Personal Favourite Setting?

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A question that's been dwelling on my mind for a while would definately be what is the most commonly played setting. So what's yours?

Standard, Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dark Sun...

My favourite has to be the Forgotten Realms (so long as Neverwinter is considered Forgotten Realms as well), since this is what got me into D&D in the first place. 
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
Over, all, I like home-brew the best.  I home-brew new settings for each campaign, I prefer any of those to published settings.

For published settings, the Ravenloft campaign setting is the fantasy setting I like the best of the few I own.  I do like the sound of Eberron, though, and perhaps I'll track down a copy of that setting for my own collection some time. 

But, I usually use published campaign settings for ideas for home-brew settings - I don't recall ever running a fantasy game set directly in a published setting.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Over, all, I like home-brew the best.  I home-brew new settings for each campaign, I prefer any of those to published settings.

For published settings, the Ravenloft campaign setting is the fantasy setting I like the best of the few I own.  I do like the sound of Eberron, though, and perhaps I'll track down a copy of that setting for my own collection some time. 

But, I usually use published campaign settings for ideas for home-brew settings - I don't recall ever running a fantasy game set directly in a published setting.



To be honest I've never tried Eberron, I have it, I just never got around to it, maybe that'll be my next adventure... Also, never tried Ravenloft either, just Forgotten Realms & Dark Sun as well as Home-Brew
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
My favorite is Greyhawk. This is mostly because it has been under-served for two and a half editions now, giving me complete freedom to build within it without having to un-teach my players any published canon. I still use the giant wall map from my 1982 (?) boxed set.

I suspect the Forgotten Realms is the singl emost played game world, unless you count the "default non-world" of the Points of Light as a game setting, in which case I am confident more games currently take place in that "world" than any other.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
My favorite is Greyhawk. This is mostly because it has been under-served for two and a half editions now, giving me complete freedom to build within it without having to un-teach my players any published canon. I still use the giant wall map from my 1982 (?) boxed set.

I suspect the Forgotten Realms is the singl emost played game world, unless you count the "default non-world" of the Points of Light as a game setting, in which case I am confident more games currently take place in that "world" than any other.


Never tried Greyhawk either Cry, gonna need to find this one.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
Eberron and Planescape are my fav's.

I tend to run most campaigns in published settings. It's a fast way to give me some framework to operate in and to nail down a theme.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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I prefer home brewed both as a DM and a player if the DM has the time to detail the world. When that kind of time isn't available, I'm partial to Forgotten Realm and Greyhawk. Forgotten Realms because it's a high powered classic fantasy world, where even high level characters can focus on personal stories. Greyhawk for a change of pace and a more old school D&D feel.

Jay
Greyhawk would have been stripped-down for the the default setting for 3rd Edition - it's roughly equivalent to the "Points of Light" setting in that edition.  I thought it made a great starting-point for home-brew systems: a very accessible generic fantasy setting, with a lot of freedom to add your own stuff.  I never saw Greyhawk as it appeared in older editions, but I imagine it wouldn't have been much different back then.

In fact, that accessible but vague generic fantasy flavor with lots of room for DMs to fill-in-the-blanks is a strong point for both 3E Greyhawk and Points-of-Light.  "Default non-world" (or perhaps "default any-world") seems like a great description of either implementation.


Dark Sun and Planescape are a couple other settings I've heard a lot of good things about and always wanted to check out, but I've never even had a chance to see the books.  Getting a closer look at these settings is on my "to do" list.

I wouldn't mind seeing a modernized Spelljammer setting, with a more even and focused tone (the original Spelljammer setting seems to have ranged from a unique and imaginative "Elves in Space" Rennaisance-tech-level Interplanetary Fantasy setting, which then dips through cheesy Space-Opera-meets-D&D flavor, before sinking down to the level of such goofy elements as giant space-gerbils.  The uneven, somewhat psychedelic results seem quite typical of early 1980's-era D&D.)  I've never had the chance to do much more than glance through the setting books for this one, but it seemed like it could be a lot of fun, with a lot of work and modernization.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
My favorite is Birthright.

But since it hasn't been supported for so long, and my actual favorite part of it is the kingdom running which is a real pain to write rules for and get people to agree to play with untested houserules (though if I do get to start another campaign anytime soon, I might use Pluisjen's kingdom rules for it), I've played far more Forgotten Realms and Eberron than I have Birthright.

I pretty much like every setting, even PoL, because PoL is basically the same thing as a homebrew world due to its total lack of detail.  They all have their good points.  Birthright is just better than any of them.  ;)
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My favorite is Birthright.

But since it hasn't been supported for so long, and my actual favorite part of it is the kingdom running which is a real pain to write rules for and get people to agree to play with untested houserules (though if I do get to start another campaign anytime soon, I might use Pluisjen's kingdom rules for it), I've played far more Forgotten Realms and Eberron than I have Birthright.

I pretty much like every setting, even PoL, because PoL is basically the same thing as a homebrew world due to its total lack of detail.  They all have their good points.  Birthright is just better than any of them.  ;)



Birthright was really neat. I can't speak for the mechanics as I never ran it. But I loved the setting.

I was always to intimidated by it to try and run a game there.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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I've always like the Forgotten Realms.  Mostly due to enjoying reading all the novels.  In the past few years I have felt a yearning for a new setting.  At least for myself the attachment to the Forgotten Realms cam from novels bringing the Realms to life.
I never saw Greyhawk as it appeared in older editions, but I imagine it wouldn't have been much different back then.

In fact, that accessible but vague generic fantasy flavor with lots of room for DMs to fill-in-the-blanks is a strong point for both 3E Greyhawk and Points-of-Light.  "Default non-world" (or perhaps "default any-world") seems like a great description of either implementation.

