Campaign settings

Any news on the place the Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dark Sun and such will have in D&D Next?

Should we expect big changes in said settings?

 
The first setting to be released will be the Forgotten Realms. There will be a clamatic event called the Sundering which will be detailed in six novels set to be released Aug '13 through Jun '14 and also two adventures set for this fall.
Is there any concrete news for Dragonlance in Next?
Is there any concrete news for Dragonlance in Next?

So far, there's been nothing. I figure once FR gets unveiled (or around that time), they'll be more willing to dish on what settings are in store for the future.
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Board Snippets
147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
90571711 wrote:
Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
There will be a clamatic event called the Sundering


It involves a giant dragon erupting from the Plane of Earth.

... that was a JOKE people, I know full well that this is because WoW ate up all the good words for plane-shattering events ("Cataclysm", "Sundering", and "Breaking" were all used.)

Anyway, yeah... We've heard nothing but "FR comes first"

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Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
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Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.

Well, looking at my FR purchases novels outnumber game supplements both in quantity and in amount of money spend.

And I think I am not untypical in that regard, the novels sell a lot more copies each than the supplements.

And continuing the setting from where it is now, no matter where it goes, is a lot preferable to just erasing years and telling the people that the 20 or so novels they bought and read during the last years just never happened.

Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.




Why wouldn't a setting be "fun" because WotC builds it around what the Authors want? With the legacy that is FR, you'd have to introduce "Age of Mortals"-scale stupidity to completely break it, and with the history of Dragonlance in the back of their minds, WotC don't want a repeat of that particular fail.

Good authors have always been at the core for making good settings come to life, inspiring GM's n players alike with their writing. It's a lot easier to get people to read fantasy books instead of handing them a "Players guide to life in XX", as the latter tends to feel more like homework.
Some settings don't even have a Players guide, leaving it up to the GM so all the knowledge is concentrated there and then the GM has to work hard communicating a feel for the setting through descriptions and gameplay.

I agree that sometimes authors make everything in the world be about the particular conflict in their book(s), but unless the setting has rapid mass-transit systems worked out (eg. teleport gates/elemental powered carts/ships), things that happen more than 100 miles away are mostly not something the average farmer would care about, except in the case of an invading army moving in their direction.
So if you plan on running a game in a setting where the books make everything about the X of Y, remember that there's a lot of other stuff going on aswell, not directly portrayed by the author because he/she needs to get the plot moving.

So the fantasy books coming for FR will ofc be some "new" major disaster, disturbing the major powerplayers from north to south, thus demanding new rulebooks in which these new relations can be described and enumerated. 
I hope that the Sundering's scope will be on par with Time of Troubles, not as completely scouring and setting-destroying as eg. Age of Mortals/Dragons of the Summer Flame, so that most/some of the FR that we know and love will survive, now with something new, something borrowed, a twist of ultramarine magic blue and live happily ever after (or atleast until next edition of DnD Tongue Out )
Any news on Greyhawk or Planescape?
Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.

That implies that the 4E Realms are a fun setting. They're not. They're a miserable experience which I tried for a while and couldn't take anymore, whereas the 2E and 3E Realms I enjoyed immensely and never got tired of even after years and years of play. And that's taking into account the fact that I barely read any of the novels. The 2E/3E Realms was a much more lively, more interesting setting than the eviscerated shell of a setting which they gave us in 4E. So if that's the characteristic which made the 2E and 3E Realms great, then I welcome that change, because as far as I'm concerned that means that the Forgotten Realms campaign setting will be fun once again.
As for my preferences, I'd love to see Ravenloft return, but only so long as it's not changed from where it was at the end of the 3E line published by Arthaus. I'd also like to see the writers they had back in 2E and 3E come back if they were willing to do so (Mangrum, Miller, etc). I have no interest in a Spellplagued Ravenloft any more than I was interested in a Spellplagued Realms. So if I can get Classic Ravenloft back under 5E rules, then great. If not then better to leave it alone, because I don't want to see its continuity trashed or its essential nature fussed with in any way.
Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.

That implies that the 4E Realms are a fun setting. They're not. They're a miserable experience which I tried for a while and couldn't take anymore, whereas the 2E and 3E Realms I enjoyed immensely and never got tired of even after years and years of play. And that's taking into account the fact that I barely read any of the novels. The 2E/3E Realms was a much more lively, more interesting setting than the eviscerated shell of a setting which they gave us in 4E. So if that's the characteristic which made the 2E and 3E Realms great, then I welcome that change, because as far as I'm concerned that means that the Forgotten Realms campaign setting will be fun once again.




