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Campaign Setting Contest: Should We Do It Again?

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
After it was announced as the winner of the WotC Campaign Setting Contest, Keith Baker's Eberron became one of the most popular and beloved settings among D&D players, with its rich and vibrant world, distinct art style, and unique races. Eberron isn't everyone's favorite setting, but it's always been one of my favorites, and it echoes the way D&D settings have been formed from the earliest days of the game; made by a solitary creator, or maybe a few friends, and then shared with anyone who wanted to play in it.

The WotC Campaign setting contest, as unlikely as it was that you were going to win, out of all of the entries, ignited interest among everyone who had a campaign setting that they wanted to share.

So, what do you think? Would creating a new version of this contest, allowing the players of D&D to have a chance to create an official campaign setting, would be popular for the game? Is it something you would enjoy?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Should "WE" do it again? Who is this "we"? Is seems like *they* (meaning WotC), did it before.

I don't know that the actual we, the players, are aching for a new setting these days. And, I suspect most of the really good budding designers are leaning toward Kickstarter with their material, rather than waiting for major corporate backers. So, I dunno how effective this would be at raising enthusiasm - especially when enthusiasm is already pretty darned high.
 

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
Should "WE" do it again? Who is this "we"? Is seems like *they* (meaning WotC), did it before.

I don't know that the actual we, the players, are aching for a new setting these days. And, I suspect most of the really good budding designers are leaning toward Kickstarter with their material, rather than waiting for major corporate backers. So, I dunno how effective this would be at raising enthusiasm - especially when enthusiasm is already pretty darned high.
That is true, and my use of "we" was a bit presumptuous.

However, while a heavily-invested player like myself might invest in someone else's self-published campaign setting (I have, in fact, done this), a casual player sees only what WotC releases.

Furthermore, having the company itself acknowledge a setting as "canon" is different than a lone publisher producing a setting, because the "major corporate backers" can produce a lot ​of content.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
(1) Much as Umbran said, a lot of 5e settings are being published via Kickstarter. So there is less of a barrier to entry than there was before, since people can now use Kickstarter to gauge interest.

(2) WotC discovered that the majority of their customers homebrew their own settings with Forgotten Realms as the most popularly used campaign setting. (Ranks 2-5 for official D&D settings, though the order was not disclosed, included Eberron, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, and Planescape.)

That said, what I liked about Eberron was how it was designed particularly with 3e in mind, including its races, classes, etc. 4e did something similar with its barebones, sandbox Nentir Vale. So it would be potentially nice to see something along those lines for 5e. However, Eberron and Nentir Vale both have a lot of that covered, especially since 5e brings a lot of 4e odds and ends with it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
However, while a heavily-invested player like myself might invest in someone else's self-published campaign setting (I have, in fact, done this), a casual player sees only what WotC releases.
Yep. Now, do we want to have the conversation about splitting their own customer base, and how that probably isn't a good idea from a busienss standpoint?

Furthermore, having the company itself acknowledge a setting as "canon" is different than a lone publisher producing a setting, because the "major corporate backers" can produce a lot ​of content.
Yes, they can. But, haven't you noticed that WotC *doesn't* do that any more? Their release schedule is modest by the standards of pretty much every version of the game in the past, and for good reason - putting out *too much* content was found to effectively burn out the market. Meanwhile, if they keep to a more modest pace, sales of what they do produce remain high.
 

Mycroft

Explorer
Why do you dislike Eberron?
Let me preface with: These are my opinions/experiences, nothing more, I am not saying I am right.

Quite a few reasons (these are just off the top of my head).

-Seems a bit adolescent (like concepts that my 14-year old buddy would have come up with back in the day, dinosaur riding halflings, indeed).
-Trying too hard to be different, yet including pretty much everything.
-Drow that aren't into spiders, but one of the other 3 arachnids, not ticks.
-Airships have been done to death (The Princess Ark, Halruaa, Spelljammer).
-The Lighting Rail is just goofy (just the name, alone).
-Dragonmarks are dull as dishwater.
-Not into the Orrery cosmology, which debuted in 3.0's Manual of the Planes.

Also, it claims to be noir, I just don't see that.

I do like warforged (there was a warforged ranger NPC in my Planescape campaign), changelings, and the Xen'drik giant deal.
 

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
Let me preface with: These are my opinions/experiences, nothing more, I am not saying I am right.

Quite a few reasons (these are just off the top of my head).

