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What is the most detailed setting available?


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Thay invades Rashemon, inflicts some damage, and is repulsed by the berserkers and witches. Thay has some plans to do so again in the future.

The Zhentarim has some nefarious political scheme.

That covers a lot of it. :)
Yea, but that's just a couple incidents for an entire continent. Definition of borders, laws, succession, military forces...all are glossed over or absent in FR. It is gear towards the adventuring party travelling from crawl to crawl. It lacks any sense of regional and international politics that other settings have. But it is a contender.
 

GreyLord

Legend
I would find it hard to believe that the Forgotten Realms does not have the most written about it. It does not have every noble bloodline, but the volume of setting material would be hard to match.
I agree.

I don't think any setting has had as many books written on the Forgotten Realms.

From over 100 novels (actually, isn't it like 300 novels or more), to dozens of sourcebooks (3e/3.5 alone had a HUGE number of source books, some of them VERY specific to certain areas of the Forgotten Realms), to individual adventures and modules (many which detail down to the peasant in a field as well as everyone else in the local area) I think the amount of detail within it and the breadth it covers is FAR more than any other system.

The only one that I think may come close or surpass it at this point would be Paizo's Golarian.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Yea, but that's just a couple incidents for an entire continent. Definition of borders, laws, succession, military forces...all are glossed over or absent in FR. It is gear towards the adventuring party travelling from crawl to crawl. It lacks any sense of regional and international politics that other settings have. But it is a contender.

Do you guys actually read the Forgotten Realms materials?

There are definite borders (and over time, border changes), different sourcebooks list laws of different areas, succession is definitely addressed in some sourcebooks as well as in far more detail (political maneuvering, manipulations, etc) in novels, and military forces are also addressed for many areas as in standing military force and armies, etc.

Forgotten Realms is one setting where you can go as deep and far as you want...or just stick with the surface.
 

Do you guys actually read the Forgotten Realms materials?

There are definite borders (and over time, border changes), different sourcebooks list laws of different areas, succession is definitely addressed in some sourcebooks as well as in far more detail (political maneuvering, manipulations, etc) in novels, and military forces are also addressed for many areas as in standing military force and armies, etc.

Forgotten Realms is one setting where you can go as deep and far as you want...or just stick with the surface.
The maps I've seen don't display political boundaries. Could you direct me to a map that does show political boundaries?
 

jdrakeh

Adventurer
For RPGs, I think Harn and Glorantha probably have the most meaningful detail. They both dig deeply into aspects of culture, geography, and slice of life details that most other RPGs gloss over entirely. Tekumel is also a contender here, though the amount of material published for the setting is less voluminous than that published for Harn and Glorantha.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Mythic Britain - theres a reason why Fantasy Common defaults to English and why 90% of every fantasy fiction story since Mort d'Arthur could be easily plonked down on pseudo-England+Doggerland and look familiar :p
 

GreyLord

Legend
The maps I've seen don't display political boundaries. Could you direct me to a map that does show political boundaries?

You should read the basic Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide than.

It has political boundaries, though being a 3e book perhaps that's not the type of book you want to read. It gathers information found in books and modules up to that also included local political boundaries. That said, it is correct and incorrect at the same time.

It is correct for the time it was written, but not absolutely correct for the Forgotten Realms.

The Reason is probably better shown by example than just stating.

The Forgotten Realms has different sovereignties, such as independent city states, Nation States, and Regional areas (such as the Dale lands).

Could you tell me the exact boundaries of Athens, Sparta and Corinth? Anything that tries to define them absolutely normally is wrong because the areas of control varied at different points in their existence as city states. They DID have boundaries normally as cities, at least defined at various points of time, though the actual area they controlled went further.

For these types of boundaries you can see them very easily in the first box set of the Forgotten Realms released with what many call the Gray Box.

I expect that you are not looking at it from a City-State perspective though (which is what the early Forgotten realms were really written in regards to, more of a City-State political control aspect, though there were nations as well, there were a LOT [and still are} of independent cities.

