What campaign world do you use as a GM?

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I'm curious as to how many people out there use Golarion as a Pathfinder setting and how many use others, and what others get commonly used?

I know that basically all Paizo modules are set on Golarion. So obviously Golarion is the go-to setting for people who don't want to have to do the work.

But I'm sure there are lots of people using settings from 3.5. If you were a 3.5 GM for a while then it might be easier for you to keep using the setting you were using. There are many WotC settings... Greyhawk, Faerun, Mystara, Eberron, Krynn, etc.

There are also some of the weirder ones like Darksun, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, and Planescape. I never played any of those so I don't know much about them.

There are also third-party settings, and some of them are quite good.

Of course, I'm guessing that a fair number of people also use their own campaign universes. I usually do personally.

So what campaign world do you run?

I, and my DM when I'm playing both use homebrewed worlds, both with long, detailed and boring histories. Currently we are running Rise of the Runelords and are using Golarion for that. We occasionally run little one-shots that we don't bother to place within a setting.

Edit: just to add. I have used Faerun before and enjoyed it. I have always been intrigued by Darksun (and have used their defiler concept) and Spelljammer (which I think is a little far-out for my group). I like reading Ravenloft books but have never desired to play a game in that setting (I like to have fun in my games!).

I used to run games in Forgotten Realms a lot (almost exclusively The North), but since my homebrew world is taking shape, I've been using that one mostly.

If I happen to run a game that is not fantasy, it's usually Knights of the Old Republic era Star Wars.

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I like Golarion. It's well put together, I like the lore (especially the gods), and yeah, it requires little work on my part.

My homebrew setting is basically just "Golarion with this new city here".

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a Pathfinder junkie I my games in Golarion.

My second would Eberron. I love me some warfogred,shifter action!

Well my DM's current campaign is set in Westeros, with Essos being introduced in the future. He says Sothoryos is out of bounds though, bleh.

I don't have time to do the work, I use Golarian and adventure paths.

when I GM 3.5 I used forgotten realms, and eberron. Now sense we have gone to pathfinder I use golarion.

With Golarion I use Varisia and the surrounding nations for my campaign. I'm looking at writing my own campaign setting though as Golarion is getting a tad old for my tastes now.

I've DMed pretty much every old TSR campaign settings plus Scarred Lands from SSS. I tend to find that publishers always end up doing something that spoils my enjoyment of a setting which is why I keep moving on and looking for new ones.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Golarion with some major Planescape elements.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Golarion, mostly, though I also tend to DM homebrew. I've PLAYED in Faerun before, but based on what I've seen of modern Neverwinter and the old Drizzt and War of the Spider Queen novels, it'd be more fun (safer too) to live in the middle of modern Sarkoris...right over the lip of the Worldwound, than live in Faerun, so I doubt I'd DM it.

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Use the old AD&D boxes. It's a completely different world.

One that is actually kinda medieval, you rarely get to see those anywhere around anymore.

Currently running in Golarion (specifically, Rise of the Runelords). Upcoming secondary campaign is based on The Dresden Files, so it's on Earth. Previously have run Forgotten Realms, Eberron, homebrew, and even part of a campaign in Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda. Eventually looking forward to returning to all of those, starting with Hyrule when the Runelords game wraps up.

When my group started playing, it was Forgotten Realms. When our GM stopped running games and we rotated among ourselves, it was all homebrew. We prefer it that way because everything that we do in our games is canon.

Homebrew, with a few concepts borrowed from Golarion. Though, I'm currently running Shattered Star as well, so I'm using Golarion for that.

Golarion 'cause I'm lazy and it has grown both comfortable and familiar. Before then, it was Oerth. These are for D&D/3e/Pathfinder.

For GURPS/HERO, I use a supernatural-ized 'Real World' (as is RIFTS in its own bastardized way). Call of Cthulhu is set in the 'Real World'. Makes things much easier to spend more energy on what's kicking hero butt rather than where that butt kicking is taking place.

Moving towards 100% home brew. In the past I have borrowed from 3PP Necromancer/FGG (Lost Lands), Open Design (Midgard), Raging Swan Press (Lonely Coast) and classic AD&D modules.

My past preference has always been Eberron. If I ever get around to home-brewing up some Shifters, Warforged, Changelings/Doppelgangers and Kalashtar, and running PF, I'll definitely use it there.

Until then, if I ran PF, I'd probably use Golarian and modify it to suit my preferences better.

