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Campaign Setting and Adventure discussion - Everybody hates Dragonlance

Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons......eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
edited February 2011 in Critical Failures
Give a DM a chance and he'll pull out a powerpoint presentation explaining the cosmology of his home-brewed setting. That or he'll lament about his players having done something which has pushed his carefully produced story into the background as they instead concern themselves with some throw away detail.

This is the place where we can discuss settings and adventures for all the various RPG systems that there are. Made a new world for your new Pathfinder game? Struggling to come up with a suitable reason for your gang of werewolves to do some complicated werewolf thing for your Werewolf game? Need to know if there's any "canon" stuff about goblin deities in the default (and yet quite intentionally nebulous) "Points of Light"4e setting

To start us off, I'll include some bits and bobs about popular settings

World of Darkness
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The setting used by Whitewolf for their collection of connected games involving vampires, werewolves, changelings, the people who hunt the aforementioned monsters and every so often, a brand new group of entities. This setting is the default for the WoD games, and for the most is something along the lines of the real world but with monsters that the overwhelming majority of people don't know about and/or choose to ignore.

The new edition of the rules streamlined the problems the setting had developed over the years (mainly that each of the player types had been considered as a stand alone game despite coexisting).

Eberron
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The newest, excluding the default 4e setting, for D&D. Developed during the last edition as part of a competition and favouring logical consequences of a world with magic to end up with a slightly pulp-y noirish setting. In this sense, it is a fair old departure from the usual D&D, which angers old men with beards.
For most people magical trains, living constructs as a player race and a poorly explained world which is made of three dragons on top of one another is a good time.

Dark Sun
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SAND! Set on a world called Athas, Dark Sun is another slightly off-beat but incredibly popular D&D setting. Ignored aside from some half-arsed articles in the magazines during the 3e days, this has been relaunched for 4e with some significant tweaks to make it a bit more playable.
If you like magic consuming the planet, sorcerer kings who might one day become dragons, half-dwarves, mantis-men and dying of thirst in the desert then this is the one for you.

Warhammer Fantasy
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The most famous and popular table top wargame also happens to have had several RPGs produced over the years. None of which have been all that popular. Despite this, it's a great setting, largely due to the sheer volume of fluff which is out there for it.
As a setting, it's largely concerned with the brutal lives of humans in a world where everything wants to eat them. For the most part you can think of it as a vaguely Germanic form of the Roman Empire set to a background of evil chaos gods, swarms of orcs and a race of ratmen who don't exist.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting
Originally, Pathfinder was just Paizo's improvements on D&D 3.5e, but as Wizards of the Coast moved on with 4th edition, Pathfinder picked up a fairly distinct flavour that was represented in the default setting - a world known as Golarion.
This setting is a bit of an oddity, as while lots of books and maps detailing specific cities or regions have been put out, the core book isn't set for release for another two months. Details are spread through the vast number of books, but this is purposely set out to be a fairly by the numbers fantasy setting along the lines of D&D Greyhawk's (albeit with the existence of a few guns here and there).

Gamma World
gamma_world_book.jpg
A post-apocalyptic world dreamt up in the late 70's. The world is now filled with mutants pouring over the remains of earth. Recently released using the 4th edition rules (although with some tweaks, as this is quite the divergence from your typical game of D&D), this is actually now in its seventh edition. Aimed at light, humorous and fast fun rather than supporting longer term play.




So, that's a pretty random smattering of campaign settings (with a primarily D&D focus, but I think that is more a product of how D&D hosts dozens of settings, something which is fairly atypical). I've not really said anything about adventures, but I may add a second post with some of the more famous modules (The Temple of Elemental Evil and whatnot).

Which was the worst of the hundreds of D&D settings cranked out over the years?
Do you mourn the loss of official support for the Forgotten Realms setting? Or are you happy that that collection of half-baked ideas and overpowered NPCs who should save the day long before the PCs even catch wind of a problem is gone?
Did anybody else ever play through the "Night Below" adventures back in the AD&D days?
Has a successful game ever been run based on a television IP?

