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D&D 6E Should There Be a Core Setting?

Should There Be a Core Setting in the 6e DMG, PHB, and MM?


  • Total voters
    129

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
This is a simple question and hopefully a larger discussion about the direction that the 3 core rulebooks in 6e could take; Should there be a Core Setting in 6e? That is, should the 3 core rulebooks and the rest of the base edition assume that a certain setting is being used in the flavor-text for the PHB race, the Monsters in the Monster Manual, and the descriptions of the world(s) in the DMG (though, the 5e DMG has much less setting-assumption than the PHB and DMG)? Should there be named spells like "Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion" and "Bigby's Hand" in favor of "Magnificent Mansion" and "Arcanist's Hand"?

What are your thoughts on this?
 
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Minigiant

Legend
6e should have a core setting.
That core 6e setting should be designed from scratch.
Official settings and playstyles should be the 6e core setting with modifications and name changes.

In fact there should be multiple "core" settings. A core setting for the base lore and assumptions and 1-2 alternate cores to displays how one could modify the core.
 

pemerton

Legend
This is a simple question and hopefully a larger discussion about direction that the 3 core rulebooks in 6e could take; Should there be a Core Setting in 6e? That is, should the 3 core rulebooks and the rest of the base edition assume that a certain setting is being used in the flavor-text for the PHB race, the Monsters in the Monster Manual, and the descriptions of the world(s) in the DMG (though, the 5e DMG has much less setting-assumption than the PHB and DMG)? Should there be named spells like "Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion" and "Bigby's Hand" in favor of "Magnificent Mansion" and "Arcanist's Hand"?

What are your thoughts on this?
D&D already has a "core setting", that is implied by the entries for races, classes (especially the more colourful ones like warlocks and druids), and monsters.

I thought that 4e D&D did the best job of presenting all this as a coherent package decided to support exciting game play over 3 tiers of play. The presence of names like Bigby and Mordenkainen and Hadar and Vecna is all part of that.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I’m kinda torn. On one hand, I loved what 4e did with its assumed setting - just enough implied lore to pique the reader’s interest and get the creative energy flowing, but vague enough to leave plenty of room to make it your own. On the other hand, they caught lightning in a bottle with PoLand, and I don’t think it’s likely they can pull it off again. Maybe no assumed setting is better than a poorly executed one.

This is all academic though, as I think it’s pretty much a sure bet 6e will have an assumed setting. It’s just a question of how intrusive it will be. And I think 4e is the right level of assumed setting intrusiveness to shoot for. So I guess I’ve talked myself into a yes, at about 4e level, which is more than 5e in some ways, but less in others… I guess that balances out to “roughly 5e level”?
 

Nope. Leave it out of the core books and put it where it belongs in a setting book. Concentrate on making the rules as clear, easily understood and organized as possible. Any space devoted to a setting in the core books is space taken away from doing the latter. Regarding deities and clerics, break it down to its lowest common denominator such as domains/spheres, portfolios or dogma but they dont need to reference a specific deity. Players can fill in those blanks themselves.
 


The core books have an implied setting as @pemerton notes. I think this could be leveraged to create a new points of light setting consistent with the implied world building of the core books. But this would require them to make some world-building choices that they currently handwave. The kitchen sink high fantasy forgotten realms facilitates this handwaving by how cartoonish it is (which, maybe they want a cartoonish implied setting).

Are there plenty of low-level clerics running around creating water and sorcerer kids creating havoc by spamming minor illusions, or are spellcasters rare (and feared/persecuted)? What does an orc society look like, if they are not inherently chaotic evil (or, are all societies multi-racial)? How rare/frequent are other monsters...are there 10 dragons in the world, or 1000?

In any case, I'd love a return to there being one core rulebook, rules cyclopedia style, with a little setting in the back.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Nope. Leave it out of the core books and put it where it belongs in a setting book. Concentrate on making the rules as clear, easily understood and organized as possible. Any space devoted to a setting in the core books is space taken away from doing the latter. Regarding deities and clerics, break it down to its lowest common denominator such as domains/spheres, portfolios or dogma but they dont need to reference a specific deity. Players can fill in those blanks themselves.
I don't think that is possible.

You have to supply lore. D&D is past the point where it can be fluff dry.

The question is if 6e has
  1. one heavily implied core setting,
  2. one lightly implied core setting,
  3. multiple equally implied core setting,
  4. has no core setting but heavily implies common or popular tropes and names
  5. has no core setting but multiple popular trope and naming option
 

I don't think that is possible.

