Dragonlance Dragonlance Brings New Options to D&D

As expected, Wizards Presents had Dragonlance announcements, starting with a release date – December 6, 2022 – and players will have several choices as to which Dragonlance product they buy.

Dragonlance - TRPG Standard Cover (Front) – Art by Cynthia Sheppard. .png


Like other adventures, Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, will have two editions: a mass market edition with a cover by Cynthia Sheppard, and an alternative cover edition featuring Lord Soth, only available through game stores. That latter cover, with art by Chase Stone, almost makes his helmet look three dimensional. The 224-page adventure will take players from 1st to 11th level.

Dragonlance - TRPG Alt Cover (Front) – Art by Chase Stone.png


Another of the new purchase options is one fans have been clamoring for – bundles of the physical book and a digital copy through D&D Beyond. Those who pre-order the bundle will get their digital copy on November 22, two weeks before the physical book is available. Unfortunately, the digital/book bundle only applies to the standard cover so if you buy alternative covers through your local game store, a digital bundle isn't available.

Dragonlance - Standard Bundle.png


Additionally, WotC is offering Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen Deluxe Edition, which includes:
  • The physical book (Cover by Antonio Jose Manzanedo and Anato Finnstark)
  • The digital book via D&D Beyond
  • The board game Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn
  • A DM screen
The deluxe edition will cost $154.98 and includes free shipping for the U.S., UK, France, and Germany.

Dragonlance Deluxe Edition – Outer Box – Art by Antonio José Manzanedo.png


Dragonlance is really D&D's setting for war, for massive conflicts, for these worldwide, sweeping, world-changing battles” Wes Schneider, Senior Game Designer for D&D and project lead for Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, said at a press event on August 16. “In this adventure, we're going to take players back to the storied War of the Lance where the forces of the infamous Tiamat, or Takhisis as she is known in Krynn, is marching her armies of evil dragons and draconian dragon folks and other evil humanoids against the people of Krynn, trying to take over the world.”

329834 – ch 1 opener – Art by Kieran Yanner.png


“In this adventure we're going to see the dragon army's incursion into Solamnia, which is a land of knights and heroes. The players will find themselves at the forefront of this battle in the defense of Solmnia against this evil wave of tyranny,” continued Schneider. “It's not just the fate of a town, it's not just the fate of your pocketbook. It's the fate of the entire world at stake in this.”

329847 – ch 2 opener – Art by Evyn Fong.png


Kate Irwin, Principal Art Director for D&D, then talked about demonstrating the expanse of Dragonlance to life through the artwork.

329862 – ch 4 opener – Art by Daarken.png


“It's not just plucky band of adventurers going off to do something,” said irwin. “The stakes are very high. So when we were talking about art for this, we asked how do we show that epic expanse of what can happen. Our chapter openers are always a big flashy part of the book so in this case instead of doing a single page piece of art, we're doing a double page piece of art. The artists who are doing the chapter openers were able to focus then on some personal stories and also that great, big expanse of war and see how this is different from other books.”

“We took aspiration from movies and famous photographs from World War I and World War II. The dragon where the adventurers are on top of the dragon was kind of inspired by 'oh, we captured a tank and now we're taking a picture with a tank'.”

329908 – Kansaldi on Dragon – Art by Katerina Ladon.png


“Another thing you don't often see in D&D stories is people riding dragons, partnering with dragons,” added Irwin while talking about what makes Dragonlance different. DLSotDQ features several images of dragon riders, sometimes leading armies.

329972 – Lord Soth on Death Dragon – Art by Kieran Yanner.png


When talking about a piece of art featuring knights from early in the adventure Irwin said, “I think there's something really relatable even though it's showing this big epic. Like I said, we were taking inspiration from movies like Saving Private Ryan or 1917 where you are involved in the characters that are in the movie, but you're also involved in feeling like a part of something so much bigger.”

That aesthetic ties into the design created by Bree Heiss, Art Director for D&D, for the board game, Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn. “That Dragonlance through line, that small group fighting against the odds in a world at war is present in the board game, as well.”

For groups playing both the TTRPG and the board game, there will be places where you can switch from RPG to board game to play out a battle and then go back to the RPG. The board game comes with a few “plucky allies” that players can choose, and one such ally is especially dear to Heiss.

