Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Discussion: What Was Your First RPG Setting?

Most bloggers will tell you that Fridays are dull, lifeless days where traffic counters plummet with alarming speed. Here at RPG Blog 2, we are the Speakeasy of Discussion in the Prohibition of Quiet Friday. In other words, Fridays is when we kick back and enjoy some discussion with our fellow gamers--nothing too heavy, nothing too controversial--just talking about the hobby we love.

Today's topic: What was your first RPG/RPG campaign setting experience? Homebrew? Greyhawk? Arduin? Forgotten Realms? 3rd Imperium? How did it influence subsequent experiences?

Be as descriptive or succinct as you please, and have a great weekend! And Fight On!

39 comments:

Frederic said...

I think it was Planescape.
Straight into the Abyss with your very first character. When running down a stair he slipped (I somehow missed the description of the stair being very smooth and there being lava at the bottom....)

Ah well, he was a member of the Doomguard so no biggie.... :'(

rdonoghue said...

The Borderlands! There was a keep there, and a mad hermit, and also som caves with STUFF in them!

-Rob D.

Red Jason said...

Mystara and Dark Sun, sort of simultaneously. Started playing with a group that was running campaigns in both worlds.

Looking forward to the 4th Edition version of Dark Sun more than anything. ;)

Questing GM said...

It was a homebrew my brother created. I think it was Krynn, which I later found out sounded very familiar with Dragonlance but that was just a coincidence.

We were Chosen Ones in the campaign to defeat a powerful necromancer that was leading a war and we had to unlock our powers before facing him.

My first published setting however was Forgotten Realms and it was love at first sight. I played a Ravenloft module before that but we never got further into the setting and I never knew what it was until much later.

Ameron said...

My very first experience with RPGs was Marvel Super Heroes. I was (and still am) a huge comic nerd so this was a natural transition. It wasn't long before I was introduced to AD&D.

I remember playing "Keep on the Borderlands" and loved every minute of it. As a result, I continue to use this module to introduce new players to D&D, regardless of the edition. I've played KotB twice and run it as a DM at least 5 times with different groups of players for D&D 2e, 3e, 3.5e and 4e. The conversion takes a little bit of work, but my love of the adventure keeps me motivated. It’s a classic for a reason.

Mad Brew said...

I think the first setting (other than modules) I played in was Ravenloft. The first settting I ran (which was before I played in RL) was the Forgotten Realms.

Welleran said...

A weird mix of the Borderlands and Portown from the old Blue Dragon cover which quickly merged into a Greyhawk heavily homebrewed into I am not really sure what!

mxyzplk said...

The Frontier, from Star Frontiers! Megacorps, Star Law, and blob comedians. Mainly it spoiled me for subsequent SF settings that were on the balance less inventive.

First D&D game world was the Known World, later given the "sounds more made up to me" name of Mystara. KW doesn't get enough love, it was pretty cool.

rpgcharacters said...

Keep on the Borderlands started me off, and within a month I had a copy of the Expert rules too, so really it was a mutation of the classic B/X setting.

MountZionRyan said...

A homebrew fantasy with a big wall dividing the badguys land from the good guys. One of the PCs was a wizard named Gandalf and the bad guy was modeled heavily of Frank Frazeeta's Death Dealer (from the James Silke books).

Very quickly followed by the original FR boxed set. I loved all the old FR stuff.

Jeff Rients said...

Borderlands here, too. I think the Borderlands taught me that a campaign setting was simply a place to have an adventures. As a result some later settings I encountered felt like things unto themselves rather than game components.

Mark Gedak said...

My first rpg setting was the Known World of Mystara. It still serves as a reoccurring setting in my games. With many monsters (nagpas) and concepts law vs. chaos being most prevalent.

Mike said...

Technically, it was Greyhawk, although I can't really count it as a "campaign" world. The characters in that campaign pretty much went straight from module to module ("Giants", then "Drow", the some of the "S" series) without much sightseeing in-between.

The first RPG setting that truly could be called an actual setting was a homebrew designed by my friend Eric called Tunnelworld. It was one of the most original settings I've ever seen. I liked it (and still like it) much better than Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms.

My own first setting as a DM was also a homebrew, called Maelstrom ... but it was really just Tunnelworld with the serial numbers filed off.

mthomas768 said...

Homebrew all the way. Mostly because there was no other choice back then.

Sebastian Dietz said...

"Aventurien" from "Das Schwarze Auge" was my first setting. My first steps led me into the city of Havena and the Orcish Lands.

MountZionRyan said...

@Jeff Rients
"...a campaign setting was simply a place to have an adventures...some later settings...felt like things unto themselves rather than game components."
Interesting, care to elaborate?

Mark said...

Started with the Borderlands, and later spent many hours poring over the maps in the Greyhawk set and reading the descriptions of the lands represented on it.

But since we were in our early teens, most of the adventures started with our party at the mouth of the dungeon/temple/cave/castle, with little to no interaction with the world.

When we found Star Frontiers we started interacting a little more with the world, but we didn't really hit our stride in that regard until we discovered the Old World setting of WFRP. Not sure why - I guess all of us were junior history buffs and could easily imagine a "dark and gritty" medieval/renaissance world.

Joseph said...

My first was a homebrew called Flammarion. It had such lands as the Barony of Lum, the Duchy of Aaqa, and so forth; names culled from the scant materials of the time.

Barking Alien said...

I go back so far I'm not sure we knew that the word 'homebrew' existed but that's as good a word as any.