Mojo_Jojo on
Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
«13

Posts

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    There's still official support for the FR setting, it's just that most of the real FR neckbeards hated it and swore to never acknowledge its existence. In fact, I think the next campaign setting they're releasing is wholly focused on Neverwinter.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    It had so many issues but I'd love to see Spelljammer return.

  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Thinking of DMing gamma world because my group is kind of struggling with other DMs. I was going to try to do a wild west sort of adventure (cowboy ALIENS and native american ROBOTS), but I'm not sure what sort of encounter to do. One of the main problems in the current campaign is the phoned in encounters (BOSS ROOM! You fight six robots!) that result in an hour of dice rolling no different from the previous session's hour of dice rolling.

    One of my friends suggested an indiana jones style "flee the area" encounter, but I'm not sure it would make sense with a wild west session and was thinking about saving that idea for another night.

    Any ideas for some sort of combat-like or noncombat encounter i could try?

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Thinking of DMing gamma world because my group is kind of struggling with other DMs. I was going to try to do a wild west sort of adventure (cowboy ALIENS and native american ROBOTS), but I'm not sure what sort of encounter to do. One of the main problems in the current campaign is the phoned in encounters (BOSS ROOM! You fight six robots!) that result in an hour of dice rolling no different from the previous session's hour of dice rolling.

    One of my friends suggested an indiana jones style "flee the area" encounter, but I'm not sure it would make sense with a wild west session and was thinking about saving that idea for another night.

    Any ideas for some sort of combat-like or noncombat encounter i could try?

    For a western style setting, you can have lots of odd random encounters. Prospectors, ranchers or the worlds equivalent. But really for a Western, whether it be based on Classic Westerns, or Spaghetti you want some confrontations to build tension. Perhaps they are attempting to hold a bounty till the Marshal (or equivalent) comes, the bounty can spend time between attacks attempting to create inter party conflict. Or attempting get the party to release him.

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Right now I'm a player in a Dark Sun campaign and a DM in an FR campaign that recently reached Paragon levels. We've also dipped into some WHFRP stuff, and that was pretty good. The MERP setting was a beautifully realised one, and probably my favourite.

    Homebrew campaign settings can be ok, I guess, but I've never played in one that was. As soon as I hear that a DM has made the setting themselves, or is adapting his favourite 10 book fantasy epic into a setting I am liable to catch something life-threatening that sees me laid up in bed for the duration of his awful, awful campaign. To be honest, I think most homebrew settings are just another outlet for fan-fiction.

    I think the biggest lesson for a DM about any setting is to kill the barbarian first, because the damage they can dish out is utterly ridiculous.

  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I guess I'm not sure how to handle that... the group would just say "no" to both conflict and release.

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I guess I'm not sure how to handle that... the group would just say "no" to both conflict and release.

    And there is nothing that they could be tempted with? Wealth, power, protection of a loved one or revenge?

  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'll think about it

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'll think about it

    A great example of it would be the original 3:10 to Yuma. Glenn Ford's Ben Wade is seductively evil. Another option would be the search for the taken child option. The group gets hired to attempt to track down a girl taken by whoever. They've got to ask the locals, use some non-combat skills to attempt to track the group that took the child. Or there is always the escorting the civilized outsiders through hostile territory. Lots and lots of fluff encounters.

  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited January 2011
    Bogart wrote: »
    Homebrew campaign settings can be ok, I guess, but I've never played in one that was. As soon as I hear that a DM has made the setting themselves, or is adapting his favourite 10 book fantasy epic into a setting I am liable to catch something life-threatening that sees me laid up in bed for the duration of his awful, awful campaign. To be honest, I think most homebrew settings are just another outlet for fan-fiction.
    With the exception of Planescape, I run almost exclusively homebrew settings. While I can see the appeal of having a whole world mapped out ahead of time in the versimilitude it adds, most of the time I don't want the bother of adhering to a canon. That, and I don't really like most of the published settings anyway. Planescape, Eberron, Spelljammer and Dark Sun are about the only ones I like (so far).

