• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

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


log in or register to remove this ad

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Gotta remember, @Faolyn. One man's Reason is another man's Excuse.

The kender could "Believe their own excuses" because to the kender those are -reasons-. Earnest, honest, reasons. But it's excuses to everyone else. I'm sure you've had your fair share of people calling your reasons for doing things excuses simply because it doesn't satisfy their personal "Bar" of what is a good reason.

Mostly 'cause your reason inconveniences them.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Gotta remember, @Faolyn. One man's Reason is another man's Excuse.

The kender could "Believe their own excuses" because to the kender those are -reasons-. Earnest, honest, reasons. But it's excuses to everyone else. I'm sure you've had your fair share of people calling your reasons for doing things excuses simply because it doesn't satisfy their personal "Bar" of what is a good reason.

Mostly 'cause your reason inconveniences them.
Honestly, if I was constantly stealing and lying about it, mocking others in order to make them mad, and touching things I shouldn't, I would deserve people calling my reasons "just excuses."
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Honestly, if I was constantly stealing and lying about it, mocking others in order to make them mad, and touching things I shouldn't, I would deserve people calling my reasons "just excuses."
Unintentional Theft, Inability to read Social Cues, Asking Personal Questions to the point of inciting violence, "Lying" reflexively to try and avoid trouble you don't understand...

If the authors are sincere in presenting these things as true for the Kender, rather than the Kender just being lying thieving jerks who insult people habitually, then it feels very ADHD/Autism Spectrum/80s-Spaz behavior dialed up to 11.

Which is what it sincerely reads like, to me. Part of why I related so hard as a kid and wince so hard, now.

Of course if they -are- just little gobknobblers who actively make these choices then that's either more cruel on the writer's part or right around the same level.
 

Libertad

Adventurer
I believe that the writers intended to portray Kender as being perpetual in the mindset of overly-curious children. Or an idealized portrayal of such children. The overall innocence of kender is emphasized in many books, to the point that they're overwhelmingly good-aligned and visiting violence upon them is heavily looked down upon even if many societies try to keep them away from their stuff.
 

Hussar

Legend
Wasn't the reason for "no magic shops" simply an artifact of the edition? After all, Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms, at the time, didn't have magic shops either. No setting had magic shops in D&D because you couldn't by magic items by the rules.

I have to admit, I strongly disagree with the idea that DL is a low magic setting. The heroes of the lance were absolutely dripping with very powerful magic items, up to and including artifacts, by relatively low levels. And the modules were filled to the brim with magic items. One module, and I can't remember which one, I think one of the later ones that had a collection of short modules, had a pool that granted +1 to +4 permanent bonuses to any non-magical item put into it. Granted, a magic item put in would blow up, but, them's the breaks. :D

I think there was a very large shift in how people viewed the setting starting around 3e era (ish).
 

Faolyn

Hero
If the authors are sincere in presenting these things as true for the Kender, rather than the Kender just being lying thieving jerks who insult people habitually, then it feels very ADHD/Autism Spectrum/80s-Spaz behavior dialed up to 11.
I am both autistic and have very severe ADHD, and I grew up in the 80s. They do not seem like any of those fit. I don't recall liking them at all when I first read Dragonlance stuff in the early 90s, when I was in my teens. (I was more interested in the minotaurs.)

To me, kender seem like charming sociopaths. They've certainly fooled a lot of people into thinking they're actually well-meaning and kind-hearted.

Of course if they -are- just little gobknobblers who actively make these choices then that's either more cruel on the writer's part or right around the same level.
Their origin is convoluted.
 

Libertad

Adventurer
Wasn't the reason for "no magic shops" simply an artifact of the edition? After all, Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms, at the time, didn't have magic shops either. No setting had magic shops in D&D because you couldn't by magic items by the rules.

I have to admit, I strongly disagree with the idea that DL is a low magic setting. The heroes of the lance were absolutely dripping with very powerful magic items, up to and including artifacts, by relatively low levels. And the modules were filled to the brim with magic items. One module, and I can't remember which one, I think one of the later ones that had a collection of short modules, had a pool that granted +1 to +4 permanent bonuses to any non-magical item put into it. Granted, a magic item put in would blow up, but, them's the breaks. :D

I think there was a very large shift in how people viewed the setting starting around 3e era (ish).

In my original post, that was one example out of many. I could provide a lot more examples of Krynn being comparatively low-magic, but I didn't want to clutter the thread. The nonexistence of (non-evil) divine magic for centuries until a Chosen One PC brings knowledge of it to the world is a pretty significant indicator, showing how the setting as a whole lacked something other popular worlds have in spades.

Being unable to rely on healing magic to patch one up was a huge deal in the setting. Even though Clerics are still relatively rare in other settings, in Krynn their virtual nonexistence was something that brought a lot of suffering through the aptly-named Age of Despair.

