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Keith Baker asks about walking away from Eberron.


I crit!
I NEVER thought I'd see this.

I’m facing a difficult decision, and I’d like to get your opinion on it.

I love Eberron. There are many corners of the setting I've yet to explore and many details I’ve imagined that I’ve yet to share. But the simple fact is that it’s not mine. Eberron is wholly owned by Wizards of the Coast, and that limits what I can do with it. If I make a sourcebook or adventure, it has to be sold on the DM’s Guild, with everything that entails. I can’t write a new Eberron novel. Twogether Studios makes card games, but I can’t create a card game for Eberron. And, of course, I can’t create Eberron content for any system other than D&D. Beyond this, none of us know what is going to happen with Hasbro and WotC over the next year. What if they decide to stop allowing community-created Eberron content? Eberron is my best-known creation and D&D is currently the most widespread system, but there are limits and risks to putting all of my creative energy into developing content I don’t actually own.

Over the last three years I’ve been working on Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold. This adds a new layer to the setting—wandslingers and westerns—as well as creating new locations and adding details to places largely undeveloped in canon. Which raises the question: does it need to be in Eberron? Threshold is a town that doesn’t exist in canon Eberron, mining a resource that doesn’t exist in canon Eberron, next to a trade road that canonically is in a different location, using wandslinging rules that aren’t part of core D&D. It’s intentionally beyond the parts of the setting that have been well defined. The core concept is that it’s set on the border between a nation shaped by wide magic and a nation shaped by wide monster. But given that it’s largely adding more to Eberron canon than it’s drawing on… does it need to be in Eberron?

If I decide to take Frontiers in a new direction, it won’t just be Eberron with the names changed. I love creating worlds, and if I do this I’m going to create something new. It would explore some of the same themes as Eberron, but it will also explore cultures, concepts, and themes that don’t exist in Eberron. It would draw on other ideas that I’ve been working over the last few years that were never tied to Eberron. It would still focus on a frontier between industry and mystery, between magic and monsters. It would still be Threshold. But it wouldn’t be Eberron.

If I do this, it doesn’t mean that I’ll be abandoning Eberron. I’d still answer questions and write iFAQs, and I'd want to share outtakes from Frontiers that wouldn’t translate to a new setting. But I’ll be doing less Eberron because I’ll be devoting my creative energy toward creating the new frontier. However, it also means that you’ll be along for the ride as I create that new world, and get to see pieces of it as it comes together.

So. You are all my patrons. What do YOU want to see? Would you prefer that I remain focused on Eberron, even if that means it’s restricted to DM’s Guild and Dungeons & Dragons? Or are you interested in seeing what I will do with a new Frontier? Again, I’m not going to be bound by the results of this poll—but knowing your gut reaction to this idea is important to me.

You have to be patron to see the post. I'd screen shot it, but I'm not in a place I can do it at the moment. :(
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A couple weeks ago I had lunch with him and this kinda came up. He mentioned how WotC owns the IP, and as a creative, you could just tell by looking at him as a fellow creative that the fires were burning to create more under his own rules (not mechanics, but more of doing it his way).

He talked about how he was itching at creating something new and not owned by WotC, but certainly didn’t regret the decision to give his IP to them (we would have all done the same if given the opportunity)

He’s a genuine human being. Great guy, and definitely has a love for the hobby.
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Glade Riven

I think it is a good idea to branch out. I love the Eberron setting but WotC doesn't have much love for it. Oh, I understand the business logic - much of what made Eberron unique has been pulled into either core or into other settings (I'm glaring at you, Ravinica).

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