Dragonlance More DRAGONLANCE Information: Kender, Battles, W&H's Novels, & More!

In addition to the official videos announcing Dragonlance releases for late 2022, I got to talk to talk to the D&D team and get a few more details not in the public D&D Direct event.

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  • Because Dragonlance is a setting about war, Ray Winninger, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons, was asked if Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen would have large-scale combat rules. He said that they would in an broad abstract form. The board game or battle game Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn is actually focused on large-scale combat and can be played independently or RPG players could switch to Warriors of Krynn for their big combat scenes, including porting in their characters and then switch back to the RPG after the battle. So the RPG adventure can be played alone, the board game can be played alone or they can be combined, depending upon the group's preference.
  • Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn is a cooperative game.
  • When asked if Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn could be used for large-scale battles in other D&D settings Winninger said it was designed with that idea in mind. However, if Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn is poplar they'll consider making more customized, large-scale combat board games for other settings.
  • Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen is a brand new story, independent of the upcoming novel, Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit. Winninger said that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are telling their own story set in Krynn while Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen is a different story set in Krynn and is blazing a trail to help players create their own stories in Krynn. So Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen and Dragons of Deceit are both set in the same world but different stories.
  • There will be some cameos from old Dragonlance characters, especially villains, in Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen.
  • Price points for Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn and Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen are not finalized yet.
  • When asked about player races for Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen – especially Kender – Winninger said that Kender have gotten a good reception from the Unearthed Arcana play test but they're making some tweaks. Yes, Kender will be an option. He said the play test material gives hints as to what playable races it will have but would not mention to confirm any specifically beyond Kender.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

Except that that explanation doesn't hold water.
  1. If kender didn't know that it was wrong they wouldn't bother to lie about it.
  2. Kender might not think that it is stealing per se. But if they weren't terminally self-centered they would learn after about the second time that their supposed friends really do not like them doing that so they would stop doing it. That they continue to do so anyway shows that they do not give a flying naughty word what their supposed friends think. They are truly, deeply selfish not willing to give up a little momentary pleasure to avoid upsetting their friends by stealing from them again.
Again, you quoted the relevant passage:

"All of these lines are delivered with an innocent sincerity that is all the more maddening because the kender really is sincere! A kender might not necessarily remember where he found something, even if he picked it up half a minute before, and such responses are often delivered as part of a subconscious defense mechanism. Intense curiosity is a trait ingrained in their souls and minds from their racial creation by the Greystone of Gargath."

They do not consciously realize what they are doing. They don't recognize that what they are doing is wrong. They often do not even realize that they are even doing it.

And there is absolutely nothing in any of the rulebooks that say that they cannot learn what they are doing is wrong.
 

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Unf, that work by Parkinson is just amazing. The art for 5e Dragonlance is going to have big shoes to fill - so much of Dragonlance came to life with the work of the Four Horsemen (and Valerie Valusek's interior illustrations).

The flying citadels show up in a couple spots, with Tasslehoff even sort-of piloting one for a bit.

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Dragons_of_Desolation_module_cover.jpg


EDIT: It's been a hot minute, but didn't the land conquered by Lord Soth – I think it was Nightland, or it got renamed to that – get invaded by a flying citadel tied to the Red Dragonarmy?
 

Stormonu

Legend
keith-parkinson-dragons-of-desolation.jpg


Dragons_of_Desolation_module_cover.jpg


EDIT: It's been a hot minute, but didn't the land conquered by Lord Soth – I think it was Nightland, or it got renamed to that – get invaded by a flying citadel tied to the Red Dragonarmy?
That's actually not one of the floating citadels used in the War. That's Derkin's Tomb*, created by the gold dragon Evenstar. Its magic was used as a template by Takahisis's forces for the floating citadels.

* Which, incredibly, is in an underground dwarven cave large enough to host the floating tomb.

BTW, one of my favorite, and hilarious, memories from Dragons of Winter Night is Tas getting control of one of the citadels, turning it upside-down and shaking all the evil forces out of it, like a salt shaker.
 

Indeed. A good DM can fix a broken game or a broken system. That you need to do so is because the race is broken.
Any good DM at the beginning of any campaign will place expectations for his campaign. This is in no way any different. It could be as simple as "No evil characters," or " No drow Driz'zt wannabes." A good player who is a fan of the setting and who understands the childlike nature of Kender usually doesn't even need to be told "no malicious or greedy stealing from your party members." Any Kender player who does that does not understand the lore.
 

Again, you quoted the relevant passage:

"All of these lines are delivered with an innocent sincerity that is all the more maddening because the kender really is sincere! A kender might not necessarily remember where he found something, even if he picked it up half a minute before, and such responses are often delivered as part of a subconscious defense mechanism. Intense curiosity is a trait ingrained in their souls and minds from their racial creation by the Greystone of Gargath."

They do not consciously realize what they are doing. They don't recognize that what they are doing is wrong. They often do not even realize that they are even doing it.
And that is neither more nor less than a "I'm just playing my character" defence for utterly odious behaviour.

