How D&D Next Taught Me to Love Dragonlance Again, Part 1

In the past month, I’ve written about my on-off relationship with the Dragonlance setting during my youth: Part 1 and Part 2

The reason Dragonlance has been on my mind is because I’ve been running a group of eight friends through the classic Dragonlance module set (DL1 – DL12), which covers the Chronicles novel trilogy by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis.

[To my players, if you’re reading this, potential spoilers ahead.]

If you’re interested in following our exploits, we play on Thursday nights (6 PM – 10 PM PST), and you can catch us chatting about the game on Twitter.

The characters/players are:

  • Rel, male human fighter, Knight of Solamnia (@merismullaley)
  • Wolrien, male human, cleric of Gilean
  • Tasslehoff, male kender rogue
  • Alathea, female qualinesti elf, wizard of the white robes (@kittychix)
  • Trevic, male human rogue (@thevowel)
  • Jane, female silvanesti elf, cleric of Mishakal (@thestormycellar)
  • Brander, hill dwarf fighter (@stealingzen)
  • Danmir, mountain dwarf sorcerer (@frequentbeef)

A few folks on Twitter have asked me to discuss the setup and operation of my D&D Next Dragonlance game. Eight people is a pretty large group. I invited a lot of people to participate for a few reasons: (1) I had a lot of friends I wanted to include, (2) the Heroes of the Lnace companions numbered nine, (3) I wanted to test the flexibility of D&D Next for large groups, and (4) I wanted a large enough group that I wouldn’t have to cancel very many sessions.

So far, it’s worked splendidly. Although battles have been a little slower, they’ve still been faster than 4th Edition combats.

The original Dragonlance modules have required very little conversion. The first module, DL1: Dragons of Despair, relies mostly on hobgoblins, goblins, and draconians. The current D&D Next playtest bestiary provides enough to run the module, with the exception of the black dragon, which I’m sure is coming soon… As for the draconians, I just created a few traits to modify the hobgoblins:

Baaz Draconian

Awkward Flier: When the creature flies, it must end its flight on a solid surface, or else it falls.

Death Throe (Turn to Stone): When the creature reaches 0 hit points, it turns into a stone statue. The creature that struck the death blow must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the weapon that struck the blow becomes stuck in the statue for 1d4 rounds. After that time, the statue crumbles to dust.

Bozak Draconian

Awkward Flier: When the creature flies, it must end its flight on a solid surface, or else it falls.

Death Throe (Explode): When the creature reaches 0 hit points, it explodes. Any creature within 5 feet of the bozak must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 1d4 damage.

Wizard Spells: The bozak can use an action to cast sleep or web once per day (determine randomly or choose in advance).

Wizard Cantrips: The bozak can cast the following wizards cantrips: magic missile and shocking grasp.

Kapak Draconian

Death Throe (Dissolve): When the creature reaches 0 hit points, it dissolves into a 5-foot wide pool of acid. Any creature that enters the area takes 1d8 acid damage. The acid evaporates in 1d6 rounds.

Poison Weapon: The kapak poisons one weapon (or piece of ammunition). The poison remains on the weapon for three rounds. A creature (other than another kapak) hit by the weapon must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become paralyzed for 1d4 rounds.

Next Time

I’ll discuss adapting traits and story from the classic Heroes of the Lance, and using the moons, artifacts, magic items, and story to run Dragonlance.

About Greg Bilsland

Greg Bilsland is a producer for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast. His design credits include Monster Manual 2, Monster Manual 3, and Vor Rukoth. His current work involves coordinating the D&D Next playtest and helping plan D&D Insider and D&D organized play content. He keeps a gaming blog at wanderingbard.com and is active on Twitter (@gregbilsland).

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One Comment

  1. Hi, I’d like to know what CR/xp amount are you considering for the various draconians. Thanks

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