D&D 5E Is Dragons of Stormwreck Isle Based on the 80s D&D Cartoon?

We've known about the new starter set for D&D, Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, for some time, but we've known precious little about the boxed set. The folks over at comic book.com have a theory, though -- they posit that the adventure is based on the 1980s Dungeons & Dragon cartoon. Looking closely at the cover art (which is very blurry) it looks a lot like Hank the ranger with his energy bow...

We've known about the new starter set for D&D, Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, for some time, but we've known precious little about the boxed set.

The folks over at comic book.com have a theory, though -- they posit that the adventure is based on the 1980s Dungeons & Dragon cartoon. Looking closely at the cover art (which is very blurry) it looks a lot like Hank the ranger with his energy bow, and Diana the acrobat leaping over the dragon's lightning breath, while the one piece of interior art we can see features somebody with a glowing shield -- the signature magic item of Eric the cavalier in the cartoon.

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But that's not the only clue! WotC has been teasing the cartoon in various social media posts over the last couple of weeks, as has D&D Beyond.




The cartoon ran in the 1980s and featured a group of children who found themselves in the magic world of Dungeons & Dragons, and were granted magical items by the mysterious Dungeon Master. Those children became Hank the ranger, Eric the cavalier, Diana the acrobat, Presto the magician, Shelia the thief, and Bobby the barbarian. The show also featured Uni the unicorn, plus the Dungeon Master, the villain Venger, and, of course Tiamat the 5-headed dragon.

dungeons-dragons-cartoon-header.jpg


A couple of years ago, a Brazilian car commercial featured a live action version of the D&D cartoon heroes.

 

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Nathaniel Lee

Adventurer
Diana, the Monk.
Well, by the time that came out we were already well into 3.5E and probably tapering off towards the introduction of 4E (not quite there yet but the wheels were most certainly already turning) so the Acrobat "subclass" was long gone and this was the only thing that made sense for her... but still inaccurate, strictly speaking. I can see how it could work, but I'd prefer an Acrobat subclass, which I don't think would be terribly difficult to put together... in fact, I homebrewed one myself a year or so ago (where I used an awesome modern piece of Diana the Acrobat by an artist named Robson Michel who also did kick ass pieces of Sheila the Thief, the Dungeon Master, and Venger).


(apologies in advance of this post being edited or deleted if I'm not supposed to post homebrew here)
 

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I guess now it would be Diana the "cultivator", an archetype from xianxian. Monk is a word too confusing for preteens.


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The show was relatively violent for that age, the 80's, but after the anime arrived. Exosquad showed more violence, but not explicit. Upon once a time the man showed violence.
 

Monk is a word too confusing for preteens.
Because they clearly couldn't cope with Kung Fu Panda?

It's not a matter of "confusion", it's a matter of the appropriateness of the whole class. And it might suit WotC to broaden the character concept ahead of 5.5, perhaps moving to dropping misused culturally specific terminology like "chi". It doesn't have to be an Asian stereotype.

An "acrobat" subclass for monk might be a more interesting direction. After all, Diana does not sneak attack, pick locks or wear leather armour.

Paul's quick run on a monk-acrobat subclass:

Level 3:

Acrobat training. You are proficient in acrobatics and performance. If you are already proficent in these skills, you can choose different skills instead. You can add your Charisma bonus to your armour class.

Staff Fighting. When you use a monk ability that specifies an unarmed strike you can strike with your staff instead. At any time you can choose whether your staff attack counts as a weapon attack or unarmed strike. [note: staff is a monk weapon].

Sure footed. Whenever you would fail a skill check using acrobatics you may expend one focus point to reroll the check with advantage.

Level 6:

Expert Acrobat. You add double your proficiency bonus whenever you make an acrobatics skill check.

Improved Step of the Wind. Whenever you use your Step of the Wind feature whilst holding a pole or staff you gain both Disengage and Dash. Your jump a distance equal to your total movement for the turn, including your dash action if appropriate. You can change direction and/or take an attack action mid-jump.


