Dragonlance is making a comeback to Dungeons and Dragons this year, and a new adventure book (Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen) is on its way in late 2022. This will be joined by an interconnected cooperative board game called Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn that’s compatible with the overarching storyline.
Although this marks a return to the setting’s classic War of the Lance time-period (which was the focus of Dragonlance’s original D&D modules and novels), both products are being pitched as entry-point to the franchise. During press questions with head of the D&D creative team Ray Winninger, it was emphasised that Shadow of the Dragon Queen works as a primer and mission-statement for the setting. Meanwhile, Warriors of Krynn zooms out for a broader overview of the conflict… but you can still use your Shadow of the Dragon Queen characters in it if you’d like.
Although this is a high fantasy tale of swords and sorcery, Dragonlance differs from other Dungeons and Dragons books by focusing on these battles. As the trailer – voiced by veteran actor Shohreh Aghdashloo – suggests, it’s a gritty war story where the forces of Ansalon fight hordes of the titular dragon queen Takhisis.
That dour mood jives well with the accompanying Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn. As a Euro-style co-op board game, a genre popularised by the likes of Gloomhaven, it allows players to take part in massive conflicts during the War of the Lance. Indeed, your party from Shadow of the Dragon Queen can be transferred over to Warriors of Krynn when you reach a specific battle, allowing your party to play out those fights in person (though doing so is optional). This sets the game apart from competitors such as Warhammer Warcry: Red Harvest and even the now-confirmed Dungeons & Dragons: Onslaught.
As for Shadow of the Dragon Queen, Winninger says that major villains and some pre-existing characters will play a part in its narrative. However, it otherwise revolves around all-new material (aside from a couple of well-known locations, the book takes place in a previously-unseen part of the continent). That allows it to sidestep 30 years of established Dragonlance canon in favor of a more accessible story, all while preserving pre-existing lore.
Dragonlance wasn’t the only announcement to come out of D&D Direct, of course. We also found out that Spelljammer is coming back with three books this August, and the new Dungeons and Dragons starter set was unveiled in full. Modular scenery and monster tokens were also revealed during the stream, and these will arrive in July.
If you want models to go with your adventures, you can check out the best WizKids miniatures. As for other tabletop shenanigans, be sure to look into the best tabletop RPGs and these board games for adults.