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D&D 5E Planescape to languish in purgatory?

Einlanzer0

Explorer
Are you sure? I mean, that's @Morrus you're talking to ...

Anyway, I think one factor with these "I wish WotC would republish old settings" arguments is a desire for affirmation. "It's my favourite setting, and I want others to agree that it's amazing."

Otherwise ... you have the lore, you know the rules - update the setting for yourself to suit your own wishes.

Maybe a little, but I mostly think it's just that people genuinely enjoy the settings and like seeing them get updated.
 

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teitan

Hero
I personally think the three settings are Spelljammer, Dragonlance and Greyhawk. Dragonlance because we know new novels had been in the offing even if WOtC dropped the ball, Spelljammer because it hasn’t been revisited since 2e and is one of the few settings that hasn’t had any sort of revision ever. Not even a rebooted boxed set in 2e. Dragonlance is just too danged popular and Greyhawk is so core, so iconic and Saltmarsh has increased demand for more about the setting in 5e. I think we would only get Planescape in a Planar book which I think is coming sort of like Voldo or Mordenkainen. A bit on each plane, some on Sigil, some of the remaining factions and then A bevy of monsters. Sigil is the key to a Planescape setting or at least bridging to one.

Birthright? No. Mystara maybe at a much later date. Dark Sun for sure. I also think we will see a full Wildemount style or FRCS style FR book for an anniversary product.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Dragonlance gonna be deader than a dodo. RIP.

Darksuns probably a shoe in.

Wouldn't be surprised Spelljammer gets kicked further up the reprint pole. There's nothing there that's really a problem in modern terms. No cultural appropriation, no potentially annoying belief systems or racial depictions.
 
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tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Dragonlance gonna be deader than a dodo. RIP.

Darjsubs probably a shoe in.

Wouldn't be surprised Spelljammer gets kicked further up the reprint pole. There's nothing there that's really a problem in modern terms. No cultural appropriation, no potentially annoying belief systems or racial depictions.
I agree with this logic. Spelljammer may have had some zany elements amid the darker ones at the time sure, but it didn't try to impose much of anything on the settings themselves & generally kept its lore outside the sphere's themselves with a much more "ok sure" type handling if a setting's handled something different than others inside its sphere
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I agree with this logic. Spelljammer may have had some zany elements amid the darker ones at the time sure, but it didn't try to impose much of anything on the settings themselves & generally kept its lore outside the sphere's themselves with a much more "ok sure" type handling if a setting's handled something different than others inside its sphere

Planescape theoretically is fine as well but someone will complain about heaven, hell or whatever.

Spelljamners guilty of being a bit silly but it knows it's silly.
 

Coroc

Hero
That's the thing, isn't it? The recent survey data indicated that 40% of D&D players are 25 and younger. They just don't have the nostalgia that older people do for old settings. Planescape was released in 1994, whereas Theros was 2013. A 25-year old wasn't even born then, but would've been a teenager when Theros came out - to them, that's their nostalgia.

I've talked to younger players and while some might be curious about older settings, they don't always have the same touchstones as older players do. In my one gaming group I talked about Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and absolutely no one knew anything about it.

Now, I think there's absolutely the case that there's room to bring these classic settings back to D&D, to make them relevant for new generations. I'd certainly love it, and love for the old settings and lore is threaded throughout 5e. But like you, said, there are easier wins and low-hanging fruit in newer settings.
current group is 40 i am 54 i dm gh. They heard the name and knew a tiny bit of it since it was 3e standard but that's about it and they did some 1e and 2e stuff as kids
 

Certainly we can take the 2e lore and import it into the 5e ruleset, but wouldn't it be wonderful to have 5e material in these universes?
Absolutely, I'm way too lazy to do the conversions myself, but without those conversions the old settings lose what made them unique in some ways. I've long been somewhat frustrated with the types of products and the format (type and page count) that WotC is putting out and the rate at which they are doing so. I understand why they are doing so as its proved successful and they are targeting a younger demographic. Still that doesn't mean they cant deviate from this from time to time.

