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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.

settinss.jpg

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

It occurs to me they might want to hold off on Spelljammer and Planescape until they make a final decision on if they want to merge the D&D and MtG settings together. If so I think Darksun becomes much more likely as does, but the second classic setting is hard to guess. I'd lean towards DL, but WotC tried to kill it not that long ago. I'd go on a limb and say Birthright, a more PG-13 Game of Thrones/strategy setting is an easy pitch and could explain why they would want to use a unique print format for it.
 

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When was the last time we knew about this many books they are working on in advance?

Witchlight, Wyatt's book, Strixhaven, 2 Classic Settings, 2 New Settings, and 1 Return Setting. I don't remember getting so many reveals and partial reveals in so short a time. D&D Live and D&D Celebration should be interesting.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Or it could be strange in a very different way. Ravenloft showed that they could make updates and changes but still kept the horror flavor. An updated spelljammer could keep the more humorous aspects while removing the 90s Lolrandomness. Heck, look at the giff from Mordenkainen's. A good balance between a more modern and serious take on them and keeping their original "Oh, I say, let's jolly well go blow something to smithereens, what?" parody nature.
If the random strangeness isn't exactly what those who love Spelljammer for it's weirdness are expecting (A Time Capsule, essentially) they'll lash out with at least equal fury to the people who complain about Ravenloft's changes, now.

And if it isn't updated to modern sensibilities, it's gonna fall fairly flat for the younger generation.
1. Skip ahead to the good bits, like r/surrealmemes.

2. Spelljammer isn't a meme. You're comparing apples and oranges.
Spelljammer isn't a Meme. It's just got lots of random silly goofy funny playful stuff in it that worked in the 90s but wouldn't play as well, today.

Humor changes with time. Memes were referenced as a method of demonstrating that fact.
I mean, if Chris Pwrkinsnis involves, I fully believe that WotC can achieve the right wacky tone for Spelljammer, as has much of the Spelljammer bits and bobs that have made it into 5E so far.

But realistically, you talking about taking two radically differ genres and squishing them together into one 256 page book. That doesn't serve either 70's prog rock/Jack Kirby fantasy in space OR 90's weird fantasy any justice. Neither Planescape nor Spelljammer are best as metasetting connections, but as distinct places.to tryntwo very different genres. It doesn't make sense as a single book combo.
Different Art Styles? Yes.

Different Genres... maybe-ish.

Both of them are fantasy settings whose primary focuses are on travel between incredible locations. How they do that travel is different, and the individual locations they travel to are often, but not always, different.

But it's the difference between Stargate and Star Trek, Parmandur. Only Trek wound up the goofy one and Gate got the philosophy.
 

If the random strangeness isn't exactly what those who love Spelljammer for it's weirdness are expecting (A Time Capsule, essentially) they'll lash out with at least equal fury to the people who complain about Ravenloft's changes, now.

And if it isn't updated to modern sensibilities, it's gonna fall fairly flat for the younger generation.

Spelljammer isn't a Meme. It's just got lots of random silly goofy funny playful stuff in it that worked in the 90s but wouldn't play as well, today.

Humor changes with time. Memes were referenced as a method of demonstrating that fact.

Different Art Styles? Yes.

Different Genres... maybe-ish.

Both of them are fantasy settings whose primary focuses are on travel between incredible locations. How they do that travel is different, and the individual locations they travel to are often, but not always, different.

But it's the difference between Stargate and Star Trek, Parmandur. Only Trek wound up the goofy one and Gate got the philosophy.

Younger folks are not a monolith.
 

teitan

Legend
but not in the way people want them not just a couple here and there that we nearly never get to use but common as rice and beyond flintlock.
Yes but that wasn’t what was implied in the comment. Guns are there. They’re even in the 5e DMG. So it’s up to the DM to make that happen. The assumed tech level in both case is very early Renaissance so firearms aren’t commonly available but present.
 

teitan

Legend
Because uniting the two would fit into the current cosmology in an interesting way, turn interplanetary travel and interplanar travel into a journey rather than a jaunt, and create a massive opportunity to expand both settings... Which otherwise tend to be really -really- narrow in their actual scope because they both rely on other settings and world design to provide the bulk of the places to "Go".

You know, compared to, say, Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft or Eberron.

The "LoLRandom" humor that made Spelljammer funny back in the 90s doesn't quite fly today, where the lolrandom has a wholly different logic that not a single corporation can entirely grasp. Which is why you can spot a Corporate Meme from a mile away. Asking modern WotC to update that humor for the modern community? Not really an option. Especially since it'll be just as inscrutably random in 15 years.

But the thing that -really- made Spelljammer stand out? The Visuals. The Art. The style. The grandiose imagery of fantasy starships traversing Wildspace... THAT is something WotC -could- reasonably do.

