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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...

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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She can still be a blond white woman, I'm pretty sure it doesn't say "dresses as a Native American themed stripper".
I mean, no she can't be? Not if they continue to make the tribes be obvious replicas of the Native Americans. I'm pretty sure some of that is in the description, and so obvious even a 12-year-old Brit understood it. Making Tanis black is only going to make your problems worse unless you cut out all the stuff about "A child of two worlds". It'll literally make it even more obviously messed up. And unfortunately it's Tanis' entire character arc.
 

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The words used imply never ever. But if we assume that is just marketing hype, then I would have to think they are trialling the re-introduction of slimmer paperback volumes at a lower price point similar to what we had in 2nd edition.

It could even be something simular, but different to the Curse of Strahd box, with seperate paper back booklet for DMs and Player's and the Setting itself.

Or it could simply be the structure and contents of the books are different, not the actual form the book takes.
 

As for new settings, they could try touching the Flintlock Fantasy sub-genre.
It's very tricky to do flintlock fantasy without getting into massively problematic imperialist/colonialist stuff, because that's exactly what was going on during the flintlock era in our world (i.e. post-matchlock), and that's the reference point people's minds naturally go to (including those of your artists), and indeed some of your audience will be disappointed if you don't go there.

You could, with effort, avoid that, either by coming up with a more original setting (Arcana Unearthed has one which might work well with flintlock fantasy), or just steering really hard away from that, or one that engages constructively and critically with it (like Pillars) but even then you're going to need to be pretty careful. I don't think D&D has ever had any setting which "engaged constructively and critically" with any historical issue (correct me if I'm wrong), and especially difficult here, because D&D, like colonialism, tends to fundamentally be about killing people and taking their stuff.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
It's very tricky to do flintlock fantasy without getting into massively problematic imperialist/colonialist stuff, because that's exactly what was going on during the flintlock era in our world (i.e. post-matchlock), and that's the reference point people's minds naturally go to (including those of your artists), and indeed some of your audience will be disappointed if you don't go there.

You could, with effort, avoid that, either by coming up with a more original setting (Arcana Unearthed has one which might work well with flintlock fantasy), or just steering really hard away from that, or one that engages constructively and critically with it (like Pillars) but even then you're going to need to be pretty careful. I don't think D&D has ever had any setting which "engaged constructively and critically" with any historical issue (correct me if I'm wrong), and especially difficult here, because D&D, like colonialism, tends to fundamentally be about killing people and taking their stuff.
Turn it all inward.

Yeah, in our world flintlock time was heavy on the colonialism. Instead we can just play out one of the -plethora- of wars that happened in Europe through fantasy allegory. Rather than having a whole bunch of other continents with their own real-world-analog cultures being invaded, make it happen on an essentially Pangeal Locale, where everyone is fighting over the same region.

Just have to avoid adding in the racist caricatures and colonialist narratives of invading distant lands and cultures by keeping it safely at home!
 

imagineGod

Legend
I'm just not sure it's a setting that would gain much traction worldwide, though if they are intending to expand into South Asia more it might make sense.
I will be surprised. Some of the richest mythical stories are of Indian origin. Just sadly, many white creators in America are too reliant on Norse myth..
 

It's very tricky to do flintlock fantasy without getting into massively problematic imperialist/colonialist stuff, because that's exactly what was going on during the flintlock era in our world (i.e. post-matchlock), and that's the reference point people's minds naturally go to (including those of your artists), and indeed some of your audience will be disappointed if you don't go there.

You could, with effort, avoid that, either by coming up with a more original setting (Arcana Unearthed has one which might work well with flintlock fantasy), or just steering really hard away from that, or one that engages constructively and critically with it (like Pillars) but even then you're going to need to be pretty careful. I don't think D&D has ever had any setting which "engaged constructively and critically" with any historical issue (correct me if I'm wrong), and especially difficult here, because D&D, like colonialism, tends to fundamentally be about killing people and taking their stuff.
Most Medieval fantasy settings avoid all of the unpleasantness of the Medieval Era. Some writers do try to approach the genre with a more critical eye towards colonialism something that was done in CRPGs like Pillars of Eternity 2 and Greedfall.

The safest approach to avoid most of the subject on colonialism, is really just go all in on the French Revolution (and Reign of Terror and Napolean), which I'm aware is towards the end of that era. As there's a lot of things to draw from that happened during that time too. A bunch of novels of the Flintlock Fantasy sub-genre strongly draw in from those sources.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I will be surprised. Some of the richest mythical stories are of Indian origin. Just sadly, many white creators in America are too reliant on Norse myth..
Given the current political environment, there's an incentive to do so. It's one way to avoid inviting a backlash.
 

The FR has undergone radical surgery under WotC. Twice. I'm not sure why you think Greenwood, who doesn't control the setting, being "around" would stop that in future. Did you sleep through 4E and 5E reversing that lol? Made the Time of Troubles look like a walk in the park.

And what is it you think they'd do to Eberron? It's a WotC-designed and approved setting, that fits decently with the needs and themes of modern D&D (like its good-guy orcs).

FR basically goes through radical surgery every edition, it's just appears it's going to be twice in one edition with 5e 🤣😂.

I wonder if this new FR setting book will come with its own Realms Shaking Event too. WotC clearly has been planes.

It occurs to me that some of the new AFR "Planeswalkers" not only might all show up in this new book, if it survives and it probably will, but also in all the other 4 setting books too, to tie them all together like the Planeswalkers such as the Gatewatch in the Blind Eternities settings do. I think this is the real purpose of Ellywick Tumblestrum and her crew, a interasetting meta story for D&D, MtG style.
 

dave2008

Legend
I will be surprised. Some of the richest mythical stories are of Indian origin.
Not sure what "richest" means in this context. Care to elaborate?
Just sadly, many white creators in America are too reliant on Norse myth..
Maybe, but it was definitely a Greco-Roman myth bias for a long time. When I was growing up I was one of the only people who knew anything about Norse mythology, but almost everyone knew a little bit about the Greek gods / myths.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
You know what we've never gotten as a Sourcebook, but easily could?

Story-based content.

I don't mean "Adventure". We've had adventures. I mean content which is straight up presented as a story.

Tasha's, Xanathar's, Mordenkainen's, and Van Richten's various books all involve the idea of the titular character providing us with this information, typically with notes relegated to the margins or story blocks as literal sidenotes. There's often letters or other long-form fiction between chapters or just in the start...

But what about a book which swaps those positions. It's a story, a journal, of events in which the monster stats and magic items and spell descriptions are the sidenotes to the central tale? That would absolutely be a format we haven't seen, yet.
 

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