Sober Thoughts about the Newest Adventure from Wizards of the Coast

Last night I spent a bit of time, sober, looking at what Wizards of the Coast is doing with the latest adventure path and I'm just so damned disappointed with what we're getting. Again we're getting a re-imagining of a classic adventure. Again we're seeing a classic Greyhawk adventure and villain being transferred into the Forgotten Realms. Again I'm fucking disappointed. 

I fully understand that the Forgotten Realms is the engine that pulls the Dungeons & Dragons train right now, but I'm also aware that the only reason that is the case is because they have spent the better part of the last twenty years pushing that setting to the fore while minimizing all their other settings. They could have just keep all these re-imagined adventures in Greyhawk and they would have sold just as well while reinvigorating the setting for a new generation of players - or they could have moved us into Eberron and done something really interesting with all that settings lore. Fuck, they could have come up with a wholly new setting and it would have been better. I'm just so done with being in the Forgotten Realms in all the published material. I want to see adventures set in Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, and Eberron. 

Fucking bring on Planescape. I'm ready to move on to new worlds and fertile ground.

by Dean Ellis

Comments

  1. Forgotten Realms works fine as a PC RPG game setting. Compared to the ones you mention, and I'd include Mystara, my first setting as a dm.
    Eberron would be my first pick for d&d5, given the material. And what about Nentir! So many creative folks and you're right, they do keep pushing FR. Even MTG has some promising places ripe for adventure!

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    1. Mystara is the bomb. Flipping love it.

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  2. I've seen this happen so many times and ranted so many times, I'm starting to wear out Charles. Tomb and Acererak has definitely taken on a brand all its own and transcended Greyhawk. The marketing muscle and fan entertainment for D&D has also gone to a new level in my opinion. Was D&D ever this popular in the 80's, 90's? I doubt it.
    Also: that Stream of Annihilation cast was young and hip. I envy this golden age of D&D cause I'm not certain grognards or Greyhawk belongs in it anymore. All this old dog can do is keep the memory alive.

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    1. I had this old dog that lived down the road from us when I was growing up. For weeks it would be quiet only to lose it's mind early in the morning when some varmint would come along into its yard and rile it up. Then a few years passed and I hadn't heard it.

      We all figured it had died.

      So I'm sitting on the back porch, drinking a beer one night, when the damned thing hops up on the porch and start raising Hell. I jumped three feet and I swear the bastard laughed at me.

      They say it's dead now but I don't believe it. It's just waiting to scare the shit out of me. again.

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  3. For me, The World of Greyhawk ended a long time ago. Sure, it was the "official" setting for D&D 3e, but it will never ever be at the forefront again.

    But here's what really bothers me: "D&D" isn't about the tabletop roleplaying experience anymore, and Tomb of Annihilation proves my point. Its about all the "peripheries"--the live streaming video promotions and watching celebrities play the game, the special collectible dice and miniatures, the tie-ins to novels, the tie-in to computer/console games, the tie-in to boardgames, and the fact that Wizards of the Coast cannot come up with something new and original. 5e has just been a rehash of "classics" mish-mashed and shoehorned into the Forgotten Realms.

    Indeed, many of "official" adventures are written by 3rd party publishers.

    I'm not, however, part of the target demographic, and I'll have to settle with that.

    Yet many gamers must love this stuff. I guess it sells. Many gamers eat it up. But why?






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    1. I’m not sure about that. In the past, they focused on monetizing the engine and ignored the peripherals. This was (IMHO) not good for the game or the hobby. Now they’ve gone back to an engine that has a wider appeal and focused on monetizing the peripherals.

      Just like a game’s rules can tell you more about what you’re not supposed to do rather than what you are, looking at the often released, short sales-life products doesn’t necessarily tell you what it is about. It looks to me like they’re trying to make 5e the sort of evergreen product that we’ve been saying D&D should be for years. That is what it is about.

      Also, I think the videos are aimed at helping the younger generations find the hobby in a way that fits them instead of the ways that fit us. I don’t know if they’re doing a good job, but I’m glad to see they’re trying.

      (And again I can’t believe I’ve found myself defending Wizards.)

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    2. Maybe they'll bring back D&D beach blankets...

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    3. I want a beach blanket.

      Mostly I just want to go back to the beach.

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  4. I completely agree with you. I suppose from a marketing and money making perspective the focus on one setting makes the most sense, at the expense of us folks who would prefer a little more variety.

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    1. Thank you for agreeing and sharing the post!

      Now I'm going back to my beer.

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