A new Unearthed Arcana titled Heroes of Krynn was released last week. The main content of this document seems to be a new race and a new subclass. However, what struck me and my playtest group the most is that Knights of Solamnia are just background, starts as squire, and to gain further titles you need to take feats at higher levels.
It makes us think that this background could become a kind of second sub class. But I wonder how relevant those abilities will become in the game and how much they can change your character. That’s why we’ll start playtesting that document very soon. However we will do a lot of homebrewing based on versions of the AD&D 2nd Edition dragon lance campaign settings, just for fun. Playing that way is pretty normal for our gaming group.
Our type of games
Ever since we were young and started getting access to different campaign settings, we never played a particular world the way it was written in the books. Instead, we always took what we found interesting, fun, or just plain powerful in terms of rules. Although the latter always resulted in the DM banning some races, feats, or books altogether.
When I started reading online about the way other people played the game, I was surprised that most seemed to have played official adventures, in official campaign settings. In the small town in Mexico where we grew up, almost no one plays D&D, even now that it is very popular, the hobby is still almost unknown. Therefore, we almost never had outside influence on our way of playing.
That is why I would like to describe how our campaigns are composed, broadly speaking:
- A main story imagined by the Dungeon Master.
- The basic rules of the system, these normally don’t have much changes.
- Races, classes, and other rules of different games that players want to try, but must first be approved by the DM.
- Home rules that the DM is comfortable playing with. In this last part, the players hardly ever get a say, because we assume that if someone is going to go to the trouble of running a D&D campaign and doing an adventure, it’s best for everyone to do it the way they see fit. comfortable. Also, a lot of the home rules always have to do with the kind of world we play in.
Finally, almost always our campaigns include something that is outside the rules, which is required because it serves the narrative of the campaign world that the DM has just created. Many times that is the change for which we remember each campaign.
These are a few examples of actual campaigns we’ve played:
- All player characters must be siblings.
- The player characters start the adventure with a magic item.
- There are no gods, therefore there is no divine magic.
- The world is decaying faster than normal, all items are destroyed after a few uses, buildings are very easy to destroy, etc.
- Player characters have a symbiotic entity inside that grants them special abilities and hindrances.
These big changes are usually a way to adapt the rules of D&D to whatever stories we imagine, which are often based on books or comics we read, or even movies or series we watch.
Right now, we’re trying the opposite. We’re playing a Curse of Strahd campaign, and while we’re testing a few new things on it (for products we’re releasing and will release in the future), it’s mostly as written in the book.
But honestly, I still prefer custom campaigns, created by ourselves with parts from other worlds and various official products.
The importance of Dragonlance for us
Dragonlance is the official Dungeons & Dragons world that me and my gaming group know the most. And it’s not because we’ve played D&D on Krynn before, but because of the books, we’re fans of the novel series. I personally thought at first that the Dragonlance D&D books were based on the novels and not the other way around.
When I was young, Dragonlance books were sold in regular bookstores in my city. On the other hand, you couldn’t find Dungeons & Dragons books anywhere, not even in the few hobby shops that there were back then. Perhaps that explains the importance that the Dragonlance world had for us. Everything we understood about fantasy back then was heavily influenced by Dragonlance. And particularly for me, who grew up a sports fan and didn’t read fantasy until I was introduced to Dragolance and Dungeons and Dragons in high school.
That’s why it’s also my excitement that Dragonlance is finally coming to 5th edition. I wonder if the rest of the D&D community sees it as as big of a deal as I do.
The main illustration of the post is property of Wizards of the Coast.