“I'm a huge Dragonlance fan, in case that isn't obvious, and I always imagined myself as a Knight of the Rose and I got to, as we were making the figures for the game, I got to have a little bit of input,” said Heiss, “and we wanted our Solamnic knight to be maximum tall, like [Game of Thrones'] Brianne of Tarth, so strong and so big, and I'm so ready to play this. The horns on her helm, she would place [in real life] at 6'5”, 6'7” – she's gonna stomp.”

Iconic Dragonlance villain Lord Soth appears in the adventure, riding a Death Dragon, a new type of undead dragon. Schneider commented that even if people don't know Lord Soth from dozens of stories and adventures that they know him from the Monster Manual.

“Lord Soth is D&D's iconic Death Knight, and when we knew we were returning to the world of Krynn and the Dragonlance campaign setting, we knew we had to have one of D&D's most famous villains central to the threat,” said Schneider.

329899 – Captain Hask – Art by David Sladek.png



Draconians were also re-conceptualized for DLSotDQ to clearly distinguish them from dragonborn and other bipedal lizards in D&D. It also plays up the fact that in Dragonlance evil chromatic dragons have been stealing metallic dragon eggs, manipulating them with magic, and turning them into Takhisis' evil foot soldiers. This has both weakened the forces of good and made the adult good dragons hesitate because they'd be fighting their own children.


Warriors Of Krynn Box inside Deluxe (front) – Box Art by Dominik Mayer.png


DLSotDQ also contains a gazetteer. The focus is on eastern Solamnia, though, so don't expect a deep dive into Krynn. A poster map also comes with the book. DLSotDQ is a complete story, not beholden to the novels or prior adventures. Schneider compared it to the new Star Wars TV shows in that you know the beloved heroes are out there doing things but DLSotDQ focuses on different characters in a different region.

Warriors of Krynn inside Deluxe (back) – Box Art by Dominik Mayer.png


DLSotDQ and DLWoK fall “very early in the War of the Lance, early into the invasion of western Solamnia,”said Schneider. “Stories have been told about the major offenses from the middle of the continent further to the west. This is a new story about the very first launch the red dragon army does into Solamnia, an early forey with specific plots and goals to bring a devastating weapon to bear.”

“You're getting not just this massive, epic, D&D narrative adventure in the RPG experience but you also have the Warriors of Krynn board game... and they're meant to weave in and out of each other,” said Schneider.

Schneider then clarified that if you play both, you can take your RPG characters to the board game and then back to the RPG. “Warriors of Krynn isn't your usual moving units and strategy. This is more of a strategy game that focuses on those elements but from a D&D perspective. You're still playing your characters, around the edges of battle, doing what's important to turn the tide of battle, all of the little things that thousands of lives might be riding on. And then once you've played that out you can then take that result back to [Shadow of the Dragon Queen] and have that result affect how your RPG continues.”

However, you do not need DLWoK to play DLSotDQ and vice versa. DLWoK can be played independently from the RPG DLSotDQ. Similarly, if you only want to play the TTRPG, it has instructions on how to handle the battles instead of switching to the board game.

Miniatures that come with DLWoK are the same scale as conventional miniatures, such as WizKids minis. So if you want to use the exact mini for your character while playing the RPG you can bring it right to the board game. The board game also comes with six hero miniatures you can use while playing if you don't have your own minis.

Choices that you make in DLWoK will carry through, but it's not a legacy board game. No cards or such are torn up or removed, but what you do in the board game affects the RPG if you're playing both.

Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn is a cooperative board game designed by Rob Daviau and Stephen Baker. Back in April at D&D Direct, when asked if DLWoK could be used to stage large-scale battles in other iconic D&D settings, Ray Winninger, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons, said yes, adding that if it does well they'll consider customized versions for other settings.

