AMA [June 10] Margaret Weis, Author (TSR, Dragonlance, Margaret Weis Productions, Cortex, Firefly RPG, Star of the Guardians)

margaretweis

First Post
Hello,

One of the serious heartbreaks I had was when the Marvel Annihilation storyline for the Heroic Role-playing didnt get printed. I have always adored the Galactic level concerns int he Marvel Universe and was ready to go all in on those products, only to find out that only PDFs were released.
Can you give some backstory to that? Was it impossible to get a small extension on the Marvel license?

Any insights would be appreciated.

Also, what new RPGs might be on the horizon?

Thanks,

Desh

Disney bought Marvel and things changed. As for new RPGs, we're working on some ideas. Thanks! Margaret
 

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Jiggawatts

Adventurer
I dont know if you are still answering this Ms. Weis, but I shall humbly ask anyway.

I have always been overally fond of the Dragonlance setting, I love the Knights, the Wizards, the classical romanticized fantasy, the epic stories of good vs evil, even the darn kender. I loved the Chronicles series, loved the Legends series, and loved Summer Flame...right up until the last chapter. But I will be honest that I wasn't really a fan of what followed*, with the removal of clerics and wizards, the loss of the gods for a second time, and the giant bloated alien dragons who destroyed/terraformed half the continent. Years later you and Tracy were brought back on to essentially "right the ship" with the War of Souls trilogy, and while it definitely helped the setting reclaim some of its former glory, it still didn't feel quite right.

My questions are, who spearheaded those vast changes to the setting? Why did they do it? And, looking back now, if you could have gone a different direction than the way things went with the Age of Mortals, what would that look like?

Thank you for any reply you might see fit to bestow upon me.


*I really like the Legion of Steel, by far my favorite thing that came out of the 5th Age.
 
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Dire Bare

Legend
Sigh. No. At least not to us. Tracy and I have given WoTC ideas for new DL novels, including an expanded version of Chronicles, adding in all the material that we were forced to cut. (Management at the time considered the books too long! They had to sell for $2.95.:)) Thanks! Margaret

A "revised and expanded" Chronicles?!?! Yes, please! Mix in the Lost Chronicles and other bits and bobs from the modules and expanded setting . . . all for the basis of a new cable TV show! I'm dreamin' . . .
 

margaretweis

First Post
I dont know if you are still answering this Ms. Weis, but I shall humbly ask anyway.

I have always been overally fond of the Dragonlance setting, I love the Knights, the Wizards, the classical romanticized fantasy, the epic stories of good vs evil, even the darn kender. I loved the Chronicles series, loved the Legends series, and loved Summer Flame...right up until the last chapter. But I will be honest that I wasn't really a fan of what followed*, with the removal of clerics and wizards, the loss of the gods for a second time, and the giant bloated alien dragons who destroyed/terraformed half the continent. Years later you and Tracy were brought back on to essentially "right the ship" with the War of Souls trilogy, and while it definitely helped the setting reclaim some of its former glory, it still didn't feel quite right.

My questions are, who spearheaded those vast changes to the setting? Why did they do it? And, looking back now, if you could have gone a different direction than the way things went with the Age of Mortals, what would that look like?

Thank you for any reply you might see fit to bestow upon me.


*I really like the Legion of Steel, by far my favorite thing that came out of the 5th Age.

Although we didn't know a lot of what was happening at the time, TSR was going bankrupt. Summer Flame was originally supposed to be three books involving the search for the magic that is lost at the end of Summer Flame. Management decided that SF would only be one book and that since Tracy and I were no longer with the company, DL would pass to an in-house team and it would be tied with the new RPG card game the company was developing to take advantage of the craze with Magic. And so, DL went a different direction.

What no one foresaw was that this would split the DL community, with some fans liking 5th Age a lot and others not so much. When WoTC took over, Peter wanted to see DL come back together again and he brought me and Tracy back on board to work with the 5th Age design team to bring the two together. Tracy came up with the idea that Takhisis had stolen the world--which I thought was absolutely brilliant. And we went from there.

Thanks!

Margaret
 

DM Howard

Explorer
Margaret,

First, thank you for creating my favorite series of books and my favorite character: Sturm Brightblade. I would like to ask what the inspiration was for the Knights of Solomnia in terms of the fallen order kind of aspect in the Chronicles and also the inspiration for Lord Soth? Once again thank you, and I hope to meet you at Gen Con.
 

margaretweis

First Post
Margaret,

First, thank you for creating my favorite series of books and my favorite character: Sturm Brightblade. I would like to ask what the inspiration was for the Knights of Solomnia in terms of the fallen order kind of aspect in the Chronicles and also the inspiration for Lord Soth? Once again thank you, and I hope to meet you at Gen Con.

Tracy came up with Lord Soth!
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
Don't know if this is still going on or not but... if it is...

If you could get and do any license you could for Cortex Plus, what would it be?
 




joshinminn

Explorer
I'm still around if you have anything you'd like to ask!

Cool! Thanks for being so generous with your time! I have a couple of questions.

I've always wondered about the intellectual property aspects of Dragonlance. You obviously knew you were writing for a company that would retain the rights to the world and characters. It sounds like there were many people involved in the story development. Even so, is it hard not having final say-so (or maybe even ANY input) on what goes on in a world and with its characters that you played such a big role in shaping?

Do you follow what other authors "do" with your characters and storylines? I haven't read the Lost Chronicles yet, but when you came back to those characters, did you feel that any of the work of other authors had regrettable impacts on them that were hard to deal with?

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with fans! I just reread Chronicles and Legends, 20-some years after my first read. I loved them just as much, especially Legends, which is just excellent.
 

margaretweis

First Post
Cool! Thanks for being so generous with your time! I have a couple of questions.

I've always wondered about the intellectual property aspects of Dragonlance. You obviously knew you were writing for a company that would retain the rights to the world and characters. It sounds like there were many people involved in the story development. Even so, is it hard not having final say-so (or maybe even ANY input) on what goes on in a world and with its characters that you played such a big role in shaping?

Do you follow what other authors "do" with your characters and storylines? I haven't read the Lost Chronicles yet, but when you came back to those characters, did you feel that any of the work of other authors had regrettable impacts on them that were hard to deal with?

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with fans! I just reread Chronicles and Legends, 20-some years after my first read. I loved them just as much, especially Legends, which is just excellent.

We knew when we writing that TSR owned the rights. We were writing at a precarious time for TSR, with people being laid off, including at one point most of the marketing department. Rumors that the company was going bankrupt surfaced weekly. We loved Dragonlance and Tracy and I concentrated on seeing the book in print, our characters come to life. We didn't think much about the future because we had no idea if there would be a future!

As for sharing the world with other authors, I worked with them on the short story anthologies and they were a great group of writers who really cared about the world and kept it alive. Thanks!
 

Jiggawatts

Adventurer
Margaret, if you could revisit the setup for Dragonlance in 5th edition that you had during the 3rd edition days, would you? Or have those days passed and you would just prefer to do your own thing?

Also, I love Raistlin, that is all. ;)
 
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