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

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I would not call Dragonlance a low magic setting. I would call it a high magic setting where the magic spellcasting is controlled by the God's enforcers on the ground (both the moon gods for arcane and the other gods). Magic exists aplenty in the setting - Dragon Orbs, Dragonlances, +3 weapons, vorpal blade, the Staff of the Magius which is arguably the most powerful wizard magic item in 1E. The modules and rulebooks on Dragonlance were chocked full of magic.
I guess a better name would be Narrow-Magic, to go the opposite direction of Eberron where magic is wide but isnt deep.

Spellcasters do have a lot of magic in DL, and as noted, magic items are quite present. But the way to magic is treacherous, so not every character can cast spells. Which make it a little harder to do in 5e, since about 90% of the classes and archetypes gain access to magic in their character developpment and not with the help of unearthed magic artifacts.

I do think that there's a way to have most class in the PHB somehow present in DL, but the archetypes that grant spells to not-spellcaster class should be rarer.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Also the last time I played DL it was a AD&D box set and I don't recall sorcerers at all.

I don't remember 3e ish sorcerers in the books, so adding them to latter settings just to fit the system would be an example of exactly the thing they should not do.

Subclasses or even whole classes that don't fit shouldn't be there, and the ones that do fit with faction restrictions should be spelled out and bucking those systems should have real consequence.
Or, the various orders could just be things that a player can choose and we could not make the setting actively frustrating to play in.
 

I have to admit that I don’t like the idea of playable draconians. Draconians replace so many of the DnD monsters. Humanoids and demons/devils all rolled into one.

And one of the few races where it’s perfectly fine that they are irredeemably evil. The3e additions where they made draconians an actual race with baby draconians and whatnot was a change I did not like.

Draconians were horrific. I liked that.
Draconians were thinking creatures with free will from the beginning. They have all the potentially problematic concerns that orcs have, and just as much reason to be playable.
 


Hussar

Legend
Draconians were thinking creatures with free will from the beginning. They have all the potentially problematic concerns that orcs have, and just as much reason to be playable.
Not really. Not in the books they didn't. They were the abominations created by perverting good dragon eggs. They had no natural elements at all. They were essentially demons, perverted and without any redeeming quality. They didn't build, they only destroyed. Thoroughly evil. And no, they don't have the problematic concerns that orcs have because draconians were never described using the same language as various real world minorities have been described. There was never any connection to being ape like or even animal like at all. Well, reptilian I suppose, but, even then, not really.

So, no, they had any of the problematic concerns that you would associate with orcs. They were basically constructs.

If people have been playing them for 20 years, that's because they went back and retconned Draconians to allow for "good" draconians. It's a change that I never agreed with and thought it was a serious mistake that just waters down the setting.

Remember, this is a setting that has no devils. At least, it didn't before they retconned that in too. :D Draconians played that role in the game - the thing you can kill without any moral quandary, same as demons or devils. They were Evil, without any redeeming quality. Fantastic for a high fantasy setting which focuses on the whole good vs evil thing.

Making draconians into dragonborn dilutes the setting and is, in my opinion, which I know right now I'm going to get shouted down here, a serious mistake.
 

Hussar

Legend
Do you mean to express that you unintentionally mistook my statement as wanting low magic? That would make a lot more sense.
Nope, was just using your quote as a springboard as an example of someone who clearly didn't have a good grasp of the setting making broad sweeping claims about what the setting "should be". Whether that's limited magic, limited race palate or whatever. Just another person who hadn't done their homework about the setting.

Which, I suppose, that would be reason enough to get snarky. But, nope, not misattributing anything. You simply missed the point I was making, which was that I found it rather funny that people were making broad, grand statements about how the setting should be, without actually basing it on facts of the setting.

IOW, it would be very helpful to conversation if people actually bothered to read the setting first, rather than go by what they remember from thirty years ago.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
And no, they don't have the problematic concerns that orcs have because draconians were never described using the same language as various real world minorities have been described.
Wow. Just wow.

Let's look at the descriptions of draconians in MC4 Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix (affiliate link), published in 1990, and compare them to language describing real-world minorities.

Sivaks are savage, shapechanging draconians that are derived from the eggs of silver dragons.

"Acts of racial violence were justified and encouraged through the emphasis on this stereotype of the Savage." -Laura Green, Negative Racial Stereotypes and Their Effect on Attitudes Toward African-Americans.

Soft-spoken and coldblooded, no act of violence is too extreme for an Aurak.

"The driving concept in the book is that African American men are depicted as 'Black demons' by U.S. media. As 'Black demons,' African American men are stereotyped as prone to criminality and violence and unable to fit into society." -Book review, Black demons: The media’s depiction of the African American male criminal stereotype.

Baaz live lawless, disorderly lives, utterly lacking in self-discipline.