Level 11:

Reliable Acrobat. Whenever you make an acrobatics ability check you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10. In addition, your Step of the Wind ability now costs no Focus points to use.

Improved Evasion. You have advantage on all Dexterity saving throws.

Level 17:

Inspirational Acrobatics. Whenever you use your your action to make an acrobatics or performance check you recover one Focus point. You cannot exceed your maximum value.
 
Last edited:

teitan

Legend
To add to the Cavalier and Acrobat debate, the series even debuted before the original Unearthed Arcana was even published, as the series was released in 1983 and UA debuted in 1985. While some was reprints of material from Dragon Magazine, they were printed after the animated series had begun development having been published in 1982-1983, the same year that the animated series debuted.
 

To add to the Cavalier and Acrobat debate, the series even debuted before the original Unearthed Arcana was even published, as the series was released in 1983 and UA debuted in 1985. While some was reprints of material from Dragon Magazine, they were printed after the animated series had begun development having been published in 1982-1983, the same year that the animated series debuted.
Both Cavalier and Thief-Acrobat where Dragon reprints, and as already mentioned Gygax was involved in the cartoon.
 

teitan

Legend
Both Cavalier and Thief-Acrobat where Dragon reprints, and as already mentioned Gygax was involved in the cartoon.
Oh look, I said that about Dragon and even included the year they were published. 82 and 83. The show, according to Mark Evanier, didn’t start as a D&D show though and Gygax was brought in later when they bought the rights. So yes, he was involved but it was late into the development of the series.

 

Its been so long since I've seen the show, but I don't remember the kids meeting any dwarves, elves, halflings, or gnomes. They did meet some care bears though . . .
Most of the races in the cartoon are bad guys. Lolth was in an episode, which implies the existence of elves but I can't remember them actually meeting elves.

I'm pretty sure there was an episode where they meet non-human kids and they have a whole conversation about one the kids being a 74 year old child. You never see their ears but their elder is named something super elf-ish like "Alfar," implying that they could be wild elves.
 


kapars

Adventurer
Because they clearly couldn't cope with Kung Fu Panda?

It's not a matter of "confusion", it's a matter of the appropriateness of the whole class. And it might suit WotC to broaden the character concept ahead of 5.5, perhaps moving to dropping misused culturally specific terminology like "chi". It doesn't have to be an Asian stereotype.

An "acrobat" subclass for monk might be a more interesting direction. After all, Diana does not sneak attack, pick locks or wear leather armour.

Paul's quick run on a monk-acrobat subclass:

Level 3:

Acrobat training. You are proficient in acrobatics and performance. If you are already proficent in these skills, you can choose different skills instead. You can add your Charisma bonus to your armour class.

Staff Fighting. When you use a monk ability that specifies an unarmed strike you can strike with your staff instead. At any time you can choose whether your staff attack counts as a weapon attack or unarmed strike. [note: staff is a monk weapon].

Sure footed. Whenever you would fail a skill check using acrobatics you may expend one focus point to reroll the check with advantage.

Level 6:

Expert Acrobat. You add double your proficiency bonus whenever you make an acrobatics skill check.

Improved Step of the Wind. Whenever you use your Step of the Wind feature whilst holding a pole or staff you gain both Disengage and Dash. Your jump a distance equal to your total movement for the turn, including your dash action if appropriate. You can change direction and/or take an attack action mid-jump.


Level 11:

Reliable Acrobat. Whenever you make an acrobatics ability check you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10. In addition, your Step of the Wind ability now costs no Focus points to use.

Improved Evasion. You have advantage on all Dexterity saving throws.

Level 17:

Inspirational Acrobatics. Whenever you use your your action to make an acrobatics or performance check you recover one Focus point. You cannot exceed your maximum value.
I like it!
 

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