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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


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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
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.

Not really disagreeing with this, but the DMG (or any published material, unless I'm missing something) doesn't seem to refer to the phlogiston or crystal spheres.

And I agree that Spelljamming is definitely confirmed as possible, but it does not seem to be established whether people traverse the Astral Plane to reach other Material Worlds, or use Phlogiston. In my mind, there really isn't much difference.
 

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.
So, other than Lore You Should Know and other Dragon Talk discussions that discuss the old 2E cosmology as canon, my Google Fu suggests that Spelljammerisms have also made it in to the AL official adventures.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Not really disagreeing with this, but the DMG (or any published material, unless I'm missing something) doesn't seem to refer to the phlogiston or crystal spheres.

And I agree that Spelljamming is definitely confirmed as possible, but it does not seem to be established whether people traverse the Astral Plane to reach other Material Worlds, or use Phlogiston. In my mind, there really isn't much difference.
I will grant that they didn't draw this out in deep mechanical detail in the books as of yet, but I have heard Crawford and Perkins do deep dives on the topic: Spelljammers in 5E work via physical traversal between and within Crystal Spheres, and there is a single Prime Material that includes all physical Settings. Not astral sea travel.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
was that not Planescape?

people like a setting that has something that hooks in their characters as that gives goals or at least people to shoot.

Planescape and Spelljammer do a lot of overlap, which is why I'm so confused why folks love Planescape and hate Spelljammer (Planescape is so bananas).

And yes, obviously. I just don't get why folks think you can't get that in Spelljammer.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I will grant that they didn't draw this out in deep mechanical detail in the books as of yet, but I have heard Crawford and Perkins do deep dives on the topic: Spelljammers in 5E work via physical traversal between and within Crystal Spheres, and there is a single Prime Material that includes all physical Settings. Not astral sea travel.

I love that video (linked below for anyone interested) and I'm going to listen to it again, but I'm not sure how reliable to is for 5E anymore. There is so much contradictory information, as this video seems to confirm that Ravnica is part of the Prime Material, and therefore could be visited via Spelljammer. But then the MtG blogs seem to confirm that on, the planes of MtG are separate from the worlds of D&D.

Essentially, there doesn't seem to actually be a methodology truly nailed down, and definitely not for the combined MtG/D&D multiverse. So I guess they leave it to use to try and sort out.

 


A Planeswalker setting made up of Planescape and Spelljammer literally writes itself. Like it takes no imagination to see how you can do 1 + 1 to make 2 here.

Will it invalidate old lore? Yeah. But 5E doesn't care about invalidating old lore. Like, Van Richten's, hello??

All this talk about Spelljammer being impossible to do, etc, because of its old material strikes me as particularly odd. THis is because old D&D material was pretty naughty word for actually running games with. I attempted with Dark Sun's original box set and there's no narrative thrust beyond the initial setting conceits, and that's what 5E is all about these days (even if it hasn't figured out how to do it all that well yet): narrative thrust.

So, when Spelljammer comes out, which it will, likely fused with Planescape, it will obviously be a product with adventure seeds and compelling things to do that haven't been seen in Spelljammer before. Old ideas reimagined, for example, or entirely new things to do. And these things will have narrative thrust.

That's really all it takes to make a 5E book. Pick up the old settings and add narrative thrust to them. Its what 5E has been doing for years now, and what they will continue to do too.
 


I guess Spelljammer was the ultimate sandbox where you could add your craziest ideas and mash-up version of your favorite sci-fi franchises.

The races, monsters and factions from Spelljammer are really easy to be recovered, but we don't know WotC's plans about the previous cosmology.

If Planescape returns the Gate-towns should reappear to be the places where the faction war to continued. And let's remember outside Sigil the most of planes are too dangerous for low level PCs.

We need an explanation about why 1st level PCs can travel by the space by a teorically super-expensive skyship. And what is the cultural and social impact of the visitors from other spheres. New humanoid races could appear in other worlds, for example kenders in Faerun o Greyhawk.

And if they are working in a future Spelljammer videogame, maybe they are testing the gameplay and special mechanic. Maybe they spelljammers can become bigger if you spend enough money. Cannons, giant crossbows and catapults could be used in naval warfare in sieges against stronghold, or to attack "sea" kaijus too powerful and dangerous in the classic PC vs boss fights. This means the changeling rating or XPs reward should be recaculated.

WotC hasn't to do a lot of effort to relaunch those old settings, opening the DM Guild for those lines could be enough for a time.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
@Parmandur I did look through the DMG. It mentions that the D&D worlds exist on the Prime Material Plane... Don't have access to the appropriate AL adventures/content... or more accurately the time and patience to read through all of them to find hints.

That's as far as it gets. But Crawford's descriptions in the video posted by @Urriak Uruk is super useful for showing what sort of future stuff they'll be doing.

