What is the future of 4e's cosmology?

In my opinion, one of the best aspects of 4e was how they resolved so much confusion regarding the planes. The old "Great Wheel" was a nightmare to explain to most players whereas the 4e cosmology was very streamlined and made sense to most players; plane above, plane below, feywild, shadowfell, mortal world.

So... now that 5e is announced and it's going to be all things for all players, I'm interested in seeing how WotC plans to deal with the serious differences between pre and post 4e cosmology. Any sort of reversion would render a huge amount of 4e content fairly meaningless.

Any ideas on the future of 4e's cosmology and whether or not it can be reconciled with what came before?
I like the 4e cosmology way more than anything that came before.  I hope they keep it, or only slightly modify it.

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I'd prefer that cosmologies remain separate, without the insistence on heirlooming/shoehorning everything from one into the other.

This goes both for the cosmology in general (IE, Sigil being rammed into the 4E PoL cosmology because one person insisted on including it even though it wasn't part of the original design), and cosmologies between settings (the 3E FR Tree and the 3E Eberron Orrery being retconned - with or without in-setting excuses - to match the 4E PoL one).
Yeah, personally I'd as soon see the "World Axis" remain the default cosmology for 5e. It was FAR more useful in a practical sense and matches a lot better with traditional western mythological sources than the "Great Wheel" did. Beyond that I think you can incorporate most of the GW concepts into WA without much trouble.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
i just saw a post of some dude wanting the great wheel back. it just goes to show you wont be able to please everyone.
I think the 4th edition cosmolegy should be the standard cosmolegy in 5th edition.

But the DMG should include examples of other cosmolegies that are possible to use.
Also a campain setting book should be able to make changes to the cosmolegy, so there can be difrences in cosmolegy depending on the campain setting.

for example darsun having a feywild and a shadowfell felt strange to me.
as in previous edition darksun was a place totaly cut off from any planar travel. 
alot of people wanted the great tree back, some what the great wheel, and sone liked the 4e.




me, its all moot. I dont care how they do it, onl that they do it.

so I off to the wait and see boat.


then after I see it. I'll get in the praise or bash boats.


but I have gripes about the 4e one... but thats for another time, another place.... and right now is neither the place or time            
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Go back to the Great Wheel but present the 4e PoL'verse as an alternate cosmological setup.

There's far more flavor and richness in the Great Wheel model, and you won't then in 5e end up with continuity disconnects like there were trying to include pre-4e planar material into 4e. Bring back 9 alignments, bring back the outsider races unceremoniously dumped in 4e, and perhaps selectively incorporate some 4e bits so long as they don't feel shoehorned in.

Give me a cosmology* that I'm interested in writing for.

*another cosmology anyway to join PF
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10
Keep the 4e POL'verse  but present the 4e Great Wheel as an alternate cosmological setup. 

There's far more flavor and richness in the 4e POL'versel, and you won't then in 5e end up with the sillines of grid filling. Drop down to 3 alignments for people who need them but keep them away from mechanics, and keep each setting's cosmology seperate allowing for more choices (Eberron's Orrey vs POL vs Planescape's.

Give me a cosmology that I'm interested in writing for.
Have there been any issues with the World Tree, anything at all that would make the devs think we should revert back to the Great Wheel? Because if not, I don't think the Tree's going anywhere.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I like the 4E cosmology, except for the Shadowfell and the Feywild, both of which are IMO kind of stupid. They're too neatly presented as the dark and wild sides of the mortal world.
I like the 4e cosmology way more than anything that came before.  I hope they keep it, or only slightly modify it.



This. Maybe some tweaks here or there, but mostly this is by far the most useful, and to me at least, the most true feeling cosmology to date. The Wheel felt forced and artificial to me. The 4e cosmos feels like the nine worlds of Norse Myth. That is, something that grew organically, over time.


I'd like the mortal world, Feywild and Shadowfell to be a bit more triangular in their relation to eachother, though. I would like for the Feywild and Shadowfell to effect eachother in places like they effect the mortal world. I want to step over a rise in the Feywild, and find myself staring at a valley floor in the Shadowfell, and see a patrol of Shadar-kai change course to investigate my party.

