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Asbestos
2009-03-28, 11:54 PM
So, what do people think of the 4e Generic Setting?

More specifically... points of light, Nerrath, Arkosia, Bael' Turath (I am butchering these names, I'm sure) the Creation War between gods and primordials, and the class/race/paragon path/epic destiny/cosmology fluff. Oh, and the new Abyss/Nine Hells stuff too.


Myself, some of it seems uncannily like my old 3.x campaign setting (at least the cosmology) but I did have to kill an empire to adapt it (which I was going to anyway, I just advanced the setting 20 years and narrowed its focus)

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-03-29, 01:04 AM
I personally love it. You get a world not unlike Middle-Earth, that once had mighty nations, but is now splintered and looking for a leader. I like that now we're free from the restrictive and confusing nature of the Great Wheel. I like the fact that now tieflings have a true story, instead of them being a random fluke from when a demon/devil decides to boink a mortal. I like the dragonborn having a history to back them up, as well as how they help incorporate dragons into the story further, making it truly Dungeons and Dragons. There's so much that can be done with it! It's literally a whole new world of possibilities, free from the trappings of other campaign settings where you have the status quo to maintain.

Draz74
2009-03-29, 01:09 AM
The default cosmology is much improved, IMHO. Much closer to every homebrew setting I'd ever come up with.

The Great Wheel cosmology? Don't get me wrong, it's great -- if you're playing Planescape. But it should never have been allowed to become the default. In a default setting, planar adventures just don't occupy enough of the game to warrant such detail and complication.

The other thing I like about 4e fluff is Rituals. They may suck mechanically, but I like them much better than 3e fluff about how similar effects were accomplished.

Bael'Turath is cool too. Tieflings' origins make more sense in 4e than in 3e. Even though the Tieflings themselves are lame. Oh, and it's about freakin' time the Elf/Eladrin archetypes were made two separate races.

Neutral about most of the other stuff: Nerath, Creation War, gods. Not great, not terrible.

Arkhosia fluff is ruined just by how dumb the dragonborn fluff is. Halfling fluff is ok; dwarf is good; gnomes have been ruined. Class and PP fluff entries are similarly poor, tending to shoehorn characters into very specific boxes. Epic Destinies are a little better.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-29, 01:35 AM
I never use generic settings, but I will say this: some things they did very right.

(1) Mortals in charge of Churches
OK, so this may not really be "setting" based, but it is in the default fluff. By allowing gods to invest (but not divest) mortals with power, the mortal Church now plays a very active role in maintaining the faith. After all, heresy becomes an issue when Pelor doesn't just strip heretics of their powers - makes it kind of easy to figure out the right doctrine, eh? :smalltongue:

(2) More Accessible "Magic Realms"
It's always been kind of weird to see all these half-fiends and planetouched wandering around the world when it is really friggin' hard to get extraplanar beings to hang around in the World. As such, most of the truly fantastic elements had to be handwaved in (like 2nd Edition +1 Swords :smalltongue:) because It Is A Fantasy Game.

The Feywild and Shadowfell, naming issues aside (http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/3/20/), really capture that otherworldly elements you see in a lot of Fantasy. The Fey don't just hang out in forests - they have a whole separate Realm that overlaps with the World, with its own rules and structure. And when dark thoughts run amok, it isn't just some impersonal force - it's the Shadowfell creeping into the World, opening a hole through which truly nightmarish things can pass.

And some things they did very poorly:

(1) Dragonborn - WTF?
A super-nice race of dragon-y folks who fight for Truth, Justice, and Bahamut? Gah, I thought we got rid of Lawful Stupid Paladins :smalltongue:

Their history is just waaay too pat for me; like something a kid would write about his first D&D character.

So, in my campaign, they have a civilization all right - it was set up by a Council of Dragons for their own benefit. It's a slave-empire that, for Secret Reasons(tm), decided to invade the Kingdom and start killing folks. So no, I don't allow them as a player race either - between the +2 STR and all of the incredibly good racial powers/feats, I just couldn't see why you wouldn't be Dragonborn for pretty much every class.

(2) Tieflings - Hella emo, but a neat concept
So, generic fallen empire, hubris, etc. - hey, we've all been there. The fact that WotC drafted up the "How To" section of the Tiefling page to mandate Vampire-levels of angst did not sit well with me though. Sure, your civilization crumbled, but from default fluff it looks like everyone trusts you just fine. I couldn't have that - they're demonic looking folks that breed true with whatever they sleep with!

So, in my campaign, they have a different fallen empire but were forced to emigrate as a Gnoll Horde crushed the remnants of their nation. With their help, the Kingdom was rescued from a potential civil war so they were well received by the upper classes.

Of course, they didn't trust them (+2 Bluff, eh?) and the fact that a formerly-popular religion (Elshara Witchbane, Scourge of Sorcery) had been preaching against Tieflings and other clearly demonic/devilish creatures for years didn't help much either. Oh, and the Tieflings? They introduced the Infernal Pact to the Kingdom as "The Mysteries of Al'hazred" - just another innocent mystic tradition, to be studied like any other magic :smallamused:

The other stuff, I'm indifferent about:

(1) Point of Light
Isn't this an element in most campaign worlds?

How can you raid lost ruins unless there's a fallen civilization or too laying around? And why have adventurers unless there are vast tracts of barely-controlled territory that could use some mercenaries to deal with "local problems."

(2) Origin Story
Does a better job of tying the multiverse together than Core 3E ever did, IMHO. In particular, I like how Elementals aren't just random things you summon anymore - they're beings created by Slumbering Elder Gods that aren't particularly well disposed towards the creations of The Gods.

Oh, and Dwarves being enslaved by Giants? And Giants being related to Titans, who were The Chosen of the Primoridals? A nice touch!

I basically re-worked the Nine Hells / Abyss to fit into my tweaked cosmology, but aside from that I had no complaints.

Cybren
2009-03-29, 01:40 AM
The default cosmology is much improved, IMHO. Much closer to every homebrew setting I'd ever come up with.

The Great Wheel cosmology? Don't get me wrong, it's great -- if you're playing Planescape. But it should never have been allowed to become the default. In a default setting, planar adventures just don't occupy enough of the game to warrant such detail and complication.





Huh?????// What the heck reason is there for a planar cosmology if you're not doing planar travel? Any other use i can conceive wouldn't be impeded as it wouldn't require that much detail but could still use the system.

Starscream
2009-03-29, 01:57 AM
I have complaints.

First of all, while I like Tieflings, Dragonborn, and Eladrin I don't think they should be core races. They fit a very specific type of fantasy story, and I think Core D&D should be more generic so that it fits more types of universes. It would have been better to give their slots to some classic monsters like Goblins, Orcs and Kobolds. No D&D universe is complete without them.

