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D&D 5E Which Non-Classic/Magic Settings Would You like to see WotC Publish?

Mercurius

Legend
As a kind of supplement to the classic settings thread, I thought I'd throw out another idea. It is assumed that, for the foreseeable future, WotC will only mine Magic: the Gathering for new settings. But what if they surprise us? What sort of settings would you like to see and/or could see them publishing?

Two reasons why I think it is possible that we see a surprise setting (I'm not saying this will happen, but we're playing make-believe!):

1. They've Surprised Us Before.
While WotC seems to follow patterns in terms of how many and what type of books they publish, there isn't any clear rhyme or reason to what the books actually are. Think of how many of the 5E books were completely unexpected. They dropped hints (kind of), but there doesn't seem to be any clear pattern. In other words, they're not taking the approach of the last couple editions: first the core books, then setting A and connected supplements, then setting B, etc, all the while sprinkling in splats to fill out all the options for players and campaign themes. Or, with 2E, the shotgun "let's do everything" approach. The products just seem more random. My sense is that they have meetings where people pitch ideas and then ideas are developed to a certain point, they meet again and some get shelved, while the best ones continue on into full development. It almost seems like the like to surprise us, or at least keep us guessing.

2. They (Might) Have An Open Slot. Let's say they plan on publishing two setting books per year, at least through 2023; all bets are off for 2024 and beyond--they may continue as-is, or they could switch things up. But they followed a pattern of three books in 2015-17, four books in 2018-20, and presumably five books in 2021 and, if the pattern holds, for 2022-23. So 2024 could see a shift again, either upping the total to six books, consolidating at 4-5, a new revised edition and soft reboot, a new direction. Who nows. But let's say they're going with two settings for the foreseeable future. Does that mean one classic and one Magic setting per year? I think the former is more likely than the latter, at least based upon what we've seen so far (Ravnica in 2018, Theros in 2020). And if they keep Magic settings to every other year (say, 2022 and 2024), that means a couple open slots (2021, 2023). Maybe one is classic and the other is...something different.

So what do you think? Do you think it's possible and, if so, what would you like to see and/or think they might publish? If nothing else, this thread could be about coming up with interesting setting ideas that aren't classics or Magic planes.

I'll start with a few:

A Sylvan/Fey-based World Ruled by Dragons. I mentioned this a few weeks ago in some thread, but it fits some of the hints that have been dropped. LIke @Ruin Explorer said with regards to a Planescape/Spelljammer hybrid, it might make too much sense to actually do. Two somewhat disparate but compatible themes: sylvan/fey and dragons. Plus, the bonus of a draconic hegemony. Would be a lot of fun.

Iomandra/Council of Wyrms. Of all the WotC staff settings that I've heard of, Chris Perkins' Iomandra sounds the most interesting, or what I'd like to see fleshed out. They could incorporate elements of Council of Wyrms with dragon PCs, at least as an optional rule.

Malazan Book of the Fallen. Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont's shared world for their many novels would make a great D&D setting (they created it for their GURPS game in the 80s and 90s). It is the type of big but different setting that I'd love to see WotC tackle, with lots of unique elements (warrens, weird races) that would be fun to explore in a D&D context.

Gods & Demigods. Some kind of cosmic fantasy setting in which the PCs start out as heroes on the path to godhood. This could involve a cap-system that sees 20th level PCs go beyond, with "mini-tiers" of quasi-deity/epic hero (say levels 20-24), demigod (25-29), lesser god (30-34), intermediate god (35-39), and greater god (40+). It would probably stretch the bounds of the rule set and might not be playable, but would be fun to at least consider. The setting could be cosmic, maybe riffing off the planes, or perhaps a contained plane that has its own rules.

Kaiju World: A world of magical storms and huge monsters, where the tarrasque is not singular but a member of a race of massive monsters. Everything could be larger than life and gonzo; think anime-style swords. Flavors of Exalted and Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight books. This could also be folded into the Gods & Demigods setting, with the PCs starting as mythic heroes who must slay huge monsters to attain demigodhood, then move on to the next octave of challenges.

I'm sure I could go on, but I'll let y'all have a chance at it.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
If they wanted a Kaiju world, they'd use Magic's Ikoria. That's the big barrier I see to them doing a new, non-Magic Setting: Magic and D&D have each explored so many themes, that it's hard to find a genre one or the other hasn't gone after.
 

Mercurius

Legend
If they wanted a Kaiju world, they'd use Magic's Ikoria. That's the big barrier I see to them doing a new, non-Magic Setting: Magic and D&D have each explored so many themes, that it's hard to find a genre one or the other hasn't gone after.
Yeah, true. I was just riffing and don't know Magic all that well, but Ikoria sounds grand.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I'm going to go for a hail-mary, and offer three suggestions that aren't entirely implausible (but mostly are).

