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Age of Mortals (3.5)

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A New Age...For New Heroes

In the wake of a devastating Chaos War, the people of Krynn discover a world seperated from the gods who have created and protected their world. The magical orders of the old are rendered powerless. In this time of vulnerability, dragons of immense size and power appear and conquer vast territories.

The Age of Mortals is a time of discovery. Secrets both ancient and new wait for the next generation of heroes who will fight for the lands of Ansalon and its people. Spell-wielders trained by the Academy of Sorcery, clandestine operatives of the Legion of Steel, mystics seeking enlightenment in the Citadel of Light, all work against the dragon overlords and other forces of evil that threaten to overshadow the land.

This volume brings the world of Krynn as described in the best-selling DRAGONLANCE novels to the gaming table using the d20 system.

Enjoy the wealth of information about the struggles, villains, and heroes of the Fifth Age or use the book as a companion to the DRAGONLANCE Campaign Setting and discover endless adventure!

Age of Mortals contains specific information to play at any point during the Fifth Age of Krynn, including the exciting new era after the War of Souls.

A new age of Krynn has begun... but the story is not over.

Product History

Age of Mortals (2003), by Margaret Weis, Jamie Chambers, and Christopher Coyle, is the first Campaign Setting Companion for Dragonlance 3e. It was published in August 2003.

Origins (I): Beginning Sovereign's Dragonlance Saga. Age of Mortals seems like a big deal, because it was the first Dragonlance book produced entirely by Margaret Weis' company, Sovereign Press. And, there is some truth to that. Its predecessor, the Dragonlance Campaign Setting (2003), was designed by Sovereign, but then handed in to Wizards of the Coast, where it was further developed by Richard Baker and James Wyatt; Age of Mortals was instead Sovereign's from design to production.

However, there is also considerable continuity between the two books. They both share the same main designers: Margaret Weis, Jamie Chambers, and Christopher Coyle. They were both supported by a large team of Dragonlance experts. After offering small contributions to the Dragonlance Campaign Setting, freelancers and volunteers now got to offer considerable content to Age of Mortals. This included members of the Whitestone Council like Cam Banks, André Le Roche, and Trampas Whiteman, some of whom would become increasingly important to Sovereign's Dragonlance work over the years.

And finally, they were both released at Gen Con Indy 2003 (2003). Barely. Sovereign's shipment get held up at the Port of Chicago, so on the day of Margaret Weis' annual Dragonlance panel, Jame Chambers had to drive from Indianopolis to Chicago and rescue part of the shipment! He made it back to Gen Con in the middle of Weis' talk and entered the room with a carton of books to the cheering of the crowd!

Age of Mortals was an exciting new beginning for what would be one of Dragonlance's most productive and consistent periods of design, but also a continuation of what had begun with the Campaign Setting.

Origins (II): A Subsetting. Age of Mortals labels itself a "Campaign Setting Companion"; it's literally meant to be a companion to the Dragonlance Campaign Setting, providing information on playing in a specific era.

With that said, Age of Mortals lies the nearest to the original Campaign Setting, since they both depict the Fifth Age of Krynn. However, Age of Mortals is able to offer much more detailed information on the land and its people, while Dragonlance Campaign Setting had to provide a big picture of the world of Krynn and Dragonlance play. Age of Mortals also describes the entire Fifth Age, from 384 AC to 422 AC, where Dragonlance Campaign Setting was stuck in the modern day of 422 AC.

Origins (III): The Age of Mortals. Dragonlance had been in the Fifth Age since the publication of The Dawning of a New Age (1996) and Dragonlance: Fifth Age (1996). However, Jean Rabe's Dragons of a New Age novels and the early SAGA products were all set in an earlier part of the Fifth Age, defined by the Dragon Overlords.

Then in the Winter of 1997-1998, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman returned to the fold and plotted a new major event for Dragonlance, the War of Souls. This story jumped Krynn's timeline forward another seven years as was recorded in three novels by Weis and Hickman: Dragons of a Fallen Sun (2000), Dragons of a Lost Star (2001), and Dragons of a Vanished Moon (2002). It was further supported by a second series of books, the "Age of Mortals" double-trilogy (2001-2004).

To a certain extent, the Age of Mortals was still in a somewhat undetermined state when Age of Mortals was published, because Margaret Weis was just starting work on the Dark Disciple trilogy (2004-2008) that followed the War of Souls. Nonetheless, the completed trilogy gave plenty to build on and the Age of Mortals sourcebook marked the first opportunity for the gaming material to not just catch up with these novels, but to depict the entire span of time, from the Dragons of Summer Flame (1995) that had gotten this new Age started, through Jean Rabe's books, to the recent trilogies connected to the War of Souls.

