Showing posts with label Dragonlance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dragonlance. Show all posts

Thursday, March 30, 2023

This Old Dragon: Issue #128

Dragon #128
Time to reach down into the dusty old box under my desk and pull out another Dragon magazine.  Today's gem comes to us from December 1987. I was wrapping up my first semester at University, George Michael had the number #1 song in the land with Faith, and Three Men and a Baby was the number 1 movie. And no, there was no ghost on set.  TSR has seen some shake ups, so has Dragon, and soon we will begin talking about AD&D 2nd Edtion.  All of this and more in Issue #128 of This Old Dragon.

Once again, my Dragon is missing some pages. I have the theory that the collector I bought them all from was a HUGE Marvel Super Heroes fan since that is what seems to be missing from them all. Well, that and the collection also had a lot of MSH books, all in pretty terrible condition. So when I get to that section, I'll mention it, but as per my own rules, I won't review it much.

As typical, my cover is missing, so here it is from my Dragon CD-ROM.  I don't remember this one to be honest. College life was hitting me pretty hard at this point and I don't think I ever owned this one when it was new.

Not exactly sure when it happened, but Roger Moore is now our Editor in Chief replacing (the now late) Kim Mohan. I knew 1987 was a huge shake-up year for TSR; this is just one of many.

Letters cover Gygax's Dragon Chess with shopping guides on which minis to buy to build your own. My previous DM (at the time) had built his own and it was fun, but overly complicated for my desires at the time.

Forum covers the Mystic College from Dragon #123. It has made me want to go back and reread those. 

Nice big ad for the AD&D Dragonlance Hardcover.  Mine got attacked by rabbits (seriously) and I recently purchased a POD version from DriveThru and a copy from Heidi Gygax, so I guess I am OK really.

Dragonlance

Dragon MVP Ed Greenwood is up with our first article, Welcome to Waterdeep. Doing these "This Old Dragons" has really given me a greater appreciation for the Forgotten Realms and Ed's writing in general. This five-page article is great introduction, especially for people like me that know there is giant meal out of the Forgotten Realms and have no idea where to take our first bite. I am reading this and thinking "Oh I could put the Keep on the Borderlands there and B5 here..." and that I think is the exact thought Ed wanted me to have while reading. Well done.

A review from John C. Bunnell on Gary Gygaz's Role-Playing Mastery book in Matters of Mastery. He is not 100% sold on the book, and having read it myself years ago I get this. The book lacks a clear direction. There good ideas in it, but thematically it doesn't hold together. 

W. Todo Todorsky has nice system of disbelieving Illusions in To Believe or Not to Believe. Very typical of the times in there are charts and percentages. Today we would have a modified DC, but hidden in these numbers are the bases for doing these, ie every 5% change is a +1 on d20 roll. It is neat, and it is fun and very, very 80s AD&D. 

Roleplaying Reviews is up next with books taken from today's headlines. Ken Rolston covers both Empire of Petal Throne (which has fallen from grace) and Jorune (which I have seen more about recently). Rolston calls EPT a modern classic and must-have; and yes this is all true, but the shine for me at least is gone and the stain is too deep. He also loves Jorune, which I have always wanted to play but never found anyone that was playing it. He goes into quite a bit of detail on both games. 

Through out those pages we get ads for the Judge Dredd RPG, the brand new Forgotten Realms boxed set and Might & Magic, software for your Apple II.

James Ward is up with The Game Wizards with a look ahead to 1988 from TSR. A note that if you want to get published contact Bruce Heard. Wonder if he still is taking mail for this? Castle Greyhawk is up in January with what looks like a "little bit" of humor sprinkled in. To this day I can't help that this product was done to directly tarnish the Greyhawk and Gygax legacy, but maybe I am over reacting. Some Marvel books, some Top Secret books. OH and the Bullwinkle & Rocky game along with more Buck Rogers!

The Spirit Way is our fiction piece from Leigh Anne Hussey.

Something interesting up next. Dale Oldfield and Mark Foster give us King's Table, their implementation of the ancient chess-like Hnefatafl game. Lots of variations and options of board set up are given. It is very interesting and I have always wanted to play. In 1987 this looked new to me, but now you can get these from Amazon and many game stores.

