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D&D Next Planes & Worlds

There’s an interesting new article by Mike Mearls on the D&D website which talks about The Many Worlds of D&D. So far, we’ve had over a year’s worth of rules, and some cool articles from James Wyatt on the monsters of D&D but there’s been little as yet about campaign setting(s) or planes in the new edition. This article explains how the new cosmology will work, and also how the classic Ravenloft, Planescape and Spelljammer settings fit into it.

Back in December, I ran a #5eplanes blog carnival to talk about what we wanted to see in the Next cosmology so I was keen to read what the WotC team have come up with. The approach, as with monsters (and, some would argue the rules too, 4e mostly excepted) seems to be to blend the various different editions together and keep the cool stuff from all of them. There is an elegant solution to the elemental planes issue, involving three concentric rings that allows for separate elemental planes and the elemental chaos, and the Feywild stays too (huzzah!). I’m much less convinced by having Ravenloft as the bridge between the Negative and Prime planes with the Shadowfell within it – surely this should be the other way round with the Domains of Dread inside the Shadow Plane?

As we’ve long suspected, Planescape and the Great Wheel will be the default for the Outer Planes. This is good news, although some people are sure to get wound up all over again about the factions, the cant and the Blood War. I loved Planescape so I’m happy with this. As long as there are modrons in Mechanus, and not formians, berk.

The other thing I’m less sure about is what Mike says about Spelljammer. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled Spelljammer gets mentioned, but he talks about downplaying the concept that it connects the D&D worlds such as the Realms, Greyhawk etc. I actually think this was one of the fun things about the setting – my SJ campaign started off in Cormyr before heading off into the stars. All that’s needed here is to not include any spelljamming ports or ships in Realms & Greyhawk books – just put them in the Spelljammer stuff* so it doesn’t jar with those not using it. Coming up with its own setting is absolutely right too – the Astromundi Cluster was awesome but should have been one of the first releases for the line, not on of the last.

No mention here of Forgotten Realms being the default world for the game, but I guess that still holds. Overall, interesting stuff and very promising.


* really hope there will be Spelljammer stuff ;)

Art by @symatt



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2013 01:25 pm (UTC)
I always thought Spelljammer would be a fun "WW2" to Eberron's "WW1."
Jul. 1st, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
I think I know what you mean, but can you expand on that....
Jul. 1st, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
I mean, the "dungeon punk" of Eberron, with its airships & trains & robots, seems like it is ripe for the next big "discovery" to be Spelljammers.
Jul. 1st, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
Ah, ok. That wasn't what I thought you meant at all, but that's way cooler!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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