D&D 5E Revising Classic Settings

The Glen

Legend
Marketing is the biggest issue. How do you make a setting sound fun? Greyhawk is a complete mess politically. The entire region is a powder keg waiting to blow. You've got expansionist Nations looking to increase their borders, secret societies trying to purge the impure, and the supposed good guys can't put aside their differences to present a united front.

That's what the players are facing. There isn't an elminster in Greyhawk. There isn't going to be high-level saviors that are going to keep the status quo. The high-level Wizards here really don't care about anyone but themselves. And that's a reoccurring theme because a lot of the Nations don't care about what's outside their borders. The elves would watch the Flaeness burn rather than risk their own people.

It's grim. It's bleak. At any given moment you're looking at Fantasy World War 1 as all the old grudges get settled in a geyser of blood. There aren't many happy endings in Greyhawk. But unlike ravenloft or dark Sun they are still possible. You will earn your happy ending
 

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grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
I am starting to accept that some of the older settings will need to be revamped to bring it up to speed. I may not like it, but the original material is still out there. If you want to draw in new fans to the setting, you are going to have to cater to a new audience.
Greyhawk: I see this as a release for the 50th anniversary. It is the setting of the history of D&D. You play up being a world of fracturing alliances and crumbling kingdoms. The Heirs of Turrosh Mak have made the first Orc and Goblinoid kingdom and look to normalize relations with the rest of the continent. Iuz continues to try and be every fantasy villain overlord, but now faces a rival in the resurgent Horned Society. Update the setting to being messy, unstable, and prone to collapse. The Circle of Eight's plan to 'maintain the balance' is a fool's errand, even before Robilar and Rary's betrayal. But there are many who would like to keep the status quo. It is a setting for adventurers to make a difference, even if the difference is only to their own finances.
Dragonlance: With new fiction being released by original authors with original characters, I don't see this setting being changed too much.
If they did change it, they would have to advance the timeline by a lot. Or find another continent hiding somewhere.
 



dave2008

Legend
Greyhawk: I see this as a release for the 50th anniversary. It is the setting of the history of D&D. You play up being a world of fracturing alliances and crumbling kingdoms. The Heirs of Turrosh Mak have made the first Orc and Goblinoid kingdom and look to normalize relations with the rest of the continent. Iuz continues to try and be every fantasy villain overlord, but now faces a rival in the resurgent Horned Society. Update the setting to being messy, unstable, and prone to collapse. The Circle of Eight's plan to 'maintain the balance' is a fool's errand, even before Robilar and Rary's betrayal. But there are many who would like to keep the status quo. It is a setting for adventurers to make a difference, even if the difference is only to their own finances.
My son has been asking for Game of Thrones style setting and I think you could get that with Greyhawk and some tweaking. What you have hear sounds like a good start. You might have to dial down the magic some, but I think D&D could use an official low magic setting.
 
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embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
Marketing is the biggest issue. How do you make a setting sound fun? Greyhawk is a complete mess politically. The entire region is a powder keg waiting to blow. You've got expansionist Nations looking to increase their borders, secret societies trying to purge the impure, and the supposed good guys can't put aside their differences to present a united front.

That's what the players are facing. There isn't an elminster in Greyhawk. There isn't going to be high-level saviors that are going to keep the status quo. The high-level Wizards here really don't care about anyone but themselves. And that's a reoccurring theme because a lot of the Nations don't care about what's outside their borders. The elves would watch the Flaeness burn rather than risk their own people.

It's grim. It's bleak. At any given moment you're looking at Fantasy World War 1 as all the old grudges get settled in a geyser of blood. There aren't many happy endings in Greyhawk. But unlike ravenloft or dark Sun they are still possible. You will earn your happy ending
Huh.

That legit sounds like a fun setting. Like, the way you put it legit makes me want to know more about that setting.

WOTC should hire you to write copy for them.
 


The Glen

Legend
Huh.

That legit sounds like a fun setting. Like, the way you put it legit makes me want to know more about that setting.

WOTC should hire you to write copy for them.
Considering covid-19 killed my magazine last year I do need to update the resume. But if you think that's impressive you should see what I did with Mystara.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Not sure if these are "revisions" or just "notes"...but a few things that crossed my mind...

Dragonlance/Krynn: Draconians are anything BUT "just dragonborn." They need to be their own, completely independent and separate creatures...with five distinct, completely individual sub-types that all do different things. Tinker gnomes, gully dwarves, and kender are supremely irritating, and I wish they'd never been created, but they are distinctly and foundationally "Krynn." They have to stay in and receive their own gnome, dwarf, halfling, respectively, sub-races. Play up the "Moon-alignment (arcane) Magic" thing. Play up the Krynn Pantheon of deities, besides just Paladine ("Fizban"), Mishakal, Takhisis. It was a rich, pretty cool pantheon/mythology.

Greyhawk doesn't need to change a thing. Just reprint/put out the original box set "anniversary edition," better and more abundantly illustrated, and make everyone happy.

I have no desire to see anymore Planescape/Sigil material, ever. It had waaaay more attention than it needed or deserved originally. I have never understood the allure of Dark Sun. Spelljammer...meh, there may be something that could be done there...not sure what. But feel like it could, potentially, be reworked into something...better than it was, and seemed intended to be/become...but never really "got there." If that makes sense. I feel like they lost a lot of interest/cred with the anthro-hippos.
 

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