D&D 5E Nathan Stewart Promises WotC will do something with new settings in 2018


First Post
I hope it's already existing settings. I jumped in to DND with 5e, so all I really know is FR. From what I have read/seen/heard, I hope we get Darksun. I want playable Thri-Kreen. Plus with the tweet about the mystic thing and the comment in the Whiper bard DDB vid, there seems to be some official chatter.

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My hope is that they'll do a big book with a cursory overview of a number of settings (32-64 pages each) along with what makes them distinct. We already have Forgotten Realms providing a "baseline" D&D setting, so putting in Greyhawk as another baseline setting with different geography is rather pointless. But if, as Mearls has alluded to, they present Greyhawk as the "gritty" setting where life is cheap and you mechanically have a bunch of throwbacks to earlier editions, that's useful. The focus should be on (a) what makes the setting distinct, and (b) what features of the setting require particular mechanical representation. In this regard I'm totally fine with referring back to Xanathar's.

For example, Eberron has a Dragonmarked House named Phiarlan who deal with all forms of culture and entertainment - theater, music, dance, and so on. They also deal with espionage, often combining the two. I'd be perfectly fine with the book saying "For players who find the concept of a Phiarlan entertainer/spy... intriguing, the College of Whispers bard from Xanathar's is a perfect fit. If you don't have that book, any bard (or other class with the Perform skill) with the Spy background should do fine."

And of course, some concepts require more mechanical support than others, for example Eberron's artificers, or the psionics of Dark Sun.

They should also totally release the settings for use on the DM's Guild. Ideally, they would also refer readers there. Something along the lines of "This is just a cursory overview of these settings. It is of course impossible to present all their depth in this limited space. Fortunately, you can pick up PDFs of older material that will give you more lore at DM's Guild, and you will also find plenty of material made by fans that explore parts of it in greater depth."


They won't do a book that requires another book, so prepare yourself for a new load of wasted pages on reprints... 😞

Perhaps not, but I think it could be doable with something like what I wrote: "This Xanathar's thing is a really good fit, but this core thing works pretty well too."


Perhaps not, but I think it could be doable with something like what I wrote: "This Xanathar's thing is a really good fit, but this core thing works pretty well too."
Actually, I didn't mean to whine - my first thought on reading what you wrote was "not going to happen that they send off the reader to another non-core book". I just remembered the reprint alternative at that point.

What I dislike about the reprint strategy isn't so much the actual reprint. I acknowledge the argument that the actual space used up isn't much to fuss about in itself.

What I dislike is instead two other things:
a) if the pace of supplement weren't already glacial, I would be better disposed to already starting to reprint material. As it is, I don't object to the wasted space so much because its 20 cents of my book that I already have, but because if we're only going to get a single book of crunch a year, it better all be brand new content! It raises my hackles that they have the temerity to first lower the crunch pace that much and then on top of that offer reheated content too! Talk about wanting to find out exactly how little they can get away with!
b) the way WotC defenders make reprints out to be a good thing because "PHB+1"*. Hell no. Reprints is never a good thing. At best, it's better than the alternative "Optimal use of this book requires the Pancake Juggler's Handbook I & III". That does not make it an actual good thing, especially given the slow pace of a).


PS. And don't even get me started on those who actually want "PHB+1"** to be a thing for general play... :mad: If we only have a handful of supplements, and almost zero options that actually make the build complexity deeper (as opposed to "wider"; that is build choices that provides more decision points on a single given character as opposed to just providing more ways to build new different characters), they all better be usable and balanced together. I am paying WotC to do something, after all - and they don't get to walk away from the difficult part! For organized play PHB+1 is a necessary evil (since the individual DM is no longer empowered to cut out the inevitable corner cases), but for general play there would only be one winner: WotC, who would be able to charge us the same amount of money, but with a vastly lower work effort.

*) In the reasonable sense, that is "we have decided not to publish a book that requires a non-core book". Great. Now if that were an actual problem, we might feel a bit grateful. At the current slow trickle of new crunch, however, this won't have the intended impact (that there's three books you decide between, and you want to make sure you don't buy one that relies on content you don't have).
**) In the unreasonable sense, that is "we won't spend our time balancing this book's content with earlier splatbooks, because we don't want to spend time on actually difficult design. We'd rather just count the money you spent. This PHB+1 thing is great!"

PHB+1 was supposed to be a convenience for us. Not a cost saver or excuse for unambitious balancing for WotC!!
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If they were to revisit old settings, my bet would be GreyHawk or Dragonlance most likely. They visited Eberron and Dark Sun both in 4e, and the other major settings they've had haven't really been touched in a while. Much as some may love Planescape, Spelljammer, Birthright, or Kalamar...none of those ever reached the popularity of Greyhawk or Dragonlance/Krynn.

If they want a bigger one I'd guess Greyhawk as with Greyhawk they could also incorporate Mystara, Blackmoor and others right into it without really any problems.

Furthermore, they could present it as the dark and gritty sword and sorcery type world as opposed to the High Fantasy world of the Forgotten Realms.

On the otherhand, Eberron has been pretty popular and they have addressed it in every edition since 3e (3.5, 4e), so to continue that tradition into 5e would not surprise me either.

If they revisit something though, it may be in a super module, similar to how they revisited Ravenloft. Perhaps a module like Castle Greyhawk or something similar?

Much as I like Dark Sun, I don't think they'll be doing that again anytime soon, but I could be wrong.


Why should they look back? That's conservative thinking.

Instead, they should look forward: what setting can we popularize?

In other words, there no particular reason they "should" choose Greyhawk, say, or Dragonlance, just because that happened to be moderately popular in an edition from ten or twenty years ago.

After all, the difference in popularity between two settings that aren't Homebrew or Realms is so miniscule it could just as well have been a rounding error.

Instead of this bean-counting, what happened to the concept of creative vision?

They should not publish a setting just to fill in a number. They should publish a setting because they have a story to tell (or, a toolbox, for us to tell it with).

They clearly want a unified vision for D&D, so it's not like they're going to focus anyway on a completely different setting that can only fracture the user base.

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More persuasive argument, then:

Publish Dark Sun to explore psionics and environmental challenges.

Or Birthright to explore domain-level play, "monster kings", and blood lines.

In these cases, the setting is provided as an example of a (more or less) different campaign style.

Not because Greyhawk ekes out one more percent popularity than Dragonlance (or vice versa, I have no actual numbers and my point is I don't care).

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