D&D General What are the "dead settings" of D&D?

I did a search for D&D and Ravnica on YouTube and found at least five different streams posted in the last month. Here are a few, plus a parody song:






L'Ombra di Bolas, episodio 2 - Il tradimento [D&D ITA]

Ravnica - Dogs in the Guild Pact - S01E02

Interesting! I got a bunch of dead YouTube hits off Google, but none of these live ones! Great job integrating your own products Google! 😜 I was kind of expecting that so when I only got dead ones I assumed I was wrong. I should have honestly known better because I've searched for stuff before which I knew was on YouTube and had to actually go on to YouTube to find it.

But that's good to see! Looks like at least a couple of them are European as well, I wonder if MtG settings have significant fanbase there, wouldn't surprise me.
 

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I see quite a few playing MtG at our local (London) games shop. They skew much younger than the D&D players though, so not much overlap.

Wow, the youth is still playing Magic, huh? I was what, 15 when I got my first Magic cards. That's some good work from WotC (also from London - born and raised in Hackney).
 

Voadam

Legend
Interesting! I got a bunch of dead YouTube hits off Google, but none of these live ones! Great job integrating your own products Google! 😜 I was kind of expecting that so when I only got dead ones I assumed I was wrong. I should have honestly known better because I've searched for stuff before which I knew was on YouTube and had to actually go on to YouTube to find it.

Search algorithms to maximize ad revenue at work! Finely tuned to answer your search query to give you what it thinks will engage/enrage you specifically, offering different answers based on past individual internet history. It is really depressing that something as basic and neutral as a D&D Ravnica search can lead to such disparate information outcomes about what is out there.
 

Delazar

Adventurer
Does even one person here currently play, right now, in a group that is playing in Ravnica?

Me me! Representing! Sin is Debt

I mean, I know it's just a drop in the sea, but I thought it was funny to be called out ^^

in all honesty though, I don't get Ravnica... looks like Eberron to me. Once upon a time I thought it was a Planescape/Eberron mash-up, then I read a bit on the lore, and it looks like planar travel is actually SUPER RARE in Ravnica. Something that doesn't really seem obvious in the DnD book. Bah.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Yeah, it's not like Ravnica took everything over, but it's an active scene. People in Magic forums are also talking about their D&D adventures in Ravnica, so some geek soloing might be a factor ...
I believe that Adam Koebel also had his whole "Jace Must Die" series set in Ravnica.
 

I was in a Planescape game last fall
I'd say Spelljammer is in Rank 2 or 3. I currently have a spelljammer campaign, on pause like the world, that my group enjoys a lot. We're all newer players, the most seasoned of us have been playing for 3ish years, the newer for only a few months.

If WotC was to bring back spelljammer, the newer players would love it, so would the older players who were around when it first came out. They should make a Spelljammer book.

It does seem like a no brainer for a setting book. Lots of old settings have their fans, but there's a lot of people who have never heard of or at least have no particular nostalgia for Spelljammer who would be absolutely sold just by "D&D in space". It's niche, but a niche that really excites some people and that is very clearly different than their other offerings.

More importantly for the Hasbro bean counters, sci-fi options being lacking in D&D is probably a major reason for interested people to move on to other RPGs they don't own. They're just leaving money on the table.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I was in a Planescape game last fall


It does seem like a no brainer for a setting book. Lots of old settings have their fans, but there's a lot of people who have never heard of or at least have no particular nostalgia for Spelljammer who would be absolutely sold just by "D&D in space". It's niche, but a niche that really excites some people and that is very clearly different than their other offerings.

More importantly for the Hasbro bean counters, sci-fi options being lacking in D&D is probably a major reason for interested people to move on to other RPGs they don't own. They're just leaving money on the table.
I think Planescape is coming fairly soon to 5e, as it is fairly easy to translate to 5e, we just need info on the planes. Spelljammer is harder, but has been hinted at through various books.
 

Mercurius

Legend
5E will do the planes, but it remains to be seen how. It could be a revival of Planescape, or it could be something more like Magic's planeswalker thing, or it could be Spelljammer, or maybe a cap-system Manual of the Planes with options for all three, and further development of whatever proves most popular. But the planes are iconic enough to be a sure-thing.
 

A D&D setting isn't totally dead when somebody still publishs fan-art about this. And Hollywood has tought an old franchise can come back with the right production, for example transformers.