    I don't really get why you would avoid homebrews. A lot of the published adventures started out as homebrews in the first place. Do your DMs try to shove their made-up histories down your throat or something obnoxious like that? How does whether your game's set in Neverwinter or Oompaloompaland really affect your enjoyment of the game?

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    On the subject of homebrew settings, I'm not entirely sure I've ever run a game in a published setting. For some, they just end up being relatively standard fare, where I'll just make up a city or region name and start going, letting the players describe their backgrounds how they will, eventually attempting to use some of those bits and bobs for my villains down the line.

    That said, I've made relatively in depth ones too. My 3.5e PBP needed a homebrew setting because the story I came up with worked off the premise of a red moon which moved souls onto the next world. In that I did post some general ramblings about places and people, but the only key differences are that I've changed the cosmology and Elves and Dwarves are ECL+1 (with more power to compensate) - to make them a bit more Tolkien-y.

    Most games I've played in have worked in similar ways. Possibly this just makes my experiences a bit weird, but the games I've played in published settings are few in number.

    I don't really get why you would avoid homebrews. A lot of the published adventures started out as homebrews in the first place. Do your DMs try to shove their made-up histories down your throat or something obnoxious like that? How does whether your game's set in Neverwinter or Oompaloompaland really affect your enjoyment of the game?
    There's a stereotype of a fat, bearded man with eleven ring binders which detail the geography, cosmology and history and Wangland. Or the ones where the setting is so wacky, that it stops being D&D. A bit like the alternate PHBs that Monte Cook produced back at 3.5e (Iron Heroes and Arcana Unearthed*).
    Bogart wrote: »
    There's still official support for the FR setting, it's just that most of the real FR neckbeards hated it and swore to never acknowledge its existence. In fact, I think the next campaign setting they're releasing is wholly focused on Neverwinter.

    *May have been called Unearthed Arcana. WotC released one as an alternate rules compendium and Monte Cook released the other as a setting which featured entirely new classes and races to replace the standard ones among other things.

    I am really not sure how I missed that, but yes, they advanced the timeline and whatnot. I was sure I remembered outrage at not supporting it, not outrage at it still being supported.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I did a homebrew setting for a campaign that was set in a single city and it's surrounding area. That ended up being a lot of fun. I started with a loose design of the city and spent much of the campaign filling it in.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I think the real aim for a homebrew is to try and get your players involved with the design. So if the game starts in a city, then you don't bother defining anything not strictly necessary and just allow the players to invent areas, towns, regions, countries, individuals as they fancy, or as they need to fit in with character knowledge.

    It's not an easy thing to achieve, in fact I've only see it done well once. But when it works (or when it happens, I suppose) it really brings the players into the setting.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Bogart wrote: »
    Homebrew campaign settings can be ok, I guess, but I've never played in one that was. As soon as I hear that a DM has made the setting themselves, or is adapting his favourite 10 book fantasy epic into a setting I am liable to catch something life-threatening that sees me laid up in bed for the duration of his awful, awful campaign. To be honest, I think most homebrew settings are just another outlet for fan-fiction.
    With the exception of Planescape, I run almost exclusively homebrew settings. While I can see the appeal of having a whole world mapped out ahead of time in the versimilitude it adds, most of the time I don't want the bother of adhering to a canon. That, and I don't really like most of the published settings anyway. Planescape, Eberron, Spelljammer and Dark Sun are about the only ones I like (so far).

    I don't really get why you would avoid homebrews. A lot of the published adventures started out as homebrews in the first place. Do your DMs try to shove their made-up histories down your throat or something obnoxious like that? How does whether your game's set in Neverwinter or Oompaloompaland really affect your enjoyment of the game?

    I absolutely appreciate that a homebrew setting can be really good. It's just that I've never played in one that was. It's alway been some horrendous clusterbomb of a DM wanting to show us his incredible world of wonders and the players wanting to go over there instead. it's not that I must have an official stamp on my campaign setting, more that the homebrew ones I've played in or heard about have been atrocious.

