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D&D 5E Wild Speculation: Athas, the World Without Dragons

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
On the one hand, I'm fine with this kind of approach, especially as it revises all the various settings' own creation myths to mythology instead of fact. I very much feel that gods in D&D work best when they are more unknowable, let alone unkillable.

Though it's also comically juvenile to have gods just be big, powerful monsters with people like little ants just begging them for power/mercy/salvation. Making all gods Lovecraftian is an approach I dig.

But on the other hand, it rubs me the wrong way to just invalidate the (heretofore "factual") creation stories of the various worlds. Designers and fans have been trying to undermine the Dragonlance setting for decades, and that always bugged me - this approach just seems like another push in that kind of direction. Though it also invalidates the cosmologies and setups of setting that deliberately existed outside the Great Wheel idea instead of trying to work within it, like Eberron and Dark Sun. This approach was a problem with Planescape-ing everything, and it's even moreso now.
 
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We can't forget the drakes. Most of them aren't very intelligent, but they are perfect as "mounts" or "hosts" for some mind-controlling symbiont/parasite. Maybe there are sentient drakes, capables even to create a civilitation, but they would rather to live in secret domains in the chaotic elemental limbo where they can't be attacked by hunters or the sorcerer-kings minions. Maybe there are a secret cold war between both sides.

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Air_Drake.jpg
 

Yeah, similar idea where the existence of dragons in the world gives power to magic. But instead of their near-extinction making magic weaker, it made magic draw on the world itself for power instead, and thus defiling was born.

In this way, I suppose the ruination of the world could still be attributed to the actions of power-hungry mortals. Especially if those same mortals hunted dragons to extinction for the power of their hoard items (another concept introduced in Fizban’s).
I see more the lack of native dragons made defiling magic even possible but that this outcome was all people's falt.
 
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That's a setting I'd buy

Dawn War but the gods are alignment flipped.
Goodmsh and Angel Asmodeus vs the Burning Hate and the Corellon the Erlking
would really work in a dark almost comic horror sense.
On the one hand, I'm fine with this kind of approach, especially as it revises all the various settings' own creation myths to mythology instead of fact. I very much feel that gods in D&D work best when they are more unknowable, let alone unkillable. Though it's also comically juvenile to have gods just be big, powerful monsters with people like little ants just begging them for power/mercy/salvation. Making all gods Lovecraftian is an approach I dig.

But on the other hand, it rubs me the wrong way to just invalidate the (heretofore "factual") creation stories of the various worlds. Designers and fans have been trying to undermine the Dragonlance setting for decades, and that always bugged me - this approach just seems like another push in that kind of direction. Though it also invalidates the cosmologies and setups of setting that deliberately existed outside the Great Wheel idea instead of trying to work within it, like Eberron and Dark Sun. This approach was a problem with Planescape-ing everything, and it's even moreso now.
you have a point here both on gods and settings.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
That's a setting I'd buy

Dawn War but the gods are alignment flipped.
Goodmsh and Angel Asmodeus vs the Burning Hate and the Corellon the Erlking
I love this:
Pelor, The Burning Hatred
Ioun, The Forbidden Knowledge
Moradin, The Cog-Maker
Melora, The Unabashed Tide
Avandra, The Fated Misfortune
Kord, The War-Fiend
Corellon, The Mad Erlking
Erathis, Lady of Iron Laws

Vecna, The One-Who-Freed-Magic
Tarizdhun, The Promethean
Bane, Lord of Unbreakable Bonds
Zehir, The Healer's Promise
Grummsh, The Wildfire
Lolth, The Fate-Weaving Spider
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I love this:
Pelor, The Burning Hatred
Ioun, The Forbidden Knowledge
Moradin, The Cog-Maker
Melora, The Unabashed Tide
Avandra, The Fated Misfortune
Kord, The War-Fiend
Corellon, The Mad Erlking
Erathis, Lady of Iron Laws

Vecna, The One-Who-Freed-Magic
Tarizdhun, The Promethean
Bane, Lord of Unbreakable Bonds
Zehir, The Healer's Promise
Grummsh, The Wildfire
Lolth, The Fate-Weaving Spider

I'd leave the LN, TN, and CN ones the same. Ioun, Kord, Melora, Erathis and RQ the same.

You could say that is fragment of the First World has a flawed lens and the gods see it and the people within wrong. Maybe a new god of trickery did it. Maybe Asmodeus.

Or maybe Tiamatand Bahamut get swap and this flips the view and domains of every other deity on the G-E axis.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I love this:
Pelor, The Burning Hatred
Ioun, The Forbidden Knowledge
Moradin, The Cog-Maker
Melora, The Unabashed Tide
Avandra, The Fated Misfortune
Kord, The War-Fiend
Corellon, The Mad Erlking
Erathis, Lady of Iron Laws

Vecna, The One-Who-Freed-Magic
Tarizdhun, The Promethean
Bane, Lord of Unbreakable Bonds
Zehir, The Healer's Promise
Grummsh, The Wildfire
Lolth, The Fate-Weaving Spider
If nothing else, it makes sense for the followers of those gods to see it that way.
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I like the idea @Charlaquin Athas has no dragons of its own and this leaves a void in the souls of the people there including an absence of Magic.

