View Full Version : Favorite campaign setting (not a poll)

2007-01-05, 01:56 AM
Favorite campaign setting, and reason for it. GO!

2007-01-05, 02:54 AM
Urban Arcana for d20 Modern. Half-dragon SWAT teams and drow media moguls are fun.

2007-01-05, 02:57 AM
Dark Sun...Tough harsh and a whole new look at the D&D game it forced you to think about your equipment and characters and team work

2007-01-05, 03:14 AM
Spelljammer! Because c'mon! Space pirates!

2007-01-05, 03:18 AM
Birthright. You are king. You get a crown. And you can shout "Orf wiv their 'eds!" and get results. What more do you want?

Shadow of the Sun
2007-01-05, 04:39 AM
Ravenloft! Because horror is good!

2007-01-05, 04:41 AM
Ravenloft. Because everybody loves Ravenloft.

2007-01-05, 04:43 AM
1) The homebrew setting of my RL group
2) Forgotten Realms
3) Planescape

2007-01-05, 05:15 AM
Is this just D&D? Or just d20? Or am I allowed to say SLA Industries?

If not, Eberron. Because it's designed to include all of the bizzare D&D tropes in a way that make sense, and the other good D&D worlds have to exclude some of them to stay thematically consistent.

2007-01-05, 06:21 AM
Eberron. 10 characters

2007-01-05, 06:33 AM
Glorantha. It's unique and detailed, has a wealth of familiar but different cultures ("Well, Lunars are kind of like the Roman Empire... and the Greeks... and the British Empire... and China... and... except for Dara Happa, which is a bit Babylonian..."), magnificient mythology (and metaphysics), and generally an unbeatably epic, legendary feel to it.

Of D&D campaign settings, it's hard to decide. Ravenloft and Dark Sun are great, but Faerūn is the best for "by the books" D&D. (Ravenloft and Dark Sun both require a lot of work because of the huge deviation from the D&D standards, like magic items and spellcasters...)

2007-01-05, 06:41 AM
I'd have to say Forgotten Realms but that is quickly being overtaken in my affections by Arcanis.

As for Science Fiction - I'd go with Traveller. A massively vast universe with interesting political groups to explore.

2007-01-05, 07:18 AM
Eberron for the Versimlitude,

Second Pick is Ravenloft

Never Been Able to do/run Dark Sun, but my esteem of it is almost as high of it as Ravenloft (Familurity takes preceidence )

At the Top of the Hate List is FR,

I simply cannot chokes down the Gawds and the so Called 'Politics' of the gawds in both how gawds interract and how communities interact with them (I'm talking about nations and such) I find it extremely boorish/hard to comprehend/crutch for DM/ Limiting on Players ( No not the Epic NPC's it's the gods who both me )

Ps your homebrew isn't 'a' Campeign Setting it's 'your' Campeign setting, another thing that irks me about stuff like this ;-p


2007-01-05, 07:39 AM
I'm going to have to go with Dragonlance as my all-time favorite, but only in the 2nd edition incarnation (haven't played the d20 version).

2007-01-05, 10:32 AM
Dark Sun was great I love the survivalist feel to it. (I always imagine Dark sun as the future of the FR the anurauch continued to spread and constant mage battles and divine intervention finally broke the world.)

I also like FR.

2007-01-05, 10:46 AM
I kind of like three...Urban Arcana (I had so much fun as the hacker for infiltration things), Dragonlance (Gully Dwarves 4 life), and Dragon Mech (awesome concept. I loved combining the different steam powers. I had a robot suit that could shoot lightning and fire. The lunar creatures were cool too.)

2007-01-05, 10:51 AM
I kind of like three...Urban Arcana (I had so much fun as the hacker for infiltration things), Dragonlance (Gully Dwarves 4 life), and Dragon Mech (awesome concept. I loved combining the different steam powers. I had a robot suit that could shoot lightning and fire. The lunar creatures were cool too.)

If you like the DragonMech Try or look at Privateer Press Iron Kingdoms
If nothing else they can be used to beat down rulelawers or Munchkins
They are 2 huge rule books filled with crunch and fluff in a good balance.

2007-01-05, 10:52 AM
Forgotten Realms. It's just... great.

2007-01-05, 11:00 AM
I'm a Dragonlance fan - I like the political machinations of the various orders of knights, clerics, and wizards.

2007-01-05, 11:34 AM
Forgotten Realms for me. I love that map you get with the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Every time I see a party poring over it deciding where to go, I get a warm feeling.

Dark Sun sounds kind of interesting, but I've never had a chance to play it.

- Saph

2007-01-05, 01:18 PM
hey alright!