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    I did a homebrew setting for a campaign that was set in a single city and it's surrounding area. That ended up being a lot of fun. I started with a loose design of the city and spent much of the campaign filling it in.

    That sounds great, and exactly the sort of homebrew setting I've never played. Well, I say 'never played', but I suspect that's not really true. Lots of settings have been conjured from thin air and scribbled notes by DM's I've played with, and the Baldur's Gate my group are playing through in my campaign baers only a passing resemblance to the one in the sourcebooks, so I suppose to that extent I've played in lots of homebrew settings and enjoyed them.

    I should be more specific, I suppose. I've never played in a homebrew world and enjoyed the experience.

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The large majority of games I've played have been in homebrew games, so I don't really get Bogart's hate. If you don't like nerds being creative, then maybe tabletop rpg's aren't for you? I just don't get it.

    Anyway, most of the games I run myself have been in published campaigns just because it's easier for me to be both lazy and consistent that way. I ran some Eberron 4e a little while ago, and am now running a Warhammer fantasy 2e game. They both seem like great settings. I'd love to read more about Planescape and play a game there. I love the concept of that kind of malleable reality where belief can shape the world around you.

    edit:: I guess if you've only played in shitty homebrew games, that could explain it. I actually was soured on published games for a while because the first one I played in, the gm would have us meet Drizz't and such, who were SO COOL (to him).

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    It had so many issues but I'd love to see Spelljammer return.

    That is the kind of thing that would have easily been done with a few issues of Dungeon and Dragon back in their old form. I'm not really sure how you could go about releasing it in the current climate (outside of a passing reference to them in the 4e Manual of the Planes), with WotC tightening their belts and generally trying to present a more ordered D&D.

    Still, they did rerelease Gamma World which has a similar feel to Spelljammer, so maybe they will try to do the odd slightly strange side project?

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited January 2011
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I think the real aim for a homebrew is to try and get your players involved with the design. So if the game starts in a city, then you don't bother defining anything not strictly necessary and just allow the players to invent areas, towns, regions, countries, individuals as they fancy, or as they need to fit in with character knowledge.

    It's not an easy thing to achieve, in fact I've only see it done well once. But when it works (or when it happens, I suppose) it really brings the players into the setting.

    Treating it all as a collaborative exercise really is the best thing. There's something undeniably awesome about the party visiting a sprawling city that literally didn't exist anywhere until three weeks back when the rogue outlined their character's run-in with a thieves' guild... with a throwaway reference to a city's spinning clockwork hub that rotated at regular intervals in order to ease public transport needs.

    And it turned out the ruling cabal were a bunch of refugees from Mechanus! Who knew?

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Bogart wrote: »
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    I did a homebrew setting for a campaign that was set in a single city and it's surrounding area. That ended up being a lot of fun. I started with a loose design of the city and spent much of the campaign filling it in.

    That sounds great, and exactly the sort of homebrew setting I've never played. Well, I say 'never played', but I suspect that's not really true. Lots of settings have been conjured from thin air and scribbled notes by DM's I've played with, and the Baldur's Gate my group are playing through in my campaign baers only a passing resemblance to the one in the sourcebooks, so I suppose to that extent I've played in lots of homebrew settings and enjoyed them.

    I should be more specific, I suppose. I've never played in a homebrew world and enjoyed the experience.

    It worked out. They ended up getting tangled up in the affairs of a couple of merchant princes. But as you point out, a big issue with homebrew settings is that they can be built upon a single story or idea and that leads to railroading. But I was on a big Shadowrun kick at the time, so I had a dozen different plots all going on and a lot of threads completely unrelated. At one point they had been chasing cultists, got sidetracked with the merchant princes and eventually came back to the cultists after they had dealt with other corruption among the upper classes.

    If you're going to do a homebrew world then it needs to be something besides a module writ large.

