UPDATED: D&D to Release Two Storylines a Year Through 2018

Since I wrote this article in November 2014 quite a few things have changed, so I thought it was time to update the original article.

  • In a recent interview, Jeremy Crawford commented that the official setting of the D&D tabletop RPG “is the multiverse, which includes all D&D worlds.
  • On Twitter, Chris Perkins revealed he has something in the works for 2016, which just might be a new setting based on his own world called Valoreign.
  • Errata documents will be released this spring.
  • It is likely that the Warforged race (from Eberron) and Kender race (from Dragonlance) will be covered in an upcoming article on the Dungeon & Dragons site. Comments by Mike Mearls have pretty much confirmed this, with Warforged “up first”.
  • Previously, Mike Mearls let us know that they are ” looking at two storylines a year” and have “plans laid down for stories up through 2018.


So what do we get every six months?

It appears that each storyline will provide some (or all) of the following:

  • Optional: storyline specific Adventurer’s Handbook, with new races, classes, backgrounds, feats, equipment lists.
    Not every story will necessarily include a player option type book” – Chris Perkins
    We have not seen an Adventurer’s Handbook yet, since Elemental Evil is releasing this content in the adventure/as part of a free PDF.
  • Adventure for that storyline (1 or 2 books) for the Dungeon Master with additional details for that setting such as adventure specific bonds, locations, monsters, magic items and NPCs.
    Tyranny of Dragons was two books, but this might have been a time crunch decision. I think that we’ll most likely see one book for future adventures and Elemental Evil is following this pattern.
  • Free downloadable storyline supplements at official D&D site.
    Both Tyranny of Dragons adventures provided free supplements online and Elemental Evil will be as well.
  • Support with storyline specific video games, comics, miniatures and more.
    We have seen good support on Tyranny of Dragons for all of these so far and Elemental Evil has already announced a bunch of products including a new board game.
  • Digital Versions
    We have every intention of releasing the books in electronic versions. But we don’t have a date at this time.” – Chris Perkins
    There has been no announcement of digital PDFs for any books yet.

Looking forward to 2018 provides 6 unaccounted for slots for our favorite settings of the past and new settings. Here is a possible release schedule. This is based only on what I have read when Mearls has been asked about future releases (such as this AMA back in November 2014) and what I have seen included in the Player’s Handbook.


2014

wpn_header_tiametart

Tyranny of Dragons

Setting: Forgotten Realms – Sword Coast.

  • Player’s Handbook – Released August 2014
    Everything a player needs to create heroic characters for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
  • Hoard of the Dragon Queen  – Released August 2014
    Fight the war against draconic oppression.
  • Rise of Tiamat – Released October 2014
    Avert the Cataclysmic Return of Tiamat.

2015

D&D Elemental Evil

Elemental Evil

Read Elemental Evil Storyline & Product Offerings Unveiled

Setting: Forgotten Realms – Sword Coast Sumber Hills and Dessarin River Valley

  • Elemental Evil Adventurer’s Handbook (CANCELLED) – March 17, 2015; hardcover; $39.95
  • Princes of the Apolcalypse – April 7, 2015; hardcover; $49.95
    Abolish an Ancient Evil Threatening Devastation in this Adventure for the World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game.

    • This book (like both Tyranny of Dragons books) will be supported by a free PDF.
    • According to Jeremy Crawford, some of material in the download will also appear in the hardcover.
    • Crawford commented that he “thinks” the book might be in the 256-300 page range, but “can’t remember off the top of [his] head.”
  • Products: Board Game, Miniatures from WizKids and Gale Force 9, Dungeon Master’s Screen from Gale Force Nine.
  • Digital: “Neverwinter: Elemental Evil brings a new playable class—the Paladin—and increases the game’s level cap to 70.”

alice

Alice in Wonderland” Inspired Storyline

  • Late 2015 Release
  • Already in development, this storyline that will come out next after Elemental Evil
  • What You Get: ???
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure Book
  • Digital: ???

