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

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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?
It is itself the tool, and uses the core rules as written.

I'm assumng the market to be a) those who are intending to either run it stock or convert it to their own purposes, and b) those who are simply FR fans and who will thus buy it with or without intent of using it for a campaign.

If it's to have baked-in rules expansions (new spells, feats, etc.) as well, there's room to fit 'em in; but to me those would be the first things to be cut for space as FR is in theory a generic (and thus, core-based) setting.
 

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Mercurius

Legend
I find myself bemused at talk of the importance of distinction in canon, because I've always viewed the entire corpus of D&D material as a toolbox: you take from it what you want, and construct your own world (and universe, if need be). I just don't see why it matters, except for organized play. No matter what WotC publishes, DMs can do what they want, even if that is to play by-the-book canon.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
I find myself bemused at talk of the importance of distinction in canon, because I've always viewed the entire corpus of D&D material as a toolbox: you take from it what you want, and construct your own world (and universe, if need be). I just don't see why it matters, except for organized play. No matter what WotC publishes, DMs can do what they want, even if that is to play by-the-book canon.

If find this amusing as well.

I LOATHE the Great Wheel cosmology, and have never used it in any game I've run since 1978. I always use some variation on the Myriad Spheres cosmology. Too much Michael Moorecock in my youth, I suppose.
 

Mercurius

Legend
If find this amusing as well.

I LOATHE the Great Wheel cosmology, and have never used it in any game I've run since 1978. I always use some variation on the Myriad Spheres cosmology. Too much Michael Moorecock in my youth, I suppose.

I don't hate the Great Wheel, but don't love it, and actually prefer the World Tree from 4E, which is closer to Western esoteric traditions.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
My loathing for the Great Wheel knows no bounds. I actually drew lines through it in my first AD&D PHB with an inkpen. (I was 14 at the time and was very impulsive).

The Great Wheel is the main reason why I couldn't get into Planescape.

My hatred of this cosmology is tied to my hatred of "alignment" as a game mechanic.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
My loathing for the Great Wheel knows no bounds. I actually drew lines through it in my first AD&D PHB with an inkpen. (I was 14 at the time and was very impulsive).

The Great Wheel is the main reason why I couldn't get into Planescape.

My hatred of this cosmology is tied to my hatred of "alignment" as a game mechanic.
Why do you hate it so much? I've only ever played 5e, so I've not really been exposed to the other planar-alignment versions before.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
Just my opinion, of course.
  • I find it silly.
  • It was obviously based on the alignment chart.
  • It contains planes designed to fill in the gaps on the alignment chart.
I'm a voracious reader, and this cosmology seemed so shallow and pathetic compared to those I'd read in fantasy literature.

It seems more about game mechanics than flavor. I know that you can create flavor for it, but I never bothered to do so because it felt gamist to me.

It may be related to the fact that I have a strong dislike for "intelligent design" campaign settings where there are gods living in the planar suburbs who created everything from the worlds, to the races, to all magic (including arcane magic).

I have no need for planes where the gods live, since you can never prove that gods exist in my games.

I have no need for planes where souls go when they die, since I prefer a cosmology where souls are reused or recycled via reincarnation.

I have no love for generic D&D lore. I have always (from age 13 when I began running this game back in 1978) preferred to create my own cosmologies and lore.

Even when I ran in Greyhawk, I removed the Great Wheel from my cosmology, and I removed the gods as a tangible force in the world.

I don't have to do any of this with Eberron (which I occasionally run) since the gods are intangible and imperceptible in the setting, and the cosmology is different enough to be interesting.
 


Hoffmand

Explorer
The great wheel is not integral to planescape. That’s just one generally accepted theory (very majorly accepted) of how the cosmos is structured. Could be wrong. All they really know is this this portal goes to this location sometime if it is open here at all. And it may move somewhere else.
 




jgsugden

Legend
You can simplify the Great Wheel a lot to give you a more streamlined setting.

My primary campaign world has for decades consisted (with only slight evolution) The Prime, The Transitive Planes, The Positive energy Plane, The Negative Energy Plane, The Elemental Plane, The Astral Sea, the Far Realms, Heaven and Hell.

The Prime is centered around one world, but there are other planets in it. You can Spelljam between the planets, but gate magic is more common.

The Transitive Planes Connect the Prime to other planes. Ethereal connects to the Far Realm. Shadowfell connects to the Negative Energy Plane. Feywild connected to the Postive Energy Plane. They mirror the Prime and slowly morph to reflect it more closely, but touched by elements of the other plane.

PEP and NEP are impossible to survive. They are mysteries. Only the most powerful of divine creatures can survive there for even a moment. They represent the Well of Life and the 'Drain of Death' as one player labeled it so long ago.

I have just one Elemental Plane filled with massive pockets of each element. Some of these pockets are hundreds of thousands of miles across.

My Astral Sea is the primary place where Spelljamming takes place. People use Gates and navigating through the Astral Sea to travel between planes, or as shortcuts across another plane. My version of Sigil is here - a floating city where there are thousands of Gates to other planes and places. There are countless pocket dimensions that connect to this plane (used to make Bags of Holding, cast Demiplane, etc... Some are massive - large enough to contain worlds (like the home of the Githyanki).

