ďItís the sensible, logical thing to do, of course, which is whay we donít do it.Ē
-Tanis Half-Elven, Dragons of Autumn Twilight
I'm a long-time Dragonlance fan and happened to notice a criminal lack of DL games on the site. After no small amount of discussion on the Game Planning forum, I now propose this game to you all, gentle players.
This is going to be a War of the Lance Era Dragonlance campaign focused around two parties: a group of defectors from the Dragonarmies (Or at least would-be defectors) and a Group of Solamnic Knights tasked with infiltrating the Dragonarmies' stronghold of Sanction.
The Defector party will consist of 6 players and the Solamnics of 4. The defectors' story will begin with the would-be defection and the infiltrators' story will be them attempting to smuggle themselves into the City of Doom itself. From there it will sandbox a bit, as the players will have to decide what they want to do, where to go and who to trust. The parties may work against each other or work together, depending on how the players handle it. Either way, the Dragonarmies themselves will be nipping at your heels.
This is a setting that requires a bit of research. The Campaign Setting and War of the Lance books will cover all of the essentials in terms of the setting, deities, plot, etc. (and the motivations, history and objectives of the Green Dragonarmies), though Towers of High Sorcery is essential reading for any spellcasters.
The races are detailed in the Campaign Setting and get significantly more detailed descriptions in the Races of Ansalon supplement, which I highly recommend flipping through. Wikipedia and the DLnexus are good sources for a quick read up though and I put up a pretty quick and dirty Beginner's guide to Krynn up on the forum before I got the Ad up. However, if something is unclear or you have a specific question, always feel free to pester me. As I said, I'm a long-standing Dragonlance nerd, so it's pretty rare that there'll be something I won't be able to answer in short order.
If the Ads running time seems a bit long, there's a reason for it. While I don't think it'll impede me too much, I'm currently re-applying for my VISA to stay here in the U.K. and I've got until the beginning of February to get is squared away, thus I wanted to leave myself a bit of time to get that squared away before the game proper gets rolling.
Also, up in the forums are a couple of Prelude threads. They're to help me get an idea of the role players I'll be dealing with and the kinds of personalities your characters have. Anyone who has an app up may RP in them, but keep to the one specific to your particular app.
The year is 350 of the Ansalon Calendar and darkness reigns. The armies of the Dark Queen have taken Nordmaar and Balifor, driven the Elves from Silvanost and started skirmishes along the borders of Solamnia and Icereach. The Draconians, foul spawn of dark magics and the eggs of dragons, have helped bolster the success of the ground troops. The forces of light are scattered and weak, having lost much of their power with the disappearance of the Gods and the fallout of the Cataclysm.
But, all is not lost.
The Solamnic Knights, once proud defenders of good, have risen once again to face the forces of evil along their borders. However, in secret the Knights stationed in Solanthus have sent a unit of four specially selected knights on a stealth mission to investigate the emergence of the Draconians.
Meanwhile, in Sanction, the center of the Dragonarmies' power, Mages of the Black Robes have joined their hands in a most unusual experiment and have created Draconians from a batch of Chromatic Dragon eggs. These so-called Noble Draconians have exhibited greater power than their metallic brethren, but they seem less eager to fight for the Dark Queen. One such Draconian, a Noble Draconian given the name of Irian, has been looking for those who disagree with the Dragonarmies' methods within the Green Dragonarmy of the Dragon Highlord Salah-Khan, hoping to find allies with which to flee...
__________________ "Watch your back, shoot straight, conserve your ammo, and never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon"
I'd agree that, yes history has been massively biased for centuries, though I wouldn't just limit to American history. We're pretty bad, yes (though the reactionary History revisionist movement isn't much better, since it basically turns most things into "White men are the devil and you should feel terrible about being white and male"), but there's so many embedded prejudices in the way the western thought process works that we're not terribly aware of it.
Q.E.D. The Renaissance colors our perspective of everything post-Roman Empire. The use of the term "fall of the Roman Empire" and "The Dark Ages" came into use during that period, and it's commonly accepted in Art History and History that the Medieval period was barbarous, uncouth, violent and completely devoid of anything that displayed the progresses made in the Classical period.
Nothing could be further form the truth.
Yes, it was a violent time (the fact that there were Wergeld [literally "Man-gold"] laws that rates exactly how much you were worth to your family dead is a pretty good indicator of that), but art advancements like the vanishing point were still in use, Chaucer and other Medieval authors translated/cited Greco-Roman literature/myth. Furthermore, while things like concrete were lost, they still managed to build the massive Gothic cathedrals and invent dyes for stained glass.
Most of this stuff I didn't even know until I specialized in Medieval lit during my 1st year at UC Santa Barbara, and I transferred in, so I had two years of uni already under my belt. It's just...we don't talk about it, because the bias is very renaissanist focused. There's similar problems when examining other periods as well, like the over-romanticizing of Meji Era Japan, when it was really suffering a whole host internal political and cultural problems.
However, I think picking through these biases, and sort of coming to your own understanding aobut history is one of the attractive things about the field. It's like looking at a cut gemstone, every time you look at it, you notice a different facet you hadn't seen before.
@Wiz: Nice work getting us back on the conversation rails. I do allow my Knowledge of the Medieval period to somewhat color Dragonlance, but only within reason. The setting has pretty well-established behaviours, racial prejudices and traditions already in place, but outside of that, well, it's fair game. I.E. the politics of the Thorbardin dwarves is essentially all the clans swearing allegiance to a High Thane who serves as the ruler so long as most of his thanes support him. This is essentially how Viking era Scandinavia (and to a lesser extent the early Danelaw) functioned, so if the party made their way to Thorbardin, they'd see a definite norse flavor and class system to the place on top of what's explicitly given in the supplements.
The world of Dragonlance is significantly more civilised than the medieval period and it's associated mythology, however (I'd go on a tangent here about Tolkien and his contributions to Norse and Anglo-Saxon studies, but I'm trying to keep down the medieval nerd quota for this post), so I'm trying to keep the touches as light as possible.
@Burning Spear: Chaucer is a pretty good citation when talking about Medieval lit, since he pretty much defines high Middle Ages english literature. His satire is also brilliant, but that's just an added bonus.
Sib; Remind me to talk to you about this guy at our Uni. Works with both English and History, specializing in Anglo Saxon era lit, but he takes classes on Chaucer too. He can actually speak fluent Anglo Saxon (I've heard him recite). Wonderful Professor (and my dissertation supervisor!)
Sounds awesome, I look forward to hearing about him. Heck, I may have already quoted him at some point, since all of my papers have been on Anglo-Saxon literature to an extent and the pool of Anglo-Saxonists is depressingly small.