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D&D 5E 3 Classic Settings Coming To 5E?

On the D&D Celebration – Sunday, Inside the D&D Studio with Liz Schuh and Ray Winninger, Winninger said that WotC will be shifting to a greater emphasis on settings in the coming years.

This includes three classic settings getting active attention, including some that fans have been actively asking for. He was cagey about which ones, though.

The video below is an 11-hour video, but the information comes in the last hour for those who want to scrub through.



Additionally, Liz Schuh said there would be more anthologies, as well as more products to enhance game play that are not books.

Winninger mentioned more products aimed at the mainstream player who can't spend immense amount of time absorbing 3 tomes.

Ray and Liz confirmed there will be more Magic: The Gathering collaborations.
 

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Nymrod

Explorer
Ah, yes, yet another pile of repetitions of the deeply wrong idea that putting ships on the Astral Plane would have any similarity at all to Spelljammer.

That isn't to say you can't put plane-traveling ships into Planescape (the 5e Nautiliod sure does that), but in so doing you're not actually doing Spelljammer in any way, shape, or form. It'd be like adding a bunch of planar portals to the City of Greyhawk and declaring that you'd successfully hybridized Greyhawk and Planescape, because, hey, the important thing about Sigil was that it was full of portals, right?

"Planescape/Spelljammer hybrid" makes actively less sense than "Greyhawk-Dragonlance hybrid". You could put Ansalon and Taladas on the same planet as Oerik with a lot less invalidation of the two settings than you would by turning Spelljammer into planar travel, and any DL and GH fans would (quite rightly) scream bloody murder if you did that.

Anyway, the right way to do a Spelljammer revival would be as its own set of (properly detailed) neighboring crystal spheres supporting spelljamming adventures. Not planar travel, and not "connecting" existing settings (the level of spelljamming activity needed to support Spelljammer as a setting is incompatible with all the major settings, an issue the original boxed set handled by studiously ignoring the effect of fast flying ships on trade and warfare in FR, GH, or DL).

A big thing about Spelljammer was connecting the other primes or at the very least the big three from back then (Realmspace, Krynnspace, Greyspace). A lot of it would be missing without that imo.
How I used it back in 4E was taking the idea of the Astral Sea and the Crystal Spheres together. If it is an Astral SEA then it should have a surface. So perhaps there is a way to DIVE into the Astral Sea and have the Crystal Spheres be suspended there and then break from the surface and get into the old Astral plane locations. So you'd replace the Phlogiston with a deep Astral of a sort (maybe made of ectoplasm?) You could rule that Githyanki Astral Skiffs cannot dive into the Sea itself (but perhaps also give them a few proper spelljamming ships of their own). Meanwhile Wildspace areas would work just as they did back then.

While Planescape does deal with Planar Travel, that's only part of it (imo not even the larger part). Sigil and the Factions were more of a focus of the setting (as was the Blood War) with multiple splatbooks on NPCs and locations for them. The original setting pretty much had a page or two per plane after all. The focus was on Sigil and Outland (with the Gatetowns) with the planes as exotic places to visit.

Mind you that doesn't mean they should become one setting. But getting rid of the Phlogiston and integrating Spellhammer into the Astral Sea would reduce a bit on needless complexities.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
My guess is Dark Sun, Ravenloft and Spell Jammer.

  • Dark Sun because it's been one of the most asked for on forums and social media
  • Ravenloft because Curse of Strahd was possibly the most successful 5e adventure, so building around it is a safe bet
  • Spell Jammer because it has strong proponents within WotC

Settings I would not bet about:

  • Birthright because of moral/social issues they will probably don't want to touch
  • Greyhawk because it might be too generic and competes with Forgotten Realms
  • Rokugan because its IPR belong to another company
  • Dragonlance because it never showed much potential for expansion beyond the core idea
  • Planescape because it would be my favourite, and that's just not going to happen
 

Nymrod

Explorer
Birthright was made for a very different style of gameplay than what 5E was built for tbh. It would require a significant investment in design.

One thing they could do is resurrect the Board Game. For me the best fit for Birthright would be an RTS that includes Hero units (think Age of Empires meets Warcraft).
 



Just off the top of my head, you have zombies/voodoo (Souragne), mummies (Hal Akir), ghosts (Mordent), witches and witch-hunters (Tempest), and the gaslamp fantasy you described? Nova Vaasa. You even have a domain filled with the scariest monsters in D&D: Kender (Sithicus)! And that's just for starters! Sure, CoS did its best to create a monster-mash, but I wouldn't exactly call that "covered" any more than I would go to a Mexican restaurant, get a combo plate and claim I've eaten everything on the menu.

CoS did well enough to get a big-budget reprint, a new minis, and some nods in Tasha's. We know there were two products featuring Vistani in it (we've guess CoS: RV is one of them) and the last UA had undead warlocks and spiritualist bards. There are a few signed that point in that direction is all I'm saying... They COULD left-field us and give us Innistrad to coincide with the 2021 Vampire/Werewolfs product they announced, but I sincerely doubt they are going to pass up the no brainer in horror gaming just because they did it back in 2016. If anything, the fact its considered one of their best modules might give them reason to keep going with it now that they know settings sell.

