Campaigning with the Legion of Steel

Legionnaires, by Jason Engle

The Legion of Steel fits some specific roles in the Dragonlance setting. They are spies, they are raiders, and they are warriors. Some are honorable knights, some are ruthless cutthroats, and some are a combination of the two.

A wide variety of campaign styles can accommodate characters of these character types. In this article I’ll discuss my ideas of a few of these campaign styles, the strengths and potential pitfalls of each, and gives an example idea or two for each style.

A few definitions

Throughout this article I’ll use a few terms that sometimes mean different things to different people. Here are the definitions I’m assuming for these terms.

Adventure: An adventure is a single “episode” of a campaign, which stands as a miniature story in its own right; it has a beginning, rising action, and a climax. An adventure is often played out in a single game session, but not always.

Story Arc: A series of related adventures, where the characters slowly work toward the accomplishment of a single main goal over the course of many game sessions. Think of this as a “season” (“series” in the UK) in terms of television programs. A story arc often involves a single main source of opposition who is ultimately defeated (or driven away, or dealt some other permanent or long-term setback) by the PCs at the story arc’s climax. Campaign: One or more story arcs involving the same group of protagonists. A campaign may involve one or more story arcs.

Dungeon Crawl: A single adventure in which the main challenges are combat and physical problem solving. They are often well-constrained geographically—there are only so many places the PCs can explore.

Combat: Not the opposite of roleplaying, and it’s certainly not anything related to that awful term “roll-playing.” Combat is simply another method of conflict resolution at your PCs’ disposal, during which good roleplaying should continue undiminished.

Roleplaying: Not the opposite of combat. Roleplaying is not only staying true to your character concept in spite of superior player knowledge, but also making decisions for your character that maximize the fun for everyone.

Plot Device: Any character, item, or event for which game stats are unimportant but relevance to the ongoing story is essential. Never use a plot device to defeat or otherwise cheat your players, but don’t be afraid to use one to provide hints, establish conflict, or help the story along in other ways that your players won’t perceive as unfair.

Intrigue: Any situation in which the PCs don’t quite know who their friends, enemies, or both are and in which the PCs can influence, at least to some extent, which NPCs come out on which side of that question.

Common Threads

A couple of basic ideas of the Legion of Steel should be kept in mind when designing any of the campaign types listed here.

Bad Guys

Keep in mind the Legion’s traditional enemies: Dragon Overlords, the Dark Knights, and anyone who threatens the common people of Ansalon. Make the opposition’s interests come into direct conflict with the Legion’s. For an even more interesting campaign, it’s sometimes fun to have multiple sources of opposition whose interests not only conflict with the Legion’s, but with each other’s.

Murky Morality

Part of the fun of playing a Steel Legionnaire is deciding how far you’d go in order to achieve your goals—does the end justify the means? To many Legionnaires the answer isn’t always clear-cut. Challenge your players to make difficult choices, then make those choices matter. Each major choice should have a clear upside, but also a downside. Once your players make a difficult choice, make them deal with the consequences, both positive and negative.

There are a few potential pitfalls to watch out for.

First, be wary of choices that aren’t really choices. Blatant railroading, where you override the choices the players make, is no fun for anyone. Additionally, decisions where one path is clearly superior to the other aren’t really meaningful. These sorts of choices

Second, don’t put a player in a situation where she needs to read your mind in order to guess the “right” choice, where all sorts of terrible things will happen if she chooses one arbitrary choice over the other. Remember—not everyone sees the situation the same way you do, so something that seems clear to you might not be to your players.

A related situation is the Paladin’s Conundrum, a time-honored way for GMs to abuse their players: no matter what choice you make, you cannot avoid “falling.” Don’t do that to your players. By all means, create situations where sticking by principles is difficult and requires sacrifice, but don’t put them into a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation.

The important thing is to make difficult decisions necessary but never punish a player for making what you view to be the “wrong” decision, and certainly don’t put them in an impossible position—just let the consequences play out organically. Leave the judgment of a decision as “right” or “wrong” to the players. Good players will rise to the challenge, as long as you bring the opportunity for fun, regardless of the choice they make.

