Wednesday, September 4, 2013
30 Day Challenge: Day 4 - Favorite Game World
So this is a tough one for me. Of the published game worlds, I've spent the most time both playing in and running the Forgotten Realms. Once you jettison most of the super-NPCs (I always keep Elminster) it's a great world. Running it with either the original boxed set or the 2nd edition version gives you a lot to play with and expand upon.
The problem with the Realms, I found, is that there's so much out there for it, especially once you add the novels. This is why, when I ran it, it was MY Forgotten Realms, and only the stuff I said was in it, was actually there. I didn't care what Greenwood or one of the various novelists wrote. I especially didn't care what R.A. "Drow are cool" Salvatore wrote, and if you ask to play a dark elf anything, you can take your dice somewhere else. Good day sir.
Yet for all that the Realms offers, it isn't my favorite.
On the other hand, you have Mystara, which is a fun setting and even more than the Realms, lets you do just about whatever. Yet it was also even more of a mishmash that I just couldn't get into. The Champions of Mystara, and the Voyages of the Princess Ark did add a lot of flavor to my games though.
I spent some time in both Dark Sun and Planescape, and while nice places to visit, they were never a favorite. The same thing goes for Ravenloft, though that's a special case. I love the gothic horror aspect of the setting, and using the mists to play with my players was always a lot of fun, especially when they'd get paranoid. Is it just a foggy morning, or are we going to be set upon by werewolves?? No reason it can't be both, but if it's the mists of Ravenloft, it's even better!
My favorite remains Cerilia, the setting of the Birthright Campaign. I loved the players guides to the various domains, I loved the domain level magic, the political and military aspects, and that at first level you could rules an entire kingdom or run a mercantile guild. I loved that it was human-centric, and that the 5 races of man all had distinct cultural identities, and the influence the death of the gods had on the world, especially with the bloodlines. Add in the whole aspect of hunting blooded individuals to take their power for yourself? That's the best part of Highlander right there!