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PG1 Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign (2e)

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If you have been intrigued by the Dragonlance setting, but have felt intimidated by the sheer amount of information it comprises, this is the book for you.

This book will not baffle you with "game jargon." It presents the world of Krynn in a manner you are sure to find entertaining and informative. Through a combination of original fiction and long-established fact, you will discover the continent of Ansalon—home to the Heroes of the Lance. You will find information about the races of the world, its major cities and regions, its deities, and its monsters. You will read The River of Time, the chronological history of Krynn. Open this book, and open the world!

Product History

PG1: Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign (1993), by Jonatha Ariadne Caspian and others, is the first Player's Guide setting book. It was published in July 1993.

About the Cover. The cover to the Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign was originally used for DL5: "Dragons of Mystery" (1984). That was effectively the first Dragonlance sourcebook, which made the cover a good match for the newest sourcebook.

Origins (I): A New Leatherette. By 1993, new prestige supplement series were looking like a yearly tradition at TSR, with the "PHBR" (1989-1995), "DMGR" (1990-1997), "HR" (1991-1994), and "CGR" (1992-1994) series all ongoing. Like the recent Campaign Guide References, the Player's Guides were each linked to a different campaign world, but they took an entirely different tack: where the "CGR"s were crunchy book that blended campaign worlds with real mechanics, the "PG"s were the opposite, being totally mechanic free!

TSR explained that the main purpose of these new books was "to introduce each AD&D® game campaign setting to new players"; they worried that the piles of novels, anthologies, and supplements associated with their game worlds could be "daunting", so TSR introduced these Player's Guides as a starting point, acting as a "gateway" to their worlds. To accomplish these goals, TSR wanted the Guides to be free of "jargon, or confusing game statistics", hence the decision to go mechanic-free.

However, the Player's Guides aren't straight-up sourcebooks either. They actually mix fiction with their source material, with the object being to produce an introduction that's very approachable.

Origins (II): A New Dragonlance. Dragonlance was an interesting choice for TSR's first Player's Guide, because the line had struggled throughout the early AD&D 2e era (1989-2000). The epic "DLE" series (1989) and new Time of the Dragon (1989) setting offered fresh starting points for the setting, but then TSR soft-booted the line again with the Tales of the Lance (1992) box and the introductory "DLQ" adventures that followed it.

The equally introductory Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign fits right in with those "DLQ" adventures, but it still begs the question: why did TSR think it was more important to produce an introductory Dragonlance guide than a sourcebook for their more popular Forgotten Realms game setting, or for their exciting new Dark sun setting?

The answer probably lies in the novels. Though Dragonlance's game lines floundered a bit in the early '90s, the novel line was still prospering with series like Dwarven Nations (1993-1994), Meetings (1991-1993), Tales II (992), and Villains (1993-1994) all in production. These extensive publications showed both the potential for the Dragonlance gaming line and the complexity of the Dragonlance gaming world.

The Player's Guide could address both those points.

Exploring Krynn. The Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign is a large-scale overview of the continent of Ansalon, its people, and its gods. It's couched in an extensive narrative, but that doesn't interfere with the objective of providing a big-picture view of the world (or at least of the continent). One of the most interesting parts of the book is its focus on lost folk who are lesser known Ansalon races: bakali, huldrefolk, kyrie, shadowpeople, and thanoi.

The timeline in the Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign goes up to 369 AC, which probably means that it was meant to be contemporary with the 372 AC timeframe of Tales of the Lance.

About the Creators. The Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign is the work of divers hands. David "Zeb" Cook, Michael Dobson, Jeff Grubb, Tracy Hickman, Harold Johnson, Rob King, Douglas Niles, and Margaret Weis are all credited with "source material" though some of that was obviously pre-existing material. The main work was probably done by compiler Jonatha Ariadne Caspian and by project coordinator Karen S. Boomgarden.

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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Graham L July 25, 2022 3:35 am UTC
Hello there! Most of the pages render as gibberish on iOS and macOS. Can you post an updated version? Check page 8 for an example.
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File Last Updated:
December 04, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on December 06, 2016.