"White Americans value self-reliance and object that blacks fail to demonstrate self-discipline." -Michèle Lamont, Who counts as “them?”: racism and virtue in the United States and France.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. To say that there's no coded language in classic depictions of draconians - to say nothing of objecting to more recent depictions of them as individuals rather than being racially evil - is problematic in the extreme.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Nope, was just using your quote as a springboard as an example of someone who clearly didn't have a good grasp of the setting making broad sweeping claims about what the setting "should be". Whether that's limited magic, limited race palate or whatever. Just another person who hadn't done their homework about the setting.

Which, I suppose, that would be reason enough to get snarky. But, nope, not misattributing anything. You simply missed the point I was making, which was that I found it rather funny that people were making broad, grand statements about how the setting should be, without actually basing it on facts of the setting.

IOW, it would be very helpful to conversation if people actually bothered to read the setting first, rather than go by what they remember from thirty years ago.
Ahhh... So you think I don't know the setting and your condescension in the first post, and the second one where you accuse me of being "Antagonistic" and now -this- post where you're condescending to me as well, all springs from that erroneous assumption.

Right. Makes sense.

I'll tell you, now, that's an ugly and ignorant assumption to make. And it's even worse to keep it going through more, and more, and more posts.

Even now, after I've expressed that Orcs and Half-Orcs don't exist in the setting specifically because Weis and Hickman kept them out of the setting to help differentiate it from others. Even after I referenced the Irda and five Elf Races (Silvanesti, Qualinesti, Kagonesti, Dimernesti, and the Dargonesti) you still, somehow, believe in your heart of hearts that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. And -continue- to condescend.

Man. That is some high quality something. Probably not allowed to say it, here.

For everyone's edification? I played Dragonlance as a Kid and a Teen in the late 80s and the 90s when I first started out. I read the books whenever I got my hands on them, before and -AFTER- the War of the Lance. (Though Dragons of Summer Flame really put me off the books when I finally finished it).

When my DM at the time mentioned that everyone in the tavern felt the earth shaking and one of my friends piped up "Duck under the tables, it's an Earthquake!" I quipped "Don't you mean a Krynn-Quake" and busted up 3 tables of nerds ranging from 9 to 40 in gales of laughter.

But this guy thinks I don't know anything about the setting. That I haven't read it.

Just -wow-.
 
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cbwjm

Hero
I agree with most of this, but I'd have Knight of the Thorn as a warlock. They don't really act like wizards, and they pretty much get their powers directly from the Dark Queen, which screams pact magic to me. Plus it allows that class to be used organically in Krynn, which WoTC will like cos it allows all the options from the players handbook. Mystics need to be divine casters, but since they made Favoured Souls into sorcerers, I guess there is precedence.

On the topic of races, you can maximise adherence to PHB as follows:

Human
Elf (High = Silvanesti/Qualinesti; Wood = Kagonesti; No Drow)
Dwarf (Hill = Neidar; Mountain = Hylar, Daewar, etc)
Halfling (True Kender, Afflicted Kender)
Gnome (Tinker, Thinker)
Half-Orc (Nope)
Dragonborn (Draconian)
Tiefling (Nope?)

Half Orc I guess you could just chuck the Goblin/Hobgoblin/Bugbears in as a replacement since they already have those racial writeups. Tiefling I'm a bit conflicted on. Krynn has devils and demons. It could have tieflings - we just haven't seen any. Maybe they get replaced with Irda.
Main reason I kept knight of the thorn as a wizard was that they originally drew upon the power of all three moons which is what made them so powerful. Age of souls though they became sorcerers and didn't go back when the gods returned so it might work better as a sorcerer subclass. I don't actually like warlock as a class for Dragonlance. Not saying it couldn't fit, but I just feel like it doesn't have a good place there when I consider the setting.
 

Not really. Not in the books they didn't.
There is literately a book about them having free will and having previously been forced into their army position despite the manner of their creation?

Like, I know I go -hard- against certain aspects of Dragonlance (do not get me started on my 'Elves act evil' tangent we'll be here for days) but this is just, not supported by the books at all. Draconians have free will and the moment they got out from the oppressive structure of the Dragonarmies, they very quickly told evil to go and shove it and went off to live their own lives
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Not really. Not in the books they didn't.
You mean not in the first books, perhaps?

Did you not know about the books where draconians are shown to be thinking creatures and some of them abandon thier masters and seek out a way to reproduce, or were you just pretending that something you don’t like isn’t part of the setting?

Either way, yes, they are as @Micah Sweet described. Have been for what folks call “a long time”.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Same guy whose saying we need to add in all the races and make the setting a kitchen sink so it can be "Gonzo" for him... thinks Draconians having Free Will "Waters things down".

Honestly, it's more amusing than anything at this point.
Yeah that raised my eyebrows too.

I’m normally a proponent of allowing all races, but Dragonlance is a much…simpler, setting in terms of its peoples. At least on Ansalon.

I would be fine with everything existing in that other far off continent that is basically its own setting, though, for DMs and groups that don’t care about this element.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Yeah that raised my eyebrows too.

