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D&D 5E Which Classic Settings do you think WotC will publish?

Which (up to) Four Settings Do You Think WotC Will Publish (in 2021-24)?

  • Blackmoor

    Votes: 2 1.4%
  • Greyhawk

    Votes: 34 23.8%
  • Dragonlance

    Votes: 88 61.5%
  • Forgotten Realms - Faerun only

    Votes: 48 33.6%
  • Forgotten Realms - Other (beyond Faerun)

    Votes: 13 9.1%
  • Mystara (with or without Hollow World)

    Votes: 10 7.0%
  • Dark Sun

    Votes: 86 60.1%
  • Spelljammer

    Votes: 36 25.2%
  • Planescape

    Votes: 46 32.2%
  • Planescape/Spelljammer Hybrid (in some form or fashion)

    Votes: 58 40.6%
  • Birthright

    Votes: 5 3.5%
  • Council of Wyrms

    Votes: 5 3.5%
  • Jakandor

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ghostlight

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Nentir Vale/Nerath ("Points of Light")

    Votes: 13 9.1%
  • Kara-Tur (as separate from FR)

    Votes: 4 2.8%
  • Other/None/I'm Being Difficult

    Votes: 7 4.9%

  • Total voters
    143

Mercurius

Legend
Please read these four points carefully before voting:

  1. By "publish" I mean a dedicated setting book. It can be a setting-adventure hybrid, but it shouldn't just be implied and background flair like Saltmarsh/Greyhawk, or any of the FR story arcs.
  2. I am not asking what you hope they publish; share your wishful thinking in the comments. I'm asking which ones you think they'll publish. In other words, which settings you think make sense for WotC to publish in the current time.
  3. Pick up to four and only four, and consider only the 2021-24 timeframe (reasons explained below).
  4. Please share your reasoning in the comments. Why did you pick the ones you picked?
Some thoughts and considerations...

Some factors to consider: First of all, each classic setting requires varying degrees of work. All require writing actual text, gathering lore, etc, but they vary in terms of how much work they need in terms of crunch (mechanics) and fluff (lore). In that regard, consider the current socio-cultural zeitgeist, as well as a younger fan-base. Secondly, each has varying degrees of nostalgia. While nostalgia is mostly a factor with older players, they (we) still make up a significant voice. Finally, and what I think should be the most important factor (even if it isn't to WotC), ask what the setting brings that is "new" (to 5E); that is, how does it expand the possibilities of D&D 5E? If it is more of the same but in different clothes, do you think it is worth the effort? Etc. And then, of course, balance all three factors, and consider others that you thought of that I didn't mention.

Context for guidelines (4 and through 2024): As most reading this will know, it has been mentioned that they have "three classic settings" in various stages of development, or at least that they're planning on doing something with. We know one is Ravenloft, so that leaves two. I don't think this is set in stone, but at least it gives us something.

It also seems likely that they plan to continue to publish two setting books a year. Whether or not they'll up their every-other-year pattern for Magic settings remains to be seen, but even then it implies that we might see one classic setting per year, maybe more this year if they don't publish a Magic setting (that is, Ravenoft + another setting). So if we take 2024 as the "all bets are off" point, that gives us three and a half years of possible settings to consider, or about to seven settings: One more in 2021 and two each in 2022-23, and anywhere from zero to two in 2024, with the possibility that they only publish one in one of those years. that gives us a range of 4-7, with 5-6 more likely than 4 or 7 (in my opinion).

Note: I originally made the poll for only three, but added a fourth because I also added 2024 (and also, admittedly, because I was struggling to whittle it down to just 3). But I think 3 is more likely in the given timespan, but 4 gives us some wiggle room.

General Thoughts: Of course ultimately we don't know anything. The above is just what I hope to be reasonable conjecture, which leads me to think that in the next three and a half years we'll see at least five official setting books: at least two for Magic, at least two Classics, and at least one Exandria expansion and/or a Big Surprise! (new setting...Iomandra? Sylvan-Fey-Dragon World?).

And of course they may continue to publish settings after the anniversary year. They could revise 5E in 2024, call it "Edition Perrenis" and then set out to publish a book for every classic and magic setting, plus more, for years and decades to come. But I think it is more reasonable to consider only the next few years, which is both more realistic (considering the way things change, both within the game itself and in society), and also gives us a bit of structure for our considerations.

