A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quick Selection: My Top 5 Campaign Settings

Over at RPGsite they asked folks what their top 5 RPG settings were.  Obviously this means published ones and not homebrews or using other entertainment IP that hasn't had an official RPG version made.

I didn't have to think hard and came up with my 5.  Here they are.  I won't go into massive detail about them since in many cases you ALREADY know the settings, or should really do some Googling and Wiki action to know more.

Ravenloft - (Black Box era) Best dark fantasy world ever. Its a funhouse prison. That's not fun. Even the guys with ULTIMATE POWER are miserable. They are more damned than everyone else, they just don't quite realize it.  Basically Ravenloft is a demiplane in the D&D multiverse.  There are "powers" there looking for beings of great darkness and passion.  They will trap these beings and give them their greatest wish while also giving them their greatest fears, effectively making them prisoners in a hell of their own devising.  These beings now have immense power in a land made especially for them, but they are trapped and tormented for eternity.  A vampire who became such when he killed his younger brother on his wedding day to a woman the vampire was in love with as well will constantly learn of reincarnations of the woman who will ALWAYS escape his grasp, usually by death.  A great warlord will have utter and complete dominion over his lands, but will never be able to defeat or even step into a nearby land.  Yet innocents are continually brought into these dark realms and must either escape or learn to fight against nearly impossible odds.

Star Wars - (KOTOR era best, but all main eras are valid) Its freaking STAR WARS. Its always awesome, even if the movies sometimes had... issues. Swashbuckling high adventure with melodrama and cool technology.  If I really need to describe why Star Wars is awesome, you don't belong on my blog.  Or you REALLY need to be here so I may bless you with my wisdom to save you from your miserable soulless existence.  Seriously.  STAR WARS.  KOTOR era is the coolest as you have tons of Jedi, cool invading enemies in the Sith and Mandalorian empires, wisecracking homicidal assassin droids, and it being so far before the main movie era of Star Wars you can really do anything you want and it won't affect anything.  Plus not in the shadow of the Skywalker clan is always a good thing too.

Battletech Inner Sphere (3000-3065) Sci fi with robots, Machiavellian politics, and a wide variety of interesting campaigns, from near Mad Mad scavenging to high tech high stakes politics where the guys in the big robots are just mostly pawns. Ignoring the fact that while AWESOME giant robots aren't feasible combat weapons, Battletech is one of the best hard sci fi universes out there.
Provided we pretend the timeline ends after the FedCom Civil War anyhow...  Mankind has colonized much of the galaxy.  And brought war and greed with them.  No matter what happens, humanity cannot stop doing inhuman things to satisfy their base needs.  Just now entire star systems' worth of people suffer and die and fight for their freedoms instead of countries.  The scale of war has changed, but humanity has not.

Chaos Earth - Its Rifts. DURING THE APOCALYPSE. What good is all your bad ass technology when everything you ever cared about is dead, dying, or about to be removed from existence? Massive carnage on a global scale, yet there isn't any time to grieve as... THINGS are coming out of portals, probably from Hell and just making the few survivors into a buffet. We aint got time to cry. Let's save people till we can't. If this is mankind's last days, what sort of person do we want to be in them?  Nuclear war has caused massive upheavals in the planet, as ley lines of magic crossing the Earth have been enhanced by the death of limited nuclear war.  But the energies of death make the lines more powerful causing massive change in the planet and more death, causing the ley lines to get even more powerful.  And where these ley lines cross creatures from other dimensions have now found open gateways onto Earth.  And a planet undergoing massive, multiple cataclysms is a planet ripe to be harvested...

Robotech Invid Invasion - Bad enough Earth had a global civil war, and suffered through 2 alien invasions we BARELY beat back both time, but now a third invasion has happened and this time the aliens are in fact ALIEN to us. They won, and are using us as slave labor or as tools for experiments. They CAN be fought, but are you smart enough, resourceful enough, and tough enough to fight back? Earth lost. Its time to take it back, or at least leave one humongous repair bill for those big metal buggy bastards.  The Invid invaders might have mechanical robots, but so do we, and maybe where armies failed, small bands might succeed in guerilla warfare.  Its almost like the French Resistance in World War 2, except our resistance efforts are against a worldwide alien occupier.  And we have transforming motorcycle power armors and jets.    They are harvesting "Flowers of Life" that feed them and that power our mecha.  Let's show them Earth isn't their farm.

Also rans since its not fair to just list 5 awesome gamescapes to play in after all!

Bubblegum Crisis
1-2nd edition era Forgotten Realms
Call of Cthulhu all eras
War of the Lance era Dragonlance
Age of Apocalypse era XMen.  (Kind of a kludge as while there are multiple Marvel RPG systems, this timeline has never really been statted out officially for RPG play.  But who cares Age of Apocalypse is FREAKING AWESOME.)

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