Saturday, December 15, 2012

Salvaging Dragonlance: DL8 Dragons of War

Today I'm looking at DL8 for stuff useful outside of running Dragonlance.

DL8 Dragons of War

I liked this one when it came out. I know I played out the scenario with Battlesystem at least once, probably twice.

The Map. The module comes with a map of the High Clerist Tower. It's pretty much the 3-D Ravenloft-like castle map. It's both detailed and attractive, although using it in play might be difficult, a common fault to any poster map. It feels like a real castle that can be lived in, defended, and explored. There are only a few dozen numbered areas on its 16 levels (only 8 are really big), but there are a lot of lettered sub-areas and many areas you could number yourself. The map shares the usual Dragonlance flaw of numbering starting with the event number in the linear adventure, so it is a little harder to re-purpose.

Better yet, it flips over to be a Battlesystem-scaled combat map, for use in a large-scale minis battle. Or just to show to the players for an idea of how it looks top-down, along with the pictures from the module that show the tower.

I seem to recall the original package included draconian counters for the Battlesystem rules; I know I have those counters and I think this is where I got them. They're useful if you need counters for your battle map for draconians but goodness knows who has a mint copy of the module with them.

Battlesystem Siege Rules - this supplement adds siege rules for Battlesystem; if you use that system (1st edition; this pre-dates the revised version) they work very well for it.

Map Key - this isn't bad, especially because it randomizes where the important quest stuff can be found. It is similar to the way Raveloft did the randomized placement. Potentially useful as a guideline to "where is it found this trip to the megadundeon?" setups. I'd re-purpose it for monsters or oddball artifacts that move around (Who has the chest of copper pieces this time? [see 302])

Mass Combat System - there is a pretty good simplified mass combat system for resolving big battles without bothering to clear the table and fight it out with minis. It isn't bad, and it is pretty fast, although it's loose with the details so you wouldn't want to use it to track a personal army of the PCs where they care about each individual casualty.

Monsters - the Baaz, Bozak, Kapak, and Sivak draconians are all statted here. So are Spectral Minions (from DL1 and other places), and a cool mirror-summoned extraplanar harbringer of death, the Fetch.

There are magic items, but it's the usual - dragonlances, dragon orbs, and DL-specific quest items that do questy things.

Not a lot of "play" here, but plenty of battles and a kick-ass map.

Series note: I don't own either DL9 and DL10. I will discuss the other two I own - DL11 and DL12. At that point, my review of the series will end.

The Rest of the Series:

DL1 Dragons of Despair
DL2 Dragons of Flame
DL3 Dragons of Hope
DL4 Dragons of Desolation
DL6 Dragons of Ice
DL7 Dragons of Light
DL8 Dragons of War
DL11 Dragons of Glory / DL12 Dragons of Faith


  1. Yeah, I remember when twelve modules was what they promised would make up the whole series. Fortunately I didn't believe them.

    1. There are only about 12 with adventuring content, though. So maybe that half-counts.

  2. Mark this day on your calendars, people. I have finally decided to buy a Dragonlance product. Of course, I'm doing so exclusively for the Battlesystem 1E siege rules, but there you go.


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