log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E (+) What Would You Want From 5e Dragonlance?

Raunalyn

Adventurer
You are, of course, entirely correct in this view and assessment of DragonLance.

But there is a reason for that and how that element emerges in the narrative of the tale. DragonLance is not simply a story that takes place in a setting, it is a story that involves characters with pre-existing relationships. It is "the Star Wars of D&D" because of the familial bloodlines and their pre-existing relationships. DragonLance is not just a story about the setting or the bad guys. It's a story about the good guys, in a way that no other Adv Path really has been since. And that's the problem.

There are a lot of gamers -- the large if not overwhelming majority of which -- find the idea of playing a pre-generated character to be anathema to their roleplaying experience. I cannot disagree with them about that. They are not wrong.

HOWEVER...

There is a reason that the romance and tragedy of DL can't be repeated without those pre-existing relationships. It's the lifeblood of the story; it is the bathwater you are trying to throw out. In order for it to work at its best, you need it. Yes, even if you hate it.

You don't have to do it with the pre-gens, but you are going to throw out that romance and tragedy without it. That's the part you need to square with and stop hand-waving it all away as if it doesn't matter. It does matter. It matters a lot.

For new players? The pre-gens work really well. The problem comes when they have read the novels and are making those choices; or FAR worse, when the DM has read the novels and is trying to force the PCs to make those choices. But if you stay away from those easy to avoid pitfalls? It works brilliantly for someone coming at it tabula rasa.

And that isn't us.

However, there are millions of customers who are not us. And it's been 37 years. Most new players? They haven't read them. At all.

No, it's not going to work for the vast majority of people reading this thread. But here's the thing: that's okay. The vast majority of us here are doddering old grognards. We are not the players to focus on. We're not the market for this 5e product.

We can, however, be DMs for it to those who are noobs, if we are lucky enough to find such an unsuspecting group to unleash it upon.

And if not? That's okay too. It's not about you; it's not about us. It's about the people who aren't reading this thread.
I somewhat agree with you, but not entirely. With a GM that is intimately familiar with the world, an effective and well-made story can be made without all of the elements you outlined.

For example...I ran a retelling of the War of the Lance with a different group of characters. Essentially, I ran a what-if scenario that asked, "What if the Heroes of the Lance never showed up at the Inn of the Last Home on that fateful day?" And, not to toot my own horn, I think it went very well. None of the characters started off with those familial aspects, nor the romance. However, the epic tone, the world-building and lore of the world, all melded to create a very enjoyable story that my group still talks about.

Then again, I did change the story enough to make it my own. I think that is, in essence, what 5e Dragonlance needs to empower the DMs to do. How do you make it your world? How do you add that epic tone?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Steel_Wind

Adventurer
I somewhat agree with you, but not entirely. With a GM that is intimately familiar with the world, an effective and well-made story can be made without all of the elements you outlined.

For example...I ran a retelling of the War of the Lance with a different group of characters. Essentially, I ran a what-if scenario that asked, "What if the Heroes of the Lance never showed up at the Inn of the Last Home on that fateful day?" And, not to toot my own horn, I think it went very well. None of the characters started off with those familial aspects, nor the romance. However, the epic tone, the world-building and lore of the world, all melded to create a very enjoyable story that my group still talks about.

Then again, I did change the story enough to make it my own. I think that is, in essence, what 5e Dragonlance needs to empower the DMs to do. How do you make it your world? How do you add that epic tone?
You can totally do it. It becomes, in effect, just like any other Adv Path.

And they can be fun. I've GMd or played in over... 15 of them to date? (and counting).

But the one thing such an AP lacks is that the story is truly about the characters, where they, not the BBEG, are the most important thing in it. They define it.

That doesn't mean that stories where that isn't the case aren't also fun and rewarding. The broad mass of all modern Adv design certainly goes all-in towards the vein you suggest works - there can be no argument about that.

I do think, however, that in that mad rush we forget what it left behind on the table as a consequence.

Moreover, despite the broadly shared disdain for pregen characters... it's been 37 years. And we're still talking about this AP. We're not doing that about any other similar adventure series.

Say what you want: DragonLance left a permanent mark and the thunderclap it left behind in its wake still echoes throughout all modern RPG adventure development & design.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You are, of course, entirely correct in this view and assessment of DragonLance.

