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wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


I remember in one of the short story collection there's a little bit where the narrator mentions that some Paladine-worshipping knight must be really cross with his god for not bailing him out.

The narrator in question was a dragon who had hired the knight, among others, to bust into his lair as a test of his security mechanisms, then immediately killed them all because he's an evil dragon and the are looting his hoard and all.

Some of those short stories were interesting, like the white dragon that turns out to be a silver with a scale condition. Although that one really had a lot of "Just say what you mean and it might actually work out ok."

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Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Angry Salami posted:

Yeah, the books basically skip 90% of this nonsense. They especially don't have the party recruit a dragon, since it's a big surprise later on when they find out there are good dragons...

(What happens to your brass dragon buddy? I'm going to go out on a limb and assume the later modules don't bother taking into account that you might have a full sized dragon with you...)

(And if they're cool with having the party recruiting dragons this early, why couldn't Flamestrike join the heroes? RIP Mad Aunty Dragon.)

Purple skipped over it, but as per the cover, the brass dragon sacrifices himself luring Verminaard and Ember away yet again to lead into DL4 - where if you're lucky, you can finally be shut of these whiny-rear end Pax Tharkans once and for all.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



wdarkk posted:

I remember in one of the short story collection there's a little bit where the narrator mentions that some Paladine-worshipping knight must be really cross with his god for not bailing him out.

The narrator in question was a dragon who had hired the knight, among others, to bust into his lair as a test of his security mechanisms, then immediately killed them all because he's an evil dragon and the are looting his hoard and all.

Some of those short stories were interesting, like the white dragon that turns out to be a silver with a scale condition. Although that one really had a lot of "Just say what you mean and it might actually work out ok."

I vividly remember the white dragon story as the only DL story I've ever read.

Knight ganks the eeeevil white dragon that's basically minding its business, realizes too late WHOOPS it was a silver dragon instead (he uses the breath weapon to determine it), and takes in the baby dragon he just orphaned as penance.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Leraika posted:

I vividly remember the white dragon story as the only DL story I've ever read.

Knight ganks the eeeevil white dragon that's basically minding its business, realizes too late WHOOPS it was a silver dragon instead (he uses the breath weapon to determine it), and takes in the baby dragon he just orphaned as penance.

Not many of those stories were memorable. I recall one that had a Dwarf finding Glasses of Reading Magic and Comprehending Language that also, by happenstance corrected the Dwarf's severe myopia. The dwarf went on some kind of magic rampage with a wizard's spell book and destroyed himself.

Another one had a pre-DL Caramon and Raistlin hunting for somebody who'd been kidnapping and murdering people. They find him and gank him but learn he was doing it to keep his sick child alive. And she dies.

The third one was about a storyteller condemned to die by the Blue Dragon Highlady. A group of kender, dwarves (possibly gully but I don't think so) and gnomes band together with their wacky hijinks to free him and drive the Blue Army out of the city. Except it's all just a story he tells them and their real attempt never gets close to started, so the storyteller is executed. It was a pretty cool take on "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" as I recall.

The final one had Fewmaster Teode in some weird situation where he kept dying and being resurrected by demons who were in a bet about him or something. He eventually helps a bunch a kender overthrow the bad guys and stays alive. A Kender girl gets kind of sweet on him and the kender dude who's sweet on her tries to kill Teode but Teode kills him instead. I remember liking it because it was one of the only times Kender felt like real people instead of stupid child-like comic relief.

Everyone fucked around with this message at 04:10 on Dec 8, 2019

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





All this stuff makes me think there's a paper somewhere for someone to write on emergent maltheism in gaming manuals. drat!

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


Also checking yeah the fight with Verminaard was after his dragon got blasted by flamestrike. So D2 cut the final battle out.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I feel like it ought to be pretty easy, in writing this kind of divinely directed high fantasy, to have gods that are both good and matter in the setting by just saying 'yeah the good gods are limited by the other gods, so they mostly get involved via clerics and so on' and not have them do dumb bullshit.

Only have actual intervention in incredibly rare situations, and the god faces some kind of penalty or suffers in some way for intervening. That way they get to look cool and your heroes get to see how important they are (and maybe get bailed out of a really bad situation).

Aoi
Sep 12, 2017

Perpetually a Pain.


Toede's novel was one of the better books in the line, as it was almost entirely a pure comedy with a villain antagonist, and culminated in a juggernaut (the kind with the huge steamroller pins) running wild in a city...as a good thing that happened.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Joe Slowboat posted:

I feel like it ought to be pretty easy, in writing this kind of divinely directed high fantasy, to have gods that are both good and matter in the setting by just saying 'yeah the good gods are limited by the other gods, so they mostly get involved via clerics and so on' and not have them do dumb bullshit.

Only have actual intervention in incredibly rare situations, and the god faces some kind of penalty or suffers in some way for intervening. That way they get to look cool and your heroes get to see how important they are (and maybe get bailed out of a really bad situation).

It helps if you remember the Gods are often GMPCs in old D&D.

Which makes it worse.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!



Chapter Five: Legendary Wars

Dragonlance is in many ways a war story. Large battles took place in the original Chronicles, and said modules and others utilized TSR’s BattleSystem for players to run sieges and skirmishes of their own as part of (or apart from) their more regular dungeon-delving faire. In Legends of the Twins, we look at several notable struggles: the Lost Battles, The Dwarfgate Wars, and the Blue Lady’s War.

When this book was released in 2006, there were quite a few fantasy strategy games on the market. Wizards of the Coast was pushing its D&D Miniatures line heavily whose streamlined D20 System rules simulated small-scale warfare. Malhavoc Press published Cry Havoc which had high production values for a 3rd party sourcebook. And this is not counting the many independent wargames existing outside of the D20 framework. Instead of committing to one system, Sovereign Press/Margaret Weis Productions opted to let DMs use their own rules of choice. And to help get a feel for proper conversion, Legendary Wars provides outlines for terrain, troop numbers and divisions, and overall abilities of leaders and units in general 3rd Edition terms.

The three battles are formulaic in their approach: they outline the time periods, the pretext for how said wars came to be, the stakes at risk for both sides, bird’s eye views of battlefield maps and troop movements for longer campaigns, and the results of the battles as they occurred in the Dragonlance canon. Each major army lists a Commander, its composition listed as the number of Brigades, and Minor Commanders and the average brief stat block (race/class/level/alignment) of the Soldiers comprising individual Brigades. The masses of soldiers are a bit all over the place in terms of scale; light infantry and cavalry tend to be 1st level Warriors, while heavy infantry and cavalry can be 1st or 2nd level Fighters. A few notable exceptions, such as Thorbadin’s dwarves, can go up to 3rd level. Specialized units may have 2 levels in a more unorthodox class, like Cleric for battle-priests or Wizard for arcane defenders of the Towers of High Sorcery, while “elite units” or very rich civilizations often have soldiers in masterwork gear.