Seeing as most of the previous editions books are available on DMs Guild so for the sake of argument here's how I see they could update the old most popular settings with all crunch and no fluff. People who want the fluff can get it elsewhere. For each setting they'd mostly need to update the following:
  • Races
  • Classes
  • Setting unique rules
  • Magic/Psionics: Spells, Magical Items, etc
  • Monsters
Here what I consider the more popular settings and some either dont need much updating or have already gotten updates.
  • Eberron - Updated in RftLW
  • Exandria - New setting book
  • Forgotten Realms - Updated in SCAG & adventures
  • Greyhawk - Besides monsters I dont think much crunch is required and updated in GoS
  • Ravenloft - Besides monsters I dont think much crunch is required and updated in CoS
This leaves the settings that need updating that have very specific mechanics that need to be included
  • Dark Sun
  • Dragonlance
  • Planescape
  • Spelljammer
I'd prefer hardback or softcover but I'd also support them doing pdfs with POD; they can even offer digital. Whether they address one setting at a time or say a book of races, then monsters for the four settings I think they have more options to consider and still make money than just do a complete update in one hardback per year.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Planescape theoretically is fine as well but someone will complain about heaven, hell or whatever.

I think the biggest issue with Planescape is that in 5E alignment is heavily downplayed (which I like) but in Planescape it's extremely important (which I like, but only for Planescape). Planescape is literally the only instance in D&D where I have found alignments "interesting" rather than annoying and silly.

5E's ethos allows for a fair degree of moral ambiguity and shades of gray, whereas Planescape, despite the fact that philosophical exploration is close to its heart, has the rigid, polar alignment system of earlier editions pretty much baked in.

5E's design and official adventures make the concept of alignment almost completely ignorable - which I strongly appreciate - but in Planescape you kind of need it. And Planescape doesn't just employ alignment "for a Planescape campaign"; it insists that alignments are governing factors across the entire multiverse.
 

MarkB

Legend
Anyway, I think one factor with these "I wish WotC would republish old settings" arguments is a desire for affirmation. "It's my favourite setting, and I want others to agree that it's amazing."

Otherwise ... you have the lore, you know the rules - update the setting for yourself to suit your own wishes.
That's a factor, but I think it's as much about wanting the setting to actually be on peoples' radar, so that they actually know about it to consider whether or not they might like it.

After all, you can update and adapt the setting for your own purposes as much as you like, but that doesn't get you a set of players who are interested in enjoying it along with you. Having an official setting book published helps with that a lot.

Also, it doesn't gain you the opportunity to join a game in that setting as a player. If you're updating the setting based upon the old products you own, you're pretty much condemned to having to be the DM for those games, unless you already know someone who's as passionate about it as you are.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
Wouldn't be surprised Spelljammer gets kicked further up the reprint pole. There's nothing there that's really a problem in modern terms. No cultural appropriation, no potentially annoying belief systems or racial depictions.
The depiction of the Inhuman nations of Goblinoids and Orcs generally has them as just being evil, and that might not fit with some of the directions they're going. The depiction of Gnomes leans very much into Krynn's Gnomes with them being unreliable fools. Shou Lung as a space power had some problems, like one example of despite being Toril's China some of them were just too Japanese. I think there were "Space-Gypsies" down to all the bad stereotypes of the Roma, somewhere in the setting. And while they were depicted as villainous there were the Xenos a Neo-Nazi (or Human Supremacist) faction and the Chainmen slavers.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The depiction of the Inhuman nations of Goblinoids and Orcs generally has them as just being evil, and that might not fit with some of the directions they're going. The depiction of Gnomes leans very much into Krynn's Gnomes with them being unreliable fools. Shou Lung as a space power had some problems, like one example of despite being Toril's China some of them were just too Japanese. I think there were "Space-Gypsies" down to all the bad stereotypes of the Roma, somewhere in the setting. And while they were depicted as villainous there were the Xenos a Neo-Nazi (or Human Supremacist) faction and the Chainmen slavers.


A lot of that's not in the cotrvrules though so can be minimised or redone. Space gnomes can easily be redone as Artificers downplaying or ignoring the Krynn thing.
 

