D&D General Read The Beginning Of Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit!

The first few pages of August's upcoming Dragonlance novel Dragons of Deceit from creators Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman are available to read over at Polygon. It opens up with Destina Rosethorn, a Solamnic noble, just before the War of the Lance, the central conflict which was portrayed in the original Dragonlance Chronicles back in the 1980s. The novel trilogy features time travel.

Alternatively you can listen to the excerpt below!



The cover, with art by Philipp Urlich, was revealed some months ago; it features Destina, flanked by Tasslehoff Burrfoot and a dwarf called Wolfstone, who comes from Thorbardin. Behind them is Saber, a copper dragon.

The novel trilogy is not connected to the Dragonlance D&D hardcover coming from WotC later this year


9781984819321__1___2_.jpg

 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Although technically (and legally even) you're right, this is a work of art, love, and passion that W&H feel understandably protective of and, what's more, they feel they know what's best for the setting and fiction overall. And you know what? I think I and many other Dragonlance fans agree with them.

Even with my misgivings about War of Souls/Amber trilogy, they're still much better—and more recognizably Dragonlance—than anything that TSR produced for the Fifth Age/Age of Mortals without them, be it fiction or setting material. Heck! Apart from Dragonlance Adventures (1E)—which was written by Weis & Hickman—the only other gaming material that's ever been produced thst comes close to “deliver“ was what Weis and others produced during 3.x under a license.

So yeah, they may not “own” Dragonlance in a legal sense, but they sure as hell do in a spiritual and even practical one, I'd say.
They signed the contract and took the money. If you can't accept the terms forgo the job security and work for yourself. It's not only legally not their property, IMO it's also morally and spiritually not their property.

If you sell your soul then it belongs to Asmodeus.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
They signed the contract and took the money. If you can't accept the terms forgo the job security and work for yourself. It's not only legally not their property, it's also morally and spiritually not their property.
"Spiritually" isn't a legal term. I doubt the contract had anything to say about who 'spiritually' owns it. But no, it's not legally their property. Spiritually, it's whatever you want it to be, I guess.
 


But Hasbro should do serious efforts for "good vibes" with them, because their names are good hooks to sell the novels. They are two of the main "stars" of this brand.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
They signed the contract and took the money. If you can't accept the terms forgo the job security and work for yourself. It's not only legally not their property, IMO it's also morally and spiritually not their property.

If you sell your soul then it belongs to Asmodeus.
depends, they may have retained moral rights
 


Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
The real question no one is asking about this new series is if all the guards will be wielding hauberks. Drove me crazy a few months ago when I re-read Winter Night.

Wait, the guards were swinging chainmail shirts? Like they were Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy’s towels?
 

deganawida

Adventurer
Wait, the guards were swinging chainmail shirts? Like they were Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy’s towels?
It’s an error that has never been corrected, or not at least by whatever time the replacement copy that I ordered from Amazon at Christmas was printed. It’s only in Winter Night, but every time people should have halberds, the text says hauberks.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
It’s an error that has never been corrected, or not at least by whatever time the replacement copy that I ordered from Amazon at Christmas was printed. It’s only in Winter Night, but every time people should have halberds, the text says hauberks.
In the french translation, there's many instance of goblins being switched to gnomes and vice-versa. This leads to some real confusing scenes :p
 


cfmcdonald

Explorer
All I am saying is that the nearly 40 year old passage is much tighter and better written than the new one, written by the same people.

It's actually not uncommon for writers to get worse as they get older, probably as you suggested because they lean on editors less.
I'd agree. Hickman and Weiss have only ever been so-so writers, but this preview is considerably worse than their stuff from the 80s. What really jumps out is the lack of "physicality." Other than the initial passage about the solar being the nicest room in the castle, there's absolutely no scene-setting. We have no idea who these people are (other than that they live in a castle), where they are, what they are like physically. Compare to the opening of Autumn Twilight, which sets you in a landscape, in a time of year, at a time of day, with two distinctive characters. [I'm referring to Chapter 1 here, forgot about the Prologue, but you can see similar scene-setting there.]

