Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Question

Lately I've been splitting time between issue #5 of the Manor and developing a campaign setting and a ruleset to go with it.  Most of what I'm doing with the ruleset is a pick and choose of what I like from other systems.  The most mine in the creation will be the class concepts based on the culture they come from.  Even then I am stealing from every article/supplement/post I can find.  There is no shortage of class variant information.

The world itself will be about 80% mine and 20% borrowed.  This will help with time on my part and because people have better idea than I do at least explain them better.  So if you find a great concept why try to over think it.  Use it.  I've started building my campaign influence page.  There will be blog posts, articles and products I am using.  I'll write a few sentences to describe how I'm using it and/or why I like it. 

So my question to you is do you have a favorite campaign setting?  Homemade?  Canned?  Fantasy?  Cyberpunk?  What setting gets you to salivate?

Without a doubt mine has been Judge Guild, City-State of the Invincible Overlord.  Primarily because +Rob Conley has run me through his campaign world through the years.  I enjoy wandering the streets of City-State because I always seem to find new things and get into the same old trouble.  It's a blast.  In addition I know the history and understand the interaction between cultures and classes and a bit of the history.  Some of the old characters helped define some of the history.

So what is your favorite setting?


  1. Glad to see you enjoyed it so much. Between you, D, Dave, Brian, and everybody else it got flesh out into a pretty interesting place.

  2. My favorite setting is Tekumel from _Empire of the Petal Throne_ and other incarnations. After that, if we're talking fantasy, it would be a friend's homebrew called Wraithworld. It took place on a ringworld that had magic. I played an undying enchanter who was writing a travelogue. In the course of about 6 months, I covered about 1 million miles.

  3. My favourite setting is homebrew campaign to be discarded for the next homebrew campaign, every few years... with whole areas borrowed from other sources.

    But I used to DM a lot of Forgotten Realms and the articles from Micheal Curtis made me almost wanting to go back...

  4. Not very imaginative perhaps, but I love Mystara. :-)

  5. My own Verloren, I'd have to say. Mainly because its full of interesting story hooks.

  6. In theory, I love Oerth. The problem is that I haven't seen anyone run it in a way that I like, not even Gary Gygax. That's what can sometimes come of getting the very first overview product (the Folio) and not seeing hardly anything else produced for the line for years (the only thing I saw specifically for Oerth other than the Folio until the 1990s was GDQ, counting all of the individual modules together as one thing; I didn't even see a copy of Hommlet until 2E was out). So, I guess you could say that "My World of Greyhawk" is among my favorite settings.

    In practice, though, I never run that, so it would have to be something else. I like Mystara fine, and Tekumel is fascinating (if forbidding in its deep detail). I have a longstanding fascination with Dark Space (a science fantasy setting for Rolemaster that Monte Cook wrote back when he wrote things for Rolemaster). The gnostic reality of Kult and the cosmic horror of Lovecraft Country are high on my list (though, I think that I like the Dreamlands a bit more than either of those). The Imperium of Traveller is terrific, though I am still so upset all these years later at how it was treated that I have lost some enjoyment with it. The worlds of 2300AD (aka Traveller: 2300) are fascinating. Shadowrun's Sixth World will always be something that I enjoy (even if I have never really been happy with the rules systems that have been attached to it). I love Glorantha, but I loved it more before the story gamers got such a strong grip on it and filled in too much of the detail. Spelljammer is a fantastic idea, but I'd like to see that idea implemented better someday.

    I like all of those, but I am groping my way toward a setting that is perfect for me. I know some of the features of it already: it has sixguns, it has dark magicians who treat with spirits in smoke-filled tents, it has Irish clansmen charging to battle across lonely moors, it bears roughly the same relation to the historic Old West that Tolkien's Middle-Earth bears to late Iron Age Europe. There are snake oil salesmen, giant blue oxen, sacred priestesses who worship the goddess of love and pleasure, brooding gunfighters who follow the ways of death, werewolves, horse tribes of the plains, cannibal spirits of the wastes, cruel judges and wise ones, mountain men, and so much more. Anyway, that's taking shape in my mind, and I'll be doing something with it soon that will give it more shape.

    Wow. Didn't mean to go on that long. I just had to think that one through. Still no real conclusion, I notice. Ah, well.

  7. The Weird Opera world I'm developing on my blog. I'm really taken with how it grows blogpost-after-blogpost: write a bit about countries, some new races and monsters, some organizations, and taken all together it takes on a life of its own. The sum is more than its parts, and that's something I really enjoy.

  8. I'm a huge fan of any universe with monster hunting in it. :-) I've enjoyed GURPS Black Ops (as GM, and player once or twice), would love to run or play in a BtVS campaign, and I keep twitching over GURPS Monster Hunters.

  9. 1. As a player: Rob Conley's "Majestic Wilderlands" (with Rob as GM)

    2. As a GM, my own Emmon setting: Earthsea + Ancient Greece + Pirates

    3. On paper: The setting for "Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies"

    I'm with Mr. Cole on twitching over GURPS Monster Hunters.

  10. I'm not sure I really have one. I don't think I've ever played or run a setting that I didn't like. And I get the old "ooh shiny" complex to easily to stay fixated on any one setting for too long.

    1. Sometimes the "ooh shiny" complex can get "ooh expensive!"

      At one point, I was trying to collect all the settings for D&D 3.x, even though I didn't play it. Mainly, I was gathering up the main campaign source book for each setting. I stopped after I envisioned myself on an episode of "Hoarders."

  11. I bought a fair amount of Judges Guild at one point and never used any of it. Then again I can say the same for most supplements.

    Yet I have to consider it one of the two big inspirations for some of my more recent home brew, along with the truly massive Free City Haven from Game Lords. Somewhere I have Tarantis and the City State. For it's time Thieves Guild had a different orientation, city adventures.

    Which is my own massive city. I started mapping it during a slump in play and eventually finished it.

    I basically gave in to a trend I noticed. If players can sell or trade magic, then they want the largest market. So why not start in the largest city? It also makes it easy to allow people to opt in and out of any given game session, since the action doesn't involve a remote wilderness.

    Since unlike those old supplements (Haven was a hundred and forty pages or so, the binder was a commitment)mine is on disc, it makes it easy to modify for different scenarios. It lets me cut out an Inn or Temple out and throw it up on the screen or print it out, on the spur of the moment. (Even to scale sometimes.) Set up a scenario that runs from the Palace sewers into the Smith Quarter and end up in the slum's of Cliffside

    Take the idea of parallel worlds. Having a pre-made city means I can run an adventure to the world where spock has a beard, that a plague hit, that vampires took over, or where magic was eradicated years ago. That one of a kind magic item? Well it still exists in another universe.

    I've made lot of universes over the years, new worlds is still one of my favorite activities. Truthfully, I have a lot of books I like to rip off.