Weird Dave

Explorer
Publisher
It's hard to see Planescape coming back as a "setting" in the 2e definition. As someone who has been publishing planar content on the DMsGuild for a few years, I've managed to do it because I can sum up the Planescape campaign with three points:

  • Sigil is the setting for Planescape, and to a lesser extent the gate-towns in the Outlands. Most Planescape content centered on these places.
  • The factions. As has been stated in the thread, the factions were not great, and perhaps a little too tied to specific variations on commonly shared themes. There are ways to make them interesting, sure, but you can't deny they were a major component of the Planescape campaign setting as published.
  • The power of belief. This one is much harder to pin down, but there was a key theme of Planescape that defined the planes and existence as relying upon the belief of beings. A place or power's strength was defined by how much people believed in it, but it could be changed. I never really saw much of this in game per se, but it felt like a high-minded theme running through a lot of the supplements.

The planes have been a part of the broader D&D content before Planescape and after it, and they add a sense of connection to the rest of the settings that feels really cool. Spelljammer achieves a similar effect but leans in on the silly, though it really owns it so it's fun for me!

The Planescape setting brought a lot of content around each of the planes with various supplements, but having gone through almost all of them in the past few years, I was struck by how ... empty they felt. A lot of the content for each plane was identifying the changes to specific spells, which is just blech from my standpoint as a DM managing the game. For me, reading through a lot of the material then and now, I was struck by how little was actually useful to me as a DM running the game. It was fun to read, had an attitude, but most of the content was written from the "unreliable narrator" standpoint, which meant parsing usable info was frustrating and difficult. In my 2e gaming days I always wanted to run a Planescape campaign but the books never did me any favors as a DM, so I walked away from most of it. The Manual of the Planes for 3e really brought the planes into focus on how to actually USE them.
 

Weird Dave

Explorer
Publisher
For me, I'd love to see Greyhawk come back, but focusing on 579 CY Flanaess. Give me a setting on the brink of a massive war, and then give me a storyline outlining that war with mass battle rules and characters involved in high-stakes operations. Eberron has the fantasy post-war setting covered, so I personally have little interest in seeing a Greyhawk campaign set after the Greyhawk Wars.
 

Absolutely, I'm way too lazy to do the conversions myself, but without those conversions the old settings lose what made them unique in some ways. I've long been somewhat frustrated with the types of products and the format (type and page count) that WotC is putting out and the rate at which they are doing so. I understand why they are doing so as its proved successful and they are targeting a younger demographic. Still that doesn't mean they cant deviate from this from time to time.

Seeing as most of the previous editions books are available on DMs Guild so for the sake of argument here's how I see they could update the old most popular settings with all crunch and no fluff. People who want the fluff can get it elsewhere. For each setting they'd mostly need to update the following:
  • Races
  • Classes
  • Setting unique rules
  • Magic/Psionics: Spells, Magical Items, etc
  • Monsters
Here what I consider the more popular settings and some either dont need much updating or have already gotten updates.
  • Eberron - Updated in RftLW
  • Exandria - New setting book
  • Forgotten Realms - Updated in SCAG & adventures
  • Greyhawk - Besides monsters I dont think much crunch is required and updated in GoS
  • Ravenloft - Besides monsters I dont think much crunch is required and updated in CoS
This leaves the settings that need updating that have very specific mechanics that need to be included
  • Dark Sun
  • Dragonlance
  • Planescape
  • Spelljammer
I'd prefer hardback or softcover but I'd also support them doing pdfs with POD; they can even offer digital. Whether they address one setting at a time or say a book of races, then monsters for the four settings I think they have more options to consider and still make money than just do a complete update in one hardback per year.
I find it very odd you seem to believe there are more specific mechanics involved in Dragonlance than Ravenloft.
 

Redwizard007

Explorer
I find it very odd you seem to believe there are more specific mechanics involved in Dragonlance than Ravenloft.

DL has setting specific races and classes in addition to the typical setting specific monsters. Magic functions differently than in other settings. The gods actually need statblocks. in addition, there are several eras fit for gameplay that would need statted out.

