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Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons

I’m glad to hear it had fans, I just wasn’t one of them, because to me it was TOO generic and customizable - I never saw anything distinguishing to me, and I think my distaste for the Primordial War multiverse reshuffling was part of it. This whole thing about “extremely dangerous world” is new to me, because despite all the talk at the time about “points of light”, I just couldn’t see it, it seemed too simplistic at the time, perhaps also due to a real campaign setting for detailing any of this. If he plays up this “whole world is trying to kill you” aspect, I can dig it a little better.

Then again, if they want a “whole world is trying to kill you” vibe, Athas would have fit better - you can’t even scrape enough metal together to make a spear tip, and even the plants are psionic carnivores... :eek:

Can I ask fans of Nentir Vale what features and themes really stood out to them back when it was a thing for 4e?
It wasn't so much about how the entire world was out to kill you, but that going outside the cities and towns was dangerous. Bandits, wild animals, etc.

I loved the Raven Queen - a former mortal that overthrew the previous (evil) god of death and took over his mantle without being evil or endorsing undead. I'm not so much a fan of the Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes version of her.

I liked that it had its own flavor - tieflings and dragonborn as core races, the former empires of Bael Turath and Arkhosia, new deities - but it was just vague enough that it didn't feel like you were locked in to a ton of lore as a DM.

Torog, the God who Crawls made the Underdark as the tunnels he crawled through, rather than just "ehhh, there are hundreds of miles of caves for reasons."

It just felt like a great starting point. Playing in other settings can sometimes feel a bit constrained, what with all the books and lore and detail.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
...and I think my distaste for the Primordial War multiverse reshuffling was part of it.
That was my favorite part! The primordials and the Dawn War is what brought me and my group back to D&D. We never got into 2e or 3e, but the Dawn War made so much sense to us. The whole pantheon was so clean compared to the great wheel with multitudes of overlapping gods in other settings. We enjoyed it so much, we brought it into our 5e game.
 
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Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
It sounds rather like the setting for the Grim Dawn computer game (which is no bad thing).

I think it highlights the point that any published setting becomes a homebrew setting as soon as a DM gets their hands on it. The Nentir Vale played at one table can be very different to the Nentir Vale played on the next.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I feel like 2e Darksun fans who hate 4e Darksun don’t get this kind of pushback for their personal preference for the original version of their setting. Or Realms fans for hating 4e FR. Like, I’m not trying to start a petition to stop Mearls from doing his stream or anything, I’m just expressing being conflicted about a setting I like returning, but changed in a way I don’t like. It’s not as if that’s at all unusual in this hobby. But, I guess 4e fans don’t get to express our opinions. We’re all just objectively wrong about everything and should know to keep our wrong opinions to ourselves.
Well, people who hate 4e Darksun are also objectively wrong. 4e Darksun > 2e Darksun.
 

Jester David

Villager
I feel like 2e Darksun fans who hate 4e Darksun don’t get this kind of pushback for their personal preference for the original version of their setting. Or Realms fans for hating 4e FR. Like, I’m not trying to start a petition to stop Mearls from doing his stream or anything, I’m just expressing being conflicted about a setting I like returning, but changed in a way I don’t like. It’s not as if that’s at all unusual in this hobby. But, I guess 4e fans don’t get to express our opinions. We’re all just objectively wrong about everything and should know to keep our wrong opinions to ourselves.
This would b a valid concern IF the setting were being officially published in this state. If the changes were being presented as canonical and an official update of the setting.

But so far that does not seem to be the case. It’s effectively a homgame. Is he not allowed to make changes for his home game? Why can’t he tell the stories he wants in a setting that does what he want?

Getting upset about what he is doing to the setting feels a little like getting upset over what Chris Perkins is doing to the Realms on the Aquisitions Incorporated games. But I don’t recall seeing anything in Dragon Heist about a giant Halaster statue having a fight with the tarrasque that destroyed several city blocks.

In reading the text you quoted, you should have seen the answer to your question. In the first line of that section of text, in fact, where I say “the guy in charge of the team that”. My point wasn’t that he wrote it himself, but that he oversaw and approved the thematic elements of that book. His idea of someone else’s, he is the guy who green lit what came out.

