Old Game Worlds Never Die...
Oh wait. I was wrong.
If you haven't heard the news that's been roaring out of the Dragonlance rumor mills like the stentorian voice of the Apocalypse, you probably don't deserve to know. However, since I'm a nice mage, I'll clue you in. Sit down. Pour yourself a scotch (if you're of legal age. Otherwise, ask Mom first). Pour me one too. I'm going to need it. "
On Thursday, Jamie Devall (a mild-mannered Dragonlance fan who shall henceforth be known as Doombringer) dropped a bombshell on the online Dragonlance community by posting a note from former DL brand manager Jim Butler. Mr. Butler's note was simple, and to the point. It read as follows: "
"We've cancelled all plans to do any Dragonlance RPG products. We'll still be |
producing new novels, but we don't have any plans to continue to produce game
products for Dragonlance."
"Dragonlance is cancelled! No more game books! It's over! It's all over!"
Was anyone really that surprised? I wasn't.
Wizards of the Coast has yet to make an official statement on this issue. In fact, they no longer have any DL staff to make such announcements. This is the latest revelation in a string of sobering news for DL Fans: not the least of which was the removal of the Dragonlance link from the D&D page. With Wizard's recent lay-offs, the elimination of DL's already gossamer-thin DL 3e plans seemed inevitable.
Fans are taking this hard. Many of them feel that they have been "fed a line" by Wizards from the get-go. I seriously doubt this is true, but I can't blame them for feeling that way. Like many, I'm disappointed that I won't be able to set an official DL 3e sourcebook on the shelf next to my Player's Handbook, DM's Guide, and Monster Manual. I'm disappointed that with the current renaissance in the Dragonlance novel line, we won't be seeing a similar occurance in game material. I'm disappointed that new fans of Dragonlance and D&D will be left without a key to this rich and imaginative game world.
At the same time, I simply can't blame Wizards of the Coast. They're in a tumultuous time, having lost a hundred employees, and having to reprioritize their product lines. Even their most successful lines, like the Pokémon CCG are taking cuts this year. Legend of the Five Rings is being sold off completely.
gaming, by contrast, is small potatoes from a money-making standpoint. The market dried up a decade ago, leaving mainly diehard gamers and curious novel readers. Attempts to revive it have met with very limited success. Considering the poor reception of Time of the Dragon in the late 80s and SAGA in the mid-1990s. it's hardly surprising that, when faced with company-wide restructuring, the powers-that-be took one look at Dragonlance gaming and gave it the axe.
So is this the end of Dragonlance gaming? I doubt it. Unlike other game worlds that didn't make the cut, Dragonlance has a strong novel line that keeps it viable in the eyes of the copper-counters. Couple this with TSR/WotC employees, old and new, that care passionately about Dragonlance and want to see it get its fair chance in the 3rd Edition. Now add a small but fanatical fanbase that is hungry to see DL 3e, and you have a foot in the door. It may be a small foot, but it's a foot. However, it will take some time and economic strengthening on Wizards part before they will be open to any "risky" ideas. Don't expect any official Dragonlance products soon.
In the meantime, there are many great sites dedicated to D&D 3e and Dragonlance, and quite a few offer DL 3e race/class/magic conversions. Although it's not an official source, it's the next best thing. A lot of dedicated fans have worked hard on these projects. Give them your support!
And if you have humorous DL 3e character classes, spells, races, or adventure modules, we'd like to post them here! Send them to: Dragonlance Underground.
Keep Gaming! And don't lose hope!
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