New 5e Book announced: Tales from the Yawning Portal


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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Tales from the Yawning Portal

This is a hardcover book set in Forgotten Realms that includes a series of classic mini advantures.

WotC wrote:

When the shadows grow long in Waterdeep and the fireplace in the taproom of the Yawning Portal dims to a deep crimson glow, adventurers from across the Forgotten Realms, and even from other worlds, spin tales and spread rumors of dark dungeons and lost treasures. Some of the yarns overheard by Durnan, the barkeep of the Yawning Portal, are inspired by places and events in far-flung lands from across the D&D multiverse, and these tales have been collected into a single volume.

Within this tome are seven of the most compelling dungeons from the 40+ year history of Dungeons & Dragons. Some are classics that have hosted an untold number of adventurers, while others are some of the most popular adventures ever printed.

The seeds of these stories now rest in your hands. D&D’s most storied dungeons are now part of your modern repertoire of adventures. Enjoy, and remember to keep a few spare character sheets handy.

For use with the fifth edition Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide, this book provides fans with adventures, magic items and deadly monsters, all of which have been updated to the fifth edition rules. Explore seven deadly dungeons in this adventure supplement for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Tales from the Yawning Portal includes the following adventures:

Against the Giants
Dead in Thay
Forge of Fury
Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
Sunless Citadel
Tomb of Horrors
White Plume Mountain


I just wish they would make it generic rather than everything being Forgotten Realms. Probably won't buy it now, just like I haven't bought the other 5th edition adventures for the same reason. People will tell me I can just drop it in anywhere, and yes I could, I don't want to though. How many potential customers have they lost over everything being Forgotten Realms? Surely I can't be the only one. Why can't the Forgotten Realm fans drop it in their world like the rest of us are forced too?


Most of them were originally set in Greyhawk. The older ones were pretty vague on setting and it wasn't too difficult to drop them into homebrew settings. I ran in several of them but never used them in my own campaign; I preferred to do my own. And still do :)

The unifying theme is tales told at a tavern / inn in the Realms. In Waterdeep as I recall although it's been a long time since I read about the Realms...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*yawns*

Paizo Employee Developer

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Gorbacz wrote:
*yawns*

I see what you did there.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
*yawns*

I see what you did there.

Shouldn't that be "I hear what you did there"? :)


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Cool. I'll definitely be getting this. I've got almost all of the originals. :)

I like the fact the adventure format shifts around with each release, rather than being stuck in the same format each time. Some are sandboxes, some are more railroady and AP-like. Some are inspired by old modules, some are brand new.


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I'm already not a fan of Forgettable Realms, but moving Against the Giants, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, Tomb of Horrors and White Plume Mountain there? I'm with the yawning bag.


Well, to be fair, there isn't that much in those modules you mention that specifically, necessarily, must hinge on Greyhawk specificity, and Greyhawk is almost as forgettable as the Realms.


You be quiet.


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EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
I just wish they would make it generic rather than everything being Forgotten Realms. Probably won't buy it now, just like I haven't bought the other 5th edition adventures for the same reason. People will tell me I can just drop it in anywhere, and yes I could, I don't want to though. How many potential customers have they lost over everything being Forgotten Realms? Surely I can't be the only one. Why can't the Forgotten Realm fans drop it in their world like the rest of us are forced too?

Technically, only the tavern is in forgotten realms. The adventures take place throughout the D&D multiverse, with many of the adventures being set in Greyhawk. There may even be some Undermountain adventures.

There will also be guidelines for setting any of the adventures in other locales or settings, just like there was for Elemental Evil (which was also originally in Greyhawk).

I'm also fairly confident that they aren't losing very many customers by setting the story in forgotten realms. It's not challenging to adopt it for any other setting - in fact, it's fairly trivial. I doubt there are many people who hate Forgotten Realms as much as you do that they're unwilling to even adopt the adventures elsewhere simply because they have even a marginal association with the realms.


How can the fit 7 complete adventures into one Book?

Unless this book is really big...I think they will be cutting alot of stuff.

The Exchange

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Adventures were pretty short in the old days.


