Published or player-created game worlds in which ongoing adventures take place.

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76
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11answers
9k views

How many people does it take to steal a Star Destroyer?

The stats for the Imperial class Star Destroyer in West End Games's Star Wars RPG list the skeleton crew for the vessel as 5,000 people. They define the skeleton crew as "the absolute minimum number ...
46
votes
10answers
11k views

Medieval problems in a magical world

This is a bit of a broad question, but I will try to narrow it down to this: When GMing a medieval fantasy, and conflicts arise between the medieval times and the magical world (mostly D&D and ...
33
votes
10answers
781 views

Helping new players learn a setting on the go

I started a new Eberron campaign last night, and I quickly ran into the problem of my players not knowing much of anything about the campaign setting. What is the Mournland? Where is the Eldeen ...
31
votes
11answers
3k views

Plausible explanation for large number of armed adventurers in fantasy RPG setting?

I'm working on a Dungeons & Dragons setting and want a comprehensive and logical explanation why, in a feudal society similar to Western Europe in the Middle Ages, there might be bands of armed ...
27
votes
17answers
2k views

Introducing an unorthodox setting the players know NOTHING about

Just a while back, there has been a question concerning GMing a setting the players know better than the GM. Now, let me ask you sort of an inverse of that question. I.e. how to introduce and ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

How to tell your players about the setting without make them read?

I'm a (quite) new GM who's going to start a Traveller campaign, where my players don't know anything about the setting (be it the canon one or a modified one). I tried to sum the basic setting ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there a core campaign setting for DnD 4e?

I'm completely new to RPGs in general, so I apologize in advance if this is an odd question. There's such an overwhelming abundance of lore on all the different campaign settings for DnD that I've ...
25
votes
5answers
610 views

Creating the setting with the players

As far as I'm aware, the two most common ways to choose a setting for your campaign are one of these: The GM makes it up pre-game, or the GM has some source book containing the desired setting. ...
22
votes
6answers
478 views

Techniques for communicating setting and campaign information to the PCs?

In the past, I've almost always had at least one NPC that would travel with the characters as a type of "lore master" to expand on the story. I've tried to make the character witty and, once the ...
21
votes
3answers
394 views

Athas: A terrifying vision of the future?

Athas, the desolated world of deserts, obsidian and ecological ruin that is the focus of the Dark Sun campaign setting, is generally portrayed as a prime world nearing the end of its life expectancy. ...
19
votes
9answers
705 views

Should I read the Dresden Files fiction before I get the RPG?

Should I read the Dresden Files books before I get the RPG? I want to have a look at the FATE system, and I'd be most interested in starting with Dresden Files (I think). I know there are books in ...
19
votes
12answers
405 views

How can you add character to in-game religions?

I'm thinking mostly from a DnD3.5 background, but am open to input for any setting - even non-fantasy - but my focus is on fantasy settings. How can you add character to religions so that they're ...
18
votes
10answers
766 views

What RPGs treat magic as being common?

Some fantasy RPGs treat magic as arcane and thus rare, possibly subject to suspicion by the masses. Other games treat magic as somewhat more prevelant but not ubiquitous. At some point in this trend, ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Overcoming setting complexity paralysis as a GM

The problem What are the best practices to overcome that certain “complexity paralysis” that may strike a GM when trying to learn and immerse himself in a setting that has a lot of intricate ...
17
votes
6answers
867 views

Suggested System/Mechanics/Setting Choices for X-Files/Fringe Inspired Game?

Requesting system, specific mechanic, and published setting recommendations for a recurring game inspired by the X-Files and Fringe. Here are my goals and details for the game that may provide ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

How can PCs defeat a magical Necrotic Cyst-based surveillance state?

In his excellent answer to this question, Brian Ballsun-Stanton posited a horrifying surveillance state using, at its core, a handful of powerful creatures, the feat Mother Cyst (LM 28), and a ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What changed in Eberron between 3.5e and 4e?

