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D&D 5E How do you hope WotC treats the upcoming classic settings?

Stormonu

Legend
When I say "Underdarkish" I mean "Vast underground tunnel networks and collapsed caves".

Not "Menzoberranzan"

Though I definitely understand your trepidation. The Underground area should be just as barren and terrible as the rest of the planet, housing only horror and death in darkness.

And yeah, I was thinking of having it in/under the Black Spine mountains be just the thing. A depressing hole in the ground full of slave labor and cruel overlords who force those unfortunate enough to be their victims to dig and search and scrape for the Gith's way home, trapped in the mountains by a collapse, the location lost to time...

Play up a sort of Caste Society wherein the "Original Gith" are still powerful and immortal with metal weapons, while the everyday gith are corrupted by the wasteland and magic, as well as possible issues with inbreeding or crossbreeding with only partially-compatible species (Since the Gith are aliens)...

Could do a whole Valusians thing with the gith in that version of the setting. In the Hyborian setting their society broke down when the dinosaurs came and while they tried to infiltrate human society to control it, repeatedly, the serpentfolk wound up slowly degrading themselves by interbreeding with humans, inbreeding themselves, and generally losing all that they once were. In Conan Exiles you actually kill one of the last "True" Serpentfolk called "The Degenerate" because even he is actually a twisted mockery of what the Serpentfolk once were.

Definitely wouldn't want them working with other Sorcerer-Kings or having an "Advanced Society" with plenty of food 'cause it kinda goes against the core conceit of the world being royally screwed up and a handful of wealthy people controlling almost all the power and arable land. Especially not with letting people go, either.

And then, once the portal is found, you can grab that dusty copy of the Black Spine Mountains off the shelf and run it in 5e!

(Though I was kinda going at it without Nibenay being the driving force to unleash the "True Gith" on the world)
I could go for a Morlock take on Athas's underdark - for me, like the Morlocks depicted in the 2002 Time Machine. Heck, the "uber-morlock" was psionic, wasn't he?
 

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GuyBoy

Adventurer
The thing about Greyhawk is that the only thing that's really interesting today is that it's a perfect representation of early 80's DnD'isms. So how do you update something like that to the modern edition? If you try to keep things as unchanged as possible you end up with a setting that doesn't fit the game it's made for, but if you try to adapt everything to the latest edition then you get a setting that's mostly bland and boring.
The problem with your argument is that it starts with a “statement of fact”, which is actually just a personal opinion. The argument therefore applies to you just fine, but has no tenability to anyone who doesn’t agree with your starting opinion.
I think Greyhawk is a fascinating setting, with huge playability AND includes so many aspects of D&D’s history which can resonate today and celebrate the big anniversary. It also includes a number which need to be updated; hence my view that an updated Greyhawk is totally appropriate as a 50th Anniversary setting.
I don’t expect you to agree because your start view is very different, but, heh, that’s why we have forums.
 

Stormonu

Legend
The thing about Greyhawk is that the only thing that's really interesting today is that it's a perfect representation of early 80's DnD'isms. So how do you update something like that to the modern edition? If you try to keep things as unchanged as possible you end up with a setting that doesn't fit the game it's made for, but if you try to adapt everything to the latest edition then you get a setting that's mostly bland and boring.
Forgotten Realms is a bit more Reniassance-era (1500's to 1600's) campaign world, where Greyhawk is more Dark Age/Middle Age (1200-1400's). Lower instances of available magic (most of it's magic has been "lost") and a bit "dirtier" or "grittier", with the various countries on the edge of starting big wars. FR is well explored - Greyhawk is filled with abandoned ruins and uninhabited areas. In FR, NPCs are available to help everywhere and are powerful. In Greyhawk, you're on your own - but rarely the biggest fish in the pond.
 

Hussar

Legend
It's generally DMs who buy setting books, not players. So I don't think many sales would be lost to players who won't buy a setting without gnomes, since they wouldn't buy it even if it had gnomes.
OTOH, if the DM says, "Hey, what about a new campaign in Setting X? " and the players say they're not interested because the race palate is too restricted, then, well, the DM doesn't buy that book.

And, frankly, I'm not sure that the old saw about only DM's buy books holds much water anymore considering the unbelievable sales of pretty much any D&D book. When the modules are hitting double digits on Amazon, there's an awful lot of DM's out there.
 

Hussar

Legend
And the Twins, and Raists whole arc through both trilogies, and Sturm, and the Elves racism, and the whole background of the gods absence, the whole basis of the setting.

