February 20, 2015

5E Friday - Forgotten Realms

I'm not sure why WotC is sticking with Forgotten Realms as the default setting for 5E*. It doesn't look like there will be any specific Forgotten Realms sourcebook coming out for 5E, so there is no money to be made from the setting itself. Is it because FR is generic enough that they can produce any set of adventures and have them set in FR without any extra work? Is it that they think they can slap the Forgotten Realms name onto a generic product and assume they will get some sales just from the name?

I have a bunch of the FR products all the way back to when it first came out. I like the setting, however...I am tired of WotC always going to FR for their setting. I want something new, something exciting - and changing FR is not the excitement I am looking for. New and fresh is the thing I am looking for.

The most recent new setting was Eberron. Did Eberron not sell as well as FR material? I know there were a lot of books out for the setting, but to me it never seemed to reach the heights of FR. Is putting the FR label on a book more effective for generating sales than putting on an Eberron label?

I know there was much talk about the multitude of 2E settings (FR, Planescape, Ravenloft, Birthright, Dark Sun, Al-Qadim, Greyhawk, Spelljammer) as being a catalyst for the downfall of TSR. They simply couldn't support the lines at a profit - too much customer money was spread over too many lines. Are they worried about diluting the 5E customer money by supporting FR and other settings.

or...are they out of new ideas. Are they incapable of producing a new setting that won't be compared to an earlier setting. If they do a dark, gritty setting will people just say its the 5E version of Dark Sun? If they make it generic will it be "just another Forgotten Realms". They can't make a new horror or kingdom management or arabian or plane-hopping setting without drawing comparisons to their older lines. Can they not come up with a new setting that doesn't remind people of other, previous settings?

Is WotC scared of producing a new setting and having it fail?

I am trying to understand why the Forgotten Realms is the default setting for 5E. Or more to the point, why aren't they producing a completely new setting?

*Recently D&D's brand director, Nathan Stewart stated "The Forgotten Realms is the universe that we at Wizards of the Coast are focusing our storytelling in for the foreseeable future"

Post a Comment