Dragonlance [Let's Read] Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen

I ran the 1st-level section of the adventure yesterday, and it went off pretty smoothly. I ran it pretty much unchanged, other than throwing in a goblin encounter in the temple section to up the stakes a bit. A father and son had been ambushed by goblins nearby, and the father had killed or driven them off, but was badly wounded. They took shelter in the temple, and when the party arrived, they were immediately confronted with how to save the father, at which point the cleric received his godly vision - from Kiri-Jolith, so i was even able to use the art from the adventure - and healed the man. They then tracked the goblins to their lair and defeated them, recovering a box the goblins had taken from the temple which contained a few minor rewards (the gods had placed the box in the temple for them). This let a couple of characters, like the ranger (tracking) and the rogue (unlocking the box) a couple of moments to shine.

But the wizard test and the draconian encounter were played straight, and both went well. The wizard figured out to cast detect magic immediately, while the draconians scared the Abyss out of them when the cleric started to turn to stone from the baaz death throes!
 

log in or register to remove this ad

pukunui

Legend
The DL Classic campaign is still the best form to consume the War of the Lance - you just need to approach it (re)visiting that with great care.
Which version would you recommend? The original 1e DL1-16 series, the three-volume 2e revision, the 15th anniversary revision, or the three-volume 3.5e version?
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Which version would you recommend? The original 1e DL1-16 series, the three-volume 2e revision, the 15th anniversary revision, or the three-volume 3.5e version?
Interesting question. I have never really closely compared and slugged lines with the individual modules (which I still have in print) with the 3 volume combined Classics. There may be some changes other than in terms of layout, but if so -- they are relatively modest and small.

I never trusted the 15th Anniv Revision. That's the one I would look at last. The SAGA stuff was poor.

I have the 3.5 versions in print as well as PDF and there are added maps and material there, especially in DL1 with Haven (Haven has a map!) and that's the version I would want on hand when making changes. I thought that the resolution of the PDFs were not great with the 3.5 versions and I found that to be frustrating at times. While I have the print version -- I really don't look much or work with print these days. I've gone all VTT and have for years, so electronic is always what I actually use these days. I don't like the PDF versions of these particular products all that much though. The resolution and black and white maps in the PDF are annoying.

The 3.5 War of the Lance hardcover from MWP is also very helpful, too. I think both SotDQ DMs as well as anybody who wants to run the classic campaign - or homebrew something else in that era will find that invaluable. It's on DriveThru I believe.

I think a combo of the 3.5 Dragons of Autumn/Winter/Spring and the original DL1-16 or 3 volume Classic consolidation would be great. If you had to choose only one, then 3.5 compilations are the ones to have I guess (but I'd want more than that, tbh).

It isn't mentioned in the review of SotDQ, but DL16 - World of Krynn provides many detailed maps and a 40 page adventure by Michael Gray (a game designer in the heavyweight class) in Dargaard Keep itself; that's longer than most of the prior adventures in the Classic DL1-14 campaign. Moving the campaign to Nightlund and towards Dargaard is the natural place to ultimately move on to after Kalaman and integrate into 5e's SotDQ if you were to try to continue with the campaign after 11th level. The NPC Leedara should provide all the hooks any DM needs to do that should they choose to go that route. That could follow a continuation/combination with the assault on the High Clerist's Tower in DL8 (still my favorite TSR map of all time; TSR put MONEY into that one!). That would benefit greatly from integration with Warriors of Krynn.

There are also some great community creations, revisions and additions to all of this. Squidmaster616's Aesthetic's Guides to the War of the Lance are probably the most complete and are very helpful. They provide detailed additions, deletions and advice on how to change the modules to deal with many of the issues I noted above in my prior post.
 
Last edited:


mamba

Hero
Which version would you recommend? The original 1e DL1-16 series, the three-volume 2e revision, the 15th anniversary revision, or the three-volume 3.5e version?
Depends on what you want. Do you want the original as it was, then the three 2e books, as that is essentially a reprint and cheaper than the 1e series.

