[Krynnspace] Dragonlance Adventures vs Spelljammer

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[Krynnspace] Dragonlance Adventures vs Spelljammer

Post by Big Mac » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:27 pm

I thought I would have a look at the classic 1st Edition hardback, Dragonlance Adventures and the canon in that book that potentially interacts with the Spelljammer campaign setting.

I've referred to SJ namechecks in non-Spelljammer books as "secondary Spelljammer canon" elsewhere, but Dragonlance Adventures was published before Spelljammer was a glint in Jeff Grubb's eye, so none of the stuff in this book was truly designed to be used with Spelljammer. So maybe I should refer to this as "proto-Spelljammer canon" or something like that. Anyhoo, whatever this stuff is, it's stuff that could be used to enhance Krynnspace in some way and give it more of the feel of the "Dragonlance crystal sphere".

List of things to look at:
  • The Realms Above - Poem on page 7
  • Orders of the Universe - Description of the gods coming to Krynn from the Beyond, the creation of mortals as stars and the All-Saints War in the heavens on page 8
  • The Alignments of the Gods - The division of local gods on page 8
  • The Place of Mortals - The local creation myth of mortals on page 8
  • The Law of Consequence - "Good Redeems its Own", "Evil Feeds Upon Itself", "Both Good and Evil Must Exist in Contrast" and "The Law of Concequence" on page 9
  • The Constellations of Krynn - The southern constellations on the Krynnspace crystal sphere on page 10
  • Magic-Users (renegade) and Illusionists (renegade) - Arcane spellcasters who are not part of the Orders of High Sorcery on page 12
  • Travellers from the Beyond - Specific rules for people from other worlds and planes (i.e. other Spelljammer spheres and the Planescape setting) who live permanently on Krynn on page 12
  • General Limitations in Krynn - Rules for removing PCs/NPCs from Krynn when they advance beyond 18th level on page 13
  • What's Your Alignment - Rules for penalising characters who wander between good, neutral and evil alignments on page 13
  • Tinkers (gnomes) - An entire chapter that would be useful for Tinker Gnome PCs from pages 21-26
  • The Moons of Magic - Rules for magic variation depending on moon location and alignment with other moons on page 27
  • Moon Tracking Chart - Chart for tracking the position of Solinari, Nuitari and Lunitar on page 28
  • The Spheres of Magic - Association between wizard schools and the Orders of High Sorcery (and the moons) on page 29
  • The Test of High Sorcery - This is a test by the moons of magic (it might be worth looking at outside the context of the Orders of High Sorcery) on page 34
  • Renegade Wizards - How the Orders of High Sorcery treat spacefaring wizards that come to their attention on page 36
  • Illusion and Krynn - Specialist rules for Dragonlance characters disbelieving illusions on page 37
  • Spells of High Sorcery - Four arcane spells unique to Ansalon (that might turn up in Krynnspace) on pages 37-38
  • Messengers of the Heavens (introduction) - Legends of Krynn's gods coming from Beyond on page 39
  • Obligation of Clerics - Specialist rules for clerics of the Dragonlance deities on pages 40-47
  • The Heatherns - Specialist rules for cleric who come from beyond Krynn on page 47
  • The Races of Krynn - Rules for races new to Dragonlance on pages 49-70
  • The Creatures of Krynn - New creatures for Dragonlance (some of which might be found in Krynnspace) on pages 73-80
  • The World That Was - Ansalon's timeline for the Age of Dreams, Age of Light and Age of Might (which needs to line up with Krynnspace's timeline) on pages 82-87
  • Magical Items of Krynn - Magic items on Ansalon (some of which might be found in Krynnspace) on pages 91-99
  • The War of the Lance - Ansalon's timeline for the Age of Darkness and Age of Dragons (which needs to line up with Krynnspace's timeline) on pages 100-104
  • Beyond the Map - Lands on Krynn beyond Ansalon (that may or may not have spelljammer ports) on page 106
  • Character Alignment Tracking Chart - A chart for applying penalties to Dragonlance PCs that wander away from their alignment (that may or may not be appropriate for Krynnspace) on page 114
  • Races of Krynn (chart) - A chart showing the evolution of the five types of creatures on in Ansalon (that may also be appropriate in Krynnspace on page 114
  • Unified Ansalon Monster Chart - A chart that might be useful inspiration for a series of monster tables for the various worlds of Krynnspace on pages 115-116
  • Gnome Device Complexity Level (chart) and Gnome Mishap Table - Rules for building Tinker Gnome devices (including ones that can travel to space) on pages 118-119
  • Spheres of Influence - Charts for good, neutral and evil clerics on pages 121-125
  • Spell Summary - List of spells that might be inspiration for a list of spells in Krynnspace on pages 126-127
  • Knights Circle Table and Knights Circle Modifiers - Two charts that might help with the design of spacefaring knights or knights on any of the other worlds of Krynnspace on page 128
That's a quick skim-read of Dragonlance Adventures to see what might be useful to a GM running a game set in, or travelling through, Krynnspace.