Funny that, i had a great time running/playing 4e realms.
Then you're likely the exception, because WotC wouldn't be trying their best to undo the changes they made to the Realms with 5E if those changes had been as well received as they thought they'd be.
Well, the easiest way to get someone's attention is to make loud noises and break things, and so FR has had to suffer.

It started out as a wonderful new thing and then, in various successions, every edition/re-release of the setting has wrecked some significant part of it with various disasters, so that very few of the landmarks/high points of the setting are the same as they used to be.
To show epic scale heroism and struggle, you need some thoroughly bad stuff to put in stark contrast to our heroes, and so all the novels n settings, apart from the first one, has had their looming and impending doom.
Yup, it's getting old and I for one wish that someone had imagination enough to do something that doesn't involve worldshattering cataclysms and killing off various major cities.

Alas we already know that the next event for FR is called The Sundering and so it's time for the wheel of misfortune : Will it be the Dales, will it be Waterdeep or something else that gets knocked off the map. 
Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.

Well, looking at my FR purchases novels outnumber game supplements both in quantity and in amount of money spend.

And I think I am not untypical in that regard, the novels sell a lot more copies each than the supplements.

And continuing the setting from where it is now, no matter where it goes, is a lot preferable to just erasing years and telling the people that the 20 or so novels they bought and read during the last years just never happened.




Agreed, and I have no problem with that except that the reason people like R.A. Salvatore were upset with 4e was because FR advanced 100 years and thus killed off their characters.  This upcoming event is likely going to revert us back to where the Realms were before 4e, turning back the clock 100 years to before the Spellplague – essentially, those 20 novels didn't happen, but look, we can have more novels with characters the authors like to write about!

About the meaning of the Sundering, I think it's probably talking about a temporal sundering; aka cutting off everything that happened from the death of Mystra on.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.

Well, looking at my FR purchases novels outnumber game supplements both in quantity and in amount of money spend.

And I think I am not untypical in that regard, the novels sell a lot more copies each than the supplements.

And continuing the setting from where it is now, no matter where it goes, is a lot preferable to just erasing years and telling the people that the 20 or so novels they bought and read during the last years just never happened.




Agreed, and I have no problem with that except that the reason people like R.A. Salvatore were upset with 4e was because FR advanced 100 years and thus killed off their characters.  This upcoming event is likely going to revert us back to where the Realms were before 4e, turning back the clock 100 years to before the Spellplague – essentially, those 20 novels didn't happen, but look, we can have more novels with characters the authors like to write about!

About the meaning of the Sundering, I think it's probably talking about a temporal sundering; aka cutting off everything that happened from the death of Mystra on.





I heard they aren't doing this, no retcon action, and Dusky-Rough-Trade-Boy is still alive
I suspect that Eberron will be the 2nd Setting, as it was a great seller, IIRC. I have no ideas beyond that, but I sincerely hope that Greyhawk makes a comeback. Not holding my breath Sealed


Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.


I'll give you the same advice I game to my FR friends who hated the change to 4E Realms. Nothing prevents you from playing in your favorite timeline. It's your game; do what you want, but don't expect everyone else to want the same.

As for WotC giving the Author's free reign... they're a business. Novels built the Realms, both in detail and in popularity. If readers buy what the Authors want to write, then it's just good business. Otherwise it's just another way to go bankrupt (or in this case cancel the product line).
I suspect that Eberron will be the 2nd Setting, as it was a great seller, IIRC. I have no ideas beyond that, but I sincerely hope that Greyhawk makes a comeback. Not holding my breath


Which is because FR authors were extremely dissatisfied with 4th Edition.  So rather than building a game-setting around what plays well, they're building it around what the authors want.  Which is good for the authors, and shows that WotC wants to make ammends to the people who REALLY sell the franchise… but it also means that FR is probably not going to be fun anymore.


I'll give you the same advice I game to my FR friends who hated the change to 4E Realms. Nothing prevents you from playing in your favorite timeline. It's your game; do what you want, but don't expect everyone else to want the same.

As for WotC giving the Author's free reign... they're a business. Novels built the Realms, both in detail and in popularity. If readers buy what the Authors want to write, then it's just good business. Otherwise it's just another way to go bankrupt (or in this case cancel the product line).