Don't care for the gods. I liked it when the different races had their own gods. It made them more unique, and by them I mean both the gods and the races, because it gave them their own individual cultures. I also think they are too broad. I liked gods of specific things, like Pelor, Ehlonna, and especially Olidamarra. He is my favorite D&D deity of all time and they cut him out, the jerks.

I prefer the Great Wheel to the Great Sea, but I'm a Planescape fan. I can see how it's not for everyone.

Not a fan of rituals. Magic shouldn't come in a kit. The magic using classes are already mechanically exactly the same as the non-magic using classes, but now they aren't even the only ones who get to use magic.

Don't like that elves were split into two races. Completely needless. Did they honestly think that the "treehugging elves" and the "snobby elves" were so different that they had to be split into separate species?

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-29, 02:17 AM
First of all, while I like Tieflings, Dragonborn, and Eladrin I don't think they should be core races. They fit a very specific type of fantasy story, and I think Core D&D should be more generic so that it fits more types of universes. It would have been better to give their slots to some classic monsters like Goblins, Orcs and Kobolds. No D&D universe is complete without them.

You would have preferred Goblins, Orcs and Kobolds - "classic monsters" - to be base PC races? :smallconfused:

I mean, I don't like Tieflings & Dragonborn as written either, but if you're going to add new races, it's best to make them completely new, rather than shoehorning "monster races" in. Ugh, every time I see a Drow Rogue or Bugbear Ranger... :smallannoyed:


Don't like that elves were split into two races. Completely needless. Did they honestly think that the "treehugging elves" and the "snobby elves" were so different that they had to be split into separate species?

Heh. Back in 2nd, in the Complete Book of Elves there were, what, 4-5 different subspecies of elf (Grey, High, Sylvan, Dark...)? Forgotten Realms had at least three (Sun, Moon and Drow). There's a long tradition of elven proliferation in D&D - trust me.

Personally, I like how, now, the Wood Elves and the Grey Elves are actually distinct. They function completely differently, mechanically, and even look different (ex: irises or orbs). And Eladrin are the best Grey Elves I've ever seen - you get a free skill because you're some darn cultured :smallbiggrin:

Draz74
2009-03-29, 02:29 AM
Huh?????// What the heck reason is there for a planar cosmology if you're not doing planar travel?
Doing a little bit of planar travel? Almost every campaign has a bit of summoning here and there, and perhaps an adventure that ventures into another plane, but very few will visit 5+ planes!


Any other use i can conceive wouldn't be impeded as it wouldn't require that much detail but could still use the system.
Anyway, the wasted amount of detail to most campaigns isn't the only thing I don't like about the Great Wheel being made default. It's just too darn specific in flavor, and too overarching, with too many implied effects on the rest of the system.


Don't care for the gods. I liked it when the different races had their own gods. It made them more unique, and by them I mean both the gods and the races, because it gave them their own individual cultures.
Huh, I was actually really glad to see racial deities axed.

The way the 3.5 PHB does it, where Humans are polytheists and every other race seems monotheistic because only their #1 deity is represented? Screwy.

A full pantheon for each race? Way too much information to keep track of, and too many implied consequences of divine politicking.

Makes much more sense for all the races to share the same gods -- though they should each have their own names for those gods, disagree about their relative importance, and so on.


I also think they are too broad. I liked gods of specific things, like Pelor, Ehlonna, and especially Olidamarra. He is my favorite D&D deity of all time and they cut him out, the jerks.
No particular disagreement here ...


Not a fan of rituals. Magic shouldn't come in a kit. The magic using classes are already mechanically exactly the same as the non-magic using classes, but now they aren't even the only ones who get to use magic.
Oh no! Now you've done it! You brought up mechanics! That's not supposed to be in this thread!

... Well, I don't approve magic and nonmagic classes being so similar mechanically. But magic in D&D has always "come in a kit," so I'm not sure what you mean by that comment.

And as for non-casters being able to learn Rituals via feat, which I think is what you're protesting with your "aren't even the only ones" comment -- take a look sometime at how many non-caster characters in fantasy literature are able to pull off magic on rare occasions, in non-combat situations like crafting a magic weapon or other one-time things. There's a lot of them. 'Bout time the game reconciled itself to the literature on this point, IMO.


Don't like that elves were split into two races. Completely needless. Did they honestly think that the "treehugging elves" and the "snobby elves" were so different that they had to be split into separate species?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes, this always drove me nuts. For one thing, I'm a huge fan of the elven archer ranger archetype (if well done). Yet in 3.5, the "normal" (high) elves couldn't even get Favored Class Ranger. Why? Because they elves had an identity crisis, where they were never sure whether they were supposed to be the woodsy type or the aristocratic type. Bleh!

Besides, if the Eladrin/Elf core split keeps WotC from ever coming out with 4e star elves, moon elves, sun elves, wild elves, gray elves, and the other 463 tribes of elves, that alone makes the split worth it.

Saph
2009-03-29, 02:30 AM
Bad Stuff
Gods/Primordials origin story - Forgettable, and it completely contradicts every previous edition, making it really really hard to get any sense of continuity with previous games. All of a sudden we're supposed to care about some generic evil guys?
Ancient Empires - Way way too many! Every race and its dog has an ancient powerful mysterious fallen empire, to the point where you can't kick a can without it pegging some ruins with an "Adventure Hook" sign hanging off the top.

Good Stuff
Points of Light setting - Very sensible for a D&D world, given how much of the game revolves around fighting monsters - where are you going to put them all otherwise? :)
Epic Destinies - A character who hits the top of the power escalator should go on to do something special. Makes much more sense than having random epic-level characters just hanging around doing nothing, and the powers are cool too.

Silly Stuff
Dragonboobs.
Tieflings. What exactly was wrong with having them look almost-but-not-quite human?

- Saph

Asbestos
2009-03-29, 02:55 AM
Bad Stuff
Gods/Primordials origin story - Forgettable, and it completely contradicts every previous edition, making it really really hard to get any sense of continuity with previous games. All of a sudden we're supposed to care about some generic evil guys?
Ancient Empires - Way way too many! Every race and its dog has an ancient powerful mysterious fallen empire, to the point where you can't kick a can without it pegging some ruins with an "Adventure Hook" sign hanging off the top.

Good Stuff
Points of Light setting - Very sensible for a D&D world, given how much of the game revolves around fighting monsters - where are you going to put them all otherwise? :)
Epic Destinies - A character who hits the top of the power escalator should go on to do something special. Makes much more sense than having random epic-level characters just hanging around doing nothing, and the powers are cool too.

Silly Stuff
Dragonboobs.
Tieflings. What exactly was wrong with having them look almost-but-not-quite human?

- Saph

Here, I will disagree and agree.