Cinematic Play

The Legion of Steel lends itself extremely well to cinematic, swashbuckling style of play. Robin Hood, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Brotherhood of the Wolf, and all manner of pulpy, cinematic action/adventure movies, TV, and comics are a fantastic source of inspiration. That’s not to say that you can’t play up the Legion as a gritty noir style of game inspired by 40’s Bogart detective movies, or even explore some seriously dark moral gray areas. But it most often works best, in my experience, when the PCs are the characters to take the big chances, to swing from the ropes while twenty Dark Knight arrows fly past, to make that daring raid into the dragon’s lair. Encourage the players to make PCs that take action, rather than react. And, most importantly, don’t let the rules get in the way of the fun; don’t be afraid to houserule if the system inhibits the style of game you’re attempting to create. The other roles the Legion can fulfill, —such as the wise mentor, the connected information broker, and the deep cover informant informant—can be filled by NPCs; let the PCs be the ones to have the fun.

Types of Campaigns

A variety of campaign styles can fit a Legion of Steel campaign very well.

Back to the Dungeon!

The PCs are essentially a special operations unit. “Special Operations” is a very modern term, of course, but it evokes the image of a highly skilled team entering a highly dangerous environment to accomplish a specific task, then escape. Some players and GMs really like the tactical challenges of a dungeon crawl, and basing a Legion of Steel campaign on a series of dungeon crawls is a viable option.

How to design this sort of campaign

Dungeon-centric campaigns are pretty easy to design; build some dungeons, create a framework to put them together in a way that makes sense, and off you go. Published dungeon crawls are widely available, and most would serve extremely well as individual pieces of a dungeon-oriented Legion campaign. Older D&D modules, old issues of Dungeon and Dragon magazines, and modern published works like Dungeon Crawl Classics and Paizo’s Pathfinder adventures are great sources of inspiration. Consult your players for good ideas of why their characters might agree to go dungeon delving repeatedly.

Things to be aware of with this campaign

Party Balance: This will be a combat-heavy campaign, and the balance of the traditional four-member party (warrior, rogue, healer, and arcanist) can be important. Luckily, the Legion can fulfill these archetypes with its Warrior, Scout, Mystic, and Sorcerer roles.

However, don’t force any player to play a role he’s not interested in. You can compensate for the lack of any of those roles by adjusting the adventures slightly.

Don’t Be A Slave To The Adventure: Some GMs insist that the adventure should never be altered to suit the party, whether the adventure is a prewritten module or one of their own creation; I strongly disagree with that notion. Rather, tailoring the adventure to the characters your players create is not only desirable, but absolutely essential. Should the players be flexible, meeting you partway? Of course—it’s your fun, too. Should you redesign every challenge to match their strengths exactly? Of course not; no challenge means no fun. But don’t present impossible challenges out of sheer stubbornness, then blame the players for failing to create a “balanced” party. That guarantees no fun for anyone.

Nor should you railroad the players back on the adventure’s track if they have a creative idea that the adventure didn’t anticipate; let them run with it while you improvise as necessary. Remember, even if they figure out how to slay the big bad guy from the first room of the dungeon, there are always bigger and badder guys who will notice.

Don’t Forget The Legion-Scented Glue: It’s important to have something related to the Legion of Steel tying the different dungeon crawls together, otherwise you might as well be playing any sort of generic campaign. (There’s nothing wrong with generic campaigns—but if you’re bothering to play Legionnaires, you might as well play Legionnaires.)

Examples of this sort of campaign

“It’s Tomb of Horrors, but reworked to fit in Krynn.” Take any number of classic dungeon crawl AD&D modules, tweak them for Dragonlance compatibility, and string them together. Perhaps the items at the centers of the dungeons are all bits of a Powerful Artifact that the Legion needs to keep out of the Dark Knights’ hands.

“It’s like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, but…OK, it’s pretty much Rainbow Six. With, you know, swords.” Not all dungeon crawl style campaigns need to occur in an actual dungeon. The PCs are sent by the Legion to attack and destroy various threats around Ansalon, be they ogre titans, evil necromancers, Skull Knight masters, or minotaur generals.

Power Play

The Legionnaires are surrounded by powerful factions, some of them enemies, some of them allies, and most drift from one to the other and back again. The heroes’ job is to ensure that the interests of the common people are seen to; this means opposing the factions that most abuse their power, but they have to be careful not to accidentally play kingmakers to someone even worse.

How to design this sort of campaign

First, select a location. This sort of campaign needs a consistent locale; cities work best, but larger areas can work too. A detailed map of the area is gravy, but it’s less important than many players think; don’t worry if you don’t have one.

Next, create a problem. Wicked leaders. A power vacuum threatening to incite civil war. Powerful institutions fanatically opposed to one another willing to crush anyone who gets in the way of their imminent war.