Pre-orders for the bundles can be placed through dndstore.wizards.com.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

mamba

Legend
Possiblity: Turns out there were a couple other Clerics in the world, and one of them is a PC in your party.
that is pretty much a version of option 3 (violation of established timeline), or a variation of option 1 (have something that allows the party to heal early on). I called it an ancient artifact, should have stayed more generic ;)
 

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Agreed. I absolutely hate the setting, but that art. I'm never going to play or run a game in the setting, but my god, this book looks glorious right now. I don't know if it's just me, but I think the art in recent books has been a step up from earlier 5e. Spelljammer, Radiant Citadel, and now this. The art looks amazing.
To be fair, "hate" is a bit strong. I thought the novels were garbage, but some of the adventures where pretty good (especially the first one).

But I agree, the art looks great. I'm impressed how they managed to keep the original Dragonlance look, but also improve on it.
 

Pentallion

Explorer
To be fair, "hate" is a bit strong. I thought the novels were garbage, but some of the adventures where pretty good (especially the first one).

But I agree, the art looks great. I'm impressed how they managed to keep the original Dragonlance look, but also improve on it.
Only person I've ever heard disliked the novels in 40 years. They use the novels in psychology classes to teach how codependent relationships work. Raistlin being an addict to magic and Caramon being his codependent brother.
 

Pentallion

Explorer
Well, for one because the new adventure is not set after it. I don’t think that is possible given what we know about it, see my earlier posts.

For another because if every DL story is either without healing or basically after the war (there are only a few months where you could have the first few clerics until the war is over), that is a bit too limiting a setting in terms of potential adventures imo, there is a reason why DL never saw much outside the War of the Lance story.

So either WotC fixes this to open the DL world up, or they don’t care because they won’t publish much more in it anyway, so that is a homebrew issue - if they have a solution for their adventure that is specific to it rather than global.

I am not sure how they will address it, I don’t think it will be a full on ‘the gods never left’ approach, but I find not having any healing during the campaign even less likely.

So either it is a ‘you early on discover an ancient artifact that enables your party to heal’, a ‘the gods left but some low level healing is still around, and we make sure that clerics are a thing about halfway through the campaign at the latest’, a flat out violation of the established timeline to have clerics earlier, or something else I have not thought of.
Those are all the reasons I said I would be holding my breath on the no clerics issue. I really think with short rests and battle healers with healing kits, it's possible to role play DL before the return of the gods. I think if they roll with no magical healing (alchemical healing potions excepted) and rely on just healing kits and short rests, this really could be something very gritty and challenging.
A welcome break from the opposite path they've been set on for a while.
 

Only person I've ever heard disliked the novels in 40 years. They use the novels in psychology classes to teach how codependent relationships work. Raistlin being an addict to magic and Caramon being his codependent brother.
Given the attitudes they teach about the poor and less able, not to mention their anti-inclusive reductionist views of good and evil, I would be extremely worried about the ajenda of any institution that used them to teach anything.
 

that is pretty much a version of option 3 (violation of established timeline), or a variation of option 1 (have something that allows the party to heal early on). I called it an ancient artifact, should have stayed more generic ;)
There are many other classes that can heal. Artificers, Bards, Druids, Paladins, Rangers, plus subclasses of Monk, Warlock, Sorceror. In 5e you don't have to have someone play a cleric.
 

There are many other classes that can heal. Artificers, Bards, Druids, Paladins, Rangers, plus subclasses of Monk, Warlock, Sorceror. In 5e you don't have to have someone play a cleric.
Which rather undermines the problem. If the gods aren't answering prayers, simply train bards instead of clerics.
 


mamba

Legend
Given the attitudes they teach about the poor and less able, not to mention their anti-inclusive reductionist views of good and evil, I would be extremely worried about the ajenda of any institution that used them to teach anything.
Who are the ‘poor and less able’, the Gully Dwarves? I assume so

And ‘anti-inclusive reductionist views of good and evil’ is what ? Draconians, creatures created through dark magic to serve as troops of an evil god, cannot be the good guys?

Because the other species certainly can have a mix of good and evil people in them - and even the draconians can turn things around for them after the war

That is such nonsense, it simply is classic fantasy and I have no issue with not everything being ‘woke’… I guess the above also neatly summarizes your view on the Lord of the Rings
 

mamba

Legend
Can you just "train" PC classes in Dragonlance? I thought that magic was generally an unusual talent in that setting?
Divine magic is, the wizards are still around and kicking ;) Despite their magic technically also coming from Gods in DL, but theirs hung around…
 

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