Dragonlance ftw!

The dragonlance world has a lot of fun political machinations...if you play it right.

2007-01-05, 03:44 PM
Eberron. Trying to sum it up in a trite sound-bite oversimplifies it far too much. Which is why people think it's populated by "robots" and "magic trains."

2007-01-05, 03:48 PM
I am too much of a newbie to have a definate opinion yet; I have heard great things about Ptolus. But darn if that expensive book doesn't turn me off.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2007-01-05, 03:49 PM
personally, I'd rather play in a homebrew world than a normal setting. But, if I had to choose, I would definitely pick FR. I've played in an Eberron game and really don't care for it a whole lot.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-05, 04:02 PM
I've never played a non-homebrew game. Ever.


But I'm kind of partial towards the nifty classes and races of Eberron. Warforged are pretty neat.

2007-01-05, 04:27 PM
I tried Forgotten Realms back in 2nd edition and HATED it, but I was reading through the d20 version and I'm finding I like it a lot better now. Of course, it could also be that I'm eight to ten years older now, and the high-end stuff in FR has become more appealing.

Likewise, back in the day I loved Dark Sun and Dragonlance, both of which are now sort of "meh" for me.

I'd LOVE to play some Ravenloft, but I never have. My tendency to always play hard-core Lawful Good characters would probably mean that my characters had short, frustrated lives. Still though, very, very cool concept. Urban Arcana looks very cool too, but again, never had a chance to play it.

(Edit) Oh yeah, and for a "hate list" - Arcana Unearthed. I had a DM who insisted we play it, and it was the most miserable experience in my life. Seriously. It was awful.

Gorbad the Limb Rippa
2007-01-05, 04:34 PM
1st:Forgotten Realms, there is always somthing cool happening and there is a variety.
2nd:dragonlance,really like the way its done but there isn't enough variety.

2007-01-05, 04:39 PM
I'm going to go with Eberrron at the top of the list. A close second is Urban Arcana for D20 Modern. Nothing says love like a fireball through email.

Fax Celestis
2007-01-05, 04:51 PM
I'm rather particular to my homebrewed setting, Marranarch (http://corporation.walagata.com/fax/wiki/index.php/Marranarch). As for prepublished, I like Glorantha, the World of Darkness, Faerun, and the world of Etherscope.

Ooh, and the City of Everway.

2007-01-06, 01:34 AM
Eberron, without a doubt. Pulp D&D is one of the best ideas I've heard of in a long time.

2007-01-06, 01:59 AM
Eberron, without a doubt. Pulp D&D is one of the best ideas I've heard of in a long time.
Funny. I was thinking of saying noir D&D was one of the best ideas I'd heard of in a long time. The best of both worlds, I guess.

2007-01-06, 03:28 AM
Well, Eberron pretty much encompasses both pulp and noir. Which makes me very happy, as pulp and film noir are my two favorite film genres. The setting allows you to have living robots, cunning detectives, magically powered airships and submarines, and have characters along the lines of Humprhey Bogart at the same time. Thats too cool for school.

2007-01-07, 03:46 AM

I like DM'ing the campaign setting that the core books were written about. I like the history, I like the locations. I like that there's a lot of official materials out there, and also ton of player-created stuff too. I like the fact that despite it being a big world, the PC's have a chance to make their mark and be as well known as guys like Mordenkainen and St. Cuthbert... who are also both out there in the setting if the PC's want to seek them out.

It's a bitch having to adapt 2nd edition stuff at times... but I don't really mind.

2007-01-07, 09:01 AM
I like the fact that despite it being a big world, the PC's have a chance to make their mark and be as well known as guys like Mordenkainen and St. Cuthbert...

Ahahhahhahhah! Hee hee he hee!

Now, this is a serious thread, and people might take you at your word if you say things like that.

clockwork warrior
2007-01-07, 09:22 AM
my favorite campaign setting would have to be the diamond throne, its just different than any others i have seen.

2007-01-07, 09:26 AM
If you're running a game right (not that I wish to imply that you're doing something wrong, of course) then it whether or not there are well known NPCs in your world shouldn't make a difference to how easy it is to have your PCs make their mark. I've been playing FR for years and not once has Elminster shown up and solved all the problems without breaking a sweat...

2007-01-07, 09:30 AM
I actually used an important NPC once, Khelben Blackstaff, to name, but that wasn't a deus ex machina. That was something I had planned at the beginning of the adventure.

Though the players did complain about being useless.

2007-01-07, 09:33 AM
Well I've used 'famous' NPCs before. The Simbul and Caladni, I recall. The PCs still got to solve all the problem and fight all the baddies themselves.

