D&D 5E Further Future D&D Product Speculation

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Absolutely. Or at least a 1-20 AP where they eliminate a single sorcerer-king and end slavery in that city-state.

But across the whole of Athas? That would drastically alter the setting. Something most fans wouldn’t like.
Well, any ending wouldn't be "canon," but the inhabited area of Athas is very small, just a handful of city states. Enough for a single epic, war filled Adventure to complete the Revolution, and the war can be Battle Game appropriate.

Seems more likely than an Eberron style book for Athas, givem how small and focused it is.
 
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teitan

Legend
I disagree. The core problem with Greyhawk as a setting product is the audience for such a product.

Wizards is never going to be able to put out a Greyhawk for 5e that would make the majority of Greyhawk fans happy - first of all because Greyhawk fans all have different ideas of what Greyhawk should be. And second of all because anything that Wizards puts out would be an update to the setting - not just the rules - we can see this in how they've handled Ravenloft, how it looks like they've handled Spelljammer, and how they're proposing to handle Dragonlance. The question is whether those updates would work and bring in new players interested in those settings or if they'd just alienate the existing audience for Greyhawk without bringing in new players.

It's a landmine for a setting that is not likely to pay off for them in the mass market in the way that revamping Ravenloft or Spelljammer will - the feel of Greyhawk is counter to current trends in modern fantasy, and is very rooted in pre-D&D fantasy ideas, while both Ravenloft and Spelljammer are in line with different strands of modern fantasy.

Now I will be the first to say that I could be very wrong about this because a year ago I would have said that Dragonlance was also a landmine of a setting for similar, though not exactly the same reasons (actually having more to do with Weis and Hickman still being alive and being very vocal and protective of "their" setting, and the fanbase around the setting that agrees with Weis and Hickman on who should direct the development of it regardless of who actually owns it, along with elements in the setting that are very dated to put out in a modern product and yet the core fanbase gets very protective of) and they've decided to do it anyway. So maybe they'll figure out how to make it profitable for themselves and do it anyway.

But I'd still bet on a big Realms thing as part of the 50th anniversary rollout instead.
Wrong. Spelljammer was never a good seller before and they were able to build hype for it. It was a big flop and didn't last two years. Greyhawk arguably has a much larger and more loyal and passionate fan base to build off of and in fact they successfully were able to revive it in 1998 until the end of 3.x with the end of Living Greyhawk. Spelljammer was released by TSR in 1989 and the last product came out in 1991. It was only ever an Easter egg after that and has become more of a rose colored glasses thing where people can now see the potential but the original, while having some fans, wasn't very well done with how the rules were implemented and some of the concepts came across very poorly. 5e era fans looking back on the artwork and the idea have given it new life through rose colored glasses but they're making changes to it to make it work as a setting because it was so bad wrong fun in rules implementation. I am looking forward to seeing it, not the price tag, but Perkins has done no wrong in my eyes so I expect a well done product that makes Spelljammer fun, interesting and wonderful.

But acting like Spelljammer has a bigger fanbase than Greyhawk? It has been dead for 30 years. Greyhawk has been living the entire time. Yeah that was a pun.
 

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Oh, I admit that Planescape fans love the factions. Disproportionately so to their value, but I digress.

I also took a look at Planescape adventures (thank you Adventure Lookup), and although many of them start in Sigil, few of them are only in Sigil, or even primarily Sigil. It's mostly "You start in Sigil, something happens, you then head off to X plane to adventure, and return to Sigil when that adventure is done." That definitely means Sigil deserves it's fair share of attention, but other planes like the Outlands, Nine Hells, the Beastlands, Limbo, and the Abyss are also going to need some good content... as that's usually where adventures are going to happen.

Sigil was probably the best and most realized part of Planescape in my opinion, and between In The Cage, The Factol's Manifesto, and my favorite, Uncaged, you had a lot of material to run a very weird urban campaign. I think Planescape Torment was brilliant in pulling this off in a crpg context; most of that game takes place within sigil and involves meeting all these crazy characters.

The factions, ultimately, are the part of Sigil that don't quite make sense. Their philosophies are juvenile, in some cases too overlapping, and don't lend themselves to interesting conflicts. Plus, it's odd that the outer planes are all about various deities and alignment-based conflict, and the factions don't correspond to that. When I ran a PS game in 5e I reduced the number of factions to 5 just to make it a bit more coherent. I'm not sure PS fans really love the factions; I've seen them criticized a lot along these lines on various boards over the years.