Also the Heroes of the Lance are the Super Lucky Lottery Winner equivalent of Krynn's population. They're well, heroes, who could see and do stuff most inhabitants would never dream of in their lifetimes. The most marvelous stuff in the Dragonlance Chronicles is much like any adventure: showing the coolest parts of the setting as opposed to a holistic overview.

During the War of the Lance there were huge sections of the population who have never seen a Cure Light Wounds spell or a Wizard and never will. Meanwhile in Faerun there's a nation where 33% of the population are trained wizards (Halruaa) and in Eberron you got huge sections of the working class employed as Magewrights and House Cannith churning out magic items and warforged. It's a question of scale and accessibility to the common folk.

This isn't a weakness, mind you. I actually think that keeping magic as a rare and miraculous thing that only precious few people have access to lends a special flair to the world and its people. It also makes the return of the gods an even bigger deal.
 
Last edited:

Time Travel rules. Pages and pages of time travel rules.

I want to go back and hang out with Takkisis in her angsty goth phase and convince her to not throw her hissy fit through the power of sarcasm and metal.

Also the lyrics to Raistlin and the Rose printed on the inside cover.
 

Hussar

Legend
Otoh libertad, you also have king priests and continent spanning magic wars where the forces of clerics crush the wizards.

Play generally doesn’t take place during the Age of Despair.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
I believe that the writers intended to portray Kender as being perpetual in the mindset of overly-curious children. Or an idealized portrayal of such children. The overall innocence of kender is emphasized in many books, to the point that they're overwhelmingly good-aligned and visiting violence upon them is heavily looked down upon even if many societies try to keep them away from their stuff.
I think they are mostly neutral aligned, not good.

Tass was true neutral, and while you can say he is "kind" that includes being kind to a very evil Raistlan and helping him as he was executing his plan for domination of the multiverse.
 

Libertad

Adventurer
Otoh libertad, you also have king priests and continent spanning magic wars where the forces of clerics crush the wizards.

Play generally doesn’t take place during the Age of Despair.

Most rulebooks and gaming groups don't support play in the Age of Might. There's no hard and fast numbers, but in online communities the most enthusiasm for Dragonlance eras and adventures are during the Age of Despair. The 5th Age does have some material and support, but it left a bad taste in a lot of fan's mouth. And during the 3e era the 'default' was the 5th Age, but fan demand for a 'classic' Dragonlance published the War of the Lance sourcebook as one of the earliest supplements for the line.

It'd be like saying Dark Sun is actually a rather standard fantasy setting because there existed a time before the Sorcerer-Kings screwed everything up. Which is technically correct, but isn't the era most people are talking about.

I think they are mostly neutral aligned, not good.

Tass was true neutral, and while you can say he is "kind" that includes being kind to a very evil Raistlan and helping him as he was executing his plan for domination of the multiverse.

Without going into another alignment debate, kender are overall poorly written which causes how they're intended by writers and designers to not land with a lot of readers. Alignment-wise kender read as 'good,' if you interpret 'good' to mean naive innocence and good intent even when you're screwing things up even more. It's not a 'good' a lot of gamers would define in the alignment system, but it is one I've seen some gamers accept as being internally consistent.
 
Last edited:

ECMO3

Adventurer
In my original post, that was one example out of many. I could provide a lot more examples of Krynn being comparatively low-magic, but I didn't want to clutter the thread. The nonexistence of (non-evil) divine magic for centuries until a Chosen One PC brings knowledge of it to the world is a pretty significant indicator, showing how the setting as a whole lacked something other popular worlds have in spades.

Being unable to rely on healing magic to patch one up was a huge deal in the setting. Even though Clerics are still relatively rare in other settings, in Krynn their virtual nonexistence was something that brought a lot of suffering through the aptly-named Age of Despair.

Also the Heroes of the Lance are the Super Lucky Lottery Winner equivalent of Krynn's population. They're well, heroes, who could see and do stuff most inhabitants would never dream of in their lifetimes. The most marvelous stuff in the Dragonlance Chronicles is much like any adventure: showing the coolest parts of the setting as opposed to a holistic overview.

During the War of the Lance there were huge sections of the population who have never seen a Cure Light Wounds spell or a Wizard and never will. Meanwhile in Faerun there's a nation where 33% of the population are trained wizards (Halruaa) and in Eberron you got huge sections of the working class employed as Magewrights and House Cannith churning out magic items and warforged. It's a question of scale and accessibility to the common folk.

This isn't a weakness, mind you. I actually think that keeping magic as a rare and miraculous thing that only precious few people have access to lends a special flair to the world and its people. It also makes the return of the gods an even bigger deal.
I would agree there is low (no) healing magic between the cataclysm and war of the lance, but other than healing magic it is high magic IMO. The elves are heavily magical, moreso than in other campaigns and the towers of high sorcery exist and are known about. Further there are human wizards who have not taken the test and are not members of high sorcery. They are not renegades either unless they are above a certain level.

