5E Settings played in D&D: cause or effect? - Page 19
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  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
    It's not hard - their own pie chart shows it - to see that FR isn't something most players are playing in. As such, producing FR setting material certainly isn't the most efficient way to earn profit, at least in the short term.
    No, you're reading the chart wrong by treating the blue slice as as one slice. In truth "homebrew" isn't one slice you can cut off, it's like just summarizng FR, GH and others into single slice "Settings".

    FR is the biggest cohesive slice, the blue slice would be better represented as a conglomeration a a lot of differrnt shades of blue and each "homebrew splatbook" only gets a part of those.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirtek View Post
    No, you're reading the chart wrong by treating the blue slice as as one slice. In truth "homebrew" isn't one slice you can cut off, it's like just summarizng FR, GH and others into single slice "Settings".

    FR is the biggest cohesive slice, the blue slice would be better represented as a conglomeration a a lot of differrnt shades of blue and each "homebrew splatbook" only gets a part of those.
    True-ish. Homebrewers are prone to steal ruthlessly from any source that interests them. Hard-core homebrewers (like me) try to avoid taking too much from any one place, lest they end up with something that isn't really a homebrew. Even moderate homebrewers are likely to have a limit. In that regard, that 55% actually is a bit of a bloc. At a certain point, all you have is the Realms.

    I like to cook and do it as a semi-creative exercise. When I'm trying something new, I may compare 3 or 4 recipes and create a "best of breed". Very rarely would I just use a recipe as-is; that's just no fun. I might look at it and then swap around spices, etc. but not straight-up. Even if I did, I certainly wouldn't do that with the whole cookbook. Same principle applies to world-building.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remathilis View Post
    The Vistani are more hugely important to Ravenloft for two reasons: 1.) They're the only ones who are aware of the nature of the demiplane and 2.) They have amazing powers of divination and cursing, far beyond what "known magic" can do. They hold a special place in Ravenloft as being basically uber-powered humans who are cunning enough to defy darklords and get away with it. Making them just another FR ethnic group absolutely shatters that mystique.



    The Mists are another ubiquitous element: they transport you into, out of, and around Ravenloft. The spring up anywhere, can take you anywhere, and only seasoned travellers (or the Vistani) know how to use them to get to where THEY want to go. Additionally, the mists can help seal the borders in many domains.



    Oddly, this is one of the easier parts to port: two of the bigger faiths in RL (The Lawgiver and Morninglord) and exports of FR anyway (Bane and Lathandar, the latter via Jandar Sunstar). A few others are other RW deities (Benelus, Osiris) or unique to a single domain (Zhakata) but the biggest loss would be the Church of Ezra, a Catholic church replacement complete with schisms and denominations rather than a single deity; not sure it would work in Faerun since part of its allure is its widespreadness...



    Bzzzt! The Dark Powers were the ones who TRAPPED those creatures. They're the overseers of the domain, they are the ones who are the jailers. They made the pact with Strahd, cursed many a dark lord's ambition, tortured Soth and even imprisoned Vecna for a short while. Whenever a being does evil, it draws a chance the Dark Powers will notice and "reward" them with some boon tied with a curse; enough of such actions and the evil-doer risks transforming into a creature of the night or becoming his own minor domain lord. They also are the reason magic works funny in RL; enhancing necromancy, stopping ALL planar travel (even summons) and making divination unreliable. In short, they are powerful enough to mess with the powers of Gods and a major reason why Ravenloft IS Ravenloft.



    Each realm has its own Dark Lord, and many are pretty much classic gothic horror monsters with serial numbers filed off. There are versions of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, Jeckyl/Hyde, a Voodoo zombie lord, a Vlad the Impaler, a ghost lord, the Weird Sisters of Macbeth, etc. Each gets its own domain which represents the setting (a vast desert, the mountains of Switzerland, a Caribbean Island, and lots of Eastern Europe). Domains can range from bronze age to renaissance tech as well.



    I'd call it an IP theft more than a compromise; you're taking the barest wisp of the idea and slamming it into the Realms. There is an easier way...

    Ravenloft, by its nature, is modular. That is, the Mists come in sweep you up, put you in some situation, and at the end of it release you. Its how the "Night of Horror" mode of RL play worked through most of 2e; the idea of RL as "full world" came much later. Go back to the Night or Horror model; sweep up some 1st level adventures, let them wander around a domain for 15 levels, return them when done. You can add all the variant rules needed in the Appendix (slimmed down a bit), no PC info (since their not natives) and in the end, you're not forcing Ravenloft's IP onto Faerun (disrupting both in the process).

    (Planescape would be easily done this way as well; substitute "mists" with "portal" and "domain" with "Sigil")
    Thank you for saving me the time to writing down this!

    I think Your suggestion of an AP with the necessary crunch isn't too far from the Player's guide I would prefer. Each way we have the necessary updates in a book. As I thought about it, the additional chargen options, monsters and other stuff could be in UAs and other smaller additional PDFs. As I said, I don't necessarily want a full oldschool setting book, not even a physical book. I just want support in any reasonable way. And I still holding the opinion, that they don't want or couldn't do it, outsorce it to 3rd parties.

    I'm somewhat baffled that it seems, for some people it would be a negative thing to have any support for other settings. Not that it would stopping support for FR...

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    There's a flip side to all this as well that needs to be taken into consideration. Do these alternative settings actually NEED a full setting?

    . . .

