At the end of last month, Wizards of the Coast held a closed press briefing to discuss some upcoming D&D products. Wesley Schneider from the D&D Studio team and designer Rob Daviau discussed two exciting upcoming Dragonlance product releases utilising the current 5e rule set – Shadow of the Dragon Queen adventure and Warriors of Krynn board game. The board game especially piqued my interest, having played tabletop games like Bloodbowl, I personally like having miniatures on a board to represent battles, and this lets you represent battles with armies of units, not just single hero versus hero.
A tale of conflict and defiance set during the legendary War of the Lance, adventurers are in for a ride with Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen. Releasing on December 6, 2022, Dragonlance takes place in the war-torn world of Krynn, and will sweep players off on a sprawling adventure amidst the fight against the formidable Tarkhisis the Dragon Queen. Across the land, her armies of fanatical draconians wage a brutal war of conquest. As the Dragon Armies march on the unprepared nation of Solamnia, only the defenders of the city of Kalaman stand in their way. But the Dragon Armies want more than just to crush their foes. An ancient evil in the Dragon Queen’s service seeks a magical weapon that could dominate Krynn for all time. Create characters from Krynn, the world of the Dragonlance setting, then march them to the front lines of battle against the terrifying Dragon Armies.
The Shadow of the Dragon Queen adventure contains character creation rules highlighting core elements of the Dragonlance setting, including the kender race and new backgrounds for the Knight of Solamnia and Mage of High Sorcery magic-users. It also introduces the Lunar Sorcery sorcerer subclass with new spells that bind your character to Krynn’s three mystical moons and imbues you with lunar magic, pitting heroes against the infamous death knight Lord Soth and his army of draconians.
Optionally, players can use the Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn board game to bring this adventure’s massive battles in physical representation to your Dungeons & Dragons game. When you get to the mass combat sections in Shadow of the Dragon Queen, it notes when you can switch to Warriors of Krynn if you have both. If you only have the Dragon Queen adventure, it will instruct the DM how to proceed as per a normal campaign around the table. The board game just enhances the experience for the players.
Warriors of Krynn is designed for three to five players, so if you are only playing with three, the DM can take an active playing role themselves. Alternatively, if you have some more players the DM could take a moment to sit back and let the game play out without them interacting at every point. Some DMs may appreciate the break in creative pace, while others no doubt will want to remain hands-on. I like that this can be played supplementary to the main arc, or as a standalone game. Warriors of Krynn includes cardboard tiles with different terrain that can help visualise either a single front line assault, or multiple separate battlefields called ‘flanks’ depending on the story you play out. One flank will always be active, and players will move back and forth between the battlefields.
The board game’s lead designers are Rob Daviau and Stephen Baker and Daviau explains. “It’s not a traditional wargame, you are not commanding the units. The battle is bigger than you. You can influence the battle, but the battles are happening around you. Players are doing a special mission during the battle.” There are also six 28 mm heroic scale miniatures standing in for the hero characters that players will use to explore the world of Krynn in Shadow of the Dragon Queen.
Shadow of the Dragon Queen is available for pre-order now both for D&D Beyond or in physical form. There is also a Dragonlance: Deluxe Edition brings more than just the adventure in Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen. Players are treated to Deluxe Edition-exclusive art and DM screen and epic battlefield encounters played through the included board game.
A big thank you to Wizards of the Coast for the Dragonlance product preview briefing. Dragonlance Shadow of the Dragon Queen and Dragonlance Warriors of Krynn will release on December 6. Digital early access through D&D Beyond will be available on November 22.