Gods/Primordials: Its very greek/norse/indo-european, perhaps that is why I like it, it is familiar to me. Previous editions be damned, it didn't fit in my mythology inspired cosmology

Ancient Empires: Yeah.. there are a lot, but two of the important ones (out of 3) were contemporaneous. This helps rein it in a little IMO.

Good Stuff: Basically the same agreements, but I will add in that points of light just feels more 'heroic' than having PCs adventure around civilization.


Tieflings: I think they went a little bit far, but I like that they are clearly not just hypersexualized humans anymore. I preferred my cloven-hoofed tieflings to my narrow-pupiled tieflings.

Saph
2009-03-29, 03:10 AM
Tieflings: I think they went a little bit far, but I like that they are clearly not just hypersexualized humans anymore. I preferred my cloven-hoofed tieflings to my narrow-pupiled tieflings.

In 3.5, planetouched characters (tieflings, aasimar, genasi) look almost human . . . but not quite. They have just one minor trait that sets them apart, like odd-coloured eyes, slightly tinted or cool/warm skin, or a strange aura, and sometimes not even that. It's not obvious what their race is, which makes for interesting reactions as people try and figure out exactly what they are. The 4e design team apparently looked at the races and said, "Hey, those otherworldly races are really popular. If having one subtle trait was good, having loads of really blatant ones must be even better!" So we get tieflings that look like Halloween costumes.

When it comes to races, I think subtle beats blatant. A small hint of infernal heritage is much more effective than hitting the viewer over the head with it.

- Saph

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-29, 03:47 AM
When it comes to races, I think subtle beats blatant. A small hint of infernal heritage is much more effective than hitting the viewer over the head with it.

Though on the other hand, subtle "racial" differences feeds into the "I'm special on the inside" vibe that plays up angsty tendencies for the entire race (See Tanis Half-Elven :smalltongue:)

IMHO, making Tieflings monstrous makes them more than just another flavor of Half-Elf; their ancestors made a Blood Pact with the forces of evil and their descendants bear that mark for all the see. Plus, it allows DMs to reasonably play up themes of alienation and racism; someone who looks human but a little funny is not going to be as frightening as the half-orc with knobby features and greenish skin.

Saph
2009-03-29, 04:06 AM
IMHO, making Tieflings monstrous makes them more than just another flavor of Half-Elf; their ancestors made a Blood Pact with the forces of evil and their descendants bear that mark for all the see.

There's a difference between "bear a mark" and "I look like an extra from Doctor Who". Tieflings are so over-the-top I can't take them seriously (and neither can many others). They come across as the race that wants so very badly to be tragic and angsty and dramatic - but end up just being the ones everyone laughs at instead.

- Saph

Belobog
2009-03-29, 04:19 AM
I thought WotC just wanted their races to look like...well, distinct races. Sure, Tieflings are humanoid, but so are Eladrin, Dragonborn, and Humans, and each of those looks totally different when stacked up side by side. Even Elves and Eladrin look different enough that you can tell from description which one you're looking at at any given time. The old standard of "He looks like a human, but," doesn't really fit with the pattern, when looked at that way.

Then again, the Dragonborn and Tiefling fluff just smack of dumb.

FoE
2009-03-29, 04:24 AM
All of you tiefling-hating bastards can just go to the Seven Nine Hells and rot. Rot I say! :smallfurious:

In all seriousness, I gotta disagree with you, Saph. I always thought half-elves were kind of lame for having only slightly-pointed ears as their distinguishing characterisic. If all tieflings have is a few bumps on their scalp to indicate their demonic heritage, you've made them Rubber Forehead Aliens. Tieflings are still humanoid, but you couldn't mistake them for human.

Incidentally, I loves the tieflings, I loves the Primordial/gods origin story, I really likes the dragonborn ('cuz I don't loves dem likes mah tieflings) and I really like the better defining of the differences between demons and devils. 'Cuz honestly, up until now, I never saw what the difference was between the two, besides different stomping grounds and a largely arbitrary conflict.

Kurald Galain
2009-03-29, 04:29 AM
There's a difference between "bear a mark" and "I look like an extra from Doctor Who". Tieflings are so over-the-top I can't take them seriously (and neither can many others).
That's a good point (and having common nouns for names doesn't help them much, either; how seriously would you take somebody whose name is Serious?). Either WOTC is about as bad as fanfiction.net is in writing dark angsty pasts, or they've got all their good flavor writers work on Magic the Gathering instead.

However, I feel obliged to point out that Annah of the Shadows (of Planescape: Torment fame) has a big tail (http://images.tomshardware.com/2007/02/20/the_50_greatest_female_characters_in_the_history_o f_video_games/annah.jpg), that gets mentioned at every opportunity.


Anyway, getting back to the OP's question. I've been doing Points of Light for over a decade in several campaigns, so yeah, I think that's good for a D&D setting. Other than that, the Generic Setting backstory is forgettable and cliched; this is a result of the aforementioned bad writing, the way-too-many ancient empires, and the overall lack of focus. It might as well not be there.

The problem is that they want to describe every race or class or even nation in two paragraphs, because apparently all the rest of the book is reserved for rules text. By cutting everything so short, you'll end up either with things that people can't take seriously, or with inconsistencies as everybody makes up their own idea. Not that inconsistency is bad, it just means that the "generic setting" ends up as neither generic nor a setting.

For example, most of the time when people think dragonborn (or tieflings, or whatever) are really really cool, it's because of something they made up themselves, not because of whatever is in the books. That means they're (1) good players, and (2) mediocre flavor in the books.

KillianHawkeye
2009-03-29, 05:05 AM
Personally, I like the new setting, particularly the points of light. Most of the 3E settings seemed way too civilized to me. It seemed like all the monsters were forced to be tucked away on mountains or in dungeons or the Underdark, and all you really had to worry about when travelling from town to town were brigands or kobolds or goblinoids and the occaisonal ogre or owlbear. But now there are fewer towns, and many of them lack kingdoms to call upon in their times of need. Everyplace just seems more remote and dangerous, which makes things more interesting.

I also like the new cosmology a lot. I especially love the whole parallel worlds aspect, which is SO much more interesting than the coexistant/coterminous planes of 3E and the Great Wheel. The Feywild and Shadowfell have so much more possibilities to what you can do with them. Each one has its own ecology, locations, and societies. But my favorite part is how it's so easy to wind up in an alternate plane by accident, just by camping in the wrong place! So many possibilities! :smallbiggrin:

As for the new and changed races, let's start with Tieflings. I am mostly indifferent towards them, but I do like how they've been given a common history. I never understood how the grandson of a devil and the grandson of a demon could be exactly the same creatures in 3E. I like how the new Tieflings were wicked and cursed, and now their decendants must live with that shame. I know it amplifies the angst somewhat, but I don't have to worry about that much with my group. Plus, it makes the Tieflings more interesting, which is good no matter what. Backstory is always good.

