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D&D 5E Next (3rd book of the year) endless speculation thread

Scribe

Hero
Hyrborian adventures (Conan the barbarian and company

Hasbro knows Multiple Demographic Appeal makes them money but they will try to play the mature one safe to avoid a damning scandal. (a big fuss might still sell no bad publicity or something
Due to the latter, a desire to avoid scandal, I don't see a Conan type setting taking place. It just doesn't work for me, to sanitize it, for modern social media consumption.

Just give me Planescape, topped up with that old charm and nostalgia and I can ride off into the sunset before the next edition changes too much.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
I do like Birthright, but I think it would do better as a board game.

What I would like to see come back in print is Greyhawk (pre-Greyhawk Wars), Dark Sun (pre-pentad series), Spelljammer/Planescape (I could deal with a mixed setting in that regard; while Planescape was strong, Spelljammer was a bit thin) or Dragonlance (War of the Lance). I think Mystara could be done if it is done as Karameikos or the Savage Baronies as the focus.

If Kara-Tur or Al-Qadim return, I actually hope they divorce the settings from FR and set them on their own realms. Both really have potential to be their own thing, rather than trying to hang them off the popularity of FR. Though I have become disappointed with Karu-Tur ever since I brushed into Rokugan with the L5R system.
 

Due to the latter, a desire to avoid scandal, I don't see a Conan type setting taking place. It just doesn't work for me, to sanitize it, for modern social media consumption.

Just give me Planescape, topped up with that old charm and nostalgia and I can ride off into the sunset before the next edition changes too much.
Also the Howard estate is licensing it to the folks at modiphius for another rpg with a surprising number of books
 

I mean the Hollow World from Mystara could be for a family-friendly version of sword & sorcery and fantasy petlum, like Conan and the Hyrborean age.

A Dragonlance version for all audences is easy to explain. The plot starts with a storyteller, maybe a bard, talking with little children (it is the birthday party of a noble lord's son). The audence can understand some details may be altered but the true canon isn't affected at all. My retcon suggestion is the seekers discovered the psionic powers. Tika can be darker skin but with natural red hair...(that happens in real life. Malcom X's nickname was "Red" because he was natural redhaired). But I also advice to avoid same-sex elf romantic couples precisetely to avoid homophobic comments, because this could become a unconfortable trope about "the end of the elf civilitation is near by fault of the lack of straight couples breeding new generations of children".

If there is a reboot of Ravenloft maybe there are in the rest of the settings, and the third continent of Krynn could be the joker-card to explain where the new elements come from. Maybe the crystal spheres are changed, like in the Sundering event, by fault of a multiverse crisis.

* To use public domain characters as Conan may be a double edged sword. It is better to start from zero with their own new franchise.

* If there is a reboot of Planescape, and now tielflings and aasimars are "core races", what about the other planetouched races? I miss the mechanatrix from 3rd Ed. Fiend Folio.
 

The art caption of Rhys in Tasha's Cauldron (she might be the first example of a Tiefling with hooves for feet, a rat-like tail and No horns in 5e) describes her as being a Guildmaster and not a Factol. So there's a chance that if there's a Planescape campaign setting in 5e, it's after the events of Faction War and Die! Vecna! Die!

Faction War it might be easier to have a timeline before that, but pre Die! Vecna! Die! which takes place after Faction War might be harder to have events before, as that adventure was basically about burning down 2e to make way for 3e. They tried to explain away the edition change with reality being rewritten as a result of that adventure. I think there's no going back on Vecna not being a God on any edition past 2nd. They probably could advance the timeline and just go with Monte Cook's "plans" for the Factions coming back but slightly different.
 

Faolyn

Hero
They'd need diversity to extend beyond just human races too. If the only races available were Human/Elf/HElf/Kender/Dwarf/Tinker Gnome, I don't think that'd cut it with people these days (which is not a criticism of anyone, note).
Don't forget minotaurs!

But actually, I have to wonder--the two MtG worldbooks have limited races. Do people have a problem with those settings? I haven't seen any pushback, but I haven't really been paying attention.
 

Don't forget minotaurs!

But actually, I have to wonder--the two MtG worldbooks have limited races. Do people have a problem with those settings? I haven't seen any pushback, but I haven't really been paying attention.
They have races that aren't just humans with pointy ears and/or of a different size, which is I think what is required, rather than a huge number of different ones.
 


Yeah. I don't mean Conan specifically, but a darker sword and sorcery setting with half naked people running around. :D
can't imagine where they could find one of
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😈😈😈😈😈
 

Mercurius

Legend
I think this is a good assessment, though I think DL is a lot less likely than you do. If it was 2015 I'd say DL was about as likely as you say, but the idea that they're going to do a white people-centric (with all non-white cultures as "barbarians" no less!) setting in 2021 (part inspired by a religion which has its struggles with race, even!) after all their public commitments and work on diversity seems... unlikely. As I've noted before, Taladas might work, it's a vastly more diverse setting, but Dragonlance it ain't.
I think this could all be remedied. First of all, aren't Ergothians non-white? It has been awhile, but I don't remember as "barbarians." Other than Theros Ironfeld, they didn't feature much in the Chronicles but could be more prominent in a 5E treatment. The Que-Shu could use some work, but not as much to make them less "barbaric" but to change the whole "savages seeing the light of true religion" thing. They could be tweaked to be a vital, indigenous people that never embraced the pantheon of gods but have their own valid shamanic beliefs. This, of course, would change the substance of DL a bit in that the "true gods" thing would have to be altered a bit, or more ambivalent.

