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5E WotC Announces An Impending Announcement: New Setting, Storyline

Early this week, WotC announced on Twitter that today there would be some kind of announcement on their Twitch channel. Those who heard that announcement and tuned in were treated to an announcement that the new storyline will be announced at a live event in June.

The press release announcing the impending announcement also mentions a new setting, as well as the storyline, so it sounds like it might not be set in the Forgotten Realms (or maybe is in a new region - to 5E - of the Realms, such as Icewind Dale). The adventure and the setting might be the same thing, or they might be completely different things. Recently, WotC has released a bunch of settings: Eberron, Ravnica, Wildemount, and the upcoming Theros.

Fans of D&D will learn all about the new setting and storyline

The new storyline specifically will be revealed at 12pm PST (8pm GMT) on Thursday, June 18th.

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The June event will raise money for Comic Relief, and will feature celebrities including Brandon Routh (Superman), and will preview the brand new storyline. It takes place June 18th-20th. Other names involved include Felicia Day, Deborah Ann Woll, Amy Acker, David Harbour, Matthew Lillard, and more.


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 PRESS RELEASE



RENTON, WA – May 21, 2020 – People all over the world continue to stay safe by staying home, but that doesn’t mean the adventuring has to stop. Dungeons & Dragons is more popular than ever because it allows people to weave compelling stories together even when they’re physically apart through online videoconferencing. Now, Wizards of the Coast brings the stars to this virtual table with D&D Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage. An amazing cast of characters led by expert storytellers preview the latest D&D storyline with live gaming sessions, all while raising money for Red Nose Day to help the most vulnerable children across the US and around the world, who have been so affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.The adventure begins 10:00am PT on June 18, 2020 and will run through June 20, 2020 at dungeonsanddragons.com.

D&D Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage features big personalities playing elves, wizards and fighters to accomplish quests using their imaginations. Funny people like Brian Posehn, Kevin Sussman and Thomas Middleditch will work together to solve problems or, more likely, cause some hilarious new ones. WWE ® Superstars Xavier Woods ®, Tyler Breeze ®, Ember Moon ®, Alexa Bliss ® and Dio Maddin ® will contend with beefcake destroyer Jeremy Crawford, a.k.a. Principal Rules Designer for D&D. Deborah Ann Woll will lead a group of actors in improvising a way to help people in a fantasy world not that different from ours. And principal D&D writer Chris Perkins takes players

Fans of D&D will learn all about the new setting and storyline as well as accompanying new products plus tons of unique gameplay available on June 18, 2020. D&D Adventurers League has four new short adventures everyone can enjoy. By donating a small amount to Red Nose Day, fans will have access to sign up for D&D sessions with players around the world! During #DnDLive2020, fans will also be able to choose the character best suited to help the region through Reality RP, a mashup of fantasy storytelling, community engagement, and reality television.


 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

I don’t think they’d be working on player side psionics at all if they didn’t want to do darksun. Is player side psionics as important to anything else?

Rule of threes. That seems super important to Chris.
It could be said that Psionics is important to Planescape, with the Githyanki and Githzerai, and Coatls, but it's not as important to Planescape as it is to Dark Sun.
 

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Parmandur

Legend
After the decision to do three Setting books in a 9-month period, patterns as such are clearly meaningless. Also, the post-Ravnica Setting book format might just we'll have outmoded the Monster or Crunch format permanently. With Goodman putting out high quality adaptations of old Adventures, they might not want to do anoth GoS.

Time will tell in all cases.
 

After the decision to do three Setting books in a 9-month period, patterns as such are clearly meaningless.
Yeah we just have no idea what's coming up at this point.

Also, the post-Ravnica Setting book format might just we'll have outmoded the Monster or Crunch format permanently.
Outmoded seems like a loaded word, because it implies that it's in some clear way "better" or "more modern", which it definitely isn't. Replaced, perhaps. If so it's a bit disappointing. I prefer my monster collections loosely themed at most, rather than extremely setting-specific. Theros has the advantage that D&D already has basically all the Greek Myth monsters, so more and flashier versions is a good fit, but I daresay many other settings won't be as good at fit. It also has so little crunch in the form of races and classes that I'm distinctly unimpressed there.

The sheer amount of "unresolved" UA for subclasses and the CFV seem to strongly indicate a crunch book along the lines of Xanathars though.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Yeah we just have no idea what's coming up at this point.



Outmoded seems like a loaded word, because it implies that it's in some clear way "better" or "more modern", which it definitely isn't. Replaced, perhaps. If so it's a bit disappointing. I prefer my monster collections loosely themed at most, rather than extremely setting-specific. Theros has the advantage that D&D already has basically all the Greek Myth monsters, so more and flashier versions is a good fit, but I daresay many other settings won't be as good at fit. It also has so little crunch in the form of races and classes that I'm distinctly unimpressed there.