For those non 3rd Edition players among our readers, the difference between a Warrior and a Fighter is that the former is meant to represent rank and file mooks who only gain more Hit Points and attack bonuses as their major level up rewards; meanwhile, Fighters gain access to lots of bonus feats and are considered a proper PC class. 3rd Edition has been a bit strange in this regard: the PC classes are meant to represent exceptional individuals, while NPC classes like Warrior are meant to portray the common clay of civilization. Higher-powered settings like Faerun subvert this, although Dragonlance post-Age of Might is meant to be a more down to earth low-magic setting.



The Lost Battles: This is not a singular event so much as a procession of events. Back during the Age of Might, the Orders of High Sorcery were the other major magical power of Ansalon besides the Kingpriest’s government. However even back then the wizards were stand-offish and more concerned with expanding the knowledge of magic for its own sake than setting up their own kingdoms. Even the villainous Black Robes were more likely to be creepy necromancers, charlatans, and graverobbers than heads of state. Maybe a cult leader, but that’s stepping on the toes of evil clerics.

But in spite of their otherwise neutral stance in world affairs, the Kingpriest feared their power. A series of internal dissensions and increase of authoritarian laws against both evil and “evil” races culminated in an assassination attempt of the Kingpriest by a regenade mage. His actions instead took the lives of two Ergothian princes, and the Order of High Sorcery apprehended said wizard to dispense their own punishment as part of a long-standing policy of self-policing. But the Kingpriest whipped up public sentiment against the wizards due to this being a threat to his divine authority, while also gaining the aid of Solamnia and Ergoth in this matter. Once Fistandantilus covertly weakened the defensive groves, Istaran forces marched upon the Towers.

I have to admit that this is an interesting fact as to why the Kingpriest was killing non-evil wizards. It’s not due to some superstitious “book-magic is evil!” but rather a more cynical means of realpolitik to eliminate the only major domestic faction which could challenge his power. The fact he manipulated the assassination attempt to his advantage once circumstances aligned to put another foreign power* on his side makes Istar look even worse than it already could be, what with the whole sparing of Fistandantilus once said archmage revealed his hand in the whole affair.

*Ergoth in this case.

For army outlines, we have a sample battlemap of the Tower of Lorsacum, which has its own malachite guardian* golem constructs dual-wielding scimitars as major military units with regular D&D stats; and a joint Ergoth-Istaran siege upon the Tower of Daltigoth. The Kingpriest’s forces include a mixture of regular warriors along with Knights of the Divine Hammer and auxiliary clerics, small numbers of mounted Ergothian cavaliers who have masterwork equipment, and the Knights of Solamnia who are heavier on the martial side in comparison to Istar but have some divine casters among the Knights of the Sword. The Orders of High Sorcery are far less in number but should be treated as their own brigades on account that they have many means of using long-duration and AoE spells along with summoned and planar bound monstrous minions to aid them.

*including a new stat block!



The Dwarfgate Wars: Although far briefer and with far less casualties than other major battles of Krynn, the Dwarfgate Wars are a vital part of the formation of modern dwarven culture. There isn’t much new things here that weren’t covered in Eras of Legend, but there is mention that the concept of Fistandantilus leading his own army is a bit of a modern myth. He was a popular figure and advisor in times of battle, but his so-called “Army” was a disparate collection of Neidar dwarves, Plainsmen, and mercenaries of various races who followed their own commanders who all happened to share common cause in breaking open the gates of Thorbadin.

An interesting thing to note is that dwarven military units are hard as gently caress. The average Neidar heavy infantry are 3rd level Fighters, with light infantry 2nd level Warriors. They and the Plainsmen are worse-equipped than the nations of old in the Lost Battles, more likely to have leader and hide armor and wooden shields instead of the chain shirts, chainmail, and steel shields of prior centuries. Barring Fistandantilus there are no spellcasters of any sorts, not even mercenary mages, although there’s mention of a cleric known as Brother Denubis.* It’s very much a down and dirty war, and the text makes mention that although war gear is plentiful starvation and basic necessities are more likely to be stolen and looted than bartered for or purchased.

*who would canonically be a magic-less heathen cleric at this point in history, no matter his patron deity.

The mountain dwarves of Thorbadin by contrast are well-equipped. Even their light infantry are 3rd-level fighters outfitted with masterwork gear (all that talk of dwarven craftsmanship isn’t just for show), with only irregular conscripts among the Klar clan and Gully Dwarves having levels in the inferior Warrior.

Although taking place over a span of years, there were two major battles. The first was the Siege of Pax Tharkas, where said fortress was not enough to hold back the masses of tens of thousands of desperate starving warriors. This was thanks in no small part to Fistandantilus cutting a deal with the Dewar (evil traitorous mountain dwarves) to kill the gate guards and sabotage the defenses. The war climaxed with the final Battle of Dergoth, where Fistandantilus’ abortive attempt to open a portal to the Abyss in the fortress of Skullcap resulted in a gigantic magical explosion which indiscriminately tore through all sides. The mountain dwarves retreated, and the hill dwarves and human forces were too low in number to carry on the battle. Indeed it was Fistandantilus’ actions that convinced dwarves on both sides never to trust a wizard again. Say what you will about Dragonlance, but it gives actual historical basis for some of its class/race combo restrictions.



The Blue Lady’s War: After the end of the War of the Lance, the gods returned to the world. Takhisis’ Dragonarmies were beaten back by the forces of good, with only Lady Kitiara’s Blue Dragonarmy holding onto territory of any significance in mountainous central Ansalon. The other Dragonarmies were reduced to ever-splitting factions of desperate banditry or consumed in their own civil wars to the point that they could not challenge the free realms again.

