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!)


 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Gnomes in dragonlance were tinkers, not artificers. They made items based on technology rather than magic.
The things "insane Gnomes" could make certainly rode the line. Not to mention Gnomish spaceships and Autognomes from Spelljammer. And while I have no idea if he ever succeeded, there was that poor Gnome who made it his life's work to repair a broken Orb of Dragonkind, so I don't see artificers are being completely foreign.
 

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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.
Are you one of those purists, are you just making stuff up?

Because, so far as I see, most fans of the setting understand the need for mechanical changes because the rules are different, and they accept the need for changes based on societal attitudes. It's changes that have nothing to do with rules or a changing society that they object to.

For example, you could say "There are no wizards in Krynn". When Dragonlance was first written, there where Magic Users and Illusionists, but there were no wizards. That class did not exist yet. And then, when Dragonlance Adventures was published a couple of years later, it added a completely new class, unique to the setting, called "Wizard of High Sorcery". You could also argue that all Rogues have to take the Thief subclass, because only thieves existed when Dragonlance was published. This is all clearly nonsense.

The thing is, you can't remove something that does not exist. Ergo, Warlocks where never removed from Kyrnn because the class had not been invented at the time. Therefore, it's impossible to say "there are no warlocks on Krynn".
 

Remathilis

Legend
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.
If a setting is so foreign to the rule set it's supposed to be played with that you ban 70% of the game, then one of two things needs to happen.

1. The setting must be adjusted to fit the rules currently produced. Including lore changes and retcons.
2. The setting needs to find a different ruleset that better emulates the fiction.

Silent option 3 is, of course, the setting is discarded and never spoke of again.
 

Are you one of those purists, are you just making stuff up?

Because, so far as I see, most fans of the setting understand the need for mechanical changes because the rules are different, and they accept the need for changes based on societal attitudes. It's changes that have nothing to do with rules or a changing society that they object to.

For example, you could say "There are no wizards in Krynn". When Dragonlance was first written, there where Magic Users and Illusionists, but there were no wizards. That class did not exist yet. And then, when Dragonlance Adventures was published a couple of years later, it added a completely new class, unique to the setting, called "Wizard of High Sorcery". You could also argue that all Rogues have to take the Thief subclass, because only thieves existed when Dragonlance was published. This is all clearly nonsense.

The thing is, you can't remove something that does not exist. Ergo, Warlocks where never removed from Kyrnn because the class had not been invented at the time. Therefore, it's impossible to say "there are no warlocks on Krynn".
No. I'm not one of these purists. I'm in fact the opposite. A quick look at my posting history will reveal this, as well as in pretty much every Dragonlance thread on this forum there are always people whining about Age of Mortals and hoping they retcon it out. There are also numerous threads across multiple websites discussing how to handle the setting using the modern ruleset. It is well known baggage of the fandom (that and whether or not Kender should be allowed) and is frankly toxic behavior.
If a setting is so foreign to the rule set it's supposed to be played with that you ban 70% of the game, then one of two things needs to happen.

1. The setting must be adjusted to fit the rules currently produced. Including lore changes and retcons.
2. The setting needs to find a different ruleset that better emulates the fiction.

Silent option 3 is, of course, the setting is discarded and never spoke of again.
Thank you for agreeing with me. To clarify, I do NOT ban any option from 5e in my games. I change the setting and find reason why said characters exist. What I described was merely the 'canon' as established with the official setting.
More to the point on what you've said. They've already done this. It's called Age of Mortals. During which they did first try an alternative ruleset (the SAGA rules), and then ultimately released a 3.5 version that is considered the most recent version of the setting to date (well, not counting Dragons of Deceit). There is a lot that got changed, but in essence they provided an in universe reason for why sorcerers/warlocks/bards (and again arguably rangers/warlocks/druids/paladins) exist, and advanced the draconians (the dragonlance name for dragonborn) to be more than just one dimensional villains who literally live to kill, fight, and do other things I cannot mention here due to forum rules. Even allowing them at the table during War of the Lance is very problematic due to the rest of the world viewing them as savage monsters and would realistically treat them with severe scorn, which I somehow doubt WoTC wants to be the default for a base PHB race. (A few forum threads about orcs and even kender being stereotypes that were come to mind here).

