New world setting necessary for 4e?

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I would like to ask if WotC intends to release a new setting for 4e? I mean PoL could not be the last answer to those gamers who want to have a real living setting and not just some pieces of PoL.

Forgotten Realms is nice, but as it seems it gets no support anymore. Forgone are the times where there has been several books per year. As far as I can see there will be no setting books for FR anymore.

Eberron will get the FR treatment for this year and that was it.

Older source books for these settings are just available on ebay and I am sure that WotC cannot build a setting on 3rd edition material which is not available anymore.

Dragonlance? Grey Hawk? (both good on their own, very but rather fashioned and not absolutely good usable for the modern and new way of 4e) Dark Sun (my god I hope not) Planescape and Spelljammer is up a certain degree included in the current material.

So at the moment we have several lore books for Dragons, Undead and Planes which are not fully compatible with the 2 current "mini"settings Eberron and Forgotten realms. (mini because there will only be 3 official new books of those settings available which makes them virtually a dead setting if compared to many books of the past. I suspekt they only make those 4e treatment of these 2 traditional settings to cater their many fans)

These above mentioned lore books about planes, dragons etc WOULD be compatible with a brandnew line of a books which could portray an advanced version of PoL and thus would be absolut perfectly suited to the needs of new 4e.

What do you think such a totally new setting? Is it possible? If no, why dont you like this idea? If yes when could it appear and what should it include?
I'd rather not see tons of books for each setting, or even just one. PoL can fit in anywhere with minor tweaks. The old way was too expensive to keep up with, and too many people showing up at games with too many different books. Just a Campaign Guide to describe the peculiarities of the setting and races for DMs and a Player's Guide for races and classes unique to the setting, and then maybe a couple of modules.
The generic/sketchy PoL not-quite-a-setting is there so DMs can easily create their own worlds.

They may release a new setting not explored in previous editions, but it wouldn't be to put a name to the generic PHB setting; it would be to stand by itself.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
You know, with the exception of FR, why wouldn't the most recent non 4e info on any of the settings be valid? Unless they do a Spellplague thing (which has fit in nicely with my campaign) that changes the landscape, politics, cultures, etc., you should still be able to get some mileage out of them, shouldn't you?
And you're by no means obligated to include spellplague. If you want to keep Old School FR around, you've got some updating to do, but by all means, do it.
I'd be interested in seeing Dragonlance brought back if for no other reason than to see how they differentiate dragonborn from draconians.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Good point, that.
I'd be interested in seeing Dragonlance brought back if for no other reason than to see how they differentiate dragonborn from draconians.

Allegiances, I would think.

What is a dragonborn but a draconian descended from a good dragon, after all?

What was the legendary rider's name who fell in love with his dragon? I mean, literally?
...Dark Sun (my god I hope not)...

I would actually love to see a 4th edition Dark Sun.
I do have most Eberron books of 3.5E and will keep them, but I'd really like to see more on the secondary nations of Eberron, like Q'Barra (of which we know very little) or the Eldeen Reaches or even just the Demon Wastes...

This is the only sour note I can think of in terms of 4e's release - it came out before Eberron could get fleshed out with splat books as fully as many fans would have liked.

PoL is a really well-done quasi-setting, IMO. I don't think a new setting for 4e with a specific topography and nations is really necessary.

I hope Dark Sun is next years campaign setting!
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I hope Dark Sun is next years campaign setting!

Agreed, can't wait to find out. I am also very excited for Eberron this year.
I feel newbish for asking but ... what is PoL?
WotC intends to release a setting a year. Two books. Setting Guide and Player's Guide.

Next year seems to be Dark Sun, if hints and asides are any indication.

Recycling old material, they can release:
  • Greyhawk
  • Hollow World and/or Mystara
  • DragonLance
  • Al Qadim
  • Ravenloft (now a demiplane, but it could get a full setting flesh-out)
Deviating from "world" settings, there is also:
  • Planescape
  • Spelljammer
And there are also a ton of second and later round runner-ups from the setting search. But I think the above gets us far enough into 4e (seven more years) to last until 5th edition.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
So people here dont really want have and buy a brandnew setting which is suited to the 4e rules? Instead they rather play with their old 3rd edition books? Is this the new business model for WotC? I dont think so.

I rather think, WotC makes good games AND additionally want to sell those books to us. What do they want to sell us after releasing PHB 3 and Metallic Dragons after 2010? Maybe Metallic Dragons II and PHB4? No I think they do something better.

the time after could be refilled with a whole line of new books for a native 4e setting not just 3 books. A setting which is not just a radically modified 3rd or 2nd edition world like those they have today.

