Classic D&D Settings

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Classic D&D Settings

Postby Havard » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:58 pm

Published Settings

  • Blackmoor (1974)
  • Greyhawk (1974)
  • Melniboné: included as pantheons in Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-gods & Heroes (1976)
  • Call of Cthulhu: included as pantheons in Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-gods & Heroes (1976)
  • Conan: included as pantheons in Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-gods & Heroes (1976)
  • J. Eric Holmes' Porttown (1977)
  • Mystara aka The Known World or the D&D Game World (1981)
  • Pelinore (The Imagine Magazine / TSR UK Setting)
  • Middle Earth (As presented in articles in TSR UK's Imagine Magazine)
  • Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne (As presented in X2 and Gaz3 it was integral to Mystara, but in the author's works it is a separate setting.
  • The Realm (From the Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon)

TSR OD&D Variant Settings

3rd Party Publishers
  • The Wilderlands: Bob Bledsaw's Campaign Setting was published byJudges Guild under a lisence from TSR. Dave Arneson originally acted as liason between TSR and JG.
  • Arduin: David A. Hargrave's fictional universe, originally self-published in 1977.

Other Notable Campaigns

-Havard


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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:03 pm

Does Ravenloft count as classic?
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Havard » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:19 pm

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:Does Ravenloft count as classic?


No. I use the term Classic D&D in the sense meaning "not AD&D/not 3E/4E". Ravenloft is certainly a classic adventure, but even the original adventure was published for AD&D AFAIK.

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:41 am

Greyhawk is technically a classic D&D setting, since it's nearly as old as Blackmoor, although the majority of its published material came out for AD&D. Still, things like Keep on the Borderlands and The Book of Wondrous Inventions had Greyhawk references.

Does Aelos count as a campaign setting, even though it's just a single module? Or Eloysia? Or Averoigne? Actually, Ravenloft might count as a classic D&D setting if we assume that Castle Amber was temporarily relocated to the Demiplane of Dread.
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby yellowdingo » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:05 am

They wont be alone...I've set aside my work on the Atlan Tep Gnomes of Bel Lend Monandry and begun work on a Gazetteer called the Dragon Realms.

http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.co ... aking.html
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby cab » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:21 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Does Aelos count as a campaign setting, even though it's just a single module? Or Eloysia? Or Averoigne? Actually, Ravenloft might count as a classic D&D setting if we assume that Castle Amber was temporarily relocated to the Demiplane of Dread.


I'd say that Aelos, Eloysia and other planes/existences concurrent with Mystara are part of the broader Mystara 'setting', while not being on the planet.

Castle Amber isn't in official sources linked to Blackmoor, but its a very, very common fan interpretation.

Greyhawk can certainly count for Classic.

More intriguing would be whether there is anything in Judges Guild material that should count as a 'classic' setting.

Dare I even ask about Tekumel?
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby maddog » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:33 pm

Havard,

What about Fannon settings? You could add "The Phoenix Barony" by David Bezio if Fannon is allowed your list. It's sooooo vanilla! :o :lol:

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:09 pm

cab wrote:I'd say that Aelos, Eloysia and other planes/existences concurrent with Mystara are part of the broader Mystara 'setting', while not being on the planet.


Makes sense. Along with Pateris, Spillworld, and the Star Kingdoms, and I suppose the Dimension of Nightmares, Thorne, Chasm, Entrem, Mirage, Limbo, Veydra, the Draconic Cluster, and so forth. Of all of these, I think Aelos has the fewest ties to Mystara proper. But then, there are parts of Mystara's own planet that have few ties to the published setting.

Castle Amber isn't in official sources linked to Blackmoor Ravenloft, but its a very, very common fan interpretation.


Tracy Hickman has said that Castle Amber was an inspiration for Ravenloft, though since the original module doesn't really have the castle in a demiplane separate from the primary campaign world (though it does have similar mists), Castle Amber is kind of more like the Ravenloft setting than I6 Ravenloft is. Still, I wouldn't overstate this. At most, the tiny Island of Terror that Castle Amber was (in theory) temporarily part of constitutes a "classic D&D setting," but the rest of the Demiplane of Dread doesn't.

More intriguing would be whether there is anything in Judges Guild material that should count as a 'classic' setting.


Probably.

Dare I even ask about Tekumel?


Good call. Although not labeled as Dungeons & Dragons, I'd count it.