I never said I'm opposed to that.  I agree; novels are the meat and potatoes of this business.  The rules are actually a side-show.  However, the one time when they made playability central to the Realms setting, at the cost of the assumptions the authors and their novels thrive upon, the setting actually came alive to me. 

Nothing stops me from playing in a post-Spellplague Realms; no.  But if there's no more setting books talking about the Realms as 4e presented them, then there's not much holding me to the setting.  I have absolute zero interest in a Forgotten Realms where my player's characters are the sideshow to the novel protagonists and ultimately have no influence on the future of the setting.  That is the core and fundamental problem with the Realms.  Any game happening in them is non-canon, and if you want to incorporate new material into them, then you basically have to retcon or rule your previous games in the setting as non-canon too. 

Other settings don't have the world's timeline largely affected by novels (Nerath novels were "one of many possible developments," alongside your campaigns; Eberron was locked in one point in history; Dark Sun had too points in history – the second ruling a main campaign from the first as canon) and usually are pretty caught in stasis. 

Sure, The Realms has tried to say, "look, you can play a campaign at any point in history in the Realms," but ultimately, when you read the novels, and they contradict your campaign, it sucks.  And there are so many big-name heroes running around because of the novels that you don't feel special.  You're not so important in the grand scheme of things.  It lends itself to "playing errand boys" for Elminster, Jarlaxle, and Drizzt.


Wherever it was heard that the Sundering won't be another cosmic retcon, I'd love to see how they're pulling that off.  Salvatore personally said he's very happy with the Sundering because basically he and Greenwood thought it up to "save the Realms" they know and love, and the thing that Salvatore is most angry with with the Realms is that the 100 year time jump killed off all his human protagonists.  Greenwood, on the other hand, I gather is upset with the coastline and continental changes to his personal setting, which I understand completely (Gary Gygax, too, was really upset when Greyhawk's direction was taken away from him).  It's great that Greenwood is still involved in the setting's development, don't get me wrong.  But I don't see how "going back to the roots" of the setting doesn't involve a cosmic retcon of sorts.  We'll have to wait and see.  I also have very little faith that the setting will cater to my needs as a DM once it becomes novel-centric again.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I'm not a fan of Forgotten Realms.  I really enjoy Eberron and 4E did a great job of selling me on Dark Sun.  I would gladly hand over 30-40 bucks for current re-releases of Road to Urik or the four adventure series that began with the Forgotten Forge included the AMAZING Whisper of the Vampire's Blade.  Having said that, I doubt very strongly I'll be seeing a Dragonmark or Wild Talent mechanic before 2015.  Not that that'll stop me.

Now having said that, I don't think Eberron or Dark Sun need a great big campaign sourcebook the way Forgotten Realms does.  James Wyatt and his team are really taking a hard look at the Realms and I trust they'll release something more widely accepted than the 4th Edition version.  I think there's a real rift between the people who liked the older stuff, the 4E fans, and the people who want to know why their characters are needed in a world with the likes of Drizzt and Elminster running around.  The Realms tied itself in a knot to justify new mechanics, Eberron and Dark Sun are completely compatible with the libraries of earlier editions requiring less work except for the Dark Sun books that went nuts trying to include the Prism Pentad. 

Telling people to go buy the 4th Edition Dark Sun Sourcebook is a perfectly legitimate option, I wouldn't feel the slightest bit cut off from experiencing that setting in Next.  Now having said that, The Leader Role was a genius solution for doing away with The Divine Classes without harming the game and Next could not achieve that right now.  I think Next will be better suited to Eberron since that world always felt like a logical conclusion of what a world in the 3.5 Ruleset might look like.  And in 4th Edition, making someone like King Kaius a Level 15 monster meant in game terms that he could cut through armies like a bloody swath.  In Next that's less the case.

All in all, I can't wait to play my favorite campaign settings in my favorite edition with more races and classes and mechanics to explain their quirks.  But I'm disappointed in my own cynicism that this information will be available in a timely or affordable fashion.

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

However, the one time when they made playability central to the Realms setting, at the cost of the assumptions the authors and their novels thrive upon, the setting actually came alive to me.

That's a failure of imagination on your part.

But if there's no more setting books talking about the Realms as 4e presented them, then there's not much holding me to the setting.  I have absolute zero interest in a Forgotten Realms where my player's characters are the sideshow to the novel protagonists and ultimately have no influence on the future of the setting.  That is the core and fundamental problem with the Realms.  Any game happening in them is non-canon, and if you want to incorporate new material into them, then you basically have to retcon or rule your previous games in the setting as non-canon too.