It is for all those new gamers of 4e which dont have any 3rd edition books at home, sold it at ebay or whose dogs ate the books or who just dont want to play with some old fashioned stuff which is not compatible with 4e anymore. And for those who want to have more than a 2 sourcebooks and 1 meagre module for their campaigns.

So for all those people I say they WILL make a new setting. Its necessary and I am sure many people which love 4e but miss a suiting world around would love this setting too.
I feel newbish for asking but ... what is PoL?

Points of Light

The "default world" in which the core material and adventures are published.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
And there are also a ton of second and later round runner-ups from the setting search. But I think the above gets us far enough into 4e (seven more years) to last until 5th edition.

Yes, 5th Edition will probably be along around that time, but I'd dearly love to see the Rich Burlew's setting for The Order of the Stick get a serious treatment (or just see his submission for the setting search if the OOTS setting wasn't it.)

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

So people here dont really want have and buy a brandnew setting which is suited to the 4e rules? Instead they rather play with their old 3rd edition books? Is this the new business model for WotC? I dont think so.

Uh actually most people want to play in worlds they themselves create. Assuming that you're going to homebrew your own world up is their marketing assumption.

I rather think, WotC makes good games AND additionally want to sell those books to us. What do they want to sell us after releasing PHB 3 and Metallic Dragons after 2010? Maybe Metallic Dragons II and PHB4? No I think they do something better.

I bet they do go on to sell the PHB 4. Somehow I don't see them running out of class ideas just yet.

As for monster books? I bet they branch out into Abberations, Immortals and other groups. You could probably spend 3 books doing fiend reprints and rewrites. They've got room to work here even before they think up new material.

So for all those people I say they WILL make a new setting. Its necessary and I am sure many people which love 4e but miss a suiting world around would love this setting too.

The problem is research says that's not a lot of people. Everyone wants their setting. But no one wants that other setting. Settings always are hard to sell except as a general concept. When it's actually on paper it's a lot harder.

Now maybe they'll pull together a new world like Ebberon. And that might be pretty cool But it'll still be a campaign setting, and will still be a niche work.
Well... At least we got custom avatars....
I don't want a PoL setting. But I do want new settings.

Personally, I really want to delve into the nuances of the 4th edition ruleset to see what sort of world we can create. Something that isn't generic fantasy, pulp magipunk, or survivalist grit, but a new theme that covers new ground.

For example, ritual magic is something I find fascinating about the new edition. It's skill based, it's expensive as heck, and its usable whenever you wish. Or you can use residuum by draining magical artifacts, but that only yields a certain percentage of its worth.

What sort of world would this produce?

Imagine mercantilist empires colonizing the globe in search of artifacts and magic to tear down into their base components to fuel their ritual forges. Imagine a noble cast renowned for their use of powerful ritual magic, given that they are the only ones who can afford them. An epic battle between the old world and the new, the traditions, permanent items, and old magics, versus the immediate use, the newly invented, the new world fueled by the ash and supernatural dust of the old.


Or perhaps a world in which the masses can lend their voice to rituals, where the ability to Aid Another can provide strength to the caster, where codified and tradition-bound magic surpasses any art.

The result is a dark world of superstition and ignorance, one in which adventure and invention are reviled, and tradition and obedience are glorified. Where lending one's strength to the masses is more important than individuality, and politicians and priests clamor for supporters to fuel their coffers and empower their magics. In the midst of this clamor, those who seek their own path must raise their voices above the dull chant of the believers and the commanding sermon of the conductors to challenge the old ways and conquer through skill and daring what others would crush with crowd conformity.


Baseless, terrible, silly, whatever they may be, I like looking at new ideas for this new edition, the quarks of the system from which empires rise and worlds are forged. Aye, we do need something new, not a base setting, but fascinating new niches that redefine the fantasy genre and give us new lands to explore, new peoples to meet, and new monsters to slay so we can take their stuff.
WotC has said that settings will get 1 or 2 books each (players guide and setting guide), and everything else will be generic. This way they can just produce the Draconomicon, and not have to do a Dragons of Eberron, Dragons of Forgotten Realms, Dragons of Dragonlance etc...

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

So people here dont really want have and buy a brandnew setting which is suited to the 4e rules? Instead they rather play with their old 3rd edition books? Is this the new business model for WotC? I dont think so.

No, actually most would be fine with new books for their favorite previous settings. And just as fine recieving something completely new for 4e.