And I'd like for major cities to have mirrors in both worlds that sort of mash together, creating an otherworld/Neverwhere type of situation.

But I'd also be fine if I have to fiddle with things to have that, and the cosmology stays about as it is.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I think the 4th edition cosmolegy should be the standard cosmolegy in 5th edition.

But the DMG should include examples of other cosmolegies that are possible to use.
Also a campain setting book should be able to make changes to the cosmolegy, so there can be difrences in cosmolegy depending on the campain setting.

for example darsun having a feywild and a shadowfell felt strange to me.
as in previous edition darksun was a place totaly cut off from any planar travel. 



Well DS basically already had the Shadowfell. The Grey is mostly the same as it ever was.

And the DS Feywild is completely different, in really cool ways. To me, it definately feels like something that could have been in DS all along, and just never got touched on before.

Other than that, though, I agree that they should keep themselves free to change the cosmology entirely for a setting if they think it needs to be done.

_____

Whatever else, keep the Feywild and Shadowfell. They are the best parts of the 4e cosmology by far. Do whatever you gotta do to the Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos, but keep the mirrors. Or combine them into The Otherworld, with elements of both depending on where you are in Otherworld, etc. But don't get rid of having an Otherworld entirely. That is something that always felt like it was missing from DnD, and I don't want to have to go back to houseruling it into the cosmology.


And please, please please no grid filling wheel cosmology. The World Tree is cool, I like it.


Oh, also. 9 Alignments, but just as divorced from the mechanics as in 4e, please. Make it ten, so we can keep unaligned, or explicitly make True Neutral either about balance, or the unaligned alignment. In fact, make sure it's clear that Neutral can either mean believing in a balance of forces, or not worrying about a given axis struggle, in a cosmic sense.

Get rid of the idea of Unaligned or True Neutral defaulting to the "Selfish Alignment." That's crap. It makes more sense as the "My priority is my people/family/party/specific cause, not some cosmic struggle between Good and Evil." than it does as the "Whatever, what's in it for me?" alignment, by default.

To give an example, "Don't talk to me about The Cosmic Good, sir. I am just a man. Speak to me of the good of Cormyr!"

I would rather have either no alignment, or one that differentiates between neutral good and chaotic good, than the abbreviated alignment we have now.



Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I like the 4E cosmology, except for the Shadowfell and the Feywild, both of which are IMO kind of stupid. They're too neatly presented as the dark and wild sides of the mortal world.




Well, the Feywild is certianly more than just that, and I'd argue that the Shadowfell is too (since it's the land of the dead and all that), but what if they interacted more directly with eachother/became one?

What if you could leave a forest in the Feywild*, top a rise, and walk into a valley in the Shadowfell^?


*Wherein you just negotiated a treaty between a green dragon and her servants, and the sylvan elves of a tree city, while an emmisary from the Goblins of the Dire Mountains tried to foil your efforts.

^where you find yourself befriending a group of shadar-kai who are beset on all sides by shadow giants and even more dire threats.

*^ just examples. The treaty could instead be between the dragon and the shadar-kai, with xenophobic elves trying to stop it because they refuse to believe that the alliance won't lead to an invasion of elvin territory, while the truth is that the dragon is simply giving the shadar-kai aid in their fight for survival, in exchange for certain magics the shadar-kai have raided from their shadow giant enemies, that the dragon hopes to be able to use against the growing fomorian threat.


To me, that's an awesome cosmological element. And that doesn't even take into account the possibility of stubbling into this strange and wonderful/deadly world while wandering the streets of Waterdeep, or tracking goblinoids through the wilderness around Nentir Vale.


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Oh, also. 9 Alignments, but just as divorced from the mechanics as in 4e, please. Make it ten, so we can keep unaligned, or explicitly make True Neutral either about balance, or the unaligned alignment. In fact, make sure it's clear that Neutral can either mean believing in a balance of forces, or not worrying about a given axis struggle, in a cosmic sense.

