The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

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The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Coronoides » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:33 pm

So the Eberron pay for playtest has been released to a mixed response. Along with it permission is now given to release Eberron material on the DMs Guild. The idea is that after playtesting (and assuming a good take up by fans) WOTC will release and official hardcover.
I don’t care about Eberron (shocking I know) but I do think that the move will have implications for all classic settings. If the Eberron experiment is a success then perhaps WOTC will follow suite for other classic settings. It may be that in some cases a official hardboard will NOT be forthcoming because of the market but even then a WOTC pdf release would allow WOTC to firm up its IP claim and allow fans to build stuff for the DM’s Guild. Great.
BUT...if WOTC allows material on the DM’s Guild will they might crack down on fan material elsewhere.

So.
Do you think WOTC will follow with other settings?
What will be the implications for fandom?
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by shesheyan » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:50 am

1) If their marketing surveys show potential profit they will release more 5e setting «conversions books». After reading the Eberron article by Baker its obvious now how the design team thinks. Because the old books, with all the info, are on Drivethru in pdf format they don't feel the need to do full setting books like they used to. Except for Ravnica, which we now know, is 5E's full blown setting.

2) WOTC don't eat babies. Unless someone is illegally profiting from their IP or distributing for free an IP pdf that is for sale on drive thru they won't do anything. WOTC is not Games Workshop.

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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:22 pm

I don't see any specific implications for fandom.

But I do think that people are missing things about Eberron and Keith Baker.

A while ago Keith Baker set up a Patron campaign to help fund his writing...fast forward a bit and we get a D&D book for Eberron, another one in the works and him putting up a vote on which of six new books the fans want him to work on next. BOOM!

IMO this is not about the end of fansites. This is about the dawn of the age of D&D designers getting direct funding from fans and publishing 5e books via DMs Guild.

So my question would be: How many old D&D settings have designers who would be willing to work the same way as Keith Baker is working right now?

And how many fans would be willing to step up to the pro-am environment and work with designers who were funding things via Patreon?
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Havard » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:30 pm

I thin the main implication is that they are now offering several D&D settings, both for the DM's Guild and Official Setting Guides.

This means a clear shift away from the "Forgotten Realms only" policy.

If you think about it that is a pretty drastic shift.

The inclusion of Eberron and Ravenloft means that the gates have been opened to the older settings. Others are sure to follow.

Ravnica means they are also open to doing new things, or at least things they have not done for D&D in the past.

Overall, I think this is a good thing for people who are fans of the older settings :)

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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Corsair14 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:50 pm

While I am sad they used a relatively new setting like Eberron, it is not a classic setting by any means, maybe it means they will throw us a bone for the true classic settings that have languished that actually need new mechanics to make work with 5th edition or at least open the door on DMs Guild for material to be released. Hell, a working combat system for spelljammer with ship stats would be all thats needed. Creatures are easy enough to transfer over. But no they give us ebberon something already so easy to reskin it isnt funny.

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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by zontoxira » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:05 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:22 pm
IMO this is not about the end of fansites. This is about the dawn of the age of D&D designers getting direct funding from fans and publishing 5e books via DMs Guild.

So my question would be: How many old D&D settings have designers who would be willing to work the same way as Keith Baker is working right now?

And how many fans would be willing to step up to the pro-am environment and work with designers who were funding things via Patreon?
That's so true Big Mac. I would love to see Zeb Cook doing some work for Planescape but haven't heard anything as of yet. And him being over 80, I can't say he'd be able to do much.
Corsair14 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:50 pm
While I am sad they used a relatively new setting like Eberron, it is not a classic setting by any means, maybe it means they will throw us a bone for the true classic settings that have languished that actually need new mechanics to make work with 5th edition or at least open the door on DMs Guild for material to be released. Hell, a working combat system for spelljammer with ship stats would be all thats needed. Creatures are easy enough to transfer over. But no they give us ebberon something already so easy to reskin it isnt funny.
To my knowledge, Eberron was the most wanted setting, followed by Planescape and Dark Sun. In that respect, I say Wizards listened to their fans.
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:51 pm

Havard wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:30 pm
Ravnica means they are also open to doing new things, or at least things they have not done for D&D in the past.
From what I heard, there were attempts to make a Magic: The Gathering port to Dungeons & Dragons, when Wizards of the Coast first took over TSR, but it got derailed (perhaps due in part to internal politics).