I like the Dragonborn a lot, although their history is a little too pretty for me. I'd prefer if they had ruled an evil empire, or if they just followed the whims of whatever dragon they served, and got rid of the built-in paladin attitude. I think they should be more like the Klingons (mostly-honorable warriors but still the bad guys at least half the time), since that's basically the role they are filling for D&D (the big tough guys). Pro Tip: Whenever a BBEG wants to prove how powerful he is, have him take out the Dragonborn in one shot. Supply your own Dragonborn if necessary. If it worked on Star Trek, it will work for you! :smallwink::smallwink:

I will definitely agree that there are too many well-known "ancient" empires. There should be one or two, and then nobody but dragons can remember what came before that. Every single race does not need it's own ancient empire!!


Seven Hells

It's Seven Heavens and Nine Hells, btw. :smallwink::smallbiggrin:

Thanatos 51-50
2009-03-29, 05:47 AM
Well, that is wierd.

The party tiefling isn't angsty in the slightest. He is a raging drunk side-character the DM puts in whenever hes needed and who royally wrecked our guild hall and had the gall to plunder the party fund (for alcohol, more than likely) and not clean up the bodies from the first conflict.
Oh, and we can't let the guy inside a furniture store. Theres just too many tables for him to resist the temptation to flip them.

The Angstiest hes ever gotten is the point where my character called him "really more of an old figurehead, he founded the Legion, and pretty much spends all of his time drinking and being generally useless, now."
At which point he, understandably, got a bit upset until I clarified that my character was, indeed, whispering to a drow and had aclosed and locked door between him and Tal'hoon.

The Gods/Primordials story smacks of "Hai, we're in ur greek myths, rippin' u off". But, hey, its called the "Classical Era" for a reason.

The Elf/Eladrin split is delicious, and if they keep the numbers of elven subraces down to managable levels (Three is good. I like three.), completely worth it.
If they keep Half-elven mechanics to one (and not a different, minor subrace for every subrace of elves), even better!

Points of light, as I understand it, is neither good nor bad in and of itself. I'm not sure if "rivers of Magic" is the default setting or not, but our DM has worked it very well into the storyline so much so that it is AWESOME! and having effects on the natural world (And, conviently, giving us a reason for marauding orcs and such. It also provides us a way to stall orcish raids for a time. Yay for petty theft generating disposable income.)

Dragonborn are just your stock-standard "Proud Warrior Race Guy", as far as I can tell. I rather like the implications of a Dragonborn/Tiefling war that caused both empires to tumble.

Yeah - I think thats about it.

its_all_ogre
2009-03-29, 06:40 AM
like points of light, my campaigns have always been points of light style though so i am biased!
dragonborn and tieflings like them enough, don't do the silly naming of tieflings and they work fine. their racial abilities make them not the utmost best at any class, but very interesting ones for many classes.
dragonborn actually are not OP for any class using strength, they have a racial ability based on con when they get no con bonus, so you have to use stat points on that too. they also don't make great paladins imo. too many minor actions available.
eladrin and elf is better than many -elf types.
other stuff i largely like or ignore.

V'icternus
2009-03-29, 06:48 AM
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that Teiflings are only as noticiable as the player wants them to be. They can choose to have a short tail, human coloured skin, and small horns. Then, they cover their face and Bam! Barely noticeable.

Or, you could go with a full-on devil look. It's all up to the player how obvious they are.

As for Dragonborn, they like honour and battle. Nobody said they couldn't also be evil. Think of an evil knight, who alsways challenged his oponents to honourable one-on-one combat. Then add the ability to breathe fire (Or whatever). Honour doesn't lead to good. It leads to honour. And of course, they hate cowardice. So, I can picture a Dragonborn overlord with an army at his back, trying to destroy all cowards in the world. It'd be dramatic, and interesting for any Dragonborn in the party.

All core races are workable for any situation. Remember, a Teifling doesn't have to be angsty, or even care abou the past at all. He could be a "live in the moment" or a "look to the future" kind of guy.

A Dragonborn, while honourable, also loves combat. What better for a friend than a party memebr who loves to fight the bad guys? (AKA, take all the damage while you strike from afar)

The Elf/Eladrin split was smart. Basically, it comes down to "Tree-elves" and "Magic elves". And, of course, the Drow. I like to think of it as the same species, but from the three worlds. The Feywild, the Middle world, and the Shadowfell. And, do to the close nature of these worlds to each other, all are present in the Middle world. It's brilliant.

Points of light just makes sense. It allows for a lot of story, and Monster-Mashing.

As for the "Every race has an ancient Empire" thing, it's really only three... two a really long time ago, that destroyed each other, and one much more recently that brought the races together. It provides history, some of it ancient[i/] history, and gives some nice backstory on the races.

The Gods vs. The Primordials is awesome. True, it derives from Greek Mythology, but then, is that bad?
Even the Gos themeselves as presented pretty much cover any adventurers worshipping needs (Remember, your characters can interpret their God's will as they choose. E.g. "Kord likes battle? I worship him, so I guess I should kill [i]everything!!! OR "Kord likes battle? I worship him, so I guess I should challenge their leader to single combat.")

Oh, and as for Teifling names, remember, it's up to the player. Generally only the younger ones choose a name based off of an ideal, and try to embody that ideal. So, this is not their given name. This is what they call themselves.

(My present character, a Teifling named Fury, chose said name after an unfourtunate incident involving large-scale death (Including his Teifling mother, but not his Human father, who he has never met (Think "One night stand with hot devil-chick")). He also, at this time, became a worshipper of Asmodeous, and swore to gain power. Just power. He has since had a change of heart and has become Unaligned, beleiving Good and Evil to be mere concerns not fit for one who seeks the power he seeks. He still worships Asmodeous, however, because he is a diety of ambition and lust for power. He does, however, have his given name, He just refuses to tell anyone what it is. He is, of course, the Teifling Warlock presented in my Avatar...)

So, from my point of view, there is no problem at all with D&D 4e settings. If you find there's a problem, it's probably with your players, or some misunderstanding. With D&D, the rules are merely guidlines to help along a roleplaying experience. Your character can always be the exception. (Say, a Dragonborn who is entirely dishonourable, and was cast from his social group or whatever because of this. Exceptions, in some cases, make heroes who they are.)

...I seem to have ranted again, so I'll stop now.

