Dragonlance Dragonlance Adventure & Prelude Details Revealed

Over on DND Beyond Amy Dallen and Eugenio Vargas discuss the beginning of Shadow of ther Dragon Queen and provide some advice on running it.

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This epic war story begins with an invitation to a friend's funeral and three optional prelude encounters that guide you into the world of Krynn. Amy Dallen is joined by Eugenio Vargas to share some details about how these opening preludes work and some advice on using them in your own D&D games.


There is also information on the three short 'prelude' adventures which introduce players to the world of Krynn:
  • Eye in the Sky -- ideal for sorcerers, warlocks, wizards, or others seeking to become members of the Mages of High Sorcery.
  • Broken Silence -- ideal for clerics, druids, paladins, and other characters with god-given powers.
  • Scales of War -- ideal for any character and reveals the mysterious draconians.
The article discusses Session Zero for the campaign and outlines what to expect in a Dragonlance game -- war, death, refugees, and so on.

 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Either:
1) God exists and make the rules, in which case they get to say what "good" and "evil" are, and can do whatever they like to anyone who gives them the brush off; or

2) God does not exist. No one makes the rules, and no one defines an objective measure of "good " and "evil".

Either way, you are wrong.
Please show where, in D&D, gods can make up what's considered good or evil.

No, they can't, because some entity has to define and police them.
Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are defined by the Outer Planes (e.g., Great Wheel).
 

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They seem to make a few of those here and there. I know they only care a minimum amount about the lore, but at least they seem to try to not contradict things.
I don't look at it that way. I think they're explaining it from the perspective of a Solamnian in late 351 AC who has not heard of Elistan or the return of the gods so the new PC cleric appearing is the first to them. The intent is to make the players realize their characters are important and doing big things.
 

Yep, just a shame they didnt have the sense to keep even the most minor of restrictions on the Orders, otherwise this is a slam dunk to me.
They kinda do imo. The gods are clearly described as good, evil, or neutral so while a LG character mechanically could be a black robe, that's not really keeping consistent with the character's good ethos to worship an evil god. I mean there's not a mechanical requirement to be good to be a Knight of Solamnia but the description of the knighthood should weed out characters who are openly evil imo.
 

Scribe

Legend
They kinda do imo. The gods are clearly described as good, evil, or neutral so while a LG character mechanically could be a black robe, that's not really keeping consistent with the character's good ethos to worship an evil god. I mean there's not a mechanical requirement to be good to be a Knight of Solamnia but the description of the knighthood should weed out characters who are openly evil imo.

Yeah I know, I just want them to give a tiny, inconsequential nod to Alignment.

But that was all hammered on pages ago. :)
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I don't look at it that way. I think they're explaining it from the perspective of a Solamnian in late 351 AC who has not heard of Elistan or the return of the gods so the new PC cleric appearing is the first to them. The intent is to make the players realize their characters are important and doing big things.
That works too. I'm all for a little ambiguity as far as the PCs are concerned.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Does "problematic" in this context mean, "someone has a problem with it"? If so, i agree, but that's a wide net.
It means "good gods should not torture innocent people, especially not for eternity, and gods that do that should not be labeled Good with D&D's alignment system".

When people asky why I have such a burning hatred for alignment, this is a big part of the reason why. D&D royally screws up morality do goddamn often that it frequently includes utter BS in their books like "oopsy, the good gods killed a ton of innocent people, took away healing magic and abandoned the world when people were asking for their help, and acted like it was the layman's fault when people stopped worshipping them, and the books still have the audacity to pretend like these gods are good and should be worshipped" and "oopsy, the good gods are complicit in the eternal torment of innocent people, because they're such big egomaniacs that they would prefer someone to worship one of the setting's EVIL gods to them not worshipping any god at all, and the setting still pretends that they're good". And, of course, let's not forget Gary "nits make lice" Gygax and all of his messed up stances on alignment.

D&D has misused alignment since the very beginning. The dude that created it couldn't figure out how to use it correctly, so it's no wonder that D&D keeps fumbling over itself with it.

