Describe some of your obscure settings to me /tg/, possibly with intent to turn them into rpg settings. I'll begin with one from my childhood, the world of the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.
>set in 90's-early 00's Britain
>wizards are an oligarchy and make up pretty much all of the government
>wizards themselves only have basic powers and rely on much more powerful demon slaves to do their dirty work
>it has been this way for more or less all of human history, and many of the ancient civilizations were much more competent than Britain is now
>most magic is focused on learning to summon shit without getting yourself killed
>any magic that can counter demons (ex. a golem in the second book) just fucks their shit up and they only survive
>there's an in-built biological timer within non-magically trained people. When wizards in a society become too powerful, people start being born with magic resistance so that they can overthrow the wizards and start again.
I fucking loved those books and that setting.
Blows my mind this series isn't bigger than it is.
don't forget the part where technology is sort of vaguely 90's-20th yet in terms of actual history it's the 18th century, with the american civil war being waged with modern cars, djinn and magic
And it's not about wizards being too powerful, it's about wizards overtly exercising magic over enough generations to allow the common folk to develop resistance. Basicly "large lump of sorcerors close to one another" = magic radiation gives all kinds of people immunity or minor magic abilities
Tell me anon, what did you think about the ending originally when you read it?
>in terms of actual history it's the 18th century
What? Where was this said? You're turning my world upside down right now anon.
>what did you think about the ending originally when you read it?
How do you mean? Like, what did I think was going to happen afterward? Democracy, I guess.
The death of the main character. And the death left a sour taste, especially since Kitty seemed like a main character. I've appreciated it more upon rereads in later years.
>vague 90's-00's tech
>Gladstone went on to invade europe and butcher the Holy Roman Empire
>it's been a century or two since, yet in terms of politicals the worldmap looks like a mix of Victorias england and the 18th century
>colonies in india and america are rebellious, the latter sparks into revolution in the second or third book
>England thrown out of america in the end/peace is signed
>HRE/czechs is smarting for revenge and trying to get back at England
>constant references to new byzantine mosaics and shit being made
Maybe 18th century isn't the right word but it's something like modern times and a mix of different historical eras/countries. Really cool, has a tremendous amount of potential for a setting.
No but seriously though, it didn't make me feel too terrible. It was a suitable end to both the trilogy and Nat's arc. I hated kitty as a kid just because she didn't do magic, and the third book fixed that for me immensely.
Yo I've always wanted to build a system around this.
>>each player builds one summoner and x-1 "demons," with a total power point total so that if you're a Marid for one player, you'll be imps for the others
>switches between perspectives and doing political stuff
I remember reading those as a kid and finding them neat but not super well-written (it was funny, but I remember thinking it was dragging at some points). Is it worth trying to dig up a copy as an adult and reading it?
>I dont want to start another thread
Not even on /lit/?
But those categories are so broad it's not easy to offer anything. Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity and The Black Company are equally valid.
Why would they link you here? This is supposed to be a setting thread.
Also, /lit/ would eventually give you some good books after a litany of shitposting. They're like a pseudo-intellectual tsundere collective.
Shit man, they even made a chart. They don't hate scifi that much
On topic, Edge Chronicles was something I only heard about second-hand (too old to read it) but it sounds ripe for a good /tg/.
Big flying ships powered by hovering rocks controlled through heat, IIRC people had individual craft that they used lances from, and a whole forest full of monsters with awesome line art drawings. Why aren't we playing this?
>Sky constantly covered by volcanic ash
>Huge red sun
>Magic comes from wearing or consuming metals or having metal spikes hammered into your body
>At night a mysterious mist blankets the world
>The society in the basic version of the setting draws parallels to slave-owning America
It's also the best fantasy series ever.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but how can "Dune" be considered "modern" sci-fi when it was written in 1965? Has sci-fi really stagnated so much that a 51-year-old book that predates Star Trek and Star Wars both is still considered to be part of "modern" sci-fi?