1. Warhammer Fantasy (either the Old World or Age of Sigmar)
Yes, I know they have their own TTRPG and probably would never do this. Yet despite being competitors, Magic the Gathering is partnering with Games Workshop to make Warhammer 40,000 cards. So, the two companies seem capable of working together even in today's competitive time; a remote possibility that they would partner on an official 5E book release.

2. Blizzard: World of Warcraft, or Diablo
Another company, Blizzard, has worked with releasing their settings as Dungeons and Dragons books. That's right, dig around and you can find official sourcebooks (in older editions) for both Diablo and World of Warcraft. Now, I think this might be even more remote than Games Workshop (I don't think Blizzard has worked with WotC on anything for years), but the two are not as direct competitors, so I'll entertain the idea.

Of the three, I'd probably enjoy Diablo the most. And the release of Diablo IV would be a great opportunity for a paired official setting release!
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm going to go for a hail-mary, and offer three suggestions that aren't entirely implausible (but mostly are).

1. Warhammer Fantasy (either the Old World or Age of Sigmar)
Yes, I know they have their own TTRPG and probably would never do this. Yet despite being competitors, Magic the Gathering is partnering with Games Workshop to make Warhammer 40,000 cards. So, the two companies seem capable of working together even in today's competitive time; a remote possibility that they would partner on an official 5E book release.

2. Blizzard: World of Warcraft, or Diablo
Another company, Blizzard, has worked with releasing their settings as Dungeons and Dragons books. That's right, dig around and you can find official sourcebooks (in older editions) for both Diablo and World of Warcraft. Now, I think this might be even more remote than Games Workshop (I don't think Blizzard has worked with WotC on anything for years), but the two are not as direct competitors, so I'll entertain the idea.

Of the three, I'd probably enjoy Diablo the most. And the release of Diablo IV would be a great opportunity for a paired official setting release!
There were already official Diablo a d Warcraft D&D books back in the day, actually.
 



Utilize those Hasbro connections.
Speaking of which...

Visionaries.png
... would still like to see this.
 


Stormonu

Legend
Matrix-style Fantasy World: The bad guys - in this case Illithid - have already won and placed the majority of their prey in a comatose state in which they live in a world of dreams - safe and quite in the "habitated" areas, but filled with nightmarish creatures in the "wild" area. The PCs are among the awakened - they know there is something more to the world and have gained strange abilities and powers (magic) in the dream realms, but the world outside is a gritty, conanesque world against illithid might. Do you fight the illithid in the dream world they made, or do you take the fight to the real world?
 




grimslade

Doddering Old Git
I always hope for another setting search. Eberron is a great setting and many of all three finalists' ideas worked their way in there.
D&D Modern is a classic setting I guess, so is Alternity, but I would like to see those settings explored in 5E.
Any setting that would expand the systems beyond Vancian spell casting. A Stormlight Archive or Mistborn type setting would be nice too.
 


Aldarc

Legend
what wild madness is that?
Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. It was a regrettably short-lived '80s post-apocalyptic science-fantasy show and toyline. It's basically about knights turning into holographic animal totems. In addition, each had either single-use magic staffs or vehicles powered by magic. They would go on quests for powerful wizards to recharge their magic.

It also had a pretty catchy intro:

 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I know you specify "non-Magic" in the post, but I really want to see a Lorwyn/Shadowmoor campaign setting for D&D, similar to what they've done with the Theros block. The Feywild is one of the most interesting parts of the game cosmology to me, and I think this block of M:tG cards be the proper inspiration to do it up right.

That said: Diablo/Diablo II is a close second on my list. I doubt Blizzard would relinquish the rights to publish it, but oh man...I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I always hope for another setting search. Eberron is a great setting and many of all three finalists' ideas worked their way in there.
D&D Modern is a classic setting I guess, so is Alternity, but I would like to see those settings explored in 5E.
Any setting that would expand the systems beyond Vancian spell casting. A Stormlight Archive or Mistborn type setting would be nice too.
Oh, man, Urban Arcana would be so good with 5E rules. Though, yeah, still a Classic Setting.
 

TwiceBorn2

Explorer
I could imagine them making RPGs using the D&D 5e engine for other product lines owned by Hasbro, like G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Power Rangers.

It's not what I would want, but I could see them doing it.

As far as fantasy settings are concerned, I also agree with the OP that something alone the lines of Council of Wyrms is not only possible, but likely. Could tap into the current popularity of both Kaiju and superhero movies.
 

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