I’m normally a proponent of allowing all races, but Dragonlance is a much…simpler, setting in terms of its peoples. At least on Ansalon.

I would be fine with everything existing in that other far off continent that is basically its own setting, though, for DMs and groups that don’t care about this element.
Taladas, yeah. But it's largely unexplored in the Canon.

I mean it had it's own boxed set, but even that was pretty loosey goosey with solid information and largely revolved around the Dark Queen and later the Minotaurs from Taladas.

You'd think 4e would've latched on to Taladas like crazy to play up their kitchen-sinky-points-of-light setting concept, but even then it went largely untouched.

Wasted opportunity, really.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Taladas, yeah. But it's largely unexplored in the Canon.

I mean it had it's own boxed set, but even that was pretty loosey goosey with solid information and largely revolved around the Dark Queen and later the Minotaurs from Taladas.

You'd think 4e would've latched on to Taladas like crazy to play up their kitchen-sinky-points-of-light setting concept, but even then it went largely untouched.

Wasted opportunity, really.
Yeah very wasted!

I wish they had done more in 4e, but at least they did Draconians and a few other little bits.
 

Hussar

Legend
Wow. Just wow.

Let's look at the descriptions of draconians in MC4 Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix (affiliate link), published in 1990, and compare them to language describing real-world minorities.



"Acts of racial violence were justified and encouraged through the emphasis on this stereotype of the Savage." -Laura Green, Negative Racial Stereotypes and Their Effect on Attitudes Toward African-Americans.



"The driving concept in the book is that African American men are depicted as 'Black demons' by U.S. media. As 'Black demons,' African American men are stereotyped as prone to criminality and violence and unable to fit into society." -Book review, Black demons: The media’s depiction of the African American male criminal stereotype.



"White Americans value self-reliance and object that blacks fail to demonstrate self-discipline." -Michèle Lamont, Who counts as “them?”: racism and virtue in the United States and France.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. To say that there's no coded language in classic depictions of draconians - to say nothing of objecting to more recent depictions of them as individuals rather than being racially evil - is problematic in the extreme.
Normally I agree with this sort of stuff, but, this seems to be reaching pretty hard. But, this is not really the place to discuss this, so I will simply agree to disagree here.
 

Hussar

Legend
There is literately a book about them having free will and having previously been forced into their army position despite the manner of their creation?

Like, I know I go -hard- against certain aspects of Dragonlance (do not get me started on my 'Elves act evil' tangent we'll be here for days) but this is just, not supported by the books at all. Draconians have free will and the moment they got out from the oppressive structure of the Dragonarmies, they very quickly told evil to go and shove it and went off to live their own lives
I did state that I largely stopped reading the series after the first twenty or so, and didn't read anything set much after the War of the Lance. I did clearly state that.

So, I'll admit I've never read this book. It retcons everything that came before, apparently, and it's exactly what I was talking about how they later changed the setting, watered it down and largely piddled all over floor. The notion of draconians being "forced" into anything is a complete 180 from how they were originally presented and something I think was a very large mistake.

Pretty much anything published during or after SAGA was, IMO, garbage.
 

Hussar

Legend
Yeah that raised my eyebrows too.

I’m normally a proponent of allowing all races, but Dragonlance is a much…simpler, setting in terms of its peoples. At least on Ansalon.

I would be fine with everything existing in that other far off continent that is basically its own setting, though, for DMs and groups that don’t care about this element.
Ok, I gotta ask. This is a setting with walrus people. This is the setting that gave us playable minotaurs at a time when Drow were considered extreme. Saying that the DL modules were considered gonzo at the time is hardly a major stretch, is it? Granted, by today's standards, maybe not, but at the tiem? Heck, Dragonlance Adventures, at the time, was far, far more gonzo than anything for the system. Casters were upgunned. Remember how you got bonus caster levels depending on the phases of the moons? Never minding the cheese that was Solamnic Knights. Wahoo instant weapon specialization every time you got a new weapon prof. Every one of the Heroes of the Lance were wandering around with +3 or better weapons at pretty low levels and an actual GOD was an NPC.

Are you saying this wasn't a gonzo campaign?
 


It retcons everything that came before, apparently, and it's exactly what I was talking about how they later changed the setting, watered it down and largely piddled all over floor.
Does it retcon everything prior, or add further depths to it? Its also hardly watering anything down. "Your enemies are as human as you and you are only fighting due to being on the wrong side at the wrong time. In another world, you could have been friends". Gimme that grimness and moral ambiguity, mmmmm

Mind, my own interpretation of how Dragonlance handles good and evil generally starts with "Kill the gods and shatter their thrones" so....

Saying that the DL modules were considered gonzo at the time is hardly a major stretch, is it?
Mystara was around at the same time, plus Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

It might be gonzo by today's standards, but this was in an age where Greyhawk had a crashed spaceship as a dungeon and by comparison to Mystara, it was barely anything.
 

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