I rather think, WotC makes good games AND additionally want to sell those books to us. What do they want to sell us after releasing PHB 3 and Metallic Dragons after 2010? Maybe Metallic Dragons II and PHB4? No I think they do something better.

You go ahead & think that. Me? I'll place my bets on reading PHB4+, etc. They might well release some unique product over the coming years. But they'll definitely also stick to making volumes II, III, IV, V, etc etc etc.

the time after could be refilled with a whole line of new books for a native 4e setting not just 3 books. A setting which is not just a radically modified 3rd or 2nd edition world like those they have today.

They could. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.....

It is for all those new gamers of 4e which dont have any 3rd edition books at home, sold it at ebay or whose dogs ate the books or who just dont want to play with some old fashioned stuff which is not compatible with 4e anymore. And for those who want to have more than a 2 sourcebooks and 1 meagre module for their campaigns.

1) Interesting as some of them are, you don't need any book from a previous edition to run a decent game set in an already existing world. Nor do you need every detail written out for you. This is true for 4e FR, it'll be true for 4e Eberon, & it'll be true for Setting:2010+.

2) I'm not sure why you think that the old details of the worlds wouldn't be just as viable if they were labled 4e as they were then.
Nor am I sure what you'd want to see expressed in a 4e world that wasn't/isn't possible in a previous setting.
For ex; If you didn't already know, say the DL story, & I presented it to you in 4e language, you'd either think it was contrived poo, be left neutral, or love it - exactly the reactions we had to it back in 1e. And 2e. And 3x.

Unless you're talking about NPC stats - in that case you just have to convert the numbers/details to reflect 4e.

So for all those people I say they WILL make a new setting. Its necessary and I am sure many people which love 4e but miss a suiting world around would love this setting too.

Maybe. Maybe not.
2) I'm not sure why you think that the old details of the worlds wouldn't be just as viable if they were labled 4e as they were then.

I've been trying to use City of Towers to help run an Eberron game in 4th Edition. There are a few things that I don't think convert very well. For instance, 3rd Edition assumes that certain magical items can be used by anyone with enough skill points, and can be used more than 4th Editions few times per day. It also assumes the existance of alignment based effects. Finally, the old settings don't account for the existance of some of the 4th Edition races. The existence of dragonborn would have a definite impact on Krynn, and not a trivial effect on Eberron.

These aren't insurmountable issues, but it will be nice when the designers of the game step in and show their ideas of how these changes can be implemented.

Nor am I sure what you'd want to see expressed in a 4e world that wasn't/isn't possible in a previous setting.

Character class balance.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

When they re-release old campaign settings (Dark Sun, Dragonlance, etc) I hope they do a complete reboot instead of assuming that anyone who might pick up the new setting book also has access to the last 30 years of campaign supplements.

I don't have any idea what went on in Dark Sun in 2e, and I shouldn't have to hunt down decades old material to figure out what the book is talking about.

Take what was awesome and unique about the setting to begin with, and run with that. Forget the metaplot of previous editions and refine the essence of the setting. No, the oldsters aren't going to like it, but they won't like anything you do. They've already made up their minds; now's your chance to hook a new, modern audience on Dark Sun or Al Qadim or Spelljammer.
Al Qadim

Ooh, I forgot about Al Qadim. I never read much about it originally, but I'd love a sourcebook on running an adventure in that kind of setting. Wasn't it part of the Realms, like Maztica and the land from [Eastern] Adventures?

There's Hollow World, too. That was for basic D&D, but it could be ported over.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I do like the new take on settings: 2 books, 1 module and done. I am somewhat saddened as a big fan of eberron that said world will only get that little attention, but that's the way.

It's not quite as bad as all that. True there will only be the campaign guide, player's guide, and one adventure released through retail for each setting, but it's hardly as if WotC intends to completely abandon the settings after that. Each setting will still receive additional coverage through Dragon, and to a lesser extent dungeon, magazine.
Each setting will still receive additional coverage through Dragon, and to a lesser extent dungeon, magazine.