Lord Soth, in spite of being on the side of evil, was no fan of Kitiara. And Kitiara, once Emperor Ariakas’ virtual second in command, wanted to take his place one day and had dreams of restoring her forces to greatness. When she learned of Raistlin’s desire to amass enough magical power to challenge and kill Takhisis herself, a seed of genuine worry erupted within her. Using Soth as an intermediary to contact Raistlin’s apprentice Dalamar, a series of double agents crossing double agents resulted in Lady Kitiara staging an invasion attempt of Palanthas by using a flying fortress. Both sides had their reasons for victory: Palanthas was more prosperous than ever, its deep-water harbor and surrounding mountains made for great natural defenses, and the High Clerist’s Tower was now stocked with Dragonlance-bearing Solamnic Knights. Meanwhile, the aerial advantage of the Blue Dragonarmy’s forces would render said natural defenses moot, and the Tower of High Sorcery of Palanthas was where Raistlin would allegedly perform said ritual of deicide.

This battle’s military units are perhaps the most unique of this chapter’s. The Blue Dragonarmy includes a mix of humans and monsters, ranging from draconians and blue dragons to undead minions under Lord Soth’s command, and an evil-aligned 1st-level gully dwarf by the name of Rounce (who was a character in the books). We even get age categories for the dragons so we can get a sense of their power and how dire things are for the forces of Good.

The Knights of Solamnia are the best of the best of Palanthas: while their gear isn’t always masterwork, they have a mixture of Fighter and Warrior levels, and a privileged few have honest to god bronze dragons to ride upon to challenge the Blue Dragonarmy’s aerial dominance. The City of Palanthas has its own militia who while overall worse skill-wise than the Knights (1st- level characters only, no clerics nor dragons) are willing to defend their homes and equipped with masterwork gear thanks to their city’s prosperity.

The major battles in the Blue Lady’s war includes a failed defense of the High Clerist’s Tower, and battles in the streets of Palanthas where dragons, undead, draconians, and clerics of Paladine engage in street-to-street battles. On the non-army side of things, Caramon and Tanis undertake a stealth mission onboard the flying citadel and eventually commandeer it by...turning the structure upside-down at the pilot controls and shaking it free of remaining draconians. Meanwhile, Dalamar and Kitiara engage one on one in the Tower of High Sorcery, which is what the cover image of Eras of Legend in an earlier post portrayed.

Chapter Six: A Legends Campaign

You may be thinking that this two chapter post is like the opening. Well you’d be half-right: the preceding Legendary Wars is a semi-fair length, but the final main chapter of this book is only five pages long. It’s mostly open-ended advice on how you can flavor your campaign to be more like the Legends trilogy.

The Legendary Campaigns section posits several styles: Traditional has no time travel elements for the PCs to use but rather manifests in an indirect manner: seers, oracles, other time travelers from Alternate Krynns or elsewhere in the timeline can be used to give hints to things beyond the here and now. Some may even seek to fork the River off course while the PCs do their best to keep the status quo of continuity. This kind of campaign is actually discouraged because the book outright points out it wouldn’t make full use of its own contents!

Time Travel is exactly what it says on the tin: whether by virtue of having or being a high-level Sorcerer/Wizard or falling into possession of the Device of Time Journeying, the PCs can travel through time. It suggests that the Dungeon Master map out and express their desire for certain periods or eras rather than having the PCs go to wherever; time travel should be done with a specific purpose in mind, whether that’s to undo a tragedy,* find the answer to some dilemma which can only be found in prior eras, and likewise. It’s also encouraged for the DM to show that even though Dragonlance has a vague medieval fantasy feel, that different eras have a different feel to them: a Knight of Solamnia from the Age of Might may not be fond of the current order today (and vice versa), and the changing nature of language means that even the same culture has noticeably different accents and dialects centuries one way or the other from now.

*which would technically be making a “fork” in the river.

Alternate Worlds suggests using an Alternate Krynn, either from Chapter Four of this book or of one’s own making. It has the advantage of being different enough from “core Dragonlance” to be novel while not necessarily requiring time travel in and of itself as a plot element. Furthermore, travelers along the branches of the River of Time may cause characters and their doubles from alternate worlds to meet each other in a temporal version of a planes-hopping style of campaign.

Legendary Themes is a series of various questions and conundrums for the Dungeon Master and how they can be answered during the campaign. “Should History Be Changed?” “What is the Cost?” and such. Sadly a lot of the advice is vague and doesn’t really solve common problems that may pop up in play. Such as when dealing with the possibility of PCs time-traveling back before a fight to gain a more favorable outcome, the book just shrugs and goes “that can happen, but what if the bad guys can do that too?”

Honestly this part feels like padding meant to extend the book’s length.

Thoughts So Far: I found this chapter of limited use in comparison to the others. The outline of notable battles in Chapter Five is a good concept, but the lack of full-on battle rules and vagueness thereof makes this an uneasy compromise between DMs who need more involved details vs. those who only care about the PCs’ actions and resolve things in a narrative manner. The average level and gear of rank-and-file soldiers won’t matter for the latter type of DM unless the PCs are murderhobos, which is something that Dragonlance does its best to avoid thematically speaking.

Join Us Next Time as we finish this book with a new adventure, the Anvil of Time!

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 22:15 on Dec 8, 2019

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Angry Salami posted:

(What happens to your brass dragon buddy? I'm going to go out on a limb and assume the later modules don't bother taking into account that you might have a full sized dragon with you...)

(And if they're cool with having the party recruiting dragons this early, why couldn't Flamestrike join the heroes? RIP Mad Aunty Dragon.)

Blaize(still a stupid name) either distracts Verminaard and Ember and vanishes out of the story if they try another strafing run while he's around OR just leaves at the end of the story with a "peace out lads, been fun" rather than over-simplifying everything in the game from that point on.

Also probably because Flamestrike is a red dragon and thus fundamentally evil. Whatever, if I was running this, Flamestrike would totally survive, somehow, just because she's a nice old crazy lady.

I also read far too many Dragonlance side stories as a kid, the only ones I remember enjoying were: A) the story of the Tinker Gnome Nuke, B) a ye olde anciente eras story where a single gold dragon holds off one of each of the Chromatic types of dragon to protect her eggs, mostly I like it for how she handles the last dragon, a red dragon. They're physically evenly matched and she's mostly out of spells... except for Flesh to Stone. As they battle over a subterranean lake, she realizes that he might resist it... but she wouldn't. So she wrestles her way into a super-chokehold and then casts it on herself, becoming an anchor that hauls him to the bottom of the lake where he drowns before he can fight his way free. C) a story where a tinker gnome invents a space rocket, encounters Illithids in space, and flees back to Krynn, and then he and a dragon in an ancient city fight off the Illithids as they come for the gnome.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Fundamentally evil, yet more of a badass hero than Fizban. And that's why the 9-slot alignment matrix is a bad system, and whoever put Good/Evil onto basic's less awful Law/Chaos axis is doubly bad.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Fizban probably inspired one of the things I really wish I'd gotten to bust out when I was running 4e: The Old Man with the Canaries. It was a setup where the PCs meet Bahamut disguised as an old man (accompanied by seven canaries), and he helps them fight an encounter ten levels too high for them through buffs, heals, and debuffs to the enemies. The PCs still have to do the work of making the attacks and using their powers effectively, but having a god on their side gives them the boost they need.