In terms of the outer planes, as I mention above, the problem is that they are infinite. The PS boxed sets and 3e manual of the planes take the approach of trying to be comprehensive about them. Rereading that material a few years ago, it was clear that this didn't always work. There were lots of good ideas there and text was evocative, but it also reduced the infinity of the planes into monotone environments with a few described locales (many of which were, for whatever reason, oddly mundane. One of the boxed sets devotes a significant amount of space to describing what adventuring gear you can pick up in mt. celestia or wherever, which seems like the wrong thing to focus on). Also all of the planes have differing numbers of layers, and you can tell the writers both in PS and 3e struggled with making the planes with more layers fit in the same amount of space as those with fewer.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Wrong. Spelljammer was never a good seller before and they were able to build hype for it. It was a big flop and didn't last two years. Greyhawk arguably has a much larger and more loyal and passionate fan base to build off of and in fact they successfully were able to revive it in 1998 until the end of 3.x with the end of Living Greyhawk. Spelljammer was released by TSR in 1989 and the last product came out in 1991. It was only ever an Easter egg after that and has become more of a rose colored glasses thing where people can now see the potential but the original, while having some fans, wasn't very well done with how the rules were implemented and some of the concepts came across very poorly. 5e era fans looking back on the artwork and the idea have given it new life through rose colored glasses but they're making changes to it to make it work as a setting because it was so bad wrong fun in rules implementation. I am looking forward to seeing it, not the price tag, but Perkins has done no wrong in my eyes so I expect a well done product that makes Spelljammer fun, interesting and wonderful.

But acting like Spelljammer has a bigger fanbase than Greyhawk? It has been dead for 30 years. Greyhawk has been living the entire time. Yeah that was a pun.
Greyhawk material is also very portable to most homebrew, part of what makes Ghosts of Saltmarsh work so well: specific, but recyclable.
 
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teitan

Legend
Greyhawk may very well not make sense as a Ravnica/Eberron style book. But a Spelljammer-like slipcase product? That may change things, and appeal to the oddball children who like black & white movies and such. Really, I constantly find myself amazed at what random old things my kids take a liking to.
I see no difference other than price. They're the same thing. :p

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Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
This was never an issue in older editions and is not an issue now so why does it seem to be a sticking point for some people?
Because, well, you don't need Greyhawk for any of that. Knightly orders? FR and Dragonlance have you covered, and I haven't seen anything from Greyhawk suggesting its ones will be particularly different or needing to be specified differently. Valley Elves are just Wood Elves.

Now, I could drag some uniquely Greyhawk stuff out but, that's just gonna be Barrier Mountains. Frankly the problem we have is that eternal thread that no one can agree what Greyhawk's actual Thing is.

Dark Sun, though? That's easy to update. Focus on the unapproachable elites in their self-contained world, treating all below them like cattle, hoarding wealth and power as they kill the world for their own ambitions directly contrary to the common people. Your job, as adventurer, is to oppose them. Very topical these days
 

darjr

I crit!
shakes 8 ball still to be determined. It could go like a movie that opens huge and falls flat week 2. Like Batman vs Superman. Or the original Spelljammer.
Yup we’ll see. Also the preorder will probably crash for a bit before release. I’m sure people will claim it’s failing cause if that. Happens every time.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
I've said it before and there are tons of options for it.
Your example options are, in fact, what I'd cite in saying that Greyhawk doesn't lend itself to new player options. They're all the sort of thing a writer comes up with when faced with "Okay, it's been assigned that we're doing this setting, how do we fill these pages assigned to player options?" They are not the sort of thing that are suggested when a writer goes "What should players be able to play in this setting that the game does not already adequately support?" And certainly not from a product planner's "What player options highly characteristic of this setting are compelling enough they would sell copies of this setting book to people not planning on playing in this setting, just so they could play that kind of character?"

I mean, you tell me you want to play a Knight of the Hart (or any of the other Greyhawk orders) in D&D 5, and as a starting point I can already direct you the Noble background (Knight variant), the Knight of the Order background, the Banneret [Purple Dragon Knight] fighter subclass, the Cavalier fighter subclass, the Samurai fighter subclass, the Oath of the Crown paladin subclass, and now the Krynn UA material. I'm sure that a Knight of the Hart can be differentiated from them, but it would sure look like differentiation for the sake of filling word count.

Agent of the Circle of Eight background? Looks like you're straining to differentiate from the existing "Faction Agent" background.

Multiple Horned Society subclasses might make sense, if I thought WotC was actually burning to do Player's Option: Evil Characters material, particularly for the same-year release as the 50th Anniversary edition.

Cleric domains are easy to proliferate, but that holds for any setting with multiple gods.

And the game doesn't differentiate warlocks who have demons patrons from warlocks who have devil patrons, but "Warlock tied to Iuz" is different enough that the Fiend patron doesn't already cover it?
 


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