Spelljammer Chris Perkins and Ray Winninger Interview Discussing Spelljammer and Product Development

Parmandur

Book-Friend
To address this, let's look at the 5E settings so far, and what--in a word or two--differentiates them from other worlds:

Forgotten Realms: kitchen sink galore
Ravenloft: gothic horror
Eberron: magitech/steampunk
Ravnica: mega-city
Theros: ancient Greek themes
Wildemount: Critical Role/contemporary themes
Strixhaven: magic school
Spelljammer: space fantasy
Dragonlance: meta-story focus

Now let's look at some past settings that haven't received 5E treatment:

Dark Sun: post-apocalyptic/sword & sorcery/desert-focused
Planescape: planes
Birthright: kingdom building
Council of Wyrms: dragon-focused
Mystara: bearded elves
Nentir Vale: points of light

Comparing the two lists, one can see how any of the first three options would offer something significantly "new" to 5E, though Birthright is obviously far less likely than the others.

So what would set Greyhawk apart from, say, the Forgotten Realms? Well, we can start by saying what wouldn't: doubling down on yet another kitchen sink setting, including both "every real world pre-modern culture has an analogue," but also "every aspect of D&D lore finds its way here, as written in the PHB and splats."

Greyhawk could differentiate itself by emphasizing its old school qualities, being more sword & sorcery than epic/high fantasy, and being a "twist" on kitchen sink, aka "themed kitchen sink." Meaning, it could take an approach similar to Eberron rather than the Realms: quasi-kitchen sink and strongly thematic.

So while I agree that GH doesn't have a clear and obvious hook or gimmick that sets it apart, D&D settings aren't only about gimmickry, but creating a themed context for adventuring and/or reading. So if anything, that quote implies that if they were to publish GH, they'd emphasize its "Greyhawkian" (and thus, Gygaxian) elements.

That said, we can only speculate so far on whether or not WotC will publish Greyhawk--not to mention Dark Sun or other classic settings--until we know more about the "new settings." I mean, if one of those settings has strong sword & sorcery and pulp elements, then Dark Sun, Nentir Vale, and Greyhawk might be seen as superfluous. Or if they take a completely different approach to the planes, then Planescape would be off the books. It may even be that one or both of the settings takes elements from certain classics and remixes it in a modern idiom. For instance: A post-apocalyptic, points of light setting involving pushing back monsters and building micro-kingdoms, set in a setting modeled after Persian and Indian myths. Meaning, touches of Dark Sun, Nentir Vale, and Birthright, yet in a non-Western context.
One thing that Greyhawk has thst the Forgotten Realms doesn't really? Actual geopolitics. The states in the FR are so under siege from Monsters that they are mostly distant from each other, and major wars are rare.

If the "Battle game" set-up for Dragonlance is successful...Greyhawk Wars would offer a nice, general D&D option.

Dark Sun and Birthright would also fit that mold nicely. Birthright was never big, but they keep bringing it up in their Surveys, so someone is holding a flame on the design team.
 

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Their biggest stan for Greyhawk in the company seemed to be Mike Mearls... so they'd have to be okay with bringing him back into the department as a contractor (if nothing else) if they wanted that "we have people who are motivated to work on at any given time." They of course could try and work on it without him, but if they really wanted "the best people for the writing and editing team", it'd seem kind of silly not to. So if they don't want to bring him in based on the big kerfluffles several year ago... they probably just won't do Greyhawk.

The questions of course are whether WotC would want to bring Mike back in at all anyways... if they could bring Mike back, knowing that a segment of the playerbase would automatically crap on it for what happened way back when... whether Mike could or would apologize (in any form or fashion) for any mistakes he made and whether than would be accepted by the playerbase who are still po'd over the situation... and whether Greyhawk is worth opening up that potential can of worms in the first place.

Personally... I just don't seem them looking backwards in that way and trying to skirt around the end of Mike tenure just to get Greyhawk into production. It doesn't seem worth it to me. Yeah, the old guard would love to see the "original" setting brought back for the 50th anniversary, but if you alienate all of the new generation to do so that just seems counter-productive to moving D&D on into the next 50 years.


Interesting side note about Mike Mearls, he was part of the team that put the Commander Legends: Battle For Baldur's Gate MtG set together.
 

Hardly "way back when"; it was a few years ago, not the late seventies. And what he did is not "mistakes" or a "situation", it was aiding and abbetting a known abuser to further abuse his victims. Frankly I am alarmed by the implication that there is a segment of the playerbase that would not be naught-worded off about bringing him back.

_
glass.

Enough cancel culture, Mike Mearls isn't Amber Heard, lets move on instead fighting a never ending quest to ruin him.
 



Bitbrain

Lost in Dark Sun
To address this, let's look at the 5E settings so far, and what--in a word or two--differentiates them from other worlds:

Forgotten Realms: kitchen sink galore
Ravenloft: gothic horror
Eberron: magitech/steampunk
Ravnica: mega-city
Theros: ancient Greek themes
Wildemount: Critical Role/contemporary themes
Strixhaven: magic school
Spelljammer: space fantasy
Dragonlance: meta-story focus

Now let's look at some past settings that haven't received 5E treatment:

Dark Sun: post-apocalyptic/sword & sorcery/desert-focused
Planescape: planes
Birthright: kingdom building
Council of Wyrms: dragon-focused
Mystara: bearded elves
Nentir Vale: points of light

raises hand

I would argue that Mystara is the Quasi-Historical setting. I mean, you’ve got (almost literally) the Roman Empire and Vikings in a military alliance with each other against Atlantis.
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Except that there clearly isn't anywhere near "enough", or Mearls would not have three people rushing to defed him already!
I think "rushing to defend him" might be overstating things a bit. Unless you consider anything other than "absolute condemnation" to be rushing to his defense. ;)

I mean I brought him up as the primary indicator of who WotC might use as their spearhead for Greyhawk should they have chosen to go ahead with it, but honestly don't care if he does or doesn't work on it one way or another. But I also don't care if his name is said aloud either. Having him stricken from the public record eternally doesn't matter to me.
 

Some monsters of Dark Sun have appeared. This means a sign it will be the most possible return after Dragonlance. We know nothing about the psionic powers, but these were one of the marks of identity of the setting. Game designers should wonder if it would be better allowing space to can add later other classes with special game mechanics, as the martial adepts or the totemist shaman. And what about the PC races from Expanded Psionic Handbook? For example the dromites and the maenads.

I wonder if Capcom would accept a parnertship with Hasbro for a new D&D arcade (set in Mystara), using fantasy mash-up version of Capcom characters, for example Megaman as a warforged, or the main character from "the Haunting Ground" (this could a ranger, suffering a "weekend in the hell" = visit to Ravenloft).
 

Some monsters of Dark Sun have appeared. This means a sign it will be the most possible return after Dragonlance. We know nothing about the psionic powers, but these were one of the marks of identity of the setting. Game designers should wonder if it would be better allowing space to can add later other classes with special game mechanics, as the martial adepts or the totemist shaman. And what about the PC races from Expanded Psionic Handbook? For example the dromites and the maenads.

I wonder if Capcom would accept a parnertship with Hasbro for a new D&D arcade (set in Mystara), using fantasy mash-up version of Capcom characters, for example Megaman as a warforged, or the main character from "the Haunting Ground" (this could a ranger, suffering a "weekend in the hell" = visit to Ravenloft).

Actually the fact that they didn't save Thrikreen for Darksun and that they are putting Darksun creatures in other settings just 1 year ahead of 2023's classic setting suggests its not Darksun or Darksun would have had dibbs.
 

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