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DSS3 Elves of Athas (2e)


They run across the burning plains where others fear to walk. They live for the moment, these savages of a dying world. The elves of Athas are wild, dangerous, and unlike any other elves. Forget the frail forest dwellers of other campaign worlds. Athas's elves stand tall and lean, with long limbs and fearsome faces. They are thieves and raiders, swift warriors and terrible foes. 

Elves of Athas explores the passions that drive them, the abilities that make them different from the other races, and the out look that lets them survive beneath the ccrimson sun. This accessory includes savage encounters with the better known tribes and an updated map of the Tablelands region. For players, there are new rules for character creation and new Athasian elf kits-offered to Dark Sun game characters for the first time.

The elves of Athas are forged in the endless desert-burned dark by the sun, toughened by the swirling sands, and given strength and swiftness by the constant wind. Come run with them-if you dare!

Product History

"DSS3: Elves of Athas" (1993), by Bill Slavicsek, is the third Dark Sun Sourcebook. It was released in October 1993.

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. Counting the "DSR" and "DSS" supplements, "Elves of Athas" was the seventh numbered sourcebook for the Dark Sun line. It also reflected a new focus on splatbooks. Whereas 1992 had only seen DSR2: "Dune Trader" (1992), a splatbook for traders, "Elves of Athas" immediately followed the publication of DSS2: "Earth, Air, Fire, and Water" (1993), a splatbook for clerics. "Elves of Athas" was also a new sort of supplement: the first racial splatbook for the Dark Sun line.

Expanding the Elves. Though TSR had published their first elf sourcebook for the Basic D&D game in the late '80s, the early '90s was a golden age for AD&D's elf lovers. Among the books published in the first half of that decade were PHBR8: The Complete Book of Elves (1992), The Ruins of Myth Drannor (1993), and FOR5: Elves of Evermeet (1994). "Elves of Athas" fit right into this growing trend.

However, "Elves of Athas" was a different sort of elf book. Like all of the demihuman races of Athas, Dark Sun's elves are twisted and unusual. They're nomadic desert elves who form small tribes that wander the wastes. They're not delicate flowers, like the elves of most D&D game worlds, but instead tall and strong savages who often take on the roles of rogues, peddlers, and raiders.

The Novel Connection. In part, "Elves of Athas" was a codification of the race that was revealed in Troy Denning's Prism Pentad novels (1991-1993).

Expanding AD&D. Four pages in "Elves of Athas" are devoted to a unique system of barter. It continues the focus on mercantile economies that was also highlighted in DSR2: "Dune Trader".

Expanding Athas. "Elves of Athas" provides the most details on the elves themselves, describing their physiology, psychology, and culture. They even have unique names, detailed in a few different charts. This was all backed up with crunchy kits that could be used to further differentiate Athasian elves.

Several tribes of elves are also described, while a fold-out map shows where the various tribes of elves wander in the Tablelands region.

Future History. One more racial splatbook was produced for Dark Sun: Thri-Kreen of Athas (1995).

About the Creators. “Elves of Athas” was Slavicsek’s third Dark Sun supplement, following DSR1: “Slave Tribes” (1992) and DSQ2: “Arcane Shadows” (1992). With its focus on tribes living in the desert, “Elves of Athas” had clear similarities to Slavicsek’s first Dark Sun book. He would write just one more: the metaplotty “Beyond the Prism Pentad” (1995).

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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Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
robert D July 14, 2023 6:32 pm UTC
Any chance that this can be made for POD?
Customer avatar
Marios F March 04, 2021 8:17 pm UTC
The pdf comes in a strange size, just shy of US Letter (7.9"x10.4"). Can't really tell why.
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Brandon G February 05, 2021 12:04 pm UTC
POD please.
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Ezequiel F May 10, 2019 6:15 pm UTC
Does this come with the fol-up poster?
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Marios F March 04, 2021 8:03 pm UTC
Yes, it does.
Customer avatar
Ezequiel F March 17, 2021 11:55 pm UTC
Does it has a good scan quality?
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TSR 2423
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54.9 MB
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File Last Updated:
June 30, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on July 01, 2014.