If you want an expanded and improved take on it, I’d go with the 3.5 version.

The 15th anniversary I’d skip.
 

Depends on what you want. Do you want the original as it was, then the three 2e books, as that is essentially a reprint and cheaper than the 1e series.

If you want an expanded and improved take on it, I’d go with the 3.5 version.

The 15th anniversary I’d skip.
I would wait till tomorrow, 5e versions might be released then.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
As it would take months for a character, or even news, from the southern part of Southern Ergoth to get all the way to northeastern Solamnia, the best anyone could know of what is happening would be from mid 351 at the latest (when the Silvanesti are just arriving and the Qualinesti aren't even contemplating relocating yet - the latter are still explicitly in their homeland as per their description in the book), and that's only if a DM puts the adventure at the very end of the year.
Looking at the maps and using one day = 24 miles of travel, it would take 12-13 days to cross Ergoth from tip to tip. However long to cross the 20-some mile ocean separating Ergoth from Solamnia, say 1-2 days. Then it's 21 days going cross country at 24-miles per day from Caergoth to Kalaman...and there are also roads, trails, and favorable rivers connecting those two locations. So it would take much, much less than 21 days to cross the distance. All told, considerably less than "months".
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
As part of the DDB advent calendar? I doubt it but that would certainly be a nice surprise!
No, I think he meant on DM's Guild. There have already been many community re-workings of the Classic campaign. Some of those, the aforementioned Aesthetic's Guides to the War of the Lance are now on DM's Guild. Another updated version of the Classic Campaign is promised for DM's Guild by DragonLance Nexus in the Spring of 2023.

To be candid, this material has been out and about in the community for many years already, and the recently updated 4 Aesthetic's Guides to Ansalon During the War of the Lance are very detailed, totalling 323 pages in conversions, additions to and otherwise updating the Classic Campaign to 5e. So if you are looking for that material? It's available now in the 4 Aesthetic's Guides to the War of the Lance on DM's Guild. (Autum/Winter/Spring and Quest guide).
 



Libertad

Hero
Nice to hear that from you @Burnside!

I'll be taking a break from Dragonlance for the time being, but I have another review in the works. As for what it'll be next, all I can say right now is that it's another setting, but 3rd party and...furry.

tY6E9mb.jpg
 

mamba

Hero
I think a combo of the 3.5 Dragons of Autumn/Winter/Spring and the original DL1-16 or 3 volume Classic consolidation would be great. If you had to choose only one, then 3.5 compilations are the ones to have I guess (but I'd want more than that, tbh).
Isn't the 3.5 campaign and expanded version of the DL1-14 / Classic campaign? At least that is my understanding
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
The three compilations in 3.5 (DoAT, DoW & DoS) is DL 1-14, yes in revised format. Not DL15 & 16 though. DL16, in particular, is something that a GM who is running SotDQ and wants to continue the campaign will want.

DL16 is an anthology of adventures -- 40 pages of which is taken up by Dargaard Keep (Soth's haunted citadel). That's the natural place to continue with the campaign, perhaps after some involvement of the PCs in the War as depicted in DL8 is complete.

Also, Battlesystem for AD&D 1st ed was created and released during the publication of DL1-14 for DragonLance. The War of the Lance is depicted in some of the modules using stats from Battlesystem (the original modules provided sheets of counters for Battlesystem, too). It's not compatible with Warriors of Krynn, but it can help shape and guide scenarios you might want to run using WoK in Solamnia after SotDQ is complete. None of those details are in the MWP 3.5 version of DoAT, DoW or DoS, so you would want the original 1st ed modules if you can get em.
 
