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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

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teitan

Hero
I think FR and Wildemount ate Neraths lunch and they don't seem to ask about the setting anymore. Its firmly in the depths of the 3rd tier of settings sadly .
I think the only thing that Wildemount used was the gods from the setting because Wildemount is nothing like Nerath. I love Wildemount. Favorite 5e setting but very much not consuming Nerath. The realms only snagged the Raven Queen and that’s questionable and not canon.
 

I'm as crusty a DS veteran as you'd care to name, and I'd have zero problems with re-skinning Dragonborn to represent Dray.

Tieflings I have few more issues with. The DS canon has never been a model of consistency when it comes to planar travel etc, but it's basically impossible to see any space for Asmodeus in the setting. Personally if I were doing it I'd offer a suite of variant tieflings with either physical or psionic abilities, as opposed to the magical abilities that standard tieflings get, and then use them to represent the New Races that were twisted by the shadow of the Pristine Tower, or messed with by Rajaat's shadow giants over the years. Much less consistent visually or in terms of powers than PHB tieflings. The New Races have been in DS canon for a loooong time, plus having all these twisted mutants running around fits well with the postapocalyptic DS vibe, and you've even got a reason that tieflings are widely distrusted and/or feared, as they supposedly are in their standard quasi-fiendish iteration. It just seems like a fairly natural fit to me.
 


I've been pondering some more, and I think it depends on what business goals they have for the new books:

A: Sell more books to existing players:

I believe that this goal means new mechanics, not new aesthetics. They'll want to give the players new tys to play with, not just new setting details. This favors the planar settings like Planescape, Spelljammer, and possibly Ghostwalk - but since what those offer can be condensed, I'm not sure any of them get their own book. A big Manual of the Planes book could encompass all three with some extra room for more Fey stuff. I can definitely see this happening, but I'm not sure if it really counts as a setting book.

The only classic setting with traction and a need for new rules is Dark Sun, since it needs psionics. If they want to sell existing players a new setting, DS is a top contender.

B: Bring in new players

I have a feeling this is a bigger moneymaker, so I'm inclined to think this is the strategy. There's two approaches I can see here:

B1: Leverage an existing IP and get those people to play DnD:

This is the point of the MtG settings, after all. I think an argument can be made for Dragonlance here - there's some number of people who read / have read DL who don't currently play DnD, and a shiny new book could get their attention. I have no clue how big a market this is, but it could be a thing. The only other IP Hasbro owns that could be leveraged this way is My Little Pony, but unless G5 is as big a hit as G4 I find this highly unlikely.

B2: Offer new kinds of fantasy, from the perspective of non-players:

Doing this involves new aesthetics more than new mechanics - they want to look for 'styles' (or looks or subgenres) of fantasy that they don't already have on their covers. The biggest gap might well be JRPG-looking fantasy (which is a ton more gonzo and exaggerated), as opposed to the more western style they've been using. However unless they overhaul Kara-Tur to unrecognizability this would involve a new setting, not a classic one. They could go for more 'gritty', but I think the ending of the GoT tv show might have tanked that for a bit. If the new Wheel of Time show revives the idea this could make a comeback. I'm not sure which setting they'd use for this. Dark Sun could be used for a post-apocalyptic and/or swords-and-sandals setting, making it the only setting to be dual-purpose - but these are not ascendant genres, so it's a risk for this goal.

So my revised list is: #1 Dark Sun, #2 some kind of combined planar book, #3 Dragonlance, massively distant #4 Kara-Tur with heavy revisions.
 

I am sorry but I am afraid I have to say Pelinore has to be in the end of the list. It was not a complete setting, but some cities and near zones. How could it return? I don't know if WotC is the owner of the copyright. It was a British magazine, and the laws about trademarks may be different. It could be added to the DM Guild. Pelinore could be designed to be the D&D version of Games Workshop fantasy. Pelinore can be return as a new setting for Magic: the Gathering and some videogame about ruling a camp/city/castle/stronghold.

The plans for the settings are't only to sell TTRPG sourcebooks but also other different merchandiscing products, as comics, novels, toys, videogames, some serie for streaming media service...

