I like X about this setting...

edited May 2008 in Story Games
...how in Dark Sun you were required to make a stable of characters, as if the books were demanding the DM to take their gloves off and do some fucking damage, bury some mofo PC's in shallow graves out in the fucking waste.

...how in Planescape there was this idea that adventuring could change the PLANES with ideas and swords (even if the rules did nothing to back it up...Must. Bite. Tongue.).

...how Spelljammer was D&D turned up to 11 and there was a module about galactic orcs (called Scro) taking it to all of the spheres. Those modules rocked my fucking head with stupid-D&D-epic.

...how Dogs in the Vineyard gives you -just- enough setting info to inspire you to create your own towns and your own Faith.

...how the setting in BW is hidden in lifepaths and traits.

work's almost over...gotta go.

You?

Comments

  • ...how Talislanta seems to be this big sprawling, detailed thing but is really a bunch of 1-page sketchy settings all crammed next to each other that you color-in by playing.

    ...how in Nine Worlds you're supposed to be the hero who goes out and changes the world(s) and then the game actually lets you.

    ...how in Spirit of the Century some people are actual embodied avatars of ideas and beliefs (an underused aspect of the game, IMO).

    ...how in Principia the world is civilized but not civil and ideas are the most powerful weapons around.

    ...how in Mu, the Kid with a Rock.
  • edited May 2008
    ...how in Maelstrom Storytelling the world could be rearranged at any time, with or without warning ...and you have Jazz bands that fight evil in their spare time.

    ...how Mecha vs. Kaiju mixed giant robots and giant monsters for "you got chocolate in my peanut butter" goodness.

    ...how Spelljammer actually built a setting around disproved scientific theories like phlostigon.

    ...how Illuminati University never fails to make me smile when I read it.

    ...how Aeternal Legends is laced through with idealism.
  • Posted By: Peter Aronson...how Mecha vs. Kaiju mixed giant robots and giant monsters for "you got chocolate in my peanut butter" goodness.
    Godzilla fought Mechagodzilla in 1974, and giant robots of various sorts have been fighting giant monsters of diverse morphology since as early as 1956 in the Gigantor manga, so that particular peanutbutter cup has been its own genre for quite some time. Mind you, I lurvs me some Evangelion...
  • edited May 2008
    Godzilla fought Mechagodzilla in 1974, and giant robots of various sorts have been fighting giant monsters of diverse morphology since as early as 1956 in the Gigantor manga, so that particular peanutbutter cup has been its own genre for quite some time. Mind you, I lurvs me some Evangelion...
    Oh, I realize that (I grew up faithfully watching Create Double Feature every Saturday morning through junior high and high school), but Mecha vs. Kaiju threw the whole mobile suit trope into the blender along with the (thinly disguised) classic guys in the rubber suits giant monsters. And I just can't help but love that.
  • Tribe 8: The names of the fatimas and the Eminences. The whole enchilada, really.
    Reign: The bizarre geography of Heluso and Milonda. Absolutely brilliant, it upended all my preconceptions about fantastic world-building.
    Exalted: I love the whole Exalted kitchen-sink goodness, but the Sidereals book opening up Heaven as a city/home base just blew me away.
    Castle Falkenstein: The magical orders. With epaulettes!
    Ars Magica 5th: The greatly expanded lives of the founders and their different takes on life, magic, and everything. And that Tytalus kept a dog familiar he named "Tremere." And made pacts with the ghosts of the Titans to gain the power to kill his teacher.
    Aberrant: I loved that this huge, worldwide, apocalyptic war was coming, that the impact and scale was predestined in the setting, as were certain "set piece" events, but how most of the details were fluid and up to the players (presumably) to determine.
    Fading Suns: Another kitchen-sink setting, mixing Dune space opera medieval whackery with WH40K-lite.
    Artesia: The whole purification requirement to get divine aid or enter holy places. And spilled blood being defiling in the first place. This should set up players to spend a decent amount of time cleaning up if they want the gods on their side.
  • Posted By: Judd...how in Planescape there was this idea that adventuring could change the PLANES with ideas and swords
    Funny enough, that idea never jazzed me. I figured they're based on the ideas of millions/billions of people and change is slow. What I liked was how the rules are different wherever you go. The physical laws were different, but also moral laws, too. Like it's actually harder to do good things in the lower planes. Or it's harder to do Lawful, organized things on the planes of Chaos, even the good planes. And how just knowing the various rules gives you a major advantage when traversing or otherwise dealing with those planes or the creatures who come from them.
  • Posted By: johnstonePosted By: Judd...how in Planescape there was this idea that adventuring could change the PLANES with ideas and swords
    Funny enough, that idea never jazzed me. I figured they're based on the ideas of millions/billions of people and change is slow. What I liked was how the rules are different wherever you go. The physical laws were different, but also moral laws, too. Like it's actually harder to do good things in the lower planes. Or it's harder to do Lawful, organized things on the planes of Chaos, even the good planes. And how just knowing the various rules gives you a major advantage when traversing or otherwise dealing with those planes or the creatures who come from them.
    I loved both these ideas. Planescape was the second game I ever GMed for more than 1 session. In terms of the change being slow, I completely agree. What we did was always center the conflict around the tipping points. Change is slow but instead of a plane shrinking, it instead started to crack away at its foundations. So when belief was low enough, the plane would finally separate and float off to be swallowed by something else. The end results shifting the power balance. Playing at that moment before the tipping point was amazing! Also playing inside the corpses of dead gods... fun!
  • ...how in Amber the only setting that really matters is your family.