OK, have at it. I'll share my four picks and reasons in a reply.

EDIT: That should be Ghostwalk, not "Ghostlight." Whoops.
 
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Mercurius

Legend
I found it really difficult to whittle it down to just four, with my finalists being Forgotten Realms (Faerun), Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, Planescape, and Spelljammer. I don't think any of the others really stand much of a chance, at least relative to those six, with Nentir Vale and Mystara closest to making the final six.

My picks and reasons:

Planescape/Spelljammer Hybrid. No, I'm not cheating - or not mostly. I honestly think they'll hybridize them, somewhat like they did with 4E. It just makes sense, or rather, doesn't make sense not to. You make Sigil and the Outlands the starting point, and can either sale the material planes via the Astral Sea in a spelljammer, or travel through gates to the other planes. This could also be a stand in for "The Planes, in some form or fashion."

Dark Sun: Because Athas is cool and, more to the point, it offers a vibe and aesthetic that 5E hasn't touched: post-apocalyptic sword and sorcery, in a desert setting no less.

Forgotten Realms: It is just kind of crazy that they haven't done a setting book yet (and no, SCAGS doesn't count). In a way, they almost "have to" -- to say, "you've done all these adventures, but here's the rest of the world...now we're going to move on." I think it will be centered on Faerun, but touch upon other lands - like the great FRCS did.

As for the final slot, I'm torn between GH and DL. On one hand, GH makes so much sense in 2024, as part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary. On the other, I'm not sure how well it will be received by newer/younger players, especially when they already have FR. As for DL, I just don't know if they're going to do official products for the new novels, and if so, how. I could see them do a box set adventure/setting hybrid. I could also see a full multi-book treatment. I could also see them license it out again. And I'm not sure all of the dragon stuff = Dragonlance. It could, as many others have suggested, mean a dragons/fey themed monster book, or it could also mean, as I wishfully dreamt about, a new setting in a fey/sylvan world involving dragon overlords. So I'll go with:

Greyhawk: In the end, GH is the classic D&D setting, and it would be odd to have a line of classic setting books without doing the grandfather of them all. I do think it will be 2024 and probably a box set.

In the end, I hope they do as many classic and new settings as possible. Even when I'm in an inactive playing state, I still buy setting books because they're fun to browse. And I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually see the six I mentioned and Nentir Vale and Mystara, and maybe even Birthright or some version of Council of Wyrms. I would guess, though, that Jakandor and Ghostwalk are dead and gone for good, and if we see an Asian setting it won't be Kara-Tur.
 
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I don't like the idea that there will only be four in the time period chosen. Why would they do 3 through 2022 and then only 1 in the next two years?
 

Mercurius

Legend
I don't like the idea that there will only be four in the time period chosen. Why would they do 3 through 2022 and then only 1 in the next two years?
Well, we don't know that a second is coming out in 2021. It could be that they plan one per year for the foreseeable future and that they'll publish a Magic setting, so that it will be one classic and one Magic (or other) going forward.

But the limit of 4 is also in order to make choices. It could also read as, "Which four classic settings do you think are most likely to receive official treatment?" Or "which are the next four in line?"
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Forgotten Realms: It is just kind of crazy that they haven't done a setting book yet (and no, SCAGS doesn't count). In a way, they almost "have to" -- to say, "you've done all these adventures, but here's the rest of the world...now we're going to move on." I think it will be centered on Faerun, but touch
Not really. First, SCAG counts for the only important reason, it still sells well. Second, they publish regular microdoses of further Setting information in the big Adventure products. I expect that pattern to hold for the next few years, at least.

So, WotC has five Tier One popular Settings: Forgotten Realms (covered), Eberron (covered), Ravenloft (covered), Planescape, and Dark Sun. There are three Tier Two Settings: Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and Spelljammer. Everything else is a distant Tier Three.

I don't think they'll do Spelljammer by 2024, so I conclude the likely suspects for the other two classic Settings in production (and what comes next) are Planescape, Dark Sun, Greyhawk, and Dragonlance.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
On another note, Magic's Mark Rosewater has been getting questions on Tumbler about future D&D Magic Sets, and said maybe if the Forgotten Realms Set is a success: what if in 2024, we get Greyhawk as a 5E book, and a 50th anniversary classic D&D inspired Magic Set in Greyhawk?
 