I know that some of the sections I've mentioned would be less relevant to me (as I'm hoping to use 3rd Edition rules) but I've included them anyway, as I think they would be worth looking at if someone was using 2e or 1e. (I'm not sure of the implications of 4e and 5e, but I think that it would be worth someone skimming through all the above sections if they want to play a 4e or 5e game in Krynnspace, so that they can draw their own conclusions.)
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"The Realms Above"

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:14 am

I think I'll start going through the above list (not so much a "Lets Read" - more of a "Lets Read the useful bits").

First off is this:
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:27 pm
  • The Realms Above - Poem on page 7
I always used to skip straight past the poems in Dragonlance books, but they do tell you stories in a way that could be pitched as in-character legends and myths.

This one is a four-line poem which is opposite a full-page black and white painting of Krynn and it's three moons:
Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote:"In the Cradle of the Sky,
On Silken Starshine lay,
We who soon upon the Face of Krynn,
Would as infant mortals play."
I've thought for a while that "The Cradle of the Sky" works well as a groundling name for the wildspace within Krynnspace.

But as well as this giving us a Krynn name for the sky, it also tells us that the people of Krynn have a legend that mortals somehow came from wildspace.

I think it would be good if the natives of Krynnspace had the same legend (or very very similar variations on the legend).

For the people of Krynn (or more probably Ansalon) you get an abstract legend of people originally coming down from the sky. But for the other worlds (and moons and asteroids) in Krynnspace, you have a series of related legends that suggest that their ancestors were already spacefarers.

I also think that "The Silken Starshine" would be an awesome name for a ship. Maybe it could be the name of an ancient elven ship.
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Re: [Krynnspace] Dragonlance Adventures vs Spelljammer

Post by Jaid » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:41 am

could be wrong, but i think krynnish legends suggest that the inhabitants of krynn were the stars or some such thing...

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Re: [Krynnspace] Dragonlance Adventures vs Spelljammer

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:52 pm

Jaid wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:41 am
could be wrong, but i think krynnish legends suggest that the inhabitants of krynn were the stars or some such thing...
Yes. That is covered in "Orders of the Universe" on page 8. :)

It's a different creation myth than the creation myth that Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms has. I think it's one of the unique selling points of Dragonlance.

The elves of Dragonlance are elves that were created in Krynn's crystal sphere - not elves that have come from another plane and then migrated to the world with Elven High Magic.

The local gods are the gods of all the races on Krynn (and would be the gods of all the races of Krynnspace too).

And the legend of mortals starting off as stars would work for every celestial body in Krynnspace.
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"Orders of the Universe"

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:32 pm

I actually went back and revised the description of "Orders of the Universe" as there are three things there that would be useful for Krynnspace.
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:27 pm
  • Orders of the Universe - Description of the gods coming to Krynn from the Beyond, the creation of mortals as stars and the All-Saints War in the heavens on page 8
Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote:In the beginning were the gods from Beyond.

There, before the begining, they dwelt in joy in the presence of the High God whose children they were. It was there decreed that a new time and place would come to be. Time would there begin again, spirits would live and, in the course of time, new power would come to be.
I would take this Beyond-thing as a description of something that is not Krynn...or Krynnspace. Unless there was a primal time when gods could exist in the Phlogiston, I'd argue that this couldn't be a part of the Material Plane outside of the Krynnspace crystal sphere.

