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

Hussar

Legend
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
Couple of things.

1. Train Your Dragon 3 is PG-13. It has, apparently, drugs, sexual content and naughty language. IOW, it's more adult content than Dragonlance.

2. Dragonlance at the time was marketed to the YA fantasy crowd. DL was never intended as an adult series. The primary audience for DL was the same as Harry Potter, or, now, How to Train Your Dragon. I'm frankly rather baffled how you came to the idea that DL was meant for an older audience.

So, with that in mind, why do you think that DL is a mature audience series?
 

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Scribe

Hero
Couple of things.

1. Train Your Dragon 3 is PG-13. It has, apparently, drugs, sexual content and naughty language. IOW, it's more adult content than Dragonlance.

2. Dragonlance at the time was marketed to the YA fantasy crowd. DL was never intended as an adult series. The primary audience for DL was the same as Harry Potter, or, now, How to Train Your Dragon. I'm frankly rather baffled how you came to the idea that DL was meant for an older audience.

So, with that in mind, why do you think that DL is a mature audience series?
I'm not saying its mature audience, what I was saying it isnt, is something to be marketed to 8 year old.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'm not saying its mature audience, what I was saying it isnt, is something to be marketed to 8 year old.
You mean like, say, Harry Potter? 8 is the first year for Hogwarts (or is it 9?). Seemed to work pretty well.

What do you think a product for an 8-10 year old looks like?
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You know, I get what you're saying, but it's impossible to have a decent debate

First off, not all discussion needs to be "debate".

Nor do I think this really qualifies as a debate- the argument form is one-sided. It was posited that the setting could/should be updated, and I saw people rejecting that posit, but I haven't seen a solid substantive reason why not. Like, is there harm done, or something?

The fact that some people like it the way it is, and might not like an update, is not substantive.
 


Quickleaf

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.

We had a whole thread on pitching the Greyhawk reboot. Here were my thoughts on a "Greyhawk Worldbuilder's Guide", re-posted from there, along with the Gygax quote that inspired my thinking:


"When I was asked by TSR to do my World of Greyhawk as a commercial product I was taken aback. I had assumed most DMs would far prefer to use their own world settings. …
The relatively low level of NPCs, and the balance between alignments was done on purpose so as facilitate the use of the world setting by all DMs. With a basically neutral environment, the direction of the individual campaign was squarely in the hands of the DM running it."

ENWorld, Q&A with Gary Gygax part 4, 2003

What would the 5e Greyhawk book look like?
  • Worldbuilder's/Adventure Writer's Guide: Despite approximately half the fanbase preferring homebrew settings, we don't yet have a "worldbuilder's guide" or "guide to making adventures" for 5e. Everything from the direction of rivers & where mountain rain shadows fall to how to craft a compelling faction as an antagonist (perhaps using the Scarlet Brotherhood as an example) & how to hook more mercenary-minded players beyond gold. The DMG is a great introduction, but this could go much deeper and provide templates useful to newer and experienced DMs alike. And this harkens to Gary Gygax's sentiment that each DM should make the setting their own.
  • Fill-in-the-Blanks/Random Tables: With different views among the Greyhawk fanbase, and with Forgotten Realms as a setting heavily drenched in canon, perhaps embracing a more "OSR playbook" approach to mysteries & edges of the map might be a way to make something broadly appealing and also distinctive. The wonder of random tables is that they also give newer or time-harried DMs something to hang their creativity on when fleshing out the unknown & also present an avenue for those intimately familiar with Greyhawk to present their ideas as possibilities rather than canonical fact.
  • Starting Towns/Short Adventures: One of the most essential parts of a new D&D game, and one which can involve plenty of elbow grease, is the starting town – as brilliantly realized in Hommlet – so a hypothetical book could include a couple potential starting towns each with a single-session adventure to get you started.
  • DMG 2: There are many places where rules and narrative inform one another, such as prevalence of higher-level NPCs, or how spells are created, where there is room to go beyond the existing resources. We've seen little piecemeal approaches to this in Xanathar's Guide to Everything and Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, but this hypothetical book would be the place to take a deep dive into how house rules & rules interpretations affect your setting.
  • Nostalgia Meets Streaming: By using recognizable NPCs from Greyhawk lore (Circle of Eight, Eclavdra, Lum the Mad) as examples of how to design antagonists, allies, and quest-givers, or using the Free City of Greyhawk as a template for city design, inspire a culture of creation and design which newer gamers can show off in DMs Guild or on various livestreams.
 

Faolyn

Hero
We had a whole thread on pitching the Greyhawk reboot. Here were my thoughts on a "Greyhawk Worldbuilder's Guide", re-posted from there, along with the Gygax quote that inspired my thinking:
While what you wrote is really awesome and something I definitely think is worth making and buying, it's... well, it's a Worldbuilder's Guide that uses Greyhawk as its examples. It's not a Greyhawk reboot, though, which is what Sorcerers Apprentice was looking for.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
While what you wrote is really awesome and something I definitely think is worth making and buying, it's... well, it's a Worldbuilder's Guide that uses Greyhawk as its examples. It's not a Greyhawk reboot, though, which is what Sorcerers Apprentice was looking for.
I suppose that's right, yes. Sort of in the same way that Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft used various domains of dread as examples of various types of horror, but also had sections devoted to generally covering each of those types of horror. Here's the principles... and here's the example.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Couple of things.

1. Train Your Dragon 3 is PG-13. It has, apparently, drugs, sexual content and naughty language. IOW, it's more adult content than Dragonlance.

2. Dragonlance at the time was marketed to the YA fantasy crowd. DL was never intended as an adult series. The primary audience for DL was the same as Harry Potter, or, now, How to Train Your Dragon. I'm frankly rather baffled how you came to the idea that DL was meant for an older audience.

