What happened to Dragonlance? Everyone knows about it, yet nobody talks about...

takes2long
takes2long

What happened to Dragonlance? Everyone knows about it, yet nobody talks about Dragonlance. It seems like it suddenly exploded at its release, then at some point faded into obscurity. Why did it disappear while the Forgotten Realms remain in play?

All urls found in this thread:
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197158/Maze-Rats
haveahappyday
haveahappyday

@takes2long
It was never good.

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

@takes2long
@haveahappyday
Pretty much this. Once the initial glitz and glam wore people slowly started to realize that the setting was pretty bland for the most part. It offered a few interesting things but, overall, there were much better settings and people gravitated back to them despite TSR's attempts.

happy_sad
happy_sad

@haveahappyday
I don't know. What makes FR, or Greyhawk good? At least DL has some cool shit, like actually being about dragons.

Bidwell
Bidwell

@happy_sad
Just personal opinion, of course, but the dragons weren't actually all that important to people playing Dragonlance. I mean, for most characters the dragons and their stories were way above their level so it was kind of a "and over here are some dragons and NPCs that are better than you in every way are doing things" sort of deal. Forgotten realms, on the other hand, offered things like the Underdark and all within it, and Greyhawk was basically the standard that everything else was compared to. Blackmoor was older (and IMO a more fun setting in some ways), but Greyhawk was really The One for the longest time.

Snarelure
Snarelure

@Bidwell
Of course, this is all opinion based on what I've seen over the years so keep that in mind.

w8t4u
w8t4u

@takes2long
What fueled Dragonlance was the Novels and the novels ended with the War of Souls a while back.

It legitimately is the worst TSR setting. With Kender, black evil robes for naughty wizards, retarded Gully Dwarves/Gnomes, bizarre gods and bizarre everything really. All of its charm comes from the world's and character's great execution in the novels. And that's where the fun remains for the most part.

However I will still say I enjoy Dragonlance Campaigns depending on the DM.

MPmaster
MPmaster

@w8t4u
Mother fucker.
I had actually managed to not remember that kender were part of the setting, and you had to go and remind me.
Thanks "friend"
Otherwise, yes, you're pretty spot on, except I would argue that the characterizations weren't generally all that great. Like the world itself, Dragonlance books seemed to attract more than their share of mediocrity

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

@Bidwell
Someone redpill me on Greyhawk. 1d4chan just spouts a bunch of memes on how it's grimderp. What is actually going on in this setting?

askme
askme

@VisualMaster
Never believe 1D4chan, man. It's almost always nothing more than a concentration of the most stupid Veeky Forums opinions on any given subject.

As for Greyhawk, actually it can be a bit grim. It was intentionally designed that way by Gygax because he wanted to create a world where PCs could be genuine heroes, and you need proper threats to overcome for that to happen. It's a harsh world in some respects, but not to a silly degree like, say, 40K. It's also on the lower end of the power scale as compared to worlds like Forgotten Realms. I forget the exact stats if I ever knew them, but I think there's only ever been like a hundred characters in all of the world's history that ever got beyond about eighth level, and most never got beyond third or fourth at best, so that should tell you something.

Basically, the overall aesthetic of Greyhawk, at least in my opinion, could be described as "gritty Aurthurian with a bunch of other stuff thrown in". It's a dark, dangerous, medieval-esque world but your characters have the chance to be lights that chase back the shadows, at least in a good campaign. If you're murderhoboing in Greyhawk you're doing it wrong.

Also of note, all those famous names from the spell lists, like Bigby and Tenser, were actually early PC's in Gygax's games, which I always thought was a neat touch.

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@VisualMaster
Greyhawk was the default setting for 3rd edition.
That sorta scrubbed most of the low fantasy pseudo arthurian sword and sorcery it had going for it before.

5mileys
5mileys

@PurpleCharger
That's a damned shame. I never played the 3.x version so I never had any idea they gave it the treatment. Glad my friends and I stuck to playing it in b/x at the time. We loved the setting and would have been quite upset to have it super-heroified

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@5mileys
Yes, we were doing "Old Skool" before it was a thing

RavySnake
RavySnake

@askme

This is now a Greyhawk thread.

I'm putting together a 2nd edition campaign that's going to be set in Greyhawk. I haven't played in ages, and never played in Greyhawk before, but I chose it because it seems like the TSR setting best suited for what I want:

- Low-magic. Not "no magic," just "tone that shit down"

- Centered on humanity. My PC's will all be human (or Halfling optionally. They're close enough) and I don't want a setting where they are constantly encountering non-human NPC's who nevertheless still behave 90% identically to humans except with some minor cosmetic difference. When they do encounter elves and Dwarves and whatnot, they will be genuinely weird and different. Basically going back to mythological sources.

