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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%

  • Total voters
    144
I think some people are misremembering how sexy corporate ads were in the 1980s. The bigger the corporation, blander the advertising was more likely to be. Pepsi putting Michael Jackson in its commercials, but if Hasbro had published the Monster Manual? Probably would have been a lot tamer. If anything, megacorporations get away with more overt sexuality in their products now than they did 30-some years ago (the jiggle-in-everything era was the 90s, not the early 80s), it's just the ubiquity of easy-access you-know-what has made it less noteworthy to show a busty woman in a bikini. What hasn't changed is corporations are pretty sensitive to getting a bad rep from people with big microphones scolding them. How the scolds dress and the language they use has changed, but the underlying dynamic hasn't.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah exactly lol. Some things only become more relevant, sad as that might be for the state of the world.

I tend to agree re: freak-out, but maybe it wouldn't matter? Just don't think there's much of a modern audience either.

But... is anyone into that?

Especially people under 40. "LOL SO RANDOM!!!" is very... 2004. And sort of meme-y stuff where random elements are being brought in is also redolent of a dead or dying nerd culture, again which was around in the early '00s but is sort of moving on now (literally the same people who were part of that, when they create things now, it doesn't have that stuff in it).

I think realistically the only way GH or DL comes back with with reboots/rewrites which piss off the original fanbase but essentially set it aside as a percentage of a percentage. Like, I'm in the 40+ model, would a GH or DL reboot which drastically reworked things piss me off? Nah. Most people here? Nah. A percentage? Oh they'd be hella mad. But if we're talking say, 30% of the what, 12% of D&D players who are over 40, that's like 4% of the playerbase. Who cares? Because some of the old-skool fans would also welcome change, or just not care.

DL I just don't think there's a compelling angle. "Epic Fantasy" doesn't seem enough to provide rules people are actually going to want to pay money for. And the lineages/races and archetypes are unlikely to be broadly compelling. We'd be looking at what, Solamnic Knights, maybe Moon Wizards (or whatever they're called), maybe a "Wild Magic" Artificer called a Tinker or something. And race/lineage-wise we have - racist-trope halflings (the whole "doesn't believe in property so just takes stuff" was a racist trope applied particularly to the Roma and other nomadic groups, including some Native American groups), Irda - who seem hard to do w/o being OP, and maybe some Dragonborn sub-races. None of which really fit the "epic fantasy" theme (except maybe Solamnic Knights - who they'd probably give DIRE mechanics to lol - esp. as Fighter mechanics peaked at Battlemaster). Fellowship mechanics seem unlikely that they'd move books. And the setting itself is so goddamn vanilla that even a reboot that de-white-ifies it would leave it as utterly vanilla.

GH the only way I can see it not crashing and burning is if they went, as @Whizbang Dustyboots has suggested, for a very gritty/grim/metal take on it, and had a lot of "GIT GUD" sort of mechanics making for an official WotC-endorsed(C)(TM)(R) take on OSR-type gaming, with the rules aimed very much at that, and strong suggestions parties should be all alignments, and so on. Even then it's lacking obvious material for lineages/archetypes, especially thematically-appropriate ones. But I think it's much more likely some aging denizen of WotC HQ will authorize a very nostalgic take on the GH of his childhood for yet another irrational shot at making GH happen, with the gonzo/gritty stuff actually toned down, not turned up, as it would need to be.
I mean, I'm under 40, so yes.

I think y'all are dramatically underestimating the audience for Dragonlance if done well. You make good points about the difficulty involved, so ironically it would be more difficult than something as far out as Ravenloft, but I think it would have a market.

