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Thread: EN World's Morrus - "Let's Forget the Forgotten Realms"

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    Default EN World's Morrus - "Let's Forget the Forgotten Realms"

    EN World's Morrus wrote an editorial that I think is quite interesting to DL fans.

    Let's Forget the Forgotten Realms

    Here's an excerpt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus
    And Dragonlance - that fired up my teenage mind. I started with the novels. The Chronicles and then the Legends. There was a coherent story, and the characters worked for me. OK, reading them back at age of 37 - they're not great literature. George RR Martin and Scott Lynch are much better. But they did -to me - have a magic that the plethora of D&D books since has lacked. I'm not even sure I can pinpoint it, except that I imagine that it worked because it originally limited itself to stories about a select group of characters. Then it blew it. It followed the Forgotten Realms trajectory of introducing more and more and more until the original excitement became minor and mundane. But if I could jump in a TARDIS and cut Dragonlance off after the end of the Legends, it would remain fairly perfect in my nostalgic mind (as long as I didn't have to re-read them as an adult). Y'know, before the epic story was trivialised by ever escalating events 3 weeks later, and Darth "Vader" Soth was Anakinized with a wimpy personality. Boba Fett was cool till the prequels came along, guys. Now he's nothing.
    You should read the entire article for the full context.

    So Morrus brings up a few interesting points.
    1. D&D setting novels don't tend to have the same depth as other fantasy novels.
    2. Morrus believes that DL should have ended at Legends. Is he right.
    3. Morrus feels that DL would be better served as an adventure path for 5e. Is he right?

    So what do you guys think of the article?

    (This topic covers both gaming and novels, so I'll leave this in the Community section.)
    Trampas Whiteman
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    "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Dragonlance Nexus!"
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    I actually posted over there, rather than here, but I'll summarize:

    Dragonlance isn't suited for the broader D&D audience, but it's a real shame that it's not being recognized for what it is, and not for what the broader D&D audience thinks it is.

    Also, I'm not sure Morrus even knows how many times the original storyline has been redone, and redone, and played through, and mined for more material. I honestly wonder if they just think it was a 1e adventure path and then some novels came out.

    Cheers,
    Cam
    Moderator | Member - Whitestone Council
    Visit Atlas Games for information about Gloom, Once Upon a Time, Ars Magica, Over the Edge, Feng Shui, and many other card games & RPGs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    EN World's Morrus wrote an editorial that I think is quite interesting to DL fans.

    Let's Forget the Forgotten Realms

    Here's an excerpt.



    You should read the entire article for the full context.

    So Morrus brings up a few interesting points.
    1. D&D setting novels don't tend to have the same depth as other fantasy novels.
    2. Morrus believes that DL should have ended at Legends. Is he right.
    3. Morrus feels that DL would be better served as an adventure path for 5e. Is he right?

    So what do you guys think of the article?

    (This topic covers both gaming and novels, so I'll leave this in the Community section.)
    1) Current D&D settings are made for kids. Chronicles started out very adult. Right off the bat, Tanis is a product of rape. You can think of all the horrors of that time. It was brutal, mature, and adult.
    2) That's difficult to say. I love the world. So I want books all about it. I like Kingpriest trilogy, legend of huma, lord Toede, Doom Brigade, Draconian Measures (i'm biased) and all those books. To say Dragonlance should have ended at Legends injures the marvelous stories that people have written for us. However, I should also remind everyone that even Tracy has said that sometimes a good story needs to end, and maybe Dragonlance went too long. Personally, I don't believe in "jumping the shark." I don't believe quality in a setting drops over time. What I believe is a drop in quality because of tired producers rather than a natural occurrence. If I felt that way, then Star Trek should die because it's "jumped the shark" along numerous seasons. A series can alway reinvent themselves. Just look at Thundercats. It's new, it's been redone, and it's very different. So can Dragonlance. That matters is not that the shark is there, what matters is that people take the time and effort to make quality.
    3) Dragonlance is great for adventure paths (i'm trying to create ones with the Paladine Returns thread). It's also great in Manga form. Or Animated. or live action. or novels. or gamebooks. or episodic TV series, or video games. All that matters is that what is produced is top quality, and with love.
    Fanwank
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    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    So Morrus brings up a few interesting points.
    1. D&D setting novels don't tend to have the same depth as other fantasy novels.
    Well, it's the "Conan the Barbarian vs Conan the Destroyer" syndrome. I consider Chronicles, and especially Legends to be literary works of art. The Dark Queen, not so much. I think D&D novels can be GRRMarten epic, if they wanted to. The problem isn't the novels themselves, but direction the company wants in the books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    2. Morrus believes that DL should have ended at Legends. Is he right?
    No. But I think everyone here is biased.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    3. Morrus feels that DL would be better served as an adventure path for 5e. Is he right?
    It all depends on quality of the product, not the form of the product. IF you make a *good quality* Dragonlance Live-action it will happen. If you want novels, it can be novels. Adventure paths are but one of many possible forms, it just has to be good quality, and effort spent. I think, given WotC's limited resources, DL is better served by WotC as adventure paths. DL can be served even better by giving that license back to MWP and let them make Dragonlance with 5e. Heck, DL can be better served asking fans here to make it a 5e setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    So what do you guys think of the article?
    Well, his main point is that D&D5e should be Greyhawk as the setting. Meh. It doesn't have to be. From what we've heard from Monte Cook and Mike Mearls, they want to do something with basic rules, followed by add-on rules. it seems to me logically, they could give us a basic setting, with new worlds added on as well.

