D&D 5E Humblewood: A New Third-Party Setting on D&D Beyond

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Following November's inclusion of Dungeons of Drakkenheim and Lairs of Etharis, another third-party setting has been added to D&D Beyond. From Hit Point Press, Humblewood, a setting which features new birdfolk player races, made a million dollars on Kickstarter back in April 2019. You can buy it from DDB for $39.99

In the world of Everden, nestled between the mighty Crest mountain range and the vast marshes of the Mokk Fields, lies a mystical forest known as Humblewood that hums with the Great Rhythm of nature. Now the fires have come, and the Woods have been thrown into chaos. Even in these dark times, brave heroes can be found within the Wood. Will you answer the call?

Welcome to Humblewood, a campaign setting where you get to adventure as birds and other woodland critters. Come and discover the mystery behind all the forest fires, is it the Bandit Coalition or something even more nefarious? Explore the verdant forest within:
  • Embody the Great Rhythm of nature by selecting between 10 new playable Races and 4 new subclasses from within the D&D Beyond character builder
  • Empower your characters with 3 new backgrounds, 7 new feats, 10 new spells, and over 20 new magic items
  • Expand your DM toolkit with more than 50 new monsters in the D&D Beyond Encounters tool and 11 new maps for use with D&D Beyond Maps
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
It kind of looks like WotC is pursuing a two-pronged approach to the digital future of D&D, with Beyond sort of gradually turning more towards being a traditional VTT and opening up to 3PPs and so on, and the still-being-built 3D VTT seemingly taking a much more radical approach, focused more on microtransactions.
It's also a way to elevate/reward publishers who aren't doing things WotC doesn't like, like publishing their own house systems or 5E rulesets, while depriving those who are of a bonus revenue stream. So benevolent-ish at best.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Humblewood, Drakkenheim, and Etharis all have one thing in common, in that they cover genres and tropes that current D&D products don't quite hit: cozy-core and dark fantasy. I think future DDB collaborations will focus on genre-heavy products, with unique settings, and professional-level art. I could totally see Planegea getting in there, or Broken Weave by Cubicle 7 (prehistoric and post-apocalyptic, respectively--two huge genres so far not covered by D&D 5e). With that news the other day of WotC's future plans to make some "Universes Beyond" stuff for DDB, I could even see them trying to get Lord of the Rings 5e in there.
If Cubicle 7 gets invited into D&D Beyond, that'll tell us a lot, since they're kind of sort of (it's still not 100% clear what their plans are) creating their own 5E DMG replacement in addition to all of their supplemental 5E books.

Also, who do we have to, er, bribe to get the Monster Manuals Expanded into D&D Beyond already?
 

WotC could be interested into several 3PPs but they need to earn the trust by the other side.

And I suspect the software of D&D Beyond is not ready yet to add classes by 3PPs.

I have bought the Spanish-translations of Iron Kingdoms: Requiem and Adventures in Rokugan, and I love them, but I am afraid those new classes haven't been designed to be played in other settings.
 


It's also a way to elevate/reward publishers who aren't doing things WotC doesn't like, like publishing their own house systems or 5E rulesets, while depriving those who are of a bonus revenue stream. So benevolent-ish at best.
Oh don't worry I don't see it as benevolent, it surely is not - it's just another revenue stream and they're seeing how it pans out. Hell, if the 3D VTT is successful enough* without 3PP materials as WotC owns Beyond they may even just shut it down in favour of the 3D VTT - which may sound dumb but it absolutely something companies have done before.

* = full disclosure my personal current prediction is that the 3D VTT will either get cancelled before release like the previous 3D VTT, or fail to make back what they've spent on it even over its lifespan, thus I think this is unlikely.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Oh don't worry I don't see it as benevolent, it surely is not - it's just another revenue stream and they're seeing how it pans out. Hell, if the 3D VTT is successful enough* without 3PP materials as WotC owns Beyond they may even just shut it down in favour of the 3D VTT - which may sound dumb but it absolutely something companies have done before.

