5E What's after Tomb of Annihilation? (Ridiculously premature speculation on 2018 releases)
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  1. #1

    What's after Tomb of Annihilation? (Ridiculously premature speculation on 2018 releases)

    OK, now all the secrets are out. We know about Dust (Tomb of Annihilation) and Midway (Xanathar's Guide to Everything).

    Way back in November 2014, Mike Mearls said:

    We're looking at two storylines a year. Right now, we have plans laid down for stories up through 2018.
    Well, here we are, with releases revealed through the end of 2017. There are only one or two cats left in that original bag. It's never too early to speculate, so what are they?

    I haven't heard any codenames. Possible clues:

    • In this interview, Chris Perkins says he has collaborated with outside people on upcoming adventures, specifically mentioning Charlie Sanders, a writer for Key & Peele. This Instagrammed lunch with Chris Perkins in November 2015 comes about 5 months after Pendleton Ward's collaboration in April 2015. If the lead time is similar (about 17 months from story collaboration to release), then the project with Sanders could be the next storyline, released around April 2018. Shortly afterwards, Charlie Sanders was featured on two podcasts (High & Mighty and The Tome Show) discussing D&DI have not listened to those yet.
      • Update: I have now listened to both podcasts. The experience doesn't come up in High & Mighty, but on The Tome Show (starting around 21:34), Charlie Sanders says he was in Seattle for three days, brainstorming for a few hours each morning:
        It was a lot like being in a writers' room for a TV show, except we were talking about the next D&D module. And it was just riffing. Like I just sat down with the creative director of D&D, the main artist, and the main writer. And the four of us just hung out and threw ideas around of what could happen in the upcoming module and modules beyond that. It was totally fun. It was like a writers' room, but specific to D&D and even easier, because I didn't even bring a computer. You're just throwing ideas around, and they take what they will.

    • We've now had an adventure featuring Acererak (on the cover of the Dungeon Master's Guide), a book featuring the Xanathar (on the cover of the Monster Manual), and an adventure featuring the fire giant Snurre (on the cover of the Players Handbook)though that was basically a reprint, we also had another new adventure centered on giants. So those covers may be exhausted for clues.
    • Volo's Guide added several new dinosaurs, just in time to be used in Tomb of Annihilation. There are probably other clues to be found in the monsters that were chosen. (My bet? The froghemoth and vegepygmys are clues about an upcoming adventure based on Expedition to Barrier Peaks.)



    Key quotes:
    A journal purportedly written long ago by the wizard Lum the Mad describes strange, cylindrical chambers of metal buried in the ground from which froghemoths emerged, but no reliable reports of the location of such places exist.
    No one knows for sure where russet mold came from. One historical account tells of adventurers in a forbidding mountain range discovering russet mold and vegepygmies in a peculiar metal dungeon full of strange life. Another story says that explorers found russet mold in a crater left by a falling star, with vegepygmies infesting the dense jungle nearby.
    Anybody know of an existing adventure that the "crater left by a falling star" would refer to? The jungle almost sounds like Chult. (If vegepygmies and froghemoths feature in Tomb of Annihilation, that would certainly dilute the significance of this evidence.)

    Update:
    It was confirmed in the announcement that froghemoths are featured in Tomb of Annihilation, so that's not necessarily a hint at an Expedition to Barrier Peaks-inspired adventure (unless their presence in Tomb of Annihilation is itself a hint).

    Assuming two adventures per year, with 6 months of story writing per adventure, and lead times of 18 months, I would estimate that the next three adventures have been written already (drafted anyway), with work now in progress on the fourth, a late 2019 release. It must be very hard to keep track of.

    If you know of any other hints in novels or elsewhere, let me know.
    Last edited by designbot; Friday, 9th June, 2017 at 07:19 PM.
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  2. #2
    Until now, I've assumed that the froghemoths, vegepygmies, and other swamp- and jungle-dwelling creatures in Volo's Guide were influenced by the upcoming Chult adventure. But you're right, those Barrier Peaks references could be significant.

    Unfortunately, we're working with a lot less information this time around (or so it seems). One of the biggest clues in predicting Tomb of Annihilation came from a Salvatore novel. Supposedly a recent Ed Greenwood novel also referenced the resurrection curse in some oblique fashion, so there was that too. Now, with no new novels on the horizon, we don't have much to go off of besides the rule-books and interviews. Then again, Tomb of Annihilation might drop some hints as well, much as Storm King's Thunder did with Artus Cimber and the Ring of Winter.

    If you want my best guess, based entirely on instinct, I think we're getting a planar adventure next year. I don't think they can put it off any longer, and they seem to be priming us for it too. According to Chris, Acererak's new Tomb is filled with strange souvenirs from his planar travels. That's the perfect opening to a plane-hopping adventure. Or, if not the planes, then something really genre-bending, like Barrier Peaks or Spelljammer. Whatever it is, I'm certain it'll be different from what we've had before -- more so than Chult or any other region of the Forgotten Realms.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Prakriti View Post
    Or, if not the planes, then something really genre-bending, like Barrier Peaks or Spelljammer. Whatever it is, I'm certain it'll be different from what we've had before -- more so than Chult or any other region of the Forgotten Realms.
    Hmm, there was a recent Lore You Should Know segment about D&D/Spelljammer cosmology on the official D&D podcast
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    My 2018 guess:
    ●2 - 3 books, 1 of which I'll definitely buy, the others being 50/50.
    ●Some misc stuff (cards, screens etc) that I won't buy.
    ●a boardgame - that I might buy.
    ● a set or two of minis - of wich I'll pick up a few pieces as singles.
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    Great sleuthing! I wonder. I'd love a Barrier Peaks adventure that ends up traipsing around the planes and going in and out of Sigil!

