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Champions of Krynn

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:David Shelley

GAME DEVELOPER:Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI)

GAME PUBLISHER:Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI)

Copyright 1990, Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI)

The weakest of all Gold Box games in my opinion, SSI’s games based on “Dragonlance” AD&D setting are still decent enough to merit attention by all RPG fans. It is not that they are bad games – I just find the plots of “Forgotten Realms” games more interesting and the gameplay more balanced. Champions of Krynn for example gives no experience to any character who is knocked unconscious in combat – something that not only violates AD&D rules, but also makes the game unfairly frustrating, especially in the beginning when your party is still weak. The three games in this series are Champions of Krynn, Death Knights of Krynn, and The Dark Queen of Krynn. All are worth a look, but don’t expect them to set new standards. The best thing about these games is the interesting magic system, which restricts spells according to the character’s alignment.

GameSpot’s decent short review of Champions of Krynn goes as follows: “The first proper Dragonlance computer role-playing game, Champions of Krynn (released in 1990) took place shortly after the War of the Lance in the Dragonlance timeline. A routine scouting mission into the smoldering ruins of the town of Throtl became a desperate struggle to rescue the kidnapped Caramon and a troupe of human captives from a small squadron of Draconians. From there, the action escalates from town to town across the continent of Ansalon, as the party is led by knights, kender, enemy traitors and actual characters from the Dragonlance Chronicles in an effort to quash the attempts of evil forces to corrupt dragon eggs into armies of Draconian warriors.

Champions of Krynn took the blueprint first set by Pool of Radiance a few steps further with the help of some additions specific to the Dragonlance world. Specifically, Champions featured the hoopak-wielding Kender race, the Solamnic Knight character class, and the steel-coin currency specific to Krynn. It also introduced some interesting modifications to the magic system. That is, certain magic-user spells were categorized into different schools according to a character’s alignment (for instance, the Globe of Invulnerability spells were only available to good-aligned, or white mages, while Fire Shield and Dimension Door were only allowed for neutral-aligned, or red mages). Also, bonus or penalty spells were assigned based on the cycles of Krynn’s three magic moons. Finally, clerics were able to choose their deities, which, true to the Dragonlance universe, would endow them with innate special abilities, like the additional healing ability of followers of Mishakal, or the enhanced turn undead ability of followers of Majere.”



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