This is not complete, and I have put it aside for right now, but I’ve filled out and thought through a number of things that could be helpful to anyone else working on adapting 5th Edition D&D to Dragonlance during the War of the Lance. I know that WotC seems to intend to release official Dragonlance content, or at least it seems that way, but I got stuck on the idea and enjoyed thinking it through. Anyway:
Seeker (subset of Charlatan)
You are, or were, a Seeker of Haven, one of the followers of the new gods.
You come from one of the “barbarian” tribes of Abanasinia, and can traverse those lands and find shelter and hospitality as long as you don’t bring evil with you.
Solamnic Lineage (subset of Noble)
You begin play with a suit of armor for free, up to and including plate armor and a steel shield.
Kender are a sub-race of halflings, effectively. Their Charisma increases by 1 and they gain the Fearless trait, which upgrades Brave to become an immunity to fear. Also, rather than lawful good, kender tend to be chaotic good – not intending harm, but not interested in rules or authority.
Kender as NPCs only: Kender PCs are notoriously difficult to deal with, and a DM can simply rule that Kender, like Gully Dwarves, are NPCs only. In this capacity, Kender can function very well as plot devices to move things along. Either way, at any time the DM can simply announce what a Kender has in her pouches and pockets, regardless of what the Kender player thinks is in there.
All PC dwarves are probably hill dwarves, though mountain dwarves also exist, as well as three or so kinds of ‘dark dwarves.’
Qualinesti elves are wood elves, and Silvanesti elves are high elves. Drow don’t exist. “Dark elves” are just elves who are outcast.
Kender are a subrace of halflings, and there are no other kinds of halflings.
Dragonborn don’t exist, and draconians lack breath weapons but have other special abilities instead.
All Krynn gnomes are tinker gnomes, or rock gnomes.
Half-elves normally choose to be half-Qualinesti or half-Sylvanesti, and are very rare.
Orcs and half-orcs do not exist on Krynn. Half-Ogres?
Tieflings probably do not exist on Krynn.
Need to work up Kagonesti, Dimeresti, Dargonesti
Irda, Kagonesti, Dimmeresti, Gully Dwarves, Minotaurs, Thanoi…
Knights of Solamnia
Solamnic Nobility background grants a suit of armor, and a bit of a stigma as an anachronism.
Knights of the Crown are an archetype of Fighter, starting with Squire. Knights of the Sword are a priestly order prestige class with spellcasting. Knights of the Rose are essentially Paladins in a world without other kinds of Paladins, making Paladin hard as hell to achieve.
Martial Archetype: Knight of the Crown (Loyalty and obedience)
3rd level, 7th level, 10th level, 15th level, 18th level martial archetype features to gain.
3rd level: Knight of the Crown. Travel to Solamnia to be tested according to the Oath and the Measure. Take the Oath. You gain an additional Background, which is Solamnic Knight
Multiclass to Cleric: Knight of the Sword (Courage, heroism, gods of good)
During the War of the Lance, Knights of the Sword no longer have divine magic granted to them, but this changes with the return of the gods. When Knights of the Crown become Sword Knights, they multiclass to Clerics of Paladine or Kiri-Jolith.
Multiclass to Paladin: Knight of the Rose (Wisdom, honor, justice)
Can only take the Oath of Devotion or, occasionally, the Oath of Vengeance. The oath of the Ancients is available to half-elves and elves after the War of the Lance. Otherwise, when a Crown or Sword Knight becomes a Rose Knight
Wizards of High Sorcery
Justify the alignment thinking. Some kind of link to the moons (advantage/disadvantage on casting rolls?). Red Robes are easiest to get into, a Wizard archetype maybe. Black Robes next, White Robes hardest. Black Robes are the only ones to focus on necromancy, and White Robes are often abjuration specialists. The Towers of High Sorcery are the only “official” Arcane Traditions. Any arcane spellcasters who do not don one of the three robes are renegade mages, though low-level casters are often ignored as long as they don’t draw attention to themselves.
The special ability gained at 2nd level for the PHB arcane tradition can still be taken, but the abilities at 6th level, 10th and 14th their feature comes from their organization.
6th level feature: Test of High sorcery
If you pass, choose your robe, and gain the associated benefits and/or cost. Because the various robes share spells and lore amongst themselves, you can choose different school abilities for 6th and 10th than you did for 2nd. The test itself occurs when you are 5th level, followed by training. Most who take the test become Red Robes, as both White and Black require clear demonstrations of commitment to good or evil respectively.
10th level feature: Bound to the Moon
In addition to your school ability, you are now bound to the moons of Krynn; Solinary and the White Robes, Lunitari and the Red Robes, Nuitari and the Black Robes. It can be both a boon and a penalty. In high sanction, you receive a small bonus of +1 to your spell save DCs and spell-related rolls. In low sanction, you have a similar -1 penalty. Soniari and Lunitari are obvious to everyone. Nuitari is only visible to Black Robe mages.
