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UnCon Chat Transcript: Dragonlance Campaign Setting Q&A

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

UnCon Chat Transcript. Dragonlance Campaign Setting Q&A. Featuring Margaret Weis and Jamie Chambers.

UnCon Chat Transcript
Dragonlance Campaign Setting Q&A

Featuring Margaret Weis and Jamie Chambers

Welcome to Wizards Presents! Tonight we are pleased to present authors Margaret Weis and Jamie Chambers for a fun-filled hour of Q&A on the Dragonlance Campaign Setting. Jamie or Margaret, do you have any opening comments you'd like to make?

Jamie Chambers: Sure thing! First off, hello everyone! My name is Jamie Chambers. I'm the Vice President of Sovereign Press and lead designer of the Dragonlance d20 System game line. We are at the Alliance Game Distributor Open House in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Live from my hotel room! We had a great show today and met lots of game storeowners -- many of whom are very excited about Dragonlance! Thanks for inviting us and for waiting for us to finish our business dinner. We're ready to begin with your questions!

mikalwannabeking: Just a small question. Why did you decide to make the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class require a school specialization of some sort. What was the reasoning behind it?

Jamie Chambers: Actually it was never our intention to require the wizards to specialize. In Age of Mortals (and repeated in the Towers of High Sorcery), wizards are not required to specialize! That was a change made on the development side by Wizards of the Coast. It's very easy to work them without the specialization requirement.

xaxor: What will happen to Paladine when he dies? Will he travel forward as the other souls do? Or return to his godhood?

Jamie Chambers: He has truly become a mortal now. His soul will be treated as such!

rajak: In any of your products, or possible web enhancements, will you cover any additional rules on half-dragons and dragon-blooded? It looks like you got a red half dragon on the cover of Key of Destiny.

Margaret Weis: There are no half-dragons in Krynn.

Jamie Chambers: The creature on the cover of Key of Destiny is a red dragonspawn. That's a very important element in the story of Huma and the silver dragon, and later Gilthanas and Silvara.

jobot37: How did you guys come up with those crazy "side effects" after killing the draconians, such as turning to stone or acid.

Jamie Chambers: You'd have to ask Tracy! The original Dragonlance team had come up with those ideas before I even came on board.

nico_moonshae: In the Dragonlance Campaign Setting it talks about the Legion of Steel. Did that group die out or is it still going?

Margaret Weis: It's still going. Check out Age of Mortals, which has a bunch of information.

Jamie Chambers: There are three Legion prestige classes in Age of Mortals. There should be more information in future novels as well!

kexizzoc87: As someone who has not until recently learned much about Dragonlance, I'm excited to see what it can offer my homebrew campaign. In particular, I'm interested in the dragonrider picture I've seen. Will this be a prestige class and if so, is there anything interesting a Dragonlance newbie like me wouldn't know?

Jamie Chambers: The dragonrider is one of the coolest prestige classes in the book! We also have detailed aerial combat rules, plus a bunch of other neat elements. There are also creatures, feats, new magic, and other stuff that could be pulled into other games.

serena_dark1: I was curious as to when we fans could expect the kender who borrowed the map from the DLCS to return it. Plainly asked, will it be coming soon?

Margaret Weis: We're currently on the lookout for that kender! We have him in our sights!

Jamie Chambers: We have plans to do a big poster map, as well as a new edition of the Atlas. Just be patient. Announcements coming soon!

nevine: I love the ogre titan! It's nice to see the fallen ogres get some love. Can we expect some bigger strides from them in future?

Jamie Chambers: We will be seeing more ogre titans in the future, though it may take a while for them to see the light of day. Ogre titans are pretty cool. They are detailed in Age of Mortals!

xaxor: What would you think of holding a contest for player groups, with the winning group being written into official history? Obviously they would need to provide a certain amount of material to be considered.

Margaret Weis: That's an interesting idea -- something to think about.

Jamie Chambers: We will be doing some neat things with organized gaming in the future, with some ideas similar to yours!

mikalwannabeking: Where do you plan on going with the storyline after the War of Souls? Will there be more adventures with the characters of those books, or will the focus be more on the gaming side of the campaign setting, with more supplements and/or adventures, or a combination of the two?

Margaret Weis: My next series is called Dark Disciple -- one that will carry forward the story of Mina.

Jamie Chambers: Novels will continue moving into the future, and our games will keep pace.

rajak: Will we get to see a write up of the cosmology for Dragonlance that grants details on the Abyss, similar to what's in the Manual of the Planes?

Margaret Weis: We are focusing on Krynn -- especially Ansalon -- before worrying about the realms of the gods.

talis_underhill: What inspired you to create the world of Krynn?

Margaret Weis: Tracy Hickman created the world of Krynn. I came on board as an editor at TSR and fell in love with the world and have been so happy to have been part of it. I'm happy to be keeping it alive now!

jaerc: How many more d20 Dragonlance products do you plan on producing and how often?

Jamie Chambers: We are doing roughly eight products each year. After the DLCS and Age of Mortals, we have the Dragonlance Dungeon Master's Screen (plus 32 page booklet). Then we have the adventure Key of Destiny (128 pages!) that begins an exciting new Dragonlance campaign. The Bestiary of Krynn is up next, giving details on the monsters of Dragonlance. Check out for more information.

hard_thinker: How did you think up funny remarks and personality for my personal favorite character Tasslehoff?

Margaret Weis: Roger Moore (former editor of Dragon) wrote the original story with Tasslehoff called "A Stone's Throw" that was published in the magazine in 1984. It really established Tasslehoff's personality.

