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PhishStyx
04-11-2007, 05:55 PM
Pretty much like the title says, what do you like that isn't D20? I generally include modern and post-modern settings in my accounting.

There are several that I'm pretty fond of: Palladium Fantasy, Chivalry & Sorcery's setting, Bushido, Weapons of the Gods, Nobilis, Unknown Armies. . . I even count Shadowrun in there. And I know there are others, Exalted, Ars Magica, and the GURPS settings for example, that I haven't played.

I think my all-time favorite setting is Amber, however. There's just nothing like a sprawling mystical setting of bizarre cosmology involving a monstrous intelligence that seems to be much, much greater than your own to really put things into perspective.

gdmcbride
04-11-2007, 06:22 PM
Way too broad a category. I will instead pick a few that I'm enjoying right now.

The Zorcerer of Zo -- a great little indie game that seeks to make a Wizard of Oz/Narnia/Fairy Tale realm RPG. A very cool, very colorful little RPG that uses a 'good parts' version of PDQ as its system. Definitely recommended.

The Hyborian Age -- yes, its most famous in print version was a d20 world published by Mongoose, but that doesn't change the fact that the source material (the sublime writing of R.E. Howard) is system independent. I am using a sliver of the world to run my current Shadizar campaign, but I keep coming back again and again to draw from this deep well.

Pendragon -- have I harped enough on how marvelous Pendragon 5th edition and The Great Pendragon Campaign are?

But if backed into a corner and forced to pick just one, it would be Ars Magica.

Ars Magica -- The RPG of wizards in mythic europe (i.e. medieval europe with magic and monsters existing on the fringes). So full of good ideas it would be tiring to list them here -- The Order of Hermes is the perfect organization for PC interactions, the magic system is revolutionary, the round-robin and troupe style play were way ahead of their time and remain innovative.

Alas, that I am not currently in an Ars Magica campaign and can see no opening for one on the horizon. But Ars Magica is a classic and some of my favorite games I've ever been in have been run using this system. If you don't know the Ars Magica magic system, you have a major hole in your knowledge of game design.

Gary

PhishStyx
04-11-2007, 06:45 PM
I have the 5th edition Ars Magica books but haven't ever had a chance to play it.

ronpyatt
04-11-2007, 10:15 PM
Setting? Psi World.
System? Truth & Justice

Of course, there are many others. I loved reading through Ars Magica, but never played.

Digital Arcanist
04-14-2007, 11:17 PM
I love Champions, GURPS, and Cyberpunk

Farcaster
04-15-2007, 08:30 PM
As far as non-d20 fantasy goes, I'd have to go Ars Magica as well. But, it has been years upon years since I have played it. I have no idea of what recent editions may be like.

Moritz
04-16-2007, 08:32 AM
I don't know that I've ever played a non-D&D fantasy setting. However, it seems to me that a Pern type world would be interesting.

Mo

gdmcbride
04-17-2007, 12:36 AM
I don't know that I've ever played a non-D&D fantasy setting. However, it seems to me that a Pern type world would be interesting.

Mo

There has never been an in print Pern RPG mostly because Anne McCAffery keeps a fearsome level of control over her IP (this is also why there has never been a Pern TV show or movie).

There was an unofficial GURPS Pern manuscript floating around the internet by one of the perrenial GURPS authors. I don't know if that's still available. There is also a very active online RPG Pern presence. Not really my thing, but I've brushed elbows with that set upon the occassion.

Gary

Moritz
04-17-2007, 04:51 PM
It just seems unique. However, I've never read the books or had an interest in mixing my sci-fi with dragons. But, unique none the less. :)

MortonStromgal
10-17-2007, 01:48 PM
Vampire: The Dark Ages or if I have to go with a bit more traditional style fantasy Warhammer. Honorable mentions to Shadowrun & Sla Industries.

pawsplay
10-22-2007, 09:55 PM
Talislanta all the way. A real swords-and-sorcery setting but with a unique flavor to it.

fmitchell
10-25-2007, 07:31 PM
... is not a useful answer, but I can't pick one I unreservedly like.

I agree with Gary's choices: Zorcerer of Zo, Conan, Pendragon, and (to an extent) Ars Magica. There are certain aspects of Glorantha (RuneQuest) and Yrth (GURPS Banestorm) I like, and something tells me I should get around to reading Mythic Russia soon.