But there is a reason for that and how that element emerges in the narrative of the tale. DragonLance is not simply a story that takes place in a setting, it is a story that involves characters with pre-existing relationships. It is "the Star Wars of D&D" because of the familial bloodlines and their pre-existing relationships. DragonLance is not just a story about the setting or the bad guys. It's a story about the good guys, in a way that no other Adv Path really has been since. And that's the problem.

There are a lot of gamers -- the large if not overwhelming majority of which -- find the idea of playing a pre-generated character to be anathema to their roleplaying experience. I cannot disagree with them about that. They are not wrong.

HOWEVER...

There is a reason that the romance and tragedy of DL can't be repeated without those pre-existing relationships. It's the lifeblood of the story; it is the bathwater you are trying to throw out. In order for it to work at its best, you need it. Yes, even if you hate it.

You don't have to do it with the pre-gens, but you are going to throw out that romance and tragedy without it. That's the part you need to square with and stop hand-waving it all away as if it doesn't matter. It does matter. It matters a lot.

For new players? The pre-gens work really well. The problem comes when they have read the novels and are making those choices; or FAR worse, when the DM has read the novels and is trying to force the PCs to make those choices. But if you stay away from those easy to avoid pitfalls? It works brilliantly for someone coming at it tabula rasa.

And that isn't us.

However, there are millions of customers who are not us. And it's been 37 years. Most new players? They haven't read them. At all.

No, it's not going to work for the vast majority of people reading this thread. But here's the thing: that's okay. The vast majority of us here are doddering old grognards. We are not the players to focus on. We're not the market for this 5e product.

We can, however, be DMs for it to those who are noobs, if we are lucky enough to find such an unsuspecting group to unleash it upon.

And if not? That's okay too. It's not about you; it's not about us. It's about the people who aren't reading this thread.
Nope. I’m not even suggesting setting the 5e iteration in the War of The Lance era, much less involving those characters.

And Legacy, expanded Bonds, Loyalty, etc are all things that can be introduced or expanded upon in a setting book.
In fact, 5e setting books (with only 1 exception) all involve introducing or expanding upon variant mechanics that help evoke a different tone and theme from the PHB.

If you read my suggestions, you know I’m not relying on the original characters or their bonds. I’m talking about building the world to feel like DL did originally, and help set up the players to be able to play romantic fantasy heroes.
 

Quartz

Hero
If you're going to do an adventure path, I wouldn't redo the Second War of the Lance but create one for the First War of the Lance. Let someone play Huma. Let someone play Magius. Let someone play Kaz. Let someone play the silver dragon, Gwyneth, later on.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
I'm not generally a fan of restricting player options. The original DL did not write out any of the original PC races from the PHB with the exception of the half-orc.

I don't want to yuck on anyone's yum, nor to thread crap, so I won't go into detail on my feelings for the setting or the novels.

I will say that I enjoyed the 5e version of the War of the Lance that we just finished this year. We built our own characters and backstories. The kids were not familiar with the story, but my brother and law and I were.

He and I built identical twin characters. He was a white robe wizard and I was a seeker who was actually the first to discover the secret of true clerical magic when he attuned to the rod we retrieved from goldmoon's dead body. (She was killed by hobgoblins). Riverwind stayed with our party for a while, until he left to take the message of the gods' return to his people.

My daughter played a good friend of ours who both Kitara's old lover and a solamnic knight.

My older son played an elf who was Laurana's older brother. He was a warlock of the Red Moon (using the archfey mechanics).

My younger son played a kender who was also a friend of ours from our youth.

We met at the Inn in Solace at the beginning of the story and explained what we'd been doing over the past five years (during which we had went to 3rd level while off-camera).

We ended up recreating the original story in our own way.

Our GM had to do some heavy rewriting to keep us from being trapped on the choo-choo train.

I remember a memorable scene where I engaged in a sermon-off with an NPC seeker who didn't convert to the worship of the returned gods.

I bring this tale to point out that despite my feelings on the chronicle, I have had some enjoyable sessions playing it (from 3rd to 18th level).

I still think the setting would be improved by finding a way to make modern character options fit the feel of DL instead of simply banning them. Recreating the same setting with only those options allowed in the original would be a mistake in IMNSHO. I am allergic to nostalgia.