Horse crap. I've played Forgotten Realms for years in 2E and 3E and not once did I or any other player at the table think "Damn, we have no influence on the setting whatsoever in comparison to the novel characters." Nor did we ever concern ourselves over whether our games were non-canon (Which is such an idiotic notion to begin with. Technically every game in a campaign setting is non-canon. After all, official Ravenloft canon for instance doesn't change just because my player group in a game killed off Strahd. By definition every home campaign is non-canon, but that's never been a problem, but it suddenly is in the Realms?). The Realms was a living, vibrant setting and my friends and I loved to play in it, and our characters had an immense amount of influence on the events in the Realms once we started getting high enough level.

I also have very little faith that the setting will cater to my needs as a DM once it becomes novel-centric again.

Here's a thought: Don't read the novels. If you find yourself so incapable of running a game that doesn't include Elminster or Drizzt in some fashion, then don't read the novels. That's a better solution then asking WotC to take a massive dump all over a setting which many fans have loved for decades just to satisfy your inability to refrain from inserting NPC's into a campaign. It may shock you to learn this, but plenty of Realms DM's have run campaigns where they haven't made PC's the errand boys of more powerful NPC's. I know I haven't heard of any Drizzt novel where he's handing out missions to lower-level PC's and having them do jobs for him, so where you get that idea I don't know. Point is, again, that's a failure of imagination on your part, not a problem with the setting, because plenty of people have run games in the Realms where they didn't have Elminster or Drizzt or whoever handing out quests like an MMO NPC.
However, the one time when they made playability central to the Realms setting, at the cost of the assumptions the authors and their novels thrive upon, the setting actually came alive to me.

That's a failure of imagination on your part.

But if there's no more setting books talking about the Realms as 4e presented them, then there's not much holding me to the setting.  I have absolute zero interest in a Forgotten Realms where my player's characters are the sideshow to the novel protagonists and ultimately have no influence on the future of the setting.  That is the core and fundamental problem with the Realms.  Any game happening in them is non-canon, and if you want to incorporate new material into them, then you basically have to retcon or rule your previous games in the setting as non-canon too.

Horse crap. I've played Forgotten Realms for years in 2E and 3E and not once did I or any other player at the table think "Damn, we have no influence on the setting whatsoever in comparison to the novel characters." Nor did we ever concern ourselves over whether our games were non-canon (Which is such an idiotic notion to begin with. Technically every game in a campaign setting is non-canon. After all, official Ravenloft canon for instance doesn't change just because my player group in a game killed off Strahd. By definition every home campaign is non-canon, but that's never been a problem, but it suddenly is in the Realms?). The Realms was a living, vibrant setting and my friends and I loved to play in it, and our characters had an immense amount of influence on the events in the Realms once we started getting high enough level.



Not horse crap.  It's a problem because of the issue that I outlined.  The Realms marches on.  Other settings are static on the temporal spectrum.  They are a starting point, and your game marches the timeline from there-off.  In the Realms, you're competing with whatever is going on in the novel-verse, and the new setting books based off of what's going on in the novel-verse.  That is a fundamental with the setting.  4e tried to fix that by jumping it a 100 years and a major cataclysm from everything the novels had established, and saying "this is a new starting point."  And during that time, most of the novel mainstayers either died, went into a bit of obscurity or hiding, or faded from the front-line because the novel-authors were angry at WotC.  Ironically, that was the best thing for players, because they didn't have to compete with the big names during that time.  Not so anymore.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

1) Every setting in 2E had advancing timelines. Most settings I've seen have advancing timelines. The Realms was no exception to this.

2) You're not obligated to keep up with the advancing timeline of any setting.

3) That you think you have to "compete" with the novels is your own personal issue. I nor anyone else I know ever felt the need to compete with any novel (And as I said, I rarely read the novels, anyway, while other friends at the game table were voracious readers).

4) "Best thing for players"? The best thing for me was the wonderful world which existed prior to 4E. The Realms setting was amazing. Instead WotC completely trashed it. And no, I never felt the need to "compete" with any of the NPC's. I was too busy having fun in the great setting which had existed up until that point to stop and care about how many levels Elminster had or whatever.
1) Every setting in 2E had advancing timelines. Most settings I've seen have advancing timelines. The Realms was no exception to this.

2) You're not obligated to keep up with the advancing timeline of any setting.

