Dragonlance Kaz The Minotaur Comes to 5e For His 35th Anniversary

In late 2022, Dragonlance Nexus and Richard A. Knaak announced a new project, the return of Richard A. Knaak’s signature Dragonlance character, Kaz the Minotaur. On the weekend of December 16/17, the project, with a classic Jeff Easley cover (used with permission), will be available on the DMsGuild as PDF and print-on-demand options. Over the years, I’ve spoken with Richard A. Knaak, the author of the Dragonlance novels The Legend of Huma, Kaz the Minotaur, and more, about his RPGs and books as well as reviewed his projects. To promote this sourcebook and short story, Richard answered a few of my questions about Kaz and his 35th anniversary, Dragonlance Nexus, and his Dragonlance homage novels, Rex Draconis.

The Journals of Kaz the Minotaur The Lost Colony.jpg

EGG EMBRY (EGG): I’m excited about this news so I want to jump in! You’re writing new Kaz The Minotaur material for 5e, correct? What can you share about The Journals of Kaz the Minotaur: The Kazelati [Lost Colony]?
RICHARD A. KNAAK (RICHARD)
: Well, I changed it to the [The Journals of Kaz the Minotaur:] Lost Colony because I realized that I needed to start off where we left Kaz and friends after Land of the Minotaurs. This is the first step toward what would eventually become the Kazelati, which I hope to develop in future adventures. Bare in mind, none of this is official canon, merely my own take on what happened.

EGG: What can fans expect in terms of 5e content and lore? Does it tie into the short story you’re writing for this book? Do you know how many pages it’ll be?
RICHARD
: Not sure on the overall length, but the adventure will be tied to the story, especially the locale. This was done so that I could include the story and I think it’s turned out well. I’m working with the Dragonlance Nexus, a great team devoted to the saga. They’re putting the adventure part together.

EGG: This will include history and lore by you, correct?
RICHARD
: There will be history and lore based on my previous writings, plus other material gathered by the team. Should be extensive.

EGG: For those that do not know the significance of Kaz The Minotaur to the history of Dragonlance, can you talk about the character, his story, and what you enjoy most about him?
RICHARD
: Kaz was a slave soldier freed from his captives by the knight Huma. He swore an oath to fight beside Huma and, in many ways, proved himself even more honorable than most knights. He was one of those who rode with Huma into the battle against Takhisis, and survived to mourn his human friend. Kaz swore to follow the example of honor Huma had set.

The Legend of Huma.jpg

EGG: The Legend of Huma with the first appearance of Kaz debuted 35 years ago in 1988. Kaz went on to appear in several standalone novels and short stories plus his own Dragonlance trilogy, all written by you. Did you think when you created Kaz that he’d always be a part of Dragonlance and your career?
RICHARD
: I did not. He was, in some ways, the culmination of what I’d been developing with the minotaurs, but I never imagined that he’d become so iconic. He is definitely one of my favorite creations.

EGG: This book is being produced in partnership with The Dragonlance Nexus for the DMsGuild. How did this project come about?
RICHARD
: I’ve been looking for a way to return to Kaz and I heard that the setting had become available for RPG modules. I discovered that a certain amount of fiction could be included and that was how the idea began. I spoke with members of the Nexus, some of whom I’ve known for decades, and their incredible work on their previous offerings made them the perfect people to help realize this project to fruition.

EGG: A few years ago, you started a new book series that is both an original series and an homage of sorts to Dragonlance, Rex Draconis. What is that series about? How many books have you written so far?
RICHARD
: Tiberos is a world once ruled by the vast Darnathian Empire, now long gone, but with a legacy. There are several gods, some of whom are very dangerous, and, above them, legends say that there is a great dragon keeping them in line. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t conflict between them and its said that the destruction of the moon, Drak, hundreds of years ago, is one result. However, the Shatter --- the fiery remnants spread throughout the heavens --- sometimes descend very close. These periods are called the Dragon Moon, and magic and darkness will spread during these times. Another Dragon Moon is beginning, and some characters are trying to bring back Gnarfang, God of Chaos, while others are hunting an ancient artifact said to be capable of slaying the great dragon, Rex Draconis. Very much in the tradition of Dragonlance, and influenced by it. Minotaurs play a big part, including as primary characters. There are five out, the first two short novels now collected as RISE OF THE DRAGON MOON. So, four volumes now with one more to come.

Kaz the Minotaur.jpg

EGG: The Rex Draconis prose novels were converted into a setting for 5e and Pathfinder 1e by yourself, Phil Beckwith, and Micah Watt. Due to other publishing and work commitments, the rights to this have reverted to you. What’s next with the Rex Draconis RPG?
RICHARD
: I intend to have more of those released with new partners at some point. No details yet.

EGG: Can’t wait to learn more about that. Beyond The Journals of Kaz the Minotaur: The Lost Colony, what else are you working on?
RICHARD
: Working on BLACK CITY ANGEL, the fourth novel in my critically-acclaimed urban fantasy series, BLACK CITY SAINT. Then, it’s on to starting a new saga tied to my Dragonrealm, THE RAVAGED EMPIRE, not to mention finishing the Dragon Moon saga.

EGG: Thanks for talking with me! Where can fans learn more about your project and follow you online?
RICHARD
: Follow me on my Facebook pro page. Check out my site and also look for me in the Dragonlance Nexus and Dragonlance FB groups, especially.

Land of the Minotaurs.jpg

The Journals of Kaz the Minotaur: Lost Colony from Dragonlance Nexus and Richard A. Knaak

Available via the DMsGuild on December 16/17 2023


Egg Embry participates in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, Noble Knight Games’ Affiliate Program, and is an Amazon Associate. These programs provide advertising fees by linking to DriveThruRPG, Noble Knight Games, and Amazon.
 
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Egg Embry

Egg Embry


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At this point, I have a hard time seeing all of these appearances as anything but nostalgia bait.
You could also look at it as people making stuff that some people have never stopped liking. The DL Nexus folks have been consistently doing what they could for Dragonlance fans for years.

And as much crap as WotC gets, they absolutely deserve credit for allowing this kind of stuff to be made, sold, and promoted.
 


At this point, I have a hard time seeing all of these appearances as anything but nostalgia bait.
What does that even mean? This has a short story by the author of “Kaz the Minotaur” with an adventure and game content by DL Nexus which has been making DL content for decades. This is clearly a work of passion for the creators. You should read / research before making ignorant comments?
 




Quartz

Hero
Many years ago I found a fanfiction which was a blatant plagiarism of one of his short stories and emailed him about it. He was gracious enough to reply.
 


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