What we have now is James Wyatt (a D&D expert) working on the Magic: The Gathering team and turning out several PlaneShift documents in his spare time.

I think that has acted as a "proof of concept" and helped WotC gauge interest in this idea.
Havard wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:30 pm
Overall, I think this is a good thing for people who are fans of the older settings :)
Worse case scenario is that we get no new products that fit in with our own personal preferences. Best case is that we get new content that we can use.
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:03 pm

Corsair14 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:50 pm
While I am sad they used a relatively new setting like Eberron, it is not a classic setting by any means, maybe it means they will throw us a bone for the true classic settings that have languished that actually need new mechanics to make work with 5th edition or at least open the door on DMs Guild for material to be released.
To be honest, I see this thing as a queue. And I see each campaign setting facing the question: "Is this setting economically viable?"

Forgotten Realms was first in the queue. Ravenloft was second in the queue.

They have hesitated for quite some time, but now they are going with PDF product for Eberron that means they don't have the inventory or distribution costs.
Corsair14 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:50 pm
Hell, a working combat system for spelljammer with ship stats would be all thats needed. Creatures are easy enough to transfer over.
I'd want a lot more than a combat system and ship stats.

I want the crystal sphere creation rules to be expanded.

I want random encounter tables to include asteroids and comets.

I want more backstory (and plothooks) for all the SJ factions.
Corsair14 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:50 pm
But no they give us ebberon something already so easy to reskin it isnt funny.
Eberron is "out of the way" now. And if WotC have been able to get away from the idea of a massive launch they may be able to lower the production cost enough to make money from a smaller fanbase. Ultimately, this is a step (development wise) in the right direction.

Previously, I have seen fans arguing that settings like Mystara, Greyhawk or Dragonlance are popular enough to sell, but what about the less popular settings?

Wouldn't it be nice if - instead of fans debating which old setting should come back - we debated on how quickly WotC could bring them all back? :D
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Corsair14 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:19 pm

The last part I will agree with. I like options and I campaign bounce. They really havent done Ravenloft though, kind of dipped their toes in and called it good. Thankfully I already have every product released for RL and a bunch of the online only material and since fluff is the only thing that really differentiates RL from standard its easy to run. I have actually never had my PCs step foot in Barovia.

There is a crap ton of the spelljammer stuff you asked for online, not to diminish your wants. The hard part which is the mechanics and someone to just do the ship stats to go with those mechanics.

Greyhawk and Dragonlance are fairly easy to reskin too not having any really odd mechanics. I think Dragonlance Nexus is the name, it has some great race conversions including all of the draconians, good enough to the point where if I allow dragonborn, they use draconian rules. Now what I would love to see is an updated official PDF on those worlds maybe to get new players into them but I think it will be awhile aside from passing mentions in other books that anything is released.

SJ and DS need full scale books although a PDF can explain the crunchy parts at least. Yes I think fluff would be great for SJ but I also have almost everything produced there too as well as DS. I dont know if I would want new fluff for DS. I saw how bad they mauled it for 4th edition or even the revised 2nd edition version. I say leave it at its original start point.

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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Morfie » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:43 am

Fansites won't end, especially if they are providing crunch on older editions. The DM's Guild can only be used for 5e.

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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:39 am

zontoxira wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:05 pm
To my knowledge, Eberron was the most wanted setting, followed by Planescape and Dark Sun. In that respect, I say Wizards listened to their fans.
It's also the easiest to do, since its additions to D&D rules are fairly minor. The biggest is the addition of the Artificer class. In addition there are rules for Dragonmarks and a bunch of new races, but that's about it.

In contrast, Planescape has the factions and all sorts of planar weirdness that need to be addressed. And Dark Sun has defiling, non-standard priests, psionics and a whole host of unique creatures...

