Thursday 26 March 2009

How to Describe a Campaign Setting in Twenty Five Words or Less

Max recently put up a post asking for homebrew campaign setting descriptions of 25 words or less. My effort, in the comments, wasn't very good. It occurred to me that using full sentences was a waste of words, because you have to use inconvenient prepositions and articles. So here's my 25 word Yoon-suin sentenceless breakdown:

Tibet, yak ghosts, ogre magi, mangroves, Nepal, Arabian Nights, Sorcery!, Bengal, invertebrates, topaz, squid men, slug people, opiates, slavery, human sacrifice, dark gods, malaise, magic.

How's that?


  1. That's very clever. I never thought of doing the '25 words or less' exercise this way. It's highly evocative, and I'm going to try it.

  2. The absence of euro-cliches must make your players very nervous!

  3. Viriconium: I think it's a useful tester for how interesting a campaign setting will be. For example, I can't even think of 25 words to sum up Krynn. But I could think of maybe 100 for Jorune.

    Kent: They're used to it by now!

  4. Yours is redolent of corruption and decay, with a grand guignol atmosphere. It sounds intriguing and exciting. Mine is more prosaic. You didn't ask for our own 25 words, but it got me thinking; so, for what it's worth:

    Unease; pain; corruption; decay; fallen gods; moon mages; healers; Eastern Europe; Borderlanders; spirits; Tarot; gypsies; plague; Undead; alchemists; witch hunters; folkloric creatures; seers; oppression; experiments.

    It's really a Rolemaster campaign, not D&D, so I hope it still counts.

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  6. Urban adventures, hot, dusty, African?, bandits, more bandits, elves are not to be trusted, someone finds a handgun, time-travelling vampires, moon, secret invasion, Gonchongs!

  7. Multiple catastrophes temper survivors into flinty men and women who distrust others, and struggle to survive ancient horrors, faltering reality and decaying time, with glory.

  8. I posted this over at malevolent & benign, but since i follow this blog closer I'll post it here as well:


    In an utopia of magic and genetic engineering a mysterious glow causes mutations wherever it settles. No hunger, no disease, no metallurgy. Enchanted Tentacle +1.

    Essentially the world is a "Labyrinth Lord"/ "Mutant Future"/ "Original Edition Characters" Campaign that makes heavy use of "Creatures of the Wastelands," and house rules to blend it all together.

  9. Kelvin: As we all know, the only thing better than bandits is more bandits!

    Timeshadows: Nice poetic tones to that one.

    Bluskereem: What every adventurer wants - a tentacle +1.

  10. Old-school basic. Norse/Celtic/Anglo-Saxon. Cruel elven overlords. Slave raids. Wolf sect. Elder ruins. Battle-beasts. Pit fighter cults. My old world anew.

    I feel quite generic now...

    Word verification: nophifin - a river monster that tries to drown anyone who tries to fish in its stretch of waterway.

  11. Men and the friends they make millenia hence explore the world after the return of the fairies, magic, and monsters. Not always serious.

    Verification word: Vatsca
    Definition: Italian dish consisting of the stewed bioluminscent organs of deep-sea fish