Khatoblepas
2009-03-29, 07:16 AM
Note that this is my impression of it:

I don't like it that much - it seems to try so hard to be awesome, but it's just too... arbitrary and haphazard. There's no unifying elements I can connect with. Two fallen empires? Removing the horrifying implications of Planetouched? Heck, Tieflings are scary because they're the spawn of the devil/demons/yugoloths, not because they're demon-looking. There's something about the taint, the intrinsic evil inherent in their creation that makes them untrustworthy. That, and I liked the other planetouched, too. And the Genasi. Dragonborn are eh. I preferred their "Divine gift from Bahamut" 3e fluff, where everyone could become one in order to better embody Bahamut's ideals. Evil Platinum Dragons don't make sense - unless you have Tiamat giving out the same gift. It's power - for a price. And for Bahamut, it's a strict code of conduct. For Tiamat, it could be servitude. They're reborn as dragons. That's why they're called Dragonborn. 4e Dragonborn took the aesthetic and neutered the fluff. Now they're just "Dragon people".

Seperating Demons and Devils into "Ugly vs. Pretty" and totally messing with the alignment system is another bugbear with me. They changed Slaadi to evil, for some reason, and the Law/Chaos divide is laughable. They could have dropped the entire alignment system and made a better job of it. x3 Slaadi are CN. Regardless of what anyone says. Would you say Modrons are LG? Turning Eladrins into elves is silly, too. The alignment just took a giant leap backwards into the dark ages and this affected the depth and texture of the setting immensely. Suddenly the dark irony that Lawful and Chaotic Evil are practically identical in their species (eg. Succubi/Enriyes) but with subtley different abilities and MO, and they're warring more fiercely than if they were fighting celestials is lost in a tide of making Devils "Awesome" and Demons drooling monsters with no kind of sense of anything. Something about it just doesn't sit right with me. Which brings me to...

The Great Sea makes no sense. It's all disorganised and arbitrary too, like someone's first attempt at a cosmology. Okay, I admit The Great Wheel is really complex (though not that much - Top is NG, Right is CN, Bottom is NE, Left is LN - they're alignment themed planes. And the Inner Planes are Air/Water/Earth/Fire, the Postive/Negative energy planes, and the transitive planes. Very well organised) the Great Sea is no better. The Elemental Chaos, due to the forces of Entropy, is eventually going to all merge into a grey soup because there are no bounderies. The Feywild and the Shadowfell are kinda lame in naming, and I prefer a more unified Plane system anyhow. Ethereal/Astral/Shadow ftw. Also, nightmare horrors from beyond the stars, that's where the Far Realm comes in. Where did this go?

Another thing that bothers me about the 4e fluff is that it doesn't explain HOW things work. In 2e and 3e, Ethereal Jaunt was, well, shifting yourself over to the Ethereal Plane. Shadowwalk passed you through the Plane of Shadow. It wasn't a logical system, but it made sense in context. 4e seems to eschew this in favor of the Power of Awesome. I know this is dipping into mechanics a little, but I liked how previous editions at least explained where all this power is coming from.

I know people say a lot that 2e/3e didn't model a world in a simulationist manner because it wasn't simulated anything - but the settings did have Verisimilitude. They worked in context. 4e's default setting is so arbitrary and generically sectored off that it's a laughable shadow of any setting that came before it. [i]Even Spelljammer.

See, I don't think 4e's setting isn't bad (It certainly did some things right. The parallel worlds bit is something I'd steal, certainly, and the Points of Light thing can be stolen too. x3), I just think it's too... shallow for me. Everything relies on The Rule of Awesome, and... well, it's just not D&D for me. It's all a shallow imitation of it, retooled to be "Awesome" and "With It" and appeal to younger sensibilities.

I'd still play with it, though, if only to deconstruct it. x3

Thanatos 51-50
2009-03-29, 07:32 AM
You call it Power of Awesome, I call it simple Magic.

Kurald Galain
2009-03-29, 07:34 AM
The party tiefling isn't angsty in the slightest.
Oh, that's good. Just because most characters of <race X> have <character trait Y> doesn't mean that your player character needs to match that. The difference is, the 2E rulebook repeatedly spelled out that yes, you can play a jolly dwarf even though most dwarves aren't like that; whereas the 4E rulebook almost literally says "play a tiefling if you want to be an angsty goth". :smallbiggrin:



The Elf/Eladrin split is delicious, and if they keep the numbers of elven subraces down to managable levels (Three is good. I like three.), completely worth it.
True enough. But I find that the Deva feel like another elven subrace, although they are doubtless not intended as such.



Dragonborn are just your stock-standard "Proud Warrior Race Guy", as far as I can tell.
They are. But so are dwarves, and half-orcs, and goliaths, and possibly even warforged. Bit of an overkill, there.

daa18
2009-03-29, 08:17 PM
OMG! Teiflings are supposed to be angsty! I must have been playing mine wrong because he's actually proud of his teifling abilities.

Asbestos
2009-03-29, 11:26 PM
They are. But so are dwarves, and half-orcs, and goliaths, and possibly even warforged. Bit of an overkill, there.

Yeah, but its the little things that matter and help distinguish them from each other. I mean, look at the 'mysterious and magical' races aka the Eladrin, Drow, Gnomes, and Devas (to a degree); the details are where its at. My hope is that we'll see more 'ecology of ____' articles in Dragon detailing player races so that these differences become more apparent.

Ravens_cry
2009-03-29, 11:53 PM
I dislike that they made the elves two different races, three if you count half-elves. Dear gods, how many elves do we need? I do like some of the deities, especially the Raven Queen. I don't like the alignment system, as if 3.x wasn't simplistic enough. I also don't like that half orcs have been made a non core race. I don't know why, but I like the green/grey skinned folk. Dragonborn are cool, tieflings I am surprisingly amblivient about. I guess my emo muse is more the grey dead-pan snarker variety. I would rather be Raven (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TeenTitans) then Allen Francis Doyle (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/Angel). Though I am a strong proponent of 'make vanilla your own vanilla.' even to me 4.0 felt like an overly strict path. On the whole I felt like I was pushing buttons rather then playing a character. I won't compare it to WoW, as I have never played WoW, instead it reminds me of Gauntlet Legends (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauntlet_Legends).

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-30, 12:13 AM
OMG! Teiflings are supposed to be angsty! I must have been playing mine wrong because he's actually proud of his teifling abilities.

The Sarcasm is strong in this one :smalltongue:

But, we are talking about the fluff. Behold!

Tieflings are not numerous. Sometimes a tiefling merchant clan that is descended from a Bael Turath dynasty settles as a group in a land where wealth can purchase safety and comfort. But most tieflings are born outside such hidden dynasties and grow up in the roughest quarters of human cities and towns. These tieflings often become swindlers, thieves, or crime lords, who carve out a niche for themselves amid the squalor of their surroundings.

Tiefling Characteristics: Cunning, disquieting, imposing, mysterious, proud, rebellious, self-reliant, sinister, sly, unconventional

. . .

Some young tieflings, striving to find a place in the world, choose a name that signifies a concept and then try to embody the concept. For some, the chosen name is a noble quest. For others, itís a grim destiny.

I'm pretty sure WotC envisioned the Tieflings to be pretty angsty (oh, to be a shunned member of a dying race!) (http://www.goblinscomic.com/d/20050711.html); whether you play for or against type is hardly relevant to the default fluff.

