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, 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.

Screen Shot 2022-02-17 at 11.15.09 PM.png

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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Almost off-topic. There is a new videogame imitating the spirit of 80's cartoons. I guess this is an example about how would be a new D&D cartoon.


My idea is is each season with a different group (allowing to introduce no-human heroes: gnomes, aasimars, genasi), and I suggest in some episodes to add mash-up version of other D&D franchises, even when this was forgotten, for example in one they go to Gamma World and return to the "Realm".

Maybe the "Realm" is a nexus demiplane with planar gates to other worlds.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
I'm probably in the minority here, but I think it's going to be an homage rather than a full "reboot" into TTRPG that some folks are suggesting.

An homage in that the box may contain some pre-generated characters, that are essentially the characters from the TV show. And include some locations and enemies that mimic areas/adventures from the show. But I don't really expect the actual Venger, Dungeon Master (or much less, Tiamat herself) to make appearances. Maybe little hints or characters that mimic them in some ways.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Almost off-topic. There is a new videogame imitating the spirit of 80's cartoons. I guess this is an example about how would be a new D&D cartoon.


My idea is is each season with a different group (allowing to introduce no-human heroes: gnomes, aasimars, genasi), and I suggest in some episodes to add mash-up version of other D&D franchises, even when this was forgotten, for example in one they go to Gamma World and return to the "Realm".

Maybe the "Realm" is a nexus demiplane with planar gates to other worlds.

I looked this game up hoping for Shadows of Mystara, and got this instead... not my forte.

1649870399331.png
 

Undrave

Hero
I'm probably in the minority here, but I think it's going to be an homage rather than a full "reboot" into TTRPG that some folks are suggesting.

An homage in that the box may contain some pre-generated characters, that are essentially the characters from the TV show. And include some locations and enemies that mimic areas/adventures from the show. But I don't really expect the actual Venger, Dungeon Master (or much less, Tiamat herself) to make appearances. Maybe little hints or characters that mimic them in some ways.
Maybe the magical items too.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm probably in the minority here, but I think it's going to be an homage rather than a full "reboot" into TTRPG that some folks are suggesting.

An homage in that the box may contain some pre-generated characters, that are essentially the characters from the TV show. And include some locations and enemies that mimic areas/adventures from the show. But I don't really expect the actual Venger, Dungeon Master (or much less, Tiamat herself) to make appearances. Maybe little hints or characters that mimic them in some ways.
That was what I thought when the box art first leaked, and people said it looked like the cartoon characters.

Then D&D social media started dropping cartoon references left, right, and center. Then new carton merchandise started being announced, such ad the Venger Halloween mask. Then the Dungeon Master is coming to Idle Champions. Now I suspect we are seeing the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger marketing putsch.
 

This can't be only a revival of the D&D cartoon, maybe in Disney+, but so many references to the 80's show can't be only a reboot or spin-off. Here the goal is to revive the merchancising about the old show

A hypothesis could be really DM's pupils returned to home, and later they arrived to the Realm by a different way, because they didn't want to ride in a amusement park atraction ever again.

A partnership with Capcom for a new videogame? Today the market is not so interested into a third of "shadow over Mystara".
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
This can't be only a revival of the D&D cartoon, maybe in Disney+, but so many references to the 80's show can't be only a reboot or spin-off. Here the goal is to revive the merchancising about the old show

I'm fairly certain that D&D/Hasbro have a pretty good, concrete contract with Paramount Pictures, and I doubt either party is interested in changing that. Streaming is always possible, but it'd go to Paramount+.

That was what I thought when the box art first leaked, and people said it looked like the cartoon characters.

Then D&D social media started dropping cartoon references left, right, and center. Then new carton merchandise started being announced, such ad the Venger Halloween mask. Then the Dungeon Master is coming to Idle Champions. Now I suspect we are seeing the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger marketing putsch.

