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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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Dragonlance is arguably either WOTC's second most popular product, or quite possibly its first. The only reason Dragonlance isn't the main setting is because TSR never figured out how to convert the huge interest in the stories into RPG players and WOTC didn't try.
Well, I'd also add, there's a difference between a flash in the pan type of thing and something that lasts. Sure,, Planescape: Torment wasn't immediately a hit, but.... That's still recognised as one of the best video games of all time, whereas the Dragonlance ones barely get a mention

DL's other problem is exactly what Humble said. In doing a big ol' Tiamat focused thing they kind of, lost a good chance at doing Dragonlance stuff. DL just doesn't do enough to make it stand out from FR/Greyhawk these days
 

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Hatmatter

Adventurer
Yes, massively different, mostly because of availability and cargo capacity.

On cargo capacity, using the 2e "tactical movement" rules, a spelljammer helmed by a first-level spellcaster (the only "specialized talent" involved) moves at 17 MPH. Using the 5e Dungeon of the Mad Mage, a spelljammer helmed by someone with one unexpended first-level spell slot moves at 10 MPH. If you use the 2e rules, the mass of the cargo doesn't matter, but a maximum-sized ship for a minor helm can carry 2,500 cubic yards of cargo; using the 5e Dungeon of the Mad Mage helm, you can move a ship up to 100 tons mass with a helm, which means at least 50 tons of cargo.

When you run the numbers against even passingly realistic numbers for overland caravans, the result is that one spelljammer can ship quantities of cargo in a year that would take tens of thousands of horses to move, all while not eating anything. They're incredibly valuable.

And, well, Spelljammer assumes that helms are common enough for, say, a group of fifth-level PCs to own one without having to be paranoid about every powerful wizard, kingdom, and church that hears about trying to seize it. If they're that common, then they're common enough to completely warp Oerth, Krynn, or Toril. If you make helms rare enough that 5th-level PCs can't reasonably let anyone know they have one, you've made something that isn't Spelljammer. (The helm in Dungeon of the Mad Mage being a legendary item implies rarity enough to not warp the FR setting, but also rarity enough that you can't do Spelljammer.)

As far as a "specialized talent", it requires somebody with a caster level (2e) or a spell slot (5e writeup). That isn't everyone, but it's a lot more common than people able to cast teleportation circle. (And if you use a caster able to cast fifth-level spells like teleportation circle as a helmsman, your speed increases to 50 mph [5e] or 51 mph [2e minor helm].)

I think this is a great post, but I see here a creative opportunity. A Spelljammer campaign setting could have baked into it a reason why those who have access to spelljamming helms want to keep them hidden when onworld (with an exception for some designated spaceports, destinations, and such). So, helms could be legendary items on Abeir-Toril, Oerth, and what have you...but in a Spelljamming campaign, they could be uncommon or whatever would be appropriate. If the reason for perpetuating the secrecy was baked into the setting (tying it to the Ilithid Empire's resurgence or something like that), then the characters would have a reason to play along.
 
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Hatmatter

Adventurer
There were a lot of licensed sourcebooks during the 3e era from Sword & Sorcery Studios about domains other than Barovia. So I'm not sure if it's a 3e onward thing, but, rather, a 5e onward thing. But I'm also not sure if it's really WotC deciding Ravenloft is just Barovia either. WotC in the 5e era seems to be more about "return to the basics" and nostalgia, so I don't think that they are actively trying to tune everything else out.

I think there is something to your last sentence, along with the simple observation that the kind of controlled release schedule that Wizard's adopted since 2014 means that they have not had time to get to a whole bunch of potential ideas. I recall hearing the different Domains of Dread addressed in a Dragon Talk from the last couple years...perhaps in a Lore You Should Know segment? I am hazy on those details, but what I do firmly recall is that, as someone who is pretty well versed in the original 2nd Edition Ravenloft boxed set and someone who designed his own Domain and integrated it into the Domains map included with that set, I did not hear anything on Dragon Talk that contradicted my understanding of the idea of Ravenloft expressed in that box set.

Note that I have not played or run Curse of Strahd, so if there is anything in that adventure that contradicts the original 2nd edition Ravenloft box set, I remain ignorant. My experience with Ravenloft is entirely with 2nd edition era.
 

