New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'

Perkins was talking about the 9 Hells...
 

Comments

Parmandur

Legend
My bet is that we will see an AP featuring Dragonspear Castle which houses a portal to Hell and has long been a thorn in Baldur's Gate foot.

SPOILER for Siege of Dragonspear Castle

The last Baldur's Gate game was a story about a how a crusader wished to invade hell to free a loved one while her close advisor conspired to free his devil master.


There's also a possible link between Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Zariel. The wiki states that Zariel was the one who suggested to the Thayians and the Dragonc Cult to summon Tiamat to Toril because whe wanted to get rid her layer of Hell of her. So maybe we will see the next step in the large metaplot of HotDQ -> Rot -> SKT -> ? .

I believe those events with be linked in the next AP, but I dont know how :p
WotC doesn't do metaplot anymore: but possible connections, definitely. Perkins went into how Baldur's Gate ties into Chult, for example.
 
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GarrettKP

Villager
WotC doesn't do metaplot anymore: but possible connections, definitely. Perkins went into how Baldur's Gate ties into Chult, for example.
What makes you say they don’t do metaplots?

There’s a lot of evidence that suggests they in fact are doing one for 5e right now. Both in how some of the books obviously have direct ties to each other (Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Storm Kings Thunder, Tomb of Annihilation all work together to tell a story with major connections, as do Princes of the Apocalypse and Out of the Abyss) but also in the fairly obvious set up they have been doing involving the black standing stones in all the major adventures.

Not only am I sure they are doing a meta plot, I’m pretty sure I know exactly what the plot is. And I know part of it is teased in Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

Hell I’m pretty sure one of them even said at the beginning of this editions life span that they wanted to create a D&D version of the MCU in terms of interconnected storytelling.
 

Parmandur

Legend
What makes you say they don’t do metaplots?

There’s a lot of evidence that suggests they in fact are doing one for 5e right now. Both in how some of the books obviously have direct ties to each other (Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Storm Kings Thunder, Tomb of Annihilation all work together to tell a story with major connections, as do Princes of the Apocalypse and Out of the Abyss) but also in the fairly obvious set up they have been doing involving the black standing stones in all the major adventures.

Not only am I sure they are doing a meta plot, I’m pretty sure I know exactly what the plot is. And I know part of it is teased in Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

Hell I’m pretty sure one of them even said at the beginning of this editions life span that they wanted to create a D&D version of the MCU in terms of interconnected storytelling.
Not a metaplot as in what happened in 2E: more like Lego set-pieces. Storms King Thunder lays this out nicely, going over the ways to mix and match the advernture products. The idea isn't to have a set plot that everybody follows, but leave the timeline indeterminate and provide potentials that a given DM can remix as desired.

The obelisks are an easter egg for Crawford's home game, and they have explained they are hooks for the DM to use as desired, as with all of the other potential connecting hooks.

I am curious as to what you are referring to in Ghosts of Saltmarsh, and your overall theory, however?
 

GarrettKP

Villager
Not a metaplot as in what happened in 2E: more like Lego set-pieces. Storms King Thunder lays this out nicely, going over the ways to mix and match the advernture products. The idea isn't to have a set plot that everybody follows, but leave the timeline indeterminate and provide potentials that a given DM can remix as desired.

The obelisks are an easter egg for Crawford's home game, and they have explained they are hooks for the DM to use as desired, as with all of the other potential connecting hooks.

I am curious as to what you are referring to in Ghosts of Saltmarsh, and your overall theory, however?
I’ve never seen them say the obelisks are from Crawford’s home game, and I’ve seen members of the staff treat them as something more (Mearls said he couldn’t talk about them during a reddit AMA, implying they are to be paid off later.)

Having seen some of the pages being spread around by folks with review copies. There is another prominent obelisk in Saltmarsh. On top of that, Tharizdun plays a part in the adventures (yes I know these are old adventures, but still).

My theory is that Tharizdun is the big bad of the “D&DCU” ala Thanos. And I think they have done a good job setting that up covertly. He (or his cult) has played a part in two major adventures now (Princes and Abyss). And, assuming 5e is keeping some of the 4e multiverse lore with the Dawn War, his influence extends to almost every adventure, even if it is just a small connection.