At the risk of repeating stuff I've written on other threads, here are my current criteria for an interesting game world:


The world should resemble to actual myths, legends, fairy tales, or pre-D&D fantasy literature. All the worlds above follow this pattern to a certain extent. Glorantha invents its own multilayered myths and legends; Yrth assumes that medieval humans dropped into a fantasy world, bringing their own cultures and beliefs with them.

Players should have more to do than clearing out unexplained ruins; the world should provide a variety of plausible cultures, well-defined political and social entities, and ongoing conflicts. Conan and Glorantha have that in spades, and the European-based ones leverage historical cultures in conflict: Celts vs. Saxons, Christians vs. Muslims, nobles vs. other nobles ...

Magic should be a mysterious and ill-defined force, not a technology. As a corollary, magic-users should be rare, and usually NPCs ... unless all the PCs have magical or superhuman powers as in fairy tales and myths. (Ars Magica sort of fails this test, but at least it acknowledges that people who can command the forces of nature are way more powerful than even the strongest/fastest/smartest people who cannot.)

Religions should resemble to some extent the religions of our world, and magic (if it exists) should be tied somehow into the gods or a religious cosmology. I particularly like Pendragon, Yrth and Mythic Europe because, if you're going to have medieval Europeans, you have to have the Church in some form or another.

Non-humans should really be not human, and not humans with pointy ears and a few stereotyped personality traits. Glorantha's Aldryami, Mostali, Uz, and Dragonewts have particularly inhuman physiology and alien mindsets. The Faerie of Mythic Europe and Pendragon rely on Celtic and European folklore, not Tolkien. Counterexample: the people of Zo really *are* humans in animal suits, but somehow it works.

PhishStyx
10-25-2007, 09:03 PM
That's amazingly close to my philosophy of world-building and is very similar to what I've tried to do with Crimson Twilight (which you can find in the articles/Blogs section), except that regarding magic, a lot of different types of PC's will have access to some type of magical phenomena (psychic abilities, shape shifting, etc.).

jisan74
10-25-2007, 09:28 PM
Me i never truly found a non D 20 game i liked the only one that comes close mostly because of of the story is robotech and even still own it.But any game that has a d20 roll of some kind to me is really a d 20 game so in that case i would pick rolemaster since all it used was d100.

fmitchell
10-26-2007, 12:06 AM
That's amazingly close to my philosophy of world-building and is very similar to what I've tried to do with Crimson Twilight (which you can find in the articles/Blogs section), except that regarding magic, a lot of different types of PC's will have access to some type of magical phenomena (psychic abilities, shape shifting, etc.).

Yeah, I go back and forth on the magic thing. On the one hand, I really like the ideas in John H. Kim's "Breaking Out of Scientific Magic Systems" (http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/magic/antiscience.html) (which I cite constantly), and I'm also a little scarred by my first GM experience when the mage PCs ran roughshod over my plots. On the other hand, I realize that many players want to play magic-users.

I've explored a few alternate magic systems, like Ritual Magic (Fudge "Occultism" or equivalent (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3130)), psychic powers (True20 psychic-like powers or GURPS 4e psionic advantages), hedge magic (http://www.io.com/~sjohn/hedge.htm), outright fakery and bluffing (http://www.enworld.org/reviews.php?do=review&reviewid=2886238), or systems like HeroQuest and Zorceror of Zo where there are few if any mechanical differences between magical abilities and mundane ones. Something tells me, though, that some players just want to throw fireballs.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-21-2007, 10:20 AM
... is not a useful answer, but I can't pick one I unreservedly like.

I agree with Gary's choices: Zorcerer of Zo, Conan, Pendragon, and (to an extent) Ars Magica. There are certain aspects of Glorantha (RuneQuest) and Yrth (GURPS Banestorm) I like, and something tells me I should get around to reading Mythic Russia soon.