Oh, and the ever popular:

Play a tiefling if you want . . .
✦ to be a hero who has a dark side to overcome.

:smalltongue:

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-03-30, 12:30 AM
Which is why I want to play my tielfing a bit differently.

"Sure my race is dying, and we have an infernal taint, but that'll be easy to overcome when I'm a goddess. My people can worship me, and I'll give it to 'em straight, instead of those pretty lies Asmodeus tells them. Bael Turath is dead, yes, but by the gods I'm gonna DO SOMETHING about it, instead of whining about it like my parents did!"

How do you like them apples?

Ninetail
2009-03-31, 01:08 AM
The problem is that they want to describe every race or class or even nation in two paragraphs, because apparently all the rest of the book is reserved for rules text. By cutting everything so short, you'll end up either with things that people can't take seriously, or with inconsistencies as everybody makes up their own idea.

(Emphasis added.)

That is, to be fair, exactly how they intended to design it.

I use my own setting, so it doesn't bother me much either way. I like parts of it (the creation war is a favorite -- it's not original, no, but it's classic), and don't care much for others (emo tieflings). I keep or adapt the bits I like and throw the rest away.

As far as the only part of the setting to actually get any level of detail, Fallcrest/Nentir Vale, I have to say that that's fairly impressive, considering it's just one chapter in the DMG. I'd put it up there with Hommlet, even. It's not as detailed, but then, it takes up far fewer pages...

skywalker
2009-03-31, 02:07 AM
I like the creation war and all the stuff surrounding it, as Oracle_Hunter detailed. I still don't get Nerath, but I really like the Arkhosia/Bael Tuarath duality, I think it colors interaction between teiflings and dragonborn in an interesting way. I really like the dragonborn, but I've never seen them as simply as some others. Never saw them as "lily-white," or perhaps they are, but there is some serious pride going on there, whether they are pure or not, and that pride is their fatal flaw. Kinda like lawful stupid paladins in 3.5, but less annoying or overbearing. I never found paladins all that annoying in 3.5, but that pride was always more a feature than stupidity, which I seem to have avoided, somehow. The tiefling fluff is a little overboard, but Wizards is simply pandering to their audience there, IMO.

I think it's funny that Raven's Cry is talking about how we have too many elves, because, by his count, we have 3. Somebody wasn't paying attention in 3.5. I count 3, but that includes the drow. Now, some have said, why did we need to split the elves? And a mechanical argument was brought up. The way I see it, elves have always kicked ass. They're rather diverse individuals, with the opportunity to pick up a lot of talents due to their long lives. This means we have a number of different archetypes for elves. So, yes, mechanically, we may have needed the split. I think the way to portray elves the way most people envision them is to make them more powerful than other races, perhaps "good at everything?" But that doesn't do so well for balance. I don't think, fluffwise, a split was needed, and in fact it annoys me sometimes that elves are not eladrin. It annoys me even more when eladrin party members get insulted by me calling them "elves." As if a change in edition terminology has given them some great regality or some crap.

I can take or leave most of the other stuff, with the exception of "points of light." Now, reading the 3 heroic adventures, I don't get much "points of light" from them. The world feels pretty normal there, not like there's a "growing darkness." But the way it was pitched back in the preview material annoyed the crap out of me. It was just too damned GRIMDARK.

Kurald Galain
2009-03-31, 07:28 AM
(Emphasis added.)

That is, to be fair, exactly how they intended to design it.

I don't think that's intentional at all, considering how many powers and paragon paths do refer to the generic setting, rather than to how "everybody makes up their own idea". Note that there were even more references to this setting (e.g. the Purple Phoenix Power line of feats), until a lot of internet backlash on the first previews made WOTC change that.

However, if the point is that everybody makes up their own idea (which I encourage because it's fun!), that does mean that there is no generic setting.

OneFamiliarFace
2009-03-31, 01:22 PM
I have to say that this is one of the more interesting 4e threads I've seen on here. My 2 cents?

At first, I really didn't like the generic fluff (aside from the cosmology, because that is already exactly how mine worked). It read as many people were saying: too grimdark and trying too hard to be cool. It didn't help that I didn't like Teiflings, so Bael Turath was out.

Recently though, a friend and I started constructing a world together for his campaigns, and he wanted to borrow heavily from the generic 4e fluff, as he plans on running a lot of modules. And, as we have been working on it, I have found that the fluff rarely gets in my way and often provides an interesting framework within which I can create. (It also provides names, and naming things is not my forte.)

At each phase, the generic fluff has come up to provide a gentle suggestion here and there, but really doesn't step on our toes otherwise, and on a micro-world level, it doesn't matter much at all (except for the points of light bit, which is good anyway). So, all in all, I have come to like the general background, given that it seems to A) accomplish the goal of providing new DMs with a framework (which experienced ones can discard) and B) provide for all the current elements in the D&D world along with the ability to expand on it as one pleases.

As for the multiple fallen empires:

A lot of people seem to be complaining that there is an overabundance of fallen empires. I think that if this is truly a problem, then Arkhosia and Bael Turath can handily be ignored.

But 3 fallen empires hardly seems excessive. In our own homeworld of Earth (which by most D&D world standards is very young), I can bring easily to mind at least 5 major 'fallen' empires (Aztec, Egyptian, Mongolian, Roman, French). More importantly though, D&D is constantly rife with the ruins of ancient civilization. Where else do all these treasure hordes and old dungeons come from?

In fact, people have been calling it cliche (and I hate cliches), but it seems like one of the more simple approaches to explaining all of the abandoned citadels, ruined cities, and treasure hordes which would collapse a few more empires' economies. This is because the fact is that empires do indeed rise and subsequently fall.

Oh! And, it isn't a Dwarven empire that is ruined. Now THERE is something new for ya!

hamishspence
2009-03-31, 01:27 PM
Faerun at least kept the names Moon Elves and Sun Elves for eladrin. The other changes are very debatable (but not in this thread)

I would probably go with "high elves" as a valid name for eladrin, and have them use that name themselves.

archmage45
2009-03-31, 02:19 PM
I don't see why two fallen empires in the distant past, and one more recent is all that hard to believe.

Assyrian Empire
Rome Empire
Mongol Empire
Kingdom of Macedonia (Under Alexander the Great)
Celestial Empire
Holy Roman Empire
British Empire

I mean, if you just look at say... Turkey. How many different empires claimed the lands that we now know as Turkey?
Hittite
Phrygian Empire
Cimmerian Empire
Persian Achaemenid Empire
Alexander the Great
Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire

It makes sense to me.

hamishspence
2009-03-31, 02:27 PM
Faerun setting did this (and went a bit overboard- the number of buried empires is very large)

Kurald Galain
2009-03-31, 02:30 PM
I don't see why two fallen empires in the distant past, and one more recent is all that hard to believe.
It's not that three empires is bad in principle, it's that we know next to nothing about the history of the so-called generic setting, except that it has had a lot of empires. So it's the disproportionate amount of empyricality that is bothersome.