It's to be expected that later PHBs, MMs, Power books, Vaults, etc. will contain at least a little guidance on how to incorporate new things into the various settings.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

As most of you know, our philosophy regarding campaign settings is to provide three print books (a campaign guide, a player's guide, and a published adventure) and then support the campaign settings exclusively on D&D Insider. Starting in May, we will have no fewer than one 4E Forgotten Realms article every month, to which we'll add a spankin'-new column by Ed Greenwood. When Eberron launches, it'll get the same amount of monthly love — not from Ed, tho'. :D

We're ALSO trying to pay attention to what y'all like/dislike about this philosophy we've adopted, and we're likely to make some course corrections along the way.
As most of you know, our philosophy regarding campaign settings is to provide three print books (a campaign guide, a player's guide, and a published adventure) and then support the campaign settings exclusively on D&D Insider. Starting in May, we will have no fewer than one 4E Forgotten Realms article every month, including a spankin'-new column by Ed Greenwood. When Eberron launches, it'll get the same amount of monthly love — not from Ed, tho'. :D

We're ALSO trying to pay attention to what y'all like/dislike about this philosophy we've adopted, and we're likely to make some course corrections along the way.

What about the people who don't have DDI and only use physical books?? Should we have to suffer cause we don't want to pay a monthly subscription to a table top game??
Next year seems to be Dark Sun, if hints and asides are any indication.

Recycling old material, they can release:
  • Greyhawk
  • Hollow World and/or Mystara
  • DragonLance
  • Ravenloft (now a demiplane, but it could get a full setting flesh-out)
Deviating from "world" settings, there is also:
  • Planescape
  • Spelljammer
And there are also a ton of second and later round runner-ups from the setting search. But I think the above gets us far enough into 4e (seven more years) to last until 5th edition.

Some of the settings you mention have had their key concepts "absorbed" into 4E. For instance, Manual of the Planes contains information on "spelljammers" (from the Spelljammer® setting), "domains of dread" (from the Ravenloft® setting), and Sigil (from the Planescape® setting). One of the goals was to show how well these elements can work together in 4E without having to fracture the D&D game or its audience.
support the campaign settings exclusively on D&D Insider....

We're ALSO trying to pay attention to what y'all like/dislike about this philosophy we've adopted, and we're likely to make some course corrections along the way.

At one time I thought I heard noises about hardcopy compilations of Dungeon and Dragon material. That would really be great at some point. I have a subscription, and a laptop, and a printer, and I'm sure the interfaces for Character Builder and the Compendium will improve (maybe not to the point of mobile device access, but one can hope), but few things can beat having your finger on the line in the book (and not having to print and bind hundreds of pages oneself.)

Thanks for weighing in, Chris. Now please get back to work recruiting Vin Diesel and Felicia Day for the next D&D podcast, thanks.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

What about the people who don't have DDI and only use physical books?? Should we have to suffer cause we don't want to pay a monthly subscription to a table top game??

My glib answer is "Yup" because, honestly, no reply I can give you will make you jump with joy.

We can get content out faster online than in book format, and without cluttering up store shelves with campaign setting supplements that appeal and sell only to a fraction of the D&D audience. We can also present a broader range of topics and more depth in the form of standalone online articles.
WotC, I'm with XunValDorl of HouseKilsek. I will not pay for DDI. But I use to get Dungeon and Dragon through the local comic shop (no game shop in my town). I was extremely angry when I found out that both magazines would no longer be in print. That was one of the few things about DnD that I could afford on a regular basis.

I sincerely hope that changes.
I've just got to say I'd LOVE to see Dark Sun revamped for 4e
it's not that I can't really. I'm just one of those poor fools who prefer to have a physical book than to try to look at my PC screen reading it. And ink is expensive and I do not have much extra money lying around. Times are tough and I have other priorities such as bills and kids.

Also, I could be wrong about this, but it seem a little more expensive than the physical magazines per month.

And it might change if more vocalized this similar opinion. There are more out there like me than you think. I wasn't actually going to buy 4E for this reason. But curiosity and drive to play got the better of me.

One solution could have been making them bi-monthly and keeping them at the same page count.

This is and exorsize in futility. It just will force many to seek illegal ways to aquire Dungeon and Dragon as PDFs. It is unfortunate but true. They are fueling the piracy they are trying so adamently to stop. I dearly hope tehey realize this.
My glib answer is "Yup" because, honestly, no reply I can give you will make you jump with joy.

We can get content out faster online than in book format, and without cluttering up store shelves with campaign setting supplements that appeal and sell only to a fraction of the D&D audience. We can also present a broader range of topics and more depth in the form of standalone online articles.

I will ask until the day I die or until the situation changes:

Will you please get rid of the useless dark border at the top of the PDFs? I'm begging you, seriously! I like to print articles to read, but I don't want to be paying the rent for my local office supply store! Ink is expensive!!! Especially for us private end-users!!! Pictures? Fine, appreciated even. But pleasepleaseplease replace that border with something less taxing on the average person's printer and pocketbook!

