D&D 5E D&D's Classic Settings Are Not 'One Shots'

Some of these classic settings will be revisited!

Spelljammer-ship-in-space-asteroid-city.jpeg

In an interview with ComicBook.com, WotC's Jeremy Crawford talked about the visits to Ravenloft, Eberron, Spelljammer, Dragonlance, and (the upcoming) Planescape we've seen over the last couple of years, and their intentions for the future.

He indicated that they plan to revisit some of these settings again in the future, noting that the setting books are among their most popular books.

We love [the campaign setting books], because they help highlight just how wonderfully rich D&D is. They highlight that D&D can be gothic horror. D&D can be fantasy in space. D&D can be trippy adventures in the afterlife, in terms of Planescape. D&D can be classic high fantasy, in the form of the Forgotten Realms. It can be sort of a steampunk-like fantasy, like in Eberron. We feel it's vital to visit these settings, to tell stories in them. And we look forward to returning to them. So we do not view these as one-shots.
- Jeremy Crawford​

The whole 'multiverse' concept that D&D is currently exploring plays into this, giving them opportunities to resist worlds.

When asked about the release schedule of these books, Crawford noted that the company plans its release schedule so that players get chance to play the material, not just read it, and they don't want to swamp people with too much content to use.

Our approach to how we design for the game and how we plan out the books for it is a play-first approach. At certain times in D&D's history, it's really been a read-first approach. Because we've had points in our history where we were producing so many books each year, there was no way anyone could play all of it. In some years it would be hard to play even a small percentage of the number of things that come out. Because we have a play-first approach, we want to make sure we're coming out with things at a pace where if you really wanted to, and even that would require a lot of weekends and evenings dedicated to D&D play, you could play a lot of it.
- Jeremy Crawford​

You can read more in the interview at ComicBook.com.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
That would be incredible but I don't think 5E has any official adventures with that level of information density
No, but we could (and ought to, IMO) get a product that includes all the variant rules, the new spells, NPCs, treasure and location write-ups, etc. Take that content and write up a short adventure to go with it, and at the very least, you've got a nice D&D Beyond product to sell.

I'm sure there are some people who'd want to play through all of BG3, note for note, at their table, I suspect most of the audience would just like the content converted for table use, which is an easier proposition.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I kind of hate to say it but you're basically 100% right and I think this is part of the problem because the people in charge of D&D are all in their 50s or so and just a little bit too old to have been raised the same way. Once someone who is in their 30s now (even late 30s), I think things will change, design-wise, and much for the better. I mean in 45 and was raised that way but it's only more the case as you go younger.
It's the same issue that Gygax and company had. D&D immediately started changing the fantasy space when it appeared, but instead of saying "hey, let's start incorporating the good ideas from videogames and movies," they stuck with their influences being novels and short stories from the 1930s through the early 1970s.

I know a lot of people chuckled at it, but WotC putting Minecraft content on D&D Beyond was an actual hopeful sign in the sense that they might not all be falling into the same trap. Like it or not, Minecraft has more influence over what today's kids think of as fantasy than Lord of the Rings ever will.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I kind of hate to say it but you're basically 100% right and I think this is part of the problem because the people in charge of D&D are all in their 50s or so and just a little bit too old to have been raised the same way. Once someone who is in their 30s now (even late 30s), I think things will change, design-wise, and much for the better. I mean in 45 and was raised that way but it's only more the case as you go younger.
That age disconnect is an interesting problem for all companies, but I agree, moreso for a company that makes games. That said, you need some "temperance" to do things in a big company, so finding that balance is key. I'm not convinced either way on WotC doing that well, frankly.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I do wonder about a more closely connected tie in to both the movie and BG3.

