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DLA1 Dragon Dawn (2e)
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DLA1 Dragon Dawn (2e)

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Venture once more to the world of Krynn, but this time to the continent of Taladas, largely untouched by the war of the Lance.

The dragons here are Othlorx, the Uninvolved, because they remain neutral in the struggle against the evil of Takhisis and her minions. Then why are they being systematically exterminated? Who wants all dragons on Taladas dead?

Your heroes must set on a dangerous trek in pursuit of dragon killers, through the lands of hostile holderfolk and to the mysterious Pillars of the Moon. Along the way they encounter Dragon Knights (warriors with a magic touch!) ancient guardians, and other surprises in the transformed realm of Taladas.

This AD&D® adventure, set in the world of the DRAGONLANCE® saga, is the first of an epic trilogy beginning in the previously unknown continent of Taladas and ranging out to the Astral plane. Players must track down the dragon killers and warn the conclave of the Othlorx, but those are only the first steps in thwarting a dreadful conspiracy aimed at all of Krynn!

Product History

DLA1: "Dragon Dawn" (1990), by Deborah Christian, is the first adventure in the Taladas trilogy for Dragonlance. It was published in February 1990.

Origins: The Taladas Trilogy. The "FRE" trilogy (1989) and the "DLE" trilogy (1989) set a new standard for D&D adventures: they'd be trilogies that created epic stories. The Dragonlance line continued right on with that in 1990 with its second trilogy, the "DLA" series.

However, there was one big change. The previous year had seen the publication of Time of the Dragon (1989), which details the continent of Taladas, the first of TSR's planned sub-settings. The "DLA" trilogy of adventures would be the first to support that sub-setting.

Adventure Tropes. DLA1: "Dragon Dawn" (1990) is a tracking adventure, where players are on the trail of dragon hunters. This results in encounter-based episodic play, moving the players carefully along the plotline (and the trail). That's interspersed with some wilderness encounters and a few location-based encounters, but none of them are extensive.

Metaplotting Along. "Dragon Dawn" has a somewhat surprising backstory. It focuses on evil dragons from Taladas joining the Dragon armies. Now, the Othlorx of Taladas are coming together to decide whether their good members should join as well … resulting in a bounty being place on good dragon heads (ears) in Taladas.

The surprising bit about all of this is that it reveals "Dragon Dawn" as contemporary with the War of the Lance. Dragon #224 (December 1995) would later verify its dating at 348 AC, three years before the traditional starting date of the "DL" Dragonlance Chronicles adventures (1984-1986). This makes the entire Taladas trilogy into a prequel for the Chronicles, revealing a secret history on Taladas before the Companions began their quest.

Expanding D&D. A new very Krynnish class is introduced, the dragon knight, a new warrior-based class for Taladans, complete with Othlorx dragon companions.

There are also character kits for dragon knights, the lizardfolk hurdu, and the minotaur-league legionaries of Erastas. "Dragon Dawn" uses an interesting format for these kits, laying each out on half a page with rules, background, and blank spaces so that players could just fill in their character details right on the kit if they wish.

Exploring Krynn: Taladas. This Taladas adventure ranges from Highvale in the League of Minotaurs through the Conquered Lands. It offers the best detail on various wilderness lands, including Spindle Gap, Deep Forest, and the refuge of Summerhome.

There's a nice full-color map of "The League of the Minotaurs Eastern Frontiers" that offers much more detail than the continental map in Time of the Dragon.

Monsters of Note. "Dragon Dawn" focuses on the Othlorx, the uninvolved dragons of Taladas. It also introduces a new sort of draconian, the sesk, who was an early experiment in Draconian creation, as well as the aforementioned hurdu, a new type of lizardfolk, cousin to the bakali.

About the Creators. Deborah Christian (aka Terry Randall) wrote for TSR and Mayfair in the late '80s and early '90s. She's probably better known for her extensive work on Mayfair's revised City-State of the Invincible Overlord under the Randall pen-name. This was her only Dragonlance work and her last supplement for D&D.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons — a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Customer avatar
Zia M April 12, 2017 1:57 am UTC
PURCHASER
The Poster Map showing the Eastern Frontiers of the League of Minotaurs is missing from this release. This is a detail map of lands to the east of the League of Minotaurs Poster Map from the Time of the Dragon set. There is an adventure map in the module that can be used for the adventure itself and referenced against the larger maps from Time of the Dragon, so it is possible to run the adventure without it.
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File Last Updated:
April 10, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on April 11, 2017.