• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

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

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Note that many of them need to be looked at by a cultural consultant.
Anything that touches on real-world cultures definitely should.
Al-Qadim: Arabian Adventures. This is the setting inspired by One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. I am honestly not certain how Arabian Nights is perceived by people these days. You might get a cool adventure out of this if handled correctly. Would it have enough appeal?

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 all part of Forgotten Realms so are already open on the DM's Guild. As I mentioned in my last post, there's already at least one Al-Qadim sourcebook that's been put out by Middle Eastern people.
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.
As others have said, Mystara is only "generic" now because it was plundered for parts long ago. There's still mountains of unique stuff there. Mystara didn’t have much of a theme outside whatever the designers wanted to include at the time. It was the original kitchen sink and it didn’t shy away from the goofier aspects of early D&D nor did it shy away from including sci-fi elements at times.

A second, invisible moon with samurai cat people living on it. An ancient crashed spaceship. A buried nuclear reactor. An ancient Blackmoor device exploded, tilting the world. The Hollow World. The spell of preserving. Kalaktatla, the Amber Serpent...aka Ka the Preserver...an Immortal T-Rex who preserves ancient civilizations by moving them to the hollow world, including faux Romans and faux Aztecs. Flying continents. Flying cities. Crashed flying cities. Flying ships. Flying gnomes. A city of Immortals on the moon. Vast galactic empires. Time travel. Aliens. Genetic manipulation. Alternate dimensions. Thar. All the unique races and monsters. Immortals. Slowly dying magic. Shadow elves. The denial of the Hin. Bargle. Threshold. The Isle of Dread. The modules. I could almost swoon just thinking about it all.
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.
A single volume collection of the Nentir Vale lore would be amazing. It really was a great setting. Definitely a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Which ones of these settings do you think WotC would revisit again and which ones do you think will not see the light of day?
Should revisit? All of them. Would revisit? None of them. Modern WotC lacks the intestinal fortitude required.
Are some settings more suitable to DMs Guild?
Not particularly. They're all great for the DM's Guild. Jumping at shadows and worrying about what other gamers might do is a waste of time.
Which settings did not age well?
Depends entirely on what you mean. If you mean that today's audience is different and has different expectations than the audience those were written for, then none of them have aged well.
If a setting needs work to make it more in-tune with today's sensibilities, what would you change?
Cut out the egregious stuff, blatant real-world racism and sexism can die in a fire. But scrubbing and sanitizing the settings to blandness misses all the points entirely. Things I wouldn't change are things like race and class restrictions based on the unique settings. Turning everything into the same anything goes kitchen sink is one of the reasons why WotC's 5E settings are so milquetoast and bland.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
But this isn't about what they want. This is about what WotC can do that will make them money. And if teenagers today are wearing t-shirts of Metallica and ACDC, I see no reason why they wouldn't wear a T-shirt with Dark Sun or Dragonlance.
They currently sell Dragonlance themed clothing. People buy it and did for several years before the adventure was released. They don't need a setting book to sell paraphernalia.
 

The older fans should be a great help to promote the brand, let's remember the veteran players who buy D&D products for the youngest members of the family.

Greyhawk and Mystara need to have some "special touch". I imagine them like a vintage or retro style, like those videogames imitating the look from a past decade. Other point in their favor is they aren't chained with the lore of FR, allowing some relatively creative freedom.

I can understand the game has to be adapted to the sensibilities of the current generation but..... one thing is the true opinion of the majority and other totally different what is said by little group about what is the opinion by the majority. For example in the past somebody said Speedy Gonzalez should be cancelled because that characters (from Looney Tones) was based in pejorative tropes, but the Mexicans answered they weren't offended at allo, but they loved that character very much and they didn't want it was cancelled. In the real life the audience would rather to go to the cinema to watch "The puss with boots, the last wish" before this or that movie what is "adapted to the modern sensibilities".

* Red Steel could become a "generic setting". Let's imagine there are veins of vermeil and cinnabryl not only in the Savage Coast(Mystara) but also in other worlds. With these minerals special planar gates can be created to go toward an unique wildspace, whose several worlds are like "patchs" of past D&D lines. Maybe there are Athasian defilers, but these spend cynnabril instead destroying the local flora.

* There is a potential setting that is not in the list. Cronomancer. There is an audience used to the mythology of Doctor Who, Loki(Disney+ serie) or Sliders. It would need a lot of work about the mythology, but in the hands of the right writters, it could be really awesome.
 
Last edited:

Muso

Explorer
I would love to see a new Birthright book. It was an amazing setting that come out in the last days of old TSR. I would give to it a new chance. There is a lot of potential in it. Also for the domain managment and for the massive battles.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Al-Qadim: Arabian Adventures. This is the setting inspired by One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. I am honestly not certain how Arabian Nights is perceived by people these days. You might get a cool adventure out of this if handled correctly. Would it have enough appeal?
For me, this has already been done as Campaign Guide: Zakhara Adventures
Birthright (see the other thread): Deals with bloodlines and kings. I don't know it as well so I'll let others define it better.
I would like to see a campaign setting about being rulers, but not Birthright.
Council of Wyrms: No way is WotC going to allow you to play a dragon. :D
I'm surprised there wasn't an option for playing dragons in Fizban's. That was a missed opportunity. Beyond that, it'd have to be it's own game and I don't see WotC doing it.

