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D&D 5E What's your ideal product release schedule over the next few years?

Stormonu

Legend
I think I'd go with 4 books a year - one a quarter. Personally, I'd like to see a setting book around January (great way to start a new campaign for the year) - preferably a new world rather than a rehashed campaign world, an adventure anthology about April, some sort of DM's toolbox for July (Monster books if I had my way, especially if they included the monsters from the January & April book) and a player's book in October (possibly with PC versions of the races from the previous books, with errata for the time that's gone by).

For the anniversary, I'd do a "Play your way" D&D and release a DMG, PHB & MM "collector's" edition for BECMI*, 1E, 2E, 3.5E, 4E, 5E & Modern D20 (with softcover add-ons for Gamma World, Boot Hill, Masque of the Red Death, Top Secret & Star Frontiers).

Also a "collector's" boxed set for as many of the campaigns I could, updated to 5E (or better yet, systemless!) - Al-Qadim, Birthright, Council of Wyrms, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, Eberron, Ghostwalk, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Hollow World, Jakandor, Mystara, Planescape, Ravenloft, Savage Baronies, and Spelljammer. With this many campaign worlds, I'd dole out the work to most of these worlds to various passionate freelancer's with the option to continue producing additional content for these worlds for at least 1 year (negotiate up to maybe 5), so long as they meet company standards. The idea would be that the box set would be big enough to contain a systemless softcover travelogue of the world, a couple poster maps, a softbound book with version-specific rules and space to hold a campaign-length adventure book (the latter something that can be done down the road).

In house, I'd have a reworked Karu-Tur, Maztica and Horde drawn up and released (and possibly an African campaign set developed), decoupled from the Forgotten Realms and from real-world history, and released like the box sets above. They'd then be opened on the DM's guild for others to write adventures, add-ons and the like.

*actually, the Rules Cyclopedia
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Thanks @Mercurius !

@Stormonu I think that small paperback lore books for classic settings, sold by themselves and as part of a box with maps and a few iconic minis, and some other loot, could do really well. I’d love to see one a year!

I would not use such things for more diverse settings like African and Asian inspired settings, though. Very bad look. Those need to be main-line release hardcovers, or left for 3pp to do.

And there are settings out there that wotc could probably partner with (the probably is there because the creators might say no) the makers of to make a 5e D&D version, like they did with AI and Exandria.

They sponsor Three Black Halflings, which have a 5e D&D actual play campaign in an African inspire fantasy world, for instance.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Here's what I want for the future releases (relatively within reason):

Summer 2021 Release - Feywild Adventure Book (including the Folk of the Feywild UA's Races). Ideally, this book would take place in Neverwinter, as it is the last of the major cities of the Forgotten Realms that hasn't had an adventure set there. I would love if this adventure was relatively low level, preferably somewhere in the level 1-7 or level 3-9 range. Give it the feel of Descent into Avernus, where you get totally over your head, dealing with aloof Archfey and mastermind hag covens at levels that make you feel squishy. Descent into Avernus drives in the theme of "everything here sucks", while this book (Neverwinter: Into the Feywild?) could drive home the idea of the chaotic nature of the Feywild, with its residents, the landscape, and even time being unpredictable. I really like the "Fish out of Water" feel that came with Descent into Avernus, and I would love if the next adventure book had a similar, yet thematically different, feel.

Fall 2021 Release - Draconomicon book similar to Volo's/Mordenkainen's, but with draconic subclasses, races, feats, and spells, as well as monster stat blocks for Gem Dragons, probably some more Drakes, and possibly Dragonborn/Half-Dragon NPC Stat-Blocks (if they really wanted to scrape the bottom of the barrel, they could also just apply the Shadow Dragon rules to all of the 5e Dragon Stat Blocks in order to fill some page-space). The rest of the book would also probably go more in-depth with the lore of dragons, dragonborn, and half-dragons, possibly give an updated 5e Draconic-Pantheon, and so on.

Late-Fall/Early-Winter 2021 Release - A classic setting book. I'm not really sure on what this one is going to be, as there are plenty of options. Dark Sun could happen, but I doubt that WotC would publish it without more in-depth psionic rules. I could be wrong though, and they could just publish it with the psionic rules in TCoE. Another option could be Dragonlance, as the new trilogy is coming out and there are rumors about official Draconian 5e stats, but I find that unlikely. They could also do another M:tG world, but I think they'll do that next year as GGtR and MOoT were two years apart.

Winter 2022 Release - Magic: the Gathering Setting Book or some collaboration book, like Explorer's Guide to Wildemount or Acquisitions Incorporated. If it's a M:tG setting, it's probably going to be something like Zendikar, Dominaria, or Innistrad. If it's a collab-book, there's not really a way to accurately guess what it is. I think we could get another official Exandria book sometime in 5e's future, but this seems too soon to get that. If it is neither of these options, I could see them moving to two adventure books a year, having one early in the year and one later on.

