Heh. Somehow I knew it would come to this. After going over my collection of pdfs and books, I realize that I have no other individual game I can write about that isn’t a D&D Campaign Setting or Exalted.
Because of that, I’m looking at perhaps one of the most common routes in running Fantasy RPGs: putting together a homebrew setting. Not that I’m saying that it’s absent in Sci-Fi games (psst, check out Zakharov’s Lost to the Stars) but I hear of it more from Fantasy campaigns.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Homebrew. In many ways, a Homebrew Campaign allows for several advantages:
- It’s Flexible – There’s no “Canon” so technically there’s nothing to break, and players have no other sources to quote to point out that you’re “doing it wrong.”
- It’s Scalable – The campaign setting is only as big as it has to be. No need to go past a certain boundary save for maybe a hint of more over there. The GM gets to focus on the important, immediate details.
- It’s rife with Plagiarism – Stealing from other sources is a time honored Homebrew staple. If you like a certain idea from some other source? Take it and incorporate it into your setting.
- It’s something you can share – Some groups exercise a group creation exercise, where GM and players throw in their favorite ideas into a setting and mix it up into something that people are happy to play in since they had a role in it’s creation.
Homebrew settings are also rewarding from a writer / craftsman’s perspective. A lot of GMs derive a certain satisfaction in coming up with their own setting, and many of them take the next step and try to marry it with a homebrew system or an existing ruleset like Savage Worlds or the other systems that are open to licensing.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having my own homebrew project. It’s still a ways off, but I’m happy with it, and I might drop a few tidbits of the setting now and then on the blog to see what people think.