There's also Barsoom, which in theory was the first published D&D campaign world by virtue of the combination of Warriors of Mars and the White Box.
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby rabindranath72 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:24 pm

The old Thieves' World boxed set by Chaosium has Classic D&D stats, so that probably counts as a "setting."
Also, White Dwarf published some Middle Earth modules with Classic D&D rules in mind.
Averoigne in X2 could also be seen as a small setting in itself (I have run two campaigns set therein with the info in X2 and the stories by CAS.)
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Havard » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:25 pm

cab wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:Does Aelos count as a campaign setting, even though it's just a single module? Or Eloysia? Or Averoigne? Actually, Ravenloft might count as a classic D&D setting if we assume that Castle Amber was temporarily relocated to the Demiplane of Dread.


I'd say that Aelos, Eloysia and other planes/existences concurrent with Mystara are part of the broader Mystara 'setting', while not being on the planet.


Agreed. Mystara is not confined to a single planet, but its entire multiverse is part of the Mystara setting. IMO, to be considered a subsetting requires more than a single module detailing the area.


Greyhawk can certainly count for Classic.


Greyhawk is problematic because Supplement I: Greyhawk contained no setting material.

More intriguing would be whether there is anything in Judges Guild material that should count as a 'classic' setting.


Yes. I do think we could include the Wilderlands here.

Dare I even ask about Tekumel?


That system was pretty much OD&D wasnt it? If so, yes.

Barsoom mentioned by Rip should also be included! :)

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:57 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Tracy Hickman has said that Castle Amber was an inspiration for Ravenloft,


I actually posed this question to Mr. Hickman at the Fraternity of Shadows' Cafe de Nuit several years ago, and he put that rumor to rest.

Tracy Hickman wrote:While I have a great admiration for Tom Moldvay and his work, I do not recall it inspiring Ravenloft. My wife and I took our inspiration from the original Brahm Stoker Dracula text and the old classic films. Our primary motivation was to create a game that set the vampire in its proper environment.

Tracy Hickman


I still like to think of the Land of Grey Mists as Ravenloft, myself, however. :)

though since the original module doesn't really have the castle in a demiplane separate from the primary campaign world (though it does have similar mists), Castle Amber is kind of more like the Ravenloft setting than I6 Ravenloft is. Still, I wouldn't overstate this. At most, the tiny Island of Terror that Castle Amber was (in theory) temporarily part of constitutes a "classic D&D setting," but the rest of the Demiplane of Dread doesn't.


I'd agree with this statement. I don't know that Ravenloft classifies as a Classic setting, at least outside of the scope of I6 and I10 (and, IIRC, the places introduced- such as Mordentshire- while later incorporated into the Demiplane of Dread setting , were- in this module- supposed to be outside of the demiplane itself on their own respective worlds.)
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:16 pm

Tracy Hickman wrote:While I have a great admiration for Tom Moldvay and his work, I do not recall it inspiring Ravenloft. My wife and I took our inspiration from the original Brahm Stoker Dracula text and the old classic films. Our primary motivation was to create a game that set the vampire in its proper environment.

Tracy Hickman


Interesting! And embarrassing. I wonder why I thought he'd acknowledged an influence? Besides the fact that both modules feature accursed castles surrounded by impassible mists, I mean.

Thanks for the clarification, anyway.
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:55 am

ripvanwormer wrote:Interesting! And embarrassing. I wonder why I thought he'd acknowledged an influence? Besides the fact that both modules feature accursed castles surrounded by impassible mists, I mean.


Don't be embarrassed. I'd thought the same thing for a long time, which was why when the opportunity presented itself, I thought I'd ask him. I'm almost positive I'd seen it mentioned in one or more places over the years on the internet, but never with any sourcing, so I was always curious. It definitely seemed a possibility.
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Darva » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:37 am

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Morfie » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:22 am

Havard wrote:No. I use the term Classic D&D in the sense meaning "not AD&D/not 3E/4E". Ravenloft is certainly a classic adventure, but even the original adventure was published for AD&D AFAIK.
-Havard


So 5E settings are included if there were any?

(Yes, I know I'm quoting from 2011 :twisted:)
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Havard » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:21 am

Morfie wrote:
Havard wrote:No. I use the term Classic D&D in the sense meaning "not AD&D/not 3E/4E". Ravenloft is certainly a classic adventure, but even the original adventure was published for AD&D AFAIK.
-Havard


So 5E settings are included if there were any?

(Yes, I know I'm quoting from 2011 :twisted:)


LOL :lol:

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby LimeOdyssey » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:58 am

If it could be found, Mr. Switzer's California campaign, which originated one of the two ur-Thief classes, should definitely be included.

There are a lot of Chivalry and Sorcery (not C&S itself) type early booklets that came out and disappeared in 1978-1980 or so and some of them definitely seemed intent on being what we would now call campaign settings. They were mostly fanzine type level.