Here is where pure speculation begins on a release schedule that I can imagine happening. The settings most mentioned/supported in the Player’s Handbook are Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Greyhawk and Dragonlance. I have not included Planescape, Spelljammer and other settings. I put Eberron towards the end (but included), since it was part of 3.xe/4e and I think they want to cover the more traditional stuff first. The important thing to remember is that their focus in on stories not settings and they are leaning really heavy so far on providing support for the Realms.


2016

Storyline A – World of Greyhawk

WotC_Greyhawk

  • Early 2016 Release???
  • According to Wizards… a Giants based story influenced by a Shakespearean play. List of Shakespeare plays, by genre
  • Set in a new world? or maybe this is set in Greyhawk or another existing setting such as Forgotten Realms.

If this is set in Greyhawk…

  • What You Get: Old school vibe? Not really sure what this setting can offer for 5th edition, but I think it should provide typical medieval fantasy with knights, dungeons, dragons and castles. Maybe we’ll see a return of Fighting Man and Dwarf and Elf as classes 😉
  • About the Setting: In the early 70s Gary Gygax (co-developer of D&D) created Castle Greyhawk so his players would have a castle and dungeon to explore. This home campaign expanded to include an entire medieval-Europe type world, which was published in 1980. Setting a new storyline in Greyhawk would show just how committed Wizards of the Coast is to supporting the original fans of D&D. Greyhawk might also work better for some DMs as their default fantasy world if they don’t want to bother with all of the history of the Forgotten Realms. Greyhawk also fits well as a replacement for the D&D 4th edition Nentir Vale/Points of Light default setting that was outlined in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale and many adventures.
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure Book, Campaign Setting
  • Digital: ???

EVERYTHING FROM THIS POINT ON IS PURE 100% SPECULATION

Storyline B – “Valoreign” – Chris Perkins’ Setting / Arthurian

  • Late 2016 Release
  • About the Storyline: It might be time for Chris Perkins’ “Valoreign” setting to join the ranks of other settings created by Keith Baker (Eberron) and Ed Grimwood (Forgotten Realms) that are now official settings. Chris Perkins tweeted “I have a project releasing in 2016 that I’m very proud of.” on January 20, 2015. He also tweeted “We’ve got some non-FR stuff in the works. Stay tuned!”. You can view the conversations at ENWorld. PDFs have been released in the past by Chris that tell us that Valoreign is an island kingdom (a map of Britain turned 180º) and the setting is inspired by Arthurian legend and medieval England. If Wizards of the Coast is looking to release an Arthurian inspired campaign setting – this would be a really good match.
  • Books: Adventure Book, Campaign Setting
  • Digital: Not likely.

2017

Storyline C – Psionic (Dark Sun?)

dark-sun-logo-4e

  • Early 2017 Release
  • What You Get: Psionic Class options such as Psion, Wilder, Ardent and Battlemind. Cleric Mind Domain.
  • About the Storyline:  Similar to what they are doing with the Elemental Evil storyline. Not sure where it would be set (Dark Sun), but this would expand the player options to include psionic class options and perhaps a Mind Domain for clerics. Dark Sun (1991) is set in a dying earth setting and features the fictional harsh, desert world of Athas where water and metals are extremely scarce.
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure Book(s), Campaign Setting
  • Wildcard: This could be set in Dark Sun
  • Digital: Maybe an expansion pack for one of the previously released games.

Storyline D – Dragonlance

Dragonlance-Logo

  • Late 2017 Release
  • What You Will Get: Kender, Gully Dwarves and Draconian races.
  • What You Might Get: Minotaur, Aquatic Elves, Bakali, Centaurs, expansion of Elven and Dwarven subraces.
  • About the Setting: Before Forgotten Realms was a bestselling book series and campaign setting there was Dragonlance. Set in Krynn, Dragonlance was popular in the 1980s and beyond… with a long history detailed in adventures, novels and an animated movie starring Kiefer Sutherland. There are some behind the scenes hurdles for seeing Dragonlance happen, especially since a new story will be needed and the best people to provide a new story would be big gun Dragonlance authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I’m a huge Dragonlance fan and I’m personally rooting for this setting to come out with new stuff before anything else.
    It is likely that the Kender race will be covered in an upcoming article on the Dungeon & Dragons site and comments by Mike Mearls have pretty much confirmed this.
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure Book, Campaign Setting
  • Digital: I would like to see a Dragonlance game, but the Realms seems to be the main setting for the game so far.