What drives home the lack of physicality is the passage where Atieno "gives a cry of horror" and then Gregory asks Destina what happened and she explains what she heard and saw. How is it that Gregory didn't hear and see exactly the same thing? Did he move across the room after pouring wine into Destina's cup in the previous paragraph? Are his sight and hearing impaired? It makes no physical sense.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
What drives home the lack of physicality is the passage where Atieno "gives a cry of horror" and then Gregory asks Destina what happened and she explains what she heard and saw. How is it that Gregory didn't hear and see exactly the same thing? Did he move across the room after pouring wine into Destina's cup in the previous paragraph? Are his sight and hearing impaired? It makes no physical sense.
Eh? Just means he doesn't have that power. I felt that was fairly obvious.
 

Hussar

Legend
Totally off topic, but, when did Tasslehoff become that tall? Isn't Tas a kender and they're like 3 feet tall at the most. In the cover image, he's almost as tall as that woman and significantly taller than that dwarf.
 

Well, it's a start.

If they erase the age of Mortals, I'd be okay with that I suppose. I'd miss the Knights of Takhisis though.

It's way more than just the Knights of Takhisis we'd lose though. Just to name a few things offhand: the interesting conflict between the wizards and sorcerers, depth and levels of grey to both the knight orders that weren't just "we fight because our gods say to", the existence of a third knight order that provides an interesting counterbalance to the two others, draconian being more than just evil shocktroopers but having a fully arc about establishing their race as a culture and developing an identity, not just one but SEVERAL kender (gasp) characters who are each have far more depth and motivations than being bland stereotypes that provoke arguments online (seriously Tas is the worst written Kender in the entire series and it's not even close), and actual character development for multiple gods in the setting.

Yeah. My feeling is thar they weren't even happy with Dragons of a Summer Flame. They wanted to write a new trilogy and TSR said "No", so they wrote a huge novel in which... They pretty much destroyed Dragonlance.

I'll also miss a few things if the Fifth Age goes bye-bye (Dark Knights, Legion of Steel, Mysticism, The Academy), but there are many more that I'd be glad to get rid of canonically, like Dragon Overlords, Afflicted Kender, Imperialistic Knights of Solamnia with gunpowder(?), a goddess that doesn't fit anywhere in the pantheon, a dead goddess, and a god that renounced their godhood, etc.

To be honest, Krynn after the War of Souls/Amber trilogies is in a better state than during the rest of the previous Fifth Age/Age of Mortals, but it's still a little bit lackluster.

The original feeling of epic adventure and fantasy drama is in the War of the Lance (pre-, during, and post-) and, in my opinion, the possibilities of the future yet unknown, with the Gods returned to the world for the first time in 350+ years.

Precisely my point. Progress the world if they want. Hell, even bring back Takhisis and Paladine if they want, I don't like it one bit will ignore it in my games, but the absolute worst thing they could do is retcon it all away. Frankly the more I learn about this the more I become convinced that this may just be a case of Weis and Hickman being past their prime. I appreciate their contributions to the genre but objectively returning the setting to it's roots in some futile attempt to appeal to nostalgia is shortsighted and misguided at best and at worst could be completely disastrous for the setting.

I'm hoping in some naive hope that this upcoming trilogy delving into time travel is intended to be a "be careful what you wish for" arc that will result in the setting being ultimately set back to post age of souls age or mortals with a few tweaks here or there in some desperate attempt to get the holdouts of the setting to accept that times have changed through an insert character but let's be honest, most of them likely won't read the book anway and will just want replay the original trilogy modules for the 1001st time instead. I'm just genuinely baffled at who these books are supposed to appeal to.
 
Last edited:

Helena Real

Dame of Solamnia
Precisely my point. Progress the world if they want. Hell, even bring back Takhisis and Paladine if they want, I don't like it one bit will ignore it in my games, but the absolute worst thing they could do is retcon it all away. Frankly the more I learn about this the more I become convinced that this may just be a case of Weis and Hickman being past their prime. I appreciate their contributions to the genre but objectively returning the setting to it's roots in some futile attempt to appeal to nostalgia is shortsighted and misguided at best and at worst could be completely disastrous for the setting.

