War of the Lance Campaign, Volume Three
The icy chill of darkness begins to melt as spring returns to Ansalon. In the West, the Dragonarmies are being held at bay for the moment, and the forces of good have rediscovered lost secrets that give them the small hope of victory. But in the East, evil gnaws at the heart of Ansalon. The Queen of Darkness is not easily defeated, and her armies of evil dragons surround strongholds that have been ripped from the earth and float in the sky. The elven kingdom of Silvanesti has been corrupted by terrible magic into a nightmare forest, where one cannot distinguish the dream from the real. Keys to victory might be found underneath the red waves of the Blood Sea of Istar, or given by the gods themselves in a place known as Godshome. Finally, the source of the evil must be confronted in Neraka or Takhisis will emerge to control the world of Krynn.
Dragons of Spring is a Dragonlance® adventure for the d20 System set in the War of the Lance era. It can be played as the starting point of a new campaign or continue the adventure starting with Dragons of Autumn and continued with Dragons of Winter. The adventure is designed for characters of 9th–11th level and requires the use of the War of the Lance sourcebook, the Dragonlance Campaign Setting, and d20 System core rulebooks from Wizards of the Coast.
This adventure product is a new presentation of the classic Dragonlance adventures first published over twenty years ago. The text incorporates two decades of information and updates from Dragonlance novels and games, including Dragons of Spring Dawning written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
This PDF presentation of Dragons of Spring includes high resolution, single page maps convenient for printing.
Dragons of Spring (2008), by Sean Macdonald, Clive Squire, and Heine Kim Stick, is volume three in the Dragonlance War of the Lance campaign for D&D 3.5e. It was published as a PDF in January 2008 by Margaret Weis Productions, under license from Wizards of the Coast. Its official street date was March 5, 2008.
About the Cover. The cover, showing Raistlin, Caramon, and a generic green dragon, was drawn by Larry Elmore around 1994 for the second edition of the Dragons of Spring Dawning novel. It's fun to compare it to the cover of the first edition of Dragons of Spring Dawning (1985), which depicts almost an identical scene, but includes Tika.
Size Matters Not. Margaret Weis Productions' Dragons of Spring came in at an impressive 304 pages, making it the third-longest Dragonlance RPG product to date, following War of the Lance (2004) at 320 pages and Price of Courage (2006) at 362 pages.
Another End for Sovereign. Sovereign Press — who later became Margaret Weis Productions (MWP) — was licensed starting in 2003 to produce Dragonlance books for D&D 3e. Unfortunately, they announced in April 2007 that their license was ending at the end of the year. Even more unfortunately, the War of the Lance campaign was running way behind. When MWP released the first book, Dragons of Autumn (2006) in August 2006, they expected Dragons of Winter (2007) to follow in Winter 2007 and Dragons of Spring to conclude the series in Spring 2007. But Dragons of Winter was published almost a year later, with the first print books sneaking out of MWP's warehouse in December 2007. It seemed like publishing Dragons of Spring was an impossibility.
Fortunately, MWP had a few things going for it. The first was Cam Banks' decision to recruit external writers to finish the book, something that was badly needed since Banks himself was working on other projects like Dragons of Krynn (2007). This helped the project to appear just a month after Dragons of Winter. The second was Wizards' decision to extend MWP's license long enough for them to complete this series. They were then allowed to continue selling their products through June.
Following the publication of this final Dragonlance book, MWP put D&D projects aside, but continued on with their other Cortex RPGs, such as Battlestar Galactica (2007) and Serenity (2005).
Because this book was published under license, years later it's now available for republication by Wizards.
Concluding the Dragonlance Revival. Dragons of Spring was just one of two very exciting Dragonlance releases in January 2008, the other being Paramount Pictures' Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (2008), an animated film released on January 15. Unfortunately, the Dragonlance film flopped. It received poor reviews due to its animation and its decision to jam the entire story into just 90 minutes.
This was the beginning of the end for the Dragonlance revival that had run through the mid '00s. There were no more animated films and no more RPG books after January 2008. Devil's Due published three different Dragonlance comic collections in 2008, but they ended with Dragonlance Legends: Time of the Twins (2008) in November.
Even the Wizards Dragonlance novels were on the way out. The final Lost Chronicles, Dragons of the Hourglass Mage (2009), was delayed by a year. When it finally appeared, it was one of Wizards' final Dragonlance publications. To date, the last new Dragonlance novel is The Fate of Thorbardin (2010), by Douglas Niles.
Revamping the Third Chronicle. Like its predecessors in the War of the Lance campaign, Dragons of Spring was an update of four previous adventures: DL10: "Dragons of Dreams" (1985), DL12: "Dragons of Faith" (1986), DL13: "Dragons of Truth" (1986), and DL14: "Dragons of Triumph" (1986).
Unlike its predecessors, which each carefully adapted one module into one chapter of the new book, Dragons of Spring breaks up "Dragons of Faith" into two chapters, which it calls "Shadows" and "Faith". This is because of the large-scale expansion of the content; the 16 pages of adventures in the old module are expanded to about 50 in the new book.
Overall, there's lots of expansion in Dragons of Spring. As usual there are new character backgrounds and other details intended to give players more options during play. However much of the expansion is geographic, with new details added for Tarsis, the Plains of Dust, Port Balifor (and the rest of the Balifor region), Goodlund, Flotsam, the island of Karthay, and the city of Kalaman. There are even some new encounters — including more info on the Pit of Istar and a new investigation into a Flying Citadel under construction. As usual, some of this material was drawn from the rich history of Dragonlance, including the Dragonlance Classics 15th Anniversary Edition (1999) of the War of the Lance adventures.
Out of Character: Don't Split the Party! Dragons of Spring takes up the story of the other half of the Dragonlance characters, after the party split in Dragons of Winter. It also gives players the option to create their own party of adventurers by taking on the archetypical roles filled by the Companions in the original Chronicles. The archetypes listed in Dragons of Spring are: the conscience (Tika), the enigma (Waylorn), the leader (Tanis), the noble (Alhana), the prophet (Goldmoon), the protector (Caramon), the ranger (Riverwind), the rebel (Kronn-alin), the sage (Raistlin), and the swashbuckler (Serinda).
Some of the PCs available in Dragons of Spring are somewhat new: Alhana Starbreeze and Waylorn Wyvernsbane previously appeared as NPCs in DL10: "Dragons of Dreams" (1985). Kronn-alin Thistleknot and Serinda Elderwood are both PCs from the original Chronicles, but may be less known by fans because they didn't appear until DL12: "Dragons of Faith" (1986).
About the Creators. Though Cam Banks was the project manager, editor, and developer who put together the Dragons of Spring team, he didn't do much original design on the book because he'd gotten too busy since joining MWP full-time in Spring 2007. The actual design of Dragons of Spring was by Sean Macdonald, Clive Squire, and Heine Kim Stick, with additional design by Clark Valentine, based on the original adventures written by Tracy Hickman, Harold Johnson, Bruce Heard, and Douglas Niles.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.