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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: 3 2.1%
  • Greyhawk

    Votes: 35 24.3%
  • Dragonlance

    Votes: 88 61.1%
  • Forgotten Realms - Faerun only

    Votes: 48 33.3%
  • Forgotten Realms - Other (beyond Faerun)

    Votes: 13 9.0%
  • Mystara (with or without Hollow World)

    Votes: 10 6.9%
  • Dark Sun

    Votes: 87 60.4%
  • Spelljammer

    Votes: 36 25.0%
  • Planescape

    Votes: 46 31.9%
  • Planescape/Spelljammer Hybrid (in some form or fashion)

    Votes: 58 40.3%
  • 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 9.0%
  • Kara-Tur (as separate from FR)

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

    Votes: 7 4.9%

The city of Manifest is explicitly on the Prime Material. It's built above an open gateway to the land of the dead, allowing both player characters to enter the (shockingly small) land of the dead to rescue dead comrades and for characters that die nearby to switch to undead classes, something that the Ravenloft Lineages system will make even easier.

Ravenloft wasn't located in the Shadowfell in previous editions either.

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Dark Sun - I think there's zero question that they want to do Dark Sun given the various references, mentions, and so on. It's one of the previous-edition settings with the most name recognition, especially from younger fans, weirdly (possibly because it was also a 4E setting but I think there's a bit more going on), it's a setting different to what they've done before, and the ecological elements and the fact that the players may be fighting for a very literal kind of justice against oppressive rulers make it feel perhaps even more relevant now than it was in the 1990s. I'd expect significant changes because fundamentally 5E's approach to magic is different to 2E, and WotC completely messed up their work on Psionics by applying irrational acceptance standards to them.
The same crowd that "discovers" that Rage Against the Machine is political every year or so would absolutely lose their minds when a 2021/2022 Dark Sun setting leans into the climate change and social justice themes that were there since the beginning and would almost certainly be doubled down upon now.

Which, of course, would also make it sell gangbusters to Gen Z gamers.
I know a lot of people are expecting Dragonlance because there's a Dragonlance novel or novel series coming up but historically neither TSR nor WotC have consistently matched DL novel releases with actual RPG products. Especially as one suspects the core audience for DL novels is now, well, mid-40s and up in age, so one of the smallest segments of the D&D audience. If you look on places where fantasy novels are discussed, I think you'll find very few people under 40 have read the DL novels, and even smaller proportion of those hold a positive opinion rather than "Yeah I read them when I was a kid then I tried re-reading them more recently and I didn't enjoy them much". Plus they're super-generic fantasy with a ton of problematic elements and WotC tried to not publish the most recent one! So I wouldn't be shocked if DL was one of the upcoming classic settings, but I would be at least a little bit surprised.
Cleaning up the problematic elements of Dragonlance would make the freak-out over Ravenloft being updated to 2021 standards look mild in comparison. And I remain unconvinced there's a big modern audience for Dragonlance. Today's fantasy fans are reading Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and a thousand other things. Dragonlance isn't even in the conversation nowadays. Whom WotC would be chasing with this product, I have no idea. That said, both TSR and WotC (via a license) seem determined that there is an audience out there.

So I'm mystified as to who they'd be aiming at with a GH revival. I mean, I could see it happening - we've three basically-irrational attempts to resurrect GH, in the early 1990s, in 1998, and in 2000. None of those made any sense, none of them were successful, but it didn't stop people from trying repeatedly. Could that happen again? Even in the much-more-rational WotC of 2021 and onwards? I think it could. Ray Winninger worked at TSR in the 1980s, he's certainly old enough that he could have some serious nostalgia for GH (though judging from his own RPG output, I'd be slightly surprised if he did). It's particularly odd as an idea because the sort of people I could see it appealing to are extremely well-catered to by pretty high-quality and prolific RPGs like DCC and other OSR stuff. I mean, the FR has been steadily popular for 30-odd years at this point, and they've felt no reason to go beyond SCAG and various adventures, so it's particularly hard to see why they'd go "Hey this setting was popular like 35 years ago, let's make it happen again!". I could see a "maximum nostalgia" product for D&D's 50th I guess. They certainly did nostalgia stuff with GH adventures for the 25th (which was also WotC). But looking at the irrational attempts to make it happen, you never know...
I think Greyhawk would have to be for a 2024 Golden Anniversary thing, and they'd likely want to go for maximum nostalgia and give it a very gritty OSR treatment. But you're right -- beyond the anniversary/nostalgia appeal, it's not clear what Greyhawk has to offer that isn't available elsewhere already. (And my first D&D setting was the folio, so it's not like I don't feel a deep pull of nostalgia for it myself.)
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
This is a really good point. What would be the most likely reigions? My guess is either Dalelands/Cormanthor or Moonshaes, due to the fey stuff. But I could see them doing a desert setting, either Anauroch or Raurin (Desert of Desolation), or maybe Calimshan. There's been rumors of Lantan for awhile, but I don't know if that's just wishful thinking.
A Desert of Desolation book in the Ghosts of Saltmarsh vein seems really, really likely to me.

I'm not a Forgotten Realms fan by any means, but I'm shocked that we haven't gone back to the Dalelands since, I believe, 3E.

Literally the point of Manifest is to allow people to pass between the mortal world and land of the dead. If you put it in the land of the dead, it'd just be a city and there's better candidates for that, like Gloomwrought.

Shadowfell isn't the land of the dead, mostly, its the middle ground between the material plane and the Afterlives (with FR getting an additional between plane of the Fugutive Plane after souls pass through the Shadowfell).

The Shadowfell isn't the afterlife.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I don't think they'll ever publish a Greyhawk setting book again. Another Faerun book should happen sooner or later. Planescape is kind of legendary and has its own ethos, so that's my vote for what we'll see eventually.
Bleak Cabal! F* me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of the Mercykillers, Dude; at least it's an ethos.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
EDIT: The best quality FR books on the DMsGuild IMO, are Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim, and The Border Kingdoms: A Forgotten Realms. Campaign Supplement
If my players pulled out guns and forced me to run a Forgotten Realms game, it'd definitely be in the Border Kingdoms. What a great classic-style D&D setting that is blessedly almost entirely free from decades of cruft from novels, adventures and computer games.

I largely believe that the D&D team thinks Forgotten Realms is too big to tackle in one book. After all, they were able to give the Sword Coast a book entirely it's own, and have proven they can write sizeable gazetteers for just a single city. And looking at how Zakhara or Kara-tur got their own books in previous editions, I think the D&D team just finds that a setting book of the entirety of FR would be covering too wide a swathe of area, when they would rather go deep of many books.

They've done it before in past editions. and they can afford to give it a larger page count now with the larger audience. The key is to focus on the basic practical information for the current era and a good solid map (seriously this hugely important a good map of Faerun conveys so much information).

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I assume you mean Mercer. I don't see why they would do another Exandria book until Campaign 3, and even then a couple years into it. Maybe WotC would like to release an updated version of Tal'Dorei (in partnership with Mercer) when the Amazon animated show is released.
I think a revamped Tal'Dorei makes a lot of sense, although Critical Role, which is publishing more of their own stuff now, doesn't need to go through Green Ronin or WotC to get it done.

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