You could probably do a more comedy-oriented version with Paladine as Fizban. Then again players familiar with the character as the original modules present might not trust him enough to buy into the scenario.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Just Dan Again posted:

Fizban probably inspired one of the things I really wish I'd gotten to bust out when I was running 4e: The Old Man with the Canaries. It was a setup where the PCs meet Bahamut disguised as an old man (accompanied by seven canaries), and he helps them fight an encounter ten levels too high for them through buffs, heals, and debuffs to the enemies. The PCs still have to do the work of making the attacks and using their powers effectively, but having a god on their side gives them the boost they need.

You could probably do a more comedy-oriented version with Paladine as Fizban. Then again players familiar with the character as the original modules present might not trust him enough to buy into the scenario.

Nah, the Old Man with the Canaries guise of Bahamut predates Dragonlance IIRC. It's why Fizban's a cheap plastic knockoff.

Edit: In fact, a quick google shows that Bahamut showed up with his 7 canaries in Dragon Magazine #38, predating Dragonlance by 4 years.

Seatox fucked around with this message at 20:59 on Dec 8, 2019

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I remember that one from the OG Monster Manual.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Forbidden Lands, Part 6

The Gamemaster's Guide

So, let's get onto the next part of the boxed set, the GM's book. It starts off with what I consider to be a competent intro to how to run a sandbox exploration RPG. It's nothing spectacular and I feel like if you've run RPGs for a while, most of this will be common sense to you, but I can see it helping a new GM so I won't knock it too much or really discuss it because, well, there's nothing that particularly stands out for good or ill. For some reason they shove the stronghold encounters table here in the advice section but alright, sure. Mostly, they're just King of Dragon Pass style dilemmas such as orcs coming up to your stronghold to demand tribute, runaway slaves asking for refuge, spies looking for people sheltering religious heretics, and so on. No advice on what to do if you roll the same thing twice in a campaign since it's a d66 list, sadly, so I guess you'll just have to wing it.

History

Following that is a section on the history of the Forbidden Lands, which comes off like the backstory of Demons' Souls in its vagueness and in certain plot points to come, but if the names of main figures were incredibly embarrassing. The calendar's year zero moment is called The Shift, in which a group of humans fled west from their continent (destroyed by "parasitic worms" devouring the very earth) across the ocean lead by their Protector God in the form of a snake being held by a raven. This god helpfully negotiates with the dwarves and elves rather upset about the appearance of a bunch of human boats by creating a huge mountain range to separate the races (save for hostages to be taken by all races) and by ordering the god of the earth to create orcs to serve as slaves to the dwarves and elves. The humans go south of the range into what becomes Alderland, while the north is dubbed Ravenland.

This arrangement last for 500 years until a group of religious refugees from a group known as the Ailanders flees north, since Alderland hates them because they believe the Protector God is not the snake, as alleged by the main faith of Alderland at the time, but the raven that carried the snake. The elves agree to let the Ailanders north due to their love and respect of nature. The dwarves are annoyed by this, and are extra annoyed when a group of nomadic humans (who appear to be indigenous to the continent and are not part of the group that came across the oceans from the east? Again, poo poo's vague here) called the Aslene ride in from the west on their horses and start settling too. Both passes used are sealed off by the dwarves and life goes on for another few hundred years until the 800s.

Alderland, now suffering massive starvation and overpopulation in some areas, gets into freaky blood magic, creating a new religion called the Rust Church that believes what's *really* important about the Protector God is that he's a snake made of iron and his wife is the raven which is made of wood. The leader of this church offers to colonize Ravenland with a newly discovered pass through the mountains and gets the go-ahead from Alderland's king. She proceeds to invade, slaughters the local Ailanders for being double heretics, and then gets her rear end kicked by an alliance of dwarves, Ailanders, and Aslene. This results in a cycle of Alderland sending more troops to colonize, getting in fights with the dwarves (who decide to free orc slaves to fight their war for them), and generally ruining everything for everyone.

During all these wars, a half-elf sorcerer by the name of *Zygofer the Whisperer* is appointed governor of the Alderland colony north of the mountains. He discovers a "nexus" (I told you this was Demons Souls) to other worlds, through which he starts drawing demons and doing standard mad wizard poo poo in order to secure power over the north. Eventually, he decides to split off entirely and become a horrible tyrant independent of Alderland, set on exterminating all elves, dwarves, and orcs. He mostly spends the next hundred years of his life summoning tons of demons to kill his enemies, slaughtering the armies of Alderland as well as sending them west to slaughter the Aslene just because they annoyed him since more got into Ravenland after he killed the dwarves that were preventing that.

Eventually, Zygofer gets too old and his demonic advisor, Merrigall, advises him to do something incredibly stupid to extend his lifespan: take one of his daughters, another shithead sorcerer by the name of Therania, and fuse together with her with the promise that this will somehow be a learning experience for her. And then fuse together with a big demon spider for some true Souls series boss flavor. This hybrid, called Zytera, continues being a huge dickhead to everything in the world, getting the Rust Church on their side since they somehow assume that two people sewn back to back on top of a spider is a prophet of their god, Rust. Eventually, Zytera fucks up and misses that an absolutely colossal amount of blood-red mist leaked out of their nexus, which coats the land in the year 900. This mist kills anyone caught in it at night, but oddly doesn't bother to kill people in their homes, so travel becomes impossible within Ravenland save for the Rust Church, whose belief system lets them travel through this bloodmist. They use this to seize control of many places and exterminate Ailanders.

After two hundred years of this, the demon Merrigall learns that the bloodmist is the vaporized form of demons from another world, who exist in that world to remove sick creatures or those that are unhappy with life. Since the bloodmist determined that the local humans are miserable, they must have had a death wish and thus killed any that were not in their homes, "happy" (presumably this emotion they were detecting is closer to "oh thank god the horrible mist hasn't eaten me" than actual happiness, but ah well), and that the Rust Church only got away with it since they thought the bloodmist was their "home" (being a manifestation of one of their gods). Merrigall decides to deal with this via using their talent as a bard to make the bloodmist homesick, thus causing it to devour the vast majority of itself. Travel is now possible, and thus your player characters now come into play, free to loot and take what they will.

