Design Q&A: What does Archmage Rises have to do with Dragonlance?

  Don't be misled, I do not have the rights to Dragon Lance.  But that isn't stopping me from being heavily inspired by it!

Don't be misled, I do not have the rights to Dragon Lance.  But that isn't stopping me from being heavily inspired by it!

Gallem from Steam asks this question from our game description:

Hello! What exactly have in common the game with the Dragonlance universe?

Well, if you are are from Wizards of the Coast or Margret Weis Productions, the answer is absolutely nothing!  You can stop reading here. :-)

Dragonlance and Raistlin's character arc were the direct inspiration for the game.  That is even why it is called Archmage Rises, because the core DL books could be renamed Raistlin Rises to Archmage.  

It was in the winter of 2013 I was reading the Chronicles and Legends trilogies when I thought "how cool would it be to play a game where you play all of raistlin's life?"  Not just the war of the lance where he casts sleep on some goblins or shoots some draconians with lightning, but the whole thing (including the origin story in the Soulforge trilogy , and the Tales of his daughter).

  I've always liked this picture of these two archmages arguing.

I've always liked this picture of these two archmages arguing.

Raistlin started off a poor peasant who had to make ends meet.  He had to balance studying spells with making potions which he sold to survive.  He risked life and limb to find ancient spell books in the dungeons and ruins of Ansalon.  He took over a tower of high sorcery (and then renovated it).  He took on an apprentice.  He destroyed an entire village in a firestorm.  He was romantically involved with Crysania.  He started meddling in world politics.  He was rich but lived simply.  He was the most powerful mage ever, even going back in time to collect knowledge and artifacts.  He worked for the Kingpriest.  Eventually he stepped into the Abyss to confront the Queen of Darkness.  

In Archmage Rises you get to do a lot of that (no Abyss and becoming a god part).  If you know the Raistlin story well, you'll see hints of it everywhere.

Second, when we are doing design work and trying to figure something out, I lean back on WWRD "What Would Raistlin Do?"  One example from this week is we are finishing up the build with the mage tower in it.  We want to make some of the rooms functional within the mage tower.  Well, Raistlin started off studying and making potions to make money.  So we are starting there too.

Other examples are the whole apprentice and protege features: those are directly inspired by the Raistlin Dalamaar dynamic.  Including the ability for your protege to betray you.

  Raistlin wanted to be loved, but sure did a good job at rejecting all those who tried.

Raistlin wanted to be loved, but sure did a good job at rejecting all those who tried.

As for the Dragonlance Campaign setting, here is a non-comprehensive list of stuff from DL in the game:

  1. Not all spells in DL are in the game, but some are.  Like portals of teleportation.
  2. Riding dragons.
  3. Dragon orbs.
  4. Draconians as a monster type
  5. The Conclave works similar to how I imagine the wizard's conclave in DL work, except there is just one order, not 3.  And becoming head of the order is a valid game goal.
  6. There are 3 moons: silver, red, and unseen black
  7. There is an organization somewhat like the Knights of Solomnia, but I haven't finished designing it yet.
  8. The head of evil, Abaddon, behaves similarly to the Queen of Darkness
  9. Dragons are similar in size and power to what is depicted in Ansalon.  One of the world events is Dragon Overlord which is based on the dragons seen in the War of Souls trilogy.
  10. Lord Soth is probably my favorite character in DL, such an interesting background.  He as a death knight and his skeletal knights are in the game.
  11. I was impressed at the use of dreams in Dragons of Despair (DL1), and dreams are a feature in Archmage Rises.
  12. There may be some named characters from DL in the game.  I liked it in Pillars of Eternity when I went into the first tavern and saw a knight named Sturm Brightblade. :-)
  13. Ability to extend your life through nasty foul blood magic, just like Fistandilius.
  14. I've read my fair share of fantasy fiction and I find Dragonlance really rises above by having deep realistic relationships (friendship and romance).  Archmage Rises has deep realistic relationships with NPCs.
  15. Last but not least, you can convert your mage tower into a flying citadel and cruise around inspiring awe and fear in all citizens.
 Yes, yes you can have your own flying citadel.  This pic made a real impression on me in my childhood.

Yes, yes you can have your own flying citadel.  This pic made a real impression on me in my childhood.

I still continue to read the DL campaign setting (original and d20) and adventures, so more aspects may come to light as we develop.

Hope that helps and thanks for the question!  Is there something from Dragonlance you'd like to see in the game?