I'm hoping in some naive hope that this upcoming trilogy delving into time travel is intended to be a "be careful what you wish for" arc that will result in the setting being ultimately set back to post age of souls age or mortals with a few tweaks here or there in some desperate attempt to get the holdouts of the setting to accept that times have changed through an insert character but let's be honest, most of them likely won't read the book anway and will just want replay the original trilogy modules for the 1001st time instead. I'm just genuinely baffled at who these books are supposed to appeal to.
I don't think it's so much an appeal for nostalgia as it is a way of bringing the setting back to a form that it's recognizable for people without much hassle. In my experiences—and although I prefer running games after the Amber trilogy—it's kinda difficult to explain to new players who may have an idea of what Dragonlance is, be it from prose fiction, old gaming materials, comic books, etc., how much has happened in the world in the last 60-70 years. Heck, we even had a Second Cataclysm!

For hardcore fans of the setting who are up to date it's no problem, but it really becomes a challenge when trying to introduce new players.

I do think that you're right about your prediction that the trilogy will be centered on the "careful what you wish for" theme, but I do believe that we'll end with a new Post-War of the Lance, with the classic 21 gods, only one type of Kender, only the Knights of Solamnia, etc. I think this is the best option for a Dragonlance revival because a) people could be onboarded from other media more easily and b) it allows for those who love stuff from the no longer canonical future to incorporate them a la carte. The best of both worlds, in my opinion.
 

I don't think it's so much an appeal for nostalgia as it is a way of bringing the setting back to a form that it's recognizable for people without much hassle. In my experiences—and although I prefer running games after the Amber trilogy—it's kinda difficult to explain to new players who may have an idea of what Dragonlance is, be it from prose fiction, old gaming materials, comic books, etc., how much has happened in the world in the last 60-70 years. Heck, we even had a Second Cataclysm!

For hardcore fans of the setting who are up to date it's no problem, but it really becomes a challenge when trying to introduce new players.

I do think that you're right about your prediction that the trilogy will be centered on the "careful what you wish for" theme, but I do believe that we'll end with a new Post-War of the Lance, with the classic 21 gods, only one type of Kender, only the Knights of Solamnia, etc. I think this is the best option for a Dragonlance revival because a) people could be onboarded from other media more easily and b) it allows for those who love stuff from the no longer canonical future to incorporate them a la carte. The best of both worlds, in my opinion.
I don't disagree with you largely, other than pointing out that the setting having a lot of stuff happening in an unrealistic time period is nothing unique to Dragonlance. I mean there have been just as many world altering disasters and gods being created/killed in Fae'run too but no one seems be clamoring to simplify or retcon literally 2.5 DECADES (our time) of the setting. The only real difference between the two is that WotC has been actually actively supporting Fae'Run.

Where I disagree though is saying that resetting it to the War of the Lance will be helpful for new players. First, it's a complicated setting no matter which time period you set it in, especially during or post War of the Lance, which is a heavily detailed and documented time period. Anyone who has ever played any of the Lord of the Rings tabletop or has used Middle Earth as a setting is often aware of this issue, primarily with many DMs or players feeling pressured to "stick to the script" of the novels, or alternatively feeling like you're playing second fiddle to the actual events that matter. Sure a skilled DM can mitigate this but I feel like it's far more of an issue than most care to admit, particularly for players with less experience.

Second, and I know this is probably not fun to hear for most fans of the series, but there are two things most need to realize: a) most people under the age of 30 have never even heard of dragonlance outside of the few random offmentions in the 5e books unless they frequent online roleplaying forums, and I'd hesitate to even call the people on this site representative of the majority of the 5e playerbase. I mean heck I have 5 players who are all avid fantasy readers each with literal bookshelves of different stories and not one of them had even read one of the books that wasn't the first book. I love this series dearly by popular now a days it is not.

