Dragonlance Confirmed for 5eApril 22, 2022
D&D Direct confirmed something that most RPG watchers suspected – Dragonlance is getting the 5e treatment. Wizards of the Coast announced that in late 2022, Krynn was coming to 5e with a new adventure, Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen.
The sizzle reel shown during D&D Direct didn’t provide fans with too much insight into what’s coming for Dragonlance, but it was impressive and flashy:
Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen is a brand new story set during the War of the Lance; an age of heroes and villains; of strife and redemption. The War of the Lance is the setting for the original Dragonlance, but Ray Winninger, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons, was quick to point out that the new book “isn’t an untold story. It’s brand new Dragonlance. It isn’t a reboot of the setting, it doesn’t invalidate any of the previous story, [but what it does] is add details to the edges.”
In development for about two years, the new book is a slightly different take on a campaign setting. Winninger said that the new book will primarily serve as an adventure, but will also have elements of the campaign setting/world building flavour fans expect from a campaign setting book.
He said, “[s]ometimes the best way to introduce a new setting is through a story. As I mentioned, [it’s mostly a campaign] but it’s designed in such a way to introduce the setting and let players know what that setting is all about. We believe DMs can build follow up experiences set in Krynn with the material we give you in this book.”
Another unique element of Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen (in addition to the campaign book that provides the setting elements) is the introduction of a companion board game that will launch alongside it.
Warriors of Krynn won’t be the first board game produced in-house at the D&D studio, but it is the first board game designed to be compatible with an RPG product.
It is designed to simulate the war elements present in the Dragonlance setting. The new book is set in the middle of a war, after all. Players will develop and level their characters in the RPG, and then during the war scenes transport, their characters from the RPG into the board game. There they will play out those scenes out using Warriors of Krynn.
Of course, it’s completely optional, and there are rules in the sourcebook to handle those battles in the abstract if this new element is not of interest to the players.
The board game itself is described by Winninger as “a cooperative game in the euro-style that is very popular right now. The meat of the game involves playing out the massive military battles taking place in the world of Krynn. There are a lot of elements [that will be familiar to RPG players] but it can absolutely stand on its own as well.”
It’s a brand new “epic sweep” and the team is excited to see the reaction of fans to this new experiment; rather, “experience.” One thing that was clear from both the Spelljammer and Dragonlance presentations following D&D Direct is that the team is very focused on making each new product a unique experience that will appeal to D&D fans, because they used that word a lot. Expect to see experience make its way into D&D advertising in the not-too-distant future.
While the legacy of Hickman & Weis was ever present throughout the development, they weren’t directly involved in its production. “We are huge fans of Margaret and Tracy,” said Winninger. “[But] they weren’t involved in the creation [of Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen.] Their vision looms large over Dragonlance, so we tried to channel their spirit, and the tone of their work [into this new product.]”
Nor was Joe Manganiello, noted Dragonlance fanatic, involved. But you know, based on his passion for the setting, wherever he was during D&D Direct, he was smiling.