Two-Volume Settings and the Legacy of Editions Past


This may sound a bit weird, but I don't want there to be a ton of books for any setting. I LOVE the current model. LOVE IT! I don't want to have to worry about things that happen (and that I develop) in my campaign to contend with newly published books. I like the idea of "here is a setting, here are some details, make of it what you will." Everything that isn't defined is tabula rasa and I don't want that to change later.

If the next setting is Dragonlance, I'm certainly going to buy (it would be the first 4e setting that I would buy as I have little to no interest in FR or Eberron), but I (like others) would love a new 4e setting that really embraces the PoL concept in some interesting way.

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First Post
I like new settings, and I'm perfectly happy with limited setting support provided that is made clear up front.

What I want is new settings. I am glad Forgotten Realms is out of the way, I might look at the Eberron Campaign Guide, but I already have more than enough Eberron stuff for my simple tastes.

I'm anxiously awaiting the announcement of the new setting, but now it looks like there is a reasonable chance it might be flippin' Dragonlance. Been there, done that.

Where is the new setting to show off what 4th edition can do? I don't even play 4th edition, but I'd buy the setting.

Amethal, you're preaching to the choir!

The lack of a true 4E setting, built to integrate with and showcase the system, is one of WotC's critical 4E failures IMHO. As a GM who likes a detailed setting and who doesn't have the time to do it myself, the lack of a new 4E world is a problem.

On the original topic of the Annual 2 Book settings that WotC is pumping out, Eberron looks promising but FR was a bust when it came to attracting me to the world. I can appreciate that this skeletal approach leaves room for GM's to individualize the setting, but for those GM's and players who want additional detail, they are simply out of luck.


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The only thing I feel is lacking in the current format is adventures. As a member of the lazy dm's guild (or at least I would be if I ever got around to finishing the application) I really would like an easy way to run an Eberron campaign without having to write the plot, all the encounters, etc, myself or having to transpose a generic adventure to setting specific, as the Eberron setting pretty much demands certain elements. I actually think this is a role that Dragon could fill reasonably easily, by have additional adventure paths for each setting. IE, every dragon would have a SoW adventure, then either an Eberron or FR adventure on alternating months, plus some other stand alone adventures.


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Do you remember the EnWorld member that would trip out each month that Dragon/Dungeon would come out for Paizo, complaining that his setting wasn't well represented? I think it was for Eberron, and he would rant and rave, claim he could write better adventures for it than the guys at Dungeon (Paizo) but never actually submitted anything?

I really hope that we don't see that kind of Setting Envy from people that feel their favorite isn't getting the love. It was like watching a slo-mo traffic accident.


All I know is that the current set-up has significantly lowered the barrier of entry to the established campaign settings and will personally get me to buy pretty much any one that WoTC decides to release. I came back to D&D in 2005, so it was too costly for me to buy all the 3e and 3.5e FR books released at that point, even though it had been my setting of choice in late 1e and 2e (Grey Box for the Win!), and Eberron was not much better after I got into that. All I can say is that I'm lucky I lived in an area where poor college students had to sell all their stuff at the end of the semester for food and beer money.

I've never once playing in a published campaign setting (the closest I came was Spelljammer, where I took chunks of it and adapted it to my world for it's fantasy space). Anecdotally, I know no GM (in person) that has every used a campaign setting (small numbers there, under 20).

So the current system is ideal for people like me - I can grab the player's guide for the new rules and such (my world now has both Dragonmarks, a Prophecy and the Spellplauge), and I can look at the setting book itself and see if there is anything I want to steal. I know I can buy into a setting and not worry about needing to buy every supplement to get all the details of a setting (if I want to use one).

I also like that with the "new year, new setting" approach, we can get a scattershot of many setting each with a different feel.


First Post
When I first read the 4E Forgotten Realms books, they seemed kind of on the lackluster side in comparison to the 3E Forgotten Realms campaign guide.

At the time many old 3.5E books were ending up in bargain bins, where I picked up many of the 3E/3.5E FR splatbooks highly discounted. (Many for less than $15 a pop). In the end after reading through the 3.5E FR books, many of them were largely mediocre and lackluster too. The few outstanding FR books were the original 3E FR campaign guide and maybe also the Underdark and FR Faiths and Pantheons books. The region specific books looked like as if they were generated semi-randomly by one of those online random dungeon generators (ie. Unapproachable East, etc ...). Other FR books looked like they were cut-and-paste jobs of other WotC 3E/3.5E D&D generic splatbooks, with FR specific fluff added in (ie. Dragons of Faerun, Power of Faerun, Champions of Valor, Champions of Ruin, etc ...).

Overall most of the 3E/3.5E Forgotten Realms splatbooks were largely a disappointment.

I also picked up all of the 3.5E Eberron books found in the bargain bins at FLGS in town. Besides the first few Eberron books (ie. campaign guide, Sharn, etc ...), most of the Eberron splatbooks were largely mediocre and lackluster in the end. From a casual reading of the 4E Eberron Player's Guide at a local "big box" bookstore, it doesn't look very impressive. Hopefully the 4E Eberron campaign guide will be better.

If most of the 3.5E Forgotten Realms and Eberron books were not spectacular sellers, then I wouldn't be surprised to see why WotC is only pursuing the strategy of 2 books + 1 module for each new setting released each year for 4E. I remember seeing several 3.5E FR and Eberron books in the bargain section of several "big box" bookstores, in piles of 10 or more copies each.
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First Post
I also picked up all of the 3.5E Eberron books found in the bargain bins at FLGS in town. Besides the first few Eberron books (ie. campaign guide, Sharn, etc ...), most of the Eberron splatbooks were largely mediocre and lackluster in the end.

Just wanted to point out that the 3e Eberron Player's Guide is absolutely fantastic, and I highly, highly recommend it for anyone remotely interested in Eberron, regardless of edition. It's set up like an encyclopedia, with alphabetized "articles" on most of the things you might want to know about the setting.

I've only skimmed the 4e EPG briefly, but I like it. The back of the book actually has a pretty good setting guide with a quick overview of most of the points of interest.


First Post
I think that the two book plus an adventure is a good way to handle settings. Yes, if you love the setting it is not nearly enough, but if you only use it sparingly or not at all, it is good.

I would rather that WOTC do a bit about multiple campaigns rather than support one or two ad nauseum, as they have done the last couple editions. Especially as I do not like either of the ones they supported in 3.5.


First Post
The 'fluff'-oriented 3E books will never be outdated. They're an excellent source about the setting.

Actually, I even consider some of 2E stuff essential.

Agreed. Even though Unther is gone, I still view 2nd ed FR Old Empires to be important for running campaigns in that region.

I remember running players through adventures dealing with Mulhorand and they had no clue where I was getting my information from because they started playing in 3rd edition! The players had scattered paragraphs in 3e dealing with the region whereas I had a sourcebook. The extra detail was well worth it.

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