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DSS1 City-State of Tyr (2e)

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Tyr has battled and bled for its freedom, throwing off the yokes of an insane sorcerer-king and slavery. The city stands poised on the brink of democracy, but has Tyr the strength to seize the future and shape it in the image of that freedom, or has the city merely traded one form of slavery for another? 

City-State of Tyr addresses these matters and more. Within this 96-page booklet is the most complete, detailed description of Tyr's peoples, places, and plots ever. The premier city of the Dark Sun campaign setting now lies complete for an Athasian campaign's player characters. Learn the city's history, attend a Council meeting, wander the city's business districts, and explore the mysterious Under Tyr-the ancient ruins of the forgotten city upon which Tyr was built.

Product History

DSS1: "City-State of Tyr" (1993), by Walter M. Baas, was the first Dark Sun Sourcebook. It was released in July 1993.

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. In 1992, TSR published a series of four Dark Sun References, from DSR1: "Slave Tribes" (1992) to DSR4: "Valley of Dust and Fire" (1992). However, TSR was constantly (and somewhat inexplicably) changing their module codes in the early '90s, so in 1993 they stopped using the "R" Reference code for most of their product lines and started using a "S" Sourcebook code instead.

TSR published three "DSS" Sourcebooks in 1993, though "City-State of Tyr" was the only purely geographical sourcebook: the other two concentrated more on organizations. Then in 1994, TSR made one more change and got rid of their module codes entirely.

Expanding Kits. Kits were very popular character-class variants in AD&D 2e, but they weren't specific to the various game settings that were also quite popular at the time. This created a big disconnect in TSR's product lines.

CGR2: The Complete Gladiator's Handbook (1993) partially resolved this problem for Dark Sun just a month earlier, in June 1993, by introducing new Dark Sun kits. "City-State of Tyr" took the opposite tactic by listing which standard character kits were irrelevant for Athas (or needed to be modified).

Continuing a Look at Cities. Though TSR was a bit late in producing their first city books, they released three great ones in the '80s: Lankhmar: City of Adventure (1985); Glantri City in GAZ3: "The Principalities of Glantri" (1987); and FR1: "Waterdeep and the North" (1987). After that, cities became increasingly common in TSR supplements, resulting in publications like the "LC" series about Ravens Bluff (1989-1991), The City of Greyhawk (1989), SJR5: "Rock of Braal", and Al-Qadim's City of Delights (1993). By the time, "City-State of Tyr" appeared it was one among many — but the first city to get such attention in the world of Athas.

Expanding Athas. The City-State of Tyr was first discussed in the Dark Sun box (1991). The Player's Book for DS1: "Freedom" (1991) also included a "Quick Guide to Tyr", featuring an overview map of the city and several pages of information. However, the city underwent big changes in "Freedom", as part of Dark Sun's metaplot.

"City-State of Tyr" reveals the state of the city following the rebellion of "Freedom". It includes extensive notes on the city's culture, its law, and even its economy — which returns to recurring Dark Sun themes such as slavery. Finally, "City-State of Tyr" provides some info on UnderTyr: the traditional dungeoneering areas beneath the city.

Athas' psionics, magic, and religion also get some attention in "City-State of Tyr". Information on The Order connects up with Dragon Kings (1992) while material on the Veiled Alliance links to DSR3: "Veiled Alliance" (1993).

Overall, "City-State of Tyr" is a strong core book for Dark Sun campaigns thanks to its far-reaching campaign material.

About the Creators. Though Baas contributed to several D&D books in the early '90s, he was the main author of just two, the other being CGR2: The Complete Gladiator's Handbook.

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 shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
James B October 22, 2014 3:10 am UTC
Poster map missing as of July 16, 2014.
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Andrew K March 11, 2014 1:23 pm UTC
If anyone from Wizards, Hasbro or Drivethru is reading these comments, please resume posting classic D&D content. I would really like to see the rest of the gazetteers published, and am eager to buy module X8 from you. Thanks.
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
96
Edition
1.0
ISBN
1-56076-629-8
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2420
File Size:
24.03 MB
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File Last Updated:
March 10, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on March 11, 2014.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating