Dragonlance Lunar Sorcery: A Preview from Shadow of the Dragon Queen

WotC has posted a preview from the upcoming Shadow of the Dragon Queen on D&D Beyond, diving into the Lunary Sorcery subclass.

lunar-socerer-featured.jpg


Traditionally magic in Krynn has been represented by the Wizards of High Sorcery, who owe their allegiance to one of the black, red, or white moons (and gods) of magic. Sorcerers weren't around in D&D when Dragonlance was created.

Lunar Sorcerers also draw power from the moons, based on the moon's phase (Full, New, Crescent). You choose the phase each day (though at later levels you can do so more often). The subclass gets a lot of spells (15 additional spells!)


 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


log in or register to remove this ad

The new Mages of High Sorcery is a good solution to recontextualizing Dragonlance’s arcane magic in 5e. I was never a huge fan of the Summer of Chaos aftermath—if you thought that the Spellplague was drastic, the Age of Mortals in DL was an order of magnitude more severe. All gods gone, magic revamped, new kaiju dragons ruling the lands, etc. It’s almost a different setting. The 3.5 era compromise between the original and the SAGA Dragonlance was okay, but the setting lost its focus.

I don’t see a need to create elaborate world events to justify new classes. WotC’s approach with this new take on DL is good because it focuses on the core Dragonlance experience (the big war) without needlessly complicating things by trying to explain sorcery vs wizardry vs warlocks. They’re all mages, and mages typically belong to an arcane order called Mages of High Sorcery. The moons can influence the magic of mages.

See here's the thing, as a game setting at least, I actually prefer Age of Mortals. Strongly in fact. At least for the lore (agreed on the SAGA rules, the 3.5 campaign setting set post War of Souls is great though). I actually frequently defend it on these boards fairly regularly, and while I am not exactly trying to change anyone's opinion, I do feel AoM gets quite an unfair reputation.

Frankly as novels go none of the Dragonlance books are objectively great, even the original trilogy. I enjoy them, have fond memories of them, and the world of Krynn is by far my favorite setting, but in terms of actual quality? I think they are all average at best. Honestly, I don't even think they are even Weis and Hickman's best books either (I prefer Death Gate cycle), but again, I still enjoy them all fondly and love the setting. Well, except the latest book, Dragons of Deceit is utter garbage and frankly is precisely what I'm concerned the 5e game books are going to end up being, especially given the spelljammer release.

That all said I realize my preferences aren't perhaps the typical dragonlance fan. The point I am trying to make is to caution not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, by dismissing AoM off wholesale as "bad". There are a number of elements that I would argue make the setting far more dynamic and nuanced, which is something the War of the Lance era never really managed to capture. The books about the draconians of Teyr, pretty much every kender character except Tasslehoff, and Khelendros/Skie are all VERY good highlights and I'd not be so quick to dismiss them outright.

Relevant to the present conversation, I actually think the tension between the primal sorcerers and the wizards is one of these nuances that AoM provides because neither side is objectively wrong. The sorcerers are legitimately a threat to the very world itself with upsetting the vague "balance" of the world, just as the wizards are an organization of religious zealots that essentially kidnap children and seeks to monopolize Arcane magic. People even make the same criticism of Jedi in Star Wars and they are correct for doing so. I mean heck, Star Wars and Dragonlance are basically the same genre, with the former just being set in space with technology instead of magic and dragons.

Sure you can accomplish this same sort thing by tacking on bards, sorcerers, and warlocks in the the Towers and retcon their organization's name and then use the renegades to sort of serve a similar narrative purpose, but I personally prefer having the second sort of "official" faction/organization and if I was handed the keys to the setting the very first thing I'd do is make it canon they rebuilt the sorcerer academy as a "counterbalance" to the wizards just as the mystics are to the clerics.

I also like the additions of the Legion of Steel and the creation of the draconian nation of Teyr for the same reason: I feel it adds more options for conflict generation for a DM than just reverting the world back to the black and white of "rawr draconians, Takhisis, and her knights are bad!"

Related but likely a hot take for the fandom: killing off Takhisis and making Paladine mortal was the single greatest thing W&H or any of the other authors did for the setting. It fits the overarching themes of the AoM well and forces those who'd want to play in it to actually have to think about what and who they want their overarching stories and villains to be. I like our angry five-headed dragon queen as much as the next guy, but frankly I can't help but feel like this setting is too focused on her.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Related but likely a hot take for the fandom: killing off Takhisis and making Paladine mortal was the single greatest thing W&H or any of the other authors did for the setting. It fits the overarching themes of the AoM well and forces those who'd want to play in it to actually have to think about what and who they want their overarching stories and villains to be. I like our angry five-headed dragon queen as much as the next guy, but frankly I can't help but feel like this setting is too focused on her.
I thought that development was amazing. I loved the fact that she never thought Paladine would sacrifice his godhood because she never would, truly a great moment.
 

