By Ed Mekeel, Dragonlance Nexus Social Media Chief
Why hello there! My name is Ed and I am a Dragonlance fan. What? You didn’t know? Oh well, that follows, because there is a wide audience of people out there who think Dragonlance is dead. Deader than dead. Sure, we had our heyday being the Dungeons and Dragons poster child as the first story-driven gaming modules back in the 1980s. We’ve also had hundreds of excellent novels written, spearheaded by our favorites – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman! But what about now?
Well, there’s been no official Dragonlance content from Wizards of the Coast since 2008 under the 3.5 rules settings. Also 2011 is the last year a novel from Krynn was in first printing. I am sure now you’re asking yourself, “Where’s he going with this? Is this another complaint in a long line from a fan in his 40s?” Yes…and no.
Enter Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. D&D 5e has literally changed the playing field in tabletop gaming, bringing new players and arguably the biggest increase in popularity the genre has seen. Add to that technology in the form of gaming online with sites like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, and now we have a live roleplaying game that is easily accessible to anyone with a computer or tablet. We are also at a juncture where D&D is being influenced by professionally recorded sessions of players in Critical Role and other popular live shows. Even actors and notable figures in pop culture are being influencers: we’re looking at you Joe Manganiello! But how can we make that work for Dragonlance? Well, I am glad you asked!
The Nexus has tirelessly worked on fan-created content for 5E, and now we’re going to put our time into better use to start rebuilding excitement for Krynn.
Coming in a few weeks, members of the Dragonlance Nexus will be starting a monthly game played live on https://www.twitch.tv/ on the third Saturday of each month at 8 p.m. Central Time. As you can guess, we’re playing Dungeon & Dragons 5th Edition and highlighting the Dragonlance Nexus’ 5E conversion articles we’ve worked on for years. The crux of the game isn’t just to have fun and hang out with my fellow Dragonlance nerds, but to build a grassroots movement that can inspire new fans, and maybe give us old codgers a few ideas for own games.
Our campaign, Dragons on the River of Time, will be a time traveling adventure taking five players from 1st level on up. We’re featuring the best there is to offer from the lore of Krynn, and the different ages of time fans are familiar with. I want to give a shout out to Whitestone Council member Dave Foster for coining the title of the campaign. And since five players is an odd number, we’re going to leave a sixth slot open for a guest player after the game gets going. Who knows who will show up?
That being said, let’s get to know our cast! You may be familiar with them if you’ve spent any time listening to our podcast, the Dragonlance Canticle.
- Trampas “Dragonhelm” Whiteman is best known for co-creating and administering the Dragonlance Nexus fan site. He is co-author of three Dragonlance books – Holy Orders of the Stars, Knightly Orders of Ansalon, and Races of Ansalon. When not evangelizing Dragonlance and other settings, Trampas is a husband, father, podcaster, and web designer. Trampas also enjoys playing D&D, and reading comic books, and fantasy and sci-fi novels.
- Chuck “Gerrin” Martinell is a long time Dragonlance Nexus contributor with notable projects of the Adlatum sourcebook and the Palanthas Herald. A freelancer whose published Dragonlance works can be found in Lost Leaves of the Inn of the Last Home, and has been a host on the Dragonlance Canticle for 13 years. When not working on Dragonlance projects Chuck is an avid miniatures gamer and runs several D&D campaigns. Although gaming is importantly him his primary duty is being a husband and a dad to his three kids.
- Weldon “Granak” Chen has been a fixture in the Dragonlance fandom for years. A patron for all the draconians out in the world, he’s written rules for playing draconians in nearly every edition of D&D. When not in the world of Krynn, he enjoys all things Nerd, Geek and Dork.
- Tim “Aelfwyn” Shiflet has been playing D&D since 1986 when his cousin handed down to him a copy of Dragons of Autumn Twilight and the Basic, Companion, and Expert D&D sets. He’s played nearly every edition of D&D since. Today, Tim is a husband, a father of four, and a teacher who enjoys sharing his passion for gaming regardless of what he’s doing.
- John “RaistlinRox” Rhyne has been playing D&D since ’89, and a fan of Dragonlance since around ‘91. He has played (and DM’ed) Dragonlance in every edition, but used his map from Tales of the Lance so much, it fell apart at every seam. His greatest brush with nerd-celebrity was when Joe Mangianello sat down next to him at GaryCon 2018 to play Shadow of the Demon Lord. He was able to talk about Dragonlance, and he hopes he’ll watch this show!
So that’s it. We hope you’ll join us on an adventure, and if you like it, tell your friends! Oh, by the way…I’ll be the Dungeon Master. Did I fail to mention that? Well, as any good DM worth his salt knows, I prefer to make my players the stars.
Long live the Lance!
Dragons on the River of Time: Session 1
Saturday, June 20, 2020
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm CT
*Author’s Note: Those weird nicknames in between the player’s names above are screen names from the old Dragonlance Message Boards.