The Gaming Den Forum Index The Gaming Den
Welcome to the Gaming Den.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Google
 Search WWW   Search tgdmb.com 
Unfucking Dragonlance

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> It's My Own Invention...
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Wiseman
Duke


Joined: 09 Mar 2012
Posts: 1182
Location: lost... HELP!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:36 am    Post subject: Unfucking Dragonlance Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Unfucking Dragonlance

Dragonlance gets way more hate then it deserves, to the point where trying to actually rationally discuss it gets derailed by undeserved hate. But in actually, the problems with Dragonlance have been blown way out of porportion (though make no mistake they are real problems) overshadowing many of the cool things in the setting (Wizard of High Sorcery, the gods, DRACONIANS, the tight worldbuilding, the knights). There aren't that many, and those that are are actually fairly easy to fix without changing anything significant the setting, if say you wanted to do a reboot or rerelease. Let's start with the basics.

Kender and Gully Dwarves
Kender are primairly hated because their game description basically makes them easy fodder for chaotic stupid disruptive players. Gully Dwarves are hated because their entire concept (retarded dwarves) is offensive. However the way it seems to be described by haters, it's as if these things are ubiquitous in the setting. When it's really not. Once you get away from the Hickmans, things become less stupid. In other books Kender are actually capable of building a functioning society, and aren't just mary sue ADHD kleptomaniacs. There are kender soldiers, royalty, nobles, barbarians, warlords, necromancers (though admittedly more in the classic sense), revolutionaries, and assassins. They very well could just be halflings, and not all clones of Tasslehoff. As to Gully Dwarves, you could drop them from the setting entirely and lose nothing. Seriously. The gully dwarf people appear all of once early to mid way through Dragons of Autumn Twilight, when the heroes go to Xak Tsaroth and find them enslaved by the dragonarmies. The only Gully Dwarf who matters at all is Bupu, and she appears maybe once or twice again (I'd have to reread Legends to remember). You could replace them with any other little race that can be oppressed. They could be kender, gnomes, or just really unfortunate regular dwarves and nothing would change. Or one could use this version of gully dwarves (from a discussion on the Dragonlance Forums):

ferratus wrote:
I have given this a lot of thought, and I generally come down on the side that the condition of the Gully Dwarves is a result of institutional, generational, grinding poverty. We only every see Gully Dwarves living amongst dwarves or in exile among ruins.

We know that dwarves are an intensely traditional, guild-based, and clannish society. If a dwarf goes up against any of those institutions (or is unable to fill his role in any of them) then I imagine that it doesn't go well. Aghar could simply be dwarven for "without clan" or "outcast". Without membership in a clan or a guild, the dwarf is unable to earn a decent living and has no property or property rights.

Therefore, they live by squatting in the places no other dwarf wants to live (hence gully dwarf) and survive by doing dirty jobs that carry social stigma. One doesn't have to look very hard to see the types of challenges that Gully Dwarves need to overcome.

You cannot get a better education because you can't afford it. You can't get credit because you can't get property. You can't be apprenticed because your father doesn't have a trade. You can't fight in the military because you are not truly a citizen and you cannot provide your own gear.

We already that a dwarf's worth is based on how much he produces for his community, how prosperous he is, how honoured his lineage, and his prowess in battle. The Aghar cannot live up to this ideal. Their lineage is disgraced. They are unskilled and uneducated. They are poor.

So in this social order the dwarves of the other clans see the Aghar and start giving negative traits to explain their poverty. They are lazy. They are stupid. Most insidiously, the dwarves whisper to each other that these Aghar are not even dwarves at all. They must be something else, something inferior, they must have gnomish or human blood in them.




The Cataclysm
The problem with Istar is apparently that there was too much good in the world. I raise you that if being super good amounts to a totalitarian theocratic dictatorship with open slavery, genocidal campaigns and fucking thought police then you are doing it wrong! This also creates the really weird implication that too much good in the world was a problem, meaning the gods had to create the cataclysm to destroy the social, religious and economic center of Ansalon, completely reshaping the continent and sending the survivors into fantasy Mad Max, so that evil could rise and thus the balance be restored. WTF?!