Omand

Adventurer
So, I voted for:

Dark Sun
Dragonlance
Forgotten Realms (Faerun Only)
Greyhawk


Why? Nothing scientific, just a gut feeling that if they go this far with classic settings (that is, if they publish up to 4 more after Ravenloft and Eberron) then I think these four are most likely.

Dark Sun - Not my thing, but seems to have enough of a following to make it viable. It was one of the few settings to get a 4E treatment, which is a statement in itself. Yes, there are problematic elements as talked about in various threads on these boards, but those can be cleaned up for publication.

Dragonlance - I know that people complain about railroading in the original adventures, but a new trilogy is coming out and cross-marketing is likely. May be nostalgia or old age setting in here, but this might be one of the things that is retro cool to come around again.

Forgotten Realms (Faerun Only) - The continuing sales of SCAG argue against this, but it is the default setting and the one that has lasted since the early days in more formats than even Greyhawk. They are cross promoting with the Magic: The Gathering set, so I just get the feeling this will come out at some point.

Greyhawk - With the upcoming 50th Anniversary this is a likely thing I think. Really just copying @Mercurius and @Parmandur there.

As for the main contenders I did not vote for, well ...

Mystara - My first exposure to a campaign world when it was still only the "Known World" in the Basic and Expert sets. Nostalgia on this for sure, but Forgotten Realms is the kitchen sink setting, no room for Mystara as well.

Nentir Vale
- Like the concept, but I think the general material they pulled from the setting for use as examples in the 5E DMG is all we will get.

Planescape - Again, not my thing, but I think WotC is avoiding this because it may just be too niche. Yes, it has die-hard fans (again as evidenced by threads on these boards), but it seems that while it always looked great, the 2E sales were not as great as some thing (just from what I have heard in various threads, I have no actual proof). Plus, from what I understand, much of the content is already being covered in other books that have already been released (Blood War, Gith, etc.). If it does come out, I wish it well and hope that everyone who loves it gets what they want.

Spelljammer - Even more niche than Planescape and has the added problem of being saddled with the "goofy" setting reputation, Giff, Giant Space Hamsters, Miniature Giant Space Hamsters, etc.

Take it all for what it is worth, just my opinion.

Cheers :)

Edited for spelling and formatting.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Not really. First, SCAG counts for the only important reason, it still sells well. Second, they publish regular microdoses of further Setting information in the big Adventure products. I expect that pattern to hold for the next few years, at least.

This is really important; I'm fully convinced that the WotC team considers "all of Forgotten Realms" way to big to contain one setting book. I also don't think they're keen on pumping multiple setting books for one setting. But they do like pumping out "mini-settings" tied to their annual adventure books, and I expect they'll continue to release those.
 

Just based on my gut feelings, I present the Jakandor Scale, based on the M:tG Rabiah Scale...

Blackmoor​
10​
Greyhawk​
4​
Dragonlance​
1​
Forgotten Realms - Faerun only​
6​
Forgotten Realms - Other (beyond Faerun)​
9​
Mystara (with or without Hollow World)​
7​
Dark Sun​
3​
Spelljammer​
5​
Planescape​
2​
Planescape/Spelljammer Hybrid (in some form or fashion)​
7​
Birthright​
8​
Council of Wyrms​
9​
Jakandor​
10​
Ghostwalk​
10​
Nentir Vale/Nerath ("Points of Light")​
8​
Kara-Tur (as separate from FR)​
10​
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Just based on my gut feelings, I present the Jakandor Scale, based on the M:tG Rabiah Scale...

Blackmoor​
10​
Greyhawk​
4​
Dragonlance​
1​
Forgotten Realms - Faerun only​
6​
Forgotten Realms - Other (beyond Faerun)​
9​
Mystara (with or without Hollow World)​
7​
Dark Sun​
3​
Spelljammer​
5​
Planescape​
2​
Planescape/Spelljammer Hybrid (in some form or fashion)​
7​
Birthright​
8​
Council of Wyrms​
9​
Jakandor​
10​
Ghostwalk​
10​
Nentir Vale/Nerath ("Points of Light")​
8​
Kara-Tur (as separate from FR)​
10​

...Yeah, I agree with every choice here. Checks out for me.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I think we can expect Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Spelljammer. Everything else is cake.