Get rid of the idea of Unaligned or True Neutral defaulting to the "Selfish Alignment." That's crap. It makes more sense as the "My priority is my people/family/party/specific cause, not some cosmic struggle between Good and Evil." than it does as the "Whatever, what's in it for me?" alignment, by default.

To give an example, "Don't talk to me about The Cosmic Good, sir. I am just a man. Speak to me of the good of Cormyr!"

I would rather have either no alignment, or one that differentiates between neutral good and chaotic good, than the abbreviated alignment we have now.






I've always considered 3 "neutrals", True Neutral, as described in 1st-3rd ed. Unaligned, for creatures that aren't smart enough to have a philosphy, or those that don't really stop to think about it, and Insane, for those that act outside normal morality, with the mixed versions of each (e.g. unaligned good: I'll do whatever needs to be done to help people, I don't mind the law if it helps, but I'll avoid it if it doesn't, Lawful Insane: Everything must be in the right order. EVERYTHING! Now go stand over there, no not there, THERE! You need to balance out the plant pot!, Chaotic neutral: Good and evil must be kept in balance, and this can only be done by constant flux.)

Needless to say, Insane is rarely a player alignment, except via curses and the like (though I have had one player verging on Lawful Insane... If a battlemap was set up slightly off symmetric, he'd always go after the creature that broke the pattern first.)

"I am the seeker, I am the stalker, I am the walrus"
I think the 4e cosmology does nicely. The Feywild/Faerie and the Shadowfell/Plane of Shadow are both really atmospheric and mysterious and should definitely be kept. The Astral Sea with its domains are kind of like a sandbox where any other realms can be dropped in.
I think the cosmology should be built to fit the game that is designed.  A lot of this will depend on what power sources there are and how they function.  Do you need equipotent deities for every possible philosophy?  Does morality come with in-game consequences?  What power sources will the game support?  There's no point in developing a cosmology before you develop the core mechanics.
I'd much prefer that alignment be done away with altogether. If I need that in my own game I can always come up with something (or use various other systems, which are often far better than anything D&D has done), and by not incorporating it into the core game it won't end up becoming a mechanics issue (which - despite initial promises - eventually began to creep back into 4E).
I'd much prefer that alignment be done away with altogether.


Well, that's an interesting thing about 5e, supposedly...alignment mechanics might be just an option that you can add on, if you like that sort of thing.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Chaotic neutral: Good and evil must be kept in balance, and this can only be done by constant flux.)




Interesting ideas, and worth playing with.

I'm more of a, "Chaotic Neutral: Good, Evil, whatever. Liberty is the ultimate Good, without it, the Paladin's cause is a lie." kinda guy.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I will be the first to say I vastly prefer the 4e cosmology to the horrifically awful "Great Wheel".  But then, I would vastly prefer just about anything over the "Dinner Plate" (as my group calls it).

But I do have to wonder, why does the game system need to foist a cosmology on us *at all*?  Isn't that really a matter for worldbuilding?  Why not let each setting present its own cosmology, tell people to feel free to do things their way, and be done with it.
Might I be so bold to suggest that if one reads deeper into the Planescape setting put out in the 90s, the Great Wheel becomes more and more appealing.  The Outer Planes are not just places to go, a place where scarier stuff lived.  They were are ideas to believe in as much as they were locations to visit.  Going to Heaven and Hell is a philosophical trip, and Planescape portrays it as such. It works for me.  I study philosophy so it all makes sense and comes together nicely.  I think leaving the cosmology blank is the best idea though.  I make my own cosmology for custom campaigns, even though I'm such a Planescape fan.

What drew me to Dungeons and Dragons originally, back in the days of 2e, was that the three core books gave you all the rules to deal with contentious issues - combat, skills, diplomacy - all the things that makes the game fun when victory isn't assured.  If one reads the 2e PHB, the fluff isn't there.  The core books assumed that the DM would write the campaign setting, describe the world, come up with the people and places within.  And for folks who enjoyed the writing of the campaign setting teams (or who were just lazy) there were the campaign boxed sets you could get that did all the work for you.  