Darth Stabber
2009-03-31, 02:49 PM
So are Devas the new Aasimar or am I still waiting on them?

hamishspence
2009-03-31, 02:58 PM
I believe they are, going by Players Guide to Faerun- they were the servants and agents of The Mulhorandi gods-in-mortal-form, the role occupied by the aasimar in 3rd ed.

I think Dragon explains this, but I don't have a subscription.

I like them, a bit- they remind me of the Trill in Star Trek (access to old memories) and the Jade Phoenix mage in Tomb of Battle- immortals being reincarnated every time they die, through time.

FatR
2009-03-31, 03:15 PM
Feywild and Shadowfell are good as ideas, but realization ("Prime Material with some nonconsequential reflaworing") really falls flat. Same can be said about Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos. Astral realms are extremely small, compared to old planes and don't fit a universe that includes more than one material world. I guess, everyting is downgraded in 4E (although infinite planes of previous editions were silly). And while I dislike Planescape's concept as way, way too grimdark for my heroic fantasy games, the execution of this concept (including 3.X Planescape derivatives) was leaps and bounds fresher, more imaginative and better written than anything offered 4E MotP.

Gods being so unimportant that they might as well not exist is a logical development of 3.X tendencies, I admit. This does not make me like it. God-Primordial war is rehash of one of the most cliched genesis stories ever. Its presentation in core and MotP does nothing to breath a new life in it. So, it fails.

As about the material world, it is firm "meh". The material world setting basically doesn't even exist. There is some allusions to history when they need to explain new races, and that's basically it. These new races leave me cold as well. "Points of light on ruins of ancient civilizations"? This idea was kinda-sorta-somewhat original when very first Forgotten Realms books hit the print. And it is not like their current incarnation of FR (the only real setting so far) really follows it, even though it would have returned the setting to its roots.

Blackfang108
2009-03-31, 03:18 PM
As for the multiple fallen empires:

But 3 fallen empires hardly seems excessive. In our own homeworld of Earth (which by most D&D world standards is very young), I can bring easily to mind at least 5 major 'fallen' empires (Aztec, Egyptian, Mongolian, Roman, French). More importantly though, D&D is constantly rife with the ruins of ancient civilization. Where else do all these treasure hordes and old dungeons come from?


The French had an empire? I thought the French view of the world was: "People we've surrendered to in the past," and "People we haven't yet surrendered to"?

hamishspence
2009-03-31, 03:20 PM
PHB2 has extended the storyline of the war a bit- explaining what ended it- the "spirits" of the Material Plane, including the World Serpent.

I find the concept interesting, though a bit like the Diablo novels. At least mortals aren't half demon half angel in D&D world.

Dhavaer
2009-03-31, 03:25 PM
The French had an empire? I thought the French view of the world was: "People we've surrendered to in the past," and "People we haven't yet surrendered to"?

Dude, Napoleon.

hamishspence
2009-03-31, 03:29 PM
Goes right back to the Angevins: England was part of the Norman empire, based in France, until it shrunk and rulers relocated to England permanently.

Since then, French empire has grown and shrunk a lot over time.

Asbestos
2009-03-31, 03:46 PM
PHB2 has extended the storyline of the war a bit- explaining what ended it- the "spirits" of the Material Plane, including the World Serpent.

Wait, when was this mentioned? I find it awesome.

hamishspence
2009-03-31, 04:01 PM
primal Source: page 5:

"In the last days of the war, a new force made itself known in the cosmos: the spiritual expression of the world itself. These primal spirits declared an end to the conflict, asserting that the world would no longer be a battleground for the two opposing force.

The gods and the primordials were banished to their home planes, and the primal spirits of the world decreed a balance: The world would remain a place where matter and spirit mingled freely, where life and death proceeded in an orderly cycle, where the seasons changed in their unending wheel without interference. The gods and the primordials could still influence the world, but they could not rule it."

And when their servants try- p132:

"When a divine exarch and the servant of a primordial joined forces in an attempt to tamper with the natural order, the World Serpent simultaneously crushed the life from them both."

AgentPaper
2009-03-31, 04:34 PM
What I'm hoping for, is that eventually WotC will publish a "lore" book, which basically takes all the bits and pieces of lore that we have, and puts them into a single book, along with giving guidelines for your own modifications, tips on new worlds, and possibly generalized statistics for distances and populations and such. All that stuff that was in the DM guide in 3.5, but should really have been it's own book. Of course, this would be published after they have mostly decided on the major themes and races and history, and most of the other important books had been published, so that it could have most if not all of the lore organized in it neatly.

And then a new power source book would come out and completely alter the world setting, obviously. :smalltongue:


Anyways, as for the history so far, I have to say that I simply LOVE Devas. They have no real racial identity, but they are not lost and confused and wondering where the hell they came from and angsty and such. They know where they came from, what they have done, and what they want to do by the time they can walk. I've stolen them mostly as-is for my own setting, the only difference being in their origins:

They were created by a rogue god in an attempt to give the mortals their immortality back. It backfired horribly and caused the war between gods that led them to call for an agreement of non-interference with the mortal realm, leading to the current age.

If you don't mind blatant self-promotion, check out the link in my signature. If you do mind, sucks to be you.

Anyways, if nothing else I love the idea of using one as the first villain, who's arrogant and not too hard to defeat. Then, 5-6 years later, an angry little 5-6 year old girl appears and starts to threaten and bluster and generally throw a fit. It eventually becomes apparent who she is, and hilarity ensues.

Kurald Galain
2009-03-31, 04:57 PM
Dude, Napoleon.

Dude, Charlemagne :smallbiggrin:

hamishspence
2009-03-31, 05:21 PM
I like the Primal concept- it does provide an explanation, of sorts, as to why the gods are non-interventionist after most of the primordials were imprisoned by them.

chiasaur11
2009-03-31, 06:09 PM
Dude, Charlemagne :smallbiggrin:

He is an awesome fellow.

TheEmerged
2009-03-31, 06:20 PM
Generally speaking, I tend to view the generic setting through the lens of how much of it I have to change/ignore when adapting to my campaign setting. This will of course color my opinion.

RE: Points of Light. This *works*, and works well for me. Too many settings from previous editions are really too civilized to allow for adventuring. This also works for me since I suck at making world maps -- it gives me the excuse to say that the world is still recovering from the apocalypse and nobody knows the real shape of the world now.

RE: The races. Some have worked better than others. Tieflings and Deva do not fit the flavor of my campaign world, so in both cases I've taken their crunchy bits and apply them to new races. The new half elves work well for me (although I changed their name due to my personal dislike of the proliferation of "half this" and "half that" races).

