So many Campaign Settings,  So little time!
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 6:04 am 
 

Well, I don't know if this has ever been discussed before, but if it has, then it was certainly many "pages" of "threads" ago. The last AD&D campaigns I played in were way back when the 2nd edition rules were just coming out. At the time, the only campaign worlds that TSR made were Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance -- however, any campaign worlds that I ran or played in were always created by the DM. . . so, I have never even played in a pre-made setting (well, except for when I played Warhammer FRP).

Many years later, when I rediscovered AD&D I was amazed, astounded and taken aback (perhaps even a little flabbergasted!) to find out how many, many products TSR had pumped out in the previous 10 years. Even now that I finally have some sort of "handle" on what is what, I find many of the settings too lengthy and involved (especially with all the supplements) to read them all.

The only one I am truly taken with right now is Planescape. Al-Qadim seems like it could have just been an ancillary supplement on adding an Arabian setting to an existing world and Birthright. . . well, I often forget that Birthright is around and can't recall having ever read too much of any particular supplement.

So, what experiences do others have? What campaign settings have you used or played in? Has anyone actually played a Birthright campaign? Or a Ravenloft one? Any opinions?


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 6:59 am 
 

i always DM on Greyhawk and sometimes flit onto my own world/setting, when the mood takes me, but once i got the players to a point i was happy with (roleplay/experience etc), and i figured that they were finding their feet with the campaign they were in, i "manouvered" them into I6 Ravenloft, which pretty much entailed them going up into a mountain range. once they got there, they were hit by a widescale blizzard and they really had no option other than to rest in a cave that they found (after killing its inhabitant - frost giant)....once there...the blizzard got worse and then there was an avalanche which sadly ( :twisted: ) sealed them in the cave. they had no choice other than to go further into the cave and explore, which led into a smaller sub-system of caves. in one of them, they found this swirling portal, which was at the back of one un-used cave, which almost wasnt visible to the naked eye. needless to say, they took the bait and found themselves in the ravenloft world and going down the mountain into the village, which was in the valley below the castle. from there, they played I6 - not quite completing it cos the count escaped (to fight another day) and then they began to explore part of the world. they played that constantly for 6 months (real time) and played quite a few adventures (modules as well as my own adventures), which i felt personally, were great and well constructed. the monsters worked well and when you role-play in a gloomy room with some melancholy-type music in the background, sets the scene great....every player absolutely loved it and in the end (in one of my own adventures), upon defeating an evil mage, who was causing allsorts of chaos to a town, the characters found a scroll with a modified-teleport spell which enabled them to get back to the mountain range on the other side of the landslide in the greyhawk world (i am a nice DM after all)....HOWEVER....when they got back, for the 2 years they were in the ravenloft world, 20 had passed in the greyhawk world (i decided that)....so for me as DM and them as players, it opened up further opportunities just from there!

personally, i had a great time DMing it, and if you aint given it a chance before, i totally recommend the Ravenloft world - give it a blast, cos its great fun!!!

Al

ps. the best fun was where they helped a village fend off a zombie-horde. had a right blast with that one!!

pps. FWIW, i always play 1st Edition AD&D, but use smatterings of other things as and when i feel like it. role-play is far more important than rules. i just decide what i want and role the dice to get the players worried  :twisted:



  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:37 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:So, what experiences do others have? What campaign settings have you used or played in? Has anyone actually played a Birthright campaign? Or a Ravenloft one? Any opinions?


We played Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, and Dragonlance, all with the same party!  Eventually we settled back on Greyhawk and stayed there for the rest of our campaigns, because we were running out of convincing plot devices to travel between them :)  

When I started DMing we ran "pseudo-Forgotten Realms" (I only had the 2nd edition hardcover, and the Greyhawk From the Ashes boxed set, and we were playing 1st ed.), it still felt very Greyhawkish but all the names had changed enough to fool the ex-DM players.

I picked up Birthright but never played it.  I got the feeling it would be a better novel than a campaign setting.  It had some great ideas, and inspired us to get back to work on our own campaign setting.  Sad that we never got around to trying it.

Ravenloft always seemed odd to us, we never played anything (except I6, if that counts).  Same with Planescape.  The Abyss was a great place to visit, but we didn't wanna live there.  We just took out Lloth (and later Iuz), and went on our merry way.  It also struck me as somehow too "modern/urban" for a D&D setting.  Not as bad as Spelljammer, though.

I haven't even looked at the newer settings, Eberron, etc.

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:35 am 
 

I've DM'd and adventured in the campaign settings of Dark Sun and Forgotten Realms with a lengthy intermission on Ravenloft and a short-lived Dragonlance campaign. I'm DM'ing a generic AD&D campaign for nearly three years now. I'm unhappy having never played Planescape and Spelljammer and therefore will introduce adventures in these settings in my campaign in the near future. I was very sceptical about Spelljammer in the beginning, but after reading the novels and the boxed settings, I think this is an often underestimated setting. In fact, it is worth a try. A trip to the stars can easily be introduced in any ongoing campaign, and if it is not welcomed by players or DM, then it's back to the regular setting afterwards. I'm planning on leading the players via a spelljamming trip to Oerth, because I haven't seen anything like the City of Greyhawk before (except the city of Lankhmar maybe). I find the concept of Birthright intriguing and would gladly play in such a campaign. I will soon get a taste of Kalamar (with 2E rules) as a player, but I don't know anything about this new setting yet.