Basically, it's a setting made to not have pesky things like extremely huge and controlling factions that can tell you what to do, such as "stop robbing from Great Uncle Urist's tomb, you dickhead", which is freeing in some regard. You might consider it a response to the old D&D settings where every part of the world is mapped out and run by some sort of kingdom, principality, or what have you, yet everyone is ok with you stealing ancestral relics from them. It does run into the same problems that Demons' Souls, the game it is copying in some way, in that sometimes the vagueness of some things is maddening. Who the gently caress are the Aslene, for instance? Why exactly does the Rust Church think Zytera is their prophet? What makes the Raven Sisters different from the Congregation of the Serpent? Who knows, I guess, it's up to the GM to piece it together from the backstory and make up poo poo to fill the holes. This is fine in some regards; making the setting your own is always a delight when GMing, but these questions don't really lead anywhere interesting, I feel, and just create busy work for the GM.

Next time, we'll discuss the gods and kin in this setting, in which I will get depressed at how vague the religions are and mad at the depiction of the orcs.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


SunAndSpring posted:

Forbidden Lands, Part 6

The Gamemaster's Guide
For some reason they shove the stronghold encounters table here in the advice section but alright, sure. Mostly, they're just King of Dragon Pass style dilemmas such as orcs coming up to your stronghold to demand tribute, runaway slaves asking for refuge, spies looking for people sheltering religious heretics, and so on. No advice on what to do if you roll the same thing twice in a campaign since it's a d66 list, sadly, so I guess you'll just have to wing it.

Different orcs/slaves/spies, I'd guess. Or roll again to get a different result. Or add more encounters to bring the table up to a full d100 because how the gently caress do you roll a d66 anyway (assuming that there's not an actual d66 included with the game)?

Carados
Jan 27, 2009

We're a couple, when our bodies double.


Everyone posted:

Different orcs/slaves/spies, I'd guess. Or roll again to get a different result. Or add more encounters to bring the table up to a full d100 because how the gently caress do you roll a d66 anyway (assuming that there's not an actual d66 included with the game)?

Two tables, one for each d6.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Or one table that starts at 11 and goes to 66.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


d66 is one die is tens so its 11-16, 21-26, 31-36 and so on. It's a thing from when the only dice you could reasonably expect anyone to own was d6.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006
:gay:


d66 is technically a d36. It's good and cool. More entries than a d20, not as giant a list as a d100, usually presented as just 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, and so on.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!



Dragons of Hope: 3rd Edition Changes

1. Like its AD&D version, mass combat and survival rules for the Abanasinian Refugees exists. As does the faction system, and are both mostly translated wholesale plus a few D20isms (having the Leadership feat helps in most matters for instance). However, the faction system makes use of the Diplomacy rules, which any 3rd Edition veteran knows can be easily abused by cranking up the modifiers to the point you can sweet-talk just about anyone. Only the Seekers and the Free Folk are Hostile, who are led by Eben Shatterstone the traitor which is why this is the case. The Plainsfolk are unfriendly, but with a good die roll even they can be put up to Helpful. It shouldn't be very hard for a party with a Diplomancer to get all the non-Eben factions on their side.

2. The map of the Tharkadan Mountains detailing places the PCs can visit is easier to make out than the AD&D version. The PDF unfortunately has a low-resolution image, but I snapped a better one (hopefully) on my iPhone once it sends through:



3. The Dragonarmy's occupation of places is more forgiving. Most notable locations explain at what point they occupy a place. Instead of AD&D's five days, they will claim all but one of the notable areas in 6 days, and the Hopeful Vale (the place the refugees camp at while the PCs visit Thorbadin) in 13 days.

4. Fizban's monkeycheese antics which can get innocents killed from the collapsing bridge is excised completely from the module.

5. The Neidar (hill dwarf) village the PCs visit has a sidebar of answers for questions PCs are likely to ask them, from dragonarmy patrols to a brief history of the Dwarfgate Wars as to why they don't regard Thorbadin as a safe haven to Skullcap's location.

6. The honeycomb cliffs food source had royal jelly which contained magical properties equivalent to healing potions in AD&D. In 3rd Edition it's entirely boring mundane honey but has enough food units (which exists in both versions) to feed all of the refugees for for the entire trip and then some.

7. The Steam Caverns side trek is more or less excised mapwise on account that the 3rd Edition book regards the exact geography is unimportant. Additionally the refugees are not eager to camp in the Steam Caverns on account that gully dwarves live there (this happens in both versions). On the other hand, the gully dwarves graciously provide lots of food units free of charge to the refugees, although they taste foul.

8. Given how buff dragons got in 3rd Edition, the Shadow Dragon encounter in Skullcap may end up as a TPK should they choose to attack it, even with Blaize's help; this is due to Whisper being a unique form of dragon which has darkness-themed abilities such as a breath weapon which deals 7 negative levels (which may be equal to the party if they're the 8 PC set-up). Said Shadow Dragon gets a proper name in this version (Whisper), and will mistake the party's Sage archetype PC for Fistandantilus and mention that he is obligated to obey him as part of the original bargain. Sadly this involves guarding Skullcap against intruders and not say, going down into its lower reaches or defending the refugees from the Dragonarmies.

9. There are more rooms with encounters in Skullcap. For instance, PCs may fight Thoraxes (giant bugs) while climbing down to its lower reaches. As there are no rules for random encounters within this dungeon, this was likely done to make it feel less empty.

10. The Vorpal Longsword is replaced with a Ghost Touch Longsword instead (which can hit incorporeal undead, several of which are in the dungeon). Some other treasures are added or modified, like an eastern treasure room containing a Keen Scimitar (doubles critical hit range) which don't have parallels in AD&D to my knowledge.

11. Fistandantilus' shadowy remnant is considered a demilich monster in the AD&D version, which likely explains why he doesn't attack the PCs on sight given it would be a likely TPK. In the 3rd Edition version he is a unique creature which is more in line with a reasonable enemy encounter.

