I am about to DM Shadow of the Dragon Queen and I have almost finished reading the manual, to get the general idea of the adventure. To be honest, I feel that the setting depicted here does not feel too Dragonlance-esque, hence I am planning to add some features from previous editions, from Dungeon Master's Guild and maybe something homebrew.

The first add-on regards the Wizards of High Sorcery and the influence of the three moons on spells and magic. I have taken this mechanic from Tasslehoff’s Pouches of Everything from DM's Guild, whose inspiration was from the Dragonlance setting from the 3rd edition.

The Wizards of High Sorcery

The Wizards of High Sorcery are organized in three orders, White, Red and Black Robes, where, as one expects, White Robes are devoted to good, Black ones are evil and, ça va sans dire, Red Robes are neutral. The orders are not in competition, but they aim to preserve the magic on Krynn.

The Dragonlance pantheon presents three gods of magic, Solinari (good), Lunitari (neutral) and Nuitari (evil), each one represented by a moon orbiting around the planet of Krynn. Each moon influences the casting of the members of the related order, based on the moon phase, in the following way:

  • High Sanction: +1 to DC and advantage to spell attack rolls
  • Waning: no bonus/penalty
  • Low Sanction: -1 to DC and disadvantage to spell attack rolls
  • Waxing: no bonus/penalty

Each moon has a different revolution period, hence the phases have different duration:

  • Solinari: 36 days period, 9 days/phase
  • Lunitari: 28 days period, 7 days/phase
  • Nuitari: 8 days period, 2 days/phase.

A visual inspection can be found here.

Moreover, the moons interact with each other: when two moons are in the same phase, they provide a +1 to the DC and advantage to attack rolls, and this adds up with other bonuses. So, for example, if Nuitari and Solinari are both in High Sanction, Black and White Robes get a +2 to DC and advantage to attack rolls. If Nuitari and Lunitari are both in Low Sanction, there are no penalties for Black and Red Robes. Finally, each year and a half1,2 the Night of the Eye takes place, where all the moons are in High Sanction and all the orders have a +3 bonus.


I wrote a small program to simulate how many times White, Red and Black Robes benefit (or not) from the moons' interaction. I ran 500 different simulations on a 4-months period: the results are depicted in the plots below.

histograms of the bonuses on a 4 months period Moreover, we have these statistics.

  • White Robes Modifiers:
<0 0 >0
14.03% 38.20% 47.77%
  • Red Robes Modifiers:
<0 0 >0
13.46% 38.43% 48.10%
  • Black Robes Modifiers:
<0 0 >0
13.83% 37.84% 48.33%

We have hence that

  • All the orders have around 50% of time a bonus, which, mechanically speaking, is like having from 2 to 6 points more on the spellcasting ability score.
  • Very few times the casters get a -1 to their DC and disadvantage to spell attack rolls.
  • Around 40% of time there are no modifications.

I ran simulations for larger periods of times, around 2 years: the plots and the frequencies do not differ so much.

Balance and game-playing issues

My concerns are the following ones:

  • Is it balanced with respect to the encounters? On one side, I like the fact of introducing an important piece of lore, but since spellcasters are already quite powerful I am doubting about the game balance. Of course, I will adopt this mechanic also for NPCs and enemies, but players will get the most benefit from this.

  • Is it balanced with respect to the rest of the party? My doubt is that this is a good improvement for arcane spellcasters, mainly for wizards3, but I fear that this will make players of divine casters4 and fighters feel a little bit undermined. It is true that magic on Krynn is really powerful, from a lore perspective, but I do not want to ruin the game for the players.

1 On Krynn the year has 12 months, each month has 28 days.

2 Actually, my simulations show a much higher frequency for the Night of the Eye. The fact that the Night of the Eye seems to take place every year and a half comes from the periods of the moons, whose least common multiple is 504. Since a year lasts 336 days one has that the Night of the Eye occurs every 504/336=1.5 years, but actually this is not true. I am working on the math.

3 I'd like to remain faithful to the original setting, where sorcerers, warlocks, artificers were not completely on topic in the Dragonlance setting, but I may change my mind depending on what classes the players desire to have.