See, as a Millennial who got started in 3.x, I see all the generic 3E material as essentially Greyhawk. So all the Psionic Handbook and other oddball Lineages are open game for Greyhawk if they want to get weird with it. Again, it would require more work than a more far out Setting, but I think it could be done, and the 50th anniversary angle really works for Greyhawk.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It's not quite as simple as that. I mean, it's closer to what you're saying than what he's saying, but like, fake girlfriends and imaginary boyfriends absolutely do still do really, really well (the dreaded "waifu" among them). RE:Village got an insane amount of extra publicity because of thirsty people were for the 9'6" bad lady with a Christina Hendricks-esque bod and clothes which whilst appropriate, certainly accentuated it. Lot of people were really into that and the fact that they were drove countless articles about the game, which helped it to be as huge as it was (and some people definitely bought it because of her). They don't have to be nearly-naked and have perfect figures - in fact today, that can make them less effective, marketing-wise, more attainable standards can often work better.

I'm not sure there's any real angle for a tabletop RPG to do this stuff (unless perhaps they had some "default characters" in multiple books who were characterized enough to engage with this), but it's definitely still a think. It's not so much "sex sells" in some brute-force way (as the old approach was) as thirst and the desire for romance or an imaginary partner with certain characteristics sells.
I would agree with all that. It's not that sex doesn't sell: it sells to a few, and puts an upper limit on sales. Corporations tend not to like things that limit sales, hence the trends being what they are. Resident Evil Village is actually underperforming for the franchise right now, though that's still nothing to sneeze at, so that might not be an ideal example. As someone who loves some Fire Emblem, the Waifu angle isn't exactly taking the world by storm in sales either.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
....I'm not sure that I would agree with that. Look, I certainly think that we have (thankfully) moved away from the approach that anything can be sold if you just put a scantily-clad woman next to it.

...but .... sex will always sell. It's a basic drive. Corporations are smarter about it now- they make sure that they don't turn off key demographics (like women, because women are consumers as well).

But look around you- look at the television and movies. Do they have a lot of unattractive people? Does the CW have a roster of people of superheroes and supporting characters that are remarkably unattractive? Or do they just have a young and diverse cast of attractive actors?

Heck- look at the internet. I mean... it was practically built on three things: Cats. Arguing. And, well, that other thing.
Those are the commonly assumed stereotypes passed down from the '60's, but scientifically speaking those assumptions turn out to be not true (CW shows have lower ratings than any CBS sitcom, man):


 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think some people are misremembering how sexy corporate ads were in the 1980s. The bigger the corporation, blander the advertising was more likely to be. Pepsi putting Michael Jackson in its commercials, but if Hasbro had published the Monster Manual? Probably would have been a lot tamer. If anything, megacorporations get away with more overt sexuality in their products now than they did 30-some years ago (the jiggle-in-everything era was the 90s, not the early 80s), it's just the ubiquity of easy-access you-know-what has made it less noteworthy to show a busty woman in a bikini. What hasn't changed is corporations are pretty sensitive to getting a bad rep from people with big microphones scolding them. How the scolds dress and the language they use has changed, but the underlying dynamic hasn't.
The difference is that now corporations have solid data at this point that sex appeal actually limits sales. Financial self interest dictates decorum in this case, not cowardice.

I remember a few years ago, Mark Rosewater from the Magic team explained why they weren't doing cheesecake art in newer Magic cards because WotC likes money and some people threw huge fits over it (though just as many said "good riddance to bad rubbish").
 

Aldarc

Legend
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 .
Sadly. But I make the annoying habit of talking about Nentir Vale and Nerath any time they ask about settings, even when they don't mention it. IMHO it was probably one of the best WotC setting for sandbox, West Marches, or modules games because it was like Greyhawk but without grognards constantly complaining about tieflings and dragonborn or other oddities.

Council of Wyrms could probably be shoe-horned into a 5E Draconomicon, with new races, subclasses, etc., put up front and the isles themselves just getting a modest chapter in the back.
Council of Wyrms combined with Chris Perkins's 4E Iomandra setting would also be a great way to resurrect the 4e Points of Light.
 

I would agree with all that. It's not that sex doesn't sell: it sells to a few, and puts an upper limit on sales. Corporations tend not to like things that limit sales, hence the trends being what they are. Resident Evil Village is actually underperforming for the franchise right now, though that's still nothing to sneeze at, so that might not be an ideal example. As someone who loves some Fire Emblem, the Waifu angle isn't exactly taking the world by storm in sales either.
Only in Japan. It's doing better than normal elsewhere and in terms of overall sales.




