Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

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Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by Big Mac » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:08 pm

I'm catching up on the official D&D podcast, but jumped to an episode called Jeremy Crawford and Kate Irwin on Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (after finding out that WotC revealed that there is a Giff in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes at the GAMA trade show).

They didn't mention the Giff in the podcast episode, but they did mention that Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes contains chapter on various conflicts in the D&D multiverse and that one of the chapters on conflicts covers The Blood War.

There is also a monster section in the back and they mentioned Tieflings, Githyanki and Githzerai, various demon options (I lost track of how many) and some sort of "template" for GMs that can be used to make different types of Tieflings (with the original Tieflings being turned into one type of many).

So, while lots of people have been speculating that Spelljammer is going to come back, it looks like Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is going to bring back lots of options that would be useful to a GM wanting to run Planescape with 5e rules. (There might also be useful stuff that could be retroconverted for use with a 2e Planescape game.)
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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by Tim Baker » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:24 pm

Agreed. Planescape has been my guess for the next adventure. The inclusion of Giff is interesting, though.
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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by Big Mac » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:42 pm

Tim Baker wrote:Agreed. Planescape has been my guess for the next adventure. The inclusion of Giff is interesting, though.
Well Wildspace (and the Phlogiston) are part of the Material Plane. So if there is Blood War stuff that spins over onto the Material Plane, it could feature in the Realms, Oerth, Krynn, Mystara or any world in the Spelljammer universe.

From what I recall, there are plenty of references to "other worlds" in D&D products, that have never really been nailed down in position. These would all presumably be worlds on the Material Plane - worlds in Spelljammer crystal spheres. It would not be too hard to give details of the names of suns, moons other planets or constellations if any of those worlds was brought back.

I would actually like to see a bit more crossover between Spelljammer and Planescape. If, for example, there was a hardback book about Realmspace, I think it could cover the worlds of Realmspace in one section and the Forgotten Realms cosmology (and how it interacts with all the worlds) in another section.

Clusterspace (the crystal sphere of The Astromundi Cluster had a customised relationship with the Planes. If Spelljammer had not been published before Planescape existed, perhaps there could have been some adventure seeds involving travel to some of the Clusterspace planes.
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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by zontoxira » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:42 pm

I remember Mearls in one Q&A on reddit mentioning that the team is working on all the D&D worlds, but presenting them more like genres than settings. So we could get settings with blasted landscapes and psionics (Dark Sun), or deep romances and epic dragon battles (Dragonlance). As he put it back then:
Mike Mearls wrote:Yes. The [campaign] settings are definitely on my mind. We have some fun stuff planned for 2018. I hope we can pull it off.
My guess is that the 'Catacombs' book, the last to be published on November, may be a book about designing campaigns and stuff, introducing the various D&D settings.

As for the Blood War, there was an article and accompanying video specifically about it, back on February.
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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:05 pm

Big Mac wrote:So if there is Blood War stuff that spins over onto the Material Plane, it could feature in the Realms, Oerth, Krynn, Mystara or any world in the Spelljammer universe.
It does, yes. There have been entire worlds lost to the Blood War and depending on which canon you prefer (I have no idea what the fifth edition take is going to be) the Blood War is probably the ultimate motivation for most fiendish intervention with the material plane. For example, on Oerth you can see Ivid V's pact with the archdevils in the Great Kingdom while demon lords (Graz'zt, Pazuzu, Lolth) angle for influence over Iuz as attempts by each side in the war to gain resources and supplies... attempts that might actually turn into a hot war one day if the fiends decide to use Oerth as a battlefield. Which is something that happens in a contained way at the Causeway of Fiends and happened on a smallish scale during the Blood Moon Festival in 583 CY, as recounted in Artifact of Evil. But the danger is that it might one day spread further, if the fiends gain enough influence over the world.

There are similar examples in the Realms, such as the Weeping War, which I wouldn't be surprised to see tied into the Blood War in some way, while in Clusterspace there's also fiendish machinations behind the scenes...

I'd be reluctant to tie the Blood War into Mystara or Krynn. The Krynnish gods of evil seem to control evil planar activity on that world to the extent that it would seem odd for fiends to take it upon themselves to war with each other there. Mystara has demons, but there are no devils as such in BECMI, though Cthulhudrew had some good suggestions for incorporating them into the lore.
I would actually like to see a bit more crossover between Spelljammer and Planescape. If, for example, there was a hardback book about Realmspace, I think it could cover the worlds of Realmspace in one section and the Forgotten Realms cosmology (and how it interacts with all the worlds) in another section.
I'm not a fan of each world having its own bespoke cosmology, but certainly each sphere will have prominent portals, vortexes, and conduits, its own border ethereal (which is the part of the planes that would be unusual in Clusterspace; Athas, Aebrynis, and probably Mystara also have their own unique border ethereals), and local pantheons will have their distinctive divine realms. Each world will have its own ways that planar powers influence mortal events.

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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:05 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:I'd be reluctant to tie the Blood War into Mystara or Krynn. The Krynnish gods of evil seem to control evil planar activity on that world to the extent that it would seem odd for fiends to take it upon themselves to war with each other there. Mystara has demons, but there are no devils as such in BECMI, though Cthulhudrew had some good suggestions for incorporating them into the lore.
Well, the novel Dark Knight of Karameikos did connect Mystara to the Blood War, even though it could have been handled better :/

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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:07 pm

Big Mac wrote:There is also a monster section in the back and they mentioned Tieflings, Githyanki and Githzerai, various demon options (I lost track of how many) and some sort of "template" for GMs that can be used to make different types of Tieflings (with the original Tieflings being turned into one type of many).
Pathfinder did something similar for both Tieflings and Aasimar in that game system. I wonder what the Tome of Foes version looks like.
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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:41 pm

Havard wrote:Well, the novel Dark Knight of Karameikos did connect Mystara to the Blood War, even though it could have been handled better :/
Yeah, for me it's a matter of finding a way to do it in a way that feels natural, integrating devils into Mystara's religions, though I suppose you could also take the approach that devils are, essentially, alien invaders that no one in Mystara has heard of, really leaning into the idea that the concept of devils is foreign to all of Mystara's faiths (though perhaps not to other worlds in Mystara's solar system, or to natives of the Dimension of Nightmare).

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Re: Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Post by willpell » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:05 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:41 pm
Havard wrote:Well, the novel Dark Knight of Karameikos did connect Mystara to the Blood War, even though it could have been handled better :/
Yeah, for me it's a matter of finding a way to do it in a way that feels natural, integrating devils into Mystara's religions, though I suppose you could also take the approach that devils are, essentially, alien invaders that no one in Mystara has heard of, really leaning into the idea that the concept of devils is foreign to all of Mystara's faiths (though perhaps not to other worlds in Mystara's solar system, or to natives of the Dimension of Nightmare).
My understanding is that the module where Zargon first appears is explicitly set in Mystara, and also that it was at some point decided that Zargon was the ruler of the Ancient Baatorians. So perhaps there originally were no "devils" in Mystara, just Baatorian exiles who fled there to escape extermination by Asmodeus and the rest of the Baatezu.

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