I would like to see this for a fifth edition again.  I think that would make a lot of business sense too, because Wizards could capitalize on all the beloved campaign worlds they aquired from TSR and the newer Wizards settings.  (Just to beat the Planescape drum again, I've spent about 500 bucks on used Planescape stuff over the past year or so.  I would've gladly paid that to Wizards for a faithful and true reboot, or especially a re-print - the art and writing is excellent)  I and my friends plotzed when we saw Dark Sun was started again.  (Athas also held a special place in our geeky hearts.  We were rather dismayed with the 4e changes though.)  I been scouring for second hand 2e campaign stuff, old Ravenloft, Spelljammer and such are hard to find and pricy when they can be because folks love it.  So long as it's written faithfully.
I will be the first to say I vastly prefer the 4e cosmology to the horrifically awful "Great Wheel".  But then, I would vastly prefer just about anything over the "Dinner Plate" (as my group calls it).

But I do have to wonder, why does the game system need to foist a cosmology on us *at all*?  Isn't that really a matter for worldbuilding?  Why not let each setting present its own cosmology, tell people to feel free to do things their way, and be done with it.




The game is easier to jump into for new groups, if they don't have to make up a world first. That's why I approve of the 4e cosmology and world. It's just enough information in the core books that you can jump right into the game, picking RP elements from out of the books instead of having to invent them all yourself, and then as the group gets into it, the world developes more and more around them, or they look up more info in other sources/move to a more developed setting/plug what they've used from the core books into a published setting.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Having come into the game via BECMI before moving on to AD&D, the Great Wheel cosmology never really struck a chord with me, and certainly doesn't feel essential to the game.

The 4e cosmology is well thought-out and is overall more useful for adventuring.  It's also easier to wrap one's head around, as it fits pretty well with real-world mythologies and fantasy fiction.  The alignment-based Great Wheel always felt like a game construct to me.  The World Axis is flexible enough to easily add new locations to the Astral Sea.

I'm not opposed to bringing back the Great Wheel as an alternative cosmology at some point, but I don't think it should be in the core.

The core rules should definitely have a loosely-defined world and cosmology; DMing is time-consuming as it is, and world-building shouldn't be required work unless the DM wants to do it. 
I don't see the Wheel and Axis as mutually exclusive.

Why?  Well, there's this little thing you see called the Plane of Shadow.  It's a concept that was never explored much, but It bounced around for a long time (all through third, possibly earlier) as this transitive plane... but what did it transition to?  Well, "other realities" or "Other primes" we were told

So, basically, if the various other transitive planes link universes into a Multiverse, Shadow... links multiverses?  I don;t know how the Axis would take to the idea, but the Wheel is just peachy with it.  It's unity of rings, after all... a bigger circle yet to be seen.

I'd like to see the Great Wheel as the "core" (first supported) Planar model, mostly because of Planescape, but I don't see why, even WITHOUT the plane of shadow excuse, we can't have Points of Light at some point, or even Spelljammer wandering around (yes, I am aware that Spelljammer is technically Wheel-compatable).  I'd just like to avoid painful shoehorning of elements of one into another.

Plus, I'm sure they'll love the option to do another book *series*:  Manual of the Planes I, II, III...  if they can keep writing compelling, fleshed out cosmologies I'd probably keep reading.

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  I'd just like to avoid painful shoehorning of elements of one into another.

Plus, I'm sure they'll love the option to do another book *series*:  Manual of the Planes I, II, III...  if they can keep writing compelling, fleshed out cosmologies I'd probably keep reading.



A well thought out post.

I have a bit of a quibble, though. One example I've seen a couple times of a "painful shoehorning of elements" in 4e is Sigil.

Now, I had read about Sigil before 4e, but I honestly wasn't at all expert on the plane hopping settings or even the Great Wheel*.

So, when reading the MoTP, I fell in love with Sigil. It is the coolest place, ever. And nothing about it felt foreign, strange or wrong in the Axis Cosmology. It felt right at home.

My point is, some of those elements that may feel out of place in their new home (shifters in FR, for instance) to some, feel completely natural to anyone reading who didn't realize upon reading that they weren't there before. To the new eye, they fit quite well. Shifters are a good example, because their place in FR, now that they're there, makes perfect sense, and feels completely natural.