Greyhawk in 1e/2e was about as fleshed out as maybe one year's worth of the 3e Realms. It was much more than a Points of Light. It had a long and detailed history, its share of famous NPCs, and tons of evolving detail. But it stayed at the same level of detail as "Realms 2002" -- without the every-square-inch level that the Realms gradually achieved.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Home Brew

City State of the Invinicble Overlord (Jugdes Guild)

Points of Light (Nentir Vale)

To name a couple

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I've always been a huge Eberron fan, but Dark Sun is quickly creeping up there in the ranks. Never played the old 2e version, so it's something new for me in the 4e generation.

Don't really like Forgotten Realms though. Never really stuck as a memorable experience.
Eberron, hands down, no question, nothing else even comes close.

A world where they actually thought about what the existence and harnessing of magic would do to sociological development?  'Bout time, too!
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I like homebrew campaigns, mainly because of the freedom they give.

Which is ironic because my favorite setting is one of the most restrictive, Dark Sun.

Arcane magic users are considered Kill on Sight unless they are or serve a Sorcerer King. Divine characters are no existant. Certain races are extinct/killed in massive genocide. And main source of power is psionics. Also there is only one dragon and it can destroy most cities within a few turns. My favorite part is the emphasis on survival over the greater good.
Ant Farm
Points of Light is not a setting, it's a conceit. All of the setting are "points of light" settings.

My favorite setting is Eberron. I like its loose approach to "canon," and the fact that it can easily accommodate "modern" plot lines.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

me? published, it's either Eberron or Dark Sun. otherwise i'm pretty happy with homebrew.

i'm pretty much sick and tired of the Faurope settings, the ones that look like a fake medieval europe... WITH MAGIC! at a cursory glance: Grayhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, etc...

i know the differences of them, but it really requires a GM who's familiar with the material to make it come to life at this point. 
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If I were to use a published setting, it would be Eberron. But I love the flexibility of homebrew. My world grows as the characters explore it and I can make the settings suit the story rather than vice versa.



That said, I probably will make my next setting Eberron.
I love my own setting and I'm proud of it, playing in since 2nd Edition! But my setting brings players in Ravenloft often. I love Ravenloft...
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For me it's a tossup betwen Eberron and Dark Sun. I've done most of my gaming in home brew(3.5)/nentir val(4.0) though. My least favorite to play in is forgotten realms because its so detailed without an exceptional DM to make me feal like I haven't even made a difference in the setting. It's also why I like it the most in novels though.
Any cross between Wilderlands (City State of the Invincible Overlord) from Judges Guild and a DM's own homebrew setting materials.  Certain parts of the Forgotten Realms have been fun but I've played/run SO MANY games in that setting I took an oath about 10 years ago never to go there again and I'm still holding to that.  Greyhawk... never had a good grasp of it as a whole setting because I never had the whole setting - it was never available for sale as a whole setting anywhere I could get my hands on it.  Spelljammer I always thought had terrific potential to be a setting but it was never REALLY presented as a setting in and of itself, just as a set of rules and bits of setting to be tacked on to whatever other setting you actually had.  Other settings all had their good and bad points as well, but the entire philosophy that Judges Guild had regarding their setting and indeed ALL their products was the only approach that really fit what _I_ had come to understand that D&D was supposed to be.  It was up to YOU to make ANY setting into what you needed/wanted.  JG accordingly presented people and places with enough detail and description to use it pretty much as written, but not intimately tied to one persons vision of what that setting was supposed to be - there was always plenty of room for an individual DM to expand it, alter it, rewrite it entirely, use just the stats, use just the map, use parts of this, parts of that... to do what YOU want.

THAT is the best setting you can ask for - one that saves you the effort of making up EVERYTHING from scratch but does not constrain you to someone elses vision of a gameworld. 

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definitely Forgotten Realms, it's so fleshed out and detailed that it'll always be my world of choice.
definitely Forgotten Realms, it's so fleshed out and detailed that it'll always be my world of choice.



That was always one of the reasons I didn't run Forgotten Realms.

Someone might know more about it than me. ::bites first and chokes back a tear::

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Planescape.  Hands down, it was always my favorite.  The flavour of the storylines, the freedom of exploration, and the ability to interact with some of the most bad-ass (aka upper level) NPCs at lower levels made adventures really interesting.

I wish they would update the rules officially for 4e.  I miss modrons...(tries not to cry by thinking of baseball...wait...Rangers lost today...starts crying)


Wink   
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For me I like the 7th Sea setting (both d20 and regular), Northern Crown, Kara Tur, Al-Qadim and more recently Eberron (we have a great DM using Pathfinder rules who can really bring out the setting flavor).
A question that's been dwelling on my mind for a while would definately be what is the most commonly played setting. So what's yours?

Standard, Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dark Sun...

My favourite has to be the Forgotten Realms (so long as Neverwinter is considered Forgotten Realms as well), since this is what got me into D&D in the first place. 

As far as published settings?  I've always been partial to Greyhawk myself.
Greyhawk was amazing. I first got turned on to it in high school in the 90's when I was reading the old GH AOL boards ...... people like Erik Mona were pushing for a return to Greyhawk after the setting support collapsed in 2e.

I've also been into BECMI/Mystara over the years.

Taken together, those two setting -- or some amalagam thereof -- have always helped with classic homebrew setting ideas.

Dark Sun and Planescape were also favorites for exotic options.

Toss up between Council of Wyrms and Dark Sun. Generally I don't like the traditional fantasy settings.
Dark Sun for me for sure, both as a DM and as a PC.
Ravenloft was a close second for a long time as well.
after those, probably Planescape, Spelljammer, and Kara-Tur/Al-Qadim round out my top 5.
never gave Eberron a chance, thought it was too 'steampunk'; as ive gotten older im more interested in trying it out though. 
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