Third, with that problem in mind, create some factions that would care about it. The Dark Knights, with their three Orders who share a less than fraternal affection, are a great bunch of bad guys. Other examples are noble families, trade unions and guilds, the Orders of High Sorcery, Holy Orders of the Stars (including splinter groups and fringe sects), the Knights of Solamnia, and representatives of foreign powers (spies, diplomats, etc.) Make sure you get your players’ input about this—their characters may have ties to other groups that can be brought into the game, setting up conflicting loyalties, interesting contacts, and personal rivalries. Spec out each group, giving them a base of operations, a level of social influence, a level of military power, a goal or motivation, and a short list of important members. (Remember to mine your players for ideas!)

Finally, draw a relationship diagram. Looking at the specs you invented for each faction, illustrate how each faction relates to each other. Does the local Clandestine Circle of Knights of Solamnia have a tacit understanding with the wealthy Neville family to stay out of each others’ way? Do the Thorn Knights and Black Robe wizards have a blood feud in high gear, leading to occasional but spectacular magical duels in back alleys and abandoned buildings? Does the Thieves’ Guild work directly with the Ergothian Merchant Marine to keep the docks free of petty crime? Use these relationships in play to determine the ripple effect and unintended consequences of the heroes’ interactions with each faction.

Information brokers are fantastic plot devices in campaigns like this. Drop an individual information broker or two into the mix, and make sure the heroes meet him. Use him to drop hints to the players when they could use one. He’s also prime hostage material if the heroes clumsily step on one of the factions’ toes. How far will the heroes go to rescue the slimy informant?

Things to be aware of with this campaign

Be careful of the “Kill ‘em all” mentality: At some point, your players may simply ask “Why don’t we just wipe them all out and take over ourselves?” While not necessarily a bad thing, this would change the campaign tone considerably. If you’d like to avoid it, make it clear that they are outclassed in a direct confrontation, or that direct action may influence several factions to work together against the Legion.

Some players just don’t like finesse: This type of campaign will involve a lot of scheming, talking, subtlety, and finesse compared to a more kick-in-the-door style of game. Some players just don’t like that sort of thing as much. If you have a player or two who prefers a stand up fight to a lot of sneaking around, to borrow a phrase, then make sure you provide them plenty of opportunity to crack some skulls.

Examples of this sort of campaign

“It’s like A Game of Thrones meets Day of the Jackal, set in Palanthas.” Set in pre-War of Souls Palanthas, the heroes are a cell of Steel Legionnaires looking out for the interests of the common people. Without the strength to evict the Dark Knights from the city, their job is to make certain that none of the three factions within the Dark Knights gets too powerful. So the Lord Marshall of the Lily is collecting cruel levels of taxes, but the Skull Knight commandant is sacrificing babies in terrible rites under the midnight stars? Time to get rid of them both, but you have to do it with a bit of finesse. Assassinate the Skull Knight commandant and frame the Thieves’ Guild, making the Lord Marshall (who leads a campaign to eradicate the Thieves’ Guild) look incompetent—thus giving the city to the Thorn Knights, who just aren’t as bad. Unless, of course, they turn out to be worse…

“It’s a little like Braveheart but with more intrigue and fewer titanic battles.” The imperial family of Ergoth has fallen, and the country begins to slide into chaos. While the noble families squabble and bicker among themselves to grab power, the country teeters on the brink of civil war; meanwhile, Solamnia is poised to invade under the leadership of Jaymes Markham to put an end to the Empire of Ergoth once and for all. Can the heroes rally the Ergothian nobles to unity, find the best among them to take the throne, and repel the Solamnics? Perhaps more importantly—should they?

The Almighty MacGuffin

Take the blue crystal staff to Xak Tsaroth and get the disks of Mishakal! Collect the seven chromatic dragon skulls! Protect the Green Gemstone Man from the Dragon Highlords!

Take the key of Quinari to the Dragons’ Graveyard! Some of the greatest stories in Dragonlance canon are about the pursuit of the MacGuffin.

A MacGuffin is an item, person, or secret of vital importance that is threatened or lost. The adventure surrounding it is often described using the words “must” and “before” and uses a lot of exclamation points. It must never fall into the wrong hands! We must destroy it before the draconians capture it! We must rediscover the secret of the super weapon before the Dark Knights conquer us! We must protect the Chosen One from the assassins so she can conduct the ritual of ultimate victory before the Dragon Overlords discover us!