Combine that with Planescape and you'll have a fulsome way to do a whole lot more than either one really has on it's own.
So you know it actually wasn’t funny back then. It was an idea with potential that TSR totally dropped the ball on with the humorous approach. But it still doesn’t fit the Planejammer idea. How Spelljammer works is still canon in 5e. All it needs is taken more seriously. Integrating with Planescape is a fair idea but it would be a sidebar note more than a default play.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
So you know it actually wasn’t funny back then. It was an idea with potential that TSR totally dropped the ball on with the humorous approach. But it still doesn’t fit the Planejammer idea. How Spelljammer works is still canon in 5e. All it needs is taken more seriously. Integrating with Planescape is a fair idea but it would be a sidebar note more than a default play.
So you know I played Spelljammer back then. It was funny.

It was funny in that kitschy Saturday Morning Cartoon kind of way.

And how Spelljammer Works isn't canon in 5e. There's elements that point in that direction, but until Phlogiston and Crystal Spheres are in a sourcebook, it's still just pieces of a whole floating around, waiting to be put together.
 


Faolyn

Hero
If the random strangeness isn't exactly what those who love Spelljammer for it's weirdness are expecting (A Time Capsule, essentially) they'll lash out with at least equal fury to the people who complain about Ravenloft's changes, now.
As has been pointed out in the Ravenloft threads, most of the player base are young enough now that they didn't play the 2e settings. They know it's a weird setting, but they would be looking at it from a different and modern viewpoint. And anyway, it's very possible to embrace the weirdness without being silly in a dated or stupid way, plus there's a lot more SF to rip from nowadays, anyway.

And you'd still get that fury if you remove the space elements from Spelljammer in order to make a Planejammer verse (just like you'd get the fury if you removed the planar elements from Planescape to throw stuff from there into Spelljammer, like in my other post).

Different Genres... maybe-ish.

Both of them are fantasy settings whose primary focuses are on travel between incredible locations. How they do that travel is different, and the individual locations they travel to are often, but not always, different.

But it's the difference between Stargate and Star Trek, Parmandur. Only Trek wound up the goofy one and Gate got the philosophy.
Not even close. It'd be more like the difference between Sandman and related comics (since there's some philosophy and dimension hopping in them), and Doctor Who* (generally serious, but with heavy doses of goofiness and "what were they smoking?" weirdness that you don't find in most other SF). They're only similar in that they both count as fantasy-ish.

(*Based on what I've seen, which is NuWho through the 12th Doctor, and a small handful of Classic Who episodes.)
 

Smackpixi

Villager
This may have been “solved” 15 pages ago, sorry, haven’t read all, but my take on the new setting guide “format” is the perspective the book is written from. Like, “visitors guide” from some notable or not notable person has been very common for FR. So you’ll get something different like a minority perspective, an “Orc’s Guide To The Sword Coast” or perhaps an battle plan / invasion military manual Or CIA fact book style, or historical perspective, think Dark Sun setting guide written from the perspective of hundreds of years after death of the world. I don‘t have the exhaustive setting book knowledge of most here, but guessing format means that.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
As has been pointed out in the Ravenloft threads, most of the player base are young enough now that they didn't play the 2e settings. They know it's a weird setting, but they would be looking at it from a different and modern viewpoint. And anyway, it's very possible to embrace the weirdness without being silly in a dated or stupid way, plus there's a lot more SF to rip from nowadays, anyway.

And you'd still get that fury if you remove the space elements from Spelljammer in order to make a Planejammer verse (just like you'd get the fury if you removed the planar elements from Planescape to throw stuff from there into Spelljammer, like in my other post).


Not even close. It'd be more like the difference between Sandman and related comics (since there's some philosophy and dimension hopping in them), and Doctor Who* (generally serious, but with heavy doses of goofiness and "what were they smoking?" weirdness that you don't find in most other SF). They're only similar in that they both count as fantasy-ish.

(*Based on what I've seen, which is NuWho through the 12th Doctor, and a small handful of Classic Who episodes.)
Maybe that's how Planescape came across at your gaming tables... But not so much at mine.

Most Planescape games I was a part of used Sigil as a base of operations for a group of adventurers that would go through various portals on the Endless Stair to other realms and planes to do a thing, then return. They were -very- episodic and rarely spent too much time with philosophical introspection.

Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed that. I'm a titanic nerd. But the general feeling was basic as hell Nihilism because anything you do is irrelevant on a Cosmic scale so just grab what you can in life and enjoy it.
 

SkidAce

Legend
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.
Politely; did you mean "routes" or "rudders" when you said rutters?
 