  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited January 2011
    Bogart wrote: »
    I absolutely appreciate that a homebrew setting can be really good. It's just that I've never played in one that was. It's alway been some horrendous clusterbomb of a DM wanting to show us his incredible world of wonders and the players wanting to go over there instead. it's not that I must have an official stamp on my campaign setting, more that the homebrew ones I've played in or heard about have been atrocious.

    Most of the homebrews I've run or played in have started out small and evolved as we played, so I've avoided that aspect, but I can see what you mean.


    Speaking of horrendous clusterbombs of ideas, one of the settings I've been working on off-and-on for a while is a time-travel campaign in a fantasy world. (I promise the concept I have in my head is better than this sounds.) The action takes place within a single metropolis, spanning an era from a bronze-age theocracy to a pseudo-steampunk World War, with certain absolute limits of time travel, the exact cause of which is one of the questions that will be answered in play. The players are members of an extremely secret group of time-travelling magic-users who meddle in history. It sounds screwy, and it is, but the stuff I've written so far is actually low-magic and fairly dark, a la European history.
    Players have the ability to make short hops through time more or less unrestrained. A few temporal laws exist to avoid obvious abuses - for example, interacting with yourself causes temporal disturbances that might end up flinging you through time - and a lot of the rest stays malleable. Complex time-travel situations will inevitably arise but shouldn't get bogged down by worrying too much about the temporal mechanics involved. I'm expecting player cooperation to help make this work.

    Assuming I ever finish tinkering with it and actually run the campaign, what's the best game system to use? The party is made up entirely of spellcasters, there's a wide range of technology involved, combat should be fairly realistic and something to be avoided where possible. I was considering GURPs, but I'd hope there's a more elegant system for the job.

  • MatevMatev Benjamin Warsaw, Action Six News! It's Benji.......like the dogRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    AB: If you know the rules, or have the inclination to learn a relatively simple new rules set, Savage Worlds is pretty fast and brutal with the combat, and can accommodate a variety of time settings for your Chrono Trigger-esque campaign.

    As for settings: I've no issues with homebrew or established, I just run whatever's my/my player's fancy. I've run serious business Hard Canon Star Wars all the way down to "Oh God Oh God we're gonna die" Paranoia. It's really a matter of table preference. Some people don't have the time and inclination to create Wangworld and it's harsh Phallic Pantheon, and thusly a published setting helps them circumvent that and still be able to run a fleshed out game for their players. But of course if you want to haul off and lovingly craft such a setting for your players to romp in, there's no reason for you not to do it.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Spoiler:
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    [
    Speaking of horrendous clusterbombs of ideas, one of the settings I've been working on off-and-on for a while is a time-travel campaign in a fantasy world. (I promise the concept I have in my head is better than this sounds.) The action takes place within a single metropolis, spanning an era from a bronze-age theocracy to a pseudo-steampunk World War, with certain absolute limits of time travel, the exact cause of which is one of the questions that will be answered in play. The players are members of an extremely secret group of time-travelling magic-users who meddle in history. It sounds screwy, and it is, but the stuff I've written so far is actually low-magic and fairly dark, a la European history.
    Players have the ability to make short hops through time more or less unrestrained. A few temporal laws exist to avoid obvious abuses - for example, interacting with yourself causes temporal disturbances that might end up flinging you through time - and a lot of the rest stays malleable. Complex time-travel situations will inevitably arise but shouldn't get bogged down by worrying too much about the temporal mechanics involved. I'm expecting player cooperation to help make this work.

    Assuming I ever finish tinkering with it and actually run the campaign, what's the best game system to use? The party is made up entirely of spellcasters, there's a wide range of technology involved, combat should be fairly realistic and something to be avoided where possible. I was considering GURPs, but I'd hope there's a more elegant system for the job.
    I think I speak for everybody here when I say "I wish to know more".

    As for a system, this may actually be a time when GURP is the right option. Or, you could try something a bit strange and assign a different RPG system to each time period. So the swords and sorcery bit is run by 4e or Pathfinder while the slightly more primitive time is one of the horrid early editions. "Modern" day can be Fate? Or there must be something out there aimed something a bit steampunky.