Jeff Grubb is next with Plane Speaking The Negative Quasi Elementals. This covers the Ash, Vacuum, Dust, and Salt Elementals.

Moving on to modern games, Dennis McLaughlin talks helicopters for Top Secret in Chopper Power! At this time my roommate, and Air Force ROTC guy, would have been all over this and likely found some sort of issue with it. But he had a lot of issues with things.

Gamma World players get a new naming systems for mutants in Kim Eastland's A Mutant by Any Other Name.

The Island in Your Computer by Cheryl Peterson is an interesting slice of time. The nascent Internet as we know it was growing here in the form of CompuServe.  While CompuServe itself did not contribute much technology-wise to the Internet we know of today, the experiences people had did. The article is the victim of the previous owner's desire to keep all the Marvel Phile articles.

So this is missing the Marvel Phile and the Role of Computers articles. 

Next is a quiz from Lawrence R. Raimonda. U 2 Kan Ern Big Bux! I am not sure what the point of this one is. Humor? Sure, maybe, but not enough to justify the page count in my mind. 

The small ads of Gamers' Guide follow. Seeing a lot more ads for computer aids for GMs and players. Also seeing a drop off of Play by Mail ads.  

Convention Calendar has what is hot for Winter 1987-88. Of those listed, I actually went to the Egyptian Campaign on a cold February Saturday. I hate talking bad about gaming experiences or my alma mater, but I found them to be particularly unwelcoming to new players. Today I'd call them stereotypical Grogs who had no interest in showing a bunch of Freshmen the ropes. It actually soured me on going to Cons for a very long time.

The Egyptian Campaign

Sadly I have heard since then that my experiences were not particularly unique. Sad really, I would like to have gone to one of the longest on going conventions in the state. 

Snarf Quest #52 is next. I'll admit I have no idea what is going on here. One of the story arcs where they go to the future from D&D to Star Frontiers. 

Dragonmirth is next. The "No Pain, No Gain" joke is good for the times but the Laurel and Hardy one was even getting really old then.

Wormy is up. It is one of the last ones before Tramp ended up in the same town I was in.

So a good, but not great, issue. I can't tell if I am seeing something not there because I know or if there is something, but this feels like a magazine in transition. We have left the Golden and Silver Ages of Dragon and are now into something a little different. What kind of different? Well most of the old guard is gone. The magazine has pivoted away from Gygax and Greyhawk to Greenwood and the Realms.  Mohan is out, Moore is in. Soon the world will see the first details of the Second Edition of AD&D.

Oh. checking my CD-ROM I see there is a Hnefatafl board inside.

Oh. I am looking for Dragons from the 2nd Ed era, #160 to #274.

Do not tell me I can get issues online. I don't condone piracy of any sort. Besides, I have the Dragon Magazine CD-ROM that goes all the way to issue #250. 

Thanks!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Sagarassi, Witch Queen of the Seas of Krynn

Sagarassi, Sea Witch of Krynn
It is not a stretch of the imagination to list Krynn as one of the top three D&D worlds behind Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms. Even my own favorite Mystara does not have the publication history behind it that Krynn and Dragonlance has.

So when collecting all the Witch Queens of D&D I wanted to be sure Krynn was represented.  

We do know Krynn has Witches or at least use of the word "witch."  The High Theocrat in Solace (Dragons of Autumn Twilight) calls Goldmoon, a true cleric, a witch.  This gets enough of a response and reaction that the locals know what a witch is. We know from the story of Jilani that villagers will burn suspected witches.  Hedge Witches were known to elves near Lord Soth's Dargaard Keep. 

The problem is that wizardry and magic in Krynn are very, very regulated.  There are the three main Towers of High Sorcery which cover Good (White), Neutral (Red), and Evil (Black).  Wizards, regardless of alignment do not step out of line. Even back in the AD&D1st ed days a wizard/magic-user never got past 20th level.  The entire second Dragonlance trilogy was all about Raistlin trying to get power beyond what was allowed. 