If there are plans about future classes, for example the martial adepts, we have to think how to make fit these in the settings. For example the martial adepts (crusader, warblade and swordsage) and their (ki) martial maneuvers in Kara-Tur. My cocern about Kara-Tur is the Asian nations may suffer predjudices against their neighbours, and something can be enoughly politically correct in a country but offensive in other, for example the flag of the rising sun. My theory is before we would see a new M:tG setting based i far East cultures.

Dragonlance isn't easy to be updated if somebody wants too many changes. For example if there is a new videogame the main characters can be totally customited, for example Tas becomes a girl, Gilnathas a female elf, and Silvara a male silver dragon. It is a videogame and nobody is going to complain too much about the altered canon. (I disadvice totally to show gay elf couples precisely to avoid homophobic comments about elves suffering a demographic crisis because not enough elf children are born).

If Planescape returns, the faction war will be not allowed in Sigil but it will have to continue in the Gametowns. A planar handbook adding elements of Spelljammers may be possible.

Now I wonder about a crossover between Spelljammer and a fantasy mash-up version of M.A.S.K, Rom Spaceknight or Visionaries.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I didn't include Pellinore because...well, almost no one knows about it and it is probably less likely than any to be revived. Meaning, there was no point other than completism.
 

The original Draconomicon was a Forgotten Realms book so I see no reason to bother with council of wyrms.
That came out 31 years ago. The 3E Draconomicon likely sold multiple times as many copies as it and the 4E dragon books, cumulatively, likely outsold it as well.

The Forgotten Realms gets plenty of preferential treatment as-is, despite only a plurality of D&D players actually playing in the setting. Dropping in a few pages of the Council of Wyrms setting into a Draconomicon wouldn't be a big ask.
 



The new books will be the proving ground, I wager: if they knock it out of the park, WotC will likely want to capitalize on that in the next couple years.
Sure, though I just don't see who would buy late sequels like that except established fans. I mean, I've book book 19 (literally) by an author before, and it has indeed been great (last Assassin book by Robin Hobb, which is essentially a capstone for the entire setting she has been writing in), but I don't think anyone not already a fan would have got it. Esp. as the books in-between were not as consistent, and some of the DL books in-between aren't merely inconsistent, they're outright bad.
I wouldn't read too much into the judgement of the guy at WotC who tried to kill the novels and subsequently lost his job (replaced by Sdsm Lee recently): he was directly responsible for the War of the Dpark debacle, which yikes, talk about problematic...
Having read about the DL extensively now, my guess would be that he specifically was the guy who sent the email to Hickman/Weis saying "WotC will not be reviewing any more drafts or suggesting any more edits!", which was, from a contractual point of view, basically saying "WotC intends to breach this contract!", and that he sent said email without consulting WotC's legal people. Legal would have told him not to - this is stuff so basic I'm just an ex-legal researcher and I know it, first-year law students could tell you "Don't do it!" (well, second-year maybe but w/e - it's basic contract law). If WotC really didn't want the stuff published they were in a position to keep requesting edits and reviews indefinitely, which would have been tough to challenge legally.

As an aside, whilst looking at this I noted that WotC is not publishing the DL novels nor seems to benefit much from them. Penguin is and they and Hickman/Weis seem to get most or all of the profit. So that is an additional angle against DL as a setting for WotC in the short term.

The other point against is that Hickman/Weis attempted to link WotC refusing to review more drafts with "diversity" problems. This strongly suggests the edits they had been asked to make were on the basis of their book being lacking in "diversity" aspects, because otherwise there's literally no reason to say that. And Hickman made the famously idiotic Twitter post re: Modern/Traditional and his strong disapproval of the former in favour of Harry Hamlin and some white '70s hippies. This combo suggests Hickman/Weis would be likely to oppose modernisation of DL, and obviously even if WotC could do it w/o them (which seems like it may be the case), their disapproval of the project would be very bad.