So I would take this to be a description of a place in the planes, where the Dragonlance gods were, before Krynn was created. I don't think it has to be before the Krynnspace crystal sphere existed, but I'd make it some sort of primordal Outer Plane.
Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote:There were the pillars upon which this universe was forged: Good, Evil and Neutrality. This was the great triangle upon which all the universe was brought to be.
From a pure Dragonlance point of view, you can have a universe with Krynn in it, but from a Spelljammer point of view the Krynnspace crystal sphere needs to be a barrier between Dragonlance rules and other rules (like Greyhawk rules, Forgotten Realms rules or rules from any funky Spelljammer crystal spheres).

So I would take the "pillars upon which this universe was forged" to be the "pillars upon which Krynnspace was forged".
Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote:Reorx, the Forging God, struck his hammer amidst the Chaos. Chaos slowed and the sparks from his hammer became the stars. From their light came diverse spirits of all types: some disposed to good, some to evil, and some to neutrality.
So, with SJR7 Krynnspace telling us that the stars in Krynnspace are portals to the Plane of Radiance, I'd say that Reorx's hammer created lots of portals to the Plane of Radiance and they stuck on the inside of the crystal shell.

That gives us "spirits" that come out of portals to the Plane of Radiance, perhaps with the magic of Reorx's hammer creating spirits from radiance.

(I'm not sure what sort of creatures exist in the Plane of Radiance, but the lost ancient races of Krynnspace could presumably include them.)
Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote:The gods, began to quarrel of these spirits. The Gods of Good wanted to nurture the spirits in the paths of righteousness and share with them dominion over the universe. The Gods of Evil sought to make the spirit their slaves to do their every bidding. The Gods of Neutrality sought a balance: to give the spirits freedom to choose for themselves whether they would serve Good or Evil.

And so the All-Saints War raged among the heavens. The Good and Neutral Gods combined forces to keep Evil from a final victory.
The All-Saints War is an important creation legend in Dragonlance mythology. And, it actually takes place in the heavens (I'd take this as Wildspace, rather than the Planes).

Legends are subject to variation, so there could be different interpretations of the All-Saints War. But I like the idea that every world in Krynnspace can have this legend as part of their creation myth.

And, what with most of the people of the planets other than Krynn having more knowledge of Wildspace, I think it could be good to have some (if not all) of the spelljammer-aware people having legends of dragons flying around the Cradle of the Sky during the All-Saints War.

The fact that the sort of dragons seen in Dragonlance are mostly worldbound could either be down to them having power removed from them...

...or it could be down to them being smaller types of dragons than the ones in the All-Saints War.
Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote:Then spoke the High God from Beyond, decreeing the Balance of the World. The Gods of Good, Evil and Neutrality would each be allowed to bestow one gift upon the spirits.

The Gods of Good gave the spirits life and physical form. Thus, the spirits gained control over the material world and became more like the Gods themselves. The Gods of Good hoped the spirits would bring peace and order to the worlds and lead them among the path to righteousness.

The Gods of Evil decreed that these physical beings would hunger and thirst and have to work to satisfy their needs. The Gods of Evil hoped that through hunger and suffering they could subjugate these races.

The Gods of Neutrality gave the spirits the gift of free will, to choose freely between Good and Evil. Thus did they preserve the Balance.

And so the Gods created the world of Krynn as a dwelling place for the spirits. The High God decreed that each spirit could choose his own way through life. Then would come death, the passage from Krynn to the next state of existence.
I think that this stuff, that is said to apply to Krynn, would all apply equally to all the other celestial bodies in Krynnspace.

(I do think that each celestial body could have it's own version of the legend, where their planet is the most important place. But there might also be some neutral legends for spacefarers that use more than one celestial body.)
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Re: "Orders of the Universe" vs Dwarven Kingdoms of Krynn

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:49 pm

So we have this stuff, from Dragonlance Adventures that talks of the creation of primal spirits in the stars of Krynnspace...followed by the All-Saints War (where good and evil dragons fight over these spirits).
Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote:Reorx, the Forging God, struck his hammer amidst the Chaos. Chaos slowed and the sparks from his hammer became the stars. From their light came diverse spirits of all types: some disposed to good, some to evil, and some to neutrality.

