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


Well, no, I don't think so. If the Tablelands is an isolated oasis of culture (possibly the only one left), then about the size of Ohio is enough to Adventure in while feeling sparse and small. Whereas the Sword Coast being about the size of Europe or the American Pacific Coast is a conscious design on Greenwood's part.
I dunno. Anytime the size is something like 1000 or 100000 whatever, I feel like it's a sign they just picked a number that sounded good.

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So IMO, make a new setting, don't bother updating this stuff. If you make the necessary changes to fix it, it'll make FR fans made. So don't bother, make something new.

I'll add, I'm super confident that the D&D team, who now work with great creators like Ajit George, probably agree with the "don't bother, full do-over" on this.
There is very little interaction between Zakhara and Faerûn. Both know each other are there, and a few travellers and merchants travel between the two, so it's really easy to change Zakhara without upsetting things further north. Also, there have been two world-shattering cataclysms since the region was last detailed, so they could make as many changes as they want and say "the Spellplague/Sundering did it!" No FR fan would shed tears if things were updated, and very likely the same for those who are fans of Al-Qadim solely. In fact, the DM's Guild Zakhara book, which makes the very same changes that you claim would be too hard to do, has received nothing but praise.
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Wouldn’t it be wild if the Tablelands were a thri-kreen terrarium for the other species. Just to see what they’d do.
I mean, there were several large thri-kreen nations north of the Jagged Cliffs, and rumors of a true empire beyond even those...
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1. If someone was making a game that was very deeply inspired by the folk lore, culture, and natural environment of, say, Scandinavia, then I do think the project would benefit from people who were more closely connected to the culture. Many Free League games, for example, have a sensibility that would be hard for a company like wotc to capture

2. There are other geographies other than strictly national ones. The United States was obviously an English settler colony and dominant American culture is inundated with European cultural references. We read english literature in school, learn about European history, learn European languages (often poorly, but still). Politically, America is part of the "global north," and culturally associates itself with the geography of "the West."

3. Historically, "the West," including both Europe and the United States, has viewed the economies, cultures, and peoples of the rest of the world through an extractive lens--taking land, enslaving populations, but also taking the stories and culture of people from around the world. Sometimes these cultures (including languages, mythologies, histories) have been outright destroyed, sometimes they have been put in museums in the west to be viewed as artifacts, and sometimes these cultures have been turned into very reductive stereotypes. That last bit is known as exoticisation and orientalism.

4. So when people in "the West" create something, they should be aware of the above history and the way that it allows for and impacts what they do, both for the sake of producing a better product and for having an ethical relation to their creators and audiences. Game companies should consider whether they have minorities on their staff, not just as writers but in all areas. They should consider hiring writers from the global south who both have more knowledge of their cultures (and access to knowledge through their knowledge of language) and who face structural obstacles to making a living as a game designer. And they should consider how audiences--all audiences--might receive their product.
So how is this different from a general “Asia” setting then that covers various Asian cultures or a general Middle East setting covering various Semitic and Arabian cultures? It’s the same. White Americans have very little connections to their European roots beyond a very broad understanding unless they are first or second generation Americans. This is even apparent in analyzing takes on Spanish names and assumptions by Americans that it indicated the person is from Latin America or South America instead of Spain being a possibility for the person’s origins. There is very little connection to Europe or understanding of European folklore. I know a handful who are very proud of their Irish Heritage but it amounts to celebrating St Patrick’s Day and wearing green and vague stories about snakes and druids and a possible historic figure. Stretching beyond that more recent Italian Or Mediterranean history outside of WWI-WWII era is virtually nil and understanding of Classical Greek culture is barely even superficial. There is more Fey folklore, authentic Fey folklore, in a chapter of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell than any D&D American product since 2e.


(Strictly speaking, aren't Spelljammer, Ravenloft, and Dragonlance also now candidates? Granted, they're all very recent, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be revisited very soon. That said, I wouldn't think any was likely.)
Spelljammer and Ravenloft could both explore other areas--new worlds or new domains, as well as new monsters and even archetypes and races for both. Both of those settings are built to allow for expansion in that way.


(Strictly speaking, aren't Spelljammer, Ravenloft, and Dragonlance also now candidates? Granted, they're all very recent, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be revisited very soon. That said, I wouldn't think any was likely.)
That particular tease was given right after Van Richten's was announced, so contextually Ravenloft seems unlikely, but I suppose possible. Spelljammer and Dragonlance, not so much I think, since they were already part of the hint. Eberron and Ravenloft probably count, but they seem much less likely for a 50th Anniversary celebration product compared with Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms.

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