2018

Storyline E – Forgotten Realms 4 – Underdark

  • Early 2018 Release
  • What You Get: More Drow, more Illithids (Mind Flayers) and underdark monsters and Drizzt! This could be a really hard campaigns for higher level characters.
  • About the Setting: The Underdark is a vast subterranean network of interconnected caverns and tunnels, stretching beneath entire continents and forming an underworld for surface settings. This could be set under Forgotten Realms as seen in the Legend of Drizzt series by R. A. Salvatore or under any campaign setting. Check out our list of 10 Monsters for Cave / Underground Encounter.
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure Book, Campaign Setting
  • Digital: Expansion pack for Forgotten Realms game.

Storyline F – Eberron

eberron-logo

  • Late 2018 Release
  • What You Will Get: Artificer class, Warforged race
  • About the Setting: Eberron was created by Keith Baker in 2002 and was released in 2005. Eberron is a setting with non-traditional fantasy technologies such as trains, skyships, and mechanical beings which are all powered by magic. It combines a fantasy tone with pulp and dark adventure elements in a period after a vast destructive war.
    It is likely that the Warforged race will be covered in an upcoming article on the Dungeon & Dragons site and comments by Mike Mearls have pretty much confirmed this.
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure Book, Campaign Setting
  • Digital: I would love to see an Eberron game too!


2019 and Beyond

In this group below, I could easily see Ravenloft or a primal storyline showing up earlier, maybe in the late 2017 slot I put Dragonlance in.

Ravenloft

RavenloftLogo

  • What Your Would Get: Dark power checks. Additional options for Clerics, Bards, Paladins and Rogues.
  • About the Setting: If you want a gothic horror setting, Ravenloft is a setting where DMs are encouraged to build fear, culminating in the eventual face-to-face meeting with the nameless evil.
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure (1 to 2 Books)
  • Digital: They did the board game. Now make a video game. Castlevania is awesome.

Primal (Feywild?)

  • What You Might Get: Minotaur, Wilden, Goliath and other Fey races. Seeker, Shaman and Warden classes. More options for Barbarian, Druid and Ranger.
  • About the Storyline: This might work best set in the Feywild. It could but this would expand the player options to include class options such as Seeker, Shaman and Warden. It could expand Barbarian, Druid and Ranger classes.
  • Books: Player Handbook, Adventure (1 to 2 Books)
  • Digital: Feywild expansion pack?

Planar / Planescape

  • Developed by Zeb Cook, Planescape was published in 1994 and is supported in Player’s Handbook with the cosmic wheel on page 303. This connects the numerous planes of existence, encompassing an entire cosmology called the Great Wheel, as originally developed in the Manual of the Planes by Jeff Grubb. This includes many of the other Dungeons & Dragons worlds, linking them via inter-dimensional magical portals.
  • This could be a higher level campaign, maybe even a way to introduce becoming a demi-god for characters level 21 and beyond.

Other Ideas

  • More Forgotten Realms
  • Dark Sun if not covered by Psionics
  • Pirates of the Fallen Stars – pirates and swashbuckling set in the Forgotten Realms. Paizo/Pathfinder is pushing pretty hard on its pirate setting (Skull & Shackles) with adventures and a card game.
  • Spelljammer – a fantastic outer space setting that provides a way of connecting settings such as Dragonlance (Krynn) to Forgotten Realms (Toril) via space travel via open deck space galleons
  • Modern Adventure (e.g. D20 Modern) – rules for modern weapons will be included in the Dungeon Master’s Guide
  • Classical or Mythic Adventure – Celtic, Norse, Greco-Rome, Egypt inspired settings. Their deities are mentioned specifically in the Player’s Handbook.

Let me know what you think of this in the comments below…

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