Both in terms of setting fluff and game mechanics, what are the differences between the original D&D 3.5 version of Eberron and its D&D 4th edition version?
16
votes
9answers
855 views

Looking for a high-action, non-dark setting

I'm looking for a setting which should answer these rather specific key points: Pre-made and detailed. I would like the heavy-lifting to be done for me. There shouldn't be too many holes left that I ...
16
votes
4answers
592 views

How late in history can I set a campaign based in the US without cars and telephones being widespread? [closed]

I'm deciding on my next campaign offering, and I'm dealing with this dilemma: although I prefer, and am best at, running games set in the near-present, one of my players has a mild antipathy toward ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it legal to write and distribute adventures or campaign settings for D&D 3.5?

I am considering writing and selling adventures and/or a campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 and I am wondering if it is legal to do so. Also what am I allowed to use from the official ...
16
votes
3answers
400 views

What would the life of a child be like in a medieval setting?

The basis for an adventure I'm writing is a child. He is extremely intelligent and had a knack for magic at a very young age, but he has a mental disorder (something similar to Asperger's syndrome). ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Playing Dungeon World in an established setting

World creation in Dungeon World according to its principle is meant to be broad and keep some blanks for the players to fill. But what about an established setting like Forgotten Realm or Greyhawk? ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What happened in the Forgotten Realms between 3.5 and 4e?

I don't remember where I heard or read this, but I seem to recall there being some sort of cataclysmic event between 3.5 and 4e. A few (related) questions - What exactly happened between 3.5 and ...
15
votes
10answers
3k views

How can an aristocracy be perpetuated between creatures that can't interbreed?

The 25-year-old human prince of a 50-year-old small nation (total population maybe 100,000 spread out in a rather large valley among settlements no larger than 5,000 creatures each) is looking to ...
14
votes
10answers
359 views

How do you seamlessly blend inspiration into a campaign?

Often I have campaigns that are inspired by things that are outside of genre and easily recognizable. Lets take Vikings in Space for example. I could have a race of blond haired people with helmets ...
14
votes
7answers
970 views

Are there any RPGs/settings where a character's class is not chosen but “earned” through their actions?

My experience RPGing has thusfar been limited to Dungeons and Dragons v3.5. As I've grown more experienced playing the game, I've toyed with creating my own campaign settings and am now playing with ...
14
votes
4answers
240 views

Is there a method for sliding seamlessly from one system into another during a campaign?

Has anyone changed system/setting/genre but kept the characters during a campaign? Players can become very attached to their characters, even when the campaign/setting/genre or system is getting ...
14
votes
3answers
366 views

Dystopian sword & magic settings

Actually something that just came to my mind and something I've never encountered before. Are there any settings or systems centering about dystopian worlds, but without technology, nothing more ...
14
votes
9answers
1k views

What games have good treatments of sub-Saharan Africa, or fantasy analogues?

I'm aware of Atlas Games' Nyambe, and I read the Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom sourcebook that White Wolf released for Vampire some years back. Which other books treat the area well, or at least as a ...
14
votes
6answers
795 views

What is the full list of official Wizards of the Coast D&D settings?

The ones I know of off hand are the following, also would be good to know what rule edition they initially started in and if they are no longer updated as of what edition: Forgotten Realms ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Which system to support a grim world of low fantasy?

Looking for a system that would be able to support gaming in a setting of medieval-ish, raw and muddy themes (if I were to pick an example, the setting of The Witcher series would come in close). ...
13
votes
11answers
444 views

In a game set “ten years into the future” what are some narrative techniques to explain away the lack of significant tech advances?

Mutant City Blues, an excellent setting for a GUMSHOE system, is set "ten years in the future" of whenever the game starts. However, as I want the game to be about powers (the heightened) and not ...
13
votes
2answers
572 views

Game design process to create a White-Wolf-like setting?

I have noticed that there seems to be a pattern at work in most oWod/WoD products, which when followed results in settings with the following properties: Each new PC starts with many possible ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I get a good background on the Warhammer 40K universe?

I have never played the Warhammer 40k minis game, but have come into tangential contact with it over the years. Now that there are 40k video games, I'm trying to get into it. But the problem is that ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there an RPG for Iain M Banks' setting of The Culture?

