Dragonlance Dragonlance Shadow of the Dragon Queen shows up in the wild!

Reynard

Legend
OK so something that bugs me a little bit about the premise of not just this adventure but the beginning of the War of the Lance in general is that, despite international trade continuing as normal in places like Kalaman, the existence of the Dragon Armies and their conquest of eastern Ansalon is still mere rumor.

Shouldn’t there either be merchants (and maybe even refugees) bringing tales of the Dragon Armies and their conquests? Or perhaps there are suddenly no more merchants or travelers from the east – but no one seems to wonder why.

It’s just always struck me as somewhat unbelievable that the Dragon Armies are essentially able to take all of western Ansalon by surprise – especially when you consider how small Ansalon is.
It's almost as if the original authors and designers were just using tropes to tell a particular kind of genre story and weren't over concerned with realism or even verisimilitude.


Many of us have very fond memories of Dragonlance because of when it came out [or when we discovered it. And it was very popular. But neither of those facts should be confused with the idea that it actually good in a literary sense. It wasn't. It's a pastiche of Tolkien through a D&D and Mormon lens and relies heavily on cliche. I loved it but we shouldn't ask too much of it.
 

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TBF rogue one wasn't main cast of heroes being slaughtered... it was redshirts.

If vader walked in on rey fin luke leia han and jarjar he would not have done what he did...

so Soth can totaly do the hallway scene agains 10 knights or 30 guards or god forbid 100 commoners no issue... but no not against 11th level party (not that he might not win, but it wont be that curb stomp)
 






Not with that statblock, unfortunately. PCs aren't quite generic Rebel troops in any event.
Beyond the points made by others, in the adventure, the characters have to go through at least 6 encounters of varying difficulty (including a CR 14 foe) to even get to him, at minimum, and that's by lucking out and finding the direct route to him, and without further exploring the location where he's at, where further encounters will whittle then down even further. And, even beyond that, it's a time-sensitive mission, so there's no time to take a long rest.

(Yes, I know it has its own thread, but this concerns how Soth appears in the adventure itself, and not white room theory crafting...)
 
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pukunui

Legend
So one thing that I'm noticing as I read further into the adventure is that, while it says that Warriors of Krynn is entirely optional, I feel like you'd end up missing out on a good chunk of the "war experience" by not using it. Basically, the adventure doesn't provide any substitute for the board game. If you don't use it, there just aren't any mass battles -- or at least, they all happen entirely off-screen and have little-to-no effect on the rest of the adventure.

Granted, even if you do use the board game, the outcomes of the mass battles seem to have little-to-no effect on the adventure as well, but at least the PCs can potentially earn themselves some nice magic items by participating. And the players get to feel like their PCs are part of something much larger.

Without the mass battle element, this adventure feels like it would play out like Red Hand of Doom but without the Victory Points subsystem. (I feel like it has some strong RHoD vibes regardless.)
 

So one thing that I'm noticing as I read further into the adventure is that, while it says that Warriors of Krynn is entirely optional, I feel like you'd end up missing out on a good chunk of the "war experience" by not using it. Basically, the adventure doesn't provide any substitute for the board game. If you don't use it, there just aren't any mass battles -- or at least, they all happen entirely off-screen and have little-to-no effect on the rest of the adventure.
Eh, I'll disagree on that. Each of the board game scenarios is replaced in the adventure with set battle scenes where the PCs are in the middle of a big battle, but are sort of confined to their little bit of it, where they fight some significant NPCs and some other foes. If they go outside of that zone, they enter "The Fray", which is the area the rest of the battle takes place, and where they will take random damage from the fighting going on there (which of course will tend to cause the PCs focus on their own area and not wander off). It's not quite the same, but it's a decent substitute if you don't have the board game, and some of them have interested me enough that, even though I've ordered the board game, I might very well have my group do some of them as well. They're also done in a typically modular fashion that they could be re-used for homebrew and other campaigns that might see the PCs in the midst of a big battle.
 