Hatmatter

Adventurer
Possible Mystara Hook:

The airship setting. While airships have been a thing in Eberron and the Realms, they're just another conveyance. With Bruce Heard's classic Heroes of the Princess Ark boxed set, airships and their crews were put front and center. So just as the "hook" of an Acquisitions Incorporated campaign is running a franchise, and the hook of a hypothetical 5E Dragonlance game is playing your own company of the Heroes of the Lance, the Mystara hook could be playing the crew of an airship, and the adventures could be something like "Fantasy Star Trek" as the crew travels from land to land, righting wrongs and fighting evils....

Again, just a possibility. But a distinctly interesting one...
That would be awesome, Tyler!
 

I think there is something to your last sentence, along with the simple observation that the kind of controlled release schedule that Wizard's adopted since 2014 means that they have not had time to get to a whole bunch of potential ideas. I recall hearing the different Domains of Dread addressed in a Dragon Talk from the last couple years...perhaps in a Lore You Should Know segment? I am hazy on those details, but what I do firmly recall is that, as someone who is pretty well versed in the original 2nd Edition Ravenloft boxed set and someone who designed his own Domain and integrated it into the Domains map included with that set, I did not hear anything on Dragon Talk that contradicted my understanding of the idea of Ravenloft expressed in that box set.

Note that I have not played or run Curse of Strahd, so if there is anything in that adventure that contradicts the original 2nd edition Ravenloft box set, I remain ignorant. My experience with Ravenloft is entirely with 2nd edition era.

The Barovia in Curse of Strahd does not at all resemble the Barovia from the 2nd and 3rd edition settings except for a few place names and the vampire Strahd in Castle Ravenloft.
 

I didn't say the Hickman's were the center of Ravenloft, did I? They certainly are the brains who first conceived of Strahd and Ravenloft, so maybe they're not the "center" but they're the progenitors. They wrote both the original Ravenloft and it's sequel.

I'm not sure why you keep attacking the Hickman's work, because obviously, they aren't responsible for every piece of work created in Ravenloft or Dragonlance. But they were the two who first devised the settings, and without them, they would not exist. I would argue that they are the most important designers in both settings, though obviously not the only designers.

Anyway, my point was that the Hickman's consulted with WotC on Curse of Strahd, so the possibility that they would do so again for Dragonlance is not impossible.

I'm not attacking Hickman's work. I'm saying (correctly) that he was not the creator of the Ravenloft setting, a setting which as Matthew Martin earlier pointed out, Hickman disparaged on several occasions. (And acted very childishly with regards to Lord Soth). He was the creator of a module that would later be the inspiration for the setting. But most of the aspects of the setting was developed by others.

I6: Ravenloft =/= Ravenloft Campaign Setting and as a consequence Curse of Strahd (like Expedition to Castle Ravenloft) is not the Ravenloft Campaign Setting either.
 

Hatmatter

Adventurer
The Barovia in Curse of Strahd does not at all resemble the Barovia from the 2nd and 3rd edition settings except for a few place names and the vampire Strahd in Castle Ravenloft.
Thank you...good to know, some alterations seemed to be suggested in a previous post or two. There is built into the notion of Domains of Dread, though, the idea that the Dark Powers and the Lords of the Domains themselves can alter the Domains, either as a conscious act of will or, through the Dark Powers, unconsciously. So, alterations to Barovia over time would be consistent with that and would not, on their own, seem to contradict the 2nd edition conception of the larger Domains of Dread setting. It might be worth noting that I do not think you were suggesting as much, but merely providing information in response to my post, for which I thank you! ;)
 

Thank you...good to know, some alterations seemed to be suggested in a previous post or two. There is built into the notion of Domains of Dread, though, the idea that the Dark Powers and the Lords of the Domains themselves can alter the Domains, either as a conscious act of will or, through the Dark Powers, unconsciously. So, alterations to Barovia over time would be consistent with that and would not, on their own, seem to contradict the 2nd edition conception of the larger Domains of Dread setting. It might be worth noting that I do not think you were suggesting as much, but merely providing information in response to my post, for which I thank you! ;)

Curse of Strahd let the PCs, literally,
discover the Dark Powers sealed in little coffins in a lost temple in Barovia

Fair to say it makes no attempt to adhere to Ravenloft Canon at all. I suspect it'd be an excellent adventure to play with a good DM, but when it comes to canonicity it's rhyming slang of the 2e/3e Ravenloft setting, at best.
 

