The purpose of campaign books...

In 4E too many Books were crammed full of new feats, paragon paths and whatever instead of providing vital information about the materia they proclaim to have.  The Neverwinter Campaign Guide for example has been quite disappointing for me as half of this book was about character themes, but not providing deep and detailed information about Neverwinter itself, like important NPCs, important locations, etc.

One pillar of the success of Paizo's Pathfinder RPG - sry, that I mention it - is that they offer really good and extensive ready-to-play campaigns, with detailed information not only about battles, but anything else so DMs do not have so much work on running it.

Personally I do not need approx. 3250 feats (4E) with most of them hardly being ever used. I would prefer more information and details, a better enclycopedia and some adventure books with a deeper story, plots and hooks instead of dungeon clearing only.


I would prefer if campaign setting books were completely devoid of crunch except for maybe some stat blocks for important NPCs. People keep saying that they want to see things like Warforged or Genasi in campaign-setting-specific books, but nothing about those things is or should be campaign-setting-exclusive.

Will removing crunch from the campaign setting books mean that some people don't buy them that might have? Probably yes. Will putting that sort of crunch in another book mean that people will buy it who might not have? Probably also yes, so I really wish that would stop being a concern.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Well, from a marketting stand point if mixing fluff and crunch together makes both of those type of players buy all of your books, then you would be silly not to do it. If the crunch-only players won't buy books with little or no crunch, then adding some new races, a new class, and some new paragon paths / epic destinies might make them buy the book. This can only be viewed as a good thing for WotC.
Well, from a marketting stand point if mixing fluff and crunch together makes both of those type of players buy all of your books, then you would be silly not to do it. If the crunch-only players won't buy books with little or no crunch, then adding some new races, a new class, and some new paragon paths / epic destinies might make them buy the book. This can only be viewed as a good thing for WotC.


Yeah, this, pretty much.
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Good campaign bookssince 2001.

3.0 FRCS.
3.5 Eberron
Inner Sea World Guide

 Very fluff heavy with the right amount of crunch IMHO.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Fluff-heavy books that introduce the classes, races and character options that are iconic to the setting are fine by me.

If I buy the Eberron campaign setting, I expect to have all of the information pertinent to the warforged, changelings, artificers, cleric domains, wizard traditions, elven subtypes, and other such particulars that are common and unique to the experience of playing in the world of Eberron at my fingertips. Breaking these things free of the campaign-specific material removes much of what makes them and the setting as a whole special in the first place. (Don't want that.)  

Danny

Well, from a marketting stand point if mixing fluff and crunch together makes both of those type of players buy all of your books, then you would be silly not to do it. If the crunch-only players won't buy books with little or no crunch, then adding some new races, a new class, and some new paragon paths / epic destinies might make them buy the book. This can only be viewed as a good thing for WotC.



Whether or not, the problem starts when the crunch makes the main part of a campaign book, which is completely undesirable. If the main purpose of this book gets neglected, even more so. Also, as I already mentioned there are other ways to attract people.

Instead of letting people buy books because of crunch, why not putting a pre-designed campaign into a campaign book? Actually there is no better place for that kind of thing. To cope with the extent of a campaign (imagine 'Kingmaker' or similar) and to make D&D Insider more attractive to potential subscribers WotC could simply offer downloadable battleplans for those specific campaigns as pdfs, scaled for A4 printouts. And with a big campaign included such a book could easily go for 50-60$.

For people who don't want the adventure campaign and just want to buy the fluff only, they could sell a smaller book with the campaign excluded for less, like 20$ or whatever then.

I would prefer races classes etc. to be in their own books. I am with you that Neverwinter had too much 4th edition rules only stuff. Stat blocks for important PCs is essential however. Other than that I say remove all edition specific information. Keeps the books useful longer and makes them overall better.


If I buy the Eberron campaign setting, I expect to have all of the information pertinent to the warforged, changelings, artificers, cleric domains, wizard traditions, elven subtypes, and other such particulars that are common and unique to the experience of playing in the world of Eberron at my fingertips. Breaking these things free of the campaign-specific material removes much of what makes them and the setting as a whole special in the first place. (Don't want that.)  


