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WotC What classic setting SHOULD WotC publish and why?

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Spelljammer, because the only better thing than murder hoboing is murder hoboing iiiiiin spaaaaaaaceee.
Agreed 1,000%. As long as they keep their Planescape peanut butter out of my Spelljammer chocolate, we're cool.

And to judge from the spelljamming helm in Dungeon of the Mad Mage, they are planning to do just that. So I'm in!

Similarly, I have no interest in new material from more distinctive worlds like Dragonlance if they choose to genericize them by making them additional kitchen sink settings. People claim DL is cut from the same cloth as the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk, but DL actually had a lot of important differences, mostly in what WASN'T there - like orcs and halflings, for starters.
 

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Hexmage-EN

Adventurer
The Nentir Vale!

Why?
  • Tieflings and Dragonborns are part of the setting, not tacked on.
I'll admit that it kind of drives me up a wall that they kept tieflings and dragonborn around without really doing much to establish what their deals are, as opposed to how the Nentir Vale made ancient tiefling and dragonborn civilizations a fairly important part of the setting background. As far as I'm aware both races are popular, but 5E hasn't really capitalized on it in any way.

Tieflings and dragonborn aren't even prominent in the Nentir Vale's spiritual successor, Exandria (from Critical Role). The origin of tieflings in the setting apparently happened so long ago that nobody thinks its a big deal why there are devil people around, and the most we know about dragonborn is that an ancient flying dragonborn city crashed in a ravine that just so happened to have the only other major dragonborn population in the world.
 

Now, hear me out here...

Dark Sun. But not for the reasons you think.

Thus far we have seen, fairly clearly, that stuff with player options and DM stuff sells good. New races and new class options for the players

Greyhawk doesn't really have many options that haven't been picked up elsewhere
Dragonlance has a few class options but limited to one or two areas, generally the magic side
Planescape and Spelljammer are wildcards as they definitely have race options, but new class options haven't really been a thing for them

Dark Sun has both race and class option variations for absolute days, Therefore, per this historic grab bag, it will clearly sell the best per these historic selling points

or, y'know, Council of Wyrms for the same reason of "What player options could be more hype than dragons?"
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I'll admit that it kind of drives me up a wall that they kept tieflings and dragonborn around without really doing much to establish what their deals are, as opposed to how the Nentir Vale made ancient tiefling and dragonborn civilizations a fairly important part of the setting background. As far as I'm aware both races are popular, but 5E hasn't really capitalized on it in any way.

Tieflings and dragonborn aren't even prominent in the Nentir Vale's spiritual successor, Exandria (from Critical Role). The origin of tieflings in the setting apparently happened so long ago that nobody thinks its a big deal why there are devil people around, and the most we know about dragonborn is that an ancient flying dragonborn city crashed in a ravine that just so happened to have the only other major dragonborn population in the world.

Agreed.

In my games, I use the PHB tieflings for my games in the Nentir Vale. In FR, I use the ''feral'' ones (worst name ever, though) from the SCAG and the Dragonborns from Abeir are no longer there. There are Dragonborns which are a special kind of lizardfolk said to be born with the blood of dragons in their veins.
 

TiwazTyrsfist

Adventurer
All of them.

Also, the two runners up in the contest that Eberron won and that they kept the rights to. If you're gonna hold the rights you should publish it.

If you DON'T feel like Spelljammer, Mystara, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, etc., are financially worth publishing then you should release them into the wilds of fandom, at least to the extent of making them legal subjects for DMGuild supplements and releasing PDF versions of the old books. Or you know, just Public Domain them.

But in a more likely vein, I would like to see SpellJammer get a book. But I have always liked to splash my Sci-Fi into my Fantasy and Vis Versa.
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Some setting that some super popular streamer has, tbh. Or some random mtg setting

Ah, you said "classic" setting. Well, that's a bit different. I'm not even sure Nentir Vale qualifies, but I'll let that slide for now.

So "should publish" is a fraught phrase (say "fraught phrase" 10 times fast). Ie, from a business standpoint? From a fan-service standpoint? From a "creative" standpoint? Maybe I'll try to answer all 3, in reverse order.

From a creative standpoint, I think a Planescape/Spelljammer mashup provides the biggest canvas area for expansion. It can expand beyond just Sigil and also allow both a "default" multiverse setting as well as provide rules to DMs who want to create their own. The full breakdown of the inner and outer and demi planes can be explored in depth. There's all kinds of places, beings, factions etc to delve into.