The sheer amount of "unresolved" UA for subclasses and the CFV seem to strongly indicate a crunch book along the lines of Xanathars though.
"Outmoded" for WotC marketing purposes. If they can get more people to buy more books by splitting Mosnters & Crunch and spreading it among Setting lore books, that is superior for Wizard's needs. I'm still reeling from the triple threat, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's the new normal now.

We have 15 Subclasses in the current round of UA, including the 4 returned and retooled options from last year. If the rate of success for the Theros set holds, several of them might see print.
 

I find that idea very implausible - we know there are a significant number of people who simply don't buy setting books, and the sales figures for Xanathar's are way better than any of the setting books.

More likely, the Wildemont book, being 3rd party written, never formed part of the WotC scheduling. It came out when it was done - basically at random, so three settings in a row was never part of WotC's plan. And I doubt we will see any more setting books until well into 2021.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I find that idea very implausible - we know there are a significant number of people who simply don't buy setting books, and the sales figures for Xanathar's are way better than any of the setting books.

More likely, the Wildemont book, being 3rd party written, never formed part of the WotC scheduling. It came out when it was done - basically at random, so three settings in a row was never part of WotC's plan. And I doubt we will see any more setting books until well into 2021.
I wouldn't bet against it. I would've said 2 in that period wasn't likely, and we got 3! These books do everything a Volo's or Xanathar's would, and then some.

As Crawford said when they began testing Theros options last year in UA, most of the low hanging fruit in 5E is picked, so options are getting more niche.
 
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I find that idea very implausible - we know there are a significant number of people who simply don't buy setting books, and the sales figures for Xanathar's are way better than any of the setting books.
Yes, Xanathar's sold so well that it's highly unlikely that WotC won't try to do the same thing again.
 


I'd argue they've done it multiple times since 2018, with Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica and following.
No. GGR was not another Xanathar's book. It was a setting book. It barely had player options. It had 2 subclasses and a handful of races. A "Xanathar's 2.0" has to have a similar amount of subclasses to XGtE, which had 31.
 

Parmandur

Legend
So, it seems that the plot of the Livestream game involves the leaders from ten towns...

"Tito spoke to ScreenRant's Scott Baird about D&D Live's Reality RP show, which combines roleplaying, ARG, and reality TV roles. In the interview, Tito explained Reality RP's basic storyline as a wizard trying to root out a secret cultist that has sabotaged the food supply of a region. "He traps ten representatives from the settlements who he believes are the most suspicious," Tito says in the interview. "He sets a series of challenges for them which he believes will be instructive in finding out who is the cultist and, hopefully, root them out, and choose a champion that is worthy of support to lead the region through the dark times that are happening right now." At first glance, that doesn't seem like a lot of information, but Tito's note that there are ten cast members from a number of settlements seems to be a hint towards the Ten Towns, the disparate settlements within Icewind Dale. Couple that with the snowy owlbear that serves as this year's D&D Live mascot, and the sole piece of artwork released for the adventure, and it certainly seems like the new adventure will take place within Drizzt's old stomping grounds."

 

Parmandur

Legend
No. GGR was not another Xanathar's book. It was a setting book. It barely had player options. It had 2 subclasses and a handful of races. A "Xanathar's 2.0" has to have a similar amount of subclasses to XGtE, which had 31.
Quantity isn't everything, nor are Subclasses: the new Race, Background and Renown options are significant game changers, and the Setting books have all had such options. Why do one Xanathar's book and one Volo's books when you can do a few Setting books that combine those audiences?
 

Quantity isn't everything, nor are Subclasses: the new Race, Background and Renown options are significant game changers, and the Setting books have all had such options. Why do one Xanathar's book and one Volo's books when you can do a few Setting books that combine those audiences?
Because there are people who won't shell out a lot of money for a big heavy book full of stuff they don't want in order to get a couple of things they might want (but don't really need). And not everyone wants to go digital.

The sales figures speak for themselves - Xanathar, with lots of subclasses, sold way better than any setting book with just two or three.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Because there are people who won't shell out a lot of money for a big heavy book full of stuff they don't want in order to get a couple of things they might want (but don't really need). And not everyone wants to go digital.

The sales figures speak for themselves - Xanathar, with lots of subclasses, sold way better than any setting book with just two or three.
But again, between the PHB and XGtE, they have hit most of the big archetypal options, per Crawford himself. They have to go further afield for.options, which means ...settings.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
So, it seems that the plot of the Livestream game involves the leaders from ten towns...