There were Kingdoms set up though, such as the Moonshaes. These are also a region. The Islands were normally shown with pretty distinct borders (as they were Islands).

Now, if you were wanting area of control, that is VASTLY DIFFERENT than political borders. For example, what were the borders of the United States in 1780? It is actually rather nebulous, especially when you consider the areas the French claimed, the Spanish Claimed, the British Claimed, and the Colonies claimed.

Even in the 1820's-1850's the borders of the United States were more nebulous with areas claimed by both the United States and Mexico. This is one reason the Mexican-American War was fought between the United States and Mexico.

This is also the time periods (U.S. Westward expansion, City State period, etc) which most resemble the Realms.

This makes for a rather rich political climate if you want to run one like that because War and Politics go hand in hand with border contentions like that.

You may want something more like the more recent 80 years (because before the 1940s, borders were still highly contested in some areas, even in Europe itself, for example the highly contested region along the border between Franch and Germany which is seen by some as one of the sparks for WWI and WWII) where political boundaries are finally more or less seen as rather stable.

That still doesn't address the idea of control. While one may have regions, what are the actual areas of control?

The United States claims at least areas up to 20 miles from it's borders (normally more easily enforceable on the water than land though, and to avoid contentions, this is where it normally takes place, with some overlap in waters between the US and Mexico and Canada).

China claims control over areas up to 200 miles from it's borders.

So, in that light, if you want a 21st century take on political borders being defined rather than the more traditional take from the past several thousand years, that's rather easy. Just utilize the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Guide which was written for 3e. That gathers all the various information from past books and modules into a comprehensive map with what you can call your political boundaries.

If you want more of a take from what it was like previously with defined walls for city states, and descriptions of where the Kingdoms and lands extend to and from (as found in the Grey box) you can use the Campaign Box from 1e.

Both have political boundaries defined, but in different ways depending on whether you want the Frontier is always expanding but undefined, go find and adventure in the wild (1e) to the more modern tastes of everything is more or less civilized, go adventure in the known world (3e).
 

You should read the basic Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide than.
snip
So no borders on maps? That is a serious drawback as compared to the better-detailed settings already mentioned.

Faerun certainly has a mass of setting information, but its data presentation is inferior to the other contenders.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I am submitting Harn. It's maps are utterly amazing, nearly every major city is mapped, the royal bloodlines of every Human & Demi-Human realm are detailed, and scores of manors are detailed down to the peasants in the fields.

Top that.


(Note: setting, not system).
Does Hârn have a conlang? Tékumel does. Nor is it the only one.
 

Voadam

Legend
1639932584241.png

Page 29 of the 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book.

Hmm, the nations' names don't seem to have copied over from the PDF.

Some areas on this regional map are not broken down below the regional level (Western Heartlands, The Dales, The North, Vilhon Reach) but a lot are full nations (Cormyr, Chessenta, Thay, Rashemon, Unther, Sembia, Amn, Tethyr).

Pages 88 to 89 has trade route maps with details on major resources, though again the text does not copy over from the PDF.
1639933334241.png


1639933269245.png


The explicit political boundaries map is on pages 99 and 100
1639933440682.png

1639933462830.png
 
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Aldarc

Legend
It isn't far from it; the dictionary is substantial.
high quality GIF


However, I've never used a conlang; I feel it doesn't add anything to the game while raising the bar for new players.
I double-checked, and your thread does not appear to be about whether Jd Smith1 uses a conlang or not.

Your point in the bold is most certainly true for the high detail of Hârn that you laud or any other setting mentioned in this thread, but that is not what prompt is about. Also, this point in bold certainly moves the goal posts. You asked about what is the most detailed setting. I cited the various conlangs that M.A.R. Barker made for the various cultures, past and present, of Tékumel as evidence in its favor.
 

GreyLord

Legend
So no borders on maps? That is a serious drawback as compared to the better-detailed settings already mentioned.