But the Stranger Things and Rick and Morty boxes took a while. There could be one in the works following the same kind of timeline.
The lack of movie and video game tie ins is really odd for a company all about monetization (and likely is about licensing issues and stuff).
 

darjr

I crit!

transcript in spoiler tag.
future of dragon Lance spell Jammer and
more of your favorite d d campaign
settings I love the future earlier this
month at Gen Con I had the chance to
speak with Jeremy Crawford the lead
rules designer of Dungeons and Dragons
we talked about a ton of different
topics mostly surrounding the upcoming
2024 rules revision but I did get the
chance to talk about a topic near and
dear to my heart that is camping setting
books the topic came up in the Press
suite at Lucas Oil Stadium with a full
array of planescape books sitting behind
us and as we discussed the 2024 rules
revision Crawford mentioned that a
strength of this 2024 rules revision was
that it meant that Wizards didn't need
to quote unquote reset the clock and
revisit old material to make it
compatible with a new addition his quote
we can focus on new Innovative books and
we can also revisit things a little
later on he said because we know people
still can get curse estrad we don't need
to do a new version of ravenloth we
might certainly return to the domains of
dread but it means that we can again go
on brand new adventures because Crawford
mentioned ravenloth I took the chance to
bring up the recently released campaign
setting books I pointed out that the
book seemed to be very popular and asked
how they were received in terms of sales
so our campaign setting books are very
popular Crawford said people love
whether they're classic ones or new ones
like the magic the Gathering books
setting books that we've done and
they're often among our most popular
books and we love them because they help
highlight just how wonderfully Rich DND
is a little bit later on he said and so
we feel it's vital to visit these
settings to tell stories in them and we
look forward to returning to them so we
do not view these as one shots
a little while into the conversation I
pointed out that one of the biggest
criticisms of the campaign setting books
is that players want more frequent
returns to Worlds like Dragon Lance and
ravenloth and planescape Crawford's
response is that while the d d design
team wants to keep exploring the d d
Multiverse which means exploring both
new places and returning to familiar
beloved places they're also mindful of
how much content they put out in a given
year
so like many people Crawford said I love
deep dives into various settings because
I'm a d d fan first I've been a d d fan
since I was six years old and yeah it's
so fun to get all of that detail but we
also know after years of looking at
group play patterns if we give you too
much information really all we've done
is given you a bunch of material you
have no time to use and so our approach
is to spread it out more to give people
time to actually play the adventures
they bought Crawford went on to explain
the D D's current model is a play first
approach and that they put out material
at a pace that players can actually play
through a lot of it Crawford and the DND
design team's approach is that the real
magic of d d isn't the worlds that are
explored in the books it's the stories
that take place at the table the ones
that no one could imagine when preparing
a game Crawford said play is when there
are those moments that surprise even the
dungeon master and make people gasp or
cry or laugh half or shutter and Terror
if it's a horror game and so for us
that's why play is so important because
that is the heart of the entire game now
if you've ever watched some of our
videos you know that we're big fans of
the d d campaign setting books and we're
frustrated by the lack of support these
settings get however we will admit that
Crawford's explanation is a good one
five rule books a year is a lot of
content to get through and most tables
wouldn't even be able to get through
those five books even if they played
every weekend now personally I think
there's probably solutions to this maybe
D D Beyond or more digital only source
books perhaps but I'm guessing that
they've run the cost analysis on those
type of methods and they realize that it
just doesn't really work or make sense
for them I guess there's a real delicate
balance that Wizards is trying to pull
off at least we know that we're getting
more setting focused products on the way
starting with the 2024 Adventure
featuring vecna later this year which
will take us through the entire d d
Multiverse or at least a parts of it
that we've explored in the past so what
did you think of Crawford's Commons let
us know in the comments and don't forget
to hit those like And subscribe buttons

thank you
 
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Hussar

Legend
Why would I play a tabletop version of BG3 when I can play the video game version?

It’s not like BG2 or 1 got tabletop versions either despite being fantastically popular.
 


Stormonu

Legend
It's the same issue that Gygax and company had. D&D immediately started changing the fantasy space when it appeared, but instead of saying "hey, let's start incorporating the good ideas from videogames and movies," they stuck with their influences being novels and short stories from the 1930s through the early 1970s.

I know a lot of people chuckled at it, but WotC putting Minecraft content on D&D Beyond was an actual hopeful sign in the sense that they might not all be falling into the same trap. Like it or not, Minecraft has more influence over what today's kids think of as fantasy than Lord of the Rings ever will.
They've tried that before.

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