So, with that in mind, why do you think that DL is a mature audience series?

I haven't followed the whole exchange, but the last part of what you said here caught my attention.

I would dare say that Young Adult books from that time period were open to exploring themes which might be viewed as inappropriate for contemporary YA.

I'd be surprised to see Black Cauldron made into a Disney film today -despite it being toned down from the books.
 

Hussar

Legend
I haven't followed the whole exchange, but the last part of what you said here caught my attention.

I would dare say that Young Adult books from that time period were open to exploring themes which might be viewed as inappropriate for contemporary YA.

I'd be surprised to see Black Cauldron made into a Disney film today -despite it being toned down from the books.
I'd say you have it backwards actually.

YA fiction now is far, far more open to exploring themes than it was back then. Again, pointing at Harry Potter, you have multiple on-screen deaths, romance, drug use, racism, and a host of other themes you would never have seen back then. It's actually gotten to the point where the line between YA fiction and A fiction is far more blurry than it used to be.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I'd say you have it backwards actually.

YA fiction now is far, far more open to exploring themes than it was back then. Again, pointing at Harry Potter, you have multiple on-screen deaths, romance, drug use, racism, and a host of other themes you would never have seen back then. It's actually gotten to the point where the line between YA fiction and A fiction is far more blurry than it used to be.

If that's the overall trend, it's surprising to me.

A lot of the books I read while younger (and shows I watched) now have warnings attached to them. Heck, in terms of D&D, I think all of the topics you mention were in the books I read.

But that's anecdotal experience, so it probably just comes down to what I had access to versus what others have read.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
If that's the overall trend, it's surprising to me.

A lot of the books I read while younger (and shows I watched) now have warnings attached to them. Heck, in terms of D&D, I think all of the topics you mention were in the books I read.

But that's anecdotal experience, so it probably just comes down to what I had access to versus what others have read.
Compare the Heroes of the Lance trilogy to The Hunger Games.

In the latter you've got love triangles, systemic oppression, implausible societal structures, a capitalist superclass who literally kills off teenagers for people's amusement, and just. So. Many. Senseless. Deaths.

From one of the teens committing suicide to Rue's end they're gut-wrenching and pretty horrible. And then, of course, the protagonist decides to let herself be used and pulled into the "Survivor's Circle", basically, for propaganda and... Yeah.

It's comparatively horrendous to what the War of the Lance contained.
 

I'd say you have it backwards actually.

YA fiction now is far, far more open to exploring themes than it was back then. Again, pointing at Harry Potter, you have multiple on-screen deaths, romance, drug use, racism, and a host of other themes you would never have seen back then. It's actually gotten to the point where the line between YA fiction and A fiction is far more blurry than it used to be.
Even so, referring to a novel as YA when not labeled as such can be seen as a diminutive. Like telling someone that the thing they like is just for kids (and implying that the fan is immature for enjoying it). Maybe people are just defending a story they like.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Compare the Heroes of the Lance trilogy to The Hunger Games.

In the latter you've got love triangles, systemic oppression, implausible societal structures, a capitalist superclass who literally kills off teenagers for people's amusement, and just. So. Many. Senseless. Deaths.

From one of the teens committing suicide to Rue's end they're gut-wrenching and pretty horrible. And then, of course, the protagonist decides to let herself be used and pulled into the "Survivor's Circle", basically, for propaganda and... Yeah.

It's comparatively horrendous to what the War of the Lance contained.

I suppose it depends in how you look at it.

Most of what you mentioned wouldn't be out of place in books I read.

Love triangles, oppression, death, and such isn't out of place for even just Dragonlance.

I think it's fair to say aspects of Dragonlance are more whimsical in parts. Though, that would also be true when comparing DL to other books I read around the same time.

Hunger Games doesn't seem particularly worse to me. The ideas being presented are just different and in a different genre.
 

DarkCrisis

Adventurer
They will change things to be more agreeable. IE Dark Sun may not have massive slavery. Dragonlance may not have that all Kender are kleptos or all Gnomes are Tinker Gnomes. Takhisis isnt an evil goddess, shes just misunderstood.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Dragonlance may not have that all Kender are kleptos or all Gnomes are Tinker Gnomes. Takhisis isnt an evil goddess, shes just misunderstood.
One of these things is not like the other.

Takhisis is an individual. She can be as evil as you want her to be.

But kender and gnomes are races of people. Even if you ignore that they're both pretty dumbly written (kender claim to not understand private property or experience fear but steal everything for themselves and lie about it if asked; gnomes think any gnome who makes something that works is insane), they're still entire groups of people, and it's ridiculous to assume that they're all exactly the same.
 

They will change things to be more agreeable. IE Dark Sun may not have massive slavery. Dragonlance may not have that all Kender are kleptos or all Gnomes are Tinker Gnomes. Takhisis isnt an evil goddess, shes just misunderstood.
I think that you are might far off base lifting kender up so far as to insult mere kleptos with that comparison. ;)
 

DarkCrisis

Adventurer
One of these things is not like the other.

Takhisis is an individual. She can be as evil as you want her to be.

But kender and gnomes are races of people. Even if you ignore that they're both pretty dumbly written (kender claim to not understand private property or experience fear but steal everything for themselves and lie about it if asked; gnomes think any gnome who makes something that works is insane), they're still entire groups of people, and it's ridiculous to assume that they're all exactly the same.

There are actually lore reasons why Gnomes are all tinkerers (in a fashion) and all Kender feel wanderlust and "borrow" things and why Dwarvesa ll like to create things etc.

You can't say it doesnt make sense when the in game lore reason is literally "god magic makes them do it".
 

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