*I disliked it so much that I ignored it as much as possible, and thus forgot a great deal about it over time.


Anyway, just my thoughts on the matter.


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I don't see the Wheel and Axis as mutually exclusive.

Why?  Well, there's this little thing you see called the Plane of Shadow.  It's a concept that was never explored much, but It bounced around for a long time (all through third, possibly earlier) as this transitive plane... but what did it transition to?  Well, "other realities" or "Other primes" we were told

So, basically, if the various other transitive planes link universes into a Multiverse, Shadow... links multiverses?  I don;t know how the Axis would take to the idea, but the Wheel is just peachy with it.  It's unity of rings, after all... a bigger circle yet to be seen.



In 2e Planescape there was the idea mentioned in a few different places that the deep ethereal plane was a vast ocean of untapped potential, metaphysically speaking, with the cosmology of the Great Wheel being essentially a soap bubble drifting along the surface of that sea amid innumerable bubbles that represented other realities and alternate cosmologies.

In 3e this was still present despite a slight downgrade in the importance of the ethereal plane (and I mentioned it overtly in a Dragon article on the Ecology of the Keeper). There was also the Shadow Plane being mentioned as not just a route between Material planar worlds, but alternate realities as well.

In Pathfinder's cosmology/the Great Beyond, the CN plane of the Maelstrom functions in a similar way to the 2e deep ethereal, in that the outer planes of that world drift atop/within the Maelstrom as islands of stability amid its unchanging chaos and raw possibility. It overtly mentions that the Maelstrom is possibly the only truly endless plane, and deep enough within its currents you could wander into other realities that themselves drift amid its chaos. This was one of my favorite contributions to the setting since I wrote their cosmology book.

I could see WotC taking a similar thematic route with 5e as a way to link multiple different cosmologies into an overarching reality (perhaps as an option if not overt), which might help given the continuity problems introduced with 4e suddenly foisting its cosmology on every other setting, even those with previously well fleshed out ones. Or retconning the 4e changes out if they're unpopular enough, which I could also support.
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10
Yeah, I'll take the World Axis, thankee. I mean you don't really need to do anything special to include GW concepts. Heck, you can just say "The GW is one theory about the nature of the Cosmos" etc. Let people do what they want and just be vague about it. I have a suspicion they're not going to be eager to take on such divisive topics anytime soon anyway.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
If I didn't already have a bunch of projects on my hands, I'd be seriously tempted to tear into the old Sigil cant to explain how to marry World Axis and Great Wheel into a fully-functioning story vehicle. 
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I like the World Axis, but it feels so barren compared to Planescape. Give me 4E cosmology, but bring along all of the bells and whistles of Planescape and you've got me hooked. I want solars and guardinals and modrons and everything. The planes should be as detailed and bustling as Eberron or FR. But 4E paints a picture of there just being a few gods left, most realms now being barren and devoid of life, etc. I want that fantasy Star Wars feel back; with all the plotting and scheming, factols and factions, powers and proxies, and the Blood War! You can have the Dawn War, primordials, Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos, Feywild and Shadowfell, and all of that; but just give the planes their flavor back. And call me what you will, but I want the Greek and Norse pantheons back in the game (or at least ones that are them in all but name).
I agree. I would love to see the 5e Planar books use 4e's cosmology but be written in the gonzo, strange "philosophers with clubs" style of Planescape. I think that that Planescape "feel" is the only real thing sorely missing from the new planar cosmology, and I would adore to see it return.
I like the World Axis, but it feels so barren compared to Planescape. Give me 4E cosmology, but bring along all of the bells and whistles of Planescape and you've got me hooked. I want solars and guardinals and modrons and everything. The planes should be as detailed and bustling as Eberron or FR. But 4E paints a picture of there just being a few gods left, most realms now being barren and devoid of life, etc. I want that fantasy Star Wars feel back; with all the plotting and scheming, factols and factions, powers and proxies, and the Blood War! You can have the Dawn War, primordials, Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos, Feywild and Shadowfell, and all of that; but just give the planes their flavor back. And call me what you will, but I want the Greek and Norse pantheons back in the game (or at least ones that are them in all but name).




