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D&D 5E Dragonlance Nexus Posts Tasslehoff's Pouches of Everything

The Dragonlance Nexus -- the fan site for all things Dragonlance -- has created a free 94-page PDF detailing the Dragonlance setting for D&D 5th Edition. The PDF includes races, organizations, equipment, gods, magic, monsters, geography, a timeline, and more.


Tas_Pouches_Cover-1187x1536.jpg

Tasslehoff’s Pouches of Everything is your one-stop shop for all things Dragonlance and Krynn for D&D 5th Edition. During our journey through the people, organizations, monsters and magic of Ansalon, Uncle Tas will be your guide. Tas’ life is easily one of the most storied of anyone from Krynn. He has traveled through time and space, and done things that defy even the wildest of kender tales. That’s why we’ve recruited him to give us insight about every aspect of the world we love!

Tasslehoff's Pouches of Everything is a continuation of the mission of the Ennie Award-winning Dragonlance Nexus - to keep Dragonlance alive (including in gaming) and to celebrate the best of fandom.

So please have a look, and keep watching the Dragonlance Nexus for more new content for Dragonlance in 5th edition.

Long live the Lance!
 
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Dire Bare

Legend
Okay, I'm reading through the races chapter right now . . . some thoughts as I go . . .
  • This isn't really a product for gen pop, it's geared towards existing DL superfans. I'm in the races section, and there isn't enough fluff info for each race to tell me what they are all about, if I wasn't already (fairly) familiar with Dragonlance. However, I haven't consumed the entirety of Dragonlance canon up to this point, and it's been decades since I've read through novels and played through the games . . . there are a few races that have me confused . . .
  • But the actual design of the races/subraces seems fairly solid and evocative (for the races that I know). They've been working on this for a long time, but I wish they had taken some cues from Tasha's and Ravenloft on newer approaches to race. Especially with the . . . .
  • Gully dwarves! Ugh. There's no minus to mental stats and no race abilities trying to model the inherently mentally challenged dwarves, so that's good, but . . . I'm cringing with the "pitiable" and "cowardly" abilities. They fit the canon, but the canon is problematic.
  • Are there half-dwarves, half-gnomes, and half-kender in DL canon? Probably, I guess . . .
  • I like the "guild affiliation" ability for tinker gnomes. But both tinkers and thinkers don't seem to have an "invention" ability . . . perhaps that's covered in classes or backgrounds later in the book . . .
  • The races seem to model existing canon fairly well, but also carry forward the problematic issues of how DL treats with race. Gullies, goblins, ogres, the tarmak . . . although, interestingly, the kender and irda as written up do seem to avoid the worst of the classic archetypes.
  • The phaethon are neat! Elves who can manifest wings of fire!
  • I'm not very good at judging "balance" with races (or classes, or feats, or anything really), I'm more of a "is it fun?" type of gamer. But I did wonder about the draconians . . . felt "fun", but potentially too much? Their fluff write-up was good.
 

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Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I wouldn't read to much into that.

Assuming the Nexus' "official fan-site" status is still legit, they were given the right to publish fan-fic (or, fan-design) in the Dragonlance setting. I'm pretty sure they didn't have to float specific releases in front of WotC for approval.

I'm not convinced we're getting an official Dragonlance book next year . . . but this release isn't evidence of that.
Since I publish a fair amount on DMSGuild, I am reading quite a bit into this.

Right now, the only legal way to use Wizards IP in a publication is to publish on DMSGuild, and publish products set in their approved settings. Any other Wizards IP is off limits, whether the product is free or not.

A small, insignificant publisher might get away (briefly) with using Wizards IP in their stuff, but the Nexus has WotC connections and was literally the official site for Dragonlance for a while. They aren't insignificant and they aren't low profile in any way. What I'm getting at is that there is no way this product was made without Wizards' involvement or at least awareness, and that means it has Wizards' OK.

That doesn't mean that Wizards isn't planning to release Dragonlance material, and it doesn't mean that we will never see DL opened up on DMSGuild. But I think it's safe to saw we won't see either of those anytime soon.

EDIT: I'm mostly curious about what permission they have to use the art in the book. None of it is available to be used for free, and and even the artists don't have authority to OK its use as far as I know (at least in the case of Larry Elmore), which again suggests an allowance or license from WotC.
 
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Dire Bare

Legend
Right now, the only legal way to use Wizards IP in a publication is to publish on DMSGuild, and publish products set in their approved settings. Any other Wizards IP is off limits, whether the product is free or not.
Nope.

You can publish fan-design without using the OGL or DMsGuild . . . you can just release it for free. You can't plagiarize text or use artwork you don't have rights too, but you can publish your fan-design for any D&D setting (or anything, really). Of course, a lot of fan-design does cross boundaries when it comes to trade dress and art . . .

