The overlords of the venerable Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game promise that big things are in the works over the next couple of years, including some classic fantasy RPG worlds that fans have been asking them to revisit.
During a stream to cap off the weekend’s D&D Celebration on Sunday that largely marked the recent release of the Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden adventure set in the Forgotten Realms world, Wizards of the Coast’s D&D executive producer Ray Winninger said at least three more classic Dungeons & Dragons settings are coming back in some form in the next couple of years.
“We’re working on several of those,” Winninger said. “I can tell you right now there are three of the old settings that we’re working on right now that you’ll be seeing coming up here in the next year or two, including some that the fans have been asking for for a very long time.”
Winninger said there was a “renewed emphasis on settings,” and a number of upcoming products will resemble the format of sourcebooks like the recent Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, which brought the world of the popular Critical Role streaming game to life at gaming tables. “We’re gonna try to stretch the boundaries of D&D by putting more settings out there, more places where you can set your own adventures,” he said.
He also said there would be a focus on anthology products that bring more newcomers and diverse voices into the fold of product development. Another thing to look out for will be adventures and other D&D products that don’t fit the “conventional” mold for the RPG, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in four years. Winninger said to expect to see sourcebooks and material that cover things not previously explored in D&D territory.
Without getting more specific, Liz Schuh, D&D publishing and licensing brand manager and 25-year company veteran, said WotC is exploring a lot of products that can’t be contained within two book covers, with an eye toward enhancing the immersive storytelling experience at the table. “Much of our line is made up of books, but I think you’ll see more and more product from us that isn’t just a traditional RPG book,” she said.
Schuh and Winninger added that there would be more collaboration with Wizards’ other major brand, the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, beyond the sourcebooks that have already been released (Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica, Mythic Odysseys of Theros and several free PDFs) and the upcoming D&D-themed 2021 Magic expansion that was recently announced.
But it’s classic Dungeons & Dragons settings — worlds like Dragonlance, Greyhaw, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, Planescape (in no particular order) — that the fans have been clamoring for. Fifth Edition D&D has been very Forgotten Realms-heavy, with a dash of Greyhawk and a more substantial helping of Eberron and Ravenloft here and there (and many lines between worlds blurred).
“Some of the most spirited conversations that we have within the team are around some of those old settings and which ones are we going to bring back first,” Schuh said. “There’s a lot of good debate around that.”
Which new or old RPG worlds do you hope to see in the next few years of D&D releases?