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Heroes Of Sorcery (SAGA)

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Primordial Power At Your Command!

Sorcerers across Krynn struggle day and night to master the ancient forces that power modern sorcery. Heroes of Sorcery reveals for the first time the advances that have been made in spellcasting since the founding of the Academy of Sorcery. Uncover the secrets to permanent-duration spells, cooperative spellcasting, and combining schools of sorcery. Included in this box set are:

  • "One Moon, Not Three," the Fifth Age sorcerer's sourcebook, contains roles for heroes, in-depth examinations of all the schools of sorcery, rules for the latest spellcasting techniques, and descriptions of the most influential sorcerers alive in Ansolon today.
  • "A Killing Frost." In this full-length adventure, the heroes must recover a powerful artifact from the legendary Tomb of Huma before it falls into the clutches of Khellendros the Blue. "A Killing Frost" can be played on its own or as the third chapter of the "Dragons of a New Age" campaign.
  • A full-color, lavishly illustrated poster map detailing the island of Southern Ergoth and the mysterious Foghaven Vale, including Huma's Tomb and Dragon Mountain.

Heroes of Sorcery uses the SAGA dramatic adventure rules introduced in the DRAGONLANCE: FIFTH AGE boxed set.

Product History

Heroes of Sorcery (1997), by Steven "Stan!" Brown, is the third heroic splatbook for Fifth Age. It was published in December 1997.

Origins (I): Three Releases Later. TSR's original schedule had called for the monotonic release of the four heroic splatboxes for the Fifth Age game system. Wizards instead decided to show the breadth of the line by publishing a "Fate Deck" (1997) and The Last Tower: The Legacy of Raistlin (1997) between the release of Heroes of Defiance (1997) and the new Heroes of Sorcery (1997).

Origins (II): More Heroes. Together The Last Tower: The Legacy of Raistlin and Heroes of Sorcery form a nice diptych, because together they examine magic in the Fifth Age. Heroes of Sorcery does so through a splatbook of sorcerous character roles. With classic magic use gone in the Fifth Age, it covers some of the most original ground in the updated fantasy setting. Of course, Heroes of Sorcery also continues the "Dragons of a New Age" adventure path that ran across Fifth Age's first supplements.

The Media Tie-In. "A Killing Frost", the adventure in Heroes of Sorcery, begins the story of Jean Rabe's novel, The Day of the Tempest (1997).

Adventure Styles: Episodic Encounters. "A Killing Frost" follows the typical SAGA style: episodic encounters are divided into acts and scenes.

Adventure Tropes: MacGuffin Quest (Artifact, Competitive). After a few more investigative adventures centering on dragonspawn, the heroes now fall back onto one of the oldest tropes: a MacGuffin Quest. To keep things interesting, it's an artifact quest for Huma's Dragonlance, and there's competition in the form of Dark Knights.

Expanding SAGA. Once again, there are roles in this new splatbook, including a short list of knights, sorcerers, and students. The schools are sorcery are also better defined and there are new rules for more complex sorcery work, such as study, innovation, casting in groups, casting with longer duration, and spelling competitively.

Eras of Krynn: 415 AC (32 SC).

Exploring Krynn. The sourcebook doesn't have much geographical information, except details on The Academy of Sorcery overlooking Solace, a quintessential Fifth Age locale.

"The Killing Frost" starts out in Solace, offering a nice connection between the source material and the adventure, and then moves to Southern Ergoth. There's a brief visit to Castle Eastwatch, which gets some details and maps, then most of the adventure takes place in Foghaven Valley, including Huma's Tomb and Dragon Mountain. This is all a nice homage to DL7: "Dragons of Light" (1985), which visited many of these same locales 12 years (or 64 AC) earlier.

Artifacts of Note: Huma's Dragonlance. It's back to Huma's tomb to get dragonlances again, just like in DL7: "Dragons of Light", except this time it's Huma's Dragonlance.

Races of Note. Heroes of Sorcery touches upon several magical races.

  • The huldrefolk are a fay people that are among Krynn's more confusing, because of the very similarly named "hulderfolk", who are elves. The error seems to have originated with Time of the Dragon (1989), which used both spellings for the elven race; the fay were later revealed as their own race in Tales of the Lance (1992).
  • The irda are high ogres, and would soon receive more attention in Rise of the Titans (2000).
  • The scions were originally part of the smith-heresy for dwarves that originated with Tales of the Lance (1992) and Dwarven Kingdoms of Krynn (1993); where the rest of that origin was decanonized, the magic scions have stuck around.

NPCs of Note. Heroes of Sorcery includes information on eight notable sorcerers. Five of them had appeared previously:

  • Jaclyn Cashell, the head librarian of the Tower of Wayreth, originated a month earlier in The Last Tower: The Legacy of Raistlin (1997).
  • Mistress Jenna, Dalamar's apprentice and lover, appeared in early Fifth Age sources such as "The Legacy" (1987) from Dragonlance: The Second Generation (1994) and in Dragons of Summer Flame (1995).
  • The Master of the Tower of Wayreth, an avatar of the Tower, appeared in the Dragons of a New Age trilogy (1996-1998).
  • Palin Majere, a character with a long history, originated in the short stories "The Legacy" (1987) and "Wanna Bet?" (1987). He then fought in Dragons of Summer Flame (1995), was a Hero of the Heart in Dragons of a New Age (1996-1998), and would make more major appearances in the War of Souls (2000-2002). Whew!
  • The Shadow Sorcerer, an aspect of Takhisis, also appeared in the Dragons of a New Age trilogy (1996-1998).

The last three, Emma Xela, Theo Drawde, and Finkle of the Green Robes.

As usual, the Dragons of a New Age adventure also features several notable characters. That starts with the Heroes of the Heart, this time represented by Blister Nimblefingers, Dhamon Grimwulf, Ferilleeagh Dawnsprinter, Rig Mer-Kel, and Ulin Majere. A few Heroes of the Lance also make appearances: Caramon and Tika appear in minor role, while Gilthanas is more important to the story. And the foe this time? The players could end up fighting dragon overlord Gellidus. It won't go well.

About the Creators. Brown got his start in the gaming industry writing for White Wolf and acting as an editor for West End. When he came to TSR, most of his work went to the Fifth Age line, starting with Heroes of Sorcery (1997). He'd author four different SAGA books in 1998.

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 shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
146
ISBN
0786906804
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37.01 MB
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File Last Updated:
July 18, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on August 29, 2017.