I recently got an early look at Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragonqueen and the accompanying board game, Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn, which you can get in a package with the DnD fifth edition book, or by itself. 

The first exciting thing about the upcoming Dragonlance release is that Wizards of the Coast puts much more effort into its digital library. Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragonqueen will be available digitally and early on DND Beyond from November 22, ahead of the physical release date of December 6. You don’t have to buy the digital version separately, as a Digital + Physical bundle is available. There’s even a Digital + Physical bundle with the Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn game, giving players many ways to pick the best way to purchase.

Although I was somewhat overloaded with information about the upcoming Dragonlance event, it was the new ways to play that my brain was struggling to make sense of rationally. The Warriors of Krynn board game can be played by itself, sure. But what if you could take a big battle from your DND5e game in the Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragonqueen book and play it out in the game instead? Because you can, if you want. Or play them separately, and treat the board game as a companion piece — it’s totally up to you.

The problem I have with Dragonlance: The Warriors of Krynn is that I can’t see it as something other than a companion piece. Its ruleset seemed too deep for a game to be played on top of another game and somewhat complicated. But most disappointingly, it could have looked more attractive. The game comes with six miniatures, or you can use the same one in your DND campaign. The boards of Warriors of Krynn are designed to be interchangeable, and you can rotate the pieces to set up different scenarios. There are 12 different scenarios (13 if you include the training). You then have a bunch of units with engravings on them to symbolise if they’re foot, missile or mounted units. I found these pieces the most boring to look at and see the game in motion. I didn’t fully grasp the turn-rotation, but you’ll be fighting every turn, with the winner of any skirmishes drawing a card, and the game is designed where you’re always meant to be at a disadvantage as you’re fighting for and with a fishing village. 

It’ll be interesting to see how many players choose to integrate Warriors of Krynn into their Shadow of the Dragonqueen campaigns, as the board game will remove the Dungeon Master from the game. With no control over the battle, they’ll have to relegate to building stories and character for even the most mundane encounters if your table chooses to use the board game for any conflicts. 

In the digital event I attended, there was a little talk about Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow of the Dragonqueen. My biggest takeaway was the character of Mayor Raven, who is the best character in the book. She’s holding a celebration in Vogler (the town you’ll be wandering into), and there’s a fishing competition happening when you show up. But guess who the best angler in the town is? It’s her! Good luck, adventures. 

The campaign will have a fun start with the fishing competition, but things will change to hectic and darker as rumours of “dragon-like creatures” looming on the edge of town. 

As a project, I love the idea. Even if I need clarification about some elements or find the board game pieces aesthetically not pleasing, I hope Wizards of the Coast continues to try stuff like this and play around with the digital/physical releases. 

You can start your digital adventure on November 22 on D&D Beyond. The physical editions of Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen and Warriors of Krynn will release on December 6.

You can pre-order via Amazon or the Wizards Store now.