Sunday 20 September 2020

Early Fantasy Settings

Map of Arduin.

Early Unique Fantasy Campaigns.  

For some time now, I have been compiling a list of unique fantasy settings from the 70s and 80s but there are certainly some that I've missed. If you can think of any more, please put them in the comments and I'll include them here.

Note, that these are unique settings, ie not those based on literary works like Middle Earth, Lankhmar or Hyboria, all of which got the their own rpg system settings during this period.

At the moment the list isn't in any order. I think I'll try to put in chronological order however, rather than by rules system or just alphabetically. I think having it in date order may show something about the developing character of the fantasy settings as the hobby began to mature over the 80s.

Blackmoor (Arneson)  

The Known World (ODD-Basic D&D)  

Mystara (Basic D&D)  

Blackmoor ii (ODD-ADD)  

Greyhawk (ODD-ADD)  

Arduin (ODD-Basic-ADD-own system) 

Wizard's Realm (Own system)

Melanda (Own System)

Verbosh (ODD) 

Kingdom Of Alusia (Dragon Quest)  

Harn (Own System)  

Delos (ODD-Arduin)  

Glorantha (Runequest) 

Questworld (Runequest) 

Tekumel (Empire of the Petal Throne)  

The Wilderlands (Judges Guild, ODD-Basic-ADD-own system)  

Arden (Chivalry and Sorcery)  

Archaeron (Own System)  

Jorune (Skyrealms of Jorune)  

Cidri (The Fantasy Trip)  

The Hollow World (Basic D&D)

Aventuria (The Dark Eye)

Forgotten Realms (ADD) 

The Perilous Lands (Powers and Perils) 

Achaeus (Talislanta)  

The Trollworld (Tunnels and Trolls)  

Ravenloft (ADD)  

Lands Of Legend (Dragon Warriors)  

Pelinore (ADD)  

Dragon Lance (ADD)  

Spelljammer (ADD)  

Dark Sun (ADD)  

The Old World (Warhammer FRPG)  

Titan (Fighting Fantasy)  

Yrth (GURPS)  

Palladia (Palladium rpg)  

Vog Mur (Rolemaster)  

Free City Of Haven (Thieves Guild)  

Ysgarth (The Ysgarth Rule System)  

Kulthea (Rolemaster: Shadow Lands)  

Atlantis (Arcanum) 

The Misty Isles (OD&D, AD&D)

Minaria (Divine Right)


  1. What about Aventuria (The Dark Eye) ?

  2. OK,good call. I haven't really looked for any non English games as yet. Although Dark Eye is now available. The original German game is from 1984 is that right?

  3. You might want to alphabetize your list.

    Misty Isles (Wee Warriors)
    Quest World (RuneQuest)
    Valley of the Four Winds (White Dwarf)
    Verbosh (D&D, Judges Guild)
    Midkemia (Midkemia Press, Raymon Feist's fiction came out of the campaign not the other way round, with the RPG supplements published first)
    Perilous Lands (Powers & Perils)
    Bleakwood Fief (Adventures in Fantasy)

    What about semi-historical settings like:

    Nippon (Bushido)

    Are you sticking with settings published in a way that someone could purchase them? Or do you want to include well known home settings? If the latter,

    Edwyr (OD&D, Glenn Blacow)

    I can't for the life of me remember Mark Swanson's campaign name. There are probably other fan notables too.

  4. Wow Frank, thank you. Stuff I definitely needed to add in there. It rather looks as if I have something against Richard Snider! I actually have the maps (only) from Powers & Perils and they are very beautifully done. I also have the Misty Isles! Don't know why I missed that one. I've consulted with JG specialists about Verbosh because I wasn't sure there was enough there to call it a full setting in it's own right. However, I've come to the conclusion that although small, it is large enough for a campaign and it isn't an official part of the Wilderlands- so innit goes. I haven't put Bleakwood in because it's really just a bit of Blackmoor, but I could be persuaded! I'll have to consult my copy of A in F. Cheers.