D&D General [+] What is your favorite non-WotC D&D setting?

Hex08

Adventurer
This is a spin on another thread started by @overgeeked.

What are your favorite non-WotC D&D settings? This can include games that are not strictly D&D, like Pathfinder's Galorion or Castles & Crusades Aihide, but are alternate versions of D&D. Other game systems like Savage Worlds may be great but they aren't versions of D&D so they wouldn't qualify.

Like the original thread, this one is a plus thread as well.

The one I played in the most was Pathfinder's Golarion and I really enjoyed it. It had tons of variety so I could find a culture to fit just about any idea I had. That said, my favorite was The Diamond Throne from Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed. I liked the spin he gave the 3.x rules but mostly I loved the world because it had lot of influences from my favorite novels, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

 

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Yora

Legend
I never played it, but I really like the whole idea and presentation of Midnight.
Everyone always describes it pretty much the same way: "Sauron won". It's a somewhat generic fantasy world in which the dark lord managed to defeat the gods and his sorcerer generals and armies of orcs have conquered most of the known world.
I think of all the non-TSR/WotC settings that were released for D&D, Midnight might have quite well been the one that got the most attention from people. (Which is still to say "barely any".)
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
Whatever setting Dungeon Crawl Classics is set in. I love that game and the sword & sorcery style it evokes. Magic is dangerous. Warriors can perform might deeds. Making pacts with demons is a possible way to get power...but there's always a price. It hits so many high points on what I want from gaming.

The Dolmenwood setting from Necromantic Gnome for use with their B/X clone, Old-School Essentials. Again, it hits a lot of the high points on what I want from gaming.

And Dark Souls. Now that it has a 5E-based RPG coming soon, it's definitely on the list. It looks like someone took the idea of Ravenloft, treated it seriously, and produced the world of Dark Souls.
 

TwiceBorn2

Adventurer
I never played it, but I really like the whole idea and presentation of Midnight.
Everyone always describes it pretty much the same way: "Sauron won". It's a somewhat generic fantasy world in which the dark lord managed to defeat the gods and his sorcerer generals and armies of orcs have conquered most of the known world.
I think of all the non-TSR/WotC settings that were released for D&D, Midnight might have quite well been the one that got the most attention from people. (Which is still to say "barely any".)

I ran a Midnight campaign some years ago, and it remains my favourite setting bar none. Can't wait for the release of the 5E version. Most of my players also prefer that setting to all others.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Whatever setting Dungeon Crawl Classics is set in. I love that game and the sword & sorcery style it evokes. Magic is dangerous. Warriors can perform might deeds. Making pacts with demons is a possible way to get power...but there's always a price. It hits so many high points on what I want from gaming.
At this point, DCC has a bunch of different settings (note that the "no weird campaign settings" part of their adventure intro has been changed to "no boilerplate campaign settings").

And I agree re: it's awesomeness. DCC was pretty much the answer to what I want from a TTRPG.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
This is a spin on another thread started by @overgeeked.

What are your favorite non-WotC D&D settings? This can include games that are not strictly D&D, like Pathfinder's Galorion or Castles & Crusades Aihide, but are alternate versions of D&D. Other game systems like Savage Worlds may be great but they aren't versions of D&D so they wouldn't qualify.

Like the original thread, this one is a plus thread as well.

The one I played in the most was Pathfinder's Golarion and I really enjoyed it. It had tons of variety so I could find a culture to fit just about any idea I had. That said, my favorite was The Diamond Throne from Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed. I liked the spin he gave the 3.x rules but mostly I loved the world because it had lot of influences from my favorite novels, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

I still love Primeval Thule from Sasquatch Games. The "Conan meets Cthulhu" ethos may be a little nonsensical (since Cthulhu type stuff showed up in the original Conan stories), but I really like the "undeveloped world" aspects of it. Even the greatest kingdoms are local powers, and delving too deeply into he world's secrets can be a bad idea for one's well-being.

It's rough in spots - the setting was released before the 5e SRD and OGL, so some of the language is unnecessarily precise and cluttered, and its categorization of societies into Civilized, Barbarian, and Savage is very colonial, but conceptually it's great overall.
 
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FriendlyFiend

Explorer
I'll always be fond of Pelinore from the dim and distant days of Imagine Magazine - there was something 'more real' about it than other D&D settings at the time, and the monthly articles somehow had a whiff of the handouts in history lessons (in a good way!).
 

Tallifer

Hero
Justin Howe's homebrew Vaults of Ur of a ruined world after seven multidimensional irruptions; Jef Fej's Far Wandrerz Talez. Both are kitchen sinks in the best gonzo sense of the phrase. This illustration I drew for Vaults of Ur gives a taste.

History Lesson.jpg


(For more fun D&D art and stories like this, you can peruse my webcomic Tales from the Gnomish Tarot )
 
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Lycurgon

Explorer
I am a big fan of the Midnight setting and am super keen for 5e update. I ran a campaign back in the 3.5e days.

I also love Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved. I would love an updated 5e version, even though there would have to be a lot of changes to make it in the 5e design philosophy.

I also absolutely love the Symbaroum game and setting. I haven't yet had a good read of the 5e version, Ruins of Symbaroum, but I look forward to reading it soon.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Sticking to just D&D and it's family of games, 13th Age's Dragon Empire is probably my favorite non-Wizards/TSR published setting. It's definitely the non-Wizards/TSR setting that I've run the most in a D&D or D&D-like game (that isn't a homebrew setting).
 

payn

Legend
I've come to really like Golarion. Lot of detractors of the kitchen sink campaign settings, but most of my games sit in one particular corner of the setting anyways. I think there is an advantage to having one big encompassing setting you can do a lot with. The products can be both generic and specific, which is really nice for the consumer. I have been able to do fantasy pirates, kingdom building, horror, political intrigue, sci-fi blending, etc... Lot of folks ask how these things can happen in the same setting, but once you dig in you don't really care I find in practice. YMMV.
 

Stormonu

Legend
My homebrew, Crimson Empire. It’s Arabic/Mediterranean based, with “enemies” of the empire that include a kraken-worshipping Norse empire, a land of wild dragons and a yakuza empire with a fleet of ninja pirates.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This may be stretching it a bit because it's d20 and not explicitly for D&D, but I've had a lot of fun in 13th Age's Dragon Empire. It's intentionally given only in broad strokes so that you can make it your own, but those broad strokes are chock full of adventure hooks and awesome. It's as if it was made as an excellent place to be any sort of adventurer first, and as a coherent setting second.
 




GuyBoy

Hero
Scarred Lands
Iron Kingdoms
Midnight
Primeval Thule

All of them were great in different ways (though I was always slightly uncomfortable with the word Thule, bearing in mind its appropriation in early C20th by some pretty foul people). I ran games in IK and Midnight back in 3e days and had fun. Despite my earlier caveat, I did really enjoy the Primeval Thule setting and the Kull/Conan vibe it had going.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I'm a big fan of Tribality's "Seas of Vodari" campaign setting. Adventure on (and under) the high seas, in a world destroyed by a magical cataclysm! New race options like Sea Dwarf, Siren, Voda, and Minotaur; new core class (gunslinger), new subclasses, ship templates, rules for flintlocks and cannons, rules for naval combat and duels, underwater adventuring...it's a quality product with a good mix of fluff and crunch. Definitely worth checking out; you can download a free ("pay what you want") 26-page sample here.

1648575275980.png


Official link:
 
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