Those things belong into player guides, not campaign guides. AFAIK there is a Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, dealing with the things you've pointed out. www.wizards.com/dnd/Product.aspx?x=dnd/p...

And there is a FR Campaign Guide. But this CG is merely a shadow of the old 3.0&3.5 FRCG.
www.wizards.com/DnD/Product.aspx?x=dnd/p...

Sry to say this, but the fluff books really sucked in 4E because of too few information and too low detail.
In 4E too many Books were crammed full of new feats, paragon paths and whatever instead of providing vital information about the materia they proclaim to have.  The Neverwinter Campaign Guide for example has been quite disappointing for me as half of this book was about character themes, but not providing deep and detailed information about Neverwinter itself, like important NPCs, important locations, etc.

One pillar of the success of Paizo's Pathfinder RPG - sry, that I mention it - is that they offer really good and extensive ready-to-play campaigns, with detailed information not only about battles, but anything else so DMs do not have so much work on running it.

Personally I do not need approx. 3250 feats (4E) with most of them hardly being ever used. I would prefer more information and details, a better enclycopedia and some adventure books with a deeper story, plots and hooks instead of dungeon clearing only.

I think I (and others) initially misunderstood the point of this thread.

You are disappointed in the Neverwinter Campaign Guide because you assumed it to be a complete adventure (much like the Pathfinder Campaign Guides), but it is instead a campaign setting (which is a much different beast in terms of presentation).

I agree, campaign guides that are meant to be adventures should be fluff-heavy and contain crunch that is explicitly related to the adventure. Campaign guides that are meant to be setting books should be fluff-heavy and contain crunch that is widely related to the world contained therein.

Danny

Well I don't mind some crunch, every Campaign Setting should have optional modules (mechanics) that help shape the 'feel' of that world. For instance, in FR their should be regional/racial feats and maneuvers like they had in 3E.

The problem I had with 4E books is not the mechanics, its the lack of overall material. They essentially heightened the font size and lessened the amount of pages.

To me a Campaign Setting should be a bible, literally a book that you can do weights with (Ptolus comes to mind). It should really ZOOM IN on the maps and give details about inns, shops, villages, pretty much every landmark along the roads.

Detailed NPCs, their stat blocks can be in small font on a side bar or something, but at the minimum each NPC should have a physical, personality description and their role in the region.

I don't want a couple of paragraphs about a faction, I want 5-20 pages on each. (5 for the minor organizations, 10-20 for the major ones). The thing is, especially for Forgotten Realms — They have all this info, they just need to copy-paste what is still relevant to the timeline, update it, re-write it a different way and there you go.

A single paragraph description about an inn I can live with but a city should have pages worth. The 4E Forgotten Realms material to me was so lacking I ended up mostly using 3E material.


You are disappointed in the Neverwinter Campaign Guide because you assumed it to be a complete adventure (much like the Pathfinder Campaign Guides), but it is instead a campaign setting (which is a much different beast in terms of presentation).


You are incorrect. I did not expect it to be an adventure. But what I had hoped to find in the Neverwinter Campaign Guide was:

1. Detailed Information about nowadays Neverwinter and important locations. A lot has changed.
2. Detailed Information about important NPCs and their roles, intentions, etc.
3. Adventure hooks.

Instead I found half the book being filled with...themes. The least I had expected. Campaign books are not for players but for dungeon masters imho. So they should provide material for dungeon masters and not for players.

So crunch belongs to the player guides and there should be no problem to publish an Eberron Player's Guide as much as a Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. Fluff and Info belongs to the campaign guides. And if they want the campaign guides to be attractive to buyers, then they should make it attractive to the dungeon masters. Including a true campaign would be a reasonable measure to achieve this goal.
I dunno, then. The Neverwinter Campaign Guide was one of my top three favorite releases during 4E, and it is widely celebrated as a wonderfully fluffy and evocative addition to the game.

Danny

I dunno, then. The Neverwinter Campaign Guide was one of my top three favorite releases during 4E, and it is widely celebrated as a wonderfully fluffy and evocative addition to the game.


It didn't satisfy me, though. As did several other campaign guides in 4E. Menzoberranzan - City of Intrigue has been even more disappointing. Latter is not a campaign guide, I know. Still it's pretty confusing at some points and provides not enough.
Also, as I already mentioned there are other ways to attract people.