You have to supply lore. D&D is past the point where it can be fluff dry.

The question is if 6e has
  1. one heavily implied core setting,
  2. one lightly implied core setting,
  3. multiple equally implied core setting,
  4. has no core setting but heavily implies common or popular tropes and names
  5. has no core setting but multiple popular trope and naming option
I dont recall there being any mention of a core setting in the 1E or 2E core books besides named spells, but its been over 20 years since Ive read any of those and I could be mistaken. But I think it could be done. Just my opinion and its what I would want if I had my choice.
 

pemerton

Legend
Regarding deities and clerics, break it down to its lowest common denominator such as domains/spheres, portfolios or dogma but they dont need to reference a specific deity. Players can fill in those blanks themselves.
This is already choosing a setting. Eg is the storm god associated with war? Wrath? Leadership? Life-granting rainfall? Is the god of the sun a friend or enemy (as might be the case for desert dwellers)? Etc
 

This is already choosing a setting. Eg is the storm god associated with war? Wrath? Leadership? Life-granting rainfall? Is the god of the sun a friend or enemy (as might be the case for desert dwellers)? Etc
No its not. Like I said let the players/DM figure that out unless people need the core books to cover every little detail.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I went with No, but minor assumptions is fine. As others have said their is an implied core setting due to the nature of the rules, races and class presentation. The implied setting is fine, but beyond that I think the core rules should be toolbox guide to create unique settings and stories
 

The game is going to have some base assumptions on genre, which could be described as a "setting," which IMO is the only type of core setting they should use. To create a new setting as core is to immediately shoehorn new DMs into that setting, rather than encouraging them to make their own. This was a huge complaint with the Starter Set of 5E, with everyone crying that "Forgotten Realms is the core setting!" The worst thing that happened to Greyhawk was becoming the "core setting" of 3E, because everything unique about the setting was ignored, generating the feeling that Greyhawk is just "vanilla." While I'm not a fan, Nentir Vale/Points of Light of 4E was a unique setting designed to go with the edition, lacking any existing baggage, which I think is the only other acceptable option for me.
 

pemerton

Legend
No its not. Like I said let the players/DM figure that out unless people need the core books to cover every little detail.
If the core rules give a sun domain with healing magic, or a storm domain that is distinct from a rulership domain, or a dark domain that is associated with Undead, then they are establishing setting.

Likewise if they give paladins of vengeance or "the green" but not (say) liberation or domination.
 

If the core rules give a sun domain with healing magic, or a storm domain that is distinct from a rulership domain, or a dark domain that is associated with Undead, then they are establishing setting.

Likewise if they give paladins of vengeance or "the green" but not (say) liberation or domination.
OK then.
 

pemerton

Legend
To create a new setting as core is to immediately shoehorn new DMs into that setting, rather than encouraging them to make their own. This was a huge complaint with the Starter Set of 5E, with everyone crying that "Forgotten Realms is the core setting!"
Who voiced this complaint? The new players and GMs? Did this complaint affect sales of that set?
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I dont recall there being any mention of a core setting in the 1E or 2E core books besides named spells, but its been over 20 years since Ive read any of those and I could be mistaken. But I think it could be done. Just my opinion and its what I would want if I had my choice.
No, you're right, there wasn't any. Aside from named spells, which only imply that sometimes spells are known to be associated with a specific caster. Maybe that caster invented the spell, maybe that caster just used it a lot. It's flavorful but non-distinct.

Dripping hints if different settings in a core book is OK, I guess, especially since there's such a wealth of material over the years. But these should be examples of how to make a setting and customize ideas, not nailing in any kind of default.
 

I'd like to be able to vote "No, but some descriptions of specific settings and their races/monsters cultures are okay." Except I can't in good conscience do that because then we wind up with 5e's "core books are generic [as long as generic is almost exclusively FR and basically never contradicts FR without considering the needs of settings that differ from FR]". So far we have to settings thst needed some amount of new/different system mechanics to fit the themes that need to run them as if they are basically FR with a coat of paint
 
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If you're going to have a core setting, 4E is the right way to do it.

5E's approach is messier and less compelling, and I'd rather have no core setting than that.

From WotC's perspective I'm pretty sure they think a core setting is important to the success of the IP so will continue to have one in any 6E, though I could see a custom one rather than the FR - albeit I think retaining the FR is more likely.
 

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