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Dragonlance Classics Volume I (2e) $7.99
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Greg T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2018 20:27:26

Bargain basement treatment of classic modules.

The original product: Dragonlance Classics Volume 1 re-presents the original 1E adventures DL1 to DL4, in an attempt to accurately re-print the original material while updating it to 2nd Edition. On the plus side, all the original narrative text is here, and all of the original art, albeit rearranged in ways that don't entirely do justice to the original presentation. You're getting four classic modules in one book at a cheap price, so it's attractive for that reason.

Unfortunately the update to 2E leaves something to be desired. In some (but not all) of the original books, complete monster stat-blocks were presented in-line at the relevant point in the text, convenient for running the adventure. In this edition, all monster stat blocks have been removed, replaced by a table at the rear of the volume. This table does not include monster descriptions, special attacks or special abilities, so you'll need copies of the 2E Monstrous Compendium and Dragonlance supplement to make use of them. In addition, typos leave some monsters blank entirely (the Giant Bees from Dragons of Hope, for example.) It's the cheapest and laziest possible conversion to 2E, so that's a little disappointing.

Fortunately the original modules remain solid. They're full of odd flaws (asking you to use a party of unbalanced pre-created characters; a frankly baffling first act of the first module; far too many NPCs and far too frequent use of railroading), but their unique personality makes up for it. These are infamously the modules that come with sheet music and poetry. The story has genuine depth and epic scope.

DriveThruRPG's version: The book loses something further in translation to DriveThruRPG. The scan is not high resolution. It looks bad on screen. It looks worse in print on demand. The PoD version does NOT have lettering on the spine (unlike DLC2, which for some reason does), the pages have a "printed from a bad scan" look, and (as with most DriveThru POD books) the maps have been chopped up and bound at the rear of the book and are basically unusable - you'll need the digital copy to access these meaningfully. As an aide to a presentation of these modules it's acceptable, but as a standalone product or display artifact it falls short.

My advice: If you're running the original modules and have a choice of systems, the 3.5 update of these adventures is vastly better, benefitting from actual new content and a loving restoration with an eye to more mature adventure design, while keeping faith with the original presentation and content of the DL series. If you're running 2E, you may be better off just buying the original modules - given that you still need the 2E monster books to go with this, there's nothing you get here that you wouldn't get from combining the original 1E modules with the 2E Monstrous Compendium.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Dragonlance Classics Volume I (2e)
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