log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Musings on the likelihood of future products

Mercurius

Legend
There's been a ton of speculation about the future of the D&D line, so at the risk of re-hashing discussions, I wanted to present a different way of approaching the subject.

I'm going to present a list of possible products that I think there is some chance of Wizards of the Coast publishing at some point, with a color-coded key of likelihood.

Key:
Almost Definite
- I would be very, very surprised if this didn't happen at some point.
Very Likely - Seems almost definite, but with an edge of doubt; meaning, while I think we'll almost definitely see this in some form or fashion, unlike the first category, I can envision a scenario--though unlikely--where it doesn't happen.
Likely - We'll probably see coverage, at least in some form. Maybe not soon, but it will probably happen.
Maybe - Could go either way.
Unlikely - I mean, it could happen, but given limited production, I don't think it will happen...at least not in the foreseeable future.
Snowball's Chance - It might have its fans, but the chances of seeing official support are almost nil, unless the context changes.

THE LIST
SOMETHING UNEXPECTED -
My first item on the list might seem a bit of a sneaky way of qualifying the rest of the list, but I wanted to mention it because one of the characteristics of 5E is that there have been suprises. Ravnica (and Theros) was a surprise, the Volo's/Mordenkainen's format was a surprise, as was Wildemount. I think it almost certain that we'll see more surprises...could we see an entirely new setting? A science fiction game? Post-apocalyptic science-fantasy? A reboot of various classic settings? An Advanced D&D tactical book? I wouldn't bet on any of these specific examples, but they're just examples of the type of suprises that could happen, and the ponit is that something surprising almost definitely will.

(MORE) MAGIC SETTINGS - Other than the not-worth-mentioning adventure books (because they're an absolute certainty), this is the most likely specific category on this list. We'll definitely be seeing more of the Magic-verse, maybe as many as one setting book a year (Ravnica and Theros are 20 months apart, originally 18, so I would expect the next Magic setting after Theros to be end of 2021, or early 2022 at the latest). Based upon the Rabiah Scale, and the fact that WotC's first two are among the five highest rated worlds, it would seem that the most likely to see publication are Dominaria, Innistrad, and Zendikar, which fill out the top five; next likely would be Eldriane and Ikoria...and so on. The point being, Magic settings books seem to be a new product line, perhaps on an annual basis.

As a side note, I do think it is possible--even likely--that we'll eventually see an entirely new Magic setting, perhaps a collaborative effort between the Magic and D&D sections of WotC, a true "WotC media event." Think about it: it makes too much sense not to happen.

MANUAL OF THE PLANES/PLANESCAPE - It seems like a foregone conclusion, considering that the planes are probably the single-most beloved aspect of D&D canon that hasn't yet been touched by 5E. This is compounded by endless rumors and the simple fact that planes are a popular aspect of the game (and we Gen Xers love our Sigil). I'm guessing it is a three-book affair: a Manual of the Planes overview/splat a shorter Shemeska's Guide to Sigil setting book, and a story arc or adventure compilation in the planes. ETA: Any day now...but I would guess 2021, or maybe 2022.

DARK SUN - Even though I have a penchant for reminding my fellow grognards and quasi-grognards that we're now a minority, with a new majority of younger players for whom "Greyhawk" is like vinyl and "Mystara" like cassette tapes, I do find myself convinced by the reverant tone with which folks here and in similar places speak of Dark Sun--that its publication is a near-certainty. I think we'll see Planescape first, but Dark Sun will be after that. ETA: 2022.

XANATHAR 2 - (By a different name, of course...I like @darjr 's idea of Xagyg's Unearthed Arcana). We don't know what will be in it--whether psionics, epic rules, revised ranger-sorcerer-druid, or whatnot, but it will almost certainly happen at some point. As an aside, it could be that "Xanathar's 2" is some kind of Dark Sun Player's Guide, complete with psionics, and a smattering of epic rules via dragon-kings and agathion. ETA: 2021-22.

REVISED/50th ANNIVERSARY CORE RULEBOOKS - By "revised" I meanly lightly revised, and fully backwards compatible. It could be anything from "errata plus" with a few rules clarifications, new art, and a few new bells and whistles, to a "5.2" revision with some rules tweaking, new versions of certain classes, etc. ETA: 2024.

PSIONICS - While I think psionics is very likely, I placed it a rank below because the big question is when. WotC doesn't seem to have found the right formula in their mystic/psion attempts, or at least not to wide appeal. But they'll get it eventually. One would think. ETA: 2022-23.