Of all official campaign settings, I like Dragonlance the least (well, I liked the first three novels, but that's about it) and I'm not an overly big fan of the Realms, too.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:59 pm 
 

The group that I played with in jr. high/high school was exclusive to Greyhawk.  Forgotten Realms hadn't even been released yet so their wasnt much else but Mystara.  We played through some of the great adventure modules like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, Against the Giants, Tomb of Horrors, and Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun (which was harder than Tomb of Horrors and much more fun).  We ended up running the original Ravenloft and then spent a couple of weeks on the 4th plane of Hell.  Killing Belial was not the easiest feat mind you.  Most of the party died at least once and the torture our characters endured was unbelievable.  After returning to the Prime Material plane, our party ended up in The Barony of Ratik where we put all of our treasure that we had acquired over the years to good use.  We pretty much made ourselves rulers of the small barony and made the current Baron a puppet.  Very easy to do when the baron has become addicted to 'rapture weed' and the only way he can get it is from your group.

I later purchased Forgotten Realms, Darksun, Ravenloft, Birthright, and Planescape but was never able to get a group of people together to actually play any of them.  I always wanted to adventure in the Realms because of all the other campaign worlds, it reminded me the most of Middle-Earth and it had been incredibly detailed.

I no longer play but if was able to would definitely start right back where I began in Greyhawk and then work a jaunt to the Realms into the campaign and then probably finish off with some Planescape adventures.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:24 pm 
 

KingOfPain wrote:.....I no longer play but if was able to would definitely start right back where I began in Greyhawk and then work a jaunt to the Realms into the campaign and then probably finish off with some Planescape adventures.

Alas, I no longer play either. And have not dome so for several years now. :(
If it were doable, I would be ready, anytime, anywhere....

If only we could. :(


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:00 pm 
 

The last time I ran any kinf of D&D campaign was a 3rd edition game. My premise was the similar to the old D&D cartoon where the players were the characters. They made up characters and then I threw them into the bodies of their characters. It was a blast!

Going back to topic...

I had decided that my world of D&D was going to include all of the different "realms", but in a different method. One large planet containing each "realm" instead of them each being on a different plane of existance. This way it would be easier for characters to learn about and travel to Greyhawk, Krynn and Ravenloft if they choose to.

I know that there are people out there who would scof at my idea of a single planet, single plane take of the "realms", but that's fine by me. It makes for a better, larger and more entertaining world IMHO.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:52 pm 
 

For me, it was Greyhawk or Mystara/Known World where my characters would see action, depending on whether it was AD&D, or B/X D&D I was playing.

Currently, my gaming takes place on an alternate Earth where the Native Americans settled Europe and magic is on a slow decline.  As it stands, the ninth level spells we all know at their current power levels are actually pretty weak compared to the height of magic on the world.  Spellcasters have lost the knowledge of how to cast the wish spells (both of them), and making magic items more potent than a plain +3 sword is difficult at best.

I tend to collect different roleplaying worlds though, because you never know when I might change my mind or find something new.  I have Middle Earth (the Middle Earth map and campaign book from ICE), Atlantis (Bard Games), Harn, and a few others besides the aforementioned Greyhawk and Mystara/Known World.



  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:03 pm 
 

My D&D campaign mainstays are Greyhawk and Mendenein, which are related planes/sister-worlds (not unlike the Eldrin's home plane and the Ghost Worlds from Moorcock's Eternal Champion/Silver Warriors books).

I've adapted 1e FR stuff to my games, but never really run a FR campaign, despite enjoying the pre-box 1e set articles from TD and Dragon a lot.

I've also run extended Ars Magica campaigns set in both Mythic Europe and in Ye Olde World of WFRP.  And various non-fantasy/non-D&D games, too (Vampire, Blue Planet, Call of Cthulhu, etc.).


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:12 pm 
 

With my group, it was Greyhawk, with some Greyhawk occasionally mixed in. Sometimes, we'd shake things up with a little Greyhawk, just to be different. But we usually got back to Greyhawk fairly quickly.

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:35 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:With my group, it was Greyhawk, with some Greyhawk occasionally mixed in. Sometimes, we'd shake things up with a little Greyhawk, just to be different. But we usually got back to Greyhawk fairly quickly.


=)

Xaxaxe, have you checked out Canonfire!?  Some good GH stuff to be found there!


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:05 am 
 

I mainly DM Forgotten Realms which is my preferred setting. Before Forgotten Realms came out I DMed Grayhawk, which I also enjoy very much. AL-Qadim is part of Forgotten Realms and I DMed a couple of sessions there but the players were not very interested in it, they didn't want to spend the time to get in to the setting. Kara-Tur is also part of the Forgotten Realms and I DMed a couple of games there. I DMed a couple of Spelljammer games that one of the players was interested in. The ship combat proved to be a little too complicated.

I have played in a Dark Sun campaign. It was fun for a while but the newness quickly wore off.

I also played in a Ravenloft campaign but didn't like it very much. It was too dark for my tastes.

I played in a Planescape campaign for a while, which was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I am more a fan of the old Manual of the Planes.

I have played in Dragonlance, but the campaign was too linear for my tastes.

I never played in Mystara but it looked interesting.

I have never played in Lankmar but I read the novels and found them good if a little bizaar.

I have never played in Birthright and never had any interesting in the setting.

There have been a lot of new settings for 3.5 released as well, but I think I'll stick to Forgotten Realms for a while.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:56 pm 
 

Birthright was and is my favorite setting.

The detail of the world, with the different human races, the different elves adn dwarves, and a very interesting cultural interaction make for a great game.

The Bloodline abilities were an interesting swerve, and added with the regency rules came out pretty good.

Birthright is a D&D Medieval Fantasy setting, but with a definite edge and it's own unique feel. The bloodline stuff makes it interesting, and the game was always a whole lot of fun for me. Some people were turned off byu the Kingdom running aspect, but if ran well it made for great fun.

I would suggest that aside form the boxed set you get either Blood Enemies or Legends of the Hero-Kings, as both are great supplements.

  
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