Did you? You mention that you think that Pathfinder's campaign-like books are a pillar of their success and that could easily be true as part of an overall strategy, but are they good selling books? Is the point of these books to attract sales for that book or to attract people to the overall line of D&D sales. Also, in the specific case of the Neverwinter campaign setting, I think its place in the overall line of books (ie. near the end and on a schedule with very few 4e books being released), they probably tried to cut corners and fit everything in one book.

If you look at the previous campaign settings you can see that Forgotten Realms and Eberron followed a similar pattern (campaign setting with world information and monsters and a player's guide with new races, classes, and feats). Dark Sun altered it by getting rid of the player's guide and moving the monsters to their own book. I think mostly because of the large number of unique monsters Dark Sun can support. But by the time they got to Neverwinter, the release schedule was very sparse and they couldn't fit in two books for that one campaign setting. So everything had to be squeezed into a book that could never be large enough to cover everything.

To cope with the extent of a campaign and to make D&D Insider more attractive to potential subscribers WotC could simply offer downloadable battleplans for those specific campaigns as pdfs, scaled for A4 printouts. And with a big campaign included such a book could easily go for 50-60$.



Could such a book sell? I don't know and maybe it could. The other ideas are also interesting, but are quite different then how they've supported books for 4e so far, so it is no suprise they didn't start since they already decided to go to D&D Next. Basically, any ideas that might have "saved" 4e and let it recapture the top spot have been completely abandonned in favor of making a new edition and taking the lumps until it comes out.
I dunno, then. The Neverwinter Campaign Guide was one of my top three favorite releases during 4E, and it is widely celebrated as a wonderfully fluffy and evocative addition to the game.



I actually like the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, but yes, it is lacking... again this is because 4E books increase the Font and lesenned the number of pages.

For instance, The Gazeteer section should have been 100+ pages more, and included every landmark, such as Port Llast, Coneberry, Thundertree etc.


I disasagree with the OP about Themes however, I found them to be a great addition to the game, its a good tool for the DM to really engage the players in the region's politics. The mechanics that went with them wern't necessary though.
I didn't say themes are bad. I like them very much. I said I do not want them to be in a campaign guide, because they are player's stuff. And if they have to be in the campaign guide, then at least they should not be the main part of a campaign guide so that the stuff, which is really important to a DM gets neglected.

About NPCs stat block, of course they should be included, but in a seperate chapter at the end of the book and before the glossary. Because statblocks within texts are distracting imho. Just a note on which page to find the statblock would be sufficient and would keep the info lucid.
Please Wotc - include detailed world maps in every campaign guide. The first campaign guide I looked at buying was forgotten realms, but though I had every location mapped, it had no (that I could find) world map. I know you're not google, but if I can't answer "what's to the north"'when reading your guide, how can I use it.
I didn't say themes are bad. I like them very much. I said I do not want them to be in a campaign guide, because they are player's stuff. And if they have to be in the campaign guide, then at least they should not be the main part of a campaign guide so that the stuff, which is really important to a DM gets neglected.


Ideally, those themes would have been placed into a Player's Guide, but given the rate of 4e books being released, no such book was possible.
Please Wotc - include detailed world maps in every campaign guide. The first campaign guide I looked at buying was forgotten realms, but though I had every location mapped, it had no (that I could find) world map. I know you're not google, but if I can't answer "what's to the north"'when reading your guide, how can I use it.



Exactly, they give you the big map, pin point a couple of major sites, only give some details about the major sites and leave out the rest. So you basically have almost nothing of what's 'in-between' the major landmarks. And its those 'in-betweens' that we DMs really make use of in our adventurers.

Basically, they need zoomed in maps, that show everything like the Ruins of X, the Inn of X, the Temple of X, the Village of X.

A detailed map of one region is more usefull to the DM then a generic description of the entire world and if that means they need a book on every region then so be it, but please give us the tools we need to run an adventure, else we may as will just homebrew our own world because its just as much work.
Well, from a marketting stand point if mixing fluff and crunch together makes both of those type of players buy all of your books, then you would be silly not to do it. If the crunch-only players won't buy books with little or no crunch, then adding some new races, a new class, and some new paragon paths / epic destinies might make them buy the book. This can only be viewed as a good thing for WotC.


