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DSE1 Dragon's Crown (2e)


Bravely you have served your adopted city since the day of King Kalak's fall. As slaves and rebels you rose from Kalak's slave pits to claim your freedom from his ancient tyranny. Now that freedom is being threatened once again by an insidious new enemy, one who controls the use of psionics throughout the dying world of Athas!

The Dragon's Crown adventure is the exciting climax of the Freedom module series in one final journey of epic proportions, the player characters must defend everything they have worked so hard to build. Seven adventures connected by one great plot take the PC's from the volcanic islands of the Sea of Silt to an ancient wonder hidden in the forests of the Dragon Crown Mountains. The grandest and most ambitious adventure of the Dark Sun game world, Dragon's Crown will provide many hours of exciting play! 

Product History

DSE1: Dragon's Crown (1993), by Richard Baker, Kirk Botula, Alex Bund, Geoff Pass, and Lisa Smedman, is the first "DSE" Dark Sun Epic adventure.

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. TSR's Dark Sun line was accompanied in its first few years by an Athas-shaking adventure series. In DS1: "Freedom" (1991), players participated in the liberation of the city of Tyr. DSQ1: "Road to Urik" (1992), DSQ2: "Arcane Shadows" (1992), and DSQ3: "Asticlian Gambit" (1992) then continued that plot line.

Dragon's Crown is sort of the fifth and final adventure in this sequence. Players can advance their characters into it; they'll also visit some old locales (like Tyr and Urik) and meet some old friends (like Korgunard and the Black Sand Raiders, both from "Arcane Shadows"). However, beyond that, Dragon's Crown doesn't continue the story of the previous adventures. Instead, it introduces a new problem: an anti-psionic weapon that could destroy Athas as it currently exists.

Unlike the previous four adventures in this sequence, Dragon's Crown is not made up of flipbooks. Instead, it's a boxed set that contains three dense adventure books (written in a more standard style than the flipbooks) as well as a map book, some poster maps, and some character cards. However, it still contains a short story: "Heat Lightning" by William W. Connors.

Hosing Psionics. Most D&D players wouldn't even notice a weapon that made psionics harder to use. However psionics are a core element of Dark Sun, so the anti-psionic weapon was probably widely cursed by players of this adventure. The fairness of hosing psionic characters in a psionic-heavy campaign is left up to the individual GMs.

Adventure Tropes. Though Dragon's Crown doesn't use flipbooks, it's still anevent-driven adventure. Even the wilderness travel is all events. A few shorter, keyed locations exist — including cellars, sewers, camps, villages, and a fortress — but for the most part, Dragon's Crown is the story-heavy sort of adventure found throughout the AD&D 2e era (1989-2000).

The Novel Connection. Though the early adventures in the first Dark Sun adventure sequence mirrored the Prism Pentad novels (1992-1994), that's no longer the case with Dragon's Crown. At least the first couple of novels are backstory for this adventure, but otherwise the adventure and novels aren't connected.

Expanding Athas. Dragon's Crown travels to the edges of the Tyr region. Early parts of the adventure occur to the east, in and about the Silt Sea — an area that had previously been described in DSR4: "Valley of Dust and Fire" (1992). Later parts of the adventure occur to the west, in the Ringing Mountains, the Forest Ridge, and the Hinterlands. This all extended Athas beyond the Tablelands — an expansion that would continue throughout the setting's history.

The adventure also puts a strong focus on the Order, a group of high-level psionicists that had been introduced in Dragon Kings (1992). Beyond that, it guves attention to a few of the unique races of Athas: the giants, the halflings, and the thri-kreen.

Future History. One more Athasian epic would appear: Black Spine (1994).

About the Creators. Of the large crew working on Dragon's Crown, Baker's experience is most notable, because he'd previously written DSR4: "Valley of Dust and Fire", which previosly detailed some of these areas. This was Bund's and Pass' only work on the D&D game.

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 (2)
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January 27th, 2024
the other review explain what's in it! I'll tell you how good the campaign is! This campaign takes you outside of the sorcerer King's lands and into the wildlands on the other side of the ringing mountains.Thri-kreen tribes, halfl [...]
November 3rd, 2017
This is a complete PDF, which shows you everything that actually came in the boxed set, including the Winter 1993 catalog (awesome). Most importantly, the full size poster maps are scanned in super high res in one image per side. The pages of the boo [...]
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This title was added to our catalog on September 09, 2014.