Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Champions of Krynn", 1990.

(Whoops, missed a 1990 D&D title!) OK, enough messing around. Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds had been moving more units than the rest of SSI's product line altogether (that's right: more than Battles of Napoleon and Germany Turns East combined), so it's time to cut their losses from the weird Dragonlance action-adventures and give the world a tactical Dragonlance Gold Box CRPG instead. I don't know for a fact that things were informed by those particular motivations, but this seems conspicuously follow-uppy.
CHAMPIONS OF KRYNN

The first fantasy role-playing epic set in the AD&D DRAGONLANCE game world!

CHAMPIONS OF KRYNN improves on the award-winning game system used in SSI's mega-hits POOL OF RADIANCE and CURSE OF THE AZURE BONDS. For the first time ever on your computer, you'll enjoy fantasy role-playing adventure in the legendary AD&D game world of Krynn! Your quest: Defeat a vile plot by the forces of evil to establish the Dark Queen, Takhisis, as undisputed ruler of Krynn!

Improves on the award-winning game system used in SSI's mega-hits? (Mega-hits? And which awards?) This game adds complexity: Dragonlance races and classes, plus tidal magic influence caused by the movements of Krynn's moons. Do those, however, make for a better game? As much richness as kender, gully dwarves and gnomes add to the novels, improvements they may lend the CRPG conversion remain unclear. "For the first time ever on your computer, you'll enjoy fantasy role-playing adventure in the legendary AD&D game world of Krynn!" Have they already so baldly conceded that the action-adventures were no fantasy role-playing adventures at all?

Free poster? Sign me up! Dragonlance's flying citadels seem painfully derived from surreal paintings by Magritte. You know what's truly pathetic? Riding away from a flying, dragon-swarming citadel on horseback. Looking at the screenshot we can see an artist's interpretation of Krynn's dragons hilariously conforming to breed characteristics spelled out in the campaign-agnostic Monster Manual of the prior edition, designating Gold Dragons as in the Asiatic vein.

Where is the light source in this painting, anyhow?