Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

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Havard
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Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Havard » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:03 pm

If you were to make a new version of Dragonlance for the current edition of D&D set contemporary to the current era of the Forgotten Realms, how would you do it? Is there a way to continue the timeline established in the War of Souls and Minotaur Books that could turn Krynn into a fun setting that also retains some of the classic defining elements of Dragonlance? Would this involve Paladine and Takhisis returning to godhood? Would the Knightly Orders still be around? What about the Orders of Sorcery? Is there anything you want to see completely removed in such a revamped setting? Would any known mortal characters still be around? How would you make room for the actions of the players to matter?

Let us share our best ideas for a new era for Dragonlance! :)

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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Sturm » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:35 am

I have almost all the Dragonlance products but I've not read yet all the last books (Minotaurs books for example) beyond the War of Souls.
However I think the new Krynn could leave Paladine and Takhisis out, at least for a couple of centuries, and become more "modern" with draconians and minotaurs becoming bigger players, along with the Knights of Solamnia and the elves.
The competition among major nations could be the central theme for a while.
Stable contacts could also be established with Taladas. The Majere descendants should still be around, as other grandson and grandaughters of the original heroes..
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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:29 pm

This is a tough one, as I prefer the 2nd Edition Era of Dragonlance, as it fits in with Spelljammer better.

But one of the things about Dragonlance is that it did the big world-shaking events well before Forgotten Realms had the Spellplague. So it is ahead of it's time thematically.

One of the things they seem to be doing with the Realms is return to it's traditional values, without handwaving away the 4e stuff. I suspect that a similar thing needs to happen with Dragonlance.

I would personally want to see Tracey Hickman and Margaret Weis doing a 5e Dragonlance book. And I would want to also see them do a new trilogy of novels that go with the new era.

I'm not sure exactly what I would want to see. I think that Takhisis and Paladine should stay gone, and I think that would give us opportunties to see evil plots from the various other deities.

I would like to see the knighthoods revived, but there should be some sort of element of Sturm kind of taking the place of Huma and being a legendary figure that new knights seek to emulate. I would like to see the evil knights be there too...on equal terms with the good nights. And I think that both the evil and good knights should work together during times of peace. (I'd like to see some sort of "cold war" going on between the knighthoods, where the PCs can get dragged into situations where an evil knight might try to trick a good knight into betraying their oath, rather than just try to kill them.)

We need to have some cool new dragons. And we need to have a return of dragonlances. We have had the Dragon Overlords. There needs to be some sort of dragon revival with the world needing dragons to be there for some reason.

I would like to see the Orders of High Sorcery coming back too, but we have had people turning away and turning back to magic. They should really be set up to be beyond that sort of thing now. Perhaps people formerly considered renegades could be accepted into those organisations.

I might like some of those things, but mostly, I would like to get Hickman and Weis to rebuild Dragonlance the way they would have built it if they wrote it today.
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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Havard » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:48 pm

Big Mac wrote:This is a tough one, as I prefer the 2nd Edition Era of Dragonlance, as it fits in with Spelljammer better.
Yes, but now we have Post Spellplague FR so if we also have Post Spellplague Dragonlance, Planescape and the Nentir Vale we soon have a future era for Spelljammer too :)

One of the things they seem to be doing with the Realms is return to it's traditional values, without handwaving away the 4e stuff. I suspect that a similar thing needs to happen with Dragonlance.
I think that is a good idea. If you want to do something completely different from Dragonlance, you might be better off using a different setting all together?

I'm not sure exactly what I would want to see. I think that Takhisis and Paladine should stay gone, and I think that would give us opportunties to see evil plots from the various other deities.

I would like to see the knighthoods revived, but there should be some sort of element of Sturm kind of taking the place of Huma and being a legendary figure that new knights seek to emulate. I would like to see the evil knights be there too...on equal terms with the good nights. And I think that both the evil and good knights should work together during times of peace. (I'd like to see some sort of "cold war" going on between the knighthoods, where the PCs can get dragged into situations where an evil knight might try to trick a good knight into betraying their oath, rather than just try to kill them.)

We need to have some cool new dragons. And we need to have a return of dragonlances. We have had the Dragon Overlords. There needs to be some sort of dragon revival with the world needing dragons to be there for some reason.