    ...how in Armageddon, the command staff of the forces of good are an archangel, Odin and the ghost of Ben Franklin

    ...how in Witchcraft a lucid dreamer can kill any god foolish enough to face him within his own dreams.

    ...how in Feng Shui you will never notice the world changing until you do, then you can never not notice it.

    ...how in Birthright the monsters that really matter are proper nouns. Also, how the eventual high king is never detailed in the material because it's assumed it would be you.

    ...how in Glantri all the silly things about magic in D&D are extrapolated into the underpinnings of a society where everyone who is not a mage is a second class citizen. And one guy has a laser gun.

    ...how in Exalted there is a way in which each Exalt type can and should be heroic, but which has become lost or corrupted, and which can only be reclaimed at the price of that which they have gained by following other paths.

    -Rob D.
  • Posted By: Rob Donoghue

    ...how in Glantri all the silly things about magic in D&D are extrapolated into the underpinnings of a society where everyone who is not a mage is a second class citizen. And one guy has a laser gun.
    What is Glantri?
  • Posted By: JuddWhat is Glantri?
    No love for Mystara, Judd?

    The Principalities of Glantri are a magocracy in Mystara, north of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
  • It was part of the "known world" of old D&D - it's on the map of the continent that comes with The Isle of Dread and was originally detailed when they did that whole series of setting books. During 2nd edition, TSR did a few boxed sets in that world, Principalities of Glantri, The Grand Duchy of Karameikos and Red Steel*. Red Steel was actually kind of cool, dark swashbuckling, and Karameikos was basically a super vanilla setting that was well designed for adventuring.

    Now, in the original stuff, Glantri was pretty silly, since it was one of two wizardly nations, and it had been chock full of level 36 magic users and so on, but in creating th boxed sets they had kind of kicked some of that to the curb, and instead you get this nation which is composed of several principalities, each of which is ruled by a particular person, group or family. They're all mages, since only mages can have any real political power, and clerics are actively discriminated against. The capital city is full of magical spectacle and of course has a great magical academy at its heart.

    The laser gun is a nod to the fact that Glantri was very near Blackmoor, and by old D&D mythos, Blackmoor had high tech ruins (crashed spaceships and whatnot) so one of the NPCs has a magical weapon from Blackmoor, which they view as an oddly shaped wand.

    It's not a deep setting by any stretch of the imagination, but it's got the kind of enthusiasm and gameyness that just makes it a joy to read.

    -Rob D.