The way I see it, there are two major Adventure branches that have some crossover, but mainly work parallel to each other.

Tyranny of Dragons, Storm Kings, and Tomb of Annihilation have a connecting through line that ties them together. SKT directly involves the outcome of Tyranny, and connects to Annihilation through the Ring of Winter plot.

Princes of the Apocalypse and Out of the Abyss are directly tied by DeVir, the cultist of Tharizdun. I am pretty confident that The Descents Adventure will directly tie into Out of the Abyss (Perkins said a Devil focused “response” to Abyss was planned and I think that’s what this is).

The outlier right now is Dragon Heist and Mad Mage (and Strahd, but that’s a separate setting outlier and the only adventure that doesn’t have a prominent black obelisk as far as I’m aware). There’s some connections if you squint, like the cult of Asmodeous being big players in Waterdeep (which might directly connect to The Descent).

One branch has a lot of Tharizdun influence in it. And I think there’s a chance these two branches overlap in the future in a major multiverse story involving Tharizduns attempts to escape his prison Demi plane. And I think in the end the Obelisks will be revealed as anchors in the material plane Tharizdun uses to spread influence.

If 4e lore is being retained (and we haven’t really see anything to say the Dawn War isn’t being retained) then Tharizdun has a major connection to Demons, Primordials, and the Far Realm. A lot of the obelisks have been found in connection to those themes. One in the actual Elemental Cults lairs, one in a demon infused underdark, one literally housing a demon in Chult, and most recently one inside a mansion infused with Far Realm influence.

To me, at worst there’s two meta plots going on and one involves Tharizdun. But I think he will cause the two branches to connect eventually.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I’ve never seen them say the obelisks are from Crawford’s home game, and I’ve seen members of the staff treat them as something more (Mearls said he couldn’t talk about them during a reddit AMA, implying they are to be paid off later.)

Having seen some of the pages being spread around by folks with review copies. There is another prominent obelisk in Saltmarsh. On top of that, Tharizdun plays a part in the adventures (yes I know these are old adventures, but still).

My theory is that Tharizdun is the big bad of the “D&DCU” ala Thanos. And I think they have done a good job setting that up covertly. He (or his cult) has played a part in two major adventures now (Princes and Abyss). And, assuming 5e is keeping some of the 4e multiverse lore with the Dawn War, his influence extends to almost every adventure, even if it is just a small connection.

The way I see it, there are two major Adventure branches that have some crossover, but mainly work parallel to each other.

Tyranny of Dragons, Storm Kings, and Tomb of Annihilation have a connecting through line that ties them together. SKT directly involves the outcome of Tyranny, and connects to Annihilation through the Ring of Winter plot.

Princes of the Apocalypse and Out of the Abyss are directly tied by DeVir, the cultist of Tharizdun. I am pretty confident that The Descents Adventure will directly tie into Out of the Abyss (Perkins said a Devil focused “response” to Abyss was planned and I think that’s what this is).

The outlier right now is Dragon Heist and Mad Mage (and Strahd, but that’s a separate setting outlier and the only adventure that doesn’t have a prominent black obelisk as far as I’m aware). There’s some connections if you squint, like the cult of Asmodeous being big players in Waterdeep (which might directly connect to The Descent).

One branch has a lot of Tharizdun influence in it. And I think there’s a chance these two branches overlap in the future in a major multiverse story involving Tharizduns attempts to escape his prison Demi plane. And I think in the end the Obelisks will be revealed as anchors in the material plane Tharizdun uses to spread influence.

If 4e lore is being retained (and we haven’t really see anything to say the Dawn War isn’t being retained) then Tharizdun has a major connection to Demons, Primordials, and the Far Realm. A lot of the obelisks have been found in connection to those themes. One in the actual Elemental Cults lairs, one in a demon infused underdark, one literally housing a demon in Chult, and most recently one inside a mansion infused with Far Realm influence.

To me, at worst there’s two meta plots going on and one involves Tharizdun. But I think he will cause the two branches to connect eventually.
That's some high grade speculation, salute. There is an obelisk in DotMM and in Curse of Strahd, actually, somewhere in the jumble.