At the risk of repeating stuff I've written on other threads, here are my current criteria for an interesting game world:
The world should resemble to actual myths, legends, fairy tales, or pre-D&D fantasy literature. All the worlds above follow this pattern to a certain extent. Glorantha invents its own multilayered myths and legends; Yrth assumes that medieval humans dropped into a fantasy world, bringing their own cultures and beliefs with them.
Players should have more to do than clearing out unexplained ruins; the world should provide a variety of plausible cultures, well-defined political and social entities, and ongoing conflicts. Conan and Glorantha have that in spades, and the European-based ones leverage historical cultures in conflict: Celts vs. Saxons, Christians vs. Muslims, nobles vs. other nobles ...
Magic should be a mysterious and ill-defined force, not a technology. As a corollary, magic-users should be rare, and usually NPCs ... unless all the PCs have magical or superhuman powers as in fairy tales and myths. (Ars Magica sort of fails this test, but at least it acknowledges that people who can command the forces of nature are way more powerful than even the strongest/fastest/smartest people who cannot.)
Religions should resemble to some extent the religions of our world, and magic (if it exists) should be tied somehow into the gods or a religious cosmology. I particularly like Pendragon, Yrth and Mythic Europe because, if you're going to have medieval Europeans, you have to have the Church in some form or another.
Non-humans should really be not human, and not humans with pointy ears and a few stereotyped personality traits. Glorantha's Aldryami, Mostali, Uz, and Dragonewts have particularly inhuman physiology and alien mindsets. The Faerie of Mythic Europe and Pendragon rely on Celtic and European folklore, not Tolkien. Counterexample: the people of Zo really *are* humans in animal suits, but somehow it works.


Is there a game world that encompasses all of the above criteria?

Magic, be it divine or arcane, is simply too prevalent in D&D for my tastes.

Moritz
11-21-2007, 10:29 AM
As a DM, I totally agree. I've edited down the levels and amount of magic in my world (as seen in my house rules (http://www.penandpapergames.com/userpages/showentry.php?e=7&catid=member&entryuserid=321) under magic, page 9). Basically ripped out a ton of the magic and gave my players a challenge. And when I say 'ripped', I mean there are actual tears in the fabric of magic within the world. Areas where magic does not exist. Also, there was some great evil that had to be faced some 1200 or so years in the past. To defeat the evil, most of the magic items of the world were collected and drained of their magic so the good guys could have enough energy to defeat the evil.

Ergo, low magic world.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-21-2007, 10:48 AM
Cool.

In this game world I am working on the majority of the wars throughout its history have been cause by magic users. Thus the One Creator God ripped 98% of the worlds magical energy away. The mortals that fought through and lived through the wars have since outlawed magic. Even going so far as creating a secret society of Mage Hunters that scour the land to rid it of the presence of magic.

So magic is a closely guarded secret by the few remaining wizards.

Clerics and Paladins must have permission from their church to use their magic.

Sorcerers have begun to form underground enclaves much like thieves guilds.

Druids, knowing the new laws of the lands, stay out of others affairs completely.

There isn't enough information about Rangers to really know that they use magic, they remain an enigma.

Magic items still exist but they usually can not be found in a market aside from divine potions and the like.

PCs can not start as a 1st level wizard.


I just don't think I know enough about magic to really cover all my bases.

Moritz
11-21-2007, 11:01 AM
I'd still totally play a Paladin in that world. Just because of the bonuses he gains that are innate to his class. So what if I needed permission to use my 'lay on hands'. I'd still be fearless.

Digital Arcanist
11-21-2007, 11:05 AM
Oh Moritz we all know you would just "lay on hands" to yourself anyway....

I'm a huge fan of Urban Fantasy which is why I enjoyed Mage and Changeling. Technically they aren't settings but I don't really play anything in the fantasy genre that doesn't require a d20.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-21-2007, 11:23 AM
I'd still totally play a Paladin in that world. Just because of the bonuses he gains that are innate to his class. So what if I needed permission to use my 'lay on hands'. I'd still be fearless.

Paladins in my game are also mistrusted. They are somewhat automonus in that they are sort of like the police of their church, from the lowliest peasant to the highest bishop. So even their own bishops don't trust them as well as the Mage Hunters!

fmitchell
11-21-2007, 11:26 AM
Is there a game world that encompasses all of the above criteria?

Magic, be it divine or arcane, is simply too prevalent in D&D for my tastes.

Well, the original thread is about non-d20 worlds, but I listed a few examples earlier: Glorantha (mainly the HeroQuest version), The Zorceror of Zo, King Arthur Pendragon. A few others off the top of my head:

Mythic Russia (which I'm reading now)
Faery Tales (allegedly)
Call of Cthulhu (sort of)
Iron Heroes (leaving out Arcanists)

None of these are d20-based except Iron Heroes; most are indie systems. In the case of magic, system really does matter ... although conventional generic systems like GURPS and RuneQuest/BRP are more amenable to tinkering than straight D&D. Note that Iron Heroes reinvented classes from the ground up, and added a few other systems like token pools.

HolyDiver
11-23-2007, 02:02 PM
I'm a fan of the Warhammer fantasy setting. It is a bit grim, and heroes genarally don't last long, but the world is very interesting. The system is a good one too. It is easy to learn and doesn't get in the way of playing.