12. Blaize's fate is not illuminated on or how he'll depart the party, oddly enough. He can take humanoid form, but this is a bit of a plot hole in the fact that the metallic dragons have a pact not to interfere against the Dragonarmies or else the kidnapped dragon eggs (which are secretly being used to make draconians) will be smashed. This is also why the metallic dragons in the module are often in isolated places or have taken humanoid form to blend in among mortals.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 09:33 on Dec 9, 2019

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Libertad! posted:

Fistandantilus

I cannot be the only person who can't read this name aloud with a straight face.

Just seeing it on the page gives me a massive attack of the giggles.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Wait until you hear what "antilus" is slang for!

Gun Jam
Apr 11, 2015


Loxbourne posted:

I cannot be the only person who can't read this name aloud with a straight face.

Just seeing it on the page gives me a massive attack of the giggles.

Fist & ants -guy.

thark
Mar 3, 2008

bork

Loxbourne posted:

I cannot be the only person who can't read this name aloud with a straight face.

Just seeing it on the page gives me a massive attack of the giggles.

FLOON. BLAGMAR.

Tylana
May 5, 2011



Pillbug

I played some of a version of Dragonlance (3ed seems likely) and could not stop called the swamp ruins Hacks And Coughs instead of Xak Tsaroth

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Gun Jam posted:

Fist & ants -guy.

The story of the Cataclysm is re-worked into a gay porno starring Fisting-Dantilus.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Since I only have a 30 page adventure to review for Legends of the Twins, I'm strongly considering starting another sourcebook review while I still got the Dragonlance bug. My current two choices are either War of the Lance (a 3.5 setting sourcebook detailing Ansalon during the Chronicles-era beyond the classic adventures) or Towers of High Sorcery (which details a variety of mechanics and fluff for the veritable arcane organization of Ansalon).

Does anyone here have any preferences?

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Libertad! posted:

Since I only have a 30 page adventure to review for Legends of the Twins, I'm strongly considering starting another sourcebook review while I still got the Dragonlance bug. My current two choices are either War of the Lance (a 3.5 setting sourcebook detailing Ansalon during the Chronicles-era beyond the classic adventures) or Towers of High Sorcery (which details a variety of mechanics and fluff for the veritable arcane organization of Ansalon).

Does anyone here have any preferences?

I think the non-Chronicles War of the Lance content would be a neat companion to the current DL review

Nemo2342
Nov 25, 2007

Have A Day





Nap Ghost

Libertad! posted:

Since I only have a 30 page adventure to review for Legends of the Twins, I'm strongly considering starting another sourcebook review while I still got the Dragonlance bug. My current two choices are either War of the Lance (a 3.5 setting sourcebook detailing Ansalon during the Chronicles-era beyond the classic adventures) or Towers of High Sorcery (which details a variety of mechanics and fluff for the veritable arcane organization of Ansalon).

Does anyone here have any preferences?

I'd like to hear about the nonsense wizards get up to.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


War of the Lance for me.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Dragonlance



Dragons of Desolation



At least this one has kind of a cool cover! So, recapping, in the last adventure the party spent a lot of time wandering around the wilderness wondering how Fizban was going to get them all killed before finally leaving the useless refugees somewhere dry and kicking over Skullcap for loot. In the process they met a dragon that didn't give a poo poo about them, and a neat dragon friend who just kind of hosed off because he didn't really feel like helping trivialize the next adventure. Or possibly Ember ate him for lunch, depends on your random encounters. In the process they found maps indicating where the lost dwarven nation of Thorbardin was, so they could finally have a place to leave the refugees without any awkward feelings of guilt.

Also if the PC's failed to find a map in DL3, "Fizban the Fabulous" would tell them where to go, thus revealing that Fizban could have saved them multiple dangerous days of slogging around haunted swamps just by telling them where stuff was.

So let's get started.

Chapter 14: The Doors of Thorbardin


love how Tanis on the left there just seems mostly annoyed and how the busted perspective makes Tanis look either ten feet tall or Ember(the dragon) like he's barely the size of a horse.

The story starts out after the party has rejoined the refugees and told them that they can finally be rid of each other. Rejoicing, the refugees gather what food they have and hold a grand feast to praise the protagonists for being such cool dudes. Elistan toasts the heroes and somehow gets pass-out drunk on water, no one can wake him up. Presumably the PC's don't toss him in a ditch and go on their way at this point, they're meant to keep Elistan's lifeless-seeming body around for plot reasons.

In the night, the PC's all have spooky dreams about a LOCKED DOOR with Elistan on the other side yelling "PLEASE, HELP ME FIND MY STUFF." If they open the door, they go to a spooky DREAM TOWER where they see mysterious evil things that... just... aren't actually revealed or described at all right now, and more Elistan yelling at them. The players eventually wake up feeling vaguely ill at ease about stuff.

When they wake up, Verminaard, who again apparently knows where they are and what they were doing all along, is hovering above the camp on Ember, gloating.

quote:

Verminaard (see NPC Capsules) calls for the heroes, using both voice and telepathy. “Pitiful fools,” he sneers, “to think you could defeat me in the Mind of Evil!”

When Verminaard uses the phrase, “The Mind of Evil,” each of the heroes suddenly remembers the terrible dream of the night before.

Tanis: Dreams that he's gotta choose between really wanting to dick Caramon's half-sister and saving Elistan. If he dithers, he'll get stabbed.
Goldmoon: Dreams that her dead tribe is evil and also that Elistan is evil.
Riverwind: Gets Goldmoon's dream but from a third-person perspective.
Sturm: Dreams that he gets too scared to fight a dragon.
Laurana: Let's everyone else die because she's too lazy to do anything.
Remaining non-Caramon, non-Flint fighters: Dream that they stab a draconian but the draconian was actually Caramon
Tasslehoff: Dreams that trying to pick locks and steal stuff will get you killed.
Caramon: Raistlin turns real evil.
Raistlin: You realize that you're in 3rd ed D&D and all the non-casters are irrelevant, you leave them to die.
Flint: You feel responsible for everyone else getting stabbed to death in their dreams.

In the books the dreams and their details matter considerably more since they are, obviously, partially prophetic but also intended to be hugely dispiriting to the protagonists. In a game where the players have agency(well, okay, this is the DL series, they have some agency), prophecies are considerably less effective because making them come true in any real sense will usually involve massive railroading unless the players are very cooperative.

quote:

“It is pointless for you to continue in this lost cause,” he says. “Wealth and power can be yours if you but take your place beside me, and place your swords in my service.”

Verminaard has no intention of keeping his word. If the heroes betray the refugees, Verminaard takes them back to Pax Tharkas with promises of rich rewards. Once there, he orders his troops to feed them to Ember.