If WotC went full in and did a couple books (say, setting and adventure, with rules in both), there's no reason why a setting book couldn't include Taladas and Irda and Minotaurs as PC races.

I think as someone else said, the selling point of DL would/could be dragon-riding. A dragon-centric campaign would probably be quite possible, especially with rules for aerial combat.

I don't think gully dwarves are much of a problem because they really only had a place in the novels - no one was playing gully dwarf PCs, afaict. An RPG treatment would barely have to mention them, if at all. They could also be adapted a bit, with some kind of origin that disentangles them from certain associations. Meaning, maybe they are the descendants of dwarves that were cut off from civilization for millenia and devolved.

Kender...the problem is mostly/entirely table dynamics. A paragraph or two of player guidance should suffice: "Your curiosity leads you to acquire things, although you tend to be a faithful companion and rarely take from friends and, on the rare occasion that you do, give it back." Or some such.

Meaning, I don't see any of the "problems" as insurmountable - they could all be adjusted as necessary without changing the essential qualities of what makes Dragonlance distinct, or angering any but the most fervent traditionalists. Whether or not WotC does this is another matter.
Point of order: there already is a 5e Forgotten Realms setting book*. It may be not very good and limited in scope, but so far as WotC are concerned they have done that, and wouldn't count it as a "classic setting" - a current setting is not a "classic" setting, just as a 2016 Ford Focus is not a classic car.

*Two actually, Acquisitions Inc is technically a Forgotten Realms setting book.
Yeah, but...semantics. I interpret "classic settings" to be anything published before WotC's tenure - so everything except Eberron, Magic, and Exandria. If they said legacy, I'd agree with your take.

I really don't see the down-side of a full-blown FR setting book. Most importantly (for WotC) it would probably sell quite well, given that it is the default setting for most of the adventures. I can't speak for the young 'uns, but I imagine they want to know more about the world they've been playing in.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Kender...the problem is mostly/entirely table dynamics. A paragraph or two of player guidance should suffice: "Your curiosity leads you to acquire things, although you tend to be a faithful companion and rarely take from friends and, on the rare occasion that you do, give it back." Or some such.
My personal problem with them is that they don't make sense as a people from a psychological standpoint:

A: They don't seem to understand the concept of personal property (despite being presumably made by the same gods that made other races that do understand that).

B: They aren't afraid of the consequences for their actions.

But then they lie about having taken stuff. "Oh, just holding on to this for you!" "I have no idea how it got there!" The only reason for them to lie is if they're aware that they did something wrong and don't want to get in trouble. If A and B are true, and they are truly creatures of innocence like the books claim, then they should have no problem owning up to their mischief. "Yes, I took it because it was pretty / shiny / matched something else I have / looked lonely / wanted to see if I could. Want it back? Here!"

In addition, if they truly have no concept of personal property, then what they really should be doing is taking stuff and giving it to people whom they think need it more, which is often not them. But--well, it's been absolute ages since I read any of the novels so maybe I'm just forgetting stuff; I mostly just know from the gaming books--I can't recall this being a major part of their characterization. They should have a reputation as Robin Hoods, not as kleptomaniacs.

And yet, (almost) everyone seems to like them. And those that don't like them tend to either be seen as curmudgeons or are considered to be part of an evil race.

So I'm kind of left with two opposing ideas when it comes to kender. Either they can't function competently in typical society (I used to work with developmentally disabled adults in a sheltered day program and knew numerous people who, due to low IQ and poor self-control, fit A and B above, and as such needed a great deal of supervision), or they are actually a species of sociopaths that have managed to fool everyone (possibly using hidden magic) into thinking they're just innocent and child-like.

The fact that kenders are also beloved of gamers who want to act like thieving dicks to the rest of their table is just icing on their highly disturbing cake.

Now, kender can be redeemed. Take away their lack of fear and just give them the halfling-like resistance to magical fear; make it so they can feel normal trepidation before doing stupid stuff. Make it so they either understand what personal property is, are willing to own up to their actions, or are willing to distribute their stolen goods as much as they are willing to take it.
 

teitan

Legend
The Que Shu don’t need changed because the whole setting is about the gods returning and everyone finding religion. The gods were gone, false gods installed and then the gods returned. All people. Not just white people or savages. Everyone thought they were myth.
 

