Monday, October 7, 2013

Where to campaign?

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been organizing my RPG collection. It is rather extensive, and I have actually removed several items from the main shelf, so I can make room for things I want to have handy. I have all of my D&D books, from all of the editions I own, displayed in a row. Next to the 3.5E core books, I have two setting books that I have always liked.

This is where the majority of D&D-players will probably roll their eyes and navigate to another blog.

The setting books I have are Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms. I love both of these worlds, and each for differing reasons. And since I am jonesing to run a campaign, I thought I would take down one of these books, and begin figuring out some campaign ideas. But, which one?

Dragonlance has always had a certain charm that no other world really captures. I am an unashamed fan of the novels, and am not turned off in the least by their level of writing. Honestly, I find the writing to be more than adequate. Maybe it’s not as flowery or as verbose as Tolkien, but it doesn’t need to be. Truth be told, I don’t particularly care for Tolkien’s writing style. He goes on and on where an economy of words would keep me more interested. Reading the LotR trilogy was actually a chore in some spots.

Anyways, Dragonlance. There are several ways I could do this. I could go with the pre-Cataclysm days, the dark ages just after the Cataclysm, the War of the Lance era, or even the post-war, “godless” era. Each has their challenges and quirks, but I think I am partial to the WotL-era. The time that the Chronicles takes place in.

The danger of using this era is that the major events are covered in the books, and involve the characters presented there. So, I would have to come up with quests and missions that focus on the PC’s, and have them feel that their actions will still effect the overall outcome of the War. Most of my potential players have read the books, and so they know how things end. Which could cause them to wonder why they are bothering. That would be the challenge.

I’m also considering the pre-Cataclysm era. This is a bit more open, and would allow for more freedom. If I set it far enough back, even the events that lead to the Cataclysm (with the Kingpriest and such) would be of little consequence. The more I think about it, the more I think this era would be best. This way I wouldn’t really be constrained by existing characters and events, but I would still have a framework to work from.

Then there’s the Forgotten Realms.

To be continued…

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