Expanding D&D. Sovereign's entire Dragonlance line would be rich with rules support for Krynnish elements in the D&D game, thanks in large part to the new crunchiness of the D&D 3e system (2000). For Age of Mortals that meant new feats, new spells, and a dozen more prestige classes, including support for the Legion of Steel and Citadel Mystics, two notable elements of the Age of Mortals. There's also a new base class, the mariner.

Because of Sovereign's "Officially Licensed Wizards Product" agreement, they were able to produce all of this under the 3.5e rules (2003), before anyone else had them. Of course, Sovereign was just learning the 3.5e rules, so over time the rules, monsters, and classes of Age of Mortals would almost all be revised, to ammend these early efforts.

Expanding D&D: Resurrected Races. Age of Mortals also contains two new races: the half-kender; and the tarmak (brute) — the latter a new peoples who debuted in City of the Lost (2003), the first of the Linsha Trilogy (2003-2005), and one of the first notable expansions past the War of Souls.

Ages of Krynn: 384 AC to 422 AC. The Summer of Chaos occurred in 383 AC, and so the Age of Mortals encompasses all the years since. Age of Mortals supports this timespan with a big timeline that reveals the dating of the entire Age for the first time ever. This offers the first opportunity to roleplay in the early Age of Mortals, but also supports the 414 AC-416 AC timeframe of the Dragons of New Age trilogy and the parallel SAGA adventures (1996-1998), the 421 AC timeframe of the War of Souls, and the times between and afterward.

Exploring Krynn: Ansalon. Age of Mortal provides extensive details on Ansalon, its cities, its strongholds (including the Academy of Sorcery and the Citadel of Light), and its ruins.

NPCs of Note. Numerous NPCs central to the Fifth Age appear in Age of Mortals, among them:

  • Belladonna was first mentioned in Dragonlance: Fifth Age (1996).
  • Blister Nimblefingers, Ferilleeagh Dawnsprinter, Jasper Fireforge and Rig Mer-Krel were all Heroes of the Heart, featured in the Dragons of a New Age novels and adventures (1996-1998).
  • Lady Camilla Weoledge debuted in the Citadel of Light (1998) sourcebook, then featured prominently in The Silver Stair (1999), a Bridges of Time novel.
  • Dalamar the Dark dates back to Dragonlance Legends (1986) but was also a major character in the War of Souls (2000-2002).
  • Dhamon Grimwulf was another Hero of the Heart from the Dragons of a New Age novels and adventures (1996-1998), who then continued his story in the Dhamon Saga (2000-2002) and The Lake of Death (2004), one of the Age of Mortals novels.
  • Chieftain Donnag, an ogre titan, was first mentioned in Dragonlance: Fifth Age (1996), and would return for the Ogre Titans trilogy (2007-2009).
  • The major Dragon Overlords turn out in force, with Brine, Khellendros, Malystryx, and Onysablet all featured. Notably missing are Beryllinthranox, who appeared in the Dragonlance Campaign Setting (2003), and Gellidus, who would have to await Price of Courage (2006). These Overlords had originally made their presence felt in The Dawning of a New Age (1996) as part of the fast-forward following the Summer of Chaos.
  • Goldmoon and Laurana were Heroes of the Lance in the original Dragonlance Chronicles (1984-1985), but their story continued through the War of Souls (2000-2002).
  • General Hotak de-Droka, a minotaur, debuted in the War of Souls (2000-2002) novels and would return for The Minotaur Wars (2003-2005).
  • Mina also first appeared in Citadel of Light (1998). She was then the major force in the War of Souls (2000-2002), and her story continued in the Dark Disciple trilogy (2004-2008).
  • Palin Majere is another character with a long history, originating in the short stories "The Legacy" (1987) and "Wanna Bet?" (1987). He then fought in Dragons of Summer Flame (1995), was a Hero of the Heart in Dragons of a New Age (1996-1998), and made more major appearances in the War of Souls (2000-2002). Whew!
  • The blue dragon Razor and his person, Marshall Alexius Medan, are from the War of Souls (2000-2002).
  • Silvanoshei was another major character in the War of Souls (2000-2002).
  • Solomirathnius is another SAGA character, first mentioned in Wings of Fury (1998), but getting full attention in Citadel of Light (1998). The blind silver dragon and guardian of the Citadel then appeared in the War of Souls (2000-2002), particularly Dragons of a Vanished Moon (2002).
  • Tarn Bellowgranite featured in The Last Thane (1998), one of the Chaos War books, and Dark Thane (2003), one of the Age of Mortals books.

About the Creators. Like so many of the Sovereign Press publications, this one was the work of diverse hands. Main credit on it goes to Margaret Weis, Jamie Chambers, and Christopher Coyle. However additional credits go to members of the Whitestone Council and Dragonlance novelists, including Cam Banks, Jeff Grubb, Matt Haag, Richard Knaak, André Le Roche, Sean MacDonald, Jean Rabe, Sean K. Reynolds, and Trampas Whiteman.

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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224
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 16, 2017.