-Seems a bit adolescent (like concepts that my 14-year old buddy would have come up with back in the day, dinosaur riding halflings, indeed).
-Trying too hard to be different, yet including pretty much everything.
-Drow that aren't into spiders, but one of the other 3 arachnids, not ticks.
-Airships have been done to death (The Princess Ark, Halruaa, Spelljammer).
-The Lighting Rail is just goofy (just the name, alone).
-Dragonmarks are dull as dishwater.
-Not into the Orrery cosmology, which debuted in 3.0's Manual of the Planes.

Also, it claims to be noir, I just don't see that.

I do like warforged (there was a warforged ranger NPC in my Planescape campaign), changelings, and the Xen'drik giant deal.
Given, these are valid reasons not to like the setting.

In fact, as I'm typing this, I'm realizing that my Eberron is not at all the Eberron.

Dinosaur-riding Cannibal Halflings indeed!
 
The setting contest was cool, and spawned a bunch of books beyond Eberron (I did dig Midnight quite a bit). But I don’t think that the hobby is at a place that it would make sense to do so. I think I’d much rather see an adventure contest instead. That would fit the current D&D product model a lot more closely.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
-Seems a bit adolescent (like concepts that my 14-year old buddy would have come up with back in the day, dinosaur riding halflings, indeed).
Unlike mature settings that have spaceships crashed in mountains? Or pervy OP wizards who serve as the setting authors' self-insert character?

-Trying too hard to be different, yet including pretty much everything.
Because we need another generic fantasy setting like Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms?

-Drow that aren't into spiders, but one of the other 3 arachnids, not ticks.
That's an oddly particular preference.

-Airships have been done to death (The Princess Ark, Halruaa, Spelljammer).
So much for Eberron trying too hard to be different. ;)

-The Lighting Rail is just goofy (just the name, alone).
Like calling something "high speed rail" or the "rail way"? Talk about goofy names. And the idea of binding a lightning elemental to empower high-speed travel and calling it Lightning Rail? Nowhere would there be precedent for names that goofy in the real world.

-Dragonmarks are dull as dishwater.
How so?

-Not into the Orrery cosmology, which debuted in 3.0's Manual of the Planes.
That's okay since I dislike the Great Wheel. But it's nice to have at least one setting with Orrery cosmology for those of us who dislike the Wheel.

Also, it claims to be noir, I just don't see that.
A number of hooks center around Maltese Falcon macguffins. Tense "interwar" period featuring espionage. Postwar disillusionment, crime, and hardboiled detectives. A lot of plots within plots in the background, albeit with supernatural threats.
 

Mycroft

Explorer
Unlike mature settings that have spaceships crashed in mountains? Or pervy OP wizards who serve as the setting authors' self-insert character?

Because we need another generic fantasy setting like Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms?

That's an oddly particular preference.

So much for Eberron trying too hard to be different. ;)

Like calling something "high speed rail" or the "rail way"? Talk about goofy names. And the idea of binding a lightning elemental to empower high-speed travel and calling it Lightning Rail? Nowhere would there be precedent for names that goofy in the real world.

How so?

That's okay since I dislike the Great Wheel. But it's nice to have at least one setting with Orrery cosmology for those of us who dislike the Wheel.

A number of hooks center around Maltese Falcon macguffins. Tense "interwar" period featuring espionage. Postwar disillusionment, crime, and hardboiled detectives. A lot of plots within plots in the background, albeit with supernatural threats.
I appreciate the effort, have heard of all this before, thanks, but does not persuade.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I appreciate the effort, have heard of all this before, thanks, but does not persuade.
I'm glad you are approaching this from a close-minded perspective since that spares you any discomfort of engaging in any good faith dialogue.
 

Mycroft

Explorer
I'm glad you are approaching this from a close-minded perspective since that spares you any discomfort of engaging in any good faith dialogue.
Not need for such defensive, insulting hysteria; I just don't need to like what you like, and vice versa, which is, okay. *said like Stuart Smalley*
 

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
[MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] and [MENTION=7005485]Mycroft[/MENTION], can't we just agree that Eberron is awesome, but not perfect.

After all, my opinion must be right.

I and I alone sit atop a fortress of unassailable truth.
 

Sadras

Explorer
The setting contest was cool, and spawned a bunch of books beyond Eberron (I did dig Midnight quite a bit). But I don’t think that the hobby is at a place that it would make sense to do so. I think I’d much rather see an adventure contest instead. That would fit the current D&D product model a lot more closely.
I didn't realise Midnight was spawned from that!
But more to the point you're right adventure contest sounds awesome.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Remember that time when people disagreed on a matter of pop culture preference, but through long slogs of discussion on the internet everyone was converted into having the same opinion? That sure was a great day.
 

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