The Let's Play Archive

Krynn series (D&D Gold Box)

by ddegenha

Thanks! We like it too.Why not check out some similar LPs from our recommendations?
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Original Thread: D&D Old School: The Gold Box Krynn Series. You Kids Have it SO Good



Ahh, it's good to be back. This time around I'm going to be taking a page out of Xenocides book and LPing some of the Gold Box games. While Xenocides has been doing the games set in the Forgotten Realms in this thread D&D the way your Daddy Played It, Let's Play the Gold Box Series(and doing an awesome job), I'm going to be handling the games set in the world of Krynn.

The Gold Box what now?

Long story short, back in the late 80's and early 90's a number of AD&D licensed games were produced for a variety of campaign settings with a common interface. These games played in a pretty similar manner, but had a number of differences in classes, races, storyline, and so on. The major beneficiary was the Forgotten Realms series, which got 5 games and a spin off series called the Savage Frontier Forgotten Realms. The Savage Frontier variant eventually spawned the first graphical MMORPG, Neverwinter Nights, which led to the Bioware titles at the turn of the century. The Krynn series was comprised of 3 games, which were interconnected and allowed you to use a single party through all 3 titles. We'll naturally be starting at the beginning with:

Champions of Krynn was released in 1990 and in many ways is the most basic and most formulaic of the games. You're allowed to create any combination of characters you want, so as a result the game doesn't actually interact with your characters very much at all. The characters are blank slates, which is something I intend to change with my treatment of the game. I'll also include some commentary on the setting, the mechanics, and a few other odds and ends as I progress. So, how generic is this game?

We are quite literally a band of adventurers who meet up at an inn to go on a quest. That's DMing 101 in action. Looking at the intro screen, I can see that a bit of explanation is probably in order…

The Setting

This series of games takes place in the Dragonlance AD&D setting, which takes place on the world of Krynn. Krynn is an earthlike world with four continents, of which these games are only concerned with two: Anaslon and Taladas. The first two games take place on Anaslon, while the third includes a bit of Anaslon but is focused on Taladas. Dragonlance refers to both a set of AD&D modules and a set of tie in novels which in some ways chronicled the developer's playthrough of the setting. The Inn of the Last Home is an important location for the developer's playthrough, and as a result it gets shoehorned in here. This doesn't really tell you much about the setting.

The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with Dragonlance is that character alignment is a big thing. The Krynn pantheon includes no less than 21 deities who are divided into three camps based on alignment. There are gods who personify Good, Evil, and Neutrality, as well as a whole host of lesser deities ruling over anything you can imagine. Control goes back and forth between the various factions, but the concept of relative balance is maintained. When any one faction gains too much dominance, disaster results.

What Has Gone Before

Roughly 1,000 years before Champions takes place the forces of Good won a major battle against Evil and gradually took control of the world. The result was a gradually expanding theocracy ruled by the Good faction of the pantheon, which culminated in the nation of Ishtar. The rulers of Ishtar, known as the King-Priests, eventually assumed near absolute control of Anaslon and did their best to impose their vision of absolute Good on society. This included persecution of non-human races, suppression of mage-craft, and a tyrannically fascist society. The end result of the final King-Priest's arrogance and self-righteousness was a mountain being dropped on Ishtar. The event (referred to afterward as the Cataclysm) reshaped the surface of the planet, creating the Blood Sea of Ishtar, and ended what was known as the Age of Might.

Following the Cataclysm the Gods withdrew from Krynn. The few remaining Clerics lost their powers and nobody gained matching powers to replace them. The dragons of Krynn, who were strongly aligned with Good and Evil, went into hibernation and slept the years away until the stars were right and they could return to fly the skies of Krynn. For 350 years there were no Clerics, no miracles, no answered prayers, no dragons… all of the races of Krynn were essentially on their own, and had to make their own fate. Shortly before the beginning of Champions the Gods began to make their return, empowering new Clerics to walk the world and work their will on Krynn. Some of the deities, however, took a more direct route…

The Gods of Evil, led by Tiamat, amassed great armies and began a war of conquest across Anaslon. These armies used chromatic dragons as their main weapons, and the people of Anaslon referred to them as the Dragonarmies. The Dragonarmies were initially very successful, but the Heroes of the Lance (the developer's PCs) were able to blunt their advance and throw their initial plans into disarray. Good and Evil are at a precarious balance at this point, raising the possibility that a small band of heroes could make a huge difference in the outcome of the war.

Our brave band of misfits is tasked with checking in on border stations and making sure that the local guards are minding their P's and Q's. It's about as exciting a mission as you'd expect, but we're also a bunch of newbie adventurers. Naturally, this mission will turn out to be far more exciting than expected.

How this LP will work

I intend to create a party of heroes based on reader input, and will take a page out of Thuryl's book by allowing for reader input on which side quests to do first and which characters to keep as we go through the games. I'll work with their personalities to create a more involving story and demonstrate the quirks of the games as they pop up. This will be a bit of a writing challenge, but I look forward to it.

What I need from you

Ideas! Give me characters with classes, names, a short backstory, and Icons. I'd like input as to party composition, but if I have to I'll pick or choose to make something that works. The base rules are as follows:

1. No more than 1 Kender. I refuse to deal with more than that.
2. Due to the setting, characters have to be Good or Neutral. They can be a bit weird or only nominally within the limits of their alignment, but the game mechanics will not allow me to create Evil characters.
3. The party must include at least one knight. In order to finish the first game you need a knight to trigger some story flags. Also, knights are pretty damn badass.
4. Maximum party size is 6 characters. I don't know the maximum name size, but I can work around most names if I have to.
5. Paladins are allowed in the second and third games, but not in the first. Any character who is intended to be a paladin will have to be a fighter for the first game and will be fixed to be a paladin in later games.
6. I will be editing stats to give me a chance. These games are heavily stat dependent, and don't really show any mercy on your characters. Good stats are a necessity, but I'll try not to go overboard. Even rocking a party of demigods with 18 stats in everything it's still quite possible to lose to a random encounter.
7. Some kind of face shot for your character. Unlike the Forgotten Realms games, you don't get character icons. Instead, you get something like this:

You can adjust hair color, head shape, body armor, weapons, and so on, but it's not very well defined at all. To connect with the characters, it's important to have a face. One possible source for portraits is, but I know that goons are creative and have all kinds of resources at hand. I'm interested in seeing what comes up.

Naturally, just in case people aren't familiar with AD&D, I'll be posting an info sheet following this post to give people an idea of the realities of the game. I have a new computer coming in on Monday, so voting and suggestions will be open until at least then. Let the floodgates be opened!

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Champions of Krynn

Death Knights of Krynn

Dark Queen of Krynn

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