14th level feature: Master of High Sorcery
You are inducted into mastery, and join the small cabal of powerful wizards of high sorcery. You are expected to provide leadership for your fellow Robes, and the seven members of the Conclave from each order are drawn from among these masters. So, Master of High Sorcery < Conclave Member < Master of the Order < Master of the Conclave.
Wizards of High Sorcery as NPCs only: most PC casters, during the War of the Lance certainly, would be considered renegade mages, and therefore to be captured, recruited or neutralized. This makes being in an adventuring party difficult, unless PC Wizards are also renegade mages.
Only Black Robe Wizards have regular access to necromancy spells, and can choose 6th, 10th and 14th level benefits from Enchantment, Evocation or Necromancy.
Red Robes are most often illusionists, and can choose 6th, 10th and 14th level benefits from Conjuration, Illusion or Transmutation.
White robes have the best access to abjuration spells, and can choose 6th, 10th and 14th level benefits from Abjuration, Divination and Enchantment.
Holy Orders of the Stars
Start as Clerics without any spellcasting ability but some kind of god-related artifact depending on their intended Order. True holy symbols are self-propagating, whatever form they might take. Early in the War of the Lance, the Disks of Mishakal are the basic religious text, though there is only one copy. Obviously Mishakal’s artifact is the blue crystal staff. Paladine or Kiri-Jolith’s might be a hereditary shield. Branchala’s could be a musical instrument. Etc.
Otherwise, PHB pg. 295.
The 21 true gods and their domains (where applicable): primary, secondary
Branchala: Light, Trickery
Habbakuk: Nature, Tempest
Kiri-Jolith: War, ?
Majere: Knowledge, ?
Mishakal: Life, Knowledge
Paladine: War, Light
Chislev: Nature, Life
Gilean: Knowledge, ?
Reorx: ?, Trickery
Sirrion: Light, Knowledge
Zivilyn: Nature, Knowledge
Chemosh: Death, Trickery
Hiddukel: Trickery, Knowledge
Morgion: Death, Nature
Sargonnas: War, Nature
Takhisis: War, Trickery
Zeboim: Tempest, War
As far as the Towers of High Sorcery are concerned, all Sorcerers and Warlocks, as well as Wizards who do not affiliate with them, are renegades. Sorcerers arise in the populace almost at random. Warlocks, on the other hand, have sought out some power in the world, in the absence of true gods. During the time of the War of the Lance, both are able to hide among the Seekers and other charlatans.
The Theocratic Seekers would have among their ranks Sorcerers and Warlocks who had, knowingly or not, discovered a path to arcane magic outside the authority of the Towers.
Bards would fall into an odd category, and would be seen as renegade mages who are dabblers and con-artists for the most part. They still do not have access to healing magic until the return of the gods, as on Krynn that is their sole purview. Most can remain beneath the notice of the Wizards of High Sorcery, as long as they don’t demonstrate the ability to cast 3rd level spells.
Draconians, like true dragons, have spellcasting abilities. They can cast a number of spells equal to their Charisma modifier, at a spell level up to half of their hit dice, from the Sorcerer spell list. Draconians also have darkvision, and their species hit-dice are d8s as medium-sized creatures. Along with destructive death-throes, draconians also have a bonus to saves against magical effects equal to half of their species hit dice.
Foot-soldiers, fighter-ish, at death turn to stone and weapon sticks for 1d4 rounds, Dex save to prevent if you land the killing blow. Magic resistance. CE. Claw/claw. Able to disguise themselves as Seeker priests, at least for a while, but still have tails and wings. +1 to saves vs. magic. 2 hit dice; normally not enough Charisma for spellcasting.
As 4th level casters (sorcerers), high magic resistance, at death flesh turns to dust and sloughs off and bones explode. LE. Charm person, magic missile, shield; invisibility, mirror image. Sorcerer. Can glide with wings; magic second only to Auraks. Battle-commanders. +2 to saves vs. magic. 4 hit dice; 2nd level spells. Invisibility or mirror image, charm person or shield.
Spell resistance, rogue-ish, at death dissolves into a pool of acid that splashes adjacent foes (Dex save). Able to poison blades with saliva (+1d6 poison damage to cutting or piercing). Darkvision and low-light vision both, as dragons. Many served Feal-Thas when he was White Dragonlord. NE. 4 hit dice; 2nd level spells, though they often lack the Charisma for spellcasting.
Able to truly fly, often armed with two-handed swords. Can also assume the shape of any they kill. Largest of the draconians as well. Fighter-ish. Probably Rangers, as they are often employed as scouts and first-strike types. When killed, they assume the shape of whomever killed them, then crumble to black ash. If killed by someone large or tiny, they explode. LE. 6 hit dice; 3rd level spells. Alter self, fly.