This is really easy to replace by simply declaring that the Kingpriest went mad with power. He's actually Lawful Evil, but has deluded himself into thinking he's good. Hell, later dragonlance material even seems to support this, with the Kingpriest being on the cusp of acheiving godhood! And it does happen. One of the anthologies (Dragons of Chaos, i think) has a short story called "There's another shore, you know, upon the other side" which depicts an alternate Krynn when the Kingpriest has deposed all the other gods and rules the world as the God Emperor of Mankind sole god. All the other gods are reduced to slaves, beggars, prostitutes or torture victims, and the world lives forever under his insane dictatorship. The sourcebook Legends of the Twins depicts another alternate Krynn where the Kingpriest does something similar. Here, instead of the cataclysm, Paladine himself comes down to stop the Kingpriest and loses. The Kingpriest overpowers him, absorbs his divine power, and ascents to godhood himself and proceeds to kill more people than the cataclysm ever did (somewhere in the realm of 1/3 the entire worlds population), and his genocidal campaigns continue still, determined to wipe out everything that's not an elf or human. Faced with what's basically fantasy Hitler becoming a god and sending the world into everlasting darkness, and all other methods failing, nuking it from orbit does seem like the only way to be sure.

As to the other details, instead of sending 13 vague omens that could be and were easily misinterpreted (storms battering the city non stop for 13 days, trees weeping blood, ect.) it was suggested else where that the gods could just send an Angel or Archon or some other celestial to tell the kingpriest to knock it off. However, he's so delusional that he convinces himself that the angel is actually a demon in disguise and kills or banishes it. So they go to Loren Soth, the only other person in a position to do something about the kingpriest, and that plays out exactly as it did in canon.

Or, there's potentially another one that also serves the double purpose of ditching the stupid balance between good and evil thing and likewise not making the gods of good look like old testament dicks. Here, Istar really was originally a bastion of good, and one of the strongest of it's kind in the world. However, say, here, the Kingpriest was being manipulated by Takhisis (hell, there's a PrC for Takhisian clerics that's basically this). Takhisis manipulates the Kingpriest into commiting more and more atrocities that he thinks are in the name of good (slavery, genocide, gladiator matches, oppression of the temples of the good gods) and eventually, he attempts to become a god. Unfortunately, this backfires, and he himself causes the Cataclysm. This has the double effect of fucking up the divine [insert magibabble here], preventing the gods from interacting with the world. This also works with the Night of Doom as well. In the canon, before the Cataclysm, the gods took their clerics from the world. Here, the good gods get forewarnings about what could happen, and attempt the methods mentioned above (sending messenger to the kingpriest, tasking loren soth to stop him) and take their clerics into the outer planes to keep them safe, just in case, and once the disaster was over, the clerics would be sent back to keep things in order. However, they underestimated just how devastating the cataclysm would be, and were unable to get back once it happened. Centuries pass, and all those clerics die of old age, powerless to help a world that's descending into chaos. And without them to explain what really happened, the people turn against the gods. It would take an act of faith, and a powerful artifact, like Goldmoon finding the blue crystal staff and the Disks to allow the gods of light and neutral be able to influence the world again.

Also, considering that the gods of darkness came back to the world significantly before the gods of light, and that the foundation stones to the temple survived, which Takhisis took and used to recreate a dark version of the temple of Istar to serve as a nexus for her power on Krynn, AS WELL as her taking the Kingpriests Crown of Power mega artifact to give to the leader of the Dragonarmies, and the Cataclysm and resulting Age of Despair could very well be just according to keikaku for Takhisis.

Mormonism
Why is this an issue? There's barely anything related to Mormon in Dragonlance, it really does seem like any mormonism was added as an afterthought or half-assed attempt. Tracy rants about Mormonism a bunch in the annotated books, but the closest thing in the actual text is the Disks of Mishakal = Gold Plates of Mormon, but that's basically it. Anything else people have claimed as references to Mormonism, even actual Mormons don't recognize. It's really a non-issue.

The books:
This is sort of a mixed bag, and one of the actual problems that isn't easy to address (if you even consider it a problem, YMMV). There are over two hundred books written for dragonlance. It's book line vastly eclipses the popularity of the game material to the point where some fans are surprised to find out there's a game attached to it. This has positives and negatives. Dragonlance is very fleshed out as a setting with all sorts of detailed cultures, regions, organizations, and personalities. This is good for roleplaying and if your a fan of the books, you'll enjoy it a lot. (Most of the Core D&D material has a defined place in the setting). However, the disadvantage is basically the same thing. There's so much canon material for it that it's difficult to insert your own stuff without it feeling too much like fanfiction. You may or may not care (I write fanfiction a lot [*shameless plug*] so it doesn't matter to me, but it might be problematic for others).