Thus, it makes sense to do Eberron early, even apart from its popularity.
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Coronoides » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:37 am

Jürgen Hubert wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:39 am
zontoxira wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:05 pm
To my knowledge, Eberron was the most wanted setting, followed by Planescape and Dark Sun. In that respect, I say Wizards listened to their fans.
It's also the easiest to do, since its additions to D&D rules are fairly minor. The biggest is the addition of the Artificer class. In addition there are rules for Dragonmarks and a bunch of new races, but that's about it.

In contrast, Planescape has the factions and all sorts of planar weirdness that need to be addressed. And Dark Sun has defiling, non-standard priests, psionics and a whole host of unique creatures...

Thus, it makes sense to do Eberron early, even apart from its popularity.
Yeh, I think/hope you are right. I'm hoping Eberron is enough of a success that the same process whole or in part can be applied to other settings. I see a multi-step process with progression from step to step based on sales. Maybe Planescape will make it through the gauntlet from pay for playtest (and DM's Guild access) to a pdf and finally all the way to a Hardcover while Greyhawk might only make it as far as a polished pdf and my beloved Council of Wrym might (many years from now) perhaps get a playtest pdf and DM's Guild access and that's it.
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:21 pm

I suppose how successful the Dungeon Master's Guild products for each of these settings is. If lots of people produce something for a particular setting and even more people buy these products, then that tells WotC that there may be sufficient interest for more "official" works.
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Coronoides » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:48 pm

Jürgen Hubert wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:21 pm
I suppose how successful the Dungeon Master's Guild products for each of these settings is. If lots of people produce something for a particular setting and even more people buy these products, then that tells WotC that there may be sufficient interest for more "official" works.
Yes exactly. However, at the moment WOTC can’t get information on how successful various products for various settings are because we are not allowed to publish them on the DMs Guild. The Eberon PDF suggests a way forward (see my post above). However, given the involvement of the setting’s creator (did he initiate the project and do most of the work?) this might be a one off.
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by shesheyan » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:07 pm

Coronoides wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:48 pm
Jürgen Hubert wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:21 pm
I suppose how successful the Dungeon Master's Guild products for each of these settings is. If lots of people produce something for a particular setting and even more people buy these products, then that tells WotC that there may be sufficient interest for more "official" works.
Yes exactly. However, at the moment WOTC can’t get information on how successful various products for various settings are because we are not allowed to publish them on the DMs Guild. The Eberon PDF suggests a way forward (see my post above). However, given the involvement of the setting’s creator (did he initiate the project and do most of the work?) this might be a one off.
It could be a one off. Bruce Heard tried to get the ball rolling again for Mystara under 5E with WoTC and it didn't go anywhere. So he decided to do Calidar instead.
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by Coronoides » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:28 pm

Unfortunately, I think your right. However, if they ever open up Council of Wryms I’ll be ready ;)
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Re: The future of classic settings ? What the Eberron play-test release might mean for us.

Post by DMSamuel » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:58 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:07 pm
Coronoides wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:48 pm
Jürgen Hubert wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:21 pm
I suppose how successful the Dungeon Master's Guild products for each of these settings is. If lots of people produce something for a particular setting and even more people buy these products, then that tells WotC that there may be sufficient interest for more "official" works.
Yes exactly. However, at the moment WOTC can’t get information on how successful various products for various settings are because we are not allowed to publish them on the DMs Guild. The Eberon PDF suggests a way forward (see my post above). However, given the involvement of the setting’s creator (did he initiate the project and do most of the work?) this might be a one off.
It could be a one off. Bruce Heard tried to get the ball rolling again for Mystara under 5E with WoTC and it didn't go anywhere. So he decided to do Calidar instead.
Yep - and now Bruce Heard has publicly stated that there is quite literally a 0% chance of him working on Mystara in any way, shape, or form. He wants to do new things, not revisit 30 year old IP. Besides, he thinks that Mystara is in quite capable hands here at the Piazza and Vaults of Pandius - he sees no need to have WotC do anything with the setting.

Dark Sun fans might not feel the same about it with respect to Athas.
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