Dungeons & Dragons has announced plans to release a new campaign setting in 2019.
Nathan Stewart, the senior director of Dungeons & Dragons and Avalon Hill, made the announcement on his monthly "Spoilers & Swag" Twitchcast yesterday. "Next year for our annual releases I can confirm there will be a setting book," he said. "A new setting book. A book that we have not created that is for a D&D setting."
Campaign setting books provide crucial worldbuilding details for specific pre-created settings that players can have their D&D campaigns set in. These books usually provide details about specific cities, religions, guilds, and threats that exist in the world, along with some specific plot hooks for players to potentially explore.
These shouldn't be confused with D&D's annual adventure publications, where players follow a specific storyline. However, these setting books are great for DMs crafting their own story but don't want to spend time building a brand new world.
Stewart did not say what campaign setting would be featured in the publication, but he did note that the D&D team did not release setting books every year. In fact, since the release of D&D's Fifth Edition back in 2014, Wizards of the Coast has only released two campaign setting books - Sword Coast's Adventurer's Guide and the upcoming Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica. The D&D team also had a soft launch of the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron earlier this year via their DMs Guild website.
There are a couple of popular settings that D&D fans have wanted for years. D&D fans have noticed an uptick in the amount of content from the "Spelljammer" setting, a world where players could explore different planets using magically-powered ships. While jokingly noting that the upcoming campaign setting book wasn't related to Spelljammer, Stewart even mentioned that Chris Perkins (the lead story designer for D&D) and Mike Mearls (creative director for D&D) had even designed rules and playtested how to fly one of the Spelljammer ships.
Other possibilities include the post-apocalyptic "Dark Sun" setting, the classic "Greyhawk" setting designed by D&D co-creator Gary Gygax, the "Dragonlance" setting popularized by Margaret Weis's fantasy novels, or even the ethereal "Planescape" setting. We've seen Mearls publicly tinker with rules with psionics, a player class associated with Dark Sun, while 2017's Tales from the Yawning Portal featured several popular dungeons and adventures associated with Greyhawk.1comments
It's also possible that D&D is working on a new campaign setting, although we should note that Stewart mentioned earlier this year that there were no "current plans" for a new campaign setting due to all the worlds still untouched by Fifth Edition rules.
Hopefully we'll know more about the new D&D book in the next few months. Meanwhile, D&D has two new publications, Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage and Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, out in November.