Yeah, this, pretty much.


Sometimes, marketing and monetary concerns are secondary to the art.  Shocking concept, I know.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
For instance, The Gazeteer section should have been 100+ pages more, and included every landmark, such as Port Llast, Coneberry, Thundertree etc.


If that's what you expected, you were doomed to disappointment; half of the reason that the Forgotten Realms got burned to the ground with the Spellplague was to free up the continuity for GMs to do whatever the **** they wanted with it, and good on them for doing it.

The other half was to introduce fantastic geography like Earthmotes and the Plaguelands, which were also awesome and badly needed in such a mundane and boring campaign setting.
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I guess that explains their strategy to me. I don't really see the point really, if you want complete freedom then you may as well just have your homebrew world.

To me a Campaign Setting gives you enough details you need so that you can focus on your story rather then coming up with everything.

As for the mundane and boring comment, that's a matter of opinion, I actually dislike settings with too much fantastical elements
well it would be hard to totaly divorce the 2

having the dragonlance campaign setting expmainign moon magic and the robed wizards.
but then not having any rules for those things would be strange. 
People seem to laud the 4th Ed Dark Sun campaign book (baffles me), compare it to the original 2nd Ed boxed set, yeah, lacking... 


Is that a fair comparison though? The 2nd edition Dark Sun campaign setting box set is many, many years old and has been out of print for a very long time and might be relatively hard to find.
I would prefer if campaign setting books were completely devoid of crunch except for maybe some stat blocks for important NPCs. People keep saying that they want to see things like Warforged or Genasi in campaign-setting-specific books, but nothing about those things is or should be campaign-setting-exclusive.



I think some crunch is a good thing.  There are prestige classes and the like that are unique to certain worlds.  The new Realms might have a Evermeet Guardian prestige class for elves.  Certainly since Evermeet is unique to the realms, it's not a prestige class that should be printed elsewhere.  I think 10-20% is a good percentage to devote to crunch in a given campaign book.
People seem to laud the 4th Ed Dark Sun campaign book (baffles me), compare it to the original 2nd Ed boxed set, yeah, lacking... 


Is that a fair comparison though? The 2nd edition Dark Sun campaign setting box set is many, many years old and has been out of print for a very long time and might be relatively hard to find.


Well, WotC were selling all the ADnD books as PDFs on RPGnow, up until they flipped the **** out over piracy of the PHB2, and decided to pull everything down. One of the dumber moves they made, IMO; it's not like it stopped piracy of 4e books. It just made the pirated PDFs shittier since they were all scans of physical books.

Maybe they'll reconsider their stance on the issue, once DnD Next comes out.
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Well, WotC were selling all the ADnD books as PDFs on RPGnow, up until they flipped the **** out over piracy of the PHB2, and decided to pull everything down. One of the dumber moves they made, IMO; it's not like it stopped piracy of 4e books. It just made the pirated PDFs shittier since they were all scans of physical books. Maybe they'll reconsider their stance on the issue, once DnD Next comes out.



I would like to address this in an extra thread.  "D&D Next Insider Tools"
 

The reasons I bought the 4E Realms books were simply for crunch.  After seeing what happened with the fluff and what I consider a misguided attempt to free up the setting, I've been ignoring it for years.  In response to a previous comment, I like the GrumpyCelt's take on the Realms.  It's a salad bar.  Take what you want, ignore the rest.  However, I really hate the development of the current version of the realms.  To paraphrase GC; instead of adding to this buffet, they dirtied it up and set it on fire.  Of course, YMMV and there are much better settings out there (that would fit your taste a lot more) than The Realms.

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I don't buy any book if it doesn't have crunch, i run and play on our campaings, not on someone's else campaing, and seeing how the Menzoberranzan book (wish doesn't have crunch at all and is all Fluff) have been ignored largely to the point that people don't even care enough to even try to pirate it is kind of the sign those kind of things are...useless and the market of all fluff books is a very small gimmick.

