[Krynnspace] Is there anything in the DL modules that can be used in wildspace?

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[Krynnspace] Is there anything in the DL modules that can be used in wildspace?

Post by Big Mac » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:00 am

GM Westermeyer was just asking about the DL1-12 series over in the Dragonlance forum, in this topic: Did anyone ever run the original modules?

That made me wonder if the adventures would be any use to me.

One of the things that put me off of buying these, back in the day, was that I heard they duplicated the Dragonlance Chronicles novels (which I do love). But I am aware that the War of the Lance is very much a story about Takhisis trying to take over Ansalon and that's something I didn't think would transfer outside of Ansalon.

I also heard that the DL modules got the players to use the characters from Dragonlance Chronicles as PCs. They are great characters, but I've always found pregens a bit off-putting. I realise that a lot of other people find them useful, but for me, it feels like you are taking away player agency, by forcing them to play a character they didn't make.

However, I do know they are good (as they helped keep Dragonlance in-print for another two editions of D&D) and I'm now looking at Dragonlance stuff to see what elements it might have that could work in Krynnspace*. So I'm wondering what sort of elements in the DL series might work outside the context of Ansalon and the main Dragonlance Chronicles plotline.

I figure I can't use the main elements, as they are tied heavily to Ansalon, but there must be lots of locations and side-treks that maybe could be rebooted to give me something that has the same sort of Dragonlance feel, but which might work somewhere else in Krynnspace.
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Re: [Krynnspace] Is there anything in the DL modules that can be used in wildspace?

Post by Lord Torath » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:50 pm

One of the adventure seeds in Lost Ships was a floating castle inhabited by a mad arch-mage and his pet bulette. I always thought the High Clerist's Tower would make a suitable castle map for that bit.

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DL1 Dragons of Despair

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:00 pm

I had a look at the review of DL1 Dragons of Despare on Notes from under the Kyak. Here is one of the paragraphs of his review that is most useful (to me):
Daen Ral Worldbuilder at Notes from under the Kyak wrote:But it was how they did it that I liked so much. First off, the maps. From the wilderness hex map (I'll get to that in a minute) to the perspective map of Xak Tsoaroth, they were evocative just looking at them. Second - the backstory. I liked coming in In Media Res on a Dragonman Invasion. I liked the new apocalypse in this post-apocalyptic world. I hated the devaluation of gold - but I liked the lack of clerics (and the kind of quest to re-discover clerical powers).
Foreground elements:
  • A wilderness hex map: Probably something that could be rebooted for a different world (maybe several times)
  • Xak Tsaroth map: This is an iconic city that fell into Krynn's Underdark, but it might serve as inspiration for a surface city or part of the Underdark on another celestial body
Background elements:
  • Devaluation of gold: Maybe not something that needs to happen on the other worlds of Krynnspace
  • Movements of the Dragon Armies: Not really something that would work away from Ansalon, but there could be refugees from another threat on a different celestial body (Reorx is known to have dragon attacks on it's surface).
  • A lack of clerics and the quest to regain clerical powers: I'm not sure this would actually apply away from Krynn. :? But it might be possible to have a powerful religious artefact in a Krynnspace adventure
Daen then goes onto say a bit more about the Wilderness:
Daen Ral Worldbuilder at Notes from under the Kyak wrote:And since I reopened this adventure because I was thinking about filling wilderness hexes, let me talk a minute about what worked the best for me in this adventure.

The Wilderness

Fully half the adventure is the possibility of wandering around the wilderness. There are 7 events and 44 encounter locations (counting Xak Tsaroth) to inflict on the PCs. Many of them are simply named:
DL1 Dragons of Despair wrote:10. Sentinel Gap Walls of granite soar on either side of the narrow canyon floor. A chilly breeze whistles and tumbles between the cliffs.
and some of the areas have more detail. The above is enough for me to get a sense of the place as the PCs visit it.

I actually liked that there were ways to get the PCs to one of the Expositors of Plot (the Pegasi will take them to the Forestmaster no matter what they want if they capture them and fly them, the Centaurs will carry them there) because the PCs would be free to NOT capture the Pegasi and, of course, they don't HAVE to go into the forest at all if they choose not to. There just enough detail in the "throwaway areas" that I could probably build adventures in every one of those locales (and might have to, since this is a true old school product with Random Encounter tables). I'm looking at DL1 as my model for hex filling - for rounding out a wilderness area with general descriptions and letting random tables to their thing for the details.
So Daen thinks that DL1 could be useful for filling hexes and I've previously looked at Robert Conley's How to make a Fantasy Sandbox articles, as a way to fill out detail on a Spelljammer planet. It looks like DL1 could be good for providing Dragonlance-style details that fit into other worlds.

I think that each planet in Krynnspace needs to have it's own theme (or themes if you are going to make it feel like more than a mono-environment) but adding some elements that are rebooted from things only found in Dragonlance could be a good way to make each world feel familiar. I think that wilderness is a reflection of nature and that the nature gods of Dragonlance would have a similar influence on all of the worlds (except maybe Sirrion).

Xak Tsaroth is something quite special in Dragonlance - a surface city that has fallen into the Underdark. I don't think I could use it - as is - but it could work as inspiration for a surface or underground location elsewhere.

An abandoned city of Reorx, that has been colonised by Gully Dwarves, might be one way to reboot Xax Tsaroth.

The idea of a dragon that has invaded a lost city might also be another way to reboot Xar Tsaroth and use it on Reorx, as there are a lot of dragons that live on the world (with the dwaves and gnomes living far below the ground to defend themselves against the dragons.

The devaluation of gold is probably something that needs it's own topic, so I won't mention it further here.

Dragon Armies and draconians are probably not something appropriate outside of Ansalon...at least during the time of the War of the Lance. But if the ritual exists, I think that someone with access to evil spellcasters and evil dragons could go looking for good dragon eggs to convert. There is actually canon (from a DL novel called Darkness & Light) that indicates there is a cache of good dragon eggs in Krynnspace. So the potential to convert some or all of them to draconians does exist.

The thing with "clerics being gone from the world" is also something that probably needs it's own topic.
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Re: [Krynnspace] Is there anything in the DL modules that can be used in wildspace?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:03 pm

Lord Torath wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:50 pm
One of the adventure seeds in Lost Ships was a floating castle inhabited by a mad arch-mage and his pet bulette. I always thought the High Clerist's Tower would make a suitable castle map for that bit.
That sounds good. There are also flying citadels in Dragonlance stories. :D

And I've long thought that the mountains in Equatorial Reorx that have the tops chopped off, would probably have had them chopped off to be flown away somewhere.

But does the High Clerist's Tower feature in any of the DL modules?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: [Krynnspace] Is there anything in the DL modules that can be used in wildspace?

Post by Lord Torath » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:27 pm

Yes, the High Clerist's Tower is explored in DL08 Dragons of War.

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