Gamma World: We last saw Gamma World as a D&D setting in 4th edition. Not truly D&D, and it has a bunch of fun, goofy, post-apocalyptic stuff. Definitely a fun setting and it stands apart big time. I'd love to see this return.
This is one that probably would be better handed off to Renegade Studios to do.
Ghostwalk: The city of Manifest, where the living and the dead exist side-by-side. Maybe set an adventure here?
I don't see any reason this couldn't be redone other than it wasn't popular enough around the first time.
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.
In WotC's mind it's too similar to FR. Why they won't release it to DM's guild is beyond me.
Jakandor: I honestly don't know a lot about this one. Does it stand out?
Cultured necromancers vs. Druidic barbarians. It has an awesome theme (legions of the dead, wicker mecha, etc.), but in there's no way in hell WotC would touch it with a 10' pole.

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.
Kara-Tur is dead, it's too close of a east asia rip off and that simply will not fly these days.
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.
See Kara-Tur.
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.
As others have mentioned, some of its real-world analogs make this problematic to do. And then there's Orcs of Thar...
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).
If it didn't have any ties to Dragonlance, I could see it getting published. Moreso than anything, its links to DL presents a hosts of problems that would make it unlikely to acknowledge its existance, much less publish.

Overall, while I certainly wouldn't mind seeing these old campaign worlds have life breathed back into them, I'd much rather they just open them all up to the DM's Guild and make one or two entirely new campaign worlds and give them a one-release-a-year to keep them supported.
 


havard

Adventurer
They currently sell Dragonlance themed clothing. People buy it and did for several years before the adventure was released. They don't need a setting book to sell paraphernalia.

Perhaps, but every now and then it is useful to remind people what the thing they are selling paraphernalia for is all about. And it also potentially increases the value of said paraphernalia.

-Havard
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I'd love to see a 5e version of Al-Qadim, 1001 Arabian nights is a great setting for adventures.

Mystara is a favourite setting of mine, it'd be cool to see it updated, not sure it would be different enough from the realms to make it a priority.

Birthright brings domain management, this is a system that isn't currently in 5e so I feel like it would be a good contender for an update, hopefully they wouldn't try to shoehorn in all the races currently available into the setting, they didn't for the MtG setting so I'm fairly confident they wouldn't.

Darksun would be another great game for an update (I'm aware of the thread where WotC said they aren't doing it) but since it brings in psionics as a core aspect of the setting, it would make a great addition.

I'd love to see an updated Council of Wyrms, not sure that would ever happen, I'd almost want to marry this with the dominion rules in Birthright so that you're not just a dragon, but a dragon ruler.

MtG has so many great settings that could get a full campaign setting treatment, Tarkir would be cool, could take the place of Council of Wyrms considering its focus on dragons. Any of the planeshift documents could be expanded into a proper setting, Zendikar would be a great place to explore and I do love me some Dominaria.

I don't really know much about the other DnD settings, Greyhawk I found pretty dull, Jakandor didn't seem that interesting, I know next to nothing about ghostwalk and Nentir Vale. Rather than Kara-Tur or Maztica, you could probably get a couple of MtG settings in there place.
 

The Glen

Legend
As others have said, Mystara is only "generic" now because it was plundered for parts long ago. There's still mountains of unique stuff there. Mystara didn’t have much of a theme outside whatever the designers wanted to include at the time. It was the original kitchen sink and it didn’t shy away from the goofier aspects of early D&D nor did it shy away from including sci-fi elements at times.
.
Emphasis on mountains
 

dave2008

Legend
Personally, i would love for new and old settings to be released / re-released with one caveat: They need thematic lore and mechanics. Not just new species, classes, and backgrounds. But real mechanical changes that, in effect, provide a "modular" system for D&D 5e. So some examples:
  • Forgotten Realms: generic everything in goes D&D. The is the default D&D you get in the core books
  • Nentir Vale: introduces the tactical combat module. Add 4e style subclasses/ feats/ etc. to provide the tactical juice you got in 4e. It also includes the warlord.
  • Greyhawk: Gritty realism module. Maybe cap HP at 10th level. Revised death/ dying, and resting/recover rules.
  • Dragonlance: War (what ther claimed last year) & dragon setting. Real mass combat module, and good flying mount rules.
  • Darksun: resource management module and psionics setting. Really make us feel how difficult life is without adequate food and water. Limit spell casting (remove spells?) to enforce the theme and give mechanical punch to defiling magic.
  • Iomandra (or similar): sea farring module. Real sea going ship to ship combat rules. Maybe a revise/extend mass combat system for naval battles.
  • Spelljammer / GamaWorld: adventures in space module. Update/extend naval and mass combat rules for space and space scale battles.
  • Hyperborea: sword and sandles module. Magic is rare & dangerous. Many spells are eliminated or moved to rituals. Need to make a check to cast spells with a chance of failure (with side-effect), increased casting time, etc. I see Shadowdark style rules a good fit for this setting.
  • Planescape: social combat/faction/intrigue rules.
Anyway, something like that I would find interesting and would probably make me buy each one. Also, if you setting doesn't have a unique theme / mechanics that can be included, don't make it.
 

Remove ads

Top