Dragonlance Free Monstrous Compendium Volume II Includes Dragon Highlord Verminaard

Over on D&D Beyond you can grab a copy of Dragonlance Creatures, the second digital official Monstrous Compendium volume. This volume includes entries from the original Dragonlance Chronicles storyline of the 1980s, such as Dragon Highlord Verminaard (at CR 17!) and his dragon, Ember, along with the Forest Master (the unicorn from Darken Wood) and others.


WotC did the same with Spelljammer, with Volume 1 of the Monstrous Compendium.

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mamba

Legend
Those events happened in the novel; it does not occur in the module.
"As Ember leaps from the wall, Flamestrike pauses in her advance. Confusion shakes her as she looks from the children to the great engine of death above her. Suddenly, her dim eyes take on clear focus as she makes a decision.
Curling her long neck upward, Flamestrike sends forth a horrifying spout of fire, straight at the flying dragon and the Dragon Highlord."

from the module...
 

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Steel_Wind

Legend
"As Ember leaps from the wall, Flamestrike pauses in her advance. Confusion shakes her as she looks from the children to the great engine of death above her. Suddenly, her dim eyes take on clear focus as she makes a decisio
Curling her long neck upward, Flamestrike sends forth a horrifying spout of fire, straight at the flying dragon and the Dragon Highlord."

from the module...
Yes, they both go bouncing out of the scene and Flamestrike dies off-camera. But Vermi doesn't fall - and he's not hurt badly in the end - neither is Ember.
 


If we're going by DL1 or DoAT, Ember is likely dead, or at best badly wounded and still in combat with Flamestrike at this point. And Verminaard hurt from that attack and subsequent fall.
Actually the module says they barely survive. Them having to stay behind and heal is why the heroes get a head start.

The actual encounters with Ember and Verminaard in the modules are separate and can involve instantly killing Ember, and Verminaard in a very chaotic fight you can end by pushing him into a hole.
 

Have you looked at the new Verminaard -- when paired with Ember?

He's immune to fire. Which means Ember is going to breathe fire all around Verminaard in combat, doing 16d6, while Vermi is immune and kicking your ass, blinding you, etc..

Together, they are a daunting pair of combatants, far beyond the party in DL1-4.
Yes, together they are dealdly, though I will note that Embers breathweapon does more than fire damage IIRC. However, you only referenced V. So that is what I responded to. It would still be a doable fight if you get flamestrike assistance like the heroes do in the book
 

dave2008

Legend
Yes, they both go bouncing out of the scene and Flamestrike dies off-camera. But Vermi doesn't fall - and he's not hurt badly in the end - neither is Ember.
Actually, according to @MonsterEnvy they both barely survive in the module:

Actually the module says they barely survive. Them having to stay behind and heal is why the heroes get a head start.

The actual encounters with Ember and Verminaard in the modules are separate and can involve instantly killing Ember, and Verminaard in a very chaotic fight you can end by pushing him into a hole.

So it looks like per the original adventures @Uni-the-Unicorn! was correct in think Ember and Verminaard should be tackled separately.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Actually, according to @MonsterEnvy they both barely survive in the module:

So it looks like per the original adventures @Uni-the-Unicorn! was correct in think Ember and Verminaard should be tackled separately.
The point I was making in my original reply was a simple one: what people recall about DragonLance is overwhelmed by their recollection from the novels, not the modules. That is "everything wrong about DragonLance in two sentences".

As for the narrative hand-waving of what happened to Verminaard offscreen - all of that occurs off-screen. The PCs have no real way of knowing what occurred. Flamestrike is just a Maguffin NPC to provide the PCs with plot armor at the end of DL2 as to why they don't get incinerated by a massive red dragon.

The final confrontation with Verminaard in DL4 -- (if inded it is final, even then it is left as an obscure death) -- is up to the DM to determine. Yes, Vermi and Ember together are overwhelmingly powerful and will wipe out a group of 7th level adventurers; that was my initial point above.

Anyways, look -- I'm all for reviving the Classic DL Campaign and running it in 5e for players who have their own PCs, and in a manner which is open enough so that the turns and twists the path of the AP takes are in the hands of the players and the DM -- and not in the hands of a pair of novel writers or module designers. There is a LOT that is good and great about DragonLance and its larger narrative tale. It added immeasurably to gaming and D&D and that heritage lives on to this very day. It's just that the novels left such an indelible impression (especially Dragons of Autumn Twilight) that it's really hard to free your mind of the mental chains the novels create. It's not simply necessary to break those chains -- I would argue that it is vital.

In the end, those mental chains are the REAL BBEG in any Classic DL campaign. Win that fight? You win a great campaign for you and your players.
 
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dave2008

Legend
The point I was making in my original reply was a simple one: what people recall about DragonLance is overwhelmed by their rcollection from the novels, not the modules. That is "everything wrong about DragonLance in two sentences".
I don't think that was clear from your statements.
 



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