RPG Codex - Dark Sun: Shattered Lands Retrospective
For such a classic, I can't recall ever seeing a retrospective of Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, so it's nice that RPG Codex rectified that. Here's an early quote on the setting:
The world of Dark Sun is called Athas. It’s a desert world where the conditions are harsh, water is scarce, resources like metal are almost depleted and only the fittest, strongest and smartest can survive. That’s the reason there is no level-less commoner class in the Dark Sun setting, odds are even your cleaning lady is a level 3 fighter with a strength of 18/00. You’re already something special if you can survive in this environment at all, as the weak have long been weeded out. It’s basically the D&D version of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, except the apocalypse has never really stopped. Due to the depleted resources most weapons and armor are crafted from bones, stone, obsidian, wood, and leather, which makes metal weapons/armor, let alone enchanted weaponry, very, very rare.