Dark Sun is an original Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting set in the fictional, post-apocalyptic desert world of Athas. Dark Sun featured an innovative metaplot, influential art work, dark themes, and a genre-bending take on traditional fantasy role-playing. The product line began with the original Dark Sun Boxed Set released for AD&D 2nd Edition in 1991, originally ran until 1996, and was one of TSR's most successful releases.
Dark Sun deviated from the feudalistic backdrops of its Tolkienesque pseudo-medieval contemporaries, such as Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms, in favor of a composite of dark fantasy, planetary romance, and the Dying Earth subgenre. Dark Sun's designers presented a savage, magic-ravaged desert world where resources are scarce and survival is a daily struggle. The traditional fantasy races and character classes were altered or omitted to better suit the setting's darker themes. Dark Sun differs further in that the game has no deities, arcane magic is reviled for causing the planet's current ecological fragility, and psionics are extremely common. The artwork of Brom established a trend of game products produced under the direction of a single artist. The setting was also the first TSR setting to come with an established metaplot out of the box.