12 RPGs for the 12th Month: Fantasy

Paul Mitchener came up with a new writing challenge on role-playing games called “12 RPGs for the 12th Month” (see the full list of questions here.)

Question 3: 4th to 5th December

You’re building a fantasy setting for the RPG of your choice. Which ingredients do you put in? Which “standard fantasy” elements would you choose to leave out?

Ah, a more familiar question.

If we assume that “standard fantasy” means D&D-derived, then I leave out the “races,” the Vancian magic, the primacy of combat over all other forms of action, and the dungeon-crawling-to kill-monsters-and-take-their-stuff premise. Also the pseudo-European flavour, faux-medieval setting, and chainmail bikini.

What I do put in: either nothing but humans, or a variety of species that are not the D&D standards; diversity and a lot of different cultural influences, with probably a minority of the denizens being white folk; a little magic goes a long way; problems solved through technical, social, and mental challenges, not only through combat; player characters rooted in time and place, not just wandering murder hobos; start small and local, grow to world-spanning stakes; the setting should be disorienting at first and turn some unspoken assumptions on their ear.

Credits: Swordsman, CC from Kaitlynn Peavler; Bridge, CC0 1.0 Universal, obtained from Pixabay.

One thought on “12 RPGs for the 12th Month: Fantasy

  1. One of the things that I always liked about the Earthdawn setting was that humans were a minority. Pretty much everyone was, but Dwarves actually made up the largest ethnic group in the setting.

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