Campaign Settings

Recently I’ve been playing a lot of Borderlands in the last few days. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, Borderlands is a first person shooter with RPG elements set in on a wasteland of a planet called Pandora. This got me thinking about settings again.

Fantasy settings are kind of the “default” for role playing. Dungeons and Dragons is by far the well known RPG there is. I’ve played many fantasy themed games over the years, and for the most part they are great. Though it is sometimes hard to get into the mindset of someone who lives in a world very different from our own. Playing characters of the various fantasy races also poses a challenge because an elf/dwarf/halfling would think very differently than a human, and I’m going to assume that we’re all human here.

Modern settings such as White Wolf’s World of Darkness line are pretty neat, they are just like our world with a few differences. I’ve found though that most campaigns set in these modern worlds strain the bounds of suspension of disbelief at nearly every turn. Its easy to accept that vampires or werewolves are real, that aliens walk among us, or that secret government agencies exist. It is; however, difficult to believe that no one will notice a running gun battle down the interstate, the buildings that get burned down, or any of the numerous other crimes that PCs seem to commit on a daily basis in modern games.

I really really like post apocalypse type settings; they provide the familiarity of our world, but still have the wild and free feel of a fantasy setting. Apocalypse settings are very interesting because there are so many ways you could have the end of the world happen and so many goals for the PCs to have in the wastelands that are left behind. There has been a recent upsurge in the amount of apocalypse themed movies and games being made so there is a lot of material to take ideas from.

I’ve only ran one apocalypse game using the octaNe system, which of course went way over the top and made for a memorable evening of play. I have made several attempts to run d20 apocalypse, but I’ve never actually got past the planning stages.

My next game is definitely going to have an apocalyptic setting and use the d20 system. I’ve created a page over at obsidian portal for the campaign. I am currently working on building the world, equipment lists, and hammering out the rules changes that I will implement to make the game have a very run-n-gun feel.

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~ by katallos on October 26, 2009.

One Response to “Campaign Settings”

  1. I’ve loved running d20 apocolypse campaigns, though the biggest obstacle has been weighing the fun of survival aspects. At what point does looking for food and water stop being fun and start being a pain? The complaint I got at first from friends was always, “It’s not very fun just looking for water. I don’t rpg so I can pretend to look for water.” Haha.
    Let me know how it goes! http://d20machine.blogspot.com/

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