JP On Gaming

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Dragonlance: First Thoughts

In case you have not seen it, WotC has given us a trailer for their new Dragonlance campaign setting for 5e. I've stated on this blog about my love for that setting and even if it is not really "realistic," it is fun to play in. I failed miserably at my last attempt to run the Classics with it (see this post here and part 2) The different races and classes you could play made for something different than "straight Tolkien port." The gully dwarves are funny. The elves ridiculously isolationist. The Irda are cool. Even the 3.x version that allowed draconians was fine.

Except kenders.

I hate kenders.

So... Looking at the trailer, I struggled to find Dragonlance in there. It LOOKS like it. I am very wary of what I saw for the following reasons.

- I could not find any of the CORE element that made Dragonlance unique: the clear-cut struggle between good and evil. A struggle that is mirrored "As above so below," as the gods themselves fight each other. Dragonlance is NOT a setting where you deal with many shades of grey. There are many other settings for that. Evil is so clear and power that without heroes who rise to the occasion, the world will be plunged into eternal darkness. The "we fight for each other" is well and good but does not provide a sense of anything unique; it is generic D&D at its best.

- Dragonlance has known heroes who are part of its draw. None of these characters appear here. They are just missing. Nowhere to be found. Who are these new characters? What's unique about them? How do they align with the classics? Everyone has a favorite in the Innfellows (I'm partial to Goldmoon), or one of the villains: Kitiara, Soth, Raistlin, or even Toade! It's like having a Batman movie with no Batman, no Robin, and no Bruce Wayne... I fear that the classic characters were omitted to avoid paying anything to Hickman and Weiss.

- The draconians are only in the background. They should be front and center! They are this world's unique and premiere monster PCs will engage with throughout their careers. I want to see them do something cool.

This trailer has not won me over, but neither did it turn me away. I'm curious to see what the final book will contain and whether it has any value to me. I can't put a Fry meme saying "Shut up and take my money" with this one.

Not just yet.

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