However, I'd really love to see Greyhawk and Mystara have something done for them the most. The other campaign worlds, I wouldn't say no to either, but don't expect we'll see them. I think the most troublesome would be Al-Qadim, Maztica, Horde and Kara-Tur as they attempted to hew too closely to real-world locations, if not the "fantasy earth" historical settings they put out in the green books back in 2E.
 

teitan

Legend
With Ravenloft we are actually down to 3 settings of the four mentioned. I said Greyhawk, a dedicated FR Faerun setting book and Planescape. The rest are very niche. Spelljammer could be a section in a supplment and part of a monster book. Dark Sun is, sad to say, problematic and seems to have been dropped as it was a Mearls pet project. Dragonlance might come depending on reception to the new novels and more than likely will come out after the trilogy is finished. Mystara very slim it will ever happen. The rest? not a chance. Well except Nentir Vale but it's not one of the four and has a LOT of overlap with Greyhawk because they appropriated a lot of classic Greyhawk materials for it.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
This is really important; I'm fully convinced that the WotC team considers "all of Forgotten Realms" way to big to contain one setting book. I also don't think they're keen on pumping multiple setting books for one setting. But they do like pumping out "mini-settings" tied to their annual adventure books, and I expect they'll continue to release those.
They definitely have space in Faerûn to keep going with that strategy basically indefinitely.
 

teitan

Legend
This is really important; I'm fully convinced that the WotC team considers "all of Forgotten Realms" way to big to contain one setting book. I also don't think they're keen on pumping multiple setting books for one setting. But they do like pumping out "mini-settings" tied to their annual adventure books, and I expect they'll continue to release those.
But it has been done in way less pages than Eberron or Ravenloft (will have)and other settings in 5e. The OGB and Gold Box sets were about 80 pages less. So I doubt your rumination here. I think they focused on the Sword Coast as part of their strategy at the time and now that 5e has shifted to giving settings full treatments I think that we could very much see that change. Early on 5e had a very slow product schedule and emphasis on seasonal stories rather than settings and lasering in on the Sword Coast, where most of the classic video games were set as well as large swathes of the novels, made sense. Ravnica was the first full setting and it was 4 years after 5e was released.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
But it has been done in way less pages than Eberron or Ravenloft (will have)and other settings in 5e. The OGB and Gold Box sets were about 80 pages less. So I doubt your rumination here. I think they focused on the Sword Coast as part of their strategy at the time and now that 5e has shifted to giving settings full treatments I think that we could very much see that change. Early on 5e had a very slow product schedule and emphasis on seasonal stories rather than settings and lasering in on the Sword Coast, where most of the classic video games were set as well as large swathes of the novels, made sense. Ravnica was the first full setting and it was 4 years after 5e was released.
Based on page count dedicated to Setting material in the Adventure books, none of the other Settings hold a candle to the Forgotten Realms in 5E, and that seems likely to continue through at least the timeframe of the OP. The other Settings are one and done affairs (except Ravenloft, sort of), the Forgotten Realms is getting big lore dumps small region by small region still.
 