So actually it is a great example, it's just showing that what moves units in the West, isn't the same as what moves units in Japan. You can see the reverse with waifu-heavy games selling a bazillion copies in Japan and falling flat on their face (or not even getting released) in the West - partly for the reasons you're saying - if you're too obvious/brazen about it, people in the West (and I suspect some of the audience in Asia too) are put off by it (especially if the characters are anime-ish).

Really the ideal space in gaming (and to some extent books, though not so much TV/movies I think for various reasons, not least that they tend to be less about POV) currently seems to where you have a "women want to be her, men want to be her BF" space in an inversion of the old "men want to be him, women want to be with him" of the 1960s. There's a whole dissertation or possibly an entire book to be written on why exactly this inversion is, exaggerated male reactions to other men (too handsome = bad, too normal = bad, freakish WWF-esque weirdo = good, etc.), but perhaps outside the scope of this thread! :)

I think y'all are dramatically underestimating the audience for Dragonlance if done well. You make good points about the difficulty involved, so ironically it would be more difficult than something as far out as Ravenloft, but I think it would have a market.
I guess I'm still stuck on the "but why?". You could do it. But you make Jakandor or Ghostwalk playable and appealing to a modern audience than DL, and I'm not even joking lol. Jakandor actually kind of has potential even, hilariously enough. Hell so does Ghostwalk, but I think Ravenloft takes too much of the same space. Seriously though with your approach I think it would be significantly more viable to make either of them work in 5E than DL.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Only in Japan. It's doing better than normal elsewhere and in terms of overall sales.




So actually it is a great example, it's just showing that what moves units in the West, isn't the same as what moves units in Japan. You can see the reverse with waifu-heavy games selling a bazillion copies in Japan and falling flat on their face (or not even getting released) in the West - partly for the reasons you're saying - if you're too obvious/brazen about it, people in the West (and I suspect some of the audience in Asia too) are put off by it (especially if the characters are anime-ish).

Really the ideal space in gaming (and to some extent books, though not so much TV/movies I think for various reasons, not least that they tend to be less about POV) currently seems to where you have a "women want to be her, men want to be her BF" space in an inversion of the old "men want to be him, women want to be with him" of the 1960s. There's a whole dissertation or possibly an entire book to be written on why exactly this inversion is, exaggerated male reactions to other men (too handsome = bad, too normal = bad, freakish WWF-esque weirdo = good, etc.), but perhaps outside the scope of this thread! :)


I guess I'm still stuck on the "but why?". You could do it. But you make Jakandor or Ghostwalk playable and appealing to a modern audience than DL, and I'm not even joking lol. Jakandor actually kind of has potential even, hilariously enough. Hell so does Ghostwalk, but I think Ravenloft takes too much of the same space. Seriously though with your approach I think it would be significantly more viable to make either of them work in 5E than DL.
It's an ambiguous example, in terms of sex selling.

The difference between Dragonlance and Jakandor or Hhostwalk is approximately 22 million novels sold. The original books are not lighting the charts on fire, but they are still selling. Abstractly, taken outside of pop culture and commercial possiblity, it might not seem the best choice. But that commercial potential has to factor in for WotC decision process.
 

grimslade

Doddering Old Git
Dragonlance is a weird beast. It was a phenomenon but has not been in the public eye very much for almost 2 decades. The 3E incarnation was a fraction of the exposure and it was more of a novel presence than game system presence. And some of the recent DL is bad. The animated movie is not even MST3K level of entertainment.
That said, DL is a solid narrative of cream cheese 80's fantasy. You have Draconians, the wizard trials, and the 3 different moon/schools for wizards. Lots o' dragons. It could stand to be updated out of the 1880s, let alone out of the 1980s. The premise of an overarching epic series of adventures involving lots of dragons for the fate of the world? It just might sell. Factor in a sure-fire NYT bestseller new series from Weiss and Hickman. There is enough there to take a risk, even if it brings little new mechanics to the table.
 