pukunui

Legend
Eh, I'll disagree on that. Each of the board game scenarios is replaced in the adventure with set battle scenes where the PCs are in the middle of a big battle, but are sort of confined to their little bit of it, where they fight some significant NPCs and some other foes. If they go outside of that zone, they enter "The Fray", which is the area the rest of the battle takes place, and where they will take random damage from the fighting going on there (which of course will tend to cause the PCs focus on their own area and not wander off). It's not quite the same, but it's a decent substitute if you don't have the board game, and some of them have interested me enough that, even though I've ordered the board game, I might very well have my group do some of them as well. They're also done in a typically modular fashion that they could be re-used for homebrew and other campaigns that might see the PCs in the midst of a big battle.
This is not entirely correct. Looking through the adventure again, I can see that some of the board game scenarios have a substitute (e.g. Scenario 1 and the Invasion of Vogler, as well as Scenario 4 and the Flight to Steel Springs), but there are also scenarios that don't have a corresponding section in the adventure (e.g. Scenarios 2 and 3, which are meant to be run during the open-ended "Missions for Kalaman" section) as well as encounters in the adventure that don't have a corresponding board game scenario (e.g. the Battle of High Hill, which is the first to utilize the Fray mechanic).
 



overgeeked

B/X Known World
The zone at the edge of the map that represents the larger forces fighting. PCs who enter that zone take damage from the abstracted combat taking place there.
Oh. Thanks. That's...meh. It sounded more interesting and involved. Like an actual abstracted mass combat thing.
 

pukunui

Legend
Oh. Thanks. That's...meh. It sounded more interesting and involved. Like an actual abstracted mass combat thing.
There's a little bit more to it than that, but yeah ...

Here's an example:
"At the edge of each mapped battlefield encounter and beyond is a region called the Fray. The Fray is an interpretation of the dangers of combat, from clashing combatants to deadly spells. It is also the source of additional threats. Each battlefield encounter explains the Fray’s effects and presents additional dangers that might occur at the end of each round of combat. A battlefield encounter ends when noted in the text."

map-3.02-battle-of-high-hill.png


In the case of the Battle of High Hill: "The 15-foot-wide area marked by the design at the edge of the map represents dozens of clashing combatants. This area and the battlefield beyond the map are difficult terrain. A creature that enters the Fray for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take 7 (2d6) slashing damage from opportunistic foes. The Fray can’t be damaged and remains until the battle ends."

In addition to that: "During this encounter, roll on the High Hill Battlefield Events table each round at initiative count 0. Also consider rolling on the table if a character enters the Fray or otherwise tries to leave the battlefield."

The events table includes four options:

Screenshot 2022-11-25 132035.png
 


It's almost as if the original authors and designers were just using tropes to tell a particular kind of genre story and weren't over concerned with realism or even verisimilitude.


Many of us have very fond memories of Dragonlance because of when it came out [or when we discovered it. And it was very popular. But neither of those facts should be confused with the idea that it actually good in a literary sense. It wasn't. It's a pastiche of Tolkien through a D&D and Mormon lens and relies heavily on cliche. I loved it but we shouldn't ask too much of it.

I'm rereading the Chronicles now. And I can see why 13-year-old me was totally into it.

47-year-old me, on the other hand, finds myself cringing at a lot of the prose. Despite this, it's doing a great job of whetting my appetite for SotDQ.
 

I'm rereading the Chronicles now. And I can see why 13-year-old me was totally into it.

47-year-old me, on the other hand, finds myself cringing at a lot of the prose. Despite this, it's doing a great job of whetting my appetite for SotDQ.
Yeah. Been there, tried to do that. I couldn't. I chalked it up to poor writing (And Dragons of Autumn Twilight is poorly written). I had recalled that the later novels got much better though. And while I suppose that they do improve... it's still not good enough for 50-something-me.

Fast Forward: I recalibrated and decide to try to listen instead to the new Dragons of Deceit, on the theory that surely by now, it will be better written.

Nope.
It's a tough slog.

The YA aesthetic to the narrative doesn't work for me. I'm too old for this now I think. Oh well.
 

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