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I've never run an established setting for anything other than adventure paths--everything else is homebrew. I'm working on a setting right now that combines elements from Dragon Age: Origins, Dark Souls and Diablo (with a little bit of Darksiders and Witcher thrown in for good measure).

Use Golarion, but with heavy influences from Glen Cook, Stephen R. Donaldson, and HP Lovecraft (I know, that is a little redundant with Golarion, but the Old Ones are a bit more active in my game).
I have gamed in just about every D&D setting but Ebberon. Favorite was Greyhawk.

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As someone currently playing (well the first session doesn't start until Wednesday but whatever) in an Eberron in Pathfinder game as a Kalashtar Psion, I feel compelled to point out that there are already conversions of those races.





Rynjin wrote:

As someone currently playing (well the first session doesn't start until Wednesday but whatever) in an Eberron in Pathfinder game as a Kalashtar Psion, I feel compelled to point out that there are already conversions of those races.





Ah, thank you very much.

Golarion and homebrew so far. I'd like to try more though!

Dark Archive

I always just use Golarion with a few hints of Ebberon.
Relative Alignment, Warforged, Shifters, Technology, Artificers.
In fact currently I am running a game in Golarion where an Ebberon Inspired Great Civil War takes place, and Warforged are just being produced.
Follow up is almost straight Ebberon Flavor with Golarion names and Gods.
Then the second war breaks out.
*cough* *cough*
Looks like we got the Dark Sun Setting now.

Rynjin wrote:

I like Golarion. It's well put together, I like the lore (especially the gods), and yeah, it requires little work on my part.

My homebrew setting is basically just "Golarion with this new city here".

This is what i'm doing for the campaign ideas that I'm throwing together. I'm putting together a large city with adventure ties to different locations within Golarion. After running four of the six Kingmaker books, I dig the idea of an upstart city that's working on expanding its lands.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Currently using Pathfinder in the Realms, and in my first Golarion based game too (set in Lastwall and the Hold of Belkzen). The Forgotten Realms has been my setting of choice in 3.5 games and earlier, though I've also dabbled with Dark Sun, Spelljammer and D6 Star Wars. I've also run a few homebrews.

If I'm granted immortality I'd like to DM a lengthy campaign in almost every setting out there.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My three favorite campaign worlds are Golarion, a home brewed world, and Mystara. Both Golarion and Mystara (especially the old GAZ products) really flesh out their gaming worlds to a wonderful degree.

The group I play with has been using Praemal, the world surrounding Monte Cook's since early 2006, and we all sort of fell in love with subsequent campaigns' referencing previous campaigns, so that's where we play. We've been using some of the APs and changing the settings just enough to drop them in Praemel, though. It's fun to see what parallels enough that minimal change is needed... and what changes you need to bend over backwards to make work.

Golarion is great, but my favorite will always be homebrewed campaigns, though. They can get really creative and relaxed.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Still running in Greyhawk, and haven't had too much trouble taking the one-shot modules and mixing them into a Greyhawk setting. Admittedly, my version of Greyhawk is heavily modified to not include most of the "Greyhawk Wars" heavy-handed super-war trash that came out at the end of 2nd Edition (which makes finding updated maps a pain).

I like Golarion quite a bit. If it came down to having to choose between the ruleset or the campaign setting, I'd be running Golarion with a different ruleset. I started playing AD&D 2e in 2007, and the group I play with has gone through serious growing pains. But we've settled down and Golarion is my RPG home. My DM has some serious love for some pre-Spelllplague FR, though.

We used to play a lot in Forgotten Realms but stopped when 4e came out. We recently finished Age of Worms in a loosely referenced Greyhawk We moved to Golarion for Legacy of Fire and now Skull and Shackles AP and a new Homebrew campaign I've been working on.

We played a lot of home brew before golarion and now that's all i run

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I've always and only run homebrew. It's how I was raised... lol My first experiences back in the day with 1e were homebrew. I inherited that world after college from the DM and then went on to create my own. I wish I'd saved more notes from those days. 20+ years of DMing in that setting. Wow... now I feel old. And I love it.

I will add, however, that I am a shameless cherry picker from every source I come across. I just change the names to fit my setting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Generic with Greyhawk deities. Basically whatever the AP is written for. If I actually get a home group again I might run in Golarion or start my own homebrew.

Still using the Realms....it's what I've been using since I began running D&D back in 1988.


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Running Midgard and home brew with SpirosBlaak and Freeport. Playing Kingmaker in Golarion.

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I've been GMing for 20 years now, and until recently, I've only ever run games in home brewed settings.