SPELLJAMMER - It is clear that Spelljammer is more in the minds of the D&D team than it was in 3E or 4E days. I personally think we'll first see it as an alternate cosmology in a Planes book; if it proves to be popular, possibly a full treatment to follow - but not for awhile. ETA: 2021 (Planes book), 2022 or later, if ever (full treatment).

EXANDRIA - Wildemount might be it, but I could also see them doing a full treatment of the Gwessar continent, and/or possibly Issylra-Marquet and other lands. However they proceed, I don't think we're done with Exandria. Critical Role is really popular and, assuming Wildemount did well, I see no reason why they wouldn't flesh out the world further. ETA: 2022.

RAVENLOFT - The only thing keeping me from rating this in the Likely category is Innistrad, which is one of the most popular Magic settings (and what I think Perkins meant by his "If you like Ravenloft" comment). So while a fuller treatment of the setting is possible, I think a journey to Innistrad is more probable.

FIEND FOLIO - How can they not re-use this name? We'll almost certainly see another monster book at some point, so why not Fiend Folio?

ORIENTAL/ASIAN ADVENTURES - Ninjas, samurai, ronin, katana...how can we do without all of this fun stuff? Well, we have so far - and remember that there hasn't been a dedicated Oriental Adventures book in almost two decades. But it could happen...perhaps alongside a re-vamped and properly Realms-ified Kara-Tur.

EPIC HANDBOOK - I think a dedicated Epic Handbook is less likely than a Xanathar's 2 (or 3) with epic rules. Maybe WotC trial runs the basics with dragon and agathion rules in a Dark Sun book, but of the major un-explored (or lightly treated) sub-systems, I think epic is behind planes and psionics in the queue, so we're probably at least a few years away.

FORGOTTEN REALMS SETTING BOOK(S) - It is hard to say, with three scenarios that I can see. One, they continue covering the Realms via adventure books and mini-gazetteers within the books. Two, they eventually move beyond the North and offer an Adventurer's Guide for the new region(s). Three, we get a full campaign guide. I could see any or all of the three occuring. I'd fold Al-Qadim and Kara-Tur into this category.

GREYHAWK - I've often said that as much as D&D Boomers (those of us who started playing in the early 80s) wax nostalgiac about Greyhawk, it seems kind of dated and out of place in today's context, like watching a Cecil B DeMille film (OK, not that extreme, but...). That said, I do think, we'll see something, with my prediction beinEveng connected to the 50th Anniversary in 2024. The dream would be a deluxe box set, with solid books of the World of Greyhawk, the City of Greyhawk, and a Castle Greyhawk adventure pa...sandbox, complete with cloth maps and other doo-dads. Hey, it could happen.

DRAGONLANCE - In a similar category as Greyhawk. With Greyhawk first really published in 1980, and Dragonlance only four years later, they are basically contemporaries, although feel like different eras, with Greyhawk borne of the halcyon 70s, and Dragonlance out of the booming times. But both are beloved, and Dragonlance probably translates a lot better to today. Taken on their own (contextual) merits, I think DL is more likely, but given GH's unique status as "the" classic D&D setting, it kind ,of evens out with both scoring as undecisive "Maybes." That said, my fearless prediction is the same for both, with deluxe box sets in 2024, the 50th anniversary of D&D and 40th of Dragonlance. I see the DL box including three books, as well: The World of Krynn, War of the Lance adventure path, and Dragonlance Players Guide. Probably not enough room for everything, but you never know.

NEW SETTING - With WotC publish a new setting other than Magic and Exandria? Who knows. I don't think so anytime soon, but it could happen at some point--especially if the Magic and Legacy setting lines remain popular; they could add a third line of new or other worlds. Perkins' Iomandra would be quite welcome.

NENTIR VALE/NERATH BOOK - This seems unlikely, with many of us still having a slight touch of melancholy about the shelved gazetteer. I would never say never, though, and it could fit into an "other worlds" line (see above).

MYSTARA - If Greyhawk and Dragonlance are maybes, then Mystara has to be unlikely. Or rather, it is unlikely now and in the foreseeable future, but things could open up for it if the edition is still thriving and other legacy setting products did well...let's revisit the idea in four or five years.

BIRTHRIGHT - More obscure than Mystara, but with a distinct mechanical theme that gives it an edge. Another setting that looks unlikely now, but could rise in a few years time.

COUNCIL OF WYRMS - Even more obscure, but it could make a great micro-setting/adventure path combo. In a box, of course. Still, rather unlikely.

GHOSTWALK, JAKANDOR, PELINORE, DRAGON print magazine, etc - A snowball has a chance, but...