WotC has said that they chose adventures you can easily drop into any setting.

Also, I don't think this product is designed with you guys in mind. It's probably for newer players who haven't played some of the previous editions. (And for the collector's who just gotta have 'em all.)


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John Kretzer wrote:

How can the fit 7 complete adventures into one Book?

Unless this book is really big...I think they will be cutting alot of stuff.

It's 248 pages, so it could easily accomodate seven of paizo's old 32 page adventures. Also 5E adventures use less page count than PF.


Steve Geddes wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

How can the fit 7 complete adventures into one Book?

Unless this book is really big...I think they will be cutting alot of stuff.

It's 248 pages, so it could easily accomodate seven of paizo's old 32 page adventures. Also 5E adventures use less page count than PF.

Where in my post did I refer to paizo/pathfinder? I am talking about the original modules there are being based on. The only thing useful (IE not edition war baiting) you said was the page count. Which I guess could contain those 7 modules...depending how many pages are being used for the wrap story (the whole narrative of Duran telling about these dungeons at The Yawning Portal).


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John Kretzer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

How can the fit 7 complete adventures into one Book?

Unless this book is really big...I think they will be cutting alot of stuff.

It's 248 pages, so it could easily accomodate seven of paizo's old 32 page adventures. Also 5E adventures use less page count than PF.
Where in my post did I refer to paizo/pathfinder? I am talking about the original modules there are being based on. The only thing useful (IE not edition war baiting) you said was the page count. Which I guess could contain those 7 modules...depending how many pages are being used for the wrap story (the whole narrative of Duran telling about these dungeons at The Yawning Portal).

I didn't intend for that to come across that way. I was erroneously assuming that's why you thought seven adventures wouldn't fit. Please accept my apology.

Yeah, it's 248 pages, so I think it will be able to accomodate them all without needing to cut a lot.


Well, as written Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, and Against the Giants is a total of 95 pages. I don't have the others so I can't say, but 248 could fit the older modules for sure; I know nothing about Dead in Thay.


I don't hate the realms for those that got that impression. I like diversity within the product line. There's a difference.


EileenProphetofIstus wrote:


I don't hate the realms for those that got that impression. I like diversity within the product line. There's a difference.

Too much diversity and you divide your player base, reduce your sales of each item you publish and get bought out by a company that makes a card game. D@mn! Too late, already done. Anyhow, diversity can happen within one large campaign world with side trips to other planes. Paizo has Golarion and WotC has the Forgotten Realms. Most people, including me, have their own campaign settings. Material can be pillaged for ideas or dropped into a campaign with some work. Less with 5E than many systems. Especially with early modules / adventurers. They are often not that setting specific.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Apparently, Realms sell the best, and Hasbro wants a nice bottom line from subsidiaries. That's all they need to know.

Grand Lodge

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EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Probably won't buy it now, just like I haven't bought the other 5th edition adventures for the same reason. People will tell me I can just drop it in anywhere, and yes I could, I don't want to though.

This happened back in the days of 1e and 2e, and I just don't understand the stance.

Why would one want to limit the potential for new ideas, inspiration, and/or new game material just because the book has or does not have a particular setting logo printed on the cover...

I used FR for the most part back in the 80s & 90s, but I still bought books for the other settings as well because they contained material I could take and then very easily add to my FR campaigns to make them that much better.

A practice I still use to this day.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Apparently, Realms sell the best, and Hasbro wants a nice bottom line from subsidiaries. That's all they need to know.

I doubt they were consulted. If they had been, I think they would have said "Is that that card game thingy we bought..no? Okay, whatever".


Steve Geddes wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

How can the fit 7 complete adventures into one Book?

Unless this book is really big...I think they will be cutting alot of stuff.

It's 248 pages, so it could easily accomodate seven of paizo's old 32 page adventures. Also 5E adventures use less page count than PF.
Where in my post did I refer to paizo/pathfinder? I am talking about the original modules there are being based on. The only thing useful (IE not edition war baiting) you said was the page count. Which I guess could contain those 7 modules...depending how many pages are being used for the wrap story (the whole narrative of Duran telling about these dungeons at The Yawning Portal).

