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D&D 5E WotC: 5 D&D Settings In Development?

WotC's Ray Winninger spoke a little about some upcoming D&D settings -- two classic settings are coming in 2022 in formats we haven't seen before, and two brand new (not Magic: the Gathering) settings are also in development, as well as return to a setting they've already covered in 5E. He does note, however, that of the last three, there's a chance of one or more not making it to release, as they develop more than they use.

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Two classic settings? What could they be?

So that's:
  • 2 classic settings in 2022 (in a brand new format)
  • 2 brand new settings
  • 1 returning setting
So the big questions -- what are the two classic settings, and what do they mean by a format we haven't seen before? Winninger has clarified on Twitter that "Each of these products is pursuing a different format you've never seen before. And neither is "digital only;" these are new print formats."

As I've mentioned on a couple of occasions, there are two more products that revive "classic" settings in production right now.

The manuscript for the first, overseen by [Chris Perkins], is nearly complete. Work on the second, led by [F. Wesley Schneider] with an assist from [Ari Levitch], is just ramping up in earnest. Both are targeting 2022 and formats you've never seen before.

In addition to these two titles, we have two brand new [D&D] settings in early development, as well as a return to a setting we've already covered. (No, these are not M:tG worlds.)

As I mentioned in the dev blog, we develop more material than we publish, so it's possible one or more of these last three won't reach production. But as of right now, they're all looking great.


Of course the phrase "two more products that revive 'classic' settings" could be interpreted in different ways. It might not be two individual setting books.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
No, they have established the Pholstigon links the Prime Maferial together in numerpus places, and other than exceptions like the Mindflayers psionic voodoo, that's where Spelljammera stay. Even the Mindflayers Spelljammer helm in DotMM only confers movement in the Prime Material, because it was the Mindflayers Planeshifting the ship, not their ship Planeshifitng the Mindflayers.

I just don't get why you would specate that they would change something they've been very consistent about for the past seven years, for no particular gain.
I'm not trying to be a bother, here, but I sincerely do not know where or when Phlogiston was covered in any 5e Materials. And a quick google search only turns up earlier edition information.

Could you point me to the sourcebook(s) which include information on the Phlogiston?

As to the Scavenger, there's nothing about the ship being planeshifted or teleported aside from Halaster putting it into the Dungeon and stealing the helm.
 

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Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
I'd do Spelljamming as a travel through gates thing in a lot of cases. Each ship has some sort of magical astrolab macguffin whatsit that when properly aligned can open a gate to place X (or some subset of places). You can still sail the black deeps, but it's hella dangerous. Much like in the movie Treasure Planet. My own current WIP hack uses nexus points as transits, containing gates in some number, but which also serve as adventure locations in their own right. The goal is a buff set of random tables to be able to generate them on the fly.
 

OblivionDrive

Adventurer
The astral sea already has pirates. And shipping lanes.
I deliberately didn’t mention the githyanki because I didn’t wanna dilute my point that much by mentioning the one big exception. Immortal lich-queen zealots riding red dragons wasn’t what I meant. I was thinking more conventional piracy. All the more reason to leave the githyanki in the astral (even though SJ had their own version of them too) and keep the actual boats in Wildspace. Otherwise that kinda diminishes the githyanki too.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I deliberately didn’t mention the githyanki because I didn’t wanna dilute my point that much by mentioning the one big exception. Immortal lich-queen zealots riding red dragons wasn’t what I meant. I was thinking more conventional piracy. All the more reason to leave the githyanki in the astral (even though SJ had their own version of them too) and keep the actual boats in Wildspace. Otherwise that kinda diminishes the githyanki too.
So don't have Shipping Lanes and keep Piracy near to "Ports".

It doesn't have to be big and complex to keep one flavor while having another present.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm not trying to be a bother, here, but I sincerely do not know where or when Phlogiston was covered in any 5e Materials. And a quick google search only turns up earlier edition information.

Could you point me to the sourcebook(s) which include information on the Phlogiston?

As to the Scavenger, there's nothing about the ship being planeshifted or teleported aside from Halaster putting it into the Dungeon and stealing the helm.
To my knowledge, there's zero mention of the phlo in 5E. The Scavenger is said to be designed to travel through space. No mention of the phlo there. Tasha's has a spell to transport people from planet to planet, Dream of the Blue Veil, p106, that does not include mention of the phlo. There's a sidebar on the same page that talks about travel to other planets and the closest it comes is this line: "Transit between these worlds is rare but not impossible and can be accomplished in various ways. One such method is called the Great Journey, an epic voyage fraught with peril and littered with obstacles to be overcome. This journey most often occurs aboard a vessel powered by magic." Again, no phlo mentioned.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
So don't have Shipping Lanes and keep Piracy near to "Ports".

