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...

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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Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus

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I think you're probably right.

I'm not a fan of Spelljammer and would rather see either Greyhawk or Ravenloft as the "third" classic setting, but I think WotC may want to see if Spelljammer can capture some of Paizo's Starfinder players. That, and for some reason, I think space hamsters would resonate more with a younger audience than would a full-on gothic horror setting (Ravenloft) or classic sword and sorcery setting (Greyhawk).
It sounded to me like they may actually be going for a SciFi source book to go head-to-head against Starfinder. I suspect we'll also be getting a cyberpunk or other post-modern type of source book too, it being too popular of a genre to ignore. Those would be in addition to an actual D&D Spelljammer setting/source book.
Sadly, I think that even Dragonlance stands a better chance than either Greyhawk or Ravenloft because of the success of the novels... and who knows, maybe WotC even sees it as most likely to attract mainstream audiences if made into a movie series (I have a feeling that may be in the works... no source to go on, just idle speculation)? And if that's the case, then they may as well start building some hype for DL now...

That said, I would take Dragonlance over Spelljammer. But that's just personal preference...
I recall from the early pre-NWN release days how active the fans of DLA are. I can't imagine them not trying to recapture that popularity.


Pedantic Grognard
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).

After Ghosts of Saltmarsh, I would argue that adventure anthologies is a good way to go for 5e Greyhawk.

Forgotten Realms gets an Adventure Path detailing specific regions, most other settings get a hardcover Campaign Guide, and finally Greyhawk gets Module Anthologies detailing specific regions.
I really hope they are getting close to moving away from the Sword Coast finally. How about moving around the Sea of the Fallen Stars and other places long since touched? Revisiting Myth Drannor would be nice. I do think they could do more anthologies of classic GH modules, allowing them to be either placed in GH or standalone.

The Glen

Isn't there a YouTuber, and I thought ive seen him post here before, that made his own Mystara source book? Can't think of his name but he's got a legit hardcover campaign guide he made himself.
Yes and its very nice. I'm also currently working on the dungeon Master's guide and talking with an artist about a monster manual. Mystara has the 2nd most books only behind the realms. Its well known because of the video games and several mystara monsters have crept into 5th edition. Its got numerous classic modules like Isle of Dread, Test of the Warlords and Castle Amber. The only thing keeping it from being considered a major setting is that they just don't mention it. A lot of people remember the Red Steel books. The second edition version of it wasn't very good but most of the writers left with Gary. But people remember the craziness of Red Steel. And the Hollow World. And the known world. I have no idea why Wizards doesn't Market the setting considering how well-known it is.

I really hope they are getting close to moving away from the Sword Coast finally. How about moving around the Sea of the Fallen Stars and other places long since touched? Revisiting Myth Drannor would be nice. I do think they could do more anthologies of classic GH modules, allowing them to be either placed in GH or standalone.

Given that the adventure paths have more or less also functioned as setting guides recently, they are running out of headlining areas in the Sword Coast to cover, especially with STK being basically a guide to the entire northern half of the region. They could still do something with the areas between Baldur's Gate and Cormyr, I guess, but it's hardly an area that cries out for deeper coverage like the rest of the region does.

Hopefully we can at least move into some Sword Coast-adjacent areas here soon in upcoming adventures. A desert adventure with mysterious ancient ruins would work great for Anauroch, the fantasy kingdom with royal/noble intrigue would be good for Cormyr, a fey-touched land with links to the Feywild would be perfect for the Moonshaes, and of course a Spelljammer adventure could easily start in Lantan.


I predict (hope):

1. Greyhawk
2. Planescape
3. Dark Sun

ok when it comes to gut feeling:
Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Greyhawk

And here my wishful thinking list:
Dark Sun, Dragonlance, Planescape

Also the the guess above it could be also a full FR source book might turn out true


That guy, who does that thing.
'Shifting to a greater emphasis on settings' sounds to me like they're either ignoring or feel they have a better solution to the classic TSR problem of too many settings -- the overhead stays the same for a setting-specific book versus a 'generic' book, but if the setting-specific book only sells to the folks who are fans of that setting, each book limits its upside in a way that doesn't really make economic sense.

For that reason, I'm going to say that WotC's solution is to 'revisit' a setting in the same way they revisited Ravenloft in Curse of Strahd -- bring back details of a classic setting in a way that ties it to the larger 'D&D setting' that Chris Perkins insists is the only actual setting D&D has. Basically release a big hardcover adventure that make use of old setting material updated for 5e, release the setting for amateur creators to flesh out on DMs Guild (where WotC gets a cut without having to pay any of the overhead), and move on.

If this is accurate, then Ravenloft will not be one of the three settings -- it's already been done and there's not much else to follow up on that's worth WotC putting their weight behind expanding the setting any further. I'm guessing Planescape, Greyhawk, and Al Qadim (the latter because it neatly ties into the Realms via Zakhara, which can also be a link to Ravenloft), but I'm also guessing that fans of those settings aren't going to like the results, unless they're in position to throw together a bunch of revised content from those settings once they get released to the DMs Guild.

Just my $0.02US.


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