Spring 2022 Release - If the Winter 2022 Release wasn't a M:tG setting, this is quite likely to be one. This could be an adventure compilation book, but that seems too soon after Candlekeep Mysteries to have another one. This could be a classic setting book, possibly Dragonlance, Planescape, or Dark Sun, which would neatly finish up the announcement of "3 classic setting books in 2 years" that WotC announced last year (assuming the Winter 2021 Release is a classic campaign setting). If they don't want to do a new setting to 5e, but still want a classic setting book, they could do a sort of redo of the SCAG with a similar style to Eberron: Rising from the Last War or Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.

Summer 2022 Release - Probably this year's main adventure. If the 2021 adventure book isn't in Neverwinter, this probably take place (at least partially) there. If the 2021 adventure book is in Neverwinter, this could take us to a part of the FR that isn't on the Sword Coast, like Lantan, the Anauroch Desert, or Cormyr.

Beyond this, I expect the pattern to continue semi-regularly. If we ever get another Exandria book, that will probably be at the earliest by Spring 2023. We'll probably get another adventure compilation book this year, and also probably another player-resource book like XGtE/TCoE. Another VGtM/MToF book will probably come out in 2024. 2024 will probably also have another M:tG setting. We can probably expect 1-2 main adventure books each year, as well as either a classic campaign setting or M:tG setting (possibly both), and maybe even a collab book every now and then. 2024 is also probably the earliest that we will see a "5.5e" or "5.25e", with minor changes to how the edition works (like races/lineages, backgrounds/cultures, and so on). I don't expect a 6e anytime soon, unless 5e suddenly starts losing money.

Just my guesses. I would like to be right, but also would enjoy some good surprises.
 

aco175

Legend
I would be happy with another box set set around Phandlain and Leilon for the next year. A Neverwinter book to expand on the regional lore, maybe they can update some of the cannon.

50th anniversary I could see a setting book, even something like Nentir Vale updated as a sandbox with several smaller modules to use. Maybe allow smaller DMsGuild writers to add some things.
 

delericho

Legend
I will gladly make a bet right now for $5 USD that what I describe below will be as close to a new edition that we will see in 2024. We may well see something more tame, instead.

Yeah, I'm not going to take that bet. :)

So, I will secondarily bet $20 dollors that if we haven't had an announcement of playtesting for a new edition by 2022, we will not see one in 2024, even if the game is tanking by then.
Or that one. :)

One thing I would note, though: the OP did ask what people would like to see, not what they expect to see, which isn't quite the same thing.

While I don't want to see a massive edition change (or the scale of 2nd -> 3e, or 3e -> 4e, or 4e -> 5e), I do think there would be value in a reasonably thorough review and update - The PHB is actually mostly okay, but much of the DMG would benefit from a rewrite for clarity (even if nothing actually changes under the hood), and the monster design would benefit from a refresh (especially to eliminate cross-referencing the PHB for spells and spell-like abilities, but not only for that). Plus, if they want to address problematic areas in the lore (esp. Drow), they may find it easier to get everyone onto the same page if they can push an edition change.

So, really, something like 4e Essentials (which isn't too far from what you described) might well do that job. It's for WotC to decide whether to call that a new edition or not, but Essentials' sales numbers might push them towards calling it 6e. (Or not - I'm also well aware that 4e had other problems.)
 



Mercurius

Legend
One thing I would note, though: the OP did ask what people would like to see, not what they expect to see, which isn't quite the same thing.
Glad somebody noticed, but some of the other stuff was so juicy that I don't think it matters. It seems a lot of folks conflated the two, which is fine, too.

Along the lines of what you suggest, I wouldn't be surprised to see an "Essentials 2." I know some have liked the idea of expanding Essentials ala the old BECMI boxes. Of course at that point, with the core rulebooks, there may not be much of a point, and I don't really see them publishing a product that requires Essentials. On the other hand, if they want to firm up their "Target presence," a line of box sets could be interesting.

@Ruin Explorer suggested a sandbox box set ala The Night Below. Perhaps an Essentials 2 could basically take that form. They could expand it out from Essentials and the Phandalin area and cover the the High Forest and environs, or even the entire North. Or they could skip across the desert and do a Ruins of Myth Drannor box set that offers a Dalelands sandbox.

Some adventures have implied or offered enough material for a sandbox campaign, but I do like the idea of a product--preferably a box set--that goes a step further and makes the sandbox approach central, with the emphasis on "Here's an environment or region with lots of details, encounters, and adventure hooks. Have fun."
 



