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

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
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.

Honestly not the worst idea. It would be one nutty book for sure, to combine Spelljammer, Planescape, and Planeswalking into one metasetting ruleset.
 

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Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Honestly not the worst idea. It would be one nutty book for sure, to combine Spelljammer, Planescape, and Planeswalking into one metasetting ruleset.
How would that system even work? They are vastly different systems of getting to different worlds, and different kinds of worlds.

Spelljammer is basically sailing through space to get to other solar systems.

Planescape is "teleporting" to other planes of existence, and sometimes taking a door linked to Sigil to another D&D world, like Krynn.

Planeswalking is mechanically similar to Planescape, but with M:tG worlds.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Someone (you?) said there were 27 realms or something, I was using that as a comparison.

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.
Depends what "sufficiently useful" consists of, I suppose.

Compare the late-1e-era boxed set with the 3e-era book. The box-set has a map with lots of blank space, and books with write-ups in just enough detail to give an idea of what goes where; with the rest being left to each individual DM to fill in as needed.

The 3e-era book's already got more detail than it needs and fills in far too much blank space on the maps.

In-depth town-by-town details are complete overkill.

So, what does it need by rough page count?

First, fold-out maps - plural - detached from the book itself. One of the whole thing, a zoom-in of the Sword Coast area, a zoom-in of the Shadowdale area, and maybe a city map of Waterdeep.

A general overview and introduction to the setting - 10 pages (all page counts include art)

Some details as to various guilds and factions within the Realms (Harpers, Red Wizards, etc.) - 10 pages.

A couple of somewhat-detailed write-ups of realms, as samples for DMs to follow if they like (maybe Thay and Shadowdale?) - 20 pages each, so 40 total.

A sample adventure - 10 pages.

We're up to 70 pages in the book thus far; leaving 250 for everything else assuming a 320-count total is the goal. At an average of 5 pages each that's 50 write-ups you could fit in there, be they of cities, realms, or whatever; a couple could be dropped in favour of short one-page write-ups of up to ten key NPCs.

Note that a separate map of each element being written up - other than the sample two - does NOT appear in the book; merely a grid reference to where it can be found on the fold-out map(s).

What did I miss?
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
How would that system even work? They are vastly different systems of getting to different worlds, and different kinds of worlds.

Spelljammer is basically sailing through space to get to other solar systems.

Planescape is "teleporting" to other planes of existence, and sometimes taking a door linked to Sigil to another D&D world, like Krynn.

Planeswalking is mechanically similar to Planescape, but with M:tG worlds.

Well Planescape and Spelljammer already work side-by-side, just as you describe. The planeswalking is the added wrinkle, largely some reconciliating as to why a Planeswalker from Greyhawk has never popped into Theros or vice-versa.

For me, the answer is "keep it simple," and just say, "Oh yeah there are planeswalkers that have come from Greyhawk. They just think they're powerful sorcerors born with the ability to planeshift naturally." Or something like that.
 

Hoffmand

Explorer
How would that system even work? They are vastly different systems of getting to different worlds, and different kinds of worlds.

Spelljammer is basically sailing through space to get to other solar systems.

Planescape is "teleporting" to other planes of existence, and sometimes taking a door linked to Sigil to another D&D world, like Krynn.

Planeswalking is mechanically similar to Planescape, but with M:tG worlds.
Worked for the new Star TreK 😉
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Well Planescape and Spelljammer already work side-by-side, just as you describe. The planeswalking is the added wrinkle, largely some reconciliating as to why a Planeswalker from Greyhawk has never popped into Theros or vice-versa.
I don't see any way that you could combine Planescape and Spelljammer in a way that the community would be happy. Also, you'd have to severely change the lore to do so.

Also, Spelljammer and Planescape don't work hand in hand. They're not meant to accomplish the same things. A Neogi Deathspider ship can't planeshift to Acheron, or teleport to Innistrad. That's just not how the systems work. Planeswalkers would never come from Greyhawk, that's not how the lore works.
For me, the answer is "keep it simple," and just say, "Oh yeah there are planeswalkers that have come from Greyhawk. They just think they're powerful sorcerors born with the ability to planeshift naturally." Or something like that.
Planeswalkers are born with a "spark" to planeshift. That's not something that works in D&D settings or adventures without making some serious plot convenience tricks. The best way to keep it simple is to have these 3 systems not intersect anymore than they already do. Planeswalkers don't interact with any of the other 2 systems. Planescape and Spelljammer barely intersect. The fact that you can Plane Shift to a city named Sigil that can have a magical door-portal to Dark Sun or Eberron doesn't show that they intersect in any way. It's easier to travel to Dark Sun from Realmspace through the Phlogiston, and I'd imagine WotC knows this if they ever make a Spelljammer or Planescape book.
 


