Roleplaying Games Should Be Fun

The fun of gaming

Can I Haz Campaign Setting?

Posted by Brett on May 5, 2009

Settings for D&D, and other games, are as varied and fantastic as their respective game systems. I do enjoy a really good campaign setting. My favourites include: Mutant and Mastermind’s Freedom City, which is a good solid foundation for any kind of modernish type superhero game; for D&D I’ve alwasy enjoyed Planescape for all of its weirdness and incredible philosophical wonder, Eberron for its twisting of D&D tropes, and Forgotten Realms for readings its novels (I can’t seem to get into playing, the setting is too big); Star Wars is well Star Wars, who can’t love that?; lastly we have Rifts, arguably the worst most broken game system ever, but damn if that isn’t as wicked-cool-awesome-sweet as a Real Ultimate Power [insert link] Ninja idea for a game setting.

I fully plan on running Eberron 4E once the campaign and player guides are released in June/July 2009. Something about the setting just caught, maybe its the logical progression of understandable controllable magic, maybe its the crazy post war Indiana Jones world hopping, red line traveling fun, or maybe its warforged. Yes, warforged. They are very, very cool to me. A constructed creature imbued with a soul, some good, some bad, some in between but all of them are cognizant of their place in the world and needing to find a new place in the world. That is what I like about a campaign setting, it makes it easy to find a place in the world for the players. That is what I try to create whenever I get to starting a new campaign, a place in the world for the PCs to take charge.

My newest attempt is a rebuild using D&D of a shamelessly stolen idea from a player. The idea is to defend a town from an incoming invasion of monstrous hordes. The wrinkle is that only the players know about the invasion, none of the NPCs will believe them, at least nobody that can do anything to help. Right there we have a hook that puts the players squarely in control of the game direction. They get to choose where, when and how they try to stop the invading hordes. Or not, but thats completely up to them

My favourite settings all do something similar. Freedom City makes your characters superheroes, and by the default game standards they aren’t scrubs either. They are powerful, talented and capable. At least as capable as the X-Men, and this gives them an immediate place, because they can take care of themselves. Planescape did very much the same thing, since belief and how that affected the world worked much the same way. The characters could advance multiplanar schemes and conquests and still be level one, as I recall the Factol of the Athar was a level one petitioner to use AD&D Second Edition parlance. The PCs could be that guy, and that was the fun of the setting.

What are your favourite campaign settings? Why do you love them so?

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