View Full Version : Your favourite fantasy world?

11-14-2012, 09:35 AM
What's your favourite fantasy setting, everyone? Keep in mind I'm not talking about fantasy stories, just the background universes. For me it's probably Westeros or Faerun, though I have some gripes with both of them.
I often do encounter fantasy stories that take place in a shoddy universe, and that just puts me off. Then there's shoddy stories in a really good universe, which is rare but it happens.

11-14-2012, 10:36 AM
The Lord of The Rings have the best and more complete universe ever times infinity ^^
And i do like the Warcraft Universe, but only the time before wow expansions.

11-14-2012, 11:42 AM
Warhammer, and Warhammer 40000, in terms of diversity I think is the best. In terms of story and drama, I would go with Westeros. But for Epicness I think the Silmarrilion time frame, the 1st and 2nd Eras, is the best.

11-14-2012, 12:57 PM
I'm a little biased as I'm OLD... :) but I'd say that on my list of top 5 would be:

1. World of Greyhawk- Hard to argue with the original "fantasy RPG" setting. I've played and written there for almost 30 years and I'm still in love with it.
2. The Land (from the Thomas Covenant series) amazing history and richness. I realize it's very "middle earth" but it does have it's own soul and character.
3. Middle Earth- Of course the classic and father of them all. I read the Rings trilogy when I was 10 and they are still some of the best books I have ever read.
4. The Kingdom of Shendenflar- Never heard of it? Well that's because it's my own campaign setting. I've been working on it for nearly 25 years and it's hard not to love something you've been with for that long. Sure it doesn't have the sweeping "epicness" of Middle Earth or any of the others but there is a lot of history and adventure there.
5. Faerun- The middle child of fantasy RPG settings. Epic in scope and detailed unlike any other.

11-15-2012, 11:56 PM
I love Middle-Earth!

As an RPG setting, I like the Forgotten Realms, but not all of it. Most of my campaigns are in the Sword Coast or the Silver Marches.


11-17-2012, 03:22 PM
The Malazan Empire and the other continents of Steven Eriksons Malazan Book of the Dead series.

11-17-2012, 05:01 PM
the elder scrolls . . . because mroe or less its treated liek science fiction.

middle earth is booooooooooooring, I dont mean the books re boring . . . but the world is just soooooooo boring.

11-17-2012, 05:34 PM
For me, it's whichever setting I am working on at the time. Currently, I am still in the development of the Kaidan (Japanese horror) setting for PFRPG. It's my own project development being published as an imprint under Rite Publishing (but still my IP). I happen to be half Japanese, and have spent a lifetime of study of all things Japanese, especially history, folklore, legends and ghost story tradition. Having played RPGs since 1977, I've been consistently unsatisfied with the various oriental settings created for D&D and other game systems over the years. While both Bushido and Sengoku were great games set in Japan, they were set in Japan, not a fantasy Japan-based setting - something closer to my goals.

Japanese horror has not been a genre developed for RPG games, so Kaidan is my attempt to create that niche. (Kaidan is a Japanese word that means 'ghost story').

So far, under Rite Publishing, I've published 5 adventures, including an introductory trilogy of modules, 3 Kaidan race supplements, 2 faction guides, and a haunts guide. I am currently working on both maps and content for the main setting handbooks after a successful Kickstarter project last summer, and a new possible map product/complex encounter product series - where my Japanese Bathhouse Map WIP is a part.

I've always preferred niche settings vs. more vanilla worlds like Middle Earth. Both Ravenloft and Kara-Tur are inspirations to my work with the Kaidan project. Although I am enjoying Westeros - waiting for the next book release in the series.


11-17-2012, 05:56 PM
I have spent many years gaming in the Forgotten Realms setting and it is the one I have the most invested in. Currently we are playing a Spelljammer campaign in the Forgotten Realms Sphere.