Aldarc

Legend
Someone (you?) said there were 27 realms or something, I was using that as a comparison.
I began counting and then lost interest in counting the rest, stopping at around 27 with plenty left.

What did I miss?
A reason/hook for people who don't plan on running the Realms to buy it. How does it expand the available rules or tools for D&D 5e?
 

Mercurius

Legend
@AcererakTriple6 , just about anything is possible if we aren't fused to the traditional version. Didn't 4E say that spelljammers navigated the Astral Sea? The Astral Sea could connect all worlds and planes. A spelljammer could sail it to get to other solar systems (crystal spheres) within the Prime Material Plane, and then through gates into other planes. Sort of like the idea that there's only really one ocean, just different sections of it.

The idea I suggested above allows, even encourages, DMs to construct their own hybrid. There could be a default, but each DM could modify it to how they want to construct their cosmology.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
@AcererakTriple6 , just about anything is possible if we aren't fused to the traditional version.
They've already mentioned Spelljammers and Realmspace in Dungeon of the Mad Mage, and many other parts of the traditional version. Also, we are fused to the traditional version of Planescape. If we get a Planescape book, it will be the traditional version. Descent into Avernus proves that, so does the DMG and PHB sections on the planes of existence. 5e has the systems as different systems, not fused together like you're suggesting they could do. If they even mention the possibility of that circumstance, it would be some sidebar in the end of a book with no official rules on how to do it.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
I don't see any way that you could combine Planescape and Spelljammer in a way that the community would be happy. Also, you'd have to severely change the lore to do so.

Also, Spelljammer and Planescape don't work hand in hand. They're not meant to accomplish the same things. A Neogi Deathspider ship can't planeshift to Acheron, or teleport to Innistrad. That's just not how the systems work. Planeswalkers would never come from Greyhawk, that's not how the lore works.

Planeswalkers are born with a "spark" to planeshift. That's not something that works in D&D settings or adventures without making some serious plot convenience tricks. The best way to keep it simple is to have these 3 systems not intersect anymore than they already do. Planeswalkers don't interact with any of the other 2 systems. Planescape and Spelljammer barely intersect. The fact that you can Plane Shift to a city named Sigil that can have a magical door-portal to Dark Sun or Eberron doesn't show that they intersect in any way. It's easier to travel to Dark Sun from Realmspace through the Phlogiston, and I'd imagine WotC knows this if they ever make a Spelljammer or Planescape book.

"That's not how the lore works."

I mean... they can change it so it does work. I mean, try to be a little imaginative here.

And Spelljammer and Planescape work just fine in the same edition. Hell, they already work together in this edition. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes references both systems, from the Gith, the Blood War, and Giff.

The Planeswalker thing is also no big deal, because only 1 in a million people have a spark, and only one in those million ever see it ignite. That's 1 in every 1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) people ever becoming a Planeswalker. Makes total sense that entire worlds would never learn such a thing exists.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
"That's not how the lore works."

I mean... they can change it so it does work. I mean, try to be a little imaginative here.

And Spelljammer and Planescape work just fine in the same edition. Hell, they already work together in this edition. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes references both systems, from the Gith, the Blood War, and Giff.

The Planeswalker thing is also no big deal, because only 1 in a million people have a spark, and only one in those million ever see it ignite. That's 1 in every 1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) people ever becoming a Planeswalker. Makes total sense that entire worlds would never learn such a thing exists.