I didn't intend for that to come across that way. I was erroneously assuming that's why you thought seven adventures wouldn't fit. Please accept my apology.

Yeah, it's 248 pages, so I think it will be able to accomodate them all without needing to cut a lot.

It is okay.


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R_Chance wrote:
Most people, including me, have their own campaign settings. Material can be pillaged for ideas or dropped into a campaign with some work. Less with 5E than many systems. Especially with early modules / adventurers. They are often not that setting specific.

I read an interview with Mearls where he commented that 55% of D&D players play in homebrew campaigns and about half of those use pre-bought modules.

I hadn't heard such a statistic before (presumably it's from the monthly surveys they do at the moment). He also said they'd had a lot of requests for short, generic modules as opposed to the Adventure Path types they've been doing.

Another interesting comment was that they'd had lots of requests to 'reproduce' the classic modules. This is obviously a nod to that.

The Exchange

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It is worth pointing out that there will be plenty of players who don't necessarily remember the 70s and 80s for whom this will be a useful purchase (including me - I played RPGs back then, but very little D&D). That said, I think some people who think things will be cut maybe don't remember just how short those old adventures were. When I first read the old hill giants scenario maybe a decade ago, I was surprised that there was basically just a "dungeon" with associated encounters in rooms, and not much else. But then again, the original adventures were just little softback books with not many pages, plus a few illustrations. You got far more in the average edition of Dungeon than you did in one of those.

As someone who has purchased a 5e adventure (Curse of Strahd) my problem isn't that it is (very nominally) set in FR - since the only reference is the starting village of Daggerford, which is immediately left behind as they head to Barovia and get transported by the mists of Ravenloft. My problem is that it's actually a bit challenging to use in campaign mode as it's a bit bitty - though I guess others would say sandbox-y. That said, my players have been saying how much they are enjoying themselves. The other adventures are well-reviewed on Amazon too, so far as I can tell.

Most (all) of the adventures issued to date for 5e trade on nostalgia for the old adventures. Since some people howled so much about the radicalism of 4e, it is hardly surprising that they have adopted a more conservative strategy for what is, essentially, a more conservatively designed game intended partly to rewind on that (and that's not a criticism of 5e, which is a fine game synthesising the best bits of 3e and 4e). Plus, as a marketing strategy it's fairly smart too. since people will be more inclined to purchase something with familiarity.

So I intend to buy it. I think my players will probably enjoy it.


Gorbacz wrote:
Apparently, Realms sell the best, and Hasbro wants a nice bottom line from subsidiaries. That's all they need to know.

I very much suspect that generic-no-place-in-particular would be better for the bottom line than any setting, even the blandest and most nearly generic.


Bluenose wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Apparently, Realms sell the best, and Hasbro wants a nice bottom line from subsidiaries. That's all they need to know.
I very much suspect that generic-no-place-in-particular would be better for the bottom line than any setting, even the blandest and most nearly generic.

FR is the most generic RPG setting I can think of.

That's not a complaint either. I think it's smart business.

Sovereign Court

As I understand it, not only are the component adventures going to be modular (in that you can drop them in for your campaign), but there will also be (relatively) extensive notes on how to integrate them into various settings, including Eberron, Greyhawk, and some others (those two are confirmed, not sure about any other settings).

That to me seems like they are trying to court fans from other settings, given that these adventures don't HAVE to be set in the Forgotten Realms, for what it's worth.


*zzzzz*...wake me up in 2018 when the next book comes out.


EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
I just wish they would make it generic rather than everything being Forgotten Realms. Probably won't buy it now, just like I haven't bought the other 5th edition adventures for the same reason. People will tell me I can just drop it in anywhere, and yes I could, I don't want to though. How many potential customers have they lost over everything being Forgotten Realms? Surely I can't be the only one. Why can't the Forgotten Realm fans drop it in their world like the rest of us are forced too?

I'd prefer not another Adventure pack and maybe something non-adventure. As far as that goes, we've had Sword Coast and Volo's and...Unearthed Arcana articles?

