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Campaign Setting Contest: Should We Do It Again?

Mistwell

Adventurer
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?
Well I had a lot of fun coming up with a submission, and reading the submissions of others. So yes, I'd say it's a great idea. And it feels like it's around that time to return to this idea.

It could even be published to DMsGuild only, by WOTC.
 
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Yeah, definitely. As much as I think Midnight took a bold approach to Tolkienistic fantasy by having the heroes lose, when you look at Eberron, it’s clear why it won and things like Dawnforge and Midnight did not. They clearly were looking for something that was a radical departure from trad fantasy.

Midnight for 5e seems like it would easily be doable with only a few adjustments.

However, I also find that that the original Dawnforge a bit too conservative in presenting the "prequel to D&D" by having wizards unchanged, despite druids, clerics, and monks having replacement classes that were meant to be like prefigured versions of the classes. It seems like class dedicated to the study of magic would have also had an earlier version as well.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
The main reason for an "official" competition is the prestige.
Well, for WotC, the buzz. I mean, there's publishing a unique/interesting/slightly-out-there new setting by a quality freelancer like Baker, then there's publishing a new setting out of 11k submissions in a big contest, that just happens to be a unique/interesting/slightly-out-there new setting by Baker.
The latter gets more buzz for said setting.
 
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Gradine

Archivist
Do not publish your hatred, for it is in conflict with Marvel-Disney IP. While your hatred may be vast, your lawyer's hourly rates would also be vast...
Considering the Bible pre-dates modern copyright laws by a millennia or two, I'd think it's fair to say he's pretty safe. Or else this is the reason why Konami stopped making good games, and then stopped making games.
 

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
Well, for WotC, the buzz. I mean, there's publishing a unique/interesting/slightly-out-there new setting by a quality freelancer like Baker, then there's publishing a new setting out of 11k submissions in a big contest. The latter gets more buzz for the setting.
Exactly.

If the hidden WotC spies see this, maybe I'll get a chance to wax philosophical about my favorite setting of my own creation: Skinhacker​.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Remember all the people who claimed they would not submit an entry for fear WOTC would just steal their ideas?

Yeah...how did that turn out?
 

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
Remember all the people who claimed they would not submit an entry for fear WOTC would just steal their ideas?

Yeah...how did that turn out?
WotC is, I would assume, far less interested in stealing people's ideas than some would assume, considering that fact that they haven't taken any DMsGuild content and incorporated in in official books, despite the fact that you have to agree to that when you publish on the DMsG.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
I can't see WotC, and I don't think it would be wise, for them to publish a setting that modifies any of the core races and classes. Doing that simple splits the player base again. And I don't see that being beneficial.

New lore, new maps, new fluff and context, sure that could be nice, but I don't think they will do it.

What they might do though is publish a cross-over setting. Like they tried with Ravnica (though it modified core). What that might be? No idea.

A contest? Gain, maybe, but I doubt it. Sure the rabid fans like us would be into it, but the 90% of D&D players and fans who play so casually they don't keep up on the intricacies would just be confused. Confused customers are not good for long term brand loyalty.
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
My submission would be the Star of Death, a moon sized Spelljammer that can blow up planets. You could use it to crush terrorist psychic warriors lead by Jake Starrunner
 

The Glen

Explorer
If they do a Mystara product, how likely is it they'd give a good amount of space to the Hollow World? I love Taladas, but I'm sure that any Dragonlance product would focus on Ansalon (and more specifically the War of the Lance).
You do the Hollow World as its own expansion to Mystara, there's just too much lore for the Hollow World to be included in the primary book to give it anything more than a cursory mention unless you want a 500 page book. Mystara is three separate regions, with the Known World, Hollow World and the Savage Coast/Serpent Peninsula about equal sizes. Didn't help Mystara released itself one fully fleshed out nation book at a time, so the information on all its lands is massive compared to other settings.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
What's with all this "split the player base"?

