Exclusive: 'Dungeons & Dragons' to Announce New Settings for Fifth Edition Later This Year

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Dungeons & Dragons plans to announce several additional publications in 2018 which will add new campaign settings for players outside of the Forgotten Realms.

ComicBook.com spoke with Nathan Stewart, the Brand Director and Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons, at the Stream of Many Eyes, a massive three-day event held last weekend in Los Angeles to promote the reveal of two new adventure storylines (Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Water Deep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage) that will be released later in 2018. When asked to give a tease about plans for 2019, Stewart revealed that the brand still had more surprises for later this year.

"Next month we're going to talk about a couple of different settings that people can start playing as early as this year," Stewart said.

These new publications won't be full-blown storylines, but rather an introduction to different worlds set inside the D&D multiverse. "It's going to be more like at the level of how Barovia [introduced in the Curse of Strahd adventure storyline] is in terms of stuff. Here's a thing that's going to give you a taste of the setting, but we're not going to that setting yet, we're just letting you get in there and start doing it."

Stewart compared the unrevealed product to Waterdeep: Dungeon Heist, which doubles as a low-level adventure and an explanation for how to run campaigns in a large urban setting.

A big part of the process for putting out the new books was digging into the worlds and making sure that the backstory and nuances to that world made sense. With revamping classic campaigns, it's important for the company to make sure there's enough detail for players and DMs to build their stories around.

Stewart provided Curse of Strahd as an example, in which a large portion of the book is dedicated to describing the populace, economy, and backstory of many of the key characters of Barovia. The purpose of including all that information in the book was to emphasize how dark and depressing that setting was. "Castle Ravenloft's been done a hundred times," Stewart said. "But, this plane you get into, like, 'Oh, shit.'"

Stewart declined to say which campaign settings D&D would be revisiting this year, but he did note that the books would please "hardcore fans" of the franchise. Stewart also noted that D&D was listening to its fans about what they wanted to see from the franchise, and that they were quietly working on these projects in the background in part because of fan feedback.

Dungeons & Dragons has already started to tease popular worlds in some of their publications and online programs. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes recently introduced the giff, an anthropomorphic hippo mercenary from the sci-fi inspired "Spelljammer" setting, as a foe for players to battle. In addition, D&D story designer Chris Perkins also noted that a spelljammer helm would appear in Dungeon of the Mad Mage as a possession of Halaster Blackcloak, the titular "mad mage" who created the Undermountain mega-dungeon.

Mike Mearls, D&D's franchise creative director, has also been teasing psionics on Twitter and in his weekly "Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour" program. Psionics are a core mechanic of multiple classes, including those featured in the Dark Sun campaign setting.

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Dungeons & Dragons plans to start talking about the new product as early as next month. "We have two surprises that I think hardcore D&D fans are really going to love coming this summer," Stewart said. "And then I think we got one surprise that's going to release later this year that we've not told anyone about. We're going to announce it in July."

Let us know what D&D campaign settings you hope the franchise will revisit in the comment section!