DL4 2

DL9: Dragons of Deceit (1985)

DL9: Dragons of Deceit (1985) pushes into the action of the third Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Spring Dawning. This is a hefty, complicated module for events that are mostly hand-waved off in the novel. PCs have to infiltrate the bad guy city, find the right evil temple, learn the secret of the draconians (was this ever a surprise?), release the good dragons from their oath of non-aggression and finally get on dragonback and kick some evil dragon butt. There is a flow chart. One of the PCs gets to play as a silver dragon.

Typing all that out, it sounds mostly fun! I threw the flowchart thing in to make is sound tedious, but even that is an interesting way to handle skulking through an unknown and hostile city. The weird thing is that, reading the module, none of this seems particularly fun. It reads like a slog.

It comes down to the fact that there are too many plates spinning. The designers had to A. kinda sorta follow the novels, B. not spoil the novels, C. focus on a different color dragon every adventure (this one is copper’s turn, despite, you know, a silver being in the party), D. stick to the basic D&D formula of environment exploration coupled with dungeon diving, E. deal with two divergent story lines across a multi-part modular series and F. make it all work with a weird cast of pre-generated characters which, at this point, is missing some key favorites but includes someone who should be dead. It is too much.

Also, I don’t vibe on Diana Magnuson’s super sketchy art at all, but that portrait of Ariakus is pretty swell and has some big Bane energy despite the Dragon Emperor being a jobber. Not sure how I feel about Kitiara’s Vampirella cosplay though (not honestly sure who did that illustration).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *