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Re: Classic D&D Settings

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:04 pm
by LimeOdyssey

Gary Switzer has, it seems, unfortunately passed away. His shop is still going strong.

In the process of chasing fanzines I rediscovered Eclare Hannifen, aka Hilda Hannifen. She contributed a lot to the West Coast scene and took the original Minnesota RPG there at exactly the time that D&D was starting to set like concrete and beginning to try and claim an IP out of everybody's contributions.

This link should go to a word file which has a ton of information on the west coast, including other DMs who would also have been running their own campaigns, ie running games set on the same map. ... e_gold.doc

One thing we should remember is how much the OD&D first games were based on a map and/or miniatures. It determined a lot of what we would now call a campaign setting in terms of its details.

Interesting mention of all the less ironbound ways to randomize outcomes too in that document. Also intriguing is the statement that the first west coast RPG was actually "Dynasty"!

Re: Classic D&D Settings

Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:36 am
by LimeOdyssey
Looking at the origin of All The World's Monsters, and the future alumni who contributed, it's definitely its own shared campaign setting. APA-L contributors all played sessions with different members running the game in different dungeons or aboveground settings, map used unknown or original in most cases, but originally using the same overland maps from Minnesota.

That makes ATWM D&D a shared campaign setting with a staggering number of monsters including the equivalent of the 2e spectrum of silly to godlevel to variant to elemental mixture, and a strong predisposition towards lots of dungeons / very few cities / lots of little villages or towns / huge deserts with ruins.

There are constant references to Earth, specifically a future Earth inspired by then current science fiction and the classic pulps, and a renaissance type Earth which would be the default setting. The future Earth stuff seems to be 100% aliens so those aliens would be present back in the 1300s - 1500s type basic setting.

Also there are loads of references to a sort of common background of a city with lots of noncombatant specialists such as craftsmen, animal trainers and smiths.

I suggest therefore that APA-L spawned at least one and probably three settings - a default Earth-SCA, a Dune type alien world (there are lots of desert monsters, a preponderance of them) and a more Tolkien themed world that seems to entirely lack the interpolative creatures and also seems to have been more skirmish level wargame based rather than story telling. But remember - this is a group of first generation roleplayers who were already well versed in ROLE playing more than ROLL playing.