Dragonlance Nexus News Issue #43: 12/6/2004
WELCOME TO THE INN
Greetings, friends and fellow companions, and welcome! It's that time of year again, when the decorations go up and friends and family gather in a time of companionship. As with any time when companions get together, there is much news discussed between them.
With that in mind, it is time to share the latest and greatest with Dragonlance. So grab your hoopaks, your gnome tool belts, your swords and maybe that strangely glowing staff. The portal to adventure awaits!
D20 DRAGONLANCE NEWS
Wizards of the Coast and Sovereign Press jointly announced that the Dragonlance Adventure Game boxed set (and only the boxed set) has been cancelled.
As for future products, there's going to be Tas' Map Pouch: Age of Mortals, Spectre of Sorrows, Price of Courage, Holy Orders of the Stars, and a book about the Legends trilogy, akin to War of the Lance. An official 2005 schedule has not been released as of this time.
Also, check out Dragonlance.com for some official web goodies, including a Citadel Guardian prestige class by Matthew Blasi, Bozak Draconian player race rules by Jamie chambers, and the Spiritualism domain and dreadwolf monster stats by yours truly.
Looking ahead to January, we see Dragon Sword by Ree Soesbee, the latest novel in the New Adventures young adult series. February sees the re-release of The Magic of Krynn anthology, as well as Return of the Exile, book three of the Linsha Trilogy by Mary H. Herbert.
Also, be sure to check out the Dragonlance Book Club for the latest discussions on Weasel's Luck and Land of the Minotaurs.
COMIC BOOK NEWS
Les Dabel of DBPro has announced the cancellation of the comic book adaptation of The Legend of Huma. I have posted my thoughts on the Nexus.
I just wanted to thank everyone who supported the comic. It was a fun time for me, and one that I will never forget. I hope all of you have enjoyed the series as much as I have.
There are tons of updates at the Nexus. The product listing is updated, and there's some new fan artwork as well. I'm particularly fond of a pic of Laurana by Cell.
There's been several new fan rules recently, including a couple of sorcerer feats by Cam Banks, a Stalker of Canus prestige class by Ogre Bane (based on the short stories of the Wulfbunde by Kevin T. Stein), and a Compiled Feat List and Compiled Class list by yours truly, documenting where all the feats, base classes, and prestige classes introduced in Dragonlance products came from. I'm hoping to do another couple for magic items and spells soon.
You should also check out our interviews section. We have three new interviews recently, including one with Doug Niles on Wizards' Conclave, one with young adult author Dan Willis, and a Fifth Age design team interview.
MARGARET WEIS PRODUCTIONS
Margaret Weis has formed a new company, Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. Details are a bit sketchy at this point as to what the new company will tackle.
Keep your eyes open for all the wonderful things coming out of Margaret's new company.
THE YEAR BEHIND, THE YEAR AHEAD
I thought I would offer my thoughts (and just that) on the year behind, and the year ahead. A lot has gone on, and a bit of retrospection is always good.
Gaming-wise, we've seen both good and bad. War of the Lance has proven to be an excellent product, and I would say the best Dragonlance RPG product ever. It's full of details, and shows just how much Sovereign Press has grown since Age of Mortals.
Another gaming product that was done quite well is Towers of High Sorcery. I thought the only drawback to this book was its timing. By this, I mean that had it been delayed a few months, it could have included material from Wizards' Conclave and Amber and Ashes. Despite this, an overall good product.
The low point gaming-wise has to be Key of Destiny. While it is a good adventure, there was a huge delay and a number of errors. The errata seems to be quite large. It's looking like there may be delays on Spectre of Sorrows as well. Jamie Chambers will be posting chapter one of Spectre when he gets approval from Wizards of the Coast.
Personally, I consider this to be a time of growing pains. I will say that Sovereign Press has put out such high quality products overall that they blow Wizards of the Coast away.
Novel-wise, we have seen the continuation of the Minotaur Wars trilogy, Wizards' Conclave (which has had mixed reviews), and Amber and Ashes. Lake of Death saw some dramatic change to the world of Krynn, which I won't delve into to avoid spoilers. Again, this is a novel that has had mixed fan reaction.
Amber and Ashes has got to be the high point of 2004. It's an excellent story, one that continues the world of Dragonlance, and one where we not only see a monk of Majere, but also a kender nightstalker—who isn't a clone of Tas! Personally, I found this to be a better read even than Soulforge, which I highly enjoyed.
I feel that the novels are making a much needed change, one geared towards the future and not rehashing the last several years. Plus, we're in for a treat with the upcoming Taladas Chronicles trilogy by Chris Pierson! I know many Dragonlance fans have been itching to see Taladas brought to life in the novels.
I also have to commend the young adult books for reaching out to readers who follow such series as Harry Potter. That's a good move, and one that reaches out to a younger audience and strengthens the fan base in general.
The high point this year for me has to be the comic book adaptation of The Legend of Huma. Not only was it my first cover credit, but also a story very near and dear to my heart. Add in my love of comics and Dragonlance, and this made for an excellent story.
Unfortunately, this project came to an end all too early. I'm not sure if we'll see another Dragonlance comic for a while. I do hope that everyone enjoyed the comic while it lasted. I know I did.
We also saw some dramatic shift with Dragonlance.com and the Dragonlance Nexus. Dragonlance.com has become the official online presence for official Dragonlance gaming and Sovereign Press. The new boards are fantastic as well. You should check them out.
For those who enjoyed the old Dragonlance.com, never fear, for the material has a new home on the Dragonlance Nexus. The Nexus has been my baby since its creation, and all of us who work on it are determined to make it the best site we can. The traffic on the site has more than quadrupled since the switchover, and I think there's going to be plenty to interest everyone.
So where do I see things going this next year? Right now, we're in the middle of a transition period, where the novels are moving forward and the games have some awesome new materials. I do have concerns on delays with Sovereign Press' materials, but I think they're making the right changes to get away from this trend. I've seen much improvement already. Again, growing pains.
The transition, in my opinion, is a much-needed one that will give new energy into the setting. Having the gods back (minus Paladine and Takhisis) is a good thing. They're an integral part of the setting. The conflict that arises with their return is what you should really look forward to. Can mystics and clerics co-exist? What about wizards and sorcerers?
I also see a general shift in role-playing at this time. I've seen where people are looking to get away from all the crunch-heavy books and get back to fluff. I've also seen where some companies are shying away from the d20 system rules, such as with the upcoming 3rd edition of the Legend of the Five Rings RPG. I can sense some change in the air, so keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of years. There's bound to be some good stuff out there.
I think the Nexus will also grow in strength. It's an invaluable resource, having materials no other site has. There's much I would like to do for it, and such little time. However, we have plenty of contributors who will bring you tools that you can't find anywhere else and there's plenty of material to enjoy .
My friends, I want to wish you the very best of holidays. It's a time of year for companionship and giving, and one that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over.
So from all of us on the Whitestone Council, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! See you in 2005!
Long Live the Lance!