A couple of weeks back I asked folks if they prefer home-brew or published settings and I would like to first thank those that took the time to comment on that post (or on Google+) – I really appreciate it.
It would seem, based on the responses, that readers of the blog lean toward the home-brew category, and to be honest I wasn’t overly surprised at that trend. It was interesting though see that while many create a setting for the campaigns they run, the settings are not entirely home grown, as many of us “borrow” from established settings and material. It is important though that when you borrow from another source to adapt it to your own setting and possibly mask it so your players, or game master, can’t determine what it is.
As an example, in a past campaign I had the opportunity to run a fighter type character who wielded a sword as you would expect but had additional “powers.” In most fantasy settings the inclination would be to use some type of wizardry or sorcery but in my case I leveraged the psionics rules. I didn’t add anything over-powering, just things such as the ability to move objects, walk on water, and augment his natural abilities – all to create a Jedi like character. It was fun to play, most at the table figured out the connection, except the ritual saying he used when parting company with someone, “peace favor your blade,” as I said, you need to make the material your own.
Over the years I’ve picked elements from other campaigns, movies, and literature. It’s important though that as you start to cast your net for ideas you included material from outside of the genre you play in, like I did with the Jedi cross-over to fantasy. Maybe you’ll see something in a tank commander in modern day material that you can apply to the leader of the heavily armored platoon of dwarven rhino riders the party if facing. Always be looking for ideas that you can use and be sure to write or record them somewhere so you’ll have them handy as you start build out your next setting.
What item have you “borrowed” and brought to your campaign? Why not share a bit of it below and maybe you can inspire someone else to use it or find their own item to “borrow.”
May your dice roll well.