It doesn't have to be big and complex to keep one flavor while having another present.
If you treat 'locations' fairly broadly you can have your cake and eat it too. Even using gate travel, if those gates are far enough from the planet/asteroid/floating head etc so that a half day or day of travel is necessary, then you can have pirates no problem. Call a location a handful of hexes, say, that's more than enough to make it work (assuming a generous hex scale).
 

OblivionDrive

Adventurer
I was there, man, and I just don't agree. I got all the issues of the Spelljammer comic. I thought Spelljammer was a cool idea. But when I tried to run it, there was like, nothing compelling about that setting. I didn't like, just decide to hate it - I was one of the kids mocking Drizzt, not thinking he was cool (even more so after he was revealed to be an utter fake badass boyscout in Sojourn etc.). I don't think I've ever played an "edgelord" character in D&D. I was your laid-back Half-Elf Bard, not your angry Dwarf Fighter or Human Paladin (edgelord favourites of that era, especially with the "Lawful Good" means I can justify genocide deal some Paladins had going) nor even, later on, your Tiefling Rogue. Hell dude the first time I played a Tiefling, I played a 2E Mystic - the kind of who makes magical scented candles - I was basically a hippy with hooves following the party around making them smell better!

I do agree that with 5E the same issues won't apply re: long-term support, but I think they should do better than just try to merely replicate a setting which already didn't work good.
And I don’t think the setting just “didn’t work good” because it was a bad/unworthy concept. I think it was “wrong time, wrong place” more than anything, though I agree it needed better advocates and stewardship. But when they’re already saying they’re going to bring back older settings, I’d much rather see SJ get a second at-bat than Greyhawk or Dragonlance getting a third, fourth, whatever.

And there are only so many classic settings to go to, if you don’t count mini-settings like Ghostwalk or Jakandor or the like. So the potential pool is only so deep.

What I don’t get is why you seem so resistant to the idea of a revamp? You said that in abstract you thought the idea was was a good high concept and it should have been up your alley. Why not be willing to give it a chance to hit the mark this time? Also why this insistence that SJ fans have to “sell you” on an old setting you already decided isn’t your thing? We have no idea what form any potential rerelease could take. It could be Spelljammer in name and broadest concept only. Neither of us will know until we see for ourselves.
 

I can't imagine there are too many people who would be upset about WotC not respecting the deep artistic integrity of the Setting.
Yeah lol. That's kind of what I was getting at re: never seeing a passionate argument for it. Like Greyhawk, there are people who will defend it to death. Pretty sure at least one person here has me on ignore because I mocked Greyhawk one time too. I'd love to see someone really throw down and be like shut up, yer all wrong, the Elven Navy rocked ass, all the other organisations Ruin has totally forgotten were cool and had meaning and the setting really had it going on!
I'd do Spelljamming as a travel through gates thing in a lot of cases. Each ship has some sort of magical astrolab macguffin whatsit that when properly aligned can open a gate to place X (or some subset of places).
That's kind of how it works already. Spelljammers go out holes in specific places in crystal sphere, then get into a current, and fairly rapidly sail to another crystal sphere, wherein they enter via a hole. You're just sort of skipping the middle bit which to be fair, was usually dull.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
If that's what you're getting from it, obviously that's just like, your opinion man, but it's a pretty profound misunderstand. The commentary I'm making re: the aesthetic is most assuredly not simply about what I "personally like". If you think it is, more fool you. There's a significant aesthetic difference in the approaches to "silly" material here. I didn't actually make a value judgement on them, either, note - that's all your misinterpretation. I make a value judgement on the phlogiston/crystal sphere though, that is "just my opinion, man".

That said, I've never seen even a passionate explanation (let alone a convincing one) for why I should like/care about the Spelljammer setting, and I was absolutely perfectly positioned to do so. It was the third D&D setting I ever saw (after "meh" FR and decent-but-tricky Taladas) and it was about cool fantasy spaceships and cool scary fantasy races, and there was even a comic-book, which I got every issue of, and read!

But I don't think people did really care about the setting. Even now, the conversation is never about the various factions within the setting, it's just like "Giff were cool!". Can you make a passionate argument for the setting?

I mean, at least with Greyhawk, I've seen passionate, interesting, engaging even somewhat moving arguments for the value of the setting. I might not be convinced, but I can totally understand it. Spelljammer - people just don't even try.

Calling something "silly" is not objective analysis. You know why? A lot of folks like silly material. Or they don't think it's silly at all!

If I flip through Tales through the Yawning Portal, there's a ton of silly material in there. Whiteplume Mountain is an extremely silly module. Do I then use that as an example that all of Greyhawk is silly? No! Dragonlance is famously known for the extremely kleptomaniac kender, and that isn't used to say that all of Dragonlance is silly.