I would like to see the Orders of High Sorcery coming back too, but we have had people turning away and turning back to magic. They should really be set up to be beyond that sort of thing now. Perhaps people formerly considered renegades could be accepted into those organisations.
I think these are all great ideas. All of these groups are things that are fun to play (if handled right). There is no reason to leave any of them out. Also, Dragonlances, Dragons and Dragonriders. If there is one thing Dragonlance was missing it was that there wasn't really a whole lot of dragon riding going on. I would like an era where the Towers of High Sorcery have been restored perhaps.

Possibly this era could be a kind of opposite situation to the Age of Mortals? I mean during the Age of Mortals there is a lot of adventure opportunity, but the setting is also fairly depressing with everything being destroyed. I'd love to see a version of Krynn where you have access to all the player options, but where life is more stable while still holding enough room for plenty of adventuring opportunities.

I would also like to see the elves and dwarves given a chance to flourish without always being divided and broken.
I might like some of those things, but mostly, I would like to get Hickman and Weis to rebuild Dragonlance the way they would have built it if they wrote it today.
Yes, that would be nice, but I figured that while we are waiting for that to happen, we could create something together here on The Piazza? :)

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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Angel Tarragon » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:33 am

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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:38 am

Let me ask this question a bit differently:

What elements, power factions and races do you think ought to be around in this era? What ought to be the central conflicts?


Some elements I would like to be present are:
Good | Neutral | Evil Metallic Dragons | | Chromatic Dragons Knights of Solamnia | Knights of Steel | Knights of Takhisis Holy Order of the Stars | Holy Order of the Stars | Holy Order of the Stars White Robes | Red Robes | Black Robes Humans | Elves | Draconians Kender | Dwarves | Ogres Gnomes | Minotaurs | Hobgoblins Barbarians | Druids | Undead / Death Knights

I probably forgot some, but to me these are the main players that ought to be present in any Dragonlance campaign. Since this is going to be long after the Age of Mortals setting, I would probably also include Mystics and Sorcerers and some of the creatures left behind by Father Chaos.


In many ways, making up a new era like this represents an opportunity to remove some things that perhaps are a bit more dated or too strongly tied to some of the older eras. With Takhisis and Paladine out of the picture, perhaps the focus on "good" vs. "evil" could also be toned down a bit, allowing for alliances to be formed based on real politik rather than traditional alignments? Worth considering at least.

Fleshing out a new era based on these groups could be alot of fun!

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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Jayce » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:39 pm

First of all, props for the interesting topic!
Havard wrote:With Takhisis and Paladine out of the picture, perhaps the focus on "good" vs. "evil" could also be toned down a bit, allowing for alliances to be formed based on real politik rather than traditional alignments? Worth considering at least.
I don't want to be that guy, but isn't this pretty much what the Fifth Age tried to do? It always seemed to me this was pretty much what the world was like between the Chaos War and the War of Souls. The Knights of Takhisis, the Legion of Steel, the Draconians of Teyr....these factions are practicing real politik. One could even say the Dragon Overlords were. I think the Fifth Age setting was very morally grey - both in its rpg supplements (the Fifth Age SAGA game didn't even use alignment, instead letting players describe their PCs personality in two words, such as "nosy", "opinionated", "enigmatic", "inquisitive" etc), as well as its novels.

Take for example Jean Rabe's Dragons of a New Age trilogy, which really served as our introduction to the Fifth Age. The main group of characters consists of: Dhamon Grimwulf (a former Knight of Takhisis), Blister Nimblefingers, Rig Mer-Krel, Shaon of Istar, Jasper Fireforge, Palin Majere, Ferilleeagh Dawnsprinter and Groller Dagmar - a pretty morally grey cast of characters. The heroes are no longer really trying to save the world from Evil with a capital "E" (although some of them would like to free their homelands from the Dragon Overlords), but really they're mainly just trying to survive, and while doing so, pick up their own personal little grudges (such as Rig, after Shaon's death, when he decides he just wants to hurt Skie as much as he can). Heck, even the Draconians became morally grey during the Fifth Age, instead of simply evil (which admittedly led to two of my favorite Dragonlance books - The Doom Brigade, and Draconian Measures, but these are unfortunately the exception in the Fifth Age's otherwise comparatively weak lineup of novels - I really felt the line picked up again after the War of Souls when some of the more epic Good vs Evil struggle returned, although post-Summer Flame Krynn would always remain more morally grey than my beloved Fourth Age).