I am thinking about trying a campaign in The Dragon Riders of Pern world. Does anyone know if there is a RPG based on Pern? I've read all the books and it is a very richly detailed world with a lot of history.

11-17-2012, 06:16 PM
I can't believe I forgot Pern !! That would be such a great RPG Bogie. The quest back to technology could make for a fascinating game. If you ever decide to go forward with that, let me know I'd love to help. and from now on you can call me J'on.. :)

11-17-2012, 06:47 PM
Oh yeah, Tamriel (of the Elder Scrolls series) does have some interesting twists in traditional fantasy. I'm not too fond of the antropomorphic (?) races, though.

11-18-2012, 09:09 AM
Besides fantasy worlds of my own for obvious reasons, I am a big fan of the Aarklash world build for the board game "Ragnarok". It's epic and poetic in the same time, mixing and revisiting numerous myths harmoniously.
In second, I would say Westeros for its characters and story mainly. The realistic side is of the world is a bit like the Hârn setting to my taste.

11-19-2012, 07:36 PM
I am thinking about trying a campaign in The Dragon Riders of Pern world. Does anyone know if there is a RPG based on Pern? I've read all the books and it is a very richly detailed world with a lot of history.

As far as I am aware, there is no official Pern RPG. I do recall once seeing a pretty good game made with Fudge, though, and there was a long-running Pern MUSH at one point (and maybe still, some of those old MUDs and MUSHes have turned out to be surprisingly robust). I think I was the only smithcrafter in that entire world. At least during the time I was playing.

I really enjoyed elements of Tad Williams' Osten Ard, although I get a little bored with fantasy societies that merely mimic historical ones. The background on the Norns and Sithi was fascinating, though, and I felt like they were truly alien, and not just long-lived humans with pointy ears. And Williams' Otherland was pretty cool, too, although it's a sci-fi VR world, and not properly fantasy.

Portions of Robin Hobb's setting for the Farseer Trilogy and following novels are really inviting. The Bingtown Traders' culture is well developed: just familiar enough to be comfortable, but more than mysterious enough to be interesting. Other parts of that world feel a bit flat to me. The Mountain Kingdom is just about as interesting as its name.

11-20-2012, 11:30 AM
Quite funny because I've just finished the "Stone of Farewell" from Tad Williams.
As far as I know, sithis & norns have a japanese style, but altered by the 'immortal' point of view somehow. The Qanuc people based on inuits is quite interesting too.

I had forgotten the Farseer Trilogy ! An I agree with you, Robin Hobb is quite good to balance the familiar and the mysterious!

11-20-2012, 01:10 PM
Arda is my favorite fantasy world, without a bloody doubt. I am a Tolkien fanatic and will forever be one.

Halo universe is also one of my favorite universes; primarily because I adore the Halo series, games and books.

I do have to give credit to the Elder Scrolls universe, since it is very cool to have a Middle-Aged theme world with multiple races.

The one universe that will always be with me (besides Halo and Arda) is the Multiverse of the Magic the Gathering books and games. It is primarily a fantasy setting in its truest sense and it does draw on many different sources for its individual planes. After all with Planeswalkers, the story itself is damn good!

11-29-2012, 03:01 AM
World of Greyhawk
The Lands of Ice and Fire
Middle Earth
Prydain - World from LLoyd Alexander

11-29-2012, 03:41 AM
Narnia and Harry Potter School!!!

12-01-2012, 09:20 AM
My current favourite SF universe is the one developed by Dan Simmons for his Hyperion Cantos. Apparently Warner Bros are planning a film adaption of the first two books - can't wait to see the Tesla Trees in action ...

The Doge
12-29-2012, 06:25 PM
No love for the Witcherverse?
I absolutely love Sopkowski's world. It's small in scope and gritty, but so interesting.

I'm also a big fan of the settings of Wheel of Time (for its magic), Westeros, Avatar the Last Airbender (though I've only watched some of the series), The Black Company, and (of course) Middle Earth.