Next post will be musings about the gods, what to do with them and so forth. I also have some rewrites of prestige classes, as well as some new ones that I think would fit well in the setting. There will also be some suggestions about where starting a campaign might be good.
_________________
Check out my RP site!

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Last edited by Wiseman on Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:43 am; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Thaluikhain
Duke


Joined: 29 Sep 2016
Posts: 1258

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Unfucking Dragonlance Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wiseman wrote:
Once you get away from the Hickmans, things become less stupid. In other books Kender are actually capable of building a functioning society, and aren't just mary sue ADHD kleptomaniacs.


Really? I've read quite a few Dragonlance books, admittedly losing interest about 15 years ago, and not seen any of that. It was mentioned that the kender had a functioning society, true, but in the same way that they say wise people shouldn't get mad with Tasselhoff style kender.

Wiseman wrote:
Or one could use this version of gully dwarves (from a discussion on the Dragonlance Forums):


On a related note, I always though Gully Dwarves, as the third group of Dwarves that the others don't like was thematically much the same as the Kagonesti, the third group of Elves that the others don't like. Now, I'd not say that copying and pasting from elves to dwarves would be a good idea (well, except compared to the current state of Gully Dwarves), just that Dragonlance did that sort of thing better there.

Also...what about Tinker Gnomes? I personally find them very annoying, but are they something that appeals to other people?

Wiseman wrote:
However, he's so delusional that he convinces himself that the angel is actually a demon in disguise and kills or banishes it. So they go to Loren Soth, the only other person in a position to do something about the kingpriest, and that plays out exactly as it did in canon.


Why is the kingpriest so powerful, though? Surely it was in large part because of his position of authority, if he won't listen to angels, other people should.

Though, I think the gods in Dragonlance are just broken. They leave the world for centuries because they are sulking that people don't pay attention to them anymore, after taking away their clerics and causing the Cataclysm and killing loads of innocent people? They can intervene when they want to, either by annoying people as Fizban or something, or causing the Cataclysm, they just don't bother? Could have warned people about the impending Draconian invasion, actually ensures the heroes run into them, but doesn't do anything much else? Of course, Dragonlance isn't the first setting to have this problem.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
OgreBattle
King


Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 5186

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like gully dwarves, they're retarded hill people and that's why I like them.

That side story about the first gully dwarf to create a writing system, and then the pillar he writes on, gets destroyed by a knight of takhisis who just thinks it's trash, it's a good story.

You're better off creating your own setting than trying to make Dragonlance not dragonlance anymore
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tussock
Prince


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 2580
Location: Here

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wouldn't the Gods be better as a Law vs Chaos setup?

I mean, aside from how D&D works better than way in general, so you have good guys and bad guys on both teams and still have them legit hate each other and have the blood war make any sense at all, or whatever ...

For DL, ultimate Law makes sense with the story of their failure, and ultimate Chaos is pretty well fine with everything the bad guys are doing, like breeding new monsters and having truck with dragons and endless storms and other such cool things.

--

The best thing about Kender, was they were fearless, like they have a sense of self-preservation but it's pretty much a subconscious thing where they are sneaky at all times, because they're not really aware of how someone's about to kill them so not being noticed always on is a survival deal. The "oh, I have something for that" pockets are also a fine game mechanic. Just change the fluff a bit, they can be perma-sneaky and fearless and still have concepts of property and personal space, and some of them are thieves.

--

The best thing about Gully Dwarfs was they took all that stoic Dwarf bullshit and removed the angry violent drunk from it. They're good, hard-working, very put-apon people, but they're not up to the ultra-violent generational crusades of their hill cousins, and as such are enslaved and impoverished because D&D is mean like that. It makes them petty conformists, and that sucks to be around.

I mean, adventurers kill a lot of stuff, so here's a window on what happens if you don't.

--

Spelljammer gnomes are fantastic. MGSH level fantastic. If it annoys you that the gnomes are riding mechanical bird-walkers than keep falling down when they fire their cannons, take a pill, calm down, it's funny.

--

Quote:
Tracy rants about Mormonism a bunch in the annotated books.

Um, yes. That. Author intent is a thing, especially so when they go an at length about it, and if that intent is a bit weird, well, readers are going to raise that in discussions.