Some lines only need WotC to allow the idea of parallel worlds where fan creators can publish their own stories. For example a manga about a character of planescape, a deva/aasimar, who sacrifices herself to save innocent people and her sould is reincarnated into a princess in the world of Birthright, and later she discover a conspiration by a rogue guild of chronomancers.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Personally, I think the big issue of doing a full Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting is that Faerun is really just too big.
Blah blah blah. Read the OP. 🤪 and again I will ask... why do people keep assuming an FR book means covering everything like Kara Tur and Al Qadim or going into insane detail?

Greyhawk books don’t cover the rest of the planet outside of the Flanaess. Eberron doesn’t go into much detail on the other continents outside of Khorvaire.
@DEFCON 1 is right. He's not even talking about Forgotten Realms in full, but just Faerûn, which is huge.

Khorvaire is comparatively small. There are about 17 nations and territories in total: Aundair, Thrane, Breland, Karrnath, Cyre/Mournland, Zilargo, the Eldeen Reaches, Demon Wastes, Shadow Marches, Droaam, Darguun, the Talenta Plains, Valenar, Q'Barra, the Mror Holds, the Lhazaar Principalities, and maybe include the Aerenal subcontinent for good measure.

Compare that to the Forgotten Realms even just inside of Faerûn: the Sword Coast (treating this as a blob), Moonshae Isles, Silver Marches, Amn, Tethyr, Calimshan, Lantan, Dalelands, Dragon Coast, Cormyr, Sembia, Aglarond, Chult, Thindol, Samarach, Tashalar, Halruaa, Dambrath, Luiren, the Shining Lands, the Border Kingdoms, the Shaar, Ice Wind Dales, Thay, Rashemen, Thesk, Unther, Tymanther, Mulhorand, and I am no where close to done, and we already have 27 or so. Faerûn is HUGE.

I would also point out that while past FR campaign setting books may have been done in 320 pages, that's 320 pages of mostly small print text with little art. Current book layout design favors less tiny text and more giant spreads of art meant to evoke the setting. Take that same 320 page FR book from 1e and 2e and turn that into a 5e book, and you are possibly looking at 450+ pages.
 

teitan

Legend
@DEFCON 1 is right. He's not even talking about Forgotten Realms in full, but just Faerûn, which is huge.

Khorvaire is comparatively small. There are about 17 nations and territories in total: Aundair, Thrane, Breland, Karrnath, Cyre/Mournland, Zilargo, the Eldeen Reaches, Demon Wastes, Shadow Marches, Droaam, Darguun, the Talenta Plains, Valenar, Q'Barra, the Mror Holds, the Lhazaar Principalities, and maybe include the Aerenal subcontinent for good measure.

Compare that to the Forgotten Realms even just inside of Faerûn: the Sword Coast (treating this as a blob), Moonshae Isles, Silver Marches, Amn, Tethyr, Calimshan, Lantan, Dalelands, Dragon Coast, Cormyr, Sembia, Aglarond, Chult, Thindol, Samarach, Tashalar, Halruaa, Dambrath, Luiren, the Shining Lands, the Border Kingdoms, the Shaar, Ice Wind Dales, Thay, Rashemen, Thesk, Unther, Tymanther, Mulhorand, and I am no where close to done, and we already have 27 or so. Faerûn is HUGE.

And yet they’ve done it 4x.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Compare that to the Forgotten Realms even just inside of Faerûn: the Sword Coast (treating this as a blob), Moonshae Isles, Silver Marches, Amn, Tethyr, Calimshan, Lantan, Dalelands, Dragon Coast, Cormyr, Sembia, Aglarond, Chult, Thindol, Samarach, Tashalar, Halruaa, Dambrath, Luiren, the Shining Lands, the Border Kingdoms, the Shaar, Ice Wind Dales, Thay, Rashemen, Thesk, Unther, Tymanther, Mulhorand, and I am no where close to done, and we already have 27 or so. Faerûn is HUGE.
I guess it depends how fine-tuned you want the various write-ups to be.

I mean, in the real world you could do a general guide to Europe as a whole with only brief write-ups about each specific country/region; or you could do separate in-depth guides for England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, etc. etc.

For FR I'd be happy with the Europe-level version, leaving the local-level fine-tuning for me to fill in myself to suit my game.
 

Aldarc

Legend
And yet they’ve done it 4x.
In my edit, I point out a crucial difference, namely how 5e book layout on-the-whole differs from prior editions.