Long story short, the fandom was split over it with much of the fans of the original trilogy of novels hating every bit of it to the point of not reading or accepting any of it. These are the folks I would specifically label as "purists", many of whom frankly will not accept anything short of a full reset to war of the lance, and I argue the setting is worse off for it, because rolling back the clock for blind nostaligia's sake is all but incompatible with the 5e ruleset without making precisely the sweeping changes they wish to avoid.
 
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SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
If a setting is so foreign to the rule set it's supposed to be played with that you ban 70% of the game, then one of two things needs to happen.

1. The setting must be adjusted to fit the rules currently produced. Including lore changes and retcons.
2. The setting needs to find a different ruleset that better emulates the fiction.

Silent option 3 is, of course, the setting is discarded and never spoke of again.
Don't forget that some groups use the D&D rules as a toolset, not a setting.

Picking and choosing what's in the game whenever they create a campaign.

As a result you can end up, or produce a setting that neither of your two points apply to.
 

No. I'm not one of these purists.
Then you are not in a position to speak for them.
There are also numerous threads across multiple websites discussing how to handle the setting using the modern ruleset. It is well known baggage of the fandom (that and whether or not Kender should be allowed) and is frankly toxic behavior.
It's easy to pick out a few examples of extremely toxic behaviour in any group if you cast your net wide enough, but it does not represent the majority of people in the group, and I have seen very little toxicity from the Dragonlance fans on this forum.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
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.
And that bit was fine with me. They advanced the timeline in part to allow the setting to support more options. Seems like a positive for a metaplot to me.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Don't forget that some groups use the D&D rules as a toolset, not a setting.

Picking and choosing what's in the game whenever they create a campaign.

As a result you can end up, or produce a setting that neither of your two points apply to.
That's fine for the individual DM. But WotC publishes Official Dungeons & Dragons and they have an impetus to support the game holistically, including as much of the core game as possible. They can get away with "certain races aren't native, check with your DM" but they haven't yet in any setting limited classes, subclasses, feats, spells, etc.

If you want to create a setting where the only character option is human champion fighters, that's between you and your group. I hold WotC trying to sell me a supplement to a different standard.
 

vecna00

Speculation Specialist Wizard
That's fine for the individual DM. But WotC publishes Official Dungeons & Dragons and they have an impetus to support the game holistically, including as much of the core game as possible. They can get away with "certain races aren't native, check with your DM" but they haven't yet in any setting limited classes, subclasses, feats, spells, etc.

If you want to create a setting where the only character option is human champion fighters, that's between you and your group. I hold WotC trying to sell me a supplement to a different standard.
This.

No one is stopping an individual DM from doing what they and their group want to do at their table. If WotC wants to include everything in their new version of Dragonlance, than it shouldn't be an issue to take those things out if that's what you want to do.

Make your game fun and do what's best for you and your group.
 

Then you are not in a position to speak for them.

It's easy to pick out a few examples of extremely toxic behaviour in any group if you cast your net wide enough, but it does not represent the majority of people in the group, and I have seen very little toxicity from the Dragonlance fans on this forum.
No. But as someone who is a Dragonlance fan who is dyametrically opposed to them our wants for the setting cannot co-exist by definition. They want everything I like about the setting to be ignored and undone. This is by sheer requirement for me to acknowledge their existence and make my viewpoint known because if they get what they want my favorite setting is destroyed. We are quite literally on opposite sides of an argument that has been going on for the better part of two decades now because what both sides want cannot fundamentally coexist, and your ignorance to the existence of this ongoing debate is not my or their fault. Welcome to the Dragonlance fandom, because you're going to see this topic get brought up a lot. It's the thorn to the rose of an otherwise great setting, albeit this does not forgive or excuse any sort of toxic behavior of any fandom.

What is actually more important and relevant is that I at any opportunity provide feedback to WoTC that fans of the Age of Mortals do exist, and this board we are aware is one of the places they do actually monitor for player feedback, the surveys and dnd beyond being another.

And that bit was fine with me. They advanced the timeline in part to allow the setting to support more options. Seems like a positive for a metaplot to me.
Correct. This is precisely what the Age of Mortals is/was. The issue is a lot of people from the 70s and 80s parts of the fandom want it undone, compounded by the fact that Weis and Hickman have gone of record saying they weren't fans of the Age of Mortals themselves. Why else do you think they literally wrote a book that basically tries to do at least part this retcon (Dragons of Deceit?). As I've said in multiple threads, enjoy it as you all wish. I for one will choose to ignore anything DoD or onwards for my games.