* = full disclosure my personal current prediction is that the 3D VTT will either get cancelled before release like the previous 3D VTT, or fail to make back what they've spent on it even over its lifespan, thus I think this is unlikely.
They may not have much of a choice. It depends on how much of D&D is currently played online vs at the table and the future of AR/VR.
I have been watching a couple of Apple's AR/VR headset and it would appear that the biggest obstacles to adoption are the price and weight of the headset.
It is possible that within 10 years such headsets might be the principal way of accessing the net for a lot of people. If that is the case then if Wizards does not have an established 3d vtt by then, somebody else will and they will be the principal marketplace for this type of entertainment. Wizards are in a stronger position if they own their principal marketplace than being a supplier to someone else's marketplace.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I admit I am a little surprised, but not too much. My opinion is Humblewood is very close to Hasbro's plans D&D to become a brand for all the audiences.

WotC saves the effort to create new PC species, and 3PP find in D&DB the best showcase for their titles.

If I had discarded the idea of Humblewood in D&DB is because I thought WotC wouldn't need more if they create from zero a new IP: Broomburrow (one of the future new planes for Magic: the Gathering in this year).

* Do we bet about toys based in Humblewood PC species by Hasbro? Maybe even a children-friendly cartoon.
I wonder if the invite of the humanimal setting, has something to do with the humanimal Aardling species not surviving the playtest for 2024.
 

I have been watching a couple of Apple's AR/VR headset and it would appear that the biggest obstacles to adoption are the price and weight of the headset.
Those are two major obstacles, but there are huge problems with VR and AR headsets causing motion sickness in huge proportions of individuals. Gender and ethnicity seem to play significant roles in these - East Asian people seem to particularly vulnerable - I understand this is also true of motion sickness in general - and they're largest population group on this planet! Women also experience far worse and more motion sickness from VR/AR headsets than men, and again, majority of people on the planet! Also them causing headaches, dry eyes, and other problems in others.

So you can theoretically solve weight and price - though people have been saying it'll be solved "within 10 years" for 12 years now and it actually seems to be getting worse (price-wise at least) - but even then you have a device that somewhere between 30-60% of people (some estimates are even higher) find nauseating and/or extremely painful or unpleasant to use. Now, there are studies showing that if you continue to heavily use a VR/AR device despite it causing nausea, you do tend to eventually largely push through it (though weak nausea often remains) - but this requires weeks of self-conditioning, of intentionally subjecting yourself to potentially very extreme nausea on a multiple-times-a-day basis. Headaches/migraines and eye issues seem to intractable - if you get them you may have better luck with a different product or not, but they won't go away.

It does not escape my notice that white men aged 20-50 are the group least likely to have problems with VR/AR group evangelizing for everyone being forced to use VR/AR.

I suspect we'll see useful AR eventually, and even solve the nausea issues, but I suspect we're talking more like 20, 30 or more years than 10. 10 won't even solve the weight problems without some drastic new tech appearing. Indeed I think any real improvements won't be iterative, they'll be from taking a fundamentally different technological approach.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Those are two major obstacles, but there are huge problems with VR and AR headsets causing motion sickness in huge proportions of individuals. Gender and ethnicity seem to play significant roles in these - East Asian people seem to particularly vulnerable - I understand this is also true of motion sickness in general - and they're largest population group on this planet! Women also experience far worse and more motion sickness from VR/AR headsets than men, and again, majority of people on the planet! Also them causing headaches, dry eyes, and other problems in others.

So you can theoretically solve weight and price - though people have been saying it'll be solved "within 10 years" for 12 years now and it actually seems to be getting worse (price-wise at least) - but even then you have a device that somewhere between 30-60% of people (some estimates are even higher) find nauseating and/or extremely painful or unpleasant to use. Now, there are studies showing that if you continue to heavily use a VR/AR device despite it causing nausea, you do tend to eventually largely push through it (though weak nausea often remains) - but this requires weeks of self-conditioning, of intentionally subjecting yourself to potentially very extreme nausea on a multiple-times-a-day basis. Headaches/migraines and eye issues seem to intractable - if you get them you may have better luck with a different product or not, but they won't go away.

It does not escape my notice that white men aged 20-50 are the group least likely to have problems with VR/AR group evangelizing for everyone being forced to use VR/AR.

I suspect we'll see useful AR eventually, and even solve the nausea issues, but I suspect we're talking more like 20, 30 or more years than 10. 10 won't even solve the weight problems without some drastic new tech appearing. Indeed I think any real improvements won't be iterative, they'll be from taking a fundamentally different technological approach.
That is interesting, I was not aware that the issues were that severe or concentrated in particular populations. Do you have any link to a good overview on the topic?
 


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