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WotC What classic setting SHOULD WotC publish and why?

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,
Why does everything have to have a deal? Can't a tiefling just be someone who just happens to have a fiend somewhere in their family tree? Can't a character be a traveller form another plane or a distant land? This is fantasy, some things should just be mysterious.
 

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hopeless

Adventurer
Could have exposure to planar energy via a portal to that realm that's hidden from view or access its just that its energies are seeping through and tieflings, aasimar and the like are the result of that exposure rather than being born from a union with an angel or fiend would that work?

I've been tinkering with the idea that exposure to the Feywild is what caused the creation of changelings.
Making it more of an illness that could be cured if its diagnosed properly, however given religious tendencies they tend to be blamed as having been swapped by predatory fey.
 

Aldarc

Legend
We would all like our preferences validated. :p
Sadly, it's hard to imagine that any of my preferences will ever be validated so long as WotC continues to treat 4e as the red-headed stepchild of editions.

Why does everything have to have a deal? Can't a tiefling just be someone who just happens to have a fiend somewhere in their family tree? Can't a character be a traveller form another plane or a distant land? This is fantasy, some things should just be mysterious.
Don't underestimate the power of character hooks, particularly those associated with settings.
 

Sadly, it's hard to imagine that any of my preferences will ever be validated so long as WotC continues to treat 4e as the red-headed stepchild of editions.


Don't underestimate the power of character hooks, particularly those associated with settings.
Grandad was the devil is a perfectly decent character hook - it works for Neeshka. Traveller from another plane works fine for Haer'Dalis. A PC can be anything without having to have "anything" be a significant presence in a setting. Player Character exceptionalism is an a priori assumption.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Grandad was the devil is a perfectly decent character hook - it works for Neeshka. Traveller from another plane works fine for Haer'Dalis. A PC can be anything without having to have "anything" be a significant presence in a setting. Player Character exceptionalism is an a priori assumption.
I'm not arguing otherwise. Again, I'm speaking of the power of having setting-based character hooks. It's an additional tool for creating character hooks rather than the only tool or way to do it. When you provide setting hooks, where "everything [has] to have a deal," then that is something else that the player can play off of.
 

Again, I'm speaking of the power of having setting-based character hooks.
If a player wants to create a setting-related character hook then it's easy enough for them to choose a lineage with an established "deal". On the whole I find players don't own setting books and know nothing about the setting apart from what I say in session zero.
 

Hexmage-EN

Adventurer
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.
If you haven't looked at The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea, I suggest giving it a shot. It pretty much is Planejammer, or at least a good foundation for it. I'd also suggest looking at The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos, and taking whatever you find interesting to transplant to the Astral Sea (since it doesn't look like 5E's going to do anything with the Elemental Chaos, despite it being noted in the DMG).

Here's a few interesting features that could be ripped from the Elemental Chaos and placed in the Astral Sea:
  • Dar el-Hariq: A former efreet outpost on a massive block of elemental earth tumbling through the plane.
  • Gloamnull: A drifting island village constantly beset by rain. Its inhabitants are secretly cultists of Dagon.
  • The Ninth Bastion: Originally called the Bastion of Law, this fortress-city is the realm of the knightly order known as the Heirs of the Lawbringer. It has survived eight massive onslaughts over the millenia, but still stands strong.
  • The Monastery of Vyc Zaleeth: This Githzerai monastery that holds an important font of power has been seized by a dragon and angelic allies who seek to ignite a war between the gods.
  • The Red Shoals of Dkar: The base of operations for a group of pirates whose sailing ships can travel from the Astral Sea to the seas of the Material Plane thanks to a mysterious patron imprisoned within the Red Shoals.
  • The Trackless House: The Trackless House evades easy location and winks out of existence for spans of time.
  • Temple of the Weeping Goddess: A ruined temple where a minor aspect of a goddess is trapped.
In 4E there were other vessels that could ply the Astral Sea than Spelljammers, which necessitated something to set those vessels apart. The solution they came up with is that while the inhabitants of various planes had flying vessels that only operated in those planes (Chaos Ships could only function in the Abyss or the Elemental Chaos, for example), Spelljammers possessed the ability to Plane Shift. This of course changes the status of Spelljammers from vessels for travel through space to especially valuable vessels that can travel the planes, as well (which, btw, is something the nautiloid in the opening cinematic of Baldur's Gate 3 does).
 