From a fan-service standpoint, if I was to only go off of ENWorld, it feels like there are top level desired settings like Dark Sun, Greyhawk, Planescape, Dragonlance, and Spelljammer; and then other less popular settings like Ghostwalk or Birthright. So for maximum fan-service, go for one of those 5. Someone up thread said that having settings like FR should probably take them out of the running, and I agree that probably crosses off Greyhawk and DL. If you mashup Planescape and Spelljammer, you cover 2 fan-desired properties at once!

Finally, from a business standpoint. As you can see I'm angling for a PS/SJ mashup. BUT, I believe PS intellectual property is partially owned by Tony Diterlizzi? Maybe not, that might be fake news - happy to be steered right on that. But if he partially owns the IP, that could be a hurdle for any sort of PS setting or adventure book.

However Planescape and Spelljammer also fit into the overall MTG Planeswalker concepts; and could potentially provide an in-canon link to the MTG planes. Which could result in the greatest thing no one expected back in 1995, a Blood Wars/Magic the Gathering release. Wow.
 




Parmandur

Legend
That depends on how married to the status quo of "only those with the Spark can planeswalk" the MtG creative team are. Right now linking Planescape/Spelljammer officially with Magic would be a nightmare for them.
Less married than some Vorthoi on the Interwevs, probably.
 

Kodiak3D

Explorer
I originally wrote a huge post, but realized it was unnecessary...

Dark Sun seems like the most logical choice to me. First, it's not like anything else. That alone makes it stand out and is why I think it should be published. Second, I think the rather grim nature of the world would be appealing to the modern audience. Third...it's just really cool and has always been popular with customers. I think it would sell tons of books. In my opinion, this is the one they SHOULD publish.
 

Should publish?

Dragonlance seems like the big one. The novels were in print for years and are still common in book stories and libraries. It's very visible and people who might not be familiar with the game, might be aware of the setting
There's a bunch of changes they could make to the setting. Drow, dragonborn, and tieflings need to be added. People hate tinker gnomes and kender. Dragonborn are problematic, and the painsfolk need to be non-white
Joe Manganiello is a big Dragonlance fan too, and the DnD team love him. They could bring him in to help revise and rewrite the setting

Al-Qadim seems like another good one. It's classic but non-European (by which I mean non-white)
And people are aware of ALADIN and ARABIAN NIGHTS. It's very familiar but entirely different. And there's all kinds of new options and monsters they could add
Bring in some people of Persian descent to consult and they're good to go
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Al-Qadim. I’ve love the Arabian Nights stories, films, TV series, and cartoons since I was a kid. There’s a few problematic bits with the setting, but none that can’t be easily fixed. Doing something with a bit wider net would be nice. Go North Africa from Morocco through Egypt and through Mesopotamia, Iran, Iraq, etc and you agoid the essentializing and Orientalism of the original.

Dark Sun. As problematic as some elements are, it’s easily one of my top five settings. Apocalyptic ecological disaster caused by the misuse of magic. Evil has all but won. Harsh survival. Immortal sorcerer-kings. Psionics everywhere. Bronze age. Conan. Mad Max. Barsoom. It almost has it all.

Mystara / Known World / Hollow World. This is the top of my list. The setting is the most gonzo, crazy D&D setting. It’s so over-the-top TSR and WotC have stripped it for parts for decades now. Let’s see if I can find that post...ah, yes.

“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.”

Ravenloft. Well...never mind. Carry on, then.

Spelljammer. Gimme Pirates of the Caribbean in space already. British hippo gun fetishists and giant space hamsters. Neogi and mind flayers. I’d prefer they not mix it with Planescape, but that almost seems inevitable at this point.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
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.

View attachment 137029

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).

View attachment 137030
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.
I've been beating the drum for a setting I call Planejammer for years. I think it makes too much sense not to portmanteau the two into a single thing. Take Sigil and add Treasure Planet, BOOM, awesome sauce.
 



Aldarc

Legend
The Nentir Vale got split as meal between Exandia and FR, leaving nothing but bones and leftovers. RIP.
I think that the Nentir Vale can still stand on its own. D&D has its own multiverse where multiple settings share a variety of basic elements, so it should be okay that Exandria and Forgotten Realms also share some things with Nerath/Nentir Vale too. That's D&D.

IMHO, part of the appeal for the Nentir Vale is that it's NOT the world of the FR books/games or Matt Mercer's world, but, rather, it exists mostly in minimal GM sketchbook form. It's a setting initially designed to be DIY starter set for GMs. It has a few base elements (e.g., Dawn War, the pantheon, a fallen Bael Turath/Arkhosia/Nerath, the map of the Vale, etc.), but most of that is undefined and open. Because of this, the GM doesn't have to worry about stumbling over catalogues and streams of highly-defined setting lore. This is why I still use Nentir Vale as one of my primary go-to settings for games. It's great for sandbox games or dropping old modules throughout the map.
 



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