Mercurius

Legend
My personal problem with them is that they don't make sense as a people from a psychological standpoint:

I think it is relatively simple: they are child-like. You could say this is a form of quasi-sociopathy, because children have to psychologically develop to have a sense of how their actions effect others or a real experience of empathy. But it only goes so far: they aren't sociopathic in terms of harming others, just the concept of "property." So maybe they are child-like communists ;).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't think they need nostalgia for it to sell, though. Current D&D fans will take a good solid look at anything they publish. For example, my kids (teenagers) would be thrilled for Dragonlance, and they've never heard of it. All you need to say is "A war with Dragonriders and a dragon-slaying lance set in a particular D&D world with evil dragon-folk that explode when you kill them". And they are IN.

A lot of the audience would be happy to hear that it was popular back in the day and they'd check out the new product, without knowing what has been changed. As long as the new product is good and doesn't have anything offensive in it, they'd like it.

Heck, I read the books myself 30+ years ago, and I played a few games of it somewhere around then, but if they updated it the way we've been talking about, I wouldn't have known what was new and what wasn't without talking to people here about it. Updating it certainly wouldn't turn me off of it.
Hell yeah!

Also, DL is the Star Wars of classic fantasy. Just ask Joe Manganiello.

 

Faolyn

Hero
I think it is relatively simple: they are child-like. You could say this is a form of quasi-sociopathy, because children have to psychologically develop to have a sense of how their actions effect others or a real experience of empathy. But it only goes so far: they aren't sociopathic in terms of harming others, just the concept of "property." So maybe they are child-like communists ;).
If they're that child-like, then they don't get to be adventurers.

But the sociopathy thing--while mostly a joke on mine--would be that they have conned everyone into thinking they're harmlessly innocent when in reality they know exactly what they're doing and who they're harming when they take things.
 

Scribe

Hero
Granted, it's been a super long time and I was young, but I absolutely saw Kender as having a child like innocence, and immunity to fear of consequences.

Societal norms as we saw them didn't apply, and everything in a kender village was up for grabs to whoever thought they needed it at the time.

It wasn't theft with malice, or to hurt someone, and the concept of ownership simply didn't apply.

You see some of this by the end of the novels meta plot, as Tasselhof (right?) no longer has that innocent world view. He's seen, done, and lost too much.

A culture of child like innocence and lack of personal ownership.
 

Kenders aren't kleptomaniacs, because they don't enjoy the morbid of forbidden actions, but more compulsive collectors, a softer version of Dyogenes' syndrome, and they don't understand well the concept of private proberty, almost a parody of communism. The streets in their towns are a total chaos, and that is totally intentional, to confuse invaders (some ancient temples or palaces from real life were built as true labyrinth as a defense against thiefs), but the commercial streets are easy to be found by traders from other communities.

Roleyplaying kenders as the D&D version of Daniel the menace may be fun, but many players try it and the effect is the opposite, creating a bad fame about kender PCs as annoying dumbs.

And I would change some detail about the origin of the gully dwarfs, as mixture of dwarfs and gnomes. I am afraid the authors was a racist against the crossbreeding. The origin of the gullys is the marriages between dwarfs and gnomes, and these survived a fatal epidemic, with some side effects. Later the survivor groups became the home of outcasts rejected by the rest of gnomes and dwarfs, almost as a no-official penal colony, as Australia in the past, something like the Dragonlance version of the valley of the lepers.
 


Yeah, but...semantics. I interpret "classic settings" to be anything published before WotC's tenure - so everything except Eberron, Magic, and Exandria. If they said legacy, I'd agree with your take.
How you interpret it is irrelevant when discussing what WotC mean. WotC don't use the word "legacy", they use the word "classic".
I really don't see the down-side of a full-blown FR setting book. /
The fork-lift truck required to shift it: FR is too big to fit into a single volume. SCAG is the "full blown FR book". One of the reasons for confining it to the north west (it covers a lot more than just the Sword Coast) was the need to keep the page count down.

Also, as a core rules setting it lacks crunch. WotC knows it's crunch as sells books.
Most importantly (for WotC) it would probably sell quite well, given that it is the default setting for most of the adventures./
All the setting information needed to run an adventure is in the adventure. That is how WotC are detailing the setting - through the adventure books.
I can't speak for the young 'uns, but I imagine they want to know more about the world they've been playing in.
Young 'uns know how to use Google.

It's not impossible that another FR book that isn't an adventure is published by WotC, but it would be something specialised like Acquisitions Inc. And hence not a "classic" setting. Unless it was "Oriental Adventures", and we know how likely that is...
 

WotC's strategy is not to publish rehush, in internet age you have to offer something enough new. Crunch needs time and playtesting to find the right balance power and fun gameplay, and the lore/background/fluff has to be enough flexible to allow a multimedia franchise. Today the metaplot of no-FR or M:tG franchises are totally frozen. WotC said the strategy about the old titles is like a music company selling a compilation of the superhits by a veteran band.

WotC has to offer something can't be imitated by 3PPs, and not only original brands.

And WotC needs a clear strategy about allowing fandom to publish fiction based in alternate timelines of famous settings.
 

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