OK, that was ridiculous but fun to muse on (although I tapered off there at the end).

Feel free to comment, agree, disagree, and--hopefully--add or make your own (color-coded) entries.

And as a bonus, how about this of ridiculously speculative fun:

1590662737138.png
 

Attachments

Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
ANYDAY NOW!
Explorer's Guide to Ivalice/Spira/Hyrule or whatever other JRPG setting is left unexploited by official TTRPGs. :p

C'mon, WotC, those games are the closest I've a had to a D&D video game experience since BG 1-2-Dark Alliance!
 

This seems like such solid and well-considered speculation that I don't have a whole lot to add. I would say the following though:

1) I think Spelljammer is more "Maybe" than "Likely". Spelljammer elements? I think those are very likely, but an actual Spelljammer campaign setting? I don't think that's likely at the moment. I think if they're considering it, they'll do a Spelljammer campaign-adventure first to gauge popularity.

2) Re: Innistrad/Ravenloft, I feel like Ravenloft getting more support is actually maybe slightly more likely. Innistrad is pretty one-note even by Magic settings standards, it's arguably more one-note than Ravenloft, which is quite an achievement. It's hard to see it as an actual campaign setting in the same way Theros or Ravnica or some other settings could be. Further, Ravenloft has the advantage in that it can be used in other campaigns. I actually don't think either is terribly likely.

3) Oriental/Asian adventures - Not going to happen. The era of specific real-world cultures being exoticised in this way is over, and it isn't because of people not accepting it or whatever, it's because they're simply not that exotic anymore. People have travelled, culture has travelled. Settings for various games, books, movies and so on routinely mash "Eastern" and "Western" elements together with little particular concern for their origin. Most of 5E works well for any cultural setting, too, as have most previous editions, so it's very hard to see what it could add. It's not something there's any real appetite for once the realities are considered and nostalgia/tradition-type stuff is removed. We equally won't see any specific real-world culture books by WotC for other regions of the world.

4) Epic handbook - I think this is one of those things that will increase in likelihood the longer 5E is out. However 5E's structure does mean it is I think far from certain.

C'mon, WotC, those games are the closest I've a had to a D&D video game experience since BG 1-2-Dark Alliance!
Somebody clearly skipped the Dragon Age games, Dark Souls, Dragon's Dogma, and so on. It's hard to get more directly D&D-inspired than Dragon's Dogma. That said if they could get an Ivalice setting book licensed that would definitely turn a few heads.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Somebody clearly skipped the Dragon Age games, Dark Souls, Dragon's Dogma
No, you're right, I forgot about those, even though I played the hell out of Dogma and DA. Are Dark Souls and Bloodborn in the same ''world''? That would make a horrifying setting (Remember Perkins saying ''I you liked CoS, you'll like what I'm working on'' ?).

As of D.A, I played a lot of Dragon AGE from Green Ronin, but IIRC, the license is kinda in a greyplace/void for now :( That's sad cause it would allow WotC to propose a High Fantasy yet dark, gritty and low magic setting, which I would adore.
 


Ravenloft will come back. It's the easiest line to be adapted into an action-live production, and EnternaimentOne has some experience with horror movies. Maybe the lore can be altered to allow stories in zones with XX century technology.

Dragonlance some day, but not for this phase. With a right media production it could become more popular than Harry Potter saga.

Fiend Folio will come back as a compilation of titles published in DM Guild and other paper-printed sourcebooks.

Kara-Tur some day. The lore is ready, but the crunch not. If they want to remake the martial adepts from Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords, Kara-Tur would be the perfect setting, like Dark Sun with psionic. But this crunch needs a lot of time. Hasbro and WotC need feedback from different Asian countries. WotC wants to publish an Or.Adv who Japaneses, Koreans, Chineses and Taiwaneses like it. Hasbro wants Kara-Tur as a brand for the Asian market, not only TTRPGs but also videogames and other products.

Councyl of Wyrms? Maybe as rebootk, Iomandra, the homebred campaign by Chris Perkins.

Birthright can come back as a strategy videogame.

* Paramount have got the exclusive rights for all the D&D worlds? I feel a great curiosity about how would be the heroes of Dragonlance drawned by Disney artists. A videogame by Capcom set in Mystara?

* Jakandor could come back if WotC allows 3PP to create new titles for DM Guild, at least art with tribal-punk look.

* Maybe a new setting "Maya" about a patchworld created with pieces of different "time spheres". A demiplane created to be the prison of powerful titans who are reincarnated into ordinary mortals and they can't remember their previous lives... until now.
 