To find a magic-using character who would fit the description of "Witch Queen" I would need someone powerful and working outside of the established wizarding roles.  Anyone like that usually gets smacked down by the Gods of Krynn.  If possible I would also like to find someone that uses "witch" as a title.

There are a few that might fit the bill.  There is Weird Meggin, the old woman that a young Raistlin Majere first learned about magic. She had a grey wolf that could have been her familiar. She knew herbs and talked to trees.  She certainly "feels" like a witch, but everything we know about her I just wrote.  So not enough even for me.  There is the black-robe wizard Iolanthe, she calls herself a witch and has a lot of solid witchy qualities to her.  But a lot like Meggin, there is very little (though more) out there about her. Though I would like to find out more about her, to be honest. 

After searching and asking around I finally stumbled on a wizard who fits the bill.  Sagarassi, The Sea Witch.

Sagarassi, The Sea Witch

Not much is known about Sagarassi.  So little in fact it has taken me a while to collect this information. But here is what I have pieced together.  The best (ok only) primary source for my information is the AD&D 2nd Edition product Otherlands.  The rest comes from the Dragonlance Nexus and Dragonlance Fandom wikis. 

She was a Silvanesti Elf but was changed into a sea creature by the Sea Goddess Zeboim whom she worships.  Both Sagarassi and Zeboim are known as the "Sea Witch."  Sagarassi also serves Takhisis, the mother of Zebiom. 

She is not fond of humans.  Nor is she fond of her own sister, Daydra Stonecipher.  This relationship parallels the one between Zebiom and her twin brother Nuitari, who is the god of Evil Magic in Kyrnn. It is not much of a stretch of the imagination that Zebiom would want her magic-using disciple to go against the established rules of magic. Especially since Nuitari is regarded as Lawful Evil and Zebiom is Chaotic Evil. 

We know she is old. She waged a war undersea around 1320 PC (Prior to the Cataclysm), the Dragonlance books take place in 348 AC, making her over 1670 years old. Good thing she is an elf. 

She lives in an underwater tower called Khegar, also known as the Death Tower.  It is in the seas near Taladas.

Sagarassi, Witch Queen of the Seas of KrynnSagarassi, Witch Queen of the Seas of Krynn

I have been using the present tense. But there is some speculation that she may have died in the last war with her sister.  Who is to say.  I am pulling together scraps of content to try to make a whole.

If I want to use her in my Mystara/Greyhawk games (and I do) I have to find some fixed points in time. Krynn, for various reasons, is removed from the other D&D worlds, but we can find a fixed point in time with The Wizards Three articles in Dragon.   We know that Dalamar met with Elminster and Mordenkainen in the post Legends time frame. With Raistlin "dying" in 383 AC We can put their meeting sometime after that.  We know from other sources (Wizards Three, Castle Spulzeer/Ravenloft) that this is about the same time as 1365 DR (Forgotten Realms) or 581 CY (Greyhawk).  

So. What does this all mean?  Well for me it means that if Sagrassi is still alive her age would be about 1,720 years old.  Fairly old for an elf, but maybe not so much for an elf/witch/"chosen" of a Goddess. At that age, I am going to say that Sagarassi is tired of fighting her sister and is looking for conquests outside of Krynn.

For this character, given her age and abilities, I am using my original rules for The Witch. I also struggled with my desire to make a very high level witch and the restriction Krynn puts on high-level magic users.  I figure that Sagarassi, as a witch, flies under the radar. I suppose in AD&D terms I could make her a 20th level Magic-user and 16th level evil cleric of Zeboim.  Or whatever the level limits were back then.  I personally ignored level limits.  While that would give me a passable Sagarassi that would fit the AD&D 1st RAW, and it would give me a witch, it would not give me a Witch.

Her Tradition is Sea Witch, something new I am working on.