The easter egg nature of the obelisks came up in Dragon Talk or Dragon+, I forget if Perkins or Crawford said it but it was referencing Crawford's game (yeeeears ago, I think it may have been circa Curse of Strahd IIRC), but they are there for a DM to use as hooks for connecting the adventures if desired. They don't have plans to establish a canonical "result" for any of the APs, as they are potential rather than actual events. They happen only at individual tables, not in an official capacity. Which is what I meant about metaplot. They definitely want to leave connections as they go, to help DMs set them up.
 

GarrettKP

Villager
That's some high grade speculation, salute. There is an obelisk in DotMM and in Curse of Strahd, actually, somewhere in the jumble.

The easter egg nature of the obelisks came up in Dragon Talk or Dragon+, I forget if Perkins or Crawford said it but it was referencing Crawford's game (yeeeears ago, I think it may have been circa Curse of Strahd IIRC), but they are there for a DM to use as hooks for connecting the adventures if desired. They don't have plans to establish a canonical "result" for any of the APs, as they are potential rather than actual events. They happen only at individual tables, not in an official capacity. Which is what I meant about metaplot. They definitely want to leave connections as they go, to help DMs set them up.
I'd love to see a link to that. Because I have listened to and read most every episode/issue of Dragon Talk and Dragon + and do not remember that. I do remember they said Curse of Strahd used elements of Crawfords home campaign and that the standing stones in Strahd were from Crawfords original homeworld, but they are not the same thing. So until I see a source where they said the Obelisks won't pay off, I will stick to my theory.

EDIT: Maybe you are confusing their comments with this: https://www.sageadvice.eu/2016/06/22/hey-whats-up-with-the-megaliths-in-curse-of-strahd/

They say exactly what you said, but only about the standing stones in the Curse of Strahd campaign. Which is not the same as the strange obelisks in the other hardcovers. I know Perkins himself has added most of the Obelisks in the hardcovers. Dan Dillon wrote the portion of Mad Mage where the Obelisk appears, and he told me the obelisk was added after he submitted his work by Perkins. I am certain they are there as a payoff later.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
I'd love to see a link to that. Because I have listened to and read most every episode/issue of Dragon Talk and Dragon + and do not remember that. I do remember they said Curse of Strahd used elements of Crawfords home campaign and that the standing stones in Strahd were from Crawfords original homeworld, but they are not the same thing. So until I see a source where they said the Obelisks won't pay off, I will stick to my theory.

EDIT: Maybe you are confusing their comments with this: https://www.sageadvice.eu/2016/06/22/hey-whats-up-with-the-megaliths-in-curse-of-strahd/

They say exactly what you said, but only about the standing stones in the Curse of Strahd campaign. Which is not the same as the strange obelisks in the other hardcovers. I know Perkins himself has added most of the Obelisks in the hardcovers. Dan Dillon wrote the portion of Mad Mage where the Obelisk appears, and he told me the obelisk was added after he submitted his work by Perkins. I am certain they are there as a payoff later.
Yes, I think that is what was kicking around the back of my brain. I could've sworn they were the same as the obelisks popping up all around, but who can say?

If it is part of a pay-off for later, I would go with anchors for the return of the Mindflayer empire that Volo's described as suddenly disappearing in a flash.
 

GarrettKP

Villager
Yes, I think that is what was kicking around the back of my brain. I could've sworn they were the same as the obelisks popping up all around, but who can say?

If it is part of a pay-off for later, I would go with anchors for the return of the Mindflayer empire that Volo's described as suddenly disappearing in a flash.
Either way, I cannot wait to see what they end up becoming.
 

Hussar

Legend
One nice thing about using Tharizudun for a "Thanos" style bad guy, if they are doing that, is that there is so little actual canon lore regarding Tharizudun. Yup, he appears in a few modules, or at least cults do, but, by and large, there isn't anything really specific. So, they can avoid the whole "You can't do that" stuff when doing planar adventures.
 

Hexmage-EN

Explorer
One nice thing about using Tharizudun for a "Thanos" style bad guy, if they are doing that, is that there is so little actual canon lore regarding Tharizudun. Yup, he appears in a few modules, or at least cults do, but, by and large, there isn't anything really specific. So, they can avoid the whole "You can't do that" stuff when doing planar adventures.
4E did a lot with him in the Points of Light setting's Dawn War (which is similar to the War of Law and Chaos in other editions).