Forgotten realms focus is understandable, that is a setting that can act as a gateway from other media to D&D between the books, Baldur's Gate, etc. People coming from there would probably buy products letting them play there.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I don't think it would take a lot of effort for the publishers to put Forgotten Realms on the cover for the newbies, then design each adventure to be generic, with specific paragraphs for placing each adventure in the Realms, Planescape, Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Birthright, Al Qadira, Dragonlance, Eberron, Conan, LotR, and both homebrew stuff and other public source material.

EDIT: But I would prefer more crunchy material, like a PHB 2, that has more options for races, backgrounds, class archetypes, feats, and spells. I would also like a DMG 2 that has lots of Complex Traps and lots of fun "Non-Big Six-type" magic items. Even some rules for mass combat, skill challenges, and tips on roleplaying NPCs and building and maintaining campaigns.


Yeah, and they need to do this if they want to compete with Pathfinder, because right now what they have focused on the most is DM resources. Because in your average playgroup, who besides the DM is going to buy an adventure pack? There's no benefit to having more than 1 copy, unlike player resources, which can appeal to the entire group.


I wonder how much money Paizo makes selling Adventure Paths vs. Player Companions vs. Campaign Setting.

If the average group consists of a GM and 4 players, you would expect the Player Companions to sell like hotcakes compared to the Adventure Paths or Campaign Setting material.

But somehow my hunch, maybe from the forums and my own buying habits, is that it's not so.

In any case, Wizards of the Coast is reporting that 5e is their best-selling edition despite their slower release schedule.


Dustin Ashe wrote:

I wonder how much money Paizo makes selling Adventure Paths vs. Player Companions vs. Campaign Setting.

If the average group consists of a GM and 4 players, you would expect the Player Companions to sell like hotcakes compared to the Adventure Paths or Campaign Setting material.

But somehow my hunch, maybe from the forums and my own buying habits, is that it's not so.

In any case, Wizards of the Coast is reporting that 5e is their best-selling edition despite their slower release schedule.

Yeah, however, they're basing that off their sales on Amazon, a retailer where it was being sold at a discounted cost than through other retailers. So that statement can be misleading.


FYI, WotC is also selling a bundle of all seven of the original adventures Yawning Portal is based onat a heavily discounted price, in honor of the YP release.


Saithor wrote:
Yeah, however, they're basing that off their sales on Amazon, a retailer where it was being sold at a discounted cost than through other retailers. So that statement can be misleading.

Are you implying that Wizards is being purposely misleading about their own sales to their investors and the public?


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Saithor wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:

I wonder how much money Paizo makes selling Adventure Paths vs. Player Companions vs. Campaign Setting.

If the average group consists of a GM and 4 players, you would expect the Player Companions to sell like hotcakes compared to the Adventure Paths or Campaign Setting material.

But somehow my hunch, maybe from the forums and my own buying habits, is that it's not so.

In any case, Wizards of the Coast is reporting that 5e is their best-selling edition despite their slower release schedule.

Yeah, however, they're basing that off their sales on Amazon, a retailer where it was being sold at a discounted cost than through other retailers. So that statement can be misleading.

Presuming Dustin Ashe was referring to this speech by the CEO, they were speaking of revenue that WotC received overall. It wasn't based on sales through any specific venue.

The article wrote:
For the first time that I know of, a WOTC CEO participated in the Toy Fair presentation and gave some recognition to Dungeons & Dragons. Chris Cocks said that in 2016, D&D had its best sales in 40 years.

That's quite remarkable (although it's presumably not adjusted for inflation).


hiiamtom wrote:
Well, as written Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, and Against the Giants is a total of 95 pages. I don't have the others so I can't say, but 248 could fit the older modules for sure; I know nothing about Dead in Thay.

One nice feature OBS has is that the store interface tells you the page count of a product before you buy it.