As you might be able to tell, I'm a little biased in favor of human-centric worlds. :D

01-08-2013, 01:30 PM
Amber. No Contest.
Graybox FR (but soon after it turned to a messy hodge-podge).
Thousand and one night - the setting everybody associates it, not any particular written down version of it.

01-08-2013, 04:57 PM
Some of my favorites, in no particular order:

1. Thieves' World
2. Jack Vance's Dying Earth and Lyonesse
3. Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun
4. Earwa (Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series)
5. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn

Earwa especially is just so freakin' realistic, and extra geeks points to Bakker for including a 100+ page glossary/encyclopedia in the third book, The Thousandfold Thought.

01-09-2013, 07:56 AM
4. Earwa (Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series)

Earwa especially is just so freakin' realistic, and extra geeks points to Bakker for including a 100+ page glossary/encyclopedia in the third book, The Thousandfold Thought.

Well, it seems even in fictional worlds of others we have the same taste :D And i looooved that glossary.

You should really try Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen. A very good novel with very deep and compelling worldbuilding!

So here is my list (in no particular order) :

World of the Malazan Book of the Fallen (by S. Erikson)
Earwa (Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker)

and, naturally, the still unconquered King of Worldbuilding and Myth

Middle-Earth (by J.R.R. Tolkien)

01-09-2013, 05:11 PM
I've tried three different times to read Gardens of the Moon by Erikson, and... I just couldn't do it.

01-10-2013, 06:57 AM
I've tried three different times to read Gardens of the Moon by Erikson, and... I just couldn't do it.

Yeah, GotM is a hurdle for many. Around page 200 it really picked up (at least for me). Well, i can only encourage you to try again...because it is a wild ride. And i think as a fellow rpg-er and worldbuilder, you'd really appreciate all the depth in the 10 books that is the Malazan Book of the Fallen. I was blown away by it. It's true, though...Erikson is a writer that really embodies the "show, do not tell" style. He really does not make it easy on the reader...you have to dig in and discover everything for yourself, he is never just flat out telling you important things about his world. But the depth and mythic power of his creation is really something.

Erikson is my top fantasy author to date. Bakker is close but much more ordinary in his worldbuilding and story.

01-13-2013, 01:49 PM
Besides My own Effed up Fantasy world in my head.
I really love Pern, Dragonlance(krynn). And I think that's about it. Tattooine has good back story that isn't really apparent.

01-13-2013, 07:31 PM
I like quite a lot of fantasy worlds but one of my favourites is Scott Lynch's Camorr setting. There is even a map of the city (http://www.scottlynch.us/images/camorr-bw.jpg) on the author's website!

01-14-2013, 02:42 PM
For me it is Palladium Fantasy RPG. The setting is hands down my favorite!

01-16-2013, 01:21 PM
I really enjoyed Ravenloft. I liked the horror themed campaign world. This was also a bit before the current zombie apocolypse craze, so it was kind of interesting at the time.

01-17-2013, 03:13 PM
Gene Wolfe's Urth, Tolkien's Middle Earth, Amber... Really, what's the point of ranking these? I have a hard time coming up with fantasy world that I hated. Oh, I got one - Discworld.

01-22-2013, 08:10 PM
Athas or Midkernia.

01-30-2013, 05:21 PM
Kelewan and Midkemia (Feist),
Amber (Zelzany), of course
The multiverse of the "Elric of Melniboné" and Hawkmoon series (Michael Moorcock)
The whole Hyperion / Endymion universe, even if it's not really a "fantasy world" (Simmons)
And the Discworld , awesomely crazy (Pratchett) :D

01-31-2013, 12:30 PM
I am a BattleTech Man myself!