I sincerely doubt that Wizards will produce the Dragonlance that so many of the posters here are hankering for. There is little evidence that they will produce something that leaves out a sizeable portion of the PHB. (This goes for the Dark Sun thread as well). I would love to see a DL product that emphasizes faith, loyalty and honor. I would love to see a DL product that emphasized using session zero to build a party that had interconnections of love and friendship. I would love to see a DL product that provides support for and discussion of large scale battles (preferably focusing on PCs as commandos who execute special missions that support the troops as opposed to wargaming out mass battles).

There are many things that a DL setting book could do.

If it's just a recreation of the same exact setting that was published decades ago, with the same exact character options. I don't see it happening. New subclasses for DL, yes; removing everything from the PHB that didn't exist in 1e, no.

Just my NSHO, YMMV.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm not generally a fan of restricting player options. The original DL did not write out any of the original PC races from the PHB with the exception of the half-orc.

I don't want to yuck on anyone's yum, nor to thread crap, so I won't go into detail on my feelings for the setting or the novels.

I will say that I enjoyed the 5e version of the War of the Lance that we just finished this year. We built our own characters and backstories. The kids were not familiar with the story, but my brother and law and I were.

He and I built identical twin characters. He was a white robe wizard and I was a seeker who was actually the first to discover the secret of true clerical magic when he attuned to the rod we retrieved from goldmoon's dead body. (She was killed by hobgoblins). Riverwind stayed with our party for a while, until he left to take the message of the gods' return to his people.

My daughter played a good friend of ours who both Kitara's old lover and a solamnic knight.

My older son played an elf who was Laurana's older brother. He was a warlock of the Red Moon (using the archfey mechanics).

My younger son played a kender who was also a friend of ours from our youth.

We met at the Inn in Solace at the beginning of the story and explained what we'd been doing over the past five years (during which we had went to 3rd level while off-camera).

We ended up recreating the original story in our own way.

Our GM had to do some heavy rewriting to keep us from being trapped on the choo-choo train.

I remember a memorable scene where I engaged in a sermon-off with an NPC seeker who didn't convert to the worship of the returned gods.

I bring this tale to point out that despite my feelings on the chronicle, I have had some enjoyable sessions playing it (from 3rd to 18th level).

I still think the setting would be improved by finding a way to make modern character options fit the feel of DL instead of simply banning them. Recreating the same setting with only those options allowed in the original would be a mistake in IMNSHO. I am allergic to nostalgia.

I sincerely doubt that Wizards will produce the Dragonlance that so many of the posters here are hankering for. There is little evidence that they will produce something that leaves out a sizeable portion of the PHB. (This goes for the Dark Sun thread as well). I would love to see a DL product that emphasizes faith, loyalty and honor. I would love to see a DL product that emphasized using session zero to build a party that had interconnections of love and friendship. I would love to see a DL product that provides support for and discussion of large scale battles (preferably focusing on PCs as commandos who execute special missions that support the troops as opposed to wargaming out mass battles).

There are many things that a DL setting book could do.

If it's just a recreation of the same exact setting that was published decades ago, with the same exact character options. I don't see it happening. New subclasses for DL, yes; removing everything from the PHB that didn't exist in 1e, no.

Just my NSHO, YMMV.
I agree with pretty all of this.
 

CasvalRemDeikun

Adventurer
I feel like things like the Wizards of High Sorcery, Knights of Solamnia, and other similar organizations should be handled in the same way that the Strixhaven Colleges, where the subclasses can be used with multiple classes. Otherwise, Backgrounds are another good option for them.
Draconians are going to be hard to balance, but maybe if you can take a racial subclass instead of a regular subclass to fit the abilities of the Draconians in there, it might work.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I feel like things like the Wizards of High Sorcery, Knights of Solamnia, and other similar organizations should be handled in the same way that the Strixhaven Colleges, where the subclasses can be used with multiple classes. Otherwise, Backgrounds are another good option for them.
Draconians are going to be hard to balance, but maybe if you can take a racial subclass instead of a regular subclass to fit the abilities of the Draconians in there, it might work.
I think we can make draconians work without going that far, though I would tone down the deaththrows.
 



Raunalyn

Adventurer
Do people think draconians should be a playable race in DL? Personally, I wouldn't like it, but, what do people want?
I am ok with Draconians being a playable race. It is a theme throughout the Dragonlance series that even those who are the most evil are redeemable. Perhaps that can translate to Draconians. For me, it doesn't detract from the overall story, and could even present further conflict when a Draconian PC has to go against other Draconian enemies.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top