See here's the thing, as a game setting at least, I actually prefer Age of Mortals. Strongly in fact. At least for the lore (agreed on the SAGA rules, the 3.5 campaign setting set post War of Souls is great though). I actually frequently defend it on these boards fairly regularly, and while I am not exactly trying to change anyone's opinion, I do feel AoM gets quite an unfair reputation.

Frankly as novels go none of the Dragonlance books are objectively great, even the original trilogy. I enjoy them, have fond memories of them, and the world of Krynn is by far my favorite setting, but in terms of actual quality? I think they are all average at best. Honestly, I don't even think they are even Weis and Hickman's best books either (I prefer Death Gate cycle), but again, I still enjoy them all fondly and love the setting. Well, except the latest book, Dragons of Deceit is utter garbage and frankly is precisely what I'm concerned the 5e game books are going to end up being, especially given the spelljammer release.

That all said I realize my preferences aren't perhaps the typical dragonlance fan. The point I am trying to make is to caution not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, by dismissing AoM off wholesale as "bad". There are a number of elements that I would argue make the setting far more dynamic and nuanced, which is something the War of the Lance era never really managed to capture. The books about the draconians of Teyr, pretty much every kender character except Tasslehoff, and Khelendros/Skie are all VERY good highlights and I'd not be so quick to dismiss them outright.

Relevant to the present conversation, I actually think the tension between the primal sorcerers and the wizards is one of these nuances that AoM provides because neither side is objectively wrong. The sorcerers are legitimately a threat to the very world itself with upsetting the vague "balance" of the world, just as the wizards are an organization of religious zealots that essentially kidnap children and seeks to monopolize Arcane magic. People even make the same criticism of Jedi in Star Wars and they are correct for doing so. I mean heck, Star Wars and Dragonlance are basically the same genre, with the former just being set in space with technology instead of magic and dragons.

Sure you can accomplish this same sort thing by tacking on bards, sorcerers, and warlocks in the the Towers and retcon their organization's name and then use the renegades to sort of serve a similar narrative purpose, but I personally prefer having the second sort of "official" faction/organization and if I was handed the keys to the setting the very first thing I'd do is make it canon they rebuilt the sorcerer academy as a "counterbalance" to the wizards just as the mystics are to the clerics.

I also like the additions of the Legion of Steel and the creation of the draconian nation of Teyr for the same reason: I feel it adds more options for conflict generation for a DM than just reverting the world back to the black and white of "rawr draconians, Takhisis, and her knights are bad!"

Related but likely a hot take for the fandom: killing off Takhisis and making Paladine mortal was the single greatest thing W&H or any of the other authors did for the setting. It fits the overarching themes of the AoM well and forces those who'd want to play in it to actually have to think about what and who they want their overarching stories and villains to be. I like our angry five-headed dragon queen as much as the next guy, but frankly I can't help but feel like this setting is too focused on her.
That's basically why I wish WotC had gone in the direction of just pushing the timeline forward and writing material for the AoM. The built-in DL audience would have probably been more or less just as likely to buy it to see what happens next and the people who aren't die-hard DL fans would find a setting that is (imo) a lot more flexible to run something in. I enjoyed the War of the Lance stories more than the later books, but the later books would make a better game product if that makes sense.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
That's basically why I wish WotC had gone in the direction of just pushing the timeline forward and writing material for the AoM. The built-in DL audience would have probably been more or less just as likely to buy it to see what happens next and the people who aren't die-hard DL fans would find a setting that is (imo) a lot more flexible to run something in. I enjoyed the War of the Lance stories more than the later books, but the later books would make a better game product if that makes sense.
Absolutely. Moving the storyline forward would solve all my issues.
 



Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
"And I don't like metaplots, which is why I'm glad WotC hasn't used them since the publishing of 5e".
No. Metaplots are bad for settings and the hobby. You can have the exact same stories that you like having with metaplots as you can without them (the Eberron approach). Even good metaplots are bad for the settings they're made for (they give more homework for newer players/DMs).

Metaplots are bad for the game. If you like the stories that come with them, read the books. The setting's canonical timeline doesn't have to advance for those stories to exist. WotC can publish War of the Lance-era Dragonlance setting/adventure books until the ends of time with all stuff after the War of the Lance being non-canon, and the novels will still exist and you'll still get the same enjoyment from them.

Metaplots are bad even when the stories they make are good. There is no advantage to having a metaplot that isn't possible without one. There is no reason to have them. And they often ruin the settings they're a part of.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
No. Metaplots are bad for settings and the hobby. You can have the exact same stories that you like having with metaplots as you can without them (the Eberron approach). Even good metaplots are bad for the settings they're made for (they give more homework for newer players/DMs).

Metaplots are bad for the game. If you like the stories that come with them, read the books. The setting's canonical timeline doesn't have to advance for those stories to exist. WotC can publish War of the Lance-era Dragonlance setting/adventure books until the ends of time with all stuff after the War of the Lance being non-canon, and the novels will still exist and you'll still get the same enjoyment from them.