Grinnen Baeritt
11-23-2007, 06:15 PM
Warhammer FRP (v1 and v2... same setting) obvious choice for those in the know.... try "The Enemy Within Campaign".

Shadow World for Rolemaster.

and, obviously, (though since I haven't seen it mentioned thus far perhaps there are no tolkien fans here:eek:)

MERP ! (Middle Earth Roleplaying).

PhishStyx
11-23-2007, 11:13 PM
I am a Tolkein fan, but like some other settings (Star Wars, Babylon 5, for example). It seems like a closed setting to me. Playing in it without either overwriting what's been done or doing something worthwhile if you aren't doing the big stuff seems difficult to me.

Digital Arcanist
11-24-2007, 12:06 AM
Combat orcs in the forrests, or quest to find the Riders of Rohan....not a lot of options really.

Grinnen Baeritt
11-24-2007, 03:04 AM
Combat orcs in the forrests, or quest to find the Riders of Rohan....not a lot of options really.

I assume this is meant to be a joke.

If you really feel this then try and get one of the Area settings produced by ICE. The setting is rife with intrigue if you use the 2nd or 3rd age setting. 4th age adventures aren't really shackled to the events in the books but are wide enough that players can still make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Much the same can be said of the Star Wars games, after epidode 6 (Return of the Jedi) a lot of things are left unresolved...

The campaigns don't have to rely on massive amounts of ever increasingly wierd and wonderful monsters to keep a players interest, but on plots and plans.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-24-2007, 10:08 AM
I disagree about Star Wars being somewhat closed.

I once thought that also but then realized that there is an entire GALAXY to play with.

You could even play an entire campaign on a single planet and not even have scratched the surface of the available adventures.

Its actually pretty overwhelming all the options a GM has in this universe.

Digital Arcanist
11-24-2007, 11:02 AM
In Star Wars you have the Expanded Universe.....another 40 years of history and plots to build upon.

PhishStyx
11-24-2007, 04:21 PM
I assume this is meant to be a joke.


I can't speak for him, but it wasn't on my part. While I don't have the MERP books, I have a difficult time, having read the Silmarrillion, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings, seeing areas of Middle-Earth that aren't already largely plotted out. I suppose you could delve further into or beyond the 4th Age, but then you're pretty much overreaching the focus of the setting (I'm not saying that's entirely a bad thing).

Malruhn
11-24-2007, 09:15 PM
I've played MERP, and found that after reading the Trilogy, The Hobbit, the Silmarrillion, and even the Lost Tales, there were so very many sub-plots running at all times, that you can very easily run entire campaigns that span centuries and never even TOUCH the main plotline of the books.

That Sauron was like that... nuthin' if not plot within intrigue within subterfuge.

jisan74
11-25-2007, 01:56 AM
I am a Tolkein fan, but like some other settings (Star Wars, Babylon 5, for example). It seems like a closed setting to me. Playing in it without either overwriting what's been done or doing something worthwhile if you aren't doing the big stuff seems difficult to me.
Acutally i'm gming a game that takes place in the new jedi order era but in my game i'm not using any of the stories from that era and changed the era to the darken era.It's about a dark jedi who is trying to create a virus to make super soldiers but as you can see it a little like resident evil.So really star wars isn't that closed.You are free to make up you own star wars universe.

Digital Arcanist
11-25-2007, 01:03 PM
For people who think magic is too prevalent or that their players all want to be mages then you could take the S.O.E. approach and randomly roll for magical ability during character creation. Chances are that only one or none of your PC's will have magical aptitude. To combat the procurement of magic items to make up for the lack of ability, you could put a restriction on the use of them stating that you must have the aptitude to use magic first. You could also sell items that anyone could use but they are incredibly expensive or their magics interfere with the use of other items so only one to a customer.

I don't like to tell my players that they can't be magic users. I'd rather let Fate do it for me.:D As an additional rule you can roll twice for magical prowess, the first being for aptitude and the second being for education. This is also a Star Wars approach that could enrich the background of the character. A character could have the ability to wield magic but never the education so they aren't wizards or sorcerers. Later on they may be able to attend a school or take an apprenticeship to learn some spells. Then you could throw even more powerful monsters at them.

As for divine magic, you could do the same but usually you have to force someone into being the cleric in a party (IME).:(

PhishStyx
11-25-2007, 11:27 PM
In fact, my homebrewed Crimson Twilight setting has mystical abilities for nearly everyone. Some are very physical, others very mental, but there's something for most everyone there.

