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D&D General Old Campaign Worlds - What Have You Used And Why?

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I’ve always been a homebrewer and so never really focussed on world settings except for the content of modules and stealing ideas from anything interesting. I too started with the Mentzer Red Box but didnt know that Aleena, Bargle and the Savage Coast were all part of the same Hollow World.

That said the three settings that I have used and which influenced me are Birthright, Ravenloft and Al-Qadim.

I also read a whole lot of GURPS sourcebooks and although my homebrew world initially was the ecclectic mess of cultures like Mystara, I soon changed it due to my love of Solomon Kane stories influenced by Birthright and Ravenloft to being an alternate Earth in the ‘Renaisance’ including faux Ottomans on the southern border, gothic vampires and werewolves in Eastern Europe, the Grand Inqusitor becoming Pope, Oliver Cromwells Protectorate surviving in England and Lyonnes rising from the ocean reconnecting Britain with the Continent and bringing Sidhe back into the world ...
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
Published settings I've played in...
  • Greyhawk, with plenty of homebrew additions – my introduction to D&D as a boy
  • Forgotten Realms – sat in for one Adventurer's League game at my FLGS to see what it was like
  • Living Arcanis (Paradigm Concepts) – convention one-shot
  • Mystara / The Known World – Keep on the Borderlands / Caves of Chaos
  • Spelljammer – one-shot game using GURPS rules
Published settings I've DMed for...
  • Al-Qadim – a brief campaign in college and a PbP here
  • Forgotten Realms – most heavily in Chult for Tomb of Annihilation
  • Greyhawk – a few scattered adventures when I was chipping my teeth DMing
  • Nentir Vale – 1 year campaign
  • Planescape – 4 year long campaign
  • Ravenloft – just the original I6 Ravenloft
I'd like to try out Midgard (Kobold Press) as a player, but chances to play are few and far between for me.
 


atanakar

Hero
My groups have always been about home brewing campaigns. I don't remember DMing or playing in any official setting. BUT we did buy the books and box sets for inspiration or to steal the best parts. My main sources of inspiration as a DM were the Mystara Gazeteers, Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Spell Jammer. I did read a lot of FR novels and the Dragon Lance saga but never imported anything from those settings in my campaigns.
 

DMed:
Greyhawk (always)
Birthright
Mystara
Hollow World
Thunder Rift

Played
Dark Sun
Dragonlance
Forgotten Realms
Ravenloft

Both

Nentir Vale
Rokugan
 

Greyhawk
Some FR
Dabbled in Dragon Lance
Have used the Lankhmar City of Adventure

Plus ran stuff in the 80s from Judges Guild using City State of the Invincible Overlord and City State of the World Emperor.

But mostly homebrew though also using a bit of the Lost Lands: Borderland Provinces as well
 


uzirath

Adventurer
My early groups used Greyhawk heavily. My homebrew world grew out of the old Oerik map from the original folio (not the one in DA1). I developed detailed maps for the Amedio and the region south and west of the Sea of Dust. I also played in, occasionally DMed, and/or was inspired by material in the following (in roughly descending order of importance):
  • Al-Qadim
  • Forgotten Realms
  • Lankhmar
  • GURPS sourcebooks
  • Tekumel
  • Middle Earth (as presented in MERP)
  • Dark Sun
  • Mystara
  • Maztica
 

RobJN

Adventurer
I DM Mystara (and by extension, Blackmoor). Grew up with the setting, as it evolved. Nowadays, I've darkend things up a bit, bolting on elements from Eberron (warforged, dragonshards, dragon marks, artificers, magewrights, demonic possession of things as well as people) and thematic bits and bobs from various novels (channeling from Wheel of Time, in Alphatian (Tower) and Glantrian (Seanchan) flavors, fey courtly politics inspired more from the Dresden-verse than PC1's Midsummer Night's Dream.)
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Hmm, I have dig deep into the memory banks here.

Settings I've DM'd

Mystara/Known World
Greyhawk
Forgotten Realms
Ravenloft
Eberron

Settings I've played in (in addition to the above)

Dark Sun
Blackmoor
Planescape
Dragonlance
 

Aldarc

Legend
Greyhawk & Mystara: I mainly plundered them for adventures, dungeons, and modules.

Eberron: Experienced as both a player and a DM. Eberron is probably my favorite D&D setting.

Nentir Vale/World Axis/Points of Light: The 4e campaign setting is probably my favorite setting to run as a GM no matter how you call it. It's bare bones enough for sandboxing and personalizing while also having a tremendous wealth of plot hooks and mysteries. A lot of things that people love about running Lost Mines of Phandelver or Red Hand of Doom as adventures is how the Nentir Vale existed as a setting. Thanks Richard Baker for all three of these things.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
When I use published campaign worlds, I typically use Greyhawk for the simple reason that I know it backwards and forwards. Which, while it doesn't make it the best campaign world, makes it the easiest for me to run.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
When I use published campaign worlds, I typically use Greyhawk for the simple reason that I know it backwards and forwards. Which, while it doesn't make it the best campaign world, makes it the easiest for me to run.