Rajat created a false approximation of Magic, just like the end result of this was a false approximation of a dragon.

Interestingly there were dragons in Athas other than sorcerer kings. The adventure Black Sands features one such individual.
This interpretation fits very cleanly into the First World framing device. If they do try to tie Dark Sun in, this seems like a very likely way for them to go with it.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Because angels don't do the hanky panky to make more angels. Neither do demons doink to make baby demons.

They just -exist-. In every heaven, every hell, across the multiverse.

So now every Prime Material World also has D&D Chromatic, Metallic, Gemstone, Etc dragons.

It's part of a continued homogenization of D&D worlds. They -all- have the Weave. They -all- have the same cosmology. They -all- have the same dragons. It's frustrating for someone who wants things that are distinct and separate.
 

MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
Because angels don't do the hanky panky to make more angels. Neither do demons doink to make baby demons.

They just -exist-. In every heaven, every hell, across the multiverse.

So now every Prime Material World also has D&D Chromatic, Metallic, Gemstone, Etc dragons.

It's part of a continued homogenization of D&D worlds. They -all- have the Weave. They -all- have the same cosmology. They -all- have the same dragons. It's frustrating for someone who wants things that are distinct and separate.
Demons can reproduce as can Angels.
Most D&D worlds do have the standard Dragons with but a few exceptions. Also the Weave is not in all worlds.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Demons can reproduce as can Angels.
Most D&D worlds do have the standard Dragons with but a few exceptions. Also the Weave is not in all worlds.
Oh, they -can-... But they didn't start out as amoeba and evolve into Angels is the thrust of where I'm going, here. They just -exist-. And so do dragons.

And the Weave is core D&D Canon. It's in the PHB, not the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. It is how alllll the magic classes function.

There's no Divine Magic. No Arcane Magic. No Nature Magic. Just the Weave. Everything else is trimmings on how you access it.

And I -despise- it... which is why the setting I'm creating explicitly has different types of magic and no Weave.
 

Scribe

Hero
Oh, they -can-... But they didn't start out as amoeba and evolve into Angels is the thrust of where I'm going, here. They just -exist-. And so do dragons.

And the Weave is core D&D Canon. It's in the PHB, not the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. It is how alllll the magic classes function.

There's no Divine Magic. No Arcane Magic. No Nature Magic. Just the Weave. Everything else is trimmings on how you access it.

And I -despise- it... which is why the setting I'm creating explicitly has different types of magic and no Weave.
I'd be absolutely stunned if that survives after the 5.5 printing.
 

MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
Oh, they -can-... But they didn't start out as amoeba and evolve into Angels is the thrust of where I'm going, here. They just -exist-. And so do dragons.

And the Weave is core D&D Canon. It's in the PHB, not the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. It is how alllll the magic classes function.

There's no Divine Magic. No Arcane Magic. No Nature Magic. Just the Weave. Everything else is trimmings on how you access it.

And I -despise- it... which is why the setting I'm creating explicitly has different types of magic and no Weave.
Divine and Arcane magic are explicitly called out in the PHB as well. As well as this
The spellcasters of the Forgotten Realms call it the Weave and recognize its essence as the goddess Mystra, but casters have varied ways of naming and visualizing this interface
The weave is just one name for the source of magic.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Divine and Arcane magic are explicitly called out in the PHB as well. As well as this

The weave is just one name for the source of magic.
Therein lies the problem: THE SOURCE. Not A Source. Not a way to do magic. It's -the- source. The one. The only. Source.

Dan Dillon, D&D 5e Game Designer, states that even -psionics- is just a different way to manipulate the Weave. That Arcane and Divine "Magic" are just different ways to harness the Weave.

That is homogenous AF. It waters down the differences to make a single brown-grey mush that I disdain with all my little heart.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
You've got Wizards, who learn how to manipulate the weave directly.
Psionicists, who realize there is no spoon and thus access the weave directly.
Sorcerers who are made of the weave.
Clerics who are apparently too ignorant to actually harness magic, themselves, but fortunately they can beg -really- well and someone else does on their behalf.
Warlocks didn't wanna study or beg so they made a trade for magic.
And Druids. Honestly I've got no idea how they're supposed to be interacting with the weave. Naturally, I suppose.

And one Wizard Spell shuts off -all- magic. The GODS cannot cast magic into an Antimagic Zone. The freaking GODS. Shuts down Vecna -instantly-. Correlon? No magic for you! Mystra? Nuh huh, even though MAGIC IS HERS IN THE FORGOTTEN REALMS...

She can't cast a spell inside the Antimagic Zone 'cause the Weave breaks.

It's -so- bad... It's -so- limiting from a narrative perspective.
 

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