Unearthed Arcana New Unearthed Arcana: Rune Knight, Swarmkeeper, The Revived

Another new Unearthed Arcana! "In today’s Unearthed Arcana, three classes each receive a playtest option. The fighter gets a Martial Archetype option: the Rune Knight. The ranger gains a Ranger Archetype option: the Swarmkeeper. And the rogue acquires a Roguish Archetype option: the Revived."

Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 21.14.02.png
 
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They might - if it's Q2 2021. They aren't going to release yet another setting book so soon after Eberron, which, I seen to need to remind you, isn't actually out yet.

I think that another setting book in Q4 2020 is entirely plausible, myself, given Ravnica was only this time last year (and Eberron is out very soon, about a year later). Randomly adding two quarters to that seems a bit weird. But I suspect this will be a "meta-setting" book, like "The Planes", rather than Planescape revived, sadly (especially as Eberron treads on the toes of Planescape a fair bit - not meanly, but inevitably - and is more accessible, because it's less erudite/weird/challenging - even though a lot of Keith Baker's underlying ideas are absolutely all of those things).
 

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I think that another setting book in Q4 2020 is entirely plausible, myself

I agree, but not before Q4 2020. If anyone should know campagn setting glut makes bad business sense it's WotC.
And no, I do not agree 6 months is "a long time". I think it's a very short time. A full 12 months is a bit short IMO.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I agree, but not before Q4 2020. If anyone should know campagn setting glut makes bad business sense it's WotC.
And no, I do not agree 6 months is "a long time". I think it's a very short time. A full 12 months is a bit short IMO.

They have 3 setting books in 12 months now, another one or two next year at any time is entirely possibly. The new setting book style isn't necessarily bloaty in the same way. But my point is, we don't know what WotC will do, and all sorts of things can and have changed in their release schedule year to year so far in 5E's lifetime.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Major difference is that making books with M:tG material for D&D is something that WotC does now, and has had financial success at doing and have suggested that they will do again.
 

I agree, but not before Q4 2020. If anyone should know campagn setting glut makes bad business sense it's WotC.
And no, I do not agree 6 months is "a long time". I think it's a very short time. A full 12 months is a bit short IMO.

I don't really disagree but I don't think spacing setting books out really increases sales all that much, because of the peculiarities around buying setting books, which is to say their market is essentially two kinds of customer:

1) People who intend to run the setting, and do. They aren't likely to be interested in another setting book for that reason any time in the next 3+ years.

2) People who buy setting books for the mechanical elements or because they like to read them or the like. They're likely to buy them as fast as they come out, and what makes them less likely to buy them is them being conceptually or mechanically boring, which has little/nothing to do with how close together they're released.

I'm not saying "Speed it up!" or anything like that (nor "Slow it down!"), I'm just saying that unlike some kinds of book (particularly adventures), release rate is likely to have a low impact on sales, especially if you're ensuring they have some broadly-desirable content in them (like SCAG or arguably Eberron, but which Ravnica I'd argue is less successful at).

Major difference is that making books with M:tG material for D&D is something that WotC does now, and has had financial success at doing and have suggested that they will do again.

Have they? That's a little concerning. I like a lot of M:tG stuff but most of the settings seem like a pretty poor fit for D&D and Ravnica did little to dispel that feeling for me. I'm surprised it was successful and would hazard that other M:tG books might be less successful (er, unless they involve Dominaria, then I'm sure they'd make bank even just going over long-term M:tG fans buying it for cool lore and stuff).
 

lkj

Hero
I'll admit I'm a little surprised they haven't followed up with another pdf trial release of some other setting, as with Eberron. But maybe that's too many new settings in the wild at once and they want to keep their marketing more focused. Or maybe the Eberron, Ravnica and Saltmarsh trials told them enough about the market for non FR setting material. Or perhaps they have a more grand scheme for a bunch of settings at once, keeping the individual releases to settings with a very distinct niche (say Darksun). Gotta say that they are doing a good job of keeping me guessing.