There's totally room for both in the edition, but I agree that mixing the two concepts in one book is unlikely.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
"That's not how the lore works."
That's not how it works in 5e. They are separate systems. I know that they exist in the same edition, I want both and was never advocating for one over the other. Both systems are good, and I want them in 5e.
I mean... they can change it so it does work. I mean, try to be a little imaginative here.
They could change it, but that would require invalidating some already published 5e information on how the cosmology works.
And Spelljammer and Planescape work just fine in the same edition. Hell, they already work together in this edition. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes references both systems, from the Gith, the Blood War, and Giff.
Yeah, I was never advocating for Planescape instead of Spelljammer or vice versa. I have both a Descent into Avernus and Spelljammer game in the same universe. I'm just saying, if/when they bring either system into 5e, they're going to stick with keeping them separate. I am well aware that Mordenkainen's has Gith and Giff and demons/devils. It's a key part of my world. Volo's even has neogi and a small amount of nautiloid information.
The Planeswalker thing is also no big deal, because only 1 in a million people have a spark, and only one in those million ever see it ignite. That's 1 in every 1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) people ever becoming a Planeswalker. Makes total sense that entire worlds would never learn such a thing exists.
Except the fact that they'll have to distinguish between M:tG worlds and original D&D worlds. I would prefer to have Planeswalking only work for Ravnica, Theros, Innistrad, Ixalan, and the other M:tG settings. These settings would not have crystal spheres. Greyhawk, Krynn, Toril, Dark Sun, Wildemount, these would have crystal spheres and be accessible through doors in Sigil and Spelljamming vessels.
 


Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
That's not how it works in 5e. They are separate systems. I know that they exist in the same edition, I want both and was never advocating for one over the other. Both systems are good, and I want them in 5e.

They could change it, but that would require invalidating some already published 5e information on how the cosmology works.

Yeah, I was never advocating for Planescape instead of Spelljammer or vice versa. I have both a Descent into Avernus and Spelljammer game in the same universe. I'm just saying, if/when they bring either system into 5e, they're going to stick with keeping them separate. I am well aware that Mordenkainen's has Gith and Giff and demons/devils. It's a key part of my world. Volo's even has neogi and a small amount of nautiloid information.

Except the fact that they'll have to distinguish between M:tG worlds and original D&D worlds. I would prefer to have Planeswalking only work for Ravnica, Theros, Innistrad, Ixalan, and the other M:tG settings. These settings would not have crystal spheres. Greyhawk, Krynn, Toril, Dark Sun, Wildemount, these would have crystal spheres and be accessible through doors in Sigil and Spelljamming vessels.

Ok... you know I'm not advocating for changes in how Planescape or Spelljammer works right? Just that both concepts can be introduced in the same book?

I say that because I'm pretty certain that Spelljammer is not getting it's own book alone, unless it's really an adventure book with some Spelljammer mixed it (which may be the next book, but I'm not sure).

On the last point, the only distinguishing point would be "Magic worlds figured out how Planeswalking works" and "D&D worlds haven't even realized Planeswalkers exist yet." I can literally write out a green textbox that keeps both canons intact with such a statement. It doesn't invalidate crystal spheres or anything.

And it's already "canon lore" (and I hate mentioning such a thing because canon in D&D is kind of dumb) that MtG worlds fall under D&D cosmology. Jeremy Crawford has said so on an interview of Dragon Talk, and another user once pointed out to me that his gnome character from Eberron has been hinted as a planeswalker.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Ok... you know I'm not advocating for changes in how Planescape or Spelljammer works right? Just that both concepts can be introduced in the same book?
I don't think they could be introduced in the same book. They're both big enough for one book or more each. I think Xanathar's 2.0 will be a Planescape book. Spelljammer is much more difficult to translate to 5e just because the sheer amounts of information you need to run it in 5e.
I say that because I'm pretty certain that Spelljammer is not getting it's own book alone, unless it's really an adventure book with some Spelljammer mixed it (which may be the next book, but I'm not sure).
Undoubtedly, a Spelljammer book would have at least a small prewritten adventure inside, but I think Spelljammer is big enough to be its own setting book. You'd need new races and subraces for Scro, Giff, and many other races. You'd need a ton of monster and vehicle stat blocks. You'd need rules for how the Phlogiston works, how crystal spheres work, how everything in Spelljammer functions. You'd need rules for all of the different kinds of spelljamming helms, all of the different factions and empires, NPCs, the Rock of Bral, and so much more. Spelljammer is big enough for its own book.
On the last point, the only distinguishing point would be "Magic worlds figured out how Planeswalking works" and "D&D worlds haven't even realized Planeswalkers exist yet." I can literally write out a green textbox that keeps both canons intact with such a statement. It doesn't invalidate crystal spheres or anything.
Except, the cosmology of the M:tG worlds work differently. They don't have crystal spheres or the Nine Hells or gods. M:tG settings don't take a part of spelljammer.
And it's already "canon lore" (and I hate mentioning such a thing because canon in D&D is kind of dumb) that MtG worlds fall under D&D cosmology. Jeremy Crawford has said so on an interview of Dragon Talk, and another user once pointed out to me that his gnome character from Eberron has been hinted as a planeswalker.
I guess it is silly to have canon in a makebelieve game like this, but Jeremy Crawford has said many conflicting things through the years. If M:tG settings are a part of the normal cosmology, I guess that simplifies certain things, and raises a ton more questions. I'm all for merging planeswalking into the normal d&d cosmology if they have it make sense.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
I don't think they could be introduced in the same book. They're both big enough for one book or more each. I think Xanathar's 2.0 will be a Planescape book. Spelljammer is much more difficult to translate to 5e just because the sheer amounts of information you need to run it in 5e.