I would think that the proliferation of Star Trek and Star Trek ripoffs/homages in the 90s and early 2000s would have required a new era.
Also, already an RPG; there's actually a local uni that had that replace D&D for the weekly gaming club for a couple of semesters.
The game is not great
Dune was after the Golden Age; the initial "boom" and conception of scifi as we know it today.
But that said, scifi books from the 60s to 70s(perhaps the case can be made for 80s too, even) are different from what has been published in the past 2 or so decades.
It's all about Trek and Wars, I think, particularly Trek's revival in the 80s that came along with Wars getting started in the late 70s and massively picking up steam in the 80s. You can love Trek/Wars or hate Trek/Wars but you cannot deny the impact the two had on the Sci-Fi genre in either case.
They're different from what came before in that Trek and Wars tend to present nonhumans not as monsters or weird other things beyond our ken, which most previous Sci-Fi books did, but rather as basically just weird looking people with understandable and entirely mortal motivations.
Not to mention the sheer optimism in Trek and Wars that was lacking from previous works. Sci-Fi was getting pretty dark as a genre before Roddenberry came along and said, "hey, what if in the future, we're NOT dicks to each other? No strings attached?"
Yeah, and I'm not a fan of the 21st century sci-fi either. It's all so bleak, and grimy, and overtly about a message or allegory. The sense of wonder has all leaked out.
Not that old sci-fi wasn't blatantly allegorical or aesopy all the time, but it at least bothered to tell a good story as well.
>best YA protagonists
>best hamfisted social commentary
>best "I guess you'll have to wait until the next book"
>best DMPC in a novel (didn't even know this was possible until that fucking bard showed up
>best "oh shit I need to write a thousand pages in six months"
>best pointless storylines within the context of an individual novel
>best use of an idea stolen from the 3.5 dungeon masters guide
Lately I've read "Ready Player One", a cyberpunkish story about a poor kid who wants to win a huge prize left by a fa/tg/uy to the person that solves his riddles and masters old school games.
It wasn't really all that good, and it was written for teenagers but I've had fun reading this.
Also, Philosophical Strangler and its follow-up Forward the Mage. Really fun fantasy books that read kind of like a brainchild of Pratchett and Piers Anthony.
You're gonna all shit on me for saying this, but...
The Rise of the Federation books by Christopher L. Bennet. They're a series of Star Trek books set after the Earth-Romulan War, as the Federation has just been formed, and are basically all about the Federation trying to figure out what it is, what it's supposed to be, its goals, and so on. Is it an economic alliance? A military one? How much expansion is good? When can they intervene and when should they stay out? What kind of ships should they be building? What's their stance towards the enemies and their allies? How much say do individual planets have in the Federation? And so on.
They are legitimately some of the best sci-fi I've ever read. Chris Bennet just *gets* Star Trek and *gets* Sci-Fi. His talents are probably wasted in the setting, but as long as he's writing there I'm gonna keep reading it.
For the record he also wrote the single best Star Trek: Titan book, "Orion's Hounds", which was basically a "save the whales" story...where the whalers are shown to be just as right and good as the whales.
>Best teen romance
>Best subversion of the edgelord damaged love interest
>Best portrayal of religion
>Best justification for jumping around with giant swords like an anime without losing its own tone
>Best underwear duel
Ready Player One was, in my honest opinion, the worst published novel I've ever heard people say was really good.
It felt like I was reading fanfiction, basically. The same kind of "this is written to be super gratifying to a small, specific group of people with common interests who will enjoy it so much they overlook all the massive, glaring flaws."
That and Hungry Cities.
I'll run a campaign like this someday
I don't think it was particularly obscure, but it was a good series. It mixed in some of the more traditional aspects of magic with some of the flashy stuff we're used to, like the seventh son of a seventh son sorts of things. And it could go between pretty funny and fairly serious.
Well, I'm not saying it was good, I've just had fun reading through it. Though I admit that I usually treat reading books as time off for my brain.