That's fine for the individual DM. But WotC publishes Official Dungeons & Dragons and they have an impetus to support the game holistically, including as much of the core game as possible. They can get away with "certain races aren't native, check with your DM" but they haven't yet in any setting limited classes, subclasses, feats, spells, etc.

If you want to create a setting where the only character option is human champion fighters, that's between you and your group. I hold WotC trying to sell me a supplement to a different standard.
Agree and could not have put it better myself, albeit I will point out for the sake of argument that with races in particular in certain settings like Eberron, Ravnica, or Theros they sort of intentionally leave it vague as to whether every race in the PHB or other expanded 5e material exits. They deliberately leave it up to the DM to decide if they want them allowed or sort of hint to DMs they can check out old source material for making judgements as they wish. I merely want Dragonlance to be treated the same and a true retcon to War of the Lance wouldn't allow this. I'm pointing this out because it's an objectively bad part of the setting that many older fans of the setting don't like to acknowledge or tell new people exposed to it. The point is Shadow of the Dragon Queen is going to have to do a whole heck of a lot more than have a small sidebar listing race/class options and rename a wizard order to "Mage" in order to square a lot of these issues, and given the recent release of SpellJammer you can forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical WotC is going to address any of this.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
That's fine for the individual DM. But WotC publishes Official Dungeons & Dragons and they have an impetus to support the game holistically, including as much of the core game as possible. They can get away with "certain races aren't native, check with your DM" but they haven't yet in any setting limited classes, subclasses, feats, spells, etc.

If you want to create a setting where the only character option is human champion fighters, that's between you and your group. I hold WotC trying to sell me a supplement to a different standard.
There could, of course, be a second possibility: a sidebar or section on OG Dragonlance. "If you want to play Dragonlance in a way that's closer to how it was originally depicted in 1984, make these changes." And then list all the things that would have to be removed from the game to make it more like 1e.

It would be a very large list of things.

But yes, the actual book itself is for 5e, not 1e or 2e, and needs to reflect the 5e game. (Or One/6e, at least.)
 

Remathilis

Legend
There could, of course, be a second possibility: a sidebar or section on OG Dragonlance. "If you want to play Dragonlance in a way that's closer to how it was originally depicted in 1984, make these changes." And then list all the things that would have to be removed from the game to make it more like 1e.

It would be a very large list of things.

But yes, the actual book itself is for 5e, not 1e or 2e, and needs to reflect the 5e game. (Or One/6e, at least.)
The problem with "could" is that it implies a certain level of "should" and there will be plenty of people who will feel beholden to that "could" list if for no other reason that WotC endorsed it.

Either way, it's a fruitless endeavor. This is Dragonlance repurposed for 5e, not emulating 1e using 5e's kernel. I expect more than just DLA with converted stat blocks. The essence of the setting is the same, if not the details. And I expect no less if/when Greyhawk or Dark Sun are redone for 1D&D.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
The problem with "could" is that it implies a certain level of "should" and there will be plenty of people who will feel beholden to that "could" list if for no other reason that WotC endorsed it.

Either way, it's a fruitless endeavor. This is Dragonlance repurposed for 5e, not emulating 1e using 5e's kernel. I expect more than just DLA with converted stat blocks. The essence of the setting is the same, if not the details. And I expect no less if/when Greyhawk or Dark Sun are redone for 1D&D.
I agree here, and 5e Dragonlance should be built to fill, or at least allow, all of 5e's tropes: i.e., I'm not demanding that they create an orc nation somewhere on Ansalon, but merely allow for the possibility of groups of orcs here and there.

But I don't think that many people will feel beholden. If this hypothetical sidebar says "no dragonborn, drow elves, half-orcs, tieflings, halflings, forest gnomes, or any other race or subrace from outside the PHB, no artificers, bards, monks, sorcerers, or warlocks, and only these archetypes are allowed (list of only nonmagical archetypes for martials, probably removing some archetypes from druids and wizards)," then that, I think, is going to turn a lot of people off to the the restrictions. There will be some people who like it, because low-magic, mostly-human settings can be a lot of fun, but a lot more people won't like it.
 