    The problem would be trying to match up all of your player power levels. Might be a fun gimmick though?

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • AriviaArivia Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Mojo, realize that the Realms got consistent multiple products a year and lots of magazine articles from ~1982 to 2008. So, yes, 4e was a significant drop in support.

    huntresssig.jpg
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Thread title is incorrect.

    Everyone but me hates Dragonlance.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • JishianJishian ◥▶◀◤ Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I like Dragonlance. Though I don't really get to play in the regular settings enough to get tired of anything, because every DM I get is sick of all the official stuff and mostly does their own thing.

    Wii U: Homeslice
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Dragonlance seems like a tough sell to most players just because of how low magic it is, from what I remember. I enjoyed the books though.

    If someone tried to play a Kender though, they are kicked out of the group.


    Has anyone ever played a game of Transhuman Space? I think it's a fantastic setting, but I think it'd be a tough sell for me to get my group to play a new system (gurps), with an ultra-realistic style setting. I feel like I'd REALLY need to have a lot of prep done and thought about to make it work.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Arivia wrote: »
    Mojo, realize that the Realms got consistent multiple products a year and lots of magazine articles from ~1982 to 2008. So, yes, 4e was a significant drop in support.

    And thank Drizzt for that.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Thread title is incorrect.

    Everyone but me hates Dragonlance.

    I'm with you. I still love my old 1st edition Dragonlance manual. Was pretty awesome considering it's vintage.

    Trogg wrote: »
    Not as positive as AIDS and cancer, but positive nonetheless.

    PSN: QuipFilter
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Dragonlance seems like a tough sell to most players just because of how low magic it is, from what I remember. I enjoyed the books though.

    If someone tried to play a Kender though, they are kicked out of the group.
    See, Dragonlance wasn't really low magic. It was just very specific in the ways magic was used. Which I agree had a detrimental effect on enthusiasm among a certain cross-section of the population that wanted to play spellcasters. The other obvious downside is that it's not really a sandbox setting like some others are, there are very specific things going on and if you're in a "let's run this train straight off the rails" kind of group, it's admittedly a poor fit.

    But if your group was down to roleplay in a defined, dynamic environment, it's a great setting. It's just not as swiss army knifish as the ones that ended up really popular.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • MatevMatev Benjamin Warsaw, Action Six News! It's Benji.......like the dogRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I also add my love of Dragonlance to the altar. I love the setting, but most groups I run with tend to not like focused settings/campaigns like I would run with DragonLance so I've had to let it be for the last while sadly.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Spoiler:
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I will buck the dissenting trend and argue that vanilla Dragonlance was a horrible campaign setting that very few DMs could make work. To have a good experience with it you needed a terrific DM, because it was tough for even really talented PCs to help shape such an on-rails experience.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The Ender wrote: »
    I will buck the dissenting trend and argue that vanilla Dragonlance was a horrible campaign setting that very few DMs could make work. To have a good experience with it you needed a terrific DM, because it was tough for even really talented PCs to help shape such an on-rails experience.
    Some eras are a lot easier to work in than others.

    I haven't read any of the books after the War of Souls. Guess when any Dragonlance campaign I run will be set. ;-)

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  • MatevMatev Benjamin Warsaw, Action Six News! It's Benji.......like the dogRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    War of the Souls was interesting, but I'm fairly certain everything after that is rubbish. I like the high Fantasy setting of traditional Dragonlance anyways.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I like the actively decaying, gnashing of teeth against the coming darkness Dragonlance the best.

    You can get that pretty much regardless of time period. That's basically all the setting is, one long series of cataclysms and wars that all feed into the next one.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Forgotten Realms was my favorite official setting until it fell off of the cliff due to Hasbro's pursuit of merchandising opportunities in the late 90s or so, becoming the Batman Forever of the D&D world. Big world, lots of interesting meta-plot characters to meet, huge volumes of history to work with, etc.

