How Krynn handles level-limits and illegal creatures



Sep 03, 2006 23:44:08
I posted a couple questions over on the Dragonlance boards here and at Krynn's situation is similar to Mystara's in that Krynn at one time had a character level limit and has "banned" monsters. Here's the two question and responses I got.

Q: Hello Krynnophiles, over on the Mystara Message Board, we are working on conversion of the OD&D Known World to 3E. One issue we are facing is how to deal with character level limits. In OD&D, characters were limited to level 36. In 2E Mystara, the NPC stats were rescaled to fit with a 20-level max.

I was wondering, could someone give me a run-down of how TSR, WotC, and Sovereign Press have dealt with level limits in the various official incarnations of Dragonlance (1E, SAGA, 2E, 3.0E, 3.5E)?

Responses (separated by dashed lines):

1e = level 18 limit
SAGA = no level limit
2e = no level limit
3.0e = no level limit
3.5e = no level limit
I could be wrong, but so far as I know the only time theres ever been a level limit officially set for Dragonlance was in the old 1E Dragonlance Adventures book, wherein any character choosing to proceed beyond 18th level was removed and sent to another world.
Correct. Other than the level limits that were already in place for 1st edition (such as Laurana's 4th or 5th level cap on her fighter levels, which resulted in the Golden General being ridiculously low level) DLA was the only place that held 18th level limits to Krynnish characters.

Dragonlance now uses the same rules as core D&D for level progression. Epic level characters are very rare - typically, there's only ever one major epic level character in the setting at a time, with the current epic level character needing to be killed/retired/etc before another arises. This explains Ariakas -> Raistlin etc.
(posted by Cam Banks, co-author of the 3E Bestiary of Krynn)
Well, the most obvious level limitation in DL history was back in DLA where they limit the highest possible level of of PC to level 18. A few rare villains were able to surpass that limit for story or challenge sake.

Afterwards, that level limit fell to the wayside especially with SAGA moving onto its own system of play. In the current rendition of Dragonlance, there are not level limit per se. Of course, it is generally presume that NPCs are rarely epic level (21+ levels) and usuall don't appear more the one in a "Time of" or Age period. Though doesn't exactly stop a group of PCs if they want to move their campaign to those reaches.
Q: Over on the Mystara Message Board, we're working on converting the OD&D Known World to 3E. I was wondering if someone could post a list of D&D creatures and races that are officially or implicitly "banned" from Krynn for whatever reason. We Mystara-philes are trying to decide what creatures should be banned from Mystara, and it'd be helpful to see how Dragonlance 3E does it. I'm a little bit familiar with Krynn, so I'll get the ball rolling with the creatures that I know or suspect are illegal:

Drow (Krynnish Dark Elves are just outcasts)
Halfling (replaced by Kender)
Mind Flayers???
Duergar and Derro (replaced by Dark Dwarves?)

Instead of Mindflayers there are the Yaggols from Taladas who will be appearing in the Revised Bestiary of Krynn.

Also there are no Titans or Lycanthrope.
And generally no half-dragons.
and no gem dragons.
and no astral dragon
and no kodragons
and no bolandi (island ogres).
Yeah, DL14 and DLA had a list of creatures that *do* exist on Krynn rather than a list of creatures that do *not* exist on Krynn. That former approach may be the better, and actually less limiting approach.

In terms of the original three 1e monster books, as a gross generalization monsters from the Monster Manual are okay but monsters from the Fiend Folio and Monster Manual II tend to be more "out there".

I definitely feel that there's a place for plenty of weird monsters in Krynn, but that the large majority of creatures are from a select variety of known species.

Of course there are rules of thumb. No lycanthropy, psionicism, vampirism, drow, or orcs. Of course, all those rules have been broken. Margaret Weis's "Dark Disciple" series has vampires, for example. But that's almost the exception that proves the rule. Vampires show up, they're a big shocker freak anomaly which, once defeated, will be a concern gratefully put to rest. Same with dragons outside the classic 10 varieties (5 chromatic, 5 metallic). We've had a couple of shadow dragons; we had the fire dragons of chaos; but they're especially shocking and unique threats which, once defeated, are gladly forgotten. Regards.
There is nothing against vampirism in DL. It's a common misconception. I think people only think that since vampirism is often associated with lycanthropy.

Vampire Kryl was a Krynnish vampire (even though he was a weiner, not a winner).
To add to your list:

Drow and all their variants, including Driders
Orcs and all their variants, including half-orcs
Mind flayers (replaced by the Yaggol)
Titans (replaced by the Titan template, which is applied to Ogres and their kin)

Psionic creatures (in older editions, they were banned, in 3.x they are left to the individual DM's discretion)
I wonder whether Lizardfolks are in kyrnn. Because people wouldn't be so surprised to see draconian if these " lizard man " are around.


Sep 04, 2006 11:05:57
I didnt know Krynn didnt have Lycanthropes (or Vampires for that matter) in spite of having played several campaigns in that setting.

No Orcs and no Halflings are the classics though.

As for level limits, I think they should be ignored with Mystara aswell, although clearly no existing (mortal) NPC is of a higher level than 36th. As stated in another thread, Classic D&D in theory had "levels" above 36th if you consider the rule about gaining new skill/weapon mastery slots for every X amount of XPs beyond 36th level.