I'm going to discuss Warcraft here, because I'm qualifying it as my "favorite" setting in it has the potential to be really awesome and have a lot of stuff I like if someone would just take an axe to it. Middle-earth and the Star Wars galaxy don't really need tweaking, but I also wouldn't really want to be in/run a game based off them because reasons.
So to tweak Azeroth
>Keep Titan lore, but make them more mysterious and much more "always felt, never seen" >Replace regular Horde with Iron Horde >Make Iron Horde an actual threat; make the reasons they don't simply steamroll everything be something other than "oh well they're also treehugging noble savages and anyone who hates them is a mendacious racist" >In fact, in Warcraft anyone who calls out Orcs for demanding a home in a world they failed to invade is villainized as a racist. Drop that. I don't need to think Orcs are good guys to think they're cool. >Remove interdimensional/interplanetary/time travel >create villains with backstories other than "Sadness made me evil" >Draenei are cool, but out of place. remove them >make religions more mystical and inscrutable; axe the "every religion is right" shtick >Downplay role of dragons. Give them more complex personalities beyond "3 good, 1 crazy, 1 evil" >There doesn't always have to be a Lich King >Downplay role of Old Gods. >The world is not one half red and one half blue. There are numerous "neutral" areas for players to visit. >As a rule I dislike player race Elves, but since they're A) much more tolerable in this game than in most, and B) they're such a main part of the experience I'd have to say I'd keep them. >Remove pandas
Basically if you tone down the extreme elements and remove the "Orcs are the REAL heroes!" stuff, the Warcraft universe would make a really great RPG world.
Even in the beginning, it was a clusterfuck of cultural references and stuff from different settings all mashed into a space fantasy setting. It's not well made at all, whether you think it's good or bad, and it's certainly not mature. It rarely asks any hard questions, and tends to shy away from difficult subjects. You can barely hint at sexual relations anymore.
Orks are one of the many enemies of the 40k universe, and they are a pretty damn good one. Not just humanity and space marines but spikey, not metal skeletons, not space bugs.
>>44628822 Tau is allright. They aren't yet another "usntoppable force" or "declining civilization" or "ancient something something returning to activity". They show that the Galaxy is being eroded by the powers working against each other inside of it. Evolution didn't stop dead in it's tracks
>>44627279 >Shadowrun Harlequin and Frosty are long dead, and not missed. CFD, Dragon Civil War and other shitty Metaplot never happened. ESPECIALLY the new Matrix Protocols and the resurgence of decks. More focus is given outside of America, and the AAA corporations.
>>44630043 >>44631482 I liked the concept of Decks back when they were an item from the 50's and 60's. Back when they were massive fucking keytars which you had to plug your brain in to, and used VR or an actual screen.
Back when they were appropriate.
5e Decks are not fucking decks. They make a half-assed effort at putting the old screens and keyboards on, but in all honesty that stuff is worthless with the advent of Augmented Reality and AR Gloves. What's the point of a keyboard when you can tap on thin air, or think your commands. 4e even had (optional) rules where you were heavily restricted in what you could do if you were relying on manual data imput. What's the point of screens when almost everyone has some form of AR?
Decks were great when they were an appropriate response to the technology of the times. However they are not any more in the 70's, and the only way they could possibly make them appropriate is by decreasing the tech level, which is what they have tried to do. Poorly.
>>44631482 They were introduced at the beginning of Shadowrun, and they were involved in one passable (Harlequin's Back) and one decent adventure series (Dawn of Artifacts, so long as you replace Frosty with a less Mary Sue NPC).
Plus all of the writers are shitheads who fellate their old characters, such that Bull should be almost dead by now, but he isn't. Plus Harlequin isn't exactly a Mary Sue, given that nobody can stand him in-universe either.
>>44631482 Do they appear in official runs that often? Been playing SR for years but always had self-made runs so we never met any of the immortal elves (or a dragon), but I can see how they would annoy people.
>>44631716 Harlequin was initially introduced in the adventure Harlequin, where he hires you (from a distance) to be his cat's paws in his elven feud (stupid dick measuring contest) with his rival, the much more tolerable (albeit somewhat evil) Elven Machiavelli, Ehran the Scribe.
