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The D&D Multiverse needs a "Crisis on Infinite Oerths"


This would be an interesting concept for when they want to end the current D&D line (5E).

If I recall, that was how they ended 2nd Edition AD&D, via Die, Vecna, Die! At a minimum, its plotline combined Ravenloft, Greyhawk, and Planescape.

Since D&D has always been meant as a fairly generic rules for differing worlds, using this event would be a good way to consolidate the worlds into a single style. The next edition could then be based on using that style exclusively, based on the outcome of the storyline.

Some people would probably really enjoy that. I would guess that the majority would not.

I would think it'd be on the unpopular side, as a part of D&D's popularity is its legacy of many different worlds of different styles (even if most people just make their own,) and implicitly taking that option of differing styles away is probably going to upset those who don't want to play whatever style WotC says is now the canonical "D&D Style."

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It sounds interesting for me but it should be a really good story, and this is a true challenge. We could use the chronomancers and the time dragons, the antagonists of the module "Where the chaos reigns", the grand conjunction of Ravenloft, Vecna, former dark lord of the demiplane of dread and now god of the secrets, and different parallel timeline of Krynn.

Sometimes I think D&D multiverse needs a reboot or a retcon to can add the new classes and races from last editions.


Lost in Dark Sun
Reply to OP.

And have them destroy all their multiple official settings except the Forgotten Realms?

No, thank you!


Trust the Fungus
The result? Not cataclysmic...not destroying the worlds. But rather, a coherentizing. In the process, all adventures, novels, films, etc (and even odd things like characters seen on the AD&D beach towel), are officially placed in one (or more) worlds and timelines, and all timelines are given a numerical continuity designation. (The Transformers continuity is the most sophisticated example of this; even more complex than the Marvel and DC world-numbering system.)
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO These are all wholly separate fantasy worlds. They don't even have the same gods or even the same cosmologies. They're not supposed to be coherent, they're barely supposed to be compatible, and trying to facilitate "cross-play" is the biggest source of the worst elements of all of them.


The way I see it is to have the characters plane-hopping, and interacting with the "icons", but on a quest that is vitally important, but doesn't lead to the destruction of the different settings. It may be that something unique is needed from each official setting to destroy an evil artefact. The PC's will have to fight, steal, trade, bargain, persuade those items from their owners with the help of some of the icons, and the hindrance of others. Some factions will want the artefact destroyed, others to stop it's destruction.
It could help emphasize the difference between the official settings.
So there would be no super group of official icons, instead they are there to help or hinder the PC's, sometimes directly, but mainly indirectly.
Thats my initial take on the idea.


Hey dndphilmont, long time no see...

I see you haven't yet given up on the dream of the One True Setting (TM) that combines nearly every inch of terrain TSR or WotC has ever produced into a massive, internally consistent megaverse. Problem is, I don't exactly think there is as much a market for this as you might think there is.

Comic Book crossovers generally work because they focus on characters and their stories. A comic crossover is great because it puts Spider-Man, Ironman, Wolverine, Deadpool, Mr Fantastic, Daredevil, and other heroes up against either impossible odds or invincible foes. The story is big because we follow those characters separately, and then enjoy watching them team up or clash.

D&D, for the most part, is different because it makes the player characters the focus and many games rarely even involve official D&D settings or characters. Sure, D&D has some famous names like Drizzt, Mordenkainen, or the Heroes of the Lance, but in general D&D isn't about big personalities. If there is any exception, it’s that certain villains from modules like Accerack and Strahd hold fond memories of players defeating them, but overall, D&D doesn't have the big names to support a decent crossover event. One need only look at the debate about adapting a famous D&D story (like Crystal Shard or Dragons of Autumn Twilight) into a big-budget movie to see that D&D doesn't have much consensus on what its own iconic moments are.

Moving on, most of the characters you mention are extremely obscure at this point: Nobody under 40 knows who Aleena is, and many current players might be hard-pressed to name Jozan, Mialee and Tordek. The D&D cartoon has a little punch due to nostalgia, but I don't think many people would even know who Strongheart or Warduke are. You might have some luck with the Baldur's Gate NPCs (esp in light of renewed interest due to the third game) and a little luck with the iconic novel heroes (Drizzt, Elminster, etc) but the era of "D&D having iconic recognizable heroes" is largely over. As I said, you would do moderately better with villains (Strahd, Soth, Tiamat, Asmoedus, Accerack, Xanathar) but unless the idea is to march around the universe slaying BBEG, I don't see much value in the League of Super Villains.

These days, you're "big crossover event" might be best done as some massive, interconnected streaming event crossing over Aquistions Inc with Critical Role, Dice Camera Action, the Waffle Crew, and other famous streamers all playing their iconic characters. There is far more love and respect for those characters in the community than there is for most of the names on your list. Plus, the opportunity to see streamers who don't always interact with each other would be far more interesting than name-dropping some obscure 80's character.

Mostly though, I think WotC has taken the right attitude with its slow-walk of various settings so as not overwhelm the game with settings and variants. We have Forgotten Realms as the default/kitchen sink, and have pulled back to reveal parts of Greyhawk (Saltmarsh) and Ravenloft (Barovia), along with fuller setting treatments in Eberron and Ravnica. (The latter opening a larger can of worms in terms of its inclusion; since it drags the entire MtG universe with it kicking and screaming). I'm sure we'll see Dark Sun or a fuller Planescape sooner rather than later, and continued nods toward Greyhawk, Dragonlance, or Mystara. Any sort of multiverse project cramming in Jakandor is bound to be a bigger headache than its worth.

So ultimately, such a project would be a big amount of work for a rather small niche market. I'm happy the implied multiverse (all D&D world more-or-less are reachable via magic, spelljamming or planar travel, even if settings like Ravnica or Eberron are more remote and have their own cosmologies) exists and I aside form the occasional nod or easter egg (like Mordenkainen in Curse of Strahd) I don't see much value in crossing settings in some universe spanning project.

Also, I read War of the Spark for MtG: keep Wizards away from the mega-crossover field if that's the best their writing team can do!

Unfortunately 5E already assumes by default that all campaign settings are part of the same Great Wheel, including the entire cosmologies of Eberron and Magic: The Gathering, which are explained away as being part of each setting's Material Plane.

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