Dragonlance appears in Unearthed Arcana

The tea leaves seemed to indicate that Wizards of the Coast would be going back to Dragonlance. Once one of the strongest lines of fantasy novels, Dragonlance encapsulates stories of absent but powerful gods; mighty romantic heroes; that good and evil can work together; that it is always right to help those you love. Krynn was the first world upon which I ran campaigns. I own the Atlas of Krynn still. I owned the recipe book at some time. The first six books were as much a part of my youth as Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time.

For someone with this background, and who had stepped away from D&D for 20 years, seeing Heroes of Krynn be released as the latest Unearthed Arcana set of a nostalgia bomb. As a rather religious child, the allegory within Weis & Hickman’s books was something that was empowering. The tales they told were ones my even more religious mother could accept. Dragonlance was a path past the Satanic Panic.

I’m ready for the land of naval Minotaur, Irda, Kender, and so many dragons. The UA only gave us one of those.

Kender

“These short-statured beings have a knack for producing the right tools in every situation.”

What I like

I love kender, just like I love halflings. Played kender in both a Dragonlance and a Spelljammer campaign back in my youth. All the flavor from history I like (I know many hated them). The modern take which says that their items aren’t stolen is good.

Taunt is great. Bravery is good.

What I don’t like

There’s no need to make the Aces ability magical. Just say it happens. Let the lore of the campaign decide the how. Also, the options within the Aces are a complex layer of dice rolls and limited lists. ThinkingDM breaks out exactly which items you can find in your pocket.

Will I use it in play?

Absolutely. I’d allow them in my home campaign right now.


Lunar Magic Sorcerer

“You, or someone from your lineage, has been exposed to the concentrated magic of the moon (or moons) of your world, imbuing you with lunar magic. Perhaps your ancestor was involved in a druidic ritual involving an eclipse, or maybe a mystical fragment of a moon crashed near you. However you came to have your magic, your connection to the moon is obvious when you cast sorcerer spells.”

What I like

They got rid of calendar tracking, which is great. Most people don’t want to bother with tracking moon cycles. The payoff isn’t there for a majority of tables. Maybe if you have a table like my first one there’s one player who wants you to build a calendar and track that stuff.

Adding spells to every Sorcerer subclass just makes sense. Please errata that into every Sorc.

The flexibility to change what lunar phase you are attached to means you can be a different type of lower-case mage every day, and later whenever you want.

What I don’t like

There’s enough to keep track of when switching between lunar phases that most players will probably just settle on one phase, similar to how Eladrin are used in play. All the power of being able to switch isn’t useful if you don’t do it.

Will I use it in play?

Allowed immediately. My world has four moons, and it just makes sense for them to be connected to powers.

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Knight of Solamnia

“You have trained to be a valorous warrior known as a Knight of Solamnia. Strict rules guide your every action, and you work to uphold them as you strive to defend the weak and oppose all forms of evil. Your honor is as important to you as your life.”

What I like

If you read Full Moon Storytelling regularly, you know I love backgrounds with more “oomph.” I love backgrounds in general.

What makes the Knight of Solamnia more interesting than the standard knight is that it gets trinkets and it gets a feat.

What I don’t like

There are only suggested traits. This ignores the mechanical weight of backgrounds. The should get the entire TIBF system.

Will I use it in play?

Probably not. In my youth I was a bit of a religious zealot and knight fan, and would have played this constantly.

I’m going to put the four feats related to this background here, because they’ll almost certainly be taken as a set.

Squire Solamnia

Your training in the ways of the Knights of Solamnia

What I like

Martial Training is better than two current feats that are rather weak. Then again, most character concepts that would take this feat don’t need any Martial Training.

Encouraging Rally is a nice buff similar to warlord concepts, the Purple Dragon Knight, probably some bards. It’s nice side benefit.

What I don’t like

Defensive Rider is unlikely to come up in most games.

The single use per day of Encouraging Rally is weak, but that’s to be expected since this feat is already about a feat-and-a-half.

Will I use it in play?

This will be allowed at my table immediately. No one should ever take Weapon Master or any of the armor feats except Heavy Armor Master (which I would just make Armor Master and allow the benefit of damage reduction to any level of armor worn).

Knight of the Crown

“You are a Knight of Solamnia aligned with the Order of the Crown, a group that extols the virtues of cooperation, loyalty, and obedience. You excel in group combat.”

What I like

Tactical Teamwork is another warlord-esque ability, which is great to see.

The “feat chain” makes sense. You have to be a squire before you are a knight and locking this into level 4+ makes sense.

What I don’t like

Getting to use Tactical Teamwork only twice a day at fourth level is disappointing.

Will I use it in play?

Probably not. Reaction based advantage for close combat won’t come up enough for me.

