Dragonlance/Krynn?

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Rosisha
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Sat May 15, 2021 11:03 pm

It's my personal opinion that it's nearly impossible to have a campaign setting that has some kind of grand narrative AND still allow it to be a sandbox. EVERYONE is going to want to interact with the "main heroes" in some way. In that sense, DragonLance works better in the immediate period after the Cataclysm OR to unitarily declare that the War of the Lance isn't going to happen. Evil could still be rising, and yes you could even have draconians to replace orcs, but the grand campaign of evil would have to be significantly changed. At least, that's how I've done it.

This is why, I actually hate the Forgotten Realms the most - there are SO MANY "grand narratives" that cleaning the setting basically requires rewriting the setting from the ground up.

I find the post-TSR Kender to be the most interesting as they actually calm down a lot. And I liked the concept of technology focused Gnomes (and stole that, but took away the humor aspect of it). In my current setting, they're called Dusk Gnomes and live on an island with lots of practical windmills and waterwheels. They have looms and very interesting clock towers.
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MinkyBoodle
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Sat May 15, 2021 11:53 pm

Rosisha wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 11:03 pm It's my personal opinion that it's nearly impossible to have a campaign setting that has some kind of grand narrative AND still allow it to be a sandbox. EVERYONE is going to want to interact with the "main heroes" in some way. In that sense, DragonLance works better in the immediate period after the Cataclysm OR to unitarily declare that the War of the Lance isn't going to happen. Evil could still be rising, and yes you could even have draconians to replace orcs, but the grand campaign of evil would have to be significantly changed. At least, that's how I've done it.

This is why, I actually hate the Forgotten Realms the most - there are SO MANY "grand narratives" that cleaning the setting basically requires rewriting the setting from the ground up.

I find the post-TSR Kender to be the most interesting as they actually calm down a lot. And I liked the concept of technology focused Gnomes (and stole that, but took away the humor aspect of it). In my current setting, they're called Dusk Gnomes and live on an island with lots of practical windmills and waterwheels. They have looms and very interesting clock towers.
OK, bear with me because this is a bit of a rambling idea post, but please hear me out. What about doing something like adapting the Dragonlance comics that DC put out many long years ago? They were far from being direct adaptations of the books. Yes Sturm and others show up, etc. etc., but there's workarounds. When I ran a Dragonball Z campaign I modeled the group's adventures off of the plots from the movies (which are generally considered non-canonical to the series) and just put the PCs in place of the main characters. You could do the same for adventures modeled after the comics. Same setting of Krynn, similar feel, etc. etc.
But that's just my idea. I'm sure there are plenty of better approaches to this. Your take on the War of the Lance not happening seems fine, since even though it's a big bad evil, it's still just one story in a vast world.
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Rosisha
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Sun May 16, 2021 7:42 am

The problem is that it is still, in a sense railroading as Solomoriah was alluding too. You swap out the PCs and let them work through the story. But the story is a bound path. It has known quantities and expectations - Sturm must die at the High Clerist tower, because his death when standing alone against Kitiara is what forces the Knights to have a reckoning and become effective. The Dragon Orbs must be captured, the DragonLance reforged and on and on.

Which is fine, but it's also railroading. Also to an extent in that the players will probably WANT those railroads. But then all you're doing is a book club.

The setting IS interesting, and it is worth exploring - but my personal opinion (as I stated above) is that you're better off saying that the War of the Lance isn't going to happen. Nor is the great big evil war going to happen. Or at least, not like the books. Sturm Brightblade is a drunken homeless squatter in the abandoned and degrading High Clerist Tower and the City of Palanthas has been trying to evict him for months so they can tear down the stupidly designed fortress, and build a new highway.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Sun May 16, 2021 11:05 am

I've seen grand narratives develop in long-running sandboxes. The trick is to let the story develop rather than try to force it.

Or as I always say...

In the Old School, we don't write story. Story is what happens when our players pick up their dice and walk into our worlds.
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Rosisha
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Sun May 16, 2021 11:30 am

Exactly. I don't want to make characters and try to recreate the Dragons of Autumn Twilight. I want to tell the story of how sailors from Cape Caergoth overcame the goblin pirates raiding the land when the Knights would do nothing. Or something. Who knows? That's what makes it so exciting!
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Solomoriah
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Sun May 16, 2021 12:39 pm

Treating the books as backstory could remove the railroad aspect. Still not happy with the "racism as comedy" aspect.
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Seven
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Mon May 17, 2021 12:44 pm

I was referring more to the special abilities those guys needs to balance them out.

Overall, the problem I have with the original DL campaign is that it didn't seem like you could let anybody die. The art was fabulously good though.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Mon May 17, 2021 5:02 pm

Heh. Also don't like Elmore. He only draws one woman...
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Seven
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Tue May 18, 2021 8:24 am

Tiamat and that flying castle made really nice posters.
I always thought it was mostly the covers that sold DL.
Don't think I ever bought any myself. My brother bought the novels.
Rosisha
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Re: Dragonlance/Krynn?

Post Tue May 18, 2021 10:02 am

I liked the art.

I'm confused about the racism aspect that's being talked about. Kender were supposed to be children - and not tied to any race. Gully Dwarves represent societies oppressed (in that case those with mental handicaps) and how despite how badly they are being treated they survive and thrive. Which is true. I've worked in homeless shelters and can tell you people with mental health related conditions are treated like the scum of the earth. I don't want to get into politics here, but having talked to Weis and Hickman, I'm 99% confident how they intended both Kender and Gully Dwarves and race had nothing to do with it.
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