Thursday, February 21, 2013

Musings: First Campaigns

I'm going to start using some of the 'off' days for the regular campaign to do some musing and ask some questions about gaming of the blogs regular readers. (Yes, I know you're out there - I can see your blog hits....) To keep with the blog theme these are going to be focused on tabletop role playing campaigns.

First up, what was your first role playing campaign world, and was it GM created our an 'out of the box' campaign?

Of course there's room for interpretation: if you started gaming with Vampire: The Masquerade can one consider the entire World of Darkness to be an 'out of the box' campaign or do you limit that designation to the Chicago (or Milwaukee) by Night locations? I leave that up to you.

In my case I got the red box D&D Basic set in 1981 and much of my early gaming was iterations of In Search of the Unknown and Keep on the Borderlands, but at there tender age there wasn't anything like a campaign world for a while. I didn't have a lot of the modules and while I eventually got the World of Greyhawk setting book it was well after I'd developed my own setting. That was the Shankill Isles, a bunch of island city states where each island conveniently held a dungeon, slaver base or marauding monsters for my players to smite. It wasn't terribly well developed at first, but it was all mine.

When I got my second RPG - Villains & Vigilantes - I likewise developed my own 'world' for it, one where a group of super-powered Jr. High School students could become a world respected super team fighting a Chess-themed evil organization that had a base on Pluto.

In retrospect I really admire Dee & Herman in that they explicitly tell you to not use the Crisis at Crusader Citadel module for your 'real' characters, nor should you ape any existing comics and your stories are going to diverge rapidly from the source material. better to start fresh with your own stuff, using their examples only as examples. Likewise the Basic D&D rules give you some tools, and the B1 and B2 modules give you examples of sites, but you're otherwise left on your own for fleshing out your own setting.

That's something I've obviously taken to heart, given the purposes of this blog.