Knight of the Sword

“You are a Knight of Solamnia aligned with the Order of the Sword, a group devoted to heroism and courage. Bravery steels your spirit.”

What I like

The extra saving throw proficiency granted by Disciplined Spirit is great.

What I don’t like

Tying Hit Dice into Willpower doesn’t feel right. Yes, hit dice are your own willpower, but is the strength of my will going to help a friend? I guess that fits many narratives, but I’m not sold.

Will I use it in play?

A moderate chance, especially if I play a Fighter that starts at higher level, because I would probably mimic the traditional Solamnia path of Squire, Crown, Sword, Rose.

Knight of the Rose

“You are a Knight of Solamnia aligned with the Order of the Rose, a group known for leadership, justice, and wisdom.”

What I like

Bolstering Rally is similar to Inspiring Leader, with a few more limits on how many times you can use it, but a likely larger amount of temporary hit points gained.

What I don’t like

Connecting Bolstering Rally to Constitution.

Will I use it in play?

Yep. Absolutely. This is great for so many characters I enjoy playing.


Mage of High Sorcery

“Your talent for magic came to the attention of the Mages of High Sorcery, an organization of spellcasters that study magic and prevent its misuse. You’ve trained among the Mages, but whether or not you’ll face the dangerous tests required to become a true member of the group remains to be determined.”

What I like

I said this earlier and I’ll say it again. If you read Full Moon Storytelling regularly, you know I love backgrounds with more “oomph.” I love backgrounds in general.

Also, since you’ll get a tiny bit of casting from taking the background, I think I could play a failed Initiate with any class.

What I don’t like

There are only suggested traits. This ignores the mechanical weight of backgrounds. The should get the entire TIBF system.

Will I use it in play?

All fey peoples in my world start with the ability to cast spells, and it would make a lot of sense for them to use this background.

This background starts a feat chain, like the Solamnia background does. They are with the one you gain upon getting the feat and then the three options you may take later.

Initiate of High Sorcery

“You’ve received training from magic-users affiliated with the Mages of High Sorcery.”

What I like

The attachment to one of the moons of Krynn is rather flavorful.

What I don’t like

1 cantrip and 1 spell is less powerful than the Solamnia version of the beginner feat. That’s probably fine if the character is already a spellcaster, since they are a bit more powerful than martials.

Will I use it in play?

Yep, though I would suggest just taking Magic Initiate instead.

Adept of the Black Robes

“Your ambition and loyalty to the Order of the Black Robes has been recognized.”

What I like

Throwing your own essence into your damage spells via Life Channel is the type of story creep I love. I’d usually just use odd number of HD because the rounding up statement.

The 20 spells you can select when you gain this feat.

What I don’t like

Ambitious Magic ties back to the ability score increase from Initiate of High Sorcery, which might mean you have two different spell casting stats.

Will I use it in play?

Yes. It’s dark and nasty, and a way to channel your own life force into killing things.

Adept of the Red Robes

“Your pursuit of truth and dedication to maintaining the balance between all things has been recognized by the Order of the Red Robes.”

What I like

Magical Balance is kind of a like a minor divination type benefit. It’s fine.

The 30 spells you can gain from this feat.

What I don’t like

Insightful Magic ties back to the ability score increase from Initiate of High Sorcery, which might mean you have two different spell casting stats.

Will I use it in play?

Didn’t like Red Robes in the 80s and I don’t like them now.

Adept of the White Robes

“Your oath to use magic to make the world a better place has been recognized by the Order of the White Robes.”

What I like

Protective Ward is almost exactly what the Abjurer from the PHB gets, but now you can get it as a cleric, bard, druid, paladin. That’s great.

The 17 spells you can select with this feat.

What I don’t like

Protective Magic ties back to the ability score increase from Initiate of High Sorcery, which might mean you have two different spell casting stats.

Will I use it in play?

I want to use it yesterday. This would have been great with Awf.


Divinely Favored

“A god has chosen you to carry a spark of their divine power.”

What I like

In Dragonlance alignment matters. Connecting the spells gained to your alignment is perfect for this setting.

What I don’t like

This is weaker than Magic Initiate and the only reason to take it is to get Divine Communications later.

Will I use it in play?

No.

Divine Communications

“Your connection to your god deepens”

What I like

Augury and Commune are potent story devices when used well. Taking this feat is a clarion call to your DM that you two will be regularly talking to gods.

What I don’t like

This makes Linguist useless (it already was).

It’s easy to lose track of 1d4 long rests for two different spells. Your abilities will recharge on different days.

Will I use it in play?

I think this should be allowed without Divine Favored, and will be at my table.

2 thoughts on “Dragonlance appears in Unearthed Arcana

  1. Pingback: Dragonlance appears in Unearthed Arcana – Children of the Ampersand

  2. Pingback: Dungeons & Dragons Direct coming Thursday | Full Moon Storytelling

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