Sagarassi, Witch Queen of the Seas of Krynn
36th level Witch, Sea Witch Tradition*
Female Sea Elf, Chaotic Evil

Strength 13
Intelligence 20
Wisdom 18
Dexterity 15
Constitution 17
Charisma 20

Saving Throws
Death Ray/Poison 2
Magic Wands 2
Paralysis, Polymorph 2
Dragon Breath 2
Rods, Staffs, Spells 2

Hit Points: 73
AC: 4

THAC0: 6

Occult Powers

Lesser: Familiar (Demonic eel)
Minor: Speak to plants/animals
Medial: Goddess Blessing
Greater: Control Weather
Major: Shape Change
Superior: Timeless Body

Spells
Cantrips (7): Alarm Ward, Arcane Mark, Chill, Daze, Inflict Minor Wounds, Message, Summon Vermin
1st (9+3): Bad Luck, Cause Fear, Charm Person, Darkness, Endure Elements, Far Sight, Ghostly Slashing, Glamour, Moonstone**, Minor Fighting Prowess, Silver Tongue, Tattoo
2nd (9+3): Agony, Alter Self, Biting Blade, Discord, Enthrall, ESP, Evil Eye, Hold Person, Invisibility, Mind Obscure, Phantasmal Spirit, Spell Missile, Suggestion
3rd (9+3): Bestow Curse, Circle of Respite, Dispel Magic, Feral Spirit, Lesser Strengthing Rite,  Lethe's Curse, Lifeblood, Toad Mind, Tongues, Witch Wail, Witch Writing, Imbue Witch Ball (Ritual)
4th (9+3): Abomination, Analyze Magic, Animal Growth, Arcane Eye, Charm Monster, Divination, Fluid Mastery, Phantom Lacerations, Polymorph, Spiritual Dagger, Tears of the Banshee, Drawing Done the Moon (Ritual)
5th (9+2): Baleful Polymorph, Death Curse, Dreadful Bloodletting, Endless Sleep, Greater Command, Hold Monster, Magic Jar, Nightmare, Song of Discord, Teleport, Waves of Fatigue
6th (9+1): Anchoring Rite, Anti-magic Shell, Break the Spirit, Eye Bite, Mass Agony, Mass Suggestion, Mislead, Moonbow, True Seeing, Dismissal (Ritual)
7th (9): Death Aura, Draw Forth the Soul, Greater Arcane Eye, Greater Blindness, Insanity, Wave of Mutilation, Binding (Ritual), Gate (Ritual), Vision (Ritual)
8th (9): Damming Stare, Destroy Life, Discern Location, Greater Mislead, Mystic Barrier, Pit, Trap the Soul, Imprisonment (Ritual), Protection of the Goddess (Ritual)

**Sagarassi prepares a Moonstone on the high nights of Nuitari's "light." This allows her to use her moon-based spells even underwater.

All in all a fun build.  I need to work a bit more on what a "Sea Witch" is and come up with some more spells for it. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Character Creation Challenge: Old-School Essentials

Old School Essentials Advanced
It's the first of the new month and time to introduce a new character!  Although this one is not really a new character. 

Back in January, I posted stats for Sarana, my version of Stevie from the adventure Tanglewood Keep in DL15 Mists of Krynn. I had a lot of fun with it to be honest. I am planning to use Tanglewood Keep with Sarana/Stevie in my War of the Witch Queens campaign.  I think it would be a lot of fun and it would fit great theme-wise and provide the multiverse hoping I really want to do with the campaign. 

The adventure is not a difficult one, nor particularly original, but it is fun.  

Though...there is one little issue.  The crux of the adventure is to regain a crystal to make a magical travel mirror work again.  The characters have to get the crystal and return to Sarana/Stevie's home so they can return to their own world.   The questions arise. Why can't Sarana/Stevie get it herself? Failing that why can't her Kender friend Twill Topknot get it for her?

The answer is timing.

The PCs have entered Krynn at two important points in time.  First, the PCs have entered Krynn during the events of the Dragons of Autumn Twilight novel and the DL1 Dragons of Despair module.  This means that, among other things, there are no gods.  No gods also mean no healing magic.

The second point deals with the accident of Twill Topknot and this brings me to my character for this month. 