Ravenloft has a fear mechanic and the Vistani.

Am I missing something?
 


DL has setting specific races and classes in addition to the typical setting specific monsters. Magic functions differently than in other settings. The gods actually need statblocks. in addition, there are several eras fit for gameplay that would need statted out.

Ravenloft has a fear mechanic and the Vistani.

Am I missing something?
The gods have never had statblocks in any DL release, not sure why you would start now.

Magic functions differently in Ravenloft (much bigger differences than you would see in DL, for one), Ravenloft also has changes to class abilities, monsters, magic items, and oodles of setting specific monsters.
 

Redwizard007

Explorer
The gods have never had statblocks in any DL release, not sure why you would start now.

Magic functions differently in Ravenloft (much bigger differences than you would see in DL, for one), Ravenloft also has changes to class abilities, monsters, magic items, and oodles of setting specific monsters.

Deities and Demigods called. They said, "do too," and hung up. Then I heard a voice-mail from Rise of Tiamat that was just a 5 headed dragon goddess crying because she apparently meant nothing to you.

Magic in Ravenloft does have some changes to specific spells, thats true, but Dragonlance has changes to spellcasting mechanics. Then there are Knights of Solomnia, not to mention a half dozen races that are significantly different from classic d&d.

Ravenloft is better done as individual adventures for each domain.
 

Deities and Demigods called. They said, "do too," and hung up. Then I heard a voice-mail from Rise of Tiamat that was just a 5 headed dragon goddess crying because she apparently meant nothing to you.

Magic in Ravenloft does have some changes to specific spells, thats true, but Dragonlance has changes to spellcasting mechanics. Then there are Knights of Solomnia, not to mention a half dozen races that are significantly different from classic d&d.

Ravenloft is better done as individual adventures for each domain.

There are no Dragonlance deities in Deities and Demigods or Rise of Tiamat. Takhisis is not Tiamat. She has a different personality, home, history and family. Paladine is not Bahamut.

Knights of Solamnia are not any different to various setting specific organisations that one might find in Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk or indeed, Ravenloft. (Knight of the Shadows, for one). The various races of Ansalon are not really that "out there". Kender are hardly very mechanically different from halflings, draconians from dragonborn and minotaurs have already been statted up a few times in 5E already.

The mechanics for spellcasting in Krynn have been represented in various different ways over the years, but "moon magic" (which I assume is what you are referring to) requires little more than a page of information (as it had in 3E) and it is not even applicable to all casters in Krynn. (Sorcerers are not affected by the moons, nor bards, or "novice" or renegade mages). To be honest, it is best represented by a wizard subclass.
 

There are no Dragonlance deities in Deities and Demigods or Rise of Tiamat. Takhisis is not Tiamat. She has a different personality, home, history and family. Paladine is not Bahamut.

Knights of Solamnia are not any different to various setting specific organisations that one might find in Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk or indeed, Ravenloft. (Knight of the Shadows, for one). The various races of Ansalon are not really that "out there". Kender are hardly very mechanically different from halflings, draconians from dragonborn and minotaurs have already been statted up a few times in 5E already.

The mechanics for spellcasting in Krynn have been represented in various different ways over the years, but "moon magic" (which I assume is what you are referring to) requires little more than a page of information (as it had in 3E) and it is not even applicable to all casters in Krynn. (Sorcerers are not affected by the moons, nor bards, or "novice" or renegade mages). To be honest, it is best represented by a wizard subclass.
The Knights of Solamnia would likely require an entirely different class, plus three subclasses. It would be very hard to add them to a fighter or paladin chassis. In a pinch, it could be done, but the subclasses required would require enough modification to the original class that it would probably take up a roughly equivalent amount of text as would adding an entirely new class anyway.

In the end, it's pretty obvious that both Ravenloft and Dragonlance would require significant rules modification to base 5e rules, and, unless both were to be published and we actually get a page count, it would be hard to determine which would need more. I'm not sure what material purpose an inter-setting peeing match over this matter serves in the end...
 

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