And, as covered in this thread, before the DMs Guild was a thing, WotC designated an official fan-site for each of their classic settings. The DL Nexus was that site for Dragonlance. They were given explicit permission to publish content for their respective settings. The details on how this differed from simply publishing fan-design, which doesn't need a license, and whether these "official fan-site" statuses are still in place . . . I don't know. Clearly the DL Nexus is publishing under the assumption they still are the Dragonlance official fan-site under that earlier agreement . . . and I'm assuming they're right unless somebody from WotC states otherwise.
 

Since I publish a fair amount on DMSGuild, I am reading quite a bit into this.

Right now, the only legal way to use Wizards IP in a publication is to publish on DMSGuild, and publish products set in their approved settings. Any other Wizards IP is off limits, whether the product is free or not.

A small, insignificant publisher might get away (briefly) with using Wizards IP in their stuff, but the Nexus has WotC connections and was literally the official site for Dragonlance for a while. They aren't insignificant and they aren't low profile in any way. What I'm getting at is that there is no way this product was made without Wizards' involvement or at least awareness, and that means it has Wizards' OK.

Or because it is the weekend and WotC was rather busy, when Monday rolls around, these people will get served with a Cease & Desist and a Take-down Order.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Nope.

You can publish fan-design without using the OGL or DMsGuild . . . you can just release it for free. You can't plagiarize text or use artwork you don't have rights too, but you can publish your fan-design for any D&D setting (or anything, really). Of course, a lot of fan-design does cross boundaries when it comes to trade dress and art . . .
Not according to WotC, you can't.

Per the 5e SRD:
(b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute;

I'm not a lawyer, but that's seems pretty clear to me. Give the history of the Nexus and WotC, I'd be shocked to learn that Nexus creators aren't aware of these IP restrictions.

Now here's where it gets interesting: there's no mention of the SRD or OGL in the new Dragonlance book (the mention/inclusion of which is expressly required by the license). There is, however, an ad page promising several more Dragonlance products over the next two years.

Which means that either the Nexus folks slipped not under the radar (unlikely, given that much/most of the content was available on their website for ages) or the document was made with WotC's OK. Given the stats of the Nexus and their relationship with WotC, the latter seems far more likely.
 


Ed Mekeel

Steward of the Kingfishers
Not according to WotC, you can't.

Per the 5e SRD:
(b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute;

I'm not a lawyer, but that's seems pretty clear to me. Give the history of the Nexus and WotC, I'd be shocked to learn that Nexus creators aren't aware of these IP restrictions.

Now here's where it gets interesting: there's no mention of the SRD or OGL in the new Dragonlance book (the mention/inclusion of which is expressly required by the license). There is, however, an ad page promising several more Dragonlance products over the next two years.

Which means that either the Nexus folks slipped not under the radar (unlikely, given that much/most of the content was available on their website for ages) or the document was made with WotC's OK. Given the stats of the Nexus and their relationship with WotC, the latter seems far more likely.
We do mention the SRD and also link the sales page for the Player Guide in the Using this Book section.
 





Dire Bare

Legend
Not according to WotC, you can't.

Per the 5e SRD:
(b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute;

I'm not a lawyer, but that's seems pretty clear to me. Give the history of the Nexus and WotC, I'd be shocked to learn that Nexus creators aren't aware of these IP restrictions.

Now here's where it gets interesting: there's no mention of the SRD or OGL in the new Dragonlance book (the mention/inclusion of which is expressly required by the license). There is, however, an ad page promising several more Dragonlance products over the next two years.

Which means that either the Nexus folks slipped not under the radar (unlikely, given that much/most of the content was available on their website for ages) or the document was made with WotC's OK. Given the stats of the Nexus and their relationship with WotC, the latter seems far more likely.
And yet . . . fan-design outside of the OGL and DMsGuild flourishes on the net. Both because it's perfectly legal, and because, legal or not, it's not worth WotC's time and energy trying to shut down.
 

Ed Mekeel

Steward of the Kingfishers
One more insight. It was difficult and frustrating laying out the book while recycling old artwork. The Nexus is now actively working to commission new art for further work. If you like what you see, please consider donating to our Patreon as that's the primary funding for the new art. It also helps us get new artists recognized. The Whitestone Council is creating Dragonlance Nexus | Patreon
 

