D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

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Tim Baker
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D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:37 am

The latest Unearthed Arcana playtests cover the Aberrant Mind Sorcerous Origin and The Lurker in the Deep Patron and the Path of the Wild Soul and Way of the Astral Self. UA articles often hint at upcoming products. What do you think these are pointing toward? My best guess is some sort of planar handbook. Or perhaps it's a combined player book with some setting details, similar to the recent Ravnica and upcoming Eberron books? Could this hint at Planescape, perhaps?

What are your thoughts on these UA playtest sub-classes? And what product would you guess they'll be included in?

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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:18 pm

Very interesting. I'm not too keen on 5E overall, but a 5E planes book would be a blind buy purchase for me since I've been obsessed with cosmology books in gaming.
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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Seethyr » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:40 pm

It’s likely due to Descent into Avernus. I mean, I hope I am wrong, but I get the feeling we will get as much Planescape out of this next year as Curse of Strahd gave us Ravenloft.

I doubt a dedicated Planescape update is in the works
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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:03 am

Seethyr wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:40 pm
I get the feeling we will get as much Planescape out of this next year as Curse of Strahd gave us Ravenloft.

I doubt a dedicated Planescape update is in the works
That's my guess as well. The pattern seems to be a single adventure/sourcebook to launch support for one of the classic campaign settings. Maybe we'll eventually see follow-up products, but for now WotC seems happy to leave further support to the DM's Guild.

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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Big Mac » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:30 pm

Tim Baker wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:03 am
Seethyr wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:40 pm
I get the feeling we will get as much Planescape out of this next year as Curse of Strahd gave us Ravenloft.

I doubt a dedicated Planescape update is in the works
That's my guess as well. The pattern seems to be a single adventure/sourcebook to launch support for one of the classic campaign settings. Maybe we'll eventually see follow-up products, but for now WotC seems happy to leave further support to the DM's Guild.
5e seems to very much be the edition of the "Use this in your own setting" and "It also works with Forgotten Realms" mantras.

How well did Curse of Strahd stand up as a book that could be used without Ravenloft...and as a book that could be used with the Forgotten Realms?

How easy (or hard) would it be for a 5e book to work as a "use this cosmology around your own fantasy world" thing? And how easy (or hard) would it be for a 5e book to work as a "this works with Forgotten Realms...including working with the funky 3e and 4e changes" thing?

I think that if you can make an adventure/sourcebook that covers a number of easy-to-use-in-your-game planes, that book could have some sidebard to cover Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dragonlance and other campaign settings.
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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by timemrick » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:53 pm

I just blogged about my reactions to these this week, though my focus in those reviews is how to use UA with Freeport.

If this material is for an add-on to an adventure, I'll be less interested than if it's for a more general standalone book. (Ghosts of Saltmarsh was an exception; the ship rules were previewed in UA, but the rest of the book contained just the kind of adventures I'd want to adapt to Freeport, too.)
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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:58 pm

timemrick wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:53 pm
If this material is for an add-on to an adventure, I'll be less interested than if it's for a more general standalone book.
I haven't seen enough UA content to indicate that another pure sourcebook is on its way, like I did with Xanathar's Guide. That doesn't rule it out, but in 5 years, we've seen one Xanathar's Guide and a couple player/monster books. We've seen 2-3 hardcover adventure books, sometimes with sourcebook material, per year. So the odds are on the content being combined with an adventure. That's my best guess, but we shall see.

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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:01 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:30 pm
How well did Curse of Strahd stand up as a book that could be used without Ravenloft...and as a book that could be used with the Forgotten Realms?
Curse of Strahd is pretty Ravenloft-specific. From the Vistani and the Tarokka Deck to the mists themselves, there are several Ravenloft elements in the book. You could strip those away or say that they're a part of your vision for the Realms, but it's a book that feels like it takes place in Ravenloft.

But you make a point about Ghosts of Saltmarsh, for example, where it would be pretty easy to move those adventures to the Realms. Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica is another example of a book where the adventure wouldn't easily fit in FR, once again. So they vary.

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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Seethyr » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:06 pm

I'm still stuck in the "it's all connected" mentality from 2e, and the "well this Greyhawk location is now in the Realms" thing is killing me...

I mean, in the official lore, whatever we do in our own personal campaigns is just that.
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Re: D&D 5e Planar Handbook?

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:11 am

Seethyr wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:06 pm
I'm still stuck in the "it's all connected" mentality from 2e, and the "well this Greyhawk location is now in the Realms" thing is killing me...

I mean, in the official lore, whatever we do in our own personal campaigns is just that.
That's understandable. It's a valid approach, especially given the pains TSR once went through to connect everything.

I suspect I approach things a different way, by default. Because my favorite game system doesn't have much in the way of published adventures (at least not in comparison to the rate at which I burn through the content they put out), I adapt encounters and entire adventures from a wide variety of systems and settings.

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