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Thri-Kreen of Athas (2e)


They tower above mere human warriors and adventurers. In a savage world, they hunt-and all else is prey. Wandering the sandy wastes and stony barrens under the crimson sun, thri-kreen are the most skilled trackers, the most barbaric gladiators, the most implacable of foes. Mysterious and savage, the mantis people have been a closed book. Until now? 

Thri-Kreen of Athas enters the world of the nomadic thri-kreen-a world governed by tokchak, the clutchmind, and tikchak, the hunt-mind. From hatching to hunting to coming of age, the secrets of the thri-kreen are at last revealed. From their formidable combat abilities to the subtleties of their psionic powers, their accessory explores every aspect of thri-kreen life. For players, there are new rules and new character kits-offered to Dark Sun game characters fro the first time!

A special adventure for thri-kreen characters, The Taste of Fear, is included. Dire events in the unknown North trigger ancient racial memories. What terrors lie in the lost secrets of their past?

Product History

Thri-Kreen of Athas (1995), by Tim Beach and Dori Hein, is a reference book for the Dark Sun line. It was published in March 1995.

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. The Dark Sun product line had been running strongly since 1991, with adventures, rules, and novels all appearing in 1994. However, by 1995 the first iteration of the line was beginning to fade out. Thri-Kreen of Athas was the penultimate product in the first Dark Sun RPG line; it was followed only by Beyond the Prism Pentad (1995), which bridged the ten-year time span between Dark Sun (1991) and Dark Sun Campaign Setting Expanded and Revised (1995).

Though TSR stopped using module codes in 1994, Thri-Kreen of Athas clearly would have fit into TSR's older "DSR" or "DSS" lines; it was the most similar to DSS3: "Elves of Athas" (1993), Dark Sun's other racial splatbook.

Supporting 2e. There was always a bit of a disconnect in AD&D 2e (1989-2000) days between the game's generic character kits and its numerous settings. Thri-Kreen of Athas helps to bridge that gap by including six different character kits for Athas thri-kreen.

A History of the Thri-Kreen. The insectoid thri-kreen were invented by Paul Reiche III for the AD&D Monster Cards Set 2 (1982) and subsequently appeared in Gary Gygax's Monster Manual II (1983). They then reappeared in AD&D 2e as a Forgotten Realms monster in MC3: "Monstrous Compendium Volume Three: Forgotten Realms Appendix" (1989)

Though the thri-keen were a player character race in the original Dark Sun box,
they only got a monstrous write-up for Athas in Dragon #173 (September 1991). However, 1995 was probably the hey-day of the thri-kreen. That's when they were featured in Thri-Kreen of Athas, "Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors Beyond Tyr" (1995), and Dark Sun Campaign Setting Expanded and Revised. They even made a non-Athas appearance as a general player character race in Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995).

Expanding Athas. The main world-building in Thri-Kreen of Athas of course lies in the extensive detail of the Athasian thri-kreen race. There are notes on their culture, psychology, and physiology, as well as details on Athasian thri-kreen tribes.

Expanding Other Realms. Some short notes discuss the thri-kreen's place in TSR's other worlds. They primarily dwell on the worlds of Oerth and Toril, in the Demiplane of Dread, and scattered across Wildspace.

Future History. The thri-kreen have persevered in both D&D 3e (2000) and D&D 4e (2008). They were one of 3e's Savage Species (2003) and also appeared as a 4e "Winning Race" in Dragon #411 (May 2012).

About the Creators. Beach wrote for TSR throughout the first half of the '90s. 1995 was a busy year, which also saw him working for the Forgotten Realms, Mystara, and Planescape lines. Hein only wrote for the company in 1994 and 1995, during which she also contributed to a few different lines.

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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Jonathon C January 15, 2023 5:22 am UTC
I really wish WotC would hurry up and make this POD; I really want this in physical copy but not enough to pay $200+ for it!
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Brandon G February 05, 2021 12:04 pm UTC
POD please.
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Patrice L December 23, 2019 8:31 pm UTC
POD please
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TSR 2437
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61.32 MB
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File Last Updated:
March 24, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on March 25, 2014.