Gen Con - Keynote Address: The Future of Dungeons & Dragons

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In this month's In The Work column, it highlight a bit of what's taking place at this year's Gen Con show abput D&D Next:
  

Keynote Address: The Future of Dungeons & Dragons Calling all heroes, your presence is required! Join us for an unprecedented look into the future of Dungeons & Dragons, including the evolution of the game, the re-birth of a fantasy setting and the next generation of art. Wizards of the Coast is proud to host the first-ever Gen Con keynote address on Thursday, August 16th to share with the legions of D&D fans what's in store for the game that has changed gaming forever. Speakers include President and CEO of Wizards Greg Leeds, Senior Manager for D&D Research and Design Mike Mearls and some of the greatest creative minds in the industry. The keynote begins at 7:00 PM in the 500 Ballroom of the Indianapolis Convention Center and will also be live-streamed at DungeonsandDragons.com/events.  

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I wonder what fantasy setting is rebirting for DDN ?


I hope its 



Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I wonder what fantasy setting is rebirting for DDN ?


I hope its Greyhawk or Mystara! 



If Mystara, they need to reprint the Shadow Elves gazetteer.  It's too expensive on Amazon.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."



*crossing fingers*
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
Or may be

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Or may be


I'd jump on may chair for that too!
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
I'd love for it to be one favorite 2e setting or another, but I would wager that it's going to be Greyhawk.


  • a) Old school nostalgia and credibility. Old gamers like it, and the new gamers are so unfamiliar with it they can't have anything bad to say about it.

  • b) Most settings, if released in 5e, wouldn't necessarily be described as a "re-birth." But Greyhawk is a formerly thriving setting, long neglected, which could have a pretty good run if given support in 5e.

  • c) The first setting that they talk about pretty much has to be something very straightforward like Greyhawk, Mystara, Birthright, Forgotten Realms. Spelljammer is right out, and even DragonLance is too "weird."


Of course, they could also be talking about Forgotten Realms, if by "rebirth" they mean "undoing the Spellplague reboot since that has proven unpopular." But I wonder if they can afford risking putting a big divide in the FR community by orphaning the post-Spellplague timeline. If they restore the old Realms in an effort to appease cranky grognards, they'll inevitably run afoul of players who now say they prefer the new Realms. So, they'll have to win over fans with 5e before they make that decision: backtrack on the changes, or double down.
If I had my 'd'ruthers, I'd say Cerilia.  I know it'll -never- happen, but still.  Spelljammer...I have to be honest.  I never 'got' Spelljammer.  To this day I couldn't tell you what there is to actually -do- in Spelljammer.  Krynn was impossibly fun...unnnnntil you realized that most of the things cool to see were in the novels (I loved Taladas though).  Hard to make the Silvanesti forest neat without half the group going on about Cyan Bloodbane and the skeletal warriors from DL9 (I think it was 9, wasn't it?).

Hard Fun will always be near and dear to my heart because I love psionicists...and that's why my groups other major DM hates it.  Planescape is doable, but too many hate the Great Wheel.  Mystara is...tolerable, but too many people think Forgotten Realms is bland, and Mystara makes the Realms look like a smorgasboard of unusual.  Greyhawk could be interesting.  Ravenloft will never regain it's former glory imo...the age has passed.

Eberron is a decent enough choice, but it has some serious connection problems with the older group who never went to 3rd and, imo, the main continent is -too- fleshed out to have much fun with.  Xendrik is amazing though, as is Sarlona.

So I think we'll get the Realms.  Or Greyhawk.  But I'd be very happy to see support for most of the defunct lines at some point, even if it's just a wink and a nod.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Eberron... in my dreams, we'd have an Eberron setting book right out of the gate.

And I might have a heart attack if WotC even mentions Planescape, much less describes a plan to bring it back. Can we gather a vigil of the Sign of One to try and believe that into happening?
If I had my 'd'ruthers, I'd say Cerilia.  I know it'll -never- happen, but still.  Spelljammer...I have to be honest.  I never 'got' Spelljammer.  To this day I couldn't tell you what there is to actually -do- in Spelljammer.  Krynn was impossibly fun...unnnnntil you realized that most of the things cool to see were in the novels (I loved Taladas though).  Hard to make the Silvanesti forest neat without half the group going on about Cyan Bloodbane and the skeletal warriors from DL9 (I think it was 9, wasn't it?).