    * The Hollow World was also technically in this line, since it was inside that world by default.
  • And now, a moment for self-appreciation:

    ...how in Perfect, the world of Cadence is mostly a collection of antagonists and targets. The Inspectors are this almost supernatural force who only really make cinematic sense. Conditioning and immediate re-release without supervision is a justice system that makes absolutely no sense in the real world. In the new version, each Certification includes a passage about what "some" members "allegedly" inappropriately use their power for. The entire world is designed in order to make hardcore scenes about frantic romantics torching City Hall in the name of love a default, rather than a one-off highlight. It's amazing how almost every player looks at this setting and sees something that they personally want to destroy within it.
  • How Fading Suns gives me a futuristic setting full of medaevil social structures, attitudes, and superstitions

    How Ars Magica gives me a map

    How Poison'd gives me a geography whose landmarks are sins

    The list of mutations in old Gamma World
  • ...how in Rifts you have a wacky blending of magic and technology that seems to inspire a countless number of splat books

    ...how in Ninjas and Superspies I can play a drunken martial artist

    ...how in Contenders, the pathos for the boxers made me want to actually watch boxing

    ...how in Jyhad (sp?), I can finally play Dune without touching my precious copy of Dune
  • (Ever the iconoclast, me.)

    ...HERO, because it can handle almost any setting in table top play.
    ...GLASS because it can handle any plausibly playable setting in LARP.
    ...DitV because it can easily be drifted to another setting where authority is balanced by concern for those under your power.

    (And more in the spirit of the thread.)

    ...Burning Wheel, for a novel, mechanically-reinforced take on "traditional" Tolkien races.
    ...Dread: TFBOP, because it's a modern setting which lets me make Bush et al demon-possessed (it's the only explanation that makes sense, anymore).
    ...Pendragon, because it really anchors me in Arthurian mythos and historical aspects of medieval life in England in the Dark Ages.
    ...Star Wars (d20) because... well, damn, man... it's STAR WARS!
  • Unknown Armies because all the weirdness, all the nastiness, all the evil in the world, eventually boils down to human responsibility and yet so does anything good and bright.
  • I like how Glorantha is this wacky personal creation that manages to give you the tools for creating your own personal mythology.
  • I just love the world in Warhammer. The setting itself is just gorgeous and grim and nasty and made of Yay!

    The system... not so much.
  • Agreement on Warhammer's setting. I used to play the miniatures game, and I was Empire. Now, I was obviously doing Empire wrong, because I lost 95% of the games I played. But I lost them with a passion - warrior priests and militia charging into battle by the hundreds, knights of the white wolf thundering down upon fleeing units. Men allowing their faith to turn them mad. Men willing to risk their lives on pieces of experimental technology.

    Everything in the Warhammer world is steeped in blood and despair and epic last-moment-ness.


    For entirely different reasons I love the Warhammer 40k universe. I love how metal it all is. Undead emperors. Robotic skeletons. Orks in Sppaaaaaccceeee! Fallen brothers who've become so twisted by drugs, lust and perversion that all they need to do to win a battle is show up and revel (seriously, Emperor's Children are this weird combination of 100% cheesy and 100% insanely awesome).
  • edited May 2008

    ... How in Mage the folks who are trying to protect humanity are the bad guys.

  • ...How the Known World's map is clearly Earth minus some continental drift.
    ...How the Hollow World never once accidentally sets something happening "at night." Because there's isn't any.
    ...How the Shadow Elves in original D&D rock the pants off the Drow.
    ...HOL's anguish factor equivalency chart.
    ...How Exalted's world is flat, just like the map is.
    ...The old Mage's... um... everything. Just about, yeah.
    ...Mugger Squirrels and the Guaranteed Play-Balance Table in IOU
    ...Mutants & Masterminds' Atomic Brain
    ...Burning Wheel's sorcery fuckup table. Holy god does it get bad fast. I like other things too, of course, but that's a spicy meatball right there.
    ...Sentient giant snails scholars in Talislanta.
    ...How Demon was a blenderized version of the entire old WoD, and did it well.
    ...How Planescape took the outer planes and made them valid places for first-level adventures.
    ...Dune's implicit transhumanism.

    I'm a happy gamer in general, I guess.
  • I second the Unknown Armies. It's a role playing setting that illustrates existentialism.

    I love how in red box D&D there is no world outside the dungeon worth caring about.