How does the Staff of Might work—what are its game stats? How exactly would slaying a maiden elf princess when Nuitari is full give a Black Robe ultimate power? It doesn’t matter at all; it’s just a plot device. All that matters is that you Must protect/recover/destroy it, and that you must do this Soon, and that Really Bad Things will happen if you fail.

How to design this sort of campaign

Decide whether you want the MacGuffin to be a fixed thing, such as a single person, a one-of-a-kind item, etc., or a quantity of stuff, such as arms, money, etc.

A one-of-a-kind item or single person or important secret is an iconic Dragonlance adventure; players will recognize it and have no trouble getting into the spirit of the game. It’s easy to design and fun to play. However, don’t overlook the simplicity of something like cash. Perhaps the goal of the Legionnaires is to relieve the city’s Lily Knight occupiers of as much cash as possible, through numerous raids, ambushes, embezzlements, and other creative theft. Perhaps their goal is to escort elven refugees from Qualinesti across the Plains of Dust to Inath-Wakenti, the new elven homeland in the East. Some will certainly be lost along the way, but as long as most arrive in one piece, the mission is a success.

The MacGuffin often works best as a single story arc (or even a single adventure) within a larger campaign; unless you enjoy shorter campaigns, it’s usually not possible to sustain interest and fun across a long campaign using a single MacGuffin story. That’s “usually,” not “always;” Price of Courage is an excellent example of a long campaign centered on

an overarching plot of chasing down a series of MacGuffins, with a variety of other types of conflict and side-quests thrown in for variety.

Things to be aware of with this campaign

Use this as a building block. Of all the types of campaigns the Legion can be involved in, this is perhaps the most wide open and the one most likely to overlap with other campaign styles. It’s also very easy to insert a short MacGuffin hunt into another style of campaign—in a Power Play, perhaps one faction has found a Staff of Tyrrany and the heroes have to relieve them of it lest they become too powerful.

Watch the clichés. While a MacGuffin-centric campaign is easily identifiable to a Dragonlance fan, it can also become very clichéd. While stealing ideas is a time-honored tradition of fantasy GMs, be careful not to accidentally re-create Dragons of Autumn Twilight or Price of Courage too explicitly—unless that’s the sort of game the players really want.

Examples of this sort of campaign

“It’s like Robin Hood—steal from the rich, give to the poor.” Estwilde under the Malfesan Horde has become a living hell for the humans, kender, and dwarves living there. The goblins and hobgoblins who hold power cruelly rob and tax the people, leaving them destitute and starving. Without the strength to oppose them directly, the heroes steal hard cash from the Horde and use it to help the poor through direct handouts or by purchasing badly needed food and materials for them.

“You’re in a tavern, and a wizard walks up to you and offers you a job…” Years after the War of Souls and re-establishment of the Orders of High Sorcery, the Legionnaires are approached by a pair of wizards, one wearing the black robe and the other red; they have lost a stone of three and need help recovering it. It was stolen by agents working for the Dragonlords of Icereach, who will use the stone to increase the power of their skull totems and bring untold suffering and misery to the people of the region. The wizards cannot appeal to their own orders for help, as they were not authorized to be in possession of such an item to begin with. Complicating matters are the renegade hunters who care less about recovering the stone of three than they do about apprehending and punishing the two wizards who “borrowed” it.

Spies Like Us

The Legion’s covert cells are a perfect setting for players and GMs wanting to experiment with some spycraft in a Dragonlance game. There is “occupied” territory all across Ansalon: regions under the influence of Dragon Overlords, nations occupied by Dark Knights or minotaur troops; even Solamnia under the reign of Emperor Markham can be thought of that way. In all these regions, the Legion remains watchful, keeping its eye on the strength and intentions of its adversaries and possible adversaries.

How to design this sort of campaign

This sort of game can be very rewarding, but it can be complicated to pull off in a satisfying way. In roleplaying games, information tends to be a means to an end rather than an end in itself; players usually prefer to be the ones to act on information in addition to being the ones who discover it and pass it on.

With that in mind, make sure you provide plenty of opportunities to do something active. So a Legionnaire needs to send word to his distant commander that the Dragon Overlord is on the move. He needs to find his way to the belfry of the town hall and send a coded message from a hooded lantern to an observer on a distant hill at exactly eleventh watch; make sure he has to dodge Dark Knight patrols, hide from overflying dragons, and silently dispatch sentries to do so. If his comrades can create a diversion by launching a raid on the docks down at the riverfront, so much the better.