Hard Fun will always be near and dear to my heart because I love psionicists...and that's why my groups other major DM hates it.  Planescape is doable, but too many hate the Great Wheel.  Mystara is...tolerable, but too many people think Forgotten Realms is bland, and Mystara makes the Realms look like a smorgasboard of unusual.  Greyhawk could be interesting.  Ravenloft will never regain it's former glory imo...the age has passed.

Eberron is a decent enough choice, but it has some serious connection problems with the older group who never went to 3rd and, imo, the main continent is -too- fleshed out to have much fun with.  Xendrik is amazing though, as is Sarlona.

So I think we'll get the Realms.  Or Greyhawk.  But I'd be very happy to see support for most of the defunct lines at some point, even if it's just a wink and a nod.


While i dont agree on  the most part of your post, i think you had a good intuition: Birthright.
Given the popularity of the Game of Thrones  tv fiction, Cerilia could be the perfect D&D setting for a Startup line.
Also,it's not a worn out setting like most of the others.
If they include a full fledged module about raising and admistering  dominions ( a la rules Cyclopedia) i'll be a really happy panda

DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
Greyhawk is a formerly thriving setting, long neglected, which could have a pretty good run if given support in 5e.



Especially considering it is Mike Mearls favorite setting as confessed on during his AMA on Reddit: Wink
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Mike Mearls: Favorite campaign setting is Greyhawk.


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Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter


Given the popularity of the Game of Thrones  tv fiction, Cerilia could be the perfect D&D setting for a Startup line.
Also,it's not a worn out setting like most of the others.
If they include a full fledged module about raising and admistering  dominions ( a la rules Cyclopedia) i'll be a really happy panda



Never say never, but I would be astounded if they bring back Birthright any time soon. Personally, I've never met a gamer who played in that setting. And to me, it doesn't feel right as a starter setting. It's too much of a reaction to "regular" play: Instead of a lowly adventurer, you're a noble lord tending to a kingdom.

But D&D Next is supposed to be the classic-est of classic D&D. It wants to be the most iconic D&D experience it can be. To that end, I'm sure they're going to heavily emphasize all of the tomb-robbing, dungeon-crawling fun from which Birthright was meant to be a refreshing break.

Plus they're banking pretty heavily on wooing gamers from the days of yore. To that crowd, a setting that debuted in 1995 is the stuff of whippersnappers.
You and me both.  I still have the boxes for every race but the Khinasi, the war cards, everything.  Magic of Cerilia, the book of Awnsheigh.  I lived for Cerilia.

"Wait, what?!  That little priestess actually -has- an army?!  When did that happen!?"

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Wasn't Mystara the default setting of Basic D&D and Greyhawk of AD&D ? 

IIRC my Expert Set has a Map of Myatara coming with it showing Specularum, Darokin etc...  

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Technically, Greyhawk was the default setting for 3rd Edition. However, that pretty much extended to the names of the gods, an illustration of a coin, and nothing else. The presence of Greyhawk in 3e evaporated pretty quickly, so I wouldn't really say that it counts.

I don't remember any default setting for AD&D, except that they were all crystal spheres within a single Prime Material Plane. 
I expect Greyhawk.


But Birthright (Cerilia) would instantly sell me on Next regardless of how the system turns out.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
The inclusion of the Lightfoot Halfling tells me I'll be dissapointed in my first choice but Greyhawk is pretty old school and could use some love.

 

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

* If a comic of Dark Sun has been possible, why not Spelljammer like a test?

* Dragonlance is more famous that Greyhawk by novels, (and both haven´t got 4th Ed soucerbooks) but.. 

WotC can makes a lot of money with Greyhawk franchise if they can look after correctly. Why can´t be so famous like FR?

* Has got Atari the exclusice licence to make official D&D videogames?