I think the problem with getting rid of the focus of the epic scale struggle between good and evil would be that this would rob the setting of its key defining element: while Dragonlance has certainly always had its morally grey characters/factions (heck, its most iconic character, Raistlin, is definitely morally grey), the overarching theme has always been the battle of Light versus Darkness. Dragonlance IS about Huma riding the Silver Dragon into battle, sacrificing his life to drive back the Dark Queen. The very first novels and modules set up the entire world to be about this struggle - if one removes that theme from the world of Krynn....well...you get the Fifth Age, I think, and a lot of people (myself included) felt that just wasn't really....Dragonlance-y :|

I think, thematically, Dragonlance is also very much about the struggle to regain that which has been lost - and while that, admittedly, sounds like a pretty abstract concept when put into a single sentence, I feel that in the world of Krynn this often manifests itself as the temporal "theater" in which the more "cosmic" struggle between Good and Evil is carried out, if that makes sense. I don't know if this theme (the "temporal struggle") would work quite as well without the backdrop of the more "cosmic" struggle of Light vs Darkness. I would like to hear your (or anyone's) thoughts, though. ^_^

I'd also be interested in hearing Dragonhelm's opinion - there was a similar discussion on the Dragonlance Canticle a while ago (about what themes and ingredients are key to a Dragonlance story), and many interesting points were brought up ^_^

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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Havard » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:58 pm

Jayce wrote:First of all, props for the interesting topic!

Thanks! :)
I don't want to be that guy, but isn't this pretty much what the Fifth Age tried to do? It always seemed to me this was pretty much what the world was like between the Chaos War and the War of Souls. The Knights of Takhisis, the Legion of Steel, the Draconians of Teyr....these factions are practicing real politik. One could even say the Dragon Overlords were. I think the Fifth Age setting was very morally grey - both in its rpg supplements (the Fifth Age SAGA game didn't even use alignment, instead letting players describe their PCs personality in two words, such as "nosy", "opinionated", "enigmatic", "inquisitive" etc), as well as its novels.

Take for example Jean Rabe's Dragons of a New Age trilogy, which really served as our introduction to the Fifth Age. The main group of characters consists of: Dhamon Grimwulf (a former Knight of Takhisis), Blister Nimblefingers, Rig Mer-Krel, Shaon of Istar, Jasper Fireforge, Palin Majere, Ferilleeagh Dawnsprinter and Groller Dagmar - a pretty morally grey cast of characters. The heroes are no longer really trying to save the world from Evil with a capital "E" (although some of them would like to free their homelands from the Dragon Overlords), but really they're mainly just trying to survive, and while doing so, pick up their own personal little grudges (such as Rig, after Shaon's death, when he decides he just wants to hurt Skie as much as he can). Heck, even the Draconians became morally grey during the Fifth Age, instead of simply evil (which admittedly led to two of my favorite Dragonlance books - The Doom Brigade, and Draconian Measures, but these are unfortunately the exception in the Fifth Age's otherwise comparatively weak lineup of novels - I really felt the line picked up again after the War of Souls when some of the more epic Good vs Evil struggle returned, although post-Summer Flame Krynn would always remain more morally grey than my beloved Fourth Age).

I think the problem with getting rid of the focus of the epic scale struggle between good and evil would be that this would rob the setting of its key defining element: while Dragonlance has certainly always had its morally grey characters/factions (heck, its most iconic character, Raistlin, is definitely morally grey), the overarching theme has always been the battle of Light versus Darkness. Dragonlance IS about Huma riding the Silver Dragon into battle, sacrificing his life to drive back the Dark Queen. The very first novels and modules set up the entire world to be about this struggle - if one removes that theme from the world of Krynn....well...you get the Fifth Age, I think, and a lot of people (myself included) felt that just wasn't really....Dragonlance-y :|
A very interesting counter argument! You make some really good points.
I actually like the Fifth Age alot, at least the way it was presented in the early gaming material for it, but I totally agree with you that there is no need to repeat what has already been done there.

Actually, I did not mean that I did not want epic. In fact I think that we need to make this post War of Souls setting epic again exactly to make it different from the Fifth Age. I guess what I meant about moving away from good and evil is that I am looking for a way to make the political landscape a bit more dynamic. In the War of the Lance Era the two alliances of good and evil can become a bit static.