    Weldon
    Fanwank
    Formerly from Wikipedia, circa 2006-7,
    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    EN World's Morrus wrote an editorial that I think is quite interesting to DL fans.

    Let's Forget the Forgotten Realms

    Here's an excerpt.



    You should read the entire article for the full context.

    So Morrus brings up a few interesting points.
    1. D&D setting novels don't tend to have the same depth as other fantasy novels.
    2. Morrus believes that DL should have ended at Legends. Is he right.
    3. Morrus feels that DL would be better served as an adventure path for 5e. Is he right?

    So what do you guys think of the article?

    (This topic covers both gaming and novels, so I'll leave this in the Community section.)
    1. That doesn't have to be true, but for the most part it is. The target audience of D&D books is probably around the 15-year-old mark, give or take. Like he said, as a 37-year-old, they don't hold the same mystique. I haven't read Chronicles and Legends recently, so I don't know how my 27-year-old brain will process them compared to my 14-year-old one. I will have to reread them sometime.

    2. I actually somewhat agree with him on this, but not totally. I think the TIMELINE should have stopped there, but that doesn't mean there can't be stories that take place around that time or even long before then. I believe Dragonlance degenerated for a number of reasons, one of which is that the iconic books stopped being relevant due to being so far in the past that the current timeline isn't affected by them anymore. That and the setting changed so significantly in a short time.

    3. I don't agree with Morrus here. I think the Chronicles adventure path should exist, because it is the most iconic part of the setting, but the setting is also a good one to use. But I think it needs to go back to around the time of Chronicles and Legends. People should have the option to play in the setting for the books and they should have the option to do more than just play the Chronicles AP. What about after that?

    I am hoping with the modularity of D&DNext that they put out more settings, because they should be smaller. Don't detail the setting right down to the color of the mayor's underwear. That has been the problem with the setting books, they are too friggin' big and overly detailed. I envision the smallest possible hardcover for player's rules (hate PB, sorry), and a slightly larger book for the DM. At most, I would think a medium hardcover (250 pages at most) that included both. Just give us the basics.
    Sallis the Silver Blaze
    Member of the Whitestone Council

    When a man strays from the right path, a kind man needs the courage to raise his fist and correct him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    So Morrus brings up a few interesting points.
    1. D&D setting novels don't tend to have the same depth as other fantasy novels.
    2. Morrus believes that DL should have ended at Legends. Is he right.
    3. Morrus feels that DL would be better served as an adventure path for 5e. Is he right?
    1. I don't know if I agree with this point as I haven't read Chronicles and Legends recently, but I can see how someone can develop this opinion. D&D novels are targeted at roughly the 15-year-old boy demographic, so I wouldn't expect a cathartic experience from reading the books as an adult. The is in contrast to books by GRRM or Robert Jordan in that they aren't intended to draw the reader into playing the game the books are based off of.

    2. This I agree with Morrus on. DL's degradation, IMO, started after this point. Too much blowing up and timeline advancement occurred after that point. In the span of ten years, the timeline advanced what, 60-80 years, the world was blown up three times, and the original books stopped being relevant. I would much rather they did what Cam did, and focus on the time around or immediately after the War of the Lance and Legends. Thing is, when they advanced the timeline so much, they made Krynn feel small, like shoot, nothing's going on here, but something big happened twenty years after that. People got into Dragonlance because of the HotL and their adventures, not their grandkids adventures. Also, this led to the development of the "If there's a problem the Heroes of the Lance (or Gen 2) will take care of it, what the heck is my hero supposed to do?" Star Wars faces a similar issue (A Skywalker'll fix it!), but the setting is infinitely larger though.

