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D&D 5E Revising Classic Settings

Ravenloft is the first of 3 classic settings Wizards is planning to release. All the previews of VAN RICHTEN'S GUIDE TO RAVENLOFT suggest that it's not updating the campaign world to 5th ed. That they're instead redesigning the world again. Not quite starting from scratch but taking only the foundational ideas and dumping everything else.
The writers are making changes for representation and diversity and to remove stereotypes but also removing pet peeves and fixing redundant kingdoms. The human-horror of Vlad Dracov is becoming a zombie apocalypse land. The sexual predator mesmerist of Dementlieu is becoming a land of fey courtly intrigue with ghoul retainers. And the continent is being broken apart, with every nation now being an island.
It stands to reason if they're completely overhauling Ravenloft they'd do the same to the other two settings to make them more appealing to us modern audiences.

How would you like them to revise the other two settings?

My thoughts:

DragonLance:
There's zero way they wouldn't going to go back to the War of the Lance.
My first thought was they'd revise the Heroes of the Lance. Fewer humans and more women, gender flipping characters like Tassleholf or Flint. But I imagine they would just not mention those characters and all and let PC's be those heroes. Have the included adventure be a different way of starting the war campaign, with suggestions of where to go next that aren't always "follow the novels."
Focusing on the war offers a good focus for the book. It can online a few paths the war could take and provide ideas for having PC's get involved and adventures you can run during a war. Maybe some suggestions or rules for mass combat. As every book adds a new PC optional rule, this book could feature victory points, like in HEROES OF BATTLE for 3rd Ed.

They'd also have to include all the PH races like the half-orcs and tieflings. And Dragonlance people like Minotaurs and Irda. They'd also have to include sorcerers, warlocks, and bards into the world.
The dragonarmies should be mixed species and not just draconians, who could just be dragonborn. Goliaths are pretty popular as well. Wizards could include them in place of the human barbarian tribes to remove the giant Native American stereotypes. They could also rework kender to make them less disruptive at the table. Make them closer to regular halflings.
I've heard complaints about the size of the world. That could be fixed as well.
The use of steel pieces as the currency is weird. You can smelt down your sword for a profit. Dump that idea.
Elements introduced later can also be added. Like the Knights of Neraka and Legion of Steel.

Grayhawk:
There's a buttload of real world analogues in Grayhawk. And most of the kingdoms aren't diverse with elves and dwarves limited to their own kingdoms. The whole setting would need to be heavily reworked. Starting with making the Baklunish and Suel Empires more inclusive and less tied to a human ethnicity.
Might be best to focus entirely on the city of Grayhawk. Briefly describe the surroundings and neighboring lands and the key threats.
Grayhawk was always the setting people made their own. Going back to that would capture the spirit of the original. Provide brief one or two-paragraph descriptions of each kingdom designed to inspire. The book could even offer suggestions for customization, like different ways to use each nation. There could even be blanks on the map where DM's can add their own kingdoms or PC's could claim ownership. Claiming a keep and becoming a local lord is a very 1st Ed idea, which could be a key part of 5th Ed Grayhawk.

Dark Sun:
Wizards already rebooted this setting in 4th Ed. They'd probs keep it the same as that. Set things just after the Tyr uprising.
This world would be hard to update because of the amount of monsters required and all the new races and defiling rules and obsidian weapons. It would be a very big book.
It might be easier to have a list of monster descriptions and the equivalent monster stat block you can use in its place. Instead of having a baazrag you use an ankheg but give it a new trait. That way you could have three or four monsters per page.

Plane Scape:
Reworking the Factions seems like the way to go. There were so dang many factions. Fifteen plus ones added with each sourcebook. And many had awkward philosophies that made them challenging to belong to as an adventurer. Having a member of the Mercykillers or Revolutionary League or Xaositects can disrupt a party. Streamlining them down to nine would make them more focused and work with the Rule of Three.
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Grayhawk:
There's a buttload of real world analogues in Grayhawk. And most of the kingdoms aren't diverse with elves and dwarves limited to their own kingdoms. The whole setting would need to be heavily reworked. Starting with making the Baklunish and Suel Empires more inclusive and less tied to a human ethnicity.
Might be best to focus entirely on the city of Grayhawk. Briefly describe the surroundings and neighboring lands and the key threats.
Grayhawk was always the setting people made their own. Going back to that would capture the spirit of the original. Provide brief one or two-paragraph descriptions of each kingdom designed to inspire. The book could even offer suggestions for customization, like different ways to use each nation. There could even be blanks on the map where DM's can add their own kingdoms or PC's could claim ownership. Claiming a keep and becoming a local lord is a very 1st Ed idea, which could be a key part of 5th Ed Grayhawk.