Assuming the page counts on the storefront are accurate, and that the page counts of the PDF versions are the same as the original print runs, the page counts for the seven modules in question are:
C1: 40
Dead in Thay: 107
G1-G3 Against the Giants: 32
S1: 36
S2: 16
The Forge of Fury: 36
Sunless Citadel: 36

Those page counts include the covers and title pages (since those are a part of the PDFs), and those may or may not be included in the page numberings in the physical books. Some of those adventures were also reprinted recently (the 1e version of S1: ToH was reprinted a couple months ago, for example), and I have no idea if the page counts of the reprints are exactly the same as the page counts for the originals.

Regardless, you're correct that all of those adventures are fairly short, so they can probably fit them all in one book. Dead of Thay is longer in part because it includes rules for three different game systems (3.5, 4e, and the then-current beta rules for 5e). Presumably, this compilation won't include 3.5 or 4e rules, which will reduce the page count somewhat.

Dark Archive

So why it is "Forgotten" Realms anyway?

I mean, from sound of how generic it is I'd imagine that is why its forgetable .-.


CorvusMask wrote:

So why it is "Forgotten" Realms anyway?

I mean, from sound of how generic it is I'd imagine that is why its forgetable .-.

Generic? More like trendsetting. It was started in 1967. After Tekumel & Middle-Earth, but preceding Greyhawk, Golarion, Mystara et al.

Dark Archive

2097 wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

So why it is "Forgotten" Realms anyway?

I mean, from sound of how generic it is I'd imagine that is why its forgetable .-.

Generic? More like trendsetting. It was started in 1967. After Tekumel & Middle-Earth, but preceding Greyhawk, Golarion, Mystara et al.

Isn't saying 1967 little bit generous considering it was published in 1987? Also, I'm somehow doubting that Ed Greenwood back when he was 8 years old was a trend setter :P Surely his childhood home campaign setting got influences from the other ones before he published it.

Also you didn't answer the part where I don't get why its "Forgotten" Realms <_< What part about is Forgotten besides the cool sounding title?


You're right, I was a bit snippy there. I'm sorry.
But, whenever we think of "high fantasy", FR tends to come to mind pretty early. I dunno.

I think FR is just OK, I like many other settings more. But I haven't seen any complaints that every new Paizo book is set in Golarion, but it's popped up daily, monthly, weekly and yearly for 5e and FR. We even did get one Barovia book (which I admittedly jumped upon as a starved kitten — I guess I also want to see some non-FR stuff soon).

I had to look up that "forgotten" part.

Wikipedia wrote:
The premise is that, long ago, the Earth and the world of the Forgotten Realms were more closely connected. As time passed, the inhabitants of planet Earth have mostly forgotten about the existence of that other world – hence the term Forgotten Realms. On the original Forgotten Realms logo, which was used until 2000, small runic letters read "Herein lie the lost lands", an allusion to the connection between the two worlds.

Dark Archive

Huh ._. So wait, there is actual real interesting reason for the name? Is it just ignored nowadays(since some D&D fans have allergy for real life references considering some comments regarding Rasputin Must Die) since this is first time I heard of that?

I mean, concept of fantasy setting that used to be connected with Earth until it diverged away is actually interesting and unique concept, how come on this is first time I hear about it in discussion about FR? Why that isn't brought up more often?


Why isn't the same being done that often for Middle-Earth or Hyborian Age? Both also connected to Earth. Every so often you find a busted up WV beetle deep in the dungeon and it's cool. But it's not the core focus of the setting.


CorvusMask wrote:
I mean, concept of fantasy setting that used to be connected with Earth until it diverged away is actually interesting and unique concept, how come on this is first time I hear about it in discussion about FR? Why that isn't brought up more often?

My pet theory is that video gaming killed it through the people creating the game mechanics not being well verse in classic fantasy stories.

While Gygax was extremely well versed, a lot of the (popular) fantasy video games had the story as the bottom of the barrel for influence and was written by the technical staff to save money coming back from the collapse in the 80s. For example, Final Fantasy brought the JRPG to the entire world but was influenced mostly by D&D which is already a degree of separation from the genre fiction.

You can see it by the way people have changed the common understanding of "low fantasy" (i.e. the fantasy genre you are specifically referencing) to mean it isn't as fantastical. Conan is low fantasy, but so is Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's a broad (and now very peculiar) genre convention because stories like The Princess of Mars and Conan were connected to Earth.