In Tanglewood Keep, Twill is a 3rd level kender thief.   He is essentially a Tasselhof stand-in.  But I wanted to try something new.  In particular, I really wanted to try out Sara Thompson's combat wheelchair for my Old-School games.  This past summer when this was causing a stir I joked "I was going to make one and put a Kender in it!"  Well.  The idea was actually too good to pass up.

Putting Twill in a wheelchair makes a lot of sense since I need him to NOT to be able to help the characters; the Keep is not easily accessible.  

I am currently rereading the Dragonlance saga and the comment has been made that there are no old Kender.  They usually die before that due to accidents.  This is Twill's tale. He was adventuring when he slipped and fell off a cliff.  He was discovered by Sarana who used her witchcraft to heal him the best she could. While she could heal his wounds and kept him from dying, she could not heal everything.  With no healing magic from the gods, she did an admirable job. 

Thankfully for Twill, Tinker the gnome was able to craft him a "mobility chair" which Twill thinks is the best thing ever.  He has a pocket for his maps, cool little baubles, and a place for his hoopak staff.

Since my War of the Witch Queens is a B/X flavored game, I thought that my current favorite Basic-era game Old School Essentials would be great for these stats today.

Twill Topknot
Twill Topknot
Male Kender Bard, 3rd level, Neutral Good

Strength: 10
Intelligence: 13
Wisdom: 9 
Dexterity: 18 (agility) / 9 (movement)
Constitution: 13
Charisma: 15

HP: 12
AC: 4

Saves
D: 13  W: 14  P: 13  B: 16  S: 15 

Initiative: +3
Movement: 20

To Hit AC 0: 20

Weapons: Dagger 1d4 

Hoopak staff 1d4

I decided that Twill is better suited in my game as a Bard (I was not doing Bards in a vacuum last month).  One of the things I found endearing about Tasslehoff Burrfoot was his rich store of stories he knew and wanted to tell. I enjoyed it more on my recent re-read (and was profoundly irritated with Flint every time he told Tass to be quiet).   So a Kender storyteller bard sounds great to me.  I'll make an Arcane Bard since there is no divine magic in Krynn at this point.  Plus the Arcane Bard for OSE still has some thief skills to use.  

In my mind, Twill lives (platonically, for now) with Sarana.  She thinks it is to protect him (he doesn't need it) and he thinks it is to protect her, being from another world (she doesn't need protecting either).  So Twill stays with her in her little house in a haunted forest. He tells her stories that she delights in and she makes him tea. He shows her all his wonderful maps of Krynn and talks about dragons (still only a story now) and she tells him about wonderful worlds she has seen.

No wonder she has no real desire to leave Krynn.  But don't assume anything untoward! This is Krynn and there is a certain morality in place (that I seemed to have completely missed at 14 when I read it the first time).

Sarana and Twill
Sarana and Twill

Twill's Mobility Chair

Being a good-natured sort, Twill is quite proud of his remarkable "mobility chair."  He will gladly show off the pockets it has for his maps, dagger, and that really interesting thing the PC's just dropped and he was keeping safe.   There is even a place on the back for his hoopak.  He credits Tinker (a tinker gnome, naturally) for building it and Sarana for enchanting it to cover any ground or terrain. 

In fact, he will often state that life with his new chair is even better now, though he will admit he misses wiggling his toes. 

Thanks to Sarana's magic the chair can travel over any terrain that Twill himself could do save for anything involving swimming or climbing, with that he can levitate.  The wheels have permanent Floating Disk spells on them to provide levitation.  Since the chair is new he is still learning how to navigate stairs. 

Using the Combat Wheelchair 2.1 for 5e Twill's is a modified basic wheelchair. 

You can get (and modify) your own Twill Topknot mini from HeroForge.

ETA: Since I posted this I noticed that Hero Forge has added three wheelchair options.  

Here is a new version of Twill with his cat.



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

One Man's God: Syncretism and the Gods

Hermes Trismegistus
Hermes Trismegistus
In the pages of the Deities & Demigods (or Gods, Demigods, and Heroes) the Gods and their Pantheons are fairly clean-cut affairs.  Greek over here, Egypt over there, Mesopotamia over there a little more. Norse WAY the hell over there.

