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D&D Needs New Settings


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A space East India Trading Company is also quite scary.

I really miss the British pub that I used to frequent. Had great breakfast, bangers, meat pies, fish and chips, and other stuff I never got around to trying.
The idea that British food is boring or bland is a myth.

I’d want it pretty tightly themed around the idea that stars are sentient on some level and some are not at all friendly. I’ll see if I can find some 4e articles about the Stars that could be patrons of Star Pact Warlocks. They were very good.
I want both a spaces British empire and a space east india company need plenty of bad guys we could even have them fight.

my town has far too many pubs half of them burnt down and we still have more than ten personally most of British food is not my thing despite being british.

look I want to limit the as-written setting to about one solar system which is about the same size as ours as much past that and it becomes too randomly generated to really have deep plots but I would want lots of stuff from beyond the outer terminus so eldrich stars that hate everyone would fit right in with all the horrors who need their face punched in.
 

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Faolyn

Hero
I have no idea if this would be even remotely doable or not but here's a thought I've had for a while:

Put out, say, a couple of hexes worth of map, with some terrain features (using a standardized legend for it). Describe a location within each hex, using no more than a couple of sentences to do so, and include a typical encounter for the hex. This is all the information you get for this world at the moment.

Invite people to submit their own hexes, or ideas for locations and encounters within the hexes. Each week/two weeks/month/whatever, increase the map by a couple of hexes chosen from the submissions.
 

Faolyn

Hero
I would absolutely -adore- new settings for D&D.

I thought Ghostwalk and Eberron were interesting back in 3.5. But they were -so- intently focused on creating as many new races, classes, prestige classes, and spells that they really didn't bother trying to make new campaign settings, much less effort incorporating all the wild new mechanics into a new setting.

We've seen Magepunk but how about, and for those of you who have never looked over at my avatar or name this -might- be a shock... Steampunk?

A Pseudo-Victoriana campaign setting focused largely on Urban Adventures in a world that isn't dramatically mapped out beyond a few specific large communities and the names of some neighboring nation-states..? Somewhere where much of the map is left largely empty for GMs to fill in as they see fit, but where those handful of cities are -deeply- involved and carefully mapped to provide players with a hellacious quantity of potential directions to go? I don't think D&D has released an Urban Campaign Setting in... ever.

How about a largely aquatic "Waterworld" style campaign setting (concept, not the movie. Love ya, Costner, but damn you had some stinkers). Aboleths swimming free in the ocean, endless archipelagos and small islands rather than big singular landmasses. Whole campaigns designed in an episodic manner as the crew of a ship "Maps" a series of islands, each one with it's own theme and style.

Take a note from Midnight and make a Points of Light campaign setting in a world where the Evil Gods have won and conquered the world. Where paranoia and questions of loyalty and intention are features. Where players can't be -sure- their neighbors won't turn them in for being decent folk.
There was a 3x 3pp setting called Midnight that was very much like that. My friend adores that setting.

In an absolute Script-Flipping, how about a setting where Psionics are normal and Wizardry and Sorcery are rare, and much-maligned?
That would be Dark Sun.

How about a setting where Druids, Barbarians, and Rangers are largely Eco-Terrorists eager to destroy the "Civilized" lands and return them to the Natural World? Where player Druids are threats to Law and Order even when they're -not- murderous plant-hugging monsters and are "Betrayers" of the Natural World in the eyes of other Naturalist characters.
I can definitely see something like that. It would be an interesting change from the standard trope of civilization and technology being evil and nature and "simple folk" being good.
 

@Faolyn I mentioned Midnight, explicitly where the Evil Gods had conquered and won. >.>

Though Midnight is actually it's own entire game by Fantasy Flight, they made it available for the d20 system back in 3e.

They also made a Movie while trying to make it a TV Series.

 

I have no idea if this would be even remotely doable or not but here's a thought I've had for a while:

Put out, say, a couple of hexes worth of map, with some terrain features (using a standardized legend for it). Describe a location within each hex, using no more than a couple of sentences to do so, and include a typical encounter for the hex. This is all the information you get for this world at the moment.

Invite people to submit their own hexes, or ideas for locations and encounters within the hexes. Each week/two weeks/month/whatever, increase the map by a couple of hexes chosen from the submissions.
a crowd-funded hexcrawl?
 