Dire Bare

Legend
I'm now reading Chapter 2 on organizations, which uses the factions, rank, and renown rules from the DMG . . .
  • Overall, I'm impressed! The fluff write-ups do a good job giving you a feel for each organization.
  • Knights of Takhisis/Neraka: Your rank/renown is separate from which order you belong to (Lily, Skull, Thorn) and there is no "Dark Knight" subclass . . . which is all good! There is a cleric domain for skull knights and a specialized archer martial archetype for a group within the lily knights. That's it! There are suggested classes for each order within the knighthood. I really like how this is set up. Not much on how thorn knights interact with the orders of high sorcery . . .
  • Knights of Solamnia: Like the dark knights, your rank/renown is separate from your chosen order (Crown, Sword, Rose). However, there is a "Solamnic Knight" martial archetype with three sets of abilities dependent on your order. I don't like this, I'd rather it be handled more like the dark knights. Also, when you first join the Solamnic knights, you can choose any order . . . classic knights had to first advance as crown knights, then choose to remain crown knights or advance as sword knights, then again choose to remain as sword knights or advance as rose knights. This advancement scheme was confusing to me in middle school, but it's not dissimilar to how real world masonic orders advance in degrees within their various orders. Did this change in the official lore at some point?
  • The solamnics have a "Kingfisher" wizard tradition, a white robe auxiliary order allied to the knights. I love the concept! I'd like to see an equivalent wizard tradition for the dark thorn knights!
  • Legion of Steel: the "neutral" order of knights, sorta. I've never really like this organization, nor the Chaos War storyline they sprang from. They seem redundant with the Solamnic Knights. The organization presented here seems rather uninteresting, and there is a Legion Scout ranger conclave that might work well as a Solamnic auxiliary . . .
  • Wizards of High Sorcery: Heh, one of the downsides to how DL and D&D have evolved over the decades is the now confusion between "high sorcery" (order-approved wizardry) and "primal sorcery" (the sorcerer class). Anyway, again, which wizardly order you join (White, Red, Black) is separate from your rank/renown and your class/subclass (wizard only, no warlocks or sorcerers). There is no "high sorcery" wizard tradition. I like this! However, as you gain rank/renown, you learn secrets of your given order, which is neat. There are some wizard traditions presented that are associated with the orders, like Dark Dwarf Savant, Dreamshaper, Griffon Wizard, Renegade Hunter, Sea Mage, and Winternorn. Neat!
  • Holy Orders of the Stars: Nothing on the various clerical orders!!! :(
 

Ed Mekeel

Steward of the Kingfishers
I'm now reading Chapter 2 on organizations, which uses the factions, rank, and renown rules from the DMG . . .
  • Overall, I'm impressed! The fluff write-ups do a good job giving you a feel for each organization.
  • Knights of Takhisis/Neraka: Your rank/renown is separate from which order you belong to (Lily, Skull, Thorn) and there is no "Dark Knight" subclass . . . which is all good! There is a cleric domain for skull knights and a specialized archer martial archetype for a group within the lily knights. That's it! There are suggested classes for each order within the knighthood. I really like how this is set up. Not much on how thorn knights interact with the orders of high sorcery . . .
  • Knights of Solamnia: Like the dark knights, your rank/renown is separate from your chosen order (Crown, Sword, Rose). However, there is a "Solamnic Knight" martial archetype with three sets of abilities dependent on your order. I don't like this, I'd rather it be handled more like the dark knights. Also, when you first join the Solamnic knights, you can choose any order . . . classic knights had to first advance as crown knights, then choose to remain crown knights or advance as sword knights, then again choose to remain as sword knights or advance as rose knights. This advancement scheme was confusing to me in middle school, but it's not dissimilar to how real world masonic orders advance in degrees within their various orders. Did this change in the official lore at some point?
  • The solamnics have a "Kingfisher" wizard tradition, a white robe auxiliary order allied to the knights. I love the concept! I'd like to see an equivalent wizard tradition for the dark thorn knights!
  • Legion of Steel: the "neutral" order of knights, sorta. I've never really like this organization, nor the Chaos War storyline they sprang from. They seem redundant with the Solamnic Knights. The organization presented here seems rather uninteresting, and there is a Legion Scout ranger conclave that might work well as a Solamnic auxiliary . . .
  • Wizards of High Sorcery: Heh, one of the downsides to how DL and D&D have evolved over the decades is the now confusion between "high sorcery" (order-approved wizardry) and "primal sorcery" (the sorcerer class). Anyway, again, which wizardly order you join (White, Red, Black) is separate from your rank/renown and your class/subclass (wizard only, no warlocks or sorcerers). There is no "high sorcery" wizard tradition. I like this! However, as you gain rank/renown, you learn secrets of your given order, which is neat. There are some wizard traditions presented that are associated with the orders, like Dark Dwarf Savant, Dreamshaper, Griffon Wizard, Renegade Hunter, Sea Mage, and Winternorn. Neat!
  • Holy Orders of the Stars: Nothing on the various clerical orders!!! :(
Hi there and thanks! Yes, the Solannic Order lore has shifted as there was a disparity between the gaming material and the books. No you don't need to take rank in each order. We had a lot of conversation over this and wanted to make it playable and less confusing.
 