Could you shift the tone and market for kids? Absolutely. GW has books for kids now...

Should they? I don't think so.
What do you mean "shift"? Dragonlance was ALWAYS very, very definitively YA fiction. It's in the same wheelhouse as Harry Potter. What adult themes are there in Dragonlance? There's no swearing, there's no drug or alcohol abuse, the morality is extremely simplistic, the language in the books is straight up 5th grade English. There's nothing adult at all about DL.
 

Hussar

Legend
I have to ask, as a classic Ravenloft fan from the fan from the 90's, what did you actually like about it that is still there now? Huge swaths of the setting havery either been erased or changed in large ways, and its literary foundations exemplify the problematic elements so many people have a problem with now. Do you just like horror roleplaying in general, or were you fond of the "weekend in hell" style from before it was a setting? I legit dont get it.
I wasn't a Ravenloft fan - I did play the first module way, way back, but, that was about it. The 5e Ravenloft module was just that good. That's the gold standard for how to write horror in D&D.
 

Hussar

Legend
The thing about Greyhawk is that the only thing that's really interesting today is that it's a perfect representation of early 80's DnD'isms. So how do you update something like that to the modern edition? If you try to keep things as unchanged as possible you end up with a setting that doesn't fit the game it's made for, but if you try to adapt everything to the latest edition then you get a setting that's mostly bland and boring.
Umm, you do realize that there is a whole AP in Greyhawk for 5e right? Saltmarsh is pretty popular as an AP. Did pretty darn well and appears to be pretty well supported both on Reddit and in DM's Guild. Looking over on Amazon, it appears to be one of the most popular modules for 5e, still beating out newer releases like Icewind Dale.

Again, considering there is a pretty strong, healthy community for 5e Greyhawk that is producing rather a lot of product, I'm not sure you can really claim that.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I like the 4e take on it--Kalak is dead and Tyr is a troubled free city (so the grimdark isn't quite so relentless), but the sillier stuff from the metaplot hasn't happened.
4e had a pretty good take on Dark Sun considering how it completely removed all the Divine power source classes from the setting, including the Cleric. No need to shoehorn Clerics into the setting with Elemental gods. The Primal classes - e.g., Druid, Shaman, Warden, etc. - were IMHO more appropriate for the setting's tones and themes.
 

I wasn't a Ravenloft fan - I did play the first module way, way back, but, that was about it. The 5e Ravenloft module was just that good. That's the gold standard for how to write horror in D&D.
See, this is why I responded directly. Faolyn said she was a fan of the original setting, but to me what was updated ruined the best parts of the setting so I was curious what about the old setting she liked (as she is a fan of the new stuff). If you just like the new stuff, I pretty much know where you stand already.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I am not the target audience for setting books, since I always make my own settings.

So to get me to buy a setting book, I think WotC would have to do what they are doing with Strixhaven:

Introduce a new mode of play.

For Strixhaven, the conceit of playing students in a magic academy is so different than base D&D that it actually makes me want to buy the book!

So if they focused Darksun on Survival, or Dragonlance on "novelistic, character-focused play," or Spelljammer as Exploration, it would get me interested.

To quote some posters, if it's just Forgotten Realms in a funny hat, I can do that on my own!
 

Planescape - A mix of everything: new adventure, classes, spells, and a esoteric rules.
Dragonlance - I really want them to just do an adventure. No need to go into detail about kinders or flying dragonborn. Just write an adventure path, and when writing it, show the differences within the setting. No need to explain. Try a different approach. I think Dragonlance is the perfect opportunity to show how a different realm works within the adventure without having the setting book.
Darksun - Just a setting book please. No adventure. Just maps, environment, areas, spells, classes, races, etc.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Absolutely. I loved those things about the old setting too. I just feel too much of that was lost in the reboot. But, like everyone says, I still have my old stuff. No reason to yuck anyone else's yum.
Earlier on, I had decided that I wasn't going to by any 5e Ravenloft books unless they were sufficiently different (I had gotten CoS and didn't really like it; I've had to make a lot of changes to make it sufficiently horrific for me, and at the time I was really shocked by the stuff they didn't include). So since the VGR is really different, it gives me two sources to draw from.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I am not the target audience for setting books, since I always make my own settings.
Oddly enough, I also always make my own settings, but my favorite type of D&D books are settings, as I enjoy reading them.
So to get me to buy a setting book, I think WotC would have to do what they are doing with Strixhaven:

Introduce a new mode of play.