@Mexrage

The problem with Menzoberranzan isn't that it has no crunch. The problem is how it's been arranged. Like all eras have been mixed together without indications. Some houses presented in the book had already been extinguished, but they are displayed in there without any mention of the circumstances. The problem with Menzoberranzan therefore is a quality issue.

I think it is everyone's choice about fluff being useful or not, but if I buy a book about sailing for example I do not want to read about fishing. Campaign books should primarily deal with the fluff and not the crunch. And mixing fluff and crunch into every book they publish will not solve the piracy problem, it even encourages it. Simply because people interested in crunch will probaply not buy it for all the fluff it contains and people, who are interested in fluff will not buy it because of all the sacrifice in fluff in favour of crunch.

If WotC can accept that not every single player/dungeon master is going to buy each book, than they'll be able to develop really good player guides and campaign books. And to make fluff books more attracting they could add a well designed and long lasting campaign. Those books would certainly go up in price, but if the adventure campaign is worked out well and corresponding with part of the fluff this could really make it worthwhile.
I like the 3.5 FR style setting book. 75% fluff, 25% setting specific crunch. Good stuff.
My two copper.
Think about it...why am I going to buy a book about Ravenloft background if I can go to the web Ravenloft wiki? I would rather spent my money to buy a cheaper novel set in Ravenloft.

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Think about it...why am I going to buy a book about Ravenloft background if I can go to the web Ravenloft wiki? I would rather spent my money to buy a cheaper novel set in Ravenloft.


Because the Ravenloft wiki and novels might be dealing with Ravenloft of a hundred years before? Outdated information is not the best council. Same had been with Forgotten Realms. Wiki'd been dealing with 3.5, but 4e went on a century. So the wiki for 4E needed new info. And where does that info come from? Take a guess...


In 4E too many Books were crammed full of new feats, paragon paths and whatever instead of providing vital information about the materia they proclaim to have.  The Neverwinter Campaign Guide for example has been quite disappointing for me as half of this book was about character themes, but not providing deep and detailed information about Neverwinter itself, like important NPCs, important locations, etc.

One pillar of the success of Paizo's Pathfinder RPG - sry, that I mention it - is that they offer really good and extensive ready-to-play campaigns, with detailed information not only about battles, but anything else so DMs do not have so much work on running it.

Personally I do not need approx. 3250 feats (4E) with most of them hardly being ever used. I would prefer more information and details, a better enclycopedia and some adventure books with a deeper story, plots and hooks instead of dungeon clearing only.


I completely, totally agree.
I buy campaign setting books for campaign information. I was extremely dissapointed by the Dark Sun book as half of it seemed for players and some of the content (new fighter and battlemind builds) seemed needless. While there should be products for players to get into the feel of the world, these should be smaller and secondary and not be in the same book as all the DM secrets. I much prefered how they did it at the launch of 4e with the small player book and larger DM book. 

I imagine the change has to do with the dwindling sales of 4e, so they returned to the likely false assumption that players - outnumbering DMs 5:1 - buy more books and player content will sell better. Although in my experience, gaming groups tend to have the one collector (who buy almost everything) regardless if they're the DM or not, and everyone else might grab a book or two. But maybe their sales figures say differently. 


For Next, with the return of digital products and the back catalogue, I can see campaign settings working very differently. 
As you should be able to cheaply buy all the flavour and fluff (PDFs need to be cheap as they're for reading, not collecting) they don't need to re-release the campaign settings. Instead, they can do a small crunch update via DDI. A "here's everything you need for Eberron" player's download with the races and some class options and maybe a player's guide and a "here's everything you need for Eberron" DM's guide with rules for elements of the world. 

It might be nice for worlds that have not had the full official release in a long time (Greyhawk, Dragonlance) to get a full published hardcover eventually. Greyhawks has never really had a well-written delux hardcover campaign setting book.  

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Well, from a marketting stand point if mixing fluff and crunch together makes both of those type of players buy all of your books...

But it doesn't. It just makes players who want crunch think "I'm not paying for a book that's only half crunch and a very limited kind of crunch at that. I'll just pirate it.", and it just makes players who want fluff think "I'm not paying for a book that's only half fluff and a very limited kind of fluff at that. I'll just pirate it." On the other hand, a player who wants crunch looks at a book filled up with crunch and that includes some things that are usually campaign-specific still wants all of that crunch, and a player who want fluff looks at a book filled up with setting fluff and that has the room to go into full detail and still wants all of that fluff.