* Don´t forget Ravenloft. It can be useful to get a new type of fans or follower. Ravenloft could be seen like a mixture of Blade & Buffy vampire hunters and Song of Fire and Ice. (Oh, my god! I don´t want see it, pixie-like with moth wings magical girls like PCs like a concession to get females fans who loves gothic fantasy and supernatural romance!!)

* Savage Coast/Red Steel has got some good ideas can´t be fogorten.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

* If a comic of Dark Sun has been possible, why not Spelljammer like a test?

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />* Don´t forget Ravenloft. It can be useful to get a new type of fans or follower. Ravenloft could be seen like a mixture of Blade & Buffy vampire hunters and Song of Fire and Ice. (Oh, my god! I don´t want see it, pixie-like with moth wings magical girls like PCs like a concession to get females fans who loves gothic fantasy and supernatural romance!!)



a bit of off topic:
Actually, a setting engineered for females could be a REAL boon for D&D and the hobby as a whole.
THAT could be a hidden treasure for wotc.
In 26 years of DM'ing i have played with exactly 7 girls. And 3 of those were in my party because his boyfriend was.
Other 2 girls were best friends ,so if one missed a night the other didn't show up to play.
Just TWO were interested into playing for themselves only.
Female players are refreshing for a dm: they are interested more in  their character relationships than power acquisition,so please,do a  "woman setting".

ON TOPIC: Mystara is another safe bet,and it includes many styles of play: sci fi, primordial zones, a hollow world, dominions, rich magic world,players that can become  Immortals,epic play, etc.
And mystara is one of the first settings of D&D, and almost no one dislike it.
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
I would vote for Mystara
I agree Asterionasien the subgenre of magical girl could be a mine of gold for WotC and Hasbro. (If there is a LEGO Friends...why not a Kre-o magical girls?). Only a good character have to be created. Dragonlance would the best settin for fantasy romances. (I have said romance, nothing about soap-operas).

I don´t reject a new fay PC race like mixture of raptoran (races of wyld) and pixies, a medium size fay humanoid with insectic wings. But do you want it in Ravenloft?

* Mystara hadn´t got true deities but "inmortals", had it got? I wonder if we will a soucerbook about playing half-gods or scions, with a game mechanic like bloodlines from Birthright campign setting.

Cerilia (world of Birthright) could a a good backgroud for a strategic videogame).


* What do you think about new Dragonlance novels after war of souls?



 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I think a lot of new players find it hard to get into long established settings that have a lot of history. If a group has a combination of setting veterans and setting rookies, the rookies can feel intimdated by all the extra knowledge the verterans have. Forgotten Realms is the best example of this, but Eberron and Dark Sun also have this issue to a lesser extent. A setting like Greyhawk has been defunct for long enough that it could be compelling to draw in new players, fresh to excite players who started with 3x or 4E, and has classic street cred to bring back old-schoolers.

Lots of gamers don´t use the official D&D worlds but "home-grown" or alternatives timelines of canon metaplots, and today a lot of wikis spoiler you hundreds of movies, TV shows, videogames or novels. Today you can go to wiki to know family tree of Raistlin Majere or Drizzt D´ourden.  

 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Of all the settings, I love Dark Sun the most, but I know that won't be core I would support refreshing Greyhawk or Mystara, but for me FR has lost much of its flavor.

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I don’t know if any of you noticed, but in the Gen Con agenda there is an event called The Sundering. Perhaps is some kind of cataclysm for the default setting?

^ Then I hope that the FR will not be the default setting. The number of cataclysms there is already ridiculous...
Rather than guesswork, why not use some deductive reasoning.

A couple of seasons ago, Encounters stopped being set in the Nentir Vale, and the current and next two seasons of Encounters are based in the Forgotten Realms. Same with Lair Assault.

The D&D comic book based in the Nentir Vale was cancelled, replaced by at least two FR titles, one with FR in the name, the other being Drizzt.

The D&D MMO just flipped over to FR and the Underdark. Add to this the recent release of the Neverwinter game that tied into the 4e Neverwinter release as well as a season of Encounters.

The default setting for 5e will almost certainly be Forgotten Realms, no doubt with a big erasure of the last 100 years of in-game history, as 4e gets thrown under the bus.