For Strixhaven, the conceit of playing students in a magic academy is so different than base D&D that it actually makes me want to buy the book!

So if they focused Darksun on Survival, or Dragonlance on "novelistic, character-focused play," or Spelljammer as Exploration, it would get me interested.

To quote some posters, if it's just Forgotten Realms in a funny hat, I can do that on my own!
I like this - with "mode" being a broad term that could also include sub-genre, theme and flavor.

So Dark Sun isn't simply "survival," it is also post-apocalyptic, dark fantasy, and sword & sorcery.

Meaning, the "mode" arises from within a context of theme, genre, and flavor.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The thing about Greyhawk is that the only thing that's really interesting today is that it's a perfect representation of early 80's DnD'isms.

You speaking for the world, then? You get to proclaim what is, and is not, interesting for... everyone? Or, do you want to leave some room for others to see things you don't?
So how do you update something like that to the modern edition?

I have no idea. But, if you asked me how to turn Shrek into a good Broadway musical, I wouldn't have known that, either - but someone did.

The job, for us, it not to know how to do it - the job for us is to not be closed-minded to the possibility.
 

You speaking for the world, then? You get to proclaim what is, and is not, interesting for... everyone? Or, do you want to leave some room for others to see things you don't?


I have no idea. But, if you asked me how to turn Shrek into a good Broadway musical, I wouldn't have known that, either - but someone did.

The job, for us, it not to know how to do it - the job for us is to not be closed-minded to the possibility.
You know, I get what you're saying, but it's impossible to have a decent debate if you're fine with any opinion and aren't allowed to express how you feel about something. If you feel Greyhawk is a perfect expression of 80's gaming and don't think it should be messed with, what's wrong with feeling that way? People having different opinions about something, as long as they're civil about it, is what forums are for, imo.
 



J.Quondam

CR 1/8
What do you mean "shift"? Dragonlance was ALWAYS very, very definitively YA fiction. It's in the same wheelhouse as Harry Potter. What adult themes are there in Dragonlance? There's no swearing, there's no drug or alcohol abuse, the morality is extremely simplistic, the language in the books is straight up 5th grade English. There's nothing adult at all about DL.
So, apropos of nothing, but this just reminded me of my only brush with DL in all these years...
I never read the DL books, except for the first one or two way back when I was in high school in the late 80s. I abandoned it only because that was all the library had, and I never got around to reading the rest. It left virtually no impression on me at all, except for one little scene/snippet of dialog. I don't even really recall the characters (one was a wizard type - Raistlin, I assume - and the other some sort of dragon-riding warrior). The exchange went something like this:
Her: What do wizards wear beneath their robes?
Him: Very little. What do dragon-riders wear beneath their armor?
Her: Nothing at all...
Bow chicka bow wow!
Perhaps I'm misremembering that? Anyway, that just popped into my mind when I read your post here, and it gave me a little chuckle.
 

guachi

Adventurer
Yeah, there's bad stuff in the setting. That's important to set the right tone. But the overall tone? 100% Kid Friendly.

I would -happily- hand Dragons of Autumn Twilight to an 8 year old. It's how old I was when I read it.

Like still write the children's book about a girl finding a dragon and going all "How to Train Your Dragon" and stuff. Make it hit harder by having the dragon be a Blue or a Green and the kid grow up to be a Dragonlord.

But the setting itself? Just hand it to young D&D players as their intro to the game. They don't -have- to play Sturm or Kitiara or Flint.

I was 10 when Dragons of Autumn Twilight was released. It is 100% a kid-friendly series of books. I agree that Dragonlance, more than most D&D settings, is great for younger players. I doubt WotC will go this route but it's a great way to play to the strengths of Dragonlance and separate it from other settings.

I even asked Tracy Hickman at Dragon Con a few years ago (where he signed my copies Rahasia, Pharaoh, and a Top Secret: SI adventure) if Dragonlance was aimed at younger readers and he said they basically were.
 
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Scribe

Hero
Folks, I'm not saying it couldnt be appropriate for young readers. I was in Grade 5 or 6 when I first read it.

I'm saying 'Train your Dragon' isnt what I think of when I think of DL.

That said, going back to the original post that kicked off this tangent, I see now that I misread it, and yes you could totally have a split off line aimed at kids via books or comics.

So, I was incorrect in what the line was aiming to provide. :D
 

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