And this is a huge reason why I've got major problems with Dragonlance. It screws up alignment in worse and in dumber ways than D&D is usually prone to do, and makes the books accidentally seem like they condone a huge array of terrible acts by having Good characters do these terrible things, do absolutely nothing to try and atone or repent, the setting pretends like those things never happened and it's still an epic fantasy conflict between Good and Evil, and the devout fans of the setting get upset with you when you suggest that maybe, just maybe, the Good guys of the setting should actually have to do good things in order to be given that label, especially if the books want your characters to worship them.
 
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Micah Sweet

Legend
It means "good gods should not torture innocent people, especially not for eternity, and gods that do that should not be labeled Good with D&D's alignment system".

When people asky why I have such a burning hatred for alignment, this is a big part of the reason why. D&D royally screws up morality do goddamn often that it frequently includes utter BS in their books like "oopsy, the good gods killed a ton of innocent people, took away healing magic and abandoned the world when people were asking for their help, and acted like it was the layman's fault when people stopped worshipping them, and the books still have the audacity to pretend like these gods are good and should be worshipped" and "oopsy, the good gods are complicit in the eternal torment of innocent people, because they're such big egomaniacs that they would prefer someone to worship one of the setting's EVIL gods to them not worshipping any god at all, and the setting still pretends that they're good". And, of course, let's not forget Gary "nits make lice" Gygax and all of his messed up stances on alignment.

D&D has misused alignment since the very beginning. The dude that created it couldn't figure out how to use it correctly, so it's no wonder that D&D keeps fumbling over itself with it.

And this is a huge reason why I've got major problems with Dragonlance. It screws up alignment in worse and in dumber ways than D&D is usually prone to do, and makes the books accidentally seem like they condone a huge array of terrible acts by having Good characters do these terrible things, do absolutely nothing to try and atone or repent, the setting pretends like those things never happened and it's still an epic fantasy conflict between Good and Evil, and the devout fans of the setting get upset with you when you suggest that maybe, just maybe, the Good guys of the setting should actually have to do good things in order to be given that label, especially if the books want your characters to worship them.
Have you considered that Dragonlance isn't for you? There are plenty of settings that downplay alignment. Everybody seems to love Eberron, for example, and it has what I assume you'd consider the added bonus of subverting traditional expectations virtually across the board.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Have you considered that Dragonlance isn't for you?
Yes, I have. But I quite like epic fantasy. It's probably my favorite subgenre of fantasy. The Stormlight Archive is currently one of my favorite fantasy series.

I should like Dragonlance. I like the Lord of the Rings well enough, and Dragonlance steals from Middle Earth a ton. I like Dwarves and Gnomes and only occasionally hate Elves. I grew up on classic fantasy tales of honorable knights that went on quests to slay dragons and evil wizards corrupted by power. I like multi-mooned worlds (Eberron has even more), I like magic being connected to the moon, I like seafaring minotaurs (I loved Voyage of the Dawntreader as a child), and I like happy endings where the good guys win. I grew up Mormon, and as much as might be averse to the church now, there is a certain aspect of it that should feel nostalgic, like some Brandon Mull, Orson Scott Card, and Brandon Sanderson books do. There is a lot in Dragonlance that should work for me. Almost all of it should line up for me and become a favorite setting. But just doesn't. Which is really doesn't make sense to me. The more that I think about it, the more it seems like Dragonlance is less than the sum of its parts.
There are plenty of settings that downplay alignment. Everybody seems to love Eberron, for example, and it has what I assume you'd consider the added bonus of subverting traditional expectations virtually across the board.
I wouldn't be so averse to alignment if the settings actually used it well. The main reason I prefer settings that downplay/ignore it is because that makes them less likely to screw it up.

Dragonlance could pretty easily not screw it up. It would have been very easy to change just a few, minor things about the setting, and not have all of these problems that have been brought up through this thread.

Because, note, while I am generally averse to alignment (increasingly so, as the more I learn about it, the more bad stuff I seem to find), but I do like quite a few settings that use alignment pretty prominently, like Exandria and the few bits of the Great Wheel that aren't redundant.

Yeah, yeah, Eberron is amazing and it basically ignores alignment and the few bits that are a part of the setting were probably forced in by WotC, but I would like Eberron even if it used alignment slightly more prominently.

I do hate alignment, but not to the extent that it would thoroughly ruin something that I'd enjoy without its inclusion.
My problem with Dragonlance's morality isn't that it uses alignment. It's that it uses it in stupidly bad ways.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Yes, I have. But I quite like epic fantasy. It's probably my favorite subgenre of fantasy. The Stormlight Archive is currently one of my favorite fantasy series.