Faolyn

Hero
a crowd-funded hexcrawl?
I mean, maybe? I know that a lot of the problem some people have with settings like the Realms is that there's so much info. So that's why I was thinking something very minimalist built up over time--and if crowd-sourced, then it could also end up with a lot of potentially cool weirdness. It would probably end up very kitchen sink, which isn't everyone's cup of tea, but could be cool.
 

bloodtide

Explorer
D&D does not "need" a new setting.

Worse they could not even do it in the current businesses practices. WotC only releases a couple books a year and makes them all super generic. So "all" D&D gamers will buy "all" the books.

A setting book(s) by it's very nature "says" to many gamers "don't buy this book, you can't use it in your game...unless you use this setting". Like how Dark Sun has pages of rules of "Hard Fun in the Desert" that just don't fit in any other setting. So if you make a new setting The Primal Wastelands, full of animal people that use "primal power", that is all useless to anyone playing "core" D&D.

But, wait....it gets worse. With the WoTC thing of "A book once in a while" you will never "get" the setting. Sure they can make a slim Campaign Setting book and fill it with vague stuff. Wow, the Land of Dancing Penguin Ninjas! But such a book is lucky to get like five paragraphs to describe a whole land. Same thing with races and setting and divine power and features and everything else. You'd get a baddy written glossed over vague mess of words. And you'd never get a source book on EACH land, or even land area. Or god. Or race. You'd be lucky if in a couple years they even put out a "players guide" or something like that.
 

D&D does not "need" a new setting.

Worse they could not even do it in the current businesses practices. WotC only releases a couple books a year and makes them all super generic. So "all" D&D gamers will buy "all" the books.

A setting book(s) by it's very nature "says" to many gamers "don't buy this book, you can't use it in your game...unless you use this setting". Like how Dark Sun has pages of rules of "Hard Fun in the Desert" that just don't fit in any other setting. So if you make a new setting The Primal Wastelands, full of animal people that use "primal power", that is all useless to anyone playing "core" D&D.

But, wait....it gets worse. With the WoTC thing of "A book once in a while" you will never "get" the setting. Sure they can make a slim Campaign Setting book and fill it with vague stuff. Wow, the Land of Dancing Penguin Ninjas! But such a book is lucky to get like five paragraphs to describe a whole land. Same thing with races and setting and divine power and features and everything else. You'd get a baddy written glossed over vague mess of words. And you'd never get a source book on EACH land, or even land area. Or god. Or race. You'd be lucky if in a couple years they even put out a "players guide" or something like that.
Wizards has flatly stated there are 3 campaign settings coming out this year and next year.

And Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is probably one of them. Granted, it's 64 pages less than the 3e FR campaign setting (256 compared to 320)... But Ravenloft is also a significantly smaller setting than Forgotten Realms is.

You're probably right about the "Not everyone can use it!" thing, which is why they opened up the Adventurer's League rules to be more than Core+1 with explicit permission to pull stuff from any of the campaign settings...

Meaning Ravenloft is about to see a BOATLOAD of Tortles in AL play...
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I have no idea if this would be even remotely doable or not but here's a thought I've had for a while:

Put out, say, a couple of hexes worth of map, with some terrain features (using a standardized legend for it). Describe a location within each hex, using no more than a couple of sentences to do so, and include a typical encounter for the hex. This is all the information you get for this world at the moment.

Invite people to submit their own hexes, or ideas for locations and encounters within the hexes. Each week/two weeks/month/whatever, increase the map by a couple of hexes chosen from the submissions.

back in the 3e era there were a couple of Collaborative threads here at Enworld that were focussed on creating settings.

I know that Mors End and Cressia are searchable in the Archives, I also recall a Shark World (?)

could do another such thread for 5e
 
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In the internet age players spend money to buy crunch, not fluff/lore/background because they can read freely the fandom wikis.

Dark Sun is not only the background, but the (tribal-punk) look and visual impact as hook. An official comic of DS was published, and it was the spirit in the story, but visually it was not enough DS. It was like telling the same story with the same characters but these wearing clothing from a different urban tribe, like a version of Mad Max where everyone wears a rockabilly look from 50's years.

Lots of 3PPs are publishing their own settings. How many will be remembered a decade later? Not more than Jackandor for example.