If they don't recognise that what they are doing is wrong this makes them kleptomaniac pathological liars. Quite literally pathological by your "defence". And they should be treated accordingly - as kleptomaniac pathological liars who have learned to taunt people into a rage.

What would you do if a player were to say "I want to play a kleptomaniac pathological liar who steals from the party and gets the party into trouble" as a character?

And why in the name of Orcus do you think that it's a good idea to encourage people to play kleptomaniac pathological liars who get the party into trouble? How do you see this as other than truly obnoxious behaviour other than when handled extremely carefully? Far too carefully to be made the hat of an entire race.
 

And once again, easily managed if you set clear expectations to your players as a DM.
Sure and I think this is something we actually agree about.

But whilst some DMs do do this, a lot of DMs, definitely the vast majority I've met, do not. Or don't do so routinely, at the very least.

And I think Kenders as presented in earlier editions need a health warning on them, for the DM and for players. More than other races, they're likely to be significantly disruptive. This is in no way without precedent. Tons of other races have had various forms and degrees of health warning on them. But I can't remember the Kender ever getting one (I am open to being corrected here).

My experience is that a lot of DMs don't see this sort of problem coming, and once it's in play, less experienced DMs (which, again, imho, is most DMs) are not always very good at dealing with it, because they're ill-prepared for it. Sure a highly experienced and braced DM like you or me or indeed most of the ageing DMs who post here is going to be fine, but others will not.

Now, with the 5E ones, WotC decided to do a workaround. Instead of having Kender in as they were, which would be basically setting up a time bomb for a lot of groups, and instead of slapping a giant "DUNGEON MASTERS ADVISORY: DISRUPTIVE CONTENT" label on them, they just re-worked them so, fundamentally, they're not going to cause the same problem. I appreciate that some people feel this was the wrong course or in some way "wimping out" or "embracing modernity and rejecting tradition", but I also think it was a valid approach and the one least likely to result in problems long-term. Or awkward questions like "Why did you even include an really potentially disruptive race?". I mean, all the way back in The Mists of Krynn they actually suggested Kender not be played by players, but be kept as NPCs. They knew they were difficult to work with.

Any good DM at the beginning of any campaign will place expectations for his campaign.
By this standard, I think about 80% of DMs are not good DMs, because they either don't set expectations, or set very few. So that seems a little harsh to me. And also, many DMs will just never see Kender coming.
 

And why in the name of Orcus do you think that it's a good idea to encourage people to play kleptomaniac pathological liars who get the party into trouble? How do you see this as other than truly obnoxious behaviour other than when handled extremely carefully? Far too carefully to be made the hat of an entire race.
As noted, when Kender appeared in The Mists of Krynn, the writers literally suggested keeping them as NPCs because they're so poorly suited to being PCs. That is literally the reasoning.

But popular demand is popular demand I guess.
 

Any good DM at the beginning of any campaign will place expectations for his campaign. This is in no way any different. It could be as simple as "No evil characters," or " No drow Driz'zt wannabes." A good player who is a fan of the setting and who understands the childlike nature of Kender usually doesn't even need to be told "no malicious or greedy stealing from your party members." Any Kender player who does that does not understand the lore.
And I like to set relatively few expectations; as a DM I want to be surprised. And as someone who has paid good money for D&D books I expect the designers to not have placed landmines in there. Indeed part of what I am paying for is for reasonable expectations to have been supported. And the presence of a race like the kender that played as written is game cohesion breaking is about as welcome as a turd in a picnic basket.

And stealing doesn't have to be "malicious or greedy" to be odious behaviour. A kid asking either "why?" or "are we nearly there yet?" endlessly is normally being neither malicious nor greedy. But they are incredibly annoying. As is lying.
 

And that is neither more nor less than a "I'm just playing my character" defence for utterly odious behaviour.

If they don't recognise that what they are doing is wrong this makes them kleptomaniac pathological liars. Quite literally pathological by your "defence". And they should be treated accordingly - as kleptomaniac pathological liars who have learned to taunt people into a rage.

What would you do if a player were to say "I want to play a kleptomaniac pathological liar who steals from the party and gets the party into trouble" as a character?

And why in the name of Orcus do you think that it's a good idea to encourage people to play kleptomaniac pathological liars who get the party into trouble? How do you see this as other than truly obnoxious behaviour other than when handled extremely carefully? Far too carefully to be made the hat of an entire race.
I wouldn't say anything, because I would nip it in the bud at the beginning of the campaign when I set my expectations as a DM...doesn't matter if they are Kender, dwarf, or elf.

I will again reiterate that in the 30+ years I've run D&D (Dragonlance being my favorite world), I have never...not once...had a problem with a Kender player. I have had more problems with Gnomes.

I guess I am failing to see why people hate Kender so much, when Gnomes are mechanically just as, if not more, disruptive. A good DM and a good player can have an amazing time with a Kender.