Possible Mystara Hook:

The airship setting. While airships have been a thing in Eberron and the Realms, they're just another conveyance. With Bruce Heard's classic Heroes of the Princess Ark boxed set, airships and their crews were put front and center. So just as the "hook" of an Acquisitions Incorporated campaign is running a franchise, and the hook of a hypothetical 5E Dragonlance game is playing your own company of the Heroes of the Lance, the Mystara hook could be playing the crew of an airship, and the adventures could be something like "Fantasy Star Trek" as the crew travels from land to land, righting wrongs and fighting evils....

Again, just a possibility. But a distinctly interesting one...
Bruce Heard’s Calidar setting shows that this could be extremely cool.
 

Um...Dragonlance lasted almost 30 years, spanned well over 100 novels (more than 150?), pulled in people who would never play an RPG in their lives, several video games, and has been shopped around Hollywood several times. Puzzles, Calendars, board game, miniature lines, gamebooks, comic books, graphic novels, and more.

Planescape lasted roughly one edition, had one video game that took decades to become a cult-hit, and never tied into anything else.

Dark Sun lasted roughly one edition, was released during an edition that largely tanked, had two video games, and little else.

Eberron largely fizzled in 3rd edition, was released during an edition that largely tanked, and has almost no other tie-ins.

Dragonlance is arguably either WOTC's second most popular product, or quite possibly its first. The only reason Dragonlance isn't the main setting is because TSR never figured out how to convert the huge interest in the stories into RPG players and WOTC didn't try.
Wait...

3e was an edition that largely tanked?!?
 

Aldarc

Legend
Eberron largely fizzled in 3rd edition, was released during an edition that largely tanked, and has almost no other tie-ins.
I don't think that this has any actual bearing to reality. Eberron is in WotC's Top 3 settings according to their own research. Eberron was revived in 4e to great success. It was revived again in 5e to even greater success. Both the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron and Exploring Eberron are in the Adamantine sales on DMsGuild. Exploring Eberron was the quickest that any product ever shot to Adamantine.

Dragonlance is arguably either WOTC's second most popular product, or quite possibly its first. The only reason Dragonlance isn't the main setting is because TSR never figured out how to convert the huge interest in the stories into RPG players and WOTC didn't try.
None of which changes the fact that it remains only a Tier 2 popular setting and not a Tier 1 setting (e.g., Forgotten Realms, Eberron, etc.).
 

ChaosOS

Legend
Supporter
The Eberron comment is super weird, it's been the second most popular setting for ages. Also, some official wotc numbers (from 2 years ago)

The popularity of settings in the survey fell into three distinct clusters. Not surprisingly, our most popular settings from prior editions landed at the top of the rankings, with Eberron, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, and the Forgotten Realms all proving equally popular. Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and Spelljammer all shared a similar level of second-tier popularity, followed by a fairly steep drop-off to the rest of the settings. My sense is that Spelljammer has often lagged behind the broad popularity of other settings, falling into love-it-or-hate-it status depending on personal tastes. Greyhawk and Dragonlance hew fairly close to the assumptions we used in creating the fifth edition rulebooks, making them much easier to run with material from past editions. Of the top five settings, four require significant new material to function and the fifth is by far our most popular world.


- D&D Monthly Survey | Dungeons & Dragons

Given that Eberron has had a book release since then I'm going to hazard a guess its popularity has only gone up, not down. Meanwhile, Dragonlance hasn't had a relevant release in over two decades. I get that this board has a lot of people whose foundational D&D experiences were in the late 80's/early 90's, but a lot has changed since TSR sold the IP to WotC.
 