So yes, Spelljammer has a lot of silly material, but it also is the battleground of the war between the Githyanki and Mind Flayer nautiloids, and there has been plenty of very serious material covering both sides of that conflict. It's quite easy to run a very serious Spelljammer campaign if one wants to, and Matt Colville's The Chain is one of them (the PCs stole and pilot a nautiloid for themselves).

Even if one could measure Spelljammer being inherently "sillier" than other setting (and you can't in any objective way) it doesn't matter, because one could make an argument that there's nothing wrong with having a sillier setting. No one complains after all when we get an inherently darker setting like Ravenloft.

And I literally gave an argument for Spelljammer in the comment you responded to;

I personally like how Spelljammer is taking influences from HG Wells, Burroughs, and a Ptolemaic views of cosmology to build a "space fantasy," that isn't actually science fiction at all and is firmly fantasy.

I'll add, that Spelljammer is a great homage to the pulpy science fantasy material like Planet of the Apes, Krull, Flash Gordon, OG Star Trek... and yes, Star Wars. It takes the many staples of D&D (beholders, mind flayers) and re-contextualizes them on a new frontier, creating new rules for exploring "beyond the gravity of your world," while remaining firmly entrenched in magic as opposed to technology.

This may be all material that you find silly, or uninteresting, or unengaging... but that's your personal taste. Definitely doesn't reflect my own. It's not my job to convince you; every setting has its detractors. But don't pretend that your opinion is a fact.
 

I’d much rather see SJ get a second at-bat than Greyhawk or Dragonlance getting a third, fourth, whatever.
I'm with you there!
So yes, Spelljammer has a lot of silly material, but it also is the battleground of the war between the Githyanki and Mind Flayer nautiloids, and there has been plenty of very serious material covering both sides of that conflict.
No it isn't?

That's explicitly an Astral Sea conflict. What are you talking about? That long-predates Spelljammer.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not trying to be a bother, here, but I sincerely do not know where or when Phlogiston was covered in any 5e Materials. And a quick google search only turns up earlier edition information.

Could you point me to the sourcebook(s) which include information on the Phlogiston?

As to the Scavenger, there's nothing about the ship being planeshifted or teleported aside from Halaster putting it into the Dungeon and stealing the helm.
The Planeshifting Nautalus people are talking about is the one from Baldurs Gate 3 which visibly Planeshifts, not the one from DotMM.

They don't go into deep technical detail, but the connection of all worlds on the Prime Material with each world being in a Cryatal Sphere is established in the DMG, and referenced piecemeal across the edition. One of the options for Eberron in the book, favored by Vrawford & Perkins apparently, is that the Ring of Siberyis is the Crystal Sphere cracking, and the Dragonshards are part of of Crystal Sphere.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
That's kind of how it works already. Spelljammers go out holes in specific places in crystal sphere, then get into a current, and fairly rapidly sail to another crystal sphere, wherein they enter via a hole. You're just sort of skipping the middle bit which to be fair, was usually dull.
I think you could make navigation a lot more interesting than that. One of the things I liked about Skycrawl is that because the celestial whatnots are in motion in three dimensions, things can get sticky. I'd like to see something like in the real-world age of exploration where captains had their own secret rutters that listed currents, shortcuts, etc. So getting places is an adventure in it's own right, but still without interminable sailing times between destinations. Plus secret rutters (and their loss) make wonderful plot hooks and complications.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah lol. That's kind of what I was getting at re: never seeing a passionate argument for it. Like Greyhawk, there are people who will defend it to death. Pretty sure at least one person here has me on ignore because I mocked Greyhawk one time too. I'd love to see someone really throw down and be like shut up, yer all wrong, the Elven Navy rocked ass, all the other organisations Ruin has totally forgotten were cool and had meaning and the setting really had it going on!

That's kind of how it works already. Spelljammers go out holes in specific places in crystal sphere, then get into a current, and fairly rapidly sail to another crystal sphere, wherein they enter via a hole. You're just sort of skipping the middle bit which to be fair, was usually dull.
I think the original book cover is sufficient argument: "AD&D Adventures in Space." Also, there were space hamsters. That's hard a sell as is possible, it sells itself.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
And I don’t think the setting just “didn’t work good” because it was a bad/unworthy concept. I think it was “wrong time, wrong place” more than anything, though I agree it needed better advocates and stewardship. But when they’re already saying they’re going to bring back older settings, I’d much rather see SJ get a second at-bat than Greyhawk or Dragonlance getting a third, fourth, whatever.
Exactly. Two nearly indistinguishable settings that have been printed and reprinted or something that’s actually different and unique that only got one shot.
And there are only so many classic settings to go to, if you don’t count mini-settings like Ghostwalk or Jakandor or the like. So the potential pool is only so deep.
Right. We’re closing on 10 years with 5E. It’s inevitable we’ll get a 6E. The only question is when. If they’re going to bring back the classics, let it be something fun and interesting.
 