EDIT TO ADD:

Arduin Dungeon became a whole campaign world in the end so is it worthy of inclusion?
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Havard » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:12 pm

I was struggling a bit with how to organize this list, but I have finally updated it with input from this thread as well as everything from the list of OD&D settings. I have typically not included gaming locations that are only featured in a single gaming product, usually considered part of the Mystara cosmology (Aelos, Ghyr, Eloysia, Earth (IM1) etc.

LimeOdyssey wrote:If it could be found, Mr. Switzer's California campaign, which originated one of the two ur-Thief classes, should definitely be included.


Is anything else known about this setting besides the Thief class? Is Mr Switzer still alive? If so, has anyone reached out to him?


There are a lot of Chivalry and Sorcery (not C&S itself) type early booklets that came out and disappeared in 1978-1980 or so and some of them definitely seemed intent on being what we would now call campaign settings. They were mostly fanzine type level.


I did not know this! What was this setting like?

Arduin Dungeon became a whole campaign world in the end so is it worthy of inclusion?


I included it among the Notable Campaigns, though I suppose it could also be listed as a 3PP Setting.

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Havard » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:59 pm

I am also wondering if I should add Greg Stafford's D&D Glorantha Campaign to the list...

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby LimeOdyssey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:59 am

I have never contacted Mr. Switzer, but surely some folks here would know of connections or know him directly? Or know players or something? He ran a shop too I remember someone saying that.

The C&S stuff I had which was D&D 'compatible" was OD&D stats for lead miniatures that people had produced. Like the C&S Saurians book but smaller. One of them had very odd and lumpy looking "ogres" which the accompanying text said were meant to be ogres defending a castle, with rules for using sandcastles - like at the beach sandcastles for the terrain. A recipe for losing miniatures I always thought. The other one was an adventure in a kingdom so technically it provided a campaign setting, but it was just four encounter tables. It seemed to be based on the old Thief of Baghdad film and the old Zorro films. It could have been a very cool campaign but as far as I know it never got fleshed out. Can't even remember the names of the town in the ogre one any more, or the name of the kingdom.

I used to collect vast quantities of these things but I threw them all away under pressure from my parents years ago. I think there is a guy in Queensland Australia who must have a gigantic repository of this stuff I will try and find his details. He could pretty much look on his shelves and start listing off stuff. He collects fanzine level stuff as well as normally published stuff so he would have an aladdins cave of the obscure dawn of RPG publications.
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby LimeOdyssey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:10 am

It might also be worth re-examining the original "shared" campaigns, where one setting was statted for several rules sets. Thieves World did this, some T&T stuff did this and there were adventures like The Keep that are oddities that did this too.

The other type of "shared" campaign where several DMs ran games explicitly using the same map and same "world" as with Black/Grey/Moor/Hawk probably means there is at least one more ur-campaign hiding in the Arnesonian archive. For example, there is the game / campaign that David C. Sutherland III ran and which he illustrated for himself. From the tiny mentions of it in recollections by visiting friends it seems it was definitely influenced by his SCA participation for example which would make it quite distinct.

I guess what I am saying is that there are a few very early campaigns lost in the noise. :)
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby LimeOdyssey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:24 am

Havard wrote:I am also wondering if I should add Greg Stafford's D&D Glorantha Campaign to the list...

-Havard


Definitely. There were detailed stats and conversion notes and people really did play it using D&D, way back once upon a time.

Is The Fantasy Trip too far away from the source to be counted? What about the implied world of All The World's Monsters? It included deities and all up quite a lot of details of whatever world it was "set in", assuming you used all the monsters and didn't pick and choose.

Not trying to be difficult, just excited and thinking about the subject. :)
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby Havard » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:44 am

LimeOdyssey wrote:I have never contacted Mr. Switzer, but surely some folks here would know of connections or know him directly? Or know players or something? He ran a shop too I remember someone saying that.


I am a little surprised that he has not shown up on any of the other old school community sites out there or at least reports of people who have reached out to him, but I haven't seen anything. Worth investigating for sure. :)

The C&S stuff I had which was D&D 'compatible" was OD&D stats for lead miniatures that people had produced. Like the C&S Saurians book but smaller. One of them had very odd and lumpy looking "ogres" which the accompanying text said were meant to be ogres defending a castle, with rules for using sandcastles - like at the beach sandcastles for the terrain. A recipe for losing miniatures I always thought. The other one was an adventure in a kingdom so technically it provided a campaign setting, but it was just four encounter tables. It seemed to be based on the old Thief of Baghdad film and the old Zorro films. It could have been a very cool campaign but as far as I know it never got fleshed out. Can't even remember the names of the town in the ogre one any more, or the name of the kingdom.