2007-01-07, 09:35 AM
Well, my BBEG was designed to beat the heck out of the PCs. They solved everything themselves, getting to the BBEG, but Khelben was the one beat the guy, spells blazing.

OK, memory loss. Who was Caladni?

2007-01-07, 09:36 AM
Cormyrian War Leader. She's in the FRCS.

2007-01-07, 09:38 AM
Yeah, the fighter / sorcerer lass. Now I remember.

2007-01-07, 09:40 AM
Iron Kingdoms

2007-01-07, 10:18 AM
If you're running a game right (not that I wish to imply that you're doing something wrong, of course) then it whether or not there are well known NPCs in your world shouldn't make a difference to how easy it is to have your PCs make their mark.

I agree entirely - but the issue becomes when your plot is something that said god-like NPC logically should get involved in, and you have to come up with a reason why they don't (even if you only do it on the spur when the players ask)... If there are no uber-NPC's you don't need to have any reasons for them to not be doing something, half the spells in the setting aren't already named after them, etc. So selling a setting on the basis of "the super-powerful creatures don't get in your way that often" seems irrational in comparison to a setting in which "there are no super-powerful creatures to get in your way". IMO, of course.

2007-01-07, 11:33 AM
I like Grey Hawk too. There's a lot of information, but not too much. I like all the campaign settings, though, they all have their charms, as well as their disadvantages...

2007-01-07, 11:40 AM
Gotta say the FR setting for 3.5 it has the flavour that fits what i want to do with my campaigns and after playing DnD Online i want to avoid ebberon like the plague

2007-01-07, 11:47 AM
My own homebrew setting. I personally haven't ever DMed anything aside from my own work.

As far as playing goes, I prefer Forgotten Realms.

2007-01-07, 12:14 PM
My very most favorite is Eberron. It has a lot of verisimilitude, plus warforged, psionics, no stupid alignment restrictions and it gives dragons their proper respect. It has distinct cultures within races without making a dozen pointless or cheesy sub-races (FR, I'm looking at you). The world is such that it fosters adventurers without there being a hundred epic-level NPCs running around. It's great.

2007-01-07, 02:04 PM
Ravenloft. Because everybody loves Ravenloft.

I don't. :smallannoyed:

As a player it depends on the DM. I've loved games run in Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Greyhawk, The Scarred Lands ...

As a DM my favorites ... nobody here is likely to remember. I loved the Verbosh campaign setting by Judges' Guild, and the Known World by TSR (Expert set), for example. In fact I'm still running both of those campaigns.

Red Sky Knight
2007-01-10, 01:31 AM
Greyhawk Rocks. It has a definite tone that can be exploited to make a very unique and interesting campaign which i love using, and a deep history that is given even more depth by the real world history it has, somehow. When writing adventures set in GH, I find that i need to do a lot of research, but this is one of the best aspects of the world for me, I am constantly intrigued by what i find, as if it were some cryptic history that needs to be delved deeply to gain any sort of grasp on it, like real world ancient history.

I am currently playing as a PC in a FR campaign, my character is a manipulative Cali****e sorcererer/rogue. this is my first real adventure in the FR and I'm lloving it, it too certainly has a feel.

Zeb The Troll
2007-01-10, 03:40 AM
My absolute favorite for 2E was Planescape. There's just so much you could do with it. You could run a ten year campaign and not even visit two thirds of the setting.

Closely behind that was FR, which is my preference for published 3.5 settings. I understand what people don't like about it (all the barkeeps are retired 18th level fighters, for example) but my groups through the years have always kind of taken that aspect of the setting and down played it as history. We were never in any danger of running across Drizz't or Elminster because they were legendary historical figures akin to Alexander the Great and Julius Ceasar. Once you get past that, the setting was and is very well developed but not so much that you don't have any opportunity for the players to have an impact.

In fact, in my current campaign our GM is using the maps and the descriptions of the places, as well as some of the organizations, and thrown out all of the NPC's in the book.

I never really got Dark Sun or Dragonlance. Dark Sun just made no sense to me. The first thought I had when I played a campaign in this setting was "man, there sure is a lot of BIG stuff for a dying desert world. Shouldn't this stuff be getting smaller to conserve the dwindling resources?" Though I did like the concept of the dragon-kings. Dragonlance on the other hand seemed too, I don't know, cartoony. I mean, a whole player race dedicated to whimsy? Dragons as commonplace? Though at one point we did find this a good place to insert the Council of Wyrms stuff and give that a shot. That was sorta fun for a little while.

I never really got a chance to try out Ravenloft. I did a couple of short term adventures there, but nothing extensive enough to help me differentiate it from any other setting. I liked the concept of a gothic setting though.