3) That you think you have to "compete" with the novels is your own personal issue. I nor anyone else I know ever felt the need to compete with any novel (And as I said, I rarely read the novels, anyway, while other friends at the game table were voracious readers).

4) "Best thing for players"? The best thing for me was the wonderful world which existed prior to 4E. The Realms setting was amazing. Instead WotC completely trashed it. And no, I never felt the need to "compete" with any of the NPC's. I was too busy having fun in the great setting which had existed up until that point to stop and care about how many levels Elminster had or whatever.



I get that you, like many others, were butthurt by the changes to the Realms Setting.

"Completely trashed it" is as much an opinion of yours as mine are, though. 

I'm glad you were able to function in such a Realms, but a lot of us were not.  And a lot of us DID read the Novels, and for many people, it was a primary gateway into the setting.  A heck of a lot more people than people like you, actually.  That's fine though.  The point is that there are multiple ways to enjoy a setting. 

Eberron has NEVER had an advancing timeline, in part because the novels are ALL NON-CANON.  We've always been in this space a shortwhile after the hostilities of the Last War have ended. 

Dark Sun was a 2e setting, and it advanced ONCE.  There was the initial Dark Sun timeframe, and then the second one where a single adventuring party overthrew King Kalak of Tyr. 

Planescape probably advanced like the Realms, but I honestly have never been able to get into Planescape as well because it made too much of a business about the big political games of divinities (again, the players are chess pieces for this big name gods and demon princes and such). 

Ravenloft certainly advanced, but the beauty of that setting was there were constantly new Domains of Dread popping up, so any adventure in the Ravenloft setting really was more so a self-contained story.  It is amazingly simple to port 4e's Domains of Dread into the Ravenloft setting, or port Ravenloft Domains into the Shadowfell a la 4e, because these are not world-spanning events that are caught up in an advancing timeline. 

Greyhawk advanced based on the Living Greyhawk environment (this is the ideal way to support players as the great heroes, despite the looming shadow of the Circle of Eight as "DM PCs are BETTER THAN YOU"), but that sorta kinda fell apart as fewer people were playing in it later on. 

Dragonlance had the novels and those key players, but the setting is dominated by the War of the Lance, so it's pretty much impossible to advance the setting because once you leave the War, then the setting's main gimmick is lost.

I honestly never played Mystara, Hollow World, Birthright, Spelljammer*, or Blackmoor, so I can't really comment on them.

*Though Spelljammer has always been a setting I'd like to try.  :D

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I get that you, like many others, were butthurt by the changes to the Realms Setting.

Like how you're "butthurt" about the changes they're making now?

"Completely trashed it" is as much an opinion of yours as mine are, though.

Are you kidding? Did you miss the part where they actually scooped out entire countries and continents from the setting and substituted them with wholly different countries and continents? Where they wiped out a large portion of the pantheon? Where they advanced the timeline 100 years and major cities and nations in the setting were outright destroyed (Zhentil Keep) or drastically altered so as to be unrecognizable (Thay becoming the Land of the Dead)?

I'm glad you were able to function in such a Realms, but a lot of us were not.

You say that as if you didn't have other options. And did you stop to consider that what you consider to be "a lot" is a number which is much smaller than the number of players who enjoyed the Realms as it was? After all, here you are complaining that they're changing the Realms back to the way it was. You ever stop to think that maybe that's because the number of fans the Realms LOST as a result of the changes in 4E is greater than the number it gained? After all, if the 4E changes were such a resounding success then they wouldn't feel a need to recapture that old fan base, now would they?

And a lot of us DID read the Novels, and for many people, it was a primary gateway into the setting.  A heck of a lot more people than people like you, actually.

Yes, and the vast majority of those people loved playing in the Realms the way it was and didn't care at all for the changes that 4E made to it. As I told you earlier, most of my gaming friends were up to date on the books and loved reading them. And yet they were still somehow able to function in our home Realms campaign without having a freakout because a novel character did something.

Eberron has NEVER had an advancing timeline, in part because the novels are ALL NON-CANON. We've always been in this space a shortwhile after the hostilities of the Last War have ended.

Then go play Eberron. If that's what you want in a campaign setting then why aren't you playing that? Eberron has nothing that appeals to me, but you know what? I don't go complaining to WotC to take away everything which appeals to its core fan base to make it a more appealing setting for me. I simply play some other setting which does suit my tastes. Here's a shocking thought: How about having campaign settings which appeal to different groups of players? Not every single campaign setting has to appeal to players in the same exact way. If they do then what's the point of having different campaign settings?
Woah, cool it on the hostilities man. 