After you running around and doing fucking everything for him (how does this prove how cool he is again?) he fucks up a spell, threatens you into helping him fix it, then wanders in at the last minute to defeat the BBEG in a swordfight, throws you the sword, then fucks off with the girl.
In his second (and more tolerable adventure), he's moping around his the shithead he is, when the "Gods" of reality tell him to grow the fuck up, get a pair, and find some heroes who will actually save reality. He does this, then sends you on a trippy metaplanar quest to find the lost queen of an ancient elven city who pure song will hold back a tide of extraplanar abominations who are trying to enter reality through a "bridge" created by the Blood Magic at the center of the ritual site of the Great Ghost Dance.
However after that adventure, FASA (who own Earthdawn, what used to be the prequel to Shadowrun) lost the license, meaning that Shadowrun cannot reference those extraplanar beastiest against (the Horrors). So Harlequin basically lost the only decent plot that he was connected to, basically making him a wandering shitstain who fucks everything up and drives people to hate him.
>>44631656 I understand your point, but I am going to keep using my deck anyway. You can even just use AR Gloves to interact with a holographic deck or something, if the idea of a physical deck bothers you so.
>>44631906 Harlequin didn't really appear at all in 3e, much to everyone's ecstatic joy, however towards the end of 4e (after all the good writers left), he and his Mary Sue fuckbunny (who's the daughter of that guy he duelled with in the first adventure), have their own little adventure.
Frosty, the utterly perfect and 100% likable (honest) immortal elf (and like, the first one to be born in the 6th world, SO COOL) hires you as bodyguards, despite her overwhelming Magic powers, while she hunts down a lost artifact. The first adventure wasn't that bad, there's a reason she needs help, and you get to do some cool shit in Nigeria.
Then she comes back, and hires you again to find another one. But lo and behold, the only way to track it is to use a ritual which temporarily suppresses her Magic. Oh my, how convenient. It doesn't stop her from being an insufferable bitch, and horrendous moralfag (despite wantonly murdering people). Plus the "villain/rival" tips his fedora and swears to the virtue of this pure maiden, who rolls her eyes and blushes (kinda), then decides to help you against another villain. A guy so fucking powerful he would give the most ardent powergamer a REALLY hard time.
I'm talking Military Grade Power Armour, Blood Magic, internal bomb, ludicrous countermagic, and a barrier spell so strong you need an anti-tank rifle to get rid of it. Which you can't have, because to get to him you need to basically leave all of your good gear behind. And if you have a Troll? They can't come, unless the GM "really wants them to, and says there's a pod large enough for them". So yeah, you've got to accept the bullshit character's help, and let him fight the bad guy, while you try and take down his shitty mercs. Wonderful.
Then in the NEXT adventure, she's not there (for the most part), and it's actually pretty decent. You get hired by Ehran, so does what any good Immortal Elf SHOULD do. Namely, hiring you, then getting the fuck out of the way.
>>44632056 However after a somewhat decent time, she turns up again. This time, she's being chased by an Cthulhu dude from the bad-dimensions, and she can't summon Spirits. Oh noes.
Then there's the last adventure (I think), where so she doesn't bullshit you out of problems, they just hand her a mobile -14 Mana Void talisman which covers her body. To hide with. Or something.
Long story short? Harlequin's back is decent, because it's a cool metaplanar trip, and Harlequin's a backup character, at best.
Dawn of Artifacts is a great adventure, if you rewrite every part that involves Frosty (it IS a lot), drop the ludicrous Atlantean Foundation Mage, and don't make your party fight the stupid-powerful Blood Mage.
Remove Tau. They add nothing to the setting. Every faction has their own motivation, each of them has a REASON to do what they do, Tyranids NEED to eat, or they all die. Orks NEED to fight. They were created for that reason and can't shut that part of themselvs down because that would mean disabeling 99.999% of their brain. Eldar just want a place to call home. Dark eldar want to continue with their lustfull lives. Chaos is literally a force of nature and the Imperium is a misguided child, who took the wrong path to the right goals. But the Tau? They only fight for their greater good. Something that is never really explained and translates as 'I want to feel supperior, and to achieve that I will make you my slaves. Now go get your balls chopped off and work in my mines!' in practice. To make things even clearer: Wikipedia defines a Mary Sue as: an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities. Young (check) Saves the day (check) Unrealistic abilities (check) Fuck Tau.
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