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Dragons of Winter (3.5)

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War of the Lance Campaign, Volume Two

Winter chill spreads across the lands of Ansalon even as the Dragonarmies continue their terrible war. Dragons of all colors seem all but unstoppable, and legend of the dragonlance seems little more than a child’s bedtime tale.

The heroes must continue their journey to unite the nations in a war against the armies of the Dark Queen and find the keys to fighting evil on equal footing. From knowledge gained in the ancient port city of Tarsis, to the frozen tundra of Icereach, to the legendary stronghold known as the High Clerist’s Tower, the companions might find powerful weapons and lost relics … and perhaps the answers to age-old questions.

Dragons of Winter is a DRAGONLANCE® adventure for the d20 System set in the War of the Lance era. It can be played as the starting point of a new campaign or continue the adventure starting with Dragons of Autumn. The adventure is designed for characters of 9th–11th level and requires the use of the War of the Lance sourcebook from Sovereign Press, the Dragonlance Campaign Setting, and d20 System core rulebooks from Wizards of the Coast.

This adventure product is a new presentation of the classic Dragonlance adventures first published over twenty years ago. The text incorporates two decades of information and updates from Dragonlance novels and games, including Dragons of Winter Night and Dragons of the Highlord Skies written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

Note: The eBook version of this book includes print-quality maps provided as single pages at the end of the document.
Product History

Dragons of Winter (2007), by Cam Banks and Sean Macdonald, is volume two in the Dragonlance War of the Lance campaign for D&D 3.5e. It was published as a PDF in November 2007 by Sovereign Press, under license from Wizards of the Coast. The print book appeared in December 2007, but most of the world didn't see it until January or February 2008.

About the Cover. The cover is a reprint of the cover from DL6: "Dragons of Ice" (1985), which shows the white dragon Sleet attacking the players' boat in the epilogue to the adventure.

An End for Sovereign Press. Sovereign Press received a license from Wizards of the Coast in 2003 to publish new Dragonlance supplements. However by 2007, that company was winding down — to be replaced by a successor company, Margaret Weis Productions. Unlike the previous book in the series, Dragons of Winter was published under the newer name.

Margaret Weis Productions would soon face another ending as well: In April 2007, they announced their license to Dragonlance was ending at the end of the year, which left the future of this trilogy of adventures in doubt.

Because this book was published under license, years later, it's now available for republication by Wizards.

Continuing the Dragonlance Revival. Though Margaret Weis Productions was approaching the end of its Dragonlance license, it was still a great time to be producing Dragonlance material, because the setting was being supported in a variety of media. Devil's Due finished their comic book adaptation of the second Dragonlance novel in January 2007, then published it as a nice hardcover in April: Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Winter Night (1985). Meanwhile Dragonlance's original writers, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis published their second Lost Chronicles in July 2007, Dragons of the Highlord Skies (2007). Like Dragons of the Dwarven Depths (2006), it revealed new stories from the War of the Lance. Finally, there was also a movie in process, which would adapt the first Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight (1984).

Revamping the Second Chronicle. Like its predecessor, Dragons of Autumn (2006), Dragons of Winter revamped four of the original Dragonlance adventures: DL6: "Dragons of Ice" (1985), DL7: "Dragons of Light" (1985), DL8: "Dragons of War" (1985), and DL9: "Dragons of Deceit" (1985). However, it's also been updated using a few different sources: Dragons of Winter Night (1985), the original novel that told the story of these adventures; Dragons of the Highlord Skies (2007), the Lost Chronicles that detailed Kitiara's adventures during this period; and the 15th Anniversary Edition (1999), a previous revision of these adventures that featured new scenes and characters.

Many of the updates and revisions in Dragons of Winter are intended to give players more choice in the adventure and to provide GMs with more ability to react to unexpected decisions. Dragons of Winter also contains some expanded notes on some characters and more details on some locales, such as Tarsis and the Elfrealms in Exile (and the south in general).

Out of Character: Don't Split the Party! The original Dragonlance Saga (1984-1986) made the controversial decision to give players pregenerated characters that allowed them to be more deeply integrated with the story. DL6: "Dragons of Ice" then made an equally controversial decision: it split up the party, removing half of the Companions from the first four adventures, and instead giving players other characters to play.

Dragons of Winter follows the party split from the original adventures; the characters available for play are much the same as in DL6-DL9. They are: Aran (previously Aaron), Elistan, Flint, Gilthanas, Laurana, Sturm, and Tasslehoff. However, the former PC Derek Crownguard has been turned into an NPC. The PC role has been filled with Brian Donner, a Knight of Solomania from Dragons of Winter Night and Dragons of the Highlord Skies. Dragons of Winter also offers two replacement PCs for later in the adventure: Theodenes and Vanderjack, both of whom had been introduced as NPCs in DL7: "Dragons of Light".

Dragons of Winter alternatively offers players the ability to play their own characters by creating them in archetypal roles that match the storyline. The possible archetypes are: the bon vivant (Aran), the gallant (Brian), the hawk (Gilthanas), the idealist (Sturm), the maiden (Laurana), the mentor (Flint), the rogue (Tasslehoff), and the shepherd (Elistan). One more role is offered: the golden general. Though Laurana fit this role in the original novels, any of the PCs can now take it on — showing how this fourth edition of the Dragonlance Saga worked hard to increase the agency of the PCs.

About the Creators. The original Dragons of Winter adventures were written by Jeff Grubb, Laura Hickman, Tracy Hickman, Harold Johnson, and Doublas Niles. They were adapted for Dragons of Winter by Cam Banks and Sean Macdonald, with additional design by Joe Mashuga, Clark Valentine, and Scott Williams.

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
204
ISBN
978-1-931567-36-7
Publisher Stock #
SVP4205
File Size:
25.06 MB
Format
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
March 16, 2015
This title was added to our catalog on March 17, 2015.