Related to this: point b) The original trilogy has not aged well. What was once revolutionary and genre setting now comes off as cliche, forced, and outright offensive with some of the side characters. While I do agree that social media overblows this as it does with almost everything and that some of it's criticisms are unfair as this series arguably helped create many fantasy tropes, like it or not this is the reality this series/setting faces. The fantasy genre and gaming space have changed quite substantially in 38 years, and it's foolish to think that denying this is good for the longevity of the brand. The setting needs substantial updates to truly bring it up to speed, and we need to acknowledge that neither leaving it unchanged nor negating all but the first three books will fix it. My argument is that simply that if it was to be a false dichotomy of those two extremes I'd sooner keep Age of Mortals in a heartbeat. It's not even a close comparison.
 
Last edited:

Helena Real

Dame of Solamnia
I don't disagree with you largely, other than pointing out that the setting having a lot of stuff happening in an unrealistic time period is nothing unique to Dragonlance. I mean there have been just as many world altering disasters and gods being created/killed in Fae'run too but no one seems be clamoring to simplify or retcon literally 2.5 DECADES (our time) of the setting. The only real difference between the two is that WotC has been actually actively supporting Fae'Run.

Where I disagree though is saying that resetting it to the War of the Lance will be helpful for new players. First, it's a complicated setting no matter which time period you set it in, especially during or post War of the Lance, which is a heavily detailed and documented time period. Anyone who has ever played any of the Lord of the Rings tabletop or has used Middle Earth as a setting is often aware of this issue, primarily with many DMs or players feeling pressured to "stick to the script" of the novels, or alternatively feeling like you're playing second fiddle to the actual events that matter. Sure a skilled DM can mitigate this but I feel like it's far more of an issue than most care to admit, particularly for players with less experience.

Second, and I know this is probably not fun to hear for most fans of the series, but there are two things most need to realize: a) most people under the age of 30 have never even heard of dragonlance outside of the few random offmentions in the 5e books unless they frequent online roleplaying forums, and I'd hesitate to even call the people on this site representative of the majority of the 5e playerbase. I mean heck I have 5 players who are all avid fantasy readers each with literal bookshelves of different stories and not one of them had even read one of the books that wasn't the first book. I love this series dearly by popular now a days it is not.

Related to this: point b) The original trilogy has not aged well. What was once revolutionary and genre setting now comes off as cliche, forced, and outright offensive with some of the side characters. While I do agree that social media overblows this as it does with almost everything and that some of it's criticisms are unfair as this series arguably helped create many fantasy tropes, like it or not this is the reality this series/setting faces. The fantasy genre and gaming space have changed quite substantially in 38 years, and it's foolish to think that denying this is good for the longevity of the brand. The setting needs substantial updates to truly bring it up to speed, and we need to acknowledge that neither leaving it unchanged nor negating all but the first three books will fix it. My argument is that simply that if it was to be a false dichotomy of those two extremes I'd sooner keep Age of Mortals in a heartbeat. It's not even a close comparison.
I agree with you—to a degree. Although I love the books (I'm currently reading the Chronicles + Lost Chronicles combined in chronological order), they're definitely not as innovative and impressive as they once were, especially so for newer readers. I enjoy them immensely for what I think they are: well-written D&D novels. I like them way better than anything I've read written by R.A. Salvatore, for example, or most Ravenloft, Dark Sun, or Gygax novels.

In my opinion, though, the post War of the Lance is pretty much the perfect period to set your adventures... As long as you ignore anything past the Legends trilogy. Krynn is finally at peace and the character options are now way open. I'd even add the newer classes, like sorcerers and warlocks to the mix, without much hassle and we're good to go! With Takhisis secured in The Abyss, it's time for the rest of the evil gods to shine as antagonists—or even some wayward neutral ones or even overly zealous good ones, if you want to add some spice.

My way of looking at it is that it's better to play in a situation with a) as many character options as possible and b) the least amount of info dumps necessary to bring people up to speed.

Now, and this may be a generational think, but half the people I play with (people in their late 30s, early 40s) either have first-hand experience with Dragonlance and/or have read some fiction set there. Of that half, however, only a small minority have read/know about anything beyond the War of the Lance. So, at least for us, setting adventures after the War of the Lance is the best timeline for what I described above.
 
Last edited:


Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top