Like, the whole thing is supposed to be a gigantic allegory for Mormonism, with the decent of the world into evil and return of the true word of the gods and bla bla bla. It's worth a mention.
_________________
news://rec.games.frp.dnd
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
angelfromanotherpin
Overlord


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 7616

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Unfucking Dragonlance Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wiseman wrote:
Mormonism
Why is this an issue? There's barely anything related to Mormon in Dragonlance, it really does seem like any mormonism was added as an afterthought or half-assed attempt. Tracy rants about Mormonism a bunch in the annotated books, but the closest thing in the actual text is the Disks of Mishakal = Gold Plates of Mormon, but that's basically it. Anything else people have claimed as references to Mormonism, even actual Mormons don't recognize. It's really a non-issue.

Hey, you know how you have a long rant about the Cataclysm and how it's problematic on multiple levels? That's all fucking Mormonism. The Mormon god (actually only their *chief* god, they have a bunch) is unsurprisingly as much of an inexplicable jerkhole abusive boyfriend as old testament Yahweh. That's why the answer to 'why the cataclysm?' is 'because we love you, you just don't understand.'

Other Mormonisms include the ascension of humans to godhood and all the incoherence about 'the balance' because there is no joy if there is no suffering and similar bullshit. I don't give a fuck if actual Mormons don't recognize their own theology in the work, a lot of Catholics don't recognize their own theologies either.

Almost everything to do with that shit needs to be expunged or rewritten beyond recognition if you're going to have a coherent setting.
_________________
"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Wiseman
Duke


Joined: 09 Mar 2012
Posts: 1182
Location: lost... HELP!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fair enough, hence the alternatives to the cataclysm.

As to the gnomes. They're easy to make work just by having their inventions work and not be all ridiculous Rube Goldberg devices.
_________________
Check out my RP site!

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
angelfromanotherpin
Overlord


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 7616

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If tinker gnome inventions just work, you need to explain why pre-Dragonwar Ansalon isn't a full-blown clockpunk setting.
_________________
"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zaranthan
Knight


Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 379

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Standard Gadgeteer exception: The gadgets work, but only for the inventor. A tinker gnome can easily copy another one's design by watching it in action, so the town has a variety of "standard" contraptions that everybody uses, but everybody has to make their own, so it doesn't conquer the parts of the city populated by not-tinker gnomes.
_________________
Koumei wrote:
...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

hyzmarca wrote:
A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 11453

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The main problem with Dragonlance is that there's not much on Krynn which is worth having that you don't have in any of the other settings. When you talk about the setting being worth unfucking, you need to specify what is worth saving and why. The Towers of High Sorcery, with their weird moon-affinity and color-coded robes? Medieval jousting from dragonback? Ogres that make elves go "you've gone too far?"
_________________
The Unpublishable - Updates Fridays between midnight and midnight | http://wikithulhu.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
OgreBattle
King


Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 5186

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Also steel as currency and gold being worthless is weird
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MGuy
Prince


Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 3488
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ancient History wrote:
The main problem with Dragonlance is that there's not much on Krynn which is worth having that you don't have in any of the other settings. When you talk about the setting being worth unfucking, you need to specify what is worth saving and why. The Towers of High Sorcery, with their weird moon-affinity and color-coded robes? Medieval jousting from dragonback? Ogres that make elves go "you've gone too far?"
Basically this. I didn't read too much into Dragon Lance though I bought the races of book in order to mine some ideas when I was still newish to the hobby. I don't know why youb would spend a lot of effort changing the settings history, themes, and a number of races instead of just making your own. I really like Ebberon, and my major problem with it is that a lot of ideas aren't expanded upon. You seem to actually just not like the setting or the authorial intent behind it. Why not just nab some of the ideas you like and just hammer together your own setting?
_________________
The first rule of Fatclub. Don't Talk about Fatclub..
I've always thought it best to never hit a lady, but be sure to beat a bitch. -TOZ
MGuy wrote:
Finally a thread about fighters!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
tussock
Prince


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 2580
Location: Here

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@MGuy, because no one wants to play your custom fantasy heartbreaker world. Probably not even your local players unless you've put thousands of hours into the fucking thing.

Lots of people want to play Dragonlance though, thanks to having some experience of the novels (which are at least for a start a reasonable couple "let's have a D&D adventure" stories, due to being the novelisation of some D&D adventures). There's a lot of cool stuff there and you can just say "Dragonlance" and have a shared understanding of that, which is good.

