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Legends of the Twins (3.5)

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Create Your Own Legend…

One twin plots in a dark tower, mastering the arcane forces of magic and learning the secrets that will allow him to enter the Portal and challenge the gods themselves. The other twin hides from personal demons at the bottom of a bottle, not yet having found the courage and wisdom to become whole. Their legend will change both the history of Krynn and its future.

The legends of other heroes stand waiting to be written. Personal journeys, great quests, and heroic sacrifices all lie ahead. Sometimes it is not the world that needs to be saved, but a soul. The River of Time not only provides the chance to find the forgotten history of Krynn, but a chance to visit the world as it might have been. Discover an Ansalon untouched by Cataclysm, where the Godpriest reigns supreme; visit a magocracy, a land in which the Orders of High Sorcery rule through the power of magic; roam the dragonlands, crushed under the terrible might of the Dark Queen and her dragon highlords.

Legends of the Twins is a resource for games set in the world of DRAGONLANCE. Inside one will find information for players, including variant rules for character traits, new feats, prestige classes. New spells and magic items allow characters to journey across the River of Time. Dungeon Masters will discover an amazing wealth of campaign possibilities, including travel into Ansalon’s distant past or many different alternate versions of the world—available to introduce into a current campaign or as a launching point of one that is entirely new. All information within this volume is fully compatible with the revised edition of the d20 System game.

Product History

Legends of the Twins (2006), by Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis, Chris Pierson, Seth Johnson, and Aaron Rosenberg, is the third Campaign Setting Companion for Dragonlance 3e. It was published in February 2006.

Continuing Sovereign's Dragonlance Saga. Following the publication of the Dragonlance Campaign Setting (2003), Sovereign Press published two "Companions" which each provided specific details on one era of play. Age of Mortals (2003) covered the fifth age of Krynn, while War of the Lance (2004) detailed the fourth age until just past the end of the eponymous war.

Meanwhile, War of the Lance had also been something more: it was effectively a sourcebook for the Dragonlance Chronicles novels (1984-1985). Sovereign's third and final Campaign Setting Companion was thus the (somewhat) obvious follow-up: a sourcebook for the Dragonlance Legends novels (1986) that also covered several more years of the fourth age, past the end of the War of the Lance.

The Dragonlance Legends novels weren't just a chronicle of the next few years in Krynn's history though. They depicted the wizard Raistlin's quest for power, and his journey back through time to achieve it. This made Legends of the Twins a somewhat unusual sourcebook. Though it details a bit of the fourth age of Krynn, its real focus is on time travel, inclduing the historical events that Raistlin visited. However, Raistlin also saw an alternate timeline of a dying Krynn. This idea created yet another focal point for the book, which looks at how the Dragonlance universe could have diverged in several different ways.

A History of Time Travel. The idea of time travel doesn't show up very frequently in fantasy roleplaying games, and even when it does it's usually a pretty minor element. For example, the Basic D&D Blackmoor adventures (1986-1987) used time travel solely as a convenient means to get players back to the long-fallen kingdom. However, two past D&D supplements had placed time travel in a more prominent role. In CM6: "Where Chaos Reigns" (1985), players traveled across time to fight another time traveling race, while Chronomancer (1995) was all about time magic.

The Re-Return of Tracy Hickman. As with its predecessor, War of the Lance, Tracy Hickman sort of returns for this new roleplaying sourcebook, by way of an adventure that he'd previously written for a smaller audience. This time it's "Anvil of Time", which Hickman originally wrote for Dungeon #86 (May/June 2001). At the time of its original publication it marked Hickman's return to the world of game design after 14 years (mostly) away and also the first Dragonlance adventure for Dungeons & Dragons third edition (2000). Hickman's strange "temporal dungeon" was a perfect match for a time-travel supplement, so it was updated for the 3.5e Dragonlance Campaign Setting by André La Roche.

Hickman would later use the idea of the Anvil of Time as the frame for a series of novels (2008-2009) that he curated, which contained "the lost stories that fell between the pages of the history books of Krynn".

Expanding D&D. Sovereign was always happy to use their Companion sourcebooks to update and revamp the D&D rules as they applied to the world of Krynn. The biggest expansion in Legends is the idea of "character traits", which combine benefits and drawbacks into a tight little roleplaying package. Similar advantages and disadvantages can be found throughout the roleplaying field since the '80s, but this was a rare appearance for D&D. Legends of the Twins also revises the mariner core class from Age of Mortals, introduces a new knightly prestige class, the Knight of the Divine Hammer, and revisits the new feats from the last two Setting Companions, with some expansions.

Adventure Tropes: Alternate Realities. The "Alternate Krynns" of Legends of the Twins were the best received part of the book. This was probably in part due to a general love of "What If?" questions, but it also might have reflected a tension brought over from the earliest days of Dragonlance. The original War of the Lance saga (1984-1986) was heavily plotted, but now players were offered the ability to change history in all sorts of ways.

The best-loved alternate realities were probably:

  • "Hourglass in the Sky", which depicts the possibility of Raistlin winning everything (and destroying Krynn) at the end of Dragonlance Legends; and
  • "Kingpriest Ascendant", which revisits an alternate timeline created by Roger E. Moore for the short story "There Is Another Shore, You Know, Upon the Other Side" in The Dragons of Chaos (1998).

Expanding Dragonlance. For fans of the War of the Lance, Legends of the Twins provides background for what came next, taking the history of the world from 354 AC to 362 AC, including extensive info on the Blue Lady's War.

However, because Legends of the Twins is a sourcebook for Dragonlance Legends it also details several other time periods, including: Istar during the Age of Might, both during the Lost Battles and just before the Cataclysm; and the Dwarfgate Wars during the early Age of Despair.

NPCs of Note. Legends of the Twins includes stats for the most powerful version of Raistlin ever published — the archmage of War of the Twins (1986). He's a CR 28 foe who even gets a 10th level spell (maximized delayed blast fireball). It's a big change from the 3rd level magic-user who appeared in DL1: "Dragons of Despair" (1984) with 8 hit points and 3 spells.

About the Creators. As is often the case for modern D&D books, an entire coterie of authors worked on Legends of the Twins. Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis are, of course, the creators of Dragonlance. Johnson was a freelancer who'd previously written Kingdoms of the Swords & Stars: Dunkargans & Karnuans (2003) for the Sovereign Stone line. Pierson was a fiction author who was now doing some roleplaying work for Sovereign. Finally, Rosenberg was another freelancer, who'd been doing various d20 work over the last few years.

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
Pages
208
ISBN
1-931567-31-X
Publisher Stock #
SVP4003
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4.45 MB
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File Last Updated:
April 20, 2015
This title was added to our catalog on April 21, 2015.