D&D General What About Those Other D&D Settings?


Blackmoor: The first campaign setting. The big question here is "Who has the rights? WotC, Arneson's estate, someone else?" Also very generic. What sets it apart?
The City of the Gods is what sets this setting apart, a sci-fi society that summons demons :devilish:

Greyhawk: The birthplace of adventure. I don't think there's anything that sets it apart from other settings. However, it's where the classic dungeons come from and it's iconic. If it was to come out, next year would be the time since it's the 50th anniversary.
As a Greyhawk fan, a huge part of me hopes they never touch Greyhawk again. The desire to modernize the setting does not sit well with me.

Kara-Tur: Fantasy East Asia, once published under the name "Oriental Adventures". Part of the Forgotten Realms. You might be able to get a cool wuxia-flavored adventure here, if handled correctly..
Maztica: One of D&D's takes on fantasy Mesoamerica. Lack of appeal. Not enough broad appeal. Might be best reserved for DMs Guild or fan content.
These are technically supported as part of the Forgotten Realms. WotC just refuses to acknowledge that anything outside the sword coast exists.

Mystara: The world of Basic D&D. This is a setting of settings, which include the Known World, Hollow World, Savage Coast, Red Steel, Thunder Rift, etc. Some classic adventures hail from here. It's got the gazetteer series (some good, some bad), a ton of real-world analogues, skyships, new races (where the tortle came from!), and more. The setting suffers from not being a cohesive setting. It's generic and doesn't fully stand apart.
This is one that didn't age well.

Nentir Vale: The setting of D&D 4th edition. Fairly generic, but some cool ideas in here. Personally, I'd have this be part of Exandria. I know, I know, that's a crossover. I could see an adventure set here.
The problem with Nentir Vale is that it's such a small setting that never got significant expansion. It's like a starter setting, rather than a real one. If not for the Axis cosmology, it would be easier to drop into an existing setting.

Taladas: The other continent of Dragonlance. There are some neat geographical features here, but in some ways, Taladas came across as the "anti-Ansalon." It lacks a lot of flavor that makes it Dragonlance. I don't see WotC investing money in this. Best left to DMs Guild and the Dragonlance Nexus (gratuitous plug).
"Other parts" of settings never seem to get attention beyond the casual mention. The only reason why there's so many settings in FR that got attention is because they were originally not part of the realms. IIRC, only Maztica was written specifically to be part of the Realms.

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I imagine "Council of Wyrms" as a "brother" of Ravenloft and Witchlight. In the elementa chaos of Limbo there is a "cluster" of demiplanes, the "Io's Blood Islands", and each island is ruled by a dragon overlord (or at least this is the theory). Here you can find almost all dragons from present and past editions... Let's say it is a "Jurasic Park" for dragons. Some island have got planar gates toward other type of demiplanes: the "occareterras" or "hollow worlds".

I'd love to see WotC come up with a genuinely new setting (an actual setting, not just the tiny tasters we got in the aforementioned Radiant Citadel miniadventures). And not just another MtG adaptation either. Something entirely new, designed specifically for D&D, and as distinct from conventional settings like FR/Exandria as Eberron is.
For what it's worth, one of the Golden Vault adventures (Shard of the Accursed) is canonically set in the same region as Radiant Citadel's San Citlán, and another (Affair on the Concordant Express), though itself set in the Outer Planes, references RC's Akharin Sangar in the adventure background.

So while they haven't been given the full campaign setting treatment as of yet, they're clearly not being treated as one-offs.

Also, WotC supposedly had two entirely new, non-MtG settings in the works for 2023 at one point, which I always kind of suspected would likely involve at least a couple of the Radiant Citadel locales. We haven't heard anything about them in a while, but with luck, they're still in the pipeline somewhere.
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My personal view, with the caveat that I did already give up on D&D before the OGL debacle, is that WotC should just give up on the old settings, since the late returns have been less than stellar. Have the old settings available as pdf's, with warning labels if necessary, and just start from scratch with a new kitchen sink setting that is palatable to current sensibilities.
My fear if they just started from scratch and made something new is that it would never be made for fear of upsetting some group or another. Or, it would be so bland that nobody would want to play it and it flops.