It was 1977, Basic D&D and I was a Halfling travelling from my original, farming shire-like land to the capital of the Human kingdom to find my father who had gone there to give our native Pepperthorn Sauce to the Human King and never returned.

The fiery hot liquid gave Humans and Halflings super strength for a limited time assuming the spiciness didn't make'em pass out.

AD
Barking Alien

Wyatt said...

I've never played in established campaign settings. We (me and my buds) read the stuff, thought it was boring, and went on. However, my first foray into non-homebrew adventuring was Red Hand of Doom for D&D 3.5. I still contend it is about the only module I can stand to play, and this is after playing numerous other modules. It is seriously a nice piece of work even if it's for a system I can't stand to play anymore.

rainswept said...

The Keep on the Borderlands plus a city I named Zonguldak (yes, I pulled the name off a map of Turkey) built mainly out of inns, taverns, etc from Dragon Magazine articles of the early 80s. With the advent of 1st Edition we transitioned to Greyhawk, and then to an obsessively mapped homebrew... I received a Rainbow Crafts Magnajector one Christmas so I had superhuman powers to blow up my own maps onto the wall!

clash bowley said...

I launched straight into Jalan, and played there with (A)D&D for twenty years. I later released it as the Book of Jalan with a different system, but the setting is the same. I never used a published setting until I stopped playing D&D.

-clash

jstater said...

6th grade, on the playground, my friend drew a dungeon on some graph paper (complete with pictures of the monsters) and we used a six-sided die for all the rolls. He "learned" the game by watching his older brother play. I was instantly hooked and managed, a week or two later, to pick up the Moldvay red box at Toys-R-Us.

PatrickWR said...

Star Wars d6! There's nothing quite like rolling 30+ dice to attack the Death Star.

Darran Sims said...

Glorantha was my first RPG setting.

The first scenario was from Chaosium's Apple Lane supplement 'Rainbow Mounds'.
I was playing a Black Fang Brotherhood Assassin who managed to fall off the bridge into the water.
The GM, a friend of my brother, then switched to dealing with how my sister was doing with her character.
Only after an hour did he reveal I had been rescued by Newtlings.

shent_lodge said...

Keep on the Border Lands then Greyhawk.

kelvingreen said...

It's fuzzy, but I would guess that the first proper rpg (as opposed to something like Heroquest) I played was the Fighting Fantasy spinoff, and that didn't really have a setting as such. The first time we really gamed in a setting was probably Shadowrun 2e, around 1994ish.

David said...

I started out with the D&D Basic set. First module I ran was B4, Lost City. Didn't take me long to get the expert set and some 1st edition books.

Scott said...

The first module I ever played was B4 The Lost City, so if we're counting mini-settings contained within a single module (as many of the commenters seem to be doing), then that was my first campaign setting as well.

The first ongoing campaign I ever played in was a homebrew, campy mix of D&D (mechanics), Gamma World, and Star Wars (setting only, the mechanics were all D&D).

The first ongoing campaign I ever ran was World of Greyhawk, using the Fate of Istus supermodule.

ckutalik said...

I guess I'm not the unique snowflake I thought I was: Keep on the Borderlands with the Holmes set was my first. As we played it out I started crudely drawing in the margins on the outdoor map as an extension of the setting.

Weirdly, I recently bought a copy of B2 off of Ebay--and it had crudely-drawn extensions of the roads and river in the margins! Made me wonder how much parallel evolution occurred like that.

Helmsman said...

For me it was Rifts. Started out playing a dragon fresh out of her egg and full of wide-eyed innocence. Which was kinda fitting now that I think about it...

Kameron said...

Another Borderlander, here. That expanded to the Known World with the Expert set, which became Mystara when it was incorporated into 2E AD&D.

MJ Harnish said...

My first official setting was Greyhawk but prior to picking it up we played for a couple years setting-less (or more properly in a homebrew setting that only appeared as background to our killing orcs and dragons).

stu said...

Some kind of king arthurian thing. knights of the round table deal.

I got killed by a hag.

GameDaddy said...

Homebrew... 1977 D&D in Espana several hundred years after the Third World War. Radiation zones, mutants, magic & mayhem. Our party slayed a dragon, however couldn't figure out an economical manner in which to haul 47,000+ Gp to a nearby secure location. We ended up taking what we could carry, and the session ended with a cliffhanger with my wizard/thief trapped in the claws of a giant angry crab. Session 2, 30 seconds in. Scratch one MU/Thief.

Kiashu said...

I guess after my first few dungeon crawls... it must have been Greyhawk, since it was all AD&D modules. But we just played modules as they came to us, which meant a 4th level character was needed for this one, an 8th level for the next, a 2nd level for the other, and so on - so we didn't keep the same characters from one campaign to another, and didn't really have a sense of "campaign".

Zachary The First said...

Wow. Borderlands really seems to deserve its reputation as sort of the Ellis Island of D&D! :)

The Badger King said...

Surprisingly, I have played in very very few "campaigns". Most of my adventuring was modules. My first experience, way back around 1980, was with a quasi-homebrew that used Greyhawk modules, Basic D&D rules, and a whole storyline my friend was putting together in his head. He would write out stats for his various action figures, and we would run them through "adventures". Eventually, we moved on to AD&D, and ran through most of the Greyhawk "classics". Come to think of it, almost all the (semi-)persistent campaigns I've played in the many forms of D&D have been Greyhawk. However, the MOST persisten campaign I've ever played was a Twilight: 2000 campaign.

rpgtreehouse said...

I played in a bunch of settings without even realising it for the first few years!
The first one that really stood out was the Old World for WFRP.