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5E Campaign PDF Speculation

vecna00

Villager
We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron being stealth dropped on the DM's Guild and I'm curious if WotC will do something similar this year. Last year, it was announced along with Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica and dropped that same day. The GGtR was leaked the day before, and while the WGE itself wasn't leaked, Eberron coming to the DM's Guild did.

How likely is it that another campaign setting PDF will be released this summer? Which setting do you think is ready for the PDF treatment?

I'm of the mindset that WotC will be doing this going forward with old settings. Release a PDF to test out any new mechanics, open it up on the Guild, and release a hardcover or boxed set the following year.

As far as what setting they'll release, Dark Sun is towards the top of my wishlist. It's got more than a few mechanics that need testing, and WotC isn't shy about releasing a necessary class later on. It's certainly a possibility, how probable is a different story entirely.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
What do I think they'll release this way? Probably Innistrad, a popular M:tG setting.

What do I hope they'll release this way? Strangely, the setting I want most is probably... Birthright. I never played it, because as presented in the boxed set, it's practically unplayable. So many great setting ideas; so little notion of what the DM should actually DO with them. I think a modern take could use exploration and building mechanics similar to Mutant: Year Zero (which brilliantly combines sandbox play with location-based and event-based adventures) and the political intrigue of Game of Thrones. Plus, if kickstarter is any indication, kingdom and stronghold rules are pretty popular add-ons to the game.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron being stealth dropped on the DM's Guild and I'm curious if WotC will do something similar this year. Last year, it was announced along with Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica and dropped that same day. The GGtR was leaked the day before, and while the WGE itself wasn't leaked, Eberron coming to the DM's Guild did.

How likely is it that another campaign setting PDF will be released this summer? Which setting do you think is ready for the PDF treatment?

I'm of the mindset that WotC will be doing this going forward with old settings. Release a PDF to test out any new mechanics, open it up on the Guild, and release a hardcover or boxed set the following year.

As far as what setting they'll release, Dark Sun is towards the top of my wishlist. It's got more than a few mechanics that need testing, and WotC isn't shy about releasing a necessary class later on. It's certainly a possibility, how probable is a different story entirely.
The other setting that requires major mechanical heavy lifting is Dark Sun. I wouldn't be surprised to see a similar strategy employed for Dark Sun soon, given the energy WotC has invested into thinking about it and talking about it publicly. Another strong contender would be Planescape, the other top tier setting that isn't on DMSGuild yet.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
For some context on the tiers of setting popularity, this is what WotC let us know about their survey responses in 2015:

"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."

https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/july-survey
 
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lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Let's see.

In order, the "BIG" settings in D&D are as follows, in rough order of use/importance:

BIG AND GENERIC-Y
Forgotten Realms
Greyhawk
Mystara
Nentir Vale


BIG AND NOT GENERIC-Y
Ravenloft
Eberron
Dark Sun
Dragonlance


POPULAR BUT EATEN
Kara-Tur (FR)
Al-Qadim (FR)
Maztica (FR)
Horde (FR)
Malatra (FR)
Blackmoor (GH, kinda sorta)
Thunder Rift (Mystara)


METASETTINGS
Spelljammer
Planescape


NICHE-Y

Birthright
Mahasarpa
Ghostwalk
Jakandor
Dragon Fist (alternate rules)


USED BEFORE FOR D&D, BUT IP ISSUES NOW
Wilderlands of High Fantasy
Lankhmar
Pelinore
Kingdoms of Kalamar




Hmmm.... I'd go with .... PELINORE!

Or, ya know, Dragonlance. Because the only thing that truly accompanies a Pestilence of Paladins is a Karma of Kender.

















 

jayoungr

Explorer
What do I think they'll release this way? Probably Innistrad, a popular M:tG setting.
I kind of feel like the time for that has come and gone. We have Ravenloft, and we have the Plane Shift conversion for Innistrad; between them, I think D&D has the gothic horror niche covered in terms of official material, at least to a great enough degree that other setting needs become more pressing.
 
For some context on the tiers of setting popularity, this is what WotC let us know about their survey responses in 2015:

"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."

https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/july-survey
So Forgotten Realms doesn't need a book because FR is the default setting for D&D 5e. Eberron is getting a full book this year, and already has a PDF. Ravenloft also doesn't need a PDF because Curse of Strahd largely gives it enough content for people to play there.