Malruhn
11-26-2007, 09:59 PM
Phish, is there anywhere a non-player can read about your campaign?

PhishStyx
11-26-2007, 10:18 PM
The only game I have posted online at the moment is:
http://www.usslynx.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39

But if you're interested in one of my other games or settings, I'd be happy to go into it.

PhishStyx
11-27-2007, 01:18 AM
These are the various posts that I've made for Crimson Twilight so far.

http://www.penandpapergames.com/userpages/browsecategory.php?do=searchresults&searchid=897 (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/../userpages/browsecategory.php?do=searchresults&searchid=897)

And this download is the core ruleset that I'm using:
http://www.edenstudios.net/witchcraft/WitchcraftCorebook.zip

Drohem
11-27-2007, 02:30 PM
Two of my favorite are Talislanta and Justifiers.

Talislanta (non-d20 versions) because of the rich tapestry of races and cultures. Also, that it has none of the standard fantasy races.

NO ELVES!

Justifiers: I love the concept of bi-pedal and bi-manual anthrophomorphic humanoids. I love hard or gritty science-fiction as well. This little game combines both quite to my liking. I like the concept and setting. The rules are passe, and I have re-created the setting in several different systems- GURPS, BRP/RQ, and d20 Modern.

I loved Palladium's Adventures in the North Wilderness for the same reasons. I love the concept of militaristic wolfmen and primitive bearmen.

Xaels Greyshadow
12-01-2007, 11:55 AM
For me, the Eberron Campainge is my favorite hands down. It's fresh and new. Evil things of old can be good. It's a world of magic as little or lot as a DM and players wish it to be. For me it's loaded with plots and intrigue. Mostly due to the fact that I had a pause in my D&D playing for a number of years and when I rediscoverd that it can still be as fun today as it was back when, Eberron was new out and to me a interesting and cool new world.

Wereleopard
12-07-2007, 01:26 PM
So, newbie to the boards here, dipping my toe into the big pool of players...

I'm going to preface this by saying the only systems I've played that have been mentioned on this thread are the LOTR RPG and SW d20.

That being said...

I don't find either of them to be "closed" at all. Particularly so Star Wars, since there is basically an infinite number of planets, species, galaxies, crime syndicates, etc. that you can create or borrow from canon. All you need are the basic rules of the universe (Force instead of magic, faster-than-light propulsion systems, energy weapons, and so on) and you can take it and run.

The same is true of LOTR, albeit to a slightly lesser extent since you're tied to one world with fairly well-defined cultures and species. I ran an entire campaign between the events of The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring, and it was pretty well unlimited. At that point, you know Sauron's power is beginning to grow, but he's not encroaching too far into the lands of men yet since the Ring hasn't yet been found and it's too dangerous for him to risk bringing the armies of men down upon him before his own forces are prepared.

We had it all. 2 hobbits, 2 men, 2 elves and a dwarven wizard, the Shire, Rivendell, the Dwarven kingdoms, Gondor, Rohan, we basically crossed the world and then some without encountering a single named character from the books except for Elrond. There's so much world to draw from that I was never at a loss for where to go or what to do, and I had our entire campaign planned out for over 21 sessions. You can take your cues from the books and the movies, but there are so many people and places that never appear, or are just mentioned in passing, that you can pretty much do as you please so long as you don't murder Frodo in his cradle. Although, an alternate reality LOTR game where there was no Frodo might be very interesting indeed.... Hmmm.... Plotbunny!

Just my rather lengthy 2 cents on the whole issue :)

Julie

Olothfaern
12-08-2007, 03:48 AM
I also hate that non-humans act like humans in costumes.

I LOVED Ars Magica (it the only reason I started playing Vampire [Tremere] -- then abandoned it for Mage)

But I'll go with Shadowrun as I haven't played Ars Magica in 18 years or so...

But I love Hig magic, and I do use magic as alternate tech a favorite DMing technique I have is to have you play in a tech campaign like d20 future without magic, then play in a "standard" D&D world, than have the two cultures clash in the 3rd campaign (kinda like the Darksword trilogy without the weakness of magic inherent in that system)

Inkpot
12-14-2007, 12:23 PM
I'm going to chime in here and say that I really enjoy Warhammer's Old World setting to just about any other setting out there. It's grim, dangerous, and magic has consequences. Not to mention that there are black powder weapons - I can't help but start giggling manically when I think of goblins with access to black powder. ;) The corrupting influence of Chaos as a recurring theme is very well done, in my opinion, as well.