Faerun certainly has a mass of setting information, but its data presentation is inferior to the other contenders.

What are you talking about!?

You responded to a post where I told you where the map with borders were...and you say this???

The FRCS has borders blatantly on the maps. Did you just get a copy that had pages torn out or something. Did you just decide to respond without even reading my post with a predetermined response???

I feel like I'm being trolled here...maybe??
 


I double-checked, and your thread does not appear to be about whether Jd Smith1 uses a conlang or not.

Your point in the bold is most certainly true for the high detail of Hârn that you laud or any other setting mentioned in this thread, but that is not what prompt is about. Also, this point in bold certainly moves the goal posts. You asked about what is the most detailed setting. I cited the various conlangs that M.A.R. Barker made for the various cultures, past and present, of Tékumel as evidence in its favor.
I replied to your post. There's no moving of posts; Tékumel was mentioned early on in this thread and went unchallenged.

This isn't 'what setting is best'; it is just people presenting settings with the most detail, and discussing them.
 

guachi

Adventurer
OP, I can see why you'd say Harn. It only covers a small section of the world but what you have is incredibly detailed. My friend ran a campaign back in the '90s set there and it was easily the best campaign I've been in. The DM was very imaginative and all the detail enabled him to create a great campaign while also having lots to fall back on if the PCs did something he hadn't thought of.

Harn is so good I've backed Kickstarters where Columbia Games is reissuing the original settings books in hardcover.
 

OP, I can see why you'd say Harn. It only covers a small section of the world but what you have is incredibly detailed. My friend ran a campaign back in the '90s set there and it was easily the best campaign I've been in. The DM was very imaginative and all the detail enabled him to create a great campaign while also having lots to fall back on if the PCs did something he hadn't thought of.

Harn is so good I've backed Kickstarters where Columbia Games is reissuing the original settings books in hardcover.
The setting is indeed incredible; I've used it in modified form several times, and am currently using it (modified again) for Zweihander. (Beastmen replace the barbarians)

One key that I think gives it an edge is that they chose an area roughly the size of the British Isles; in a low magic setting, that is plenty of room for a campaign, but small enough so that the designers can focus upon detail.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I would say Frog God Games The Lost Lands, just for the amount of material. Their setting guide is also available to subscribe as a World Anvil world, which is very nice.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Well, that was a tad rude of a response, especially as they tried extra hard so I could not see it even though they were talking to me...but hey...whatever floats their boat I suppose. We all have different ways we respond to things.

I'll still say that I'd put Forgotten realms as one of the most detailed settings out there (and as this is a ENWorld, one shouldn't be surprised by D&D fans talking about D&D worlds).

Harn is decent as well (but the OP I thought was asking for other opinions, or at least that's what I actually thought they were after from the original post).

As one can tell on the "interactive" map

Columbia Games interactive map for Harn

It lacks the "borders" on it if one goes for a surface view (of course, if one actually gets into the books, just like if they did for FR, they could either find or figure out borders and zones of control and all the rest, but won't go into that as my last response didn't seem to go over well here when I pointed out where to find them for FR, so can't imagine pointing it out for HARN would be well received, but there is a map for people to peruse if that is their thing).

I was unaware that the OP was actually after an electronic interactive map as their requirement for detailed settings, and I will admit, that wasn't my impression of what they were asking when they asked about borders. AS it SEEMS that was what they were asking about, I obviously did NOT answer the question they were wanting.

In that light, as I don't know the same resource for FR (or any other game really) nor even knew that existed I suppose I didn't answer what JD wanted.

However, as I DO know about Harn a little bit, I'll post the alternate map for Harn (as they posted one for FR) in their place instead (as should be found via the link above).

Not sure why that is a defining feature of how detailed a place is or why that says it's more or less detailed than another...but if that's what they are after...than...good luck to them on this endeavor.

I had no idea that was what they were actually looking for as a definition of detailed, if so, I guess I wouldn't have answered. In that light, my bad, sorry I misunderstood what the OP was asking or was after.
 

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