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Nepenthe

D&D settings and versions

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I've been going over my collection during the holidays and had a funny realization... Different official d&d worlds seem match particularly well to certain iterations of the game.

 

I mean, that's probably to be expected, but I sort of surprised myself by how automatic those opinions were.

 

For me:

Dragonlance: 3.5e D&D

 

The prestige class system works exceptionally well for some of the core organizations of Krynn. The gaming material was also top notch, with Hickman and Weis back in the saddle, supported by the brilliant Cam Banks.

 

Forgotten Realms: 2e AD&D

 

This is more instinctive. Probably just a case of the novels becoming more and more the tail that wags the dog towards the end of their system and WotC's increasingly ill-advised attempts to change the world in fundamental ways... Seemingly just for the hell of it.

 

Planescape: wish I had alternatives here... I really dug it. Probably the way the planes were handled in 2e AD&D impacts my FR take as well.

 

Any ideas on the subject?


You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

ahyes.gifReapercussionsahyes.gif

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3E went well with Eberron, IMO.

 

I would say that Forgotten Realms works pretty well with Gestalt characters using the 3.5E ruleset or even Pathfinder's mechanics, but that will be a highly controversial opinion.

 

I can't say that I think 4E works well with anything, but I dislike most mechanics for that edition so I'm extremely biased.

 

Planescape: wish I had alternatives here... I really dug it. Probably the way the planes were handled in 2e AD&D impacts my FR take as well.

Well, if you do a homebrew version of Planescape using the 3.5E ruleset, it works wuite well. Planar handbook essentially serves as a sourcebook for those adventures.

Edited by KaineParker

“By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.” ― Mikhail Bakunin

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I hope the new fifth edition revives paper and digital games, instead of limping along with an unloved 4E and a nonexistent video game franchise. I just want to kill draconians in 1080 ... why is that so impossible.  

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All Stop. On Screen.

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First edition was Greyhawk for myself, but that world seemed to have been abandoned back in the ninety's. A pity as it had some real potential, when it was not being utterly preposterous, early Castle Greyhawk springs to mind. I endured second edition though I loathe the Forgotten Realms, but balked at shelling out yet again for the third edition after buying most of the complete handbooks.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I was always partial to the Greyhawk setting and it seemed to mesh well with the 1st ed. AD&D games I typically played in my junior high and high school years, but a lot of that could just be nostalgia goggles and the fact that when you're a kid you'll usually just consume whatever is put before you without much of a second thought. It's too bad that TSR took Gary's creation (Greyhawk) and then did their level best to banish it to the void.

 

When it comes to setting-edition relationships that felt particularly symbiotic or inseparable, I've always been more of a home-brew guy that borrows and steals bits I like rather than running anything out of the box, so I'm probably not the best authority to be answering this question.

 

But for a recent example of a rule-set reinforcing a setting, I got the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea boxed set for Christmas and can say unequivocally that the rules and setting are almost inextricably linked. You don't have to run the setting, but all of the races, spells, the classes and the tone really beg to be used in a classic "Weird Tales" swords and sorcery campaign.

Edited by nikolokolus
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I dunno, I always liked Forgotten Realms as the Fantasy Kitchen Sink (ie. the way it was in early 2e). Their constant fudging, mostly for the sake of fudging, hasn't really helped. Sure, it being the setting of some of my favourite crpgs definitely has an impact on the opinion.

 

I was also a big fan of the 2e way of handling the planes (with the wheel and all) and I still can't really understand the changes they did for 3e... and I don't own a single 4e book, unless Murder in Baldur's Gate and the new Icewind Dale adventure count (they have 3.5e and DnDNEXT stats as well).


You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

ahyes.gifReapercussionsahyes.gif

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Dark Sun is cool. Only d&d setting with genuinely badass Elves.


The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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Ah, I do miss Planescape--D&D as philosophical bull session.

 

Edit: not much philosophy in link, but a good storyline nonetheless.

Edited by Tsuga C

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

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I quite liked the way the 3.5 adaptions to Al-Quadim were thrown up in Dragon Magazine.

 

I think the mesh of Prestige Classes and the differences of Wizards/Sorcerers etc worked quite well for that blend of Arabian nights mix.


"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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The original Ravenloft module was brilliant and a nice foreshadowing of the campaign setting, that's one that I feel was perfectly suited to 2nd edition, though i've always thought 2nd edition was merely a round up and clarification of all the extra rulebooks and Dragon magazine rules that had evolved over the years in first edition. I was never particularly a fan of Vampires (as bloodsucking seems lame when one is tucking into a nice steak) but Strahd and his little fiefdom of Barovia were so well detailed and full of potential that as a DM I couldn't help but be charmed by it, along with the strange mists that bordered it.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I do kind of wish they'd been able to do more with both Spelljammer and Birthright.

 

The whole magicked up version of pulpy space opera seemed like an interesting idea, even if they got caught up trying to wedge connections into every campaign setting they had.

 

Birthright was another interesting experiment in trying to push AD&D into that closer connection with grand fantasy, and almost linking to old school war gaming.

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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I do kind of wish they'd been able to do more with both Spelljammer... The whole magicked up version of pulpy space opera seemed like an interesting idea, even if they got caught up trying to wedge connections into every campaign setting they had.

I haven't tried Birthright, but years ago I arranged for a party to find a mysterious ship and figure out how to make the thing fly... Had I asked them in advance, I bet they all would have said Spelljammer sounded too weird and 'not really D&D' but it turned out the genre cross-pollination ended up producing some good times, not to mention a running gag when the party decided they could use a few more hands on deck and wanted to hire a squad of those firearms-loving hippo-people. Oh myyy.

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Oh wow that reminds me of Oriental Adventures, which I think came out shortly after Spelljammer. Back when Waldenbooks was the main purveyor of AD&D. 


All Stop. On Screen.

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Hate to derail my own thread, but I picked up Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle today, the gencon D&D Next playtest adventure to look at the rules a bit (I've managed to completely dodge them until now). Was actually pleasantly surprised, it looked a lot more, well, "freestyle" than anything for a while. A lot of small simple rules that cover a lot of situations and so on. I loved the fact that they'd done away with the skills, but I understand those were bolted back on later.

 

Looks like I'll be picking up me some 5e books come summer, it's been a cheap ~5 years, anyway. :p


You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

ahyes.gifReapercussionsahyes.gif

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I always take Forgotten Realms 3.5 but I add a bit of personal flavour, grimmer and darker than the common high fantasy setting. More shady npc's and less all-good/all-bad guys.

I'd like to try Greyhawk someday.

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Hmm, with AD&D, OD&D, BECMI I always played homebrew worlds...so couldn't really say.  I guess for AD&D for me it would have been Dragonlance or OA if anything.

 

Maybe Greyhawk.

 

For 2e it was definitely Forgotten Realms

 

For 3e/3.5...hmmm...once again more homebrew.

 

For 4e it was Dark Sun.  The way they wrote it, it was about perfect for the way they designed DS4e.

 

for Pathfinder, it's Golarion...of course.

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On reflection as well, I don't think Eberron would have worked that well under pre-3rd edition ruleset.


"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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