Last edited:

RainOnTheSun

Explorer
I received Shadow of the Dragon Queen for Christmas, and I'm glad to see it being analyzed. I'm interested in running it, but I have two main concerns: one is that the rate of leveling up feels too high. I understand the desire to move things along more quickly than in older modules, but I feel like there will be times when the players haven't gotten to use all the features of their newest level before they get another level! The other worry isn't really specific to this book, but long rests feel too frequent for the way 5e appears to be balanced between classes. I don't blame the book, it's hard to find reasons to give characters half a dozen fights to the death in a single day, day after day, but the problem is still there. I saw a house rule on this board once to remove short rests and (I think?) triple the uses of abilities that recharge on a short rest, and I might try using that with this campaign.
 

mrswing

Explorer
I was struck how much this campaign resembles a much improved Tyranny of Dragons. It also begins with an attack on a village, there is a search for powerful magic to prohibit the Dragon Queen's army from fulfilling its plans (with similar results), there's a flying castle... But here, for the most part the storyline flows much more logically and you actually get the sense that something big is going on and the powers that be take the matter seriously. In the later chapters there are some missing links (finding the City of Lost Names entrance is neither logical nor cool, the way to enter the Citadel is iffy, and how did mr. average NPC manage to scout out so much info for the PCs???) but solutions can be found for these things. I do wish we had a better idea of the troop sizes of the Dragonarmy and the City of Kalaman though, because now it often feels as if the city just has a rag-tag bunch of hapless defenders while they manage to hold off an unstoppable juggernaut and traipse all around the continent as well. Still, definitely one of the better WOTC narrative campaigns and it has many setpieces that can lead to really memorable sessions.
 

I was struck how much this campaign resembles a much improved Tyranny of Dragons. It also begins with an attack on a village, there is a search for powerful magic to prohibit the Dragon Queen's army from fulfilling its plans (with similar results), there's a flying castle... But here, for the most part the storyline flows much more logically and you actually get the sense that something big is going on and the powers that be take the matter seriously. In the later chapters there are some missing links (finding the City of Lost Names entrance is neither logical nor cool, the way to enter the Citadel is iffy, and how did mr. average NPC manage to scout out so much info for the PCs???) but solutions can be found for these things. I do wish we had a better idea of the troop sizes of the Dragonarmy and the City of Kalaman though, because now it often feels as if the city just has a rag-tag bunch of hapless defenders while they manage to hold off an unstoppable juggernaut and traipse all around the continent as well. Still, definitely one of the better WOTC narrative campaigns and it has many setpieces that can lead to really memorable sessions.

That's a lot of good points. Having run the first section, I do have to say that the big difference here is that, instead of it just being a random village at the start, this campaign goes out of its way to make you care about the village being attacked. My group spent an entire session basically role-playing as they went around Vogler, meeting NPCs and participating in the activities. It's so much of a better starting set up than Tyranny.
 

mrswing

Explorer
That's a lot of good points. Having run the first section, I do have to say that the big difference here is that, instead of it just being a random village at the start, this campaign goes out of its way to make you care about the village being attacked. My group spent an entire session basically role-playing as they went around Vogler, meeting NPCs and participating in the activities. It's so much of a better starting set up than Tyranny.
I absolutely agree. This is like Tyranny finally done (largely) right.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
I received Shadow of the Dragon Queen for Christmas, and I'm glad to see it being analyzed. I'm interested in running it, but I have two main concerns: one is that the rate of leveling up feels too high. I understand the desire to move things along more quickly than in older modules, but I feel like there will be times when the players haven't gotten to use all the features of their newest level before they get another level! The other worry isn't really specific to this book, but long rests feel too frequent for the way 5e appears to be balanced between classes. I don't blame the book, it's hard to find reasons to give characters half a dozen fights to the death in a single day, day after day, but the problem is still there. I saw a house rule on this board once to remove short rests and (I think?) triple the uses of abilities that recharge on a short rest, and I might try using that with this campaign.
I agree with the complaint. My plan is to start the PCs at 3rd level and then only level them once each chapter instead of twice.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top