D&D General 2E Setting Product lines

Mercurius

Legend
I think Greyhawk Adventures is still more of a setting book than a splat. There are some rules expansions in there, like zero-level characters, but as I recall most of the book is still about places and NPCs in the setting.
Could be. I sold my copy a decade or so ago, so can't skim through. I remember being disappointed with it, though - even back then I was a "setting first" guy with my RPG books. But that cover...one my all-time favorites.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
Could be. I sold my copy a decade or so ago, so can't skim through. I remember being disappointed with it, though - even back then I was a "setting first" guy with my RPG books. But that cover...one my all-time favorites.
I think I would describe it as Unearthed Arcana II. It was a grab bag of content. There were details on Greyhawk gods, some NPCs and geography content that was specific to Greyhawk and the rest - including the mini adventures, could be ported to just about any campaign.

I think its failure was that the actual Greyhawk content was so lite.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Interesting analysis. But I think the context of why such was being done, and more importantly the impacts it had on the game and company is of critical importance to keep in mind.

In short, 2E was a "bad" business model and was probably a "technique" to exploit their publishing deal. I hope it is not adopted for 5E.
I wouldn't worry about that. I mean, they already trimmed it down with 3.5. They still churned three Realms hardcovers a year, and eventually as many Eberron hardcovers, but except for one or two one-offs, that was it for Settings. 4E was even sparser - so the trajectory is clear.

That said, it does seem that with 5E, WotC is taking a bit of a hybrid approach - as has been discussed. They went from only the SCAG in 2015, then one setting book in both 2018 and '19, then two in 2020-22. Meaning, they're taking the multiplicity of settings from 2E, but even sparser than 4E (with no secondary book being released).

Now whether they change from this, who knows. 2 new settings a year sounds about right, but I wouldn't be surprised if they publish an expansion of a previously published setting (e.g. another Exandria continent, or a proper FR setting book).

In a way, they do have "setting lines" - but it is just a bit different. The lines being Magic settings, Classic Settings, and New Settings. So far we have:

Classic: Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Dragonlance
Magic: Ravnica, Theros, Strixhaven
New: Exandria

We know there's at least one more classic setting in the pike, and a "re-visit" in 2024--which implies expansion, or maybe proper treatment (FR)--two new settings in the works, and presumably they'll keep churning out an new Magic setting every year or two.

But what we don't know, and to come back to your comment, is whether or not they expand on existing settings - and if they do, what that will look like.

(As for the 2024 revision, I think there are a few options:
1. A proper FR setting book - they've been continually revisiting it with adventures, so if it is FR they are hinting at, it means a setting book.
2. Greyhawk Either a setting book, or another GH-based adventure. My guess would be something like a City of Greyhawk setting/adventure book, with Castle Greyhawk dungeon-delving.
3. A Ravenloft or Eberron expansion. Not sure about RL, but I could see them doing a book on X'endrik, which was very popular back in the day. Or maybe Sarlona and psionics.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I think I would describe it as Unearthed Arcana II. It was a grab bag of content. There were details on Greyhawk gods, some NPCs and geography content that was specific to Greyhawk and the rest - including the mini adventures, could be ported to just about any campaign.

I think its failure was that the actual Greyhawk content was so lite.
Yes, that's my memory of it.
 

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