I also enjoy the setting(s) from "Deliria: Faerie Tales For A New Millenium". It's urban fantasy in the vein of Charles De Lint and Neil Gaiman and is just chock full of great ideas. The game itself as far as the mechanics is less than great, though.

Castles & Crusades "Aihrde" setting is very good as well...very similar to Warhammer except not as grim. Very European with an emphasis on knightly orders, etc. The "Yggsburgh/Castle Zagyg" setting for the same game is full of inspiration as well. C&C is great for those who cut their roleplaying teeth on 1st Edition AD&D. Very old school. :)


Inkpot

Mulsiphix
12-23-2007, 11:31 PM
I'm pretty new to D20 but so far I am extremely taken with both DragonMech (http://www.goodmangames.com/dragonmech.php) and DragonStar (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/dsproducts.html). Both are a delicuios mix of fantasy and machine which I find absolutely captivating.

joshuadunlow
03-29-2008, 04:26 PM
I've got Artesia: Adventures in the Known World. (never played thought), and Talislanta 5th edition, and Lord of the Rings Roleplay. But if there was a top favorite, that isn't d20. id say Warhammer fantasy, i was religious with that game for awhile.

Frobozz
03-29-2008, 05:28 PM
Honestly, I don't think I've ever played a non-d20/non-D&D die mechanic fantasy game system.

D&D was more than good enough for most everything we did, and while my personal biggest gripe with it was the magic system, as long as my players didn't mind it, I had no problem with it.

Webhead
04-02-2008, 04:26 PM
Though it was never (to my knowledge) translated into an RPG setting, I've always wanted to develop the world of the comic Battlechasers into a full fantasy campaign. Started working on something of it a few years ago, but haven't finished it nor talked my group into playing it yet.


Justifiers: I love the concept of bi-pedal and bi-manual anthrophomorphic humanoids. I love hard or gritty science-fiction as well. This little game combines both quite to my liking. I like the concept and setting. The rules are passe, and I have re-created the setting in several different systems- GURPS, BRP/RQ, and d20 Modern.

One of my friends that I game with has Justifiers, though we've never played it.

It is this same kind of curiousity that drove me to pick up the Furry Pirates RPG. As you say with Justifiers, the system itself is rather "meh" but the theme and setting are very cool. The one session of Furry Pirates that I got to run was oodles of fun and has generated inside jokes among our group that persist to this day. That said, the game (other than the fact that you're playing furries) takes itself very seriously...as seriously as any other pirate RPG at least...we just didn't play it that way! :lol:

We had a chihuahua who was wizard/inquisitor for the Spanish Inquisition and his penguin assistant, Garcia. We had a hyena nut-ball/swabby who the player admitted was based on the character "Ed" from Disney's The Lion King. And we had a pelican quartermaster named Reginald who took his job very seriously and was possessed of the kind of mind-numbing, incessant, droning speech that could lull observers to sleep (he actually had a subconcious ability to cast subtle "sleep" magic on people).

My favorite non-d20 fantasy RPG setting would probably be Deadlands. Sort of a fantasy-western, but still fantasy.

ArlingtonGURPS
04-02-2008, 07:46 PM
... is not a useful answer, but I can't pick one I unreservedly like.

<clip>

At the risk of repeating stuff I've written on other threads, here are my current criteria for an interesting game world:


The world should resemble to actual myths, legends, fairy tales, or pre-D&D fantasy literature. All the worlds above follow this pattern to a certain extent. Glorantha invents its own multilayered myths and legends; Yrth assumes that medieval humans dropped into a fantasy world, bringing their own cultures and beliefs with them.

Players should have more to do than clearing out unexplained ruins; the world should provide a variety of plausible cultures, well-defined political and social entities, and ongoing conflicts. Conan and Glorantha have that in spades, and the European-based ones leverage historical cultures in conflict: Celts vs. Saxons, Christians vs. Muslims, nobles vs. other nobles ...

Magic should be a mysterious and ill-defined force, not a technology. As a corollary, magic-users should be rare, and usually NPCs ... unless all the PCs have magical or superhuman powers as in fairy tales and myths. (Ars Magica sort of fails this test, but at least it acknowledges that people who can command the forces of nature are way more powerful than even the strongest/fastest/smartest people who cannot.)