A suffusion of yellow
I would really love to see Grand Duchy of Karameikos (and just Karameikos) come back to prominence as a stand alone setting, with fully developed Balkans feel and inter-barony political intrigues. Pandius has great info so it wouldnt be too hard to update (and maybe even give it some domain management love)

Eldraine and Tarkir are my go toes for MTG crossovers, Eldraine gives a fairytale/Chivalric Romance setting (which DnD lacks) and could be used for Birthright style play too.
Tarkir is a better way of handling ‘Asian inspired’, with epic dragons too

Jakandor was anti-magic Barbarians v Necromancer cultist on a mysterious island, interesting premise, could work as n MTG setting too.

Al-Qadim was cool back in the day and I suppose could be done again using some of the designers who contributed to the Radiant Citadel (Tayyib Empire?)

When somebody hears the name al-Qadim. Is he imagining a djinn with Will Smith's face singing and tellking jokes? Disney's Aladdin TV serie has been one of my favorites.

Jakandor is too "small" for the currents standars, too limited about PC species and classes. Today it would be more like a place to be visited in a one-shot adventure. My idea is the two factions discover and explore a new continent, but here there are visitors from other world, the Athasians, and among these some defiler, and maybe there are also from other planet, the Red Coast(Mystara) searching the red steel.

Eldraine is maybe the M:tG with more possibilies to be adapted to D&D. This should be the first in the list.

* Ghostwalk? Maybe, but I would add a merger between the Afterlife and a region of the Feywild, and a planar gate toward Sigil. It could be an adventures about exploring a strange dungeon, this is labyrinthine, and in the end there is a planar gate toward the city of Manifest. Within this dungeon-demiplane there are more planar gates towards other demiplanes. Possible, but now in the end of the line/queue among others, maybe in the middle. What could WotC lose with this being unlocked in DMGuild?

Dire Bare

I would be surprised if WotC touched Al Qadim, Maztica, and Kara-Tur. But, it could be done, and done well. I think the trick is to hire designers who have a connection to the material . . . indigenous Central Americans for Maztica, folks of Asian descent for Kara-Tur, of Middle-Eastern descent for Al-Qadim. WotC doesn't have a good track record with this sort of stuff, perhaps excepting the Radiant Citadel project. But it could be a real win if they did pull off one or more of these settings done well.

But really . . . I'm not sure any of the remaining settings are "big" enough for WotC to put a lot of resources into them. Better to just open them on the DM's Guild and let the fans take their shot at their favorite settings.


It's gotta be Greyhawk for the 50th anniversary. I have so much nostalgia for that setting. I am fine with it being updated to allow for 5e material, including species, etc., but I don't want the story modernized. Not that it was super heavy on story; one of the (IMO) advantages of the Greyhawk setting is that it left lots of room for each DM to play.


Follower of the Way
It's gotta be Greyhawk for the 50th anniversary. I have so much nostalgia for that setting. I am fine with it being updated to allow for 5e material, including species, etc., but I don't want the story modernized. Not that it was super heavy on story; one of the (IMO) advantages of the Greyhawk setting is that it left lots of room for each DM to play.
I say, do a twofer: old and new, an olive branch to both sides. Greyhawk first, then Points of Light (or whatever they choose to call it.)

The two actually have more in common than you might think. Particularly in the "leaving room for the DM to play" category.

WotC maybe should hire cultural consultants, but there is a risk these to suffer prejudices against their own neighbours, or compatriots from a different region. How could a Texan know about the rivalry between Morocco and Algeria?

Al-Qadim, Maztica and Kara-Tur as FR spin-off, and they are "unlocked" in DMGuild.

If WotC after the psionic powers wants to publish an update of the (ki) martial adepts (Tome of Battle: Book of the nine Swords) the settings based in wuxia fiction should be (re)designed to allow space for this.

* WotC should publish something for the 50 Anniversary of Greyhawk. At least something about the iconic classes. These are perfect for merchandising.

* Some times I wonder if Edge Studio was acquired by Hasbro and then Rokugan added to D&D Multiverse. Other IPs by 3PPs also could be bought when the publisher had to close the business.

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