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DL9 Dragons of Deceit (1e)

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Beckoned by a mysterious visitor, the heroes embark on a mission into the very heart of the Dragon Highlords' realm. The ominous city of Sanction, crouched in a narrow valley between the mighty volcanoes known as the Lords of Doom, holds the secret of the good dragons' oath.

Unimaginable terrors await the party as they search the city, seeking a key to the fiery lair of the Dragon Highlord and his evil minions. Can the heroes solve the mystery of the dragons' oath? Will they penetrated the deception of the Dark Queen in time to bring salvation to Krynn? Or will their valiant efforts be in vain?

"Dragons of Deceit" is the astounding conclusion to the 2nd book of the epic Dragonlance saga, for use with the AD&D game. You can play this adventure by itself or as part of the grand quest that covers the entire Dragonlance story.

An adventure for characters level 8-10

Product History

DL9: “Dragons of Deceit” (1985), by Douglas Niles, is the ninth in the Dragonlance Chronicles series of adventures. It was published in September 1985.

Continuing the "DL" Series. "Dragons of Deceit" concludes the second book of the Dragonlance Saga, bringing the story of Laurana's group of companions to an end, following their separation from their fellows in DL6: "Dragons of Ice" (1985). Like its predecessors, "Dragons of Deceit" is an epic, novelistic adventure. It also continues the trend of increased size for the Dragonlance adventure: it's 48 pages long, making it the longest Dragonlance book to date.

Dragon of the Month. "Dragons of Deceit" is the copper dragon adventure: the copper dragon Cymbal has been tricked into protecting evil dungeons, and so PCs may be forced to fight him. However, it's a pretty minor use of the dragon species; the silver dragon Dargent from DL7: "Dragons of Light" (1985) actually gets much more attention.

Adventure Tropes. Early parts of "Dragons of Deceit" include city adventuring and some wilderness travel either by sea or land. They're broken up into events and encounters, a technique that would grow increasingly common in the '90s.

However, the bulk of "Dragons of Deceit" is set in the enemy-controlled city of Sanction and in its evil temples. Though the temples are essentially dungeon delves, the city adventure is more innovative: it focuses on infiltration and includes some abstract "flow charts" for when players move through the slums. TSR would expand on the idea of infiltrating an evil city several years later in WGR6: "The City of Skulls" (1993).

The Novel Connection. Novel authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman decided to tell the stories of the second and third books of Dragonlance in parallel, so the events of "Dragons of Deceit" don't appear until the third and final novel, Dragons of Spring Dawning (1985), where they occupy chapters 6-9 of book 1. Most of the words in the novel are spent on Palanthas and on the aerial battle at the end of the adventure — both elements that get just a few pages of attention in the module.

The core of the adventure, which is the infiltration of Sanction, is almost entirely glossed over in Dragons of Spring Dawning. The actions are handed off to Gilthanas and happen off-screen. Gilthanas retells the adventure in a mere 6 pages in chapter 8, saying "Someday I may report the dangers we faced, but I cannot now. … So I will make our tale short"

Expanding AD&D. "Dragons of Deceit" makes a very rare reference to the aerial combat rules from the Dungeon Master Guide (1979) and also provides some slight expansions to them.

Expanding Krynn. "Dragons of Deceit" expands Krynn through brief descriptions of the cities of Palanthas and Sanction. It also finally reveals the secret of the draconians, providing some backstory to the current conflict.

About the Creators. Niles made his return to Dragonlance after having written DL6: "Dragons of Ice" (1985) earlier in the year. He'd come back for two more supplements the next year: DL11: "Dragons of Glory" (1986) and DL14: "Dragons of Triumph" (1986).

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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Ernie N September 02, 2023 11:18 pm UTC
Hello. Please enjoy the 5e conversion I have created for DL9 Dragons of Deceit.
Enjoy and happy gaming.
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TSR DL9137
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13.07 MB
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on July 01, 2014.