Wizards of the Coast have announced that the remaining releases of Dungeons & Dragons this year will feature the return of two of the TTRPG’s most popular locations: Dragonlance and Spelljammer.
Announced as part of today’s D&D Direct, sailing through the ether will return this summer in Spelljammer: Adventures in Space. This new campaign setting is introduced via three books that can be purchased together as a collection in a slipcase complete with DM screen and map.
“The defining setting for D&D is the multiverse and all the worlds within it,” said Chris Perkins, one of D&D’s lead designers. “What [Spelljammer] is that you can not only travel from world to world, but also explore the space between the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons.”
The books include the Astral Adventurer’s Guide, which contains essential source materials for players and dungeon masters. The most important of these materials are the six new playable races: the Astral Elves, the robotic Autognomes, the Hadozee (flying monkeys), the Giff (Hippofolk), the Plasmoids (shape-shifting mud) and the insectoid Thri-kreen.
Next to the Astral Guide is Boo’s Astral Menagerie, named after the tiny giant space hamster from Baldur’s Gate. This is a bestiary of Spelljammer’s many new monsters, including vampires, space clowns, and sun and moon dragons.
The final Spelljammer book is The Light of Xaryxis, a 12-episode campaign book, each with a cliffhanger ending. Stringing these together tells the full story of this return to the popular Spelljammer setting.
“Spelljammer is very close to my heart,” Perkins says, recalling a Spelljammer campaign he ran for five years in the mid-’90s, inspired by Star Trek: TNG (at the height of its popularity). “Memories of those games still linger in my psyche – it’s such a fun setting and I’ve always wanted to bring it back in the current iteration of the rules so other people can have the same joyous experience.”
While the Spelljammer announcement was the most detailed, arguably the most exciting reveal is the official announcement that Dragonlance is returning to D&D. While little was shown during the presentation other than an animated trailer revealing two planned Dragonlance products, a post-event Q&A with D&D Executive Producer Ray Winninger provided plenty of details on what we expect from the revival of the Dragonlance classic settings can expect.
The tabletop sourcebook, due out later this year — along with a “tabletop fighting game” called Warriors of Krynn — will include both an adventure module titled Shadow of the Dragon Queen and a setup guide, similar to recent D&D books like 2019’s MTG crossover Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos or Eberron: Rising From the Last War. “One of the things we talked about a lot in the studio,” says Winninger, “is that sometimes the best way introducing players to a new – or unfamiliar – setting, story or campaign.”
The campaign story will take place alongside events from novels such as The Dragonlance Chronicles, covering the in-world saga known as The War of the Lance, with characters from the books appearing throughout (including one of the series’ main villains, apparently) . ). It will also venture into less explored regions of the fantasy world of Krynn like the southern continent of Ansalon, along with “a few” recognizable locations.
“Don’t think of it as an ‘untold chapter’ for the well-known protagonists from the novels,” Winninger said, “it’s a brand new Dragonlance story.” Though he was also quick to claim that it didn’t erase the series’ story either. “This is not a reset of the setting, it does not invalidate or change any of the previous Dragonlance stories. It doesn’t throw away any of that – it adds detail around the edges and builds on that.”
Coming alongside the new RPG book is Warriors of Krynn, a more traditional board game focused on the large-scale military battles that take place during the War of the Lance. “One of the original 12 Dragonlance modules was actually a war game,” says Winninger. “It asked you to end your RPG experience and play a little bit of a war game, so we’re releasing this fighting game in the spirit of that.”
He explains that Warriors is a cooperative game designed “in the style of today’s very popular Euro board games”. It seems like it will also serve as a complement to the 5e module so if and/or when a party joins one of these massive battles they will have the opportunity to import their characters into Warriors of Krynn to see how they cut off in full blown war. Winninger insists that this is of course “entirely optional” and that the Dragon Queen’s sourcebook will also contain more abstract rules for resolving the historical battles.
The new Dragonlance products are scheduled for release “late 2022”, while Spelljammer: Adventures in Space will be released on August 16 (along with a collection of new Spelljammer Wizkids figures). The D&D Direct also showed Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, revealing the full title and release date of the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie.
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