plundering Dragonlance: odd dialogue

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series dragonlance

“No, Tas.” [Tanis] grabbed hold of the kender and dragged him back down the ladder. “The fighters go first- Sturm and Caramon. Then the rest.”

Reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight, I’m finding a lot of inspiring ideas, and also a lot of “what not to do”s. In the latter column is this passage, which has characters use the class name “fighters”. This shows an odd knowledge of game mechanics from within the fiction. Sure, “fighter” is kind of a generic term, and maybe it’s not being used game mechanically. But we all know that it is.

The other odd thing is that it’s being used wrong. If you take a look at the character sheets printed in the Dragons of Despair module, you’ll find that Sturm, Caramon, Tanis and Flint are all fighters.

I can see Tanis forgetting to put himself on the list: you always forget to count yourself. But what possible reason is there to exclude Flint? More unconscious dwarf racism, is what it is.

“Powerfully built, he was dressed in the black robes of a cleric of the Queen of Darkness. A black and gold cape fluttered around him. His face was hidden by a hideous horned mask fashioned in black and gold to resemble the” [etc etc]

This overwritten passage is actually from dialogue. An elf is telling a story about a cleric he saw.

This is not a natural way to tell a story. For humans, anyway. From this passage, I infer that the characteristic of Dragonlance elves is that they overuse adjectives in conversation. If I ever play in a Dragonlance game, I’ll try to work that in.

For the record, Dragonlance elves are also liars:

[To Tika:] “We will provide what we can,” Gilthanas said, “though I doubt if we have a full set of armor small enough.”

Gilthanas took the helm and shield from the elf. “I have yet to thank you for saving my life in the Inn,” he said to Tika. “Accept these. They are my mother’s ceremonial armor, dating back to the time of the Kinslayer wars. These would have gone to my sister…”

In Passage 1, Gilthanas (an elf) is claiming that he doesn’t have any armor small enough for Tika (a female human).

In passage 2, Gilthanas apparently HAS some armor that would fit Tika.

Putting aside his convenient selective memory, how is Tika too small for any elf armor? There are clearly female warriors among the elves. Female humans are smaller than female elves? Or is Tika a midget? She can’t be, because we all know that in the world of Dragonlance, short people are comic relief (Flint, Tasslehoff, gully dwarves).

There’s only one possibility. We already know that Dragonlance elves love adjectives. Now we also know that male elves alternately lie and tell the truth, and that female elves are big and burly. Now we’re getting closer to a setting that I’d play!

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3 Responses to “plundering Dragonlance: odd dialogue”

  1. Mike Monaco says:

    Wow, this really makes Dragonlance a lot more palatable! Smullyan elf men! brawny elf maids! Rangers are not fighters!

  2. 1d30 says:

    Maybe Tanis was saying “put the heavily-armored guys up front”. Or was Tanis a rear guard? Probably he just didn’t want the little punk sneaking ahead and stealing treasure.


    I could excuse flowery language. If normal people like Tika speak complete sentences all the time with no “uh” scattered around then it must be difficult to distinguish that speech from more educated speech. Because the common speech is elevated in quality, the fancy speech also needs to be elevated.


    As for the armor, did Gil have a full set of armor that would fit Tika? Or was it just the helm and shield? Maybe there wasn’t a full suit anymore because his mom left most of her armor at my place.

  3. Canageek says:

    Here I thought that Strum was a Knight, not a fighter. I agree it is likely used generically there; I mean, the term comes from fighting-man, a real world term describing combatants.

    Didn’t Cameron and Strum wear the most armour? I know Strum had some great armour, and Tanis was more of a woodsy type (A fighter and not a ranger, really? Huh!), so that could be it. Flint is more odd, but possibly due to dwaves having a hard time with human-sized ladders?

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