But what if the setting dealt with a different conflict line than the traditional one? Perhaps the Wizards are trying to take over the world, forcing the Knights of Solamnia to make an alliance with the Knights of Takhisis? Or perhaps at this point we have an uneasy stage with more than two sides, all testing eachother, constantly shifting?

The return of Takhisis and Paladine might revert this to the traditional setup, but perhaps in this setting those gods have not yet returned.
I think, thematically, Dragonlance is also very much about the struggle to regain that which has been lost - and while that, admittedly, sounds like a pretty abstract concept when put into a single sentence, I feel that in the world of Krynn this often manifests itself as the temporal "theater" in which the more "cosmic" struggle between Good and Evil is carried out, if that makes sense. I don't know if this theme (the "temporal struggle") would work quite as well without the backdrop of the more "cosmic" struggle of Light vs Darkness. I would like to hear your (or anyone's) thoughts, though. ^_^
I think you are right about this. I loved how the Heroes of the Lance would explore ruins of older wars, discover weapons and magical items from legends of the past. I think a new era could be a chance to reshuffle the cards a little and play with familiar elements though perhaps with a slightly different placement of those elements.

Perhaps the struggle could still be there, but perhaps less blatant than at the height of the War of the Lance?

I'd love it if this era is slightly less depressing than the post DoSF era though. I'd like to see fortresses rebuilt and Orders formed a new before a new era of conflict sets in.

I'd also be interested in hearing Dragonhelm's opinion - there was a similar discussion on the Dragonlance Canticle a while ago (about what themes and ingredients are key to a Dragonlance story), and many interesting points were brought up ^_^
Yeah, that would be interesting. Does anyone have a link to that episode of the Canticle?

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Re: Pitch a Post War of Souls DL Setting

Post by Jayce » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:51 am

Havard wrote:Perhaps the struggle could still be there, but perhaps less blatant than at the height of the War of the Lance?
I always felt it would have been interesting if, instead of taking Paladine and Takhisis out of the picture, the other gods (particularly those of Darkness and Balance) would have entered the fray alongside them, even competing with them. I see no reason why a god like Sargonnas, or Hiddukel couldn't spin his own webs of intrigue, even to the detriment of the Dark Queen. I agree with you that repeating the same struggle over and over again can make the world seem too limited to a single story, and make it grow a little stale - but there is plenty of room in Ansalon for new factions! And "real politik" can definitely be a part of that - factions such as the Knights of Takhisis and the Draconians of Teyr have shown us that there is room for morally grey things in Krynn without it making Krynn less Dragonlancey overall.

I guess it's a case of "why have one, when you can have both". :D

(Also, I don't know if you've ever read the Elven Nations trilogy, which I think is excellent - it's a great example of a classic era DL novel series that features very little Paladine/Takhisis - Hiddukel, on the other hand, does get to shine in it! Highly recommended.)
Havard wrote: I'd love it if this era is slightly less depressing than the post DoSF era though. I'd like to see fortresses rebuilt and Orders formed a new before a new era of conflict sets in.
This is an important point that really goes for all the post-cataclysmic settings that have been thrown at us the past two decades - I understand that reshuffling the cards through a cataclysmic event can seem like an attractive way to make an older setting seem brand new again, but the post-Dragons of Summer Flame era was, like you said, pretty depressing. It felt like EVERYTHING about the world was broken - the gods, the knights, the orders of high sorcery, dragons and draconians (both were dying out at the time - although this was thankfully later fixed by Margaret Weis), the elven kingdoms were pretty much destroyed (this, unfortunately, got even worse after the War of Souls), even the landscapes themselves were destroyed by the Dragon Overlords. Ansalon seemed like a very bleak place, where, for a while, it seemed like everything recognizably Dragonlance was being removed.

Now that may seem overly negative - I mean, I do own the Fifth Age stuff, and I quite enjoy it now - but I will admit, I enjoy it way more now, post-WoS, knowing that it was only a temporary phase Krynn was going through, and that the majority of the changes wrought on the world by the Summer of Chaos would be fixed later on. :lol:

Havard wrote:Yeah, that would be interesting. Does anyone have a link to that episode of the Canticle?
I believe this is the one: http://dragonlancenexus.com/podcast/201 ... agonlance/ :)

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