Big Mac wrote:
Actually 3eDL threw out the Great Wheel cosmology and reverted to the original DL cosmology from Dragonlance Chronicles and Dragonlance Adventures.
This isn't exactly true. The 3e Dragonlance cosmology isn't any closer to Dragonlance Adventures
than Planescape's On Hallowed Ground
is. Which is to say, both differ substantially from the most literal reading of the book, but fit equally well with a generous reading. Dragonlance Adventures
mentioned four divine realms, but never claimed they were planes in their own right, nor did it claim those were the only three divine realms there were. The 3rd edition campaign setting mentions only three outer planes, demoting one realm (Zhan) to lesser status, plus rather gratuitously adding a bunch of planes (the Astral Plane, the Plane of Shadow, the elemental planes) necessary to smoothly use 3rd edition mechanics, despite neither Dragonlance Adventures
nor the original novels mentioning them. Which is equivalent to a 4e Dragonlance adding the Elemental Chaos, Shadowfell, Feywild, and Far Realm to its cosmology and claiming the resulting mix is "the original DL cosmology." On Hallowed Ground
uses all four of the Dragonlance Adventures
named realms, distributing them among the 17 standard outer planes, and adding additional realms for other gods. Which is a perfectly fair interpretation, and one Tales of the Lance
used as well. Since that was the first published elaboration of Dragonlance Adventures'
bare-bones list of names, I think it has the best claim as Dragonlance's "original" cosmology. In addition, the 1st edition Manual of the Planes
(by Spelljammer guru Jeff Grubb) was published the same year as Dragonlance Adventures
and explicitly placed Takhisis in the Nine Hells. Sure, the novels put her in "the Abyss," but I see nothing wrong with 2e's qualification that the Krynnish use the term "the Abyss" to describe a wide variety of planes. It's a bit of a retcon, but no more than the 3e cosmology was.
And the first published Dragonlance story was "A Stone's Throw Away" by Roger E. Moore, which pretty clearly put Krynn in the same multiverse as the 1st edition Monster Manual
. Nothing in any of the novels that I've read mandates a specific cosmology, or requires that Takhsis's realm in "the Abyss" can't be part of what people in other worlds call the Hells.
There are many reason a Dragonlance fan may wish to distance Krynn from the rest of the D&D worlds and cosmology, and as far as I'm concerned they're welcome to do so, but there's no fair case to be made that the 3rd edition wasn't a revision. Dragonlance was assumed to be part of the greater D&D multiverse for most of its history, and both the novels and Dragonlance Adventures
read cogently with that assumption. I know Weis and Hickman have their own preferences, and that's fine, but Dragonlance was a committee-designed, corporate-owned product from the get-go, so I don't find their opinions more persuasive than the 1st and 2nd edition sources that plainly state that (and can't be read intelligibly unless) Krynn is part of the same planar framework as Oerth and Toril. 3rd edition claimed otherwise 20 years too late to claim "original" status. I think the 3e Dragonlance Campaign Setting
is a fine book, but I read its cosmology section as "this is how the sages of Krynn view the multiverse, but it isn't necessarily totally correct." The Planescape view isn't necessarily 100% correct either; the planes are infinite and unknowable, after all.
It is inconvenient but far more in keeping with canon than the 3eFR changes in cosmology.
Only if your definition of "canon" excludes "A Stone's Throw Away," Manual of the Planes
, Tales of the Lance
, and the entire Planescape line, which is a narrower definition of canon than I'm comfortable with. If you include all published canon, not just an arbitrarily defined piece of it, it's every bit as extreme as the 3e Forgotten Realms changes.
I have no real problem with the 3e books, and I think mainly you're just saying, "Hey, give them a chance, they're not so bad." Which I agree with. But even granted (and I do grant) that the MWP authors were well in their rights to define what "canon" meant for those books
, they can't really define what canon for Spelljammer is. That's outside their jurisdiction, and the needs of a cross-world campaign are different than the needs of a single-world campaign. I think that, even if no planar travel happens, it's still better to make cross-planar connections between spheres so that more themes can be carried over throughout the campaign.
I actually think that the 3e books work pretty well for retro-players.
Sure, but this is Spelljammer! Which has its own breed of retro-player.
* = I'm still not entirely convinced of how this would work. Moving one world back would seem to be easier than reinventing the sphere around it.
After Takhisis moved Krynn through the Gate of Souls, she was left exhausted and powerless for decades. It might well be easier to use the matter already in the sphere to create simulacrums of the original moons than to move all of that matter from one sphere to another.
Which might mean that the "old moons" people see in the sky after the War of Souls are really new moons that just look like the old moons, and the real
old moons are still in Krynnspace.
The gods seem to be able to move the stars around without expending much effort. They wouldn't necessarily bother to touch the other planets in Takhisisspace.