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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. 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...

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

That doesn't sound like a "spoilt brat," but it does sound like an innocent child.
That's because you are very selectively quoting there and avoiding the part where they are shown beyond all reasonable doubt to be spoiled brats. That's the part where they continually steal things, claiming that they have no understanding of personal property. And then, when questioned, they lie about having stolen. They would not bother to lie if they did not know what they were doing would upset people. So they, far from being big hearted, know that they are upsetting the people they claim to see as friends. So the little brats lie to avoid the consequences, rather than paying attention to their friends' strange rules. It's all about the feelings of the kender and they will take others' stuff when they feel like it.
 

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A "spoilt brat" by definition is a selfish child. These examples clearly demonstrate that Kender are by no means selfish. They have no issue at all being selfless or sharing their items with others...unlike a "spoilt brat." And I would very much like to see Hickman's quote about how they are "not nice," because I have seen many quotes from both Weis and Hickman that the portrayal of Tasselhoff by Janet Pack determined how Kender were written overall.

"wilder than halflings, fearless, sometimes cruel as only children can be"

It also explains how they're kleptomaniacs with no respect for privacy, and absolutely no willingness to learn either. Which is not, let's be clear, what "innocent children" are like.

They're also so profoundly good at insulting people that they can drive anyone into a rage. That isn't a skill that, even coming naturally, you acquire without being a pretty terrible person. It requires you understand and prey on people's weakness and foibles. Only a bully really has that kind of skill in a general sense.
 

That's because you are very selectively quoting there and avoiding the part where they are shown beyond all reasonable doubt to be spoiled brats. That's the part where they continually steal things, claiming that they have no understanding of personal property. And then, when questioned, they lie about having stolen. They would not bother to lie if they did not know what they were doing would upset people. So they, far from being big hearted, know that they are upsetting the people they claim to see as friends. So the little brats lie to avoid the consequences, rather than paying attention to their friends' strange rules. It's all about the feelings of the kender and they will take others' stuff when they feel like it.
I am failing to see how this is a mechanical issue and not a narrative one? I am also failing to see how clear expectations and guidelines wouldn't help with this narrative failing. What is really interesting here as well is the narrative role-playing of helping Kender to understand that borrowing items is wrong in many cultures.
 


"wilder than halflings, fearless, sometimes cruel as only children can be"

It also explains how they're kleptomaniacs with no respect for privacy, and absolutely no willingness to learn either. Which is not, let's be clear, what "innocent children" are like.

They're also so profoundly good at insulting people that they can drive anyone into a rage. That isn't a skill that, even coming naturally, you acquire without being a pretty terrible person. It requires you understand and prey on people's weakness and foibles. Only a bully really has that kind of skill in a general sense.
Funny how you are cherry picking your quote....here's the rest of the paragraph.

'The original concept of the kender held that they were "savage, warrior children, ever curious, ever alert." This concept was altered dramatically when Janet Pack became involved in dramatic readings of the works, as Pack's personal characteristics had a strong impact on how those involved in the process viewed the kender. According to Jeff Grubb, she, "and as a result all kender since her, was cute. Extremely cute. Sweetly, lovably, frustratingly cute.... And it's hard, after seeing Janet play Tas, to imagine them any other way." Two of the other key characteristics of kender—their curiosity and kleptomania—were introduced by Hickman. Hickman was uncomfortable with the notion of a "race of thieves" in his games, but still wanted the skills typically associated with thieves, so he added their "innocent tendency to 'borrow' things for indeterminate periods of time."

Originally, kender were to be called "kinder", in reference to kinderkin, but Hickman has reported that readers tended to read the name as "kind-er" rather than "kin-der" in print, leading to the decision to alter the spelling."

Here's more:
"Hickman's primary contributions to the development of the kender were their curiosity and their tendency to "borrow" objects. His desire for the skills of a thief, without the associated moral concerns raised by a "race of thieves", led to depicting kender as possessing a habit of finding things that have dropped into their pouches by accident, picking things up in the streets, finding "junk", and generally acquiring things that belong to other people. This habit was justified in Dragonlance Adventures through Hickman's decision to provide the kender with enormous natural curiosity, a character trait which is also employed to provide the characters with lock picking skills and a tendency to "listen in on other's conversations".

Kender are described as not believing that there is anything morally wrong with handling others' items, although the habit may land them in considerable trouble with the owner of an object. In addition, they do not tend to pocket things like money, gems, and the like, as they are depicted as having little concept of monetary value. Kender oppose actual thieving vehemently, and consider being called a thief a great insult to their dignity.

As a side effect of these characteristics, kender can be difficult to play within the role-playing game, as their lack of interest in monetary gain is "a virtual anathema" to the manner in which characters of many other races are typically portrayed. It was recommended in The Mists of Krynn that kender be employed as non-player characters, with their kleptomania providing a convenient means for those running the game to introduce objects at critical times."

I had a player in one of my groups that used to fill his pockets with shiny trinkets, colored glass, etc. as a way to keep Kender from taking some of his more interesting items.
 
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I am failing to see how this is a mechanical issue and not a narrative one? I am also failing to see how clear expectations and guidelines wouldn't help with this narrative failing.
The thing is that Unearthed Arcana is actually fixing this part of kender through mechanics.