So if you can get some agreement with a wider community about ways to unfux the actual Dragonlance setting, like declaring Tasslehoff an atypical and rare kleptomaniac Kender, and probably change it so the bad guys paid a huge price in terms of cataclysm (that also hurt them a lot) to rid the planet of the old gods, but now the heroes found a maguffin to bring them back.

Like, then people can enjoy the novels, the setting can follow the same primary events with a few tweaks to the whys and wherefores, and people that want to play it can have a better experience when they do so.

Which is to say, the first things you need to fix are the things that hurt the play of the game. Clerics should probably get spells, but just be extremely rare, at the start. That sort of thing.
_________________
news://rec.games.frp.dnd
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 11453

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I had a homebrew mashup of Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms, once. A satellite in orbit gathered the light of the three moons and beamed it down to a receiving station on the planet Toril-Krynn, where it powered the Netherese *mythallar*.
_________________
The Unpublishable - Updates Fridays between midnight and midnight | http://wikithulhu.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Wiseman
Duke


Joined: 09 Mar 2012
Posts: 1182
Location: lost... HELP!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sorry. Been having internet bowser troubles the last few days. But Tussock explains the gist of what i was going to say. I will add. When what you like of the setting is "most of it" and what you don't like can be easily removed or altered without affecting anything significant, it's just a lot less work for more payoff.
_________________
Check out my RP site!

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Last edited by Wiseman on Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:05 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
MGuy
Prince


Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 3488
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wiseman wrote:
Sorry. Been having internet bowser troubles the last few days. But Tussock explains the gist of what i was going to say. I will add. When what you like of the setting is "most of it" and what you don't like can be easily removed or altered without affecting anything significant, it's just a lot less work for more payoff.
I guess it's a difference in experience because as far as D20 goes the only time I had anyone who cared about what setting they played in was when I did a brief run of Star Wars games. While I 'guess' there might be some people still familiar with Dragonlance that exist I contend that they've probably played in enough other settings to not really care. What seems to be the case here is 'you' want other people to be able to stand playing a Dragonlance game and at the point you're rewriting things that make the setting unique I have to question the value of doing so over such an old property when you could at this point make a dragonlance esque setting of your own with hopefully better setting elements and get people to play that instead of shackling yourself to a piece of material with which you seem to disagree with the people who authored it.
_________________
The first rule of Fatclub. Don't Talk about Fatclub..
I've always thought it best to never hit a lady, but be sure to beat a bitch. -TOZ
MGuy wrote:
Finally a thread about fighters!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Zaranthan
Knight


Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 379

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I once ran a game for a group that really liked FR. Liked it so much they all turned up with characters from FR despite me telling them my game was set in a homebrew setting. After some arguing, I "caved in" and told them they were in a small town near the Moonsea. I changed absolutely nothing about my campaign except for that one detail in the first session and they loved it.

Some people are just dense when it comes to "I wanna play in world X", and if that's your local gaming group, it can be better to change everything about world X except the serial numbers.
_________________
Koumei wrote:
...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

hyzmarca wrote:
A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Emerald
Knight


Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 362

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Also, being able to say "It's [setting] except for X, Y, and Z" is helpful for establishing backgrounds and character connections. Even if your players aren't setting super-fans, they can still look up basic background details to make their characters fit the world, and using existing countries, organizations, and so forth provides a bunch of built-in plot hooks.

If I say "I'm running a Forgotten Realms campaign, except the Harpers never existed, the Zhentarim and Church of Bane have conquered most of the Moonsea region, and the Red Wizards are actually the Green Wizards just because," you can respond "That's fine, I was planning to play a cleric of Lathander from Eversult and she didn't have any strong opinions on the Harpers or Red, sorry, Green Wizards anyway," and I can make a mental note that you come from a region currently experiencing a schism in the Church of Lathander and tie that in later somehow.

If I say "So, there's this world called Homebrewica...church of a god of tyranny up north, well, current god of tyranny, he was actually resurrected after...group of merchants that's secretly an evil mercenary company, so they conquered...country of evil wizards in the east that shave their heads and wear green because..." and so forth, then there's a whole lot of background information you need to digest (and unlike the Forgotten Realms I doubt Homebrewica has a massive wiki full of all the setting details you might want to know) before you can come up with a basic "Uh...I'll be a cleric from somewhere central-ish who worships whatever sun god this setting has, I guess?" character concept and neither you nor I have much more to work with beyond that.