The title of worst published thing I've heard anybody say was good would go to what translates into "Son of Gondor" - a literal fanfiction that somehow got published. It tried to tell what would happen in LotR if Boromir survived.
Not much changed actually, so the author filled this few-hundred-pages-long slog with descriptions of Boromir sulking and
hugs. I shit you not.
Well, have you ever played it?
Here's a series I actually only own a reference book to thanks to an eager relative's purchase.
Some of you turbonerds might draw inspiration from it as a whole.
A little more subtle than most fantasy, but I dig it.
Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series desperately needs an RPG.
I think I read some of those books as a kid. One of my favorite moments was when everyone was thinking one egg just wasn't going to hatch, and a kid just runs up to it and starts ripping away the eggshell to get the dragon out, and proudly yells that the dragon says his name is Ruth or something.
>Well, have you ever played it?
To be fair, the vast majority of stuff doesn't get licenses these days. It's not the 90's anymore, the corps actually care about brand continuity and whatnot. Even Harry Potter doesn't have a real game. It's just a freeforall of homebrew and GURPS.
This is one of the few book settings that I seriously considered making RPG rules for.
Yeah,you could go find a generic system, and then spend the hours to customize it to fit the specifics of the setting. Or find another game and bastardize it.
My point is that you don't see people playing obscure settings as much anymore because it's an assload of work to make them functional in an RPG, and we no longer have a cottage industry that cranks out one for every niche product. Way easier to play any of the thousands of free games out there.
>Not playing a group of trogs moving through the deepwoods
>No band of waif thieves in anchor town
>Not saving the edge by defeating the gloamgozer or the blood red glister once they escape Santaphrax.
These are the hardest feels.
Ah, Anne McCaffrey. Where would we be without you and the entire group of female writers with weird fetishes of your age?
I try to honor as many of them as I can by adding characters named Caffrey, Lackey etc. whenever it's appropriate.
Vanishing Point is basically this, minus the main character kid and with a lot more pseudo-psychology and wanking of the Victorian era. Damn fun game, and the best rationale for a dice mechanic I've ever heard.
It uses d8s because d12s are too random, d6s are not random enough, and the designer couldn't in good conscience use d10s because they are not Platonic solids.
Not disagreeing with the thread in general, just the guy who was saying that Artemis Fowl is obscure because people haven't played it. Harry Potter is not obscure at all, but I don't know anyone who has actually played it with any of the fan games because they're shit and it's too much effort to make one on your own.
>World with complex history and politics
>land split into seven kingdoms on the brink of war and a pseudo-religous and corrupt college of magic.
>Complex system for magic with 7/8 different types of magic, each with their own use, properties and function, based on light.
>Interesting society where the consequences of profuse magic use in a largely high medieval world is adequately demonstrated.
>Main character nearly:
>Exploded in a gory version of violet beauregarde
>Eaten by tribbles
>Cooked alive by a giant
>Melted by acid
>Digested alive by a tree
>Tore apart by ogres
>Drowned in mud
They really didn't hold back.
> Mercedes Lackey
Take your pick. There were catgirls, there were battlefield-prostitues, bisexual bird-worshipping beautiful people, mindrape etc. And that's just one or two books.
> Anne McCaffrey
Empathic sex, AI-but-not-really-more-like-brains-in-jars uploading into bodies made explicitly for sex etc, drug addicts played for sex, incest, etc.
I may be mistaking the author of the book containing the latter two, I admit. Still, even if I do that's just two of her books, there's more in others.
I'm not saying it's bad, far from it. I actually liked how in most settings of that time sex... simply was there rather than being a plot device or keystone of some wonderful love. It's just that McCaffrey's, Lackey's, Andre-Norton's and McMaster Bujold 's books gave me so many ideas and so many boners when I was younger that it's hard for me not to consider all those ladies cheerfuly perverted.
And that's good.