Ed Greenwood never really got the true credit he deserved for his part in the creation of D&D, so the fact that his fantasy setting - Forgotten Realms - is the primary world for official D&D publications goes a long ways towards making up for that. At least for me.


2097 wrote:
I think FR is just OK, I like many other settings more. But I haven't seen any complaints that every new Paizo book is set in Golarion, but it's popped up daily, monthly, weekly and yearly for 5e and FR. We even did get one Barovia book (which I admittedly jumped upon as a starved kitten — I guess I also want to see some non-FR stuff soon).

With Paizo, you ONLY have Golarion as a setting. Well, the Golarion-centric universe anyway. So nobody is clamoring for [Other setting Paizo created] because there isn't one.

There are many D&D settings.

In my opinion, almost ALL of them are more interesting than Forgotten Realms. I've enjoyed my time in Greyhawk through Age of Worms, Dark Sun is a fascinating setting with interesting races and economy/ecology, Eberron has that Magitek aesthetic that's hard to find, Dragonlance is...well Dragonlance is just as forgettable as the Realms, but they can't all be winners, right?

And a lot of people seem to agree. Which is why you get people asking for more material written in those settings rather than FR.

In particular I really want a Dark Sun sourcebook updating all the basics for that to 5e. Though they'd have to make Psionics rules first, I guess.

For my part, even though the Realms indirectly got me into RPGs (through the novels) I'd rather spend my time in any other setting. All of the gods bore me, the locations slip out of my mind as soon as I'm not directly being reminded of them any more, and the major NPCs only stand out because they tend to be horrible Mary Sues who in some cases (*cough*Drizzt*cough*) directly lead to really stupid rules decisions being made to keep their character builds viable.

Grand Lodge

CorvusMask wrote:

Huh ._. So wait, there is actual real interesting reason for the name? Is it just ignored nowadays(since some D&D fans have allergy for real life references considering some comments regarding Rasputin Must Die) since this is first time I heard of that?

I mean, concept of fantasy setting that used to be connected with Earth until it diverged away is actually interesting and unique concept, how come on this is first time I hear about it in discussion about FR? Why that isn't brought up more often?

It goes further than a simple lost and forgotten connection with Earth. The whole in-game/out-of-game "reason" we as real-life gamers are able to play D&D in the Forgotten Realms is because Elminster "visited" Ed Greenwood (on a semi-regular basis), and imparted various bits of Realmslore to him...

Some such "visitations" were "related" through various Dragon Magazine articles throughout the 80's and 90's; such as the various "Wizards Three" articles, where not only Elminster, but Mordenkainen (of Greyhawk), and Dalamar (of Dragonlance) swapped spells and "talked shop" in Ed Greenwood's home while eating and drinking various Earthly delicacies/cuisines.


Sundakan wrote:
There are many D&D settings.

Yeah, this I'm totally on board with. I want Spelljammer and, even more, I want Dark Sun, a really really sandboxy and toolkity and rolltable driven Dark Sun. I pretty much want a "Red Tide"-style book for 5e Dark Sun but with the classes and monsters and stuff that WotC could put in there. (I.e. I want the double Crawford ­— Kevin Crawford style tools, Jeremy Crawford style rules.) I could see them making a stand-alone player book for it, too, one that doesn't need the PHB. Dark Sun is so great.

But I've also seen others say "We want a completely new setting" and that question makes me wonder why we don't see the same for PF. People are happy with Golarion & the novels and worlds in it. That's what WotC are hoping to create for FR.

Also, it's a money thing. After D&D went open source (and their attempt to put the genie back in the bottle by making 4e very different & non-OGL got a mixed reception*), maybe they see Forgotten Realms as their income source. Licensing it.

*: It wasn't the designer's intent to not have 4e be OGL according to interviews with Heinsoo, nor was "make it very different" the main motivation for his design. But, it just happened to come out very different and Hasbro saw their chance to not OGL it. I'm so happy 5e is OGL.

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