Same for Greyhawk. I never really got to play it but I do regard it highly for what it contributed to the game as a whole. (Anyone else ever try to get a new player to seek out the Head of Vecna? :smallsmile:)

2007-01-10, 07:38 AM
I really like Greyhawk and is running my current campaign in that setting (Shackled City Adventure Path). I also have a soft spot for Glorantha (in my opinion one of the best settings ever) and Warhammer (love the nitty-gritty feel).

2007-01-10, 05:07 PM
Regnum. It combines the depth and power of a traditional setting, with the dark grunginess of Haven.

2007-01-11, 05:44 AM
Regnum. It combines the depth and power of a traditional setting, with the dark grunginess of Haven.

HAve you got a link? I've not heard of it, and all I found on a google search was a MMORG (after a russian news agency and a publishing house...)

2007-01-11, 07:15 AM
Vanilla D&D - Mystara with Voyage of the Princess Ark additions. Everything for plain D&D was for Mystara, heck they even put the maps of the place in the rulebooks.

AD&D 1st Edition - Greyhawk. Everything worth mentioning in 1st edition was in Greyhawk.

AD&D 2nd Edition - Spelljammer with an honorable mention to Forgotten Realms. Flying boats, what isn't to like.

3rd edition D&D - Greyhawk with an honorable mention to that Generic world that the Dungeon Crawl Classics modules are set in. The Living Greyhawk setting has more adventures than any other campaign available, and Greyhawk is the default 3rd edition setting, even if they don't support it.

Modern - The Champions Universe (as presented in Pre 5th edition games, as I like my superhero games to be pre-internet, pre-common cell phones). Sure it was a rip off of the Marvel Universe, but at least the players didn't all realize that. Honorable mention goes to the modern Palladium world.

Science Fiction - The default Traveller 2300 setting, specifically the planet of Aurore. Honorable mention to the Buck Rogers world.

Dark Future - Earth as presented in the AADA travel guides for Car Wars and Gurps Autoduel. Honorable mention to the Shadowrun world.

2007-01-11, 09:01 AM
AD&D 2nd Edition - Spelljammer. Flying boats, what isn't to like.

"It's D&D meets Star Trek. It's like porn for nerds." :smalltongue:

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-11, 09:49 AM
Forgotten Realms. Full stop. I've also played Dragonlance and Ravenloft, and will play Ravenloft again when the player who's going to try her hand at DMing Expedition to Castle Ravenloft finally gets her campaign together, but Faerūn stands as my favorite.

As for Eberron, it can go straight to the Nine Hells. If I want moral ambiguity and so forth I'll skip the gaming session and go have some more real life. :smalltongue:

2007-01-11, 10:51 AM
1st Dragonlance. It was my first setting that I ever played in. I try to read most of the Novels, and they are publishing some great Source Materials for it the last couple of years.

2nd Eberron. I like the newest factor of it. And I have this weird fascination with Warforged.

2007-01-11, 12:56 PM
I pretty much have to say Forgotten Realms. I picked up the setting when I was a teenager and it was brand new and I stuck with it for many years. When it comes down to it, I suppose I like the feel of the setting. It's hard to describe the feel and I suspect at least some of it is the result of nostalgia but it's there.

I've never had a problem with the epic NPCs so many people complain about. They were pretty much offstage most of the time. The only time Elminster ever featured was in one campaign where the party's attempts to get an audience with him became a running gag. King Azoun featured in the campaign I ran where all the players were Cormyrian nobles, but that's to be expected. I think Blackstaff scolded a couple of players in Waterdeep once when they trashed something. Other than that, they weren't around.

I've been getting the urge to DM again. Maybe Forgotten Realms...

2007-01-11, 12:59 PM
Ravenloft. Because everybody loves Ravenloft.

qft. Acutally I hate the new 3.5 version of it. But other then that, yay!

2007-01-11, 09:00 PM
1. Council of Wyrms
2. Ravenloft

2007-01-12, 02:04 PM
Planescape. Preferably pre-Faction War. The feeling of endless possibility and the concept that your thoughts and beliefs matter in a very concrete sense make for a really interesting experience.

2007-01-12, 03:05 PM
2nd Edition Planescape. I love the high weirdness, I love the intrigue and the supremacy of ideas, and I love the uncertainty and sense of discovery that you get.

I loathe and detest what WotC did to the Great Wheel in 3.X. Leeching all the flavour out and turning it into a mass of rules and PrCs is not what I was looking for. :smallmad:

(Plus, as Haley points out... they keep changing it. :smalltongue: )