>Mire; literally a white swamp with little to no drinkable water or edible food, most of which is actually quicksand
>Twilight Woods; forest where you will slowly lose your memories, sense of self, and everything that makes you a person. Also, you can never feel the sweet embrace of death to free you from that torment
>Deepwoods; full of tribal fuckwits that will happily take you as a slave and/or dinner
>Undertown; full of smog and gangs of assholes who will just as likely mug you as kill you for fun
>Sanctaphrax; Hoighty toighty weather scholars who will happily give you the death penalty for doing anything they don't like
>Edgelands; Gloamgozer, which is basically a Grue, but without the whole "Needs to be in the dark" thing
There is basically nowhere that doesn't have horrible ways to die except for that place in the very heart of the deepwoods, and that's only safe as long as the superstorm isn't coming along.
And there's even a built in goal which can be used to jump start PCs on whatever adventure they're going on.
A big storm just passed over and there's probably stormphrax somewhere along its path. Get your airship, grab the 'phrax, and get the biggest payday you'll ever see. Or get killed horribly. Or end up in a situation where you'll wish you could die.
I'm not the guy you're responding to, and I've only read a little of either's works, but offhand, both of them pander to a specific, kind of hard to describe 'comfy zone'/fetish: The perfect pet.
A lot of women have a thing with their animals. Horses and Cats specifically. It's likely got something to do with how women socialize versus men, or something else, but if you look at it, there's far more "girl with horse/cat" stories than "guy with dog" ones.
And in both series, not only does the character (male or female) have this perfect animal companion, it's also intelligent, and has a psychic link with its owner, serving in many ways as a perfectly supportive spouse/partner.
It's a way to have your character be in an emotionally supportive and intimately involved relationship, without abandoning potential romance plots. It also serves as an example of the kind of 'dream relationship' many women seek: the companion is typically either more physically powerful (dragons, horses), or more independent than the character (cats, dragons), tends to be troublesome to interact with unless the main character is there or overreacts if the main character is forcibly removed/incapacitated, tends to make secret psychic link jokes about people the MC feels deserves them, and pushes the MC to embrace their strengths, or move beyond their comfort zones. If their roles were held by attractive members of the opposite sex and same species, it'd be overly obvious "THIS IS WHAT WE WANT IN MEN." Making it an animal companion makes it 'safe'.
Ah, you were dealing in more specific matters. Well, I stand by my point.
He's got alot better, obviously learning from the mistakes of the first series. The two main character even have actually quite interesting development arcs; one grows up fast and gets over his crippling self-esteem issues, and the other experiences a mid-life crisis as he declines after his prime.
Plus his world building for the lightbringer series is pretty good (A or B rank subjectively) ,which is what is more important for a RPG.
Oh, you mean like CRY OF THE ICEMARK?!
Fuck you, Fox. You always kill my dreams.
Don't think I've ever read anything of hers, It's not surprising - I was living off my aunt's bookshelf, internet wasn't really a thing and anyways I couldn't really read in English back then so only translated stuff was game.
Thanks for the tip, though. I was feeling like reading some old-schoolish fantasy.
For anyone who is into bombastic young adventurers taking on dungeons and related bosses in YA fantasy fiction format, may I present Deltora Quest.
It's been turned into an animu, but the books, as usual, are so much better.
On the one hand I crave /ss/ like nothing else, but on the other hand I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that both her and her husband were honest to god kid raping pedophiles.
I'm currently running a game on The Spirit of Eternity Sword setting... or something like it, anyway, since I'm making tweaks and other bigger changes here and there. I farted around trying to find a proper system to make it work, but in the end just decided to do it freeform and focus more on choices than mechanics.
The part of the setting I'm using deals with a fantasy world that seems some 100-200 years behind technologically, but possesses a form of magitech called Ether Technology. Ether is the product of converting a form of energy that exists in the environment called mana, and due to the incredible usefulness of ether (think more utility than electricity, but wireless and denser than hydrocarbon fuels, with no pollution), conflicts between nations are mostly motivated by the desire to expand their mana reserves.
