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View Full Version : The DragonLance Choo Choo



wizarddog
08-26-2009, 03:42 AM
I had bought DL 1 alooong time ago and never really played it before stopping D&D all together.

Now with 4t, I have been re-examining the old mods and wanted to check out the dragonlance modules as possible stuff to use. It came to my surprise that their seems to be a lot of railroading in those adventures. Captured here, villain gets aways, blah blah... that it seems almost not worth even playing less you really want to relive every step of the novel or adventure setting the designers played themselves. I fail to see how that would make them great adventures.

Not to say I won't be able to take some things from them but it seems almost a poster child of on how to write a bad adventures. I would like some others to relate their experience with the original Despair series.

Arkhemedes
08-26-2009, 08:39 AM
Yes, you are absolutely correct...at least with my limited experience with Dragonlance. Unless you're the kind of player that likes to act out scenes you've memorized in a book or movie, you're probably going to be a bit frustrated with the amount of railroading going on, at least in the early modules. Now, I've heard that in some of the later modules, there is more freedom to chose - but I never got that far. The problem is that Dragonlance started out being more of a setting for novels, and good novels they are, but not a setting for role-playing (again, unless you like acting out the roles that other characters have already played). That and the problem with the very fickle deities, the different moons and their effect on magic, the issue of the rarity of steel, etc. are all reasons why I never got far into Dragonlance. It's a great place to read about - but not so much for playing in.

MortonStromgal
08-26-2009, 10:44 AM
I think DL1-3 are great. I mean someone finds a blue crystal staff and you get chased around by hobgoblins and draconians until you either run into the army (because they conquered everything) and die, or go to Xan Zaroth (sp?) after that it goes down hill quickly but I've probably played through DL1-3 oh 10-12 times and its never been the same thanks to the army movement that the DM has to track.

cplmac
08-26-2009, 03:22 PM
Actually, the time that I played it with a group back in 91, we managed to kill Fewmaster Toede inside Pax Tharkas. By doing that, we just deviated from the novels, since in them, Toede eventually became a Dragon Highlord.

Of course when we killed him coming out of Verminaard's audience room, that gave away our party's presence and things got a lot more intense quite rapidly.

Pellinore
08-26-2009, 06:42 PM
Dragonlance was great because of Raistlin Majere.

mnemenoi
08-26-2009, 07:39 PM
I think that any serious campaign inside of Ansalon would almost have to be worked from the ground up and although I think of myself as a good ST I believe it would entail too much groundwork to avoid any of the novels or characters from them.

If you are looking at playing that setting then I would recommend the Time of the Dragon setting (Taladas), it covers the continent on the other side of Krynn and allows the players freedom to investigate and really have fun in the setting. I have always enjoyed it and the module series that accompanied it still managed to capture the ambiance of ddragonlance without thrusting them into playing the companions.

tesral
08-27-2009, 12:17 AM
The setting has it's points. I'm not a fan, but I don't disparage those that are.

The modules are better used in model railroading.

If I ran Dragonlance I would toss the modules and design my own adventures using the setting. The wars of the Lance would not be part of them.

nijineko
08-27-2009, 01:08 AM
i was never convinced that a lance used a-dragonback was a really possible weapon. unless the dragons cooperated in charging each other, the best an ariel ballet-duel might accomplish is scoring touches, or the ripping of a wing... which would have some serious effect, granted, at least on flying. but these are dragons... spell-slinging, breath-weapon breathing, claw-claw-bite-wing smash-wing smash-tail smash-ing dragons, or are dragonlance dragons less effective somehow?

anyway, i confess that i never really got into the novels nor into the setting as a whole. however, i thought playing minotaur and iirda was great fun.

tesral
08-27-2009, 10:04 AM
i was never convinced that a lance used a-dragonback was a really possible weapon. unless the dragons cooperated in charging each other, the best an ariel ballet-duel might accomplish is scoring touches, or the ripping of a wing... which would have some serious effect, granted, at least on flying. but these are dragons... spell-slinging, breath-weapon breathing, claw-claw-bite-wing smash-wing smash-tail smash-ing dragons, or are dragonlance dragons less effective somehow?

It might make a neat looking picture, but I suspect you are right. Carrying a long stick on a dragon is nigh useless.

nijineko
08-27-2009, 02:36 PM
now if the lance were actually an energy or force 'lance' launching item, aka ranged weapon, i could see that. enter the world wars on the backs of dragons.

Crossroads_Wanderer
08-30-2009, 12:00 PM
I've always felt like it would be hard to make a DL game with anything other than the main characters playing out the story because it is heavily based on destiny and the main characters are doing pretty much the most important thing that there is to be done on Krynn. Playing other heroes would make their role lesser, or it would alter the course of some very important events.

This is probably why I can't find any good DL fanfiction. :P

Oldgamer
08-30-2009, 04:05 PM
I bought the whole series back in the mid 80's, all 16 of them one or two at a time and played through them all as the original cast of Companions. 15 and 16 were not part of the 1st trilogy I don't believe, but I played them any way. I have since played through them as a DM twice and have had a good time, but it's only for fans of reenactment that it's any fun. It is truly a model of railroading, but the funnest parts were when people knew what was coming and decided a different route. Events were set to happen on dates and at certain places regardless of where the characters were at, so if you weren't there ... then that part of the story was lost and the rest pretty much froze because you didn't stop the choo-choo that is destiny :) I still have all of them, they're in decent shape, not the best since I have through the years cut the character cards out, the Canticles out, the maps have been pawed over many times, and I've cut out all accessories as well, but the interior and covers are still in good shape.

I'm thinking of beginning a Dragonlance game on PbP actually, just pondering at the moment since I already DM one game and play in about 10 others ... so I need to see if I have enough time. But I definitely wont be playing DL1-16, but rather coming up with another story line in a different era other than the War of the Lance era.

TheYeti1775
10-09-2009, 10:26 AM
I found the DL1-16 pure railroad in the sense of Player Choice.
I think it is best with Dragonlance to simply choose a date in the timeline and start from there. Using the modules and books as what could happen if the PC's do nothing to effect it. Just a simple guide.