their
elemental plane, and would probably view travel through the flow as
something to avoid at all costs.

|-Teos Abadia---------|
|---TSR stuff I am looking for:|

Previous Message: Re: Recent flame war
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Month Index: June, 1996

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Re: Athasian Clerics    Teos Saa Abadia    30 Jun 1996 22:44:15
Re: Athasian Clerics    PlaneHppr@???.com    30 Jun 1996 23:00:21
Re: Athasian Clerics    Deviant    01 Jul 1996 01:20:19
Re: Athasian Clerics    James Perry    30 Jun 1996 22:28:58
Re: Athasian Clerics    Deviant    01 Jul 1996 01:36:42
Re: Athasian Clerics    James Perry    30 Jun 1996 22:54:06

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