teitan

Legend
Based on page count dedicated to Setting material in the Adventure books, none of the other Settings hold a candle to the Forgotten Realms in 5E, and that seems likely to continue through at least the timeframe of the OP. The other Settings are one and done affairs (except Ravenloft, sort of), the Forgotten Realms is getting big lore dumps small region by small region still.
You mean Chult and the Sword Coast, that's what's gotten lore dumps. We've discussed this before. We can't complain that FR is more than the Sword Coast and then use... Sword Coast adventure materials to complain that FR has more material. 1 it requires people to buy adventures. It's not cost effective to ask people to buy a 50 dollar books for 40 pages of material. Sure the maps and stuff are reusable but I can buy map packs off Paizo or Amazon for less and get more and they are more usable with my tokens or miniatures requiring less prep time on my end. Plus WOTC has Dungeon Tiles and Paizo has flip tiles so that's not a good selling point. Plus that's like comparing Shadowdale from the Avatar trilogy modules to the 3.5 Eberron book... not the same product or goal. One is a location to explore in an adventure, the other is an overview of a world that I can pick up and read to see what's available and the various flavors etc available in the setting. FR has the benefit that it is well known and has a lot of fans who might want more than... Waterdeep. So we can't argue out one side of our mouths for one thing and then the other side arguing for another. Personally I don't care about an FR book but I have an FRCS to use. I just find the arguments against it weak. I also find the constant posts from people who make these arguments against it pretty tiresome. For a while, when they were releasing the MTG pdfs for use with D&D people were essentially saying the same thing and now here I am running a Theros campaign that is balls to the wall crazy... ya know, a book that wouldn't happen 3 years ago when those pdfs first started coming out.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
You mean Chult and the Sword Coast, that's what's gotten lore dumps. We've discussed this before. We can't complain that FR is more than the Sword Coast and then use... Sword Coast adventure materials to complain that FR has more material. 1 it requires people to buy adventures. It's not cost effective to ask people to buy a 50 dollar books for 40 pages of material. Sure the maps and stuff are reusable but I can buy map packs off Paizo or Amazon for less and get more and they are more usable with my tokens or miniatures requiring less prep time on my end. Plus WOTC has Dungeon Tiles and Paizo has flip tiles so that's not a good selling point. Plus that's like comparing Shadowdale from the Avatar trilogy modules to the 3.5 Eberron book... not the same product or goal. One is a location to explore in an adventure, the other is an overview of a world that I can pick up and read to see what's available and the various flavors etc available in the setting. FR has the benefit that it is well known and has a lot of fans who might want more than... Waterdeep. So we can't argue out one side of our mouths for one thing and then the other side arguing for another. Personally I don't care about an FR book but I have an FRCS to use. I just find the arguments against it weak. I also find the constant posts from people who make these arguments against it pretty tiresome. For a while, when they were releasing the MTG pdfs for use with D&D people were essentially saying the same thing and now here I am running a Theros campaign that is balls to the wall crazy... ya know, a book that wouldn't happen 3 years ago when those pdfs first started coming out.
They have only done Chult and the Sword Coast so far. They could keep this up for years, slowly chipping away at each region of Faerûn one Adventure at a time. In terms of being cost effective, if someone is only interested in one are, say Icewind Dale, the Time of the Frost Maiden is good bang for the buck. SCAG, again, is still a big seller after six years. It might not be what everyone might want, but it fills the commercial role for WotC of a FR Setting book. It sells well, and they show no signs of stopping their strategy: there is no "argument" to be weak or strong, merely observation and listening to what WotC has said.
 

I don't like the idea that there will only be four in the time period chosen. Why would they do 3 through 2022 and then only 1 in the next two years?
There will be new (to D&D) settings as well as classic settings. Probably about half and half, so one classic and one new per year would be a reasonable guess.

It's worth noting that the new Ravenloft is more of a "how to do D&D horror" book, rather than a gazetteer. I suspect that is the direction we will see for all future setting books. With a focus on rules and guidelines rather than lore. Which means they probably won't do anything that is generic-fantasy-core-rules (sorry Greyhawk). Not that those will be ignored, but they will be detailed through adventures rather than lore books.
 
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I think Planescape is the most likely next cab off the rank. Given the 5e model with a low number of release per year, WotC seems to want to make pretty much all releases (except the annual adventure...) applicable to as many groups as possible. So the Ravenloft book is also the more generic 'running a horror adventure' resource, and it's fairly obvious that a Planescape book could be a 'running a planar adventure' resource for games set in many different settings. Spelljammer is a bit in the same boat (hah, boat, geddit?) but really is the nichiest thing that ever niched nichily down Niche Street.

Much as I love Dark Sun, I don't think it's quite got that amount of crossover appeal or general utility. Though having said that, WotCs repeated attempts at a psion class/subclass/whatever in UA argues fairly strongly that they certainly intend to do Dark Sun at some point.
 

Stormonu

Legend
At the very least, I expect to see the Dalelands be the setting for the next major FR adventure book, with a mini-gazetteer along the lines that was given to Ten Towns for Rime.

There's been quite a bit of Spelljammer and Planescape bits thrown in the past few adventures and rulebooks, and suspect they've been "test the waters" for a bigger project involving the two. Whether they intend to combine the two or keep them seperate is anybody's guess. Just don't expect to see Scro.
 

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