I like the refluffed gnomes, although it seems I'm in the minority there. It's long been a complaint of mine that dwarves, halflings, and gnomes were too similar (halflings being skinny dwarves, gnomes being steampunk halflings, etc).

RE: The religious issue. This has *always* been my biggest complaint, and it remains true of 4th Edition -- there is simply too much of this material to call it a 'generic' setting. I'm ignoring almost every bit of it, although I kept Vecna as a Lawful Evil and refluffed Orcus as Chaotic Evil.

RE: Alignment. I like renaming True Neutral as Unaligned. I dislike and quickly ignored the removal of several alignments. I do however like the fact that these aren't "crunchy" bits anymore (the removal of things like Detect Evil, for example, makes a LOT of sense from a gaming perspective).

AgentPaper
2009-03-31, 06:27 PM
I like my idea for why the gods don't interfere with the mortal coil, which is that they're one big family, and like any big family, they all HATE each other. Whenever any of them try to mess with the mortals too much, a bunch of other gods come down to beat the immortal crap out of them, and then more gods come to beat the crap out of THOSE gods, and eventually it's an all out brawl and the world's come to an end. And they've all lost their hats.

So, basically, the gods don't interfere with mortals, because then they would lose their hats.

Ninetail
2009-04-01, 05:27 AM
I don't think that's intentional at all,

*shrug* Maybe not, but at least one of the designers has claimed that it was. Could be a case of 20/20 hindsight, I suppose.



considering how many powers and paragon paths do refer to the generic setting, rather than to how "everybody makes up their own idea".


Well, they need to refer to something. It couldn't all exist in a void -- they need to demonstrate how you can design paragon paths to fit your setting. They need to offer a couple of Channel Divinity feats to show what your divine characters might do (which means setting up a pantheon, too). They need to sketch out a cosmlogy, in order to provide background for some of the extraplanar stuff. They need to offer the novice GM who knows nothing about worldbuilding for D&D a basic starting point.

Sure, it could have been Greyhawk or the Realms or Eberron or whatever, and there are plenty of people who think it should have been, but those all have a lot of history and lore tied up in them. Even Eberron, which is relatively new. So instead they created the "generic setting." Such as it is.



However, if the point is that everybody makes up their own idea (which I encourage because it's fun!), that does mean that there is no generic setting.

That's true. It's more a framework than a setting. Even if you want to use the fluff they offer, you as GM get to decide, say, what exactly Baal'Turath and Arkhosia were fighting over, or why Nerath fell, or what the Raven Queen's forgotten name really is.

I think that's brilliant, myself. There's enough there to offer a starting point and spark some ideas, but not so much that a new GM will be completely overwhelmed trying to come up with a brand new world. And for those who need even more guidance, the DMG's Nentir Vale provides a more concrete setting that can work well into paragon levels.

That said, I've never really been a fan of pre-established settings (Mystara aside), so my bias is naturally toward providing this sort of framework, over something like the Realms.

bosssmiley
2009-04-01, 10:40 AM
The French had an empire? I thought the French view of the world was: "People we've surrendered to in the past," and "People we haven't yet surrendered to"?

Johnny Frog basically got all the bits that Britain couldn't be bothered with, or that Spain, Germany, Belgium or Holland hadn't already stuck a flag in.

First French Empire: confiscated by Britain during the 18th century.
Second French Empire: lots of sand, lemurs, jungle, Vietnam, Syria & Lebanon (mandate)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/France_colonial_Empire10.png

As for the 4E generic setting: colour me unimpressed. WOTC could have showcased a hot new setting to show what their slick new 21st century version of D&D can do; instead they copypasta-ed the 'easy on the brain' bits of settings from older editions. Net result: *meh*

Pathfinder's Golarion makes the 4E setting look like back-of-a-napkin rush job.
The 2E era of settings shames the efforts of the 4E writers.
Heck, Judges Guild and MAR Barker did better jobs of world creation 30 years ago!

OneFamiliarFace
2009-04-01, 09:22 PM
I can definitely see where people are coming from when they call the generic setting bland, but I am kind of in favor of that (outside of supplements which may expound on it).

As it stands, the generic setting covers pretty much all of their needed bases, without stepping on a DM's toes too much. It gives a sensible home to all of the various species and sets up a much more concise creature origin system than did previous editions (Fey, Natural, Elemental, Aberrant, Immortal, and Shadow). This frankly means that far fewer creatures will find their backstory arising from ancient wizardly experimentation, and will have a more clear place in most campaigns.

But if they had made some truly bizarre and memorable world backstory, then their world would not be "generic." Rather, it would be Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dragonlance, or some other place with unfamiliar fantasy races and classes. And with their accounced attention of focusing on one campaign setting a year, I am sure we will see detailed accounts on each of these (as well as an eventual new setting, probably done much like Eberron).

Mando Knight
2009-04-01, 09:55 PM
So, basically, the gods don't interfere with mortals, because then they would lose their hats.

Und any plan vere hyu lose hyu hat (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NiceHat) iz?

Colmarr
2009-04-01, 09:59 PM
Personally, I think all the references in this thread to the "generic setting" are misconcieved, because I don't think there is one.

With the exception of the god/primordial war and Bael Turath and Arkhosia, we effectively only have a polaroid of the world as it currently stands. A setting is more than that.

It's clear from FR and Eberron that WotC can (and do) publish settings when they want to. In the circumstances, it's pretty clear to me that they have chosen not to create a full generic setting.

Morty
2009-04-02, 09:14 AM
I'm not too fond of it. It's not a *bad* setting, and I'd play it without trouble, but it's not very good either. And of course, there's no D&D setting in whatever edition I'd actually like - FR is fine, but mostly because there's no real competition - there's a lot of stuff that could be better. Basically my beef with it can be summed up in the "Points of Light" concept. Yeah, it works for a D&D campaign, but that's the problem. 4ed generic world is tailored so that nothing stops players from killing and looting while still looking like heroes instead of brigands. Complete with "good and pretty" races huddling together to defend themselves agains "bad and ugly" races. Bleh. Of course, it's nothing exactly new - it's just the infuriating "PCs are always right" philosophy that's always been present in D&D taken to an extreme. There are also "cannon fodder races", but it's not any worse than in 3rd or any other edition. Dragonborn are a mistake of course, but other people have explained just what is utterly wrong about them. Another issue altogether though, is the butchered cosmology and the removal of the Blood War. I wouldn't find it so bad if WoTC's reason for those changes wasn't "durrr, it's too complicated".
Now, what I like about it is the boatload of ancient empires. It's an easy solution to give players something to do that makes sense. The gods/primordials sthick is pretty cool too - as long as it's not forced onto an estabilished setting, that is.