As for the first point, it’s pretty well moot. I’m not a dnd designer.
A good boss doesn’t question and rewrite everything their team produces.
Yeah, he signed off on it and the buck largely stops with him. But that doesn’t mean he’s solely responsible.

But even if it was him, a different story for the 5e Raven Queen for the Realms doesn’t change or affect anything about the Raven Queen in Nentir Vale. Not any more than her killing Nerull in 4e meant that god ceased to exist in Greyhawk.
(But, for what it’s worth, I don’t much like the change either. Not a fan of needless changes of lore.)
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
The hipsters are right, very occasionally. Very occasionally.

I do think that Mearl's version sounds less interesting than the 4e version, but this is the guy in charge of the team that took the Raven Queen from her "one of the most interesting deities in DnD, ever" status and made her "kinda lame edgelady who is borderline evil but presented as neutral because reasons", for literally no discernible reason.

I like Mike, and I like 5e. I even like Morty's Fome of Toes, and I'll check out the stream, but this so far feels like the next "let's make the Raven Queen into an interloper in the land of death, who rips people from their natural progression to the next life and makes them relive their worst moments for her entertainment" move.
You just made the Raven Queen sound amazing!
 

sunrisekid

Explorer
Can I ask fans of Nentir Vale what features and themes really stood out to them back when it was a thing for 4e?
This might sound odd, but I actually enjoyed the board game tie-ins. For example, the "Conquest of Nerath" boardgame was occasionally played to describe political upheavals, which would be translated into background narrative for our usual sort of D&D games. As for points-of-light explicitly, that already coincided with a preference I had for grimdarker games that borrowed from S&S material. It somehow felt fresh as compared to FR, like it was more of a rough sketch that allowed for a lot of in-fill. The names were evocative, the racial backgrounds 4E were ambiguous enough to allow for customized locations, etc. That's off the top of my head.

Our game continued playing in Nerath and simply transposed official material into the campaign setting. To be honest, I don't think my players noticed or cared one way or the other if they played Nerath or FR. But as the DM, world building and campaign are always important and the Nerath setting, despite surface blandness, gave me just enough material to let my imagination get a great workout every weekend.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
[MENTION=37579]Jester David[/MENTION] my point, again, is that it doesn’t matter if he is solely responsible for it. He could have turned it down, and he didn’t, thus my lack of surprise that he is doing a similar thing with this game.

I’m not even opposed to the game. I’m just saying it’s reasonable to voice mixed feelings about it.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
This would b a valid concern IF the setting were being officially published in this state. If the changes were being presented as canonical and an official update of the setting.
You don’t think they might consider releasing a “such-and-such’s guide to the Nentir Vale” book if this stream proves popular? The fact that the lead developer’s interpretation of my favorite setting is one I dislike does not exactly make me eager to see it officially supported. Which is a pretty :):):):):):) way to feel about one’s favorite setting.

But so far that does not seem to be the case. It’s effectively a homgame. Is he not allowed to make changes for his home game? Why can’t he tell the stories he wants in a setting that does what he want?
Of course he’s allowed to run his game any way he wants. And I’m allowed to not like it.

Getting upset about what he is doing to the setting feels a little like getting upset over what Chris Perkins is doing to the Realms on the Aquisitions Incorporated games.
Which would be a bad thing to do because...?

But I don’t recall seeing anything in Dragon Heist about a giant Halaster statue having a fight with the tarrasque that destroyed several city blocks.
I fail to see how this is relevant. We’re not talking about events that take place in the streamed campaign here. We’re talking about significant retcons to the setting’s lore being straightforwardly presented as a Nentir Vale campaign. That would be like Chris Perkins saying that all the Gods in the Forgotten Realms used to be Yugoloths or something on stream. I think a lot of Realms fans would be justifiably critical of such a thing.
 

Jester David

Villager
You don’t think they might consider releasing a “such-and-such’s guide to the Nentir Vale” book if this stream proves popular? The fact that the lead developer’s interpretation of my favorite setting is one I dislike does not exactly make me eager to see it officially supported. Which is a pretty :):):):):):) way to feel about one’s favorite setting.
No. I don't think they'll consider it.
Because that's several GIANT "ifs". IF the show is a hit. IF it attracts an audience larger than any of the other half-dozen D&D shows on the channel. IF there is fan demand for the product. IF Mearls find the time in his busy schedule to turn it into a full sellable PDF.
And IF they decide to do that version rather than the original.