* My suggestion is a setting about the akashic realms or "legend-verse", demiplanes created by the collective memories or imagination, for example a Camelot with the king Arthur and the knights of the round table, but this place isn't the "original" from our Earth, but a "copy", a simulation, allowing to be totally altered by the PCs. You haven't to worry about time paradoxes.


 

I have no idea if this would be even remotely doable or not but here's a thought I've had for a while:

Put out, say, a couple of hexes worth of map, with some terrain features (using a standardized legend for it). Describe a location within each hex, using no more than a couple of sentences to do so, and include a typical encounter for the hex. This is all the information you get for this world at the moment.

Invite people to submit their own hexes, or ideas for locations and encounters within the hexes. Each week/two weeks/month/whatever, increase the map by a couple of hexes chosen from the submissions.

a crowd-funded hexcrawl?

I mean, maybe? I know that a lot of the problem some people have with settings like the Realms is that there's so much info. So that's why I was thinking something very minimalist built up over time--and if crowd-sourced, then it could also end up with a lot of potentially cool weirdness. It would probably end up very kitchen sink, which isn't everyone's cup of tea, but could be cool.

What you’re describing here is basically a slightly different operationalizing of Dungeon World.

Make a map with a few adventure sites.

Leave it mostly blank.

The map fleshes out during play as a product of GM/player/system interaction.

Except for a Hexcrawl.

And yes, it works.
 

D&D does not "need" a new setting.

Worse they could not even do it in the current businesses practices. WotC only releases a couple books a year and makes them all super generic. So "all" D&D gamers will buy "all" the books.

A setting book(s) by it's very nature "says" to many gamers "don't buy this book, you can't use it in your game...unless you use this setting". Like how Dark Sun has pages of rules of "Hard Fun in the Desert" that just don't fit in any other setting. So if you make a new setting The Primal Wastelands, full of animal people that use "primal power", that is all useless to anyone playing "core" D&D.

But, wait....it gets worse. With the WoTC thing of "A book once in a while" you will never "get" the setting. Sure they can make a slim Campaign Setting book and fill it with vague stuff. Wow, the Land of Dancing Penguin Ninjas! But such a book is lucky to get like five paragraphs to describe a whole land. Same thing with races and setting and divine power and features and everything else. You'd get a baddy written glossed over vague mess of words. And you'd never get a source book on EACH land, or even land area. Or god. Or race. You'd be lucky if in a couple years they even put out a "players guide" or something like that.
have considered doing something about it?
 

Faolyn

Hero
back in the 3e era there were a couple of Collaborative threads here at Enworld that were focussed on creating settings.

I know that Mors End and Cressia are searchable in the Archives, I also recall a Shark World (?)

could do another such thread for 5e
I remember all the "Vote Up A Setting" threads on the SJ Games forums. Could be interesting to do one for 5e.
 



Faolyn

Hero
that could be interesting.

question what idea from this thread would be selected?
The "Vote Up A Setting" ideas were done by putting up a poll like, say, "what sort of races would be on this world?" with options like "All of them!" or "Humans only" or "Tolkien races only" or "Hand-picked selection of races" or "Something else; write-in answer". Then additional questions might be asked to clarify the poll results.

So If we were to do one, some questions could be:
  • What PC races are available?
  • What's the tech level?
  • What's the magic level (for how common are spellcasters, how common magical creatures are, how common magical items are, and how powerful magic typically is)
  • What are the primary Bad Guys?
  • What are common mundane elements?
  • What are common magical elements?
  • What things don't exist in the world?
And so on.

Obviously, there are probably a lot more questions that could be asked.
 


The "Vote Up A Setting" ideas were done by putting up a poll like, say, "what sort of races would be on this world?" with options like "All of them!" or "Humans only" or "Tolkien races only" or "Hand-picked selection of races" or "Something else; write-in answer". Then additional questions might be asked to clarify the poll results.

So If we were to do one, some questions could be:
  • What PC races are available?
  • What's the tech level?
  • What's the magic level (for how common are spellcasters, how common magical creatures are, how common magical items are, and how powerful magic typically is)
  • What are the primary Bad Guys?
  • What are common mundane elements?
  • What are common magical elements?
  • What things don't exist in the world?
And so on.

Obviously, there are probably a lot more questions that could be asked.
okay but we were talking about basic setting niches less the composition of races.
 



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