On August 21st, the topic of the day is my favourite rpg setting. I’m going to tackle this in two ways, favourite setting designed by group and favourite rpg setting. For favourite setting designed by the group, it is my current game of Questers United. My favourite published setting is Dark Sun by Timothy B. Brown, Troy Denning, and Jerry Oltion.
I’ve been playing the Questers United campaign for 7 years and this means much. I wouldn’t be playing it for so long if I didn’t love it. The game started with smell elements which I brought and has evolved over the ages. While playing, I learned to ask questions to the other players which contributes to the world building. Additionally, I grab published material from all over and add them as ingredients to this world. I keep coming up with other ideas which would be great campaign in this world. I would love after Questers United reaches 30th level, we would return to the setting with new characters. I just wish my notes were better taken and organized.
I got Dark Sun as a Christmas gift when it came out. It was my first published campaign setting I ever got and I still enjoy it. Technically, my first rpg setting book was an Test of the Samurai by Rick Swan, an Oriental Adventures scenario (my first rpg book) which I tried to play like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. The Dark Sun boxed set was a complete region with multiple cities, special rules for characters, unique monsters, and many opportunities for heroic stories.
Dark Sun is a post-apocalyptic sword & sorcery setting. An old magical war reduced the area to a wasteland and now tyrants rule city-states with priests who impose order. This is a terrible world where many evil or opportunistic individuals have gained power. I found this world needed saving and perfect for heroes to take the task. The setting even has a secret group of do-gooders known as the Veiled Alliance to help oppose the tyrants.
I played several campaigns which were cut short due to the unfortunate bane scheduling. I’d return again to Dark Sun and even try it’s spiritual successor, Dragon Kings. I love how it shines a light on the protagonists and encourages them to be heroes so they can be different from everyone else. I love the harshness and how you must work together to survive. I once played an encounter where halflings ambushed with slings and agony beets. Agony beetles are tiny 1 inch long beetles who sap psychic energy in a painful way from the middle of the victim’s back. A lone individual cannot remove the beetle due to them wriggling in pain and must rely on a friend.
I love how Dark Sun makes halflings frightening. I love halflings and often hear folks make jokes about them. In Dark Sun, halflings live in the forest and eat anything other than other halflings. Yes, they’ll eat humans, elves, dwarves, etc. Most folks say Athasian halfling are cannibals which is not true as they don’t eat each other.
What is your favourite rpg setting? What made you fall in love with it?