But also keep in mind:
We haven’t seen any of Perkins’ homebrew setting. Perkins and Mearls also both did a Greyhawk campaign, and those documents didn't get released.
We didn’t get a Ravenloft campaign setting book despite Perkins' Dice, Camera, Action being set Barovia for a long time.
We haven't seen a Planescape book despite TWO streaming campaigns in that world.
We still haven’t seen a Realms Guide.

Also.. doing a big "Traveller's Guide to the Nentir Vale" is unnecessary for two big reasons.
1) That literally already exists in the 4e DMG. You can use that without issue. Unlike Eberron, there are no races and classes to update.
2) The whole point of that setting is that it's a simple skeleton DMs can use to make their own. An expanded guide is self defeating.

But even if they do... how does it affect you in the slightest? Your old books aren't going to explode. That content is still all there if you want it.
And if they do, they'll probably tag all the other adventures and locations set there in PDF products, allowing curious newcomers to pick up those books more easily and see the classic Vale. It will be easier to find that content, and more people will be interested in reading it.

Just like all my Ravenloft books are still available on my shelf and didn't vanish when Wizards of the Coast butchered that setting for Curse of Strahd.
And it's not like there was a huge swell of interest by everyone for that setting following the adventure's launch. Similarly, while the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron sold well, not many other Eberron books have sold on the Guild. People just don't use pre-published campaign settings all that often.

Of course he’s allowed to run his game any way he wants. And I’m allowed to not like it.
Yeah... so don't watch it and ignore it. Like a bad movie adaptation of a beloved book. Or a terrible cover of a favourite song.
You're allowed not to like it. But don't crap on the idea for people who do and move on with your life.

Which would be a bad thing to do because...?
Because you don’t have to like it as you’re not involved and it doesn’t affect you or your game in any way. You can literally ignore it and it functionally goes away.
Find something else to think about. Do something that makes you happy. Don't watch the stream and the problem is solved.

I fail to see how this is relevant. We’re not talking about events that take place in the streamed campaign here. We’re talking about significant retcons to the setting’s lore being straightforwardly presented as a Nentir Vale campaign. That would be like Chris Perkins saying that all the Gods in the Forgotten Realms used to be Yugoloths or something on stream. I think a lot of Realms fans would be justifiably critical of such a thing.
We ARE talking about events in a stream campaign. Or rather, the world background for a streamed campaign. They're not retconning anything: they're changing things for HIS version of the world. Mearls is pretty repeatedly clear that he's making changes and that this is his conception of the world.

I doubt Realms fans would be upset at Perkins for a story point like that. Because him saying something on a stream doesn't make it canon.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
The question is why the threat title haven't been edited yet...
I haven't edited it because it doesn't say returning like [MENTION=6670153]gyor[/MENTION] said.

It says "coming" and it is, to a D&D live stream and potentially (per discussion) other venues.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
No. I don't think they'll consider it.
Because that's several GIANT "ifs". IF the show is a hit. IF it attracts an audience larger than any of the other half-dozen D&D shows on the channel. IF there is fan demand for the product. IF Mearls find the time in his busy schedule to turn it into a full sellable PDF.
And IF they decide to do that version rather than the original.
Let me rephrase that. I expect that if there ever was an official Nentir Vale product made for 5e, that Mike Mearls would have a lot of input into it given his role at WotC, and what I have seen of his treatment of Nentir Vale in his home campaign, I have no confidence in his ability to produce a Nentir Vale product that I would like. In fact, I would prefer they not make such a product. Which, again, is a frustrating way to feel about my favorite setting.

But also keep in mind:
We haven’t seen any of Perkins’ homebrew setting. Perkins and Mearls also both did a Greyhawk campaign, and those documents didn't get released.
We didn’t get a Ravenloft campaign setting book despite Perkins' Dice, Camera, Action being set Barovia for a long time.
We haven't seen a Planescape book despite TWO streaming campaigns in that world.
We still haven’t seen a Realms Guide.
We hadn't seen any setting guides at all until Eberron and Ravnica. Now setting guides are a thing that's on the table, and they've been pretty publicly promoting the fact that they're making such products, since they've been so heavily requested.