Bitbrain

Fully vaccinated!
What I would like to see for 2021 to 2025:

2021
Neverwinter: Into the Feywild. Forgotten Realms-to-Feywild adventure. Endgame big bad is a balor demon who leads a clan of fomorians.

Fizban’s (Poorly) Assorted Notes. Resource book with new monsters and the updated dragonborn race. In-book commentary by Fizban suggesting that Gnosh is the poor tinker gnome who has been given the task of getting them into some resemblance of order.

The Wanderer’s Guide to Athas. Dark Sun 5e campaign guide.


2022
Lantan: March of the Modrons. Forgotten Realms-to-Planescape module anthology. Each module is set in a different outer plane.

Cormyr: They came from Wildspace! Forgotten Realms adventure based in Cormyr. Knights in shining armor versus neogi (alien snake-spiders).
Endgame takes place on a neogi battleship hiding among those asteroids orbiting Toril.

Mystara Player’s Guide. Glen Welch’s Mystara 5e book.


2023 - things start getting crazy...
Rock of Bral: Realmspace. Spelljammer anthology with two adventures for each of the other planets in Realmspace (one low-level, the other high-level).
From here on out, we leave the Forgotten Realms behind.

Tyr: Sand and Blood. Dark Sun adventure based in the lands around the Free City of Tyr, specifically the Ringing Mountains and the Great Alluvial Sand Wastes.
Endgame big bad is a powerful noble family from Urik who want to impress King Hamanu by using their personal army to conquer either the town of Kled or Altaruk.

Zendikar: the Living Planet. Magic-to-D&D campaign guide.


2024
  • Revised Player’s Handbook.
  • Revised Monster Manual.
  • Revised DM’s Guide.

Athasian Chronicles. Dark Sun module anthology based in the Tyr Region.
Final module involves exploring the ruins of Guistenal.

Karameikos: The Forgotten Empire. Mystaran adventure. Think Rise of the Runelords but without all the gross parts, Egyptian-themed monsters instead of giants, and a Nithian mummy lord instead of a Thassilonian archwizard.


2025
Roil Expeditions. Zendikar module anthology.

Athas: Empire of Chitin. Dark Sun adventure. The J’hol-Kreen have moved into the Tyr Region. Destroy their war machines, drive off their insect monsters, kill their leaders, and save the day. All while disrupting the Sorcerer-Kings’ plans to take advantage of the chaos.

Darokin: Chaos Returns. Mystara adventure. Parts of Darokin keep turning into a quasi-nuclear post apocalyptic landscape, only to revert back to normal after a few days!
Mutant-megafauna riding cavemen, flamethrower and harpoon gun-wielding ratfolk, sorcerous cockroach monsters, and robotic creatures rampage across the land.
Endgame big bads are the Oard, time traveling cyborgs from a possible future.
 
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The current schedule seems dope
Three products by Wizards and one by outsiders seems like more than enough. A winter-spring reprint or wildcard adventure, a summer storyline adventure, a fall splatbook, and a miscellaneous product in the spring-summer by freelancers or an outside studio. Like the ACQUISITIONS INCORPORATED book or a Magic CCG setting book or WILDEMOUNT
More than that seems unnecessary

Hell, even with just four books I only bought one the last couple years. My shelf is pretty full. They could lose one of the adventures and the bonus fourth book and I wouldn't notice
 

Mercurius

Legend
What I would like to see for 2021 to 2025:

2021
Neverwinter: Into the Feywild. Forgotten Realms-to-Feywild adventure. Endgame big bad is a balor demon who leads a clan of fomorians.

Fizban’s (Poorly) Assorted Notes. Resource book with new monsters and the updated dragonborn race. In-book commentary by Fizban suggesting that Gnosh is the poor tinker gnome who has been given the task of getting them into some resemblance of order.

The Wanderer’s Guide to Athas. Dark Sun 5e campaign guide.


2022
Lantan: March of the Modrons. Forgotten Realms-to-Planescape module anthology. Each module is set in a different outer plane.

Cormyr: They came from Wildspace! Forgotten Realms adventure based in Cormyr. Knights in shining armor versus neogi (alien snake-spiders).
Endgame takes place on a neogi battleship hiding among those asteroids orbiting Toril.

Mystara Player’s Guide. Glen Welch’s Mystara 5e book.


2023 - things start getting crazy...
Rock of Bral: Realmspace. Spelljammer anthology with two adventures for each of the other planets in Realmspace (one low-level, the other high-level).
From here on out, we leave the Forgotten Realms behind.

Tyr: Sand and Blood. Dark Sun adventure based in the lands around the Free City of Tyr, specifically the Ringing Mountains and the Great Alluvial Sand Wastes.
Endgame big bad is a powerful noble family from Urik who want to impress King Hamanu by using their personal army to conquer either the town of Kled or Altaruk.

