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So basically my question is thus; are Established Settings (IE Falhath, Hewdamia, Arth) a good idea, or a bad idea in the citadel?

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Author Topic: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings  (Read 1473 times)

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Online Scrasamax

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The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« on: June 09, 2006, 11:18:30 AM »
I have a concern, one I would like to share with the rest of the Citadel.

I have begun to ponder the pros and cons of the setting specific submission, in my case, the Falhath project.

The Pros are obvious, by building an interlinking set of submissions, a larger and more cohesive collection can be made, rather than a large number of stand alone submissions. NPCs can tie into plots and settings can be mated to dungeons and items. Not a bad idea all in all.

But then comes the other side. The larger the Meta-Setting becomes, the more unweildy it becomes, the more it demands the support of other material to support it. Then comes the bane of writers...apathy. Does the reader look at the new submissions and groan when they see a new Falhath submisson? does this cause them to skip over it, since using it in their own game would require a good deal of untangling to remove the idea core?

So basically my question is thus; are Established Settings (IE Falhath, Hewdamia, Arth) a good idea, or a bad idea in the citadel?


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Offline Mourngrymn

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Re: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006, 12:04:13 PM »
I am on both sides of the coin. Being that Hewdamia is one of the aformentioned settings I can agree that it can be a hassle when looking at something so vast and large as these continued settings and see, oh great another sub from hewdamia. Absolutely.

However, I also see that as you said, you can nearly take any sub from any of the wel ldeveloped settings and drop it into a campaign (sometimes with some work somtimes without) and you literally have everything you need. NPC's, plots, items, everything that link back to one another so all you have to do is pick one and you get a huge dose of material at your disposal instead f trying to grab on sub and link it to another. I think in the end you would be doing more work that way than grabbing something already linked together.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 08:19:30 PM »
They aren't bad. At least in the current setup they are displayed as equals as the rest of the submissions. As Mourn said, regardless of the large arcing history of your setting, each submission has something that makes it its own submission. That core idea will still be there and useable regardless of all the ties and background that might make it even more useful. I think the major hinderance of settings is that some of the submissions get long but that is a major hinderance of *any* submission.

aside: maybe longer submissions should have a blockquote synopsis for those that are turned off by long posts to at least give them the core idea of the post.

Thinking of V3.0 which is driven by the new setting area, this really hits home a bit more and I will put this thought out there. The settings I have personally created (many of which are long forgotten in whatever notepads) are more for personal enjoyment than for others. V3.0 will allow a higher degree of organization and cohesiveness to the setting but then how many people will explore it in that format? How many worlds online have you took the time to read through all of it? Some people might, of course, but that takes time. I LOVE settings but if I find a world site dedicated to a setting I will rarely read much of it even if it looks super interesting. I will graze through it and catch bits and pieces and move on. I expect people did that to mine when I had it up for my PBeM. Hell, even my players didn't even read much of my setting material so I had to explain it in game. I guess my main point is, if you enjoy doing it and posting, then continue. If it becomes a hinderance, burden, or gets you dissappointed then "fogget abowt id."

And if you have ideas on how you would rather set up the settings, then let me know so I can incorporate those ideas into V3.0.

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Re: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 08:26:51 PM »
what is V3.0's ETA?
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Re: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006, 08:34:13 PM »
ETA = TBD

Before the end of the year though, long way off but it goes quick for me trying to get it done. :)

My todo list that I work off of. It is always current as I edit and use it constantly.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2006, 10:51:04 AM »
Established settings are just like any resource, you take what you want and ignore the rest.  Anyone saying otherwise is just being odd.

Only games that insist on "cannon", such as WoD -Vampire and such, where the setting IS the only interesting part of the game, are you practically required to run it "by the book" i.e. by cannon.  Many GM's I know tried to run variant WoD games and the players revolted.  They wanted the cannon and all the crap that went with it.  There are D20 players who do the same thing with Greyhawk and a couple of the other that require the same thing.  These are the exceptions.

Most run "near cannon", using all the big and important elements and mixing in their own contact elements. Contact elements being what the PCs encounter, the specific places, things, and people. There might be new additions, but the big picure and important pieces serve as the anchor for the GM's additions.

When we do a "good job" including main elements of the setting and any "big picture"/ meta plots for the campaign we create a foundation for a GM to build on. GMs take that and work with it, incorporating their own elements into the big pieces. The stronger our work, the less we work they need to do.... and the work they do is "better" because they have strong examples and they have learned the "themes" of the setting.

In short, it is a good thing... as long as we do enough for people to know our settings.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2006, 11:02:22 AM by MoonHunter »
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Re: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2006, 04:54:52 PM »
A short tale from the world of computer roleplaying. The holy grail of computer roleplaying is by most considered to be the post apocalyptic roleplaying game "Fallout" and "Fallout 2". When a company bought the rights to that game, they not only ditched the cannon altogether, they also decided to mock the largest fan community on the net.

To understand this you need to know that Fallout has a cult following. I know, I was a zealot myself in the days bygone. The company even included mockeries of the fan sites in their game end credits. Well, after having pissed on their fan base for a looong time the company launched the game and it... failed miserably. Not only was the game not cannon (anti-cannon is more like it), the game was an insult to the previous company that initially developed the franchise and an insult to those who loved the game. The new owners tried to target the streamlined audience and insulted the ones that made the former games tremendous hits (although they became tremendous hits over time and not over the night).

The morale of the story? Taking what you like is one of my chief GM credos, but once in a while a GM (or a team of storywrights) need to swallow their own egos and look to what the intended audience desire. A GM should ever be humble and always remember to listen in on what his players want too. If their desires collide with those of the GM, chances are you and your crew do not match.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: The Double Edged Sword of Established Settings
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2007, 11:55:57 PM »
This thread needs a rightous bump.
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