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How weird is your homebrew world?

Reynard

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Simply out of curiosity: if you play in or have/do run D&D (any flavor) in a homebrew campaign setting, how weird is it relative to the sort of psuedo historical medieval world of the 2E days)? Weird is, of course, a broad term, and yeah plenty of 2E settings were weird -- Spelljammer, Planescape and Dark Sun are all non standard settings. But I use 2E as the "vanilla" baseline because it's core rules and art style were largely solidly in the post Tolkien high fantasy category that filled fiction bookshelves at the time.

Does your homebrew world embrace the weird fantasy that inspired much of earlier D&D? Is it Steampunk or some place Thundarr would feel at home? Is it rife with flying races or dimension hopping or lasers and robots? Are guns as common as swords or do the faerie races rule from inverted cloud castles?

How weird is your homebrew?
 

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
Validated User
I'm running a Spelljammer homebrew crystal sphere, and every world is significantly non-standard fantasy. The closest to standard is the starting world, which had no night cycle, always daylight. Which is where the human and halflings came from. A highly religious human centric pantheon paid special attention to this world and its inhabitants as such the entire world was extremely religious. And it was a fairly peaceful place with very few monsters. The world is very Renaissance level.

Dragons are wild space beings that don't bother inhabiting a world, but rather roam through space, eating rare mineral materials and treasures which are stored in a pocket dimension that gives the dragon power. The more treasure that's in its hoard dimension the more powerful the dragon becomes.

Every other world is quite different as well.

There is a stationary inverted cold mountain of the dwarves and their elemental creations, including genasi, goliaths, and warforged.

A warm living world where fey and beast themed creatures thrive: elves, orcs, minotaur, tabaxi. Tribal clans who war with one another for favor of the world spirit, who is only interested in the circle of life. Inspired heavily by Thundarr asthetics. Lots of badlands, deserts, and jungles.

A water world full of all sorts of xenophobic water creatures who worship insane Mythos monsters, mercilessly live survival of the fittest lives.

And a band of asteroids that act as the Spelljammer hub of this sphere. Once the homeworld of the gnomes, it was destroyed due to gnome fuckery.
 

ThurstonShadwick

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My primary is pretty tame. In my latest, PCs are gods, they’ll decide the genre conventions and stuff, I imagine it will be on par with Cephiro from Rayearth.
 

ESkemp

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Kinda depends. If I'm running a Slavic-inspired fantasy setting, I'm not going to graft on sci-fi elements just to surprise the PCs. If the point of the game is Arabian-inspired fantasy, the odds are very low that there'll be a trip to the moon to stop a Lovecraftian cult from waking an Old One. I mostly want worlds to be accessible to players without them having to study any homework, so I don't pursue weird for the sake of explicit weirdness even when we're ditching the Tolkien-meets-Arthuriana European fantasy model. So usually it's a tight theme, and as fantastic as I can reasonably go within that theme -- clockwork cities and matchmaking parties for desert giants and arranged marriages to charming serpent princes are all go, for instance.

Of course, when I asked each player to contribute a major setting element for me to build a campaign around, I wound up with a setting you could describe as "clockpunk gnosticism dungeon-guilds," so it depends. Players seem to have an easier time tracking the more random bits of weirdness if they're the ones suggesting them in the first place.
 

Scrabbit

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I'm currently running two settings: One of them is a post-apocalyptic version of a standard fantasy setting that has been ravaged by vampires. It has some steampunk and dieselpunk elements but it's really just Soul Reaver with more races. Lots of strange ancient machines litter the ruins and the world has an overall very melancholy tone with the last remnants of civilisation huddled up in a single dying city struggling to survive. Magic is starting to run rampant and players often come across bizzare phenomena like melting grass, blood pools curdling into aberrations and silent gates hanging in the air. I run a sort of West Marches-ish game in this setting.

The other is an obscenely high magic setting where the magic is used to mimic sci-fi levels of tech. The most common forms of transportation are flying carriages and teleportation circles, everyone has a "telestone" that can be used for long range communication, crystal spheres cast illusions as audiovisual entertainment, toilets are portals to remote parts of the elemental plane of fire, etc. There was one memorable session where the players rescued an aboleth from Seaworld and one character's best friend is a beholder who works in a library. It's kind of completely gonzo; half-comedic, half-OTT anime nonesense. I ran a high stakes story campaign in this setting and am running a low stakes sandbox.
 

That Other Guy

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My world is an anachronistic nightmare, where medieval style knights go to vending machines, where goblin punks race around on fixed gear bikes to rob folks, and where dragons attack trains laden with gold
 

NobodyImportant

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Validated User
I’ve made a whole bunch of settings over the years, but there was one specifically designed to emulate weird fantasy. Here’s some of the more unique details:

Elves do not age, sleep weird, and are difficult to charm. Obviously, they are actually robots.

Goblins are a strange, pumpkin-like gourd that springs to murderous life when ripe.

Orcs are artificial beings brewed up in cauldrons by witches, animated by evil spirits.

Giants are a strange sort of warlock, who receive physical might instead of magical.

Ogres are the descendants of halflings who, in the midst of a famine, captured and ate their own God.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
I don't have anything written down yet, but I've got a developing head-canon.

The main thing is that I'm not sure I want to include humans or human-adjacent (i.e. elves, halflings, etc) beings. Maybe as the "magical race that comes from another plane/dimenson" in a sort of fey-like role. Everyone else will likely have animal/beastly or even-more-non-human appearance, probably including non-humanoid bodies in some fashion. Closer to what would happen if you made a fantasy world around Pokemon (the creatures, not the game premise).

Pursuant to that the gods are all beastly (though probably sapient). Also maybe their Titanomachy was against humanoid gods; might even explain why there aren't any near-humans any more.

Sapient griffins are important, and might even be the primary spellcasters of the setting.

There might have been a time I would have thought this idea "weird".....but, honestly, compared to many other settings in both RPGs and fiction it's probably (comparatively) quite mundane.
 

Serf2Sovereign

New member
The waters are infested with grey ooze, trees are either awakened or melted to black pudding, and rust monsters infest most armories and metal mines. Lots of bone weapons and 5e druid armor to start!
 

Doctor-Boom

mad scientist
Validated User
World is loosely based on 600-800AD western Europe. Technology and culture wise at least. Very low magic, kindoff...
The Sidhes (Fey from the scary fairy tales) all but wiped out humanity 500 years agoo. The war wasn't easy and they lost a lot of their leader. Nowadays they rule the world, but stay in their forest courts, the kingdoms of the races that repopulated the human lands being their vasals.
So there is some ancient powerful magic (from the old human witch kings), but current kingdoms count themselves lucky if they have any wizard L13 in them. (Not helped by the fact most cant read).
Elves are a race of servant created by the sidhes, hobgoblins are descendant of other fairies that the sidhes stripped of their immortality and are the most numerous race...
 
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