Raistlan lived in a backwoods village, the son of a logger and he had exposure to both magic and wizards of high sorcery early in life. He attended a magic school his sister enrolled him in and he exposed a traveling wizard who was a charlatan using illusion to pretend to be a cleric capable of healing, and he lived in a village.

In Halruaa 33% have some magic abilities but only a third of these (about 10%) are capable of casting an actual spell and that is an anomoly and the most wizard-heavy nation in modern Faerun.
 

Libertad

Adventurer
Fair on the Halruaa part, although the elven nations during the Age of Despair got wrecked during the War of the Lance. And besides that they were quite isolated from the rest of Ansalon.

The 5th Age could perhaps be argued to be a more standard-magic setting, especially with the introduction of new types of magic, the now-established presence of the gods, and so on. But that was also preceded by the War of Souls which knocked Krynn back into a low-magic state when the gods and moons of magic were cut off from the world, the primal sorcerers and mystics shortly arising around this time by my recollection.

Krynn has a track record of various cataclysms screwing everything up, forcing people to spend a long and hard time gradually rebuilding everything. So the low-magic nature tends to be in cycles, with the more 'iconic' eras hewing closer to the lower end of the supernatural spectrum.
 

Otoh libertad, you also have king priests and continent spanning magic wars where the forces of clerics crush the wizards.

Play generally doesn’t take place during the Age of Despair.
Play doesn't often take place in the Age of Might either. Its generally during and post War of the Lance.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
To me, kender seem like charming sociopaths. They've certainly fooled a lot of people into thinking they're actually well-meaning and kind-hearted.
Eh, they read exactly like kids with adhd and/ASD, to me. The writeup may be poorly written, but the best way to understand Kender is to read stories with Tasslehoff.

Taunting is used against creatures that want to do harm to the kender or their friends. The “theft” is generally unintended and a result of curiosity and inattentiveness and a sort of executive disfunction.

I described upthread how I would tone them down while keeping their basic nature, but even as they are, they remind me of me and other kids I knew.
Tass was by far my favorite as a kid, followed by Raistlin and then Laurana and Kitiara.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think they are mostly neutral aligned, not good.

Tass was true neutral, and while you can say he is "kind" that includes being kind to a very evil Raistlan and helping him as he was executing his plan for domination of the multiverse.
Being kind to an evil person isn’t contradictory to being good. Tass was definitely good.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
After reading the convoluted backstory from @Faolyn... I have a whole other idea for how to implement Kender. Go back to the "Warrior Children, Ever Curious, Ever Alert" angle rather than Thiefliness, while keeping the thiefly skills because they're ambushers.

And then have the ones who live in human societies tend toward less violent lives since they don't have to hunt or rob people just to get a meal, and play up "Wrong Environment" angle instead of going for the forgetful thief angle. Make that a Tasslehoff-Specific thing.

It is nice to know, though, that they weren't specifically designed to be spazztastic, like I have been, but rather that was my projecting of identity onto a character.
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

Krynn has a track record of various cataclysms screwing everything up, forcing people to spend a long and hard time gradually rebuilding everything. So the low-magic nature tends to be in cycles, with the more 'iconic' eras hewing closer to the lower end of the supernatural spectrum.
I think I could agree with that. Obviously, there's no clerical magic between the Cataclysm and the War of the Lance. But, that being said, I'd say that War of the Lance era gaming was pretty typical for a lot of Dragonlance, and wizard magic was hardly rare. And, let's not forget, by the War of the Lance, you have vast armies of magically created draconians being led by hundreds of evil dragons. Oh, multiple flying castles and armies being led by death knights as well.

I suppose it depends on how you define "low magic". When you have magically created enemies and dragons in every single adventure in the DL series, plus a boatload of magic items, including a LOT of artifacts, it doesn't really feel low magic to me. And, when comparing settings, one has to be careful about not being anachronistic about it. Greyhawk, while it did have Barrier Peaks, generally hewed pretty low magic in the modules with (mostly) humanoid enemies and not a lot of casters. And, sure, we can talk about Forgotten Realms now as being really high magic, but, at the time, it really wasn't. There was no Halruaa, for example, back then.

When I said that DL was the gonzo setting, I was meaning of the time. Flying castles? Yup, that was first in Dragonlance. Mystara would be another ten years before it saw the light of day, although the Known World was a thing (but, nowhere near the gonzo stuff that Mystara would be famous for). Sure, as I said, Greyhawk had Barrier Peaks, but, other than that? Not really much else. All the Castle Greyhawk stuff wouldn't come until quite a bit later. The Greyhawk boxed set came out in 1983. The DL modules hit the shelves in 84 through 86. At the time, DL really was the gonzo setting.
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top