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Dragonlance Classics: 15th Anniversary Edition (2e/SAGA)

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Five years ago, a group of adventuring companions went in search of the gods who had left the world centuries before. Now these friends gather at the Inn of the Last Home for what they believe will be their final meeting...

But what they face is instead a beginning. For the world of Krynn stands at a historic crossroads: Armies of darkness are sweeping across the land, and legendary evils have returned for a new and terrible purpose.


To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the publication of the first DRAGONLANCE adventure TSR proudly presents a retelling of the greatest fantasy roleplaying epic ever. Players can assume the roles of Raistlin, Tasslehoff, Tanis, and other Heroes of the Lance, or create original heroes.

The DRAGONLANCE Classics 15th Anniversary Edition features many all-new scenes, including meetings with Dalamar, Ariakan, and other more recent additions to the Saga. It is fully compatible with both the AD&D and SAGA(r) game rules.

Product History

Dragonlance Classics 15th Anniversary Edition (1999), by Steve Miller and Stan! Brown, revisits the original Dragonlance Chronicles adventures. It was published in May 1999.

Origins (I): Celebrating the Silver Anniversary. OD&D was published in January 1974. 1999 was thus the twenty-fifth, or silver, anniversary of the game. Wizards of the Coast decided to celebrate this anniversary by revisiting many of their classic titles. In all, there would be six silver anniversary releases, running from May 1999 to November 1999. They would return to classic adventures in many different ways.

Dragonlance Classics 15th Anniversary Edition (1999) kicked things off by retelling the original Dragonlance Chronicles adventures (1984-1986) with totally new design and development by Steve Miller and Stan! Brown. It was one of just two Silver Anniversary adventures that updated a classic adventure to AD&D 2e (1989-2000) without notably expanding it, the other being the RPGA-only Ravenloft Silver Anniversary Edition (1999); of the two, Dragonlance Classics includes the more extensive updates.

Origins (II): Celebrating the 15th Anniversary. The original Dragonlance Chronicles ran through adventures DL1-DL14 (1984-1986) while simultaneously appearing in the Dragonlance Chronicles novels (1984-1985), marking TSR's first multimedia release. Afterward, the line never found a new focus. Time of the Dragon (1989), which introduced the continent of Taladas, probably marked the line's most successful expansion, but otherwise it meandered through numerous reboots and new attempts to initiate new players. Ultimately, the AD&D Dragonlance line was cancelled in 1993, but not before TSR decided that classic Chronicles adventures were better sellers than modern takes on the setting. As a result, the original Dragonlance Chronicles were reprinted as the Dragonlance Classics (1990, 1993-1994) … despite the fact that they were all written with AD&D 1e rules!

Dragonlance: Fifth Age (1996) gave the setting its first chance to lay a new foundation and actually build upon it for a few years. The non-AD&D game was not to everyone's taste, but it was extensively supported from 1996-2000, with a timeline that pushed considerably into Krynn's future. This was the publishing context when Wizards of the Coast decided to produce a Silver Anniversary book for Dragonlance.

Except 1999 wasn't just the Silver Anniversary for D&D, but also the Crystal Anniversary for Dragonlance, which began publication in March 1984. Apparently "crystal anniversary" didn't sound as sexy, so Wizards just labeled it as the "15th anniversary", next to the "silver anniversary" logo for the game as a whole.

Origins (III): Celebrating the Beginning. So how do you crystallize the accomplishments of Dragonlance, 15 years later? The developers for the Silver Anniversary book decided to "go back to the beginning". But, they didn't just want to reprint the original Chronicles but instead "to add something to the Saga … [by] creating an homage to that original tale". The result is a totally new take on the classic story. Some old stuff is cut, some new stuff is added, and the format of the story is totally different.

The formatting changes are in part due to the unsettled state of Dragonlance's mechanics from October 1998 onward. Like most of the final Dragonlance supplements, 15th Anniversary is dual-statted for AD&D and the SAGA system. It may be the most system-agnostic of these later Dragonlance adventures, but its storytelling seems to fall to the SAGA side of things, with a focus on narrative over mechanics, which was quite different from the cutting edge of D&D gameplay back in the mid '80s.

What a Difference an Edition Makes. The 15th Anniversary book is a wholescale rewrite of the original Dragonlance Chronicles adventures from the ground up.
The biggest change is in the style of the adventure. Whereas the original adventures were full of dungeon crawls and hex crawls, the new book is instead encounter-based, with the classic dungeons glossed over. A few major locales have also been cut, including the Tomb of Derkin, the ruins of Istar, and the Glitterpalace. There also aren't multiple endings any more, and the party probably doesn't split up in Tarsis — omitting one of the most awkward translations between the novels and the roleplaying adventures. As for additions? You'll find more background, new characters, and a lot of polish, making the adventure smoother and easier to run.

There's also a bit of a change in who you play. One of the startling Heroes in the original Dragonlance Chronicles adventures was the need to run the Companions of the Lance, rather than telling a story with your own characters. The 15th Anniversary slightly backs off that idea. It still includes all the Companions, but says "You may, if you choose, allow players to bring other heroes into the Dragonlance epic." There's even a short section on doing so.

Adventure Styles: Encounters. The 15th Anniversary is structured entirely unlike the original adventures: whereas the original modules drove the story by constraining choices within the context of hex and dungeon crawls, this new supplement instead uses the standard building block of the '90s: it's one encounter after another in a long series.