So I think the more I find out about this, the less likely DL as a full setting seems to be. DL being mentioned though is already happening so there's that.
Really, because the only person in the UK I know who is still watching live TV is my dad, and he is seriously pre-boomer!
I literally have no idea who these people are, but the Line of Duty S6 finale (which I loved and am still laughing about, I feel like I should pull that in a D&D campaign sometime) peaked at 13.1m live viewers - that's live - I think that includes live streams, but it doesn't include later streaming because it's specifically at a time period when the episode was airing. So they exist! But yeah same with me, I don't know anyone, not even my parents, who watches live TV. My wife's parents do, but they live in the US.
I make a lot of Jakandor jokes, but if they were launching the setting today, it would be a solid base hit, as opposed to the weird failure that it was in our world. The clash of two cultures, with both of them portrayed sympathetically, fits an era where we've now had tons of prestige TV showing us that sort of complexity and empathy.
I tend to agree. The cultures involved are pretty cool too and I bet you'd get some amazing art out of it today.
 

The other point against is that Hickman/Weis attempted to link WotC refusing to review more drafts with "diversity" problems. This strongly suggests the edits they had been asked to make were on the basis of their book being lacking in "diversity" aspects, because otherwise there's literally no reason to say that. And Hickman made the famously idiotic Twitter post re: Modern/Traditional and his strong disapproval of the former in favour of Harry Hamlin and some white '70s hippies. This combo suggests Hickman/Weis would be likely to oppose modernisation of DL, and obviously even if WotC could do it w/o them (which seems like it may be the case), their disapproval of the project would be very bad.
Yeah, I cannot imagine them being enthusiastic about any attempted fixes.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Sure, though I just don't see who would buy late sequels like that except established fans. I mean, I've book book 19 (literally) by an author before, and it has indeed been great (last Assassin book by Robin Hobb, which is essentially a capstone for the entire setting she has been writing in), but I don't think anyone not already a fan would have got it. Esp. as the books in-between were not as consistent, and some of the DL books in-between aren't merely inconsistent, they're outright bad.

Having read about the DL extensively now, my guess would be that he specifically was the guy who sent the email to Hickman/Weis saying "WotC will not be reviewing any more drafts or suggesting any more edits!", which was, from a contractual point of view, basically saying "WotC intends to breach this contract!", and that he sent said email without consulting WotC's legal people. Legal would have told him not to - this is stuff so basic I'm just an ex-legal researcher and I know it, first-year law students could tell you "Don't do it!" (well, second-year maybe but w/e - it's basic contract law). If WotC really didn't want the stuff published they were in a position to keep requesting edits and reviews indefinitely, which would have been tough to challenge legally.

As an aside, whilst looking at this I noted that WotC is not publishing the DL novels nor seems to benefit much from them. Penguin is and they and Hickman/Weis seem to get most or all of the profit. So that is an additional angle against DL as a setting for WotC in the short term.

The other point against is that Hickman/Weis attempted to link WotC refusing to review more drafts with "diversity" problems. This strongly suggests the edits they had been asked to make were on the basis of their book being lacking in "diversity" aspects, because otherwise there's literally no reason to say that. And Hickman made the famously idiotic Twitter post re: Modern/Traditional and his strong disapproval of the former in favour of Harry Hamlin and some white '70s hippies. This combo suggests Hickman/Weis would be likely to oppose modernisation of DL, and obviously even if WotC could do it w/o them (which seems like it may be the case), their disapproval of the project would be very bad.

So I think the more I find out about this, the less likely DL as a full setting seems to be. DL being mentioned though is already happening so there's that.

I literally have no idea who these people are, but the Line of Duty S6 finale (which I loved and am still laughing about, I feel like I should pull that in a D&D campaign sometime) peaked at 13.1m live viewers - that's live - I think that includes live streams, but it doesn't include later streaming because it's specifically at a time period when the episode was airing. So they exist! But yeah same with me, I don't know anyone, not even my parents, who watches live TV. My wife's parents do, but they live in the US.

I tend to agree. The cultures involved are pretty cool too and I bet you'd get some amazing art out of it today.
Look up Kelman and the War of the Spark controversy.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I am sorry but I am afraid I have to say Pelinore has to be in the end of the list. It was not a complete setting, but some cities and near zones. How could it return? I don't know if WotC is the owner of the copyright. It was a British magazine, and the laws about trademarks may be different. It could be added to the DM Guild. Pelinore could be designed to be the D&D version of Games Workshop fantasy. Pelinore can be return as a new setting for Magic: the Gathering and some videogame about ruling a camp/city/castle/stronghold.