In this world, where conventional resources have been exhausted after a long period of warfare in the not too distant past, war boils down to combat between Spirits. Spirits are human-like beings, beautiful girls found at a young age near habitable areas, whose bodies are composed of solidified ether, and wield emphatic weapons known as Eternity Swords which possess unrivaled control over mana. Spirits are raised to serve humans, and exist only as tools of war - among the general populace, they're feared and hated. They aren't considered 'people'.
Twice in the past, warriors from another world possessing the ability to wield Eternity Swords have appeared. Called Etrangers, legends say their power far surpasses those of spirits, and their coming has heralded periods of great conflict and change. The story begins as two such 'visitors' are found in the northern kingdom of Rakios.
Considering he felt the need to add the most stupidly bodice ripper toned love triangle I've ever seen into the second half of Words of Radiance, I'm inclined to disbelieve his anything romance is best. Unless it was purposefully melodramatic for laughs.
>Best teen romance
>Best subversion of the edgelord damaged love interest
It's pretty good
>Best portrayal of religion
Surprisingly decent coming from a mormon
>Best justification for jumping around with giant swords like an anime without losing its own tone
>Best underwear duel
I don't remember this bit
The really solid plot twists are the only thing mistborn really does right on its own. Alloy of law, on the other hand, is genuinely good, and stormlight archives are pretty good so far.
>He's got alot better, obviously learning from the mistakes of the first series. The two main character even have actually quite interesting development arcs; one grows up fast and gets over his crippling self-esteem issues, and the other experiences a mid-life crisis as he declines after his prime.
But wasn't that the Night's Angels main characters? A self-conscious kid who wants to be an awesome assassin to compromise, and the best assassin evar getting old?
I loved Bart's little footnotes and the lore behind it being demons have multiple consciousnesses and can think about multiple things at once perfectly fine or read 5 different books at once
yeah it has a serious moment or two but its basically a children's book that was too long so it became YA I guess? I kinda like it though but I haven't read it in a few years
Did he bang his sister?
Those books were hilarious.
The transition between the Harry Potter-like prose and the snarky asshole first-person of Bart is just awesome.
>"Cats can naturally see in two dimensions more then humans. I can do seven, which honestly is more then enough for anybody. Anyone who can do more is just showing off."
Not quite, Kip is a fat kid with massive self esteem issues who thinks he'll never amount to anything but slowly finds out about his own strengths. Gavin is a guy who still has so much he wants to achieve but is finding that its all slipping beyond his control.
Azoth thought that being an assassin would solve all his problems then found he had too much heart (and acted in the most angsty way possible).
Durzo was bored with life and didn't have a purpose anymore.
Theres a fuckton of those books too and they had to go to random events and side characters once they solved the plot
Very weird fetishes I agree though most female authors seem to want a Young Girl x Older Man thing going on
I probably fucked up the numbers, I was thinking 3 dimensions -> 3 planes that humans can see but it may have been that humans can only see one. It's been years since I read the book, I just remembered that bit and thought it was funny
Great series. Maybe my favorite interpretation of demon summoning.
I massively enjoyed Ready Player One but by the end it felt almost masturbatory, I don't think it would hold up to a second reading.
Came here to post this, they work so well on so many levels. It's a world that really seems like it has the capacity to hold a vast amount and variety of adventure.
I really want to run a game set in Olathe (a post-apocalyptic, male-only America from LISA: the Painful) but I don't really have enough friends into the stuff to do that. Possibly something set in parts of Olathe the game hasn't covered, but following a similar dirty, fresh outta nuclear apocalypse, testosterone overdose feel
Is that Fallout TTRPG system (Exodus) workable? I thought it could work pretty well for this
WHy are names changed when books are imported to America?
Northern Lights becomes the Golden Compass. Philosopher's Stone becomes the Sorcerer's Stone. Mortal Engines becomes Hungry Cities. It's weird as fuck
Uk cover art is sik m8, still have all three in this style.
I really liked this series, it had a very distinctive feeling to the world.