SkidAce

Legend
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.
My current homebrew allows for travel in space (in a star system, around planets, etc) using vague spelljaming rules for air and speed etc,

OR

you can pop into hyperspace(astral) in order to take secret routes or save time travelling the Void.
 

teitan

Legend
So you know I played Spelljammer back then. It was funny.

It was funny in that kitschy Saturday Morning Cartoon kind of way.

And how Spelljammer Works isn't canon in 5e. There's elements that point in that direction, but until Phlogiston and Crystal Spheres are in a sourcebook, it's still just pieces of a whole floating around, waiting to be put together.
Sure but you’re projecting. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment which is why I suggest you all make your own thing that is exactly what you want because you won’t be getting it and I’m not being antagonistic. The major players behind D&D and what we get all indicate in their interviews and comments that it will still be the same as previous versions. It won’t be Planejammer. I think it will be more like Starfinder with example spheres and rules for creating spheres, something like Ravenloft but science FANTASY, heavy on the fantasy. Planescape will be similar but Planar in nature but they won’t be smashed together. It doesn’t make sense from the business end and protecting trademarks which Hasbro is all about.
 



SkidAce

Legend
Yeah, I know. But the cosmology is laid out differently, from what I gather.


But that even further erodes the coolness of space and the differences of things you find in space versus the things you find in the planes. At that point, you might as well just go a step further and remove the Outer and Inner Planes entirely and put them all on the far reaches of the Material Plane.

Which, in and of itself, is a decent enough idea for a setting. The gods aren't some distant dream; they live right over there, on that mountain top or in that grove. But that is neither Planescape nor Spelljammer.

OK, an example:

I've had an idea--haven't done anything with it yet--to make Spelljammer a bit more space opera-y/Trekkie in nature by taking a bunch of Planescape stuff and sticking it in there. First, get rid of all the planes, except for the Shadowfell and Feywild. If the gods exist, they do so somewhere in those planes. Although there are some beings of godlike power floating around. Whatever; clerics get spells. All inhabited worlds only have a tiny handful of sentient species (like, 1d4). Fiends and celestials are rare Precursor races, not beings of pure good and evil created out of dead souls. Celestials do try to impose their goodness on the universe, but some have a warped idea of what goodness is. Fiends are evil, but a much more identifiable and realistic evil. They don't care about souls and cults; they want slave labor (both living and undead) and biomagically-created pets and tools for their conquered worlds, which are mostly destroyed due to their greed and negligence and are held together by magical equivalent of duct tape. Like, if you saw the Abram's Trek movies, there's a shot of Kronos' moon where it's shattered, presumably from wars. Like that. Modrons are biomechanical robots building a series of clockwork worlds throughout the universe. Clockwork horrors are a rogue offshoot of modrons. Both are borglike to one degree or another. Slaadi are just weird and have a disturbing breeding requirement. Elementals are creatures native to suns, water worlds, airless worlds and asteroids, and gas giants.

Each planet and other large body has their own Feywild and Shadowfell; some have them perfectly balanced, some have almost all one of one and almost none of the other, and some have some other combination. That percentage dictates how strong the presence of fey and undead are in any given area. Some ships might even have a connection to their homeworld's Feywild or Shadowfell. Actual high-powered fey can travel from one world's Feywild to another; same with certain undead or other powerful umbral beings from the Shadowfell.

Sigil is a (small) planet-sized city, like Coruscant. It has, like, all the spaceports. And factions. Gate-towns are effectively embassy-towns of various species, maybe on moonlets that orbit Sigil.

The way I feel is, some people (hopefully besides myself) might think this is an interesting idea worth having as a setting. But if this were proposed as the actual and official combination of Planescape and Spelljammer, there'd be a riot, and rightfully so.

While I know that Spelljammer needs a lot of work, I think the sparseness of material in the original books and boxes just means that more can be done to make it interesting if it were revamped--not that it needs to be combined with Planescape. Adding ships to the Astral would be a good way to make that individual plane more interesting (even though it has legitimate god-corpses already), but having it as a substitute for Spelljammer is just... no.
Your example is almost the same as I've been running things, i.e. the "Inner Planes" are still elelementalish in nature, and are called that because they are near the center of the galaxy.

I like the wording you use, it was well written and may inspire some changes to my documents.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
I know I'm a minority among old farts, but I don't find boxed sets terribly compelling, especially if the booklets are as cheaply put together as the Starter Set (the one boxed set I own).
Count me in that minority as well. I never liked boxed sets (since the original white box). I get the booklets hole-punched and put them in a binder. I usually lose the boxes after that.
 

Yes but that wasn’t what was implied in the comment. Guns are there. They’re even in the 5e DMG. So it’s up to the DM to make that happen. The assumed tech level in both case is very early Renaissance so firearms aren’t commonly available but present.
the point of having a setting with guns baked in is so the dm will defiantly bring them out to play
 

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