    How Near in shadow of yesterday takes moral failings like corruption, desperation, traditionalism, and turns them into cultures which are real and believable.
  • I love KULT for its setting; so twisted, thoroughly fucked-up, and incredibly well thought through--but I hate it for not telling me how to use any of that well in play.
  • ...For the Throckmorton Device, I will love Al Amarja forever.
  • ... Known World for it's strange and complicated history and the concept of basing all cultures on historical equivalents, which makes it very easy to help players know the setting without having them memorizing several rulebooks.
    ... Glantri for being a magical society with a wizard aristocracy and clerigs being burned on the stake
    (and have been running a Great School of Magic for some years now)
    ... Shadowelves form oD&D for the exact reason Colin Fredericks mentioned
    ... Hollow World for being so exotic with no night etc.
    ... Spelljammer for it's wacky spaceships
    ... Ravenloft 1st ed. rulebooks for being so filled with a Gothic mood
    ... Planescape for it's philosophers with clubs
    ... Unknown Armies for "post-modern" approach and how it is about people
    ... Fading Suns for it's science fiction-medieval setting and the great variety of campaigns that can be played
    ... Amazing Engine's Bughunters for playing clones with copied memories battling aliens
    ... Paranioa for it's Fear and Ignorance and because I have a weak spot for dystopias
    ... My Life with Master for being so intense and a simple rulesystem that easily supports my fellow players immersive techniques
    ... Polaris for being so evocative and having such a fascinating rulesystem
    ... Transhuman Space for it's hard science and for it's core theme "What is human?"
    ... The Shadow of Yesterday because my players really loves those keys and it inspires them to play in totally cool ways and then rewards them for doing it
    ... Whispering Vault for it's setting and character concepts, which taught me important stuff about generating characters
    ... Don't Rest your Head for the dice mechanics (but the setting didn't do it for me, so I replaced most of it with a dark version of Danish folklore)
    ... Burning Empires for all it's cool ideas and tidbits, many of which I have stolen for other games
    ... Covert Generation for it's setting, that always awakens my desire for playing more, more, more
    ... GURPS Goblins because this setting it frackinly cool, you play goblins (only species in existence) in a Victorian England, where difference in social status gives penalties in combat (in other words social status becomes a hard factor) and the idea that enviroment means everything in the upbringing of the goblin, but genetic heritage nothing (each goblin is born genderless, hairless etc. and develops these traits through it's upbringing). Now I just need some rules to play this setting with, as GURPS doesn't do it for me.
    ... IAWA for doing it down and dirty
    ... Delta Green for it's setting
    ... the idea that the Shadowrun-setting is part of the same timeline as Earthdawn
  • Posted By: xenopulseI love KULT for its setting; so twisted, thoroughly fucked-up, and incredibly well thought through--but I hate it for not telling me how to use any of that well in play.
    Hey, Christian - check out kult-rpg.com.
  • Reign's geography: Wow. Weird. Not sure how to really leverage it thematically but it makes my head hum when I think about it.

    Kult's Metropolis and Inferno concepts: My favorite "there's another world right on top of this one" setting.

    Earthdawn's perfectly rational, well-constructed explanation for massive dungeons filled with traps, treasure and monsters.

    Burning Empire's Vaylen, and all the existential questions that come with them.

    Spirit of the Century's thing where heroes are avatars of ideals of the new century, and villains are avatars of ideals of the past. Nobody uses it but it's always in my head.

    Exalted's Shadowlands. Yum.

    Continuum's time-traveling superculture, and the explanation for why it doesn't unmake itself. It's also my most hated part of the game.

    p.
  • Exalted Autochthonia. Adventures with magical robots inside the body of a machine god. Fuck. Yeah. If there isn't a 2e book for Autochtonia I'll be sad. And just have to finally do an Alchemical Exalted game with the 1e rules, I guess, since trying to update them to 2e myself probably isn't worth the trouble.
  • Beast Hunters for that single mindedness and my introduction to the phrase "free play"- the "yeah, you hang out with your friends and family in the villiage and maybe flirt with someone, as soon as you're ready to get back to the mechanics you can go hunt down a monster." Also i like the notion of the "savage" tribes being more badass in every possible way than the soft armor-wearers.
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