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WotC What classic setting SHOULD WotC publish and why?

darjr

I crit!
I love the speculation threads, but this one ide like to be a little different.

What I want to see from the forumati is, what classic setting SHOULD WotC publish? Why? I mostly want to hear your reasons.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I don't think this should be the next classic setting, but I would like to see Birthright eventually. It seems like a great opportunity to add in official rules for building your own fortress, kingdom, armies, etc. I know Matt Colville is doing a lot of this himself, but I feel like WotC can add their own system that is less rules heavy and more concepts heavy, much like the piety system in Theros for example.

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People keeping asking for Spelljammer and Planescape, but I'd rather get a 5E adaptation of the material from The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea from 4E.

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It essentially reimagined the Astral Plane as a cross between Spelljammer and Planescape by having islands in the Astral Plane, some of which were divine realms and some of which were independent from the gods (or were remains of dead gods themselves), as well as various ships piloted by all manner of beings: githyanki, a new race called the quom who scoured the plane for the remains of their goddess, angels, devils, etc.

The gods also had their own Astral fleets of dominion ships that their followers used to enact their god's will through the Astral Sea. The gods of Celestia, for example, had dominion ships complete with dragon roosts meant to patrol the Astral Plane and search for those lost souls in need of aid, such as the souls of people who were supposed to end up in an Outer Plane but instead somehow got stranded on an island (with some islands having entire communities of lost souls who occasionally come under attack from githyanki, devils, servants of evil gods, or even wandering aberrations or demons).

astral-sea (1).jpg

Adventures in the Astral Sea include searching for lost islands and ships, fighting off pirates, dealing with the unusual locals of various Astral communities, and searching the remnants of former divine realms fallen into ruin (such as the White Desert of Shom, formerly under control of the goddess Ioun) for lost treasures and forgotten knowledge.

It also seems like it would be trivial to inject more aspects of Planescape and Spelljammer into this take on the Astral Plane. One could keep the Outer Planes separate, but have islands that have somehow "broken off" from various Outer Planes drifting throughout the Astral. 4E also had a similar locale in the Elemental Chaos (which technically is still mentioned in the 5E DMG but never brought-up elsewhere), so it wouldn't be hard to also incorporate locations from 4E's take on the Elemental Chaos as shards of the Elemental Planes that have ended up in the Astral somehow.

EDIT: I found a list of locations in the Astral Sea from official 4E publications. I thought I'd share some of the most interesting (IMO) ones:
  • The Cloud Court: A stepped pyramid formed from solid clouds where the emperor of the couatl reigns.
  • The Constellation of Eyes: This strange astral dominion, a sphere of reflective crystal orbited by countless massive, curved mirrors, is home of the nerras, a bizarre race that can see and move through mirrors.
  • Kalandurren, the Darkened Pillars: Once a peaceful, well-ordered domain of shining castles and noble warriors, Kalandurren is now a ruined landscape where dark powers squabble over the choicest plunder. The Doomguard controls a stronghold here called Citadel Exalhus.
  • Mutas: A free city inhabited by mortals. Its metal buildings ring the inside of a sunken structure that drops into the dim depths of the Astral Sea. According to legend, Mutas formed from a drinking goblet the god Moradin once tossed into the Astral Sea after hearing news that disgusted him.
  • The Tower of Law: A bastion of the Mercykillers.
  • The White Desert of Shom: A desert dominion of the mysterious race known as the Illumians who have passed into myth. Great sphinxes safeguard the domain, and the ruined City of Philosophers contains darkened vaults of lore lit only by the glowing runes that encircle the heads of Illumian mummies.
  • Worldships: Pieces of a ruined divine dominion rebuilt into ships by a race known as the Quom. They search the Astral Sea for more pieces of their ancestral home so that it can one day be restored.
 
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Realistically they should only make settings that are significantly different than existing settings. Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Mystara and the like are all really cool, but they are too similar to both Forgotten Realms and the standard generic fantasy setting. With most of the information available in older edition books on DriveThruRPG, the only thing they might need is an update on specific races (Kender, Minotaur, etc.) and perhaps a suggestion on how to implement newer races that might not have existed when printed. I could see Birthright, with it's focus on kingdom level politics, but like sea adventures in Ghosts of Saltmarsh, it's something more likely put into an adventure than setting.

Dark Sun is the primary setting that comes to mind for a repring, with it's focus on psionics, defiling, and survival. Planscape provides a niche of expanding the Outer Planes, while Spelljammer is sci-fi themed. I can't think of any others off the top of my head, but there really aren't that many.
 



Of course the priority should be the setting most popular, or potentially with more possibilities to become a cash-cow.