So in the top five, that leaves Planescape and Dark Sun. Planescape is great, but it's also freakin huge if you consider the setting "the entirety of the planes" and not just Sigil. If you think of it as all the planes, BG: Descent is essentially a campaign setting but only for the 1/9 of one plane (and a FR city too, but still).

So the likeliest PDF is Dark Sun. It's also got the wackiest rules to figure out with psionics, so makes more sense for them to try out a rough draft in PDF form before hardcover release.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
So Forgotten Realms doesn't need a book because FR is the default setting for D&D 5e. Eberron is getting a full book this year, and already has a PDF. Ravenloft also doesn't need a PDF because Curse of Strahd largely gives it enough content for people to play there.

So in the top five, that leaves Planescape and Dark Sun. Planescape is great, but it's also freakin huge if you consider the setting "the entirety of the planes" and not just Sigil. If you think of it as all the planes, BG: Descent is essentially a campaign setting but only for the 1/9 of one plane (and a FR city too, but still).

So the likeliest PDF is Dark Sun. It's also got the wackiest rules to figure out with psionics, so makes more sense for them to try out a rough draft in PDF form before hardcover release.
For campaign setting purposes, Planescape probably equals Sigil & the Outlands: everything else is just part of the standard D&D meta-setting, and is detailed in the DMG. If/when we see a Planescape product, I would expect it to be all about Sigil and the factions there.
 

gyor

Adventurer
I don't think if it happens will be Darksun yet, I don't think it's ready. I think it will either Planescape or Ravenloft.
 
For campaign setting purposes, Planescape probably equals Sigil & the Outlands: everything else is just part of the standard D&D meta-setting, and is detailed in the DMG. If/when we see a Planescape product, I would expect it to be all about Sigil and the factions there.
This is true. And that's kind of the problem with Planescape: either you make it so big one big can barely scrape the surface, or you need to limit it to Sigil and the Outlands. If they do the later, I'd like to see it integrated into an Adventure Book rather than trying to justify a new campaign book for it.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
This is true. And that's kind of the problem with Planescape: either you make it so big one big can barely scrape the surface, or you need to limit it to Sigil and the Outlands. If they do the later, I'd like to see it integrated into an Adventure Book rather than trying to justify a new campaign book for it.
The given Outer & Inner Planes seem like good Adventure fodder, but Sigil seems like good fodder for a book similar to Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica (the model for 5E setting books, per Nate Stewart):

1. New player options: Races & Classes for Planar types

2. DM material: adventure generation material and Gazeeter info, magic items, etc.

3. Monsters, so many monsters...

Mearls has said for setting books, they are more interested in narrative and genre expansions, rather than location details. Sigil offers a specific range of narrative options you don't get on the Sword Coast or Athas.
 

vecna00

Villager
For some context on the tiers of setting popularity, this is what WotC let us know about their survey responses in 2015:

"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."

https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/july-survey
I should bookmark this page and just refer back to it every now and then when I want to speculate or get a boost of optimism!
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I should bookmark this page and just refer back to it every now and then when I want to speculate or get a boost of optimism!
WotC has not moved overly swiftly, but they have acted in an upfront manner these past years, methinks.
 

vecna00

Villager
WotC has not moved overly swiftly, but they have acted in an upfront manner these past years, methinks.
Indeed. I wish they would release more, but I've come to terms with how they do things and just enjoying the game and speculation. I also really like reading the survey results, but I don't think we've gotten any in a while now.
 

jayoungr

Explorer
I'd love a Planescape/Sigil book, but (as with CoS/Innistrad), I feel like that niche was filled by the Ravnica book, at least for now. So that leaves Dark Sun. Another point in DS's favor is that they've already floated some test versions of psionics.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
Indeed. I wish they would release more, but I've come to terms with how they do things and just enjoying the game and speculation. I also really like reading the survey results, but I don't think we've gotten any in a while now.
They became more circumspect about trade secrets, though they will still talk about them (Crawford discussed the Artificer early results on Dragon+ for example).
 

jgsugden

Explorer
I believe we'll get another UA Psionics article, and a round of feedback, before we see a DS setting book.
 

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