And if not, what would you recommend using? I've always thought it would make for some interesting gaming.
13
votes
2answers
362 views

What else is in the Traveller galaxy?

In Traveller the Imperium charted space is a small portion of the galaxy. In the T5 book, the Galaxy map (page 417) has Abyssals and Denizens west of Core, Dushis Kurisi North of Core, Essaray east of ...
12
votes
8answers
861 views

Inter-planar Merchants of D&D

What race best fills this role? I'm mostly looking for someone who does this in a Planescape-style setting. Neogi kinda do this, but they're a little too specialized for what I'm looking for. Ditto ...
12
votes
11answers
1k views

Are there any good paleolithic rpgs? [closed]

I'm looking for an rpg that is basically about hunting/gathering, and surviving as a tribe. Mostly for mechanical ideas. Has anyone ever tried/heard of such a game? How does it work? Who makes it? Is ...
12
votes
4answers
253 views

Generating a feeling of nostalgia in the players

I'm new to GMing and am in the process of creating my first world. It's going to be a far future scifi setting, where the civilisation to which the players will belong is a space faring one that is ...
12
votes
6answers
444 views

Are human characters needed in a roleplay system?

I proposed, a long time ago a setting without humans in it. Instead I'd designed a series of fairly 'alien' creatures, and I was going to set it up as Science-Fantasy (set on the moon of a brown ...
12
votes
3answers
550 views

When adapting a setting to 13th Age, how to decide what is an Icon?

Like every body that ever read a good book and plays RPG you will want to make it into your next campaign setting. I am no different than most people. I'm aiming to adapt the setting of S. Erikson's ...
12
votes
3answers
613 views

Are there any low-magic 4e home-brew settings?

This question is in a sense related to "What RPGs treat magic as being common?" Aside from the WotC published setting of Dark Sun where magic is treated as something to be shunned, are there any ...
12
votes
2answers
182 views

Is there an RPG or RPG setting for Un Lun Dun, and if not, how and how easily would one go about making one?

I'm honestly a complete noob to tabletop RPGs, having only read the manuals for DnD 4th edition and never having played, but I'd like to know if an RPG or setting for one exists for China Miéville's ...
11
votes
5answers
963 views

What stands out about an Iron Age setting?

High fantasy RPGs tend to be set in an era similar to the late Middle Ages. This seems to be the norm for D&D, and it seems to be what players of such games expect. Let's say you have a group of ...
11
votes
5answers
418 views

I want to design and write a setting book. Where do I start?

I want to design and write a professional quality setting book for FATE 3.0, with the possibility of adding custom mechanics later and turning it into a full on game of it's own. I have the outline of ...
11
votes
11answers
353 views

Real World Mythic Setting Material

Can you recommend setting material for roleplaying games (books, websites, etc.) that presents places in the real world but with supernatural overtones based upon a locale's myths, fairytales, and ...
11
votes
8answers
6k views

Short ideas for the development of a Call of Cthulhu campaign or brief adventure

Community wiki post. Everyone can add an answer containing a short idea for a campaign, be it an event, a characteristic of the world, an artifact or object, or an NPC character. Fellow masters can ...
11
votes
7answers
306 views

What should I read/watch for information about the 1930s United States? [closed]

I'm currently writing a Trail of Cthulhu campaign, in which Investigators travel across the United States in the 1930s. To get inspiration for the scenarios, I read books and watch movies about ...
11
votes
4answers
484 views

Any canon Shadowrun material related to NY/PA/NJ areas?

I'm looking for specific, canon (i.e. official, published) references to material for the Shadowrun game-world setting. My game setting is based around the Philadelphia area; I've turned New Jersey ...
11
votes
6answers
267 views

How can I add underworld intrigue to my Dresden Files game?

In D&D/Pathfinder/RIFTS/Shadowrun-type games I've played in the past, corrupt nobles/merchants, thieves' guilds, megacorps, ancient evils, and various religions with a flakey axe to grind were all ...