Dragonhelm

Knight of Solamnia
So on the Wizards of High Sorcery (WoHS for short), we could have created either a single WoHS arcane tradition, or 3 separate ones for the White, Red, and Black Robes.

However, that would kill a ton of existing options throughout the PHB and the rest of D&D, not to mention cool wizard traditions such as the Kingfisher.

So that's the reason we went the way we did.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
So on the Wizards of High Sorcery (WoHS for short), we could have created either a single WoHS arcane tradition, or 3 separate ones for the White, Red, and Black Robes.

However, that would kill a ton of existing options throughout the PHB and the rest of D&D, not to mention cool wizard traditions such as the Kingfisher.

So that's the reason we went the way we did.
I really like how you handled the Wizards of High Sorcery, and the Dark Knights, with their respective orders being separate from rank/renown and class/subclass. It's elegant, avoids cookie cutter knights/wizards, and as you say, allows PCs to take other class options. Neat! The Solamnic Knights are almost similar, but did get a knight subclass unlike the other organizations, what led to that decision?
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Hi there and thanks! Yes, the Solannic Order lore has shifted as there was a disparity between the gaming material and the books. No you don't need to take rank in each order. We had a lot of conversation over this and wanted to make it playable and less confusing.
So, the whole crown first, then sword, then rose was an artifact of the 1E game rules, but was not echoed in the novels? Okay! It's been so long since I've read any of the source material, but I remembered the weird way Solamnics advanced, at least in the game rules!
 

Dire Bare

Legend
I'm now in Chapter 4 on weapons and equipment . . .
  • No mention of steel pieces as currency . . . good! :) They do mention that steel has been sometimes scarce . . .
  • Lots of weird, Krynnish weapons here from the lore . . . which is good, but . . . the descriptions aren't always clear (to me) what exactly some of these weapons look like and how they are used.
  • Cultural information (which races/cultures use them) is in a table, which leads to some of the written descriptions being unclear (to me).
  • That's it! 3 pages. Probably don't need more, other than for illustrations of all of the weird DL weapons!
Chapter 5 on gods . . .
  • I glossed over this, as I'm not expecting info much different from what I remember. There is a chart listing the clerical domains for each deity . . . but still nothing substantial on the Holy Orders of the Stars . . .
  • Info on the High God, Chaos, and Mina (oops, spoilers!) are included.
Chapter 6 on magic . . .
  • This chapter mostly focuses on the "ambient magic" of Krynn, or "primal sorcery" and the mystic's "power of the heart" . . . which came from the Age of Mortals/Dragon Overlords storyline when Dragonlance used the Saga rules system.
  • IMO, this is an era of DL history that is a total mess. Consequently, this chapter is a bit of a mess, although I think the designers did a good job trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
  • There are no subclasses for primal sorcerers or heart mystics, but rather suggestions on how to use existing options from official D&D to represent these types of characters. It works, although I think it leaves something to be desired. What exactly, I don't know.
Chapter 7 on magic weapons & items . . .
  • skimmed it, mostly updates on various items and artifacts from the lore. Looks good!
  • Blue Crystal Staff, Staff of Magius, Dragonlances . . . check!
  • Details on the Medallion of Faith, which each true cleric of the gods needs to work their magic are given . . . but again, not much on how being a cleric of the true gods, of the Holy Orders of the Stars works . . .
Chapter 8 on creatures . . .
  • skimmed it, includes the core draconians (no noble or proto draconians here), dragonspawn, hatori, ogre titans, skrit, spectral minions . . . more to come later in the Bestiary slated for 2022.
  • I think in this basic book, we didn't really need most of these . . . in fact, this chapter could have been skipped entirely and saved for the upcoming Bestiary.
Chapter 9 Timeline . . .
  • sigh, just reminded me how much I don't like what happened to Dragonlance starting with the Chaos War, then the Dragon Overlords, and then onto the War of Souls. It's a mess, but again, that's the official canon. The designers do a good job summarizing the lore of the setting here.
  • If I ever run a DL campaign, it'll be set just after Ariakan founds the Knight of Takhisis, before the events of the Chaos War get underway . . . and I'll ignore all that comes later in the official canon.
Chapter 10 Geography . . . I ran out of steam, but again I'm guessing the designers do a good job of relating the current state of DL lore . . .
 

delazar_fb

Villager
Love what you did with this!

I’d like WoHS to be less tied to Class, and more to “results”. Like, who can tell a wizards from a sorcerer, from a bard, from a warlock, unless you’re looking at their character sheet? So I would have all Arcane classes be allowed to join the WoSH

but I also consider Chronicles and Legends the only canon, so I understand that you had more space to give a in-game reason for other classes to be what they are

wonderful work, really!
 

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