Dragonlance DRAGONLANCE LIVES! Unearthed Arcana Explores Heroes of Krynn!

The latest Unearthed Arcana has arrived and the 6-page document contains rules for kender, lunar magic, Knights of Solamnia, and Mages of High Sorcery. In today’s Unearthed Arcana, we explore character options from the Dragonlance setting. This playtest document presents the kender race, the Lunar Magic sorcerer subclass, the Knight of Solamnia and Mage of High Sorcery backgrounds, and a...

The latest Unearthed Arcana has arrived and the 6-page document contains rules for kender, lunar magic, Knights of Solamnia, and Mages of High Sorcery.

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In today’s Unearthed Arcana, we explore character options from the Dragonlance setting. This playtest document presents the kender race, the Lunar Magic sorcerer subclass, the Knight of Solamnia and Mage of High Sorcery backgrounds, and a collection of new feats, all for use in Dungeons & Dragons.


Kender have a (surprisingly magical) ability to pull things out of a bag, and a supernatural taunt feature. This magical ability appears to replace the older 'kleptomania' description -- "Unknown to most mortals, a magical phenomenon surrounds a kender. Spurred by their curiosity and love for trinkets, curios, and keepsakes, a kender’s pouches or pockets will be magically filled with these objects. No one knows where these objects come from, not even the kender. This has led many kender to be mislabeled as thieves when they fish these items out of their pockets."

Lunar Magic is a sorcerer subclass which draws power from the moon(s); there are notes for using it in Eberron.

Also included are feats such as Adepts of the Black, White, and Red Robes, and Knights of the Sword, Rose, and Crown.

 

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I mean, that's just demonstrably wrong, isn't it? "They're mind-controlling squid people that time travelled back in time from the end of the world that wants to eat our brains" is a negative stereotype of a person/creature (Mind Flayers, including Gnome Ceremorphs), but I'm pretty sure that it's never been applied to any group of real-life people.

Sure, there are plenty of negative stereotypes that have been applied to real world peoples . . . but this is fantasy. We can pretty easily make up some new stereotypes for races/species in the game and avoid rehashing problematic ones from the real world.
Sure but “group of outsiders attempting to work in the shadows to subvert and brainwash good hard working folk into following their gross alien ways” is a way to reframe mind flayers and I am pretty sure we can find this stereotype throughout our own history.

edit: this was written assuming we are all aware that mind flayers not only eat brains but also reproduce by transforming us into them
 

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Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I think there's a miscommunication going on here. You're confusing simple descriptions of monstrous creatures with "negative stereotypes." The two aren't the same. What you wrote about mind flayers, above, isn't an issue of stereotyping them; it's their actual description in a nutshell. Call them "a race of natural manipulators who believe themselves superior to all other people," and now you've just laid down that mind flayers are a racist depiction of Jews.
A stereotype is an oversimplified image/opinion on something. What I wrote was definitely oversimplified, especially when you take into account the fact that not all Mind Flayers act that way. Gnome Ceremorphs can be any alignment and are possible allies of the party in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, Mind Flayers aren't 100% like that in Spelljammer, and there's often individuals that break free of their Hivemind to have individuality.

"Mind-controlling, brain-eating, time-travelling squid people" is very much a simplified version of the larger complexities to Mind Flayer behavior, and it's absolutely not a stereotype that has been applied to any real-world marginalized peoples.
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
I mean, that's just demonstrably wrong, isn't it? "They're mind-controlling squid people that time travelled back in time from the end of the world that wants to eat our brains" is a negative stereotype of a person/creature (Mind Flayers, including Gnome Ceremorphs), but I'm pretty sure that it's never been applied to any group of real-life people.

Sure, there are plenty of negative stereotypes that have been applied to real world peoples . . . but this is fantasy. We can pretty easily make up some new stereotypes for races/species in the game and avoid rehashing problematic ones from the real world.
Some people believe that the world is ruled by reptilian aliens, so brain eating squids wouldn't be much of a stretch.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
A stereotype is an oversimplified image/opinion on something.
Again, I think there's a nuance that you're not acknowledging. A stereotype isn't just an oversimplification, it's reductive in nature; and a negative stereotype - again, as we're using it here - is a negative reduction that distorts the truth. Saying "mind flayers are squid-people who eat brains" is a brief encapsulation of what they are, but it's what they are. Trying to equate that to "all kender are thieves" isn't the same, because kender aren't all thieves, and never have been.
 
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Shows what you know about the lore.

For one, as anyone should, there should be lore consistency with D&D. And there hasn't been since after 3e. WotC doesn't need to shove core aspects of the generic game into every single world. I thought each setting was supposed to be different? How does force-feeding Feywild material onto a race that has had dozens of novels dedicated to portraying their origin and lifestyle a good thing people are supposed to just accept? I find it illogical to mess with what was never broken or wrong.

It's like someone taking your pepperoni pizza the way you like it and just pouring tobasco sauce all over it for no reason other than "It's what we believe will sell better to the new customers and not old customers like you."