Lem23

Adventurer
I can't see multiple Planes / Dark Sun books as outlined above. I'd think maybe one Planes splatbook (with planes-related subclasses) and guide to the planes, Sigil, and bestiary etc as an all in one, and an adventure path. Maybe an adventure path. Ditto for Dark Sun, a splatbook including psionic subclasses (and the rules for psionics) and bestiary / guide to dark sun, and maybe an adventure path. At the most, 2 books per thing.
 



humble minion

Adventurer
I don't think we'll see Ravenloft. We'll probably see another horror-themed and Ravenlofty adventure along the lines of CoS at some stage, but i don't think an actual setting book will happen. The setting has always been weird and disjointed and a bit incoherent even by early-edition D&D standards (and i say this as someone who really likes it) and making a strong setting book out of all the various monster-of-the-week adventures that are the building blocks of the original product line is not an easy thing to do. Plus I'm not sure what the rights status is - White Wolf owned them during 3e and put out some wonderful stuff, has the rights to that material reverted to WotC? It could be a minefield...

More MtG settings seem inevitable. Judging from the very early glimpses of Theros, it could also cover some quasi-Epic level material, in lieu of a dedicated Epic Level handbook? Though I have nowhere near enough knowledge of MtG to guess what other settings might get books devoted to them.

Dark Sun I suspect we'll see eventually, but probably not soon. If it were anywhere on the near horizon, WotC wouldn't still be spitballing around ideas about how to make the very basic bits of psionics work. Speaking of which, my guess is that the entirety of psionics will be found in the 5e Dark Sun sourcebook. Some of the subclasses etc might make it into a Xanathar's 2 at some point, but a psionics sourcebook looks vanishingly unlikely.

I'm less convinced than some that we'll get a Planescape setting or planar sourcebook. Specialised sourcebooks really seem to be out of fashion. A planes-traversing mega-adventure maybe, or a Xanathar's 2 type book with significant coverage of the planes, maybe, but Ravnica has already done one pass over the 'entire campaign setting in a single city' ground and I can't see it being done all over again with Sigil in a big hurry.

I reckon we'll see some sort of Asian-inspired book at some point, though I don't think it'll be a re-do of Kara-tur or Rokugan or any other D&D attempt at covering this ground. I suspect WotC will try to partner with some sort of Chinese or Japanese media or games property for this, thought that may mean the book is weighted heavily towards one particular culture from the region rather than being about a generic fantasy Asia and trying to cover all the bases from ninja to Chinese dragons to Mongol horse archers, the Celestial Bureaucracy, and penangallans...

Spelljammer I think is a pipedream. It'll get mentions here and there as nod-and-wink easter eggs for us oldies, but I can't see a serious attempt to make a setting out of it. It hasn't been touched since 2nd ed and wasn't a big seller even then, and it's not like there's a huge grassroots groundswell of support for it.

And there'll be more adventure hardbacks. They'll all be nominally located in the forgotten realms. There won't be a FR sourcebook.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Aleena died for your sins.
I am most curious to see what they do for the 50th Anniversary.

I think it would be great if they could issue some commemorative reprints of old classics. That seems like low-hanging fruit.

But what will they do with 5e?
 

Lem23

Adventurer
My guess would be Anniversary edition, which would either be a version of OD&D with historical notes, commentary, etc, and essays from people involved, or v 5.5.
 

No, you're right, I forgot about those, even though I played the hell out of Dogma and DA. Are Dark Souls and Bloodborn in the same ''world''? That would make a horrifying setting (Remember Perkins saying ''I you liked CoS, you'll like what I'm working on'' ?).

As of D.A, I played a lot of Dragon AGE from Green Ronin, but IIRC, the license is kinda in a greyplace/void for now :( That's sad cause it would allow WotC to propose a High Fantasy yet dark, gritty and low magic setting, which I would adore.
Bloodborne and Dark Souls are in different "worlds", and Demon's Souls is either a different world or the distant past of Dark Souls. The main issue is that Bloodborne and Demon's Souls are IPs owned by Sony, whereas Dark Souls is an IP owned by Fromsoft (all the games are by Fromsoft of course), so it's unlikely you could license them together.