I'm not butthurt about the Sundering.  I was commenting on it – and making a prediction that I fear it may not be as player-friendly as 4e's Realms are.  But I never said I had a problem with it.  If I want to play Realms, I'll probably use the setting as described in the 4e books.  And you can use the setting as describe in 2e or 3.5e or, if you aren't upset with it, with the post-Sundering (because, frankly, we don't know what will happen post-Sundering).  But you cannot objectively say that they "trashed" the Realms by changing it.  That's a "They Changed it Now it Sucks" comment, and it's a purely subjective one.  That doesn't mean it's an illegitimate comment; I know very well how many people got upset about the change.  WotC does too, obviously.  That said, a LOT of people DID like the changes, even if the numbers weren't as high as the people who didn't.  Sometimes you gamble on a change and hope it goes over well, and sometimes it doesn't.  The beauty of D&D is that you don't NEED new setting books to play in a setting; it's not like a computer game where if you don't update to the new version, you can't use the new goodies.  You can mix and match.  I certainly do.  

But for those of us who like the 4e Realms, it felt like a refreshing change.  Yeah, there were differences.  Yeah, some gods died.  You know what?  Gods die all the time in mythologies.  They're constantly warring with each other.  Yeah, some nations ceased to exist.  You know what?  Far more nations have ceased to exist than those that have continued existance from their creation until the present.  These things happen when you advance the timeline.  You see?  Advancing the timeline can be a painful process for ANYONE.  But what that advancement also allowed was for NEW players, who had absolutely no desire to read the backlog of setting materials, novels, and other peripheries, to get into a beautiful and awesome setting. 

More love, less hate, GreenKnight.  After all, Wardens are Lawful Good or Lawful Neutral only.  ;)

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Woah, cool it on the hostilities man.

You're the one who threw around insults, not me.

But you cannot objectively say that they "trashed" the Realms by changing it.

Of course you can. The number and degree of changes is an objective argument one can make, and they changed a lot. After all, you're here praising the 4E Realms for the number of changes they made, and now you're telling me the number of changes wasn't that great?

That said, a LOT of people DID like the changes, even if the numbers weren't as high as the people who didn't. Sometimes you gamble on a change and hope it goes over well, and sometimes it doesn't. The beauty of D&D is that you don't NEED new setting books to play in a setting; it's not like a computer game where if you don't update to the new version, you can't use the new goodies. You can mix and match. I certainly do.

So how many is "a lot"? Because you keep using that phrase a lot, but can't back it up in any way. I have no numbers either, but here're some facts. The Realms as it was lasted for 20+ years and supported over 100 supplements. The 4E Realms, however, didn't even last the entire lifespan of the 4E rules set. So "a lot" likely isn't "very many." And you know what? It's an insult to the fans who've stuck with you for years to trash everything they liked about a setting. Yes, you could use old stuff, but what a lot liked was new products in the existing timeline updating the setting. That was part of its appeal. The changes to 4E made new material in that setting impossible. You may not find that appealing, but again, there's a setting designed to suit your tastes. One where the setting isn't advanced by supplements and in which the novels are non-canon. It's called Eberron. Go play that.

Yeah, some nations ceased to exist. You know what? Far more nations have ceased to exist than those that have continued existance from their creation until the present. These things happen when you advance the timeline. You see? Advancing the timeline can be a painful process for ANYONE.

So I'm guessing you completely missed the point? Advancing the timeline was part of the problem. Yes, major changes happen over a large period of time. But this is a campaign setting. And if I'm playing a campaign setting based off of Classical Rome I'd naturally be a bit miffed if the next edition of that setting advanced the timeline 1900 years and it instead became a Gothic Steampunk setting. What they turned it into is not what appealed to me and many other Realms fans about the campaign setting in the first place.

And you also say that as if a 100 year timejump was somehow required with a new edition. It wasn't. And even if there were a timejump, it doesn't follow that there had to be so many changes. How many centuries was Zhentil Keep around? How many centuries did the Zulkirs rule over Thay without it becoming a country of undead? And there certainly was no period in Faerunian history where as many gods died as there was in the 3E to 4E changeover. And the march of time would certainly never account for countries and continents on one planet to be switched out for countries and continents on another planet. That was just plain ridiculous.

But what that advancement also allowed was for NEW players, who had absolutely no desire to read the backlog of setting materials, novels, and other peripheries, to get into a beautiful and awesome setting.

