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

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That would be kind of like asking a white American to fix a setting called Yankidoodaland.
Here's a couple of Arabian (I believe Qatari, or possibly Yemeni?) gamers doing a read-through of Al-Qadim with an eye on fixing it. They're young, and this is their first sight of the material (or else I suspect they wouldn't have covered the two books in the Land of Fate setting in the wrong order!), but their take is fairly nuanced, and from the videos I've watched so far, they don't believe the setting is unsalvageable.

And here's the game that they ran in the fixed setting.

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* 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.

What makes you think WotC want to buy setting IP? They release 4-5 books a year and at most 2 of those are setting books. Between the legacy D&D material and all the MtG worlds, they've got more IP than they know what to do with already. And if WotC want to release an Asian-themed setting in the 2020s, it sure as hell won't be Rokugan, which is an American-written theme-park mish-mash of Chinese and Japanese already. They'll call on some of the contributors to Radiant Citadel and either get them to design something new and more authentic, or else adapt an MtG setting.
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My opinion is Hasbro wants to become an entertaiment empire, and they need multimedia franchises. They aren't so interested into to publish more sourcebooks, but different types of merchandising products: movies, cartoons, toys, videogames, novels, comics. A merger with Embracer Group or Paradox Interactive shouldn't be totally impossible.

My opinion is Hasbro wants to become an entertaiment empire, and they need multimedia franchises. They aren't so interested into to publish more sourcebooks, but different types of merchandising products: movies, cartoons, toys, videogames, novels, comics.

I think the last year or so of Hasbro's decisionmaking has proven this incorrect fairly thoroughly. They're focusing much more on monetising what they already have, whether it's by releasing MtG material at a higher rate, expanding D&D Beyond into a VTT that they'll no doubt stick a massive pricetag on to, or their abortive attempt to tax the entire D&D 3pp ecosystem ruinously for the privilege of existing.

If they wanted to expand wildly into spin-off products, we'd have seen them by now. Between D&D and MtG they have a massive mountain of IP, if they wanted to spin off multimedia product lines, they don't need to buy more. Remember the reason WotC is so profitable for Hasbro (and is keeping Hasbro's balance sheet in the black right now) is because their products are largely just printed material, and therefore cheap to make. Video games, toys etc are much more expensive to make and so either have much lower profit margins in the case of toys, or much higher risk of huge monetary losses in the case of games. And novels? Other than Weis and Hickman's new Dragonlance trilogy, and whatever it is that Drizzt is doing these days, WotC deliberately and consciously shut down the D&D novel line years ago, and after the PR disaster that was War of the Spark, they cancelled the MtG novel line only a few years ago. WotC is very clearly moving away from publishing novels, not towards it. I mean, if WotC were in the multimedia business then we’d have seen all sorts of tie-in products for the movie - miniatures, a sourcebook themed around locations from the movie, a movie-branded starter set, etc etc - but there’s been almost nothing. It WotC are trying to move into the multimedia franchise space, they seem to be missing a lot of opportunities.
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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?

WotC owns the rights to everything that matters in order to publish new Blackmoor material.

Older settings are often seen as generic because everything that came later borrowed their main features from them. I think it would be possible to make them feel distinct again, but I would do it through art, layout and presentation.

But fantasy has evolved today into something very different than fantasy was in 1970. That is something that could be leaned into in order to highlight those features. Or you could also lean into the concept of "Feudal Knights uncover crashed spaceship while under attack by Vikings". In any case, if you want to make it awesome, you can. :)


Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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.
I think that's the best thing for them too, but WotC seems unwilling to make a wholly new setting on their own.

The old settings for the new generations are too "generic". We are talking about a fandom too used to lots of fantasy MMOs. Even a famous franchise as Blizzard's Diablo suffers the end of its old days of glory. At least Dark Sun could mark the difference.

WotC is not so interested into to sell a product for nostalgic collectors, but to attract new players/consumers. The settings what return should offer something Forgotten Realms couldn't.

Hollow World could become a generic spin-off, not only in Mystara, but "inmortals" creating demiplanes in other wildspaces.

I guess WotC doesn't want to create a new setting because now they are too busy with the "update". A new setting would need enough space to add all the new elements.

The Glen

Mystara is quite popular outside the US because it was the first setting translated into other languages. If you wanted to play D&D in Japan you had Mystara or nothing. The allegory for real-world cultures as fantasy nations gave it an appeal that other generic fantasy settings didn't have. You would market it as the D&D setting that represented other cultures, so the Japanese, Italians, Polynesians, Indians, Arabs, Scandinavians, Slavs, Mongolians, Cherokee, Irish, Egyptians, Argentinians, Spanish, Babylonians and Texans all have something they can relate to.


Honestly, I don't think 5e has detailed any of the campaign settings to the extent of previous editions. Still no campaign guide or boxed set for Forgotten Realms. One adventure set in Dragonlance. One adventure in Ravenloft and an underwhelming book light on detail. A pretty good Eberron book, then nothing.
I'm not a fan of MtG, so maybe those are better - I haven't looked at them. But Paizo's Lost Omen guides blow WotC's out of the water, as did the old boxed sets from the TSR era.

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