Re: Dragon Age, yeah it is kind of a pity, it'd be an interesting full circle if WotC published a Dragon Age RPG, but I don't think it's likely. I do think a 5E-system-based DA game could work (with a completely different magic system, classes, and races of course). If it wasn't for the issues Bioware had after Casey Hudson left, we'd probably have seen another DA game already (when he left in 2014, it looked like Anthem was 12-18 months from release, DAI was due out soon, and DA4 to start development soon thereafter, and Andromeda was also looking like it was a year or so from release - instead things fell apart without him there, and after DAI the DA team was dragged over to work on Anthem and Andromeda, and both Anthem and Andromeda just slogged on for years, whilst limited work was done on DA - Hudson is back now, came back to find Anthem arguably less far along than when he left it, and essentially kicked it out the door, and seems to be going ahead with a new DA4).
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Much as I like Planescape and Dark Sun, their popularity outside of guys in their 40s-50s who still use the word "module" even though WotC stopped using it 20 years ago is minimal - and even in their heyday, these settings were not very successful financially. The fact that this board overwhelmingly consists of that demographic could lead one to believe there is a demand for those settings, but WotC's market research doesn't bear that out. Each has a Gen X cult following but not a growing fanbase.

Exandria is the money setting right now. Nothing they release in 2020 will outsell the Wildemount book. If they don't release more Exandria stuff, including a hardcover adventure, they will have dropped the ball. And I'm not saying that because I particularly want Exandria stuff; it's just that it's very clearly the best business move they could make right now. WAY ahead of Planescape, Dark Sun, or Spelljammer.

Kara-Tur or any iteration of "Oriental Adventures" is a PR disaster waiting to happen for them unless they hire a team of Asian creators to make it. Otherwise I'm sure they'll have the common sense to avoid it.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Aleena died for your sins.
Much as I like Planescape and Dark Sun, their popularity outside of guys in their 40s-50s who still use the word "module" even though WotC stopped using it 20 years ago is minimal - and even in their heyday, these settings were not very successful financially. The fact that this board overwhelmingly consists of that demographic could lead one to believe there is a demand for those settings, but WotC's market research doesn't bear that out. Each has a Gen X cult following but not a growing fanbase.

Exandria is the money setting right now. Nothing they release in 2020 will outsell the Wildemount book. If they don't release more Exandria stuff, including a hardcover adventure, they will have dropped the ball. And I'm not saying that because I particularly want Exandria stuff; it's just that it's very clearly the best business move they could make right now. WAY ahead of Planescape, Dark Sun, or Spelljammer.
Maybe.

That's actually a pretty sound analysis, except for one thing that I'm not sure we know (do we?) .... the licensing and IP status of Exandria, and the contractual relation between Mercer and Hasbro.

We know that Green Ronin released Tal'Dorei, and it was ... I mean, it certainly didn't do as well as Wildemount, right? So the Mercer/Hasbro collaboration is mutually beneficial.

...but in the long run, in terms of making ALL THE MONEY (which is what companies like Hasbro like to do), they will want to pour more resources into developing the IP that the completely own and can develop further, and less money into IP that they do not completely own.

So more Exandria? Sure. But these things can be complicated.

Kara-Tur or any iteration of "Oriental Adventures" is a PR disaster waiting to happen for them unless they hire a team of Asian creators to make it. Otherwise I'm sure they'll have the common sense to avoid it.
I think that there are two factors; the first is that they are more than aware of the sensitivities that they need to deal with (see what happened with just Chult).

On the other hand, with wuxia, anime, and the general ubiquity of Asian culture that has been mainstreamed here, I think that we will see some type of themed sourcebook that is more Asian-inspired fantasy as opposed to the pseudo-Western that we see.

Al Qadim, on the other hand? That might be quite a bit harder.
 

S'mon

Legend
I'd be hoping for 5e Gamma World like how they did 4e Gamma World, but more integrated into core 5e as an alternate setting. I'd love a 5e Star Frontiers/Space Opera setting, too. I'd say these were 'not impossible'. :)
 

Ravenloft has got a great potential for the market of teenages, young adults and fans of supernatural romance. I guess the future titles will be a "heroes of horror", a compilation of modules about the grand conjuction, the remakes of the house of the gryphon hill and Bleak House: The Death of Rudolph van Richten, and later an almost spin-off, a expanded version of the adventures set in Manifest, the city from "Ghostwalk".

Ravenloft as an action-live production? remember when some years ago an anime based in Castlevania was only a project.

* Most of us agree WotC should ask advice to Asian companies, but Asians shouldn't reject the idea of a Wuxia D&D but to see this like a golden opportunity to introduce their culture into western society, like a bridge. Who would want a new Oriental Adventures? Otaku community.

* If Mutant Year Zero has got a videogame adaptation, why not Gamma World? But 5th Ed isn't ready yet for other genres as space opera, far west and post-apocalypse.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top