5e Kender are not a race full of spoiled brats that steal things then lie about it which is why they have a lot of random junk in their sacks. They are a race which has a sack that generates random junk.
 

I am also failing to see how clear expectations and guidelines wouldn't help with this narrative failing.
I am not aware of an extant version of D&D where "expectations and guidelines" for Kender players are clearly presented. I think one edition had some kind of "don't be a klepto to the other players" suggestion, but I'm pretty sure a different one more or less encouraged you to be.

Funny how you are cherry picking your quote....here's the rest of the paragraph.
How is it cherry-picking when none of that contradicts a single word I've said?

You don't think some people think spoilt brats are cute?

How do think spoilt brats get spoiled? It's because their parents think that incredibly obnoxious behaviour is "cute" and make no effort to stem it, even when it harms others. These sort of people still exist note - they're the sort of parents, who I saw a couple of years ago, when their kid rode a scooter directly into an old lady, nearly knocking her over, just said "Oh Tarquin (I can't remember the actual name it was that silly though), please come back here! Please don't ride so far away!". Because riding far away was the problem, not hurting people? They didn't even apologise to the old lady, nor did Tarquin. He'll probably grow up to be a politician, but I'm editorializing.

Hell when I was growing up, my parents made me used to play with this kid who was very cute, and often funny, and yeah, cried a lot and seemed to care about stuff, but was the most horrible little brat you've ever met, who absolutely took things without permission and didn't care, absolutely was a bully, and an eavesdropper, and I dunno if he genuinely didn't get that was wrong (I sure told him), but he never acted on it, and because his parents never punished him, was absolutely fearless about this stuff.

The whole point is that Kender are spoilt brats from the perspective of people who like spoilt brats.
 

D&D is becoming famous, and that means somebody from the main media could create some parody, and kenders are one of the "easiest preys", together the trope of the womanizer bard. In "Robot Chicken" they were mercyless with a so innocent pre-school character as Dora the explorer.

This is not about rules but how to advice a right roleplay. Kenders are like the D&D Steve Urkel, characters with really annoying flaws, but also with a great heart and other virtous.

Kenders aren't kleptomaniacs but compulsive collectors. The kleptomanic steals for the morbid of the forbidden one, and kenders don't enjoy to cause troubles or damage against others, but mockery against unfriendly people.

Of course, they may need some recton, but you need no book for that, only talking with the rest of the players in your tabletop.

Other point is the irony than accidentaly they cause a total demystification of the ideal of collective property.

If kenders were too curious and fearless, they would be too easy preys for some supernatural predators who used the right bait, for example cursed coins with a teletransportation effect when the creature wanted to dine and he recites the spell.
 

I am not aware of an extant version of D&D where "expectations and guidelines" for Kender players are clearly presented. I think one edition had some kind of "don't be a klepto to the other players" suggestion, but I'm pretty sure a different one more or less encouraged you to be.
Am I the only one who presents all players expectations and guidelines for their games? I know I'm not, because I've played many games where the DM outlines his expectations for his games. This is in no way any different.

How is it cherry-picking when none of that contradicts a single word I've said?

Your original quote was how they were originally written...they were significantly changed later on. I presented several quotes that changed them from the "savage and cruel halflings" to the cute and lovable characters they were portrayed as in the novel.

You don't think people think spoilt brats are cute?

How do think spoilt brats get spoiled? It's because their parents think that incredibly obnoxious behaviour is "cute" and make no effort to stem it, even when it harms others. These sort of people still exist note - they're the sort of parents, who I saw a couple of years ago, when their kid rode a scooter directly into an old lady, nearly knocking her over, just said "Oh Tarquin (I can't remember the actual name it was that silly though), please come back here! Please don't ride so far away!". Because riding far away was the problem, not hurting people? They didn't even apologise to the old lady, nor did Tarquin. He'll probably grow up to be a politician, but I'm editorializing.

Nice strawman...that is not at all what I said. I simply stated that many people misunderstood them. I can even point you to the relevant statement if you like. However, it has become quite apparent to me that you are unable to budge from your position, so I won't bother.

The whole point is that Kender are spoilt brats from the perspective of people who like spoilt brats.
That is certainly one interpretation. It is one I do not agree with. As I stated previously, they are meant to add childlike innocence to a narrative world that tends to have dark elements to it.
 

I presented several quotes that changed them from the "savage and cruel halflings" to the cute and lovable characters they were portrayed as in the novel.
What you're showing here is you misreading my comments (and indeed your "quote" there is the opposite of a quote lol) and interpreted them in an... idiosyncratic... way, when everyone else understood them correctly, rather than anything else.

You're acting like I said "Athasian Halflings and Kender are basically the same thing".

I would never say that.

Kender are far more disruptive and problematic than stone-age cannibal sociopaths.
 

The thing is that Unearthed Arcana is actually fixing this part of kender through mechanics.

5e Kender are not a race full of spoiled brats that steal things then lie about it which is why they have a lot of random junk in their sacks. They are a race which has a sack that generates random junk.
Neither are 1e and 2e Kender. 3.5 Kenders? Yeah...did not like their write-up.
 

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