Despite that, there are opportunity for real player choices. Multiple choices allow players to walk down different encounter paths, even to skip over what were previously large set pieces, like the dungeons of Xak Tsaroth.

About the Media Tie-In. The original Dragonlance Chronicles were tied to the original Chronicles trilogy of books, but there were variations between the two sources. The 15th Anniversary tightens that up by describing precisely how it's different from the novels. The chapters even "occasionally give tips on how to make the adventure simulate the novels", providing a much closer synergy between the two media.

Expanding the SAGA Game. The Fifth Age game system was built to simulate Krynn after the Second Cataclysm, when magic is largely unavailable. The 15th Anniversary, set firmly in the fourth age, has to provide better access to magic. The supplement provides a few notes on this issue, but GMs will likely need to do some serious development work to prepare for clerics and magic-users.

Exploring Krynn. Though the 15th Anniversary covers the same ground as the original Dragonlance Chronicles adventures, sometimes the details of that ground are notably expanded, such as the description of Qualinest in chapter 6.

NPCs of Note. The role of various characters has been slightly changed in the new adventure. For example, Verminaard now returns a few times, becoming a recurring villain, while Kitiara is more of a frenemy than a pure antagonist.

In addition, a number of characters who were important in later Dragonlance publications, but hadn't been created yet when the Dragonlance Chronicles were written, are now integrated, including: Ariakan, Dalamar, Ladine Dralathalas, and Morgan di Kyre; three of the "DLE" adventurers even show up: Bennybeck Cloudbe, Grenden, and Tarr Ravenseye.

Blowing Up the Canon. With the plotline of the Dragonlance Chronicles somewhat changed, the uncomfortable question arises, which is the true history of the War of the Lance, the adventures from DL1-DL14, the story from the novels, or the adventure in the 15th Anniversary</>I>. (Usually, the higher-profile novels have been used as the true Dragonlance canon.)

About the Creators. Brown and Miller were both parts of the Dragonlance Fifth Age team. Brown's authorial work began with Heroes of Sorcery (1997) and most notably included The Bestiary (1998), while Miller had more frequently worked in a supportive role.

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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Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Nicholas P April 05, 2021 4:48 am UTC
POD please
Customer avatar
Michael T October 25, 2020 8:29 pm UTC
What does "multiple file formats" mean? Is this a physical book?
Customer avatar
Alec S February 03, 2021 6:30 pm UTC
This is not a physical book (no print on demand option). Multiple file formats denotes that the product is delivered with several different types of files. I do not own this particular product, but based on other owned products, my guess would be a PDF file is the main file, containing a full scan of the original book. It is likely paired with another file--my guess would be a poster map that has been scanned and saved as some kind of image file (JPG, etc.). Thus, there are multiple file formats (e.g., PDF and JPG) that are digitally delivered to you when you purchase this product. This is in contrast to products that are all contained within a single PDF file, for instance.
Customer avatar
Shawn E January 03, 2019 9:32 pm UTC
I have the physical book, but just wanted to say this is a 5-star book for me and an excellent buy for anyone looking to run the original modules for 5th edition. Since the book is designed to run 2e or SAGA rules, it is very narrative and I found it worked better for me than the 3.5e Dragons of Autumn... and it is a much more affordable option than buying all three of the 3.5e books or trying to wrangle each of the original DL modules.
Customer avatar
Jacek B February 12, 2020 6:32 pm UTC
I got this book on my shelf and always wanted to run it and it feels maybe time has come. I also got 3.5 e and honestly - I ran 3e back when it was released for years and nowadays I don't so much appreciate games with levels (CoC and Fria Ligan fan now). I might though get 5e just for this - would this be sufficient? I know that Dragonlance is quite modified in terms of magic and would be hard to run without all this. So the question is - would it be better to stick with 3e or get 5e and adapt along the way? Or maybe there is some other system to use?
Customer avatar
Shawn E February 22, 2020 6:39 pm UTC
Sorry for the late reply. I didn't have a problem running this in 5e. We used classes right out of the 5e PHB and our "Goldmoon" was basically a level 1 commoner with a magic staff for healing magic.

You'll need to do some work on the monsters to both create stats and to make sure CR isn't too tough for your party. I nearly wiped my party with some black dragon wyrmlings they bumped into in the swamps. There are lots of 5e homebrew conversions of draconians.
Customer avatar
sam J December 26, 2018 11:39 pm UTC
I bough this campaign book like 20 years ago when it first came out. If you only play one night a week, it will take close to a year to go through this book. As a strait read, you are looking about 12 hours to go through. My teen age family members played every day in the summer and knock the book out within three months.

This is a great book to buy.
Customer avatar
Shawn E February 22, 2020 7:25 pm UTC
Agree. I ran just the equivalent of DL1 (Chapters 1-3) and that felt like a substantial mini-campaign. It took 10 sessions.
Customer avatar
Zia M August 24, 2017 4:25 pm UTC
Unfortunately the double-sided poster map is missing from the release. It had a continental map of Ansalon on one side and a map of Pax Tharkas keyed to this module on the other. Other detail maps are in the book itself and included.
Customer avatar
Jeff V October 09, 2020 12:00 pm UTC
The product has now been updated to include the poster map.
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This title was added to our catalog on August 22, 2017.