    3. I think Morrus is off-base here. DL certainly would benefit from having an Adventure Path available that runs the players through the original adventures. Much like Dark Sun would benefit from having an AP where you kill Kalak or something. But I think one of the modularity things for D&DNext should be settings. And one of the things with modularity is you need lots of options to plug and play with. So I think the return of several settings is a must. However, the setting bloat of 2E and 3E must go. There is no need to detail the setting right down to the mayor's underwear color and style(there is a line from Shrek 2 that is applicable and inappropriate for the forums that should go here). I think one setting book for each CS (the major ones at least) is all that is needed, and the book doesn't need to be big. In fact, a GIANT(like PHB sized) book of settings would be pretty cool. Have it have several options for settings, and some information on the setting. That way you could poach setting rules for homebrew (Purple Dragon Knights and Wizards of High Sorcery in the same world!), but also customize one of the existing settings, or just play the setting the way it is. The major settings could potentially still see a full book though.
    Sallis the Silver Blaze
    Member of the Whitestone Council

    When a man strays from the right path, a kind man needs the courage to raise his fist and correct him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sallis the Silver Blaze View Post
    1. I don't know if I agree with this point as I haven't read Chronicles and Legends recently, but I can see how someone can develop this opinion. D&D novels are targeted at roughly the 15-year-old boy demographic, so I wouldn't expect a cathartic experience from reading the books as an adult. The is in contrast to books by GRRM or Robert Jordan in that they aren't intended to draw the reader into playing the game the books are based off of.

    2. This I agree with Morrus on. DL's degradation, IMO, started after this point. Too much blowing up and timeline advancement occurred after that point. In the span of ten years, the timeline advanced what, 60-80 years, the world was blown up three times, and the original books stopped being relevant. I would much rather they did what Cam did, and focus on the time around or immediately after the War of the Lance and Legends. Thing is, when they advanced the timeline so much, they made Krynn feel small, like shoot, nothing's going on here, but something big happened twenty years after that. People got into Dragonlance because of the HotL and their adventures, not their grandkids adventures. Also, this led to the development of the "If there's a problem the Heroes of the Lance (or Gen 2) will take care of it, what the heck is my hero supposed to do?" Star Wars faces a similar issue (A Skywalker'll fix it!), but the setting is infinitely larger though.

    3. I think Morrus is off-base here. DL certainly would benefit from having an Adventure Path available that runs the players through the original adventures. Much like Dark Sun would benefit from having an AP where you kill Kalak or something. But I think one of the modularity things for D&DNext should be settings. And one of the things with modularity is you need lots of options to plug and play with. So I think the return of several settings is a must. However, the setting bloat of 2E and 3E must go. There is no need to detail the setting right down to the mayor's underwear color and style(there is a line from Shrek 2 that is applicable and inappropriate for the forums that should go here). I think one setting book for each CS (the major ones at least) is all that is needed, and the book doesn't need to be big. In fact, a GIANT(like PHB sized) book of settings would be pretty cool. Have it have several options for settings, and some information on the setting. That way you could poach setting rules for homebrew (Purple Dragon Knights and Wizards of High Sorcery in the same world!), but also customize one of the existing settings, or just play the setting the way it is. The major settings could potentially still see a full book though.
    Point 1: This is what DL novels and all FR novels of the time were geared towards. People from the early teens to mid 20s. If you look at surveys conducted by Dragon about reading you would see the demographic breakdown like this.

    12 and under
    13-17
    18-21
    22-24
    25+

    Five categories and everyone 25+ is lumped together. That tells me that is was clear that the original customer base is young. Also GRRM and Jordan didn't have Weis, Hickman, Niles, Salvatore, Eddings around to expand the story. In the 80's and even 90's fantasy novels were considered a punchline to a joke as most libraries lump them in with sci fi (and they still do). I hate say it but without our younger selves growing up on that kind of fiction more mature fantasy fiction wouldn't have made it.

    2. I disagree completely with anyone who thinks after legends the story should have ended. While I dislike the Battle with Chaos I don't fault the setting as TSR was approaching the setting with a shotgun like approach in trying to boost sales. To say that everything written after and advancing the storyline was a bad idea, is like saying I don't ever want to grow up and why can't things be like the good old days.

    I really feel that what we are given post Legends is the stuff that makes Dragonlance what it is. It creates a setting that is alive and growing. Imagine if the 2e and 3e stuff would have never been written, would this setting even be around? Would people have become fans of a narrow minded world? How many times can you conquer the Dragon Armies before it gets flat out boring.