If the heroes attack, Ember flies out of missile range. Verminaard laughs at the futility of the attack. If the heroes actually hit either Verminaard or the dragon, Ember attacks with spells, but does not use his breath weapon.

If the heroes reject Verminaard’s offer, he says, “Fools! I could destroy you as you stand. But I have other uses for you... and there are things worse than death!"

Of course, any suggestion at being able to affect the course of the story is a trick that gets you killed if you don't pick the branch the authors wanted you to take.

I mean let's just recap this poo poo. Literally the only real threat to the dragonarmies, the return of the true faith, is right in front of Verminaard. Two passes with Ember's breath weapon, problem solved, Dragonarmies have a win locked in. But Verminaard doesn't do that. It's. Urgh. I mean if the guy is already telepathic, just have him tell them this poo poo in, I don't know, the loving dream they just had? That he apparently knew all about and/or controlled somehow? That would have avoided this entire confused stupid moron situation.

So after this obviously the party sets out for Thorbardin to get this poo poo over with. Keep in mind that the countdown to the dragonarmies killing all the refugees in DL3(max of 6 days since they set out, so a total of 10 if the players blocked up Pax Tharkas with collapsing stone) is still going, meaning that the party may well be operating under a strict time limit here. Some smart cookie might get the idea of bringing the refugees with them into Thorbardin, the reason why this is not a good way to keep them safe is that they keep getting randomly attacked by infinite amounts of Derro dwarves until the refugees go back out into the cold. Why? Because gently caress the authors of these things, that's why.

It doesn't take long for the party to find the gate, which can either be opened by: an elf or half-elf with lucky rolls, a Fireball spell or a Knock spell. If the party has none of these, Fizban blows himself up Fireballing the gate open, if that's not necessary, he falls to his "death" when the gate opens and knocks him off a cliff. This is, sadly, not Fizban's death. In the books, as mentioned, he "died" in Pax Tharkas, saving Tasslehoff. Not sure which survivor I'd be more upset by, in that case, but he always turns up again, Fizban is impossible to get rid of.

Laurana and Eben are tagging along as NPC's, it's noted. The GM is instructed to repeatedly remind the PC's that Laurana is there, especially Gilthanas and Tanis, though she's also supposed to not actually do anything. Meanwhile Eben helps with everything he can and is even controlled by a PC as a henchman until he inevitably stabs everyone in the back like he's supposed to. I'm thoroughly expecting his epic betrayal to be completely underwhelming.

It's also worth noting that during the trip to Thorbardin's gate from the refugee camp, random encounters will happen like usual. One of the possibilities is "Hylar Dwarves." Now, Flint and any other dwarves we've met so far are Neidar dwarves, Hill dwarves. Hylar dwarves are Mountain dwarves, i.e. usually from Thorbardin. Nothing here indicates what happens when the party encounters a pack of mountain dwarves, whether they're from Thorbardin, random wanderers, have any useful info or what. They're just a random loving encounter with no substance.

Chapter 15: The North Gate of the Dwarves


is... is that Sturm in the background? did he fall into a black hole? WHY IS HE SUDDENLY TWO FEET TALL?

So we're inside Thorbardin now. Let's have a ma-



Alright I gotta admit, the maps in the DL modules so far are pretty awful dogshit. Their focus on verticality and regular transits from one level to the next, both up and down, is loving terrible for keeping track of what's going on where. Now look at this hot loving mess. In the upper right you have the map of the dwarven kingdom in general, which is pretty reasonable and parseable, then down below you have this loving muddle of cubes. You want to know how to read that? Well loving so do I, because I feel like the book's presentation of it is severely confusing.

dwarf maps posted:

Also on the map are the sixteen City Blocks that make up the dwarven cities. All the City Blocks on the map are facing north.

It has been said that if you’ve seen one dwarven city, you’ve seen them all. Nothing could be more true. Once a dwarf finds something he likes, he sticks with it. Dwarves leave architectural innovation to the elves, who enjoy that sort of thing. In the world of Krynn, all dwarven cities are made of the same City Blocks, repeated endlessly.

To find your way around a dwarven city, a third type of map is used. This map resembles a crossword puzzle, made up of small boxes with numbers and letters in them. Each chapter has one or more “crossword puzzle” maps in it. Each box on the map represents one of the sixteen City Blocks on the large map.

In each box is a place for a Block Number (one of the sixteen city block types), Facing (a compass direction: N, E, S, or W, or “R” for Random), and Encounter (keyed to the Encounter section of the chapter). All boxes have a City Block Number and a Facing; only some of them have Encounters.

The left box in the example on pg. 10 contains a “2” and an “E.” On the large map, “2” is a Great Hall. (Remember, all City Blocks on the large map are facing north.) Since the direction is “E,” rotate the block 90 degrees so that the City Block faces east. It connects with a “8 E.” Looking again at the large map, you see that “8” is a Court. Since it, too, faces north on the large map, you must rotate it to face east. The court contains an Encounter, as well. Refer to the current chapter’s Encounter section to find out what happens in the Court.

(NOTE: If the direction is “R,” assign a facing at random.) Some areas of the dwarven kingdom are currently inhabited, others are in ruins. Modify the block descriptions below based on the information in each chapter. City Blocks are connected to each other by the little extensions on each block, which are open. If the City Block doesn’t connect with anything, the extensions are just alcoves.

Some of the cities of Thorbardin are not visited in this adventure. You can create your own dwarven cities just by preparing “crossword puzzle” maps, and set your own adventures therein.


why the gently caress make that overcomplicated map system if almost every goddamn cell is just empty of interesting encounters or anything similar, loving Christ

Anyway, once inside it's pretty clear that the area around the northern gate got hosed severely by some heavy fighting long ago. Things are in ruins, there are dusty skeletons and rusty weapons and armor all over the place. Depending on how the players decide to enter the great halls, whether they move straight ahead or stick to the walls, they either encounter the Dwarf Cops who ask them to come peacefully to see the king(Thane) or they encounter the Dark Guide, a Derro who will just try to lead them into a trap. Basically anything other than surrendering to the cops and letting them bring the party to the Thane is punished somehow, with the only real choice being whether the party help the Dwarf Cops rescue some kidnap victims held by the local Derro gang. If they decide to follow the terrified Derro guide rather than the cops, they get killed by a whole pack of 250 angry Derro.

So just follow the cops, I guess.