Undoubtedly, a Spelljammer book would have at least a small prewritten adventure inside, but I think Spelljammer is big enough to be its own setting book. You'd need new races and subraces for Scro, Giff, and many other races. You'd need a ton of monster and vehicle stat blocks. You'd need rules for how the Phlogiston works, how crystal spheres work, how everything in Spelljammer functions. You'd need rules for all of the different kinds of spelljamming helms, all of the different factions and empires, NPCs, the Rock of Bral, and so much more. Spelljammer is big enough for its own book.

Except, the cosmology of the M:tG worlds work differently. They don't have crystal spheres or the Nine Hells or gods. M:tG settings don't take a part of spelljammer.

I guess it is silly to have canon in a makebelieve game like this, but Jeremy Crawford has said many conflicting things through the years. If M:tG settings are a part of the normal cosmology, I guess that simplifies certain things, and raises a ton more questions. I'm all for merging planeswalking into the normal d&d cosmology if they have it make sense.

I understand that Spelljammer is big enough for it's own book (and personally would love one), I just don't think it's going to happen. Perkins has said himself that he likes Spelljammer, but that the fanbase finds it controversial (maybe too silly, I'm not sure why) so they have typically on'y sprinkled its content throughout 5E.

D&D cosmology overall is extremely flexible. Although there are the "base" rules for the Great Wheel, and the Phlogiston etc, there are additional concepts that essentially allow any specific world to break those rules. Eberron for example is cut off from the multiverse through its shield, and Dark Sun as well (though I don't remember why). The entire Great Wheel is not even truly a wheel at all, but in fact just a way philosophers organize how the planes work on paper. There are competing theories that work just as well (the World Tree for example) as the planes don't actually fit on a wheel exactly and are constantly shifting in position, despite some universal constants in how they connect.

Crawford's explanation for how Ravnica fits was fairly vague, just that it is another world that is on the Material Plane. He left it open to exactly how it relates to the rest of the multiverse, which may someday be resolved or forever kept open-ended.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I understand that Spelljammer is big enough for it's own book (and personally would love one), I just don't think it's going to happen.
I could see it happening, but not anytime soon. It's certainly not on the future roadmap. I hope that it comes in the next 5 years, but if we don't get it, that's understandable as well.
Crawford's explanation for how Ravnica fits was fairly vague, just that it is another world that is on the Material Plane. He left it open to exactly how it relates to the rest of the multiverse, which may someday be resolved or forever kept open-ended.
Yes, I assume if they do make a Spelljammer book they'd resolve this once and for all, but until then, it's still ambiguous as hell.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I understand that Spelljammer is big enough for it's own book (and personally would love one), I just don't think it's going to happen. Perkins has said himself that he likes Spelljammer, but that the fanbase finds it controversial (maybe too silly, I'm not sure why) so they have typically on'y sprinkled its content throughout 5E.

D&D cosmology overall is extremely flexible. Although there are the "base" rules for the Great Wheel, and the Phlogiston etc, there are additional concepts that essentially allow any specific world to break those rules. Eberron for example is cut off from the multiverse through its shield, and Dark Sun as well (though I don't remember why). The entire Great Wheel is not even truly a wheel at all, but in fact just a way philosophers organize how the planes work on paper. There are competing theories that work just as well (the World Tree for example) as the planes don't actually fit on a wheel exactly and are constantly shifting in position, despite some universal constants in how they connect.

Crawford's explanation for how Ravnica fits was fairly vague, just that it is another world that is on the Material Plane. He left it open to exactly how it relates to the rest of the multiverse, which may someday be resolved or forever kept open-ended.

It's on their interest to keep it open-ended.
 

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