Basically, Tharizdun betrayed his fellow gods to lead a number of godlike, mostly-chaotic elemental lords called the primordials against them, but this attempt was thwarted (this explains Tharizdun's alias Elder Elemental Eye and the Princes of Elemental Evil's interest in him). Later he discovered a "Seed of Evil" that promised him even greater power and a new army. This Seed was created by the obyriths, the twelve surviving demon lords (including the Queen of Chaos, Obox-Ob, Dagon, and Pazuzu) of a multiverse whose destruction they themselves had caused. They needed a tear in the planar fabric to escape to a new multiverse, and they wanted Tharizdun to plant the Seed in the Astral Plane, but he instead planted it in the Elemental Planes. After the Abyss formed he tried to take control of it and its demons to attack the gods but was again thwarted. Eventually the other gods had enough of the destruction Tharizdun was causing, so they worked together to defeat and imprison him.

This is all technically 4E specific, but the 4E cosmology itself is essentially the product of an alternate outcome to the War of Law and Chaos, one where attempts to organize the Outer and Elemental Planes were thwarted and the Abyss formed in a different place. Further, the 4E origin of the demons (and devils as well) work well as an elaboration on the origins given in 3.5's Fiendish Codex series, which themselves still followed the Great Wheel cosmology and inherited many details from 2E. Given that there is little detail on Tharizdun given outside of 4E one could use much of the lore concerning him from that edition without contradicting much else.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
I selfishly hope its not Tharizdun as a capstone villain. I've been using him since the early 80s, in various campaigns over the years.

Sigh...
 

GarrettKP

Villager
So since tomorrow is the stream (and I doubt any more info will drop regarding the event) I am gonna go ahead and make my final guess on the 4 big products they are announcing. I am pretty confident about 3 of them. Here we go:

The big adventure being announced will be focused on the Bloodwar and will have a heavy focus on Zariel and her fall. This is also likely the followup to Out of the Abyss that Perkins mentioned in an interview last year.

The setting book will be Eberron, which is why Artificer is getting so heavily playtested again. Expect final versions of the crunch found in Wayfinder's Guide, but with less a focus on Sharn to avoid as much overlap as possible.

The box set will be an Eberron Starter Set. It will be more expansive than the previous starter sets, with a starter adventure, plus things like maps and maybe paper minis to accompany the adventure. Will also include a new version of the basic rules tailored to include Eberron content.

The mystery 4th product will be a surprise setting book. I am not sure on which setting, but my top 3 guesses would be Planescape, Spelljammer, or another Magic The Gathering setting (likely one with a close D&D parallel like Innistrad so they can reuse some of those assets).

I'm confident the first two are 100% correct. I am about 90% sure on the box set. I am maybe 50% sure on the mystery 4th product.

Can't wait to eat crow or say I told you so by the end of the weekend!
 

Parmandur

Legend
So since tomorrow is the stream (and I doubt any more info will drop regarding the event) I am gonna go ahead and make my final guess on the 4 big products they are announcing. I am pretty confident about 3 of them. Here we go:

The big adventure being announced will be focused on the Bloodwar and will have a heavy focus on Zariel and her fall. This is also likely the followup to Out of the Abyss that Perkins mentioned in an interview last year.

The setting book will be Eberron, which is why Artificer is getting so heavily playtested again. Expect final versions of the crunch found in Wayfinder's Guide, but with less a focus on Sharn to avoid as much overlap as possible.

The box set will be an Eberron Starter Set. It will be more expansive than the previous starter sets, with a starter adventure, plus things like maps and maybe paper minis to accompany the adventure. Will also include a new version of the basic rules tailored to include Eberron content.

The mystery 4th product will be a surprise setting book. I am not sure on which setting, but my top 3 guesses would be Planescape, Spelljammer, or another Magic The Gathering setting (likely one with a close D&D parallel like Innistrad so they can reuse some of those assets).

I'm confident the first two are 100% correct. I am about 90% sure on the box set. I am maybe 50% sure on the mystery 4th product.