- Blank map space. Enough empty areas to install my own stuff, and the detailed areas aren't packed and overpopulated past the point of implausibility. No endless, impenetrable backstory. Well suited to incorporating stories/places/modules from other settings.

...It's (Greyhawk) not perfect in this regard, but it seems like I can make any desired modifications without too much difficulty. Is this all a fair assessment on my part? I've only begun doing a deeper reading into the setting.

I'll be running from the "From the Ashes" era, btw.

Spamalot
Spamalot

@RavySnake
It could work, although Greyhawk definitely has its own flavor to it that might not be quite what you're looking for given your specifications, especially when it comes to non-humans. You'd have to strip out a lot and basically re-write it. It might actually be better to just start from the ground up and make your own. Then you can make it all exactly as you want it.

askme
askme

@Spamalot
Yeah, a custom setting would be "ideal," and is in the works, but given how long I've been away from RPG's, I'd like to have something "official" that has actual published material.

Just looking at maps and such, it seems like there are very few demi-human lands, unlike Forgotten Realms or something. And by "non-human"-stuff, I only mean as friendly encounters/player characters/tavern denizens. I'm still perfectly fine with Orcs, Gobs, Trolls, etc. being adversaries.

eGremlin
eGremlin

@takes2long
[spoilers]Kenders[/spoiler]

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

@askme
Okay. Given that then, yeah, Greyhawk would be a pretty good choice, especially if you focused on adventuring in one of the less explored areas. The AD&D version still had blank areas on the maps which would allow you to populate them with non-humans the way you want. Want hippie orcs struggling to just make their way without any grief? Hex #692 has what you're looking for.

5mileys
5mileys

@BunnyJinx
Want to surprise your players with genocidal elven worshipers of one of the demon lords? Send them to hex #487. Feral halflings? That's hex 221. And so on.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

@eGremlin
Is this a meme now, or are all these people fucking up spoiler tags these days actually incompetent?

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

@askme
I'm also going to suggest that you download this.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197158/Maze-Rats
The GM's section has some of the most elegant charts for quickly generating random creatures, people, wilderness encounters, cities, dungeons and more that you'll ever see.

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

Y'know, I never had a problem with Kender, so long as it was understood:

1) They have racial kleptomania
2) They're not supposed to maliciously take stuff
3) They're supposed to be treated like shit when they get caught
4) They have no problem randomly giving away stuff either

Of course, not many people would follow those things, and I'd want to smash a Kender player's face in should he be a dickweed about it, and I can understand how most people wouldn't like to deal with a character that DID follow those four points.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@Burnblaze
Kender are badly maligned in my opinion. I've never been in a game with them where they didn't prove to be useful in one way or another.
Trap checkers, catapult ammo, monster bait, emergency rations, there's just so many things you can do with them.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@Spazyfool
people, wilderness encounters, cities, dungeons
???

Is that a version 2.0? Mine doesn't have any of that. Can you upload?

cum2soon
cum2soon

@Dreamworx
It's pay what you want on Drivethrough.

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

@PurpleCharger
Greyhawk was the default setting for 3rd edition.
It really wasn't though. 3e used (some) of the Greyhawk gods as its default pantheon but I don't think it used anything else, afaik it didn't even get a real setting book.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

@LuckyDusty
It did, the Greyhawk Gazetteer. It wasn't very good and got no support beyond that...except in Dungeon magazine, where Erick Mona, an obsessive Greyhawk fan, parlayed his editorship of Dragon and Dungeon magazines into many adventures set in Greyhawk (and even a series of huge GH printed maps). This was long before PF.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

@Nude_Bikergirl
The Age of Worms adventure path was set in Greyhawk, and did a good job of it.

Bidwell
Bidwell

@Burnblaze

I think the core of playing a Kender 'Right' is to remember they don't have much of a sense of property and that goes in all directions. If someone needs something and you don't immediately need it? Sure, hand it over. You should be helping people with that same sense of 'Oh yeah, you need X? I can get that!'

That and they do, genuinely, intend to return the stuff they borrow so if you can...do so. 90% of the shit that got borrowed and not returned in the books was as a result of the person in question leaving without realising they didn't have it any more rather than the Kender actively trying to keep it.

Techpill
Techpill

@cum2soon
This may sound stupid, but I feel worse going to DTRPG and paying nothing on a $4 suggested price PDF than I do downloading it here.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

@Techpill
Okay. Here you go. I paid the full $4 so I don't mind.

iluvmen
iluvmen

@BinaryMan
Thanks!