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Mercurius

Legend
Planescape/Spelljammer Hybrid (including the Astral Sea stuff that Hexmage mentioned). Why? Because it completely expands the range of what D&D has to offer, and also provides a means to connect the worlds. It really is a no-brainer and almost past-due at this point. The problem is that it really requires several products to do it justice, and that doesn't seem to be what WotC is about these days. That said, I remain hopeful, if not optimistic, that 2022 might be "The Year of the Planes".

Honorable mention to Dark Sun, because it also expands 5E by offering a darker, more sword & sorcery vibe -- something really lacking from 5E right now.

I also agree that Greyhawk and Mystara fit more into nostalgia products, which is probably not enough reasons to consider as "shoulds." But it would be nice for both to receive commemorative products in 2024. I see Dragonlance differently due to its identity as a "story world," and thus it fits closer to what 5E is about, with its emphasis on stories.
 


Rikka66

Adventurer
Have they actually published any setting for 5e? Compared to pre-5e products, setting info is pretty weak.

SCAG for Forgotten Realms plus the various adventures set in specific regions/cities that act as mini-gazateers, two Ravenloft books, two magic settings with Ravnica and Theros, and Eberron.

So a paltry sum when compared to most older editions, though beating out 4e when it comes to dedicated products.
 

Nefermandias

Explorer
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 love the 4e cosmology, I really do. It boggles my mind when people come to the internet to say 4e lore sucked.
That said, I don't think they should merge the World Axis with the Great Wheel. It's better to keep them both separated and independent imo.
 


Should, from a business standpoint? Aside form a flippant "whichever will sell the most books" I think the answer is Dark Sun, because I feel it will sell the most books: it can both appeal to existing players by offering new options, and bring in new players by offering a new (well, so-old-it's-new) fantasy aesthetic.

Want, from a "which one would I buy?" standpoint: I want good, complete ship rules, because I like ships. So Spelljammer or Astral Sea, or some mashup containing one of those.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Personally, I hope they don't go Planejammer. Not only did Planescape and Spelljammer have such very different feels to them, but you simply don't get the same sort of hazards in Wildspace or the Phlogiston than you do in the Astral.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Used to think they should do a Planescape/Spelljammer hybrid, now I think they should be two products.

Spelljammer AP - Get caught up on a ship heading to 4-6 classic settings (opening them to DMs Guild) and provide the basic rules necessary to keep on 'jammin after.
Planar CSG - Like other recent CSGs, focus about 1/3 on Sigil and then do a gazetteer for the other planes along with rules for the Powers.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Personally, I hope they don't go Planejammer. Not only did Planescape and Spelljammer have such very different feels to them, but you simply don't get the same sort of hazards in Wildspace or the Phlogiston than you do in the Astral.

Planescape should be a setting book, while Spelljammer would be better suited as half-setting book, half-adventure, much like Descent into Avernus or Curse of Strahd.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Planescape should be a setting book, while Spelljammer would be better suited as half-setting book, half-adventure, much like Descent into Avernus or Curse of Strahd.
Only "problem" is that Spelljammer has so many really weird monsters that it'd be hard to stick them in such a book.

I disagree that CoS was half-setting. Unless you say it was half-Barovia, in which case OK. It didn't even touch upon the rest of the setting at all.
 

cbwjm

Hero
WotC keep talking about how the setting is the multiverse so I'd like to see a Planescape setting book to help realise that as the actual setting. No hurry though, I have all the old 2e stuff so can run my own version of it.

Darksun I think would be a good addition, they seem to be doing settings that are different from the main Forgotten Realms setting. Theros, Ravnica, Eberron, and now Ravenloft all have a different feel than the standard fantasy of FR that I think settings which also capture a different feel would be brought out before a setting like Greyhawk or Dragonlance, much as I would love to see a Dragonlance book.
 



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