Prime example of what I am talking about. One of my favorite characters was named Phistletain Windwhistler, and he wanted to be a Knight of Solamnia. He learned that borrowing from others without permission was seen as wrong by other cultures (it was a strange idea to him, but he also realized that not everyone is as enlightened as a Kender). Every once in a while, he would slip and accidentally take something. When he realized this, he would immediately return it with an apology.

I guess I've just been lucky.
 

I guess I am failing to see why people hate Kender so much, when Gnomes are mechanically just as, if not more, disruptive. A good DM and a good player can have an amazing time with a Kender.
A good DM and a good player can have an amazing time with a flumph. The test of good design is how it works with an average or even new DM and average or brand new player.

And gnomes may be mechanically disruptive. But they aren't walking incarnations of spoiled brats that steal from the party.
 

A good DM and a good player can have an amazing time with a flumph. The test of good design is how it works with an average or even new DM and average or brand new player.

And gnomes may be mechanically disruptive. But they aren't walking incarnations of spoiled brats that steal from the party.
No, but it's baked in mechanically that their inventions have a good chance of blowing up and killing the entire party. I don't see that as any better.
 

Stormonu

Legend
And that is neither more nor less than a "I'm just playing my character" defence for utterly odious behaviour.

If they don't recognise that what they are doing is wrong this makes them kleptomaniac pathological liars. Quite literally pathological by your "defence". And they should be treated accordingly - as kleptomaniac pathological liars who have learned to taunt people into a rage.

What would you do if a player were to say "I want to play a kleptomaniac pathological liar who steals from the party and gets the party into trouble" as a character?

And why in the name of Orcus do you think that it's a good idea to encourage people to play kleptomaniac pathological liars who get the party into trouble? How do you see this as other than truly obnoxious behaviour other than when handled extremely carefully? Far too carefully to be made the hat of an entire race.
It's obvious you have a chip on your shoulder when it comes to Kender. If you don't mind my asking, did something personal spark this unbridled hatred?

I agree that Kender are obviously the largest case of designer RAI vs. RAW when it comes to handling, but I don't understand the seething hatred.
 

A warning disclaimer could be published in the first pages: "WotC doesn't take responsability about possible troubles caused by compulsive collectors who can't understand the concept of private property". Kenders PCs shouldn't be Tasselholf's clones/ripoff. Their psychology should be realistic. "Oh, the last year I lost my family when pirates attacked our coast village to catch slaves, but don't worry, I don't suffer post-traumatic stress!". They didn't live always in a "safe zone", and they can suffer attacks by bandits, goblins, bugbears, kobolds, hobgoblings and company. Maybe their supertitions about good luck could help them to be more daredevil thanks a placebo effect.

And usually shopkeepers should worry not only for the kenders but also beggars who try to steal food.
 

No, but it's baked in mechanically that their inventions have a good chance of blowing up and killing the entire party. I don't see that as any better.
Isn't a "good chance" a 1 in 20 chance of blowing up when you roll on the mishap table - and that probably won't kill the entire party unless you're really unlucky with positioning, especially as the GM is told to be funny rather than go for the kill with mishaps? No it's not great - but comes up very very rarely rather than every session.
 


Isn't a "good chance" a 1 in 20 chance of blowing up when you roll on the mishap table - and that probably won't kill the entire party unless you're really unlucky with positioning, especially as the GM is told to be funny rather than go for the kill with mishaps? No it's not great - but comes up very very rarely rather than every session.
Yeah the comparison is not accurate.

Most sessions people playing Tinker Gnomes don't even get to make an invention. It's rare that they do, and as you say, it's only a 1 in 20 chance of an explosion, and even then, why isn't everyone standing back? They know what could happen! Realistically I suspect most campaigns with Tinker gnome PCs in end with zero party fatalities caused by Tinker gnomes.

Also, what's the next most-disliked race in D&D after Kender? Maybe even before them? Oh, Tinker Gnomes! And after that? Gully Dwarves. It's kind of impressive Hickman and Weis came up with three of the most enduringly hate-able and irksome races in all of D&D history in just one setting in a relatively short period of time. They were on a roll.

If D&D had any more short races, back then perhaps we could have seen more Hickman and Weis "short bastard" races;

1) Fart Kobolds, kobolds with uncontrolled - and literally deadly - flatulence. But their cheerful and upbeat natures mean you just can't hate them, right? Even though the Cleric is literally dead because they let one rip in a tunnel and they couldn't clear out in time.

2) Rage Goblins, Goblins who have a total inability to stop being SO ANGRY 24/7, and at any moment might just go berserk and kill some people. Though the text clearly says it's not their fault. They're just normal goblins. Just innocent goblins.
 



Uh, it's is literally the fear and hatred of another culture. But, ok then....
Behaving like a bad child is not "a culture", and we've already had it argued that their thievery is innate, not cultural (Marak Kender still doing it supports this). So you're going to have to step it up to "racism" if you really want to go there lol. Are you going to call us "racist against Kender"? I am begging you to call me an anti-Kender racist.
 

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