Sunday, June 26, 2011
DLR1 Otherlands - DragonLance, Death's Tale
Otherlands was released by TSR in 1990 and was written under the 2e rules. It has the designation code of DLR1. It was followed by two other modules Taladas and Unsung Heroes. I understand the second which deals with the land of the Minotaurs but not the third being in the series but I digress.
Otherlands comes in at ninety-six pages which is good since it deals with three separate locations on Krynn. Each is separated from the majority of the other locations that have been described in other modules by either distance or ease of access or both. The module seems to be evenly divided amongst the three.
The first area the module covers is Chorane. This location is separated by not only distance and the effort it would take to access it. This is the one that I might use if I wanted to have a stand alone Krynn campaign not set in the established world. This could be used very much as a Krynn Underdark campaign.
The setting is a series of deep underground caverns located under the south pole of Krynn. The bulk of this setting deals with three distinct groups of humans who all come from an initial group that fragmented over beliefs. They are now involved in a constant state of war.
The location also features societies of variant races that exist on the main areas of the world as well. There are the dwarves (Theiwar) and Kenders (Kendars). It also gives the DM three new monsters of which one (Ursoi) could be adapted into a new race for them to use.
The second area that is described in Otherlands is a large island chain on the Spine of Taladas. This location is named after the largest island in the chain, Selasia, which is often the case. In addition to Selasia there are six other islands that have some level of description in the module. Each of these other islands provide possible adventure ideas for the DM.
The chain is occupied by two primary races. Both of these race came from Ogre stock but one was modified in the ancient past and were forced to the island by other races. These are not your typical Ogres but a more peaceful non- deformed race. The primary race are the Mischta of which the bulk are good but there is an evil sub-species. The other primary race are the Bolandi which were modified to be smaller and given a malicious, though I would call it more mischievous, nature. There were forced to the islands one thousand years before the Great Cataclysm.
Statistics are given for the two lines of Mischta so that the DM could use them as player character races if desired. This was not done for the Bolandi except that some can become illusionists. This was sort of disappointing since they could provide a whole new type of Kender to play.
The third location described is Watermere. This is the underwater realm of the Dargonesti or as they are more commonly called the sea-elves. This more so than either of the other two is more of a write up on the race than the location. The location is described but it is done in reference to how it affects the sea-elves. There are moderately in depth descriptions of their history and then their society.
We are then given a description of Watermere and the various location that comprise it. There are six distinct area that are described. These range from Takaluras, the capital of the sea-elves, to The Ruins of Watermere, which is an island that sank during the Great Cataclysm. The latter is occupied by both the Dargonesti and the a collection of evil underwater races headed up by Koalinths. There is next a section on the flora and fauna that exist in Watermere.
The next section begins the bulk of the Watermere potion of the module. It starts with a section named Dargonesti from Cradle to Grave. It is the first of eight sections that talk specifically about the sea-elves and not Watermere. These section are listed below. The Relations section and Mahkwahb area a little broader in scope that just the elves though still focus on them.
Dargonesti from Cradle to Grave
The Dargonesti Army
Relations with Undersea Folk
Relations with Surface Folk
The Mahkwahb (Evil Sea-Elves)
Dargonesti Elves as PCs.
The Watermere section is great but walks the line between too much information and too little information. As part of the idea of different realms it offers a lot of information and can give the DM a strong headstart if they want to use this as a setting. It is not enough information though to use it as race guide. Still the module overall is a good product plus it is not set in the more common area of Krynn. Good on its own and great to mine from.
Ares Effect: One Item
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None
By use of Death's Tale a magic user can touch an item and see the death event of the person that the item belonged to. This spell can be used on an item or part of a person or beings remains.
The spell will give the caster a clear vision of who the person was though no more than name and place of origin or lair if a beast. They will also see the last few minutes of the person or creatures life. This will allow them to see where the person/beast died and how. The vision is as if the caster were seeing it through the eyes of the victim.
The period of time that the vision can go back is limited by the level of the caster and their intelligence. The vision can only occur if the victim died within 10 years/level of the caster plus an additional 10 years/point of intelligence. There is a 5% chance that when this spell is used it will attract the spirit of the victim. The spirit may respond as the DM sees fit and may request aid, ignore or haunt the caster of the spell.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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