The Blood Sea of Istar...grim reminder of the vengeance of the gods. Roiling and churning angrily, these sanguine waters are the grave of many a brave sailor. Across this haunted sea the heroes must journey to find freedom and victory. Trapped in lands deep within the enemy's territory, the heroes must seek the shadows to evade the Dragon Highlords' cruel clutches. But fate deals them a strange hand, placing the cornerstone to the Dark Queen's defeat within their reach. If only they can capture the crucial pawn before darkness snatches it away!
This adventure features a miniature deck of TALIS cards used in games of skill and chance on the world of Krynn. Rules for games common to the lands of Ansalon are included.
Dragons of Faith is the twelth in the series of DRAGONLANCE adventures for use with the ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game system. Included are optional BATTLESYSTEM miniatures rules. You can play this adventure by itself or as part of the grand quest that spans the entire DRAGONLANCE saga.
An Adventure for Character Levels 9-10
DL12: "Dragons of Faith" (1986), by Harold Johnson and Bruce Heard, is the twelfth in the Dragonlance Chronicles series of adventures. It was published in April 1986.
Continuing the "DL" Series. "Dragons of Faith" followed DL10: "Dragons of Dreams" (1985) as the second adventure in the third (and final) book of Dragonlance. Like its predecessors, it's a heavily novelistic adventure and like the other late Dragonlance adventures it's pretty big: 64 pages, double the size of the earliest Dragonlance modules.
Dragon of the Month. Each of the first nine Dragonlance adventures spotlighted one of the ten major sorts of dragons, which meant that with "Dragons of Faith" there was just one dragon type left: the bronze dragon. However by this point the dragon-of-the-month club was much less important than the overarching story of Dragonlance than it had been at the start. So Clarion, a bronze dragon, does appear in event 56, but he's a pretty minor presence in the adventure. If anything the major dragon type of this adventure is the sea dragon, who was introduced in this module.
Adventure Tropes. The Dragonlance adventures all tended to be very plot-heavy adventures that pushed a major narrative — something that was pretty rare for the '80s. "Dragons of Faith" continues in that mold with a total of 58(!) events directing the adventure.
However, "Dragons of Faith" has a lot more than that within its pages. It's actually a larges-scale campaign with a quarter-of-a-continent full of wilderness encounters — and it also contains sea encounters and island encounters. There's also a major Battlesystem combat and even something thats sort of dungeon-y. As a whole, "Dragons of Faith" manages to combine several different styles of adventuring into a single adventure.
Pick a Card … The most interesting innovation of "Dragons of Faith" is its inclusion of the "Talis Deck", a Tarot-like deck that could be used to prophesize the future. Dragonlance creator Tracy Hickman (and wife Laura) had done something similar in I6: "Ravenloft" (1983), but the idea was still quite fresh. The implementation in "Dragons of Faith" is particularly clever: several of the cards have specific meanings in the adventure, so no matter what cards are drawn, the GM can reveal something about the adventure itself.
The Battlesystem Connection. As an epic story, the Dragonlance saga made regular use of TSR's new tactical combat system, Battlesystem (1985); "Dragons of Faith" was the first Dragonlance module to do so in a major way since DL8: "Dragons of War" (1985).
The Novel Connection. By the time "Dragons of Faith" came out, the Dragonlance adventures and novels were increasingly divergent. The plot elements of "Dragons of Faith" are spread out over two of the novels, and few of the details are the same.
The Companions' flight across Eastern Ansalon that opens "Dragons of Faith" is found in Book 3 of Dragons of Winter Night (1985), chapters 1 and 3; then the Companions' time in Flotsam appears in chapters 8-9. The storyline is continued in Book 1 of Dragons of Spring Dawning (1985) as the Companions flee Flotsam in Book 1, chapters 1-4, then adventure through Istar in Book 2, chapters 4-7.
The novels also include a few divergent character events not found in the adventures, such as Kit's capture of Tanis and Raistlin's betrayal of everyone; meanwhile the novels leave out major events from the adventure such as the major battle beneath the waves.
Expanding Krynn. "Dragons of Faith" expands Krynn geographically, historically, and racially.
- Geographically, the authors reveal all of eastern Ansalon, the Blood Sea, and the sunken city of Istar.
- Historically, the authors talk about the Cataclysm, which had been alluded to before.
- Racially, the authors introduce the sea elves and also give some slight attention to the minotaurs of the Blood Sea.
Monsters of Note. There are quite a few new monsters in "Dragons of Faith". The most important are: the sea dragon; the sea elf; a sea/green dragon hybrid called the amphidragon; and a new draconian, the aurak.
Future History. The Talis Deck makes a return in Tales of the Lance (1992). Cards would also become increasingly important to Krynn through Dragonlance: Fifth Age (1996), a new game system for Krynn that was card-driven.
About the Creators. Though Heard became best known as TSR's Acquisitions Coordinator starting in 1985, he also wrote the occasional adventure. "Dragons of Faith" was one of his earliest. Johnson, meanwhile, had been writing for TSR since 1980. 1986 also saw him working on OA2: "Night of the Seven Swords" (1986), but after that his RPG books became less frequent.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.