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D&D 5E’s Dragonlance adventure has a release date, was inspired by Saving Private Ryan and WW2 photos

Return of RPG’s classic setting introduces Death Dragons.
Image: Wizards of the Coast/Kieran Yanner

Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, Dungeons & Dragons 5E’s return to the RPG’s classic setting, has been given a release date.

Unveiling the upcoming campaign book during its Wizards Presents stream, Wizards of the Coast announced that the latest 5E adventure would hit shops on December 6th. However, a new bundle including the 224-page book and its D&D Beyond counterpart - the first time a 5E book has been bundled with its digital content - will grant access two weeks earlier on November 22nd.

Shadow of the Dragon Queen takes place at the beginning of the War of the Lance central to the long-running series of Dragonlance novels, but will feature a new storyline focused on the eastern region of besieged human nation Solamnia - with no explicit connection to specific events or characters seen in the books. According to Wizards of the Coast, the storyline co-exists with existing Dragonlance lore, but won’t be “beholden” to any particular elements.

As well as the titular dragon queen Tiamat, the adventure will see the return of another of D&D’s more familiar big bads: the death knight Lord Soth. In artwork from the book, Soth appears on the back of a Death Dragon, a new type of undead dragon introduced in Shadow of the Dragon Queen.

Lead designer F. Wes Schneider described the book’s wide-reaching scale and high-stakes battles as different to past 5E releases, contrasting its far-reaching impact on multiple regions of the world to the “plucky band of adventurers” tone of other stories.

Principal art director Kate Irwin said that Shadow of the Dragon Queen had been inspired in part by war films such as Saving Private Ryan and 1917, as well as iconic photographs of soldiers riding captured tanks from World War 2. The book will feature double-page artwork in its chapter headings to capture the sense of scale and conflict.

Catch the Dragonlance announcements as part of Wizards Presents 2022

Wizards of the Coast also detailed the ways that Shadow of the Dragon Queen will “weave together” with tie-in board game Warriors of Krynn. Any of the board game’s six hero characters can be replaced by players’ characters from the RPG campaign. Other characters from the RPG campaign will make an appearance as allies that can join forces with players’ heroes.

The co-op board game can optionally be used to play out pivotal events and battles encountered during the course of the D&D 5E adventure, with the outcome of the board game - win or lose - then affecting future events in the RPG.

The six hero miniatures included in Warriors of Krynn’s box match the scale of other D&D figures, allowing them to be used outside of the board game.

Warriors of Krynn can also be played as a standalone game separate to Shadow of the Dragon Queen. The scenario-based game, designed by Pandemic Legacy co-creator Rob Daviau and HeroQuest designer Steven Baker, will see players’ characters gain levels and new powers as they progress through the campaign. However, Wizards of the Coast confirmed that there will be no legacy game elements, such as destructible cards.

Warriors of Krynn will be released alongside Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen on December 6th.

About the Author

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Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief, Dicebreaker

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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