I should like Dragonlance. I like the Lord of the Rings well enough, and Dragonlance steals from Middle Earth a ton. I like Dwarves and Gnomes and only occasionally hate Elves. I grew up on classic fantasy tales of honorable knights that went on quests to slay dragons and evil wizards corrupted by power. I like multi-mooned worlds (Eberron has even more), I like magic being connected to the moon, I like seafaring minotaurs (I loved Voyage of the Dawntreader as a child), and I like happy endings where the good guys win. I grew up Mormon, and as much as might be averse to the church now, there is a certain aspect of it that should feel nostalgic, like some Brandon Mull, Orson Scott Card, and Brandon Sanderson books do. There is a lot in Dragonlance that should work for me. Almost all of it should line up for me and become a favorite setting. But just doesn't. Which is really doesn't make sense to me. The more that I think about it, the more it seems like Dragonlance is less than the sum of its parts.

I wouldn't be so averse to alignment if the settings actually used it well. The main reason I prefer settings that downplay/ignore it is because that makes them less likely to screw it up.

Dragonlance could pretty easily not screw it up. It would have been very easy to change just a few, minor things about the setting, and not have all of these problems that have been brought up through this thread.

Because, note, while I am generally averse to alignment (increasingly so, as the more I learn about it, the more bad stuff I seem to find), but I do like quite a few settings that use alignment pretty prominently, like Exandria and the few bits of the Great Wheel that aren't redundant.

Yeah, yeah, Eberron is amazing and it basically ignores alignment and the few bits that are a part of the setting were probably forced in by WotC, but I would like Eberron even if it used alignment slightly more prominently.

I do hate alignment, but not to the extent that it would thoroughly ruin something that I'd enjoy without its inclusion.
My problem with Dragonlance's morality isn't that it uses alignment. It's that it uses it in stupidly bad ways.
So if you don't like Dragonlance (even if it's hard to fully articulate why), why are you continuing to complain about it? It doesn't seem like you have an emotional investment in the setting (which is why I was complaining about it). And the book has been pretty clear about it's take.

Forgive me if that's too personal. Feel free to not answer if you don't want to. I have on occasion pushed too hard in this area, and I enjoy debating with you.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
So if you don't like Dragonlance (even if it's hard to fully articulate why), why are you continuing to complain about it? It doesn't seem like you have an emotional investment in the setting (which is why I was complaining about it). And the book has been pretty clear about it's take. Forgive me if that's too personal. Feel free to not answer if you don't want to. I have on occasion pushed too hard in this area, and I enjoy debating with you.
1) This is the first D&D 5e book that I haven't bought, and probably will never buy. The collector in me wants to be convinced to buy this book, but the rational side has to keep telling it that I have no use for it (except maybe the feats, subclass, and monsters).

2) I obviously do have emotional investment in it, just of the more complicated type. Your investment is of what seems to be unconditional love for the original setting. Mine is of disappointment that it isn't better and wishing that it was just slightly different.

3) I think talking about objective qualities of different settings and ways to improve them is a valid and worthwhile discussion to have. I would have this kind of discussion for any D&D setting that I have any decent level of understanding for (Eberron, Wildemount, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Ravnica, Theros, Planescape/the Great Wheel, Dark Sun, etc). Especially because additional books for the setting will almost definitely be published in the future.
 
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So if you don't like Dragonlance (even if it's hard to fully articulate why), why are you continuing to complain about it? It doesn't seem like you have an emotional investment in the setting (which is why I was complaining about it). And the book has been pretty clear about it's take.
If you'll forgive me for jumping in, probably for much the same reason that you take every opportunity to bring up how much you hate the 5e interpretations of Ravenloft and Spelljammer - a viewpoint that you are absolutely allowed to both hold and express without reservation.

There's a lot about Dragonlance that looks compelling to me. Say, for the sake of argument, 80-90% of it. It's that remaining 10-20% that doesn't work for me, and I'd like to find a way to reconcile the issues that I have with the setting in a way that gives me a solid setting to work with at the end of the day, rather than just leaving it to languish on the "spare parts" shelf.

