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Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms Setting (2e)
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Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms Setting (2e)

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This revised and expanded edition of one of the AD&D game's hottest selling products, Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms takes the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game in an entirely new direction. For the first time, everything a player needs to create dragon player characters for the AD&D game, and everything a Dungeon Master needs to set up a dragon-based campaign.

Includes rules for creating and playing dragons, new character types like kindred, half-dragons, and dragon slayers, campaign background material, and a series of adventures designed to challenge even the greatest of dragons!

Product History

Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms Setting (1999) was the second edition of the standalone D&D setting. It was published in September 1999.

Origins (I): By Popular Demand. AD&D Core Brand Manager Keith Stohm states that "The Council of Wyrms boxed set is one of the most popular and asked for
products that TSR has published". The interest was high enough to re-release it.

However, rereleasing Council of Wyrms wasn't just about answering popular demand. According to another TSR staffer, "Reprinting popular material helps pay for the design, editing, and overhead costs of producing quality new material." Because the text and pictures of Council of Wyrms were already paid for, Wizards could see a much higher return comparative to the investment, then turn that around for an original product.

Origins (II): Farewell to Odyssey One of the most surprising things about the new Council of Wyrms Setting is that it wasn't branded as part of the TSR "Odyssey" line, which had previously been the home to standalone settings like Tale of the Comet (1997) and "Jakandor" (1999). That was particularly shocking because TSR staff had previously said that the original Council of Wyrms fit right into the Odyssey brand.

This likely reflects the changes as D&D moved from TSR to Wizards. At TSR, the Odyssey brand had actually been a bureaucratic crutch that helped them to produce books that weren't part of any other setting. Wizards clearly had no such need (and perhaps even realized that the Odyssey brand had been confusing to fans).

Instead Council of Wyrms Setting has a totally new branding: "Campaign Option". This fit in with TSR's D&D 2.5e (1995) branding, which included "Player's Option" and "Dungeon Master Option" books … but Council of Wyrms Setting was the only "Campaign Option" of its sort.

Origins (III): Farewell to Boxes. The biggest change between the original Council of Wyrms and the new Council of Wyrms Setting is in the formatting: the original box has become a hardcover. This reflected a general move away from the boxes that had been so popular at TSR in the previous decade. And, there was probably a good reason for it: anecdotal evidence suggests that TSR lost money on many of its boxed sets. Wizards was changing over to production that made more economic sense.

What a Difference an Edition Makes: The Council of Wyrms. To a large extent, the new Council of Wyrms Setting is a pretty precise reprint of the original. The three different books in the original box have now become "sections" in the hadcover, which also reprints the big posters within its pages with one exception: the clan poster is gone. A few NPCs from cardstock sheets have also gone missing.

However, Council of Wyrms Setting says it's expanded, and that's also true. The "new" material is found in the 20-page appendix at the end of the book (and is largely drawn from Dragon magazine). "Dragon Slayers" and "Undead Dragon Slayer" are from "Dragon Slayers" in Dragon #205 (May 1994), while "Dragon Sage Kit" and "Random Spell Generator for Dragon PCs" are from "The Dragon Sage" in Dragon #207 (July 1994), all by original Wyrms author Bill Slavicsek.

Future History. After the reprint, a few more Dragon articles appeared: "The Western Wyrms" in Dragon #263 (September 1999) by Charlie Martin and "Dragon Psionics" in Dragon #272 (June 2000) by Ed Bonny. Of all the Council articles, "The Western Wyrms" was probably the most notable because it provided rules for playing several additional AD&D 2e dragons: cloud dragons, deep dragons, mercury dragons, mist dragons, shadow dragons, steel dragons, and yellow dragons.

About the Creators. Slavicsek had come a long ways since writing the original Council of Wyrms in 1994. He was no longer the new guy at TSR. Instead, he now had over a dozen books under his belt, the most important of which was the new Alternity (1998) game.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons — a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Author(s)
Rule System(s)
Pages
196
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 11383
File Size:
96.09 MB
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File Last Updated:
May 28, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on May 30, 2017.