I mean, the one way you are sure to anger all of the grognards is by misspelling their favorite campaign setting.

¯\(ツ)
 


I hope we get a new Dragonlance setting. As for what it might be, I think much will be dependent on the upcoming novels. I think a new setting or adventure might focus on large battles and interpersonal relationships and drama. I'd want something that evokes the War of the Lance without retreading that same ground. Give us a new set of Dragon Highlords to fight, with new stakes. Soth can come back, though. Nay, must come back.

Imagine a world where the DL series didn't force you to play as the Heroes of the Lance, weren't locked into the actions of the book. Want to tell the xenophobic elves to get stuffed, convince the goblins to switch sides, well, now you can.

As for Greyhawk, I used to really want it to return, but I'm starting to cool on seeing it in 5e. There's no world where the fans are going to be united in joy at a 5e Greyhawk - just look at the debate over From the Ashes Greyhawk that continues to this day. And I can already imagine certain sorts of gamers calling it "Greywoke."

Dark Sun they've already hinted strongly at releasing for 5e, once they cracked psionics. Now that they've done so, it's probably just a matter of time. I think post-apocalyptic D&D remains relevant, especially as the ravages of the climate crisis increase.

Planescape could certainly happen. I'd certainly be down with some extraplanar content. I'd rather see a new Manual of the Planes, though. To me, Sigil is cool and all, but I'd want places to go from there detailed first.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
You make good points here. I guess these are my thoughts;

Dragonlance
I agree the book will almost entirely be War of the Lance focused, though it may include a small section for "other eras." The War of the Lance is what people know Dragonlance for, it will take up 90% of the book or more.
There of course will be more diversity showcased, at least in art but probably some details of more diverse cultures as well.
I will disagree with you on the book having to include PHB races like half-orcs and tieflings. Recent setting books like Ravnica, Eberron, and Theros do not bother with adding the PHB races, so I see no reason why Dragonlance needs to do so.

Planescape
I very much agree that 15 factions... is a lot. Too many, honestly. I'm going to give it a little more thought as to which ones should be cut, but it should be at least 3 removed.
 

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
I hope we get a new Dragonlance setting. As for what it might be, I think much will be dependent on the upcoming novels. I think a new setting or adventure might focus on large battles and interpersonal relationships and drama. I'd want something that evokes the War of the Lance without retreading that same ground. Give us a new set of Dragon Highlords to fight, with new stakes. Soth can come back, though. Nay, must come back.

Imagine a world where the DL series didn't force you to play as the Heroes of the Lance, weren't locked into the actions of the book. Want to tell the xenophobic elves to get stuffed, convince the goblins to switch sides, well, now you can.

As for Greyhawk, I used to really want it to return, but I'm starting to cool on seeing it in 5e. There's no world where the fans are going to be united in joy at a 5e Greyhawk - just look at the debate over From the Ashes Greyhawk that continues to this day. And I can already imagine certain sorts of gamers calling it "Greywoke."

Dark Sun they've already hinted strongly at releasing for 5e, once they cracked psionics. Now that they've done so, it's probably just a matter of time. I think post-apocalyptic D&D remains relevant, especially as the ravages of the climate crisis increase.

Planescape could certainly happen. I'd certainly be down with some extraplanar content. I'd rather see a new Manual of the Planes, though. To me, Sigil is cool and all, but I'd want places to go from there detailed first.
we would still want a decent full psionic full caster to come with darksun.
do not remind me of the climate problem.

I have money on some variety of planescape.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
As for Greyhawk, I used to really want it to return, but I'm starting to cool on seeing it in 5e. There's no world where the fans are going to be united in joy at a 5e Greyhawk - just look at the debate over From the Ashes Greyhawk that continues to this day. And I can already imagine certain sorts of gamers calling it "Greywoke."

That would be sad.

I almost feel like they have to do something with Greyhawk for the 50th, right?
 

I don't think there are too many factions. And I certainly don't think the Revolutionary League or Xaositects should be cut.

I might have certain political biases that make me sympathetic to the Revolutionary League and some of the political movements they're based on. And I feel the Xaositects should be around even if they're "crazy" because some players like having "crazy" or "silly" characters.
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I'd love to see a Dragon Lance adventure path that introduces the setting that way and uses totally re-worked War of the Lance adventures to bring characters from low level to about 15th, but shunting the original stars of the series into revised NPC roles.
 

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