Sithlord

Adventurer
Dragonlance is a weird beast. It was a phenomenon but has not been in the public eye very much for almost 2 decades. The 3E incarnation was a fraction of the exposure and it was more of a novel presence than game system presence. And some of the recent DL is bad. The animated movie is not even MST3K level of entertainment.
That said, DL is a solid narrative of cream cheese 80's fantasy. You have Draconians, the wizard trials, and the 3 different moon/schools for wizards. Lots o' dragons. It could stand to be updated out of the 1880s, let alone out of the 1980s. The premise of an overarching epic series of adventures involving lots of dragons for the fate of the world? It just might sell. Factor in a sure-fire NYT bestseller new series from Weiss and Hickman. There is enough there to take a risk, even if it brings little new mechanics to the table.
Personally I would rather read something from the 1880s than anything after the 1950s. So I don’t see that as a criticism of dragonlance. But then again I am getting old.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Dragonlance is a weird beast. It was a phenomenon but has not been in the public eye very much for almost 2 decades. The 3E incarnation was a fraction of the exposure and it was more of a novel presence than game system presence. And some of the recent DL is bad. The animated movie is not even MST3K level of entertainment.
That said, DL is a solid narrative of cream cheese 80's fantasy. You have Draconians, the wizard trials, and the 3 different moon/schools for wizards. Lots o' dragons. It could stand to be updated out of the 1880s, let alone out of the 1980s. The premise of an overarching epic series of adventures involving lots of dragons for the fate of the world? It just might sell. Factor in a sure-fire NYT bestseller new series from Weiss and Hickman. There is enough there to take a risk, even if it brings little new mechanics to the table.
Most of the stated disadvantages seem like business opportunities to me, honestly.
 

If you really want to go gangbusters with young people, bringing back Playboy tracings will do more for you than seeking the coveted Middle School Principal Seal of Approval. Bowlderization has more to do with corporate risk aversion than consumer demand.
It turns out kids have these devices in their pockets that give them more than Playboy ever could, on demand. Cheesecake art is for neckbeards.
 

okay. I think jakandor is awesome beyond belief but will never see the light of day again. If it does they need to just update the mechanics and copy and paste the setting material.
They honestly should just open Jakandor and Thunder Rift up on the DMs Guild, as an experiment. Neither of them would threaten any of WotC's plans, and it'd be fun to see what fan creators would do with them.
 

It's an ambiguous example, in terms of sex selling.

The difference between Dragonlance and Jakandor or Hhostwalk is approximately 22 million novels sold. The original books are not lighting the charts on fire, but they are still selling. Abstractly, taken outside of pop culture and commercial possiblity, it might not seem the best choice. But that commercial potential has to factor in for WotC decision process.
Re: RE Village - I don't think it's ambiguous, but I'm not saying sex sells, I'm saying, people's desires sell, so long as they're sold with sufficient subtlety. It helps with the Village lady that she's the villain and hasn't been "sexed up" - so long as the audience is doing it, not the company, the audience is into it. But we're probably not disagreeing much.

With RE8, I dunno what the issue is in Japan, but my guess would be censorship. RE8 got hit pretty hard with violence-related censorship in Japan (most REs largely avoid this, perhaps surprisingly, IIRC - last one I recall was RE4, which also got hit pretty hard this way). The Japanese version is heavily censored.

So what I strongly suspect is happening is that hardcore RE fans in Japan are importing NA/EU versions of the RE8 (or just not buying it), because modern consoles are region-free.

Re: Jakandor/Ghostwalk, sure but it's pretty funny that these two "peak weirdness" D&D settings would probably be easier to get adapted to 5E than DL. I honestly think Jakandor might even sell better, with the meme factor taken into account.
 

Dragonlance is perfect for the public who knows nothing about D&D mythology, but now as TTRPG setting is too "small" if you want to add new elements from the last editions, for example the subclasses, the warlocks or the dragonborn. A serious good reason for a very possible delay is the revival of the line may too linked with some multimedia project, for example a cartoon miniserie (in Paramount+ streaming service?) or videogame. I guess to be very fun the characters of Wreck-It-Ralph (3) in a MMO based in Dragonlance. (only a stupid excuse to sell action figures).