I guess it depends how fine-tuned you want the various write-ups to be.

I mean, in the real world you could do a general guide to Europe as a whole with only brief write-ups about each specific country/region; or you could do separate in-depth guides for England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, etc. etc.

For FR I'd be happy with the Europe-level version, leaving the local-level fine-tuning for me to fill in myself to suit my game.
Europe has 44 nations (according to the UN), which includes city-states and small countries like Lichtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City, San Marino, Malta, and Luxembourg.

Wanna make a guess how many countries, territories, and city-states that Faerûn has? You are welcome to count them all up yourself, but I have more productive things to do with my time.

Sure, it depends on how fine-tuned you want the various write-ups to be, but I would assume that fans of FR would want sufficiently useful write-ups so as to be utilitarian for actually running a game in the setting plus some other DM and/or player-side goodies and a sample adventure included.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
5E will do the planes, but it remains to be seen how. It could be a revival of Planescape, or it could be something more like Magic's planeswalker thing, or it could be Spelljammer, or maybe a cap-system Manual of the Planes with options for all three, and further development of whatever proves most popular. But the planes are iconic enough to be a sure-thing.
They're 100% not combining all 3 systems into one book. All of them are big enough for their own book. Spelljammer 100% needs its own book, and not to be rolled into Planescape. Planeswalkers are also probably not getting a book in 5e, if they're coming, it will be mentioned in a M:tG setting book.
 

Mercurius

Legend
They're 100% not combining all 3 systems into one book. All of them are big enough for their own book. Spelljammer 100% needs its own book, and not to be rolled into Planescape. Planeswalkers are also probably not getting a book in 5e, if they're coming, it will be mentioned in a M:tG setting book.

I'm not predicting it, but wouldn't be so sure. No reason they can't detail the planes and describe three different ways of navigating through them. A hybrid doesn't mean you cover each as they've been done before, but that you take elements of all three into a new configuration.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I'm not predicting it, but wouldn't be so sure. No reason they can't detail the planes and describe three different ways of navigating through them. A hybrid doesn't mean you cover each as they've been done before, but that you take elements of all three into a new configuration.
Spelljammer isn't planar navigation. Planescape isn't about traveling to different settings, even though it is possible to do so.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I'd like to see evidence that Ravnica, now, in 2020, has a significant current following. I feel like there are probably more people running 5E campaigns set in, say, Dragonlance or Greyhawk than Ravnica. Does even one person here currently play, right now, in a group that is playing in Ravnica?

And book sales don't mean jack, frankly, to who is actual playing what.
<raises hand>

Been running it for about 15 months now. So that's me and my 7 players. Only one of us is actually a MtG fan, we decided to run our next game in Ravnica because we thought the book looked cool.
 


S'mon

Legend
Meaning, which settings--published by TSR, WotC, or even third party specifically for D&D (e.g. Judge's Guild's Wilderlands of High Fantasy) that are essentially "dead," meaning with no active or ongoing campaigns anywhere? At least beyond the occasional one-off ("Hey, remember Ghostwalk? Let's play that tonight!"). Purely speculative, of course. Or to rephase: which settings would you guess have no active campaigns? Or at least, almost none?

We can use this Wikipedia page as a starting point, but feel free to discuss third parties. My guess would be to put them into the following categories:

  • A - Significant active campaigning: Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Exandria, Ravnica
  • B - Large cult following: Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, Planescape, Ravenloft, Nentir Vale, Mystara
  • C - Small cult following: Blackmoor, Spelljammer, Birthright, Kara-Tur, Al-Qadim, maybe Council of Wyrms
  • D - Little or no active following ("Dead settings"): Pellinore, Jakandor, Ghostwalk, Dragon Fist, Mahasarpa, Rokugan, maybe Council of Wyrms

Interesting approach! There must be a bunch of small press and magazine-published 1e/2e AD&D settings like Pellinore in #D.

I'm a Wilderlands guy, but it's clearly in #C, being notably smaller than Mystara - and getting ever smaller with the recent unpleasantness sigh.

I suspect Midnight is in #C too.

Not sure about Council of Wyrms, but I did run a short campaign using the book adventures a couple years ago, so I'd guess someone else likely is playing it too, making it a low #C.

TSR's Maztica might be a low #C or even a #D.

Frog God's Lost Lands would likely be a #B, alongside Troll Lord's Airdhe; Airdhe might be a high #C.

Primeval Thule looks like a #B.
 

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