Calling something "silly" is not objective analysis. You know why? A lot of folks like silly material. Or they don't think it's silly at all!

If I flip through Tales through the Yawning Portal, there's a ton of silly material in there. Whiteplume Mountain is an extremely silly module. Do I then use that as an example that all of Greyhawk is silly? No! Dragonlance is famously known for the extremely kleptomaniac kender, and that isn't used to say that all of Dragonlance is silly.

So yes, Spelljammer has a lot of silly material, but it also is the battleground of the war between the Githyanki and Mind Flayer nautiloids, and there has been plenty of very serious material covering both sides of that conflict. It's quite easy to run a very serious Spelljammer campaign if one wants to, and Matt Colville's The Chain is one of them (the PCs stole and pilot a nautiloid for themselves).

Even if one could measure Spelljammer being inherently "sillier" than other setting (and you can't in any objective way) it doesn't matter, because one could make an argument that there's nothing wrong with having a sillier setting. No one complains after all when we get an inherently darker setting like Ravenloft.

And I literally gave an argument for Spelljammer in the comment you responded to;

I personally like how Spelljammer is taking influences from HG Wells, Burroughs, and a Ptolemaic views of cosmology to build a "space fantasy," that isn't actually science fiction at all and is firmly fantasy.

I'll add, that Spelljammer is a great homage to the pulpy science fantasy material like Planet of the Apes, Krull, Flash Gordon, OG Star Trek... and yes, Star Wars. It takes the many staples of D&D (beholders, mind flayers) and re-contextualizes them on a new frontier, creating new rules for exploring "beyond the gravity of your world," while remaining firmly entrenched in magic as opposed to technology.

This may be all material that you find silly, or uninteresting, or unengaging... but that's your personal taste. Definitely doesn't reflect my own. It's not my job to convince you; every setting has its detractors. But don't pretend that your opinion is a fact.
maybe it lacked thing to really grab you in setting, like factions goals and thing people care about a wide sandbox can quickly turn to quicksand.
 

OblivionDrive

Adventurer
So don't have Shipping Lanes and keep Piracy near to "Ports".

It doesn't have to be big and complex to keep one flavor while having another present.
Eh, like I said before (which I’m not sure if you missed) but the classic flavor of the Astral doesn’t jive with being a replacement for Wildspace to me. Mind you, if they DID end up doing some kind of planesjammer mashup and revamping it like that, I’d probably be fine and make do because I’d rather have something close to what I like than nothing at all, but I would still much rather have the classic Astral and Wildspace both. If you wanna make it so ships can shift and traverse both? Sure, knock yourself out I guess.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I'm not trying to be a bother, here, but I sincerely do not know where or when Phlogiston was covered in any 5e Materials. And a quick google search only turns up earlier edition information.

Could you point me to the sourcebook(s) which include information on the Phlogiston?

As to the Scavenger, there's nothing about the ship being planeshifted or teleported aside from Halaster putting it into the Dungeon and stealing the helm.

I flipped through the DMG, and it does not look like the phlogiston is mentioned. It may be and I missed it, or mentioned in another book.

The Astral Plane is mentioned specifically as the realm connecting all the planes together, as well as the realm where Githyanki roam. Considering how the Githyanki (and Mind Flayers too) are confirmed to traverse the Material Plane from the Astral (see Dungeon of the Mad Mage), it could be assumed that the Phlogiston has just been merged with the Astral in 5E.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
maybe it lacked thing to really grab you in setting, like factions goals and thing people care about a wide sandbox can quickly turn to quicksand.

Comes down to personal taste again. If you need some faction goals, grab a module like The Lich Queen's Beloved, it will give you plenty.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I flipped through the DMG, and it does not look like the phlogiston is mentioned. It may be and I missed it, or mentioned in another book.

The Astral Plane is mentioned specifically as the realm connecting all the planes together, as well as the realm where Githyanki roam. Considering how the Githyanki (and Mind Flayers too) are confirmed to traverse the Material Plane from the Astral (see Dungeon of the Mad Mage), it could be assumed that the Phlogiston has just been merged with the Astral in 5E.
No, that's definitely not what they've been laying down: Crawford went out of his way to reconcile Ravnica and Eberron with Spelljamming between Crystal Spheres.

They haven't gone in depth on the mechanics, but they have repeatedly reinforced the physical connection across one Prime Material dimension, that can be traversed via Spelljamming.
 

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