Used to use FR same reason. They blew it up though and I rarely use it now.
 

When I use published campaign worlds, I typically use Greyhawk for the simple reason that I know it backwards and forwards. Which, while it doesn't make it the best campaign world, makes it the easiest for me to run.
Yup, I use FR for the same reason. It's a boring, but I know it well enough that I can answer pretty much anything that crops up without having to look it up. I just ignore anything I don't like.
 


David Howery

Adventurer
Used to use FR same reason. They blew it up though and I rarely use it now.
I'm guessing that was in 3E or beyond? I haven't followed any of the game worlds since I got out of D&D at the end of 2E.
The only worlds I'm familiar with/gamed in were GH and FR... and the fate of those worlds in 2E were quite a bit different. FR had a hiccup to get into 2E (Time of Troubles), and then went multicultural with a vengeance... Maztica, AQ, Hordelands, Kara Tur, etc.... this was an approach I really liked. Plus, they added in some big plotlines (Crusade, Golden Legion) that were interesting but didn't really change the world. Greyhawk, OTOH... well, they just 'blew it up' for no good reason and made vast changes for no good reason. And we dealt with the same parts of the world that we had always dealt with, nothing new to be seen. It wasn't until nearly the end of 2E that we got The Scarlet Brotherhood and a look at something different. (Technically, the short lived Chainmail miniature game was set on western Oerik, but it deserved to die a quiet death. Along with EGG's map of Oerik that appeared in one of the annuals).
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Where I have played an ran.
FR ( i know well )
Eberron ( pretty neat )
Greyhawk ( little too something)
Homebrew
Ravenloft ( good but so specific takes more buy in by players )
Planescape ( i do not like the planes )
and

Mystara ( the best )
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm guessing that was in 3E or beyond? I haven't followed any of the game worlds since I got out of D&D at the end of 2E.
The only worlds I'm familiar with/gamed in were GH and FR... and the fate of those worlds in 2E were quite a bit different. FR had a hiccup to get into 2E (Time of Troubles), and then went multicultural with a vengeance... Maztica, AQ, Hordelands, Kara Tur, etc.... this was an approach I really liked. Plus, they added in some big plotlines (Crusade, Golden Legion) that were interesting but didn't really change the world. Greyhawk, OTOH... well, they just 'blew it up' for no good reason and made vast changes for no good reason. And we dealt with the same parts of the world that we had always dealt with, nothing new to be seen. It wasn't until nearly the end of 2E that we got The Scarlet Brotherhood and a look at something different. (Technically, the short lived Chainmail miniature game was set on western Oerik, but it deserved to die a quiet death. Along with EGG's map of Oerik that appeared in one of the annuals).

After 3E spellplague 4E. And the time jump.

Basically they killed off everyone and Deus ex machina Drizzt and co back.
 

I played a few games in various settings that were so short that I can't say I have experienced, but the main ones are the following

Greyhawk: My first character and campaign ever when I was 15, so it holds a special place for me. That was my first and last game in that world however; GH lost to "The North" box set when I started DMing, so FR it was.

Honorable mentions The Black Eye and Lone Wolf books (and later on, Birthright) which I never played but plundered for my homebrewed settings.

Forgotten Realms was my setting-of-choice for a long time, and still is to this day (although Eberron is growing on me). Unlike what seems to be everyone here, I love the Realms, love its plasticity, love many elements that others find boring. There are a lot of very neat things in FR's setting that many players overlook or take for granted. Too bad TSR/WotC feel they need to blow-it-up every time there is an edition change (except for 2e AD&D to 3.0. That transition was nice and smooth).

Planescape. Why? Mostly because of Tony DiTerlizzi, and the pretension of that setting being for "advance players". I loved to design game for planescape, create NPCs, allow more surreal elements without feeling like ruining the medieval-fantasy genre.

Eberron. It took me a while to appreciate the magic-technological revolution feel, but I love it now.
 

Campaign settings we used in/as a campaign:

DragonLance! #1
Greyhawk #2

Idea's/modules we used from other settings in our generic campaigns/games:

Castle Greywhawk
Ruins of Castle Greyhawk
Ruins of Undermountain
Ruins of Undermountain II
City of Lankmar
Skullport
Ravenloft I6
Dragon Mountain
etc.

If the DM wanted to do a certain module, we did not care which "setting" it was from.

We had considered most game "settings" as being just a different continent on a super-sized world.

That's EXACTLY how I do it. Ebberon, FR/Faerune, Soburin(Mist of Akuma replaces Kara-Tur), Greyhawk, Sword Coast, Al quadim, ETC are ALL different parts of the same world.

The Cosmology is Planescape/Great Wheel with The Dawn War.
 

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