Maybe it's no surprise, seeing how the Dragonlance novels were cowritten, but reading through the Dragonlance Adventures hardback, I can't help but feel how disjointed the setting feels.
I read way too many of the novels back in the day. Even after teenage me noticed the drop in quality, I kept reading, hoping they'd get good again.* As novels, the setting didn't seem so dissonant. It felt internally consistent. But reading the descriptions of things in DLA, I'm really noticing it.
Elements of the setting, like the gods, Knights of Solamnia, Orders of High Sorcery, Order of the Stars clerics, the way half-elves are treated, the histories, etc. all seem to suggest an attempt at a serious setting where you can really get some good drama going from the conflicting elements of the society of Krynn. Especially when you consider that becoming a Knight of Solamnia (at least a Knight of the Crown) gets you nothing mechanically over being a Fighter, but lots of role play options and restrictions. Seems like you'd only sign up for that if you wanted to get into the head of a person trying to live up to the Oath and the Measure.
But then there are the Kender, Tinker Gnomes, Gully Dwarves. Sure, novels need moments of levity to break up the heavier sections of the text. D&D adventures can benefit from them, too. But in the setting, as presented in DLA, these options just seem like they shouldn't fit. Or at least, they shouldn't fit well as player character options. Well, maybe Kender. Despite the nearly universal hatred gamers have for Kender, I still think they could work. And there are examples of more serious Kender, who aren't Tasselhoff clones, that could be worked with, both in DLA and in some of the novels and game books.
Gnomes ONLY being allowed to be Tinkers, and Gully Dwarves in general, really seem like they would ruin the tone in an adventuring party otherwise devoted to rallying allies against the remnants of the dragon armies, or rebuilding the various nations ravaged by the wars, which is the presumed setting for the games using DLA (unless you want it as a reference for running the modules).
*Adult me is curious to read the "good ones" again and see if they really are that good or not. I'm guessing probably not.
Old-School Essentials Spell Lists
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