I'm always a fan of more fleshed out places in which to play* I have to ask, regarding the bolded text, how so?

After reading MoTP, I definately had the strong impression of the cosmos being teaming with stuff.


*Although I support strongly the 4e model of keeping it light, and thus easily added to by groups, in the core books, and then expanding and filling with supliments.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I like the World Axis, but it feels so barren compared to Planescape. Give me 4E cosmology, but bring along all of the bells and whistles of Planescape and you've got me hooked. I want solars and guardinals and modrons and everything. The planes should be as detailed and bustling as Eberron or FR. But 4E paints a picture of there just being a few gods left, most realms now being barren and devoid of life, etc. I want that fantasy Star Wars feel back; with all the plotting and scheming, factols and factions, powers and proxies, and the Blood War! You can have the Dawn War, primordials, Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos, Feywild and Shadowfell, and all of that; but just give the planes their flavor back. And call me what you will, but I want the Greek and Norse pantheons back in the game (or at least ones that are them in all but name).




I'm always a fan of more fleshed out places in which to play* I have to ask, regarding the bolded text, how so?

After reading MoTP, I definately had the strong impression of the cosmos being teaming with stuff.


*Although I support strongly the 4e model of keeping it light, and thus easily added to by groups, in the core books, and then expanding and filling with supliments.

Well, 4e's cosmology seems more focused to me. It tells a story and seems much less 'kitchen sink'. There may be buried in its infinite extents limitless stuff, but the focus is just narrower. The central themes are more defined. The Dawn War is an existential and meta-physical manifestation of an eternal dichotomy. The gods and primordials locked in an unending conflict amidst the half ruined designs of a cosmos torn by a conflict that for now is quiet (or not as you please really). There's a lot of life left in the concept.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Interesting. I don't see much "most of the gods are dead" stuff, but I certainly see a somewhat tighter focus in general.

The cosmology really does have a lot to offer, and the next MoTP could certainly be a larger, more detailed book than its 4e counterpart.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Keep the 4e cosmology as core (it is far more practical and easier to mold) and bring back the Planescape setting with the Great Wheel.
I think it's interesting that everyone seems to think the world tree was new to DnD, when its a slight modification of the cosmology from Dragonlance.
I would like to see no cosmology given as core. If we're going to go modular, why not detail various planes and a few example alignments of said planes to get people started, and let people put them together as they please? I'd like to see a similar approach to deities. I want to have lots of them and choose how to arrange them. I'll second a desire for Greek and Norse pantheons being included, and a bunch of the other classic D&D deities that were left out this past iteration, as well. What I don't want is a set of core, assumed deities, so that if I'm in a generic Encounters group, and decide that I'd like to, for instance, have my character worship Silvanus, rather than Melora, that would not present any problem at all.

That said, I still want to see the fourth edition planes included (I particularly enjoyed the Shadowfell and the Feywild), but I also preferred the classic elemental planes to the Elemental Chaos, and rather enjoyed 2e Planescape. The Blood War is pretty cool, as well.

The thing about D&D players is that we will figure out how it all fits together. Give us some example cosmologies, some usable planes, and tell us that we can put it together however we want, and we'll do it.
I've been running a Planescape campaign (3rd ed, switched to 4th, regret it), and I do like some of 4th's ideas, sort of doing a medley between the two.

It's definitely more pedestrian, above, below etc. 
My view is that The Elder Scrolls cosmology is the only one based on wheel symbolism that's actually any good.

D&D-wise, I could do without a rehash of The Great Frisbee. The 4E cosmology is fine, although I also liked the way 3E-Eberron's one was structured.
The core doesn't need a cosmology. Make references to various planar locations, but let individual DMs figure out it all comes together. Then have a Manual of the Planes that presents multiple possible cosmologies, including the Great Wheel. Then release the Planescape campaign setting that fleshes out the Great Wheel more.

I am hoping that the 4e cosmology dies with 4e, I think the original D&D pantheon and the original cosmology should be default in 5e with a set of modular options for any pantheon you want.


 

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