The plans for the settings are't only to sell TTRPG sourcebooks but also other different merchandiscing products, as comics, novels, toys, videogames, some serie for streaming media service...

If there are plans about future classes, for example the martial adepts, we have to think how to make fit these in the settings. For example the martial adepts (crusader, warblade and swordsage) and their (ki) martial maneuvers in Kara-Tur. My cocern about Kara-Tur is the Asian nations may suffer predjudices against their neighbours, and something can be enoughly politically correct in a country but offensive in other, for example the flag of the rising sun. My theory is before we would see a new M:tG setting based i far East cultures.

Dragonlance isn't easy to be updated if somebody wants too many changes. For example if there is a new videogame the main characters can be totally customited, for example Tas becomes a girl, Gilnathas a female elf, and Silvara a male silver dragon. It is a videogame and nobody is going to complain too much about the altered canon. (I disadvice totally to show gay elf couples precisely to avoid homophobic comments about elves suffering a demographic crisis because not enough elf children are born).

If Planescape returns, the faction war will be not allowed in Sigil but it will have to continue in the Gametowns. A planar handbook adding elements of Spelljammers may be possible.

Now I wonder about a crossover between Spelljammer and a fantasy mash-up version of M.A.S.K, Rom Spaceknight or Visionaries.
I love planescape and the factions. It boy did I hate the factions war. I adore the guvners so the results were not something I enjoyed. That is why I am against progressing a timeline with canon. Let the home games determine what happens after the start date for a setting.
 

I love planescape and the factions. It boy did I hate the factions war. I adore the guvners so the results were not something I enjoyed. That is why I am against progressing a timeline with canon. Let the home games determine what happens after the start date for a setting.
Official metaplots advancing through the publication cycle and cutting away the possibilities of home games in the process was a very 1990s RPG thing, one which I'm glad to see is over.

Even White Wolf, the biggest offender in this regard, has walked back Gehenna and other ends of the world and opened things back up.

Making a book that's fun to read is great, but a game book's first job is to be used at the table.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
Official metaplots advancing through the publication cycle and cutting away the possibilities of home games in the process was a very 1990s RPG thing, one which I'm glad to see is over.

Even White Wolf, the biggest offender in this regard, has walked back Gehenna and other ends of the world and opened things back up.

Making a book that's fun to read is great, but a game book's first job is to be used at the table.
I never saw a cataclysm after the game has launched that I liked. But hey that’s me.

wrath of the immortals sucked. I had a major campaign and setting in alphatia for godsake.

Forgotten realms (is this Wednesday)
Dragonlance. The one before the start of the books is okay
To list just goes on

I loved planescape dead gods and factions wars as modules. But leave the outcome to the players
 

I guess the return of Dragonlance will be updated version of the modules, with an alternate list of optional PCs. The heroes of the lance are a powerful hook, but the danger is they get too much the atention, not allowing other groups to be the heroes who save the day.

Today to be original is too difficult, because fandom notices it. Today to update an old and known title is easier, but there is a potential conflict between keeping the roots and essence of the story and adding changes to can offer new elements.

My suggestion is a new transitional setting based in the "cosmology" of AD&D "Chronomancers", with a "pacthwork" world like Batleworld(Lavterion) from Marvel comics, or Telos/Blood Moon from DC event "Convergence". The order of chronomancers have to keep, or to fix, special demiplanes, the time spheres, created (teorically) by time paradoxes. Some of these time spheres are true distopians, and very wished by the dark powers to be annexed as new domains in the demiplane of the dread. Other time spheres are true utopies, with too many innocent people who don't seserve to be erasured from the space-time continium (really when a time-traveles avoid you to be born, then your soul becomes a special fey. Some feys are furious against the time-travelers who altered their future, the live they couldn't enjoy as mortals). If a time-line is altered too much by the crononauts then the demiplane or time sphere is vulnerable by "cosmic predation" from the Far Realm.

The printed paper sourcebooks about settings, old or new, have to offer anything that couldn't be told freely in the fandom wiki.

* What about a crossover Kaladesh(Magic the Gathering) and the IDW image comic "Transformers: king Grimlock"?
 

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