DL14: Dragons of Triumph (1986)

DL14: Dragons of Triumph (1986) marks the end of the the Dragonlance saga and the War of the Lance. It’s full to brimming — three booklets and a map. Some aspects seem rushed. Diana Magnuson’s art in general seems very sketchy here and the recycling of some illustrations from the 1983 Basic Set seems…odd for what should be a big budget, marquee release, the capstone on three years of campaign releases!

It’s interesting too that for all the series’ experiments in narrative and unconventional modes of play, the climax of the story proceeds along pretty typical D&D lines: a big ol’ hexcrawl, some city exploration followed by the final set piece in Takhisis’ temple, a mid-sized dungeon, where players enact the solution they uncovered in D13. There’s plenty of events, too, but the finish is refreshingly uncomplicated, I think? Also, I get WHY the adventures diverge from the novels, but I still miss the big character notes for Sturm, Flint and Raistlin. I don’t know how you keep those in without making a big mess, but I do wish it was a riddle that these folks figured out.

There’s a pile of extra stuff in the form of a sourcebook, a sort of sequel to DL5, which details the world of Krynn in a way that almost but not quite supports further play. That’d have to wait a few more years. There’s also a collection of all the monsters, which, they all appeared elsewhere, but I like it when monsters hang out together.

Also, old saw, but as much as I like this Caldwell cover, I also think it sucks in the way it diminishes the strength of Laurana’s character. Compare to Elmore’s depiction on Winter Night or Parkinson’s fantastic portrait of her standing over Sturm’s corpse. It bums me out on a certain level that she’s chained and pantsless in typical Caldwell fashion on the cover of the finale. Takhisis looks great tho.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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