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

@Spazyfool

Thanks, user! Checking it out right now.

(and thanks for answering my questions as well)

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

@Burnblaze
NP. Good luck. Also, read the GM's advice in there, too. It's excellent.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

@Burnblaze
@GoogleCat
Hell, just read the whole thing. It's a great game, period.

TreeEater
TreeEater

@w8t4u
I would say that the Age of Mortals was the death knell for Dragonlance. As a reader it ruined the setting for me.

Ironically, Warcraft repeated the same mistake in my opinion. The Dragon aspects giving up their power killed part of the magic. Being mortal isn't special, no matter how you spell it.

[Spoiler]And Raistlin > Elminister. Always.[/spoiler]

SniperWish
SniperWish

@Bidwell
they don't have much of a sense of property and that goes in all directions.

I swear I had typed out almost that exact phrase in my post.

I think the biggest problem Kender have are idiots who are lolrandumb "Hur hur I'm a kleptop" and try to take everything. I recall a greentext about a That Guy who played a Kender who stole the storyteller's Ring of Sustenance.

That's... not how a Kender should be played, unless he was an asshole. Which, being a That Guy, he was.

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@SniperWish
Yeah, see, this is the biggest problem with them (although they were shit from conception); I's not that kender are lolrandum fuckwits, it's that kender *players* are lolrandum fuckwits.

happy_sad
happy_sad

@takes2long
Went from an official TSR/WotC product to being Weiss, Hickman, and Perrin's personal product (IIRC Weiss and Hickman actually owned the actual rights to Dragonlance). Ended up being too odd to be a generic setting but too generic to be a good setting.
Plus its games tended to be shit compared to the old Gold Box Forgotten Realms ones.
@VisualMaster
It was one of what you could call the original three campaign settings (the other two being the Known World Mystara, and Blackmoor) Was originally more sword and sorcery feeling, but 3e scrubbed that right out. Stuff you'd roll your eyes at later might get a free pass because it's like whatever actually started the MC and Guest where everybody fights over being the MC's guest cliche plot.
99% of shit you know about early D&D is likely Greyhawk (all three of the original worlds were basically taking the elements of modules and piecing things together in different ways.)
@askme
I always laugh at how Melf was named Melf.

Evilember
Evilember

@Evil_kitten
Oddly most of the late Paizo Dungeon Adventure Paths were definitely Oerth related.

Methnerd
Methnerd

@TreeEater
I always felt that Dragonlance focused too much on the twins. Raistlin was a lot cooler when he wasn't the focus of entire trilogies and usurping gods in alternate timelines. He was pretty well fleshed-out though, but in my opinion at the cost of other characters.

DeathDog
DeathDog

@happy_sad
I always laugh at how Melf was named Melf.
Right? And he's a male elf. Perfect.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@DeathDog
I mean fuck, everybody's all Greyhawk and Dragonlance and Forgottten Realms. I just get sad that Blackmoor and Mystara get so little love.

hairygrape
hairygrape

@happy_sad
Stuff you'd roll your eyes at later might get a free pass because it's like whatever actually started the MC and Guest where everybody fights over being the MC's guest cliche plot.

I, uh... translation please?

WebTool
WebTool

@Fuzzy_Logic
Naw, dog, naw. Blackmoor gets plenty of my love, especially when you cut down on some of the silly player races. That whole "medieval city-states" thing works so damned well for me.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

@Fried_Sushi
I's not that kender are lolrandum fuckwits, it's that kender *players* are lolrandum fuckwits.

But kender attracts fuckwits like flies to shit. It is attractive to fuckwits and gives fuckwits an excuse to act like even more massive fuckwits than they usually are when playing non-kender. Clearly kender have fundamental conceptual issues, and are usually most useful in identifying the players who choose them as most likely to be the party fuckwit.

Emberfire
Emberfire

@Carnalpleasure
Hence the reason I said
they were shit from conception
That doesn't excuse the players' behavior, though

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

@SniperWish

It would likely help a fair bit if they actually gave some more focus to what Kender are like when not being adventurers more. It turns up in the Lord Toade book, where Kender Society is rather...socialist. Shit is there for the community and any given person isn't the owner of it, he's just the guy who's using it.

Kender hate waste, not because they are industrious like Dwarves but because they don't see the point of spending effort for it to not get used. If you cook too much food and can't eat it all? Don't throw it out, give it to someone. If you have farming tools but your fields are laid fallow this season? Toss them to another farmer to use until you need them again. Tools are there to be used, food is there to be eaten and life is there to be lived.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@Gigastrength
And them's good eatin'!

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

@hairygrape
It's the thing that started the cliche.
Just used a common plot in kids shows and sitcoms as an example.

likme
likme

@happy_sad
@askme
@happy_sad
Greyhawk

At least people are talking from time to time about Greyhawk but find someone who is still interested in Mystara, I dare you.
Which is weird because I found Mystara way more interesting and unique than Blackmoor and Greyhawk.

Which is even weirder if you consider that Mystara was the most popular out of all D&D settings in Japan before the Elevens tried their own take on Mystara which was early Sword World.

That whole "medieval city-states" thing works so damned well for me.
But Mystara had literally the same shtick only with High Magic.

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

@likme
But Mystara had literally the same shtick only with High Magic.
I like Mystara, but I actually prefer the grittier, low magic setup of Blackmoor. Different strokes and all that. I think both are good, it's just that your opinion is visibly and objectively wrong.

viagrandad
viagrandad

@likme
Faggot I love Mystara. Have ever since I was a fucking teen and heard "Welcome tot he D&D World".
@ZeroReborn
Wasted dubs. Utterly wasted. Then again, both of them get the shaft when it comes to pre-Toril settings.

takes2long
takes2long

@takes2long
Two giant reasons

A. the creator of the setting had full right and a issue with wotc. So she walked away and tried to have the 3.5 dragonlance rules be 3rd party via OGL. The rules were not bad, but they were hard to find in physical copy.

B. The core stories of dragon lance are not of the same tone as forgotten Realms. FR, at lest 2e/3e FR is very much of the school of 1980s fantasy romantic followed by a effort to turn it a touch to a "sword & sorcery high fantasy" in late 3e/4e. Margaret Weis tried very hard to do classical storytelling of a mythic nature. Best way to put it is like a old school Sumerian myth turning into a modern novel.

Makes a far better novel most of the time then what Ed Greenwood did. But it is WAY harder for a DM to try and put that tone on to a gaming table.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@viagrandad
both of them get the shaft when it comes to pre-Toril settings
Too fucking true. On the upside there's so much content out there already, and nobody says you have to only play Current D20. You can still play older editions, or even just use the fluff with another system. The companies may be treating the good settings like something to wipe their asses with, but the good versions are still out there.

farquit
farquit

@TurtleCat
Generally look to the older settings for shit to "inspire" me.
I seem to remember a fuckton of faggots were mad over the last two times Barovia has come around, they may fuck around with shit, but the destruction of Ravenloft as its own thing makes me orgasm in delight.

FastChef
FastChef

@takes2long
Is it...is it weird that I want to make an actual church of sirrion in real life?

I love what he stands for and feel he would be worth legitimately worshipping.

whereismyname
whereismyname

@farquit
Yeah. Honestly I tend to avoid premade stuff entirely these days. Some of the most fun I've ever had while gaming was in the magical world of Rhandum Taybls. It's amazing what can be produced when you let the dice flow.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

@farquit
And here I thought you were a cool dude. Why this hateboner for Ravenloft?

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Raving_Cute
Because when it was just Barovia it was actually pretty good, you could concievably just have it in any world rather than its own special one. The whole demiplane of dread nonsense really fucked it hard, and I mean extremely hard in late 2e because of what they had to do because some fucker put in Lord Soth without Weiss and Hickman's permission.

Flameblow
Flameblow

@askme
I forget the exact stats if I ever knew them, but I think there's only ever been like a hundred characters in all of the world's history that ever got beyond about eighth level, and most never got beyond third or fourth at best, so that should tell you something.

As some would has read up on the world this part is just wrong. Publicly know high level characters are a bit rare. Each region has at lest one reasonable known character of 9th level or higher. Places with high plot importance or population have up to six listed character of 9th or higher. The four highest listed regional leaders are a level 28 wizard, level 20 cleric, level 18 rogue, and a level 16 paladin. There are a few levels 15-13 character listed, and a fair number of level 12 characters as regional leaders.

There is other official high level characters but those are leaders of secret cults. PCs will not know of them nor will they meat them barring plot reasons. Plus the setting makes a point there likely is other high characters in the world but barring plot reasons may not be active in the world. Basically giving the DM some room to work with.

This may sound like a lot of high level characters the bandit kingdoms as a example is like 8 tiny states and one of them lucky to have its leader be a 12 level fighter! Others warlords fear to face him on the battle field... at lest when not part of a coalition against him.

w8t4u
w8t4u

@TreeEater
I would say that the Age of Mortals was the death knell for Dragonlance. As a reader it ruined the setting for me.

