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D&D General Here's That Official Dragonlance Novels Announcement, Featuring Classic Characters & An Old Logo!

We've known about it for a while due to lawsuits and product placeholder pages on Amazon, but Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have just announced their new Dragonlance series of novels!


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It returns 'the most beloved characters from the original novels', as well as a 'new, strong protagonist'. Previous information from the lawsuit about this series indicated that the first book was to be called Dragons of Deceit, and the second Dragons of Fate. The Amazon placeholder page says the release date is 29th July 2021. Of course, any of that information may have changed.

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Original (classic) DL logo

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Later (Fifth Age) DL logo

The branding refers to "Classic Dragonlance" and uses the older, original (and my favourite) Dragonlance logo. Whether that in some way distinguishes it from any potential WotC Dragonlance materials remains to be seen. The logo changed in the 1990s, and continued to be used throughout the 3E era.

The news was shared on Twitter and on Tracy Hickman's website.

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 PRESS RELEASE


Wilmington, NC – January 25, 2021 – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are pleased to announce a multi-year licensing agreement with Wizards of the Coast to produce a new, three book series of Classic Dragonlance novels.

The new trilogy will return fans to the most beloved characters from the original novels along with introducing a new strong protagonist. The books will be published by Del Rey Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Although a publishing date has not yet been formally set, they anticipate announcing when the first book will be released later this year.

“We couldn’t be happier to be returning to the world we love,” says Margaret Weis. “Dragonlance is what brought Tracy and I together so many years ago. We’re thrilled to be able to do this for existing lovers of Krynn while bringing our beloved characters to a new generation of readers.”

The first Classic Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, was written by Weis and Hickman and published in 1984. Since that time, more than 190 novels have been published in the setting. Weis and Hickman have collaborated on numerous series over the last 30 years including projects set within the world of Classic Dragonlance and outside of it. Two notable series are The Death Gate Cycle and The Darksword Series, both published by Penguin Random House.

“We credit the fans of Dragonlance for making this journey possible,” says Tracy Hickman. “We wrote this series out of our thanks to them for this amazing life-long journey…and from our wish that they join us once more on the road to Solace.”
The license for the series was secured by Weis & Hickman in 2018. Their recent dispute with Wizards of the Coast was resolved at the end of 2020, with all parties pleased to have come to agreement on how best to move forward with the trilogy. All are focused on producing the best series possible and will not comment on the past dispute other than to say it has been resolved.

Watch for additional news from Weis and Hickman about Classic Dragonlance and other projects on the horizon in the coming months.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

These are definitely paperbacks. Look again.

The cover art matches the 1999 WotC illustrated editions.
That's - kind of worse if you are right. It means they have had a big stack of unsold paperbacks sitting in a warehouse for 22 years.
 

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Steel_Wind

Adventurer
That's - kind of worse if you are right. It means they have had a big stack of unsold paperbacks sitting in a warehouse for 22 years.
OR it just means that they had the artwork and text already filed away and simply printed new ones.

The first DragonLance Chronicles have never gone out of print, by the way. You are being needlessly dire in this speculation.
 


If they haven't gone out of print, the 1999 editions might still be "current". I'd be curious to see the edition print history from inside the front.

I rather doubt that a Barnes & Noble retail location has had a whole display rack sitting untouched for twenty years.
 

Steel_Wind

Adventurer
That's not how printing works.
It is when the copyright holder of the work is a corporation and bought the cover art outright for all purposes.

This is not a usual novel, written by an author who retained copyright, with cover art contracted for by the publisher for a limited term with the illustrator. These realities change the underlying ownership of images, text, and copyright.
 

It is when the copyright holder of the work is a corporation and bought the cover art outright for all purposes.

This is not a usual novel, written by an author who retained copyright, with cover art contracted for by the publisher for a limited term with the illustrator. These realities change the underlying ownership of images, text, and copyright.
No, the publishing industry does not do "print on demand" which has only technically been possible in the last couple of years.