Also I've always felt like the world and lore were perfectly suited to being translated into some sort of game system, to the point where I almost feel like the author was working from some sort of home brew.
You're in the club and this guy slaps your girls ass. What do?
Because a kid's not gonna know what "mortal engines" or "the philosopher's stone" is, but hungry and sorcerer?
You got me on the northern lights one. I guess they wanted to bring it more in line with the sequels being named for physical objects
>you will never get to see not!Roman pike-and-shot formations advance on Viking shieldwalls backed by giant tigers and druids while steampunk zeppelins do battle with hoards of vampires and a weather witch in the skies above.
Why. Even. Live.
No mention of Leviathan?
>World War I.
>Central Powers use Dieselpunk technology.
>Dieselpunk mechs are common, lightning guns, etc.
>Entente Powers use Biopunk technology.
>They create hybrids of creatures, and creating new species isn't out of the picture.
>The British use air whales as zepplins, Russians use giant bears, etc.
Mostly due to cultural differences, and the idea of appealing to a new market.
For instance, America was founded after the decline of alchemy as a 'science'. Therefore, we have less cultural references to it, even in simple things, like we're less likely to use the word "panacea". As such, while a Philosopher's Stone is a direct alchemical object with the same properties in the Harry Potter universe that it was meant to hold in the actual universe, the name wouldn't evoke the same image to most Americans, who see Philosophy as a matter of ethical/metaphysical discussion. As such, Sorceror's Stone keeps the concept of "Valuable magical artifact" while containing alliteration.
I'm certain if you went through, you could find a similar thought process in the other changes.
For instance, I don't know the Mortal Engines series, but seeing how its name was changed, I assume it refers to vast machines that devour lives for their power?
In America, the idea of a "mortal engine" would more readily draw up 'an engine that has a finite lifespan, and will expire' than 'an engine that devours life.'"
Having now looked up the series, I see it actually was meant to draw on the 'will someday die' principle. Huh. I guess it's because the idea of basing a title on a Shakespearean quote doesn't resonate as well over here. Hell, I'm a Theatre professional, having directed and worked in over 6 different shows, and I'd never heard the line before.
Looking up the Golden Compass, it's because of a communication error between Pullman and American publishers. The SERIES was going to be called "The Golden Compass Says" instead of "His Dark Materials", and the company made up a cover using that as the title, and didn't want to change it.
Because the American general audience is retarded. Not that the general audience is much better in other places.
American companies just seem significantly more concerned with making titles more "approachable", which means dumbing it down to make more dosh.
People were probably put off by all the diplomacy. Admittedly, it was a little bit of a drag to pick up the second (or third, for that matter) book and discover that you're going to read through a hundred pages of coalition-building again.
Plus what's-her-face who made herself into a demon was honestly really annoying, and not even in the "I'm so glad she finally got sucked into hell" way. More like "I wish she had her own spinoff series so all of her bits would be in a different book that I don't have to read."
Fuck, it's been years since I've read them, though. I think I might have to go dig them up now.
The author of this book has no fucking idea about how much time something like a million years actually is. Sure, evolution is gradual enough to be measured in such magnitudes, but talking about planetary monocivilizations that last TENS OF MILLIONS of years is fucking retarded.
Also, a human skull sure as shit isn't going to last a billion fucking years.
I listened to the audiobook of this a long tme ago and have been trying to remember what it was called. Thank you /tg/ for helping me remember this wonderful book.
>Some demons like Farqual would have you believe that they served every noted master of magic and were present for every great event of history; the contruction of the Pyramids, the foundation andfall of Rome, and so on. This, as I once remarked to Solomon, was clearly idle boasting.
Let me join the list of people who read it.
If you want really obscure books with settings I present you "Daniel Black"
It's written by a fanfciont writer and is about a guy who ends in a fantasy world and start making his own harem.
It features a gingerbread sexy witch, Loki allied with Gaia bringing ragnarok, Neandertals riding DInos and stuff.