In 1984, TSR published the first Dragonlance game module, Dragons of Despair, and the first novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight. The novel began the Chronicles trilogy, a core element of the Dragonlance world. While the authoring team of Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote the setting's central books, numerous other authors contributed novels, short stories and game supplements to the setting. Over 190 novels have used the Dragonlance setting; the Dragonlance campaign setting has also been used for multiple editions of Dungeons & Dragons and for the SAGA System. Following Wizards of the Coast's acquisition of TSR in 1997, Wizards licensed Dragonlance to Margaret Weis's company Sovereign Press to produce game materials; this licensing agreement ran from 2001 to 2007. Dragonlance is scheduled to return in 2022 with a new adventure module and the start of a new novel trilogy.
In December 2022, the first Dragonlance adventure module, titled Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, for 5th Edition will be released. The module will be set during the War of the Lance; Wizards of the Coast has stated that the module will not require prior knowledge of the setting or the novels to play the module. An integrated board game, titled Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn, will also be released; it was designed by Stephen Baker and Rob Daviau. Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn is a wargame that focuses on military battles during the War of the Lance. Both games can be played independently; however, the adventure module includes rules for using the board game to resolve the military battles that occur in the narrative.
TSR created Dragonlance as a campaign setting for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) roleplaying game in 1982, publishing the first of a series of modules, Dragons of Despair, in March 1984. They published the first world-spanning sourcebook, Dragonlance Adventures, in 1987. When AD&D was updated to the 2nd edition in 1989, the Dragonlance campaign setting was updated as well. However, in 1996, Dragonlance was converted to use the new SAGA System, which uses cards to determine the effects of actions, with the publication of the Dragonlance: Fifth Age roleplaying game.
When the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons was released in 2000, Dragonlance was not initially updated for the new edition. In 2002, Margaret Weis's company Sovereign Press acquired the license to publish 3rd Edition Dragonlance material. The official update, Dragonlance Campaign Setting, was published in 2003 for the 3.5 Edition. Wizards of the Coast turned over all responsibility for maintaining the Dragonlance setting to Sovereign Press until 2007. The campaign setting was not supported during the 4th Edition era (2008-2013) of Dungeons & Dragons.
In March 2022, Wizards released the PDF Heroes of Krynn which is part of the "Unearthed Arcana" public playtest series for the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Polygon commented that this "all but confirmed" the return of the Dragonlance setting. In April 2022, it was announced that the setting will be revisited in December 2022 with a new adventure module for the 5th Edition.
Other gods of the setting include the gods of good Branchala, Habbakuk, Kiri-Jolith, Majere, and Mishakal; the gods of neutrality Chislev, Reorx, Shinare, Sirrion, and Zivilyn; and the gods of evil, Chemosh, Hiddukel, Morgion, Sargonnas, and Zeboim.
The history of the world of Krynn, and thus the settings for both the novels and gaming supplements, is roughly split into five separate ages. The first age is the time of creation, when the gods are born and Krynn is formed. The Age of Dreams, the second age, is marked by the rapid growth of the world's first great civilizations and the appearance of myriad new races. This era is also marked by three great wars between dragons and their minions. Following the Third Dragon War, in the Age of Might, the Cataclysm obliterates the great empire of Istar and changes almost the entire surface of Krynn. A 300-year depression follows this event, in what is called the Age of Despair. This period also marks the War of the Lance. When Dragonlance was first introduced to Dungeons & Dragons, events such as the Lost Wars happened during The Age of Despair. Later Age of Mortals novels and game supplements took Krynn into the Fifth Age (the Age of Mortals).
Dragonlances are rare and not commonly traded. There are lesser dragonlances, which are made when only one of the artifacts is used to create them, and greater dragonlances, which are made when both artifacts are used to make them. Greater dragonlances are blessed with the power of Good, unlike lesser dragonlances.
There are two sizes of dragonlance. The smaller footman's dragonlance is around eight feet long and functions as a pole weapon, while the larger mounted dragonlance is around sixteen feet long and most commonly used when mounted on a dragon.