You do realize, right, that plenty of players have come into pre-existing settings before without the need to blow up the setting first? After all, I didn't get into the Realms from the ground floor. I came in after the Time of Troubles. Other players got interested in it after 3E, and so on. And utterly trashing the setting to get new players in isn't exactly what one would call a vote of confidence on how you think it's a "beautiful and awesome" setting. After all, half your posts here are your bitching about how you didn't like the setting as it was before and how apparenly Elminster and Drizzt found ways to invade your campaigns even when you were DMing, because apparently those NPC's were running the game and not you.

More love, less hate, GreenKnight. After all, Wardens are Lawful Good or Lawful Neutral only. ;)

...says the guy hurling insults like "butthurt" at people who disagree with him.
@_@  I don't see butthurt as an insult.  I sometimes feel butthurt about things.  Sorry, didn't mean it that way.  >_>

I think the two of us are having a miscommunication problem.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Calling someone butthurt is generally considered an insult around these parts.
Ah.  Well, what I meant more was to acknowledge how much a slap in the face the changes to the Realms felt to many people.  Only, rather than using a slapping metaphor, I was thinking of the pain of falling on the ice.  Sorry; I seriously did NOT mean it as an insult. 

What I DID mean is, that even though it was a slap in the face to many people, to other people, it was "just what the doctor ordered" for the Setting.  I don't have the numbers on hand, though I'd wager there were probably more people who were angry with the change than people who were not.  However, the people who were not tended to be NEW customers to the Realms scene.  If the Sundering can capture both those new customers and bring back the old customers who were hurt by the changes from the Spellplague, then it'll be doing its job.  If it jettisons everyone they gained with the Spellplague and its aftermath, then it will not.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I still miss Eberron.

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

I still miss Eberron.


I just can't wait to see what they'll do with "Eberron Next".

By the way, having kind of skipped the 4E, I never looked at the Eberron Campaign setting for that edition...

Could anyone summarize the big changes they made in the 4E setting?

Any progression in the time frame? Changes in the different nations? New organizations? Etc.
The setting is completely the same.  The material is presented differently.  Different areas are emphasized.  New areas are brought up.  But there's nothing approaching a retcon or change.  The mechanics for things like Dragonmarks are different, but the canon of the setting is the same.  The new races are shoehorned in (Tieflings, Eladrin, Dragonborn) but they don't change anything, the explanations are easy.

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

Any news on Greyhawk or Planescape?




Hope to see a new version of Greyhawk...if not, I will rewind old fluff materials and start new challenges.....
The setting is completely the same.  The material is presented differently.  Different areas are emphasized.  New areas are brought up.  But there's nothing approaching a retcon or change.  The mechanics for things like Dragonmarks are different, but the canon of the setting is the same.  The new races are shoehorned in (Tieflings, Eladrin, Dragonborn) but they don't change anything, the explanations are easy.



The Planes also were changed to fit the World-Axis model, but it actually serves the Eberron setting amazingly well. 

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

If it jettisons everyone they gained with the Spellplague and its aftermath, then it will not.

Well, given that the Realms likely lost far more fans than it gained, even if it recaptures those fans at the expense of the 4E fans, it's still a marked improvement.

But anyway, getting back on topic, I really wish they'd bring back Birthright. With the popularity of Game of Thrones I could see a certain segment of fans wanting to play an RPG centered on conquest and extending power and influence (The funny thing is that the setting came out about a year before George R. R. Martin first published A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series). You could be a king right from Level 1. And the great thing was that your "domains" weren't limited to just countries and provinces. You could be a ruler without being a king. You could be the prince of a merchant guild, you could be the head of a church, or you could be master of a wizard's tower, so it's not as if the entire player party would be at odds with each other, fighting it out like a game of Risk. They would work together to advance each other's interests. The Fighter could rule as king, defending his people or even expanding his domain, the Cleric controlled the majority of churches within the Fighter's country and tried to expand the power and influence of his church beyond those borders, and the Rogue through his merchant guild did the same, looking for any opportunities to expand his business. The type of domain a player could control was dependant on their class, but every class could be a king. So a Rogue could be both king and control a guild. A Wizard could be both king and have a Wizard's Tower. A Paladin or Cleric could be both king and run a church.