M.L. Martin

Adventurer
Curse of Strahd let the PCs, literally,
discover the Dark Powers sealed in little coffins in a lost temple in Barovia

Fair to say it makes no attempt to adhere to Ravenloft Canon at all. I suspect it'd be an excellent adventure to play with a good DM, but when it comes to canonicity it's rhyming slang of the 2e/3e Ravenloft setting, at best.

Also,

* Dusk elves. Dusk elves everywhere, whereas elves have been virtually unknown to 2E/3E Barovians.
*
Madame Eva as Strahd's half-sister
.

Nothing wrong with doing a revamp of I6 that doesn't hold to the setting's canon--I had no issues with Expedition to Castle Ravenloft as such (the missing ending, on the other hand)--but don't try to pretend it's something it's not.
 
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Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
For a Mystara campaign setting, I'd pay three times what I would pay for any of the other "classic" settings.
Depends. If they retcon the 2e retcons back out of the setting (like where they changed King Kol to be an elf since in 2e there was no RAW way for a kobold to cast wizard spells), I'd consider it. Especially if they used Mystara as a means of introducing epic levels and paths to Immortality/godhood.

If they leave the 2e goofiness on there, they can keep it.
 

Also,

* Dusk elves. Dusk elves everywhere, whereas elves have been virtually unknown to 2E/3E Barovians.
*
Madame Eva as Strahd's half-sister
.

Nothing wrong with doing a revamp of I6 that doesn't hold to the setting's canon--I had no issues with Expedition to Castle Ravenloft as such (the missing ending was a much bigger annoyance)--but don't try to pretend it's something it's not.

Also, Van Richten was alive when he shouldn't be. (Curse of Strahd is either set way before his birth (see Ireena Kolyana being there rather than Tara Kolyana, Barovia being the smaller version, pre annexation of Gundarak) or after his death, with no explanation of how he came back to life.

Also no Thaani or Forfarian inhabitants.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Dragonlance is owned by WotC. I don't know where the idea that WotC doesn't have the full rights to all Dragonlance IP comes from.
This.

The fact that every time there's an edition change they pull in Weis & Hickman to legitimize the mechanical changes in-world as a novel/series doesn't change the fact that DL was a TSR property and is now a WotC property.

Margaret Weis/Sovereign Stone was licensed to produce D&D supplements in the 3.5 era, but the IP has always belonged to TSR/WotC.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Was Al-Qadim really that insensitive in the way it handled things though? The issue with Kara Tur is that it tried to cram dozens of major cultures of East Asia into one setting and didn't do that good a job at it. Al-qadim I felt did a much better and more respectful job at that.
I've been working on a 5e Al-Qadim update for years, along with an Arab advisor. The short answer here is "yes. It really was that insensitive."

It's been fun, to say the least.
 

M.L. Martin

Adventurer
This.

The fact that every time there's an edition change they pull in Weis & Hickman to legitimize the mechanical changes in-world as a novel/series doesn't change the fact that DL was a TSR property and is now a WotC property.

I don't know that that's ever happened. The 1E/2E changeover was accomplished with no events, not even on the level of Greyhawk's Fate of Istus module. The Fifth Age and the changeover to the SAGA System came after Dragons of Summer Flame was written and turned in with no input from anyone on the game side, and the first design was actually a standalone AD&D 2E variant until management said 'no AD&D, and card-based.' The one thing that might fit this criteria was the War of Souls, which was more about letting Weis & Hickman take control of the setting back.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I've been working on a 5e Al-Qadim update for years, along with an Arab advisor. The short answer here is "yes. It really was that insensitive."

It's been fun, to say the least.
I would love to hear some of the insights that you gathered from your advisor regarding the insensitivity of Al-Qadim.
 

I don't know that that's ever happened. The 1E/2E changeover was accomplished with no events, not even on the level of Greyhawk's Fate of Istus module. The Fifth Age and the changeover to the SAGA System came after Dragons of Summer Flame was written and turned in with no input from anyone on the game side, and the first design was actually a standalone AD&D 2E variant until management said 'no AD&D, and card-based.' The one thing that might fit this criteria was the War of Souls, which was more about letting Weis & Hickman take control of the setting back.

In fact 2nd edition Dragonlance had no Hickman/Weis input on the game side for the entire edition.
 

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