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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.
 
Before I make any guesses, I would like to know what Ray even means when he says "classic". Is that settings only from the 70's and 80's? Or any settings that existed pre-2000? What official settings out there were even created post-2000? Because those have not been around long enough to count as classic.
 

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humble minion

Adventurer
Ravenloft is much more than just Strahd and Barovia. Its like saying "Not gonna be Greyhawk. Ghosts of Saltmarsh covered that".

Agreed, but CoS went so far out of its way to cover all the classic Gothic horror tropes (regardless of whether they're relevant to what Barovia traditionally is - werewolves, fallen angels, golems, witches cooking children into pies, evil little clockwork people etc were never particularly prominent in past version of Strahd's domain) that I can't see WotC revisiting the same ground. They really did their best to make CoS a 'Ravenloft's Greatest Hits' kinda thing.

(And hell, given that CoS has the Dark Powers stashed away in jars in a temple in the mountains, it's pretty clear that when they were writing it, 'fidelity to the traditional Ravenloft canon' was not exactly top of the priority list. Things may have changed since then, of course)

WotC covered Gothic horror in CoS. They're taking a swing at survival/cosmic horror in Frostmaiden, by the looks of things. If they do revisit Ravenloft, it'll be for a different horror subgenre.

If i was doing it, as mentioned above, I'd go with gaslamp fantasy. Mad scientists, crazed murderers in sordid cobblestoned streets, sinister secret societies, ignorant explorers bringing terrible things home from conquered lands abroad in defiance of warnings and common sense, ruthless exploitation of underclasses and colonised peoples by callous aristocrats, etc etc. It could be used to introduce a few guidelines for more advanced firearms, some rules for running games in settings where armour isn't commonly used, etc.
 


Remathilis

Legend
Agreed, but CoS went so far out of its way to cover all the classic Gothic horror tropes (regardless of whether they're relevant to what Barovia traditionally is - werewolves, fallen angels, golems, witches cooking children into pies, evil little clockwork people etc were never particularly prominent in past version of Strahd's domain) that I can't see WotC revisiting the same ground. They really did their best to make CoS a 'Ravenloft's Greatest Hits' kinda thing.

(And hell, given that CoS has the Dark Powers stashed away in jars in a temple in the mountains, it's pretty clear that when they were writing it, 'fidelity to the traditional Ravenloft canon' was not exactly top of the priority list. Things may have changed since then, of course)

WotC covered Gothic horror in CoS. They're taking a swing at survival/cosmic horror in Frostmaiden, by the looks of things. If they do revisit Ravenloft, it'll be for a different horror subgenre.

If i was doing it, as mentioned above, I'd go with gaslamp fantasy. Mad scientists, crazed murderers in sordid cobblestoned streets, sinister secret societies, ignorant explorers bringing terrible things home from conquered lands abroad in defiance of warnings and common sense, ruthless exploitation of underclasses and colonised peoples by callous aristocrats, etc etc. It could be used to introduce a few guidelines for more advanced firearms, some rules for running games in settings where armour isn't commonly used, etc.

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.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
The recent Unearthed Arcana does mention Azalin along with Strahd when describing the Undead Patron Warlock, so there's a clue they might revisit Ravenloft and bring up Darkon at least.
 



Remathilis

Legend
I missed this announcement, Remathilis, what Vampire/Werewolf release is Wizard's releasing in 2021?

The fourth quarter set is currently broken up into two parts called Innistrad: Werewolves and Innistrad: Vampires. Not much else is known, though it seems like they might be two small sets or a large/small set, or something totally different.
 


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.
 

see

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).
 

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

Adventurer
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.
 


Pixelllance

Explorer
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
 

Pauper

Explorer
'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.

--
Pauper
 

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