[Let's Read] Tales of the Lance boxed set

Crowqueen

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#11
Generic art, then :(. At least with DL art you could usually tell what they were depicting. It was pretty coherent, and if what Armchair says is correct - no reason to doubt him - then pretty cheesecake free. I'm fond of the 2000s-era comic-book style art myself, but if anyone is going to do Dragonlance justice, then epic high fantasy art is much more appropriate than the sort of thing in the 3e Forgotten Realms campaign guide, however much I actually like it and think it was edging towards more diverse skin tones and body shapes.

More art commentary to come, btw.
 

ferratus

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#12
The natives of northwest and far northern Ansalon--Ergoth and Nordmaar--are actually dark-skinned a la Earth Africans. (Remember, Ansalon's in the southern hemisphere.) However, those locations get ignored a lot in the material. Theros Ironfeld, a minor character in the original modules and novels, is black, as is the pirate Maquesta (who's also a secret half-elf).
Actually, the natives of Ergoth and Nordmaar are not in fact black, but their nobility and warrior caste now are. The black Ergothians are essentially colonizers and conquerers from the Northern Ocean, from an unknown continent (or subcontinent) who took over Ergoth after the Cataclysm the way that the Goths, Saxons, Mercians, Vandals, Franks et. al took over the western Roman Empire. Ergoth seems to have been based on a nomadic horse-warrior group such as Persians or Sarmatians.

I've often wondered about where the black sea peoples came from, and often thought it might be awesome to do a Dragonlance-themed campaign based on the rich mercantile kingdoms of Northern Africa in antiquity.
 

ferratus

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#13
The bit about Mormonism is very interesting, though. The only thing I've read about Hickman's religion was an article about the artificial nature of D&D and the thief/rogue class in particular. He seemed to be down on the idea of 'glorifying' pickpocketing, or assuming that thieves' guilds would exist in real city. Very heavy-handed, but I can see where he was coming from.
Mormon references are thick in Dragonlance. The Disks of Mishakal which are platinum disks inscribed with the true teachings of the true gods are a reference to the golden plates discovered by Joseph Smith which he claims to have translated into the Book of Mormon, to restore true Christianity to America. There are other more subtle references to Mormonism in the books, such as references to people being married both in this life and the next, or Raistlin reminding Crysania that mortals were the "heirs" of the Gods. Really, you could do a whole thread on the references to Mormonism scattered in Dragonlance.


(The only issue that my Christian mother had with AD&D was with portraying clerics as adventurers and having pagan gods. I wouldn't say she disapproved, but ironically it made her a bit uncomfortable that we didn't take religion completely out of the game.)
Well, you can certainly have a fantasy story without referencing religion. Tolkien did, and he was about as devout a Catholic as they come. ;)
 
#14
Actually, the natives of Ergoth and Nordmaar are not in fact black, but their nobility and warrior caste now are. The black Ergothians are essentially colonizers and conquerers from the Northern Ocean, from an unknown continent (or subcontinent) who took over Ergoth after the Cataclysm the way that the Goths, Saxons, Mercians, Vandals, Franks et. al took over the western Roman Empire. Ergoth seems to have been based on a nomadic horse-warrior group such as Persians or Sarmatians.
I didn't know that. Is that something I missed in Heroes of Defiance, or a development added by the SP/MWP material? It doesn't seem to fit the highly conservative Ergothian society of HoD . . .
 

Crowqueen

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#15
Mormon references are thick in Dragonlance. The Disks of Mishakal which are platinum disks inscribed with the true teachings of the true gods are a reference to the golden plates discovered by Joseph Smith which he claims to have translated into the Book of Mormon, to restore true Christianity to America. There are other more subtle references to Mormonism in the books, such as references to people being married both in this life and the next, or Raistlin reminding Crysania that mortals were the "heirs" of the Gods. Really, you could do a whole thread on the references to Mormonism scattered in Dragonlance.
Excellent. I'm not very well-versed in Mormonism, so it will be interesting to see others draw out the references.

