The Bestiary of Krynn returns by popular demand! The sourcebook for the creatures of the Dragonlance game world is being reprinted in an expanded, revised edition. All errata from the previous edition has been incorporated into a book that has been re-organized for easier reference. The original artwork that won awards is back, along with creatures useful for Dragonlance campaigns but could be easily ported to other d20 System campaign worlds. Also included are encounter tables and the rules for racial acceptance.
Bestiary of Krynn (2004), by Cam Banks and André La Roche, is a monster manual for Dragonlance. It was published by Sovereign Press in April 2004.
Continuing Sovereign's Dragonlance Saga. After producing the Dragonlance Campaign Settng (2003) for Wizards of the Coast late in 2003, Sovereign Press ended that year with their first licensed release, the setting Companion, Age of Mortals (2003). They then hit the ground running in 2004; from here on, they'd reliably publish four to five Dragonlance books a year. The first of these was Bestiary of Krynn.
At the time, the d20 industry was heavy with monster manuals. White Wolf's Creature Collection (2000) appeared first and was followed by other notables like Wizards' own Monster Manual (2000), Privateer's Monsternomicon (2002), Necromancer's Tome of Horrors (2002). However, Sovereign rightfully believed that they could stand out from the crowd, thanks the depth of the Dragonlance setting.
As far back as DL14: "Dragons of Triumph" (1986) and Dragonlance Adventures (1987), Dragonlance publications had featured the unique creatures of Krynn. The world had even enjoyed two previous monster manuals all its own: MC4: "Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix" (1989) and The Bestiary (1989) for SAGA. Bestiary of Krynn would be the third.
Origins. The Dragonlance Campaign Setting had already included about 20 pages of monsters. It was a highlight reel of the world's best known creatures, including death knights, the original 5 draconians, the dragonspawn of the New Age, spectral minions, thanoi, and a few others. Banks and La Roche were asked to bring together all the other Dragonlance monsters.
Sources. The authors extensively combed through all of Dragonlance's history for monsters. Monsters from well-known RPG sources like the original "DL" series (1985-1986) and Time of the Dragon were obvious, but they also sought out the more obscure supplements such as DLR1: Otherlands (1990), which contributed the rodent funno, the twinned tayfolk, and the bear-people ursoi.
Dragon magazines were similarly consulted, revealing Krynnish monstrosities such as the Graygem-tained gray dragon in Dragon #146 (June 1989) and the goblinoid cave lord and Malystryx's desolation giant in Dragon #256 (February 1999). Of course, the Dragonlance SAGA (1996-2000) system was used as a source too, bringing monsters like the mewling troll over to D&D for the first time. The most obscure source that the authors consulted was probably Wizards' short-lived Legends of the Lance newsletter (1998-1999), which yieled the dark thrall of Onysablet.
The Dragonlance novels were also a source for Dragonlance most comprehensive bestiary ever, again resulting in many monsters being statted up for D&D for the first time. The feeder was drawn from a controversial short story called "Dagger-Flight" by Nick O'Donohoe that originally appeared in Kender, Gully Dwarves, and Gnomes (1987); the skorenoi debuted in Dezra's Quest (1999); and the dragon vassals appeared throughout the New Age novels (1996+).
There were many other sources; the most notable fact about Bestiary of Krynn was how all-inclusive it was.
A'Revising We Go. The original Bestiary of Krynn went out of print in just more than a year. Sovereign then released a revised edition in April 2007. The new edition included errata, revamped stat box formatting, a few new monsters, and a bit of new art. It also totally reorganized the book. The original book had been divided by type, highlighting the most important monster categories in Krynn. It included chapters on: Dragons of Krynn, Races of Krynn, Beasts of Krynn, Magical Creatures of Krynn, Outsiders and Elementals, and Undead of Krynn. The Revised edition was, more simply, alphabetized.
Expanding Krynn. The Bestiary is (of course) full of monsters for use in Krynn. However, it also includes another very important detail: encounter tables listing which standard monsters might appear in a variety of terrain. This was notable because Krynn had been the first D&D setting that limited or changed many of the standard monsters. Figuring out which monsters were present in Krynn was a problem even for designers, as witnessed in DL16: "World of Krynn" (1988), which included not just werewolves (who aren't present in Krynn), but also a tarrasque. Now, designers and GMs alike could see complete lists of what was appropriate for the world.
Monsters of Note. There are many, many monsters of notes in Bestiary of Krynn. Not surprisingly, many of them are dragons or related species like a new variant of the Fifth Age's dragonspawn. There were even a few new monsters. Most notably, Margaret Weis contributed the new aquatic dragon, while Jamie Chambers introduced the noble draconians — a race of "good" draconians born from evil dragon eggs that he'd originally written up for AD&D 2e (1989-2000) as a fan project. Another newbie was the remnant, which Cam Banks introduced to explain the presence of a demilich way back in DL3: "Dragons of Hope" (1984).
Future History. Two books later expanded some of the topics covered in this book: Races of Ansalon (2007) and Dragons of Krynn (2007).
About the Creators. Banks and La Roche had both been with the Sovereign Dragonlance team from the start. They were thanked for their contributions to the Dragonlance Campaign Setting (2003) and credited with Additional Design in Age of Mortals (2003). However, this was their first major outing.
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