Kree! When listening to the cops sounds like a good idea, maybe it's time to take a break! Take care of your mental health!

Gotta listen to the Skeleton Warrior, guys.

Next up: More dwarves, less Fizban

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


The Empire Strikes Back was out four years before DL4 was published... and it shows, doesn't it?

"Join me, and we can rule Krynn as Highlord and Player Characters!" says the black armored figure.

"No! That can't be, that's impossible!" scream the player characters, before they plunge into the railroad beneath Dwarf City.

"Oh my!" goes C-FIZBAN0, while R2-TASSELHOF beeps and boops.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Libertad! posted:

Since I only have a 30 page adventure to review for Legends of the Twins, I'm strongly considering starting another sourcebook review while I still got the Dragonlance bug. My current two choices are either War of the Lance (a 3.5 setting sourcebook detailing Ansalon during the Chronicles-era beyond the classic adventures) or Towers of High Sorcery (which details a variety of mechanics and fluff for the veritable arcane organization of Ansalon).

Does anyone here have any preferences?

I'd really like to hear about the Towers - especially if there's anything to do with the Tests. Even if the Wizards did turn out to be evil/indifferent regardless of stated alignment I kind of liked their "We'll at least pretend to weed out the stupidly self-destructive fuckwits before giving them access to the closest thing to superpowers that exists on this world."

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Everyone posted:

I'd really like to hear about the Towers - especially if there's anything to do with the Tests. Even if the Wizards did turn out to be evil/indifferent regardless of stated alignment I kind of liked their "We'll at least pretend to weed out the stupidly self-destructive fuckwits before giving them access to the closest thing to superpowers that exists on this world."

Oh believe me, it not only talks about the Tests, it has a detailed write-up on how to run such a test for PCs and what kinds of challenges to set up for them too. It's part of its own (albeit short) chapter and has a nifty flowchart:

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Libertad! posted:

Oh believe me, it not only talks about the Tests, it has a detailed write-up on how to run such a test for PCs and what kinds of challenges to set up for them too. It's part of its own (albeit short) chapter and has a nifty flowchart:



That flowchart looks very... Dragonlance. I admit that I'd really like some further info on it. Rest seems obvious. As do Task and Hazard. I'm a little unsure what Magic means (they aren't going to deal with the Task/Hazard/Battle/Duel with Magic given that they're wizards and pretty much suck at everything aside from that?) Maybe a little clarification on the difference between Battle and Duel. Also, aren't these tests supposed to give/inflict some kind of lesson/insight/humility that kind of fucks your life from that point forward (Raistlin's semi-tuberculosis, the dude with the crippled leg, the (formerly) pretty girl that I think got her face burned off or something)?

Edit to recall that I remember playing through a game book version of Raistlin's test called The Soulforge. It was pretty cool. I recall that it started with a bit of dialogue to effect of:

Par-Salion (talking to somebody I can't remember): He must be tempered, shaped in the hottest fire for the tasks to come.

"Person I don't remember": And if he breaks?

Par-Salion: Then we bury the pieces.

It was a pretty cool demonstration of "Good is not nice."

There were three actual tests. The first test put Raistlin in a situation with some snake-oil salesman who was duping people with his "magical" cures. And Raistlin has to try to expose him for the fraud he is. The main way to win that one was to have Raistlin realize he needs to back the gently caress off and let the people get used, sucky as it is. The incident recalls one from his past where Caramon had to save him when he didn't back off.

The second test put you in a room with a bunch of spell components, of which you could choose maybe four or so. There was no real clue that I recall about which ones to pick except maybe what Raistlin's spells need. One was Comprehend Languages, which requires soot and salt. After that you face an Ogre Magi and can't understand what he's saying. No soot and salt, he kills you. Cast the CL spell and you can figure out what he wants and help him, winning the test and staying alive.

The final test has you having to fight a Drow Elf (and there aren't any Drow in Krynn because "Dark Elf" there means something completely different but what the gently caress ever). You need to uses spells to keep him off balance or he kills you. Really he kills you anyway because magic resistance/etc pretty well nerfs your spells anyway but if you last long enough, he launches a fireball at you.

At that point time freezes Fistandantilus appears and offers to aid you for an unnamed price. Say no, the fireball fries you. Say yes and you go back with your spells refreshed and kill the drow. At which point part of your life force gets ripped away and you turn into the whispery gently caress we all know and despise.

Everyone fucked around with this message at 07:17 on Dec 10, 2019

Tylana
May 5, 2011



Pillbug

I forget if the novels cover Raistlin's test or if it's in the short story anthologies. It's definitely not quite what that gamebook showed.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Tylana posted:

I forget if the novels cover Raistlin's test or if it's in the short story anthologies. It's definitely not quite what that gamebook showed.

There's a novel (part of the Raistlin Chronicles) titled The Soulforge which came out in early 1998. The gamebook version of The Soulforge came out way back in November of 1985, just a couple of months after Dragons of Spring Dawning was released. That kind of explains the dark/drow elf thing. This was before they got all their poo poo together about what type of being were where in Krynn.

Everyone fucked around with this message at 14:25 on Dec 10, 2019

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Aoi
Sep 12, 2017

Perpetually a Pain.


Everyone posted:

The final test has you having to fight a Drow Elf (and there aren't any Drow in Krynn because "Dark Elf" there means something completely different but what the gently caress ever). You need to uses spells to keep him off balance or he kills you. Really he kills you anyway because magic resistance/etc pretty well nerfs your spells anyway but if you last long enough, he launches a fireball at you.

At that point time freezes Fistandantilus appears and offers to aid you for an unnamed price. Say no, the fireball fries you. Say yes and you go back with your spells refreshed and kill the drow. At which point part of your life force gets ripped away and you turn into the whispery gently caress we all know and despise.

Ironically, I read Dragonlance stuff before I was exposed to D&D's Drow, so when he recalled having been wounded in his duel with a 'dark elf', 10 year old me took it as...a metaphor for this elf being a particularly evil dude, like, enough that he got kicked out of the other elvish societies. You know, like 'the dark lord' would tend to make you think of an evil guy, not someone with a lot of melanin.

...did they actually make this unnamed dark elf...an actual drow? Like, skin and hair and all that jazz? Because...like you said, there aren't any drow on Krynn. ...though I suppose they could've wound up there after Spelljamming or something, given that DL explicitly welcomed (if also dicked over) non-native characters from other mortal planes/crystal spheres/settings/whatevers.

It just seems kind of...

...eh...

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