The gods, began to quarrel of these spirits. The Gods of Good wanted to nurture the spirits in the paths of righteousness and share with them dominion over the universe. The Gods of Evil sought to make the spirit their slaves to do their every bidding. The Gods of Neutrality sought a balance: to give the spirits freedom to choose for themselves whether they would serve Good or Evil.

And so the All-Saints War raged among the heavens. The Good and Neutral Gods combined forces to keep Evil from a final victory.
But Dwarven Kingdoms of Krynn disagrees with this. According to The Forging of the Smiths, on page 5 of Songs of the Loremaster from the Dwarven Kingdoms of Krynn boxed set, that was the forerunners of the dwarves (called Smiths). That section goes over the creation myths for mortals, including dwarves and then claims that the other legends are wrong and the dwarves were already on Krynn before other mortals:
The Forging of the Smiths, page 5, Songs of the Loremaster wrote:In truth, dwarves were not crafted with the three mortal races mentioned previously, but not because they postdate the rest. The SMiths were alredy present in the world. They were forged with the creation of Krynn, even before the time of the All-Dragons War.

It is well know that the immortal hammer of Reorx, smashing against the mass of Chaos, broke pieces of the hammer's immortal substance away, where they were cast into the heavens as stars. What is not so widely understood is that other parts of this hammer also sparked away, chipped by the strong opposition to Chaos. But these were not so hot or fiery as the stars. These fragments were later formed as the Smiths, when Reorx used his hammer to forge the Chaos into Krynn.

Thus as the gods formed mountains and seas, light and dark upon the world, the first beings already came to rest upon Krynn. Strong and vital, diligent and brave, these beings were the Smiths. They looked very much like dwarves have looked throughout the ages. However there were few Smiths. While dragons and beasts populated Krynn, the Smiths became reclusive. They excavated fortress homes, often using caves or other enclosures of stonre for protection against a hostile world. The Smiths played no part, so far as is known, in the wracking conflicts that swept the world when good and evil dragonkind waged war against each other.
So I would actually treat the Smiths as one of the ancient races of Krynnspace.

And I would put the Smiths onto the surface of Reorx (as well as Krynn...and maybe other celestial bodies).

This is also a great example of how a reboot on the creation legends of Krynn can be fairly different, without actually tossing out the central themes of Dragonlance. (This variation within the canon could well help for doing something like tying Hadozee legends to Shadowpeople legends.)
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Re: "Orders of the Universe"

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:14 am

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:32 pm
I would take this Beyond-thing as a description of something that is not Krynn...or Krynnspace. Unless there was a primal time when gods could exist in the Phlogiston, I'd argue that this couldn't be a part of the Material Plane outside of the Krynnspace crystal sphere.
For me, the Beyond is simply the other worlds where the gods of Krynn were known and worshiped before Krynn's creation. Metatextually, the Beyond was Jeff Grubb's campaign world Toricandra. It's not the Phlogiston, but a collective term for other spheres.

Using the language of the 3rd edition Dragonlance cosmology, the Beyond is the Ethereal Sea and the other worlds accessible through it.
That gives us "spirits" that come out of portals to the Plane of Radiance, perhaps with the magic of Reorx's hammer creating spirits from radiance.
Notably, the Quasielemental Plane of Radiance borders the Positive Energy Plane, which is where (according to Bastion of Broken Souls) the souls of all living things are formed before they are born. Probably the souls of living things on Krynn formed initially in the Positive Energy Plane and traveled through the Quasielemental Plane of Radiance to Krynnspace, where the gods formed bodies for them.

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Re: [Krynnspace] Dragonlance Adventures vs Spelljammer

Post by Jaid » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:31 pm

it is worth pointing out that these things are not necessarily *literally* true, and that the language is simply symbolic or being used to describe something beyond the comprehension of mortals. it could even just be a more poetic way of describing the process. describing mortals as having been made from the light of the stars doesn't necessarily have to mean they are literally made from the light of the stars. the smiths being made from smaller sparks that came off of reorx's hammer could simply be a poetic way of describing the fact that they have a drive to create things beyond what is found in the other races. and so on.

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