What they do is print as many copies of a book as they think they will sell in the next couple of years over a couple of days, then they set the presses to print the next book, then the next, and so on. If a book sells particularly well, or it's still in demand a couple of years later, they will do another print run. If you look inside the cover of a book you will see the year of the print run it was part of, as well as the years of earlier print runs. The books then sit in a warehouse until they are sent to the distributers. It's not "out of print" so long as there are copies sitting in the publisher's warehouse.

Those books where not printed in 2021.
 

After re-reading the first trilogy, then the second, I realized that as an adult I completely loathe Raistlin. He's like a proto-Rick Sanchez.

Who knows, maybe the strong new character is a Kender Kyle Reese? It's also entirely possible that they will have some workaround to the inevitability established early on. Or I could be completely off on my speculation, as is frequently the case.

Canonically they're doomed to fail (unless a Kender). Raistlin and Caramon learnt that the hard way when they went back in time.

Apparently Kender (and maybe also all the younger races post greystone) are able to alter time.

A Mad Gnome who was able to create a functioning time travel device scared Raistlin so much he brutally murdered the guy right in front of Tasslehoff (who was, up to that point, friends with both).

It was one of Raistlins darkest moments, right up there with abandoning Crysania to die in the Abyss.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
No, the publishing industry does not do "print on demand" which has only technically been possible in the last couple of years.

What they do is print as many copies of a book as they think they will sell in the next couple of years over a couple of days, then they set the presses to print the next book, then the next, and so on. If a book sells particularly well, or it's still in demand a couple of years later, they will do another print run. If you look inside the cover of a book you will see the year of the print run it was part of, as well as the years of earlier print runs. The books then sit in a warehouse until they are sent to the distributers. It's not "out of print" so long as there are copies sitting in the publisher's warehouse.

Those books where not printed in 2021.

They also probably weren't printed 22 years ago either...
 

CasvalRemDeikun

Adventurer
These have a banner that was introduced in the 2010 reprinting of the novels(the 25th anniversary of Dragonlance). It uses the cover art of the 2000 reprint with the yellow banner at the top added. These are not decades old by any means.
 

After re-reading the first trilogy, then the second, I realized that as an adult I completely loathe Raistlin. He's like a proto-Rick Sanchez.
You only noticed that second time around?

Although I think he is more like Kylo Ren - someone who is trying far to hard too live up to a Bad Boy image.
Who knows, maybe the strong new character is a Kender Kyle Reese? It's also entirely possible that they will have some workaround to the inevitability established early on. Or I could be completely off on my speculation, as is frequently the case.
I still think Michael Burham is more likely. Probably pursued by K-2000 kender griefers from the far future.
 

These have a banner that was introduced in the 2010 reprinting of the novels(the 25th anniversary of Dragonlance). It uses the cover art of the 2000 reprint with the yellow banner at the top added. These are not decades old by any means.
Seems plausible - 11 years. It would be surprising if paperbacks would be allowed to occupy warehouse space for 22 years without being pulped.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
After re-reading the first trilogy, then the second, I realized that as an adult I completely loathe Raistlin. He's like a proto-Rick Sanchez.
I've been reading the Chronicles to my 7yo at bedtime (we are in the first half of Spring Dawning now, just past Raistlin's arrival at the Library of Palanthas), and it's been interesting to see the kid's opinion of Raistlin change as we go.

Originally, Raistlin was the favorite character - sure, whatever, he's anything but dull - but as of last night he's dropped to almost last place. "Wait - is Raistlin a VILLAIN? Not cool!"

The Chronicles have always been the best representation of D&D in fiction, IMO, demonstrating how alignments can work well, how characters of differing alignments can view each other and still get along, providing narrative rationale for Vancian spellcasting, providing narrative descriptions of saving throws (both successful an unsuccessful saves), etc. If also demonstrates how to build characters based on personality rather than mechanical attributes; the main group has like 4 fighters in it, no two of whom are even remotely alike.

Hmm. I got off track a bit there. Sorry. </soapbox>
 

I've been reading the Chronicles to my 7yo at bedtime (we are in the first half of Spring Dawning now, just past Raistlin's arrival at the Library of Palanthas), and it's been interesting to see the kid's opinion of Raistlin change as we go.

Originally, Raistlin was the favorite character - sure, whatever, he's anything but dull - but as of last night he's dropped to almost last place. "Wait - is Raistlin a VILLAIN? Not cool!"

