Wednesday, September 4, 2013

d30 Challenge: Favorite Setting

Art by Clyde Caldwell
My first campaigns were all set in the Known World, since that's the default setting for BECMI, but I can't say we ever used much of the detail that was available. None of us owned many of the gazeteers (though I apparently owned the Ierendi one, since I still have it laying around), and we didn't care much, if it all, for the details. Nevertheless, the Known World has the greatest amount of nostalgia value for me. After all, it's where Fayon wrestled in the arena of Garald the Blue, and established the Thyranian Empire from parts of Thayatis and Ylaruam!

I don't think anyone who's my age, who was into DnD at the time, escaped the influence of the Dragonlance setting, Krynn. I don't know how much we used the setting itself, really, but it's amazing how much more inspiration I get reading the book now compared to when I was younger. I know we ran the first module of that series, since I definitely remember the PCs killing the dragon when the Irda character shapeshifted into a poisonous gas.

When we switched to 2nd Edition, probably around '89, we also switched to Forgotten Realms. Again, more color than actual play inside the setting. Looking back, I think a big part of this is because we never bought many modules. When I was younger, I couldn't afford any, and by the time I was in high school, I had 'better' things to spend money on. So a lot of my gaming memories are homemade, like the Magical Mirrors of Muldavia.

Greyhawk deserves a special mention. I never played in it, or knew much about it, back in the day. But when I got back into the hobby post-college, it was through 3.5, and Greyhawk was the default setting. Not only that, but when I discovered Living Greyhawk, I played that a bunch as well. The Living Campaign system LG used, where you could only play regional modules in that region, gave each place a definite feel that I'm not sure it would have had without that rule. So even if I don't play there any more, I'll always have a soft spot for Greyhawk and, especially, Dyvers.

However, for the most part, I've preferred to use my own setting. It's not my favorite yet, because I've never been able to perfect it. But each campaign adds something to it, whether it's Fayon from my earliest adventuring days, Kilmar and Alexander from high school, or the plethora of saints from the aborted 4e campaign I ran a few years ago. Later this year, we'll be exploring the lands of Morachi which, with any luck, will create new details for the next campaign after that. Now, if I could just get the shorelines to look right.

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