It's kind of like switching to Pathfinder if you don't like the 3e skill system. Yeah, you could make your group learn all the pointless little changes between the systems and houserule rules patches for the worst part and port over some of your favorite stuff from 3e, or you could say "We're playing 3e, but using the PF skill system," problem solved.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chamomile
Prince


Joined: 03 May 2011
Posts: 3956

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

That's all definitely true, but Dragonlance has at least two major competitors in that regard: Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk. Also, any given group probably has people who don't really know how DL/FR/GH work anyway, so you can also use any other publicly available (for consumption, not necessarily for commercial use) setting to just as good effect, if Eberron or, like, Zendikar or something floats your boat. So then it's worth asking what Dragonlance has that those don't. The answer is, so far as I can tell, "an epic clash between good and evil in which both sides have lots of dragons," and that's not nothing. Well, that and kender, but that's why we're getting rid of them.
_________________
I have a blog
Also a Discord channel
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tussock
Prince


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 2580
Location: Here

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FR is the imperialist machinations of the nigh-immortal high level Wizards and Clerics who give you adventures to go on that probably aren't going to change much because it's already all so conveniently detailed. If you get to be high level, Elminster probably sends you to some other plane to stop you messing up the nice world.

Greyhawk is a few mid-level people struggling with invasions of Giants and other mid-level problems. If you become high level, you take over running the local kingdom, fix all those problems, and then maybe go to war with each other or whatever, because there's really only the Egg of Coot and he uses armies of low level guys. There's probably another lethal mega-dungeon to try out when that gets boring.

Dragonlance, if you play the modules so that the novel characters aren't there, because you take their place, there is nothing. Remnants of past kingdoms and shattered military orders to be put together by the PCs to eventually work on rebuilding something like a decent (lol, medieval) society. There's plentiful foes at various levels, including dragon-riding evil overlord types to be overthrown and replaced with the PCs. End story.

Eberron is ... fuck if I know, there was a war and now magi-tech is everywhere and so it's the magic-punk version of the 1920s, Shadar-Kai or something? There's a secret about what happens to dead people or ... enjoy the trains, really. No idea what PCs are supposed to do, the place would seem to just get a lot better if you left it the fuck alone, so I guess the PCs fight to stop anyone else doing anything to mess that up?

Golarion is adventure-path-land. You have a career fixing a minor problem in one region that has no effect beyond the guy you kill at the end. I mean, one path was allowing a border province slightly more self-rule, and then the next was how you stomped on the other border province that tried the same thing so it didn't spread. Become high level, do kinda low level bullshit, and then stop before you can really change anything.

--

Dragonlance totally stands out. Yes, the world you start in is fucked, but you're expected to fix that, completely, it's a setting where the story is how the protagonists re-write the setting bible, turning it from fucked-central to ... regular D&D land. Playing it outside that potential would seem rather self-defeating though, which is a bit what the 3e book did.
_________________
news://rec.games.frp.dnd
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Emerald
Knight


Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 362

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tussock wrote:
Eberron is ... fuck if I know, [...] No idea what PCs are supposed to do, the place would seem to just get a lot better if you left it the fuck alone, so I guess the PCs fight to stop anyone else doing anything to mess that up?


Other way around, really: The setting is set up to get a lot worse if you leave it alone, so anything the PCs do can help. Where the general tone of FR is "For every big-name BBEG or evil faction, there's an equal and opposite protagonist NPC or good faction, so everything is locked into a cold war and you basically can't change anything at the setting scale if you're not epic level," the general tone of Eberron is "Every good guy faction is also a bad guy faction, everyone has their own schemes in motion and any one of those schemes could end up screwing the world or restarting the Last War, and all the high-level people who could keep all that in check either died off in the Last War or are stuck in Khyber/Xoriat/Argonnessen/etc. unable or unwilling to interfere."

So it's not expected that the PCs can "fix" the setting, any more than it's expected that a team of Shadowrunners can take down the megacorps, but foiling a particular villainous plot has a sort of narrative weight to it that a similar plot in FR might not and once you hit a certain level in Eberron you have a real chance of ending up as one of the movers and shakers of the setting rather than a pawn of some higher-level character.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Iduno
1st Level


Joined: 10 Feb 2017
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My memories are over 20 years old, but here's what I remember: Dragonlance has some ideas that are usable, if you lean into them and ignore the fact that it's stupid because D&D is a half-baked beer and peanuts game.

