Dragonlance #2: Plot Railroads | D&D Walkthroughs

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Shared September 26, 2018

In this episode, we conclude our look into the early Dragonlance modules. Unfortunately, in the process of doing so we also have to discuss the idea of railroady adventures.

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Christian Buehler

Its pretty bad really. First thing I realized years ago when I was a newbie DM is that players HATE to be railroaded. If you take away all their choice and make it so X characters MUST survive they're going to get pretty disinterested pretty fast.

Better than retelling a story that players might have read already anyway would have been to craft a side story running parallel to the book events where players could use their own original characters to tell another part of the 'dragon war' events.

1 year ago | [YT] | 52

Mr Topo

Please do D&D Walkthrough of Ravenloft

1 year ago | [YT] | 74

Lee Harrison

When a DM ran this module for us, he made there be a final battle against Verminaard and Ember, by having us and villagers face down a horde of draconians and having Verminaard and Ember rain destruction down from above. The battle for the first round was very touch and go, until Flamestrike appeared and grounded Ember and Verminaard. At that point, it was a race to get Verminaard down to half HP, before he and his forces overwhelmed us. At half HP, he called to Ember, whom snatched him up and the two fled the battle, leaving his forces to cover his escape.
While killing Verminaard was off the table for us, we had the chance to actually save Flamestrike's life via healing and preventing damage to her (which we did), so that she would come back later. Sadly the campaign died after we cleared Dragons of Hope, so we never found out what would have happened...

I felt that, after listening to this, was a great way the DM spun it, to give a conclusion and a chance to have our actions make a difference. Rather surprising to hear none of those options were in the original module.

11 months ago | [YT] | 25

Jason Kirkner

I am huge Dragonlance fan, but you're spot on these reviews and overviews. Anyone interested should just read the books.

1 year ago | [YT] | 47

Edward Mekeel III

I would say take a look at Dragons of Autumns, the 3.5 re-release by Margaret Weis Productions. It's available on the DM's Guild and fixes many of these problems.

4 months ago | [YT] | 11

Juan Jose Fernandez Moldes

I am at the moment running a Dragonlance 'War of the Lance' campaign. I have changed PLENTY of stuff from the modules, but I still use them for the maps and mostly inspiration. I must say tho, 23 episodes in and the campaign looks almost nothing like the novels

1 year ago | [YT] | 20

X X

19:53 While in the novels, her naivety is part of her character growth, and later she finds herself being called the 'Golden General' while taking an active part in the cause.

4 months ago | [YT] | 10

Richard Cromwell

I'm in the middle of this adventure with my 5e group. This one took some heavy revision in the first half to make an enjoyable story. I also changed elements of the story significantly. Instead of a bunch of charlatans, I have the Seekers as a secret society dedicated to restoring knowledge of the old gods. The Seekers have run afoul of the Dragon Army for obvious reasons. After the events at Xak Tsaroth, my group is sent back to the city (the equivalent of Haven) to find Elistan, the leader of the Seekers. Unfortunately, there's evidence he's been captured and taken to Pax Tharkas. Some of the elves in the group decide to swing by Qualinesti to inform the Speaker of what is going on. There they'll be resupplied and go on a stealth mission through the Sla-Mori to save Elistan.

There are some really obvious changes to make to this adventure. Like, why is there a giant slug wandering around in the tomb of Kith-Kanan? Why not use a carrion crawler, which is a far cooler monster to face and more fitting with the setting? And why are the bodyguards of Kith-Kanan zombies? Elves and dwarves dabbling in necromancy??? Instead, I have a sort of guardian spirit placed by the elves to ward off tomb robbers.

I kinda like the idea of the delusional red dragon, so I'll probably keep that part. By I already got rid of Verminaard and replaced him with a mysterious group of villains who seem to be leaders within the Dragon Army. The leader of Pax Tharkas is a particularly vicious fire mage (which fits the theme of the module being fire and red dragons) who might die a permanent death depending on how well the players do against her. (I have a different character, a dark cleric, for modules 3 and 4 already set up as a recurring villain.)

1 year ago | [YT] | 11

Grim Goblin

I now want to see a rewrite of this adventure in 5e that isn't so railroading.

5 months ago | [YT] | 13

WartimeConsigliere

"it's almost as if this was written by a frustrated fantasy novelist, rather than designed by a thoughtful game designer."
yeah, it is almost like that.

2 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 2

Ben Just Ben Will Do

Id like to see you continue this series, i have sort of aquired a heap of dl stuff including this campaign in 3 books

11 months ago | [YT] | 13

X X

20:24 You have to feel sorry for white dragon when you realize THEIR OWN KIND consider them nothing more than Elite Mooks.

4 months ago | [YT] | 4

X X

Flamestrike's character and death was one of the most brilliant and concise bits of the Dragonlance books. In that moment she's not a enemy, she's an old creature suffering flashbacks to her children fighting a war that is already lost and die for it.

4 months ago | [YT] | 3

Captain Lagbeard

Heavy handed railroading... I'd say it would depend on the DM really, if you have a DM who has a hard time improvising when the party doesn't follow their plans...

4 months ago | [YT] | 3

Sven Helgrim

As a DM I would raid these Dragonlance modules for their maps and content and run an entirely different game. I would never run a game in Krynn either because I think that dragons are overused in that world and I hate the idea of the nigh god like dragons allowing humans to use them as steeds. I loved the books though.

5 months ago | [YT] | 3

Resvrgam

Modern video game developers could learn from this.

4 months ago | [YT] | 3

F Huber

Players NEVER submit to capture...

You have to force it n them by putting them to sleep and chaining the in their sleep, or yo will have a fight to the death.

And even then, the Druid is going to wild shape out of the chains and unlock everyone else so they can fight to the death.

10 months ago | [YT] | 5

Jayson Buch

I hope this series continues, i really love how this is done.

4 months ago | [YT] | 1

Taboo X

Re 24:23 I read the books while going through the modules.
Luckily my DM was awesome and he was running the modules differently than the books. I missed a few sessions and was kinda lost when I reattended.

Later I bought the modules and read them. Wow. It made me realize how truly awesome my DM had been. There's no way in heck I coulda ran those monstrosities. I still have them and enjoy going through them from time to time. Nostalgia

5 months ago | [YT] | 2

Bradley Potts

I've run this module as part of the larger series a number of times, and it is always the weakest of the series, due mostly to the points you make. That said, I've found that most groups (not all) choose the path anticipated and don't require much nudging to go the right direction. The weakest part by far is the section between the fight in the bar and escape from the caravan, which basically is scripted. The rest has, in my experience, run pretty well. Players HATE to surrender and such a situation where they are forced to really upsets some of them.

4 months ago | [YT] | 1