Saying "if you don't like it, just accept it's not for you and go elsewhere" isn't helpful. At least people who don't care for the 5e versions of Ravenloft and Spelljammer have existing material to draw upon in order to help them adjust it to their liking. Can the same be said for people who take issue with aspects of Dragonlance?
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
If you'll forgive me for jumping in, probably for much the same reason that you take every opportunity to bring up how much you hate the 5e interpretations of Ravenloft and Spelljammer - a viewpoint that you are absolutely allowed to both hold and express without reservation.

There's a lot about Dragonlance that looks compelling to me. Say, for the sake of argument, 80-90% of it. It's that remaining 10-20% that doesn't work for me, and I'd like to find a way to reconcile the issues that I have with the setting in a way that gives me a solid setting to work with at the end of the day, rather than just leaving it to languish on the "spare parts" shelf.

Saying "if you don't like it, just accept it's not for you and go elsewhere" isn't helpful. At least people who don't care for the 5e versions of Ravenloft and Spelljammer have existing material to draw upon in order to help them adjust it to their liking. Can the same be said for people who take issue with aspects of Dragonlance?
On December 6, there will be a lot of additional material available for Dragonlance, way more than WotC is ever likely to publish.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
If you'll forgive me for jumping in, probably for much the same reason that you take every opportunity to bring up how much you hate the 5e interpretations of Ravenloft and Spelljammer - a viewpoint that you are absolutely allowed to both hold and express without reservation.

There's a lot about Dragonlance that looks compelling to me. Say, for the sake of argument, 80-90% of it. It's that remaining 10-20% that doesn't work for me, and I'd like to find a way to reconcile the issues that I have with the setting in a way that gives me a solid setting to work with at the end of the day, rather than just leaving it to languish on the "spare parts" shelf.

Saying "if you don't like it, just accept it's not for you and go elsewhere" isn't helpful. At least people who don't care for the 5e versions of Ravenloft and Spelljammer have existing material to draw upon in order to help them adjust it to their liking. Can the same be said for people who take issue with aspects of Dragonlance?
Is that way to ask WotC to reissue the upcoming adventure with the parts you want fixed? Far better to look to the Guild to address these issues. That's what I did with Ravenloft, and what I would have done for Spelljammer if an awesome fan hadn't offered what I want for free on Reddit.

And I would stop bringing up Ravenloft 5e here if people weren't constantly bringing it up as an example of what they like about D&D in the late 5e era.
 

On December 6, there will be a lot of additional material available for Dragonlance, way more than WotC is ever likely to publish.
Is that way to ask WotC to reissue the upcoming adventure with the parts you want fixed? Far better to look to the Guild to address these issues. That's what I did with Ravenloft, and what I would have done for Spelljammer if an awesome fan hadn't offered what I want for free on Reddit.
Perhaps something on DMsGuild will do with Dragonlance what I'd like. Far more likely it will be flooded with material supporting "classic" Dragonlance instead, but who knows for sure.

Regardless, this adventure book may already be out in the wild, but there is always the possibility of a proper campaign setting book somewhere down the road, so on the off chance that my concerns may be heard and addressed eventually, I have every intention of continuing to advocate for a revised Dragonlance, because I believe those changes would make it a better setting for everyone, and getting what I want out of a third party is no reason to let the first party version off the hook.

The point at which I stop advocating for a better Dragonlance is the point where WotC's either given me a version that works for me or I've given up and written the setting off as a complete loss.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Perhaps something on DMsGuild will do with Dragonlance what I'd like. Far more likely it will be flooded with material supporting "classic" Dragonlance instead, but who knows for sure.

Regardless, this adventure book may already be out in the wild, but there is always the possibility of a proper campaign setting book somewhere down the road, so on the off chance that my concerns may be heard and addressed eventually, I have every intention of continuing to advocate for a revised Dragonlance, because I believe those changes would make it a better setting for everyone, and getting what I want out of a third party is no reason to let the first party version off the hook.

The point at which I stop advocating for a better Dragonlance is the point where WotC's either given me a version that works for me or I've given up and written the setting off as a complete loss.
Getting what you want at all is, IMO, more important than getting it from WotC, who are in any case no better than any other publisher. Once I saw Ravenloft 5e, as disappointed as I was by it, I never expected WotC to make a version I liked better at some point in the future. I hoped DMsGuild would, and they certainly delivered.

You do you, I suppose. I don't understand it, but I don't have to.
 


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