The Far Realms can't be reached, but it is slowly colliding into the other planes. It is actually an entire alien cosmology. The first collision of the Far Realm with the main Cosmology brought Chaos to the world - turning Devils into Demons and shattering the connection between the planes enough to create the Transitive Planes. Only one being, Cthulhu, has crossed from the Far Realms into the main cosmology, and it is unclear whether this is just an Aspect of Cthulhu or the real deal.

The Heavens are 7 realms where Gods were banished by my original God figure. They are not all great places. The Swamp of Twilight is controlled by three evil gods and is as much a nightmare as the Hells in the eyes of most. A way to think of it as each of the 7 realms are the home of an entire pantheon and my homebrew pantheons were built to align with the motivation of humanoids and intelligent monsters in older editions.

The Hells is an infinite expanse. At the Core is Asmodeus and his 9 Realms where the Devils reside. Surrounding his 9 Realms is the chaotic Abyss where the Demons lurk. Asmodeus is a fallen Angel that saw the potential of being too lawful (tyrannical), but found himself charged with protecting something at the Center of Hell from the Demonic Forces that instinctually are drawn there.

This is a much simpler cosmology and has served me well. I created it when I was young and didn't pay attention to the details and just made up stuff to fill in the cracks. It evolved a lot with 3E and the ideas of the Shadowfell, and I am about to reboot the entire thing for a new group of players. The only think I am going to change now are the Pantheons of the Gods to make them more accessible. I'm eliminating some of my own creations and replacing them with Greyhawk and Dawn War Gods with similar profiles.
 

Aldarc

Legend
The great wheel is not integral to planescape. That’s just one generally accepted theory (very majorly accepted) of how the cosmos is structured. Could be wrong. All they really know is this this portal goes to this location sometime if it is open here at all. And it may move somewhere else.
But doesn't belief and ideology shape reality in the setting of Planescape?
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Just my opinion, of course.
I can see your point. I guess you don't like alignment, then. I've always found alignment silly, as no one thinks they're evil unless they have some serious self-hatred going on.

I guess some of the planes are bland, and don't really need to exist. If I were to make my own cosmology, I'd probably use something similar to Eberron's, but with a few extra planes, (a plane of mirrors, nightmare realm, a few large demiplanes.)
 


Aldarc

Legend
Not sure what you mean here. What's a "non-info dump tool"?
Things that expand the rules mechanically for players and DMs. For example, Ravnica provides rules for factions and guilds. Ghosts of Saltmarsh provide guidelines for naval/sea encounters. Eberron provides new races and the Artificer class. What will a FRCS book give me apart from listing all the women that Elminster slept with? Telling me setting info is its own reward will not cut it as an answer because that's what wikis are for.
 


Mercurius

Legend
Things that expand the rules mechanically for players and DMs. For example, Ravnica provides rules for factions and guilds. Ghosts of Saltmarsh provide guidelines for naval/sea encounters. Eberron provides new races and the Artificer class. What will a FRCS book give me apart from listing all the women that Elminster slept with? Telling me setting info is its own reward will not cut it as an answer because that's what wikis are for.

I remember reading Spellfire back in 1988 when I was a teenager and reading the Elminster-Simbul sex scene and thinking, "ew...grandpa is getting laid." Now that I'm approaching 50, I'm like, "Go, Elminster!"
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Things that expand the rules mechanically for players and DMs. For example, Ravnica provides rules for factions and guilds. Ghosts of Saltmarsh provide guidelines for naval/sea encounters. Eberron provides new races and the Artificer class. What will a FRCS book give me apart from listing all the women that Elminster slept with? Telling me setting info is its own reward will not cut it as an answer because that's what wikis are for.
Things that expand the rules mechanically for players and DMs. For example, Ravnica provides rules for factions and guilds. Ghosts of Saltmarsh provide guidelines for naval/sea encounters. Eberron provides new races and the Artificer class. What will a FRCS book give me apart from listing all the women that Elminster slept with? Telling me setting info is its own reward will not cut it as an answer because that's what wikis are for.
So, I went to the mat in the other thread to say I don't believe a FRCS is coming anytime soon, due to the current strategy working well for WotC, but I will now offer a counter-poomt:

They could definitely do a book like Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica or Rising from the Last War for the Forgotten Realms.

There are a boatload of FR specific Monsters not covered in 5E already, just oodles of the beasties. Tons of magic items. Player options for the Setting that haven't been done in 5E yet, whether Subclasses, Races or adapting something like Group Patrons to a more standard High Fantasy milleu. New systems could be introduced, such as Spellfire, Mystrals, remnants of the Spellplague, and probably other stuff from throughout FR storied publication. Maybe ways to play Large or Tiny characters, so we can have Half-Ogres or Pixies.

Adventure generation material would be very valuable to a lot of players, certainly.

It could be done. I don't expect it anytime soon, but who knows what tomorrow might bring?
 

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