The Highlanderesque aspect to it was also a ton of fun. In that game there really was a "divine right of kings", as all the kings had some form of divine power and were bound to the land by that power, and you could take that power by stabbing and killing an enemy king in the heart and stealing his power (Every king had blood powers, but not everyone who had blood powers was a king or even a ruler. Some were just otherwise regular people, heroes, villains, or errant monsters wandering the land). Although in that case you have to accept that you're not going to have game balance. If you're going to have varying bloodline powers and will have people killing each other to increase the strength of their own bloodline, then you're going to have to accept that those bloodline abilities will eventually unbalance the player characters against each other. That, I think, is one of those setting features which should be accepted as a conceit of the setting. It's okay for unbalance to be explicitly built into the system so long A) the players know it going in, B) It's not related to classes), and C) there's a way for players to correct that (I.E. Picking the right class doesn't make you automatically more powerful and that's it. It's chance that determines who's more powerful with blood abilities, but that's a fact which can change over time depending on which player in the party absorbs the most power of other enemies from killing them).

The setting had some other really great features, too. For one, I'm pretty sure that the concept of the Shadowfell originated in Birthright (although there it was called the Shadow World). Halflings were also natives to the Shadow World and had the ability to cross over. They also introduced human cultures with distinct stat bonuses. They had the following:

+1 Wis -1 Dex  Anuirean
+1 Dex -1 Wis  Brecht (Italians)
+1 Int  -1 Con  Khinasi (Arabs)
+1 Con -1 Cha  Rjurik (Norse, I think)
+1 Str  -1 Int   Vos (Russians)

It was a really great setting with a lot of great ideas and I wish they'd bring it back.
As for my preferences, I'd love to see Ravenloft return, but only so long as it's not changed from where it was at the end of the 3E line published by Arthaus. I'd also like to see the writers they had back in 2E and 3E come back if they were willing to do so (Mangrum, Miller, etc). I have no interest in a Spellplagued Ravenloft any more than I was interested in a Spellplagued Realms. So if I can get Classic Ravenloft back under 5E rules, then great. If not then better to leave it alone, because I don't want to see its continuity trashed or its essential nature fussed with in any way.



My group has been playing exclusively in castle Ravenloft in 5e so far.  It was a piece of cake for the DM to convert the previous rulebooks.

[Edit] and previous to that we were playing 4e FR, and having a blast.  A particular setting is only as boring or exciting as the DM makes it out to be.  In the case of FR, there are so many unmapped parts of the 'map' that it's pretty easy to make the setting your own.
I find it odd that what goes on in those novels is used as a basis for playing the game. In mind I separate the two. Never once did I want to play Drizzt, any of his crew, or any other character in any of the novels.

I believe this to be because a lot of what was done in the novels was hard to replicate in game mechanics. So I didn't bother with it.

As for events that occurred in the nations of the settings most of the adventures I played in or ran were largely outside of events at a national level. HO figure.
As someone who has never read a Realms book, or played in the setting, and who is preparing to playtest Next using a 4E Realms book (the Neverwinter Campaign Setting), I`ll offer my perspective:

Coming into the setting cold, the number of cataclysmic events and alternate planes is too much to digest. There`s something called a spellplague, then an earthquake/volcano, and a shadow-plane of evil, and a fey plane, and old gods, and new gods. It may have been fun or useful to shake things up for long-time or bored players, but it makes the setting quite inaccessible to fresh players.

Yes, I can (and will) ignore much of it. No spellplague. No shadow plane (though I'll keep the fey plane). No dead gods, only living ones. But it's annoying. And it will be even more annoying if WotC introduces yet another layer of cataclysmic change on top of the 4E configuration. My players have never read or played in the Realms either, and such an awkward and convoluted backstory would probably deter us from using any FR material for Next.

Odd.  I found Neverwinter Campaign Setting extremely read-able, especially in contrast to the earlier 4e FR Player's Guide and FR Campaign Guide

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

It is very well written. But it heaps on the backstory and alternate planes and catastrophes to such a degree that it will overwhelm anyone new to the realms. If someone were to start a fantasy setting today - for novels or a game - they would not front-load that much key content. The Realms in 4E is clearly a mature setting with a lot of history and weird stuff introduced to change it or make it fresh for veterans. Those aims make it less accessible to newcomers. It's a trade-off, a trade-off that I'm sure the publishers know they are making. But there's a downside to every trade-off.
I'm not so sure.  Knowledge of the planes and divinities and whatnot are not all that important when learning about the Realms.  I think the book provides the right amount of breadth and depth to allow you to ease into it, while focusing on the specific region around the city of Neverwinter.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

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