That said... I would still hold hope for Planesjammer rather than strict Spelljammer. Tack on some ways to travel from Wildspace to Astral Space and head to different planes. Especially since Crawford talks about the planes having "Fuzzy Edges"
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Hence the need for a supplement to cover that shizzle.

Yeah, it doesn't help that the language Crawford used in that video makes it clear they haven't fully-formed their multiversal ideas yet. He says things like "Each world of the Prime Material is surrounded by a firmament, which we used to call a crystal sphere." It also doesn't mention the phlogiston (unless I miss it), but it isn't clear if it's only the worlds within their firmaments contained on the Prime, or if there is also a connective tissue like the Phlogiston as well.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Make it the Astral Sea. Make -space- the Astral Plane. And now you can Spelljammer to other planes.
There's a big problem I see with Planejammer. The thing is, there's already at least three ways to get to and around the Outer and Inner Planes (spells, portals, and creatures with innate planeshopping ability). But Spelljammer is D&D IN SPAAACE and there's only one way to get into and travel around space in D&D. And that's through ships with spelljamming helms around.

I feel that by mixing the two--even if you go with the Astral Sea idea, which I do like and might even prefer to the Great Wheel--you kind of ruin the spelljammer part of it. Because traveling IN SPAAACE is just inherently cool. Far cooler than traveling in the Astral, which doesn't deserve the all caps and italics in my mind.

I mean, yeah, including ships in Planescape (at least one that's altered to fit around an Astral Sea instead of a Great Wheel) could be done. But it wouldn't be, and shouldn't be Spelljammer.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
There's a big problem I see with Planejammer. The thing is, there's already at least three ways to get to and around the Outer and Inner Planes (spells, portals, and creatures with innate planeshopping ability). But Spelljammer is D&D IN SPAAACE and there's only one way to get into and travel around space in D&D. And that's through ships with spelljamming helms around.

I feel that by mixing the two--even if you go with the Astral Sea idea, which I do like and might even prefer to the Great Wheel--you kind of ruin the spelljammer part of it. Because traveling IN SPAAACE is just inherently cool. Far cooler than traveling in the Astral, which doesn't deserve the all caps and italics in my mind.

I mean, yeah, including ships in Planescape (at least one that's altered to fit around an Astral Sea instead of a Great Wheel) could be done. But it wouldn't be, and shouldn't be Spelljammer.
The Astral Plane is the Astral Sea in the Great Wheel Cosmology. Because the Astral Sea is just a name.

That said, yeah. Spelljamming is space travel to other worlds. But we can crack it open a -teensy- scoonch wider and have it include planes, too.

Maybe say the Astral Plane is "Fuzzy" in deep space. So if you traverse enough Wildspace you cross into the Astral Sea and go Planesjamming. Tadaaaaaah! Problem resolved.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Spelljammer is ripe for re-imagining as an updated steampunk-style setting with sci-fi aspects like the living mind flayer ships shown in the BG3 trailer. I can't believe they haven't already jumped on it, myself.

I would love to see updated versions of all the old spelljammer ship designs. Despite the fact that they were fantastical-looking, most of them seemed very mundane. The elven ships, for example, were supposed to be made of living plant-like crystal, but I never really got that sense from the art.
I just wish the basics of spelljammer weren't so goofy. I'll happily steal ships and weapons and critters and such from a spelljammer work, though.
It really does feel like 5E was a greatest hits of editions and the success of it completely caught WotC off guard and they're just now catching up with that success and really capitalizing on it. And as much as I want new stuff and a return of older setting, I don't know if I want to deal with even six books a year...definitely not more.
Yeah honestly there are too many books coming out this year. I'd like about 2 books fewer per year.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
I love that video (linked below for anyone interested) and I'm going to listen to it again, but I'm not sure how reliable to is for 5E anymore. There is so much contradictory information, as this video seems to confirm that Ravnica is part of the Prime Material, and therefore could be visited via Spelljammer. But then the MtG blogs seem to confirm that on, the planes of MtG are separate from the worlds of D&D.

Essentially, there doesn't seem to actually be a methodology truly nailed down, and definitely not for the combined MtG/D&D multiverse. So I guess they leave it to use to try and sort out.

They leave their options open, particularly for DMs. This setup, however, matches the world as they have presented it in official channels, such as livestreams.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
@Parmandur I did look through the DMG. It mentions that the D&D worlds exist on the Prime Material Plane... Don't have access to the appropriate AL adventures/content... or more accurately the time and patience to read through all of them to find hints.

That's as far as it gets. But Crawford's descriptions in the video posted by @Urriak Uruk is super useful for showing what sort of future stuff they'll be doing.

That said... I would still hold hope for Planesjammer rather than strict Spelljammer. Tack on some ways to travel from Wildspace to Astral Space and head to different planes. Especially since Crawford talks about the planes having "Fuzzy Edges"
But to what purpose? By squeezing Spelljammer material into one book with Planescape, you just water down two distinct flavors. There is no gain to be had.
 

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