You will also need to know who has information the PCs will want, what that information is, and how the PCs can get it. This requires a lot of planning, including finding in-game ways for the players to know how to proceed in order to get the information.

They may need a bit of a nudge at first to get going. Give them specific orders for what information to get. Troop strength, quality of training, number of magic-users, etc. is a good thing to start with. In order to get that information, the heroes will need to infiltrate the Lily Knight headquarters to view their personnel files (for purposes of a game like this, declare that they obsessively keep records and don’t so much as assign sentry duty without writing it down somewhere). Or they can find one of the low-ranking Knights, or a servant of a Knight, and bribe him to get the information. Perhaps they can bribe the dwarven stonemason who designed the knights’ fortress to tell the PCs where any secret doors or entrances might be found. Be ready to provide names of potential contacts and use the characters’ social skills to figure out how to contact and approach them. Be ready to have the Lily Knights’ castle mapped out in detail; players of characters specializing in infiltration are likely hoping for a good dungeon crawl in which to use those skills.

Complicate everything and play up the sense of paranoia and fear. Everyone has an ulterior motive, nobody is quite what they seem, and the opposition is absolutely ruthless. Don’t be afraid to make the bad guys really, really evil. Have them publicly execute an informant who talked to the PCs just the previous day. (Did he talk before he died? Are the Bad Guys on the heroes’ trail?)

Make the heroes decide how far to go to protect the innocent; perhaps they see someone they know on the gallows, another informant they’ve spoken to in the past. Do they rescue the victim and try to smuggle them out of the city, thereby possibly endangering their own mission? Or do they let him die, telling their own consciences that it was necessary for the greater good?

Any information gathering game can use this same advice; it need not be only spies. Consider throwing a good old-fashioned murder mystery at the players.

Things to be aware of with this campaign

Know your divination magic. In any game where secrets play a great role, a simple divination spell can bypass large amounts of the challenge and, thereby, the fun. Reward creative uses of divination, but do your homework—read up on exactly how divination works in the system you’re using, and know all the different ways it can be used (including things that block or counter it). Make certain important enemies take precautions against them, and don’t be afraid to have your bad guys use divination against the heroes.

Let the PCs be active. Don’t just require the PCs to pass information along to the people up the chain of command. Players want to act, not wait around for someone else to come and clean up the problems they report. The Legion is flexible in its methods and even command structure; make sure your players have freedom and ability to act on what they discover.

Examples of this sort of campaign

The Dark Knights are on the move—an army sets off for the fledgling draconian city- state of Teyr with thousands of Nerakan pikemen, backed by heavy cavalry, Ogre mercenaries, and the magic of Skull and Thorn Knights. The draconians are sure to be defeated if they are taken by surprise; who will warn them?

The king is dead! Someone has assassinated Emperor Jaymes Markham; all signs point to one of his household servants, an Ergothian by birth. The Knights of Solamnia are mad as hell and out for blood. Can the covert cell of Legionnaires in Palanthas prove who really killed him before war breaks out?

We Few, We Happy Few

Your PCs are warriors in a combat unit. Perhaps they’re occupying Ak-Khurman. Perhaps they’re defending Solace. Perhaps they’re on the run from Tarmak brutes in the Plains of Dust. No matter where they’re set, martial campaigns provide plenty of opportunity for intense combat.

How to design this sort of campaign

Legionnaires dedicated exclusively to combat are rare. The Legion has a few centuries, the type of unit designed to engage the enemy on the open field, but only a few. They’re only posted in a few locations around Ansalon, such as Ak-Khurman, Solace, and the Missing City (before they were routed by an invasion of Tarmak brutes supported by a huge blue dragon).

There’s a role in this campaign for every archetypal Legionnaire. Warriors provide the bulk of the fighting force and serve both mounted and on foot. Scouts provide skirmishers and pathfinders for the main force. Mystics and sorcerers provide magical support.

Throw a variety of combat at the players. Perhaps one fight involves the heroes, a number of allies, and a raging horde of draconians on an icy mountain road with a sheer drop on one side and a towering mountain on the other. The next requires the heroes to pierce the gate of a heavily defended fortress. Finally there’s a running battle through the corridors of a castle as the heroes pursue the bad guy.

You might find that assigning all the PCs to a unit of scouts makes the most sense. This gives the PCs the opportunity to participate in the widest possible variety of battles, from forest skirmishes against enemy scouts and rear-guard actions in narrow mountain passes against a handful of enemies, up to huge sieges and massive Braveheart-style battles with a cast of thousands on each side.