    In some folks world 6 books is all Dragonlance should have been. Not in mine, 1000's of books telling stories from all aspects of the world and times.

    3. The third major thing is to set adventures during the post cataclysm. If you want the frontier feel of Dragonlance and lack of information from it then I would say if you want to run a gritty feeling DL run it from 150 AC.
    Chuck

    Editor of the Palanthas Herald

    Member of the Whitestone Council

    Crew on the Dragonlance Canticle

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    I'd like to know exactly what other books he's read after Legends. I bet he's not read very far. Yes, there was some bandwagon fluff that was churned out to capitalise on the success of the original story, but there are some real gems in there too.

    As for the 'great works of literature'... who cares? I am tired of certain authors being held up as gods and how no other work can compare. I will not eat steak tartar, but I love a good quarter pounder. Plus, D&D novels are written to tie in to a game franchise so D&D probably isn't given the CHANCE to create an epic work because there are too many cooks spoiling that broth.

    So the holy 6 doesn't have the same impact on you now as it does when you were a kid? Boo hoo. Does ANYTHING have that much impact as when you were a kid?
    Sitting on Cyan...

    Khaisai recommends: Film - Wreck it Ralph Music - VirginMarys Book - Persuasion

  9. #9

    Default Chronicles and Legends

    I've often toyed with the idea of going back to these books much like Stephen King went back to one of his series (?). Not rewriting the books so much as expanding them, giving them more depth, adding more about the characters who made guest appearances.

    I've talked about this with some of my friends and they're torn. Some say don't touch them. They mean a lot to people the way they are. Others are enthusiastic.

    Of course, the question is academic, since DL is dead, but I thought I'd toss it out there.

    Margaret

  10. #10

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    Forgotten Realms is alive because of wildly popular, million-selling games like Baldurīs Gate, Icewind Dale, NeverWinter Nights, etc. DL is *only* dead outside of the hearts of those who read the original books. It is still an extremely quality setting and the author is completely right that it is great because it is different, it has focus and life of its own.

    The path to resurgence is video games. Video games when it comes to this type of media are what TV was to radio, what the Internet is to TV. Books cannot reach the same massive audience without video games to keep the blood fresh.

    I read the Chronicles, I loved the Chronicles. But I also read David Eddings as a kid and Piers Anthony. What cemented my love for DragonLance and led me to buy 100+ books instead of moving on to the next author? THE GOLD BOX series. My uncle heard I was reading Chronicles and bought me the Gold Box Series. You know CoK? DKK? DQK? Yup.

    To this day I remember Champions of Krynn, the first series starts in Throtl where a warrior helps you then betrays you, where you fight throngs of draconians and in the end you fight an Aurak in a Flying Citadel. Oh man when I got my first dragonlance and started poking dragons? Sweet! The best written game? No. But it got the juices pumping.

    I didnīt know JACK about Dark Sun, but let me tell you... the computer games for it made by TSR were awesome. Suddenly I was loving the different, very cool desert setting. I bought a few books and LOVED them. Iīm talking Legend of Huma, Kaz the Minotaur level of love. To this day I feel Dark Sun would make an EXCELLENT Fallout-esque Bethesda game. Itīs dark, and extremely gritty.

    626490-564606_45698_front_1__large.jpg

    Planescape? What the heck was that? Well.. along comes Planescape:Torment and it is by far my favorite CRPG of all time and now my 2nd favorite setting. I love buying old supplements where I can find them.

    256px-Planescape-torment-box.jpg

    As for FR, keep in mind I also played BioWareīs Baldurīs Gate and the original Gold Box set in the FR series. Good games.. but what a blah setting.

    Itīs the same concept as marketing toys to kids by selling them the cartoon first. Pique their attention with the jazz, flashy lights, great story in an easy to digest manner and then youīll find that theyīll buy the products to "learn more", or share the experience with their friends. Itīs how George Lucas has maintained Star Wars movies from the 70s relevant and the premier Sci-Fi universe on earth. Itīs how newer fantasy settings have established themselves and are now producing book lines.

    Talk to BioWare, talk to Bethesda, market a great story, give the darn license away if you have to, but make sure they make a great game. Donīt let TV kill the Radio Star.

    Top things Iīd do if I won the NY state lottery: Buy a Larry Elmore DL painting, license the DL rights and contract Bethesda to make me a game. Even if Im broke after doing, darn it, Iīll have done some good
    Last edited by Interus; 01-23-2012 at 09:28 AM.
    A NeverWinter Nights 2 run DragonLance Campaign, The Night's Own.

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