In real-world mythology and religion, it doesn't work like that. Zeus was, and was not, exactly Jupiter. Ra was Ra, unless he was Amun-Ra or Aten.  Dumuzid was Tammuz, except for the times he was his own father. This is not counting the times when religions rise, fall, change and morph over the centuries. Today's God is tomorrow's demon.  Ask Astarte or the Tuatha Dé Danann how things fare for them now.

Gods are messy. 

It stands to reason that gods in your games should also be as messy. 

Now, most games do not have the centuries (game time) and none have the real-time evolution of gods in their games. We use simple "spheres" and give the gods roles that they rarely deviate from.  The Forgotten Realms is an exception since its published works cover a couple hundred years of in-universe time, but even then their gods are often pretty stable.  That is to make them easier to approach and to make sales of books easier.  The Dragonlance books cover more time in the game world, but their gods are another issue entirely.

While I want to get back to my One Man's God in the proper sense I do want to take this side quest to talk about Syncretism.

Syncretism

According to the ole' Wikipedia, "Syncretism /ˈsɪŋkrətɪzəm/ is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought."  For our purposes today we are going to confine ourselves to just gods.

For game purposes, I am going to use Syncretism as the combination of two or more gods into one.  The individual gods and the syncretized god are considered to be different and separate entities.

Now years ago when I proposed the idea that gods can be different than what is stated I go some grief online from people claiming that gods are absolute truth. For example, you can cast a Commune spell and speak to a god and get an answer.  But a commune is not a cell phone. It is not email. It is only slightly better than an Ouija board.  You have no idea who, or what, is on the other end.  If you are a cleric all you have is faith.

So what is a syncretic god like? Some examples from the real world and my own games.

Hermes Trismegistus

Our poster boy for syncretism is good old Hermes Trismegistus or the Thrice Great Hermes.  He is a Hellenistic syncretism of the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth.  Now, the DDG has these as very separate individuals.  Thoth is a Neutral Greater God of Knowledge, Hermes is a Neutral Greater God of Thieves, Liars, and more.  From this perspective, there does not seem to be an overlap.   But like I say above, gods are messy.  This figure is believed to have written the Corpus Hermetica, the collection of knowledge passed down to the various Hermetic Orders that would appear in later antiquity and during the Occult revivals.   Even then the Thrice Great Hermes of the Hellenistic period could be argued to be a completely different personage than the Thrice Great Hermes of the Hermetic Orders.

But is Hermes Trismegistus a God?  If you met him on the street would that mean you also met Hermes, Thoth, and Mercury? Or can all four walk into a bar together and order a drink? That answer of course is a confounding yes to all the above.  Though this is less satisfactory than say having stats for all four in a book.

The Triple Moon Goddess Heresy

Back when I was starting up my 4e game and deciding to set it in the Forgotten Realms I wanted to make sure I had a good grasp on the gods and goddesses of the world.  I was also already mulling some thoughts that would become One Man's God, so I decided to go full heretic.  I combined the moon goddesses all into one Goddess.  I also decided that like Krynn, Toril has three moons, but you can't see one of them.   I detailed that religion in my post Nothing Like the Sun... and I did something similar to Lolth and Araushnee in The Church of Lolth Ascendant.

Sehanine Moonbow, Selûne and Shar
Sehanine Moonbow, Selûne, and Shar by Ben Honeycutt

As expected (and maybe a little wanted) these tended to shuffle the feathers of the orthodoxy.  Thanks for that by the way.

This is all fun and everything, but what can I actually *do* with these?

Syncretic Gods make FANTASTIC witch and warlock patrons.

Witches in many pagan traditions in the real world believe that their Goddess is all goddesses.  That is syncretism to the Nth degree.  I already have a case with Hermes Trismegistus and the Hermetic Order. 

Here are some syncretic gods from antiquity and potential roles as patrons.

Apollo-Belenus, Patron of the sun and healing.  From the Greco-Roman Apollo and the Gaulish Belenus.