    Take Ravenloft. Now, here's another setting that saw it's genesis in a module. And, I'd hazard a guess that most people are more familiar with the module than with the entire Domains of Dread thing. So, why not do the same thing as Princes? Take a chunk of the Sword Coast, some nice mountainous region without a lot of people, and poof, there's Barovia. It's not like you need this huge area - something like about a fifty mile radius circle around Castle Ravenloft would catch it. The Sword Coast region is BIG. Plunking down the geography would be easy.

    So, now what do you need? Well, Sanity rules, Corruption rules, and a handful of specific monsters and some backgrounds. Again, a book the size of SCAG would easily cover this, or, heck, you could cover 90% of that in the Ravenloft module itself. Something along the lines of Return to Castle Ravenloft where you have randomisation mechanics to determine NPC goals and you're pretty much good to go.

    Does a Ravenloft inspired AP need to have Lord Soth's Domain of Dread? Or any of the other ones? Are they actually integral to having a gothic horror experience? After all, isn't that what Ravenloft is about? Bringing Gothic Horror to D&D? Whether they do a kind of reboot and rebuild a new Castle Ravenloft style campaign, or maybe use the Sundering to say that the Ravenloft Domain got sucked into Forgotten Realms, it wouldn't be that hard to do either way.

    . . .

    It makes far more sense, to me, to try to hoover up support from other settings and fold them into Forgotten Realms than to try to chase those smaller groups and hope that enough FR fans will make up the difference.


    As you said, you can basically condense an iconic piece of Ravenloft into an adventure, and that a SCAG-like book could accommodate all the fear, horror, sanity, and corruption rules that one needs for Ravenloft. However, I think Ravenloft probably needs to be a larger book because of the larger horror concerns. While rules for fear and horror are helpful, what any Ravenloft book really needs is a small treatise on horror gaming that includes substantial advice to DMs for creating the right atmosphere both with rules and with the play environment. It's the difference between "You failed your save and now you're crazy" and describing things to a player that her character is hallucinating, slowly ramping it up until the player doesn't really know whether what you are describing to her is real or her character's hallucinations.

    I will say that if they don't put out setting books for Ravenloft and the others and they instead make each setting an adventure that can be folded into FR, they should at least mention in whatever adventures they use that previous edition full explorations of those settings are available through the D&D Classics line.

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman57 View Post
    I played FR as the primary setting back in the golden age of campaign setting variety in 2E. The reason? Other settings were theme parks that I may have found entertaining as a change of pace, but no other setting felt as much like a fully fleshed out living world as Toril. I started out in Dragonlance with its epic good vs evil theme, had fun in Spelljammer, Dark Sun, Ravenloft, and Planescape...but whenever I wanted a vanilla fantasy world none felt as authentic as the Forgotten Realms.
    That's what gets me about the Realms as well. What other setting could potentially have, using basically only information gathered from the accumulated sourcebooks of the setting, the equivalent of the 3e Grand History of the Realms? Greyhawk might be able to do something similar, but probably not on the same scale. And the Grand History really condensed the information down to the bare essentials - it could have conceivably been much longer.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaran View Post
    You know what setting would sell the most? A brand new setting.
    They tried that with Eberron. I imagine it did not hit sales targets or we would be having a very different conversation.

  7. #187
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    Honestly @Remalthalis, I think you are fixating too strongly on the details. My point was that you could boil the setting down to its bare components and put it in the realms. For those who want to play an actual RL game, they'd still have to do the legwork.
    XP pemerton gave XP for this post

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    They tried that with Eberron. I imagine it did not hit sales targets or we would be having a very different conversation.
    Which edition are you looking at? 3e? 3e Eberrondid very well. 4e? 4e had other problems that had a huge impact on book sales, including settings.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    They tried that with Eberron. I imagine it did not hit sales targets or we would be having a very different conversation.
    I'm pretty sure Eberron did indeed hit its sales targets. Though the sales targets it had in the 3e era may well not be the sales targets it would now have in the 5e one.

    But the problem with Eberron is that it was basically 'done' - by the time they'd produced the fourteen hardback books that detailed the setting in 3e, they'd basically exhausted all the easy topics for the setting. At which point they were stuck with a difficult choice: try to sell books based on more niche topics, or revise the setting in some way.

    For 4e, they were going to advance the timeline, but the fans strongly opposed advancing it even by two years. And so they didn't really have anywhere to go.

    (That's still true for 5e, of course - the fans will most likely still oppose a timeline advancement, and the setting is still detailed enough, so there's not really anywhere to go. Basically, the best they can do is reissue the 4e books with 5e mechanics.)

    It's really hard to see how this might impact on a potential new setting for 5e. Eberron benefitted greatly from the interest generated by the setting search, of course. A new setting might do the same... but it's probably a much bigger risk than just updating the Realms.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    Which edition are you looking at? 3e? 3e Eberrondid very well. 4e? 4e had other problems that had a huge impact on book sales, including settings.
    See, here's the trick - what does "very well" actually mean? For example, without looking it up, can you name three of the Eberron novel line authors? There's a poorly received MMO, but, other than that, what "very well"? @delericho mentions 14 source books. I'd point out that I've got close to that for my Scarred Lands setting. Compare to how many books you have in 3e - novels, sourcebooks, whatnot - never minding the Neverwinter Nights video game, for Forgotten Realms.

    Look, I love Eberron. I do. But, I think that it's a mistake to think that Eberron is even close to the same league as Forgotten Realms.

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