4 During the 3 centuries after the Cataclysm and during the War of the Lance, true clerics and paladins are practically absent on the continent, but the players might be the heroes that bring back divine power and magic to the world.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems like the balance depends heavily on how much control the players have over encounter timing. If they can afford to wait until their preferred moon(s) is/are high, then they get an advantage, otherwise they don't. Are you planning to have enemies time their attacks to take advantage of the players' preferred moon being in low sanction? (Presumably the source book doesn't feature such timing, since it doesn't have the moon mechanic in the first place.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31 at 0:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Side note: The reason Night of the Eye is much more common in your simulations is because the LCM only tells you how often the 3 moons all enter high sanction on the same day. Because the moons all remain in high sanction for more than 1 day at a time, you'll have a triple overlap of high sanction days more often than that. I think you can "fix" this frequency by declaring that a Night of the Eye only occurs when all 3 moons enter high sanction on the same day, and only lasts for 1 day/night. (For all other triple overlaps, just use the same bonus as for 2-moon overlaps.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31 at 0:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unrelated to my other comments: is there a rationale for using advantage/disadvantage for spell attacks but small numerical bonuses/penalties for save DC? This will have the effect of favoring attack spells during high sanction and save-based spells during low sanction, and I'm unsure if that's intended. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31 at 1:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ The fact that the periods of the moons are all multiples of 4 (and, in particular, are not coprime) means that the frequency of the Night of the Eye is affected by the starting locations of the moons. Specifically, from any starting position the moons will cycle through 504 different positions before repeating, but since there are actually 16 * 504 = 8064 different positions in total, that means there will be 16 possible cycles of 504 positions. Some of these 16 cycles will have more Nights of the Eye (by either your or @RyanC.Thompson's definition) than others. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31 at 1:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unrelated to this question: I have some houserules from when I ran DL1-12 in 5e some years back; feel free to poke me in chat if you'd like a copy. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Apr 23 at 1:05

2 Answers 2


It seems a bit too much for spellcasters

You have done all the hard work on hashing out the statistics of the mechanical impact of the feature.

Advantage: For my taste, having advantage near 50% of the time to your spell attacks seems pretty powerful. Advantage on average adds about 4-5 points of to hit at typical hit rates of 65%, or more than 20% likely hood to hit. That's a lot.

DCs Modifiers: I think this one is also slightly strong, as getting an additional +1 to +3 on top of other bonuses can strain bounded accuracy. You get about +1 more than 35% of the time. Normally, you have to wait 4 levels to even get +1 from your proficient bonus, and you have a ceiling from your proficiency and spellcasting ability bonus that this also can break. In addition, you have an about equal chance of 13-14% for -1 or +2, but the positive mod is twice as big. So one way to look at this is to think of another 14% or so where you net a +1, in total again for nearly 50% of the time.

Another issue might be that if the campaign has no urgent time pressure, the wizard may be incentivized and lobby the group to avoid the days with penalties and go on major sorties the day they get +2.

Shadow of the Dragon Queen is for levels 1-11. The average chance to make a save for the first 10 levels (based on average statistics from the Monster Manual) is about 46% for Con, about 40% for Dex and about 39% for Wisdom. An increase by 2 points to the DC means lowering these chances by 10%, or relatively speaking, reducing the range where you save by about 20% to 25%. That is a lot. (We'll ignore the very rare case where you even get +3).

I think your instinct to be concerned is right.

One way to fix this and keep the reinforcement/fluctuations could be to grant a modifier of -1/+1/+2/+3 to the spellcasting ability score only for calculating save DCs, instead of to the save DC directly, halfing the effect. For +1, that has the "downside" that it has no effect if the caster already has an even ability score, while the -1 will lower the DC by 1 about as often as the +2 increases it; this may help balance it, especially as wizards tend start with Intelligence 16 if they can and then to max Intelligence to 20, also ending up with an even score. I probably also would apply this for spell attack to hits, instead of advantage. (Maybe give advantage on the Eye of the Moons, to make it even more special).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your analysis! I have nonetheless two remarks. The average with advantage is 13.82 against the 10.5 with a normal roll, so actually the difference is not as large as you pointed out. I know that with advantage passive checks have a +5, but it is inaccurate from a probability point of view (it is so because 5ed highly favors the players). Secondly, it is not possible to have a +4 bonus for wizards, the maximum is +3 when all the moons are in High Noon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Apr 26 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage That may be the mathematical average, but the average to hit chance across levels is about 65%, and at that chance advantage adds more than 22% \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I may have mistead the bonus section I thought it adds +2/+4/+6. if not, I‘ll change the answer, that seems ok as my last para explains. We have dinner guests so csnnt do it tonight. Will do it tomorrow \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, if you see the barplots the modifiers range from -1 to +3. Take your time, no hurries! :-D \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Apr 26 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage Guests have left, I cleaned it up, hope this make more sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26 at 21:27

This is actually something that you as the DM are wholly in control of. Magic isn't as casual of a thing in Dragonlance, compared to other settings. Moreon, you as a DM have more control than you might consider over just what your mage is allowed to do.

This is a general consideration/complication of having wizards in your party in general, but there is more emphasis on it in Dragonlance as you both control their interactions with the Order and, as some comments have noted, can constrain the phases in which your party is able to fight.

So.. yes. Mages have bigger sticks in Dragonlance, but also tighter leashes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. \$\endgroup\$
    – Community Bot
    Commented Apr 23 at 1:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour and visit the help center: there are some guidance for posting Q&A here. I fail to see how this answer my question... \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Apr 23 at 7:32

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