 
Meh, since 4e's official default was nothing and FR was released first - and the RPGA plays in FR - I don't see FR as the official 5e campaign setting.  It basically just was.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Or may be




Thusfar, this is one of the only ways they are going to bring me over to 5E.  Since it probably won't happen, bye bye 5E for me.
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!
Rather than guesswork, why not use some deductive reasoning.

A couple of seasons ago, Encounters stopped being set in the Nentir Vale, and the current and next two seasons of Encounters are based in the Forgotten Realms. Same with Lair Assault.

The D&D comic book based in the Nentir Vale was cancelled, replaced by at least two FR titles, one with FR in the name, the other being Drizzt.

The D&D MMO just flipped over to FR and the Underdark. Add to this the recent release of the Neverwinter game that tied into the 4e Neverwinter release as well as a season of Encounters.

The default setting for 5e will almost certainly be Forgotten Realms, no doubt with a big erasure of the last 100 years of in-game history, as 4e gets thrown under the bus.

 

Another Cataclysm?
Just..UFF!
Whatever the setting is,it sems it has to collect Sunderings,shatterings,and Brokenings nowadays.
Thanks,WOTC.
REAL thanks.

/sarcasm
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
Rather than guesswork, why not use some deductive reasoning.

A couple of seasons ago, Encounters stopped being set in the Nentir Vale, and the current and next two seasons of Encounters are based in the Forgotten Realms. Same with Lair Assault.

The D&D comic book based in the Nentir Vale was cancelled, replaced by at least two FR titles, one with FR in the name, the other being Drizzt.

The D&D MMO just flipped over to FR and the Underdark. Add to this the recent release of the Neverwinter game that tied into the 4e Neverwinter release as well as a season of Encounters.

The default setting for 5e will almost certainly be Forgotten Realms, no doubt with a big erasure of the last 100 years of in-game history, as 4e gets thrown under the bus.

 

Another Cataclysm?
Just..UFF!
Whatever the setting is,it sems it has to collect Sunderings,shatterings,and Brokenings nowadays.
Thanks,WOTC.
REAL thanks.

/sarcasm



but if FR gets 5 cataclysm stamps, it can get it's next coffee free!
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Mearls may like Greyhawk, but the cash cow is obviously Forgotten Realms. If the rules have reverted to bring in fans of previous editions of the game, any change to the Realms will be done to bring back those estranged by the Spellplague.
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 ****.
Mearls may like Greyhawk, but the cash cow is obviously Forgotten Realms. If the rules have reverted to bring in fans of previous editions of the game, any change to the Realms will be done to bring back those estranged by the Spellplague.



What if they released a source book for FR that had all time periods in it, so that you could play in whatever time you wanted...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I really can't see them using the Realms again.  They basically just did so with 4e.  I bet more people would be angry that a different setting didn't get attention - again - than would be happy FR got top billing - again.  It logically leads, IMO, to Eberron, but ... that's too new for their target audience.  Maybe it will be DL.  Meh, I wouldn't be totally shocked if it is FR but, like I said, I can see plenty of reasons they wouldn't do it.

Hmm ... then again, Ed is back on board.  Interesting.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

The problem for that is space limitations: to describe adequately each time period the book had to be gigantic in size;otherwise each period would be underdescribed imo.
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
The problem for that is space limitations: to describe adequately each time period the book had to be gigantic in size;otherwise each period would be underdescribed imo.



Make it 2-3 books then, more money and people buy the one they want...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Tht could work
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
Just playin' nerd raging D&D fan devil's advocate, but I'm sure multiple books will cause a 'what about those of us that want to play in multiple eras?  We have to spend two to three times the money to do it?' reaction.  ;)
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

At the same time, unless they came up with some REAL interesting innovation on how to market them, it would make it difficult for people entering the game to know what to buy.  Doubly so if the bookstore doesn't have all variations in stock (and many of them probably won't, seeing as they aren't natively gamers).  How do you know you want book Option #4 when your store only carries 1 and 2? 

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Moar Eberron please!!!!!
Moar Eberron please!!!!!


Even if Eberron isn't the 'flagship', I have -no doubt- we'll see tons more Eberron stuff.  I'd rest secure.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."