Jamie Chambers: Tasslehoff changed over the years, but luckily not too much!

cromaeye: Where did you come up with the idea of the kender? How did you get the idea of creating such a love-or-hate-it species, and how are they going to be involved in the next novels?

Jamie Chambers: Tracy always likes to tell the story about how the original team came up with the idea of "Hobbits With Shoes." That didn't seem very creative, so another suggestion was to make a race of thieves. Tracy had moral objections to the thief class itself, so he came up with the basic concept of thieves who stole out of curiosity, not greed. From those basics, the kender were born, and Roger Moore brought them to life through Tasslehoff in his story.

cromaeye: What roles are the dragon overlords taking now?

Margaret Weis: There aren't many dragon overlords left after War of Souls!

jobot37: What are your favorite prestige classes and have either of you made characters for the world based off of people in your own lives?

Margaret Weis: Some characters have been kind of a compilation of people in my own life, from books, and other places. Some characters I'm not quite sure where they come from!

Jamie Chambers: I've had some characters heavily inspired by real-life people, though most are wholly original.

nico_moonshae: In the DLCS there are very few NPCs. Will more get introduced later on?

Jamie Chambers: Lots more in Age of Mortals and more in upcoming products!

havelock: In the early Dragonlance setting, all wizards (who did not wish to be hunted down and killed) had to belong to one of the three guilds. (This made Dragonlance sort of what I'd call a "closed union shop" for wizardry.) Is that different in the new version of the campaign setting, and how do sorcerers fit into the mix?

Margaret Weis: There is going to be a lot of conflict. Doug Niles has an upcoming novel about the start of this new era of magic.

Jamie Chambers: We deal with this a bit with it Age of Mortals and the DLCS, and later in Towers of High Sorcery.

jaerc: Do you have any plans for a very detailed Krynn book about its various deities?

Margaret Weis: We have a cool new book coming out called Holy Order of the Stars, a book on the gods and clerical orders of Krynn.

Jamie Chambers: Yes, containing lots of prestige classes, information on clergy, and more!

sillyburt: I just wanted to say hi to one of my favorite writers! Growing up and reading the Chronicles was great. Also I wanted to say thanks Jamie for making Dragonlance part of the gaming scene again. There are so many of us old guard players coming back and this only helps.

silvanthalas: The SAGA game material covered many of the dragon overlords, minor and major. Yet, except for Siege of Mt. Nevermind, no minor overlords were covered in the novels until City of the Lost. Can we expect to see more of the minor overlords in both the books and game material in the future?

Jamie Chambers: Minor overlords were in a recent web enhancement on this very website!

Margaret Weis: There will be more dragon overlords in future novels.

mwbeeler: I was pleasantly surprised to see the centaur race profiled in the DLCS. Will there be any modules, books, or storylines detailing their place in Krynn? I'd also like to sneak in to Margaret that I loved the Rose of the Prophet trilogy.

Jamie Chambers: We have an idea about a Races of Ansalon book, which would include centaurs and other races!

nevine:Divine Retribution is one pretty powerful spell. I've noticed the attack forms you can choose are acid, cold, electricity, fire, or force. Should force instead be sonic? It seems odd for it to follow four energy types.

Jamie Chambers: Ask that one on the message boards. Chris Coyle usually deals with spells.

serena_dark1: Will the locations of Storm's Keep and the Tomb of Takhisis ever be officially stated?

Jamie Chambers: Storm's Keep, definitely. Tomb of Takhisis, no!

wizo_raven: What brought them to the decision to remove Krynn's pantheon after Dragons of Summer Flame. What ever happened to them once they left?

Margaret Weis: That's a big part of the plot of War of Souls. I would suggest reading that series to learn all about that, or the new Dragonlance game material about the gods!

rajak: What's the adventure background behind the Key of Destiny module and who are the two people on the cover?

Jamie Chambers: Key of Destiny has a big plot -- it's the first part of a trilogy! The two characters on the cover are a part of the plot I don't want to spoil!

mikalwannabeking: Will we ever get to move beyond Ansalon to the other continent? I know that you said you wanted to concentrate on Ansalon for now, but it seems to me that the other continent can be plumbed for a lot of gaming/story gold.

Margaret Weis: We're considering doing game material based on Taladas, but it's way down the line and nothing is concrete right now. Plus it has to be approved by our licensor, Wizards of the Coast.

silvanthalas: Is there an official release date for the DragonlanceDungeon Master's Screen? And, is there any chance of a reprint for the original Atlas?

Jamie Chambers: The screen should be out in early October! The art and layout of the original Dragonlance Atlas is gone, which is why they have never reprinted it. We are working on a new atlas next year.

kexizzoc87: I just want to say that I'll definitely be checking this book out, if just for the dragonrider (my brother has a thing for anything like Pern, so I hope I can surprise him with some new stuff). Also, I'll be checking out this Dragonlance fiction now, you've got me curious!

baron_the_curse: What ever happen to Tracy?

Jamie Chambers: Tracy is working with his wife Laura on a new series. I may be helping them with game product for that world as well the Bronze Canticles! Tracy is a much appreciated, though unpaid, consultant for the Dragonlance line. He lets me bug him whenever necessary.

jaerc: Are there any plans for other Weis and Hickman series as a d20 product?

Jamie Chambers: Just so you know, we do have an idea to do Death Gate d20. Not sure when that's going to happen, though!

wizo_randal: All right, time to close up! Thank you for taking the time for answering our questions. Do either of you have any closing words?

Jamie Chambers: I would like to say a big thank you to all of the fans that are making the return of Dragonlance gaming such a huge success. Our early sales figures are better than we could have hoped and our initial reviews and response has been very encouraging.