Like in many Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings, the fictional world of the Dragonlance campaign is shaped by the division by race, with white humans as the central focus, but also including elves, goblins, and many others. With the species in many cases clearly assigned to "good" and "evil", some critics have suggested that the setting had the potential to raise racist expectations. The authors take an active stance against racist ideology and ensure that a "fascistic genocidal campaign to wipe-out species that are considered 'impure'" would have catastrophic consequences. In contrast, the need for tolerance and cooperation between the races is emphasized.
Dragonlance modules and sourcebooks are role-playing game books created for the Dragonlance campaign setting. These books were created for multiple editions of Dungeons & Dragons and for the SAGA System.
The Dragonlance game project began with Tracy and Laura Hickman, and the idea of a world dominated by dragons. As they drove from Utah to Wisconsin so Tracy could take up a job with TSR in 1981, they discussed this idea. In 1982, Tracy proposed at TSR a series of three modules featuring evil dragons. When this plan reached then head of TSR Gary Gygax, it fitted well with an idea he had considered of doing a series of 12 modules each based on one of the official Monster Manual dragons. The project was then developed, under the code name "Project Overlord" to plan the series. The original group included Tracy Hickman, Harold Johnson, Larry Elmore, Carl Smith and Jeff Grubb. Later in the development process it was decided that a trilogy of fantasy novels would be released with the modules. Originally an external writer was hired, but the design group found themselves more and more disillusioned with his work. At this point it was suggested that Hickman and Margaret Weis, an editor in TSR's book department who had become involved with the project, ought to write the books. They wrote the five chapters over a weekend and were given the job to write the accompanying novels based on that. The first module, Dragons of Despair, was published in March 1984. Then in November 1984, Dragons of Autumn Twilight was published. This novel was written after the completion of the first Dragonlance game modules. Weis and Hickman felt this was constraining and made the novel feel too episodic, so they reversed the process for the next books and completed the novels before the related modules were written. The first Krynn setting guide, Dragonlance Adventures, would follow in 1987.
When AD&D was updated to the 2nd edition in 1989, the Dragonlance campaign setting was updated as well. In 1993, the product line for AD&D was canceled. However, the Dragonlance fiction line "remained wildly successful" and included "some 60 novels and anthologies"; "TSR wanted to bring those fiction fans back into the roleplaying fold if they could, and so a new team was set to work to create a new Dragonlance game". In 1996, Dragonlance was converted to TSR's new SAGA System with the publication of the Dragonlance: Fifth Age roleplaying game. The SAGA System has a more narrative focused gameplay style than AD&D and uses cards to determine the effects of actions. Shannon Appelcline commented that "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". The majority of the SAGA line was set during 414 AC, however, the final releases of the line were set in 383 AC.
After Wizards of the Coast's acquisition of TSR, the 3rd Edition of Dungeons & Dragons was released in 2000 and Wizards announced that the Dragonlance setting would not be supported. However, Wizards allowed a group of fans to support the line for the 3rd Edition on the internet. Initially, the Dragonlance-L mailing list updated the setting; this mailing list would become known as the Whitestone Council and would maintain The Dragonlance Nexus website. The Whitestone Council was supported by both Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. Then in 2002, Margaret Weis's company Sovereign Press acquired the license to publish 3rd Edition Dragonlance material. The official update, Dragonlance Campaign Setting, was published in 2003 for the 3.5 Edition; it moved the timeline to 422 AC and was set six months "after the end of the War of Souls trilogy (2000-2002)". Appelcline highlighted that "the Whitestone Council was asked to review Sovereign's manuscript and in a few cases also got to submit minor bits for the new setting book. The Council would continue to be important to Sovereign following the publication of the Dragonlance Campaign Setting, with a few members contributing increasingly large amounts to later releases". Sovereign Press maintained the Dragonlance line until 2007. 2b1af7f3a8