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I've never actually known anybody to like Dragonlance, hence the title, given that it's pretty popular, I am not especially surprised that it has its fans.. Actually, I don't know a great deal about it outside of the 3rd edition license ending up with a pretty small company for slightly dubious reasons. Was the D&D cartoon set in Dragonlance? Or am I making that up.

    Somebody mentioned Birthright, which seems be one of those settings that people love but few have actually played. That said, there is a 3.5e conversion out there, although, I am not sure how good it is. Large scale combat rules don't mesh with any edition of D&D, although it's always appealing to try and weave in a bit of strategy and higher level strategy in games. Or at least, I find it is.

    My first fourth edition game centred around the players being thrust in charge of a small hamlet built on the very edge of a war-torn country. The game was scheduled to work in rough phases: first rounding up the inhabitants, clearing out the monsters and making it a more functional place, then expansion and dealings with the neighbours and then finally interactions with the war. Sadly, it folded because I was far too hands off with my DMing style.

    In retrospect I should have presented quite clearly defined options, "areas X, Y, Z are still full of monsters. The villagers are short of fresh water, you can investigate the ancient sub-city pipelines or try to arrange something with a nearby mountain lake.". Ah well, c'est la vie.

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  • TomeWyrmTomeWyrm Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Birthright was interesting in a Sim City sort of way. An old DM of mine tried to edit and update it for 3.5 with lots of his own flavor added in. Basically each PC was the scion to a noble house in a conquered kingdom, and it was up to us to do with our recently-returned lands as we willed, be it join the conquering empire or try and win the lost crown. Or, ya know, grow corn. We never got too far in the campaign for several reasons, one being that sort of setting really doesn't encourage any sort of party play and involved way too much resource management that it became something other than D&D. It was a noble try, though.

    Going back to the time travel idea, the game Continuum has some interesting flavor, so that might be worth checking out. And from what I've been told the best time travel mechanics out there are actually from the Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG, though I have zero experience with it.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I think from what Bull is saying, he doesn't really need time travel mechanics. I presume he's just divided the time line into several slices all moving ahead at the same relative speeds, and his players can just move between these. This approach removes a vast majority of the usual paradox issues and the rest can be hand-waved away with some explanation or other.

    Often, I do ponder playing with time travel, the closest I've come is having different rates of time flow, so if the players end up on plane X for a few days then they'll return home to find several months have passed.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Thinking of DMing gamma world because my group is kind of struggling with other DMs. I was going to try to do a wild west sort of adventure (cowboy ALIENS and native american ROBOTS), but I'm not sure what sort of encounter to do.

    Here's a Western-themed idea: Wanted Poster cards. Make several out of index cards for the players to select from. Each Wanted Poster card would detail the name of a wanted man, a brief description of him, the details of the job, and the reward offered. Add some sort of complication to the job, such as requiring that the wanted man be captured and brought back alive.

    As for the setting itself, perhaps the Restorationists could be attempting to create towns throughout the desert? The PCs could be lawmen who travel between the handful of settlements. Some of these towns could have already become deserted due to unforeseen complications.

    Gamma World actually has quite a few creatures that would make sense in a Western setting. Pinetos, walking horse-cacti, are the most obvious choice. You've also got a Native-American stand-in in the Gren (perhaps you could have the Gren, as creatures from another dimension, trying to conquer the continent in an Eastward Expansion campaign).

    Gunfighting is prominent in Westerns, but the rules for guns in Gamma World are kind of sparse. Ammo is hard to come by, and PCs don't have too many powers that work with weapons to begin with.

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  • TomeWyrmTomeWyrm Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I've also considered tinkering around with time travel, and was even on the verge of whipping up some preliminary mechanics for a setting and a system. Then I started thinking about whether or not time travel could really produce a paradox since if you travel back in time wouldn't the "timestream" have already accounted for this and as such your travel is an inevitable part of history and as such everything is fatalistic and oh god my head started hurting. The project was abandoned about as quickly as it was adopted.

    Also Dragonlance is okay, but suffers from a similar problem as FR in that there might be a bit too much history and fluff, thus becoming cumbersome at times. They aren't bad settings, but they can be overwhelming.

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