Metaplots are bad even when the stories they make are good. There is no advantage to having a metaplot that isn't possible without one. There is no reason to have them. And they often ruin the settings they're a part of.
The metaplots of 2e are what drew me to gaming and my love of lore. That's a good reason right there as far as I'm concerned.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
The metaplots of 2e are what drew me to gaming and my love of lore. That's a good reason right there as far as I'm concerned.
Out of curiosity, how often did your games actually follow the metaplots? Did you only use official adventures? Did you ever have to change a homebrew adventure because the metaplot of the setting changed?
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I like the stories.
You can have those just as easily without metaplots.

I know there haven't been a lot of D&D novels lately, but that's a different issue. Be upset about them not making novels that often. Not about the metaplots being removed.
I like being able to play at different points in a setting's history and having that matter.
You can do that without official metaplots. I've done that. My Descent into Avernus campaign happened "canonically" 30 years after my table's Waterdeep Dragon Heist-Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign.
I like being rewarded for doing my research (I'm a history enthusiast by education, and an educator by trade).
You can also do that without metaplots.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
You can have those just as easily without metaplots.

I know there haven't been a lot of D&D novels lately, but that's a different issue. Be upset about them not making novels that often. Not about the metaplots being removed.

You can do that without official metaplots. I've done that. My Descent into Avernus campaign happened "canonically" 30 years after my table's Waterdeep Dragon Heist-Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign.

You can also do that without metaplots.
For your first point, it would be nice if the stories continued through novels, but as you say that isn't really happening so that option is closed to me.

The problem with your second point is that your history is entirely based on your own table's history; it has no outside perspective and requires that you have several campaigns under your belt to have meaning, which then only has meaning to you and your group.

As to your third point, what research can you do if the world exists in (from a perspective outside your own table) perpetual stasis?
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
For your first point, it would be nice if the stories continued through novels, but as you say that isn't really happening so that option is closed to me.
And your problem with that change isn't metaplots. It's the small amount of stories that have been coming out. Luckily, we're getting quite a few in the next few years (the ones for the movie, the rest of the Dragonlance trilogy, isn't there another Drizzt book?).
The problem with your second point is that your history is entirely based on your own table's history; it has no outside perspective and requires that you have several campaigns under your belt to have meaning, which then only has meaning to you and your group.
I don't need my table's experience to be shared by another table. The fun at my table is where I get the enjoyment from the game, not from other people at other tables having the same experience.
As to your third point, what research can you do if the world exists in (from a perspective outside your own table) perpetual stasis?
Eberron has been in perpetual status time-wise, but has gotten tons of expansions through the decades. Keith Baker has his blog, the dozens of Eberron books (none of which have advanced the timeline), the novels (which also don't advance the timelines), and so on. I've done a ton of research for Eberron over the past 4ish years, but none of that has been dependent on the setting having a metaplot. And the world still grows as time goes by.

My point is that the things you think you like metaplots for aren't actually dependent on metaplots. You don't need them for the stories, or research, or for a continuous timeline at your table. Unless your fun is dependent on other people around the world understanding what happens at your table, there's no reason to like metaplots over the Eberron approach (note: I don't mean the setting, you don't have to enjoy the setting Eberron in order to admit that it's approach to canon is superior to the 2e metaplot approach).
 




No. Metaplots are bad for settings and the hobby. You can have the exact same stories that you like having with metaplots as you can without them (the Eberron approach). Even good metaplots are bad for the settings they're made for (they give more homework for newer players/DMs).

Metaplots are bad for the game. If you like the stories that come with them, read the books. The setting's canonical timeline doesn't have to advance for those stories to exist. WotC can publish War of the Lance-era Dragonlance setting/adventure books until the ends of time with all stuff after the War of the Lance being non-canon, and the novels will still exist and you'll still get the same enjoyment from them.

Metaplots are bad even when the stories they make are good. There is no advantage to having a metaplot that isn't possible without one. There is no reason to have them. And they often ruin the settings they're a part of.
Except that this is just factually wrong for D&D 5e for that specific time period. War of the Lance or immediately after it does not work with the rules of the 5e players handbook without making a bunch of sweeping changes that will just annoy setting purists anyway. To name just what I can think of off the top of my head:
1) No bards, sorcerers, or warlocks. And Rangers, paladins, and druids are if-y because all the magic comes from gods.

2) No half-orcs, tieflings, drow elves, or halflings (except whatever new kender rules come out). Nor ANY races from Volos/Mortenkainens or any other 5e books.
2a) Dragonborn would also not be allowed during war of the lance, though could possibly be allowed after, but unless we're allowing 3.5 or age of mortals content it's metallic colors only.

3) No magic users can have spells except wizards in any game during the beginning of the war of the lance or before it.

We could of course, ignore all this and change the setting so we can have all of these options back on the table, but again I doubt most purists would like it. It's also again arguably what Age of Mortals is. Obviously there's still no half-orcs or drow, but the lore was expanded to explain why the other types of characters exist.
 


Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top