And metaplots are terrible for the game, which is why WotC hasn't used them since the publishing of 5e.
They've definitely gotten a lot looser with canon, to allow individual adventures to take place and each table can figure out what the conclusion of an adventure means for their next adventure. I'm not the biggest FR fan, so I'm not sure what is different from the 4E material to the 5E SCAG but my assumption is at least some of the material is different?

I think what @Micah Sweet and I were referring to for "advancing the timeline" isn't so much WotC writing a couple decades of events for the Age of Mortals because it's 100% not needed imo. Some basic summaries for those who might not be familiar to setup what the setting is about and help inspire DMs to make it their own. Overall, AoM would make a much better 5E setting than the War of the Lance material because the lore generally supports 5E's mechanics better imo.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
They've definitely gotten a lot looser with canon, to allow individual adventures to take place and each table can figure out what the conclusion of an adventure means for their next adventure. I'm not the biggest FR fan, so I'm not sure what is different from the 4E material to the 5E SCAG but my assumption is at least some of the material is different?

I think what @Micah Sweet and I were referring to for "advancing the timeline" isn't so much WotC writing a couple decades of events for the Age of Mortals because it's 100% not needed imo. Some basic summaries for those who might not be familiar to setup what the setting is about and help inspire DMs to make it their own. Overall, AoM would make a much better 5E setting than the War of the Lance material because the lore generally supports 5E's mechanics better imo.
If you prefer WotL, as many do, you can always roll back the timeline in your own campaign and make whatever restrictions are needed for that era. That's what I would do. In 3e, the default setting was AoM, but they created an entire large supplement specifically about the War of the Lance. I loved it!
 

I agree here, and 5e Dragonlance should be built to fill, or at least allow, all of 5e's tropes: i.e., I'm not demanding that they create an orc nation somewhere on Ansalon, but merely allow for the possibility of groups of orcs here and there.

But I don't think that many people will feel beholden. If this hypothetical sidebar says "no dragonborn, drow elves, half-orcs, tieflings, halflings, forest gnomes, or any other race or subrace from outside the PHB, no artificers, bards, monks, sorcerers, or warlocks, and only these archetypes are allowed (list of only nonmagical archetypes for martials, probably removing some archetypes from druids and wizards)," then that, I think, is going to turn a lot of people off to the the restrictions. There will be some people who like it, because low-magic, mostly-human settings can be a lot of fun, but a lot more people won't like it.
What I do for my games is reskin the races. I let players pick either human, human varient, or half-orc for the various human factons/countries (with suggestions based on the 3.5 book). For the races that are in the setting that aren't in the PHB (minotaur, half-orges, Irda, and Tarmak) I use the theros minotaur, for half-ogres I allow halforc or goliath, for Irda I use Tieflings, and for Tarmak I use Goliaths with the war paint being their racial that reduces damage. For draconians I let them just use fizbans dragonborn and give them some alternative racials I've made to mimic the older edition racials they can switch their breath weapon out for. I don't disallow players to take the breath weapon racial but make it clear to them that they are a rarity among their kind and make sure to have NPCs react appropriately. Same deal for any other race. Currently I have a shifter player who spends most of his time as a polar bear man. Clearly not a race in the setting, but I worked with him to come up with a fitting backstory. He's basically not an actual race but was a human touched and altered by fey/god magic. I'm a big fan of working with players within reason and will always opt to change the setting over restricting a player.

This will all probably sound like gibberish to someone without knowledge of the setting, but is easy enough to explain with a wiki or campaign book in front of me and another player.
 

If you prefer WotL, as many do, you can always roll back the timeline in your own campaign and make whatever restrictions are needed for that era. That's what I would do. In 3e, the default setting was AoM, but they created an entire large supplement specifically about the War of the Lance. I loved it!
The War of the Lance 3E book is a pretty good sourcebook, agreed!
 

cbwjm

Legend
If you prefer WotL, as many do, you can always roll back the timeline in your own campaign and make whatever restrictions are needed for that era. That's what I would do. In 3e, the default setting was AoM, but they created an entire large supplement specifically about the War of the Lance. I loved it!
The 3e dragonlance stuff was really good, a great update of the setting. They did have to have a couple goes at the Knights of solamnia though, the initial attempt tried to hew too closely to the original method of moving through the orders which required a lot of preplanning of skills and feats.
 



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