Same here. The Knights of Takhisis - and I don't care if I spelled that wrong - were about the only semi-interesting thing to come out of that, and I don't know how long they really lasted if they did at all. And really by the time they were rolled out they weren't anything new.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@Flameblow
Yeah, that sounds about right. It's been quite a few years since I looked into it. Either way the point is that the high level chars have little impact on the setting in the long run, which is just the way it should be. Hell, if I were rewriting it for a modern variant (god/s forbid) I'd make it an Epic6 world and fuck da haters.

w8t4u
w8t4u

@VisualMaster
@askme
It's also got more Isekai in it than FR. Because a good chunk of the main heroes, cultures and some deites are from Earth.

Mayans, Aztecs, Japan, the Wild West, a dedicated deity for the go-to lovecraft stuff, active Demonic threats from Iuz, Demogorgon, Orcus, a Nice-ish Death deity, Fucking Vecna and his cross-planar adventures, active dungeons to explore, 2 mandatory DEUS VEULT faiths complete with details on clergy, prayers, rules of faith hyms and such, and other stuff such as one deity who is literally just Cu Cthulian

WebTool
WebTool

@w8t4u
You forgot the Deity that is literally a Christian Saint.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@viagrandad
@ZeroReborn
@likme
Please enlighten us about Mystara and Blackmoor.
I myself have started running B/X for a my gf, her brother and her friends (total rpg-illiterates), and the modules themselves have steered me towards Mystara. I've noticed that there seem to be no gods in Mystara? Just some sort of "faiths"?
@w8t4u
@Flameblow
What's a good source to read up on Greyhawk?

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@Garbage Can Lid
Mystara is pretty much the "default" BECMI/RC setting.
I only put quotes around default because it's more or less just things strung around. There was a 2e conversion for it that was just Mystara.
Basics are that instead of gods, the super high level folks basically become immortals (which is an interesting concept that was either borrowed from, or accidentally mimics what happens to particularly important figures in Taoism). You have Blackmoor which depending on when you're looking at it in the real world time is either the distant past of Mystara, or a seperate thing that's basically a lower magic version. And you also have the Hollow World, which is what it sounds like, basically grafting onto Mystara the whole idea of it being a hollow world.
For a quick rundown just go find a PDF of the rules Cyclopedia and go to appendix 1.
In general Mystara has the most love in older things that did both AD&D and D&D. Now if only somebody would combine all the Princess Ark things for BECMI/RC

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

@Garbage Can Lid
Download MAME and play Tower of Doom and Shadow over Mystara back to back. No, it won't give you much lore information, but it's still going to take you like 2 hours (with infinite credit feeding) and it will be fun as fuck.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@takes2long
Because it was the age everyone wanted to play a mage, and Dragonlance is some kind of Mages nightmare dystopia with murder enforced, color coded, guilds bound to asshole gods.
Also Kendar and Draconians being evil only with stupid self destruct mechanics.

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Gigastrength
Yup. That's what I got from the basic idea of the Kender - natural communards.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@Soft_member

That and a large chunk of the traditional halfling 'Small town life, where you know everyone by name'. Lord Toade does bring up a rather fun point with them. For all the stereotypes about pickpockets? Most halflings who get in serious legal trouble are in it for Poaching, instead. Kender can't stand the idea that there is some rich guy with his own private hunting grounds he may use 2/3 times in an entire year when that could feed all sorts of hungry people.

Lord Toade gets the Kender leader (Who is a lot cannier than he lets on) on his side by promising that when he's back in charge he'll make the Kender the game warden of his hunting grounds. Said Kender then proceeds to deputise every other member of his clan. They do honestly do a rather good job though, since part of the hatred of waste includes overusing something to the point it gets ruined so they can be relied on to stop people hunting there if numbers get actually low.

RavySnake
RavySnake

@Sharpcharm

...dammit, I used halfling there once when I meant kender. Eh, six of one half a dozen of the other.

Firespawn
Firespawn

@MPmaster
Fuck yes, THIS!

I'd mind-scrubbed Kender from my memory and I'm unhappy that it was dredged up again.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

@TreeEater
I want Alexstraza's meaty thighs to choke the life out of me.

hairygrape
hairygrape

@Garbage Can Lid
Emergency Rations

For a moment there, I thought you guys planned on eating the Kender PC.

RumChicken
RumChicken

Dragonlance went to shit at about the time the Knights of Takhisis showed up, then went completely to hell when the Chaos business started.

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

@likme

I just started a campaign set in Karameikos three weeks ago. Playing my third session this afternoon.

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