Ashtart, Patroness of love, marriage, and sex. Combines the Goddesses Aphrodite, Astarte, Athirat, Ishtar, Isis, and Venus. Sometimes depicted as the consort to Serapis.

Cybele, or the Magna Mater, Patroness of Motherhood and fertility. She combines many Earth and motherhood-related Goddesses such as Gaia, Rhea, and Demeter.

Serapis, the Patron of Law, Order, rulers, and the afterlife.  He is a combination of the Gods Osiris and Apis from Egypt with Hades and Dionysus of the Greek. Besides Hermes Trismegistus, he is one of the most popular syncretic gods and the one that lead archeologists and researchers to the idea of syncretism. 

Sulis Minerva, Patroness of the sun and the life-giving power of the earth. She is chaste and virginal where Ashtart is lascivious. 

And one I made up to add to this mix and smooth out some edges,

Heka, the Patroness of Magic. She combines Hecate, Cardea, (who might have been the same anyway), Isis, with bits of Ishtar (who has connections to Isis too), and Ereshkigal with some Persephone.

In my own games, I have always wanted to explore the Mystra (Goddess) and Mystara (World) connection.  

This also helps me answer an old question.  Why would a Lawful Good witch be feared or hated?  Simple that Lawful witch is worshiping a god that the orthodoxy deems as a heresy. 

A Witch (or Warlock) of the Tripple Moon Goddess in the Realms is going to be hated by both the followers of Selûne and Shar, even if they are the same alignment.  Cults are like that.

I am planning on expanding these ideas further. 

Another thing I want to explore is when a god is split into two or more gods or demons.  In this case I want to have some sort of divinity that was "killed" and from the remnants of that god became Orcus and Dis Pater, or something like that.  Orcus, Dis Pater (Dispater), and Hades have a long and odd relationship. This is not counting other gods that have floated in and out of Orcus' orbit like Aita and Soranus.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Going Back to Krynn

Dragonlance is back in the news (and not for great reasons) now and it got me thinking about the original trilogy.   I thought maybe in this Covid time I would return to Krynn and see how well my memory of it holds up.

Cover of the Dragonlance ChroniclesDragonlance Chronicles signed

There is an old saying, "The Golden Age of Sci-Fi/Fantasy is 14."  That rings truest for me here since I was 15 when Dragons of Autumn Twilight was released in November 1984.  I devoured these books back then.  I had been on a steady diet of Tolkien and Moorcock and others that I thought of as "near-D&D", since these books actually had real D&D terms and spells in them they had to be better, right.  RIGHT?

Well...even then I could still "hear dice being rolled in the background" as it were.  

I'll be blunt. The books are not great and a lot of my fondness for them has more to do with the time in which I read them and nostalgia. This was never brought into sharper focus than when I tried to reread them about 12 years ago.  The icing on the cake was the terrible direct to video movie of Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight.  

I like Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. They are very good people.  I like their adventures. Ravenloft by Tracy is one of my all-time favorites. The Legends Trilogy is good as far as my memory goes.  So I am rereading this again with a more open frame of mind. 

Instead of complaining about these stories for what they are not, I am going to enjoy them for what they are.  I am not sure if I'll post much about them here.  Covid-19 is doing a number on the Universities and I have never been busier, so my free time to read is limited to a couple of minutes over lunch. But if something comes up then yeah, I'll share.

I can say this, I am three chapters in and I am enjoying what I am reading. There is heart here and that is something some other books seem to lack. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Russian Dragonlance Musical

People have a lot of opinions on Russia these days.
Gamers have always had a lot of opinions about Dragonlance.

But wherever you fall on the spectrum of opinions on either of those topics you are going to have to admit that this is kind of cool.

Here is the official Russian musical stage adaptation of the Dragonlance world.


The musical is called "The Last Trial" and it is based on the second (and better) Dragonlance Trilogy Legends.  You can easily pick out which characters are which even if you don't speak Russian (which I don't).


I guess it has been in development since the 90s.

There is a website dedicated to it here, http://lasttestmusical.weebly.com/ and of course a Facebook page.

To my knowledge, there is no Russian musical of the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk.  So Dragonlance has that in its favor.