Sithicus is hardly "filled" with kender. There's one tiny village of vampiric kender. It's mostly a place of amnesiac elves.

Nova Vaasa isn't anything at all like gaslamp fantasy. It's more Islamic Hungarian horse lords ruling overcrowded medieval cities. Paridon is gaslamp, and the closest after that is Mordent, Dementileu or Richemulot.

The bigger problem is that the Barovia in CoS is so far away from the Barovia depicted in 2nd and 3rd edition Ravenloft. The former is some sort of grab-bag of horror tropes complete with half of the citizens either being monsters or without souls. The latter is a Wallachia-analogue ruled over by a former warlord turned vampire where most of the inhabitants are unaware there even is any supernatural monsters in their domain and most live their entire lives without encountering any. It is also far larger.
 


Coroc

Hero
Do you guys all interpret this as setting= setting book? Or is it rather e.g. A desert adventure with some hints how to put it into Anauroch for the always FR people?

The expeditions into classic settings so far were adventures like CoS or GoS which you could use quite universally.
 

Yeah, let's be honest. Based on the prior releases we are either going to get straight 5E conversions of old material (Ghosts of Saltmarsh) or a "reimagining" which slightly or completely changes the canon of the existing setting (Curse of Strahd). Only Forgotten Realms and Eberron will continue as they pretty much are, and I think that's because they are the only settings that have existed through WoTC's entire tenure.

So I'd think you could get a conversion of the classic Dragonlance modules (people seem to want to play this aspect of DL rather than explore the deeper aspects of the setting - I don't understand that myself, but it seems to be the consensus), a Dark Sun setting along the lines of 4E, a Planescape/Manual of the Planes setting, and maybe Spelljammer.

We're not seeing a big deluxe Birthright book, guys.
 


Coroc

Hero
Although it didn't make my top 3, I would gladly buy a 5e Birthright book... but I won't hold my breath waiting for it to be made.
well but birthright special rules apart from the mass combat and economic stuff etc. were few. The bloodline powers, the shadowrealm and some uniqe named mobs.
The real essence were those splatbooks for the players, describing one domain. And they will not go for that.
So i think whatever setting they put their hands on, it will not be Birthright.
 

FriendlyFiend

Explorer
No idea which way WotC will go, but my wishlist would be ...

1) Planescape
2) Dark Sun
3) Spelljammer

Though I could be tempted to swap (3) out for a deeper delve into Ravenloft.
 

Nymrod

Explorer
well but birthright special rules apart from the mass combat and economic stuff etc. were few. The bloodline powers, the shadowrealm and some uniqe named mobs.
The real essence were those splatbooks for the players, describing one domain. And they will not go for that.
So i think whatever setting they put their hands on, it will not be Birthright.

"Apart from the mass combat and economic stuff" which is the focus of the setting? I mean sure you could perhaps change it so you kept the setting's story, kept bloodline powers but did not keep regency/war gaming/realm building but then it would just be a pretty run of the mill fantasy setting. Birthright was different in that it was set up for a non-traditional RPG experience that had strong strategy elements.
 

Coroc

Hero
"Apart from the mass combat and economic stuff" which is the focus of the setting? I mean sure you could perhaps change it so you kept the setting's story, kept bloodline powers but did not keep regency/war gaming/realm building but then it would just be a pretty run of the mill fantasy setting. Birthright was different in that it was set up for a non-traditional RPG experience that had strong strategy elements.
How would you do the real complicated mass combat and economic stuff for 5e, which is on the lighter side of number of rules?
But let us not discuss that, but if they would write a 5e rulebook with all the extras, so it would become a large book, then they still would need the splat books, which is the main base for birthright. The birthright campaign does not make sense without them, since it is the "lore" aka background of each players regency.
Maybe they make a board game with D&D elements out of the birthright setting?
 

AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
How would you do the real complicated mass combat and economic stuff for 5e, which is on the lighter side of number of rules?
But let us not discuss that, but if they would write a 5e rulebook with all the extras, so it would become a large book, then they still would need the splat books, which is the main base for birthright. The birthright campaign does not make sense without them, since it is the "lore" aka background of each players regency.
Maybe they make a board game with D&D elements out of the birthright setting?
Everyone I know who ran campaigns set in Birthright ignored their dumb mass combat and economic rules. Because people ignored it, the product could ignore it as well. The setting was fine enough to earn a novel line that didn’t use mass combat rules. It’s a setting where PCs could play as rulers, with actual inherited bonuses tied to your domain. That their halfings were shadow realm exiles made them different. A 5e product that focused on this would be fine, people were not interested in Birthright would buy to import simple ruler and domain rules.

But I am leaning to hoping WotC does not do Birthright because MCDM’s 5e Kingdoms and Warfare product is being designed right now and I want it to sell well!
 

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