Having heard such great things about APs in general, I did start running one recently, so it is Golarion. It's my first time using someone else's material and I kind of hate it. I mean, the concepts are good--that's what drew me to it, but I'm just not satisfied and find myself changing so much all the time--it's that, or making side jokes about the absurd elements with the players as we go. Don't even get me started on the Gorilla King--ugh. Anyway, I won't be doing that again, but at least now I can say I tried it.

Now, to clarify, I know a lot of GMs have one homebrew setting they've worked on since they were kids or whatever, and it's this huge massive world with endless notes and stuff--I don't do that. I make up a new setting for each game I run. I've never used the same one twice, and never want to.

And I don't obsessively plan or anything like that. I usually come up with the setting in my head and never write anything down except maybe what the PCs need to know in e-mails. I basically make the world as we go--when something new needs to be there, I invent it on the spot. I really like this method because it means I get to discover things about the setting and game as we go, too. I don't like knowing everything ahead of time.

i usualy goes with home made world, with a huge history made by players along the years (13 years gming). second option is Ravenloft, and third is Ustalav (i found this very suiteable, because there are many maps out there, so we can use them very often, and so).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I've been using Forgotten Realms for 20 years, so it's going to take a while for me to get as familiar and comfortable with Golarion. I'm taking baby steps though, by gradually incorporating Golarion elements into Faerun, like placing Sandpoint on the Sword Coast near Waterdeep which is a stand-in for Magnimar. Incorporating Golarion like this, slowly into the world that I know inside out, is really helping me accept it when I can just take bits and pieces gradually instead of having to abandon the Realms cold turkey. I imagine that 3, 4, 5 years from now I'll probably be very comfortable with Golarion too.

The Exchange

So far, I've been using the Pathfinder rules set strictly for Greyhawk. (My most recent home-brewed fantasy setting uses the Arcana Evolved rules, which make conversion to PF less pressing and more difficult.)

I've considered running a game on Athas (Dark Sun,) and for that I may actually use the 4E system. A rather implausible, extremely violent world where absolutely everybody has superpowers calls for a rules system that ignores plausibility, encourages violence, and gives everybody superpowers.

Shadow Lodge

The base is Necromancer/Frog God Games' The Lost Lands.

From there, I throw in bits and pieces of whatever settings I like. This can mean that they come from a different edition, a different game altogether, or even non-RPG sources.

And, of course, whatever my own imagination happens to come up with.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

One thing that is helping me learn Golarion is Pathfinder Society organized play. The adventures range far and wide, allowing me to see the different lands up close, especially as a GM.

My own campaign. They didn't have commercial settings when I started. I have used ideas from history, fantasy novels and, later, commercial settings (Greyhawk, Blackmoor, and Tekumel) when they fit.

Homebrew, usually based on a mythologized analog of 12th century Earth, with strong influences from Known World/Mystara.

Andostre wrote:
The group I play with has been using Praemal, the world surrounding Monte Cook's since early 2006

Whoops, that should say "Monte Cook's 'Ptolus: City by the Spire' campaign".

For myself it is a mash-up of Golarion, Forgotten Realms, Scarred Lands, and my own ideas thrown together. I tend to think things through a bit so it has worked out really well, has a ton of source material to draw from, and the players have never really caught on to the fact that it is a menagerie of these different component pieces.

Peet wrote:
So what campaign world do you run?

I do homebrew with collective storytelling myself. I like to do different worlds every know and then rather than stick with one I've had my whole life. I'm not a big fan of Golarion personally, but I love getting together with players to make a setting. Helps everyone get something they want, and I've always been flexible about what gets put in rather than adamant about my own setting being absolute. I started in Forgotten realms, moved to Grayhawk, took a trip to a friends homebrews, and my friends who still play PFS do Golarion. I've apparently done and do some traveling on the other side of the screen.

I've done lots of homebrew, Greyhawk, and I ran the entirety of Red Hand of Doom without ever specifying what world it was on.

I have just started an Eberron campaign and I'm loving it. :) This will probably be my go-to setting for a while!

-The Gneech

I wanted to use my own world, but there is too much that still needs to be fleshed out.

So now I'm considering getting into Golarion.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been running a Forgotten Realms campaign since 1991, we just keep updating the system (and taking some big gaps). Recently did a mild power step-down to make the characters playable again, and the game is currently in 1363 DR, which predates the official 3.0 timeline. Yes, I will be ignoring all the 4E trappings of the setting.

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