Religions should resemble to some extent the religions of our world, and magic (if it exists) should be tied somehow into the gods or a religious cosmology. I particularly like Pendragon, Yrth and Mythic Europe because, if you're going to have medieval Europeans, you have to have the Church in some form or another.

Non-humans should really be not human, and not humans with pointy ears and a few stereotyped personality traits. Glorantha's Aldryami, Mostali, Uz, and Dragonewts have particularly inhuman physiology and alien mindsets. The Faerie of Mythic Europe and Pendragon rely on Celtic and European folklore, not Tolkien. Counterexample: the people of Zo really *are* humans in animal suits, but somehow it works.


I tend to agre with most of your points. Humans literally dropped into a fantasy world from our own (GURPS Yrth/Banestorm) would bring their own baggage (religions, prejudices, government systems, etc.) The non-humans *are* non-human, thinking differently and with different values.

I also like the Talislanta world (no elves!), especially the wide variety of races.

And if you'll allow modern fantasy, the original Rapture was very well developed. I have not checked out the D20 version (which we're not including anyway)

But for absolute richness (i.e., mindbogglingly complex), I have to nominate Empire of the Petal Throne.

tesral
04-02-2008, 09:31 PM
One of my friends that I game with has Justifiers, though we've never played it.



There is a name I have not heard in a while. Justifiers. I think I have every book they wrote. I knew the guys that wrote it and I was writing for them when their company folded like a card shark with a pair of twos.

nijineko
04-03-2008, 07:15 AM
ever thought about getting in contact with them again, and trying a resuscitation?

tesral
04-03-2008, 02:20 PM
ever thought about getting in contact with them again, and trying a resuscitation?

Finding them is the problem.

fmitchell
04-03-2008, 04:21 PM
I also like the Talislanta world (no elves!), especially the wide variety of races.

But aren't there a plethora of elf-like races in Talislanta?


But for absolute richness (i.e., mindbogglingly complex), I have to nominate Empire of the Petal Throne.

I read one of M.A.R. Barker's novels, and own (but haven't read) the Tri-Stat version of EPT ... but the thing does look way more complicated than necessary.

Malruhn
04-03-2008, 08:03 PM
The world of Talislanta is rich and varied - and if you look at each little aspect of what an elf is... they have a race for that aspect... it's a big reason I never totally picked up the system.

The WORLD is great, and I've plagiarized a lot of my stuff from it, though.

I have to second Empire of the Petal Throne. I got to meet Dr. Barker as he was first coming out with the game, and fell in love with the races. By gum, if you're gonna be different, be DIFFERENT!!

tesral
04-04-2008, 08:52 AM
I have to second Empire of the Petal Throne. I got to meet Dr. Barker as he was first coming out with the game, and fell in love with the races. By gum, if you're gonna be different, be DIFFERENT!!

Only light contact with EotPT. It is different. Both an advantage and disadvantage. It screws my First Rule of Fantasy right into the ground.

While originality cannot be disputed, it means that the potential player has that much more to learn in order to get into the flavor and feel of the game.

nijineko
04-04-2008, 07:29 PM
favorite non-d20? star frontiers, i guess. but that's mostly nostalgia. i also have fond memories of the original marvel rpg. gurps was fun too. had a blast in palladium system, and rolemaster too. feng shui was loads of fun, and serenity was enjoyable too.

heck, i have fun no matter what system it is! =D

Tony Misfeldt
04-12-2008, 02:40 PM
The earlier, pre-d20 editions of D&D were all excellent in thier own ways.

I also really enjoyed the Warhammer Role Playing Game.

My earliest D&D adventures were held in the Hyborian world of Conan The Barbarian. Those were alot of fun.

While I've never actually played in this world, there's an RPG based on the Saturday Morning Cartoon Thundarr The Barbarian. It's called Under The Broken Moon, is set on Earth in the year 5994, and is available online. I loved that show when I was little and it would be so cool to play a game in that setting.

I've played many other fantasy RPGs as well (Middle Earth Role Playing Game, Amber, Shadowrun, etc) but I prefered the others.

revolution 9
04-17-2008, 08:46 PM
Agreed about the Warhammer fantasy setting. I ran a D20 game and used Warhammer adventure modules and they worked really well. I did use my own campaign, map, world, etc, but the adventures fit in quite well.

Mayfair had some pretty cool supplements, and one was the land of Undead, where the Undead took over the Dwarven homeland. That was a part of my world. I was also trying to fit in the Red Steel campaign setting, an underrated and interesting AD&D campaign.