Also.. doing a big "Traveller's Guide to the Nentir Vale" is unnecessary for two big reasons.
1) That literally already exists in the 4e DMG. You can use that without issue. Unlike Eberron, there are no races and classes to update.
Umm. Gnolls? Minotaurs? Shardminds? Wilden? Bladelings? Warlords? Invokers? Runepriests?

2) The whole point of that setting is that it's a simple skeleton DMs can use to make their own. An expanded guide is self defeating.
I disagree with your assessment that being a simple skeleton is the "whole point of the setting." There's actually a great deal of rich and detailed lore to the setting, and granted, that lore being largely implied rather than directly stated is a feature to many of the settings fans, myself included, but that doesn't mean a setting guide for it wouldn't be desirable or couldn't be done in a way that satisfied fans who prefer its more indirect approach.

But even if they do... how does it affect you in the slightest? Your old books aren't going to explode. That content is still all there if you want it.
And if they do, they'll probably tag all the other adventures and locations set there in PDF products, allowing curious newcomers to pick up those books more easily and see the classic Vale. It will be easier to find that content, and more people will be interested in reading it.

Just like all my Ravenloft books are still available on my shelf and didn't vanish when Wizards of the Coast butchered that setting for Curse of Strahd.
But suddenly there will be 5e-ready material for (the butchered version of) the setting, that wouldn't require a bunch of additional work to convert to 5e, creating expectations in the minds of players interested in playing a 5e campaign set in Nentir Vale.

You may not care about setting books. Good for you. Not everyone feels the same way about them that you do.

And it's not like there was a huge swell of interest by everyone for that setting following the adventure's launch. Similarly, while the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron sold well, not many other Eberron books have sold on the Guild. People just don't use pre-published campaign settings all that often.
Ok?

Yeah... so don't watch it and ignore it. Like a bad movie adaptation of a beloved book. Or a terrible cover of a favourite song.
You're allowed not to like it. But don't crap on the idea for people who do and move on with your life.
All I said was that I have mixed feelings about the idea of the stream. That I like the idea of a stream set in my favorite D&D setting, and dislike the changes Mearls has made to the setting for the campaign. I'm not crapping on the idea, I'm not shaming anyone who likes it, I'm not harrassing Mike Mearls, I'm not trying to stir up a hate mob. Literally, I just expressed that I don't like a thing, and I'm getting told I'm wrong for feeling that way and to shut up and keep my opinion to myself.

Because you don’t have to like it as you’re not involved and it doesn’t affect you or your game in any way. You can literally ignore it and it functionally goes away.
Find something else to think about. Do something that makes you happy. Don't watch the stream and the problem is solved.
I intend to. I also intend to continue expressing my feelings about things I'm passionate about, of which this is one.
 

Azzy

Explorer
Let me rephrase that. I expect that if there ever was an official Nentir Vale product made for 5e, that Mike Mearls would have a lot of input into it given his role at WotC, and what I have seen of his treatment of Nentir Vale in his home campaign, I have no confidence in his ability to produce a Nentir Vale product that I would like. In fact, I would prefer they not make such a product. Which, again, is a frustrating way to feel about my favorite setting.
The upside to this is that Mearls wouldn't be writing such a product and probably won't have a lot of direct input in it—that's not what he does anymore. So, if WotC were to produce a Nentir Vale setting guide it doesn't necessarily follow that it will run with Mike's take on the setting or that it will diverge terribly from how it was presented in 4e (game mechanics aside). However, I do understand your trepidation—I have the same reservations about WotC producing a Greyhawk setting guide. :/
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The upside to this is that Mearls wouldn't be writing such a product and probably won't have a lot of direct input in it—that's not what he does anymore. So, if WotC were to produce a Nentir Vale setting guide it doesn't necessarily follow that it will run with Mike's take on the setting or that it will diverge terribly from how it was presented in 4e (game mechanics aside). However, I do understand your trepidation—I have the same reservations about WotC producing a Greyhawk setting guide. :/
That's a good point.
 

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