(BTW, I applaud WotC on their "2 books, 1 module" format. MUUUUUCH more manageable.)
Some of the settings you mention have had their key concepts "absorbed" into 4E. For instance, Manual of the Planes contains information on "spelljammers" (from the Spelljammer® setting), "domains of dread" (from the Ravenloft® setting), and Sigil (from the Planescape® setting). One of the goals was to show how well these elements can work together in 4E without having to fracture the D&D game or its audience.

Any chance of a full on steampunk setting?

:D
-I got ran over my a squirrel the other day. -I'm going to steal my own idea. -My fruits of labor are not fruits... *sniff* they're vegetables. *sobs*
Starting in May, we will have no fewer than one 4E Forgotten Realms article every month, to which we'll add a spankin'-new column by Ed Greenwood. When Eberron launches, it'll get the same amount of monthly love — not from Ed, tho'. :D

Good to know, Mr. Perkins. Once the Ebby content starts up monthly, I'm in. :D
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 ****.
My glib answer is "Yup" because, honestly, no reply I can give you will make you jump with joy.

We can get content out faster online than in book format, and without cluttering up store shelves with campaign setting supplements that appeal and sell only to a fraction of the D&D audience. We can also present a broader range of topics and more depth in the form of standalone online articles.

But the bad thing is, what about those people who don't have internet access? What about those people who like to go outside during their lunch break and read their magazine instead of having to wait to get home?? What about those people who show up at their friends house only to find out that internet is going to be down for a while???? Going all digital is like a bank going paperless, what happens is all data was erased or hacked or altered in anyway, then you have no physical paper backups. Why are you worrying about cluttering the bookstores shelves??? I have worked in a bookstore and they order only what they need. In my opinion nothing will ever take the place of a good physical book. Also, with a physical book once you buy it you have it, with DDI what happens if you can't afford your sub anymore, will you get to keep those previous issues that you more than paid for, do you get to access them but not any of the future ones?? Yeah it may be cheaper and easier to go the digital route, but cheaper and easier is not always the best way.
I'm very happy with the two books and one adventure plan. I'd rather have a selection of campaign settings I could try, instead of one or two campaigns in hyper-detail. I'm fine with continued support in DDI (and honestly, DDI is great value).

I'm also hoping that WotC will really get wild with their settings. With only two books at risk of a flop, instead of a whole line, perhaps they will be even more adventuresome. I would love to see them run another contest, since I wasn't around to see the first one - I'd even like to submit something!

Having said that, I'm really hoping for a reboot of Dark Sun :D
Some of the settings you mention have had their key concepts "absorbed" into 4E. For instance, Manual of the Planes contains information on "spelljammers" (from the Spelljammer® setting), "domains of dread" (from the Ravenloft® setting), and Sigil (from the Planescape® setting). One of the goals was to show how well these elements can work together in 4E without having to fracture the D&D game or its audience.

This sounds like a veiled confirmation that we will not see Spelljammer, Planescape or Ravenloft as independent settings.
In my opinion nothing will ever take the place of a good physical book. Also, with a physical book once you buy it you have it, with DDI what happens if you can't afford your sub anymore, will you get to keep those previous issues that you more than paid for, do you get to access them but not any of the future ones?? Yeah it may be cheaper and easier to go the digital route, but cheaper and easier is not always the best way.

The magazines are PDF files and once you download them are yours to keep indefinitely. Though they have not yet implemented it, WotC intends to make it possible to download issues that you have paid for even after your subscription has expired. While they haven't gotten the mechanics of that worked out yet, it is my understanding that customer service will work with any former subscribers to re-download any paid for PDFs that you might have lost.

Also the Character Builder, which is also part of a DDi subscription, is a downloadable utility as well and thus yours to keep indefinitely even if you let your subscription expire. It only requires a subscription to acquire new monthly updates.
I am just gonna say I very much support the 3 books and DDI articles for the settings. It means we won't be drowned in setting books, the staff won't be divided in what to work on (you figure each year would mean more books that would need to be worked on for each setting) and it means that those 3 books make a "complete" setting.

Perkins, while your looking at this thread, I actually got a couple questions:
  • When did this idea come about? Was at the beginning of 4e thinking or later? Part of the reason I ask, is it follows a similar stride to WW's mini-lines I am wondering if that inspired you at all.
  • Also, I know you can't really say. But for those of us, who use setting books more just for crunch, not the setting persay. Is there any chance of "Setting Builder" books which is just like crunch and say just plothooks for fluff. The books be you know tailored to something; Horror, Cities, Steampunk, Technology, etc. Cause I would kill to get my hands on those.
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