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D&D 5E Phandelver starting to show up in the wild. NewbieDM looks to be the first!

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Me personally I am all for in a good contrast, but the first part is just too bland. Make it goody shoe fantasy, but FANTASY. There was almost nothing fantastical about the town of phandelver. Could've been from a non-fantasy setting almost. The outskirts are a bit better but not much.
I agree with this. "Starting towns" need to be safe and stable -- that is the purpose they serve in play -- but they don't necessarily need to be mundane. Throw in a old grandmother treant planted in the center of town that gives out advice and apples. Make the captain of the town guard an intelligent animated armor, or maybe the inn is actually a demiplane. 5E in particular embraces gonzo high fantasy elements as "normal" such that it is sort of weird for it to present mundane towns and villages.
 

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pukunui

Legend
Throw in a old grandmother treant planted in the center of town that gives out advice and apples.
A treant would be able to beat the crap out of the Redbrand Ruffians, but yes, I get your point in general. I felt the same way about the initial Elemental Evil lairs in PotA - far too mundane. I wish they'd gone with the way cooler ones shown in the concept art at the back of the book.

I'd really love for WotC to do something truly fantastical ... like a world split apart by magic, where everyone lives on floating earthmotes and airships / teleportation circles are needed to get from one earthmote to another.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
A treant would be able to beat the crap out of the Redbrand Ruffians, but yes, I get your point in general. I felt the same way about the initial Elemental Evil lairs in PotA - far too mundane. I wish they'd gone with the way cooler ones shown in the concept art at the back of the book.

I'd really love for WotC to do something truly fantastical ... like a world split apart by magic, where everyone lives on floating earthmotes and airships / teleportation circles are needed to get from one earthmote to another.
They already own Zendikar as a setting that looks pretty much like what you are asking. They just have to publish it as a D&D setting! It hits way more modern fantasy tropes than the old settings they try to revive.
 

pukunui

Legend
They already own Zendikar as a setting that looks pretty much like what you are asking. They just have to publish it as a D&D setting! It hits way more modern fantasy tropes than the old settings they try to revive.
Cool. I'm not that familiar with most Magic settings, so I didn't know that. That would be cool if they did publish that one as a crossover setting.
 


mcmillan

Adventurer
Cool. I'm not that familiar with most Magic settings, so I didn't know that. That would be cool if they did publish that one as a crossover setting.
In case you weren't aware they did put out a free pdf that gives a short overview of the plane, stats for PC species, and a bestiary (though looking at it now, the Zendikar bestiary was basically just "use the stats for [standard d&d creature] for [zendikar creature]". This was also when they were putting out art books that I've heard some people say made decent system neutral setting lore books though I haven't picked up any myself. Plane Shift: Zendikar - Wizards of the Coast | Magic: the Gathering | Dungeon Masters Guild
Still would be nice to see some of these revisited as a full book, especially given the major changes the magic setting had since they came out
 

TheSword

Legend
I agree with this. "Starting towns" need to be safe and stable -- that is the purpose they serve in play -- but they don't necessarily need to be mundane. Throw in a old grandmother treant planted in the center of town that gives out advice and apples. Make the captain of the town guard an intelligent animated armor, or maybe the inn is actually a demiplane. 5E in particular embraces gonzo high fantasy elements as "normal" such that it is sort of weird for it to present mundane towns and villages.
The tyranny of novelty.

ToA had dinosaur racing in the streets - just add that into which ever campaign you’re running.

For some less jaded players Phandelver won’t be the 47th starting town they’ve seen and therefore there isn’t the same need to make it some wacky, far out, magic roundabout style, theme park of a starter town.

Special features are great, but I prefer tasteful and integrated.
 


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