Thursday, December 21, 2006

What Are The Essential Parts of a D&D Setting?

theRPGsite is an independant online forum for the discussion of Role-Playing Games. In their words, This is a forum about D&D, a funny forum, a forum where games are treated like games and life is fun.

Forum member Cyberzombie asked a good question earlier this year.

What are the essential elements of the most generic of D&D settings? You can, of course, dump just about anything and everything to create your own setting. But what I'm looking for here are the elements that scream D&D -- things you must have in a setting to have the D&D feel to it. Simultaneously, I'm interested in what things could be dumped without hurting the feel of D&D. What could you rip out and still have something that feels like D&D?

Since my introduction re-introduction to Dungeons & Dragons and Role-Playing Games in general was so very unorthodox, with Lonny's group from Bradley immediately being thrown into a Dark Sun campaign, I'm not sure I could best answer this question. I mean to explain that I feel there are no essential elements that cannot be removed and there is nothing that could not be added. There are going to be traditionalists that state that you couldn't possibly remove dragons as a story element, and yet on Athas, for all intents and purposes, dragons as they are commonly known do not exist. And that is just the first difference from a traditional setting.

To introduce players to the game, perhaps the more traditional and expected elements should be in place.

What D&D Character Are You? (Part II)

This one was a little bit less serious. I still was thinking of Xenia as in the previous post, but a lot of the questions didn't have enough flexibility or choices to cover her sort of responses.

Monk! - Victory! You scored 6!

It is time for you to leave Grasshopper.

You travel. Work. Sleep when you can. You're a monk. You are contemplative, simple and quiet. However, the second anyone gives you shit you fly into a furious whirlwind of martial arts mayhem. Your friends give you the space you need and you only speak when neccessary. However, you're a mystery to most. You're most likely to end up wandering the frontier, barefoot with the sun beating down on your ragged hat and on the run from someone. It's all good though. With any luck, you can get into one of Quentin Tarantino's films.

Monk - It is time for you to leave Grasshopper.

What D&D Character Are You?

I did the survey thinking of my old Mul Thief from Athas, Xenia. The results were not entirely too far off although she really wasn't an evil person. She was more of a fighter and warrior than a rogue, simply because her racial strength brought her a lot of confidence --perhaps too much.

You Are A: Chaotic Evil Human Fighter

Alignment: Chaotic Evil characters are the most 'evil' people out there. They are willing to do anything to get ahead, and will kill anyone who stands in their way. A chaotic evil person sees no value in order and governments, and believes to the utmost in the tenant that 'Might Makes Right'.

Race: Humans are the 'average' race. They have the shortest life spans, and because of this, they tend to avoid the racial prejudices that other races are known for. They are also very curious and tend to live 'for the moment'.

Class: Fighters are the warriors. They use weapons to accomplish their goals. This isn't to say that they aren't intelligent, but that they do, in fact, believe that violence is frequently the answer.

Detailed Results:
Alignment:
Law and Chaos:
Law ----- XX (2)
Neutral - XXXX (4)
Chaos --- XXXXXXXXX (9)

Good and Evil:
Good ---- (-1)
Neutral - XX (2)
Evil ---- XXX (3)

Race:
Human ---- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Half-Elf - XXX (3)
Elf ------ (-1)
Gnome ---- XXXXX (5)
Halfling - XXXXXXXXX (9)
Dwarf ---- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Half-Orc - XXXX (4)

Class:
Fighter -- XXXXXXX (7)
Barbarian - XXXXX (5)
Ranger --- XXX (3)
Monk ----- (0)
Paladin -- XX (2)
Cleric --- (-4)
Mage ----- X (1)
Druid ---- XXXX (4)
Thief ---- XXXXXX (6)
Bard ----- XXXXXX (6)

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