Well, you can certainly have a fantasy story without referencing religion. Tolkien did, and he was about as devout a Catholic as they come. ;)
True enough. D&D relies heavily on healing magic, though; in a recent 2e game my players were good enough at constructing characters that I bumped the adventure level up a notch, only to have to give them some rule-bending extra psionic healing in order to be able to cope without having to have the 15 minute work days of legend. That's all it really needed, though. I'm interested to see how DL plays out - at some point in the near future I want to run a DL filler game to give one of my DMs a break, so this will be an interesting challenge, given that the assumption about magic even post-War of the Lance are that it will be relatively rare, given the extreme rarity of priests and the stranglehold the Towers of High Sorcery hold on arcane magic. I guess we'll get to that shortly, though.

Actually, the natives of Ergoth and Nordmaar are not in fact black, but their nobility and warrior caste now are. The black Ergothians are essentially colonizers and conquerers from the Northern Ocean, from an unknown continent (or subcontinent) who took over Ergoth after the Cataclysm the way that the Goths, Saxons, Mercians, Vandals, Franks et. al took over the western Roman Empire. Ergoth seems to have been based on a nomadic horse-warrior group such as Persians or Sarmatians.

I've often wondered about where the black sea peoples came from, and often thought it might be awesome to do a Dragonlance-themed campaign based on the rich mercantile kingdoms of Northern Africa in antiquity.
Would the 'unknown continent' be Taladas?
 

Crowqueen

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#16
A micro-update.

World Book of Ansalon: Cover
This is a badass picture: red dragon, plus Dragon Highlord. It’s been a while since I read the books but I remember Kitiara being the blue dragon lord, and I can’t remember whether this might be Verminaard, or whether he was the green one. I’m sure there will be answers within, but for now Badass Dude with Dragon is also posing for his holiday snapshot. Seriously, the dragon is smoking. Literally. Doesn’t he know it’s bad for you? How many packets a day does a red dragon get through? And so on. Mind you, he’s allowed to smoke. He’s Evil (TM).

:D. Sorry about the goofy tone.
 

glass

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#17
A micro-update.World Book of Ansalon: Cover
This is a badass picture: red dragon, plus Dragon Highlord. It’s been a while since I read the books but I remember Kitiara being the blue dragon lord, and I can’t remember whether this might be Verminaard, or whether he was the green one.
IIRC, it was indeed Verminaard (or subsequently Toede).

I don't remember who the green one was, either. EDIT: Or Black for that matter.


glass.
 
#18
IIRC, it was indeed Verminaard (or subsequently Toede).
The one pictured on the cover is Verminaard. :) Toede held command of the Red Army for a while after his defeat, but then appears to have been shuffled off to the White Army when that Highlord (Feal-Thas) was defeated, with Ariakas taking direct command of the Red Army instead of just 'Supreme Commander' of all five.

I don't remember who the green one was, either. EDIT: Or Black for that matter.


glass.
Don't feel bad--the original writers couldn't either. :D Seriously, the Highlords of the Green and Black Armies--Salah-Khan and Lucien--get swapped at some point in the original modules. Later designers appear to have settled on Salah-Khan for the Green and Lucien for the Black.
 

ArcheiosAggelos

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#19
I remember this set about as fondly as any gaming thing. The original Dragonlance novels (along with Jack London) taught me to read, and I was playing D&D already, so the chance to bring the two together was incredible to my preteen mind.

I saved my meager allowance for some time to be able to afford the boxed set, and my father took me to the gaming store some distance from my hometown. Unfortunately, in my zeal, I had forgotten about tax, and ended up being short. My father refused to pay the difference, obviously intending for me to learn something about money. We drove all the way back home, empty-handed, but he was nice enough to drive me back the next weekend when I had scraped together the extra couple of dollars. I then spent the next several weeks in glee reading the books and putting together a campaign for two of my friends. I wonder if the notes are still in my copy...
 

Crowqueen

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#20
The one pictured on the cover is Verminaard. :) Toede held command of the Red Army for a while after his defeat, but then appears to have been shuffled off to the White Army when that Highlord (Feal-Thas) was defeated, with Ariakas taking direct command of the Red Army instead of just 'Supreme Commander' of all five.
Hahaha :). I know it is just shorthand, but after last night's Doctor Who and reading The Master and Margarita (and about Bulgakov's experiences in the Russian Civil War) today hearing a fantasy army described as the Red Army conjures up images that I wish I knew enough Photoshop to put together. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a closet Soviet, though I like the aesthetic more than the actual policies.
 
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