There are prestige classes and the like that are unique to certain worlds.

No, there aren't. There are many prestige classes and the like, like that example Evermeet Guardian elven prestige class, that are named like they're campaigns-specific and may even be given campaign-specific backstory, but when you actually get to their mechanics, they have nothing to do with a cmapaign setting at all and could easily be reflavored to go anywhere.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
For instance, The Gazeteer section should have been 100+ pages more, and included every landmark, such as Port Llast, Coneberry, Thundertree etc.


If that's what you expected, you were doomed to disappointment; half of the reason that the Forgotten Realms got burned to the ground with the Spellplague was to free up the continuity for GMs to do whatever the **** they wanted with it, and good on them for doing it.

The other half was to introduce fantastic geography like Earthmotes and the Plaguelands, which were also awesome and badly needed in such a mundane and boring campaign setting.



Many of the old FR fans are fond of high lore high complexity setting, that is, WOTC lost lots of old fans fond of buying lots of roleplaying books due to those changes
I suspect the issue is that there are a lot of players that like new crunch, and the dangling carrot that is new play toys will hopefully incentivise purchases. That and updated campaign settings per edition mean little in the long run. Dark Sun is still Dark Sun etc. Even with updated lore, people may not like it so just use older books. So I think new character options will likely remain in campaign settings. The only alternative I guess is a Campaign book and a Players book for each setting, though publishing costs might make this risky. Not sure.
Think about it...why am I going to buy a book about Ravenloft background if I can go to the web Ravenloft wiki? I would rather spent my money to buy a cheaper novel set in Ravenloft.


Because the Ravenloft wiki and novels might be dealing with Ravenloft of a hundred years before? Outdated information is not the best council. Same had been with Forgotten Realms. Wiki'd been dealing with 3.5, but 4e went on a century. So the wiki for 4E needed new info. And where does that info come from? Take a guess...


Well, the Eberron timeline has not changed since the 3e books were released. Dark Sun went backwards in time between late 2e and 4e, and Ravenloft's timeline has only ever advanced 25 years or so. 

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I suspect the issue is that there are a lot of players that like new crunch, and the dangling carrot that is new play toys will hopefully incentivise purchases. That and updated campaign settings per edition mean little in the long run. Dark Sun is still Dark Sun etc. Even with updated lore, people may not like it so just use older books. So I think new character options will likely remain in campaign settings. The only alternative I guess is a Campaign book and a Players book for each setting, though publishing costs might make this risky. Not sure.



If they want to be able to sell FR campaign books to old fans will they have to keep 5e FR campaign books low in game mechanics since many old fans will continue playing with older roleplaying versions and many old FR fans are not roleplaying anymore but still prepared to buy FR campaign books in order to see what happens in their beloved realms and aid them when reading FR novels.

Well, making FR products there can convince old FR fans to come back will of course be very difficult
But it doesn't. It just makes players who want crunch think "I'm not paying for a book that's only half crunch and a very limited kind of crunch at that. I'll just pirate it.", and it just makes players who want fluff think "I'm not paying for a book that's only half fluff and a very limited kind of fluff at that. I'll just pirate it." On the other hand, a player who wants crunch looks at a book filled up with crunch and that includes some things that are usually campaign-specific still wants all of that crunch, and a player who want fluff looks at a book filled up with setting fluff and that has the room to go into full detail and still wants all of that fluff.



I've never met a player who wants 100% fluff or 100% crunch.  I'm not saying that they don't exist, but they're damned rare. 

No, there aren't. There are many prestige classes and the like, like that example Evermeet Guardian elven prestige class, that are named like they're campaigns-specific and may even be given campaign-specific backstory, but when you actually get to their mechanics, they have nothing to do with a cmapaign setting at all and could easily be reflavored to go anywhere.



Um.  This is D&D, not generic mechanic set #847234.  In D&D, they make things unique to campaign settings.  If you don't like that, you should try a different game, because you simply won't be happy with this one.  So yes, there are in fact prestige classes that are specific to campaign settings.