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Have they? That's a little concerning. I like a lot of M:tG stuff but most of the settings seem like a pretty poor fit for D&D and Ravnica did little to dispel that feeling for me. I'm surprised it was successful and would hazard that other M:tG books might be less successful (er, unless they involve Dominaria, then I'm sure they'd make bank even just going over long-

Yup, it not only sold extremely well, but WotC got great feedback, per Nathan Stewart. They have more collaboration across teams coming, eventually, in some form, for sure.


I'll admit I'm a little surprised they haven't followed up with another pdf trial release of some other setting, as with Eberron. But maybe that's too many new settings in the wild at once and they want to keep their marketing more focused. Or maybe the Eberron, Ravnica and Saltmarsh trials told them enough about the market for non FR setting material. Or perhaps they have a more grand scheme for a bunch of settings at once, keeping the individual releases to settings with a very distinct niche (say Darksun). Gotta say that they are doing a good job of keeping me guessing.

Well, they have released a number of Planeshift documents over the past three years, and have been soliciting survey feedback on them.
 

Yup, it not only sold extremely well, but WotC got great feedback, per Nathan Stewart. They have more collaboration across teams coming, eventually, in some form, for sure.

The book was well written and new. But if it continues to stand alone and unsupported it's ongoing sales are just going to rot. WotC need to release more content (e.g. a major adventure) to encourage people to actually use the setting*, not churn out an endless stream of unsupported cookie cutter setting books and expect people to continue to buy them.

In comparison, Eberron has a huge amount of 3rd party content either out now or out soon, and the source book isn't even out yet. And Greyhawk and Planescape have more support from WotC, even though they don't have setting books yet.


*As I've said before, I haven't seen any evidence of Ravnica set campaigns, the people who have bought it cannibalise it as a splat book.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The book was well written and new. But if it continues to stand alone and unsupported it's ongoing sales are just going to rot. WotC need to release more content (e.g. a major adventure) to encourage people to actually use the setting*, not churn out an endless stream of unsupported cookie cutter setting books and expect people to continue to buy them.

In comparison, Eberron has a huge amount of 3rd party content either out now or out soon, and the source book isn't even out yet. And Greyhawk and Planescape have more support from WotC, even though they don't have setting books yet.


*As I've said before, I haven't seen any evidence of Ravnica set campaigns, the people who have bought it cannibalise it as a splat book.

You haven't looked in Magic discussion circles, then. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't happening. And, hey, guess what, it is.

The book has adventure generation material, which is what most people use over prewritten adventures, and the prewritten adventures can be repurposed to any setting anyways. Also, the DMsGuild is right there.

The AL is experimenting with some wild stuff for Eberron this coming year, they could well do something similar for future settings.
 

You haven't looked in Magic discussion circles, then. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't happening. And, hey, guess what, it is.
The Magic people are too busy playing Magic to play D&D. I meet them sometimes in the shop. Most of them seem unaware the D&D crossover book exists. The people who bought it are D&D players, and they bought it because they like Circle of Spores Druid and the new monsters. But more people I know bought Acquisitions Incorporated than bought Ravnica.
The book has adventure generation material, which is what most people use over prewritten adventures, and the prewritten adventures can be repurposed to any setting anyways. Also, the DMsGuild is right there.
Not much quality stuff for Ravnica on the DMsGuild. And there would be even less if there was two/three/twenty equally stand-alone cookie cutter MTG campaign settings for people to divide their efforts between.
The AL is experimenting with some wild stuff for Eberron this coming year, they could well do something similar for future settings.
That's the absolute minimum that needs to be done, Did AL do anything at all related to Ravnica? But a lot of D&D players don't play AL (although sometimes the modules get used anyway - the grung stuff seems to be popular).
 
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cbwjm

Legend
The book was well written and new. But if it continues to stand alone and unsupported it's ongoing sales are just going to rot. WotC need to release more content (e.g. a major adventure) to encourage people to actually use the setting*, not churn out an endless stream of unsupported cookie cutter setting books and expect people to continue to buy them.