Very interesting! I agree that this should probably be included. I started a new thread to find out more here.

I used to collect vast quantities of these things but I threw them all away under pressure from my parents years ago. I think there is a guy in Queensland Australia who must have a gigantic repository of this stuff I will try and find his details. He could pretty much look on his shelves and start listing off stuff. He collects fanzine level stuff as well as normally published stuff so he would have an aladdins cave of the obscure dawn of RPG publications.


Let me know what you find out! :)
It pains me to think about gaming material that is being thrown away... ;(


LimeOdyssey wrote:It might also be worth re-examining the original "shared" campaigns, where one setting was statted for several rules sets. Thieves World did this, some T&T stuff did this and there were adventures like The Keep that are oddities that did this too.

The other type of "shared" campaign where several DMs ran games explicitly using the same map and same "world" as with Black/Grey/Moor/Hawk probably means there is at least one more ur-campaign hiding in the Arnesonian archive. For example, there is the game / campaign that David C. Sutherland III ran and which he illustrated for himself. From the tiny mentions of it in recollections by visiting friends it seems it was definitely influenced by his SCA participation for example which would make it quite distinct.

I guess what I am saying is that there are a few very early campaigns lost in the noise. :)


I know Dave Arneson said there were about 30 people running Blackmoor at a time. I have added two of these campaigns to the list. I don't know much about the C&C Society Campaigns, but they might be outside the scope of this thread. Maybe worth a separate thread?

Definitely. There were detailed stats and conversion notes and people really did play it using D&D, way back once upon a time.


New thread about Greg's D&D Campaign here.


Is The Fantasy Trip too far away from the source to be counted? What about the implied world of All The World's Monsters? It included deities and all up quite a lot of details of whatever world it was "set in", assuming you used all the monsters and didn't pick and choose.


New thread about The Fantasy Trip here.


Not trying to be difficult, just excited and thinking about the subject. :)[/quote]

Not at all! This is all great input. I have moved some of the topics into separate threads, but that is not a bad thing. It just means we have lots of things to talk about! :)

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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby LimeOdyssey » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:10 am

David Hargrave created "The Shining Land" setting as well as Arduin, and another one too which I can't remember at the moment. They were deliberate creations intended to be worlds, ie "settings" and at that point in time were using his AC 9 to 2 system, but he overtly told people how to convert it to OD&D in the front of his books so it really was a set of OD&D campaigns.

If his stuff is still being curated and published there should be more information out there about it and whatever evolution it's undergone. :)
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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Postby LimeOdyssey » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:23 am

Another setting- the "United Empire of America" / Fantasy Arts setting by Errol Otus. Featured in Booty and the Beasts and definitely provides enough detail to run a game within.

It has that early non-PC / borderline tasteless style of the early years - a lot of parasites, including the one from the film Alien aka the Neila beast. The United Empire of America has to contend with Galactic Dragons and a lot of the stuff. It's Gamma World 1e meets Blackmoor meets Arduin in some respects but reading it one can see it is a coherent science fantasy world, reminiscent of the Dying Earth original novels by Jack Vance.

It ends with the "Flag of the United Empire of America" which "symbolizes mankind's inalienable rights; the freedom of speech, press, religion, and enterprise as well as the right to conquer the weak."

That must have been quite the campaign back in 1978-1979. :)

The artwork in some cases is very beautiful and the technology in particular looks very enticing.

EDIT TO ADD

Otus' "Thresher" is very similar to a Hook Horror, be fascinating to see if that is due to cross pollination or just accident. :)

FINAL EDIT TO ADD

Based on internal evidence - prolific use of Jack Vance monsters, Coeurl, United Empire of America, technology - the Otus campaign is EARTH, several hundred or even over a thousand years in the future. It also includes alien races native to Venus, Neptune and other planets, starships, advanced (pre disaster Gamma World) level technology and many robots. This is a fully fleshed out future Earth, overwhelmed with magic at the same time that returning outer space humans are trying to reconquer it. Has some overtones of the technological universe vs local magical planet of Andre Norton's Witchworld, which is unsurprising given the 1978 to 1979 time frame. It also features many new spells provided in its companion volume the Necronomican note -cAn the spelling is used several times.

If we take the Dying Earth type dating it would make it far too far in the future, I suggest 500 or so years from 1978 as the starting date given the Buck Rogers style aliens from other planets in the Sol system.

But regardless - it's a fully fleshed out world one could run or play in.
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