Jackandor is one of the easiest option to risk some crossover with some other no-fantasy franchise. As videogame is perfect for a survival sandbox about you start as a shipwreck survivor and you have to hunt, craft traps, built a refugee and explore the jungle and the dungeons.

Dragonborn are oficially in Greyhawk as chosen champions by bahamut. The 3.5 Races of Dragon gave them a different origin. The tielflings are from Planescape.

* Now my opinion is Spelljammer will be "eaten" by Planescape, but with an opened door for the return of the crystal spheres in a future, maybe with a reboot after some cosmic event as a multiverse crisis. I love the idea of "crystal spheres", alternate timelines or "parallel worlds". I guessed the concept was from Chronomancers but now I am not too sure about it.
 

Dragonlance is perfect for the public who knows nothing about D&D mythology, but now as TTRPG setting is too "small" if you want to add new elements from the last editions, for example the subclasses, the warlocks or the dragonborn. A serious good reason for a very possible delay is the revival of the line may too linked with some multimedia project, for example a cartoon miniserie (in Paramount+ streaming service?) or videogame. I guess to be very fun the characters of Wreck-It-Ralph (3) in a MMO based in Dragonlance. (only a stupid excuse to sell action figures).

Jackandor is one of the easiest option to risk some crossover with some other no-fantasy franchise. As videogame is perfect for a survival sandbox about you start as a shipwreck survivor and you have to hunt, craft traps, built a refugee and explore the jungle and the dungeons.

Dragonborn are oficially in Greyhawk as chosen champions by bahamut. The 3.5 Races of Dragon gave them a different origin. The tielflings are from Planescape.

* Now my opinion is Spelljammer will be "eaten" by Planescape, but with an opened door for the return of the crystal spheres in a future, maybe with a reboot after some cosmic event as a multiverse crisis. I love the idea of "crystal spheres", alternate timelines or "parallel worlds". I guessed the concept was from Chronomancers but now I am not too sure about it.

Both Planescape and Spelljammer got eaten by the Forgotten Realms years ago, its why there is now more Aasimar, Tiefling, and Genasi lore in FR then Planescape now, with old school Planescape style Tieflings showing up in an FR book in 5e. Planescape and Spelljammer crossover far more with the Forgotten Realms then they ever did with each other by far.
 

It turns out kids have these devices in their pockets that give them more than Playboy ever could, on demand. Cheesecake art is for neckbeards.

Oh please, have you seen the CW, homeland of Millenial Cheese Cake? That channel has more six packs on display then The Beer Store and more gorgeous actresses then well old beer commercials used to. Neckbeard fantasies have nothing on that. Human nature is human nature.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Re: RE Village - I don't think it's ambiguous, but I'm not saying sex sells, I'm saying, people's desires sell, so long as they're sold with sufficient subtlety. It helps with the Village lady that she's the villain and hasn't been "sexed up" - so long as the audience is doing it, not the company, the audience is into it. But we're probably not disagreeing much.

With RE8, I dunno what the issue is in Japan, but my guess would be censorship. RE8 got hit pretty hard with violence-related censorship in Japan (most REs largely avoid this, perhaps surprisingly, IIRC - last one I recall was RE4, which also got hit pretty hard this way). The Japanese version is heavily censored.

So what I strongly suspect is happening is that hardcore RE fans in Japan are importing NA/EU versions of the RE8 (or just not buying it), because modern consoles are region-free.

Re: Jakandor/Ghostwalk, sure but it's pretty funny that these two "peak weirdness" D&D settings would probably be easier to get adapted to 5E than DL. I honestly think Jakandor might even sell better, with the meme factor taken into account.
Actually, the problem in Japan is that RE8 isn't on the Switch, PS games are dead in Japanese retail (digital is an open question).

Not a lot disagreement here, no, just shooting the breeze.

Dragonlance is one of the best selling novel lines of all time. Y'all are underestimating the commercial potential.
 

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