plundering Dragonlance: how to make first level characters seem awesome

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series dragonlance

“Ast tasarak sinwalan krynawi,” Raistlin murmured, and then moved his right hand slowly in an arc parallel to the shore.

Tanis looked back toward land. One by one the goblins dropped their bows and toppled over. […]

“What did you do to them?” asked Tanis […].

“I put them to sleep,” Raistlin hissed through teeth that clicked together with the cold. “And now I must rest.” He sank back against the side of the boat.

Tanis looked at the mage. Raistin had, indeed, gained in power and skill.

OK, Raistlin had gained in power and skill since when? Exactly what level was Raistlin when Tanis used to adventure with him? Sleep is a FIRST LEVEL SPELL. If Raistlin wasn’t high enough level to put goblins to sleep, what was he casting back then? Cantrips?

Later on:

Caramon was even snoring. The kender remembered Raistlin’s sleep spell and figured that was what the draconians had used on his friends.

I guess every draconian is also an unusually promising student whose power frightens even the mages of the High Tower or whatever it is called.

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6 Responses to “plundering Dragonlance: how to make first level characters seem awesome”

  1. SAROE says:

    Maybe Raistlin didn’t get Sleep as one of his starting spells. And as arguably the most powerful 1st level spell, it would look like an increase in power to a non-M-U. Also IIRC, at the start of Autumn Twilight the characters are reuniting after years of adventuring separately so they must have a few levels. The module DL1 is for characters level 4-6, so I’m guessing that’s where the characters are at the beginning of the story.

  2. Well, sleep is a scary spell…no save for instance. :)

    Raistlin is 3rd or 4th level by the 1st module. I believe the 1E DLA hardcover stated a magic-user has to be 4th level to take the test at the Tower of High Sorcery.

  3. 1d30 says:

    Anthony: I think you have to take the test before you exceed level 3, otherwise they hunt you down. Which is interesting, because assuming they first hear about you when you hit level 3 (casting Web and Stinking Cloud), they have two levels to catch you before you’re able to Fireball them or Fly away.

    I recall the story where he took the test, and he evidently had several spells by then.

    SAROE: I agree that Sleep is pretty awesome, especially if he started out with something like Ventriloquism or even Magic Missile. In roleplaying, Tanis would have no reason to think he was stronger than two or three goblins, which means Raistlin could probably put the whole party to sleep if he wanted. Alternately, Tanis doesn’t know that the spell works based on HD, so he sees Raistlin drop a unit of enemy soldiers instantly and is impressed.

    I think the big mages were afraid of Raistlin because of some kind of prophecy or something. He sure was nothing special compared to the rest of them until late in the game. Plus he was carrying around that huge disability (the kender).

  4. paul says:


  5. Moral of the story: Sleep has always been undervalued at first level, and thus written in such a way that it eventually becomes useless. Alas.

  6. paul paul says:

    As a parent of a newborn, I agree that sleep is undervalued!

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