Did the player base split when they published a ton of tools to make your own setting?
Did the player base split when they published Ravinica?
Did the player base split when they published adventures set specifically in Greyhawk?
Will the player base split when they publish Eberron later this year?

Guys, the player base is more resilient than that.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Remember all the people who claimed they would not submit an entry for fear WOTC would just steal their ideas?

Yeah...how did that turn out?
I think that turned out well. Apparently enough people weren't paranoid about this for the contest to produce quality results. And since people knew the rules of the games, I don't see any reason to be upset by WotC reusing any of the submitted ideas.

TL;DR: If you didn't like the rules, you were free to self-publish instead of submitting your pitch. Of course, then you weren't allowed to call it D&D, and the chance for your idea to become an official campaign world went from non-zero to absolutely zero. It was your choice. WotC certainly did not force you.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
What's with all this "split the player base"?

Did the player base split when they published a ton of tools to make your own setting?
Did the player base split when they published Ravinica?
Did the player base split when they published adventures set specifically in Greyhawk?
Will the player base split when they publish Eberron later this year?

Guys, the player base is more resilient than that.
It split in the 1980s. So yes, it will split if they follow up a setting book with a series of products made specifically for that setting.

As for Ravinica, didn't buy it, and Ghosts of Saltmarsh, I moved it to the Forgotten Realms.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Yeah, definitely. As much as I think Midnight took a bold approach to Tolkienistic fantasy by having the heroes lose, when you look at Eberron, it’s clear why it won and things like Dawnforge and Midnight did not. They clearly were looking for something that was a radical departure from trad fantasy.
At the same time, one of the biggest selling points that Eberron had in its favor for WotC is that it did not require rewriting or invalidating the rulebooks. When we look at the published Dawnforge, for example, it replaced the cleric (the Disciple), the druid (the Shaman), and the monk (the Spirit Adept). It also rewrites the pre-existing races to buff them a bit, provide racial levels, and the like. Bill Slavicsek had even said that while many submitted setting ideas were "super cool," a number of them often had things like "humans only," "no half-orcs or half-elves," or "no monks." World design choices that basically invalidated or restricted your player handbook options. Eberron, however, said that your 3.5 PHB still applied to Eberron.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
I think that turned out well. Apparently enough people weren't paranoid about this for the contest to produce quality results. And since people knew the rules of the games, I don't see any reason to be upset by WotC reusing any of the submitted ideas.

TL;DR: If you didn't like the rules, you were free to self-publish instead of submitting your pitch. Of course, then you weren't allowed to call it D&D, and the chance for your idea to become an official campaign world went from non-zero to absolutely zero. It was your choice. WotC certainly did not force you.
My point is, WOTC didn't steal anyone's ideas of those who did submit and the paranoia was just that - unfounded fear.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
It split in the 1980s. So yes, it will split if they follow up a setting book with a series of products made specifically for that setting.

As for Ravinica, didn't buy it, and Ghosts of Saltmarsh, I moved it to the Forgotten Realms.
In the 80s it split because they were simultaneously running over a dozen settings. Not because they published a handful of them. Much like it didn't split during 3e and 4e where they published a handful of settings. There is a comfortable room between over a dozen settings and just one.
 

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
What's with all this "split the player base"?

Did the player base split when they published a ton of tools to make your own setting?
Did the player base split when they published Ravinica?
Did the player base split when they published adventures set specifically in Greyhawk?
Will the player base split when they publish Eberron later this year?

Guys, the player base is more resilient than that.
It is?

I always though that the players were so weak-minded and had such short attention spans as to be fatally vulnerable to the release of a new book!

Wait, are you suggesting that...

Not everyone might buy a specific book that's released?

!>!Panic Mode!<!
 
Good point! I remember Midnight having different (and quite good) takes on the Ranger and Monk classes, not to mention plenty of racial variants.

At the same time, one of the biggest selling points that Eberron had in its favor for WotC is that it did not require rewriting or invalidating the rulebooks.
 

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