If your players are keen on a martial campaign, they may also be the sorts of players who enjoy tabletop wargaming in addition to roleplaying. If they are, consider working in an occasional session using large-scale battle rules such as Warhammer Fantasy Battles or the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game.

If they’re not as interested in large-scale tactical play, strongly consider using a system such as the D&D supplement Heroes of Battle or adjusting an abstract system like that presented in the roleplaying game King Arthur Pendragon. These games provide excellent methods for incorporating titanic battles into your roleplaying sessions without endlessly rolling dice for innumerable NPCs.

Things to be aware of with this campaign

Be careful of boredom. Endless, unvarying combat doesn’t even work in war movies. Pacing is important; your players need you to mix it up. As observed above, assigning your PCs to a scout unit may present the most opportunities for different types of battles for them to be involved in.

Mix up the bad guys. It might be “realistic” for the heroes to always fight poorly trained peasants wielding pikes in the front line of a big battle, but it’s also dull. Get creative. Sometimes it’s axe-wielding ogre barbarians. Sometimes it’s goblin rangers with poisoned arrows mounted on wargs. Sometimes it’s highly trained and highly disciplined human Dark Knight fighters. And don’t forget the spellcasters—a victorious Legion century on the open field is a prime target for a distant Thorn Knight’s fireball.

Examples of this sort of campaign

Kerianseray, the Lioness, is leading the elves on a campaign to retake Silvanesti from the hated minotaurs, and the Legion of Steel is going to help. The PCs are doughty Legionnaires sworn to help the elves or die trying. This campaign could involve set-piece forest battles between elves and Legionnaires on one side and minotaurs on the other, as well as daring raids on lonely minotaur outposts deep in the woods and other small-unit action.

Steel Legionnaires patrol the streets of Ak-Khurman when the horizon darkens with black sails coming from across the Bay of Balifor—the Dark Knights are coming. A campaign

based on this event could involve huge battles along the walls as the Knights attempt to storm the city or open-field cavalry skirmishes in the desert outside the walls. You could mix in some intrigue and scouting style missions as the Legion attempts to rally the desert tribes from the surrounding countryside.

Bringing it all Together

The most successful Legion of Steel campaigns tend to be those that combine several of these styles of play. Each story arc can have a different focus, and even individual game sessions within the same story arc might have different styles.

My own Legion-centered campaign is a good example of this. The campaign is directly inspired by several Robin Hood movies and TV shows. The PCs are the Merry Men in Dark Knight-occupied Tarsis. One session involved learning why the Skull Knights were so obsessed with a lowly miller’s grain mill. Another session was attempting to track a series of murders back to its source—again, the Skull Knights. Later, the PCs negotiated a delicate alliance with a Thorn Knight to end the Skull Knights’ insanity once and for all in Tarsis. Such alliances are meant to be broken, however, and the PCs were later forced to attempt to rescue one of their own from certain death in the Knights’ castle after she was betrayed. All the while, they have to continue to prevent a mad Mishakalite fanatic from attempting to assassinate the Lily Knight commandant, who would be replaced by someone even crueler. In a half-dozen or so game sessions, there’s been plenty of combat, a murder mystery, delicate negotiations among powerful factions both good and evil, and two instances of infiltrating a fortress.

The Legion of Steel is an organization designed to be as fun and as flexible as possible to play. The possibilities are unlimited.

More Information

A great wealth of inspirational information can be found in the published Dragonlance game material dealing with the Legion of Steel: TSR’s Dragonlance Saga edition rules from the 1990s and Knightly Orders of Ansalon published by Margaret Weis Productions in particular. The novels of the Linsha Majere trilogy (by Mary Herbert) also give some ideas for how the Legion would act in a game.

General campaign design advice is far beyond the scope of this article. If you need some general ideas for improving your game—regardless of whether it involves the Legion of Steel—the Dungeon Master’s Guide II published by WotC is a very good source of advice. Other roleplaying games that strongly influence my GMing style include Dogs in the Vineyard by Vincent Baker, The Burning Wheel by Luke Crane, and Spirit of the Century, by Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue, and Lenny Balsera. Of course, the best source of general campaign advice is the good example of another GM—many thanks Cam Banks and Jim Butcher for the fine examples they set for me.

Many thanks also to Amanda Valentine for editing this article.

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