There’s a Better Way to Ask if Something Exists in Dragonlance

Tiefling art by Eva Widermann
Tiefling art by Eva Widermann

Throughout the years, I’ve seen numerous posts asking if a certain race, class, etc. exists in Dragonlance. Maybe the player is new to Dragonlance, or is an established player wanting to play something new in their favorite setting.

So the player goes to an online forum of some sort and asks if what they want to play exists in Krynn. The response, unfortunately, is often a no.

This has become a particular pet peeve of mine, so I thought we could examine the reasons for the no and see if there’s a better way to tackle the question.

Why People Say No And Their Response

Before we begin, we must understand why fans say no in the first place.

For many fans, it’s all about maintaining the flavor of the Dragonlance setting. This can be somewhat subjective, but we have a good sense from reading Chronicles and Legends. These fans don’t want to add anything they perceive as not fitting that feel. This can be understandable as you want your Dragonlance games to deliver a Dragonlance experience. Of course, the Dragonlance experience can be subjective.

So when asked if something non-standard exists in Krynn, established players tend to lean towards no. Often they will argue that the non-standard thing should be used in the Forgotten Realms, which is a known “anything goes” setting.

Sometimes, the response is to seek validation from an authority figure such as an author, game designer, or community leader. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but keep in mind that not all authors are gamers and not all game designers are familiar with the current edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game.

A Better Approach

Rather than asking if X rule exists in Dragonlance, a better approach would be to ask how X rule can be implemented while maintaining the Dragonlance feel. With this approach, you set the expectation that you are going to use the race or class, yet you want to honor the source material by maintaining the flavor and themes of the setting.

While naysayers are inevitable, you’re going to get a more positive response. It’s better to remove roadblocks for fun than to put them up.

Conclusion

Maintaining the feel of a fantasy setting can be important, but it should never be at the expense of having fun. Dragonlance is a Dungeons & Dragons setting, and we should treat it as such. You can be respectful of the setting feel while allowing options for players.

About Trampas "Dragonhelm" Whiteman

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 reading comics, reading fantasy and scifi novels, and playing D&D.
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    The average Solamnic Knight is an ignorant, superstitious dolt, who believes all the dark tales about wizards told to him by his nursery maid in order to frighten him into keeping quiet at night, the consequence of which he expects me to start leaping through camp naked, gibbering and ranting and transforming him into a newt with a wave of my staff. Not that I couldn’t do it, mind you.

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