"Tito spoke to ScreenRant's Scott Baird about D&D Live's Reality RP show, which combines roleplaying, ARG, and reality TV roles. In the interview, Tito explained Reality RP's basic storyline as a wizard trying to root out a secret cultist that has sabotaged the food supply of a region. "He traps ten representatives from the settlements who he believes are the most suspicious," Tito says in the interview. "He sets a series of challenges for them which he believes will be instructive in finding out who is the cultist and, hopefully, root them out, and choose a champion that is worthy of support to lead the region through the dark times that are happening right now." At first glance, that doesn't seem like a lot of information, but Tito's note that there are ten cast members from a number of settlements seems to be a hint towards the Ten Towns, the disparate settlements within Icewind Dale. Couple that with the snowy owlbear that serves as this year's D&D Live mascot, and the sole piece of artwork released for the adventure, and it certainly seems like the new adventure will take place within Drizzt's old stomping grounds."

Yeah that smells like the ten towns of Icewind Dale. And the "characters" will all have instagram accounts released this week (Facebook says a character a day starting today) so we will likely see that confirmed soon.


Interesting that one of the characters is secretly a cultist. A cultist of the mind flayers perhaps? Or something else?
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Because there are people who won't shell out a lot of money for a big heavy book full of stuff they don't want in order to get a couple of things they might want (but don't really need). And not everyone wants to go digital.

The sales figures speak for themselves - Xanathar, with lots of subclasses, sold way better than any setting book with just two or three.
On paper you're right; Xanathar is the best selling non-core rulebook, so it makes sense that they would make more. But they also haven't made more since, which makes me think that perhaps there are other considerations for why one hasn't been made. It simply may be that they are having trouble creating enough material that is entirely player focused to fill a book.

I personally think a book that is 100% like Xanathar's is unlikely. I still believe gem dragons are coming this way (unless plans have changed) so think that whatever this is, it's more of a Volo's/Mordenkainen's book with maybe some metasetting of Planescape/Spelljammer sprinkled in. It will have new player options, new monsters, and maybe some new setting material.
 

On paper you're right; Xanathar is the best selling non-core rulebook, so it makes sense that they would make more. But they also haven't made more since, which makes me think that perhaps there are other considerations for why one hasn't been made. It simply may be that they are having trouble creating enough material that is entirely player focused to fill a book.
Looks like if they want to do a Xanathar's 2.0 they're going to have to playtest a lot of Unearthed Arcana spells and subclasses.
Looks back at the past year of UA. "I guess we're getting Xanatha'rs 2.0!"
I personally think a book that is 100% like Xanathar's is unlikely. I still believe gem dragons are coming this way (unless plans have changed) so think that whatever this is, it's more of a Volo's/Mordenkainen's book with maybe some metasetting of Planescape/Spelljammer sprinkled in. It will have new player options, new monsters, and maybe some new setting material.
Of course being exactly like Xanathar's 2.0 is unlikely. There's not many rules that need clarification, which Xanathar's 2.0 had many pages for. They have already made better rules for downtime and traps and rivals and awarding magic items. Most of the stuff that 5e needed fixes for were fixed in XGtE.
I agree, it's going to be a heavy player's book with a lot of information for the Planes of Existence, which IMO is the thing 5e needs clarifications for the most. The DMG has a tiny section on the planes, and we need expansions for that. If we get this Planescape book, they're going to have to add some more races and monsters that fit into Planescape, like the Bauriar race or more Modron monsters and Celestials.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Looks like if they want to do a Xanathar's 2.0 they're going to have to playtest a lot of Unearthed Arcana spells and subclasses.
Looks back at the past year of UA. "I guess we're getting Xanatha'rs 2.0!"

Of course being exactly like Xanathar's 2.0 is unlikely. There's not many rules that need clarification, which Xanathar's 2.0 had many pages for. They have already made better rules for downtime and traps and rivals and awarding magic items. Most of the stuff that 5e needed fixes for were fixed in XGtE.
I agree, it's going to be a heavy player's book with a lot of information for the Planes of Existence, which IMO is the thing 5e needs clarifications for the most. The DMG has a tiny section on the planes, and we need expansions for that. If we get this Planescape book, they're going to have to add some more races and monsters that fit into Planescape, like the Bauriar race or more Modron monsters and Celestials.
Well some of those UA were actually for Theros, and another big chunk is for psionics. Still a fair amount of UA, but how much actually makes the cut after feedback?

Anyway, I'm agreeing with you that this book will be some hybrid of a metasetting, player's options, and monsters.
 

Well some of those UA were actually for Theros, and another big chunk is for psionics.
Only 2 are known to be for Theros, and psionics could be for Xanathar's 2.0, though I doubt it.
Still a fair amount of UA, but how much actually makes the cut after feedback?
We have 24ish new subclasses, excluding the Theros ones. XGtE had 31 subclasses. I think we'll get a bit more subclasses UA and more revisions to old ones in upcoming UA.
Anyway, I'm agreeing with you that this book will be some hybrid of a metasetting, player's options, and monsters.
Yep.
 

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