Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Salvaging Dragonlance: DL2

Next in my look at the Dragonlance modules for usable bits is the second one. This is the one where the rails get firmly driven in - the players go through a whole unavoidable rigamarole of seeing their home town ravaged, getting taken prisoner (regardless of their choices or actions), getting rescued (again, regardless of their choices or actions), and being unable kill any NPCs of any importance. Heck, it even has a totally obvious NPC plant trying to insert himself into the group, but it's not clear what happens if the PCs just knife him.

The book firmly states you have to keep important NPCs alive or give them obscure deaths because they are plot-important. It even says "This does not apply to PCs other than those who are part of the story." Meaning, the pre-made PCs. Heck, some of those PCs are so important you must run them to play the adventure.

So take it as read we don't want to play this module with anyone who likes choices or to be important in the story.

But what's useful in that old copy moldering in your mom's basement?

DL2 Dragons of Flame

Maps - Stephen D. Sullivan's maps in this one don't match Diesel's in DL1, but the map is still the most useful part. The big mountain-to-mountain valley-blocking fort, with multiple levels a small secret entrance through the crypt is potentially useful as a dwarf-hold (abandoned or otherwise) in another campaign. While it's unlikely any party would choose hey-diddle-diddle-straight-up-the-middle instead of "there must be a secret entrance!" it's useful for a wargaming scenario, too. A nice picture of the fortress is included, too, right on the inside of the outer cover.

The map of the Inn of the Last Home isn't bad for a tree-top inn although the battle damage it shows limits the circumstances of its use. Otherwise it's pretty generic.

Draconians - the Baaz and Bozak of DL1, we get the Kapak here. The Kapak have poisonous saliva, and they lick their weapons before attacking with them. They also turn into a big pool of acid when they die, consuming them and their carried items alike. Again, another cool dragon man.

Cool Magic Items - well, the sword Wyrmslayer has a nice twist to it (it's a good dragon detector, but you won't sneak up on any with it), and the evil mace has a nice special effect on it - it blinds opponents on command (and a successful hit). Not bad for non-generic items.

That's about it. The key to the map isn't much more than a generic dungeon, so it's potentially salvageable but it doesn't have anything really interesting on it.

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 comment:

  1. In the nineties I visited Ottawa in Canada and we stayed in this peculiar hotel that was built like it was a medieval castle conveted to a hotel. But the thing was that because there's never been medieval castles in Ottawa it was fake as fake can be.

    This comes to my mind every time I look at the maps of Pax Tharkas. What is this battlement? Who built it and for what purposes.

    The story tells us that it was built by the dwarves and elves to help defend the pass. And this raises some questions:

    1. Against whom? The dwarves live on the other side of the pass and the elves on the other. So it seems it was built to defend against dwarven attack to elflands and vice verse. But then there are doors on the dwawen side and the secret way on the elven side.

    2. Where are the walkways on the battlements? There's no access to the tops of the towers nor on the top of the gate structure. How can one defend the gate if one cannot access the top of it?

    3. Why is there access to dragon (Ember)? And where is the access from the other dragon? Who built the dragon chamber?

    It seems that Pax Tharkas is a fake. It was built by TRS employers to facilitate a part of DL campain. But why was it done as it was? I cannot say.

    ReplyDelete

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