Zendikar: the Living Planet. Magic-to-D&D campaign guide.


2024
  • Revised Player’s Handbook.
  • Revised Monster Manual.
  • Revised DM’s Guide.

Athasian Chronicles. Dark Sun module anthology based in the Tyr Region.
Final module involves exploring the ruins of Guistenal.

Karameikos: The Forgotten Empire. Mystaran adventure. Think Rise of the Runelords but without all the gross parts, Egyptian-themed monsters instead of giants, and a Nithian mummy lord instead of a Thassilonian archwizard.


2025
Roil Expeditions. Zendikar module anthology.

Athas: Empire of Chitin. Dark Sun adventure. The J’hol-Kreen have moved into the Tyr Region. Destroy their war machines, drive off their insect monsters, kill their leaders, and save the day. All while disrupting the Sorcerer-Kings’ plans to take advantage of the chaos.

Darokin: Chaos Returns. Mystara adventure. Parts of Darokin keep turning into a quasi-nuclear post apocalyptic landscape, only to revert back to normal after a few days!
Mutant-megafauna riding cavemen, flamethrower and harpoon gun-wielding ratfolk, sorcerous cockroach monsters, and robotic creatures rampage across the land.
Endgame big bads are the Oard, time traveling cyborgs from a possible future.
Can you please get a job at WotC?

Some really great ideas in this thread - I hope someone at WotC is reading.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Neverwinter: Into the Feywild. Forgotten Realms-to-Feywild adventure. Endgame big bad is a balor demon who leads a clan of fomorians.
Or a Fomorian who has ripped out their own eye and replaced it with the eye of a balor! They’ve then grown a crown of demonic horn, and terrible destructive power from their eye!
 

This year, I want another monster book, and ideally another 'of Everything' book, though I don't hold up much hope for the latter until 2022 at least. I'd like the trend of one big adventure a year to continue, though if they're going to start releasing new settings I hope they branch out from FR a bit from time to time. If they're going to 5 releases a year, then they could even stand to put out two adventures some years, one FR and one not.

In the longer term, I'm a massive massive Dark Sun fan and I want that done, but I don't want it done for a couple of years yet, because it's better done later in the edition's life cycle once they're more comfortable experimenting and breaking their own guidelines. Once they do it though, i want a level 1-20 mega-adventure that takes PCs all the way from Free Tyr to taking on Rajaat with a variety of possible endings and destinies, do the Prism Pentad again with the PCs as heroes this time around. Planescape would be a good next setting after Ravenloft, because planar stuff is useful in a variety of games. I want them to redo the SCAG into a proper full-sized setting book that covers all of the Realms rather than just the most boring slice in the top corner. And I want a completely new setting. Do something that's never remotely been done before, all from scratch like Eberron was in 3e. Swing for the fences and make it unique.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Can you please get a job at WotC?

Some really great ideas in this thread - I hope someone at WotC is reading.

No one at WotC comes around here... and even if they did, they might use this as evidence of what not to do. The biggest D&D player segments now skews a lot younger than the average poster here.

That's not a knock against EnWorld, or WotC. Just reality.
 

Bitbrain

Fully vaccinated!
No one at WotC comes around here... and even if they did, they might use this as evidence of what not to do... That's not a knock against EnWorld, or WotC. Just reality.

That’s perfectly okay. I’m on the autistic spectrum and I know I like different things compared to what the majority would prefer.

Of the three guys in my group who DM, I’m the one who always wanders outside the quasi-historical tolkienesque and gothic horror genres that the other two DMs tend to stick with.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
That’s perfectly okay. I’m on the autistic spectrum and I know I like different things compared to what the majority would prefer.

Of the three guys in my group who DM, I’m the one who always wanders outside the quasi-historical tolkienesque and gothic horror genres that the other two DMs tend to stick with.
I also have ASD, so I know somewhat of what you're talking about. I tried DMing a Tolkien-esque campaign once, and decided that it wasn't for me. My favorite campaign that I've run was a highly-personalized Spelljammer campaign that leaned into the weirdness of the setting a ton.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
One book per year at most. Ideally none. If the designers want 5E to be evergreen, as they originally promised, then they need to stop publishing books. Leave it to the community to design new content.

Every published book brings 5E closer to its death.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
One book per year at most. Ideally none. If the designers want 5E to be evergreen, as they originally promised, then they need to stop publishing books. Leave it to the community to design new content.

Every published book brings 5E closer to its death.
But it also makes D&D more prosperous. Editions die eventually, and the hobby as a whole will die if there is practically no official content added to the game. I'm not saying we should rush towards 6e, we should certainly take our time (which WotC currently is doing), but we also need to be prepared for when 5e stops making money and needs to be replaced by a new edition.
 

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