Eh, maybe. Thing is a matter of tone to me. The box, and images, look mostly like standard 5E "slay the monster" fare. The tv show is... much less violent? Like there's violence, but it's a bit more PG than PG-13 like most D&D is. And the adventure itself, plus the image of the dragons fighting, looks more like generic D&D like Phandelver than the cartoon. If Venger was on the cover I'd be more inclined to agree, but this doesn't seem like more than an homage to me.

The other stuff just seems like easy branding for the D&D social media and merchandise team to leverage. I'm surprised they weren't using it years ago (and they kind of were).
 

Hasbro and Paramount had got a partnership deal, and this would end soon, but maybe the agree an "open relation". We don't know what could be happening behind the curtains. I love to tell crazy theories about future mergers and aquisitions, but we should be prudent. Only I dare to say 2022 will be a really busy year for entertaiment industry.

Maybe Hasbro bought the trademark of the show. And a licencing with Warner could a rebooted version of "Pirates of the Dark Waters" to become a D&D setting.
 

Rikka66

Adventurer
This can't be only a revival of the D&D cartoon, maybe in Disney+, but so many references to the 80's show can't be only a reboot or spin-off. Here the goal is to revive the merchancising about the old show
Not only can it be that, but it could be even less than that.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Not only can it be that, but it could be even less than that.
It could just entirely be Gen-X nostalgia baiting.

I think many folks my age are in disbelief that that's all it could be because the marketing world mostly seems to skip over us in the nostalgia baiting game, going right from baiting Boomers to baiting Millennials. But that could be all it is - a way to market some things to us olds with money that we'll buy. I mean, have I looked at the D&D cartoon blanket that they have out there and thought "I should buy that"? Yes - yes I have. Despite having no need for another fleece blanket. I'm only slightly ashamed to admit it.
 

Rikka66

Adventurer
I think many folks my age are in disbelief that that's all it could be because the marketing world mostly seems to skip over us in the nostalgia baiting game, going right from baiting Boomers to baiting Millennials. But that could be all it is - a way to market some things to us olds with money that we'll buy. I mean, have I looked at the D&D cartoon blanket that they have out there and thought "I should buy that"? Yes - yes I have. Despite having no need for another fleece blanket. I'm only slightly ashamed to admit it.
Not sure I agree with your first point. 80's nostalgia was in vogue for quite a while. It feels like it's less about Gen-X and more about them rushing through the 90's nostalgia fad.

I think there's something to it, maybe even as far as a Netflix reboot. I get surprised pretty often to discover they have some cartoon that's on it's fourth season now I didn't know existed. But a Halloween mask and a social media post with a picture of Dungeon Master....I don't consider that slam dunk evidence that they are all in Eric the Cavalier as the next Optimus Prime.
 





It is not only nostalgy, but also parents and uncles who want to share their favorite memories from their childhood to the next generation.

There is a project of a M.TG show, but they are in the phase of comingsoon.

Theorically a new D&D cartoon should be in Paramount, but also we see new cartoons of Transformers in Netflix.

And we can't ask because you can bet for the NDA.

Hasbro could recover old and totally forgotten franchises, because these allow higher risks to test, and after to be translated to other IP.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm fairly certain that D&D/Hasbro have a pretty good, concrete contract with Paramount Pictures, and I doubt either party is interested in changing that. Streaming is always possible, but it'd go to Paramount+.



Eh, maybe. Thing is a matter of tone to me. The box, and images, look mostly like standard 5E "slay the monster" fare. The tv show is... much less violent? Like there's violence, but it's a bit more PG than PG-13 like most D&D is. And the adventure itself, plus the image of the dragons fighting, looks more like generic D&D like Phandelver than the cartoon. If Venger was on the cover I'd be more inclined to agree, but this doesn't seem like more than an homage to me.

The other stuff just seems like easy branding for the D&D social media and merchandise team to leverage. I'm surprised they weren't using it years ago (and they kind of were).
As @bedir than points out, Hasbro and WotC have been somewhat fluid about production partners. I think they didn't previously because they weren't doing anything with the property. Now, that seems to be changing
 


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