Alignment is unimportant. You're on your team because the other guys are assholes. So are your guys, but that's okay because they're on your side. You join team evil if you want to fight the corrupt governments of racist asshole elves/humans/dwarves/everyone. You join team good if you want to keep the other guys from taking over and ruining your way of life, which is perfectly fine.

And nobody else will help you, because everyone has their own thing going. The gnomes don't give a shit about anyone else, because they have their lifequests, and they won't share their inventions because non-gnomes keep blowing themselves or others up with them. Mages don't give a shit about you, because they are too busy studying magic, and they only care about alignment enough for someone to choose what color clothing they wear while they all study together. The kender won't help you because they've got ADD and just wandered off. If you ask a dwarf for help, they're a gully dwarf and are worthless, and your GM is just messing with you at this point. Your only solution is to go kill people and take their stuff until your problems are solved. Here is a list of ruined places because of war or the cataclysm that you can go loot if you're tired of stabbing living people. Nobody will help you, but nobody will stop you.

That's what I remember from Dragonlance.

Edit: and fuck the gods, because they're the biggest assholes. That's an important part of the setting, too.


Last edited by Iduno on Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hiram McDaniels
Knight


Joined: 15 Sep 2014
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What if instead of being forgetful kleptomaniacs, what if Kender had more of a Marxist concept of property and ownership in that a thing belongs to whoever happens to need it at the time.

In fact that's how their society works: Kender A picks too many apples off of his tree, so he gives the extras to Kender B who doesn't have any apples, meanwhile Kender B gives his dead uncles bed to Kender C whose baby has outgrown its manger and so on. In Kender society the worst sin is greed.
_________________
The most dangerous game is man. The most entertaining game is Broadway Puppy Ball. The most weird game is Esoteric Bear.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Iduno
1st Level


Joined: 10 Feb 2017
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:
What if instead of being forgetful kleptomaniacs, what if Kender had more of a Marxist concept of property and ownership in that a thing belongs to whoever happens to need it at the time.

In fact that's how their society works: Kender A picks too many apples off of his tree, so he gives the extras to Kender B who doesn't have any apples, meanwhile Kender B gives his dead uncles bed to Kender C whose baby has outgrown its manger and so on. In Kender society the worst sin is greed.


That sounds like a reasonable fix. Less annoying without completely changing things. I assume you would also get rid of the whole trickster thing? Just well-meaning re-distribution of wealth?

Also, gully dwarves: just hermits who pretend to be stupid until everyone leaves them alone?

Gnome inventions work for the inventor, kind of work for other gnomes, and break or are used as weapons for everyone else, so the gnomes keep their inventions to themselves?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eikre
Knight


Joined: 03 Aug 2009
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:
What if instead of being forgetful kleptomaniacs, what if Kender had more of a Marxist concept of property and ownership in that a thing belongs to whoever happens to need it at the time.

In fact that's how their society works: Kender A picks too many apples off of his tree, so he gives the extras to Kender B who doesn't have any apples, meanwhile Kender B gives his dead uncles bed to Kender C whose baby has outgrown its manger and so on. In Kender society the worst sin is greed.


This is good, I suppose I wouldn't hate it if I Kender breezed through my kitchen and to eat a muffin off my counter if they also did the dishes, noticed that the sink was dripping, ran out to get their plumber friend, and had the problem resolved while I was still out at work.

If the Kender have an interest in putting something back into their environment, and they do so competently, then they're more than tolerable in pastoral communities where everyone knows each other and there are always plenty of deferred projects to work on. That's actually really good for a Hobbit substitute. You have enough cultural friction with less uninhibited races to depict some small-time disputes in the smaller integrated communities or outright alienation in urban centers, and thus a sort of ersatz Aspergers* experience story where the protagonist has something to offer but needs to work five times as hard to indoctrinate themselves to social mores which, to them, would not otherwise occur naturally.

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


I still refuse to accept the notion that their behavior is immutable. I've heard it postulated that being fearless means that one wouldn't be concerned with the outcomes of one's actions, but that's absolute bullshit; even if they don't have anxiety about it, anybody with the smallest mote of reason can recognize that if their behavior is only answered with disdain and castigation, then they're going to end up unfulfilled, poor, and dead. That said, I could take it much more seriously that wise people would cherish the Kender if, by doing so, they were benefiting materially and disproportionately.
_________________
This signature is here just so you don't otherwise mistake the last sentence of my post for one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> It's My Own Invention... All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum




Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group