They were magical in origin only, other than that they're not really fey and never had a connection to them. They're simply kleptos which explains why they had random items on them. Nothing magical about it. Nothing Fey about it. But now they're literally "pulling rabbits out of hats" is ridiculous and a travesty to the fans of the setting. Even the Taunt is supernatural!? Really? It's not because they've spent centuries perfecting the art instead?

What I can't fathom is the logic that WotC needs to rearrange the lore on things that don't need changes to begin with. I say 99% of the edition war issues is because of them creating divisiveness amongst the base by messing with things in D&D that shouldn't be messed with. Improved upon, yes. Retcon? No.

I'm no Dark Sun fan, but ask a Dark Sun fan how they would feel if their setting got Feywild material suddenly shoved in Athas by WotC if they ever brought it back.

WotC increasingly botches lore consistency, it's a huge problem.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
It's an irony not lost on me that there are tons of posts elsewhere online and here, filled with complete loathing for Kender. Yet now all of a sudden people care about Kender lore.
The people who care are obviously the ones who don't hate kender. It's just that our posts about having no issues and actually liking kender are drowned out by everyone riding the bandwagon.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
"a race of natural manipulators who believe themselves superior to all other people," and now you've just laid down that mind flayers are a racist depiction of Jews.
Their wildspace connections and interstellar slave-trading are the banking conspiracy reflavored.
Jews?, I thought you were describing europeans during the age of Imperialism (1700 to 1999)
 

There are two answers I can give. I'll start with the first, the subjective part.

Nostalgia plays a huge part of it, the age I was when I discovered Dragonlance. It's tied to my earliest days of playing D&D, before I had even moved onto AD&D. I was a kid and it was all very new. It's being a twin and reading a fantasy series that has twin heroes in it. It's imaging what it would be like to walk amidst the Vallenwood trees of Solace. It's about the art by Elmore, Easley, Parkinson, and Valusek. I was shocked when main characters die. It's eating piles of Otik's Spiced Potatoes and Nuitari Cookies.

But that, that's a big pair of rose-colored glasses. As an adult, Raistlin get's on my nerves and Caramon is a doormat for him. Sturm's death is telegraphed from a mile away (Flint's, I would argue, still packs a punch because in a world of high fantasy it's so distressingly mundane and real). There's a ton of punching-down comedy in it, and problematic racial/racist tropes.

If I had to talk about the universal appeal of Dragonlance (though I do think nostalgia plays a part for a lot of people as well), I'd talk about the way the personal interactions take center stage against a background of war and great battles. It's about, not just a dragon or two, but whole flights of them. The world still bears the scars of the Cataclysm vividly. There's a sense of the world being, for lack of a better term, fallen. And it's from there that the heroes rise up.

And I think that's ripe for a 5e setting-adventure hybrid. I think the problematic elements can be smoothed out easily enough. There's the question of what happens when new fans go back to the older books, so it may be necessary to have a brief note in the 5e book about that, much like the legacy disclaimer on old TSR products.

Which are?

This is a serious question, not a gotcha. I read some of the novels (I know I read the first trilogy and Kaz the Minotaur, and probably some of the others) way back when but they never did much for me. I didn't think they were bad or anything; they just never grabbed me. And neither did the game books, even the Monstrous Compendium (and I love monsters). So what I want to know is, what should be in a 5e Dragonlance book? And what should be done with the problematic elements to bring them into 5e?

Maybe I've just seen too many bad-faith arguments online, and it's making me cynical...

The people who care are obviously the ones who don't hate kender. It's just that our posts about having no issues and actually liking kender are drowned out by everyone riding the bandwagon.
 

Quartz

Hero
44 pages in 2 days. Wow. I've skipped the lot. Apologies if I've missed your gems. I've read the UA and am not impressed. The Wizards of High Sorcery were explicitly linked to the moons, and Sorcerors were explicitly linked to Chaos. Really, the whole section on magic is pretty much used toilet paper for me. And I'm not enthused about the Solamnic feat chains. And the Rose Knight's Bolstering Rally looks almost as good as the Inspiring Words feat.
 

Kenders needed a retcon because they were typecasted to be Taselfold' clones. Even if WotC wanted to produce a cartoon about kenders these would need different personalities for the characters, someones more serious than others.

Gullys shoud be allowed to return to add comedic elements, although this time with a different sense of humor. They aren't stupid by fault of some biological reason, but because they didn't want to study, their cultural level is too low and they suffered for a long time mind-affecting powers by the feys who live in the Nature. How could they survive? Being the incouscious slaves of dryads and other creatures.

Tinker gnomes aren't only in Krynn but they are in Spelljammer.

The canon between the old books and the new setting not only is going to be different, but if WotC wants Dragonlance to become a cash-cow as multimedia franchise you can guess the possible changes as show production and videogame.

* We can agree about the kender ace and the money. Nobody would want to sell to kenders if these get fame to play with "ghost coins".

* Please, let's remember the good sense. D&D should be family-friendly, and we have to take care to not offend other communities, because we have to respect the rules of coexistence, but maybe we are starting to suffer now our own version of satanic panic.

If some races have got a possible bad reputation, then the solution is to show token characters with positive traits.

* It is strange, but Dragonlance is in certain way very linked to the feeling of the 80's years. It is as when you are watching a old movie and you feel traveling to the past.
 

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