D&D 5E What Main Themes Would You Want a New Official Setting to Focus On?

What Main Theme(s) Would You Want a New Official World to Focus On? (choose up to 3)


5e Freelancer
We recently got news that 2 completely new, non-M:tG settings are currently being worked on by Wizards of the Coast. Assuming neither of them are dropped, and both of them are completely new to D&D as a whole (not a collaborative project, like the Wildemount and Acq. Inc. books were), this could be adding some entirely new themes to the current official cast of D&D 5e settings. There is a lot that these new settings could cover, the possibilities are literally limitless, but as D&D is a fantasy game, they're almost definitely going to be tied back to the main identity of the hobby. In this thread's poll, I have included many different possible themes that could be covered by a new setting, ignoring themes that have been largely covered by already official D&D 5e settings (like no "Base D&D-type" settings, as the Forgotten Realms and Exandria are already official). Choose up to 3 of those themes that you would prefer a future official D&D setting book to focus on, and feel free to speculate, explain your reasons for the options you chose, and otherwise discuss this topic below.

(If you have any suggestions for other options to add to the poll, feel free to comment below recommending them. I put up all main unexplored themes that I could think of, but am undoubtedly missing a few possible options.)

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What made me get into worldbuilding was a lack of settings that are dominated by largely unexplored wilderness with new strange creatures and magic phenomenons to be discovered.
Of course I now have my own which I am working on, but there's still very little that has been done in that regard.


I found that none of the concepts excited me that much. I voted water world thinking that a pirate feel with lots of islands and factions may be ok. I would not want D&D underwater though.


A suffusion of yellow
None of those are particularly interesting to me, although Im not sure what Alternate reality world is.

I’d like something that either emulates Eternia ie Masters of the Universe or promotes a more modernesque 17th Century setting - maybe focus of the Gunpowder Empires (Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal India, China) but with dragons, djinn and magic


ORC (Open RPG) horde ally
A new Fantasy Asia world. Probably be High Magic and World-with-Heroes, assuming it takes any inspiration from the wuxia c-dramas on Netflix and YouTube.

An Ice Age, Prehistoric world could be fun. WOTC might think it’s too much of a concept overlap with Tomb of Annihilation and Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden though.

An Urban, Futuristic world could work, but I’d rather see a Shadowrun conversion to D&D 5th edition.

Similarly, an Alternate Reality, Post-Apocalyptic world... I’d rather WOTC update Gamma World to D&D 5e. Advertise it as Dungeons & Dragons meets Fallout.

Of course, what I really want is Dark Sun 5e, so that would be a Psionics and Post-Apocalyptic world.


I’d like to see a historical post-apocalypse setting, retaining the medieval fantasy aspects of D&D. For me, the ideal would be the demonic apocalypse of Jan 1st 1000, that was so feared in Europe in the run-in to the first millenium.
My other wish would be some form of modern setting, though my definition of modern would be loose enough to cover Victoriana through to the near untrue from 2021. I’m not fussed whether some form of apocalyptic war, alien invasion or supernatural event has made dramatic changes in the world we know.
My final wish ( the OP said three votes, so I’m interpreting this as three suggestions) would be Sword and Sorcery done right. This means keeping the baby of action, setting and story, but throwing out the extremely dirty bath water of prejudice, misogyny, homophobia etc.

You don't need a whole setting, but more use of rival adventuring parties would be nice. Your party is the only one working their way up the level food chain? Occasional attacks by rival groups of 4-5 characters eager for magic items would be amusing.


CR 1/8
I'd like to see support for modern settings.
And while it's not something I'm fond of, I wouldn't be surprised to that presented as supers or something.

You don't need a whole setting, but more use of rival adventuring parties would be nice. Your party is the only one working their way up the level food chain? Occasional attacks by rival groups of 4-5 characters eager for magic items would be amusing.
Do you need a book to allow you to do this?

Voted: Futuristic, High Magic, and "There Are Heroes" (what I would just call "Heroic").

We have a high-magic urban fantasy setting: Eberron. We have plenty of "no-heroes" options (Ravenloft and Dark Sun come to mind). We have post-apocalypse covered by Dark Sun. In fact, pretty much everything on the list is already well-covered except Futuristic.

I want a science-fantasy setting, a world where Magic is one of the fundamental Sciences alongside Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. A setting where elder dragons might rule planets, where an ancient colony ship from a race long thought extinct can crash-land on a planet's surface and begin their recovery. Where people would make comparisons to the Mos Eisley Cantina positively, because "wow, now I finally get to PLAY in one!" rather than derisively because it doesn't fit their ultra-rigid conception of what fantasy is allowed to be.

We don't have that yet. Planescape and Spelljammer won't provide it, either. I want something that's in the vein of Shadowrun, but more advanced tech. Where it's valid to have Clone Trooper as a background or to be a Circle of the Webcrawler Druid.


I voted:

Mirror world: Just in the hopes that it will cause to be more detailed and include themes usually not found in high fantasy like a more detailed feudal system instead of pseudo nation states

World with Heroes: Because it just makes sense that there would be more adventurers, mercenaries and fortune hunters than just the PCs and I generally dislike the PCs as superspecial chosen ones trope.

No other Planes: Because I would rather see all creative juice being focused on the main world instead of it spread around multiple planes.

King Babar

God Learner
any ideas on the twists for the setting as just strait pirates would seem odd.
I think if you go full water world you can get some really interesting twists beyond "fantasy Caribbean"; ship cities, living islands, merfolk kingdoms, etc. Take every nautical trope from the Odyssey to Horatio Hornblower and smash them all together and I think you could have something cool.

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