I also mixed in my own ideas inspired by Mystara, like the idea that the Law/Chaos axis was more important than the Good/Evil axis. Mystara mentions that but never went anywhere with it. That was why the Warhammer adventures fit so well. Since Chaos was tangible and corrupting, people were more willing to trust someone who was Lawful over someone who was Chaotic. I also only had 4 gods.

I wish I still had those Mayfair supplements. They were quite interesting.

GBVenkman
04-18-2008, 12:20 AM
I haven't read much other than the OP, so excuse me if I say something already said:


I've never ran a D&D game, but if I ever do, I think I'll set it during the bronze age of Greece or Republic days of Rome. Use all the pantheon of classical mythology.

The players would be on campaign against Persians/Gauls/Britons/norsks who themselves would have traditional pantheons as patrons. When the players move away from their patron cities (patria), the clerics can be limited or have to compete with the patron deity of the town they're sacking.

I think I'm much more read on classical lit than any dnd fiction, and I think the classics do a better job really. I think it will be easy finding parts of the globe where orcs/trolls/dragons can live. It's easy to plop orc factions in Scandinavia and Russia and the steppes. I'll make it as if the further you got from Rome/Athens, the territory becomes more and more wild, dangerous, and dark.

I think it works because most people I know also know classical mythology basics, as well as the geography and history of Europe to some extent.

joshuadunlow
04-18-2008, 09:08 AM
Speaking of Classical Literature, and real worled Roleplay. That reminds of a little known RPG game written by a few guys from Cambrige University. It's called Fantasy Wargamming. You really needed a calculator for this system, but it provided a realistic approach to fantasy roleplay with reasons for everything. Its magic system was complicated, but otherwise it has always been a favorite of mine.

agoraderek
04-28-2008, 01:29 AM
yeah, i liked the warhammer setting as well, appealed to my preference for a "low fantasy", dark and evil world.

shadowrun was fun, i liked traveller when i was a kid, and top secret (original, not the s.i. version)

i also enjoyed a lot of the palladium stuff when i was a kid, and played some twilight: 2000 as well.

i never got into the white wolf stuff, but i dotn know if it was the system or the peronality types of the people who play it around here. im kind of a punk rock/rockabilly type, and i really dont mesh well with goth kids, and the goth crowd predomnates the vampire/werewolf/mage scene here...

agoraderek
04-28-2008, 01:34 AM
Speaking of Classical Literature, and real worled Roleplay. That reminds of a little known RPG game written by a few guys from Cambrige University. It's called Fantasy Wargamming. You really needed a calculator for this system, but it provided a realistic approach to fantasy roleplay with reasons for everything. Its magic system was complicated, but otherwise it has always been a favorite of mine.

i flipped through that book once, there was some good stuff, but, i thought it was a little before its time (rpgs were still getting a lot of bad press when that came out, and i thought to myself "hmmm, i hope they dont find this, they'll go through the roof"). a little too much real world mysticism and "golden dawn" type stuff, imo.

tesral
04-28-2008, 09:16 AM
Bureau 13 AKA Staking the Night Fantastic. Freshly out in d20 format.

Bureau 13 is a old favorite I have been playing for a good long while. d20 is a nice add on.

Tony Misfeldt
04-28-2008, 05:10 PM
Agreed about the Warhammer fantasy setting. I ran a D20 game and used Warhammer adventure modules and they worked really well. I did use my own campaign, map, world, etc, but the adventures fit in quite well.

Mayfair had some pretty cool supplements, and one was the land of Undead, where the Undead took over the Dwarven homeland. That was a part of my world. I was also trying to fit in the Red Steel campaign setting, an underrated and interesting AD&D campaign.

I also mixed in my own ideas inspired by Mystara, like the idea that the Law/Chaos axis was more important than the Good/Evil axis. Mystara mentions that but never went anywhere with it. That was why the Warhammer adventures fit so well. Since Chaos was tangible and corrupting, people were more willing to trust someone who was Lawful over someone who was Chaotic. I also only had 4 gods.

I wish I still had those Mayfair supplements. They were quite interesting.

I loved those critical result descriptions. "You and your oponent are splattered with blood as you tear open his abdomen splilling his entrails over a wide area. Death from shock and bloodloss is instantaneous." Or something to that effect. I actually adapted them for the 2nd ed AD&D game I used to run. Only problem was they were only really good for use with slashing weapons, and occassionally bludgeoning weapons.