The Chronicles have always been the best representation of D&D in fiction, IMO, demonstrating how alignments can work well, how characters of differing alignments can view each other and still get along, providing narrative rationale for Vancian spellcasting, providing narrative descriptions of saving throws (both successful an unsuccessful saves), etc. If also demonstrates how to build characters based on personality rather than mechanical attributes; the main group has like 4 fighters in it, no two of whom are even remotely alike.

Hmm. I got off track a bit there. Sorry. </soapbox>
can you describe this build by personality process?
 

What can I say, it was a long time ago and I just thought it was cool to see a fellow set of twins in fantasy fiction.

You only noticed that second time around?

Although I think he is more like Kylo Ren - someone who is trying far to hard too live up to a Bad Boy image.

That's awesome. As a kid Caramon was my favorite. As an adult, it's Tasslehoff and Flint.

I've been reading the Chronicles to my 7yo at bedtime (we are in the first half of Spring Dawning now, just past Raistlin's arrival at the Library of Palanthas), and it's been interesting to see the kid's opinion of Raistlin change as we go.

Originally, Raistlin was the favorite character - sure, whatever, he's anything but dull - but as of last night he's dropped to almost last place. "Wait - is Raistlin a VILLAIN? Not cool!"
 

can you describe this build by personality process?
From my recollection of the books, I don't think he literally means the novels teach the reader how to do it. Rather, than the books give you examples of multiple different single-classed Fighters in the party who are all distinctly different characters/people.

Which isn't an extraordinary thing; you'd expect that from any decent novel. But that in the context of a novel which is showing how D&D game concepts could be part of a fictional world, it also happens to be a nice example for folks who think two Fighters need mechanical differentiation to be distinct as characters.
 

From my recollection of the books, I don't think he literally means the novels teach the reader how to do it. Rather, than the books give you examples of multiple different single-classed Fighters in the party who are all distinctly different characters/people.

Which isn't an extraordinary thing; you'd expect that from any decent novel. But that in the context of a novel which is showing how D&D game concepts could be part of a fictional world, it also happens to be a nice example for folks who think two Fighters need mechanical differentiation to be distinct as characters.
someone should really right that idea but not me as I do not know how to do it.

the mechanical difference is a sort of hard difference that is easy to see, the soft difference takes more skill to do.
 

The story "Wanna Bet?" from Kenders, Gully, Dwarfs and Gnomes: Dragonlance Tales would be perfect for a animated adaptation. It is an almost parody of standar D&D quest, with a lot of comedy what even the unfamiliar watchers who don't know the lore will enjoy and have fun.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
From my recollection of the books, I don't think he literally means the novels teach the reader how to do it. Rather, than the books give you examples of multiple different single-classed Fighters in the party who are all distinctly different characters/people.

Which isn't an extraordinary thing; you'd expect that from any decent novel. But that in the context of a novel which is showing how D&D game concepts could be part of a fictional world, it also happens to be a nice example for folks who think two Fighters need mechanical differentiation to be distinct as characters.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

I am continually baffled by people who require mechanical distinction to create distinct characters. Mechanical distinctions definitely make it EASIER in some ways, but you don't need a DEX penalty to describe your characters walking with a limp, or a menu of fancy tricks to be more descriptive in combat than "I swing my sword."

You don't need a new class or subclass to play a character who wears the armor of an ancient knighthood, inherited from their deceased parent. Or to play a charismatic and competent, if reluctant, leader.

But, as usual, I'm way off topic for the thread I'm commenting in.
 

So I might be reading too much into it, but in this video interview with Joe Manganiello, he may have spilled some beans on a 5e Dragonlance book:


Relevant section begins at 9:20. To summarize, he talks about how he wrote that Dragonlance movie script with a friend, then eventually was hired by Wizards to work as a consultant on Dragonlance. Now, he could be just talking about the novels, but Wizards has a history of higher-profile "consultants" working on their modules (for example, Pendleton Ward on Tomb of Annihilation, also Joe Manganiello on Descent into Avernus, R.A. Salvatore on Out of the Abyss and Storm Kings Thunder, etc.).
 

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