    Maybe true space ships is they way they do spelljammer? There was a wrecked spelljammer in one of the AL mods. The set of adventures for In Volo's Wake in store introduction. And it was seemingly much more space ship like.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by designbot View Post
    OK, now all the secrets are out. We know about Dust (Tomb of Annihilation) and Midway (Xanathar's Guide to Everything).

    Way back in November 2014, Mike Mearls said:



    Well, here we are, with releases revealed through the end of 2017. There are only one or two cats left in that original bag. It's never too early to speculate, so what are they?

    I haven't heard any codenames. Possible clues:

    • In this interview, Chris Perkins says he has collaborated with outside people on upcoming adventures, specifically mentioning Charlie Sanders, a writer for Key & Peele. This Instagrammed lunch with Chris Perkins in November 2015 comes about 5 months after Pendleton Ward's collaboration in April 2015. If the lead time is similar (about 17 months from story collaboration to release), then the project with Sanders could be the next storyline, released around April 2018. Shortly afterwards, Charlie Sanders was featured on two podcasts (High & Mighty and The Tome Show) discussing D&DI have not listened to those yet.
    • We've now had an adventure featuring Acererak (on the cover of the DMG), a book featuring the Xanathar (on the cover of the MM), and an adventure featuring the fire giant Snurre (on the cover of the PHB)though that was basically a reprint, we also had another new adventure centered on giants. So those covers may be exhausted for clues.
    • Volo's Guide added several new dinosaurs, just in time to be used in Tomb of Annihilation. There are probably other clues to be found in the monsters that were chosen. (My bet? The froghemoth and vegepygmys are clues about an upcoming adventure based on Expedition to Barrier Peaks.)

    Key quotes:



    Anybody know of an existing adventure that the "crater left by a falling star" would refer to? The jungle almost sounds like Chult. (If vegepygmies and froghemoths feature in Tomb of Annihilation, that would certainly dilute the significance of this evidence.)

    Assuming two adventures per year, with 6 months of story writing per adventure, and lead times of 18 months, I would estimate that the next three adventures have been written already (drafted anyway), with work now in progress on the fourth, a late 2019 release. It must be very hard to keep track of.

    If you know of any other hints in novels or elsewhere, let me know.

    Someone, somewhere in all the discussion this past weekend, mentioned that froghemoths would be making an appearance in ToA. I wouldn't be surprised to see vegepygmies as well, as they fit the jungle habitat. For all we know, we might get an Expedition to the Barrier Peaks type scenario as a part of ToA, which would be (a) cool, and (b) the basis for a huge amount of heated discussions here.

    As for 2018, I am really thinking we'll be going planar next year. Mearls and Crawford both keep saying insistently that the setting for D&D is the multiverse, so what better way to showcase that than have a big plane-hopping adventure. Given that clues are supposed to be scattered in the core books and even in adventures, I'll stick to my theory that we'll see a riff of the Great Modron March, as it's mentioned in a sidebar in the MM, is the subject of the frontpiece illustration in the DMG, and lost modrons from the march can be encountered in OotA. I also think that next year's hardcover will be a book on the planes and other settings for D&D, which will give good reason to showcase the Artificer and the Mystic...

  7. #7
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    I think expedition to the barrier peaks will be done similar to the upcoming Keep on the Borderlands, i.e. a sort of licensed work by another publisher.

    I think we will see a remake/spin off of Gates of Firestorm Peak. There's a lot of hints in the DMG, plus it would involve the Far Realm, which hasn't been a focus for an adventure yet.

  8. #8
    I'm thinking we're overdue for a Planescape themed storyline- I consider the Modrons in Out of the Abyss a thread they wanted to pick up later.

    I also have a hunch we'll get a Fey themed storyline at one point.

    They also seem to like being able to hook storylines around a villain. Maybe Lolth or Orcus? It may seem repetitive after Out of the Abyss, though.
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  9. #9
    A follow-up to Out of the Abyss where they take on Lolth, returning to the old Demonweb Pits would’ve been cool, though it would either have to be for higher levels or have guidelines for adapting it, as many would want to bring their OOTA characters to it.

    I still wish that Orcus’ section hadn’t been cut from Out of the Abyss. He’s my favorite of the demon lords. Paired with undead mindflayers, that would’ve been something.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmytheccomic View Post
    They also seem to like being able to hook storylines around a villain. Maybe Lolth or Orcus? It may seem repetitive after Out of the Abyss, though.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralif Redhammer View Post
    A follow-up to Out of the Abyss where they take on Lolth, returning to the old Demonweb Pits would’ve been cool, though it would either have to be for higher levels or have guidelines for adapting it, as many would want to bring their OOTA characters to it.

    I still wish that Orcus’ section hadn’t been cut from Out of the Abyss. He’s my favorite of the demon lords. Paired with undead mindflayers, that would’ve been something.
    When I run it (in about two years, according to my loose schedule, haha) Orcus is going to be the main villain, because my players are dealing with the Demogorgon in the current campaign. I'm going to have it transition to the 4e Orcus adventures for the high level stuff- I also wish they'd put his undead mindflayer stuff up on DMs guild or something, though!
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