Powerful sorcerers and least loyal with their own strong agendas. When slain, or near death, the immolate, burning all those adjacent and whoever strikes them with a weapon, and then exploding and dealing fire damage to all nearby. Highest magic resistance at +3 to saves. NE. 8 hit dice; 4th level spells. Dimension door, greater invisibility, polymorph, suggestion.
As per AD&D Guide: Spells granted by Takhisis: 3/day Dimension door. At will/ Invisibility. 3/day Change self to resemble any humanoid. 2 energy blasts from hands per round (1d8+2 damage). 2 claws and bite 1d4/1d4/146. 3/day breath weapon – poisonous cloud 4d8 damage. Con save to avoid being blinded for 1d4 rounds and for half damage. Up to 4th level spells in addition to these, based on their Charisma modifier (as dragons). At will/ Suggestion. 1/day Mind control.
Death throes: at 0 hp an Aurak enters an immolation frenzy; +2 to melee attack and damage, and anyone striking them in melee take 1d6 fire damage. At -Con hit points, they become a ball of arcane fire dealing 2d6 damage per turn for three turns. Then they explode in a thunderous boom, dealing 3d6 sonic damage, Con save to avoid being stunned for 1d4 rounds and for half damage – 10 foot radius.
Magic Items and Artifacts of Krynn
Axe of Brotherhood and Sword of Friendship
Paired magical weapons, with the axe in a dwarven style and the sword in the style of abisinian ‘barbarians.’ Both are +2 weapons, and when wielded by allies in the same battle within 30’ of each other, then are both +3.
Bloodstone of Fistandantalus
An artifact of the greatest Black Robe Mage ever to live. The bloodstone enabled Fistandantilus to steal not only the memories and skills but the bodies of his victims, extending his life far beyond the norm for any mortal.
Blue Crystal Staff
The artifact of the goddess Mishakal.
Dalamar’s Bracelet of Magic Resistance, Ring of Healing and Wand of Lightning
Magic items created by Raistlin’s apprentice Dalamar, the ‘dark elf.’
Dagger of Magius
More than one of these magic items exist, worn by powerful wizards of high sorcery for self-defense. They range in power from +1 to +3, and are usually silvered or alloyed with cold iron.
Magical scale armor worn by dragon highlords and other powerful dragon-riders in Takhisis’ army during the War of the Lance. It gives a +2 AC bonus and counts as cold weather gear. The armor also gives resistance to an element based on its color: fire for red dragonscale, electricity for blue dragonscale, poison for green dragonscale, acid for black dragonscale, and cold for white dragonscale.
Flute of Wind Dancing
Easier to forge but still requiring the Silver Arm of Ergoth and the Hammer of Kharas, the footman’s dragonlance is designed to be wielded by a single soldier. It is a +3 magical dragonbane lance, effectively a long spear. Lesser lances might be +1 magical weapons, but are not dragonbanes.
Glasses of the Arcanist
Glasses of True Seeing
Griffon Mane Helm
Flint Fireforge’s treasured griffon-mane helm increases a dwarf’s AC by 1 when worn.
Hammer of Kharas
Keys of Quinarost
The only keys known to be able to open the secret entrances into the realm of Silvanost.
Medallion of Faith
At the end of the Age of Despair, with the return of the true gods, clerics serving the true gods receive medallions of faith. A medallion of faith can create another medallion for any deity in a given pantheon once per day, but only on a true profession of faith (as someone becomes a level 1 cleric).
True dragonlances must be forged by both the Silver Arm of Ergoth and the Hammer of Kharas together. When so forged, they are +3 dragonbane lances. Replicas might be merely +1, and are much more likely to shatter when used in aerial combat.
A huge black iron mace given to Dragon Highlord Verminaard by Takhisis herself, Nightbringer is a +2 heavy mace and three times per day, upon striking an opponent, the wielder can say the word “midnight” and temporarily blind their foe. They are blinded until their next action, at which point they can make a Constitution save against a DC of 17 to restore their sight. (?) If they are still in combat with the wielder of Nighbringer, they make this save at a disadvantage.
Orb of Dragonkind
Artifact, DMG pg. 225
Plate of Solamnus
Shield of Huma
This artifact is a +3 heavy steel shield with the symbol of the Knights of the Crown still visible on its scarred surface. It provides resistance against all breath weapons used by evil dragons or dragon-kin.
Silver Arm of Ergoth
Weapons created solely to kill arcane casters. They are normally +1 weapons, but become +2 when used to attack an arcane spellcaster (but not a supernatural creature with spell-like abilities). Once it has dealt a wound, the next spell cast against its wielder is resisted by a Dispel Magic effect with a caster level of 20. This ability can be used once per day.
Staff of Magius
The fabled sword and artifact of the elven hero Kith-Kanan.