Ravenloft and Dragonlance, two of D&D’s most iconic classic settings, wouldn’t exist without the work of husband-and-wife team Tracy and Laura Hickman. Now, the Hickmans are setting their sights on a new world for a tabletop roleplaying setting—and while it’s not explicitly part of D&D, it’s leveraging the latest system’s mechanical underpinnings.
Polygon reports that the Hickmans have lifted the lid on Skyraiders of Abarax, a new fantasy setting of dragons and flying airships that the duo teases will be brought to life by “magical books... with our unique ‘Living Tome System’.” Skyraiders will base its rules on Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition open-source System Reference Document, a toolset that lets RPGs use the basic systems of the current iteration of D&D for custom settings and campaigns, underpinning everything from Kickstarter smash hit Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent (from former Blizzard executive Chris Metzen’s Warchief Gaming), to the recently revealed Critical Role Tal’dorei Reborn sourcebook (itself separate from the previous, D&D-sanctioned Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount).
The announcement of Skyradiers of Abarax comes at an interesting time for the Hickmans. Earlier this year, Tracy Hickman and Dragonlance co-creator Margaret Weis announced that a new trilogy of novels in the beloved setting would begin some time in 2021, in the wake of a dropped lawsuit brought against Wizards of the Coast by the duo in late 2020. The lawsuit, seeking $10 million in damages, claimed Wizards breached Weis and Hickman’s contract in 2018 for a then-planned Dragonlance trilogy when the studio allegedly stopped approving drafts for the series, leaving the creators in limbo. The new trilogy was announced just weeks after Weis and Hickman dropped the suit, with the authors only statement on the matter simply noting that the issue had been solved between them and Wizards in private.
More details will be revealed about Skyraiders of Aberax in the fall months to come, when the setting’s “living tomes” are set to begin a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
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