Dragonlance has got the most famous characters of D&D. In the past it was the second best-seller of fantasy literature after Lord of the Rings.

Dark Sun is a "brand" with its own identity, very special and unique art style, maybe one of the most of original D&D lines, with some piece of mature style but not too grimm. You can bet it will come back, but it needs a lot of time and work.

Birthright is the right settin if you want to publish a strategy videogame with the D&D mark.

Ghostwalk is perfect as a future spin-off of Ravenloft, with a softer style, if you want to hunt monsters and face conspiracies by secret societies of supernatural creatures. A whole planet allows a lot of space to add lots of supernatural predators when Ravenloft is too small for that.

After Baldur's Gate III the next title should be Planescape 2, but then we should await a lot of time.

Spelljammer allow to add some elements of sci-fi. I would use it to play a mash-up version of famous sci-fi franchises from movies and videogames.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Greyhawk. Because I'm a self-entitled boomer and want my nostalgia validated. ;-)

Actually, Greyhawk would not be a good choice for a major, official WotC setting book, for the reasons @Shiroiken mentions above.

But I do wish it would get the Goodman Games treatment. In additional to their Original Adventures: Reincarnated line, it would be nice if they had some "Original Settings: Reincarnated" books for Greyhawk and Mystara. It would round out the adventures they reprinted and updated with the setting materials those adventures were written for.
 



Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I’m also a fan of Birthright and 5E needs a setting they can use to push out both Kingdom Building rules and develop the Social Pillar of the game.

Downtime is the game, adventures are the distractions you do when not playing the Game of Thrones.

Birthright done on a new Asian Setting would be awesome too
 

Bitbrain

Fully vaccinated!
I want WOTC to update Dark Sun for 5e because Dark Sun feels different from most of the other classic settings:

Humans and dwarves can have kids together, but unlike in the Forgotten Realms (where such offspring are dwarves), the athasian half-dwarves are on average taller and stronger than either parent.

For all intents and purposes, Athas is a world near the end of time, orbiting a red giant star.

Civilization has effectively regressed back to the Bronze Age.

Most everyone has a psychic ability of one kind or another.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The Nentir Vale!

Why?

  • It support the whole idea of level 1 to 30, from savior of the Harkenwold to going face to face against Tiamat in her own lair.
  • The story is yet to be written: the Vale is a blank page, you'll need to go see what's beyond the next hill; there's no 300 pages long setting book to tell you every event for every inch of territory.
  • The setting still holds dangers: there's no super heroic army or NPC that will need to be handwaved to make a threat to the region realistic.
  • Kingmaker domain: The vale is a frontier. It was at the edge of a recently fallen empire, and the chosen battlefield of 2 others. As you raise in level, will you reclaim the lost banner of Nerath and set forth to claim the throne, or claim you birthright as a scion on Bael'Thurath? Will you gather the last legion of Arkhosia or rally the baronies of the Vale into a new kingdom ruled by yourself.
  • Difference: Tieflings and Dragonborns are part of the setting, not tacked on. The cosmology is simple and close to the old ones we know from our history. Dwarves live in a huge necropolis in the open-air at the base of the mountains, sharing the city with orcs and ghosts. Blackpowder is a thing. Every classic thing has its own twist in the Vale.
  • A pretty awesome map from the boardgame.
 






The Nentir Vale!

Why?

  • It support the whole idea of level 1 to 30, from savior of the Harkenwold to going face to face against Tiamat in her own lair.
  • The story is yet to be written: the Vale is a blank page, you'll need to go see what's beyond the next hill; there's no 300 pages long setting book to tell you every event for every inch of territory.
  • The setting still holds dangers: there's no super heroic army or NPC that will need to be handwaved to make a threat to the region realistic.
  • Kingmaker domain: The vale is a frontier. It was at the edge of a recently fallen empire, and the chosen battlefield of 2 others. As you raise in level, will you reclaim the lost banner of Nerath and set forth to claim the throne, or claim you birthright as a scion on Bael'Thurath? Will you gather the last legion of Arkhosia or rally the baronies of the Vale into a new kingdom ruled by yourself.
  • Difference: Tieflings and Dragonborns are part of the setting, not tacked on. The cosmology is simple and close to the old ones we know from our history. Dwarves live in a huge necropolis in the open-air at the base of the mountains, sharing the city with orcs and ghosts. Blackpowder is a thing. Every classic thing has its own twist in the Vale.
  • A pretty awesome map from the boardgame.

The Nentir Vale got split as meal between Exandia and FR, leaving nothing but bones and leftovers. RIP.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing

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