02-15-2013, 04:39 PM
Definitely, for me, the world of Malaz (Steven Erikson and Ian Esselmont series of books) is the most impressive, coherent, vibrant and exciting fantasy world ever described. I'm a big fan of Tolkien, but I rate The book of the Fallen even higher. The first step (Gardens of the Moon) may seem difficult, but the reward woth the effort once you've fallen in.
Otherwise, The 7 kingdoms (Iron Throne) is a must and of course Dune. Purists will say it's not "fantasy" but it's an incredible imaginary world.

02-25-2013, 12:27 AM
middle earth

world of warcraft

02-25-2013, 11:10 PM
All these mentions of Greyhawk, Faerun, and even Dragonlance, but not one reference to the most interesting D&D settings of all: Ebberon and Dark Sun.
I'd have to join the votes for Middle Earth, Westeros and the Warhammer world too.

02-26-2013, 02:22 AM
As far as D&D settings go, I'd say Eberron and Athas (Dark Sun). I do like Paizo's Golarion (Pathfinder) as well. I haven't read a lot of fantasy literature but Middle Earth wins my vote there. Narnia is a close, fantastic, second.

On the science-fiction front, if we can go there, I'd say my favorite are, in order: 1) Herbert's Dune universe, 2) Marc Miller's Traveller (3i or earlier periods), 3) Niven's Known Universe, 4) Asimov's Foundation, 5) Lucas' Star Wars universe, 6) GW's 40k universe.

So. Yeah. I guess I'm more about SF than fantasy. :)

02-26-2013, 11:06 AM
From all the fantasy books I've read, or those I know things about, the top five are, in order:
1) Arda (Lord of the Rings);
2) Westeros (A song of ice and fire);
3) Hyboria (Conan);
4) Eberron (D&D);
5) Narnia;

I also find pretty interesting the Dark Tower series world, even though it's kind of confusing sometimes - and steampunk, or something near by.

02-26-2013, 11:41 AM
nice to see Athas get some love as i think its one of the most intersting D&D/rpg worlds. the ecologial themes and the dragon-sorcerers make it stand-out against most other D&D worlds.

I'd probably have to choose:

the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos (if that counts),
Jack Vance's Dying Earth
Frank Herbert's Dune
Robert E. Howard's Hyboria
D&D's Planescape and Dark Sun

add them together and (hopefully) you get the type of world i'd create myself ;)

- Max -
02-26-2013, 12:15 PM
Some of those which are already been mentioned and another one (don"t think it has been mentioned here) that always pleased me : Lankhmar from Fritz Leiber.

02-26-2013, 12:50 PM
Oh, yeah, glad you mentioned Planescape. I hadn't thought of it as a "world" but I guess it should be. It's one of my favorites.

02-26-2013, 01:08 PM
Oh, yeah, glad you mentioned Planescape. I hadn't thought of it as a "world" but I guess it should be. It's one of my favorites.

and now you mention it, i do love 40k very much :) i do like me some grimdark

02-26-2013, 03:53 PM
Westeros ftw, it is far my favourite world ever.

If we talk about steampunk and SF I would say also the Iron Kingdoms RPG world - steampunk. And Star Wars world - SF.

Marth Fright
03-22-2013, 07:24 AM
For me, it has to be the Iron Kingdoms.

If a map of the world makes you look closely for interesting spots (or "untreated areas") for inspiration, if you look up current and ancient sites of events and how close/far away they are from other contemporary events - I think that is a very dead giveaway.

le chevalier blanc
03-22-2013, 04:02 PM
I like quite a lot of fantasy worlds but one of my favourites is golarion

03-31-2013, 05:31 PM
Middle Earth
Earth Sea
Wheel of Time series
Harry Potter

04-01-2013, 10:56 AM
My favorite would be Robin Hobbs world (Farseers and Liveships) and Joe Abercrombies setting is cool too :) ... also enjoyed the Germanic Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying setting :)

04-01-2013, 01:04 PM
Pullman's World of "The golden Compass"
Deep China of "The Promisse"

and i love the Phantasy Star universe with all worlds of Motavia, Parma and Dezolis.