In comparison, Eberron has a huge amount of 3rd party content either out now or out soon, and the source book isn't even out yet. And Greyhawk and Planescape have more support from WotC, even though they don't have setting books yet.


*As I've said before, I haven't seen any evidence of Ravnica set campaigns, the people who have bought it cannibalise it as a splat book.
You just need to go on Reddit. They have a subreddit dedicated to the setting with people asking others for ideas because their final boss battle against Orzhov is coming up or how should they run a Rakdos carnival. The setting is getting plenty of use I'd say.
 

dave2008

Legend
Have they? That's a little concerning. I like a lot of M:tG stuff but most of the settings seem like a pretty poor fit for D&D and Ravnica did little to dispel that feeling for me. .
Everyone's different. I don't play MtG or know the lore, but I think the Ravnica book was one of the best D&D books I've purchased in the last few years. I like it better than MtoF or XGtE for sure. There is, to me, just a ton of interesting stuff I can steal from the book for my games.
 

dave2008

Legend
*As I've said before, I haven't seen any evidence of Ravnica set campaigns, the people who have bought it cannibalise it as a splat book.
There are over 2 dozen products for Ravnica on DM's Guild, seems pretty robust.

Now I bought it to cannibalize it as a splat book, of course that is the same reason I will buy the Eberron book and any other setting book.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The Magic people are too busy playing Magic to play D&D. I meet them sometimes in the shop. Most of them seem unaware the D&D crossover book exists. The people who bought it are D&D players, and they bought it because they like Circle of Spores Druid and the new monsters. But more people I know bought Acquisitions Incorporated than bought Ravnica.

The plural of anecdote is not data: as @cbwjm points out, it is not hard to find people playing Ravnica.
 


There are over 2 dozen products for Ravnica on DM's Guild, seems pretty robust.

Now I bought it to cannibalize it as a splat book, of course that is the same reason I will buy the Eberron book and any other setting book.
I said quality. And compared to how much there is for each of the other enabled settings, it's not many.

But that's the thing, it's pretty clear to me that what people really want is splat books*. Churning out setting books instead is poor policy.



* with the exception of a few much loved settings.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I said quality. And compared to how much there is for each of the other enabled settings, it's not many.

But that's the thing, it's pretty clear to me that what people really want is splat books*. Churning out setting books instead is poor policy.



* with the exception of a few much loved settings.

Based on talking to the people at your local game store? Gosh, all WotC has is years of intense market research...

There are not splat books in 5E, because hyper-focused books like the Complete * [splat] don't sell as well as something with a bit for everyone: which is precisely what a book like Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica is: expect to see way more of that
 

dave2008

Legend
I said quality. And compared to how much there is for each of the other enabled settings, it's not many.
And the other settings are decades older (in D&D) with a lot of established D&D lore. Most of them have been available for DMsGuild a lot longer too. Hardly surprising there is more content.

I can't speak to quality of any of the products, so I can't say if the Ravnica ones are better or worse.

But that's the thing, it's pretty clear to me that what people really want is splat books*. Churning out setting books instead is poor policy.
* with the exception of a few much loved settings.

I am not sure what constitutes a "splat" book as I have never bought any (or setting books for that matter) in previous editions, but if the setting books continue to be like Ravnica, I will buy them.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I am not sure what constitutes a "splat" book as I have never bought any (or setting books for that matter) in previous editions, but if the setting books continue to be like Ravnica, I will buy them.

Usually what people mean by "splat book" these days, and what I assume is meant here, is "book with primarily player rules in it." Not fluff, not DM stuff. This is not what WotC is doing these days, any book has to pull quadruple duty.

What the term originally meant was a hyper-focused book on a particular topic aimed at very specific players as part of a series: "Complete Book of Elves", "Complete Book of Bards, "Complete Book of " with the "" being a fill-in-the-blank that people would call a "splat" like a squished bug. That sort of book ain't happening, because it's bad business.
 

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