Can't wait to eat crow or say I told you so by the end of the weekend!
Good guesses, I think. My wild prediction is Dragonlance will see some action.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Has any one made a list of the guesses in this thread?
One more guess. Hasibro will come to it senses and put me in charge of D&D.
 
So since tomorrow is the stream (and I doubt any more info will drop regarding the event) I am gonna go ahead and make my final guess on the 4 big products they are announcing. I am pretty confident about 3 of them. Here we go:

The big adventure being announced will be focused on the Bloodwar and will have a heavy focus on Zariel and her fall. This is also likely the followup to Out of the Abyss that Perkins mentioned in an interview last year.

The setting book will be Eberron, which is why Artificer is getting so heavily playtested again. Expect final versions of the crunch found in Wayfinder's Guide, but with less a focus on Sharn to avoid as much overlap as possible.

The box set will be an Eberron Starter Set. It will be more expansive than the previous starter sets, with a starter adventure, plus things like maps and maybe paper minis to accompany the adventure. Will also include a new version of the basic rules tailored to include Eberron content.

The mystery 4th product will be a surprise setting book. I am not sure on which setting, but my top 3 guesses would be Planescape, Spelljammer, or another Magic The Gathering setting (likely one with a close D&D parallel like Innistrad so they can reuse some of those assets).

I'm confident the first two are 100% correct. I am about 90% sure on the box set. I am maybe 50% sure on the mystery 4th product.

Can't wait to eat crow or say I told you so by the end of the weekend!
Interesting thoughts!

The first one is pretty much baked in, though I'm hoping the big adventure showcases the other devils as well as Zariel. Also I suspect that although it's a follow-up to Out of the Abyss, it will be less a sequel and have more indirect links like Tiamat to Storm King to tomb of Annihilation.

Setting book being Eberron also seems almost 100%, so much of that work is already completed. Hopefully comes with new art and stuff.

I don't know what else the box-set could be other than Eberron, but I also don't know how much bigger it will be than say Phandelver. Slim rulebook for the classes and spells, a 1-5 level adventure including maps and monsters, Eberron pre-made characters sheets. I don't think they'll add too much more than that, partners can sell minis and other bits and bobs (Beatle and Grimm's).

4th product in my mind can be literally anything. It could be a new monster/lore book specific to Eberron in the style of Volo's Guide/Mordenkainen. I don't know how much more they could add in a Xanathar's Guide book, but I still think it's possible especially if they plug in more Eberron stuff. And it can also be a setting book.

If it is a setting book, I kind of doubt it's going to be a Magic Setting that isn't already done in a Planeshift. It would be easy to do but the team seems more interested in covering content that is mostly unexplored in 5e, purposefully leaving gaps in some areas to fill in later. For example, Mordenkainen's could have easily used main Archdevils but instead didn't stat them, I suspect to cover them in the Descent. Why make a product that is already for free in a Planeshift (even if they will obviously add more). I think this case is especially true for settings like Innistrad that are just Ravenloft but slightly different.

That still leaves room for Magic settings like Tarkir (which is kind of 3 settings in one with their wonky timelines) or Theros (because it's just unique). Spelljammer also makes sense because of previous content hinting at it, as does Planescape for the same reason. I'll add maybe Greyhawk as there have been some hints in past books and Dragon talk towards it, but that could just because Greyhawk is so pervasive in D&D.

Other setting like Dragonlance, Dark Sun or Mystara probably need a more robust release so I doubt it's them (also no hints towards them).
 

gyor

Adventurer
My guess is the Blood War AP, Volo's Guide to Spirits and Specters, Mystara Setting Book (this is why Saltmarsh Mentions Mystara and not Dragonlance), and the book set is for Eberron.

This of course doesn't count Adventerer's Inc book.
 

GarrettKP

Villager
My guess is the Blood War AP, Volo's Guide to Spirits and Specters, Mystara Setting Book (this is why Saltmarsh Mentions Mystara and not Dragonlance), and the book set is for Eberron.

This of course doesn't count Adventerer's Inc book.
I'd be floored if Mystara got a book before the other 3 big settings (Eberron, Planescape, Dark Sun).
 
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