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Dark Sun Creature Catalog (4e)


Monsters and other threats from the world of Athas.

This supplement for the Dark Sun Campaign Setting collects the most iconic and dangerous monsters of the Dark Sun campaign setting into one handy tome. It also contains other hazards and threats found in the desert wastelands and dungeon tombs of Athas.

The creatures and threats presented herein make worthy encounters for Athasian heroes or the heroes in your "homebrew" D&D campaign.

Product History

Dark Sun Creature Catalog (2010), by Richard Baker with Ari Marmell and Chris Sims, was a monster manual for 4e's Dark Sun line. It was released in August 2010.

About the Cover. The Creature Catalog was advertised and priced as a softcover release, but was mistakenly printed as a hardcover. Despite the higher quality, Wizards left it at the softcover price of $19.95.

Continuing the Dark Sun Revival. 2010 saw a bonanza of Dark Sun releases, beginning with previews at Winter Fantasy 34 (2010) and Pax East (2010). It all culminated in the Gen Con Indy 2010 release of the three core books for the setting.

In previous years, Wizards had released a "Campaign Guide", a "Player's Guide", and a standalone adventure for each setting, but by 2010 things were changing for the 4e line. One of those changes impacted the schedule for setting releases. Though Dark Sun still got three books, the "Campaign Guide" and "Player's Guide" were combined into the Dark Sun Campaign Setting. This made room for a standalone Creature Catalog — something that was particularly important for the unique world of Athas. The adventure Marauders of the Dune Sea (2010) closed out the trilogy.

The Creature Catalog actually isn't just an Athasian monster manual. It also includes NPC stats for major personages of Athas, terrains, hazards, and a section on building encounters in the setting.

Graphical Design Tropes. Creature Catalog shows off D&D 4e's graphic design at its best. Many of the monsters are laid out as two-page spreads, providing lots of room for details and for variants.

Expanding D&D. Dungeons & Dragons 4e (2008) was a unique iteration of the world's premiere FRPG — and its design continued to expand and innovate even after the initial release. Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 (2009) introduced the idea of monster themes, which gave related monsters common features; while Monster Manual 3 (2010) revamped stat blocks to make them more readable and simpler to use, while also upping the power level of monsters. Creature Catalog takes advantage of both of these improvements.

Expanding Athas. Creature Catalog doesn't add much to the world of Athas, but it is respectful of the setting's long history, and it updates that for D&D 4e.

Monsters of Note. Creature Catalog features many monsters from MC12: "Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix: Terrors of the Desert" (1992) and Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors beyond Tyr (1995) — the original two collections of Dark Sun monsters. You can thus find many classic monsters from both major eras of 2e Dark Sun publication, such as: the aarakocra; the cilops; the crodlu; the elemental drakes; the dray (now dragonborn); the beast and shadow giants; the dune, salt, and obsidian golems; the silt horror; and the silt runner.

Following in the footsteps of Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors beyond Tyr, this new Catalog also includes monster stats for PC races such as dwarves, eladrin, elves, goliaths, halflings, humans, mul, and thri-kreen. This was once more a well-received idea that helped to convey the evocative feel of the setting.

Finally, Creature Catalog also details most of the sorcerer-kings of Athas, giving goals for high-level characters to shoot for.

About the Creators. Baker was a long-serving D&D writer who headed the Dark Sun design team for 4e and so coauthored the Dark Sun Campaign Setting. That same year, he also coauthored D&D Gamma World (2010).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Thanks to Robert Adducci for Dark Sun advice. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Corey C January 13, 2024 12:01 am UTC
Print on demand please.
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Kaarne K May 22, 2023 4:42 pm UTC
POD please!
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Derek C January 05, 2023 2:28 am UTC
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Nicholas K August 06, 2022 12:08 am UTC
Many people have asked this already but will there be a POD option at any point please :) ?
Customer avatar
Craig B March 16, 2022 7:28 pm UTC
Please release this as PoD... need to complete the set with the campaign guide in softcover... :)
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Chant M June 01, 2021 3:57 pm UTC
This really needs a POD option.
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Gabriel C March 12, 2021 9:27 pm UTC
POD please!
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Erik Z March 19, 2020 11:40 am UTC
Why is the Campaign Setting available as PoD, while the Creature Catalogue is not?
Customer avatar
Amanda R January 14, 2020 5:37 am UTC
I would love to buy this in print
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This title was added to our catalog on August 19, 2014.